I was reading on January 10th!

Soccer Mom in Denial launched this brilliant plan to promote reading: on January 10 we'd skip posting on our blog and reading electronic feeds etc....on January 10th we'd pick up a book and read! Since I love reading it was not difficult to jump on the bandwagon!

During my Christmas vacation I took the time to read 'The Kite Runner'. I started the year reading "Sold" from Zana Musen. It tells her shocking life story when she was growing up in Birmingham but got sold by her dad and was forced to live for 8 years against her will in Yemen before she managed to escape.

After 2 books about islamic countries with rather shocking stories , I decided to balance it off with yet another book about the islamic world. Why not make it a theme winter, right? Believe me, after this, I'll be back to a good simple "who dunnit" detective without too much sense of realism ;).

But now I am enjoying "De weg naar Mekka" (the road to Mekka) by Jan Leyers. He is a Belgian singer mostly known from the succesful group Soulsister. Some of you might know "The way to your heart" from Soulsister which even got high in the US hit charts! After Soulsister dissolved, he started a solo career as singer-song writer but he also became a tv host of talk shows and cultural programs. (by the way Soulsister just reunited and is going on tour again!)

After 9/11 Jan Leyers rode his motorcycle following the route taken by one of the Crucades as a TV documentary "De schaduw van het kruis" (the shadow of the cross). His style is a bit like Michael Palin but with more interviews. I read that book and really enjoyed it and found it very educational and entertaining.
In 2007 his travels through the islamic world are broadcast on tv in a succesfull tv series where he meets ordinary people in the street in all the countries but also interviews imam's, professors, visits koran schools, etc etc... He tries to learn whether we are really dealing with a clash of cultures or not. It was very very interesting so when the book was published this fall....I bought it for Jan.

And now I am reading it before he even got a chance. After my islam horror stories in the 2 previous books, I figured it'd be nice to get a more balanced view on the islamic countries by reading this book myself. I've not progressed very much, but it's very interesting. I really like his smooth writing style, the descriptions of the places he visits and the people he meets.

Too bad for the Englishspeaking, but the book is not translated in English yet! But I recommend it to those who can read in Dutch!


Wholly Burble said…
Ouch, no Dutch--hopefully it will come out in English soon. Thanks for the run down on your reading lists--you've been (and still seem to be) busy reading lately.

Keep it up. And keep reviewing those books for those of us who truly appreciate hearing about books we'll want to put on our lists.
Jenn said…
If you are looking for something a little lighter I'm reading the Nanny Diaries, very funny.

Jen said…
Oh, Jenn, watch you for the Nanny Diaries - they don't stay funny. ;-(

The Road to Mecca sounds like something I could handle. I'm a wimp about reading certain things.
Mariposa said…
I thought I got lost in the site itself...lol

And I would love to include this in my list of to read...wow, it just keeps getting longer...

Here is what I read by the way.
I like that reading day idea! Too bad I missed it. I also like dutch. Would love to learn it! ;)
Also would love to read Kite Runner! Everyone says it's awesome, and I hear the movie's amazing!

Ooo, and Jenn's right The Nanny Diaries is a great funny book -- much better than the movie....
R. Duckie said…
Oops, I was too late on that! I have such a hard time finding books, anyways, especially after I finished Harry Potter!
anno said…
The Road to Mecca sounds intriguing. I wonder: would it take me less time to learn Dutch or wait for the book to be translated in English? Hmmmmm...
david santos said…
Hi Goof
A beautiful place here!
Excellent post! Thank you.
have a good day
Anonymous said…
Hey Ellen, I had to read a book as an assignment (I so much enjoyed it to be reading a novel again, after such a long period of having no time for it), and I picked this one: Amkoullel, written by Amadou Hampaté Ba. I can really suggest you this book. It fits your Islam-winter, brings up a lost African world, gives insight to Islamic and African values, and is a wonderful read anyhow. Off to the library!
blah said…
ooo I must check out those first two books!!

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