Friday, May 23, 2014

IN PRAISE OF HATRED by Khalid Khalifa

IN PRAISE OF HATRED   by Khaled Khalifa

I tried really hard to like this book, but the bad translation stymied me. I made it through 75 pages before giving up. It badly needs some explanation of the many Islamic/Turkish/Arabic words and phrases used.

Monday, May 5, 2014

FROM BOMBOLONI TO BAGEL by Jacqueline Semha Gmach

This interesting and informative book detailing the life of a Jewish woman born and raised in Tunisia and finally living in America is written in a series of vignettes.  The order of the vignettes wanders from Tunisia to France to Canada to Israel and America and back again.  The reader often wishes the order were more chronological, but the tales are interesting and follow a thematic message.

The structured life of a very sheltered and privileged family is detailed although the effect of WWII is glossed over initially. When the author moves to France for university we learn more of her life and the life of her future husband as the Shoah (Holocaust) shatters Jewish life in Europe and North Africa. The structured life of observant Jews is detailed and made interesting for the general reader.

Finally the author lives out the advice of her first “real” teacher – If you want to succeed, you can – and finds a fulfilling and very successful life in America, the land of the bagel.

4 of 5 stars

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Execution by Dick Wolf

THE EXECUTION   by Dick Wolf
A great thriller with good characterization and tight plotting.  The characters are "real" with back stories that support their actions.  The plot is believable and moves along quickly without feeling rushed. The final twist is realistic and right for the characters.
4 of 5 stars