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Member: elenasimona

CollectionsProject 100 Kurdistan Books (20), Project 100 cookbooks (5), Food Writing (Reference, How To, Food History) (5), Your library (564), Kurdistan (77), To Be Bought Next (8), Cookbooks (95), No Longer Mine (AKA sold or given away) (404), Read but unowned (1), All collections (1,000)

Reviews8 reviews

Tagsnovel (130), Iran (82), thriller (68), Kurdistan (49), Middle East (41), media studies (37), ethnology (33), Turkey (30), Kurds (28), interior design (28) — see all tags

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About meI'm boring really.

About my library“When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.” Erasmus of Rotterdam

Averagely, I read two books per week for my personal pleasure; my wishlist is getting out of hand, too. So there´s some growth potential. I love coffee table books, own a large selection of cookbooks (my two passions in life - books and food) and can be interested in nearly everything as long as it is, well, interesting.

My newest project: slowly building a small library on Kurdish Studies (right now, it's more like a really tiny shelf - suggestions for must haves and worthwile additions welcome). You might find I have three tags referring to said project..."Kurdish" refers to language and linguistics, "Kurdistan" to the more political side of the topic and "Kurds" to the cultural, even though it's not always clearly seperable.

Recently I decided to only keep my reference books, specialist literature, coffee table books, cookbooks and books of certain value...novels I loved, books I reread, fabulous children's literature. No need to hang onto hundreds of paperbacks of questionable content I will never touch again.

About my ratings, I'm ashamed to admit I have no consistent scheme. I might rate the quality of a book, but more often than not I rate how pleasurable it was to read, which is why you might find one of what I like to call my guilty pleasure books (archaeology thriller, anyone?) rated four stars. That does not apply to my reviews, though...those are based on quality.

Anyway, if I had to describe my library in one sentence: not quite there yet.

GroupsArab, North African and Middle Eastern Literature, Archaeology, City-Related Books, Cookbookers, Native/First Nations Literatures & Studies, Tea!, The Green Dragon, The Middle East


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Member sinceSep 28, 2005

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hi, i`m sherko Kurdish from Iran. if you want something about Kurdish people contact my mail
Sofreh is the most beautiful cookbook I own! I think it is well worth the pricetag, just for the pictures. The recipes are good, too, but I haven't found them to be spectacular, although I do think they are easier to follow than some persian cookbooks. I did make Khoresh y Fesenjan from Sofreh last weekend and was complimented and asked for my recipe by native Iranians.
Hope this is helpful.
Good to hear from you. No. I am afraid I don't read All the books that I buy. I have read A History of Modern Iran.
Noticed you liked Lovely Bones, and I was wondering if you'd be interested in reviewing my new novel and posting your comments here, as well as a few other book-related sites. Thought you might like my book since it also contains a young female narrator struggling with a series of tragic circumstances. I could e-mail you the novel in an e-book format if you'd like (I'm out of physical copies at the moment). Here's a link to a summary (and a sample chapter) in case you'd like to read more about the book before you commit:


So rests the sky against the earth. The dark still tarn in the lap of the forest.
As a husband embraces his wife's body in faithful tenderness, so the bare
ground and trees are embraced by the still, high, light of the morning. I feel
an ache of longing to share in this embrace, to be united and absorbed. A
longing like carnal desire, but directed towards earth, water, sky, and returned
by the whispers of the trees, the fragrance of the soil, the caresses of the
wind, the embrace of water and light. Content? No, no, no -- but refreshed,
rested -- while waiting.

- Dag Hammarskjold
Just thought I'd let you know that I have bought Persia in Peckham, on your recommendation! I was passing the shop on the bus tonight, and it was open, so I hopped off and went in - even got it signed by the author!

It looks really good and I am looking forward to cooking with it. I really like the style of her writing and the information which comes with the recipes.

If you like this sort of cookbook I would highly recommend Chitrita Banerji's "Bengali Cooking: Seasons and Festivals", which is full of stories and cultural information as well as the recipes. I bought a copy as a Christmas present but it's going to be hard to give away...
What do you think of the coffee table book, the most beautiful libraries in the world? I ran across this at an individual bookstore in Pawleys Island S.C. and was fascinated by it and knew my husband would love it, as he is an avid reader like myself.
I see you're reading Eickelman's New Media in the Muslim World. When you're finished, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. I've been thinking of picking it up for a while now.

