10 books like Hideous Kinky

By Esther Freud,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Hideous Kinky. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission (learn more).

The Sultan's Wife

By Jane Johnson,

Book cover of The Sultan's Wife

Good writers of historical fiction blend layers of fact and fantasy together into an irresistible kaleidoscope. The very best of them are time travellers. And, that’s what Jane Johnson certain is… for her magical novel, set in the days of Sultan Moulay Ismail, sucks the reader back through centuries to a time when the Barbary Coast was a wild rumpus of a place – peppered with palaces and pirates, treasure, secrets, intrigue, and danger. I love this book because it’s not a dry historical read, so much as an intricate observation on the relationship between people, both elegant and deeply touching.

The Sultan's Wife

By Jane Johnson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sultan's Wife as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The author of The Salt Road and The Tenth Gift Jane Johnson returns with a captivating historical novel set in Morocco, The Sultan's Wife.

The year is 1677. Behind the magnificent walls and towering arches of the Palace of Meknes, captive chieftain's son and now a lowly scribe, Nus Nus is framed for murder. As he attempts to evade punishment for the bloody crime, Nus Nus finds himself trapped in a vicious plot, caught between the three most powerful figures in the court: the cruel and arbitrary Sultan Moulay Ismail, one of the most tyrannical rulers in history; his monstrous…


The Last Storytellers

By Richard Hamilton,

Book cover of The Last Storytellers: Tales from the Heart of Morocco

Far too many foreigners, myself included, have rocked up in Morocco and set to work recording versions of traditional tales for an outside audience. Almost all of them have realized that, what they imagined would be a straightforward exercise, was a near-impossible feat. One of the few European writers who have succeeded, and succeeded exceptionally well, is BBC reporter Richard Hamilton. As I read The Last Storytellers, I marvelled at how well he succeeded where so many others failed. The reason is that Hamilton has two qualities in abundance: patience and sensitivity. Reading the stories he presents takes me to the central square in Marrakech, Jma al Fna. I can see it, feel it, smell it, and, most importantly, I can hear the storytellers there recounting tales that pre-date A Thousand and One Nights.

The Last Storytellers

By Richard Hamilton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Last Storytellers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Marrakech is the heart and lifeblood of Morocco's ancient storytelling tradition. For nearly a thousand years, storytellers have gathered in the Jemaa el Fna, the legendary square of the city, to recount ancient folktales and fables to rapt audiences. But this unique chain of oral tradition that has passed seamlessly from generation to generation is teetering on the brink of extinction. The competing distractions of television, movies and the internet have drawn the crowds away from the storytellers and few have the desire to learn the stories and continue their legacy. Richard Hamilton has witnessed at first hand the death…


The Assembly of the Dead

By Saeida Rouass,

Book cover of The Assembly of the Dead

The books I like about certain places tend to be written by people who have not been born and raised there. It’s because the author has detachment, which makes their sense of observation all the keener. But, best books about places seem to be by authors who have some ancestral connection to that place. It’s as though they’re attached to it through their genes. Saeida Rouass, was born in London to Moroccan parents. From the very first line on the very first page of her book Assembly of the Dead, you can feel she’s not English, but rather that she’s connected by some magical alchemy to Morocco, the land of her ancestors. Rouass is a dazzling writer, one who bridges East and West in the most exceptional and unusual way.

The Assembly of the Dead

By Saeida Rouass,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Assembly of the Dead as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Morocco, 1906. The country is caught between growing European influence and domestic instability. As young women disappear from the alleyways of Marrakesh, Farook Al-Alami, a detective from Tangier, is summoned to solve the case of the apparent abductions. Investigating crimes in a country without a police force, Farook enters Marrakesh on the orders of the Sultan. But, in a city under siege from famine and death, he must rely on his own intuition and skill to uncover the mystery of the women s fate. Will anything halt the spate of disappearances until then? And can a single, criminal pair of…


Stolen Lives

By Malika Oufkir, Michele Fitoussi,

Book cover of Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail

This book haunts me in a way that almost no other published work does. It’s like one of those movies we all have on a secret list – that we adore but can’t bear to ever watch again (like the Killing Fields or Fight Club). A memoir of almost unparalleled beauty and horror, it tells the true-life tale of the daughter of General Oufkir, who was put to death for attempted regicide. Malika and her five siblings were imprisoned for fifteen years in a penal colony, from where they mounted a daring escape.

