As it can be understood by the title of this blog, or even by what I wrote so far, I love to travel, but I don’t need – or am able to – do it 365 days of the year – well, while I have the main part of my life on the corporate world I can’t even travel more than 30 days a year, or if you’re reading this at the beginning of 2021, I cant travel at all. 

However, another one of my passions can, somehow, bring us to different places of the world. I love to read, and that helps me to travel in my mind.

Something that I never did was to write book reviews, I’ve read thousands of books, and normally if someone asks me an opinion, I can only say that I either loved it or hated it, but, I’ll try to share here a few of the books that I’ve read, or I’m reading, and that are some of those that show another place in the world, or another place in time, because, never forget that history is part of my DNA.

This year I’ve been reading a lot again – this is something that goes up and down with me, there are years where I read at least a book a week, and then there are others when I’m lucky if I read one, although I can go to some extremes and as an example in the summer of 2019 (in which I didn’t travel in my summer vacations) I was able to read 17 books in 2 weeks -and a couple of weeks ago, I’ve read a book that keeps me hooked in a way that I ended up reading in a day.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

It was the first time that I read something with this style, but I think it was one of the reasons that kept me hooked. The book is a monologue by a Pakistani man who is talking with an American man in a cafe in Lahore about his experiences as an immigrant/expat in the US, from his time in Princeton to his job on a top firm in NY and the reasons why he became disappointed with America and went back to Pakistan to become one of the leaders of an anti-American movement after 9/11.

The book is not an ode to fundamentalism in itself, although it shows how someone can go from one side to the other just due to some situations.

Most of all for me – and trying to connect this with the traveling bug that I have – this book is able to show the differences that exist between East and West, and how it affects some of us. 

On the other side, his descriptions of the market where this one-sided conversation happens are so well done that it somehow transports us there, and gives us a bit of a glimpse of what would be to be there. And let’s not forget, that at some point I wanted to be part of that table to be able to share both the food and the tea – because let’s be honest, one of the best things that we can do when traveling is eating and drink like a local.

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