Books of The Economist and Condé Nast Traveler

Oh, places far and near.  Oh, Pakistan, Japan, and Marrakech.  Oh, how reading these book reviews do instil in self a great and restless longing for foreign climes!

Without further ado, here are the books self is interested in reading after perusing:

The Economist of 21 May 2011

Bloodmoney:  A Novel of Espionage, by David Ignatius (Norton)

Bloodmoney is, among other stories, a study of Pakistan and its secret service, the ISI . . .  Mr. Ignatius is a master of the small details that give spy-novels a ring of truth (his description of the corner of London where The Economist has its office is certainly accurate).  The CIA is as much as petty bureaucracy as a killing machine.  The ISI is still enthralled by the rituals of the British Raj.  But Mr. Ignatius is more of a John Le Carré than a Tom Clancy.  Far from offering a tub-thumping celebration of America’s “war on terror” —  or a tut-tutting condemnation of Pakistan’s duplicity —  he serves up a supper of nuance and self-doubt.

The Economist of 12 June 2011

Lovesick Japan:  Sex, Marriage, Romance, Law by Mark West (Cornell University Press)

According to surveys, there seems to be less sex going on in Japan than in any other big country.  A Health Ministry study in 2006 reported that as many as one-third of all married couples under the age of 50 had sex, or even kissed or held hands, less than once a month.  Indeed, kissing itself was long considered unhygienic.  It was encouraged during the American occupation in the belief that such Western ways might promote democracy and erode the patriarchal household system.

Condé Nast Traveler, October 2010

A Year in Marrakesh, by Peter Mayne:  Documents his pioneering year in the medina in the 1950s.

Lulu in Marrakech, by Diane Johnson:  “part spy novel, part romantic romp . . .  offers a contemporary tour of East-meets-West Marrakech”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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