— Noted.


This started as a post in which I was going to tell you that I just finished reading Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, by Katherine Boo.

Which made me think of this book on North Korean life, by Barbara Demick.

And then there’s Dave Egger’s What is the What, a novel about Sudan’s Lost Boys, told through the the real life story of Valentino Achak Deng. And then I just discovered that all proceeds of the sale of this book are going to a foundation that Valentino formed, which has helped to fund the opening of the first functional high school in Marial Bai. What and where is Marial Bai? I urge you to read this book to find out.

And then I stopped, saved this post as draft and went about my daily business. It just isn’t easy to write something poignant about books that bridge the human condition. I remember talking to a friend who was working on a documentary of someone who was camera-shy, and how long it took to have the camera present to get his subject to forget it was there. I’m sure it’s not easy for someone from these worlds to trust a westerner to accurately tell their stories. Just as it isn’t easy for the westerner to accept the responsibility. A long-winded way to say, that I’m feeling very lucky that I had a chance to hear their stories, and that what separates me from others, is really, so very little, and so much.




















I am so excited about the latest book from Maira Kalman and Daniel Handler, Girls Standing on Lawns. Because wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to visit the moma with Maira Kalman and ask her what she thinks of all these photos? And it makes me wish I had access to my own family albums, to assess all the photos that were taken of me growing up, all pretty much on the same spot in our yard. And a new item for my to-do list, her paintings on view at the Julie Saul Gallery, ending soon on June 14.

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Need to plan a trip to Toronto, to visit the bookstore that sells these books:


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I’ve collected a few of the books by Nigel Peake. I discovered his work when I was visiting Seattle and obsessively browsing nearly every single book at Peter Miller bookstore. I used to think that knowing about him was a rather amazing secret, but his latest, In the City peeks out at me at nearly every bookshop I go to now—which makes me reluctantly happy.