Page 1


Holiday Books

Day of Honey Annia Ciezadlo

In the fall of 2003, Annia Ciezadlo spent her honeymoon in Baghdad. Over the next six years, while living in Baghdad and Beirut, she broke bread with Shiites and Sunnis, warlords and refugees, matriarchs and mullahs. “Day of Honey” is her memoir of the hunger for food and friendship - a communion that feeds the soul as much as the body in times of war.

Recommended by: Azadeh Moaveni Azadeh Moaveni is a contributing writer for Time Magazine and author of "Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America and American in Iran" and "Honeymoon in Tehran: Two years of love and danger in Iran.”

The Buddha in the Attic Julie Otsuka

“The Buddha in the Attic” tells the story of a group of young women brought over from Japan to San Francisco as ‘picture brides’ nearly a century ago. It traces their lives, from their arduous journey by boat to arrival in San Francisco; to their backbreaking work picking fruit in the fields and scrubbing the floors of white women; to their experiences of raising children who ultimately reject their heritage and history.

Recommended by: John Freeman John Freeman is the Editor of Granta magazine, and the author of "The Tyranny of E-Mail.”

East of the West A Country in Stories Miroslav Penkov

A grandson tries to buy the corpse of Lenin on eBay for his Communist grandfather. A failed wunderkind steals a golden cross from an Orthodox church. A boy meets his cousin once every five years in the river that divides their village into east and west. These are Miroslav Penkov's strange, unexpectedly moving visions of his home country, Bulgaria, that make up his beguiling and deeply felt debut.

Recommended by:Yiyun Li Writer Yiyun Li is the author of "A Thousand Years of Good Prayers," "The Vagrants," and "Gold Boy, Emerald girl.�

The Hare with Amber Eyes A Family’s Century of Art and Loss Edmund De Waal A family memoir spanning five generations, "The Hare with Amber Eyes" is about the Ephrussis, a grand banking family, as rich and respected as the Rothschilds, who “burned like a comet” in nineteenth-century Paris and Vienna society.Yet by the end of World War II, almost the only thing remaining of their vast empire was a collection of 264 wood and ivory carvings, none of them larger than a matchbox.

Recommended by: Susan Glasser Susan Glasser is Editor in Chief of Foreign Policy magazine. She is the co-author of "Kremlin Rising: Vladimir Putin's Russia and the End of Revolution."

The Food of Morocco Paula Wolfert

“The Food of Morocco” is the definitive book on Moroccan cuisine, from tender Berber skillet bread to spiced harira, from chicken with tangy preserved lemon and olives to steamed sweet and savory breast of lamb stuffed with couscous and dates. The recipes are clear and inviting and infused with the author’s unparalleled knowledge of this delicious food.

Recommended by: Corby Kummer Corby Kummer is a Senior Editor at The Atlantic. He is author of "The Pleasures of Slow Food" and "The Joy of Coffee."

Every Man Dies Alone Hans Fallada

In this richly detailed portrait of life in Berlin under the Nazis, "Every Man Dies Alone" presents a sweeping saga of a working-class couple who decide to take a stand against the Nazis when their only son is killed at the front. They launch a simple, clandestine resistance campaign that soon has enraged Gestapo on their trail, and a world of terrified neighbors and cynical snitches ready to turn them in.

Recommended by: Robert Kenner Filmmaker Robert Kenner directed the documentary Food, Inc. His other projects include the Vietnam War documentary "Two Days in October."

Sea of Poppies Amitav Ghosh

The first installment of Amitav Ghosh's Ibis trilogy. At the heart of this novel is a vast ship, the Ibis. Its destiny is a tumultuous voyage across the Indian Ocean; its purpose, to fight China’s vicious nineteenthcentury Opium Wars. As for the crew, they are a motley array of sailors and stowaways, coolies and convicts.

Recommended by: Jonathan Spence Historian Jonathan Spence is the author of "The Search for Modern China," among other titles. He is a professor emeritus at Yale and a past MacArthur Fellow.

River of Smoke Amitav Ghosh

The second novel in Amitav Ghosh's Ibis trilogy. In September 1838 a storm blows up on the Indian Ocean and the Ibis, a ship carrying a consignment of convicts and indentured laborers from Calcutta to Mauritius, is caught up in the whirlwind. When the seas settle, five men have disappeared - two lascars, two convicts and one of the passengers.

Recommended by: Jonathan Spence Historian Jonathan Spence is the author of "The Search for Modern China," among other titles. He is a professor emeritus at Yale and a past MacArthur Fellow.

Recommendations Compiled by Carol Zall/The World Design by Manya Gupta/The World

Holiday Reading for 2011  
Holiday Reading for 2011  

Book recommendations from writers and journalists for the 2011 holiday season, compiled by The World's Carol Zall.