Skip to main content

Featured Post

Waltzing in the Music City | Weekly Snapshot

If you're in the US, do you have Monday off from work or school, to observe President's Day? All of us at our home do, which is lucky because this isn't a day that every company or institution observes with a day off. Even though it's not been too long since the Christmas and New Year holiday season, I'd been pining for a vacation for a while - something either low-key or relaxing that even the kids will enjoy.


Currently This post is coming to you from the Music City - Nashville - where we are spending the long weekend. We are technically here only for two days and will leave early on Monday so that we are home in time to pick our dog from boarding. Although I don't personally care much for the music scene other than to listen to what's popular on the radio, I had been hoping to stop by Nashville someday and check it out.

We are staying at the Gaylord Opryland Resort, which is a sight in itself, with its acres and acres of gardens and walkways. It's def…

Friday Finds -- Apr 23, 2010

Friday Finds Hosted by MizB at Should be reading, this meme asks you what great books did you hear about/discover this past week?

I had one of the slowest weeks possible. Just when I thought my days were getting better, boom! more work lands on my plate.

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

I had been hearing of David Sedaris' works for quite some time now. I wasn't sure if they will work for me. But this time, I saw this one book on Oprah's website whose cover looked so entertaining I decided to add it to my list. Anyone read Sedaris?

Sedaris' fourth book mines poignant comedy from his peculiar childhood in North Carolina, his bizarre career path, and his move with his lover to France. Though his anarchic inclination to digress is his glory, Sedaris does have a theme in these reminiscences: the inability of humans to communicate. The title is his rendition in transliterated English of how he and his fellow students of French in Paris mangle the Gallic language. Every glimpse we get of Sedaris' family and acquaintances delivers laughs and insights. He thwarts his North Carolina speech therapist ("for whom the word pen had two syllables") by cleverly avoiding all words with s sounds, which reveal the lisp she sought to correct. His midget guitar teacher, Mister Mancini, is unaware that Sedaris doesn't share his obsession with breasts, and sings "Light My Fire" all wrong--"as if he were a Webelo scout demanding a match." As a remarkably unqualified teacher at the Art Institute of Chicago, Sedaris had his class watch soap operas and assign "guessays" on what would happen in the next day's episode.

 
Sweet Dates in Basra by Jessica Jiji

Isn't that cover intriguing? I came across this book through Aarti's review. I found the theme of this book interesting enough to add it.

Just when her family should be arranging her marriage, Kathmiya Mahmoud, a young Marsh Arab maiden, is sent from her home in Iraq's idyllic countryside to the unfamiliar city of Basra, where she must survive on her paltry earnings as a servant. Her only asset—her exquisite beauty—brings more peril than peace. Worse, her mother appears to be keeping a secret about her own mysterious past, one that could threaten Kathmiya's destiny forever. In this lost Iraq of the 1940s, a time of rich traditions and converging worlds, Kathmiya meets Shafiq, a Jewish boy whose brotherhood with his Muslim neighbor Omar proves that religion is no barrier to friendship. But in a world where loss of honor is punishable by death, the closeness that grows between Kathmiya and Shafiq becomes dangerous as a doomed love takes root. When British warplanes begin bombing Iraq and the country's long-simmering tensions explode, the power of an unbreakable boyhood bond and a transcendent love must overcome the deepening fractures of a collapsing society.



Although I am no expert in the kitchen, I love reading books that deal with food. Here's one from a food critic which I came across in Oprah's website.

Garlic and Sapphires is Ruth Reichl's account of her experience undercover in her position as food critic for The New York Times. She throws back the curtain on the sumptuously appointed stages of the epicurean world to reveal the comic absurdity, artifice and excellence there, giving us (along with some of her favorite recipes and reviews) her remarkable reflections on role playing and identity.

Comments

Carina said…
I'm also looking forward to Sweet Dates in Basra!

My finds are here.
Tales of Whimsy said…
Oooo I like the sound of the last one. Food critic is on my list of dream jobs:
1. Eat and tell my opinion for a living
2. Travel and tell my opinion for a living
:)
bermudaonion said…
I've listened to several of Sedaris's books and I think that's the way to go with them. They are just hilarious when he reads them.
Alayne said…
These are all great finds! Mine is at The Crowded Leaf.
Great finds this week! I love the sound of the second one, and the cover is so pretty.
Cat said…
I saw Sweet Dates at Aarti's too - that cover just seems to invite one to read it.

