“I Live In Chile” is another wonderful read by Thomas Jerome Baker. Time and again, I’ve said that I love to learn about different cultures. In the case of Thomas’ newest release, I received all that I crave and then some. Most importantly, it’s not about statistics, instead I Live In Chile focuses on the day-to-day lives of Chileans. From the landscape to way of life, their people, music, food and interactions.
Being a lover of culture from around the world, I have to admit that this book fed my need to learn about other countries/regions/lifestyles and so on, without being presented in a formal manner. Moreover, the author’s background as “a foreigner” made the reading that much more appealing. I recall a time when I lived in Jamaica, for a year and a half to be exact. At that time, my request to everyone was that I be treated as a local, in order to experience life as a Jamaican. I didn’t care to do all of the tourist features because those would not allow me to truly know what it meant to be a Jamaican. That feeling I am referring to is the very one that I encountered in “I Live In Chile“. Baker gives a detailed account of “his Chile”. And it fascinates me, since he was born in the USA and has since relocated to Chile, essentially going to a collectivist society. That’s another point that interests me – blending with other societies. But oh, he gives you so much to think about that I could not possibly outline it all in a book review.
Might I add that Baker has an excellent sense of humor, combined with so much knowledge! Perhaps that is understandable considering he is a teacher, but I can only imagine the tremendous job he must do with his students. To be able to relate what he knows, or has come to know, in a manner that is just plain enjoyable. This is Thomas Baker’s writing; he has a natural ability to draw readers into his world. It is always an enjoyable journey, when I open up one of his books. I would like to end my review with a quote from the book because it not only shows his sense of humor, but also his sense of adventure:
“Of course, I must make a toast, in four languages (being a man of culture and romanticism).
Toast #1 !Viva Chile! (I honor Chile, long may she live).
Toast #2 Cheers! (I honor the USA, land of my birth).
Toast #3 Tchin Tchin! (I honor France, because her language is very sexy).
Toast #4 Prost! (I honor Germany, because of her no-nonsense language).”
Great job, Thomas – keep the stories coming!
Readers: Read, learn, and live!