Dusk Night Dawn: on Revival And Courage

Anne Lamott adds to her repertoire with this latest title. She is one of my favorite authors; she’s very grounded and real, and tells it like it is. Lamott writes about her recovery from drugs and alcohol, and her latest musings on maintaining one’s spirituality. She teaches Sunday school to kids at her church, and gives her own explanations of Bible verses to them. Lamott is recently married, and pokes fun at herself and her new husband, but acknowledges that he is truly her best friend. The chapters are short and lively written, and somehow one feels better about life after reading this…

Damascus Amid the War

As I was entering new books into the system, I flipped through this title after reading the “About the Author ” section in the beginning, and I was struck by the author’s story. Muna Imady died before this book was published, after undergoing an operation that had a very low risk factor. Her mother and sister finished it for her, using Muna’s notes. The book is a series of poems and stories about her life in Syria, and they reflect the pain and sorrow she experiences at the changes that have taken place since the war began. It makes one realize how fortunate we are to be living in the U.S., and your heart breaks for these brave people. Muna’s mother feels that the strain of war added to the stress on Muna’s heart, contributing to her death. The book is a reminder of Muna’s artistry with words, and a fitting tribute to her legacy.

The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew and the Heart of the Middle East

indexSandy Tolan offers a thorough history of the struggle between Jews and Arabs for control of Israel. Under the British in 1936, the area now known as Israel was then called  Palestine. In 1947, the UN announced a partition plan, which created a Jewish state and an Arab state in the same area, and the next year Israel became a state, with Palestinian territories. Bashir Khairi was born in the Arab town of al-Ramla in 1942, but his family was re-settled in a town 20 miles away when the partition plan took effect. He returns to his hometown in 1967, now called Ramla, and meets Dalia Eshkenazi, the Jewish young woman now living in the same house. The two develop a relationship, which evolves over the years, and the history of Israel is reflected throughout their interactions. I found The Lemon Tree very enlightening and informative.

Making Space, Clutter Free

indexI’ll admit it, I definitely need to learn some decluttering tips. And this book does suggest quite a few. Tracy Mccubbin suggests to start by identifying your specific emotional”clutter block” (she explains there are 5) or why you tend to accumulate clutter in your home.

The other main point is the five questions to ask yourself :
1) Do you use it on a semiregular basis? (at least once a year)
2) Is it making you money?
3) Can you buy it again for a reasonable price or borrow it?
4) Do you have a place to put it away in your home?
5) Do you love, love, love it?
If the answer is yes to any of these, then you can keep it. If no, it’s time to get rid of it by either selling, donating, recycling or throwing it out!

How To Raise A Reader

indexThis is an excellent resource for parents or any adult looking for a good children’s or teen book. It covers all ages, from babies up to teenagers, and offers many, many lists of recommended books. Raise A Reader is well organized; Parts 1 – 4 are broken down by age groups, and Part 5 is an exhaustive list of more titles, organized by category and age. Four talented illustrators add more value, and there are tons of tips on choosing titles and reading in general. The authors have impressive credentials; they are both editors for the New York Times Book Review. I would recommend this for all parenting collections…