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December 2016

Pakistan and I am Malala

Out of one of the most war-torn, unsafe countries on Earth, comes one of this generation’s greatest heroes: Malala Yousafzai.

You have probably heard about Malala as the teenage girl who was shot in the face by the Taliban, and lived to tell the tale. This is true! And what was she shot in the face for, exactly? Why, wanting to go to school, of course! Duh!

(Seriously, that’s all she wanted. The Taliban, who were basically running things in Pakistan at the time, didn’t want girls to go to school, because apparently they like their wives and daughters to be as equally stupid as they are.)

Malala and her family have since lived in England, as it is unsafe for them to return home. Malala makes it clear in her book, however, that she wants nothing more than to return home to her friends and old school, and continue life where she left off.

Here is a short list of Malala’s achievements so far in life:

Oh yes, and she wrote a book, I am Malala. You should go read it!

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Mexico and One Out of Two

Over the first part of my Christmas break this year, I read Daniel Sada‘s One out of two:

This is the story of two identical twin sisters who decide to share a boyfriend – who, by the way, has no idea that there are two of them. The sisters look so much alike that no one can tell the difference between them. But what happens when the poor guy finally falls in love and proposes?

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What have you read from Mexico?

Somalia and Secrets

It’s been a while since my last post, but I’m still here!

Today we have: Secrets by Nuruddin Farah!

OK, so spoiler alert, this was a WEIRD book. Within the first 100 pages we had bestiality, voyeurism, and under-age sex. And it got weirder from there. In fact, there’s quite a bit of sex in this book. And really, none of it is pleasant 0.o No Fifty Shades of Grey here!

The book follows a young man named Kalaman. He is being relentlessly pursued by a woman that he grew up with named Sholoongo, who has returned from America to inform him that she wants him to get her pregnant. Which is kind of an awkward statement to make, especially to someone whom you literally haven’t seen in years.

Kalaman refuses, but he can’t seem to get rid of Sholoongo, despite his best efforts. He turns to his grandfather for help, but as he journeys back to his home village, he begins to uncover secrets that his family has tried to keep hidden from him his entire life.

Kalaman’s mother, in particular, has kept many secrets from him. She is introduced to us as a cold, angry woman. At first glance, it seems like she can’t be happy with anyone or anything, but by the end of the book the reader as a COMPLETELY different perspective of her. I won’t spoil anything, but it’s quite artful the way Farah can make his readers completely change their minds about this character.

My favorite quote from the book is near the end: “Motherhood…is the off-and-on light in the darkness of night, a firefly in joyous dizziness and rejoicing, now here, now there, and everywhere.”

Doesn’t that make you want to go hug your mom? Ugh. Beautiful!

What have you read from Somalia?

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