The task is simple but oh so hard! Pick three books on your bookshelf that summarize you. What three books give us a snapshot of your life?
This was introduced by National Public Radio’s ‘All Things Considered‘ show the other day and I loved it so much I want to use it here at Communicating Across Boundaries. Anyone who responds in the comments will be put into a drawing to receive one of the books that is a snapshot of my life.
So let’s get started! My three are:
1. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo. Katherine Boo takes us into the stories of real people living in the Annawadi slum in Mumbai. The slum shares walls with the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. This ethnically diverse community lives in close quarters, daily confronting poverty, violence, conflict, illness, and government corruption. Because I love the Indian subcontinent this book resonates at many levels.
Quote: “.. becoming attached to a country involves pressing, uncomfortable questions about justice and opportunity for its least powerful citizens.”
2.The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: A Jewish Family’s Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World by Lucette Lagnado. This book is my heart book and chronicles the journey of a Jewish family from their home in Cairo through their adjustment to life in New York City. There is so much I love about this book, not least is its descriptions of how much this family misses Cairo and their cry of “Ragaouna Misr” (Take me back to Egypt!) that still echoes through my soul.
Quote: “We had barely drifted out of Alexandria‘s harbor when I heard my father cry ‘Ragaouna Misr!’ – Take us back to Cairo! It became his personal refrain, his anthem aboard the old cargo ship…”
3. Some Far and Distant Place by Jonathan S. Addleton. Jonathan is a childhood friend, best friend to my brother Tom through the years. He writes of growing up in Pakistan but intersperses throughout the book history of what is happening in the region – things I caught only partially while growing up. I love this book and periodically reread it. This book is home.
Quote: “…’Look carefully’ my brother said. ‘It will be a long time before you see stars shining this brightly again….'”
So now you – Three books from your bookshelf (or Kindle) that give us a snapshot of your life!
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