Tag Archives: genocide

Resurrection in May by Lisa Samson, Faith ‘n’ Fiction Round Table

Word Lily review

Resurrection in May by Lisa Samson (Thomas Nelson, August 3, 2010), 336 pages

Summary
May Seymour’s graduated from college, but she’s still adrift. So when she has a chance to go to Rwanda on a mission trip, she takes it. She’s there as the genocide begins.

Thoughts
I participated in a Faith ‘n’ Fiction round table discussion of this book.

The writing is mesmerizing. The characters are beautifully drawn, so very human.

I quite enjoyed the journalism and photography aspects of the story. I found the rural Kentucky setting endearing.

It was an angle on the Rwandan genocide that I hadn’t experienced before, and I quite appreciated it (as I have other representations). It doesn’t, by any means, replace the need for Hotel Rwanda and the like, but it does provide a different aspect of the story. I think this story is a bit more accessible than some others, because it doesn’t begin and end in the genocide.

The healing, forgiveness, growth and resurrection themes were profound, gorgeous.

Really a great book. Awesome. All the praise I’ve heard for Lisa Samson is warranted, based on this book. I’m glad I finally read one of her books; this will definitely not be my last Samson read.

About the author
Lisa Samson lives in Kentucky.

Other reviews
Books, Movies and Chinese Food

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I received this book from the publisher. I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.

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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book ThiefThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Alfred A. Knopf, 2006), 576 pages

Summary
The Book Thief is narrated by Death. It’s set in Germany, opening in 1939. Yes, that’s World War II. Liesel Meminger, at age 9, is taken (by her mother) to live in Molching, Germany, with a foster family. On the journey, she steals her first book, even though she can’t yet read. She’s haunted by nightmares of her younger brother’s death.

Among other awards, The Book Thief was a Printz Honor Book in 2007.

Thoughts
I knew I was missing out by having not yet read this book. I started reading it in 2008, but it was during the read-a-thon, in the middle of the night, and I just wasn’t capable of reading a book narrated by Death in the middle of the night and still appreciating it. Alas, it’s taken me nearly two years to get back to it, but at least I finally have.

I found the voice of this book to be wholly unique. While most of the material wasn’t new to me (although a bit of the perspective I hadn’t read before), this was *not* just another Holocaust book. The writing is superb, achingly beautiful. (I feel like I use that phrase way too much …) I also found it quite interesting how most things are fully disclosed before they actually happen — the narrator “spoils” himself.

The characters, the bookish elements, the writing — all excellent. A gorgeous book with a heinous setting. I say setting because war is not really what the book is about. It’s a backdrop, sure, and hardly a page goes by without mention of it, but the book is about Liesel, about words.

My only complaint (and it’s a small one): The prologue doesn’t really fit the book. After I’d read the prologue, I was sort of dreading this book. But once I got past that, the story sucked me in and the pages flew by.

Although this book was first published in just 2006, I’d call it a classic. This is a book that will endure. If you haven’t read it yet, why not? Sure, it’s not exactly short, but it’s also a young adult book, so the pages fly by (well, the fact that it’s a great story helps that, too). You have no excuse. Read it.

I definitely want to read more of Zusak’s work — I’m particularly intrigued by his I Am the Messenger.

About the author
Markus Zusak lives in Sydney, Australia. Read an interview with Zusak at the Random House website.

Other reviews
Filling My Patch of Sky
Maw Books
So Many Books
At Home with Books
In the Shadow of Mt. TBR
Musings of a Bookish Kitty
A Chair, a Fireplace & and Tea Cozy
My Two Blessings
The Book Lady’s Blog
CaribousMom
Bibliofreakblog

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I checked this book out from the library. I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.


My impetus for finally picking this book up was the Social Justice Challenge; the January theme has been religious freedom. It’s certainly not a stretch to see how this book fits that theme.

Not on Our Watch

Natasha recently posted a lengthy review of a book about the ongoing genocide in Darfur, Sudan. The book? Not On Our Watch, The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond by Don Cheadle and John Prendergast (2007). She’s giving 4 winners 2 books each mainly to help get the word out about what’s going on and what we can do. I urge you to read her post. I thought, yeah, that’s something I believe in, so here goes:

1. Spell out the following number: 7 (this should send the comment into moderation) seven
2. Name one of the five criteria used to define genocide. Oh heck, I’m just going to list them all. This is important. Killing, causing serious bodily or mental harm, deliberately inflicting “conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part, imposing measures to prevent births, forcibly transferring children from a targeted group
3. In which country is Darfur located? Sudan
4. How many years has the genocide been going for? 5-plus years (it’ll be 5.5 next month)
5. Fill in the blank from the Elie Wiesel quote in the book’s preface: Remember: Silence helps the killer, never his victims.
6. Name three of the six strategies for effective change? Again, I’m listing all six. There are a ton of ideas that stem out from these in the book (apparently) as well as in Natasha’s post, so don’t think of this as the end-all source of information. I’m just scratching the surface. Raise awareness, raise funds, write letters, call for divestment, join an organization, and lobby the government.
7. What are the three P’s of genocide prevention? Protecting the people, punishing the perpetrators, and promoting the peace.
8. What is at least one thing from the suggested ideas that you can commit to do? I commit to help raise awareness.
9. Leave a comment on that post stating what it is that you are committing to do. Done.
10. Am I planning a fundraising/awareness campaign on this blog come September? Yes.

This is so important. Join me, won’t you, in taking up the banner. Check on your senators’ and representative’s records on Darfur.

Here are previous posts on this blog that reference Darfur.