I finished Middlesex. It was a great read. Not only is the story a beautiful story, but it is made even better by Eugenides talent and prose. I find Cal to be an intriguing, thoughtful, and informed narrator. I would recommend this book to almost anyone, noting that the subject matter is mature. But a fantastic story. I loved this book and agree with all the hype. I've included a passage from the book below.

"There it was, monster, in black and white, in a battered dictionary in a great city library. A venerable, old book, the shape and size of a headstone, with yellowing pages that bore marks of the multitudes who had consulted them before me. There were pencil scrawls and ink stains, dried blood, snack crumbs; and the leather binding itself was secured to the lecturn by a chain. Here was a book that contained the collected knowledge of the past while giving evidence of present social conditions. The chain suggested that some library visitors might take it upon themselves to see that the dictionary circulated. The dictionary contained every word in the English language but the chain knew only a few. It knew thief and steal and, maybe, purloined. The chain spoke of poverty and mistrust and inequality and decadence. Callie herself was holding on to this chain now. She was tugging it, winding it around her hand so that her fingers went white, as she stared down at that word. Monster. Still there. It had not moved. And she wasn't reading this word on the wall of her old bathroom stall. There was graffiti in Webster's but the synonym wasn't part of it. The synonym was official, authoritative; it was the verdict that the culture gave on a person like her. Monster. That was what she was. That was what Dr. Luce and his colleagues had been saying. It explained so much, really. It explained her mother crying in the next room. It explained the false cheer in Milton's voice. It explained why her parents had brought her to New York, so that the doctors could work in secret. It explained the photographs, too. What did people do when they came upon Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster? They tried to get a picture. For a second Callie saw herself that way. As a lumbering, shaggy creature pausing at the edge of woods. As a humped convolvulus rearing its dragon's head from an icy lake. Her eyes were filling now, making the print swim, and she turned away and hurried out of the library."


"We read to know that we are not alone." - C.S. Lewis

Somebody reminded me that I have not blogged in awhile and so to appease said person I have decided to at least catch you up on my reading list. I've been a busy reader, but I must admit that most of my reading time has gone to Harry Potter so I'll begin with that.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Half Blood Prince, and Deathly Hallows
I am a Harry Potter fanatic! I loved all of the books and the last 3 just kept getting better and better. Order of the Phoenix and Deathly Hallows took me a bit of time, but I think I read through Half Blood Prince in three days! After reading all seven, I have been considering which book is my favorite. I think my top three are 3) Order of the Phoenix; 2) Prisoner of Azkaban; and 1) Deathly Hallows. And Snape! Oh Snape...

Palestine, Peace not Apartheid, by Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter is not my favorite author, but the man knows his stuff! Obviously I can't critique his domestic policy as I was not even alive at the time of his presidency, but he is my hero when it comes to foreign policy as it pertains to Israel and the Middle East. It was refreshing to read a book written by an educated politician/man of deep faith who has a heart not solely for the Arab or Israeli world, but for all humanity to have the same basic rights, to have justice, and to have peace. It would be a dream to intern/work/volunteer at The Carter Center one day.

Half the Sky, by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
I don't even know how to explain this book. It's been a couple months since I've read it. The book is about the oppression of women and girls in the developing world. The book addresses how unleashing the potential of women is an amazing strategy in the fight against poverty. The female population of much of the world is the greatest unexploited economic resource. The book is informative, rich, full of hope and cannot at all be labeled "feminist." Men and women alike should pick it up.

Acts of Faith, by Eboo Patel
Acts of Faith is an book about an American Muslim and his journey to adulthood, understanding what it means to be Muslim and on the way learning about other faiths.
I love that the book is really about young people and what can be accomplished. Having had experience with interfaith dialogue I appreciated his sincerity and desire to learn about other faiths. Patel speaks of educating youth and bringing different faiths together for the common good. The book is really about rejecting religious intolerance and learning to embrace and accept others completely. I wrestled with parts of the book as I am not a religious pluralist (according to some definitions) nor a universalist. However, the book was inspiring and educational, and I really enjoyed it.

On the horizon and currently being read: Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides; A People's History of the United States, by Howard Zinn; revisiting The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, by C.S. Lewis for the movie release this winter!!!!!; and soon to start Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, by John Perkins.