Wow, another month is nearly gone! Here is the list of books I finished this month.
Is God a Moral Monster? Making Sense of the Old Testament God by Paul Copan -- see previous posts
American Jesus by Stephen Prothero -- subtitled "How the Son of God Became a National Icon" -- see previous posts; one other interesting thought is the author's summary that America is both the most Christian nation as well as the most multi-religious one
"Like America's Jesus himself, who was born among Protestants but now lives among Christians and non-Christians alike, the United States has developed from a Protestant country into a nation, secular by law and religious by preference, that is somehow both the most Christian and the most religiously diverse on earth." (pg. 302)
The Storyteller's Daughter by Saira Shah -- London-born, but of Afghan heritage, this book tells of the experiences of this journalist who wanted to discover the Afghanistan of her father's stories. I enjoyed her tales of the people of Afghanistan, the fighters, the women and children, even the aid workers they met while traveling. One thing that saddened me was the fact that so many young people are growing up without any education plus their family farms are ruined. All they know is war. It's their way of life and as one person put it "they will try to keep on fighting in any way they can."
Girl Meets God by Lauren Winner -- see previous posts
Arab Voices: What They Are Saying to Us, and Why It Matters by James Zogby
Importance of listening -- pg. 1
Arab world shrouded in myths -- pg. 13
"When you really listen and learn, you have the responsibility to act." - pg. 20
Wilson wanted the Arab opinion and got it, but Lord Balfour dismissed it - pg. 23
the role of language in Arab identity -- "a common language suggests a shared history and being connected by the values and culture that are expressed by that language." - pg. 77
"It's the policy, stupid." -- what Arabs hate about America - pg. 85
a Lebanese friend said it wasn't that they rejected America, but they felt rejected by Americans -- "not hatred of America, but feeling hated by America." They wanted to be accepted and respected by America. - pg. 90
The talk on pages 149-150 about America wrongly believing itself to be the agents of change that the Arab world wants and needs
Lesson from Fatah and Hamas -- "when you roil a region, turn it against you, and then advocate an election, the side that ends up winning may not be the one you favor." pg. 150
understanding the histories of both Jews in Israel and Palestinians is important for both sides - pg. 160
"when it comes to diplomacy and much else, the public sector has a great deal to learn from the private one." - pg. 204
Jesus & Muhammad: Parallel Tracks, Parallel Lives by F.E. Peters -- see previous post
The English Is Coming! How One Language Is Sweeping the World by Leslie Dunton-Downer -- Great book I found on the new book shelf at the local library. I had a lot of fun with this by posting trivia and asking questions on Facebook. The author covers the roots of English, how it formed from borrowing from a number of languages (1/3 of English vocabulary comes from Norman French, for instance) and how things such as the Black Death and John Wycliffe's translation of the Bible into English influenced it. In the final chapter she demonstrated how, based on the precedent of English grammar becoming more simple over time (dropping inflections and gendered nouns), Global English could further develop by possibly dropping "the" and "a" articles such as in a number of languages or having a new word take the place of "his or hers" (Chinese use ta for that phrase). Because more non-native English speakers will be in the world, English is likely to add new words - say from Chinese banking systems - in the coming years.
What have you been reading and enjoying lately? Book, magazine, internet article or cereal box? :)