Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands

I found the title of this book intriguing. Laura Schlessinger talks about how married women treat their husbands, and how they are often surprised by conflicts with them. She analyzes various parts of everyday marital life and gives hints on how to react to and tackle sometimes less, sometimes more significant relationship problems. I found myself agreeing on a lot of her observations and found her advice useful and refreshing. Even though the author is quite critical towards women, the book is written in a very engaging and captivating tone. Whether you are at the beginning of your marriage or have been married for few years, I believe you will find this book very interesting and a real page-turner. (submitted by IS)

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Life Beyond Measure: letters to my great-granddaughter

Sidney Poitier writes about his life experiences in the form of letters to his great granddaughter. I am not sure if it is the form of the book (letters) or perhaps the wisdom of the writer (Sidney Poitier), but I found myself totally engaged in reading it. The author shares his advice on love, marriage, faith, courage, and the future. His inspirational stories, although addressed to his great granddaughter, are really speaking to all of us. They are meant to motivate us and guide us in our own life journeys. If you are looking for a beautifully written and heartwarming memoir, you will not be disappointed by choosing this title. (submitted by IS)

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Inside the Kingdom: my life in Saudi Arabia

When I picked up this audiobook, I was under the impression that it was the biography of Osama Bin Ladin’s wife. However, Carmen Bin Ladin is his former sister-in-law. She writes about her life in Saudi Arabia, being married to Osama’s brother Yeslam, finally getting divorced, and escaping with her three daughters to Switzerland. Carmen talks about the lives of women in Saudi Arabia. By custom they are mostly confined to their homes and most of their time is spent praying, reading Koran, and raising children. I started listening to this audiobook on my commute home, but found myself captivated so much that I ended up listening to it at home. A beautifully written memoir that will keep you engaged and might just help you get through tons of house chores without even noticing. (submitted by IS)

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Lessons in Taxidermy

Bee Lavender has lived through more sickness than I thought I would have the stomach to even read about. It seems as though every unfortunate illness and ill-luck has befallen this woman: cancer, car accident, complications, and more complications. I read this book when I was quite sick and struggling through a series of unsuccessful diagnoses, feeling completely overwhelmed with chronic illness. Somehow reading Lavender’s writing about sickness actually made me feel better. Her book is empowering. Lavender faces illness without flinching, making for an uplifting, if slightly terrifying, read. The narrative is up-front and personal, which along with the book being a short 160 pages, makes it very accessible. (submitted by TH)

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Losing My Religion: how I lost my faith reporting religion in America — and found unexpected peace

I found this book riveting and fascinating.  Veteran journalist William Lobdell was in his early twenties when he became a born-again Christian.  At the time,  few reporters were interested in the religion beat – a topic regarded as an antiquated arena for fading journalists. Lobdell had a vision for this position however, and landing it became a powerful calling.  He prayed and waited years for the opportunity. Then it happened in 1998.  The Los Angeles Times hired him for the job and he felt his prayers were finally answered.

For eight years he travelled extensively, looking for inspirational stories in all walks of life, as well as interviewing some of the world’s most prominent religious leaders.  However, he continually found disturbing discrepancies between the tenets of the various faiths, and the actual behaviour of the faithful and their leaders.  Eventually, he let go of his faith and surprisingly, found more peace in “the truth.”  This book  is not a defence of atheism using hard science, instead it is a passionate, spiritual journey full of revelations – a must read for anyone grappling with all the hard questions.

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Medium Raw

It starts out with a wonderful story about the most illegal meal he’s ever had. 

 A very angry cook wrote the iconoclastic Kitchen Confidential about the underbelly of the New York restaurant scene in the 1980s and 1990s, published in 2000.  It made Anthony Bourdain  a star.  I loved that book.  This is the follow-up.  He’s older and wiser and less angry, or at least he’s more self-aware and philosophical about it.  He writes the way he talks – which will be familiar if you’ve watched his TV show, No Reservations.  This book is about how Kitchen Confidential utterly changed his life, opening up the world to him.  He tells great stories, in a wry and humourous tone, and I was only sorry that the book ended – I would’ve been happy to keep reading.

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