Some Things I Read

bookshelf I read 43 books this year. 44, if you count the book I'm about to finish. For some reason, 2012 doesn't feel like it was a particularly great year in terms of the books and longform articles that were published.

Jeevan Deol and Zaheer Kazmi edited a fantastic collection of essays entitled Contextualising Jihadi Thought. Anyone interested in that kind of thing should read it.

For a fun read about the Taliban pre-2001, check out Mohammad Kabir Mohabbat and L.R. McInnis' Delivering Osama. As you can tell from the title, it covers some of the Taliban's internal policy over bin Laden before the September 11 attacks. This is something I have written about together with Felix Kuehn, but this manuscript wasn't published when we wrote our book. If you're the kind of person who enjoys downloading old archive documents relating to Afghanistan till the wee hours of the morning, give this book a read.

I loved this profile of a complex character from Pakistan's Sindh by Saba Imtiaz. Go read it now if you haven't done so already.

Finally, I wrote about this one two years ago, but I have to mention it again since I've been revisiting its arguments for a new research project I'm working on: Noah Feldman's Fall and Rise of the Islamic State. It remains one of the most lucidly-written books I've read on the aspirational statebuilding of Islamists and what happens when they start thinking about constitutional law.

Drop me your book recommendations in the comments below and I'll see if I can get through 52 books in 2013...

UPDATE: I've now finished book #44 and think I'll get to #45 before the year is over...