My First two bookmark book

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus; A Devout Muslim’s Journey to Christ by Nabeel  Quershi; 2014; $8.99; 296 pages; Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI; 978-0-310-54502-9;checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 1/26/16-1/31/16

Nabeel becomes friends with a young man who builds a friendship with him and they become friendly enough to challenge each others beliefs.  Nabeel challenges Davids’ belief in Christianity, as he attempts to educate David in the ways of Islam.  Nabeel finds himself questioning some of the things he believes.  He applies a critical, reason based investigation to the tenets of Islam.  As he does he finds himself moving away from his long held beliefs.  He presents his logical, rational arguments as he moves through his investigation.  He also presents his emotional journey as his moves through his investigation.  This is a clear and concise critique of Islam by someone who was deeply invested in it.

Grade-A

Did I learn anything?  I learned so much about Islam and even some things about Christianity.  I have ordered a copy of this from Amazon so that I can re-read it and mark it up. I will read it again before March when our book group will be discussing it.

What is with the title of the review?  There were so many footnotes and words that I didn’t know that I had one bookmark where I was in the book and one in the footnotes and glossary section of the book.

Illya and Ducky Collaborate

Once A Crooked Man by David McCallum; 2015; $29.99; 337 pages; Minotaur Books, New York, NY; 978-1-250-08045-5; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Capitol Hill; 1/25/16-1/26/16

Harry Murphy has to take a leak and is not allowed in a restaurant so he goes out in the alley and overhears a conversation.  In that conversation he hears names and things that would indicate someone is going to be whacked.  Harry starts a plot that moves all over the world and through the seedy underworld of New York City.  He gets, loses and gives back several million dollars.  He works with the DEA, Scotland Yard, the FBI and the members of the underworld.  He meets and is romanced by several women, some of who are only acting, some who lead him on and one or two who threaten his life.

Did I enjoy it?  It is a fun read made humorous by the characters and the situations they get into.  David McCallum uses all his acting experience to craft and exciting thriller that doesn’t always go where you expect it to.

Grade A

What is with the title of the review?  David McCallum blends a thriller that is equal parts Man From U.N.C.L.E.  and NCIS to write an entertaining first novel.  David McCallum played Illya Kuraykin on Man from U.N.C.L.E. and plays Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard on NCIS.

 

Mitch separates power

Separation of Power by Vince Flynn; 2001; $9.99; 515 pages; Pocket Star Books, New York, NY; 978-1-4391-3573-0; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Midland; 1/22/16-1/25/16

Once again Mitch Rapp takes on the enemies of America, but this time he has been targeted and exposed by some in his own government.  Mitch also has to deal with relationship problems in a romantic fashion.  Mitch is being used as a political pawn by those who would seek to summit the mountain that is politics in the United States.

Did I enjoy it?  Yes it was an exciting action thriller, but at the same time it made me question several things.  Why play by the rules if those opposing you don’t?  Why work for some who would sell you out as soon as possible?  The stories work on many levels.

Grade B

What is with the title of the review?  At a couple of points there are people who think they are all powerful (much like the Wizard of Oz) put Mitch pulls aside the curtain and severs their connection to power.

no nightmares

The_Bazaar_of_Bad_DreamsThe Bazaar of Bad Dreams, Stories by Stephen King; 2015; $30.00; 495 pages; Scribner, New York, NY; 978-1-5011-1167-9; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 1/14/16-1/22/16

A series of unrelated stories from the great American storyteller, Stephen King.  One of them I read before, Blockade Billy, the story of a murderous baseball player who gets a shot at the majors.  Many of the stories are inspired by or tributes to other writers. Each one of them is a suspense filled short trip.  Some of the stories don’t have traditional endings but they are complete.  If you like reading great stories I would recommend this to you.

Grade-A

Did I enjoy it?  Yes I like stories by Mr. King, each one has a particular theme.

What is with the title of review?  None of the stories gave me nightmares, they were more thrillers than horror.

the title overreaches a bit

White Gold, The Extraordinary Story of Thomas Pellow and Islam’s One Million White Slaves by Giles Milton; 2004;$25.00;316 pages; Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, NY; 0-374-28935-2; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central;1/7/16-1/14/16

When he was eleven years old Thomas Pellow set sail as a cabin boy on his uncles ship.  It would twenty two years before he returned to England as a man of thirty three who had seen and experience much.  His uncles’ ship was captured by corsairs and he along with the crew were sold to a Sultan in Morocco who would abuse them to help build a palace to outshine the palace at Versailles.  He tortured them until they converted to Islam and then they were given more responsibility.  Thomas was such an intelligent young lad that he was given more responsibility than most.  At one point he was forced to wed a Moroccan woman, whom he came to a sense of love and fathered a daughter.  When he was sent as a soldier on a campaign for the Sultan his wife and daughter were killed.  His skin was darkened by the years in the sun, he had a long beard and was fluent in Arabic so he traveled as a physician until he reached the coast and found passage on a ship back to England.

Grade B

Did I enjoy it?  It was an interesting trip through a period of history that I knew little of.  It was interesting to see that a narcissistic person could build something this grand in the middle of the desert.  Also interesting is that the fact that little of it remains.  To see the manner in  the Europeans were treated and how there countries moved to end slavery, but only of whites.  They did not see that all slavery was wrong but just that of whites.  To read accounts of those captured in their own words was awesome.

What is with the title of the review?  This is the story of one mans inhumanity to others.  This is not the story of a religion imprisoning and holding people in slavery.  Saying Islams One Million Slaves is like talking about Christianities slave in North America.

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