Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Holiday Gift Buying Guide, Part I

This year, we're trying something new for the holidays. I (Jake) have created a Holiday Buying Guide based on sales and personal recommendations. The Guide is a one-page handout that lists bestselling books on the left and similar, sometimes less well-known, books on the right. There will also be a full display at the store with all of the books grouped together. I'm posting an incomplete list here, in pieces, in the hopes that people will not read my recommendations and take their business to Amazon. : ( So here is the first category:

Middle Eastern Literary Fiction/Non-Fiction

If you liked:

Then you'll love:

The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani

Both a sweeping love story and a luminous portrait of a city, THE BLOOD OF FLOWERS is the mesmerizing historical novel of an ill-fated young woman whose gift as a rug designer transforms her life. Illuminated with glorious detail of persian rug-making, and brilliantly bringing to life the sights sounds and life of 17th-century Isfahan, THE BLOOD OF FLOWERS has captured readers' imaginations everywhere as a timeless tale of one woman's struggle to live a life of her choosing.

The Perfect Man by Naeem Murr

Identity, friendship, and a long-hidden crime lie at the heart of Naeem Murr’s captivating novel about five friends growing up in a small 1950s Missouri river town. A contender for the Man Booker Prize, this exhilarating story beautifully evokes the extreme joys, as well as the dark and shameful desires, of childhood. Born to an Indian mother who was sold to his English father for £20, Raj is abandoned by his relatives into the reluctant care of Ruth, an American romance writer living in Pisgah, Missouri. While his skin color unsettles most of the townsfolk, who are used to seeing things in black and white, the quick-witted Raj soon finds his place among a group of children his own age. As the chilling secrets of Pisgah’s residents surface, the madness that erupts will cost Raj his closest friend even as it offers him the life he always dreamed of.

The Girl From Foreign: A Search for Shipwrecked Ancestors, Forgotten Histories, and A Sense of Home by Sadia Shepard

Sadia Shepard grew up in a joyful, chaotic home just outside of Boston, where cultures intertwined, her father a white Protestant from Colorado and her mother a Muslim from Pakistan. Her childhood was spent in a house full of stories and storytellers, where the customs and religions of both of her parents were celebrated and cherished with equal enthusiasm. But Sadia’s cultural legacy grew more complex when she discovered that there was one story she had never been told. Her beloved maternal grandmother was not a Muslim like the rest of her Pakistani family, but in fact had begun her life as Rachel Jacobs, a descendant of the Bene Israel, a tiny Jewish community whose members believe that they are one of the lost tribes of Israel, shipwrecked in India two thousand years ago. This new knowledge complicated Sadia's cultural inheritance even further, intimately linking her to the faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and to the customs of India, the United States, and Pakistan.

The display will be up by Monday (November 10th) and you can pick up a copy of the guide after that.

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