I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai -- I've been wanting to read this one, and found it at a local library. I enjoyed reading more of Malala's story, and hope she and her family will be able to return to their home one day. It was interesting reading her views on the Taliban, Benazir Bhutto, the Americans, and, of course, schools for girls!
Cut Me Loose: Sin and Salvation after my Ultra-Orthodox Girlhood by Leah Vincent -- I heard a short interview with this author on NPR, and then found this book in the new section of my library; If you enjoy books about people leaving their super-strict faiths, you may enjoy this book. It was more graphic at times than I expected. I couldn't help feel anger at her parents for how they treated her. It reminded me of fiction books I read as a teen about Amish teenagers breaking away from their faith and being shunned. No unconditional love in these families!The Jewish Gospels: The Story of the Jewish Christ by Daniel Boyarin -- "Throughout this book, we have been observing how ideas that have been thought to be the most distinctive innovations of Jesus himself or his followers can be found in the religious literature of the Jews of the time of Jesus or before." (pg. 133) We're talking things like a suffering Messiah who atones for our sins, the possibility of a divine "Son of Man" (which the author claims is more of a divine title than "Son of God") and Jesus keeping kosher.
For the Benefit of Those Who See: Dispatches from the World of the Blind by Rosemary Mahoney -- I happened upon this book in the new book section of my library. Earlier this year I read the memoir of a deaf person so I thought it would be interesting to read about blindness. The author shares about her experiences with the blind in Tibet, and later teaching English to a group of international students at a school for the blind in India. Through her students I learned how blind people are treated in Germany, Japan, Kenya, Liberia, and Tibet. I heard stories of other cultures, and even how people have reacted when their eye sights have been restored and they've seen for the first time (it's not as much fun as you'd think: can you imagine humans not being as good-looking as you'd always imagined? and that's not the real issue just a mere shallow vanity thing) My kind of book. Very interesting once you get past the introduction which dwells on how much the author would hate to be blind and her squeamishness when her boyfriend undergoes LASIK. I almost decided to not read any further, but I'm glad I persevered.The Nazi and the Psychiatrist by Jack El-Hai -- the subtitle is "Hermann Göring, Dr. Douglas M. Kelley, and a Fatal Meeting of Minds at the End of WWII" and it is about that, but it's mostly about Dr. Kelley, his family background and practice both during his time in Nuremberg and beyond. I didn't know he'd worked in nearby Winston-Salem, NC, for a time after his stint in Germany. He sounds like a very troubled man, but who wouldn't be hanging around a bunch of Nazis and trying to understand them! Plus his grandfather...and mom.
The Lost Childhood by Yehuda Nir -- a rather interesting memoir of a Polish Jew and how he, his mom, and sister survived World War II.