Readers Write


Screen Shot 2018-11-07 at 8.19.36 PMOur group, The Bookeez, really enjoyed The Kurdish Bike and all of the information in it. We had an especially thought-provoking discussion after experiencing/reading it. We also had a Kurdish brunch during our discussion, where we made recipes from your website and dressed up according to the spirit of the book. It was one of our best book club meetings ever!

~ Robin Hurewitz, Monroe, New Jersey

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Dear Alesa,Screen Shot 2018-10-08 at 5.36.56 PM

Thank you so much for coming to the October meeting of the Santa Cruz County AAUW Evening Book Group’s discussion of The Kurdish Bike and sharing the real life experiences behind the book. Your illustrated talk was so interesting, and, of course, it was loads of fun dressing up in those elegant and sparkly Kurdish “special occasion” dresses.

Needless to say, we greatly admire your adventurous spirit, your commitment as a teacher, your efforts to enlarge our understanding of the unique history, culture and people of Kurdistan, and your efforts to provide meaningful ongoing assistance and support to the people of “your” village

~ Joan Schwimmer and the Santa Cruz Evening “Bookies”


Dear Alesa:

Thank you  for taking the time to Skype with our book club this evening. It was a real treat for all of us to “meet” you and hear your life’s story. Our members are still talking about the event.

We will be sure to spread the word about your awesome book – to put in our reviews and anxiously await seeing A Kurdish Bike up on the big screen!

~  Liz Ray, Mt. Vernon, VA

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Members of the Southwood Bookclub Points North and South in Virginia served a Kurdish-themed dinner and posed with a real Blue Angel bicycle for their Skype presentation with the author. They all live on farms previously owned by George Washington.
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Dear Alesa,
While returning from our honeymoon in Iceland, we passed through Toronto on the way home. Our book club had selected the Kurdish Bike for our September reading, so I brought the book along, and had it in my hand when boarding the plane. A lady passed me in the aisle, pointed to the book and said, “That’s a great read. I loved the book, and I even got to meet the author!”
After refreshments, I found the lady again. She explained that she met you at a book club and heard about the real-life experiences on which the novel is based. I shared all this with my friend and co-founder of our Pearl Earring bookclub after returning home. We found your contact information, and were delighted that you agreed to come to our club.
What a wonderful evening it was. We laughed, learned, and felt really close to the Kurds and teaching community you were part of. The Kurdish food we shared, the open dialog, the colorful photos and the local outfits made the story come even more to life.
Thanks, Alesa, for sharing a wonderful evening with us. Beyond the story, we felt connected to the real people and culture behind the story, and were touched by your resilience, delightful story telling, and insights into the Kurdish culture you lived. I felt like I was right with you on your journey, facing challenges with you!
~ Elsbeth TeBrake, Los Altos, CA
Members of the Pearl Earring Book Club in Los Altos, CA, enjoying Kurdish food catered from Urfa Bistro Mediterranean Restaurant. Elsbeth is at far left, and founder Margriet De Lange is in the foreground.

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Hi, Alesa. I just recently finished The Kurdish Bike, and I want you to know that it was one of the best books I’ve read in years. I loved a number of different aspects of it: the character development, the ease of the read, and the way you balanced humor and seriousness. Oh, yes, and the breadth of the vocabulary. About a decade ago, I had a near-perfect score on the verbal section of the GRE, and I must’ve looked up 40-50 words while reading your novel! Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your gift with us. I often looked forward to curling up with that book at the end of long and challenging days. Hope you’re finding your current labors rewarding, too!  Warmly, Tom Meredith, Wernersville PA

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