What We Are Reading Today: Ibn Saud

Updated 21 September 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: Ibn Saud

  • This book tells the story of how Ibn Saud transformed himself into a revered king and elder statesman
  • This fascinating biography of the founding king of Saudi Arabia is a must-read for anyone interested in the formation of a Kingdom that covers the vast majority of the Arabian Peninsula

Living the harsh traditional life of a desert nomad, and with immense physical courage, Ibn Saud’s often resorted to breathtaking military tactics unlike any employed by empires in the past. 

Thanks to series of astonishing military triumphs over a succession of adversaries who outnumbered his tribal forces, in 1932 he was able to unite the Hejaz and Najd territories into Saudi Arabia.

Written by Michael Darlow and Barbara Bray, this book tells the story of how Ibn Saud transformed himself into a revered king and elder statesman. It describes his building of solid foundational ties with fellow world leaders such as the 32nd US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill. 

As Ibn Saud’s tremendous power and influence over the region increased exponentially, instead of using his might to conquer additional territories, Saud instead promoted peace and stability across his newfound Kingdom, establishing the roots for Saudi Arabia as an invaluable player on the world’s political and economic stage.

This fascinating biography of the founding king of Saudi Arabia is a must-read for anyone interested in the formation of a Kingdom that covers the vast majority of the Arabian Peninsula. The text is illuminated by priceless historical photos and extensive footnotes. 

Critics have praised the authors for steering clear of any bias in their pursuit of historical accuracy.


What We Are Reading Today: Once More We Saw Stars by Jayson Greene

Updated 19 May 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: Once More We Saw Stars by Jayson Greene

A beautiful, devastating eloquent memoir about what is it like to lose a child and continue living, says a review published on goodreads.com.

It is a journey of grief and hope and resilience, and one I will not easily forget. 

An incredibly sad memoir written by a father whose daughter’s life is cut short by a freak accident. Shortly after her second birthday, Greta Greene is struck in the head by a crumbling brick. 

Author Jayson Greene chronicles the aftermath of her death, narrating his stages of grief and quest for some sense of relief from the emotions threatening to overwhelm him.

Because neither Jayson nor his wife are religious people they seek a variety of sources in an attempt to assign some meaning out to their tragic loss. Throughout the book, Greene describes their journey and the legacy Greta’s short life has had on her grieving family.

After all, it is hard to find a more depressing topic than the death of a toddler. But, it really is worth a read. The language is luminous and captivating. The author is gifted at describing the grief and different emotional states experienced by bereaved parents.