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Austen to Zafón

Reading widely since 1972.

Currently reading

A London Family, 1870-1900: A Trilogy
Molly Hughes
The Cellist of Sarajevo
Steven Galloway
Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher
Lewis Thomas
All the Names
José Saramago, Margaret Jull Costa
A History of the World in 100 Objects
Neil MacGregor
Down the Garden Path
Beverley Nichols
Virtue Betray'd, Or, Anna Bullen
John Banks
Year of Wonders
Geraldine Brooks
Swallows and Amazons
Arthur Ransome
Illusion in java
Gene Fowler
The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness - Karen Armstrong A friend loaned me this book and said it was good. She said, "It's about this nun who leaves the convent and what she goes through afterward." That sounded pretty dull. I'm not a religious person, but neither is my friend, so I thought I'd give it a try. I was hooked on the first page. It may be a bit hard to believe, but this book was a real page-turner for me. Three different times I sat in the bath until the water was almost cold because I couldn't stop reading. Armstrong entered the convent at age 17, in 1962. After 7 years, she left. The book tells some about her experience in the convent, but mostly it is about what happened after. I suggest that you read this book cold. Don't look at a bunch of reviews or even read the back of the book (which reveals one of the key surprises in the book). Part of the fun is the surprising turns her life takes and how they change her. The final chapter is a terrific little treatise on faith. I finished this book more than a week ago and I'm still thinking about it. As I passed a mosque today, I thought about it. It's given me a different perspective on religious practice and faith. As the San Francisco Chronicle said, "Enjoyable and deeply interesting...Very rewarding." I plan to read her book "Muhammad."