Books Read Recently

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.
Jorge Luis Borges

All Kinds of Magic - A Quest for Meaning in a Material World, by Piers Ede Moore.  I also loved his first book, Honey and Dust, found after I had finished the first but entirely enjoyable in this wrong order too.

The Places In Between, by Rory Stewart.  Loved it, and it reminded me of a favourite book that I’ve carried with me since forever, William Dalrymple’s, In Xanadu - a Quest.

I love books where people set out walking, across countries.  The first 4 probably make this quite clear so I’ll move away from mentioning Cees Nooteboom and Ryszard Kapuscinski

Mornings in Jenin, by Susan Abulhawa, blew me away and left me exhausted at the end.  Beautifully written.  Actually, it reminded me of another old favourite, I Saw Ramallah by Mourid Barghouti.  Mourid is a poet who wrote his story in the most beautiful prose.  His second book has just come out.  I must find it. 

One of his poems appear on page 100 of my copy of the book.  I have never been able to forget this poem he wrote about his mother:
She wants to go to a planet away from the earth
Where the paths are crowded with people running to their rooms
And where the beds in the morning are chaos
And the pillows wake up crumpled,
Their cotton stuffing dipping in the middle.
She wants washing lines full and much, much rice to cook for lunch
And a large, large kettle boiling on a fire in the afternoon
And the table for everyone in the evening, its tablecloth dripping with sesame of chatter.
She wants the smell of garlic at noon to gather the absent ones
And is surprised that the mother’s stew is weaker than the power of governments and that her pastry in the evening
Dries on a sheet untouched by any hand.
Can the earth contain
The cruelty of a mother making her coffee alone
On a Diaspora morning?
She wants to go to a planet away from the earth
Where all directions lead to the harbour of the bosom,
The gulf of two arms
That receive and know no farewells.
She wants airplanes to come back only.
Airports to be for those returning,
The planes to land and never leave again

I discovered Yasmina Reza’s book, A Year with Nicolas Sarkozy, and enjoyed it immensely.

But enough of books and me.  As I have worked here tonight, Gert has been discovering just how easy Squarespace is to work in ... this as he creates my new website.  It’s all rather exciting, almost as exciting as moving countries.