This book had a lot of nice tidbits about Barca's club officials, club politics, and key players under Pep Guardiola, but the text gets bogged down inThis book had a lot of nice tidbits about Barca's club officials, club politics, and key players under Pep Guardiola, but the text gets bogged down in repetition and unorganized writing. I had to push myself to finish this. I didn't mind that the book wasn't objective. The author never claimed to be unbiased, and that's okay. If you're not a fan of Barcelona, you probably wouldn't be reading this book in the first place....more
I'm a lifelong Mormon, straight, male, and not a feminist. Despite all that, I instantly liked Joanna Brooks after seeing her on "The Daily Show" withI'm a lifelong Mormon, straight, male, and not a feminist. Despite all that, I instantly liked Joanna Brooks after seeing her on "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart and reading the introduction to The Book of Mormon Girl Stories from an American Faith. Her opening chapter, explaining much of what it means to grow up as a Latter-day Saint, resonated with me. What a lovely piece of prose.
There's a lot to like in this book: the prose, the chapter on Marie Osmond (so, so funny), all the seemingly odd things we do (or did) as Mormons (fixation with jello, dance festivals, food storage) the challenge to be more loving and tolerant of those who don't fit the typical Latter-day Saint mold, and a lot more.
Now, some kind criticism: I wish she would have focused a little more on her time at BYU...what were some other pivotal experiences that helped strengthen her feminism? Was it just meeting with her professors? Just wearing the peace sign pin? I would have really enjoyed reading more about her classes in the basements of BYU and what she learned about early Mormon women that stoked the feminist flame. Maybe more readers would align with her way of thinking if they had a little more context.
(This is just a nit-picky little thing...but) Do you think didn't have enough references to caffeine in the opening chapters? Holy moly. Relax, Joanna, relax.
I got the feeling that Joanna remains a Mormon more so out of devotion to her heritage than to her Savior. But maybe explaining what she believes about Jesus Christ wasn't really within the scope of her book, so I can forgive her for not including her testimony. (Although putting that in the book would have been nice, too.) I understand she's telling a story, and sometimes it's just too hard to wedge some parts of our life into that narrative.
I also got the feeling Joanna considers the LDS Church to be more akin to a social club instead of what most Latter-day Saints consider it to be: the restored Church of Jesus Christ. I agree with her when she says that Mormons must be more open, more loving, more tolerant, but I wish she understood that each one of us must conform to the doctrines and norms of the organization (in this case, the Church) we wish to belong to if we hope to fully participate within that organization. Agitating for change when none is forthcoming shows a fundamental lack of belief that the Church is led by inspired individuals. This is unfortunate. But perhaps Joanna is, for now, content to "agree to disagree" with Church policy, and perhaps she accepts the natural results from such a stance.
Overall, I liked this book. No matter who you are, you'll enjoy Joanna's writing, humor, humanity, and sincerity, even if you don't see eye to eye with her on everything....more
If you've ever wondered where al-Qaeda and groups like it get their twisted, pathetic ideology, "The Looming Tower" has some answers for you.
StartingIf you've ever wondered where al-Qaeda and groups like it get their twisted, pathetic ideology, "The Looming Tower" has some answers for you.
Starting in the '40s with Sayyid Qutb, an Egyptian who visited America and condemned the nation for its individualism, secularism, and women's rights, among other things, militant Islam started as a movement to overthrow the Egyptian government to establish an Islamic state there by violent means.
Through the years, others, like Ayman Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden, latched on to the idea of an Islamic state, a return to the caliphate. For bin Laden, America was the biggest obstacle to achieving his goal, and he lost no sleep killing anyone who got in the way.
Okay, with that little summary, let me tell you this book is an illumination. Lawrence Wright explains what drives al-Qaeda, how they planned the bombings of the embassies in Africa, the bombing of the USS Cole, and a brief time line of the planning that went into the 9/11 attacks.
Wright singles out the CIA, and justifiably so, for the IDIOTIC refusal to share intelligence with other agencies, especially the FBI. The catastrophe on that Tuesday in September, 2001, could have been prevented absolutely had the FBI received the intel it needed to monitor, detain, and prosecute al-Qaeda members in the United States. Wright makes this point very clear, and his research seems unimpeachable.
The book makes clear that the Islamic enemies of liberty will not rest until everything we freedom lovers hold dear is utterly destroyed.
What a wake up call for me. I feel more aware than ever of the need to combat this cult of death and destruction that militant Islam represents.
You, yes you, should read this book to understand what we're up against....more
I love Joseph Smith even more after finishing this book. He was a human being, with faults and flaws, who was called by God Himself to restore the fulI love Joseph Smith even more after finishing this book. He was a human being, with faults and flaws, who was called by God Himself to restore the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Bushman's biography fairly and impartially shows Joseph to be the inspired man who brooked no dissent, who was paranoid about being executed in Missouri, who introduced the hard-to-fathom-let-alone-practice doctrine of plural marriage. I revere him as the first of the latter-day prophets here in our day and age. Despite his mortal weaknesses, he was holy, called of God, and this book, so apt in its title, "Rough Stone Rolling", chronicling his translation of the Book of Mormon, his visions of former prophets restoring the keys of the priesthood, his organization and vision for the Church of Jesus Christ, has strengthened my knowledge that God calls imperfect men and women to do His work, and by heeding that call, these men and women become holy, refined, and worthy of the mantle they bear....more