Thursday, May 29, 2008

What I'm Reading

The NY Times recently published a review of a book that has the anxiety-provoking title "1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die." I was immediately reminded of my 2nd grade self who upon entering the school library at her new elementary school worried she would soon read every book ever written and have nothing to do for the remaining years of her life. Fast forward 15 years, and my graduate student self is looking over the comprehensive reading list for Ph.D. candidates wondering how few books she managed to tick off the list in the interim.

I've duly bookmarked the 1001 list, even though it has some serious omissions, in my not-so-humble opinion. One in particular is Edward P. Jones "The Known World." It's definitely worth staying alive to read.

I'm currently reading Barack Obama's "Dreams From My Father." His Djakarta days remind me of my kids' Costa Rica sojourn. Those days were wild, somewhat perilous, and certainly instructive about the world that exists beyond our borders. Yesterday, I finished Michael Chabon's quirky novel "The Yiddish Policemen's Union." I hestitate to recommend it because I don't know how much sense it will make to a reader who knows little about Judaism/Jews/the Yiddish language. It takes place in a fictionalized Sitka, Alaska, where European Jews have resettled post-WWII after Palestine falls through. Prior to Chabon's book, I read Alice Pung's "Unpolished Gem," a memoir about a Chinese-Cambodian family's pursuit of the Australian Dream. The book takes place in Footscray, home to my friend Bernadette who's been sending me Aussie titles I'd probably never see here in the U.S.

Notice a trend? It's no surprise I'm drawn to the ex-pat experience.

My brother was here over the weekend and gave me a gift card to Barnes & Noble. So many books, so little time.


Emma said...

What no photo of the "do"

Kunal said...

yes -- where is the glamor shot??