Sunday, September 22, 2013

100 Books

This year I have a goal to read 100 books.  61 down,  39 more to go!

Click on the names to see the book on

1.  Little Princes by Conor Grennan (highly recommend- about Nepal)
2.  Passage to Istanbul by Joseph Kanon (meh- slow spy novel, not very much culture, do not recommend)
3.  Desert Queen by Janet Wallach (you have to be in the mood- about British inventing modern Iraq)
4.  Tales from the Expat Harem by Anastasia Ashman (highly recommend)
5.  Apples are from Kazakhstan by Christopher Robins (recommend- great explanations of Soviet transitions)
6.  Rebel Land by Christopher de Bellaigue (recommend- historical background via stories of different kinds of people in Turkey including Kurds and Armenians)
7.  Crescent & Star by Stephen Kinzer (not a narrative- just historic information- dry)
8.  SOLD by Zana Muhsen (highly recommend- about Yemen)
9.  My Forbidden Face by Latifa (highly recommend- about Afghanistan)
10.  Princess by Jean Sasson (highly recommend- about Saudi Arabia)
11.  Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls are not for Sale by Rachel Loyd (recommend- about child enslavement in New York)
12.  Leap of Faith by Queen Noor (highly recommend- captures the recent history of the Palestinian peace process and of course Jordan).
13.  Murder in the Name of Honor by Rana Husseini (highly recommend, about Jordan & the world)
14.  A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park (highly recommend, fast and compelling read about South Sudan)
15.  The Woman Who Fell From The Sky by Jennifer Steil (recommend- about Yemen, expats, journalism)
16.  Survivors by Allan Zullo  (recommend- about Polish Children who survived Jewish camps in WWII).
17.  Friendly Fire by Alaa al Aswany (recommend- fiction collect of short stories about Egypt)
18.  Last Night Another Soldier by Andy McNab (fiction- about British troops in Afghanistan)
19.  Red Dust Road by Jackie Kay
20.  A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kasghar by   Suzanne Joinson (Fiction)
21.   The Founding Foodies: How Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin Revolutionized America Cuisine by Dave Dewitt
22.  Finding Fish by Antwone Fisher (Highly recommend)
23.  Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed The Art of War by Robert Coram (HIGHLY recommend- military history, US history, AF history, Marine Corps history, and the story of a man of character)
24.  Knickers in a Twist by Jonathan Bernstein
25.  Britannia in Brief by Banker & Mullins
26.  A Woman in Jerusalem: A Passion in Three Parts by A.B. Yehoshua (Fiction)
27.  Princess Sultana's Circle by Jean Sasson (part 3 of the trilogy- see no. 10, highly recommend about Saudi royalty).
28.  The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization by Thomas Friedman (recommend, but like World is Flat better). 
29.  The Quran (in English) 
30.  Building Moral Intelligence by Michelle Borba (highly recommend for ALL parents)  
31.  Culture Shock: London by Orin Hargraves
32. Religions by Philip Wilkinson (great photos but really disappointing overgeneralizations of beliefs)
33. Mormons & Muslims by Spencer J Palmer (highly recommend)
34. The Art Journal Workshop by Traci Bunker (highly recommend- she describes purposes, processes, materials, methods, etc, VERY useful and inspiring)
35.  Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (crass, full of laughs, highly recommend- but not for everyone)
36.  Culture Smart!  Britain by Paul Norbury (recommend- a little dry compared to the others of similar purpose and scope)
37.  Brit Cult: A-Z of British Pop Culture by Andrew Calcutt (informative but VERY boring)
38. Sorry!  The English and Their Manners by Henry Hitchings (meh, Kate Fox was better- see no. 39).
39.  Watching the English by Kate Fox (Highly recommend- entertaining and accurate)
40.  Netherlands: Culture Smart!  by Sheryl Buckland (recommend, very informative)
42.  Anne Frank's Tales from the Secret Annex by Anne Frank (her short stories, some true some fiction)
41.  The UnDutchables by Colin White & Laurie Boucke (Thank you Alexander)
43. Vincent van Gogh and his letters by Leo Jansen (no link)
44.  Tired of London, Tired of Life: One Thing to do a Day in Londonby Tom Jones (heavy on drinking suggestions, not as interesting if your socialization doesn't center on alcohol consumption.  Still had some worthy suggestions.)
45.  Princess Sultana's Daughters by Jean Sasson (recommend, but not for everyone- 2nd in the princess trilogy- see numbers 10 and 27.)
46.  For the Love of a Son by Jean Sasson (About Afghanistan, highly recommend but prepare to read about the extensive human rights violations that dominate tribal culture)
47.  Beatrice & Virgil by Yann Martel (fiction.  faster read than Life of Pi but not quiet as captivating)
48.  Driving the Saudis by Jayne Amelia Larson (recommend, but not highly)
49.  Three Women of Herat by Veronica Doubleday (highly recommend)
50.  Rosa Parks: My Story by Rosa Parks and Jm Haskins (recommend)
51.  A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hossieni (highly recommend- Thank you Udgoon)
52.  Arn't I A Woman: Female Slaves in the Plantation South by  Deborah Gray White (academic, but recommend)
53. Divided by a Common Language by Christopher Davies
54.  Mission Al Jazeera by Josh Rushing (recommend)
55.  Moisture of the Earth by Mary Robinson (highly recommend- about racial stratification in the south, union organizing)
56.  The Cypress Tree by Kamin Mohammadi
57.  The no. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith (fiction-thank you Donna)
58. Afghan Tales by Oleg Yermakov
59.  Cinnamon City by Miranda Innes (British expats in Morocco- Recommend)
67. Cities of Salt  by Abdelraham Munif (meh, some parts dragged)
68. A Great and Godly Adventure: The Pilgrims and the Myth of the First Thanksgiving by Godfrey Hodgson

