Nothing Like a Good Book About the Andes

Sandi CardilloATA Programs

The Andean Textile Arts (ATA) community includes weavers, dyers, and fiber enthusiasts. It also includes travelers. We share adventures in person. We trek to ancient ruins and high mountain villages. We share armchair adventures, our stories, and our pictures. We are students of the world.

When we on the ATA board pondered how to continue to reach out to our Andean Textile community in this time of restricted physical travel, I quietly suggested . . . ”let’s do a book club.” And so, it began. I reached out to a few of my fellow book lovers on the board; a list was created from our shared book list developed over the years. Gratefully, a few hearty folks raised their hands to host a gathering of fellow armchair book loving travelers.

We’ve chosen five books. There are history, fiction, travel memoir, and adventure titles on our shelf. We’ve included a Peruvian, a Canadian, a Brit, and two Americans as our authors. At first glance, their writings are adventurous, humorous and insightful. They will take us on a tour of our beloved Andes and tell the tale of ancient Peru, times of old and new strife, and the color red’s place in history.

Come take part in a small group (20 people max) via a Zoom chat reading adventure. We can’t share a living room or that favorite table at the book shop, but we can bring our hearts, minds, knitting (or spinning), and cup of tea to some time together over a great book. Each book gathering will be held as its own adventure. You may join one or you may join all as they are announced on the website. Here’s the schedule, our hosts, and bit about each book:

Tuesday, March 9
7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT

A Sacred Landscape: The Search for Ancient Peru by Hugh Thomson

This humorous non-fiction tale takes you on a search for ancient Peru, beginning with a delightful telling of “chasing Hiram Bingham to Llactapata.” With biting wit and a story teller’s heart, the author pulls you in immediately, and before you know it, you’re hooked. No machete required but you’ll soon find yourself in the jungle.

Book length – 376 pages. Readily available as a hard and soft cover (new and used).
Hosted by Sandi Cardillo


Tuesday, May 11
7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT

Death in the Andes by Mario Vargas Llosa

A murder mystery in an Andean village, this book also throws in a little love story. Although it was originally penned in Spanish, we shall read it in English. But, just in case you want to test your language skills, it is available in the original version.

Book length – 288 pages. Readily available as hard and soft cover, and on Kindle.
Hosted by Marilyn Murphy


Tuesday, July 13
7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT

The Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire by Amy Butler Greenfield

The author, a grandchild of dyers, discovered the story of cochineal red as she was researching chocolate for her master’s thesis. The thesis was finished, but her fascination with cochineal red lingered.

Book length – 353 pages. Readily available as hard and soft cover, and on Kindle and Audible.
Hosted by Ercil Howard


Tuesday, September 14
7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT

Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams

In this travel memoir and biography, Mark Adams brings you a humorous recap of his trek through Peru, from Cusco to Lake Titicaca. From a traveling anthropologist’s perspective, his writing weaves the tale of the complexity of all that is Peru. This is not your grandmother’s travel diary.

Book length – 368 pages. Readily available as hard and soft cover and on Kindle and Audible.
Hosted by Susie Strauss

Registration opens August 1

Tuesday, November 9
7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT

Cut Stones and Crossroads: A Journey in the Two Worlds of Peru by Ronald Wright

Weaving together history, travel, archaeology, and anthropology, the author takes us on a journey of Peru where the past, present, and future meet. Written in 1984 but still relevant today, this book is a perfect ending to our journey.

Book length – 272 pages. Readily available as hard and soft cover (new and used).
Hosted by Virginia Glenn

Registration opens October 1

There is no ticket to ride for this journey, but we ask that you consider a donation to Andean Textile Arts. The Zoom connection information will be sent to your registration email two to three days prior to the gathering.