Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid (Review)
reviews* / November 27, 2014

Title: Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid Author/Narrator: Jimmy Carter Publication Year: 2006 Pages: 288 (audio length: 5 hours 2 minutes) Genre: Fiction Source: Audiobook version purchased from From the cover: President Carter, who was able to negotiate peace between Israel and Egypt, has remained deeply involved in Middle East affairs since leaving the White House. He has stayed in touch with the major players from all sides in the conflict and has made numerous trips to the Holy Land, most recently as an observer of the Palestinian elections in 2005 and 2006. In this book, President Carter shares his intimate knowledge of the history of the Middle East and his personal experiences with the principal actors, and he addresses sensitive political issues many American officials avoid. Pulling no punches, Carter prescribes steps that must be taken for the two states to share the Holy Land without a system of apartheid or the constant fear of terrorism. The general parameters of a long-term, two-state agreement are well known, the president writes. There will be no substantive and permanent peace for any peoples in this troubled region as long as Israel is violating key U.N. resolutions, official American policy, and the international…

The Silent Minaret (Review)
reviews* / July 24, 2012

Title: The Silent Minaret Author: Ishtiyaq Shukri Publication Year: 2007 Pages: 248 Genre: Fiction Source: Purchased from an independent bookstore in Hermanus, South Africa From the cover: Who knew Issa Shamsuddin? Is his disappearance a matter of choice – the next step in a journey of self-imposed exile? Or are there more sinister forces at play? Set in the Western Cape in the years leading up to South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994 and in the temporary bedsits and hookah cafes of post-September 11 London, Ishtiyaq Shukri’s first novel poses questions about what happens to belief when personal ideals are betrayed by world events. A daring debut in both form and content, and a story that will leave you breathless, lingering long after you have turned the final pages. I bought this book while on vacation, looking for a book by a local author. It also caught my attention because of the title and cover description, and that’s what won me over. It took me a while to get around to finally reading The Silent Minaret, and I have to admit that it was a difficult read. For one, it was difficult because of the style of the narration…

Hope is Better Than Fear: Paying Jack Layton Forward (Review)
reviews* / July 5, 2012

Title: Hope is Better Than Fear: Paying Jack Layton Forward Publication Year: 2011 Pages: 77 Genre: Non-Fiction, Essays Source: Review copy from the publisher through NetGalley From the cover: An e-book original inspired by the vision of late NDP leader Jack Layton with short, personal essays by a diverse line-up of Canadian writers and activists. HOPE IS BETTER THAN FEAR reflects upon and looks forward on a number of issues that Jack Layton championed over the course of his extraordinary career as an activist, city councillor and federal politician, including homelessness, feminism, civic engagement, the environment and — very dear to his heart — the Native experience, which is why Random House of Canada is donating its net proceeds from the sale of this e-book to aboriginal youth initiatives, as designated by his widow, the MP Olivia Chow. Taking up the charge to inspire and challenge readers and tap into Jack’s energy, optimism and drive, contributors Tzeporah Berman, Jane Doe, Pierre-Luc Dusseault, David Miller, Rex Murphy and Steven Page, among others, pay tribute to Jack’s record and point out what we need to do next. With this book, we are both honouring his life and work and paying Jack forward….

The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk (Review)
reviews* / March 29, 2012

Title: The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk Author: Randy Shilts Narrator: Marc Vietor Publication Year: 1982 Pages: 400 (audio length: 15 hours 58 minutes) Genre: Non-Fiction, Audiobook Source: Audiobook version, purchased from From the cover: Known as “The Mayor of Castro Street” even before he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Harvey Milk’s personal life, public career, and final assassination reflect the dramatic emergence of the gay community as a political power in America. It is a story full of personal tragedies and political intrigues, assassinations at City Hall, massive riots in the streets, the miscarriage of justice, and the consolidation of gay power and gay hope. For at least the last 5 years, I’ve wanted to learn more about Harvey Milk. I was born after he died, and I lived in small, rural (and conservative) town in Canada, so I hadn’t heard about him at all until I was an adult. And even then, I only heard his name in passing – even within the queer community. But I heard it just often enough to be curious, and wanted to learn more … though it’s taken me quite a…

Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy, and the West (Review)
reviews* / August 6, 2011

Title: Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy, and the West Author: Benazir Bhutto Narrator: Rita Wolf Publication Year: 2008 Pages: 352 (audio length: 12 hours 34 minutes) Genre: Non-Fiction Source: Review copy from the publisher From the cover: Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan in October 2007, after eight years of exile, hopeful that she could be a catalyst for change. Upon a tumultuous reception, she survived a suicide-bomb attack that killed nearly two hundred of her countrymen. But she continued to forge ahead, with more courage and conviction than ever, since she knew that time was running out — for the future of her nation, and for her life. In Reconciliation, Bhutto recounts in gripping detail her final months in Pakistan and offers a bold new agenda for how to stem the tide of Islamic radicalism and to rediscover the values of tolerance and justice that lie at the heart of her religion. With extremist Islam on the rise throughout the world, the peaceful, pluralistic message of Islam has been exploited and manipulated by fanatics. Bhutto persuasively argues that America and Britain are fueling this turn toward radicalization by supporting groups that serve only short-term interests. She believed that by enabling dictators, the…