Stark Truth: Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

I suppose in a large country like India you can see life in as many ways as you can imagine it to unfold. But in the poorest hovels of that huge country the reality is that life unfolds in ways you’ve never imagined. Ways that make you wonder how people can endure them. Ways that coax your admiration for a resilient social class whose existence … Continue reading Stark Truth: Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

The French do it again: An irresistible Story of Sex

How much do you know about sex? Probably less than you think. That’s how I felt, anyway, after reading The Story of Sex, a delightful book on sex. I first came across The Story of Sex in an article in theguardian.com with a long, formidable title: A graphic history of sex: ‘There is no gene that drives sexuality. All sexuality is learned. As if that … Continue reading The French do it again: An irresistible Story of Sex

Lolita

Mature Iranian Women’s Kinship with Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita—Reading Lolita in Tehran

I anticipated a great read with Reading Lolita in Tehran. It tackles two of my main interests—a woman’s journey through life, and her experience living in a culture quite different from that I live in. I strongly empathized with what I saw to be its underlying themes. But after reading pages and pages full of details to support those themes, I thought, okay, I get … Continue reading Mature Iranian Women’s Kinship with Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita—Reading Lolita in Tehran

Duchamp’s Infamous Urinal

I read art books. Not often. Sometimes I just need a break from made-up stories. My interest in artsy pursuits dates from childhood. I got into drawing growing up with three brothers who refused to play with me. Today, I have pretensions to being a painter of sorts. Anyway, I read this book—all 500-some intimidating, fascinating pages of it. It teased me into expecting that, … Continue reading Duchamp’s Infamous Urinal

How To Get To Know “the Other”: Part 2. Listen to their story

How many ways can you get to know a culture different from that in which you grew up? One delectable way described in Part 1 is through cuisines, which I’ve amplified in another post. Marlena DeBlasi takes a different tack in her memoir, That Summer in Sicily. While she does sumptuously describe sights, sounds, smells, tastes, textures in earlier chapters, she seduces you into experiencing … Continue reading How To Get To Know “the Other”: Part 2. Listen to their story

Nancy Singleton-Hachisu’s Japanese Farm Food

Who expects to be entertained reading a cookbook? Hungry, perhaps and eager to try out recipes from it. But, in fact, some cookbooks do more than give you recipes and possibly some background story behind them, so they’re not only informative, they’re entertaining. One such book is Japanese Farm Food. I know little about Japanese farms and indigenous Japanese culture except for what I’ve seen … Continue reading Nancy Singleton-Hachisu’s Japanese Farm Food