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.
Von Luck was born in 1911 in Flensburg, the son of a naval officer and descends from an old military family. Von Luck joined a Cavalry regiment in the 100,000 strong Reichwehr in 1929 but was soon transferred to the motorized infantry. In 1931 he came under the tutelage of Erwin Rommel. By 1936 he was a company commander. He served in every battle from Poland, Russia, Africa and France. He was a battalion commander under Rommel. He was captured by the Russian at the end of the war and put into a punishment camp in Kiev. He was released in 1950 and repatriated to West German. He obtained a job working for a coffee company. In 1960 he was on the staff of the British Military Camberley Staff College. He instructed students about the German Tank corp. in various battles in WWII and in particular the battle at Normandy. He did the same for the Swedish and French military. He made a military staff training file with Major General “Pip” Roberts. Von Luck died in January 1997.
Through Von Luck’s memoir you can obtain a rare perspective of the German soldiers and get to see a unique behind the scenes look at the German Army during WWII. Von Luck writes with an easy to read direct style. He offers no excuses and begs no forgiveness for serving his country. He fought because he was a soldier. The book contains hundreds of anecdotes and observations that bring the story to life. If you are interested in World War II this is a must read book. Bronson Pinchot narrated 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.