Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I'm a bookie

I have always been a voracious reader. In the summers of my youth, I would borrow piles and piles of books from the library. I love to read.
Actually, I think that's why I love to write. In school I normally excelled in both. In fact, I was pretty good with all three R's. (If you don't know what the three R's are, they are: Literature, Writing, and Mathematics.)
As I entered yeshiva, of course, my opportunities to read became more and more infrequent (and less and less frequent. Both.)
Each year, I add more to my plate, and have higher expectations in learning. This equals less time to read.
Therefore, these are the books I have read most recently. The first of which I started months ago.

The Case For Democracy: the power of freedom to overcome tyranny and terror, by Natan Sharansky- This was an excellent book, in which he presents his well-founded and time-proven theory that democracy provides for the safest well-being of a country's citizens, and that of the country's neighbors. President George W. Bush is even quoted as saying, "If you want a glimpse of how I think about foreign policy, read Natan Sharansky's book, The Case for Democracy... For government, particularly — for opinion makers, I would put it on your recommended reading list. It's short and it's good. This guy is a heroic figure, as you know. It's a great book."

The Year of Living Biblically: one man's humble quest to follow the Bible as literally as possible, by A. J. Jacobs- This is a really amusing story of how the author lived as close as he could to how the Bible demands. He grew his beard, wore only white (a recommendation from King Solomon, if I remember correctly), would carry a chair with him wherever he went, so as not to sit on the same seat as someone impure. He puts real fringes on everything he wears. He tries to stone adulterers and those that break Shabbos. He builds a Sukkah in his living room.... It's also an experiment for him, to see if living Biblically will change his agnostic opinions about the existence of G-d. He also visits his crazy uncle in Israel, Uncle Gil, who is the very Guru Gil with whom the Rosh has a unique friendship with!

Going Rogue: An American Life, by Sarah Palin- This is her autobiography, and tells all about growing up in the wild Alaska frontier, becoming a city council-member, then mayor, then Governor, and of course her status as the Vice Presidential Republican candidate. It's a great book that gives you the real story behind this remarkably ordinary, yet impressively passionate woman. I was shocked and pleased to see her bravery in revealing her strong faith in G-d, and she entreats her readers to turn to Him.

Moses of Oxford, by Shmuley Boteach- I only read some of this book, actually. It comes in two large volumes, and is basically a huge collection of essays and conversations he had with students and professors during his time as a Shliach for Oxford University. Reading his opinions about dealing with homosexuality, race relations, and other tough topics made me understand why many consider his views to be on the fringe of the regularly conservative Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox sect.

Now make sure to answer my poll on the left.