Quote of the Day & NYTBR 9 March 2008

One of the particular pleasures of reading The Bookseller of Kabul (aside from its readability, which self has previously alluded to) is the fact that it’s full of Afghan sayings and aphorisms. Here’s one:

Tradition says the mother of a suitor must wear out the soles of her shoes until they are as thin as garlic skin.

This is in reference to the fact that the wife of the bookseller of Kabul had to go repeatedly to the family of a girl who her brother-in-law wanted to marry. (In this case, the sister-in-law had assumed the role of the suitor’s mother because the suitor’s mother was somewhere far far away and unable to do these duties herself — apologies for turning this into such a long-winded post!) The girl’s family was being difficult and wanted to foist off another daughter on the ardent suitor, but he remained steadfast in his choice. (This system of trading off female siblings must be very old, for didn’t self witness a variation of such just a few days ago, while watching “The Other Boleyn Girl?” Most priceless line of the movie: when Catherine of Aragon, wronged wife of Henry VIII, passes Anne and Mary Boleyn in a corridor and says, icily, “Ah, the Boleyn whores.” But, I digress)

Without further ado, the list of books self is interested in reading after perusing the NYTBR of 9 March 2008:

(1) After reading Scott Turow’s review of Tony Earley’s new novel, The Blue Star:

    Mitch Albom’s “wildly popular” short novels: The Five People You Met in Heaven and For One More Day

(2) After reading James Parker’s review of Tim Parks’ new novel, Cleaver:

    Tim Parks’ new novel, Cleaver

(3) After reading Thomas Mallon’s review of a collection of novellas by Irene N√©mirovsky, David Golder, The Ball, Snow in Autumn, The Courilof Affair:

Two novella collections by Irene Némirovsky:

    David Golder, The Ball, Snow in Autumn, The Courilof Affair
    Suite Francais, a “a pair of novellas about the early days of the German occupation”

(4) After reading Jan Morris’s review of Henry Shukman’s “hauntingly uneasy” novel, The Lost City:

    Henry Shukman’s The Lost City

(5) After reading Jane and Michael Stern’s review of Jennifer 8. Lee’s The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food:

    Jennifer 8. Lee’s The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food

(6) After reading Jascha Hoffman’s review of Israeli journalist Ron Leshem’s first novel, Beaufort:

    Ron Leshem’s Beaufort

(7) After reading Marilyn Stasio’s “Crime” column:

    Two by Denise Mina: Field of Blood and Slip of the Knife
    A first novel by Will Lavender (Self wishes to take a moment to congratulate this author for having such a great name), Obedience

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