Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Prisoner of Tehran: The End of Childhood in Iran (Marina Nemat)

Vivid memories of a teenage schoolgirl jailed in Iran for "anti-revolutionary" activities. There are many books out there about the condition of women (and human rights) in muslim countries, but this one is clearly a cut above the rest - if only for the strength of character of the author. It is incredibly brave of her to revive these memories and tell her story (hope she found some sort of peace doing it) and yet you feel throughout the book there is a lot left unspoken. A necessary read, just to remind ourselves freedom of speech & freedom of thought should never be taken for granted.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice (Christopher Hitchens)

An eye-opener on the true motives and nature of Mother Theresa. A witty piece of polemic which shattered one of the great myths of the 20th century. Must read.

City of Darkness (Greg Girard & Ian Lambot)

A great book about one of the now long disappeared "landmarks" of HK, which was also a truly unique piece of history. The interviews of the residents are just transposed almost without commentary, giving the book a genuine feel, very well supported by an amazing array of portraits. The sterile & soulless park that has been laid where the City once stood does little justice to its heritage. I wish someone would write a similar book on Chungking Mansions before some overzealous government official decides to tear the whole place down to make one more shopping mall...