Thursday, November 20, 2008

Miles from Nowhere by Nami Mun


Miles from Nowhere is one of the most startling and brutally honest books I’ve read in a long time. Author Nami Mun skillfully takes her readers deep into the heart of New York City’s world of young runaways. Using and episodic approach through the eyes of a young Korean teenager named Joon, she brings us face to face with some of Joon’s darkest days.

In so many ways this book was very heartbreaking as Joon moves through the episodes unloved, unwanted, and alone. At times she is surrounded with junkies, thieves, prostitutes, and sexual predators. Through most of the book Joon is using drugs and living day to day in shelters, motels, abandoned buildings, and on the street.

As horrific as all of this sounds, Nami Mun has almost poetically written these stories in such a beautiful way that I found it very easy to relate to her character Joon. She tells just enough for you to feel the pain and the episodes bounce off of each other so well it’s not hard to fill in the blanks.

I don’t want to let on too much about the book because the book because there is beauty and hope to be found in this book, but only Nami Mun can tell this story well.

My only two criticisms are that I would have liked to have seen each chapter dated to give the reader a better idea of how much time has elapsed between each chapter and how much Joon might have matured. There are hints, but I would have still preferred a stated date at the beginning of the chapter. I also wish the book was longer. This book is a short, easy read, and the pages flew by quickly in anticipation of a better life for Joon.

Reflections of God's Holy Land


Reflections of God's Holy Land

A Personal Journey Through Israel

by Eva Marie Everson and Miriam Feinberg Vamosh

"A journey through Israel North to South, Sea to Sea, from the heart"

Reflections of God's Holy Land is a wonderful journey through the historical landscape of Israel through the eyes of a Christian woman, Eva Marie Everson, and through the eyes of a Jewish woman, Miriam Feinberg.

Each location is introduced in a comprehensive way providing scriptural passages and photographs, followed by Miriam explaining the biblical importance of the location. Eva Marie then journals her feelings, impressions, physical sensations, and experiences. Accompanying each location are multiple photographs in varying size. Unlike most tour and travel books, the photographs found within are striking in their simplicity and unique perspective. For example, a photograph might focus on a rock or a stream or even a shaft of wheat which transports the reader to see the fine details that surrounded our Christian and Jewish ancestors.

At the beginning of the book is a map which I found extremely useful as I journeyed with Eva Marie and Miriam throughout Israel, from the southernmost point to the northernmost point, and to the Mediterranean Sea and to the Dead Sea.

For those that have been to Israel to those that long to go, this is a wonderfully detailed gift-quality hardcover book measuring 10.5” tall by 9.25” wide. The book has a very personal feel to it, unlike so many tourism books that promote goods, services, sightseeing, and lodging.