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

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July Books

I struggled reading during the first half of this month. I think the topics were too deep.  Theology challenges and deaths in Russia.  Interesting, but I just didn't read a whole lot.   Thankfully the last three books went fairly quickly so I have five books on this post instead of just two. 

The Human Faces of God
by Thom Stark  -- see previous posts

On human sacrifice to the gods:

"Today we denounce such practices as inhuman and reject as irrational the belief that the spilling of innocent blood literally affected the outcome of harvests and military battles. Yet we continue to offer our own children on the altar of homeland security, sending them off to die in ambiguous wars, based on the irrational belief that by being violent we can protect ourselves from violence. We refer to our children's deaths as 'sacrifices' which are necessary for the preservation of democracy and free trade. The market is our temple and must be protected at all costs.  ... Our high priests tell us that it is necessary to make sacrifices if we are going to continue to have the freedom to shop. Unlike King Mesha, however, in our day it is rarely the king's own son who is sacrificed; rather, the king sacrifices the sons and daughters of the poor in order to protect an economy whose benefits the poor do not reap." (pg. 222)

Night of Stone by Catherine Merridale -- the book on death in Russia --  see previous posts

The White Masai by Corinne Hofmann -- Swiss lady moves to Kenya to marry a Masai warrior -- see previous posts

Pioneer Women: Voices from the Kansas Frontier by Joanna L. Stratton  -- I saw this in a consignment shop for less than a dollar. It's the story of settling Kansas from the perspective of white women settlers.  I was appalled reading the chapter about the swarms of grasshoppers that would come and destroy crops and eat through clothes. Even the animals that ate the grasshoppers (like chickens) had such a vile taste, the people could barely eat the poultry.  Interesting facts to me:  Kansas was the first state to have a constitutional amendment outlawing alcohol (1881) and also was the first state to elect a woman to the office of mayor (1887).

Culture Shock!  A Guide to Customs and Etiquette - Germany by Richard Lord -- this is part of a series of books that give information about countries. I was at a consignment shop the other day and saw it for eighty-nine cents and couldn't not buy it.  Someone must have originally bought it in Britain as the price tag on the back was £ 9.95.   Although this book is several years old (first published in Great Britain in 1996), it was enjoyable to read especially as many things in it I'd already heard from my Syrian friend who has lived in Germany for nearly three years.  There were several times I noted things "show Samer" which really means I read them out loud to him and we talk about whether or not this part was true of his own experiences there.  I enjoyed the chapter on Germans themselves - their personalities and such - the most.  Also it was good reading about their food, health care, moving-there procedures and so forth.  For such a secular place, I am amazed people have to pay taxes to churches or mosques if they register themselves as part of a certain faith.  And register you must. Every time you move apparently.

Haha...this is so me!  Who knew I was part German?!  :)  --  "You'll soon discover that it is not advisable to extend a last-minute invitation to Germans as they have almost certainly made plans for that day, even if said plans entail nothing more than spending a quiet evening at home.  As this suggests, spontaneity is no major virtue for most Germans." (pg. 47)

1 comment:

Rebekka @ Becky's Kaleidoscope said...

Well that would make you part Danish as well ;) As we spoke about on FB, Danish and German culture probably does have a fair bit in common.