It took me forever to read this book, but it is worth the time it takes. As an American whose background is Christian and now is still searching for aIt took me forever to read this book, but it is worth the time it takes. As an American whose background is Christian and now is still searching for a belief system, I wanted to know about Islam. The news is so dominated by this religion and its various factions, I am trying to glean the truth of what I hear. I had seen and heard Reza Aslan on TV and radio shows and found him to be a delightful speaker who seemed smart, knowledgeable, and open to other's ideas. This book is an excellent start in one's investigation of Islam. He takes us through the history of the religion, from Muhammed to the Taliban, with good, clear writing and explanation. The speed (or non-speed, I should say) of reading was purely due to my ignorance of the subject and difficulty keeping all the Arabic names straight, not to any weaknesses in the writing. Mr. Aslan provides a timeline, a glossary, and extensive notes in the back to help with the details.
I recommend this to anyone who, like me, is curious about a religion that seems to have started off on the right foot, but stumbled somewhere along the way. My experience has shown me that this is not unique to this particular religion. I expect Jesus would not recognize Christianity today, either. ...more
I picked this off the shelf of my local library because I thought the cover interesting and it appeared to be different from anything I had recently lI picked this off the shelf of my local library because I thought the cover interesting and it appeared to be different from anything I had recently listened to. It was that - a fantasy world of sorts where people's memories were stored in glass books which were ruled by a cabal intent on taking over the country of Mecklenburg and then, presumably, the world. It is violent, which I'm not fond of and fantastical, which I am also not a fan of. However, I found myself rooting for our three heroes, thrown together because they each searched for a person lost in this world of glass books. Celeste Temple, Doctor Svenson, and Cardinal Chang come together through unusual circumstances and are three very different people (a cool & naive virgin, a timid doctor, and a lifelong criminal) who each find things out about themselves as the story progresses.
This is supposedly the first of a series of books involving these three sleuths, so have no fear about them surviving the chaos. I am intrigued enough to look for the second one to see what direction the author takes his characters next....more
Overall, I'd probably give this a 3.5. The author read her own words and she was quite good at narrating. I liked the characters very much, especiallyOverall, I'd probably give this a 3.5. The author read her own words and she was quite good at narrating. I liked the characters very much, especially Frankie, a 43 year old woman home visiting her parents after working in Africa for many years. She is undecided if she is going back because she's experiencing a bit of burnout from her job as an aid worker in Sudan. At the same time, a series of mysterious fires occur, mostly to the homes of the summer residents of this small New Hampshire village. A divide springs up between the summer residents and the year round townspeople. Covering the news of the town is Bud, the editor of the local paper. He and Frankie begin a torrid love affair with neither one of them really certain where they want this to go. The only complaint I have is that the ending came a bit abruptly, at least for my taste, however, I found the whole story very interesting. ...more
I read a number of reviews of this book in which the readers thought this not up to the author's usually fine work. This is my first book by Mr. LambI read a number of reviews of this book in which the readers thought this not up to the author's usually fine work. This is my first book by Mr. Lamb and if the others are better than this one I am for a big treat as I work my way through his works. I read this one primarily because Mr. Lamb and my husband grew up in the same town in Connecticut and this book is about that town. They even went to the same high school, although at different times. I could not put the book down. And I think it had more to do with the author's style than any of the characters. Although they were interesting and my feelings about each of them changed throughout the book, I just found his style mesmerizing. He is a great storyteller and the fact that he was able to tell the story in so many voices (each chapter is told from a single character's point of view) was remarkable. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves character driven stories, especially ones which delve deeply into the psyche....more