Stolen Lives

By Malika Oufkir, Michele Fitoussi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stolen Lives as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The daughter of a former aide to the king of Morocco, who was executed after a failed assassination attempt on the ruler, describes how she, her five siblings, and her mother were imprisoned in a desert penal colony for twenty years.


Sufism

By Carl W. Ernst,

Book cover of Sufism: An Introduction to the Mystical Tradition of Islam

Ernst writes about the Muslim Sufi tradition for the general public with passion and verve, making sometimes complex ideas intimately accessible and conveying the excitement and passion of male and female Muslim seekers after union with their divine beloved. He covers Sufi forms of worship, the role of saints and intercession, and ecstatic poetry, dance, and song. It is a fascinating exploration of a widespread and essential Muslim spiritual tradition that contrasts with the sober, puritanical Salafi strain with which many readers may be more familiar.

Sufism

By Carl W. Ernst,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sufism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The classic introduction to the philosophies, practices, and history of Sufism, the mystical tradition of Islam

The Sufis are as diverse as the countries in which they've flourished—from Morocco to India to China—and as varied as their distinctive forms of art, music, poetry, and dance. They are said to represent the mystical heart of Islam, yet the term Sufism is notoriously difficult to define, as it means different things to different people both within and outside the tradition.
 
With that fact in mind, Carl Ernst explores the broadest range of Sufi philosophies and practices to provide one of the most…


Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits

By Laila Lalami,

Book cover of Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits

Another powerful debut on border-crossing, this novel begins with a frame-chapter or a prologue of sorts called “The Trip” that shows a group of Moroccans fleeing to Spain for a better life on a ramshackle boat. The following subsections, “Before” and “After,” zoom into the lives of the characters introduced in the opening chapter to highlight the socio-economic reasons leading them to risk their lives by crossing the Mediterranean Sea illegally, and their gritty fate once the boat fails them, as they’re stranded in Spain or deported to Morocco. Some critics have called the novel a collection of interconnected stories, although the book’s “prologue” is hardly a standalone story; it aligns the novel instead with an alternative structural aesthetic, one that recalls the frame narratives of oral storytelling traditions like The Thousand and One Nights, an obvious influence on the book. 

Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits

By Laila Lalami,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“A dream of a debut, by turns troubling and glorious, angry and wise.” —Junot Diaz​

Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, the debut of Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist Laila Lalami, evokes the grit and enduring grace that is modern Morocco. The book begins as four Moroccans illegally cross the Strait of Gibraltar in an inflatable boat headed for Spain.What has driven them to risk their lives? And will the rewards prove to be worth the danger?

There’s Murad, a gentle, unemployed man who’s been reduced to hustling tourists around Tangier; Halima, who’s fleeing her drunken husband and the…


Dreams Of Trespass

By Fatima Mernissi, Ruth V. Ward (photographer),

Book cover of Dreams Of Trespass: Tales Of A Harem Girlhood

This is the fictive account of a girl growing up in the women’s quarters of a conservative family in Fez Morocco in the 1940s and 50s. The narrator tells about how she is not allowed to go out and dreams of what life outside must be like. Throughout, her mother advocates for her daughters’ education and eventual ability to earn a living, but comes in conflict with her traditionally-minded mother-in-law who sees women’s roles tied to household tasks and child-rearing. Based loosely on the experiences of the author, the account provides a more nuanced depiction of the harem than the usual Western one. The author was a prominent Moroccan sociologist and outspoken feminist, and the book is particularly interesting for the sympathetic way she presents these women’s lives.

