Recipe taken from Warm Bread & Honey Cake by Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra


1 lb 7 oz tart apples (about 5 medium)
generous 1/3 cup (2 3/4 oz) granulated sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream

2 cups (10 1/2 oz) all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
scant 1 1/2 sticks (5 1/2 oz) butter, softened
generous 1 cup (8 oz) granulated sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
5 tbsp rum
5 tbsp water

9-inch springform pan, at least 2 3/4 inches high

Peel and core the apples. Cut each apple into 8 parts and slice thinly. Put the sliced apples in a bowl and mix in the sugar and cream. Set aside until needed.

For the cake, sift in the flour with the baking powder and salt and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Grease the pan and dust with flour.

Beat the butter and sugar until very smooth and creamy. Add the beaten egg in four batches, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beating well after each addition. Fold in the flour in four batches, adding the rum and water with the third batch. Gently fold in the last batch of flour and stop mixing as soon as it is incorporated.

You will need to divide the batter into three portions. Unless you have a very accurate eye and are very good at averaging these things, weigh them, because the layering depends on an even distribution of batter and fruit. Weigh two batches of batter, each 11 1/2 oz, into two bowls.

Transfer the batter left in the mixing bowl to the prepared pan. Level the top. Spread one batch of apple mixture evenly on top of this, leaving about 1/2 inch free around the edge. Add another batch of cake batter and level it. Spread the second batch of apple mixture evenly on top of this, and top with the third and final batch of batter. It will be quite a full pan, but the batter will not spill out while baking.

Level the top and bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes, then release the clip and transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely.




We are unable to travel, but our minds are still wandering the globe. We are also wondering when access will be possible again. Now more than ever we need the joy of literature and wonder of books to remain present in our lives. As the lockdown began to take hold of our lives, I found myself reading more biographies and memoirs and rediscovering the joy this genre of writing offered. Over the past couple of years I’ve had the pleasure of working on some wonderful and insightful biographies and memoirs–from Charlie Chaplin to Khalil Gibran, Che Guevara and Bob Marley to Mahmoud Darwish and Radwa Ashour. Below are my top 10 biography and memoirs picks. 

Thank you for your support. Stay healthy and safe.

Michel Moushabeck


Amazing Women of the Middle East
25 Stories From Ancient Times to Present Day
by Wa’fa Tarnowska

Hot off the press, this is a book we are very excited about sharing with you. It is intended for the 9+ age group, but it will be enjoyed by everyone in the family, including parents. I’ve included it here as a top pick even though it is not exactly a biography or memoir. It is a collection of portraits of 25 extraordinary women from the Arab world–queens, writers, scientists, activists, athletes, artists and others–who have created a legacy through strength of vision, leadership, courage, and sheer determination. This beautifully-illustrated book by 5 award-winning artists is guaranteed to inspire. Buy multiple copies and give them as gifts.



Kahlil Gibran
Beyond Borders
by Jean Gibran and Kahlil Gibran

Kahlil Gibran: Beyond Borders is the definitive biography of a much loved poet and author of the bestselling classic The Prophet. Gibran was a poet, a painter, a rebel, a global citizen and an immigrant from his beloved Lebanon. His compelling story is one of overcoming barriers faced by many immigrants to this country. It is beautifully written. In the age of Trump and the rising xenophobia and anti-immigrant rhetoric, there is no better time to read this rich and enlightening book that chronicles the life and work of a man who transcends borders and generations. This volume also includes a wealth or archival photos and never-before-published paintings by Gibran.



The Tramp’s Odyssey
by Simon Louvish

Simon Louvish’s Chaplin: The Tramp’s Odyssey is an absorbing film biography and an essential volume for understanding Chaplin and his body of work. In addition to telling Chaplin’s tale through his films, Louvish takes a deeper look at the Tramp’s social and political ideas: the challenge to fascism, defiance of the McCarthyite witch hunts, and other issues of the time. In short, this book is an epic journey, summing up the roots of comedy, Chaplin’s ceaseless struggle against adversity, and his capacity to represent our own fears, dreams, inner demons, and hopes. Other Louvish film biographies you’ll enjoy include Mae West: It Ain’t No Sin and Monkey Business: The Lives and Legends of the Marx Brothers. 



