Blog Tour Stop – Looking West by Albert Nasib Badre

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“The plane descended, and I could see the city’s hilly landscape meandering down to the blue Mediterranean . . . Would Beirut be the same today, in 1974, as it was when I left in 1960? Had I accomplished what I youthfully boasted I would all those years ago? As I watched Beirut approach, my mind traveled back to 1960, to the day my life changed forever.”

Synopsis

In 1960, the Badre family emigrates from Beirut, Lebanon to the United States, a dream come true for fourteen-year-old Nasib.

Nasib struggles to assimilate as a teen in Albany, New York. With limited English skills, he attempts to learn new customs, make friends, and adapt to a different culture. In Beirut, the Badre family was well-known and socially privileged. In America, they are unknown bodies. Nasib adopts his father’s name “Albert,” and to further Americanize his name, young Albert becomes “Al.”

Despite the many frustrations and difficulties, Al’s ultimate goal is to become a successful American. The new anonymity actually inspires the young man. Excited by the opportunities available to him in his new country, he determines to make a potent contribution to society.

As he strives to adapt, Al reads voraciously, becoming increasingly interested in religion and philosophy. Books become his “American friends,” and reading soon prompts him to ask deep theological questions about his family’s Lebanese Protestant roots, his mother’s conversion to Catholicism, and the contrast between the Protestant and Catholic faiths. This ultimately leads to his Catholic conversion.

Al’s search for meaning in life leads him to social activism among New York City’s poorest. And, in time, to graduate studies, where his desire is to improve the human condition through information technology.

Al Badre – like many other American immigrants – works his way through hardship to achieve a meaningful place in his adopted nation.

I have always loved a book that is about someone’s life. I find it motivating, and understand a situation from someone else’s point of view. That is why I did not hesitate on signing up for this blog tour about this wonderful man.

Looking West is a mind-blowing book that swallows you in starting at the first page. Al has a heart of gold, and put others first in his education. He wanted to learn how to make society better for those who need it most.

I rate this wonderful book 5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ for the truthfulness and the wonderful way it was written. Great job Al!

You can follow Albert on the following sites:

Website

Goodreads

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Book Review: Calendar Girl by Tricia Stewart

I have been shoulder deep in books that I just cannot put down, and of course, I add more to my collection (my husband contributes as well when he is traveling and he sees a bookstore).

This post is about a very heartwarming and hilarious story called Calendar Girl.

Tidymanagement.com

Synopsis

It was a crazy idea and good for a laugh at the time. When Tricia Stewart proposed a more risqué treatment of her local Women’s Institute’s annual calendar, which normally featured pretty scenes from nature, laughing alongside her was John Baker, the husband of the soon-to-be Miss February, Angela. When John passed away from cancer, the Ladies of Rylstone decided that posing nude for the calendar and donating the proceeds was one way to honor his memory and cope with this devastating loss.

No one could have predicted what happened next. The calendar began to sell, and soon the whole world, it seemed, was interested in their story, with an American tour following and appearances on the Today show, 20/20, CNN, and the Tonight Show. Calendar Girls explores the phenomenon that The Ladies of Rylstone became, recounting with warmth and humor the moments of an exhilarating journey that transformed the lives of the remarkable women who became international sensations.

I LOVED the book and the movie. Well, anything with Helen Mirren is amazing, and she is beautiful, smart, and witty. I have always wanted to read the book, and of course, watch the movie. So when I was able to find these gems at the used book store and the used DVD stores, I grabbed them up. I was on a mission.

If you love a laugh, and a cry, please, read and watch the story. It is heartwarming, and beautifully done. The book has the original pictures used in the calendar, the movie has a bonus feature where the actual women (and the men who helped) talked about the story and their thoughts on the story and how they felt when they were all nude in the pictures. Go pick them both up now!