Between Worlds: Essays on Culture and Belonging by Marilyn R. Gardner -- although she was born in the US to American parents, the author was on a ship to Pakistan before she was able to walk. Most of her growing-up years were spent in that country, and this book explores her thoughts on being back in her "passport country" as an adult and how she longs for another place. This book began as blog posts. I think someone shared an article on Facebook and I noticed she had a book so I put it on my Amazon Wishlist, and got this for Christmas last year. My grandfather was born in China, and only came to the US on furloughs every few years. He went to college in the US, but later left for western Africa as a missionary. My mom was born in Paris, but left for the Niger region of Africa before she could walk. She didn't see the US until she was five. So in some ways I tried to understand some of their thoughts - perhaps. Also I couldn't help thinking of my Syrian friend who went to Germany with a plan, but didn't realize when he left that soon his country would erupt in a civil war that threatens to keep him out for good - or at least that's how it appears now.
I Sleep in Hitler's Room by Tuvia Tenebom -- I read a book about this Jew's visit to Israel/Palestine last year. I saw this book about his visit to Germany, and put it on my wishlist. I liked the other book better, but this was OK. He gets a little too hung up on German anti-Semitism, in my opinion, but putting myself in his shoes, I guess it's understandable. I thought his comment about Germany welcoming in people who also hate Jews (he regularly mixes hatred of Israel with hatred of Jews, but I don't think that's totally untrue as I hear many Muslims/Arabs/Persians, etc. do the same) doesn't bode well for Germany. And this book was written before the massive influx of hundreds of thousands more Muslims/Arabs who grow up with that hatred. So ... I do wonder what Tuvia would say about Germany now.
Over the Hills by David Lamb -- this is the account of a journalist's ride across the US in the mid-1990s. He began his trip near his home in northern Virginia, and traveled to Los Angeles. I enjoyed his account of people he met, and also of the history of roads and bicycling, and famous cyclists.
Wait Till Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin -- I found this at a book exchange in Southport a few months ago. It used to be part of the Islip Public Library in Islip, New York, and also part of the Rourk Branch Library in Shallotte, NC. It's made its rounds, I guess. This story dealt a lot with baseball, and growing up with three New York teams. This author was an avid fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers, and she told stories of her life growing up in New York City, and how family life was back in the 1950s. While baseball isn't my favorite sport by any means, I enjoyed learning about her life and how national and international events shaped her life and her community. I may see about reading some of her other books. This one was a memoir, but she is a historian.
Return to Sullivans Island by Dorothea Benton Frank -- another book I got in Southport. This one is about a college grad, Beth Hayes (I have a cousin with this name), who is house sitting for her family as her mom is away in Paris for a year, and her aunt is in California. Mostly I thought the book was only OK... maybe one or two parts were interesting, but not that much.
Cairo to Damascus by John Roy Carlson -- I found this at a local book exchange. It looked old, and the title interested me! The author is an Armenian American who was born in what is now Greece, and came to the US with his family when he was twelve. In this book he travels to London, Cairo, Jerusalem, Damascus, and Beirut sometimes posing as a Nazi-loving, pro-Arab journalist, and at other times living amongst the Jews. It's really sad to see how much the Germans and Arabs hated the Jews. Ugh...makes me wonder about those Arabs coming now to live among their old allies. By the way, Wikipedia gives this as the author's real name: Avedis Boghos Derounian. He was born over one hundred years ago.
Re-reading Job:Understanding the Ancient World's Greatest Poem by Michael Austin -- this is another book recommended by Andrew Heiss on Facebook which I got for Christmas. I really enjoyed this book from the get-go! ; see previous posts (three of them)
Second Chance Family by Margaret Daley -- a small book I found at Southport's book exchange recently; a widowed father and his autistic son meet a lady who is a teacher assistant at the local school
Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads by Paul Theroux -- see previous post