Books: Arabian Nights & Days

PEOPLE OF THE REEDS (223 pp.)—Gavin Maxwell—Harper ($4.50).

ARABESQUE AND HONEYCOMB (224 pp.) —Sacheverell Sifwe/l—Random House ($6).

"The best book," says the Talmud, "is the world." The good travel book mirrors two worlds, the one the traveler visits, and the one he brings with him. These double worlds are fascinatingly mirrored in two new travel books about the exotic lands of Iran and Iraq.

Nomads of the Waters. For Gavin Maxwell, a former British army major, travel in southern Iraq meant travail. He was all but eaten by fleas, broke his nose firing off a...

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