I am an avid eclectic reader.
I was not sure what I was going to find reading a memoir of a 16 year old girl, but I am impressed. The fact she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize is what triggered me to read the book. After reading the book I feel she should have received the prize but she does have a life time to achieve it in. The story is not only about her life with her family and friends but she provides the history of the Swat valley all the way back to the Moguls, the Buddhists, as well as the history of Pakistan. She explains that 2500 years ago the Yousafzai clan of Pashtu migrated from Kabul Afghanistan to the Swat Valley. The descriptions she provides of the valley makes one want to visit the area if not for the war. As the Taliban moved into the valley and more so after the earthquake everything changed for the people. Maulana Fazlullak started Radio Mullah. He was a high school dropout and became a radical jihadist. I did notice that Ziauddin Yousafzai, Malala’s father a son of an Imam, went to religious school and was tempted to become a terrorist but as his education continued he started asking question the jihadists could not answer so he quit them. Goes to show with education of the people the fanatic cannot survive. No wonder they are against education. The book covers some dark material but it is presented in a positive way and the enthusiasm of Malala to make changes for children, rights of women, and education come through loud and clear. She wrote a blog for the BBC and gave speeches and interviews fighting for the right for education of girls. I was surprised to learn she speaks three languages. Maybe one day she will be an activist or maybe even the President of Pakistan. Archie Panjabi did a great job narrating the book with all the various languages and accents. If you are interested in current events this is a must read book.
This book reads more like a spy novel than a non-fiction book. It grabbed my attention right off and held it throughout the book.
In June 1997 Judge James Cacheris sentenced Harold James Nicholson, the highest ranking CIA officer ever convicted of espionage to 23 years in prison. He was placed in a federal prison in Oregon where his family lived. He was arrested and convicted while in prison, again for espionage for running his own son. He had another eight years added to his sentence.
Nicholson had recruited his youngest son Nathan to carry messages to his Russian contact and bring home the money they paid him. Bryan Denson is a reporter with The Oregonian newspaper. He drew upon FBI reports, court documents, military records, personal correspondence and hundreds of hours of interviews (with Nathan) for this award winning book.
The book is full of fascinating details of the clock and dagger techniques of the KGB and CIA operatives, double agents and spy catchers. The author tells the story of the Nicholson family and what happened to it when betrayed by the father.
I found this a most interesting story. Jason Culp does an excellent job narrating the book.
I have read a number of Jeffrey Archer books over the years and also knew he was a member of the House of Lords and a politician but was unaware he was sent to prison. Like many of the other readers I looked up to learn about his crimes. This book is book one of a series of four books in the Prison Diary series. I found it interesting and was surprised at his treatment by the other prisoners and staff. The day to day life of prison was enlightening as well as how many were there because of drugs. I could understand Archers point when he would write attention Mr. Home Secretary even though it could be considered self serving. I also noted how many of the prisoners said they would just take their punishment and get on with life. I am impressed that on his release that Archer is busy campaigning for prison reform. Martin Jarvis did a great job reading this book. Enjoyed the book and learned a lot.