Difficult books

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I FINALLY finished The Historian today. 642 pages, and man were they dense. That was a difficult read. Good, but difficult. A lot happened in that book. Dracula is not my favorite topic, but this book was impressive.

So, what am I reading now? Reading Lolita in Tehran. Gee, it’s a good thing I went to something lighter, huh? Oh wait, except this one is not only dense and difficult, it’s true. Don’t get me wrong, this is a fascinating book, but we are talking about a serious scholar who is discussing 20th century fiction while placing it in the context of revolutionary Iran, and commenting intelligently and passionately on both topics. Azar Nafisi is a brave woman, and this is most obvious when she discusses the great fear and helplessness that she felt during her time teaching in Tehran. This is a very scary book, but also a hopeful one–showing how people can still grab for beauty and truth in even the most oppressive environments. I am glad that I picked this up from my shelf, where it has been waiting for me for a few months now.

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