The Koran
What other 1300 year-old book has such bearing on our
contemporary lives?  You can read this work in so many ways, looking
for spiritual themes or ideological messages or for insights into the
sweep of current geo-politics.  The recurring themes of the 114 suras
are timeless -- war and struggle, charity and social mores,
relationships with outsiders, gender roles and responsibilities,
authority and rule, religion and politics.   "This book is not to be
doubted," are the famous opening words, and believers and infidels
will disagree over their bearing.  But "this work is not to be ignored"
may be the assertion that both sides will support.   


A searchable, on-line version of the Koran can be found here.   

Your local
bookstore will no
doubt have an
assortment of
beautiful, leather
bound and gilded
editions.  But for
most readers with
a scholarly
interest, the N.J.
Dawood edition
from Penguin
(which has sold
more than a
million copies) will
be a perfect guide
through this work.