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Books, pt.2

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1. Invisible Nation: How the Kurds' Quest for Statehood is Shaping Iraq and the Middle East, Quil Lawrence

Devoured in the throes of a horrid bout of Covid earlier this year. Between the fever dreams, painful aches, and pounding headache... the recent political development of the Kurdistan Region -- seen through the lens of an American -- was frankly light relief.

2. The Ministry for the Future, Kim Stanley Robinson

Less flippantly, this book (large parts read through the faze of a series of dust storms in Erbil) made me think, deeply. Climate change is already here. Recommend. Hope someone with greater influence also urgently does.

3. Iraq: The Cost of War, Jeremy Greenstock

While the former diplomat never actually puts a price on the cost of war in Iraq (millions of lives, totally underdeveloped plan, chronic instability), this book at least acknowledges the terrible job the US-led invasion made of its (first) pull-out, and the role of pretty hapless British officials.

4. We Came From Fire: Photographs of Kurdistan's Armed Struggle Against ISIS, Joey Lawrence

Beautiful images and such fantastically helpful maps of territories and key players throughout the 2010s. Useful to show a visiting, curious, wonderful friend.

5. The Fall of Baghdad, Jon Lee Anderson

Really grateful for the recommendation of this one, and also for the author's efforts to so painstakingly and empathetically describe the events of 2003 and beyond. Will try to add more thoughts on it here at some stage.

6. Women Who Run With Wolves: Contacting the Power of the Wild Woman, Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Less gushingly, this book could have been written with 50% fewer words, and truthfully I found it quite annoying in parts. Being free to totally, entirely, trust one's intuition and shirk certain responsibilities is a bit of a pipe dream at the moment… although probably that's why I felt so resentful. She has a point.

7. The Rumi Collection, edited by Kabir Helminski 

❤️‍🩹 From a wonderful, wise person. ❤️‍🩹