“Two Sisters” By Åsne Seierstad

Hi there!

Åsne Seierstad is a Norwegian author and seierstad20c385sne20c20sturlason1journalist. She is especially known for her work on life in war-territories. She has written a few other books, one becoming a bestseller, depicting life during the war in Kabul. Her most recent book “To Søstre,” meaning ‘Two Sisters’ was published in October 2016 and has already won the Brage-award.

to-sc3b8stre-hoyThe book revolves around two sisters who decided to join ISIS in Syria. The topic is very relevant considering the events of today and gives insight into the world of Norwegian-Somalians. Seierstad has interviewed, researched and pried to get the information needed to produce this book. The parents of the two girls who travelled have bravely told their stories in the hopes that other parents and friends will be able to see the signs of radicalisation, which they did not see until it was too late. The book revolves mostly around the father of the girls, who goes to Syria to find them, but the oldest brother Ismal also plays a central role in telling the story. The girls themselves did not respond to the requests Seierstad sent, but stories from friends, family and teachers gave Seierstad a valid foundation to make assumptions about their lives.

Youth travelling to Syria to join ISIS has stagnated luckily, but a lot of youths have become88766074_88766073radicalised still, which to many is a hard thing to imagine. Seierstad has done her best to tell us how it happened and how different views on religion developed and unfolded in one family. The girls grew up in Norway, one of the most Western countries in the world. The state is widely secularised and inclusion of all religions is what we aim for. I am a white, middle-class full-Norwegian female who grew up in the most Norwegian street you can find. I rarely see this side of my own country, which has taught me a lot about Norway as well as what is happening in Syria.

The story is true, which makes it so much more emotional and incredible. Everyone should read this book. It is terribly important today. Seierstad tells the truth in a captivating yet simple way that fills knowledge gaps I know I have been needing to fill. Seeing what is happening in Aleppo right now it is clear things need to change. Everyone needs to understand what is happening. This book will help you.

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‘Quiet’ by Susan Cain

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop TalkingBilderesultat for quiet susan cain

Author: Susan Cain

Published: 2012 by Crown Publishers

Pages: 337

Goodreads rating: 4.02

 

 

 

Ever found yourself to be the quiet one in the group? Preferred a small clique to a large gang of friends? Liked brainstorming alone before discussing ideas in a group? If this sits right with you then chances are you are an introvert. Susan Cain’s book about the quiet ones has been praised and sold all over the world. I have always been labeled a quiet soul and I wanted to see what this book could tell me about myself.

 

There is no doubt our society praises the ones who are loud, who speak up in class and shout their opinions. In the business world, these people are the ones who are heard, who quickly make their way ahead. One of my main concerns when it came to choosing my degree was that I was too quiet. My teacher in high school expressed some concern too, that I was too quiet to get my ideas ahead. Not because I wasn’t capable or couldn’t provide an answer, but because that is simply the way the world works.

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Cain has written an incredible book about the extrovert ideal that the West has created. She uses statistics, facts, and enthralling case studies to show that people who are introverts are successful people, because of their introversion, their quiet. The book’s main focus largely lies within education, business and the professional setting. It tells the stories of introverts who succeeded in business because they were introverted and of the people who struggled because they were.

 

The angle of this book is unavoidably on the side of the introverts. Cain praises those who are quiet and held back. Introverts are the ones who think harder, deeper, more detailed, take lower risks and listen more to their employees. Introverts should be on top of the world, but because extroverts are louder, they are the ones who make it there, even if they don’t have the best ideas. It is understandable that because introverts are the theme of the book it is their personalities that are exemplified and discussed, not extroverts’. When discussing one of two opposites it is virtually impossible to talk well of one without neglecting or overshadowing the other. Cain knows this and focuses on the introverted side, to which she does well.

 

 

Her book is well researched and reading it fills you with a need to absorb all the knowledge she is sharing. Most of the readers will presumably be introverts, looking for a confirmation that introversion is not an obstacle, as well as a sense of solidarity. Extroverts should read this as well, perhaps more so than introverts should. Understanding those that are different to us is difficult and reading this book will undoubtedly help the loud understand the quiet. One part of the book discusses how to create the best possible environment for an introverted child to thrive. This section is especially important and every parent, teacher, guardian should read it.

 

The reason Cain’s novel is so enjoyable is that it helps you define yourself. Whether you’re an introvert, pseudo-extrovert or extroverted you will most likely use this book to define your persona, whether you feel what Cain says about you is accurate or not. It is comforting to anyone ever labeled an introvert and will increase confidence in their own abilities. That being said, while reading the book it is important to remember that every person is more that a term. No person is completely extroverted in every setting and vice versa. Know that what you do does not need to fit into an introversion/extroversion-scale. Try to focus on developing yourself further, rather than to fit into one of the two booths.

 

What I want now is the equivalent book about extroverts. I really want to hear their side of their story. What are their success stories? How have they gotten to where they are?

What do you think?

-Marte

“The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting. For some, it’s a Broadway spotlight; for others, a lamplit desk. Use your natural powers — of persistence, concentration, and insight — to do work you love and work that matters. Solve problems. make art, think deeply.”
-Susan Cain, Quiet