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Stories from the Middle East Region

Reading with Marc Baroud

Marc Barroud's top 5 books

We asked Marc Baroud, Lebanese designer and Director of the Design Department at Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts (ALBA), to list the 5 books that have influenced him the most. 

The Fountainhead
by Ayn Rand 
When The Fountainhead was first published, Ayn Rand's daringly original literary vision and her groundbreaking philosophy, Objectivism, won immediate worldwide interest and acclaim. This instant classic is the story of an intransigent young architect, his violent battle against conventional standards, and his explosive love affair with a beautiful woman who struggles to defeat him. This edition contains a special afterword by Rand’s literary executor, Leonard Peikoff, which includes excerpts from Ayn Rand’s own notes on the making of The Fountainhead. As fresh today as it was then, here is a novel about a hero—and about those who try to destroy him.

Learning from Milan: Design and the Second Modernity 
by Andrea Branzi
Andrea Branzi is one of Italy's leading design critics and practitioners. Learning from Milan begins where his previous discourses on the sources and traditions of Italian design leave off and draws on the Italian experience to address issues of international significance. Moving from a pointed summary and interpretation of design over the past two decades to a highly charged manifesto and blueprint for designers of the next century, this is Branzi's most provocative and original work to date.

Wind, Sand and Stars 
by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
(Originally published in French under the title Citadelle)
Recipient of the Grand Prix of the Académie Française, Wind, Sand and Stars captures the grandeur, danger, and isolation of flight. Its exciting account of air adventure, combined with lyrical prose and the spirit of a philosopher, makes it one of the most popular works ever written about flying. Translated by Lewis Galantière.

Dits et écrits
by Michel Foucault
In French, almost all of Foucault's lectures, published interviews and shorter writings (prefaces, articles, essays) have been published in a collection called Dits et écrits, originally published in four volumes in 1994, latterly in only two volumes. Alongside Foucaults books , these compliations constitute the intellectual autobiography of one of the great minds of the twentieth century. Unfortunatley there is no english version of Dits et écrits but here are a few english anthologies:
Language, Counter-Memory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews
Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972-1977
The Foucault Reader
Politics, Philosophy, Culture: Interviews and Other Writings, 1977-1984
Foucault Live: Collected interviews, 1961-84
The Politics of Truth
Ethics: Subjectivity and Truth (Essential Works Vol. 1)
Aesthetics, Method, Epistemology (Essential Works Vol.2)
Power (Essential Works Vol. 3)
The Essential Foucault

The Brothers Karamazov
by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Brothers Karamazov is a passionate philosophical novel set in 19th century Russia, that enters deeply into the ethical debates of God, free will, and morality. It is a spiritual drama of moral struggles concerning faith, doubt, and reason, set against a modernizing Russia, with a plot which revolves around the subject of patricide. Dostoyevsky composed much of the novel in Staraya Russa, which inspired the main setting. Since its publication, it has been acclaimed as one of the supreme achievements in world literature. 

Book descriptions and images from