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Iran has produced some pretty fascinating contradictions in the past 50 years, and we’re only starting to work through them. But a good coffee table book never hurts.

Life as a Visitor, which arrives this month from Assouline, takes a look at the more than twenty exotic spots through the eyes of Iranian ex-pat Angella M. Nazarian, and comes away with something between a travelogue and a memoir. That means vignettes on cultural alienation share space with memories of the best sunbathing spots in Postino.

Both of which should come in handy next time you’re abroad.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom