Middle Eastern

This tag is associated with 25 posts

When I Lived in Modern Times by Linda Grant

I first came across this book at Vishy’s Blog and when I saw Granta 2011 edition of the book sitting on the featured library shelf, I borrowed it without second thought. Set in Israel April 1946 – then British-controlled Palestine – just after the Second World War, the novel follows a young Englishwoman Evelyn Sert, … Continue reading

The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson

Willow Wilson was an atheist. A Goth and then became a Muslim convert that bears a tattoo “Al Haq” meaning “The truth” across her lower back. Note 1 After graduating from university, Willow Wilson, a young American — and newly converted Muslim — impulsively accepts a teaching position in Cairo. There, she meets Omar, a … Continue reading

In the Country of Men and Anatomy of a Disappearance

On a white-hot day in Tripoli, Libyra, in the summer of 1979, nine-year-old Suleiman is shopping in the market square with his mother. His father is away on business – but Suleiman is sure he has just seen him, standing across the street in a pair of dark glasses. but why isn’t he waving? and … Continue reading

Middle Eastern Arab Lit Library Loan

Thanks to Westminster Library which includes Marylebone, Paddington, Mayfair, St. John Wood’s libraries etc there is a good stock of Middle Eastern and translated Arabic Lit. While I could easily find more books to plaster them all over the North Africa and Middle Eastern Map, these are what I have got at home from the … Continue reading

Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively

‘I’m writing a history of the world… And in the process, my own’. Claudia Hampton is an ex-war correspondent, currently a popular historian on her deathbed in a London hospital. She is old, ill and lying in hospital, gently condescended to by the nurse at her bedside. She reviews her life as a paradigm of … Continue reading

I Saw Ramallah by Mourid Barghouti

In 1966, the Palestine poet Mourid Barghouti, then 22, left home to return to university in Cairo. Then came the Six-Day War in Palestine and Barghouti, like many young Palestinians abroad, was denied entry into Palestine. 30 years later, with the Oslo Agreement, the Palestinian refugees and exiles may apply for the right to return … Continue reading

Yalo by Elias Khoury

Yalo is the story of the interrogation and tortures of Daniel Habeel Abyad, a young man accused, among other crimes, of raping women and robbing their lovers in a forest on the edge of Beirut. It is during an unpleasant encounter with Shireen that he was caught and interrogated. From the outset, however, it is … Continue reading

The Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif

Ahdaf Soueif’s The Map of Love is a family saga, a story that draws its readers into two different eras in the complex, troubled history of modern Egypt. The story begins in 1997 in New York. There Isabel Parkman discovers an old trunk full of documents, some in English, some in Arabic, in her dying … Continue reading

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun are residents of New Orleans, with Kathy’s son from first marriage Zachary, and Nademah, Aisha, Safiya and Ahmad. The Zeitoun runs a Painting and contractor company. A hardworking and honest man, his typical day begin with getting the kids ready to school and picking up phone calls from workers and customers … Continue reading

Misadventures in the Middle East by Henry Hemming

Born in 1979, Henry Hemming went to school in London, followed by university in Newcastle. Two months after graduating with a 1st in History he began a year-long journey through the Middle East in a second-hand Toyota pick-up truck called Yasmine, together with another artist friend, Al Braithwaite. Using Yasmine as an eye-catching distracter is a … 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)