Ratty (blinger) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Books 13 & 14 - 2015

Book 13: The Anatomy of Israel’s Survival by Hirsh Goodman – 253 pages

Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
For readers of Michael Oren, Alan Dershowitz, and George Gilder comes a new perspective on a hot topic: the future of Israel. "Can Israel survive?" has been the essential question for Israelis -- and Jews worldwide -- since the Holocaust. Now a renowned Israeli journalist and security expert conducts a "strategic state of the nation" tour to evenhandedly assess the issues facing the country today, and ultimately suggesting that the "essential question" has become a misleading, even wrong question. Israel will survive. But what kind of country will it be?

For a subject on religion, politics and globalization, I chose to do an assignment on the Israel/Palestine conflict, mostly cause it was a topic I heard a lot about, but knew very little. This was one of the books I borrowed from the University library to reference, and I made a rather silly decision to read the complete book once I’d finished the subject. It took me a long time, and a library fine later to get that, mostly because I’ve been busy with a new job. This book asks the fairly valid question of ‘can Israel survive?’ and Goodman’s answer is in the affirmative. He outlines his reasons for this affirmative answer throughout the book and his argument is compelling, at least for someone with as little knowledge on the topic as me. Goodman’s background means he has a strong understanding of Israel’s standing strategically, and he backs up his affirmative argument using this knowledge. I can’t really argue the negative on this one, but I got a 7 for the assignment, so I’m gonna leave it there.

13 / 50 books. 26% done!

4154 / 15000 pages. 28% done!

Book 14: The Queen of Zombie Hearts by Gena Showalter – 442 pages

Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
Alice Bell thinks the worst is behind her. She's fought zombies and won. Now she's ready for a peaceful life with boyfriend Cole, the leader of the zombie slayers...until the dangerous agency controlling the undead launches an attack with devastating consequences. Humans can be more dangerous than monsters...and the worst has only just begun. They've started a war. Alice is determined to end it...

The final book in the Alice in Zombieland triology (though there’s now a fourth book that features the same character) has a fair bit to resolve, including why Alice Bell seems to have an increasing range of powers. Showalter likes to play with the reader by implying throughout that things aren’t going to play out the way you expect. She uses flashes of future events between Cole and Alice and then a whole stack of other characters (which just gets weird) to do this, and of course, the break up of Cole and Alice (this being teen fiction after all). Still, it all works, and though it’s a bit of slog but Showalter does a good job of tying up all the loose ends and coming to a resolution that is satisfying – she doesn’t fall into perfect happy ending territory, which I appreciate. Whilst it was necessary, the thing that I disliked most was the ending for Alice’s best friend Kat – it worked for the story, but man, it broke my heart. I’ve not read a lot in the zombie genre, but I personally think is a decent addition to it.

14 / 50 books. 28% done!

4596 / 15000 pages. 31% done!

Currently reading:
-        Work’s Intimacy by Melissa Gregg – 198 pages
-        Guernica by Dave Boling – 368 pages
-        Luke Skywalker Can’t Read and Other Geeky Truths by Ryan Britt – 205 pages

And coming up:
-        The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Volume 3: White Gold Wielder by Stephen Donaldson – 500 pages
-        The Odyssey by Homer – 324 pages
-        Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg – 220 pages
Tags: non-fiction, paranormal, politics, young adult, zombies

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