I read about 2-3 books a week and live at the library despite my busy schedule. I mostly only have time to read in the evenings before bed and have recently uncovered a gem that I look forward to reading every night.

My new book theme is books that concern Asian and Middle East cultures, particularly the women in those cultures. Many books in the last decade have been written about the culture of Afghanistan, I country I did not know anything about before September of 2001.

Kabul Beauty School recounts the true story of an American hairdresser that leaves her Michigan home to teach at a beauty school in the heart of Kabul post 9-11. I have only read about 100 pages of the book so far, but Deb the hairdresser’s story has interrupted my sleep patterns already. Particularly her descriptions of the Afghan wedding practices and differences in the ideas of what is “beautiful” in any culture

Check out Kabul Beauty School, published in 2007 at your local library. Happy reading!


Here is my attempt at a book review of one of the most magical books I have come across lately and I hope it does not disappoint. To know me, you must know that I love to read and the summertime always affords me that luxury. I read books that make me open my mind and soul to new places and stories that I would not otherwise experience in my life.

I picked upĀ Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert one day while visiting my aunt, who had bought the book but not read it as of yet. I began to read and immediately identified with the author on her search to find meaning in her own life by travelling across the globe.

This book is the memoir of the freelance writer Elizabeth Gilbert, a thirty something New York City woman who has just recent been divorced and broken up with her boyfriend. She travels to three countries, Italy, India and Indonesia to find out what is missing in her life.

I identified with Liz as a writer and a traveller, but more specifically because I also lived in Rome, Italy for four months and could identify with the kinds of people and places that she experienced. In Italy, Liz wants to find pleasure specifically in the art of eating Italian food. Then she moves on to India, where she lives in an Ashram (a type of meditation retreat temple) where she learns how to pray. Finally she travels to Indonesia, to the island country of Bali to learn balance in her life. Her book is divided into the three countries she visits, and then further subdivided into stories that she tells of her travels.

I love this book and have not yet even finished the entire thing, but wanted to recommend it to all of my readers. As Americans, we sometimes never realize how different the world is outside our borders and how beautiful interactions with other cultures may be. Bali is next on my wish list of dream vacations!

There is also a film version to be released on August 13, 2010 in the United States and stars Julia Roberts.