May 4, 2009

Mailbox Monday

Welcome to Mailbox Monday! Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia from The Printed Page.

This week, I received two books in the mail, both thanks to BookMooch. I love BookMooch. :)

The first book is The Tale of Genji by Lady Murasaki Shikibu.
"One of the world's oldest novels and the greatest single work of Japanese literature, this 11th-century romance centers on the lives and loves of an emperor's son. It offers a vast tapestry of the intrigues and rivalries of court life, as well as an exquisitely detailed portrayal of a decaying aristocracy."

The Tale of Genji is widely considered to be the greatest work of Japanese literature and also the world's very first novel.
You can read more about what is known of the interesting life the author led at Encyclopedia Britannica online. I am reading this for the 21 Cultures Challenge, the Centuries Challenge, and just because how cool is it to read the world's first novel? I mean, come on!

The second book is Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil by Deborah Rodriguez.

"Soon after the fall of the Taliban, in 2001, Deborah Rodriguez went to Afghanistan as part of a group offering humanitarian aid. Surrounded by men and women whose skills–as doctors, nurses, and therapists–seemed eminently more practical than her own, Rodriguez despaired of being of any real use. Yet she soon found she had a gift for befriending Afghans, and once her profession, that of a hairdresser, became known, an idea was born. With the help of corporate and international sponsors, the Kabul Beauty School welcomed its first class in 2003. While learning the trade, these vibrant women shared with Rodriguez their stories and their hearts. Through these and other stories, Rodriguez found the strength to leave her own unhealthy marriage and allow herself to love again, Afghan style. The book is about an ordinary community of women who come together and learn the arts of perms, friendship, and freedom."

I love books about other cultures and about overcoming hardships so I am eager to read this as soon as I can.

Have you read either of these books? What did you think?


  1. Rebecca, Matt of A Guy's Moleskine Notebook is hosting a Tale of Genji read-along in June. I had this book on my reading list for fall, but moved it up to be able to join Matt. YOu might want to read along with us? :D

  2. I can't wait to see what you think of Kabul Beauty School. I remember hearing about that on NPR.

  3. Those both sound really good :) Can't wait for your review!

  4. You did great with Bookmooch. I'm kind of surprised to see that you were able to get Kabul Beauty School

  5. I really enjoyed KABUL BEAUTY SCHOOL. Hope you do, too!

  6. Claire- Oh cool! That would be great. I will go over and check that out. Thanks for the info and invite! :-)

    bermudaonion, ChicGeek, Gwendolyn B.- Yes, I am very excited to read these! The first is a classic and the second one is sure to be memorable.

    Nicole- I was too! I just got lucky. I was checking my e-mail when the e-mail came through that the book had been posted. I managed to snag it just by being in the right place at the right time. Other books I haven't been so lucky at snagging. The one copy will be gone by the time I get there.

  7. The very first novel? I'm intrigued. Happy reading!

    Diary of an Eccentric


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