Tag: politics

The Underground Girls of Kabul

September 21, 2014 Biography, History, Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction, Review 19 ★★★★

The Underground Girls of KabulTitle: The Underground Girls of Kabul
Author: Jenny Nordberg
Source: NetGalley
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

Summary: This was a very enjoyable story, but a very sad reality.

In Afghanistan, where a son is viewed as an honor and daughters are viewed as a burden, it is not uncommon for a family to temporarily raise a daughter as a son. This can happen because the family needs the financial help of having a working son; because the family wants to increase their standing in the community; or because of the superstitious belief that raising a pretend son will help a woman give birth to a boy. Girls raised in this way are typically treated as women once they reach puberty. Some find this experience helps them survive a world dominated by men while others struggle with their return to womanhood because of the oppression they then face.
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The War on Women in Israel

September 15, 2014 History, non-fiction 10 ★★★★★

The War on Women in IsraelTitle: The War on Women in Israel
Author: Elana Maryles Sztokman
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: This thought-provoking book is well-written and addresses issues relevant to everyone.

Although in many ways, Israel has historically been progressive in terms of women’s rights, ultra-Orthodox Jewish extremists are influencing the government to curtail women’s freedoms in frightening ways. From segregated buses and streets to mobs attacking women who wish to pray in public, the results of this lobbying are terrifying. Resistance is also growing and there have been some great victories for women’s rights, but the problem is far from resolved.
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France On the Brink

August 8, 2014 History, non-fiction 7

France on the BrinkTitle: France on the Brink
Author: Jonathan Fenby
Source: from publisher for France Book Tours
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: The author did a fantastic job showing how history has shaped the French and encapsulating the difficulties their country faces with fascinating anecdotes and just enough optimism.

France is currently facing many challenges, including high unemployment rates and disillusionment with their government in the face of scandals. Even more worryingly, many are turning to violence and bigotry as a way to combat their fear. France is still strong in many areas though, including tourism, with it’s varied local culture and cuisine. Read more »

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Assassination Vacation

June 15, 2014 History, Humor, Memoir, non-fiction 12

3110Title: Assassination Vacation
Author: Sarah Vowell
Source: library
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Review Summary: Despite Vowell’s enthusiasm and interesting content, her disorganization and focus on her own political opinions made this only an ok read for me.

For a unique and morbid vacation experience, Sarah Vowell decided to travel the country by visiting locations where politicians have been assassinated. In this book, she shares interesting anecdotes, both from history and her own experiences, as well as a ton of fun facts. I really liked this approach to the story because, as I mentioned in my review of The Map Thief, I like when authors of nonfiction insert themselves into their work. It’s one way of adding immediacy to a story which is mostly about the past. I also enjoyed the historical information which the author presented in a fashion suitable for a cocktail party. This was often enjoyable but something about her light tone sometimes rubbed me the wrong way. Read more »

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My Beloved World

November 14, 2013 Memoir, non-fiction 1

13642929Title: My Beloved World
Author: Sonia Sotomayor
Source: library
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: It was fascinating to learn so much about the background of such a famous woman, but I didn’t feel the sense of connection I love about so many other memoirs.

This autobiography describes Sonia Sotomayor’s life from her earliest memories to the time when she became a judge. It carefully avoids touching on her political opinions, focusing instead on personally formative experiences. These include her close relationship with her grandmother and her only recently repaired relationship with her mother. It includes a ton of inspiring sentences that I could see underlined in my kindle version, each of which lets you see a little part of Sonia Sotomayor’s personality that must have been crucial in making her dreams a reality. Read more »

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