We went to the Portland Central Library downtown today. Its a nice library in a really cool old building. Layla and I had fun browsing around as she knocked books off the shelves.
I let her play in the kids books for awhile and do a puzzle, then we went to mommy's favorite sections, Languages and religion.
They didn't have a lot of Somali books at the downtown branch, but I guess there are more at some of the other neighborhood libraries. They have an awesome religion section though. That is, they actually have scholarly books about Islam and Biblical studies and not just negative propaganda type books. The Islam section was pretty heavy on Sufism books. Makes sense for Portland though. There is a big Sufi organization here, and Buddhism is also pretty big in the area.
Here's what we got:
The book about Ramadan fasting looks really good. It is more scholarly that a lot of the Islamic books I've seen. It has information on the history of fasting, fasts in Christianity, Judaism, and other religions. Effects of fasting on health and its benefits, as well as a lot of information on what things are considered to invalidate one's fast.
I plan on starting it right away even though I still have a lot of reading to keep up on. I'm actually still ahead on the Bible reading, and have already finished my Juz of the Quran for today. I'll probably be making another post tonight on one of the ayat that really stuck out to me.
The other book, "The God of Old," focuses on the narrative accounts in the Bible where people had encounters with God. From what I can tell, he focuses on studying how the ancient Israelites perceived God as we can best discern from the texts and archaeology. The author, James Kugel, has another book called "How to Read The Bible, A Guide to Scripture Then and Now" that I also highly recommend. All of his books focus more upon the ancient period of Biblical history that we know the least about from the texts. This time period extends roughly from the Patriarchs to the time of Solomon.
This is the kind of stuff I do for fun :)