My favorite reading exercise is to read two books in a row that counter each other. It is a refreshing way to draw one’s own conclusions.
This fall, I read two books on Mother Teresa. The first, titled The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice, by Christopher Hitchens, shared Hitchens view in his self-appointed role as Devil’s Advocate for Mother Teresa’s canonization as a Saint by the Catholic Church. The author points out inconsistencies that he believes relegate her to human vs. immortal status. The next book, Mother Teresa: The Light is Still Burning, by Jasmina Moroski, was a book I picked up in Skopje, Macedonia, the home of Mother Teresa. The book catalogues her journey to the streets of Calcutta and her impact worldwide to help the poor, destitute and dying members of our human race.
My verdict is clear. Yes, Mother Teresa was human like all of us and not perfect (who is?), but she is as close to a Saint as anyone I have ever read about. She has also built a legacy of care that is lasting. What an amazing person.
The next two books focused on insider views of a company, Theranos, and the U.S. Government. The first, Bad Blood by John Carryou, provides a very revealing and engrossing depiction of how Theranos duped investors, partners and even its own employees on how it was building its infamous blood testing equipment. It is hard to believe no one saw this earlier. Fear, written by Bob Woodward, is another great book by the leading author in providing us a glimpse into history as it is being made.
After these four books, I needed a break, so I read A Country Doctor: Short Stories from Franz Kafka and A Horse Walks into a Bar by David Grossman. Kafka is one of the more intriguing writers that I have come across. He has a style of writing that leaves room for interpretation, similar to viewing a great piece of art. You read his short stories and stop and think of their meaning. And you continue to think after you’re done. A very gifted writer. David Grossman, who won the 2017 Man Booker International prize for this book, wrote a book that depicts one evening in the life of a mediocre comedian’s life. It is an odd story of a struggling artist, yet I found myself trying to read the book as quickly as I could. Wonderful writing, which is always the hallmark of Man Booker award winners.
Always fun to share. Let me know of books you are reading that you enjoy.