1. Here's a little more on Ayad Akhtar (event is now Friday, January 13, 7 pm). While I think this event is of interest to all kinds of people, I wanted to get a few reads from my Muslim customers. Little, Brown was gracious enough to send me an extra advance copy of American Dervish for this purpose. I asked our friend Bara if she might be interested in trying it. Here's what she thought:
"Eloquently written, American Dervish invites us into the life of a young boy, Hayat Shah, who is caught between two different worlds, but wants nothing more than to be happy. He recounts the events in his life as they relate to his Aunt Mina who has taken her young son and left Pakistan to stay with Hayat’s family. Struggling to find happiness at home, Mina introduces Hayat to the beauty of Islam and the power of the Quran, which stirs a sense of joy in his mother and infuriates his father, forever changing him. Other events lead him to the local Muslim community and its anti-Semitism.
Thanks, Bara! Mr. Akhtar was also on NPR's All Things Considered this morning.
I'm not quite out of links yet, so here's Jim Higgins's take on Smut, Alan Bennett's new collection of novellas, where he notes, "Bennett makes witty comedy of these tales, which are nowhere near as prurient as the cheeky title suggests." Read the entire review here.
3. Stacie and I were chatting about Brent Gohde's Cedar Block Gallery show at Turner Hall Ballroom on February 18, entitled "Results: Cedar Block's Dig for the Higgs and how the Quest Was Won" and in an instant, she had interviewed Brent for The Boswellians. Gohde talks about the intersections of art and science and how some key bookselling events influenced the creation of this show, most notably:
--Three years as a Harry W. Schwartz Bookseller (at the Downer Avenue location)
--An author visit from Leonard Sclain, author of Art & Physics
--A copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and a subsequent visit to Brookfield to see Douglas Adams.
Hey, I worked that event. I wonder if Brent brought a towel to be signed? Read the entire interview here. And buy tickets here to this show, co-sponsored by Alverno Presents and WMSE radio.