A Vision For My Father
by Rajie Cook

This lavishly-illustrated book is close to my heart. If it had been published by MOMA, the retail price would have been $100 instead of $35. It is a love letter to Palestine that you will cherish for its content as well as its exquisite design. It is a memoir, a touching Palestinian immigrant story, and a remarkable journey into the heart and mind of acclaimed Palestinian-American graphic designer Rajie Cook. Rajie’s vision is here recorded through his art–paintings, logo designs, posters, photography, and sculptures. The pain of the Palestinian people cries out through Rajie’s art and activism–the horror of the Occupation and the brutality of life that Palestinian children experience every day. Rajie uses his art as his voice, his camera as a partner; he lifts the veil of what people see or think they see with regard to the Palestinian people.


Palestine As Metaphor
by Mahmoud Darwish

Again, this is not a biography of the late Mahmoud Darwish. It is the first English publication of interviews with the beloved Palestinian poet and thinker. These interviews–elegantly translated by Amira El-Zein and Carolyn Forche–are a rich trove of Darwish’s reflections on his art, personal revelations, and political insight. These vivid dialogues, conducted by several writers and journalists, unravel the threads of a rich life haunted by the loss of Palestine and illuminate the genius and the distress of a major world poet. They will be enjoyed by all those who have enjoyed reading his poetry and prose collections. 



Bob Marley
A Life
by Garry Steckles

This concise biography of Bob Marley gives you the most complete information on one of the twentieth century’s most iconic cultural figures, who was responsible for popularizing reggae music throughout the world. It covers his early life in rural Jamaica, his recordings, and analyzes Marley’s political and religious beliefs, while also concentrating on his relationships with fellow musicians, family and influential figures. A chapter focusing on Marley’s long-term legacy explores what the musician contributed to world music and what the religious believer gave to Rastafarianism.


Che Guevara
A Life
by Nick Caistor

This accessible and well-researched biography explores the life and ideas of an iconic revolutionary. Nick Caistor has produced a study of a man who is all too often treated either as a plaster saint incapable of doing wrong or as some devil from the deepest pit of Marxism-Leninism. Caistor portrays him with sympathy and elegance as what he was: a human being with doubts and weaknesses, which he combined with a devotion to the world’s poor. Ernesto “Che” Guevara was someone who showed few contradictions between his life and his writing, and his example continues to win admirers among new generations anxious to explore ways of changing their world.



The Journey
by Radwa Ashour; translated by Michelle Hartman

Radwa Ashour is a great literary figure whose writing I’ve devoured and whose activism I’ve admired for a long time. The Journey narrates the years which Ashour spent in the US and captures so vividly the spirit and ethos of the time it chronicles–the early ‘70s. It is as relevant today as when it was first published in Arabic nearly 40 years ago. Never neutral and deeply engaged in politics, literature, people’s struggles, a young Radwa Ashour charts her years as a student in the US of the 1970s, where she would become the first PhD student to graduate from the newly founded W.E.B Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies and the English Department of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1975. It is a delightful read. 


The Storyteller of Jerusalem
by Wasif Jawhariyyeh

Winner of the Palestine Book Award, the memoirs of Wasif Jawhariyyeh are a remarkable treasure trove of writings on the life, culture, music, and history of Jerusalem. Spanning over four decades, from 1904 to 1948, Wasif Jawhariyyeh–oud player, music lover and ethnographer, poet, collector, partygoer, satirist, civil servant, local historian, devoted son, husband, father, and person of faith–viewed the life of his city through multiple roles and lenses. The result is a vibrant, unpredictable, sprawling collection of anecdotes, observations, and yearnings as varied as the city itself. The entries in this book–which reads like a novel–were taken from a 10-volume, leather-bound diary that Wasif left us and translated in to English. An entertaining and evocative read. 



