Saturday, September 30, 2006

New book about the Hajj: Stephanie Plum goes to Mecca?

The sacred Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca has been the subject of innumerable religious tracts, travelogues and scholarly tomes but never, prior to the publication of Jane Straitwell's new book, "Mecca and the Hajj: Lessons from the Islamic School of Hard Knocks," has the Hajj been made to sound quite so interesting, frustrating, stressful and, er, FUN.

The author, in describing her experiences while going on Hajj, writes in a style reminiscent of Janet Evanovich's murder mysteries featuring Stephanie Plum -- only without Lula, Morelli and Ranger.

In "Mecca and the Hajj," Straitwell is reverent and respectful of this legendary spiritual journey and yet at the same time manages to drag the reader along with her on her grand tribute to this awe-inspiring pilgrimage to the heart of Islam -- and to also make the journey both fascinating and fun.

I totally recommend this book -- and not just because I'm the author's publicist either. This is a really enjoyable book! I myself have read the book three times already and have every intention of reading it again. Learning about the awesome world of Islam, Mecca and the Hajj has never been so entertaining. To paraphrase Ranger, "Straitwell never fails to disappoint."

PS: I also highly recommend any of Janet Evanovich's mystery-genre series featuring Stephanie Plum. Start with the first book, "One for the Money" and go on from there. The love scenes in these books are a bit too racy for me, but I guarantee you will never find another series that will have you so consistently "Laughing Out Loud"!

Mecca and the Hajj is available on