Mountain To Mountain
Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (September 16, 2014)
Genre: Memoir, Travel
Buy it: Amazon | B & N
Synopsis: Being inspired to act can take many forms. For some it's taking a weekend to volunteer, but for Shannon Galpin, it meant leaving her career, selling her house, launching a nonprofit and committing her life to advancing education and opportunity for women and girls. Focusing on the war-torn country of Afghanistan, Galpin and her organization, Mountain2Mountain, have touched the lives of hundreds of men, women and children. As if launching a nonprofit wasn't enough, in 2009 Galpin became the first woman to ride a mountain bike in Afghanistan. Now she's using that initial bike ride to gain awareness around the country, encouraging people to use their bikes "as a vehicle for social change and justice to support a country where women don't have the right to ride a bike." In Mountain to Mountain, her lyric and honest memoir, Galpin describes her first forays into fundraising, her deep desire to help women and girls halfway across the world, her love for adventure and sports, and her own inspiration to be so much more than just another rape victim. During her numerous trips to Afghanistan, Shannon reaches out to politicians and journalists as well as everyday Afghans — teachers, prison inmates, mothers, daughters — to cross a cultural divide and find common ground. She narrates harrowing encounters, exhilarating bike rides, humorous episodes, and the heartbreak inherent in a country that is still recovering from decades of war and occupation.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Gobble Gobble :) Moving on with the review. I like how rich in detailed this book is about Afghanistan. I love reading cross cultural books and memoirs, this was a book I enjoyed from beginning to end. The writer Shannon shows a different insight into the lives of Afghanistan and Afghan women. I honestly had not heard of women in Afghanistan bike riding especially wearing a burka. The concept of this memoir is original and unique.
- It was exciting for me to get into the book, but it was a bit slow afterwards. Shannon Galpin has transformed the lives of Afghan women. She was a young rape survivor, and now is a global activist. She was the first woman to mountain bike ride in Afghanistan which is quite daring. It's pretty easy to bike ride in western overseas, but in Afghanistan it is illegal. I'm glad she does it though!
- She's not disrespecting the culture or the law at all. Her apparent love for the women of Afghanistan clearly shows. She's challenging the law, there's a difference. As a Muslim, I'm aware that there is no law in Islam itself that states women cannot bike ride. As long as they have their husband's, father's or brother's permission, they can. In Afghanistan, the government is being extreme with most of their laws, so I'm glad Shannon made a change!
- I liked the book beginning to the end. It's great to read a success story! I didn't find any major flaws with it, only that it was slow at some parts. It's a well written novel based on real life incidents. I like how passionate the author is about Afghanistan and starting a women's movement. She engages the reader to do something more meaningful one day. She left everything behind in her life to change the lives of others. I hope one day I can make a difference like she did. Mountain to Mountain is an inspiring that I recommend everyone should read.
Disclosure: Review copy was sent free of charge from St. Martin's press in exchange for an honest review.
Elana Maryles Sztokman
Publisher: Sourcebooks (April 1, 2014)
Genre: Women's Non-Fiction
Buy it: Amazon
Synopsis: A stunning look at oppression of Israeli women and its dire implications for women everywhere
Across Israel-one of the most democratic countries in the world-women are being harassed as a rising Orthodox Jewish faction seeks to suppress them. In this gripping exposé, leading women's activist Elana Sztokman investigates the struggles of Israeli women against increasing levels of religious and political intrusion into their lives, from segregation on public buses to being refused admittance to public events. The War on Women in Israel weaves together interviews and investigative research to present a cutting-edge look at this alarming reality, and proposes solutions for creating a different vision for religion both in Israeli society and in cultures around the world.
I believe whenever religious extremists take over, women suffer the most. This novel is a nice insight into a topic I had not heard of either. I'm aware of some women in Saudi Arabia, Iran, or Afghanistan that suffer; but, I wasn't aware of oppression happening with Jewish women. They're a minority group that value education and justice, so it was quite surprising to read a different side to some Jewish people.
- A lot of the injustice occurring with Jewish women reminds me of what happens in some Middle Eastern countries. I'd like to know why the oppression on Israeli women is so hidden in the media, and why no one questions it? Yet, Islam is all over the news, and the media gives such a bad reputation of it. I think it's time people should admit it's never the religion at fault, but the people themselves.
- The War on Women in Israel shows segregation of women and men. Some of the details are disturbing and thought provoking. Women are being mistreated, and their rights are being taken away. The men are being taught that women are sexually provocative, which is quite mind blowing. I really dislike when people make inaccurate conclusions using religion to make a point. I don't believe any religion can harm anyone's rights though - people just like to misuse religion. I feel like culture and religion are being mixed, they're two different concepts!
- It's not fair for someone to use religion to justify misogyny. Segregation does occur in most religions, but that's so that the two genders do not mix. No religion is ever too extreme, some people make it seem extreme. I don't believe the author is being a feminist, speaking out against women's injustice is not being a feminist. It's just being a good human being. Sztokman is actually a religious woman; I like how her central theme states people should be able to impose religion on others. I do like that there is change happening, and that the author also includes success stories.
- This was quite a depressing and disturbing novel to read. The War on Women in Israel is a great non-fiction book. It reflects on the things that are happening in Israel right now. Again, this is a thought provoking story, and I would recommend reading this novel. It's an eye opener to injustice that is happening in Israel right this moment.
Shukran for reading this! Leave your blog links in the comments & I'll be sure to check them out & follow :) Stay in tuned pretty creatures..
Disclosure: Review Copy was sent free of charge from Sourcebooks Landmark in exchange for an honest review.
“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” —Nora Ephron