The Wrong End of the Table

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 05 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

It’s not often you come across a memoir that’s both entertaining but also educational. Reading this was like having an extended chat with a friend, covering every subject under the sun. My only issue was the number of footnotes and how much additional information was found there.
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It's wonderful to see increased diversity in the humor memoir genre, which seems to be overpopulated by white men (and women). Salman immigrated from Iraq at the age of three, with a few intervening years spend in Saudi Arabia, and provides a inside look at the difficulty of acculturation - the question of how one becomes part of a new culture while maintaining the old. The book is billed as being comic, but I think it's strength is in the non-comedic moments, the times when Salman shines a light on the juxtapositions inherent in a bicultural life. Honeslty, the comedic timing felt forced at times, but the inside look into a culture that is often neglected at best, is a treasure.
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I LOVED this book! I requested this as an ARC because I was attracted to the humor it promised (and it delivered!), and because i wanted to learn more about the author's culture.  I really really want to sit with a cup of tea and chat with Salman!
I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
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A funny charming not to be missed book! It's informative about the life of an Iraqi/Muslim-American immigrant and her experiences. Ayser Salman recounts her life from the time her family immigrated from Iran to Kentucky to Saudi Arabia, then back to the US to escape from the regime of Saddam Hussain. Ayser wanted to be like normal American kids but she was always the weird lesbian girl, which she isn't a lesbian. She was called all sorts of names but you'll need to read the book to understand them and the story behind them. In the book, she talks about overcoming her insecurities and becomes an independent member of society. She still kept the balance between Muslim traditions and regulations set by her parents and society.  

“I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”
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I quite enjoy this book as it bought back memories of my childhood (as a displaced migrant after WW2 to another country, with no English and eggplant sandwiches for lunch a school)
I love the little footnotes at the end of each chapter, although it did call for a some flipping backwards and forward in some places. And I found the first two thirds of the book interesting in the experiences especial the years in Saudi. 
The last part of the book was a little harder to get through, as it got kind of bogged down, and the footnotes did not have that edge to them, but all in all it was an interesting book to read. The re- awakening of memories shows there isn't a lot of difference in times or nationalities, although I think this book shows these days people are more tolerant, curious or maybe more polite than in the 1950s
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A fun, charming read that was informative about one Muslim-American immigrant experience. I generally quite enjoyed it.
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First, I rather enjoyed this book. 

Ayser tells us her story broken down in to three parts, each part detailing a different period in her life. Ayser talks of her assimilation in to American (and then Saudi) life and the challenges and successes along the way. The book is both humorous and insightful - as someone who also moved around a lot growing up I could very much relate to the process of acclimatising to a new place. 

I will say that there was a lot of repetition, especially for such a book under 300 pages. This kind of pulled me away from the narrative a little as I wasn't sure why I was hearing that she went by "Lisa" instead of Ayser for the 3rd time in 20 pages and it interrupted my reading experience somewhat. 

A worthy own voices read and one that I would recommend to anyone.

Thank you to Netgalley and Skyhorse for this ARC in trade for an honest review.
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Funny and not to be missed! 

Thanks to author,publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free,it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.
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