March 25, 2024

Finding Books by Arab and Middle Eastern authors


By Amy W., Public Services Librarian

Looking for a few tips to help you find books written by Arab and Middle Eastern authors?  We’re here to help! Check out the following tips and the convenient list of authors with links directly to our catalog for placing holds or checking out e-books or audiobooks.

1. Read an award winner.

The Arab American Book Award is an honor given each year to outstanding books written by or about Arab Americans with categories including Adult Fiction, Adult Non-Fiction (The Evelyn Shakir Non-Fiction Award), Poetry (The George Ellenbogen Poetry Award), and Children’s/Young Adult Literature. “The Arab American Book Award was established in 2006 in partnership with librarians from the University of Toledo, and the mission is to celebrate Arab American literature and honor those who have produced exemplary work”. (Arab American Book Awards) 

Recent Arab American Book Award Winners in the HEPL catalog 


The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah (2023 Winner) 

If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English by Noor Naga (2023 Winner) 

Bride of the Sea by Eman Quotah (2022 Winner) 

Against the Loveless World by Susan Abulhawa (2021 Winner) 

Alligator And Other Stories by Dima Alzayat (2021 Honorable Mention) 

The Other Americans by Laila Lalami (2020 Winner) 

A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum (2020 Honorable Mention) 


Muslims of the Heartland : How Syrian Immigrants Made a Home in the American Midwest by Edward E. Curtis IV (2023 Winner) 

Hadha Baladuna Edited by Ghassan Zeineddine, Nabeel Abraham, and Sally Howell (2023 Winner) 

Learning America: One Woman’s Fight for Educational Justice for Refugee Children by Luma Mufleh (2023 Honorable Mention) 

Don’t Forget Us Here by Mansoor Adayfe (2022 Winner) 

Return to Ruin: Iraqi Narratives of Exile and Nostalgia by Zainab Saleh (2022 Winner) 

When We Were Arabs: A Jewish Family’s Forgotten History by Massoud Hayoun (2020 Winner) 


Ida in the Middle by Nora Lester Murad (2023 Winner) 

The Turtle of Michigan by Naomi Shihab Nye (2023 Honorable Mention) 

Arab, Arab All Year Long! by Cathy Camper (2023 Winner) 

Mama in Congress: Rashida Tlaib’s Journey to Washington by Rashida Tlaib (2023 Honorable Mention) 

Home is Not a Country by Safia Elhillo (2022 Winner) 

The Arabic Quilt by Aya Khalil, Illustrated by Anait Semirdzhyan (2021 Winner) 

Farah Rocks Fifth Grade by Susan Muaddi Darraj (2021 Winner) 

I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir by Malaka Gharib (2020 Winner) 

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga (2020 Honorable Mention) 

2. Borrow e-books or downloadable audiobooks 

Hoopla E-Book Genres & Collections: Middle East History, Muslim Stories & Experiences, Jewish Stories & Experiences, Middle Eastern Literary Collections, Middle Eastern Literary Criticism, Middle Eastern Poetry, Middle Eastern Drama, Arabic Language Study, Middle Eastern Art 

Other Hoopla Collections: Arab Stories & Experiences – Audiobook Collection, Explore Iranian Cinema – Movie Collection, Jewish Stories & Experiences – Movie Collection 

Digital items: 


3. Check out a Cookbook

Jerusalem : a cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi  

Feast : food of the Islamic world by Anissa Helou 

Arabiyya : recipes from the life of an Arab in diaspora by Reem Assil 

The Arabesque table : contemporary recipes from the Arab world by Reem Kassis 

Palestine on a plate : memories from my mother’s kitchen by Joudie Kalla 

The Palestinian table by Reem Kassis 

Zaitoun : recipes from the Palestinian kitchen by Yasmin Khan 

The Aleppo cookbook : celebrating the legendary cuisine of Syria by Marlene Matar 

Arabesque : a taste of Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon by Claudia Roden 

Falastin : a cookbook by Sami Tamimi 

Or a digital cookbook from Hoopla’s Middle Eastern Cooking collection 

4. Explore our Arabic Language Resources 

Learn Arabic with  

  • Mango Languages: Mango is a free library resource for library patrons and offers access to 60 foreign language courses and 17 English courses taught in the user’s native language. Each lesson combines real life situations and audio from native speakers with simple, clear instructions. 
  • Hoopla’s Arabic Language Study materials 
  • Rosetta Stone on the Inspire Database: Indiana State Library’s Inspire database provides free access to level one courses using Rosetta Stone. 

Explore our Arabic Language Collections 


5. Authors List (alphabetical)