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Nancy's Notes - May 15, 2014

In Praise of Hatred by Khaled Khalifa, The Last days of Jesus by Bill O’Reilly, Miss Dimple Disappears by Mignon F. Ballard.

  As you are out walking in the warmer weather, come in and check out a good book. Here are a few titles you might enjoy. The first is a is written by Khaled Khalifa, the well known author of The Kite Runner. She has now written In Praise of Hatred. It begins in 1980s Syria, where a young Muslim girl lives a secluded life behind the veil in the house of her grandparents. Her three aunts Maryam, Safaa, and Marwa raise her with the aid of their devoted blind servant. Soon the walls of the family home are no longer able to protect the girl from the social and political chaos outside. Witnessing the ruling dictatorship’s bloody campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood, she is filled with hatred for the regime and becomes increasingly radical. In the footsteps of her beloved uncle, Bakr, she launches herself into a battle for her religion, her country, and ultimately, for her own future.
    Bill O’Reilly sold many copies of his Killing Jesus. Now he has completed The Last days of Jesus. Reilly is a former history teacher. When interviewed on the today show a few months ago, he hoped that people, no matter their religious beliefs, would read his books for there historical significance. In the later of these titles he talks of a time two thousand years ago when Jesus walked across Galilee. Everywhere he traveled he gained followers. His contemporaries are familiar historical figures: Julius Caesar, Caesar Augustus, Herod the Great, Pontius Pilate. It was an era of oppression, when every man, woman, and child answered to the brutal rule of Rome. In this world, Jesus lived, and in this political and historical context, Jesus died and changed the world forever.
    For those who want a lighter story they may enjoy Miss Dimple Disappears. It is 1942, and most of the men in the town of Elderberry, Georgia, have gone to war. One morning just before Thanksgiving, young schoolmistress Charlie Carr and her fellow teachers are startled to find that the school custodian, Wilson “Christmas” Malone, has neglected to stoke the furnace or empty the wastebaskets. They then find him dead in a broom closet, the apparent victim of a heart attack. But when Miss Dimple Kilpatrick who has taught Elderberry first graders for nearly forty years  disappears the following day, town residents are shaken. Knowing that Miss Dimple would never willingly abandon her students, Charlie and her friend Annie begin sleuthing and uncover danger surprisingly close to home.
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