2021 in Books

2021 Book Tower


To read full entries, click on individual titles.

102. Honor – Elif Shafak

101. Disoriental – Negar Djavadi

100. The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Victor Hugo

99. The Book of Tea – Okakura Kakuzō

98. The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree  – Shokoofeh Azar

97. The Cypress Tree  – Kamin Mohammadi








41. Nineveh and its Remains – Austen Henry Layard

40. Literary Occasions – V.S. Naipaul

39. Shadow of the Silk Road – Colin Thubron

38. Misadventure in the Middle East – Henry Hemming

37. A Hundred and One Days – Asne Seierstad “No story contains the whole story. This is just one of many and it gives a fragment of the whole, not more… The truth about the war in Iraq does not exist. Or rather, there are millions of true accounts and maybe just as many lies. My remit as a journalist in the chaos of war was not to judge, predict or analyze. It was to look, ask and report.”

36. The Possessed – Elif Batuman

35. How Proust Can Change Your Life – Alain de Botton


34. Tell Them of Battles, Kings & Elephants – Mathias Enard

33. Beyond Euphrates – Freya Stark

32. The Art of Travel – Alain de Botton

31. The Siege of Jolo – Agnes Aliman What did I know about the Siege of Jolo? Nothing. I knew so much more about the Iranian Revolution that occurred on the same decade, but nothing of the siege that happened a few hundred miles away from my own hometown in 1974. I thank this book for correcting that.

30. The Lost Soul – Olga Tokarczuk

29. Venice – Jan Morris

28. Artist of the Floating World – Kazuo Ishiguro

27. The Poetics of Space – Gaston Bachelard

26. All The Shah’s Men – Stephen Kinzer


25. The Master and Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov

24. Beethoven Variations – Ruth Padel 

23. The Complete Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi

22. Klara and the Sun – Kazuo Ishiguro

21. The Odyssey – Emily Wilson Translation

20. The Idiot – Elif Batuman More than being a coming-of-age story, I see it mainly as a unique contemplation on language, communication, and the complexity of human interaction.

19. A Thousand Ships – Natalie Haynes

18. The Bastard of Istanbul – Elif Shafak



8. The Oracle of Stamboul – Michael David Lukas

7. Shame – Salman Rushdie

6. The Blood of Flowers – Anita Amirrezvani

5. Safar Nameh – Gertrude Bell

4. The Best Traveled Man On Earth – Jan Morris

3. Iran Awakening – Shirin Ebadi

2. Walking With the Wind – Abbas Kiarostami

1. The Silk Roads – Peter Frankopan