I am usually reading a few books at a time.
The current ones are
1. Estremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
It is a about a guy whose family have some dark secret dating back to World War 2 in Germany. I dont know what the dark secret is yet because it is still unfording.
2. German Post-War History in Selected Articles by Rainer Hildebrandt 1949-1993
Rainer Hildebrandt was a human rights activist who uncovered human rights violations in E Germany during the years it was under Soviet control.
3. When Mars and Venus Collide by Dr John Gray.
Dr John Gray is a gender expert and publishes a lot of books about gender psychology including this one.
4. A few cookery books that I am looking through to find new ideas for things to cook.
I have recently finished reading A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, and before that was reading The Kite Runner by the same author. Both very good but pretty grim, especially A Thousand Splendid Suns.
I have moved onto something a little more light-hearted and am reading 'Namma: A Tibetean Love Story' which is the autobiography of an English woman who married a Tibetan man and then spent some time living amongst the Tibetan nomads on the grasslands of Amdo. It's a really good book and has some beautiful photographs too.
i am currently reading 'Not Without My Daughter' by Betty Mahmoody & William Hoffer. It is about an American woman who marries a man from Iran. They have a daughter together and he takes them both to Iran to meet his family but he doesn't let them return home. That is what I am up to so far, it is quite moving to see the bondage between the mother and daughter. It is based on a true story.
I've read that one too - very moving. Have you ever read 'Once I was a Princess'? It's about an Australian woman who marries a Malaysian prince. She seperates from him and manages to return to Australia with her two children but later her husband abducts the children and takes them back to Malaysia. It is the most heartbreaking book I've ever read. 'Since I was a Princess' has been published fairly recently. I haven't read it yet but when I read the blurb on the back and flicked through the photographs I realised after so many years her children finally escaped Malaysia and tracked their mother down. I almost cried right there in the bookshop I was so happy for her.
wow im definitely going to look into that book. do you know the author by any chance?
I bought that book a few weeks ago Ashley. I will be reading it soon. 😊
I saw an interview with the women in that book on television several years ago. Somebody in the audience stood up and accused her of insulting their culture. Shocking that some people put defending so called culture before the safety of another human being. 😞
Are either of u girls mothers yet? When u are those books will take on yet a new level of heart breaking.
I can't see how they could accuse her of insulting their culture anyway. I mean throughout her marriage she adapted to Malaysian customs and traditions, and her criticisms go to her husband, not to the ordinary people living there. Besides one parent taking their children away from their partner is not specific to one culture. The one thing I couldn't believe when I read the book is just how common it is across the world, and is equally likely to be the mother taking the children away from their father as the other way around.
Plus she specifically accuses her husband of abusing Malaysian tradition and Islamic law to suit his own ends, so she's not actually attacking either the culture or the religion but one persons interpretation and use of it.
Sometimes I think the ''u are insulting my culture'' or ''not respecting my culture'' phrases just mindlessly come out without any logical thinking behind them. Maybe the people who say them feel embarassed that such bad things happened in their country and want to stop people talking about it by claiming the talking is insulting to them. Apparently a lot of people critisized ''not without my children'' for insulting Iranian culture. I was talking about the book Ashley is reading. The one set in Iran not the one set in Malaysia. I dont know anything about that one.
Ooops! Sorry, my mistake! 😊
I think it's the same for both though.
I agree to both those comments. People need to think about where the insults are being directed (a particular person, not their religion/religious customs) before feeling the need to defend themselves by accusing people of disrespecting or insulting their religion. However, it is human nature. If someone said that they hated pasta and pasta happens to be your favorite food, then you will naturally start defending it (stating that you love it for its variety, flavor, etc) even though the subject is not you as a person but in fact just the pasta.
That is my deep and meaningful analysis. Hopefully i didn't lose you at the pasta bit. Metaphors help me break down and analyze a situation better.
I think sometimes we are actually directing the comments at the religious customs and not just a particular person. Since the government of Iran bases Irans laws on Shariah Islam and this is the legal system that does not provide protection for people who find themselves in the situation Betty Mahmoody found herself in we are in fact critisizing the religious customs of Iran. I think what people need to do is recognise that some laws and customs are against the UN code of human rights and despite that they are traditional and people tend to resist change they should not defend these laws and customs.
That's exactly right! well said.
1) The Secret
by Rhonda Byrne
- it is all about the power of positive thinking.
2) Just bought Anna Karenina
by Leo Tolstoy
- it is about a woman who seemed to have everything
but still feel empty - longing for love and in the path of self-destruction. The book is also about a man striving for contentment and meaning to his life, a self-portrait of the writer himself.
I love to read and I generally tend towards non-fiction or culture/travel based material (what can I say, I can't get enough of it!). Currently I'm reading The Best American Travel Writing (I might be butchering the name slightly) which is a collection of short stories/essays about travel. I am also doing a course in mind-body-spirit training (I am a certified PT and group fitness instructor and have to keep up my certifications) which is actually quite interesting, I must admit.
Johanna, I read the secret and while some of it seemed to me a bit much, I thought the general idea was great and it was definitely motivating.
My favorite book that I've read recently and possibly ever: Eat Pray Love. I think I'd read it again and again if I could!
I am currently reading The Far Pavillions by M.M.Kaye - it's a great story set in India during the British Raj. Very real and engaging.
I also have the habit of reading 2 books at the same time.
1. Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert
The book is divided into 3 equal parts. The first part is about her pursuit of pleasure in Italy, the second about her search of spirituality in an ashram in India and the third is about her trying to find the balance of both in Bali.
2. The Glass Palace Amitav Ghosh
A story about love in a world in transition, spread across 3 generations throughout Burma and India.
I read The Glass Palace too Ievy. It gave me a good insight into how the current situation in Burma came about.
I'm currently reading The Lemon Tree
, about Palestine-Israel. It's a true story about a house built by a Palestinian family, and the Jewish family that lived there after the Palestinians were forced out, and the relationship that formed between the two families. It's a really good read.
I found a gem book. For anyone travelling Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Loas, Malaysia, Singapore, Mongolia, China who may have a leaning towards the spiritual quest.
A FORTUNE TELLER TOLD ME
by Tiziano Terzani An Italian journalist who back in 1977 in Hong Kong visits a random fortune teller that told him in 1993 he will die in a plane crash. 16 years pass and its still on his mind he might die. He lives in and around Indochina and needs to get around, but in those days overland travel was still a big no no, or brought curious attention to boarder guards. The book is fascinating, it gives his real accounts of these countries back then, what really happened between countries governments, post Khmer rouge, Vietcong...he meets the most fascinating people and he is very honest about his views on this changing world. One book I shall actually post home!