In toning up for the new legs of my upcoming adventures, as well as being on lesson 74 of Pimsleur’s French *amazing language learning audio* series…
I thought I’d just share, also, what I’ve been reading…
The Religions of Man – by Houson Smith
(With particular attention to the chapter on Islam)
“Smith writes humbly, forswearing judgment on the validity of world religions. His introduction asks, “How does it all sound from above? Like bedlam, or do the strains blend in strange, ethereal harmony? … We cannot know. All we can do is try to listen carefully and with full attention to each voice in turn as it addresses the divine. Such listening defines the purpose of this book.”
So Long a Letter – by Mariama Ba
“Mariama Ba, a longtime women’s activist, set out to write a book that exposed the double standard between men and women in Africa. The result, So Long a Letter, eventually won the first Noma Award for Publishing in Africa. The book itself takes the form of a long letter written by a widow, Ramatoulaye, to her friend, over the mandatory forty-day mourning period following the death of a husband.”
Ambiguous Adventure – by Cheikh Hamidou Kane
“Sambo Diallo is unable to identify with the soulless material civilization he finds in France, where he is sent to learn the secrets of the white man’s power.”
God’s Bits of Wood – by Sembene Ousmane
“In 1947-48 the workers on the Dakar-Niger railway staged a strike. In this vivid, timeless novel, Sembene Ousmane envinces the color, passion, and tragedy of those formative years in the history of West Africa.”
Stretched between Senegal and France, the comic sometimes tragic stories of an immigrant rejected by her African brothers and by her European hosts is an absolute must-read for any travel in Senegal… and in France!
Le ventre de l’Atlantique, Fatou Diome
Last book read: Kavvya Viswanathan’s
“How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life” which turned out to be the highlight of the spring. The 19 year old, Harvard junior was found to have plagerized the book outted by the school’s newspaper, CNN, NBC and of course the NY times all jumped on the bandwagon. Poor girl had to give back a $500,000 advance check on her next novel from the same publishing company. Book went on sale in April 2006 , 5 weeks later it was recalled forever!
Apologies: One final remark on this entry; I’m attempting to learn Spanish via Pimsleur’s Spanish Series. It’s structured in a way that’s easily absorbed.
Clarification : The power mechanisms of the material world.
I’m reading ‘The Bolsheviks’ by Adam Ulam, however, I’m still entrenched and immersed in the quest to understand the ways of humanity – Psout
I didn’t really enjoy Cheikh Hamidou Kane’s Ambiguous Adventure. I preferred Tahar Djaout’s The Last Summer of Reason.