In light of the ongoing Israeli invasion and bombing of Gaza following the October 7 Hamas attacks against Israel, community members put together a list of books they see as useful, relevant and timely reading materials. Some of these texts shed light on complex histories of political conflict in the Middle East. Others are memoirs depicting what it means to live through war.





Their list is printed below. Although local library patrons can request any book via interlibrary loan, four of these books can either be found on the Warren Public Library shelves or accessed as an e-book or audio-book via the online catalogue. These titles are marked with an asterisk.

Warren Public Library director Marie Schmukal suggested additional texts that patrons might be interested in. All are currently owned by the library. These include “Track Changes” by Sayed Kashua, “The Tiny Journalist: Poems” by Naomi Shihab Nye, and Etaf Rums’ “Salt Evil Eye” and “A Woman is No Man.”

Schmukal recommends “Apeirogon” – a novel based on a friendship among a Palestinian and an Israeli – by Irish author Colum McCann. She said that the Warren Library has several works of non-fiction about Israeli-Palestinian relations, including “The Shortest History of Israel and Palestine” by English author Michael Scott-Baumann, and “Broken Promises, Broken Dreams: Stories of Jewish & Palestinian Trauma and Resilience” by American author Alice Rothchild.

Schmukal said that Vermonters who are seeking information of various kinds also have access to the Vermont Online Library, which offers a database of articles from magazines, professional journals and newspapers from around the world.

Joslin Memorial Library director Jason Butler recommended some texts that patrons can find on the shelves at Joslin, including the biography “The Lemon Tree: An Arab, A Jew, And The Heart Of The Middle East” by Sandy Tolan, the fictional “Dinner at the Center of the Earth” by Nathan Englander, the non-fiction “Palestine: Peace not Apartheid” by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and “The Skin and its Girl” by Sarah Cypher – a fictional account of a young, queer Palestinian-American woman who wrestles with questions of love, sexuality and exile.

Butler said that regarding current political events, “The Valley libraries should be at the forefront in being able to provide clear information on what’s happening – that’s our task, to help people be informed.”

A reading list put together by community members:





Arabiyya, Reem Assil

The Gaza Kitchen, Laila El-Haddad

Palestine On a Plate, Joudie Kalla

Zaitoun, Yasmin Khan

Falastin, Sami Tamimi et al.

History and Cultural Studies

Palestine: A Socialist Introduction, Sumaya Awad et al.

On Palestine, Noam Chomsky

Justice for Some, Noura Erakat

A Land with People, Esther Farmer et al.

Except for Palestine, Marc Lamont Hill et al.

The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine, Rashid Khalidi

The Palestinian Laboratory, Antony Lowenstein

Palestine: A Four Thousand Year History, Nur Masalha

Orientalism, Edward Said

The Question of Palestine, Edward Said


Ever Since I Did Not Die, Ramy Al-Asheq

Among the Almond Trees, Hussein Barghouthi

I saw Ramallah, Mourid Barghouti

My Father was a Freedom Fighter, Ramzy Baroud

Love in an Ex-Country, Randa Jarrar*

Stranger in my Own Land, Fida Jiryis

In Search of Fatima, Ghada Karmi

Out of Place, Edward Said*

Palestinian Walks, Raja Shehadeh

We Could Have Been Friends, My Father and I, Raja Shehadeh

They Called me a Lioness, Ahed Tamini


Against the Loveless World, Susan Abulhawa

Mornings in Jenin, Susan Abulhawa

The Blue Between Sky and Water, Susan Abulhawa

Salt Houses, Hala Alyan*

The Arsonist’ City, Hala Alyan

Enter Ghost, Isabella Hammad

The Parisian, Isabella Hammad

A Map of Home, Randa Jarrar

Men in the Sun, Ghassan Kanafani

My First and Only Love, Sahar Khalifeh

The Dance of the Deep-Blue Scorpion, Akram Musallam

Habibi, Naomi Shihab Nye

Minor Detail, Adania Shibli


19 Varieties of Gazelle, Naomi Shihab Nye*

Strip, Jessica Abughattas

The Twenty-Ninth Year, Hala Alyan

We Call to the Eye and the Night, Alyan and Hashem Beck

Exhausted on the Cross, Najwan Darwish

In the Presence of Absence, Mahmoud Darwish

Memory for Forgetfulness, Mahmoud Darwish

The Butterfly’s Burden, Mahmoud Darwish

Unfortunately, it was Paradise, Mahmoud Darwish

Rifqa, Mohammed El-Kurd

Footnotes in Order of Disappearance, Fady Joudah

Born Palestinian, Born Black, Suheir Hammad

The Earth in the Attic, Fady Joudah

Tethered to Stars, Fady Joudah

Honeybee, Naomi Shihab Nye

Words Under the Words, Naomi Shihab Nye


Graphic novels

Power Born of Dreams, Mohammad Sabaaneh

Footnotes in Gaza, Joe Sacco*

Palestine, Joe Sacco

Squire, Nadia Shammas

Story Collections

The Book of Ramallah, Maya Abu al-Hayat

Him, Me, and Muhammad Ali, Randa Jarrar

All That’s Left to You, Ghassan Kanafani

Palestine’s Children, Ghassan Kanafani

Young Adult

Farah Rocks series, Susan Muaddi Darraj

Wondrous Journeys in Strange Lands, Sonia Nimi