Friday, June 24, 2011

Late for Tea at the Deer Palace

Going on to the Middle East in June 2011 - our next book to discuss is set in Iraq - Late for Tea at the Deer Palace by Tamara Chalabi

Here's a book summary:

Tamara Chalabi traces her family history back four generations, through a hundred years of turbulent Iraqi history. Chalabi’s great-grandfather, Abdul Hussein, a Shia Muslim, became the minister of education in an administration largely dominated by Sunnis in the 1920s. His son, Hadi, the author’s grandfather, becomes a successful businessman only to have his life put in jeopardy when he is arrested for treason. Hadi is eventually released, but the family’s close association with the monarchy drives them out of the country in the wake of the 1958 military coup. Hadi’s youngest son, Chalabi’s father, Ahmed, dares to raise a unified opposition to Saddam Hussein in Kurdistan in the 1990s, paving the way for the family’s eventual return home.

A rich, sprawling family saga that reads like a novel, Chalabi’s memoir is essential for anyone seeking a better understanding of Iraq and the turmoil of the last century.

We're meeting at the Ma'velous Cafe near Civic Center on Sunday June 26!

Next Book: Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prision by Piper Kerman

Commit to the end!

This was a wonderful intense story of María de las Nieves, an unconventional woman from the late 19th century whose life weaves in and out with Jose Martí, Man of Poetry and Freedom and a famous Latin American historical figure. Francisco Goldman's writing style is intense, non-linear and descriptive in the most detailed way. 

It was hard to say in which direction the story was heading, but with patience and commitment, everything comes together in the second part of the book. And when you finally read all the way to the end, you start savoring the whole story as a whole and find the common themes and coincidences that happens throughout the book. 

This is the perfect book to discuss with somebody else. It's definitely the literature college type of book, where you can easily make an essay out of. Definitely recommend it, but please commit to it - the best part is reading it completely.