Book Group reviews ‘Infidel’ – selects reading list for 2015

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Members of the Pattaya Ladies Book Group met for their monthly book discussion on October 28, this time Angela Poustie kindly hosting the meeting at her residence. 

The book under discussion this month was “Infidel”, written by one of today’s most admired and controversial political figures, Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

The book tells of the author’s upbringing in a strict Muslim family in Somalia, and how she survived civil war, female mutilation, brutal beatings and strict beliefs in Muslim Brotherhood; of her escape from forced marriage and attempts to seek asylum in the Netherlands where she eventually attained a college degree in political science before going on to become a Member of the Dutch Parliament and fighting for the rights of Muslim women worldwide.

Ladies Book Group members pose for a photo at their monthly meeting on Oct. 28.Ladies Book Group members pose for a photo at their monthly meeting on Oct. 28.

The book received a high 9.21 out of ten from the Book Group members, with some personal reviews:

“Fascinating life story made me appreciate where I was born and all the freedoms I have.” – Pam Lovell.

“I think that through this book and Ayaan’s voice, we now are able to see Islam under a different light.  It is the first time that I found myself ‘face to face ‘ with an account of a well educated Muslim teenage woman’s life in such a direct, simple, crude and so realistic way.” –  Silvia Muda.

“The book showed how, with determination and strength, an uneducated Somali Muslim woman, overcame a dreadful childhood, got educated, and saw the deep flaws and cruelties towards women in some Muslim societies.  It is a book of empowerment for women everywhere.” – Anne Winfield

After the discussion, pot luck lunch was enjoyed and two thousand baht was raised from the members which will go to the scholarship fund for the underprivileged.

On the same day, a complete set of 11 books were voted for year the 2015 reading list.  These include (in order): Bel Canto – Ann Patchett, Same Kind of Different as Me – Ron Hall and Denver Moore, The Garden of Evening Mists – Tan Twan, The Women of the Island – Ho Anh Thai, Mountains Beyond Mountains – Tracy Kidder, Saturday – Ian McEwan, The Book Thief – Markus Zusak, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Maddon, Mango Rains – Daniel M Dorothy, Letters from Thailand – Botan – translated by Susan Fulop Morell, A Journey in Ladakh – Andrew Harvey.