This is one of the harder topics. I don't really read the 'smart' stuffs or serious stuffs. I tend to choose escapism in my choice of reading.
However Jean Sasson books is one of an eye opener for me. I read it at an early age, since my mom likes it dulu. So it is stuck in my memory. I guess, this book open my eyes that the people in the Middle East where 'our' people like to look up to, is not really good example of a true Muslim. It shows me at the very least, women here enjoy a lot of freedom compare to the female counterparts there.
There's a lot of issues to be brought up of the books, but I had read it more than 15 years ago so I can't remember all the details. All I know is that, the world is not what people say it is then.
p/s: The book maybe an exaggerated biography (as some would say) but you can't say there is a grain of truth in there.