GIFT WRAP AN EXPERIENCE! Give a book this year at the holidays. Books inform, educate, entertain, encourage, and open doors to new ways of thinking, fresh ideas, and an expanded view of the world and its people. It is truly a gift that can continue to give long after the first reading of the last page. All year long, FEAST suggests books you might enjoy, share, pass along; books you might otherwise miss. This time of year we like to bring you the BEST of FEAST to consider for your gift list. Here, in our five categories, are some of this year’s favorite features!
Wishing you happy holidays and a new year filled with good reads! Watch for a new and exciting format in our next full issue—
Rosemary Carstens, Editor
Saldaña truly seeks to understand how Islam and Christianity intersect and the source of faith; she questions the purpose of her own life and religious beliefs’ place in it. As her friend Frédéric expresses it, “I think that the thirst for something greater than us is human, not Christian . . . I searched for the meaning of my life for many years, but eventually I always hit a wall. But then I felt something on the other side of that wall . . . I guess I call that space God.”
One of the most interesting aspects of this book is its discussion about language. To some, Arabic is the language of romance and poetry, to others it evokes fear of violence. Although I’ve never heard English described as a romantic or poetic language, for some in the world it certainly does evoke fear of violence and domination. In this volume, Saldaña struggles to not only learn the words and grammar of Arabic, but also the nuance, the emotional content. I particularly enjoyed her description of translation: “. . . there is a certain tragedy in translation: the sense of diluting what was once a powerful drink, of tearing a small plant from its roots and trying to place it in a soil and climate where it does not belong.”
In many ways, The Bread of Angels is about words, about stories. As Saldaña says, “We each meet the text— and who we are and the text together create a unique event. We change for it and it changes for us, the act of reading becoming an essential way of transforming ourselves. We can only bring to the text what is inside ourselves—even if the story is a story of death, if we contain life, we will find life.”