Abraham, Rachel, Soren and Liam. Our life together in Smalltown, Idaho.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Book Reviews

Between Two Worlds: Escape From Tyranny: Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam
by Zainab Salbi

Though it is my feeling that two subtitles is one subtitle too many (I imagine that Zainab submitted her manuscript to her publisher with a list of possible titles for the book but the publisher, confused, thought that the list WAS the title for the book), this was truly a fascinating and enlightening look into life in Iraq during the 70s, 80s, and 90s.  Zainab painted a fascinating portrait of Saddam Hussein, whom she grew up calling "Uncle,"  and helped clarify the perspective of the innocent citizens of Iraq during that time period.  She also drew my attention to the issue of wartime mass rape, which I had always imagined was something that went out with the Dark Ages.  Horrifyingly, it goes on today.  But if you want to help out the cause, check out Zainab's non-profit organization, Women for Women International.

Let Your Life Speak
by Parker Palmer

Parker Palmer is a beautiful and insightful human being.  He believes (and I agree) that each person has unique gifts that make him/her suited to contribute to the world in his/her own way.  Mostly what I got out of this book, unfortunately, was an anxiety that I wasn't following my life's intended path.  Not Parker's intent for the book at all, but I must have read it at the wrong time in the wrong frame of mind.

The best thing I learned from this book is that when a Quaker is struggling to figure out something important or make a big decision, they can request that several of their closest friends (usually around six) gather together with them and hold a "Clearness Committee," a several-hours-long meeting in which the friends ask questions that will help the individual clarify the direction he/she is intended to follow.  The friends are asked to refrain from giving directions or advice...the idea is that they are supposed to help the person hear their own inner voice and follow its leading.  Love this idea.

A Love That Multiplies

by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar

I love the Duggars.  Love them.  So very, very much do I love them.  I hope they have more children.  And write another book.

The Good Earth
by Pearl S. Buck

This is an amazing novel.  I loved the writing, I loved the story.  It is, as we Mormons like to say, A True Book.  So poignantly true.  It made me think a lot about big things like Poverty and Love and Hope and  Pride and Contentment and Remembering and The Human Condition.  You must read this book.  You must.

1 comment:

Natalya said...

I've read The Good Earth, but I think I lacked some maturity when I read it, therefore my review from when I was a teenager would be a little different from yours. I think I was trying to break out of my YA novel mode. It's hard for me to break out of. Still. If you can help me, please do.
Also, the Clearness Committee is awesome! Such a great recognition of the need for a sounding board!


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