Book # 1: People of Darkness

For my 12 books in 2014 goal, I decided that the books I read should all be books I already own.  See, I’m kind of a book hoarder.  When I was in school, I would long for the days when I could just read books for fun and I would buy them preemptively, just waiting for the day when I had some time.  But then, when a semester would end, I would find myself stepping away from books for awhile, having just read so many for all of my anthropology classes.  So here I am, with a large array of books on hand that I have not yet read.  Which, by the way, is kind of exciting!  There’s all these things I’ve wanted to know about and I finally have the time to absorb them.

top pot donut and tony hillerman

I decided to read The People of Darkness by Tony Hillerman first because I thought it would be a fun, quick holiday read.  I brought it on the plane to Iowa for Christmas as the light airplane reading I’m into.  I picked up this book a year or so ago on a recommendation from a friend.  She had recommended Tony Hillerman’s books and this is the one I happened to select from the used book store close to my home.  Tony’s books are detective/mystery books about Navajo Tribal Police.  I really enjoy the mix of native ideals and values with white (or non-native) ones.

While Hillerman grew up in the Southwest, I cannot tell if he is a native himself, which of course makes me question the true value of the native perspective represented in his books.  If anyone out there has more information on this, I’d like to know.  In fact, I’m postponing reading more of his books until I find out because it changes the value of them for me.  Because well, that’s just who I am.  I’d rather read fiction that is portraying true facts of those involved than inaccurate ones… especially when they deal so closely with religious or spiritual meanings and practices.  Actually, this book has peaked my interest in Southwestern natives and their tribes.  I am definitely interested in learning a lot more, as it is a subject I know very little about.

I felt like this book was a great start to my 2014 goals.  I spent a good chunk of January 1st reading this book as I visited a Seattle park (also part of my goals)!  Dang, one week in and I am killing it!  I quickly finished this book on the 2nd because every chapter left you needing to know what happened next!  I definitely enjoy the detective/mystery genre, hopefully I have another one lying around to read.  I’m already about halfway through book #2!  Can’t wait to share that next.

What are you reading right now?

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Rachel P says:

    I love Tony Hillerman! While he is not Native American, he was named a “Special Friend of the Dineh” by the Navajo for his accurate portrayals of Navajo life. He also wrote several non-fiction works about Southwestern history and culture. So, while he’s not an academic researcher of Native American tribes, he appears to have been in good standing with tribes who “approved” of his portrayals of their myths, stories, and modern lives, which makes it easier on my spirit to enjoy his works 🙂

    1. Julia says:

      Rachel! I think it was you who recommended Hillerman to me in the first place. Thank you for sharing about his relationship with the Dineh/Navajo. It does make me feel much better. I’ll have to scour Magus books for more used copies 🙂

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