Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculee Ilibagiza
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have always been quite fascinated by the Rwandan Holocaust and I appreciated that this book was able to share the truth of what a horrific event it was while still inspiring hope and faith. I have read books about the genocide and the history leading up to it, but reading a first hand account of what it was like to be there and manage to survive was very interesting. It is a fast read and Immaculee truly is an amazing woman. That she had the faith to utilize her time to draw closer to the Lord and then use that strengthened relationship to get through such incredible loss and trauma definitely made an impression on me. She was immensely blessed by her faith, her positive outlook and the legacy of kindness and love left by her parents. Whether you know nothing about the Rwandan Holocaust, or are already quite familiar with it, I think you will find the book informative and interesting.
This quote I think sums up why many of these conflicts are never resolved..."I knew that those boys would never see their parents again, and that in all likelihood, all their relatives were dead. I feared that their future would be filled with sadness, abuse, and denied opportunities -the kind of lives where bitterness and hatred easily take root. I saw the circle of hatred and mistrust forming in those innocent eyes..."
The Graves Are Not Yet Full: Race, Tribe, and Power in the Heart of Africa by Bill Berkeley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I bought this book while I was in college and then stuck it on my bookshelf where it has been for years. Before I started reading Left To Tell, I wanted to finally read this one. The book gives a general background on some of the most famous and most tragic conflicts in Africa's more recent history. I thought Bill Berkeley did a good job of squeezing LOTS of the information about the messy histories of the countries he talked about into a short book. Occasionally I would get bored, but mainly when he was talking about countries that I have always tended been less interested (while Liberia, Uganda and Rwanda were great chapters for me). I also thought he did a good job of remaining fairly unbiased about which US leaders were more to blame for their influences in the conflicts. I think it is a great overview of how these awful wars and genocides came to be for those who haven't read much else about Africa, but can get a little boring for those who have.
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