Reading Around the World

Prisoner of Tehran
A good book, about a ...prisoner in Tehran (Iran). Such a different world than the one we live in--she walked out of a classroom when her Calculus teacher stopped teaching math and only taught politics. From there, she was put on a list of anti-government individuals and nearly died many times because of that list. It's well written, an easy read (well, aside from the short sections about people being tortured and killed).
Sad part about it---the author was taken to the prison in January of 1982. She was released two years, two months and twelve days later. In July of 2003, a Canadian reporter was brutally tortured and killed in the same prison, Evin. Twenty-one years later and the brutal torture continues. What kind of country allows this? Though perhaps some day someone will say this about Gitmo?

The Road from Coorain
Interesting, not my favorite book, but interesting. This was written by a girl who grew up in the middle of nowhere in Australia. Her dad died, it wasn't a surprise-you could tell that's where it was headed, but then someone else died-not expected. I nearly cried when I got to that part...on the bus. And I rarely cry, but when she got the news that the death happened, I wasn't ready for it. I guess that's the point-life and death just happen. She travelled for a year through Europe with her mom....who does that?? This came about from profits from their sheep farm. Who knew such good things (like a year of travel) could come from sheep??? There are about 7 sheep who live in the front yard of this house on the way to the middle school that the kid and I made fun of for weeks when they were given their haircuts. They were these HUGE bushy animals one day, and the next, they were these scrawny, naked things. It was odd....

The Girl from Purple Mountain

About a Chinese family - it's the fourth (fifth?) book I have read about families in China and the hardships that they endured. Each time I am more amazed at how completely odd that country is to me....

Funny in Farsi
A girl from Iran who moved to the states when she was a young teenager. It's a really short book. It was okay, a fluff book.

The Bookseller of Kabul
Another good book about Afghanistan. This one was a good read, especially for the book lovers out there, as we can relate to how someone can be so passionate about books. This man risked his life to provide the opportunity for others to enjoy books in a country that was very restrictive on what people were allowed to read. He had books hidden in various "safe houses" around the city - "safe houses" for books? I love it!!!

"Someone" (okay, alright, fine-it was the Sister from the South, Susan) is under the belief that I primarily only read books about Muslims because I favor that religion. I would say that's far from the truth. I don't favor, or care for, any organized religious group-there is none that I think is more correct or "better" for the world than the other, except maybe Buddhism, which seems to be a very peaceful religion, but not one I really know much about (yet!). I think I tend to read about the Middle East more because it's so different from my way of life. Maybe the fact that my country is in the midst of putting a thick heavy thumbprint on so many countries over there leads me to want to get more of a humanistic feel for the people who endure the life of a Middle Eastern.

Oh yeah---I heard this interview on NPR the other day with this woman who lived in Baghdad and she said that her daily routine is to wake up early, get the household chores done quickly so she can sit down in time to relax and watch....Dr. Phil. How funny/absurd is that? She said that she most enjoys it because she realizes that people in America have the same problems as people in Iraq.

Well, aside from the daily bombings.



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