May’s reading was pretty simple. (For June 2011, reading see here. These are posted a little out of order for the late spring/early summer months.)
The Listener’s Bible – English Standard Version (audio, narrated by Max McLean)
Since this is the Bible, I don’t know that there is much explanation needed as to what the reading content contains. This was my first time to listen to the entire Bible via audio, and also my first time to go through the entire ESV (having previously read through the KJV and NASB). This audio version is not overdramatized, though it does have light background music playing in the background of some portions. I did not find this to be distracting, though others may. I began listening to this audio at the beginning of the year, but did the majority of my listening primarily in April and May. It was wonderful to listen to the entirety of Scripture within a short time span, and it is something I hope to do again later this year. Max McLean’s reading here follows the English Standard Version text.
I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced (Nujood Ali, Delphine Minoui, translated by Linda Coverdale) (audio, narrated by Meera Simhan)
I became interested this book after reading the June issue of National Geographic Magazine, where I am Nujood was referenced in the article, “Too Young to Wed: The Secred World of Child Brides.” I am Nujood is the story of Nujood’s tragic enslavement as a child-bride and her triumphant victory over a system that has destroyed countless young lives. As a child in Yemen, Nujood’s father agrees to ease his own burdens by selling her to a man in his 30’s. Although it is promised to Nujood’s father that her new husband will not have sexual relations with her until she officially reaches puberty, it is quite the opposite from the very start of her marriage. Nujood continues to be physically, sexually, and emotionally abused by her husband and her in-law’s; she also continues to plead to be taken back to visit her family. Eventually, her husband relents, but Nujood finds no comfort in seeking her family’s aid to help her escape her horrible plight. So, she pursues the only other option she knows of: while on an errand for her mother, she escapes to the court, seeks a judge, and asks for a divorce, becoming the only person in her situation known to do so.
This book is an eye-opener to the way-of-life for many rural Yemeni girls, though many say these customs are being eliminated. Because of Nujood’s courage (and the courage of those who assisted her in court and in gaining an international voice), many other young girls are at least now aware that this is a possibility of escape. It is a short book, but by no means an easy read.
(Note: Both of these books are available as a free download on Audible.com, when you sign up for a free trial. I actually downloaded the Bible as part of my trial at the beginning of the year, but found the Audible membership to be worthwhile enough to continue my membership. The links in this post include my affiliate links.).