- Mount Ararat (of Noah's Ark fame) is the highest mountain in the Middle East.
- Flood stories are found in 217 cultures, the vast majority of which talk about a global flood.
- The Dead Sea is six times saltier than the ocean. The area around it has a really thick atmosphere which keeps UV rays from reaching the ground.
- The Nile River is 4,180 miles long, one-sixth of the earth's circumference. It's longer than the Tigris, the Euphrates, and the Colorado combined.
- Cairo, Egypt has more vehicles than the Nile River has fish. It has been the biggest city in Africa for nearly a millennium.
- The largest of the Great Pyramids covers the same amount of space as seven blocks in midtown Manhattan.
- The average rainfall in the Sinai Peninsula is an inch and a half.
- Camels can go for two weeks without water in the summer and two months in the winter. The water is stored in their cells and tissue, not their humps, and they increase their body temperature so that they don't need extra water to cool themselves down.
- The per capita consumption of water in Jordan is 200 cubic meters a year. The United States' is 110,000 cubic meters.
Premise of the book: Feiler explores the setting of the Bible, specifically the first five books of Moses (the Pentateuch - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). This takes him from Israel to Egypt to Jordan and many places in between. Along the way, he talks to many experts in Scripture and archaeology to get their views on the historical accuracy of the Bible and its place in the world today.
Random Facts Learned By Reading This Book:
General thoughts on the book: This book is really well done. Anytime you have a religious topic, the potential for offense is present. Feiler treats the Bible and everyone's opinions on it with respect. He does tend to believe the archaeologists over the Bible when it comes to the minutiae (which I disagree with), but overall, he does a great job of balancing the two sides. As someone who has always wanted to visit the Holy Land but probably won't get a chance to (at least not for a long time), I found this book provided a fascinating picture of that part of the world.
Welcome to the fourth year of the Newbery Reading Challenge! Newbery and Caldecott books are fun to read - whether it's our first time experiencing them, or we're revisiting them from our childhood. If you want to challenge yourself to read more Newbery and Caldecott books this year, then you have found the right place!
Here are the rules:
Each book you read is worth points. You get:
In addition to that, you pick a level to aim for:
You can get to this level with any combination of points you want. You can read all Newbery Medal winners. You can throw in a few Honor Books. If you want, you can even read 75 Caldecott Medal winners! How you get to your point level is totally up to you.
Also, anywhere in the point range for your level counts as completing that level. So for example, if you signed up for the Avi level and read 46 points' worth of books, then you have completed that level!
To join the Newbery Reading Challenge:
Sign Up for the Newbery Reading Challenge 2017
This weekly chance to add to your reading list is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.
Yesterday was our Christmas concert for our church and school. I sing in the church choir and direct the adult handbells, so it's a pretty busy day for me. It's so much fun, though. And it's the perfect start to the Christmas season!
My Recent Posts
2016 Newbery Reading Challenge - Post your wrap-ups here!
Circumreading the World: Istanbul - Memories and the City
What I Read Last Week
Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures by Jackson Pearce & Maggie Stiefvater (This book is awesome. You should read it.)
What I'm Reading Now
Walking the Bible: A Journey By Land through the Five Books of Moses by Bruce Feiler (This book is absolutely fascinating.)
The Iliad by Homer (Almost 75% complete!!)
What's Coming Up Next
Drinking Arak Off the Ayatollah's Beard by Nicholar Jubber (Continuing my trek around the world!)
Premise of the book: Orhan Pamuk has lived in Istanbul his whole life. In fact, he is now living in the family apartment building that he grew up in. In this book, he attempts to give the reader a picture of what life was like in Istanbul in the second half of the twentieth century, as well as how it is today.
Random Facts Learned By Reading This Book:
General thoughts on the book: The writing in this book was exquisite. There are also tons of pictures scattered throughout the book that really enhance the reading experience. It's really more of a memoir than a travel narrative, so there weren't many facts I could pull out for the above list. But it puts you in the city and surrounds you with the atmosphere of Istanbul from the eyes of one of its sons.
My name is Julie, and I own a lot of books. As in, they are stacked on the floor because I've run out of room on the shelves. And those shelves? There are so many books on them that they smile -- not sag; smile. This blog will cover book reviews and all manner of other bookish things.
You can contact me at email@example.com.