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The Crusades Through Arab Eyes
I came to this book after reading several of Maalouf's fiction works. Even though it is a history book, it is very readable, and if it weren't for all ...more
Feb 11, 2009
Jan 26, 2009
Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science
Apart from news articles, the last time I read any book on economics was high school. I found Naked Economics explained how Western (primarily US) eco ...more
Oct 10, 2008
Sep 30, 2008
A Thousand Splendid Suns
**spoiler alert** I think Hosseini is a great storyteller. I was hardly able to put this book down until I finished it. I liked the Kite Runner a litt ...more
not set
Jul 21, 2008
Let the Great World Spin
A novel about New York city and the amazing hope and also crushing misery it embodies. The story is told through several seemingly unrelated character ...more
Feb 12, 2010
Jan 06, 2010
Life After Life
An interesting premise, although some of the logic was a stretch for me. (E.g. Can you *really* count on Nancy being at the train station on the same ...more
not set
Feb 02, 2014
The Road
I have a weakness for apocalyptic fiction... The Road is definitely that, though the focus is less on what happened to the world and more on the emoti ...more
Dec 29, 2008
Dec 28, 2008
At the end of my edition of this book was an interview with the author, and she confesses her model for her novel was the Shakespearian play, Othello. ...more
not set
Dec 29, 2008
Continental Drift
I like a book that is both action-packed and has memorable characters, and this is one of them. There are two strands to the story, one centered aroun ...more
not set
Nov 29, 2010
All the Light We Cannot See
Anthony Doerr is a beautiful writer, someone who is able to bring both inner and outer landscapes alive. I particularly loved (in a painful way) livin ...more
Jul 06, 2014
Apr 02, 2014
عائشة والسياسة
I haven't read a full-length Arabic book in, like, forever. No, I mean it. The book is interesting but it is going VERY slow for me. I'm on page 100 o ...more
Apr 10, 2012
Apr 03, 2012
Kolocotronis makes you feel for and care about her characters. They are warm and likable, they speak in an honest, down-to-earth tone that wins you ov ...more
not set
Oct 09, 2009
In the Country of Men
**spoiler alert** This book is an honest look at human weakness when facing tyranny. The author writes several variations on this theme -- how the you ...more
Jan 18, 2009
Jan 10, 2009
The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle, #4)
**spoiler alert** I’ve been a longtime fan of Le Guin’s Earthsea series, but I was less familiar with her science fiction work before I came to this. ...more
Oct 09, 2009
Oct 02, 2009
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
I read this book because it won so many awards and because I remember enjoying _Drown_. I had a complicated reaction to it. The narrator's voice is am ...more
Feb 20, 2009
Feb 11, 2009
Neuromancer (Sprawl, #1)
Reading Neuromancer reminded me of why I stay away from most science fiction. I'll grant him that the futuristic world Gibson invents is amazing. The ...more
Jan 10, 2009
Dec 28, 2008
The Islamist
I'm writing this review as an "insider" i.e. a Muslim who has lived most of her life in the West. As such, I can't tell how much of this book would be ...more
Apr 13, 2011
Apr 06, 2011
Night Journey
I liked this book for the window it opened up for me to a world that I am only dimly aware of -- the life of urban poverty for a young black man -- an ...more
Jun 07, 2009
May 24, 2009
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Just attempting to write "the 9/11 novel" is a brave feat. This book just didn't do it for me though. While I did enjoy how Foer wrote Oskar, the chil ...more
not set
Nov 16, 2009
The Blind Watchmaker
Dawkins has a down-to-earth, humorous at times, way of explaining difficult concepts in a simple manner. His presentation of evolution as traveling th ...more
Jul 07, 2009
Jun 08, 2009
In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammad
Perhaps me giving this book 3 stars has more to do with my expectations than with the book itself. I prefer writers on the life of the Prophet to take ...more
Jun 07, 2009
Apr 22, 2009
Reservation Blues
This is one of Alexie's earlier books. I don't think it holds together entirely well and didn't find the wanderings of Coyote Springs all that interes ...more
not set
Nov 29, 2010
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
I loved this book for all the detailed examples it gives of past societies who collapsed because they destroyed their natural environment. Many of the ...more
not set
Jul 21, 2008
In Search of Fatima: A Palestinian Story

This book is the account of the life of Ghada Karmi, who was exiled at the age of 9 from her homeland, Palestine, after the creation of the state of I
Aug 2008
Jul 21, 2008
The Blind Assassin
I just finished reading this for the second time (the first time being about six years ago). I still think Atwood's prose is amazing. Sometimes poetic ...more
Mar 25, 2009
Sep 11, 2008
The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon, #2)
**spoiler alert** I didn't plan on reading this book until I saw several people in Syria reading the Arabic translation, and I figured I'd look stupid ...more
not set
Sep 30, 2008
Fire in the Mind: Science, Faith, and the Search for Order
Fire in the Mind is one of those books that make you want to read ten others. His main point is that the truth that you see in the world depends on th ...more
Nov 07, 2009
Jul 08, 2009
Memoirs of a Geisha
Would I have read this book if it were “Memoirs of a Bellydancer”? Perhaps, perhaps not – the unfamiliar locale certainly first drew me to this book. ...more
not set
Oct 23, 2009
The Evolution of God
This was an interesting book. Essentially his thesis is that God is what people make him out to be, and while I don't hold his view that God has no ex ...more
Dec 20, 2010
Nov 29, 2010
Olive Kitteridge
I didn't expect to like this book when first starting out, but the stories grew on me, and by the end, I felt I knew everyone in the Maine town of Cro ...more
Feb 20, 2011
Feb 20, 2011
Ship Fever: Stories
What's great about these stories is they about something one hardly ever reads about - the emotional lives of scientists. My favorites were "The Behav ...more
not set
Nov 29, 2010
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