Tuesday, May 23, 2006

This is my fourth blog for 2006


The library is moved! Congratulations to all of those who worked so very hard in planning, designing, moving and putting everything into place. A rather long and difficult task is almost at the completion.

Around my home books are a part of the decor. Too many books and too little initiative to sort and catalog.
One day this spring a book seemed to appear on one of the bookcases. The reason for the word "appeared" is that I have no recollection of where or why this book came to my household. I paged through it with not much interest and put it aside.

As always there comes a day when I feel there is nothing of interest to read, having exhausted all of the resources that I usually turn to. Oh there are thousands of volumes in the library but I am in a "nothing of interest to me" mood.

Desperation drove me to pick up that mystery volume which had been laying around chastising me and calling to me for months.

Why would anyone in wonderful America care to read "The Bookseller of Kabul," I wondered? The usual blurb on the paperback cover was only slightly interesting: "This mesmerizing portrait of a proud man ...." etc. didn't really make me want to dive into this small volume.

I explored a little more and realized that the author was a young Norweigan woman who is a journalist. Soon I learned that she was in Afghanistan in November, 2001. That was interesting! The author is Asne Seierstad and she lives in Oslo when she is not traveling the world searching for stories. This is a story of the months she spent living in the household of the bookseller she had met on one of her first days in Kabul.

Sultan Khan is a learned man and a very successful business man. He has survived wars and uprisings with a never give up attitude. But it is only when we enter his home with Asne as our guide do we really learn about him and his "ordinary" family. This is an account of daily life in the country that our nation claims to have "liberated."

Read this book and spend your days being thankful that we live in a country which makes terrible mistakes, but is always free enough to recognize them. "The Bookseller of Kabul" is an easy book to read and it will live on in your memory for a long time. I recommend it!

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