Friday Finds -- Apr 23, 2010

Friday, April 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.

14 comments:

Carina said...

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

My finds are here.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com 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.

Emidy said...

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!

Diane said...

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.

christa @ mental foodie said...

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! :)

Jen G. 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!