Weekend recs


How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, by Mohsin Hamid (2013)

You start reading a novel you know nothing about. It’s written in the second person, which is rarely done and even more rarely done well. But as you read the story of a young man in an unnamed Asian city, you are first surprised at how engaging it is, and then excited as the characterizations and emotions grow deeper with each page. You follow the young man as he goes from poverty to starting his own business to becoming a wealthy captain of industry. The story of his lifelong love for a pretty girl he met in his village touches you. When you turn the final page, too soon after you started, your eyes are misty. As a writer, you are jealous. As a reader, you are grateful. — Lisa Parrish


Fast-food worker activism

The less-told story of the Great Recession is that the new jobs being created in the “recovery” are mostly low-wage service jobs, which don’t provide nearly the same standard of living as the jobs that were lost earlier in the crisis. In this context, organizing campaigns by fast-food workers are particularly important. The workers have two demands: a living wage and union representation. A fair minimum for the new American economy. Workers are calling for another one-day strike on Thursday, August 29. Plan your solidarity actions accordingly. — Dave


Beets and blueberries

When I got back to Abu Dhabi a few nights ago we had hardly a shred of food in the house. The next morning, after the gym but before grocery shopping, I surveyed the cupboards and freezer and found a stray can of beets and half a bag of frozen blueberries. Add a little bit of lemon juice concentrate and voila! A delicious liver-cleansing smoothie, much needed at the end of vacation and reminiscent of my favorite chilled beet soup. (If this gets you going, find more beety goodness at my pal Sacha’s nutrition blog.) — BW

Last two images via here and here.

6 responses to “Weekend recs”

  1. LP says:

    Next Friday, I’m doing a review of the “like” button on Facebook.

  2. Bryan says:

    Ooh. Can’t wait for that massive takedown. Or defense. Or ambivalent love affair. Meantime, I ordered the novel above. I haven’t read Reluctant Fundamentalist. You?

  3. LP says:

    No – I didn’t really know Mohsin Hamid’s work until this book. I will probably read it at some point, but not yet. Part of me is nervous to do so, since I loved Filthy Rich so much and I don’t want to be disappointed!

  4. Bryan says:

    I ordered three of his novels based on your rec of this one. I’m sure SSW will read them all before I do: she’s kind of like my food taster. We’ve built up a decent shelf of middle eastern and south asian writing over the last year and she’s been through most of it, while I’ve read almost none of it. Hazards of having to read so much for work I guess.

  5. GF says:

    I can never do book clubs because what I’m in the mood to read is so unpredictable. Right now I’m reading my friend Cathy’s self-published novel and Larry Kramer’s Faggots which I read ten years ago and found trashy but started wondering about because The Normal Heart is so shattering and living in NYC since then has made me so nostalgic for the 70s New York I never saw.