Saturday, April 28, 2007


The most frustrating thing in the world happened to me this week. A wonderful woman called to see if we could find a book for her. It was the type of request I love—she didn’t remember the title or author but had heard it on NPR a couple of months ago. I live for finding those books. But this time I just couldn’t get the right keywords to click, and I had to tell her I couldn’t find it. I hate giving up, so I tried again and inevitably found the book moments after we hung up. So, lovely caller, if you’re out there (I hope, I hope!) and want to know about urban bartering, you’re looking for Off the Books: The Underground Economy of the Urban Poor by Sudhir Benkatesh. This is going to haunt me for days.

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