A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman - a Christian fiction book that my mom and sister read; basically light chick lit
A Passion Redeemed by Julie Lessman - second book in the series -- yep, I had to see what happened next :-)
A People's History of Christianity with the subtitle of "The Other Side of the Story" by Diana Butler Bass -- definitely not your Religious Right type of book. I posted notes on this book throughout the month ending on May 10 when I finished the book.
The Secret by Beverly Lewis - Christian fiction book about Amish family (Judah, Lettie, Adam, Grace, Mandy and Joe) and how their mother's choices affects them; first in Seasons of Grace series
Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez is one American woman's story of visiting Afghanistan. I greatly enjoyed reading about the cultural practices of the native population especially seeing them through an American's eyes. The book starts with the author sharing about her friend's preparation for marriage (body hair removal processes, wild makeup, hairstyling) in the beauty salon. Since Debbie was close friends with Roshanna, she was able to attend the marriage and consummation ceremonies. Of course in some cultures women have to prove their virginity. Who cares what men do before marriage as long as their women are pure. Ahem!
One part I really enjoyed was when Debbie and Roshanna were walking through Kabul in order to hire workers at the mosque. Debbie was amazed by the variety of Aghanis' features. She said Americans mistakingly believe Afghanis are Arabs since both are mostly Muslims. However, she reminds us that Afghanistan was the original melting pot as it connected the Silk Road from Asia to the rest of the world. She saw people looking like Chinese and found out they were Hazaras who came after the invasion of Genghis Khan 800 years prior. She saw others who looked Chinese, but were pointed out to be Uzbeks with some Mongol background. Still others were Tajik ("the tribe of their great hero, Ahmed Shah Massoud, the leader in driving the Russians out" p. 79), the majority were Pashtun (most of the rulers were from this tribe including President Karzai and the Taliban) and the ones who looked most European with their blue eyes and blond or red hair were the Nuristanis from the northern mountains.
Maddening -- when Debbie visited a women's prison in Afghanistan and found women imprisoned for daring to leave abusive husbands and having the audacity to get raped. Grrrr! Um, why are MEN never held to any kind of higher standard and women are always at fault in these cultures??
I enjoyed this book overall. Interesting stuff.
Terrorism, Jihad and the Bible is a small book written by John MacArthur within a few days or weeks following the September 2001 attacks on American soil. In it he tries to explain Islamic beliefs, where God was on 9/11, a response to terrorist attacks including a chapter on the Biblical perspective on war. About that he quoted verses (Romans 13) about the role of government as protector and not welfare provider. He said God ordained government -- and not just America's government -- to execute justice on earth and to punish evil doers. He shared how there are reasons for going to war and explained why some wars are justified in protecting people as being part of loving your neighbor. I copied a few things I liked from this book at the end of this post.