Great finds!
David Sedaris is very funny. My favorite by him was an audio books called: Dress Your Family in Corduroy...hysterical.
Alyce said…
I've only tried to read one David Sedaris book and feel like the odd one out because I couldn't get into it. Maybe I'll try one of his other books (like the one you listed here) on audio just to give him another try.
Bibliobabe said…
I really like David Sedaris. I agree with Kathy - it's great to listen to him. He has a voice you have to get used to - but since they are his stories, they are soooo funny when he reads them.

He can be a bit rich - I think that's the word - and definitely not for everyone.
I read Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl last year and really enjoyed it! It was a pretty fast read. I wish she'd have included pictures of her disguise and the food!
Ash said…
I have never read Sedaris (ahhh I'm finally admitting it) even though I have that exact book on my shelves. Perhaps we'll both have to give it a try!
Eva said…
My mom really enjoyed Garlic and Sapphires! :)
Introverted Jen said…
I just went to see David Sedaris about a week ago, and he was hilarious! I haven't read anything by him, but I just ordered Me Talk Pretty One Day from Better World Books. My husband's not a huge reader, but he's the one who was telling me to order it!
J.G. said…
Me Talk Pretty One Day has the best description of the experience of learning a foreign language ever. It is laugh-til-the-tears-come, don't-read-it-in-a-bookstore-because-they-will-throw-a-net-over-you funny. Something to look forward to!

Popular posts from this blog

Hell-Heaven by Jhumpa Lahiri (Short Fiction Review)

I first read Jhumpa Lahiri years ago, when her Interpreter of Maladies was making a huge buzz. At the time, I didn't catch any of the buzz, but for some reason, when I saw the book on the shelf at the store I was browsing in, I felt it just might be a decent read. Funnily, I read the entire short story collection without complaining about it, but for some reason, I cannot read any collection anymore without agonizing over its disjoint nature.

I did enjoy Interpreter of Maladies, but I did get bothered by the thread of loneliness and infidelity and distrust that laced through the stories. For that reason, I have been reluctant to read Unaccustomed Earth. However, when I came across Hell-Heaven at the NewYorker - a free short story from her book, I decided to go ahead and read it. I can't resist the pull of stories set in India or featuring Indian characters, and it is that same aspect that hooked me throughout this story.


In Hell-Heaven, the narrator contemplates the relations…

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Maybe that’s what religion is, hurling yourself off a cliff and trusting that something bigger will take care of you and carry you to the right place.
Bernadette Fox has a reputation. While her husband and her daughter Bee love her, there's barely anyone else who share the sentiment. Her neighbor Audrey loves to gossip mean things about her with her close friend, Soo-Lin. The other parents of kids at Bee's school look down on Bernadette because she doesn't involve herself in school affairs. Bernadette herself goes out of her way to avoid company.

And then one day, Bee comes home with an excellent report card and asks for her reward - a family trip to Antarctica. The very plan throws Bernadette into a panic but she has no other option. She hires a virtual assistant, based out of India to take care of all her demands, including getting prescriptions at her local pharmacy, doing her online shopping and taking care of some of the logistics of her trip. (It is ridiculous! Bern…

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson (Short Fiction review)

With the Hunger Games hype that engulfed us last week, it was hard to avoid all the discussion of similar works that existed. Of the many titles that I came across, two stood out particularly - a short story called The Lottery and a Japanese novel (and movie) called Battle Royale (which I'm reading right now and just cannot put down). The novel will be fodder for another post, so for now, I just want to rave about the awesomeness that was The Lottery.

In contemporary America, villagers across the country are gathering on the 27th of June (and some a day earlier) for an annual event called the Lottery. Children, women, men, all come to the main square of their village or town, where the lottery master keeps a black box full of paper chips. One of these chips is marked has a special mark on it to identify the winner (the person who draws that chip). Not everyone draws however, but only the head of the family. Husbands are viewed as the head of their families/households, and if the …