Monday, July 20, 2009

I am reading The Orientalist, a FANTASTIC book about a Jewish guy from Azerbaijan, that poses as a Arab prince, and lives right under the nose of the Nazi's and other rough folks.

He also writes adventure stories and seems to believe his own invented past.

I am just starting but I can already tell I will love this book, a lot.

I picked it up at Goodwill last week, and glad I sprung for the $3.99!

Prior to picking up this book, I knew NOTHING of the oil boom in this region, or really anything at all, other than the bleak picture painted by my sister in law, who has traveled there extensively for work. The former grandeur has been replaced by Soviet era concrete.

Run, don't walk to the library and pick up a copy so we can talk about it!

I am also reading but, Enough about me, by Jancee Dunn, who writes for Rolling Stone and also was an MTV Veejay. Having spent 1987-1998, mostly tv and pop-culture free, I had no clue who this gal was, but the cover looked entertaining, so I grabbed it at the library.

It is an interesting read, mostly making me wish I had worked harder at "making something of myself" when I was young, as this seemingly modestly talented, totally white-bread, middle of the road, woman stumbled onto a really cool job, with very little effort.
Some people get all the breaks!
I think it is a good summer read, and has some mildly amusing stories about rock stars she has interviewed.

I finished up the man is the white sharkskin suit, and while I liked learning about the Jewish population in Egypt, the family of this story left me really cold.
The father sounded like a selfish asshole, and the mother wilting violet, the kind of person I cannot stand.
I think the book is a good read, only for the historical info, for me there was zero connection with the family, or even the author.

I stopped reading body of lies about halfway through. It is an ok book, might serve you well on a plane, but not a gripping kind of thing. We rented the movie and it was ok, entertaining and nothing more.

We also watched the documentary No end in sight, which makes a very compelling case that the current terrible situation in Iraqi is largely due to inept decisions made by the Bush cabinet & crew.
Not just the war (not just liberals saying how much war sucks, but military dudes saying how badly Rumsfeld & Co. totally and completely screwed up) but all of the insurrection and looting and on, and on ( It isn't as simple as oops, war is really hell, this film makes the case over and over that really colossal bone headed blunders were made by totally unqualified idiots). The movie is very even handed, and never goes all Michael Moore. Lots of feedback from military folks.
It is definitely worth a rental.


  1. i will read the Orientalist! it sounds like my kind of interesting. i read 'princess' by jean sasson and it sounded just like what you would expect from an oppressively patriarchal culture. plenty of book reviewers were obnoxious about it; 'oh, it couldn't be that bad! she is just writing this to depress us all.' sure. just go live like that for a few decades and then get back to me.

  2. Hallie, you will enjoy this one, and may borrow it if you are in town! over the next few weeks. It has a lot of history, but enough adventure to keep the reader hungry for MORE!