Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

* Picture from Amazon *

Format read: Paperback

Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: 7 out of 10

Plot: June is a teenager whose only friend is her uncle Finn who dies from AIDS.  While grieving the loss of her uncle, June begins a clandestine friendship with Finn’s partner who is also coming to term with the loss of Finn while dying himself.

Opinion:  I have mixed feelings about the book.  The author drew me into the story pretty quickly, but I felt like the story stalled in the middle.  I thought the whole subplot of June’s strained relationship with her sister Greta seemed pretty unbelievable and I thought that the story petered out the a slow end.  I think this is a good book if you’re looking for something that won’t require a lot of thinking but subject-wise, it’s not a light read.

Next book: A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin

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Laughing Without an Accent by Firoozeh Dumas

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Format read: Paperback

Genre: Memoir

Rating: 8 out of 10

Plot: This is Mrs. Dumas’ second memoir.  As was the case in her first memoir, “Funny in Farsi”, the book is set up in short vignettes that tells stories from her life both before and after leaving Iran for America around the time of the Iranian Revolution.

Opinion:  I like the author’s witty sense of humor; there were multiple times throughout the book when I was just bursting out laughing.  I felt almost as if I was watching a good comedy.  My only real complaint is that her book doesn’t follow a linear time line; she would tell a story from her childhood, then the next section would be something from her adult life, and back and forth, which was a little confusing.  Overall I think it was a good book and even though I read the first memoir first, I think you could read this book without reading that one first.

Next book: Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Islamic Awakening: Between Rejection and Extremism by Yusuf al Qaradawi

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Format read: Paperback

Genre: Islamic

Rating: 6 out of 10

Plot: This book is focused on how to achieve a balance in Islam and not go to the two extremes in faith.  The author talks about the current situation in the Muslim world and how the corrupt rulers are pushing youth who want a change now to an extreme.  He gives tips on how we should call others to Islam in a kind and gentle manner because that’s the method that the Prophet (s.a.w.) used; that the use of violence doesn’t change hearts and in fact escalates the situation causing further hardship upon the people.

Opinion: I don’t think this is a good book for someone new to Islam.  While at times the book is written as if the intended audience is the average Muslim, other parts of the book are written as if the intended audience are scholars.  Parts of the book goes into fiqh issues and I had to reread paragraphs because I was confused as to what was being said.  Overall I feel like I gained some knowledge from this book, but I feel that’s only because I had a basic knowledge of what fiqh is before reading this book.

Next book: Laughing Without an Accent by Firoozeh Dumas