Sorry to take so long to reply. I got The Persian Kitchen last year from a friend who was working at the publishers for a while. It is a buy-in from Germany where it was originally published so, as you are Germany-based, it would make more sense to get the original edition. I have not cooked from it - I have too many books and am currently cooking from books I acquired something like 11 years ago! This said, it is a very beautiful book - very well illustrated. I'm a reasonable judge of recipe books even without cooking from them and the recipes look correct here with a lot of detail given in the methods which show that the author really cooks what she writes about (not always the case). It is certainly a far higher standard publication than any original cookery book published by Mitchell Beazley.

Awesome to run across another fan of Ikmen, Suleyman, and the gang!
Oh benwaugh's tangine looks nice don't delete it till I've Tried it:^)
Hey there - thanks for the recipes. Here is my favorite tajine; I have a harira (soup)recipe as well, but I'll need to check that at home. This one is easy after you have all the ingredients prepared. It smells almost as fantastic cooking as its tastes when it's done:

Lamb and Apricot Tagine

Serves 4 Hot Meat Fruit Spices Tajine Main Course Gluten Wheat Dairy free Eggless Morocco North African Africa

2 tbsp Olive Oil
*1/2 teasp Ground Turmeric
*1/2 teasp Ground Black Pepper
*1/2 teasp Ground Ginger
*1/2 teasp Cayenne Pepper
2 tbsp finely chopped Onion
675g/1-1/2lb boned shoulder of Lamb, cut into large cubes
2 Onions, sliced
300g/11oz Dried Apricots
450g/1lb Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 5cm/2-inch pieces
90ml/3fl.oz. Honey
90ml/3fl.oz. Orange or Rose Blossom Water (or plain water)
*1 x 2.5cm/1-inch Cinnamon Stick
2 tbsp toasted Almonds


1. In a large bowl, mix together the oil, saffron , turmeric, pepper, ginger, cayenne (or contents of spice pack No.1 if using) and finely chopped onion until well blended. Add the meat and toss to coat.

2. Heat a large casserole or saucepan over moderately high heat until hot then add the meat and sear on all sides.

3. Add enough water to just cover the meat, bring to boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour.

4. Add sliced onions, cover and simmer for a further 45 minutes until the meat is very tender.

5. Add the apricots, mix well then raise the heat a little and cook, uncovered, until the sauce is reduced to about 240ml/8fl.oz.

6. Meanwhile, place the squash, honey, orange or rose blossom water and cinnamon sticks (or contents of Spice Pack No. 2) in a saucepan. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

7. Reduce the squash cooking liquor by boiling rapidly until syrupy.

8. Add the squash mixture to the meat mixture, mixing well, then simmer for a further 5 minutes.

9. To serve - sprinkle with the almonds and serve hot with couscous or rice.
Definitely try Marie Heaney's book--it's a wonderful introduction. She also has a children's book--The Names Upon the Harp--which tells some of the same stories, but with the addition of beautiful illustrations. Also, if after the Heaney you find yourself wanting more, Thomas Kinsella has done a dependable translation of the great Irish epic, the Tain Bo Cuailnge (Cattle Raid of Cooley). It's fascinating stuff--comparable to epics like Beowulf or Gilgamesh.
I'm not actually a professional mythologist--I think you have to be studying the stuff a lot longer than I have to qualify for that title--but I do teach mythology, and I'm happy to make recommendations based on my own experiences. Are you interested in any particular culture? Any particular theoretical school? Or are you just looking for an introduction?

If you've never encountered mythological theory before, Campbell is a good place to start--he doesn't say anything original, and he can be pretty reductive, but he provides a broad introduction to the concept of comparative mythology. I put Campbell's "The Hero With a Thousand Faces" on my required reading list for my intro students this semester.

Irish mythology is my strongest specialty--for that I recommend Marie Heaney's "Over Nine Waves", to start. Also, have you checked out the Pantheon Folklore Library? I find those volumes to be pretty dependable if your interests lie in the folktale/legend/myth area in general. Let me know what your interests are and I can try to be more helpful.
Hello, and welcome to Arabic, North African and Middle Eastern Literature. With regard to your interest in "occult esoterica" - you may enjoy Fin de Siecle: Decadence in Art and Literature as well. BW
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