Thursday, September 09, 2004

sad but touching

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
I've read a good amount about Iraq under Saddam and wanted to learn about Iran during the same period, going through the revolution and Iran-Iraq war. I bought a dense book by a great journalist, Dilip Hiro, but only got through 50 pages of it. This comic, on the other hand, I read in an afternoon. This true story covers the same period through the eyes of girl growing up in Tehran and is more gripping and memorable than books filled with details of armies' movements and governmental turnovers.

Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
Beware! Only about a third of this book isn't a duplicate of the stories in his other books. But the last story, on neighbors who compete with conspicuous consumption and then with conspicuous altruism, was alone worth the $4.50 I paid for this used, "as is" copy. When I went to see Sedaris read recently, a guy nearby me had an equally beat up copy of the same book, and when Sedaris signed the book, the guy asked him to write something mean inside. Afterward he showed us the note: "To my cheapskate friend. My new book is only $23.95."


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