Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Goliath's Trap

Last year in Germany, I bought this book on sale, just because I like to learn more about Israel. Goliaths Falle: Israelis und Palaestinenser im Wuergegriff (Goliath's Trap: Israelis and Palestinians in a Stranglehold) by Moshe Zimmermann. I started reading some of the articles right away and then continued this year on my next trip. It was very timely after the attack on the ship that happened recently.

The book gave me another glimpse at the kind of thinking that is common among Israelis and among Palestinians and a little more understanding of why the conflict is so difficult to solve and is still going on. The vicious circle of escalating violence and counter-violence. The borders of the country that are still ill-defined have contributed to conflict all along since the existence of the state of Israel. Zimmermann knows that "the occupation in the long run hurts those the most who carry it out.

On a lighter note, I realized that some time maybe a month ago, I read the 6th book in the Number One Ladies' Detective Agency series "In the Company of Cheerful Ladies" and enjoyed it a lot. I'm looking forward to reading the next book.

(50 books in 2010 count: 22)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Recently read

I was taking a trip to Germany. While there, I was fortunate enough to receive the following book via bookcrossing.
Mögen deine Hände niemals schmerzen: Iran. Eine verbotene Liebe

by Bruni Prasske.
It was like living in two interesting worlds those two weeks. 1. I was visiting my family in Germany. 2. I read about Bruni's visits in Iran. She's a German woman who visited Iran and stayed with families there a couple of times.

Mostly on the plane, and the rest back at home, I read:

Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality
by Donald Miller.
I had heard some good things about the book, so I had planned to read it. It was not as interesting as I had expected. Some of the stories seemed more like ramblings to me. But I like the author's unconventional approach to Christianity.

And just the last few days, I read:
Curtain: Poirot's Last Case by Agatha Christie.

At the beginning of May, I had read The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for my online reading group.

I noticed a parallel between the last two books. In both cases, the story is told not by the famous detective himself, but by their friend and partner. In both cases, it would be awkward if the detective told the story, but left out some details, but for the friend it's very natural to do so, because they don't know those details. The story flows better and is much more interesting that way. In both cases, at the end, the detective offers a summary of the solution of the case that clears up any loose ends.

Now, if I've counted correctly, I've read 20 books for the 50 books in 2010 challenge. Whether or not I'll read 50 over the whole year, it's fun to keep track of the books I'm reading.