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4.8 out of 5 stars
Snake Hips: Belly Dancing and How I Found True Love
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on March 30, 2008
As a Lebanese Canadian woman (well..half Lebanese on my dad's side - but just like Anne!) who is also learning to belly dance - and getting in touch with my Lebanese roots at the same time - I just loved this book! It had so many laugh-out-loud moments. Anne's recollections of her family reminded me so much of mine and brought to mind things I'd even forgetten about. Like "crawling across the desert is a specialty of Lebanese men"; I remember the talk about how a real man (Lebanese, of course) "would crawl across the desert for you". With chapter titles like, "Blood is Thicker than Sand", "Your Daddy Ought to Smack Your Face - Nice Girls Don't Undulate", "Debkeing Around the Clock in Norfolk", Anne's quirky crazy humour resonates throughout the book. Anne's dating adventures searching for the perfect unibrow Arab husband - recounted in three parts (chapters) - are hilarious! She is convinced that her true destiny is a palace in the desert and a nursery full of little brown unibrow babies. She'd even "settle for third-favourite wife, but not lower...third-favourite affords a hefty allowance, a lot of nice trips, and plenty of free time to pursue hobbies with no bossy husband breathing down your veil". Her stories of the Arab men she dates (including Fahed who she meets online at Arab Chat) are priceless.

(In response to the last reviewer, I didn't find the author's mention of being Lebanese overkill. As a Lebanese Canadian, I was able to relate to her experiences and laugh with her. Sharing her experiences in the Lebanese culture is what added richness and context to the book.)

If you are a belly dancer, this is a book you MUST own! Your collection of belly dancing books, instructional & performance DVDs, Arabic Music CDs, and zils just won't be complete without Anne's book!
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on August 23, 2005
I fell in love with belly dancing about 2 years ago and I came across this book on the web. After reading the feedbacks on Amazon, I bought it. I enjoyed reading the funny stories and the progression of the main character throughout the book but honestly, I started to twitch after the third time she mentionned she was a lebanese woman with a lebanese background. We know hwo to read and figured it out on our own, thank you vey much. According to me, and as she depicted very well in the book, bellydancing attracts people from many different backgrounds. But it does not mean that the reader has to have his or her head hammer with the fact (justification, reinsurance??...) that the author is Lebanese. Get over it.
It was the only thing that I did not like in the book.
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This book had me laughing out loud, just ask my boyfriend! I couldn't put it down. I loved all her stories about her belly dance life and her relationship horror stories. Books about relationships usually aren't my thing, but these stories are in a class of their own! Great book!
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on April 6, 2004
I picked this book up when I was in the process of collecting any and all info on mid east dance - I really enjoyed it as it was an easy read with a lot of personality behind the text. Too often books with an autobiographical spin will read slow and boring, devoid of any underlying personality. This not only was lively, but could be related to on a human level. Plus hey - it was a neat peak into someone else's perception of the belly dance world!
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on March 1, 2004
This book has everything you loved about The Big Fat Greek Wedding. It's a funny and endearing look at self-discovery. I loved it.
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on February 20, 2004
"Snake Hips" should be required reading for all beginning bellydancers, those healing broken hearts, and anyone daring to live life with gusto. Soffee has put so very much of herself into her writing, truly baring her soul in these pages, and the result is magical. Hilarious and endearing, this book may just inspire you to take up middle eastern dance, too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2003
I've long had a fascination with bellydance, so when I discovered this book I made it a priority to read it. I was not disappointed; in fact, it was one of those rare reads where I loved it so much that I was torn - I wanted to find out how it ended, and yet I didn't want my pleasurable experience to end. It's a great story, though, how Soffee suffers a bad break up, and thanks to a friend suggesting a class at the community center, she decides to take a class in bellydance. She's a dedicated student, and along the way tells of her healing from the bad breakup, her fascination with the dance, her observations of other dancers as well as how other people react when they hear she's a bellydancer, and her efforts in trying to find a decent man. All of it is told with a healthy sense of humor and panache, and many parts are laugh-out loud funny. The only tragedy would be if Soffee never wrote another book. A must-read for bellydancers, bellydancer admirers and any woman who's gone through the ups and downs of dating.
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on December 7, 2003
A great light-hearted read for anyone who has known heartbreeak, or even if you haven't! Although it is not necessary to know how to belly dance to enjoy this book, it does give the reader an "insiders" view of what it must be like and the joy that it can and does bring. I would give it two thumbs up!!
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on November 27, 2003
I am a beginning Dancer, but have been through a few similar situations (who hasn't been dumped?) and love Ms. Soffee's style of writing. It's like your right there in her head, or reading her diary, experiencing everything. I couldn't put this book down and read it in less than 2 days! I definately recommend this book for all, dancer or not.
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on October 19, 2003
I absolutely loved this book. It looks a little at the history of belly dancing and tells a story of the road traveled to really find something the writer needed and wanted. It peeked my interest and inspired my curiosity and was very insightful. I would recommend this to anyone who had even a small amount of interest in belly dancing
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