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January 2017: Bonus Admin Tags > The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer 4 stars

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message 1: by Kate (new)

Kate | 91 comments Admin Tag: Librarians
As much a history of the civil war in Mali where Al Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb in conjunction with Tuareg separatists nearly overthrew the government and controlled the entire country as it is a story of the librarians and rare-book enthusiasts who risked their lives to protect the intellectual and cultural heritage of Timbuktu. Yes the villains are certainly the radical Islamic terrorists that we hear so much about but the heroes are also devout Muslims so the book strikes a nice balance. The descriptions of the manuscripts inspired me to take a break from reading to visit the "Art of the Qur'an exhibit at the Sackler Gallery. The sixteenth century calligraphy in this exhibit is simply stunning. Unfortunately those glorious manuscripts of Timbuktu that were smuggled out under the noses of the jihadists have not been able to go home again as the region is still in turmoil.

message 2: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 5759 comments This is one which I've wanted to read. Thank you for your review.

message 3: by LibraryCin (new)

LibraryCin | 8318 comments I don't remember who else recently posted a review of this, but I added it to my tbr because of it!

message 4: by Karin (new)

Karin | 6996 comments I LOVE the title, but am not yet sure if I will read it just for the title or not. I have a new interest in Turkey, so may end up looking for books set there rather than Mali. Only so much time.

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