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Chinese dominance, hearing impaired and the Catholic faith

The New Silk Roads by Peter Ankopan:

  • this book is a follow up to Peter’s 2015 book, The Silk Roads, which was an instant classic
  • the new version updates us on a world that is changing rapidly and dramatically with China at the forefront to support its massive population
  • it reminded me of a similar situation that John Perkins revealed in his book Confessions of an Economic Hitman, where the U.S. used various tactics to maintain world dominance
  • I’ve seen many examples of the influence of China during my travels through Africa and Europe, so it was fun to tie this into Peter’s extensive knowledge on this subject
  • we won’t know how the game of ‘who controls the world’ will play out and whether people like Donald Trump are idiots or geniuses, or if the new China, Russia, Iran alliance will be the center of power
  • I am looking forward to visiting more of the countries that Peter covers in this well-researched book to see firsthand what is going on


Secret Voices by Oliver Sacks:

  • Oliver takes us into the world of deafness, which is not very well known to most people, including myself
  • it is fascinating but sad how deaf people are a minority struggling for respect and recognition while having their own rich, sometimes astonishing culture and unique visual language
  • I have had limited exposure to deaf people in my life, so it was interesting to learn more about what this segment of society experiences
  • it’s hard not to compare the question that we’ve all been asked at some point in time of ‘would you rather be deaf or blind,’ and most people have probably chosen deafness without understanding the full impact of the challenges
  • I learned a lot from this book, but it left me with other questions that I need to dig into to satisfy my curiosity on this subject


Woman of God by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro:

  • the book starts with a huge crowd of people waiting outside of St. Peter’s Square, in Rome, to see who will be announced as the next Pope, and one unlike any other in the Church’s history
  • the story then reverts back to follow the difficult life of Brigid Fitzgerald, who was raised by drug-addicted parents and then embarked on a medical journey through war-torn South Sudan
  • Brigid’s life is filled with tremendous challenges and sorrow, which shape her future religious direction and potentially that of the Catholic church
  • it might be hard for some people to understand the atrocities of this story, but they appear to be based on real-life events
  • I am not a religious person and was not brought up in the Catholic faith, but it did provide me with interesting background on this way of life