Listen Now: Bulaq’s ‘Best of 2021’

For our end-of-year book list, co-hosts M Lynx Qualey and Ursula Lindsey made up their own categories — from “best collection by a poet I hadn’t heard of before” ” to “best book about cannibalism” to “best book that lived up to the hype” — and added a few more along the way.

Some of the winning books.

It’s a journey through 10 books that struck and stayed with them this year, and you can listen at

Without giving too much away, the categories are:

Best literary cookbook for children (MLQ).

Best book I’ve been waiting for years to see published (Ursula).

Best collection of poetry by a poet previously unknown to me (MLQ).

Best book I’m reading even if I haven’t gotten far (Ursula).

Best book about cannibalism (MLQ).

Best book I’ve ordered someone for Christmas (Ursula).

Best gift book for under $20 (MLQ).

Best book that actually lived up to the hype (Ursula).

Best introduction to a novel (MLQ).

Best book about the “Syrian refugee crisis” (Ursula).

BONUS CATEGORY: Best Arabic-language list from a publisher

We also say goodbye to Humphrey Davies (1947-2021).