March's Colombian Book

I like to view a country from a variety of perspectives from its literature & food to its news & art. But one of my favorite ways is to read its poetry evoking the feel of the place in just a few emotionally-wrought stanzas. The above translated snippet detailing the raw, powerful beauty of the Colombian rains from one of the country's famous poets has stayed with me all week so I felt compelled to first share it with you before delving into the results of the voting for next month's book. (If you'd like to read more, here's the full poem in both English & Spanish.)

The voting this month was fast & furious with 90% of you voting on the first day! Our top 2 favorite comments from the voting were along the same vein:

"Nearly impossible to make a choice - but the good news is my TBR list just got larger."

"Choosing among this month's books was like choosing a favorite child. Each phenomenal in its own way making it impossible to choose which one is best." 

So Which Book are We Reading in March?

"National Bestseller and winner of the 2014 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

Juan Gabriel Vásquez has been hailed not only as one of South America’s greatest literary stars, but also as one of the most acclaimed writers of his generation. In this gorgeously wrought, award-winning novel, Vásquez confronts the history of his home country, Colombia.

In the city of Bogotá, Antonio Yammara reads an article about a hippo that had escaped from a derelict zoo once owned by legendary Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. The article transports Antonio back to when the war between Escobar’s Medellín cartel and government forces played out violently in Colombia’s streets and in the skies above. Back then, Antonio witnessed a friend’s murder, an event that haunts him still. As he investigates, he discovers the many ways in which his own life and his friend’s family have been shaped by his country’s recent violent past. His journey leads him all the way back to the 1960s and a world on the brink of change: a time before narco-trafficking trapped a whole generation in a living nightmare."