Here are a couple books to read…

June 25, 2007


Mexico: The Trick is Living Here by Julia Taylor is an e-book available for sale at her website. I believe I had Googled “retire Mexico” or something when I ran across her site. I bought the book and have been enjoying it for the last couple of days…even though I am not too keen on reading books on the computer.

She gives a lot of factual and anecdotal information. As a former resident of the Pacific Northwest, I feel a kinship to her…and I love her writing style, too. She and her husband Luis live in Cuernavaca.

Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario is a pretty strong and upsetting look at a boy’s journey from Honduras to the US – travelling on top of trains as he pursues his dream of being reunited with his mother. His mother left him in Honduras with relatives when he was five years old to go to the US in order to be able to support her family.

The descriptions of poverty in Honduras and Mexico are upsetting – people having one inadequate meal a day, teachers keeping the children’s shoes at school so their parents don’t sell them for food, and story after story of parents making the dangerous journey to the US in an attempt to provide a better life for their children. Those children, however, generally are resentful and feel rejected.

The story also describes many heroic people who help the migrants along the way. The author describes many examples of the generosity of the people near the train lines in the State of Veracruz – who even though they also live in poverty will run out to the trains as they pass and throw food and clothing up to the migrants riding on top. I’m sure this generosity was the difference between life and death to some.

Gardening in the Tropics by Holttum and Enoch is a book that was recommended to me by LaGringa in Honduras. It is about gardening in Malaysia. I bothered LaGringa for a request for a couple of gardening books I could purchase before I moved to Mexico. I thought other tropical gardeners might be interested, too. Click the picture above to go to the book on Amazon.

Plants for Tropical Landscapes by Rauch is the second book LaGringa recommended. It is from Hawaii, and while it doesn’t give a lot of information about each plant, there are lots of pictures that come in handy when you take it with you to the nursery. These two books will be coming with us to Mexico soon! Thanks, LaGringa!

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More about Nancy

I'm Nancy, a US expat living in San Antonio Tlayacapan, Jalisco after 11 years in Mazatlán, México.

    1. I have Gardening in the Tropics and like it. I also got an old book, found it used on Amazon, called Meet Flora Mexicana by M. Walter Pesman that describes with drawings the common plants and trees found in Mexico. It was recommended on a forum. I love it, it has helped me identify a lot of plants I see in towns and along the road.

      It will be great to see what you do with your gardens in Maz, you are such a good gardener.

    1. I also have Gardening in the Tropics — it’s interesting, but, I’ve found much of it is not relevant to gardening in drier/seasonal tropics (I live in Yucatan). One book that I love, is The Tropical Look, by Robert Lee Riffle — it is an encyclopedic treatment, but has very broad coverage of tropical plants — good for identification, and with some info on propagation and growing conditions.

    1. Thank you Jonna and mcm, I will check out your suggestions!

      And thanks Jonna for the compliment on my gardening skills – but we are starting over here so we will see! Maybe enthusiasm can make up for what we don’t know?

      And Jonna, we don’t know when we’ll be in Maz yet so just send an email if you decide to come through and maybe we can have that conversation with Margaret!

    1. I’ve added both The Tropical Look and Plants for Tropical Landscapes to my Amazon Wish List. That list is growing quick and I’m going to have to order and get delivery before we head south again. On it is another book, Tropical Flowering Plants: A guide to Identification and Cultivation by Kirsten Llamas. Anyone have that one?

      I’ll definitely let you know when we head south, it’s gotten moved back now to mid August but hopefully that is the final delay. I’d love to have that talk with Margaret.

    1. You are welcome, Nancy. I hope that you enjoy the books.

    1. I just put the two gardening books in my cart on Amazon. I am not really a gardener, but that is something I want to learn how to do. Enrique’s Journey – I have that book in English and Spanish (in hopes my husband would read it, LOL didnt happen) and it is such a strong book. It is on my list of favorites that I recommend to others.

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