"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Friday, March 9, 2012

February Books

The day after Michael turned ten, Andrew and I left for Germany.  I didn't bother posting my February book list there.  Hope you all are well and maybe enjoying some warmer weather by now!  For sure it was much warmer here when we returned than our days in Europe. 

Breaking Up With God
by Sarah Sentilles - "A love story" of how a lady seeking to be a priest ends up leaving God altogether when she realizes the God she wants to worship is nothing like the God in most church people's minds.  I could relate to a few things in this book, but overall not much.  I did think some of my online friends would relate to her struggle more. 

"The desert sky was filled with vultures circling. They eat what we leave behind. I imagined they found the remnants of my faith and carried it high. When I die, I would like to be reduced to bone by them. The closest we can get to resurrection is this: borrowed flight on black wings."  (pg. 179)

Inheriting Syria by Flynt Leverett -- this book talks about some of Syria's history with the Assad family; I saw that Bridget read it and put it on my Amazon wishlist. It gave me a better understanding of Syria. I would love to see it updated to include what is happening there now and even in the second term of GWB.

God Is Red by Vine Deloria, Jr  -- see previous posts

"The past history of the West is eloquent testimony to the fact that a universal religion crossing ethnic lines does not lessen wars; it tends to increase them until one particular ethnic group comes to dominate the religious beliefs of the whole group with its own cultural values."  (pg.  293)

"We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, and winding streams with tangled growth as 'wild.' Only to the white men was nature a 'wilderness' and only to him was the land 'infested' with 'wild' animals and 'savage' people. To us it was tame.  Earth was bountiful and we were surrounded with the blessings of the Great Mystery.  Not until the hairy man from the east came and with brutal frenzy heaped injustices upon us and the families that we loved was it 'wild' for us.  When the very animals of the forest began fleeing from his approach, then it was that for us the 'Wild West' began."  (pg. 90 - quoting Chief Luther Standing Bear)

The Good Women of China by Xinran -- In January I read a library book by this author about Chinese women who have given up children for adoption. This book is the author's first, and I found it at another local library.  Xinran tells the story of various women in China.  I am struck with how awful the lives of many women are in this world - incredibly sad!  Really interesting book if you like cultural tidbits and learning about women from other parts of the world. 

No Tears For Mao by Niu-Niu -- the story of a girl who grew up during the Cultural Revolution; see previous post

I enjoyed much of this book, but the ending wasn't my favorite.  It was quite interesting learning about Niu-Niu's childhood as she was separated from all her family except her grandmother. She talked about how she was treated as a child of "criminals" and about the loyal devotion of one friend in particular.  She shared of her camaraderie with gang members and how she stole due to her hunger. I vowed if I ever owned a restaurant that I would look around for children who looked hungry and give them food.  During a famine in south China, she told of the peasants moving into the city begging for food. They ate leaves and tree bark and in the city, rats and the paste used for propaganda posters.  One cultural aspect of when Niu-Niu traveled during college to Tibet was eye-opening. All the married men came to a big field, made loud noises to attract their wives who then laughed as they found their husbands. The men then dropped their pants, the wives took off their clothes and while everyone watched, they all made love.  Without television and movies, apparently this was their village's entertainment. Niu-Niu was shocked as Chinese people are often discreet about such private things.  Shoot, I would be shocked and I live in the USA where these things are shown on television every night.

Sky Burial by Blake Kerr -- After finishing medical school, the author and his lawyer friend go to Tibet to climb the mountain.  While there, they witness the Chinese government's mistreatment of the Tibetans, do some reporting on it and get to meet the Dalai Lama among other things.

Tell Them I Didn't Cry by Jackie Spinner -- Washington Post reporter shares about her ten months in Iraq; I enjoyed the stories of friendships made and cultural aspects, life with the Iraqi and American staff. 

"Americans do not seem as interested in facts as they are in the filtered news that reaffirms their beliefs or what their favorite pundits are repeating. In the face of hard evidence, if the evidence does not fit their politics, they will challenge the message and the messenger. I had no message to deliver from Iraq except what I saw, what I had experienced, and what I heard.  But for some of our readers, depending on the story of the day, I was either for or against the war, for or against the occupation, for or against our soldiers."  (pg. 172)

It's funny how so many of us don't want our views challenged by evidence (or whatever) because we are so adamant that what we believe is right and there is nothing left to learn from another perspective!

God's Guest List by Debbie Macomber -- this is a book I found on the new books shelf and I read it all in one afternoon. The author speaks of "welcoming those who influence our lives" and urges us to be attentive to the ones God brings into our lives whether they are parents, children, extended family, coworkers, strangers and so forth. She urges us to make positive impacts on others.


sanil said...

Welcome back! I hope you enjoyed your trip. :)

Susanne said...

Thanks! We had a great time. :)

Wafa said...

welcome back :) I enjoyed reading your posts about Germany on FB.

Amazing list and they are all going into my wishlist, expect for the book about the asad family.

Thanks for sharing :)

Susanne said...

Wafa', thank you! I missed you and hope you are doing well these days. :)

I think you would especially enjoy the books about the women of China. Both of these and the one I read last month about the women who gave up their children for adoption. They are really amazing books although incredibly sad to me.

Nice to hear from you as always!

Becky said...

I really enjoyed the book about the women of China when I read it a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it!

Great list as usual :)

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