Tag Archives: books

Excellent article on Iran (and some incidentals).

I cannot recommend this article highly enough.  Just the thought of our soldiers having to go into Iran the way they went into Iraq (except Iran is larger and more powerful) has been making me feel sick for a long time, and this article (written by a real Persian who has served as translator to several Iranian presidents) strikes me as a solid, thorough survey of the issue that is completely opposed to war.  Also a nice, oblique “thumbs up” to Obama’s willingness to engage in talks with these regimes, which I had a hunch was a good idea but this guy really gives some geo-political reasons and precedents for why it would be a good idea.  And perhaps best of all, a full deflation of the idea that anything besides the current Republican battle frenzy is “appeasement” (again, I knew this was ridiculous but Majd puts it well and concisely).

In other news, I was back to the Deli again after a bizarre four-day weekend.  I was actually impressed with the new manager, and being impressed with the Deli is not a common occurrence for me, I assure you.  I mean, my first manager was fairly effective but barely literate, writing down anguished commands like “FLUFF CHESE’S,” “ONLY PS MEATS GOSE IN HERE,” or “DOT CHUBS DAILY DOT DOT DOT.”  She had a photograph of Duane “The Rock” Johnson thumbtacked to the bulletin board in the back room with a note reading THIS PICTURE WAS GIVING TO ME.  DO NOT TAKE DOWN.  I’ve wondered, from time to time, exactly what it had been giving to her, and when and why it stopped.  The second manager, a sweet and personable lady, was probably a humanities major at some time, judging by her utter lack of administrative skills.  I feel her pain.  She’s managing a Starbucks somewhere now, which is good, because she used to spend a lot of time drawing the Starbucks chalk advertisement signs (quite aesthetically, I must say) when she was supposed to be, I guess, ordering chicken (we were always out).

But now, under the current regime, we seem to be enjoying a Pax Meyera the likes of which I’ve never known before.  Things are stocked up.  Broken things are sometimes replaced.  Our manager wants us to work out our duties among ourselves at night instead of relying on the confusing, often hidden, often illiterate, “tour sheet” (no more “YOU!  Why didn’t YOU chisel the blood off this drain flume?  It was ON the TOUR SHEET!” business).

And and and.  Salman Rushdie’s new novel, The Enchantress of Florence, is magnificent so far.  I bet the luminous Padma Lakshmi would have stayed with him if she had read this book (probably a lie: no doubt the man is a total pain to live with, and probably the research he did on this book made it even more so  And she’s like six inches taller than him.  Poor guy).  Anyway, let’s just say that my tendency toward hero-worship is welling up once again, and the absence I’ve felt from him since Senior Novel days has only, as the adage says, made the literary heart grow fonder.  Go buy it.  Now.


Summer Reading Challenge

My mom is masterminding a Challenge for those of us bookishly inclined.  We are to deploy this image

of a saguaro forest, and then the books we hope to dispatch this summer.  Since I am only home for a month and a half this summer and then must return to Waco and drink up the metaphysical poets every single day, I’m keeping mine rather modest.  Here goes:

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (Dave Eggers)

Beyond Good and Evil (Friedrich Nietzsche)

Fear and Trembling (Soren Kierkegaard)

An Anthropologist on Mars (Oliver Sacks)

The Enchantress of Florence (Salman Rushdie)

If I finish these in a timely fashion, then you’ll see more mysteriously appear out of the aether.