If You’re in the UK: Visit Your Library

Arabia Books – launched in 2008 – is celebrating its fifth birthday this year. The publisher is marking the occasion by working with the UK’s Reading Agency to offer sets of the 26 books the house has published since 2008 to every library authority in the country:

Arabia books 2That’s 211 library authorities in total.

Which of the Arabia titles should you choose? Well, if you’re looking for:

(Terrifying, gut-churning) page-turner from Algeria

Anouar Benmalek’s Abduction

Cross-cultural break-up book

Habib Selmi’s The Scents of Marie Claire

Thoughtful metafiction on Egypt and Palestine

Radwa Ashour’s Spectres

Poetic evocation of love

Iman Humaydan Younes’s Wild Mulberries 

The beautiful texture of objects during a time of war

Hoda Barakat’s The Tiller of Waters

Wild, wild historical ride

Mohammad Mansi Qandil’s Moon Over Samarqand

All of the above

Emile Habibi’s Said the Pessoptimist

Also from Arabia:

On September 23, Arabia will be hosting an evening of discussion at Maida Vale library on contemporary Arab writing and its relevance to the English speaking world. It will be led by Arabia’s founder, Barbara Schwepcke.

An interview with Barbara Schwepke: 5 Years of Arabia Books: Expectation, Reality, and Lessons Learned

If you give one of Arabia’s books a read, please do send the Reading Agency your feedback.