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Diane rated a book 5 of 5 stars
Let the Swords Encircle Me by Scott  Peterson
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Written by an American journalist, this book tells the story of the last 15 years in Iranian politics, as well as containing a number of vignettes about Iranians from different walks of life. The author does a good job of representing the views of co ...more
Diane rated a book 5 of 5 stars
Turkey Unveiled by Nicole Pope
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Written in the late 1990s, this book covers the history of Turkey from the downfall of the Ottoman Empire until the time that it was written. It is very readable, and the authors have obviously done considerable research. I found it interesting, beca ...more
Diane rated a book 4 of 5 stars
The Accursed by Joyce Carol Oates
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Set in the early 20th century, this book purports to be an account of strange happenings on the Princeton University campus, where members of the Princeton elite were suddenly seized with insanity. The book certainly keeps the reader's interest and a ...more
Diane rated a book 4 of 5 stars
Hide Me Among the Graves by Tim Powers
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This Victorian supernatural thriller revolves around the Rosetti family, Christina and her brother Dante Gabriel, when they unwittingly awaken the dark spirit of a dead ancestor. The plot is compelling, and the characters are well-drawn, but I was di ...more
Diane rated a book 5 of 5 stars
Caspian Rain by Gina Nahai
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Set in the years before the Iranian Revolution, this novel tells the story of a young girl who struggles with her parents' failing marriage, and a mysterious illness. Although the prose is clear and relatively simple, the characters are well-drawn, a ...more
Diane rated a book 5 of 5 stars
The Balkans by Mark Mazower
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Excellent introduction to the region, with the author looking at how changing forces in society affected the countries of the Balkans. The author is obviously sympathetic to the region and its peoples, but he also shows a deep knowledge of the region ...more
Diane rated a book 4 of 5 stars
1776 by David McCullough
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Well researched and written history of the first year of the Revolutionary War. The author strikes a good balance between discussing familiar figures and providing new insights into less familiar figures. He does a good job of showing that the outcom ...more
Diane rated a book 4 of 5 stars
Teta, Mother and Me by Jean Said Makdisi
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In this memoir, the author looks at the lives of her grandmother, mother, and herself to see women's changing roles in the Arab world over a century. She begins with her grandmother's birth in the Syrian-Lebanese area of the Ottoman Empire in the lat ...more
Diane rated a book 4 of 5 stars
The Cutting Season by Attica Locke
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Well-written mystery taking place on a New Orleans plantation, where one of the migrant workers is found dead. When the estate manager starts to investigate, she learns about a similar death of a freed slave almost 150 years before. The story was int ...more
Diane rated a book 3 of 5 stars
C. S. Lewis by Alister E. McGrath
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Decent biography of C.S. Lewis that hits the main points of his life, but doesn't offer much new material. The author tries to pin the major events of Lewis' life to national and international events, but I didn't find this very persuasive. Lewis is ...more
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