Book reviews

Extraordinary Experiences: Tales of Special Needs Abroad: A Tales from a Small Planet Book

By Kathi Silva (Author), Patricia Linderman, Nicole Schaefer-McDaniel, Francesca Kelley, Jen Dinoia (Eds) Reviewed by Dr. George Simons at diversophy.comThis book is a collection of firsthand reports, stories of how particularly challenging situations and conditions in the lives of expatriates and their families have been experienced and dealt with in unfamiliar cultural contexts. Many of those contributing to this volume are “serial expats”, namely those whose organizations or occupations involved them in multiple moves, often a few years here and there.Many of my colleagues and I have been long engaged in offering orientation to departing or arriving expatriates, usually the...

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Di Mauro, Maura and Bettina Gehrke, eds., Feeling Italian

Reviewed by Dr. George Simons at diversophy.com You will no doubt pick up this book, as I did, with unconscious biases and expectations in full frame, telling me what to look for, what to question and where to stack it in my mental library. How can we, I thought, deal with national and ethnic identity in a time where so many other realities determine who we are and how we live, feel and think? How can we possibly label reality with its endless accents, communalities, divergences and deficiencies? The answer is inclusion, and that is precisely what the editors and...

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Robinowitz, Christina Johansson and Lisa Werner Carr, Modern-Day Vikings

Robinowitz, Christina Johansson and Lisa Werner Carr, Modern-Day Vikings: A Practical Guide to Interacting with the Swedes Reviewed by George Simons at diversophy.com The Swedish delight of getting things in the right proportio. Lagom bok. Writing a book is easy. Getting it "just right" is the hard part. Lagom, as the authors of Modern-Day Vikings tell us is the Swedish delight of getting things in the right proportion, including what is fitting and appropriate, no more, no less, and, in this case, writing a bok about one's people without being either overbearing or falsely modest. Not too many of us, I suspect, have learned...

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Somé, Malidoma Patrice, The Healing Wisdom of Africa

Reviewed by George Simons at diversophy.com An experience in its own right The Healing Wisdom of Africa by Malidoma Patrice Somé is very much about ritual and is an initiatory ritual experience in its own right. As I started into it, I was discouraged and beset with the temptation to lay it aside. It felt like a mix of 1980s New Age californication with reminiscences of a Catholic boyhood. Being my stubborn self, however, I dragged it on bus trips to the market and schlepped it to the swimming pool to prelude my afternoon sieste provinçale. Willy-nilly I pushed my way deeper...

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Mann, Richard, Clown On the Streets of Jakarta Paperback – 1997

Reviewed by George Simons at diversophy.com What tourists don't necessarily see... A Clown on the Streets of Jakarta is a collection of stories about Indonesians and about expatriates and tourists whose lives cross theirs. It is not a great book or a professional resource but the kind of good read that enriches and satisfies us while taking us to humanity that is both different from our own and somehow deeply the same. It is worth more than a shelf of tour guides and a day of cultural lectures. Mann provides everyday insights into Indonesian culture by taking us into the hearts and minds of...

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