What I’ve been reading
1. Mark Kurlansky, Salt: A World History. The subject and length of this book (almost 500 pages) may put some people off, however, you will not be disappointed if you read it. Kurlansky has done a marvelous job of tracing human history and weaving in a story of use and interaction with salt in a way that keeps the reader engaged and interested. His other book, Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World, is on my list.
2. Samatha Collins, The Hunger Games Trilogy (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay). When I first heard about this series, it was from a girl and honestly I was a little wary of it (maybe because the other trilogy that was all the rage with girls was about teenage vampires). However, this series was very good with some interesting themes including how kids deal with and are affected by war and trauma.
3. Dambisa Moyo, Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa. I keep meaning to write a post about this book, but in the meantime I will say that I was sorely disappointed by this book. I agree with her thoughts that foreign aid hasn’t always been given in the best ways or used most effectively. What I don’t agree with is her idea that all aid should be stopped within five years or that Africa should buddy up with China. Also, I was not a big fan of her stats and examples, they all just seemed to clean and simple and after doing some research, I have seen that there are lots of problems with them.
4. Frank Viola, The Untold Story of the New Testament Church: An Extraordinary Guide to Understanding the New Testament. This book puts into novel form the story of the first century church. Viola does a great job of setting the scene, circumstances, and issues surrounding the writing of each of the books and letters.
5. Susan Abulhawa, Mornings in Jenin. While the overall story is fiction, the major events in the book are real. The book tells the story of the Israeli/Palestinian situation from perspective of a Palestinian family. It will open your eyes to the other side of the story, a side that you may have never heard before.
6. Allan Bedford, The Unofficial LEGO Builder’s Guide. My mom got me this book for Christmas, knowing how much I loved legos as a kid. While I learned a few new and interesting things, overall the book was a little frustrating. I felt like the author bit off a little too much in trying to write something for both beginners and advanced. In the end, I think the book will just frustrate both levels of builders.
7. Philip Gourevitch, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda. I’m only part way into this book, but it has been good so far (as good as any book about genocide can be). It is a great companion piece to Shake Hands with the Devil (which I wrote about before). A year after the killings, Gourevitch went to Rwanda and interviewed people about what happened.
8. Lee Camp, Who Is My Enemy: Questions American Christians Must Face About Islam – And Themselves. I’ve only read the prologue, so I can’t comment much on the book. Having written my master’s thesis on the subject of terrorism and how our language affects the way we interact with and view others, I am eager to see what Camp has to say on this issue.
If you have read any of these, let me know what you thought about them.