I’ve done it again. Loaded up on books at the library when I already had a ton of books at home. Books on Cambodia and traveling and writing. Young adult adventure books and books about giraffes. Novels and memoirs and Lemony Snicket.
This would all be fine and good if I were a professional reader with no other obligations in my life. But alas.
In no particular order, some books I’ve read recently that I’d like to share with you:
The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine by Somaly Mam (I borrowed this book from the library.)
Loved. The review on the back of the book claims it is “UNPUTDOWNABLE” and I have to agree. Of course, my heart is already all wrapped up in Cambodia, orphans and victims of sex trafficking in particular, but WOW. Such a compelling (and horrifying) story of a young girl who was sold into sex slavery at a young age and now she’s helping other girls find freedom and a new life. I’ll warn you; it’s hard to stomach. Especially when she talks about girls as young as 4 and 5 and the awful, unspeakable, torturous things that are done to them and all you can think is, “What if this was one of my daughters?” I’ve committed to pray for Somaly, because there is no happy ending to her story. Yes, she is famous around the world, and yes, she is rescuing so many precious children. But she still feels dirty and damaged and without hope. Oh, I want her to know my Jesus!
I Will Carry You: The Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy by Angie Smith (downloaded this free on my computer’s e-reader)
Loved. I had every intention of buying this book when I got the money, but I couldn’t resist the free download from Barnes & Noble that Angie announced on her blog today. I read the entire thing this afternoon without stopping. If you’ve never heard Angie’s story, it’s a must. If you’ve ever lost a child, it’s a must. If you’ve been following Angie’s blog for a long time now and have fallen in love with her, it’s a must. Read it. I love Angie’s heart, I love her honesty, and I love that she’s real. And I know it firsthand, because last year a counselor friend of mine had a need. A big one. One of her clients needed a safe place to stay. I tweeted asking for help, Angie responded, I talked to her for 45 minutes on the phone, and she stepped in and took this girl (and her daughters) into her home for a long, long time. As much as I like to meet new people and invite them to stay with us for a night (or maybe two), I can’t imagine doing what she did. I love this story she has written about her beautiful daughter Audrey and how she has changed the world. It reminds me so much of my dear friend Amy’s beautiful daughter Abigail who is also in heaven and who also changed the world.
Saved by Her Enemy: An Iraqi Woman’s Journey from the Heart of War to the Heartland of America by Don Teague and Rafraf Barrak (Gabe received this book free from the publisher.)
Liked. It was really a compelling story. An Iraqi college student gets a job as a translator for NBC during the early months of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. I loved reading from both perspectives–Rafraf’s (the Iraqi woman) and Don’s (the American journalist who befriends her). The book opened my eyes to another culture and made me so thankful for the freedoms we have in this country. Don doesn’t shove his Christian faith down anyone’s throat, but he does make a very clear presentation of the gospel toward the end of the book that I thought was really neat. And it’s crazy to see the change in Rafraf’s heart from the beginning of the book to the end. This isn’t a book I would spend $24.99 on, but it’s definitely a book you should borrow from the library or a friend.
More coming soon! What book have you read lately that I absolutely don’t need to add to my library list but will anyway?