Eclectic, avid listener, favorite book is the one currently in ear.
Malala opens her heart, family, neighborhood, religion, history and culture to our understanding in her simple, insightful voice. Nurtured as an equal by her educator father she started as a young child to advocate education for street children. As the Taliban invaded her beloved Swat Valley and closed girls schools, she became the face and voice of the girls in open defiance of their rulings. Did you know she has been nominated for the Noble Peace prize? I didn't. I couldn't put this book down and it helped me to understand the Pakistani view of recent historical events such as the war in Afghanistan and the killing of Ben Ladin. After reading I did an internet search and watched videos of her talks and "liked her" on her Facebook page which has pictures of the school, her family and valley. What a wonderful young woman - who made a difference and will continue to do so. This book is a keeper, I will read again.
I knew so little about Nelson Mandela, it seemed only right to read his autobiography at the time of his death. The book is not a polished literary masterpiece and there are sections where you can space out as lists, abbreviations, repeated thoughts and the machinations of politics mire the story... a good edit would help. There is very little about his childhood, not much of anchoring South African history and it was written prior to his presidency... so left me wanting a more, as well as a little less. That said, it was a fascinating read and I enjoyed stepping into his mind and prison cell. He is very frank, admitting his own errors and those of his people, along with the many offenses of the apartheid government. Well worth the credit and time for me to better understand the South African fight for freedom though his eyes and experiences..