The first Thursday of March is World Book Day , a yearly event organized by UNESCO  to promote reading, publishing and copyright. What started in 1995 as a single day has ballooned into a week - and sometimes month! - long series of international book-based happenings to encourage us to step away from the keyboard and drop that remote control. Use the event as an excuse to tuck into some new reads; what better way to crack the incomprehensible nut that’s called the Middle East? 
Well, for starters you might look to the Old and New Testaments and Quran to derive some conclusions about the origins of MidEast troubles. Grand old tomes, all - but World Book Day aims to broaden our literary appetites - incite us to pick up something new, experience a new point of view.
While the subject of the Middle East is too complex, fascinating and controversial to be reduced to a single title (however brilliant and well-marketed), you can self-educate with a short stack of essential books that cover a broad range of themes and perspectives.
Check out these books - as accessible to casual readers as they're enlightening for experts - listed in no particular order. And let us know your pick for the best book to boost appreciation for this zip code called the Middle East.