This is the stack of books on my desk. Research, inspiration, guides as I write. Not necessarily my most used or favorites, but the ones that are stacked there at this moment. I have an equally large stack on my Kindle, more on the bookshelf in the living room, more on the floor, and even more I wish I could access but alas, no fabulous English libraries in Djibouti.

(When I wrote this and when I took the picture, there were 11 books. Now there are 15. And there are three on the shelf by my bed and four I forgot on the couch and six I’m referencing on my Kindle.)

Lauren F. Winner (author of that book on top) says that she has more than 3,000 books in her tiny apartment. A woman after my own heart. I don’t even want to think about how many suitcases that would require. Here is one hearty expat cheer for Kindles and Nooks and e-books and the Hennepin County Library e-book system!

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If you are a writer, what are your go-to books for your topics?

I’m writing about Islam and Christianity, personal faith, Djibouti, Somalis. Any recommendations for me?