Book Review: Son of Hamas by Mosab Hassan Yousef and Ron Brackin
5 Stars , Biographies & Memoirs , Non-Fiction / August 23, 2010

There are no good guys and bad guys in this book. Granted, Mosab portrays the Israelis as the “less bad” guys but neither side is flexible enough for a Middle East solution to actually work. The cycle of violence, an eye-for-an-eye-for-an-eye… will continue infinitely because there is an ideological difference between the sides, and a war of ideas cannot be won with tanks or suicide bombs.

Book Review: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
4 Stars , Non-Fiction / August 9, 2010

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is an epic which is meant to be read slowly and deliberately, the tale is smart and the story is fun.  Even though the book incorporates shoguns and samurais, most of the account is carried by clerks and translators.  The epic rescue attempt in a sanctuary surrounded by snow capped mountains is no less exciting than the description of diplomatic rituals and the “arse-licking pilgrimage” one must make before meeting the shogun.

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