Books Worth a Look

  • Little Bee by Chris Cleave - This book is a must read. Better than anything else I've read, it takes you vividly into the life of a person in the 3rd world who has no choice but to escape. It is brilliantly written & works well as an audio book. Often I've sent info about the wonderful refugees I've met in Europe. We know only so much of their plight as it is painful for them to recall much less live through again by recounting it. But over time it is clear what they've lived through. This book is excellent as you discover the horrors of their world. Somewhat how to me, it is like being in Europe near a Concentration Camp. One has an obligation to visit it. 'Never to Forget.' In this case, to have our eyes opened.
  • Garbage King by Eliz Laird - The book is set on the streets on Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia and here lives Mamo and his sister Tiggist. When Mamo's "uncle" offers a job, he soon sets out on a bus to work. Little does he know that he is actually being sold into slavery...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Alkmaar To Visit Jim and Nancy Forest

I had the opportunity Thursday to visit Jim and Nancy, always most gracious, for lunch. Nancy's mother died recently and they have been busy with grieving and arrangements.

After catching up, they shared a letter they had found from Sharon McKenna, a real life hero in Tracy Kidder's new book Strength in What Remains.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder returns with the extraordinary true story of Deo, a young man who arrives in America from Burundi in search of a new life. After surviving a civil war and genocide, he ekes out a precarious existence delivering groceries, living in Central Park, and learning English by reading dictionaries in bookstores until he begins to meet the strangers who will change his life, pointing him eventually in the direction of Columbia University, medical school, and a life devoted to healing.

My book club recently read Kidder's first book
Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World (Random House Reader's Circle)

Jim and Nancy have known and worked with Thomas Merton, Thich Nhat Hanh, Dorothy Day and many others.

After a delicious lunch, Jim accompanied me to the local grocery store so I could successfully make my last purchases for the community meal at Noel Huis later that day. There is nothing like a visit with Jim and Nancy, gracious beyond measure, interesting, spiritual and truly educated people.

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Thoughts on the amazing people I get to meet.

Rich, my 19 year old friend, soon to be Franciscan and recent community member at Haley House in Boston. An article he wrote.