The Blind Man’s Garden (Nadeem Aslam)

I’m always interested to figure out how a book’s title will manifest itself in the story. Is it simply based on one of the characters or a phrase someone utters? (Like Harry Potter or The Color Purple) Or is the meaning more hidden, something the readers have to tease out for themselves? Without giving away spoilers, this book is sort of a combination of the two.

Title – The Blind Man’s Garden

Author – Nadeem Aslam

Page count – 367

Goodreads rating – 3/5 (liked it)

On its surface, this book is about the immediate aftermath of the September 11th attacks and the effects they had in Pakistan and Afghanistan. It’s a fictional story (as far as specific characters and events go), but the struggles, turmoil, and loss are very real. Continue reading “The Blind Man’s Garden (Nadeem Aslam)”

When Religion Becomes Evil (#28/50)

I wanted to like this book. I really did. It was the basis of an “Adult Education” class at a church I occasionally attend, and rather than go to the lectures, I decided to check out the actual book from the library and read it myself. The author makes some good points, but it simply didn’t live up to my expectations.

Title – When Religion Becomes Evil: Five Warning Signs

Author – Charles Kimball

Page count – 227

The premise of the book is that religion can function in one of two ways. The healthy form of religion functions as part of a larger cultural system to give individuals a sense of community and a guide for morality and ethical behavior. The unhealthy form of religion happens when Continue reading “When Religion Becomes Evil (#28/50)”

Reading Lolita in Tehran (#19/50)

Well, friends, we are officially halfway through the year. As far as my Book Challenge numbers go, I should be at 25, and I’ve actually read 19…so not where I need to be, but it’s still do-able. Even if I don’t actually get to the Magic Number 50, this challenge has kept me focused on finishing books at a decent pace, and it’s definitely pushed me to read new genres and authors I might not have otherwise. Speaking of which…

Title – Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books

Author – Azar Nafisi

Page count – 343

Although this book is technically a memoir, it often reads almost in the realm of fiction (Perhaps because I’m an American, and this book is set in Iran, it seems like an unreal world). Nafisi divides her story into four sections. Each is based on an author or book she teaches in her English Literature classes Continue reading “Reading Lolita in Tehran (#19/50)”

No god but God (#14/50)

Lesson one: Colonization is never a good idea.

Lesson two: Money and power concentrated in the hands of a few usually results in greed, corruption, and violent attempts to maintain control.

Title – No god but God: The origins, evolution, and future of Islam

Author – Reza Aslan

Page count – 292

Considering (*sigh* yet again) our current political climate, I would highly recommend this book. It was dense, yes, but as easy-to-understand as a history book can be. Aslan lays out clear, relatively objective commentary on how the religion of Islam came to be and how it has evolved throughout history alongside its cultural and political companions. Continue reading “No god but God (#14/50)”