2015 Goodreads Reading Challenge – Part 1 – Non Fiction
2015 was a very productive year reading wise. For Christmas 2014, my mom got me a Kobo Aura e-reader and I must admit that, together with my phone and laptop, it’s my most favorite gadget. My goal was to read 60 books and I end up reading 92!!! *pats herself on the back*
It feels good, it feels good to read. People think I’m crazy that I’m reading every free second I have, but I find it very brain nurturing. I feel I’m doing something more useful than if I was just hanging in front of the TV or browsing the internet all day (the reason my 2012 challenge failed).
Anyhow, here’s part 1 of my 2015 throwback!
My favorite Non-Fiction reads
Okay, I’m far away of raising a kind, let alone worry about what to feed it, but this book was a nice read. I think everyone who likes food and who wants their kid to eat “decent food” instead of ready made yukky blab should read this!
Matthew Amster-Burton was a restaurant critic and food writer long before he and his wife, Laurie, had Iris. Now he’s a full-time, stay-at-home Dad and his experience with food has changed . . . a little. He’s come to realize that kids don’t need puree in a jar or special menus at restaurants, and that raising an adventurous eater is about exposure, invention, and patience. He writes of the highs and lows of teaching your child about food–the high of rediscovering how something tastes for the first time through a child’s unedited reaction, and the low of thinking you have a precocious vegetable fiend on your hands only to discover that a child’s preferences change from day to day (and may take years to include vegetables again). Sharing in his culinary capers is little Iris, a budding gourmand and a zippy critic herself who makes huge sandwiches, gobbles up hot chilis, and even helps around the kitchen sometimes. Hungry Monkey takes food enthusiasts on a new adventure in eating and offers dozens of delicious recipes that “little fingers” can help to make.
I picked this book up at a yard sale here in town and I was especially attracted to it because it’s set in Al Ain, which is where I live. Al Ain is a small oasis within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and it’s pretty quiet here so you can rarely find any books that are set here.
A Western woman’s account of her Arab family provides unique insights into the social and cultural life of the Gulf in the 1970s, and particularly of the dilemmas of westernization facing young people.
When Patricia Holton welcomed the two sons of a Gulf Sheikh with whom her
husband worked into her home, little did she know that she was building a bridge between two worlds. Over the following years Patricia travelled frequently to their homeland, enjoying their family’s hospitality in the sophisticated townhouses and hotels brought by the oil rush to Abu Dhabi, as well as the traditional desert encampments. She became, to the Sheikha, Um Yusef (mother of Joseph) and, to the sons, Mrs. Tea Cup. She witnessed a world where ancient and modern were becoming entwined for the first time, where the waves are haunted by djinn spirits but camels have been replaced by Mercedes.
When the media reports about Afghanistan, what you mostly hear are words like Taliban, explosions, NATO, Al Qaeda,… This book does talk about some of these things, but the owner wants to shed a light on the drugs problems in her country. More specifically how this affects families who are selling their daughters in order to pay for their drugs debts.
When veteran reporter Fariba Nawa returned home to Afghanistan—the nation she had fled as a child with her family during the Soviet invasion nearly twenty years earlier—she discovered a fractured country transformed by a multibillion-dollar drug trade. In Opium Nation, Nawa deftly illuminates the changes that have overtaken Afghanistan after decades of unbroken war. Sharing remarkable stories of poppy farmers, corrupt officials, expats, drug lords, and addicts, including her haunting encounter with a twelve-year-old child bride who was bartered to pay off her father’s opium debts, Nawa offers a revealing and provocative narrative of a homecoming more difficult than she ever imagined as she courageously explores her own Afghan American identity and unveils a startling portrait of a land in turmoil.
Saima goes back to post-9/11 Afghanistan as a Americanized version of the old Afghan child she was when she left.
Born in Kabul, Afghanistan, at age three Saima Wahab watched while her father was arrested and taken from their home by the KGB. She would never see him again. When she was fifteen an uncle who lived in Portland, Oregon brought her to America. Having to learn an entire new language, she nonetheless graduated from high school in three years and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree. In 2004 she signed on with a defense contractor to work as an interpreter in Afghanistan, never realizing that she would blaze the trail for a new kind of diplomacy, earning the trust of both high-ranking U.S. army officials and Afghan warlords alike.
Have you read any of these? How did you find them? What were your favorite Non Fictions books in 2015?
Read about my 2012 Reading Challenge here.