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Pooneh Ghoddoosi's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Pooneh Ghoddoosi recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Pooneh Ghoddoosi's favorite book recommendations of all time.


The Poems of Hafez

Poetry. Sufism. Middle Eastern Literature. Arab American Studies. Translated from the Persian by Reza Ordoubadian. Shamsed-din Hafez was born some six hundred years ago in southern Iran, but his poems have universal and contemporary appeal. Wherever Persian is known, he is easily recited by both king and common man. Those uncertain about matters of love, fortune, or any other situation open a page of his collection of poems at random and in it see their dilemmas untangled. His turns of phrase have enriched the Persian lexicon and entered everyday language; this has made him Persian culture's... more
Recommended by Pooneh Ghoddoosi, and 1 others.

Pooneh GhoddoosiYes. Hafez is my favourite poet. I grew up reading his poetry and trying to understand what it meant. My parents are also huge fans so it has an important place in my life. The way people might feel about the Bible, Torah or Koran, or any spiritual book, is how I feel about his poetry. (Source)

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In his highly influential book The Threatening Storm, bestselling author Kenneth Pollack both informed and defined the national debate about Iraq. Now, in The Persian Puzzle, published to coincide with the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis, he examines the behind-the-scenes story of the tumultuous relationship between Iran and the United States, and weighs options for the future.

Here Pollack, a former CIA analyst and National Security Council official, brings his keen analysis and insider perspective to the long and ongoing clash between the United...
Recommended by Pooneh Ghoddoosi, and 1 others.

Pooneh GhoddoosiThis book explains so much about the relationship between America and Iran. It’s more understandable than anything else I have read or seen firsthand, even though I have lived in Iran. And it’s good to see the way the ‘other team’ sees things rather than just the way the Islamic Republic does. It was very interesting and very helpful to me. (Source)

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Every Thursday morning for two years in the Islamic Republic of Iran, a bold and inspired teacher named Azar Nafisi secretly gathered seven of her most committed female students to read forbidden Western classics. As Islamic morality squads staged arbitrary raids in Tehran, fundamentalists seized hold of the universities, and a blind censor stifled artistic expression, the girls in Azar Nafisi's living room risked removing their veils and immersed themselves in the worlds of Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James, and Vladimir Nabokov. In this extraordinary memoir, their stories...

Recommended by Pooneh Ghoddoosi, and 1 others.

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A New York Times Notable Book
A Time Magazine “Best Comix of the Year”
A San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times Best-seller

Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken...
Recommended by Pooneh Ghoddoosi, and 1 others.

Pooneh GhoddoosiI read the book and it was great, but more people saw the film because it was nominated for an Academy Award. And after seeing the movie, so many people I knew came up to me and told me that they thought it was exactly the story of my life. And not just me, but most of my Iranian friends had the same feeling of “Oh God, that could have been me, I could have written that book – it could have been... (Source)

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My Uncle Napoleon

A teenage boy makes the mistake of falling in love with the much-protected daughter of his uncle, mischievously nicknamed after his hero Napoleon Bonaparte, the curmudgeonly self-appointed patriarch of a large and extended Iranian family in 1940s Tehran. This edition features an introduction by author and literature professor Azar Nafisi, an informative preface by the translator, a list of characters, a map of Iran, a glossary of terms, an afterward by the author, and questions for reading group discussion. Reprint. 10,000 first printing. less
Recommended by Jasmin Darznik, Pooneh Ghoddoosi, and 2 others.

Jasmin DarznikMy Uncle Napoleon’s humour runs very much to slapstick and farce…It is not something that they are well known for outside of Iran, but Iranians have a very highly defined sense of the absurd. Perhaps having endured so many wars, revolutions and occupations has given them a gift for making farce out of tragedy. (Source)

Pooneh GhoddoosiYou know how in any TV series or book, each character is a prototype of a personality in the world? Well this book is the best example of that. It explains the whole society of Iran using a handful of people in the most understandable way, especially if you are not familiar with the culture. I have lent this book to friends, if only so as to make them understand what goes on in the Iranian... (Source)

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