Saturday, October 20, 2012

"Dear Zari: The Secret Lives of the Women of Afghanistan" by Zarghuna Kargar

250 pages

This is a collection of stories gathered for "Afghan Women's Hour," a weekly BBC program that ran from 2005-2o12. Kargar, who grew up in Afghanistan before moving to the United Kingdom, used the connections she had there to find women with interesting, inspiring, and often heartbreaking stories and shared them on the program. There's a child bride given as payment to settle a family feud. One woman spent nearly every day of her life in a dark room weaving carpets. One girl was raised as a boy because her family couldn't handle the shame of being son-less. Many of the Afghan women women featured had to tell their stories anonymously because revealing their identities would endanger them. 

I think I got a lot out of this book. I knew things were bad for women in Afghanistan, but hearing individuals' stories, in their own voices, made it really feel real. That many of these women were able to overcome such insane obstacles is a huge inspiration, and it makes me realize that if they can do that, I can do much more in my more secure environment. Their stories put my problems in perspective. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"Rip Tide (Dark Life #2)" by Kat Falls

320 pages

In this sequel to Dark Life, things have started to calm down in Ty's life. He no longer has to hide the Dark Gift--his ability to use sonar, like a dolphin--that he developed by growing up under the surface of the ocean. His friend/crush Gemma knows where her brother is, which is almost as good as being with him, and she's slowly starting to get used to life underwater. But then trouble finds Ty and Gemma again when they find an entire township chained to a sunken submarine, with its residents condemned to a watery death. This uncovers a mystery that is much bigger than it first appeared--and the stakes are higher than ever. It seems that everyone involved--the subsea settlers, the outlaws, the government officers, and a rival pioneer group--is poised for war, and Ty and Gemma don't know who to trust. 

I love this series! The setting is so unique--it's futuristic and science fiction-ish, but it has a Wild West feel to it too. Ty and Gemma are charming and likable. I really like the pacing, too. There's plenty of action but you get some good character development weaved into the plot. I had a little more trouble following this one, but I still really got into it. I'm not sure how many are going to be in the series but I'm excited to read the rest!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

September stats and winners!

Hi everyone,

Here are our totals for September:

Books: 45

Most books
Jenny: 22
Heather: 12
Meggan: 11

Most pages
Jenny: 4634
Meggan: 4193
Heather: 3917

Most participation points
Jenny: 22
Heather: 12
Meggan: 11

Let's hit the books hard this month and get our stats up! Don't forget to tell your coworkers to join in on the fun :).