The first is Educated. I chose it when it was my turn to host because I was already half-way through it as recommended by lots of people around me, and I was hooked to that thing I tell you!
I kind of botched that example…hopefully it makes a little sense? Bottom line is that that book sure made me think.
Guys, I know this is going to sound dramatic, but I think this is my favorite book I’ve ever read.
It is SO good! So much packed into that thing, and you know how things hit you differently depending on what you are doing and thinking about at the time? Well, this one hit hard on parenting and religion and mercy and love. It was so beautifully written and took me right into the life of a Muslim family from India living in America going through tough, and sometimes beautiful things.
Things that made me think.
And think hard.
I talked a little about how much I was loving this book when I was talking about moments over HERE, but there’s just so much more! I adored getting to be in the mind of the mother, of the daughter, of the son. Things they worried about, how they interpreted their religion and life.
But most of all I loved getting to be in the mind of the dad at the end. Oh my goodness, so much to think about. Everyone has their own story, that’s for sure. Made my heart so full and brought me to tears so many times. Maybe it’s just because I’ve got some parenting things rolling around in my mind lately, but man alive, GOOD STUFF.
I keep thinking I need to do a whole series of blog posts about different takes on different things that hit me in that book, I just wish I could have a giant book club with all blog readers about different questions that came up in my mind (we did have the best book club discussion about this book…late into the night and I loved it). Trying to get Dave to read it. So much to talk about!
For now though, because I may not ever get to that “series” I wish I could carve out time to do, let’s just leave on these three points:
1) I love how this book weaves in so many thoughts on religion. How these parents want the best part of their religion to reach and settle into their children, because it has given them so much happiness. But how each of the three children explore and figure it out in their own ways. One of them takes a pretty tough road, and is constantly trying to figure things out. Made me think about all our journeys to find religion, and faith, and what makes sense with our own personal connections with God.
2) I love the parenting in this book. How those parents try and try again. They make mistakes and mess up despite trying their very best the best way they know how. I can so relate to that! I love the depiction of communication and how it is learned and how it grows. I loved the little things, like how one of the daughters wishes her parents would compliment her and all the good things she does as they dote and cheer on her brother, who needs that encouragement so much more. Made me think about praising and pushing and how different kids need it in different ways. I loved that one of the daughters became a doctor because her parents pushed it, not because she would have chosen it herself, and what a beautiful path it turned out to be for her. What things should we help push our kids on like that, and what do we let them just figure out? I could obviously go on and on about the parenting stuff I learned from that book. Maybe I really will get to that “series”!
3) But the part I loved the most was about mercy. I love this quote, “we must imagine for each other, seventy excuses before landing on a single judgement. And also refrain from judgement because we do not know, when one is alone, how repentant his heart [we do not know the secret sorrows others are carrying]. I love that the dad recounts in the end, “Of all my mistakes, the greatest, the most dangerous, was not emphasizing the mercy of God. Every verse of the Qur’an begins by reminding us of God’s mercy.”
What a good reminder. We are all flawed. We all have so much to work on. But how beautiful to have that velvety thought running through our minds, “GOD IS MERCIFUL.” And He, as a loving parent, forgives us all our trespasses and lets us try again and again. And again.
It is a GOOD book. If you read it (or have read it), come tell me your thoughts. I wish I could discuss it every day:)