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The Bookseller of Kabul
by Asne Seierstad | Nonfiction
Registered by authorauthor of Alexandria, Virginia USA on 1/2/2016
Average 7 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by SqueakyChu): reserved

3 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by authorauthor from Alexandria, Virginia USA on Saturday, January 02, 2016

10 out of 10

After living for three months with the Kabul bookseller Sultan Khan in the spring of 2002, Norwegian journalist Seierstad penned this astounding portrait of a nation recovering from war, undergoing political flux and mired in misogyny and poverty. As a Westerner, she has the privilege of traveling between the worlds of men and women, and though the book is ostensibly a portrait of Khan, a bookseller who braves persecution to bring books to the people of Kabul, its real strength is the intimacy and brutal honesty with which it portrays the lives of Afghani women living under fundamentalist Islam.

Seierstad outlines Sultan's fight to preserve whatever he can of the literary life of the capital during its numerous decades of warfare (he stashed some 10,000 books in attics around town). But, as a 31-year-old war reporter hiding behind her burqa, she makes the men in the Sultan's family so comfortable with her presence that she is allowed to accompany one of Sultan's sons on a religious pilgrimage and witnesses another buy sex from a beggar girl and then offer the girl to his brother. This is only one of the shocking stories Seierstad uncovers. In another, an adulteress is suffocated by her three brothers as ordered by their mother.

Seierstad's visceral account is equally seductive and repulsive. An international bestseller, this will likely stand as one of the best books of reportage of Afghan life after the fall of the Taliban.  

Journal Entry 2 by authorauthor at Alexandria, Virginia USA on Saturday, January 02, 2016

This book has not been rated.

Released 2 yrs ago (1/3/2016 UTC) at Alexandria, Virginia USA


To give away at the BookCrossing holiday party.


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I hope you enjoy the book. Happy reading!

Journal Entry 3 by wingSqnutZipswing at Alexandria, Virginia USA on Monday, January 04, 2016

This book has not been rated.

Acquired this and several other books at the annual BC in DC holiday party, 1st line/wrap it up game.

the 1st line of this book is "When Sultan Khan thought the time had come to find himself a new wife, no one wanted to help him." 

Journal Entry 4 by wingSqnutZipswing at Congressional Plaza in Rockville, Maryland USA on Sunday, September 24, 2017

This book has not been rated.

Released 12 mos ago (9/24/2017 UTC) at Congressional Plaza in Rockville, Maryland USA


To the person who finds this book.....
Keep it or release it, read it or not, but please make a journal entry to let me know it's been found. Keep it, pass it on to a friend or release it into the wild.... let the journey continue.....

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Journal Entry 5 by wingSqueakyChuwing at Rockville, Maryland USA on Sunday, September 24, 2017

This book has not been rated.

I caught this book at a BCinDC meetup at Noodles & Company in Rockville, Maryland, USA, this morning. Thank you very much! 

Journal Entry 6 by wingSqueakyChuwing at Rockville, Maryland USA on Sunday, September 24, 2017

5 out of 10

I read another copy of this book in 2005. This is what I wrote about it after I read it...

Sultan Khan is an Afghani man with two wives and several sons and daughters. He loves books, owns three bookstores, and tries as hard as he can to keep his books safe. His work is made harder by the fervent religious rulers of Afghanistan who time and again come to destroy them.

This book is an interesting read because of the look into cultural aspects of living in Afghanistan as a Moslem. It is hard to read because it feels offensive to my Western standards. I imagine that Western standards are just as offensive to Moslem zealots. I felt that the writing was rather lackluster and wonder if that perhaps had something to do with it (1) either being a translation or (2) it being written in a journalistic rather than literary style. Nevertheless, I found it a worthwhile read as any look into understanding a different culture will help bridge chasms that separate the two.

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