The true story of President Obama's coming of age as a bi-racial American, written just after he finished law school and several years before the star...moreThe true story of President Obama's coming of age as a bi-racial American, written just after he finished law school and several years before the start of his political career. This is a rare and beautifully written memoir of honesty and deep insight. (less)
Katherine Russell Rich had recently recovered from cancer when she ventured to Udaipur, India to learn Hindi. In this uniquely formatted memoir, she intersperses her experiences with research on adult Second Language Acquisition (SLA).
Rich's writing is warm and humorous, while at the same time offering a distinct intellectual appeal. She illuminates fascinating details culled from interviews with experts in the rapidly advancing field of SLA. A magazine writer and editor by profession, Rich's book reads like an extended version of a witty New Yorker or Atlantic piece.
Rich's experience of India is one of many that readers have to choose from. Though her journey starts from a similar premise as other such memoirs, Rich's work never comes across as self-indulgent or opportunistic. She maintains a focus on her own experience, yet offers a nuanced perspective of life in this particular part of India.
Dreaming in Hindi is a unique and compelling work which is best read while learning a second language yourself! Try the fabulous language learning resources, Byki and Mango Languages, accessible free from the KCLS Databases page (and many public libraries throughout the U.S.)(less)
Still mulling over this one. Will properly review it when I get back from vacation, meantime this Observer review us apt:
"Abraveandelegantfigure...an...moreStill mulling over this one. Will properly review it when I get back from vacation, meantime this Observer review us apt:
"A brave and elegant figure...an honest woman...No one who reads her [memoirs:] will doubt the self-questioning and the rigorous honesty of her mind. Perhaps, as in Voltaire's short story 'L'Ingenu,' it is that too much honesty is sometimes unpalatable, even if it is couched in civil terms...She has an open mind that has released itself from the old straitjacketed frame of reference of Right and Left, she is instinctively, deeply antiauthoritarian and she is unlikely to stick to straight ideological lines. She will go on asking difficult questions."-Isabella Thomas, The Observer
She sounds like Delilah. She makes me want to puke, but somehow I keep on because everyone's been raving about this book for years and I've been stubb...moreShe sounds like Delilah. She makes me want to puke, but somehow I keep on because everyone's been raving about this book for years and I've been stubbornly avoiding it. If being librarian has had any effect on me, it has compelled me to read (or listen to) what I wouldn't otherwise choose for myself. I do read lots of travel writing and memoirs, but being something of a hard core traveler, I tend to be skeptical of those who seem to embark on a journey with the intention of having a spiritual experience and writing a memoir. I've been listening to this book, (so my primary focus is on driving), so maybe I'll try reading the book itself and see if I feel the same way. Maybe someone can convince me to try it again -- cuz I do want to be fair to this chick. (And she is most definitely a chick, despite lamenting on her website that she doesn't want to be grouped with the Chick-Lit-ers.)(less)
Graphic novel format was engaging enough, though I enjoyed American Splendor comics and movie more; Liked the 1940's-50's Cleveland history as a backd...moreGraphic novel format was engaging enough, though I enjoyed American Splendor comics and movie more; Liked the 1940's-50's Cleveland history as a backdrop; Matter-of-fact way of telling his life story was unique, though not particularly exciting to me as a reader. (less)
Earlier this year, I caught part of a radio interview with Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish on KUOW. The glimpse into Dr. Abuelaish's devastating, but ultimately hopeful story compelled me to request a copy of his recent autobiography, I Shall Not Hate. For me, the best books are those that probe the depths of human experience. I've encountered a large number of such works written by Israelis and Palestinians, that often, as is the case in Dr. Abuelaish's memoir, transcend the divide between these respective peoples and offer hope for coexistence and friendship.
Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish was raised in the Jabalia Refugee Camp in the Gaza Strip. Despite his family's impoverishment, he excelled in school and became a distinguished doctor and infertility specialist. His medical expertise along with his personal commitment to treat all human beings as equals earned him great respect among both Israelis and Palestinians. He commuted weekly to his position at an Israeli hospital, unable to make the return home nightly to his family in Gaza because of the time and difficulty of crossing the border. A father of 8, he and his wife, Nadia, instilled the same values of education and human equality in their 6 daughters and 2 sons. Several of his daughters attended peace camps in which they made lifelong friends with Israeli counterparts. Then, tragedy. An Israeli air strike hit the Abuelaish home in January, 2009, killing 3 of his adolescent daughters and a niece.
What makes this book--indeed, this man--remarkable, is his response to such life shattering devastation. Rather than resorting to anger and revenge, Dr. Abuelaish finds comfort in the hope for his living children, in the memories of the daughters he lost, and his belief that education and promotion of understanding between peoples is the only path to peace.(less)