Thursday, April 25, 2019

Reading Recommendations

A cloud of interesting book titles forever floats around in my brain, and I'm never without inspiration for what to read next.

But when someone puts a book in my hands and says, "Read this. I think you will like it," I snap to attention. More often that not, that book shoots to the top of my to-read pile and I get to it as soon as possible.

So it is that within the past few months, two books have landed in my lap this way. I cracked open both books with curiosityand a certainty that something inside of them was meant just for me.

I was right. These books are interesting each on their own right, but they fit together especially well as a pair of fascinating opposites, completely different types of books that teach me about both the cruelty of life and the infinite goodness of what comes after.

I recommend them both.

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This Earth of Mankind by Pramoedya Ananta Toer

Minke is a young Javanese student, intelligent and sensitive, coming of age in nineteenth-century Indonesia. Struggling to find his place among the native colonized peoples and the Portuguese colonizers, he meets a beautiful young woman and her family who face the same challenges in different ways. Spoiler alert - the story does not end well, and I came face to face with the fact that European colonial powers could grind even the most gifted and promising native people into dust. 

Forever Ours by Janis Amatuzio, MD

The author is a contemporary forensic pathologist from the American Midwest, and in her profession, she uses autopsies and other clinical evidence to scientifically establish causes of local death. But her investigations also lead her into deep conversations with grieving families, and in this book she documents the dozens of stirring and inexplicable stories they have told her about the transition between life and death. This record fills me with hope, and I've begun the practice of sending copies of this book to friends and family who have recently lost loved ones. 

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Read more about what I've been reading:

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