Teaching Arabs, Writing Self
Memoirs of an Arab-American Woman
by Evelyn Shakir

Evelyn Shakir’s witty, wise, and beautifully written memoir explores her status as an Arab American woman, from the subtle bigotry she faced in Massachusetts as a second-generation Lebanese whose parents were not only foreign but eccentric, to the equally poignant blend of dislocation and homecoming she felt in Bahrain, Syria, and Lebanon, where she taught American literature to university students. In lively prose, brimming with humor and humanity, Shakir’s book offers new insights on Arab-Americans, the younger generation in the Arab world, cross-cultural exchange and, not least, the art of teaching. 


Let’s Turn This Crisis Into Change

With your support, we’re working hard to turn this crisis into meaningful change–one book at a time. For nearly 33 years, Interlink Publishing has brought you the power of reading, literature, and great books as well as information vital for participating in our democracy through knowledge and informed debate. This pandemic has only strengthened my deep conviction about the power of literature.

From day one, we have been fiercely committed to our mission and slogan of “Changing the Way People Think about the World.” We remain as committed to this core tenet under lockdown as we were when I first started Interlink Publishing back in 1987 when I was straight out of college. And we shall continue to do what we love to do long after the virus shall come to pass. We wholeheartedly believe that books make the world a better place; they make you feel connected with your neighbors from around the corner and others from around the globe. They are important to the well-being of our society and culture and are indispensable for the health of our democracy.

This pandemic–and the way it is being exploited by the present administration for power and profit–has brought about a stark new reality that has exposed the brutal wounds in our society. As we navigate the “new normal,” deep change is desperately needed to fix long-standing inequities that have only become more pronounced. There never has been a better moment to think about what kind of life we want to rebuild–and what kind of new leadership we want to have–after the virus has evaporated in the hot summer sun.

As we look ahead to our post-pandemic phase, we’re proud to continue to provide you with books that inform, inspire, and entertain, or ones that help you get away from it all while you can’t get away. So let’s keep you company while you keep your distance. Below is this week’s selection of great lockdown reads. Remember, we are still offering a free gift and free shipping until the end of May.

Thank you for your support. Please stay healthy and safe.

Michel Moushabeck


Celebrating Eid in the Time of Corona

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan is coming to an end this Saturday marking the end of the sunset-to-sunrise fast. Under normal circumstances, Muslims around the world would celebrate Eid al-Fitr with large family feasts, music, sung poetry, and sumptuous foods and desserts. Sadly, not so this time around.

Eid will feel different this year with smaller–or possibly digital–stay-at-home family gatherings and more subdued celebrations. My staff and I would like to wish all our Muslim brothers and sisters a Happy and Blessed Eid–one that is filled with love, good health, safety, and, most importantly, the hope that the virus shall soon pass and next year’s celebration will be bigger, better, and more joyous. 

On the positive side, during our shelter-in-place months, many have rediscovered the joy of reading and cooking at home. The promise of literature as a way to unite us again is taking shape and helping us take our minds off of all the lies, disinformation, incompetence, and vile toxicity that is being propagated by the current administration.

Below are my recommendations for good Eid reads and gift ideas. And to say THANK YOU for your unwavering support during these difficult times, we’d like to share with you the recipe for qatayef from Joudie Kalla’s Baladi: Palestine, a wonderful Eid dessert famous throughout the Arab World. We have made it many times at home and I can tell you that it is delicious and guaranteed to bring you some desperately needed lockdown pleasure. Remember, we are still offering a free gift and free shipping until the end of May.

Thank you for your support. Please stay healthy and safe.

Michel Moushabeck





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