Attending a concert in Amsterdam is always accompanied by buying books at one of the cheap English bookshops, for me. Unfortunately, I don’t really have the money to buy any books at the moment, so when we went to see Nada Surf play yesterday, visiting my usual bookshops was a bit depressing. Oh, there were books enough that I wanted to read [Saraswati Park, for example], but 6 euro a book suddenly seemed a prize I really couldn’t afford. Leaving the shop a bit on the down side, we came across a bookshop that I never enter because I know that their former branch in my home town had books I couldn’t afford for fun even if I had a job. However, their sale was actually amazing: 90% off. And so suddenly books became affordable at 1.50-2 a piece. My boyfriend kindly treated me to 4 books at 8 euro’s:
From left to right:
- The Wish Maker by Ali Sethi: A family saga set in Pakistan. According to the blurb from Khaled Hosseini Sethi “steadfastly resists the usual clichés about both Islam and his native country. Instead, he offers a nuanced, often humorous, and always novel look at life in modern-day Pakistan.” That sounds rather fabulous.
- Colonial Blackness. A History of Afro-Mexico by Herman L. Bennett: This triggered my scholarly interest by its supposedly being a history of persons of African descent in Spanish America that “challenges us to rethink the cultural history of Afro-Mexicans in ways that go beyond deterministic frameworks of enslavement and oppression.” Yes, I do mean what I’m going to say: Yay!
- Islam Observed: Religious Development in Morocco and Indonesia by Clifford Geertz: Another scholarly spark. Geertz is one of those academics who has been named on countless occasions during my time as a religious studies student. Make that all the time. So when I found this famous book, I couldn’t resist. Hey, it was 1.50 and it is about Indonesia.
- The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors by Michele Young-Stone: This is, I think, the first book-hype I witnessed in the book blogosphere. Rebecca stands out as the most fervent fan of this particular book. I thought I would give this one a try, at over a year after the hype, I think I may safely approach this with expectations that are relatively neutral, or at least, more neutral than before..
For those wondering: Nada Surf live was stellar, as always. The band makes me feel so happy, even if their songs are more melancholic and romantic, the atmosphere at their live-performances makes me smile.