This is a sort of 'best of' collection from Kashua's decade plus of weekly columns for Israeli newspaper Haaretz: short, satirical pieces on life in Israel, usually featuring Kashua and his family. Kashua comes off as a neurotic bumbler with all the comic failures of a sitcom character--kind of like Kramer from Seinfeld. And like Kramer, some of his mishaps are his own fault, and some are due to existing in a world where someone else is writing the rules. Kashua's essays present his writerly daydreaming and hopes for his family, as well as the painful difficulties of life as an Arab living in Jerusalem, with miserable hilarity. The columns are presented in chronological order and make it easy to track the rise and fall of Kashua's optimism, which he reveals with disarming and harrowing honesty. You can dip in and read a few pages here or there or go straight through like I did, and close the book feeling enervated and ready for a drink. Recommended: Without Parents; The Court!; The Stories I Don't Dare Tell; Kashua's Complaint.