Tag Archives: Asne Seierstad

The Bookseller of Kabul – Review

I finished the Bookseller of Kabul a few minutes ago. I’m not exactly sure how I feel about it. I feel like a spy on the wall of an Afghani home, watching the lives of a single family deteriorating under strict moral codes and ethics. There are extreme levels of sexism and so much ignorance for basic freedoms that so many Americans take for granted. Leila was the person my heart ached for the most, the Cinderella without a Price Charming. Her nephew Mansur was one I came to hate reading about with his arrogant ignorance, and selfishness.

I am eternally grateful for my family for leaving Iran when I was only five years old. I can’t imagine what my life would have been life growing up in a stunted environment where so much is expected, but so little is given. It would have been doubly hard, being Christian, in a Muslim country, as well as a woman.

The men in this book are infuriating, the women deserve pity, but on a whole, its the entire country that suffers. Reading this, seeing Stop-Loss, it makes a person feel very small in this world. It makes all my complaints seem null in void, compared to what could have been, what my life could have been.

Find this book at your local library

All the world’s a stage

I like to sit front row, center to watch all the action. I’m going to see my friend’s performance in Bus Stop today, a play written by William Inge. It was also turned into a movie staring Marilyn Monroe in 1956.

IMDB gives the plot summary as:

Innocent rodeo cowboy Bo falls in love with cafe singer Cherie in Phoenix. She tries to run away to Los Angeles but he finds her and forces her to board the bus to his home in Montana. When the bus stops at Grace’s Diner the passengers learn that the road ahead is blocked. By now everyone knows of the kidnaping, but Bo is determined to have Cherie.

My friend plays a waitress in the diner.

In other news, two books I put on hold at the library are ready to be picked up. I’m about 90% done with my graduation project, so I feel no guilt whatsoever in devoting my free time to reading.

I’m currently reading The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad, and Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte.

Next up are The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield and The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood.

Its interesting with reading the Bookseller of Kabul, in the midst of the fall of the Taliban and the Middle East drama. The book is disturbingly objective, even though its told through stories of one atypical family. The book discusses many things, primarily the history of Afghanistan, the oppression of women, and the life before and after the Taliban. The family being traced is not the typical family because this family is literate and wealthy, unlike the majority of people in that country. Its a good read, well written and very insightful into the Afghani culture.

Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte falls somewhere inbetween the writing styles of her two sisters. She seems to be a good compromise for anyone who thought Emily’s Wuthering Heights was too dramatic and Charlotte’s Jane Eyre was too dull. Agnes Grey comes from a middling to poor family, seeking out governess positions to help support her family. The children she encounters are incredibly spoiled and rude. I’m about halfway through the book, and there has been no mention of any kind of love-story for Agnes. I hope something comes up soon.