I read so few books this month compared to most! I did read, but I guess I just didn't finish as many. That Zachary Karabell one took so much time reading, writing notes, reading, writing notes...hehehe! Plus we went on a short vacation and it was Thanksgiving and excuses, excuses. I think I was busy reading all of YOUR blogs! Did I ever tell you how much I learn from them? :)
I went to the library yesterday and found a whole slew of books that I want to read. I made a "master list" last night in my notebook of book, author, which local library and where they are located on the shelf. I think I have 15 or 20 books on that list! Plus I added a few to my Amazon wishlist that people have recommended or else they were Amazon suggestions that seemed interesting. Can you believe until about three years ago I rarely read non-fiction books? I liked them when I read them on occasion, but I just mostly read Christian fiction. I guess now is my time to catch up on the non-fiction world. It's soooo interesting!
I'm reading Nine Parts of Desire presently, but I doubt I'll finish it before the month ends since I just started it late last night. I found it at the local library yesterday and it seems interesting although it's a bit old now. So here is my short list for November.
Children of Jihad by Jared Cohen -- see this post for more details
Peace Be Upon You: The Story of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish Coexistence by Zachary Karabell --see previous posts and here is the concluding notes
In this final chapter, the author spoke of the rise of fundamentalism yet challenged us all to remember there are still examples of Muslim, Christian and Jewish coexistence. He gave examples from not-too-far-in-the-past history like Jordan and Israel (although he said many Arabs believe the Jordanian kings to be Western pawns). He gave the example of Dubai and how it has taken capitalism global and built its society on people of all faiths and cultures working together. He mentioned the Sawiris family of Egypt and the emir of Dubai as people who "are not trying to restore a golden age...not driven by a sense of grievance, ... [but] simply working with the world around them" trying to better the lives of themselves and their families.
He reminded us that this fundamentalism is not something we should project back into history as the way things have always been because as this book has shown, this simply is not true. Fundamentalists have forgotten the "ecumenical spirit of the Abbasid court, the medieval philosophical tradition that celebrated interpretation and reason, the mystical traditions that emphasized God's love, and the relaxed attitudes toward People of the Book.... Instead, they imagined a time when Islam was the alpha and the omega, when everyone from the caliph to the slave imbibed the piety of the Quran and the tradition of the Prophet, and then in return, God graced his believers with power, fortune, and security." (pg. 269)
Karabell notes that Jews, Muslims and Christians are all guilty of focusing on the conflict. He noted that "each tends to paint the past as a series of indignities suffered at the hands of the other two." Westerners often believe Muslim societies are "backward and intent on war and violence" whereas many Muslims "believe that the West bears ill will toward Islam and Muslims and wants not peace or coexistence but economic and cultural domination." (pg. 280)
He reminds us that "if conflict is what we want to see, there is conflict. But if peace is what we are looking for, then peace is there to be found." (pg. 285)
The Face Behind the Veil by Donna Gehrke-White -- see previous post
The Overton Window by Glenn Beck -- I saw this in the fiction new books section and decided to read it. Not the most thrilling "thriller" I've ever read by far, but I could relate to the message of power corrupting people for sure!
What interesting books or topics have you been reading about lately?