Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sunday Salon - March 23

The Sunday

Happy Easter!

We don't celebrate Easter, so today was a mainly a day to catch up on chores. Hubby accepted a job offer this week, so we will be moving to New Jersey in June, and hopefully buying our first house! With all of this excitement, I looked around and realized we have a LOT of work to do in the next few months.

Which means that I don't have as much reading time at the moment as I would like. Unless you count the RightStart catalog I browsed through over breakfast! I am slowly making my way through Gate of the Sun, by Elias Khoury, but the verdict is still out on how I feel about it. Khalil is a doctor-yet-not-a-doctor who sits by the bedside telling stories to his mentor, an aging Palestinian freedom fighter who lies in a coma. The narrative jumps wildly around, which is what I am having a hard time getting used to (although I usually love the stream-of-consciousness technique) Khalil's stories are retold, reinvented, and reimagined as the story progresses. Can you love the writing and not like the book? I am very confused by all of the characters and events. Every time we revisit something that has happened in the past, it is told differently, and after a while all the different vignettes start to blur together. 

I am certainly humbled, and a little bit embarrassed. Here I am with a master's degree in International Relations, and I am quickly learning I don't know nearly as much about mid-east politics and history as I thought I did. At the very least, Khoury's book has spurred me to delve a bit further into this conflict, particularly how the Palestinian refugee influx impacted the Lebanese civil war, and Israel's involvement.

Book coveting around the blogisphere:


Literary Feline said...

I am using today to catch up on chores also. Congratulations to your husband on his new job! Wow, June is right around the corner so you really don't have a lot of time.

I recently read a mystery set in Gaza, which was an eye opener for me. Khoury's book is on my TBR shelf. It sounds like a challenging book to read, but hopefully it will come together in the end for you.

Have a great week.

Andi said...

Congratulations to your hubby on the job! I'm certainly envious of your opportunity to buy a first home, but I'll leave you the pre-move packing. lol I've moved cross country twice, and I'm ready to stay where I am!

Happy Sunday Salon to you!

Stephanie said...

What part of Jersey will you guys be looking in? I live in Northern NJ and would be happy to answer any questions you might have. E-mail me at if you'd like to chat!

Myrthe said...

Congrats to your husband! I hope you find a nice house in NJ and I wish you good luck with moving.

Elias Khoury is an author I'd like to read one day, but I'm getting all kinds of signals that he is not an easy writer to get. I guess the moment will come some day that I'll feel up to tackling him.

Table Talk said...

I had the same experience with 'Dreamers of the Day' by Mary Doria Russell. It deals with the Peace Conference in Cairo in 1921 which redrew the map of the Middle East as we know it today and certainly exacerbated the current situation. And yet neither I nor any of my friends knew anything about it.

Eva said...

Congrats on the move! I took a class on Middle Eastern politics my sophomore year of college, and I just found it fascinating. Of course, that was three years ago, so things keep seeping out, lol. My weakest region, as far as knowledge of history and stuff goes, would be Asia-I took classes on all the other regions, but Asia never fit into my schedule. Whoops!

Bookfool said...

Good luck with the move! I'm going to be busy and the reading will probably suffer, in the coming months, also. Sometimes it has to take a back seat, unfortunately!

Lotus Reads said...

Wow, a new baby, new job for hubby, new residence....lots of nice changes for you, congrats! NJ is not that far from Toronto, hope you will visit sometime.