I’m really not sure how it has come to be the end of August already. Time sure does fly. My reading picked up slightly this week, as I read a whole book and started another one. The new one is non-fiction: Seeds of Peace: A Buddhist Vision for Renewing Society, by Sulak Sivaraksa. So far it is a little dryer than I was hoping but it is not long and I am curious to see what he has to say.
With the end of August approaching, I’ve suddenly realized that I may have to actually make an effort to complete the World Citizen Challenge. I thought I would complete it without much effort since I read a good bit of non-fiction about world issues, but I still need to read three books, in the categories of Politics, Culture/Sociology/Anthropology, and Memoirs/Autobiographies. For Politics, I really want to read Dreams and Shadows, by Robin Wright, and I even had it checked out from the library for a few weeks recently, but I don’t have the attention for something that long and heavy right now. Hopefully some time between now and the end of the year I will be able to get into it. For Memoirs/Autobiographies, I have several ideas. I think my first choice is Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin, even though I have read mixed reviews of it. However, all copies are frequently checked out at the library so I may have to put a hold on it. Have I ever mentioned that I almost never put holds on things? My reading goes so much by what I feel like at the moment, that I am afraid that if I put a hold on a book, I will end up getting it at a time when I don’t feel like reading it. However, I really do want to read Three Cups of Tea so perhaps it is worth trying a hold. If I don’t end up reading Three Cups of Tea this year, my other ideas for the Memoirs category are Monique and the Mango Rains, by Kris Hollaway, or This Side of Peace, by Hanan Ashrawi.
So, I do not lack ideas for two of the three remaining categories, but I am struggling a bit with the Culture/Sociology/Anthropology category. The book that most caught my eye initially is The Dignity of Difference: How to Avoid the Clash of Civilizations, by Jonathan Sacks, but unfortunately my library only had one copy and it has been lost. I don’t typically buy books brand new and it is hard to actually find a specific book you want at a used book store. The Soul of Iran: A Nation’s Journey to Freedom, by Afshin Molavi, also looks quite interesting, but it is not in my library catalog at all. So I’ve been looking for other ideas for this category and am a bit stuck. I’ve looked at the list on the World Citizen Challenge website and at the reviews people have posted there, but nothing else has really caught my interest. If you have any suggestions of a good book that would fall into this category, I would love to hear them!
Perhaps I am being a little too strict with myself with these categories – I think the book I am reading now, Seeds of Peace, could probably count as either Politics or Culture/Sociology/Anthropology, but it doesn’t feel like a perfect fit in either. I may end up counting it towards Culture/Sociology/Anthropology if nothing else in that category catches my interest before the end of the year. However, I’d still love to hear any suggestions you have!