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April Reading List

I feel like I haven't read much in April.  We were with the grandbabies a lot, and they kept me busy.  I also have several projects I'm working on, including one I can do in the car, so I feel like I haven't been reading much.  Nevertheless, I managed to read four books in the month!

The first book was A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. 
The story of generations of conflict in Afghanistan is told through the eyes of two women, Mariam and Laila. Mariam and Laila's lives come together after many tragedies: miscarriages and barrenness for Mariam and the death of Laila's family and love. They end up both being married to the same abusive man. 

Mr. Hosseini does a great job telling the story of their lives, of showing how things can quickly spiral out of control, and of the history of Afghanistan from pre-war days to communism to the fighting with Pashtun forces, to the days of the Taliban. 

There is so much abuse, death, and destruction that this isn't always an easy story to read. And yet there is hope because the will to survive is so strong.

As Laila muses, "Every Afghan story is marked by death and loss and unimaginable grief. And yet, she sees, people find a way to survive, to go on. Laila thinks of her own life and all that has happened to her, and she is astonished that she too has survived, that she is alive and sitting in this taxi listening to this man's story."

This story is told of two women in whom we "see something behind [their] eyes, something deep in [their] core, that neither Rasheed nor the Taliban will be able to break. Something as hard and unyielding as a block of limestone." The story is historical and is helpful to read to understand the country of Afghanistan. But it is also one of hope, of love, and of survival.

My next book was The Dream of You by Jo Saxton, which I've already reviewed here.  If you only read one book this year, read this one!

Third up was Healing Ruby by Jennifer H. Westfall. 

Ruby lives in the south during the depression. They own a house and land and her father has a position at a local cotton gin. But he dies and Ruby struggles to understand how God could allow that. Hadn't she prayed hard enough for his healing? Then her friend's brother becomes seriously ill. Ruby becomes involved in caring for him and her uncle is involved in praying for his healing. He is healed and Ruby's uncle points out to her that she also has the gift of healing. But having that gift doesn't mean you just go around healing everybody that is sick; it's being so in touch with the Holy Spirit's moving that you know when God can use you.

I think the book is pretty good. It certainly looks at some tough questions and makes you think. I did feel that Ruby was wise beyond her years, though I know in the 1930's kids grew up faster than they do today. But sometimes her behavior didn't seem believable for her age. I didn't like the ending, but then I realized there are other books to come, so that's not the real ending! I guess I would read the other books if I saw them offered for free, but I don't think I'll rush out to buy them.

And the fourth book was The Female Body Blueprint: A Guide to Understanding Hormones and Thyroid Health by Josh & Jeanne Rubin. 

I'm not even sure what to say about this book. The authors show that estrogen is at fault for many imbalances in our bodies and that progesterone is necessary for good health. I like that they recommend a balanced diet with the right balance and kinds of fat, carbs, and protein and the recommendation of cutting out sugar and white flours.

However, the book was very technical and I found it a bit hard to read and understand. Secondly, they quote only one person in the book, leaving us wondering if what they say is scientific or not. Thirdly, some of their suggestions are just frustrating, like saying the optimal time to exercise is between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Ummm, that's when most of us are working; it's not exactly a time we can exercise!

I did like the part on nutrition and would have liked to see them develop that more.

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