2021 in Books

2021 Book Tower

December

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

November

October

September

August

July

60. From Beirut to Jerusalem – Thomas Friedman with a re-reading of Black Wave – Kim Ghattas

59. A Fort of Nine Towers – Qais Akbar Omar

58. Woman Enough and Other Essays – Carmen Guerrero Nakpil

57. The Philippines is Not a Small Country – Gideon Lasco A gift to the Filipino people that we should embrace with gratitude. He shows us the Philippines for what it really is and how deserving it is of new and hopeful eyes.

56. Art As Therapy – Alain de Botton If you are into art, this book is for you. If you are not into art, this book

55. The Crusades Through Arab Eyes – Amin Maalouf

54. The Home That Was Our Country – Alia Malek

53. Little Mountain – Elias Khoury

52. 10 Minutes 38 Seconds In This Strange World – Elif Shafak

51. The Day The Leader Was Killed – Naguib Mahfouz

June

May

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

April

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

March

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

February

January

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