Currently underway:
60.  Across Many Mountains by Yanzom Brauen
62.  The Caliph's House: A Year in Casablanca by Tahir Shah
63.  Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder

Up next:
61.  A Woman Among Warlords by Malalai Joya
64.  The Speed of Light by Elizabeth Rosner (fiction)
65.  Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi (I've only read a chapter before, so I'm looking forward to reading the whole thing).
66.  Woman at Point Zero by Nawal El Saadawi

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Belgium Day 300: ABC 123

This is the third lesson with my class. First day we did days of the week, numbers, greetings, and verbs. You saw lesson two here, with numbers and simple present sentences.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Belgium Day 299. A blessed vendredi

This morning the sky had those glorious rays that radiate through the clouds, very peaceful. My day began with a visit to a wonderful dermatologist. She will be able to address my situation effectively and she was very kind- always nice to have a happy experience with a doctor. I wanted to hug her! Don't worry, I didn't. Anyway, I left my appointment on a high note ( hey I was already feeling victorious from getting myself unlost in a non- English speaking country, so having a successful appointment in Engench/Frenlish was a bonus. I felt like I passed the test AND got extra credit.

After leaving the appointment, I met my friend for some local Friday market perusing, putting the VENDRE in my vendredi. She had brought pastry for our breakfast! What a thoughtful friend! 

So the styles here aren't exactly like home.

I bought two beautifully illustrated children's books in French and some ENORMOUS ripe figs.
After shopping and strolling, we had lunch at a great Indian restaurant. It had delicious food and fun decor.  

After lunch, I met a friend to tutor in English and help her figure out how to register for the Toefl (English exam). 
After that, I went to tutor some Turkish children. Of course, that meant that I got to eat some wonderful Turkish food, too. : D.

Hope your Friday was as rich and lovely as mine. Feeling blessed- what a sweet day.  It didn't even rain on me! Happy Friday, hope your weekend is great! 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Belgium Day 294: Fete des Courges (squash/pumpkin festival)

YUM: tiny pumpkin with sauteed leeks, black olives, and garlic bread crumbs

Friday, September 13, 2013

Belgium Day 292 :a typical day in my classroom

A typical day:

0830- begin work
0900- Elementary level class

new vocabulary

new vocabulary
1030- Beginner level class

learning colors, numbers, letters 

asking and answering How many (color) do you have?  I have _____ _____.  
During this lesson, as I monitor the class, I occasionally challenge their tally and eat an m and m so they have to practice counting and revise the answer they give to their partner.

1200- Advanced Conversation (Current Events & Culture)
1300- TOEFL preparation
a snake is lurking under a shrub near a girl

1445- administrative stuff- attendance- DONE!  Go get gas, if time.

1500- stop at home, grab stuff/drop off stuff.  drive to brussels for Arabic class.

1700- Arrive at Arabic class.

2045- Arabic class is finished.  Drive home.

2241- blog about it.  sleep.