May I Recommend
I have a confession to make. I am a book addict, I love books. Here are some of my favorite books that I would like to share with the rest of you.
My favorite arabic novel is "Cities of Salt" by Abed Al Rahman Muneef.
مدن الملح - للكاتب عبد الرحمان منيف
I love that novel so much that I read it both in arabic and translated english and enjoyed both because the English translation is of a high quality. The story is a fictional account of modern Saudi history. It is a sharp, witty and humorous. It criticizes that society strongly yet makes you fall in love with it. When I finished reading the novel I felt a great longing to go live in the desert. It's a great shame that the author was stripped of his Saudi citizenship and forced to live in exile.
The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq
By Hanna Batatu
I consider this book the bible and ultimate source of information about modern history of Iraq. It is academic and slightly boring to read but it well worth the effort if you want to understand the history of iraq. It has been translated to arabic but I only read it in English.
Guests of the Sheik - Anthropology of an Iraqi Village by Elizabeth fernea
Short, very readable and touching story of an American woman who lives in an Iraqi village in the south of Iraq in the 50's because of her anthropologist husband.
Women of Sand and Myrrh
By Hannan al Shaykh
Stories about women in the middle east. Very approachable. For some reason I found this book very touching. I could relate to all the characters in the stories. I also have read both the english and arabic.
I would be interested to hear what other people on Iraq Blog Count like to read and if they have books that they could recommend.