Dreams Of Trespass

By Fatima Mernissi, Ruth V. Ward (photographer),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dreams Of Trespass as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"I was born in a harem in 1940 in Fez, Morocco..." So begins Fatima Mernissi in this exotic and rich narrative of a childhood behind the iron gates of a domestic harem. In Dreams of Trespass , Mernissi weaves her own memories with the dreams and memories of the women who surrounded her in the courtyard of her youth,women who, deprived of access to the world outside, recreated it from sheer imagination. Dreams of Trespass is the provocative story of a girl confronting the mysteries of time and place, gender and sex in the recent Muslim world.


Destination Casablanca

By Meredith Hindley,

Book cover of Destination Casablanca: Exile, Espionage, and the Battle for North Africa in World War II

This is an exciting new book by Meredith Hindley. Instead of Humphrey Bogart and Rick’s Café, this book features interesting real people, such as the famous singer Josephine Baker, who, although not members of armed forces, still did their part to help the Allied cause. After conducting extensive research in archives and secondary sources, Hindley crafted an engaging narrative in which she connects exiles who gathered information about the Germans with the fight for control of North Africa and the Mediterranean. I recommend this book because it provides a human dimension to the story of the Battle for North Africa.

Destination Casablanca

By Meredith Hindley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Destination Casablanca as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the summer of 1940, following France's surrender to Germany, Casablanca was transformed from an exotic travel destination to a key military target. Nazi agents and collaborators soon overran the city looking to capitalize on the new Vichy regime. The resistance was not far behind, as bartenders, shopkeepers, taxi drivers, celebrities, and disgruntled bureaucrats formed a network of Allied spies. Meanwhile, Jewish refugees from Europe flooded the city, hoping to obtain visas to the United States and beyond.

In November 1942, Casablanca's wartime fate changed in 74 hours, when 33,000 American soldiers stormed the beaches of French Morocco as part…


The Sheltering Sky

By Paul Bowles,

Book cover of The Sheltering Sky

It is a notion that Paul Bowles realizes intuitively in his deeply philosophical novel The Sheltering Sky. For Bowles, it is our memories, not simply our flesh, that render life so precious, so fleeting. “How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood,” Bowles writes, “some afternoon that’s so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.”

The Sheltering Sky

By Paul Bowles,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sheltering Sky as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The Sheltering Sky is a book about people on the edge of an alien space; somewhere where, curiously, they are never alone' Michael Hoffman.

Port and Kit Moresbury, a sophisticated American couple, are finding it more than a little difficult to live with each other. Endeavouring to escape this predicament, they set off for North Africa intending to travel through Algeria - uncertain of exactly where they are heading, but determined to leave the modern world behind. The results of this casually taken decision are both tragic and compelling.


Memories of Absence

By Aomar Boum,

Book cover of Memories of Absence: How Muslims Remember Jews in Morocco

When we talk about the need to read Jewish history in the Middle East within its original context, and within the understanding that Jews lived among non-Jews, interacted with non-Jews, and had a tremendous influence on their respective societies, from time to time, we need to change the perspective and see how their non-Jewish compatriots viewed them and remember them. In this book, Aomar Boum recorded the ways in which the Muslims of Morocco remember the large Jewish communities that lived in that country for millennia and shrunk to a fraction of their former self after 1956-1967. This book allows us to examine multiple perspectives simultaneously. The national and colonial identities, the essence of Middle Eastern Zionism, and the place of the memory of Jews after they had left in the modern societies.

Memories of Absence

By Aomar Boum,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Memories of Absence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There is a Moroccan saying: A market without Jews is like bread without salt. Once a thriving community, by the late 1980s, 240,000 Jews had emigrated from Morocco. Today, fewer than 4,000 Jews remain. Despite a centuries-long presence, the Jewish narrative in Moroccan history has largely been suppressed through national historical amnesia, Jewish absence, and a growing dismay over the Palestinian conflict.

Memories of Absence investigates how four successive generations remember the lost Jewish community. Moroccan attitudes toward the Jewish population have changed over the decades, and a new debate has emerged at the center of the Moroccan nation: Where…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Morocco, Sigmund Freud, and Sufism?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Morocco, Sigmund Freud, and Sufism.

Morocco Explore 28 books about Morocco
Sigmund Freud Explore 37 books about Sigmund Freud
Sufism Explore 31 books about Sufism