Monday, March 29, 2004

Featured Books

At long last I've switched up the "Featured Books" Amazon links on the sidebar. What's new? A New Arabic Grammar of the Written Language, by John Haywood. This book helped me out a lot with its systematic presentation of particles and supplemental readings drawn from texts such as Ibn Khaldun and modern newspapers. If you're looking to pick up at least a reading knowledge of Arabic on your own, this is the book to do it with, though there are no cassettes to aid in speaking and listening.

The other book is Robert G. Hoyland's Arabia and the Arabs: From the Bronze Age to the Coming of Islam, which distills a lot of the most recent research on pre-Islamic Arabia for the general reader. This is a really fascinating topic, and I'm glad my dissertation goes into it some.

UPDATE: I also added Jonathan Berkey's The Formation of Islam: Religion and Society in the Near East, 600-1800, winner of the Middle East Studies Association's 2003 Albert Hourani Book Award.


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