On one hand, I've been absolutely starved for books -- as if Linus' blanket was yanked out from under him. On the other hand, I've been practicing more organizing thoughts in my head and writing things longhand first in order to be a more disciplined thinker and to organize what's already there without putting more in. Also, the gorgeous British edition paperbacks (of so many post-modern, post-colonial, "Non-Western" -- though how that term drives me crazy -- writers that we don't really get in America) are to an extent cost-prohibitive though available.
But. Every once and a while something magically pops up in the zborovňa that fascinates me. It fascinates me because of subject matter and also because I tend to wonder how it landed near my desk in the middle of Slovakia in a place where such books are not widely available though they are accessible. An example of this wonderful phenomenon is Global Issues from the series Resource Books for Teachers (of EFL). I found a few things in there that I am really looking forward to adapting for my classes (my colleagues are not very likely to use the book because of the huge effort to read the English) -- especially about things like carbon footprints, being a global citizen, and house vs. home issues. From my experience so far, I think the kids will have really interesting perspectives on these sorts of things, and the book is great at constructing activities in such a way that they transcend ideologies and really focus on the creation of language.
There's a really lovely bookstore in the Max in Prešov, and there I found Changes of Changes: Society and Politics in Slovakia in the 20th Century by Ľubomír Lipták. The book is an organized series of essays -- not entirely cohesive, and nothing goes into nearly enough depth, but I did learn a lot by reading it. There were a lot of really nice things about the book: he recognizes and mentions Rusyns as a minority group within Slovakia (that's Rusyns, not Ukrainians or Rusyn-Ukrainians). It also helped me understand on a more macro level why a rather hostile attitude towards the Hungarians still exists -- the Slovakization of (Czecho)Slovakia after 1918 was a huge issue and took a long time to consolidate. I've been wanting to blog about this, because I think it can be a symptom of a greater ill towards minorities, but I didn't understand it well enough. Hopefully soon I can hypothesize a bit more about the situation.