Middle Eastern

This tag is associated with 25 posts

Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

I borrowed this book from the library before it was announced as the Women Fiction Prize’s shortlist. I need to forewarn that this book is part Harry Potterish, and in essence an Arabian night fantasy novel. I don’t read many fantasy novels, I try to avoid them but when I do it is because of … Continue reading

Stoning the Devil by Garry Craig Powell

Stoning the Devil is a novel set in the United Arab Emirates, a country of paradoxes, of seediness and glamour, of desert grandeur and Disneyland vulgarity, where public executions and other barbaric customs are winked at by the western expats who run the economy. There were several characters that appear in this what feels like … Continue reading

The House of Mosque by Kader Abdolah

Aqa Jaan’s family has lived in the house of the mosque for centuries. Two of his cousins also live in the house; one is the mosque’s imam, Alsaberi and the other is the muezzin. Aqa Jaan is an honest man making an honest living of selling carpets and is the head of the house. Set in … Continue reading

There’s no salmon fishing in Yemen

On the train this evening, this is what I read on the Evening Standard: Thursday 3 May 2012: British holiday makers have been warned there is no salmon fishing in Yemen, after a surge in interest following the release o Ewan McGregor’s latest film. The Yemen Tourism Promotion Board said it had been inundated with … Continue reading

I was born there, I was born here

I stumbled across this book in the Westminster London (close to where I work) Library one day and took this home. A continuation to my favourite I Saw Ramallah, I can’t wait to read the sequel. In 2000 Mourid Barghouti published I Saw Ramallah that told of returning in 1996 to his Palestinian home for the … Continue reading

Desert Divers by Sven Lindqvist

Little known to many, my guilty pleasure is reading travelogues and travel books. I stumbled upon this book and thought it would be a great companion to a trip to the desert. It is part biography, part historical, part travel, part confession sort of a book. The book is arranged in short chapters and the … Continue reading

Unfinished Business by Boualem Sansal

Rachel died six months ago. He was 33. One day, about two years ago, something in his head just snapped and he started tearing around all over the place – France, Algeria, Germany, Austria, Poland, Turkey, Egypt. Between trips, he’d hold up in a corner and read, think, write stuff , and he’d rage. He … Continue reading

Sharon and My Mother-in-Law by Suad Amiry

For all the books about the military, hard politics and melancholic accounts of Palestine and life under Isreali occupation, Suad Amiry’s Sharon and my Mother-in-law is a breath of fresh air. Suad Amiry took twenty years to live and write about her life under occupation. The book told her life in Ramallah through diary entries … Continue reading

I Think of You by Ahdaf Soueif

What the blurb says: In these selected stories from her collections “Aisha” and “Sandpiper”, Ahdaf Soueif writes about love and displacement in prose that is delicately nuanced and acutely observed. These are achingly lyrical stories, resonant and richly woven. But they always retain an edginess as they explore areas of tension – where women and … Continue reading

3 cosy mysteries review series (3): Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters

The love of my beloved is on yonder side A width of water is between us And a crocodile waiteth on the sandbank. – Ancient Egyptian Love Poem I first heard of Crocodile from the Sandbank from Bernadette@Reactions to Reading. I’m a novice when it comes to cosy mystery. Perhaps I don’t know any better … Continue reading


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Ratings Defined

0 = Abandon the book after first chapter

1 = Waste of paper, we will see what the environmentalist say about this!

2 = Skip it, read the book if you have got nothing better to do

2.5 = An average book, easily forgettable.

3 = A good read.

3.5 = A good entertaining read, a page-turner

4 = So glad that I read the book, a book with substance and invaluable for future reference

4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

Books Read

JoV's bookshelf: read
Hold Tight
The Fault in Our Stars
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Thief
Catching Fire
A Tale for the Time Being
Into the Darkest Corner
The Liars' Gospel
Goat Mountain
Strange Weather In Tokyo
Strange Shores
And the Mountains Echoed
Ten White Geese
One Step Too Far
The Innocents
The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
White Dog Fell from the Sky
A Virtual Love
The Fall of the Stone City

JoV's favorite books »
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Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)