Sunday, October 30, 2011

Review: To Timbuktu for a Haircut: A Journey through West Africa

To Timbuktu for a Haircut: A Journey through West Africa To Timbuktu for a Haircut: A Journey through West Africa by Rick Antonson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was intrigued by the book's title and the cover shot of a man standing in the desert, with Arabic script overlayed. The story is the author's retelling of his journey to reach the fabled Timbuktu. It includes a great deal of detail as to the history of this mysterious city, with particular attention given to the plight of the endangered Timbuktu manuscripts. I confess to skimming over some of these historical descriptions as I was more interested in following the present day narrative of the journey.

I recommend this book for those who enjoy travel adventures with a good dose of history thrown in. As for the haircut... you'll have to read the book to find out!

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Book Review: "Bubbe Isabella and the Sukkot Cake" (Terwilliger)

The Jewish Holiday Sukkot is October 12-19 this year.  This holiday is also called the Feast of Tabernacles and is a time to acknowledge God's provision.

Although we are not Jewish, we try to educate our children about Jewish Feasts and Holy Days and even to observe them in some way if we're able to.  We do this because as Christians we believe our roots begin in Judaism - Jesus was Jewish after all!  We believe the whole Bible and observing certain Feasts and Holy Days was something God asked the Jewish people to do.  So we think it would be good for us to try to observe them to.

This is a lovely book that tells the story of bubbe (grandma) Isabella as she welcomes various animal guests each night in her Sukkah.  She had hoped someone would enjoy the lemon cake she prepared but through the story we see every aspect of her Sukkah being enjoyed.

A great read not only for this holiday but also a story of friendship in spite of diversity, and appreciation for all that we have.