Assembly Journal, for their “five books” series, asked me to come up with a list of five Arabic books. The field was too dizzyingly wide.

Even when I narrowed my topic to “memoirs and not-quite-memoirs,” it was a difficult winnowing process: What about Galal Amin’s Nectar of the Years? Well, it hasn’t been translated into English, so that’s that, I suppose. Sayyid Qutb or Huda Shaarawi’s memoirs, for their historical and political importance? Taha Hussein’s classic The Days? (But hasn’t everyone already read The Days?)Continue Reading

Everyone seems to be publishing lists of their must-read, English-language books about football (or soccer, where the lists are American). After all, we English speakers do seem to be terribly fond of lists. Books that are list regulars are Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch and Joe McGinniss’ The Miracle of CastelContinue Reading