Monday, December 9, 2013

100 Books!

The deadline approaches!  99 Down, 1 Underway. 

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)
60.  Across Many Mountains by Yanzom Brauen
61.  A Woman Among Warlords by Malalai Joya
62.  The Caliph's House: A Year in Casablanca by Tahir Shah (Afghan/British expat in Morocco- Recommend)
63.  Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder (Slow read, but really valuable perspective on TB and poverty globally- Recommend for those in the mood for heavy social topics)
64.  The Speed of Light by Elizabeth Rosner (fiction- this book is a short read and has some truly beautiful sentences, but I am just struggling so much with fiction lately I'm having a hard time getting through it. Recommend- it is about children of a concentration camp survivor and how it filtered into their own lives)
65.  Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi (I've only read the first 3 chapters before, so I'm looking forward to reading the whole thing).
66.  Woman at Point Zero by Nawal El Saadawi (Highly recommend, particularly for feminists.  About an Egyptian woman executed for slaying her pimp)
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  (dry but informative)
69.  A Muslim American Slave: The Life of Omar Ibn Said by  Omar Ibn Said (interesting but do not recommend unless you are realllly interested in Slave history- a bit dry).
70.  All I Did Was Ask by Terry Gross
71. Memoirs of a Woman Doctor by  Nawal El Saadawi
72. Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman
73.   Perfect Soldiers by Terry McDermot (HIGHLY recommend- about the attackers as individuals involved in 9/11)
74. Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife by Eben Alexander
75. A Stone in my Hand by Catharine Clinton
76.  Code Talker by  Joseph Bruchac (Recommend- about Navajo Marines- good for older kids, too.)
77. Quiet by Susan Cain (Highly Recommend for all introverts and recommend for those living with introverts)
78.  Christmas: A Candid History by Bruce David Forbes (dry but informative- explains what parts of Christmas celebrations came from where/when and how it is different in various nations)
79. Don't forget to Tape the Toilets by A Anonymous (lots of typos, but highly recommend for expats considering life in the Gulf countries and those interested in Saudi culture).
80.  Mondays in the Middle East by David Cross
81.  The Origins of Christmas by Joseph F. Kelly (Highly recommend- explains about Christology and the early authors of Christian texts)
82.  Culture Shock! United Arab Emirates by Gina Crocetti (Highly recommend for anyone interested in Gulf culture)
83. Love in a Torn Land: Joanna of Kurdistan by Jean Sasson (highly recommend- a glimpse into the Kurdish genocide in Iraq under the Baathist party).
84.  Memoirs of an Arabian Princess from Zanzibar by Emily Ruete
85. A Thousand Sighs, A Thousand Revolts: Journeys in Kurdistan by Christiane Bird (explains how Turkey values kurdistan land for the coal and Iraq values kurdistan for the oil and Iran values kurdistan for the shia population, so no one wants to see Kurdistan reemerge as a nation-state. Also looks at Tribalism v. Islam, honor killings, veiling, etc.  Recommend)
86.  Towers of Stone: Battle of Wills in Chechnya by Wojciech  Jagielski (meh, it drags but good info about Russian impact on slavic nations and the dynamics of Islamic extremism in Chechnya)
87.   The Prophet Muhammad: A simple guide to his life by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan (glosses over the history of how Quran was actually assembled and the language change that occurred- original verses were in a different language than  the current Quranic Arabic- but does emphasize that terrorism is totally unjustifiable in Islam, that Islam is a religion of peace and that Mohammed is an example of that non-violent ethic- the only justifiable violence is in direct/immediate self defense).  Worth reading, but I wished the info about the origins of quran were a bit more specific/accurate.  It does mention his praying in the cave but not about how the content of the two portions of the Quran came to be.  
88.  Sharon Osbourne: Extreme by Sharon Osbourne (gives a lot of insight into the business and her family.  Interesting!)
89.  Yasmeen's Choice: A True Story of War, Rape, Courage, and Survival by Jean Sasson (This book is not for the faint of heart.  Really powerful account of systemic rape within an Arab nation).
90.  To Live or To Perish Forever by Nicholas Schmidle (highly recommend- just fascinating.  Clearly explains the history of Pakistan throughout a narrative about an expat journalist's adventures interviewing key leaders of various underworld activities.)
91.  Some Far and Distant Place by Jonathan S. Addleton (About Christians in Pakistan- mostly about their family-boring.)
93. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach (Hysterical, interesting, and informative.  Includes broad topics of human cannibalism, chinese medicines made from human body remains, body snatching, the history of surgeons, and donating bodies to science.  Highly recommend.)
94.  Jasmine & Fire: A Bittersweet Year in Beirut by Salma Abdelnour (she includes a section of recipes at the back- awesome. Story of a Lebanese-American Christian girl dating a Jewish boy while she travels between NY and Beirut.  Nice book- recommend.)
95. Iraqigirl: Diary of a Teenage Girl in Iraq by Iraqigirl (recommend, ala Anne Frank)
96. Sharia Law for Non-Muslims by Bill Warner -WOW.  This is total non-sense.  It's propaganda that assumes the reader knows nothing about Islam or the Quran.  It's designed to look academic and incite fear.  It's really bold in making totally ridiculous claims from obscure references that are never substantiated.  Very disappointing.  Total waste of time and money.  It is not even thinly veiled in agenda- it looks all legitimate with the logo of the Center for Political Studies of Islam, but its really just the author's personal website for his anti-islam agenda (and anti Mormon).  The author has a degree in Math, and is in no way qualified to make the very liberal assumptions and claims that he makes.  It's appalling and disturbing.  I do NOT recommend this read.  
97. Dear Zari: The Secret Lives of the Women of Afghanistan by Zarghuna Kargar (HIGHLY recommend this collection of stories from women in different walks of life in Afghanistan). 
98. Children of War by Deborah Ellis (HIGHLY recommend, but be prepared to learn about some difficult truths)
99.  The Origins of the Druze: People and Religion by Philip K. Hitti (very informative and concise but assumes you already understand the various dominant modern islamic sects.)
100.  Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion by Janet Reitman (really objective look at the history and practices of scientology- very interesting and well written- recommend.)

Currently underway:
92.  South from Barbary: Along the Slave Routes of Libyan Sahara by Justin Marozzi (drags- meh)

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