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Things the Grandchildren Should Know by Mark Oliver Everett, a Virginian turned Californian, leader of the indie-rock band Eels, and the son of the quantum physicist Hugh Everett, is a memoir for the ages.

Surreal, yet precise and believable, his prose is ordinary and at the same time unique. He writes from memory, having never kept a diary. He is unable to pinpoint real events in time, but the feelings engendered by those events are virtually current, and fresh. The writing kept stopping me - as in "Did I just read that?"

Reviewer invocations on the jacket of Solzhenitsyn and Vonnegut made me suspicious of hyperbole - it is not, in this case. Deep with feeling, rich with description, the reader will be thinking about this one for a long time to come. Devastating. Enjoy.

My Father's Paradise: A Son's Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq ($25.95 hardbound) is by Ariel Sabar. Jews were a presence in Kurdistan, the semi-autonomous region of northern Iraq until the early 1950s, when most immigrated to Israel. Yona Sabar, the "Father" of the title was among them. Since then, he has become a linguist at UCLA, steadfastly dedicated to the preservation of the ancient language of Aramaic, and the culture in which he grew up. Ariel Sabar is a journalist, attempting to find, and connect to, what remains of his father's roots. The quest is a real journey. Populated with deeply colorful characters, this is a book of classic contrasts of both period and location. There is powerful emotion and prose here well worth the effort. Enjoy.

Review by Alex 

Things the Grandchildren Should Know Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312385132
Availability: Special Order
Published: Thomas Dunne Books - October 14th, 2008

My Father's Paradise: A Son's Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781565124905
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Algonquin Books - September 16th, 2008