Books & Writers

Books Worth Reading

Oman is rich in culture, history, figures, and nature. There are many available books that can help readers catch up on many of these fields. These books are not only written by Omanis but from foreigners as well who wanted to show the world many aspects of this rich and beautiful country.

Here are some of the books that are worth your time.

1- Celestial Bodies:

A novel was written by Jokha Al-Harthi

Translated by: Marilyn Booth

Published on May 21st, 2018.


Winner of the Man Booker International Prize 2019

Winner of the 2010 best Omani Novel Award.

Short Summary: the novel’s title is a set of the village of Awafi in Oman. It speaks about three sisters: Mayya, who marries Abdallah after having her heartbroken; Asma, who marries from a sense of duty; and Khawla who rejects all marriage offers waiting for her beloved that has emigrated to Canda. These women and their families observe Oman changing and evolving from a traditional, slave-owning society slowly redefining itself after the colonial era, to crossroads of its complex present. Elegantly structured and taut, Celestial Bodies is a coiled spring of a novel, telling of Oman’s coming-of-age through the prism of one family’s losses and loves.

Get the book: Amazon

2- Sultan In Oman

Written by Jan Morris

Published in 1957

Short Summary: In 1955 the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman, southeast of Saudi Arabia on the Arabian Sea, was a truly medieval Islamic State, shuttered against all progress under the aegis of its traditionalist and autocratic ruler. But it was also nearly the end of an imperial line, for in those days the British Government was still powerful in Arabia. Rumors of subversion and the intrigues of foreign powers mingled with the unsettling smell of oil to propel the sultan on royal progress across the desert hinterland. It was a historic journey-the first crossing of the Omani desert by motorcar. Jan Morris accompanied His Highness as a professional observer and was inspired by the experience to write her major work of imperial history.

Get the book: Amazon

3- Earth Weeps, Saturn Laughs: An Omani Novel

Written by Abdulaziz Al Farsi

Translated by Nancy Roberts

Short Summary: Earth Weeps, Saturn Laughs opens with the return of Khalid Bakhit, a government employee, to his hometown in Oman after a time away in the big city, and concludes with his return to the city with a new maturity born of a series of wrenching encounters with reality. Khalid's return home, sparked by his flight from a painful love affair, coincides with events that reveal the force of long-established traditions that have a stranglehold on the town: from racial prejudice to religious bigotry, to ossified patterns of leadership. Khalid's awakening and transformation are catalyzed by his encounters with a certain "Saturnine poet" who, in the course of chasing after an elusive ode, has stumbled upon this unnamed village. For a period of time, "the Saturnine" becomes Khalid's closest companion: listening to his woes, helping him see himself with new eyes, and imparting to him wisdom from a world beyond untainted by human smallness.

Get the book: Amazon

4- The Turtle of Oman

Written by Naomi Shihab Nye

Published on August 28th 2014

Short Summary: This accessible, exquisite novel shines with gentle humor and explores themes of moving, family, nature, and immigration. It tells the story of Aref Al-Amri, who must say good-bye to everything and everyone he loves in his hometown of Muscat, Oman, as his family prepares to move to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Aref Al-Amri does not want to leave Oman. He does not want to leave his elementary school, his friends, or his beloved grandfather, Siddi. He does not want to live in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where his parents will go to graduate school. His mother is desperate for him to pack his suitcase, but he refuses. Finally, she calls Siddi for help. But rather than pack, Aref and Siddi go on a series of adventures. They visit the camp of a thousand stars deep in the desert, they sleep on Siddi's roof, they fish in the Gulf of Oman and dream about going to India, and they travel to the nature reserve to watch the sea turtles. At each stop, Siddi finds a small stone that he later slips into Aref's suitcase—mementos of home.

Get the Book: Amazon

5- Oman: Under Arabian Skies

By Rory Patrick Allen

Published on January 1st, 2010

Short summary: The Sultanate of Oman is a land of oases, deserts, rolling sands, shifting dunes and mountains upon which ancient cities have been carved from stone. A land that boasts the Queen of Sheba, Sindbad the Sailor and The Lost City of Ubar buried for millennia under the Arabian Sands. A country that was heralded for its wealth in frankincense and it is from here that ancient frankincense caravans began carrying their precious cargoes to the classical world. Oman is a country where the Bedouin still wander the deserts as they have since time immemorial. A mystical land where eagles soar over the mountain that is home to the prophet Job, a prophet in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

In the mountains nearby live an ancient people whose language predates Aramaic. The age of the language remains a mystery. It is a spoken language with no written form. In these mountains, one finds caves that are decorated with prehistoric art. Mines and distinctive cone-like tombs dating from the Bronze age feature all over the country. It is a land that has tales of wizardry, magic, jinns, and exorcisms. Embark on a magical and mystical Arabian Odyssey with one man and his traveler's tales through this land that time has all but forgotten.

Get the book: Amazon

6- Buraimi: The Struggle for Power, Influence, and Oil in Arabia

By Micheal Quentin Morton

Published on October 29th, 2013.

Short Summary: Buraimi is an oasis between the mountains and the desert of south-eastern Arabia. In the early 20th century it shot to notoriety as oil brought the world's attention to this corner of the Arabian Peninsula. In this exciting account of the conflict, Michael Quentin Morton tells the story of how the overwhelming power of oil and the conflicting interests of the declining British Empire and the United States all came to a head shaping the future of the Gulf States.

With colorful additions from firsthand accounts, Morton brings a range of historical figures to life, from the American oilmen arriving in steamy Jedda in the 1930s to the rival sheikhs of the oasis competing for power, wealth and allegiances as well as the great players in world politics: Churchill, Truman and Ibn Saud. This entertaining, yet thoroughly researched book is both a story of the decisive conflict in the history of Middle East politics and also of the great changes that the discovery of oil brought to this otherwise desolate land.

Get the Book: Amazon

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