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.
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.
This is a beautifully written book and a difficult subject. This is not a sad book instead it is about a family of voracious readers who have a love of books and the story, message within. Will Schwalbe write about his day with his mother, Mary Ann Schwalbe, when he accompanies her for her chemotherapy treatment. Mary Ann had organized this in such a way she got to spend quality time with each of her children and her daughter-in-law. It becomes clear that she discussed books with each of her children and grandchildren. The book will provide you with a great reading list of books. When they discussed books I had read I was delighted to find I got a different insight into the book. The range of books read went from serious to the lighthearted comedy. The parents love of music came through in the story also. Mary Ann must have been a exceptional woman and very intelligent, I wish I had been given the privilege to know her. The way Schwalbe wrote the book I do feel as if I was part of her life for a time. This is book that will stay with you for a long time. This is a must read book for those who love to read.