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BOOK REVIEW: I Have Iraq in my Shoe by Gretchen Berg @sourcebooks

Book Description

May 1, 2012
It's the timeless, classic tale: girl-meets-recession, recession-forces-girl-to-go-to-Iraq. I Have Iraq in My Shoe follows the author out of her comfort zone and into the Middle East. Taking the wit of Jen Lancaster and the fun of Sophie Kinsella and moving it to the desert, this is the story of a single, fashion-obsessed American female who finds herself metaphorically strapping on a Kevlar caftan to work in Iraq for a year. Irreverent and hilarious, saucy and smart, it's a tale of lessons both taught and learned, and all in the midst of a war zone: from teaching Iraqi women in headscarves while wearing designer pumps to enduring the shame and frustration of astronomical luggage fees.

About the Author
Gretchen is an award-wanting writer with a bachelor's degree in something completely unrelated to writing. She has read articles for VogueElleHarper's BazaarAllureThe New Yorker,Newsweek, and The Economist (once when the TV wasn't working). She is a Cancer, with Scorpio rising, who was born and raised. She wishes people dressed up more.


Just the other day, a friend asked me for a funny memoir about an American ex pat in a really foreign land.  She said that France and Italy had been done to death and she wanted something exotic.  Well, Gretchen Berg has the perfect book for anyone (especially those Sex and the City fans) looking for a fun read about sand in your designer shoes.  Berg has a take no prisoners writing style much like Jen Lancaster and Laurie Notaro that is guaranteed to offend at least one person in every group.  I adore this writing style so of course I loved it. Some of her tales really made me laugh out loud which is always a good thing.  

Berg goes through the steps as to how she ended up teaching English in Iraq (financial, liberal time off, frequent flyer miles).  The funniest moment is when she is told she must yell at anyone to get anything done and there is no Diet Coke but an awesome representation of American Culture in the form of a grocery store.  Of course, all of the products available are counterfeit and with her piles of luggage, she didn't need to bring the Turkish Towels since they had them at the store.  The story leads through her time in Iraq and her side trips on her time off.  She pays off her debt and makes new friends while exploring the world which is something I would rather read about then try myself. 


  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402265794
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402265792

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