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Brian (aka: Brainwise)

  • 4
  • reviews
  • 9
  • helpful votes
  • 103
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  • Threading My Prayer Rug

  • One Woman's Journey from Pakistani Muslim to American Muslim
  • By: Sabeeha Rehman
  • Narrated by: Sabeeha Rehman
  • Length: 12 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32

Beginning with a sweetly funny, moving account of her arranged marriage, the author undercuts stereotypes and offers the refreshing view of an American life through Muslim eyes. In chapters leavened with humor, hope, and insight, she recounts an immigrant's daily struggles balancing assimilation with preserving heritage, overcoming religious barriers from within and distortions of Islam from without, and confronting issues of raising her children as Muslims - while they lobby for a Christmas tree!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Vital Step towards Interfaith Bridge Building

  • By Brian (aka: Brainwise) on 10-19-18

A Vital Step towards Interfaith Bridge Building

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-19-18

Sabeeha's story of becoming an American Muslim engaged in interfaith dialog is a critical stretch of paving on the road to peaceful understanding and coexistence in America. But it's not just Sabeeha's sharing of her journey from Pakistan to New York City that is helpful, it's also the gems of religious reference she weaves into her narrative. Weave? Oh, yes. The prayer rug in the book's title refers not only to a physical tool of the Muslim faith, but also the metaphorical, or perhaps metaphysical, map of her journey. And please note this isn't a solo effort. Sabeeha may be the sole author of this book -- she penned it, and it is a memoir in her voice, of course -- but she also filled it with contributions from her husband, Dr. Khalid Rehman, lessons learned from her two sons, and countless interactions with the people who helped expand her vision and her community.

What else can I say? Well, as an interfaith minister (who practices a non-conventional tradition), I can tell you that we dearly need more voices raised in harmony with hers. Join her. Though the differences between religions might be numerous and important, there remain places within and between them where we can celebrate together. This book will show you some of them. And the sooner we all come to embrace these areas of overlap, the sooner we can become true neighbors as well as citizens, of the US and of the world.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Tinsel

  • A Search for America's Christmas Present
  • By: Hank Stuever
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 120
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 108
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 111

When Stuever's narrative begins, he's standing in line with the people waiting to purchase flat-screen TVs at Best Buy on Black Friday, the opening of the Christmas shopping season. From there he follows a number of key residents of Frisco, Texas, as they navigate through the nativity and all its attendant crises.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Christmas wishes: the elusive mega-moment

  • By Sheri C on 02-03-13

Fa La La La Last Christmas

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-04-16

Highly recommended book that tracks how a few families observe Christmas in their TX community. Observations come from just before, and right after, the economic woes of 2008. The author also includes just enough history and statistics to cover America in general. The whole thing could come off as overly cynical if not for the author's own confessions of a Christmas he seems to long for and can't quite achieve or even fully recall.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Into the Storm

  • Destroyermen, Book 1
  • By: Taylor Anderson
  • Narrated by: William Dufris
  • Length: 16 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,771
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,837
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,833

Pressed into service when World War II breaks out in the Pacific, the USS Walker---a Great-War vintage "four-stacker" destroyer---finds itself in full retreat from pursuit by Japanese battleships. Its captain, Lieutenant Commander Matthew Patrick Reddy, knows that he and his crew are in dire straits. In desperation, he heads Walker into a squall, hoping it will give them cover---and emerges somewhere else.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • You've been there before; a nice trip anyway

  • By David on 04-30-10

"Land of the Lost" meets "Men of Valor"

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-18-15

Story start out slow, and you're wondering why aren't these folks into the other world yet. But the author probably wanted to establish what Walker's crew was facing in their arena of WWII before thrusting them into a wholly unknown situation. Interesting world-building including some good problem solving (albeit possibly a little too tidy in the case of the fuel issue), plus the interactions of humans and lemurians was handled quite deftly. A good yarn, but I don't know if I'll follow the series.

  • Germany

  • By: Ralph Raico, Wendy McElroy
  • Narrated by: Harry Reasoner, Peter Hackes, Richard C. Hottelet
  • Length: 2 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 66
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 45
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 44

Germany is historically one of the most important of all nations. Since emerging from its days as a Roman province, Germany (including Prussia) has had a central role in European affairs. It has reached the heights in art, music, literature, and political power, yet it's also reached the depths in humiliating military defeat and partition. This presentation reviews the broad sweep of German history.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good Overview

  • By Brian (aka: Brainwise) on 03-22-11

Good Overview

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-22-11

Reasoner was the primary narrator with various quotes throughout the book provided by other voices, chiefly Peter Hackes and Richard C. Hottelet. Just shy of 3 hours, "Germany" provides a superficial but still very useful overview of German history (including Prussia). The authors, Raico and McElroy, start begin with the time of Roman occupation, continue through the Medieval period, cover both World Wars, and conclude just after the reunification of West and East Germany. Much time is spent on WWII, looking at both the factors leading up to the war as well as the main points and consequences of the war itself. Raico and McElroy spend the least time with post-WWII details, practically skimming over German history both pre and post-Berlin Wall. There is, however, enough information in this book to present a broad view of Germany's central place in world history.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful