The Story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Michael Van Dyke

Summary

“You’ll be inspired by this story of a German pastor and theologian who gave his life to oppose Adolf Hitler and his Nazi regime. Born into a prominent German family, Dietrich Bonhoeffer died in a Nazi prison camp, hanged for his plot against the man who’d plunged the world into war. Find out what made Dietrich Bonhoeffer the man he was—compassionate minister, brilliant thinker, opponent of the heresies of Nazism and Aryan superiority. This easy-to-read biography details both Bonhoeffer’s life and his powerful theology—of “cheap” versus “costly” grace.” Continue reading The Story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Michael Van Dyke

Who Will Roar If I Go? by Paige Jaeger

Illustrated by Carol Hill Quirk

Summary

“Do you know what an endangered species is and why animals become endanged?”

“Who Will Roar If I Go? will introduce you to thirteen animals around the world who have one thing in common: they need your help. With beautiful watercolor illustrations and rhyming verse, each animal is sharing a message with you that you will long remember after reading.”
Continue reading Who Will Roar If I Go? by Paige Jaeger

The Fox Hunt by Mohammed Al Samawi

Summary

“Born in the Old City of Sana’a, Yemen, to a pair of middle-class doctors, Mohammed Al Samawi was a devout Muslim raised to think of Christians and Jews as his enemy. But when Mohammed was twenty-three, he secretly received a copy of the Bible, and what he read cast doubt on everything he’d previously believed. After connecting with Jews and Christians on social media, and at various international interfaith conferences, Mohammed became an activist, making it his mission to promote dialogue and cooperation in Yemen.

Then came the death threats: first on Facebook, then through terrifying anonymous phone calls. To protect himself and his family, Mohammed fled to the southern port city of Aden. He had no way of knowing that Aden was about to become the heart of a north-south civil war, and the battleground for a well-funded proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. As gunfire and grenades exploded throughout the city, Mohammed hid in the bathroom of his apartment and desperately appealed to his contacts on Facebook.

Miraculously, a handful of people he barely knew responded. Over thirteen days, four ordinary young people with zero experience in diplomacy or military exfiltration worked across six technology platforms and ten time zones to save this innocent young man trapped between deadly forces— rebel fighters from the north and Al Qaeda operatives from the south.

The story of an improbable escape as riveting as the best page-turning thrillers, The Fox Hunt reminds us that goodness and decency can triumph in the darkest circumstances.” Continue reading The Fox Hunt by Mohammed Al Samawi

Putinism: Russia and its Future with the West by Walter Laqueur

Summary

“There is no question that tensions between Russia and America are on the rise. The forced annexation of Crimea, the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight 17, and the Russian government’s treatment of homosexuals have created diplomatic standoffs and led to a volley of economic sanctions. In America, much of the blame for Russia’s recent hostility has fallen on steely-eyed President Vladimir Putin and many have begun to wonder if they we are witnessing the rebirth of Cold War-style dictatorship.

Not so fast, argues veteran historian Walter Laqueur.
For two decades, Laqueur has been ahead of the curve, predicting events in post-Soviet Russia with uncanny accuracy. In Putinism, he deftly demonstrates how three long-standing pillars of Russian ideology-a strong belief in the Orthodox Church, a sense of Eurasian “manifest destiny,” and a fear of foreign enemies-continue to exert a powerful influence on the Russian populous. In fact, today’s Russians have more in common with their counterparts from 1904 than 1954 and Putin is much more a servant of his people than we might think.
Topical and provocative, Putinism contains much more than historical analysis. Looking to the future, Laqueur explains how America’s tendency to see Russia as a Cold War relic is dangerous and premature. Russia can and will challenge the West and it is in our best interest to figure out exactly who we are facing-and what they want-before it is too late.” Continue reading Putinism: Russia and its Future with the West by Walter Laqueur

How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt

Summary (Penguin Random House)

Continue reading How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt

On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder

Summary

“The Founding Fathers tried to protect us from the threat they knew, the tyranny that overcame ancient democracy. Today, our political order faces new threats, not unlike the totalitarianism of the twentieth century. We are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism.  Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience.” Continue reading On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

When my friend Mariah asked if anyone wanted to join a group read for A Moveable Feast, I eagerly committed to do the read, and I’m so glad I did! Mariah and I are book buddies, and she had mailed me a copy in September. Knowing that my TBR is long, I knew that the group read was the perfect way to ensure I read it before it gathered dust-sigh. Continue reading A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway