Top 5 Wednesday: Characters I dislike with a passion! SOS~ pls dont unfollow!

Hallo everyone.

I want to thank Lainey @ gingerreadsLainey for this much needed topic 😄

 

Diving right in:

1.  The star-crossed?! Twilight trio consisting of Edward Cullen, Bella Swan and Jacob Black. Pls dont ask me for reasons with all due respect. I love the fantasy side of this series, just not these three. Give me Jasper any day >_< Runs and hides from Alice, Ofcourse that’s no use! *Wails!!* if I had to chose one, itd be Bella, if she could make up her mind a bit faster we would’ve had only one book to survive 😄

 

2.  Professor Umbridge a gazillion times. I’ve never seen or heard of a human more detestable than her. She has more evil than Voldermort and Valentine put together.

 

3 .  Harry Potter’s love interests

Cho Chang; why is she even in his life *sigh* doesn’t she dump Harry who she clearly had been urging on for a few weeks!

Ginny Weasely; again, why her. I like that she stands for a modern take on a witch but I really dont understand Harry’s choice in women. *bigger sigh* She just seems so shallow.

 

4 .  Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye. I read the book because of its metaphoric value, while all the while wanting to hold Holden by his shoulders and shake some sense into him.

 

5 . Charlie from Perks of Being a Wallflower. I dont understand why but I have a bone to pick with this book. How does he let them all do things to him, almost take advantage of him :/ it upset me very much, and still does.

 

Are there any characters who aren’t villains that you love to hate! >_<

Please do let me know.

 

Until the next T5W,

 

 

Ps: my T5W  of last week was published today, thank you brain for not registering the dates, Y’all pls do forgive my error.

Top 5 Wednesday: Recent Additions to my TBR!

 

Dearest Readers,

I felt immense pleasure and pain in compiling this weeks Top 5 Wednesday

Pleasure: because I get to talk about books I one day wish to own and consume 😄

Pain: because I know it will be quite some time before I can acquire them *bawls*

Who can relate?

I’m pretty sure this topic is about to rip a hole in my heart tonight and in my pocket in the months to come! 😄 Yes I’ll be reading many of these memes tonight.

 

 

So here’s the five latest additions to my ever growing list of books I want to read and reasons why I picked them.

 

No Pretty Pictures, A Child of War by Anita Lobel

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Anita Lobel was barely five years old when World War II began and the Nazis burst into her home in Kraków, Poland. Her life changed forever. She spent her childhood in hiding with her brother and their nanny, moving from countryside to ghetto to convent—where the Nazis finally caught up with them.

Since coming to the United States as a teenager, Anita has spent her life making pictures. She has never gone back. She has never looked back. Until now.

Summary from Amazon. 

 

 

I confess, I love war stories. Yes they are dark and sad, filled with narratives of sacrifice and horror but they help me be thankful for all I have. And yes, I love Nazi war stories more so than others. Is that bad? 

 

 

Tiddas by Anita Heiss

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A story about what it means to be a friend …

Five women, best friends for decades, meet once a month to talk about books … and life, love and the jagged bits in between. Dissecting each other’s lives seems the most natural thing in the world – and honesty, no matter how brutal, is something they treasure. Best friends tell each other everything, don’t they? But each woman harbours a complex secret and one weekend, without warning, everything comes unstuck.

Izzy, soon to be the first Black woman with her own television show, has to make a decision that will change everything.
Veronica, recently divorced and dedicated to raising the best sons in the world, has forgotten who she is.
Xanthe, desperate for a baby, can think of nothing else, even at the expense of her marriage.
Nadine, so successful at writing other people’s stories, is determined to blot out her own.
Ellen, footloose by choice, begins to question all that she’s fought for.

When their circle begins to fracture and the old childhood ways don’t work anymore, is their sense of sistahood enough to keep it intact? How well do these tiddas really know each other?

Summary from Amazon

I have a feeling this book will have a fragmented narrative. Women friendships bought together by books, especially between those of different cultures makes for an insightful read. 

 

 

 

Ruins by Rajith Savanadasa

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In the pent-up heat of Colombo, piece by piece, a family comes apart.

A country picking up the pieces, a family among the ruins. In the restless streets, crowded waiting rooms and glittering nightclubs of Colombo, five family members find their bonds stretched to breaking point in the aftermath of the Sri Lankan civil war. Latha wants a home. Anoushka wants an iPod. Mano hopes to win his wife back. Lakshmi dreams of rescuing a lost boy. And Niranjan needs big money so he can leave them all behind.

Summary from Hachette

 

 

I’m willing to promote any Lankan lit hereforth on my blog. As soon as I came across this book, I knew I had to read it soon. The civil war in my country is long gone, but not forgotten. We are still healing from those wounds and lives are not yet fully normal. War or no war, human nature is more powerful. I want to see how Colombo, my city is portrayed and I think the story is not going to disappoint! 

 

 

Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women

bfdfRomance, dating, sex and – Muslim women? In this groundbreaking collection, 25 American Muslim writers sweep aside stereotypes to share their search for love openly for the first time, showing just how varied the search for love can be–from singles’ events and online dating, to college flirtations and arranged marriages, all with a uniquely Muslim twist.

These stories are filled with passion and hope, loss and longing: A quintessential blonde California girl travels abroad to escape suffocating responsibilities at home, only to fall in love with a handsome Brazilian stranger she may never see again. An orthodox African-American woman must face her growing attraction to her female friend. A young girl defies her South Asian parents’ cultural expectations with an interracial relationship. And a Southern woman agrees to consider an arranged marriage, with surprising results.
These compelling stories of love and romance create an irresistible balance of heart-warming and tantalizing, always revealing and deeply relatable.

Summary from Amazon

For those of you who aren’t aware yet, I’m Sri Lankan, and yes, Muslim.  I utterly dislike how literature treats Muslims, esp. how they are often portrayed in settings where there is war or some sort of fear , oppressed and seemingly without a life , whilst the majority of us have fears very like most of the ‘normal’ people out there. I know this is a very out there thing to say, but I really want to read books where Muslims, esp. Muslim women are not fit in to the ‘Other’ category. This one discusses struggle we really face, myself too and I’d very much like to see what they have to say. I hope it doesn’t disappoint. I expect a lot from it.  (Sadly like my ideas of love lol, idealist INFP talking here. XD) ~Inshallah here menas If God Wills~

 

 

 

Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now–As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It, and Long for It by Craig Taylor

 

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In Londoners, acclaimed journalist Craig Taylor paints readers an epic portrait of today’s London that is as rich and lively as the city itself. In the style of Studs Terkel (Working, Hard Times, The Good War) and Dave Isay (Listening Is an Act of Love), Londoners offers up  the stories, the gripes, the memories, and the dreams of those in the great and vibrant British metropolis who “love it, hate it, live it, left it, and long for it,” from a West End rickshaw driver to a Soldier of the Guard at Buckingham Palace to a recovering heroin addict seeing Big Ben for the very first time. Published just in time for the 2012 London Olympic Games, Londoners is a glorious literary celebration of one of the world’s truly great cities.

Summary from Amazon

 

I ‘LOVE’ the UK. If you must know more about me, this is a fact that everyone who knows me knows, even to the little cousins. Everything about it. I’m a classic junkie, I study English literature for a degree and I will willingly wear gowns for the rest of my life though its not necessary, and yes I love a good dose of London during the holidays. Does this qualify me enough to want to read this book?

 

 

Thats only 5 of them sadly, the list goes on >_<  and there’s so many exciting titles I wish I could share with you! Maybe I’ll make that a segment on the blog… Should I??

So tell me if you’ve read any of the above. Or maybe leave me with the title of the last book you added to your TBR, yes that’s a good idea 🙂

 

 

Until next time

 

 

My first Goodreads giveaway book! et etc…

Cue the fireworks, bling bling disco lights and BTS’s FIRE blaring in the background! Some one call the FIRETRUCK!! There is an emergency dance party going down!!!!

Whoop whoop whoop!

YES!!!

YES!!

I received my first Goodreads package yday! ^_^ I feel blessed!

20160715_100235.jpgGotto say I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. Much thanks to Jody Medland over at Goodreads and to Rozana McGrattan for her promising book. SO, please do look forward for the review some time in the coming week! I do not want to give away so much about it, though I’m so excited for a number of reasons!!! >_<

 

On other news, I’ve had a bad case of laptop issues once again. *SIGH* this is getting old innit??

If you’ve noticed I’ve not been blogging much for the past month really. Two major reasons why :

  1. Its been the month of Ramadhan for us Muslims, when we fast from dawn till dusk for a whole month. It was understandably a tiring month, and tons of extra prayers and bits and bobs to be done. Then we had Eid, the festival to mark the end of the fast which was all gaiety and ……..food! >_<  Lots of sweets and sugar syrup lol!
  2. I have issues with having my own space / my own damn device in the very least. Blogging from the PC or attempting to blog from the PC, has been a draining experience for me *UGH* so I opted to not do so altogether. (do I hear a sigh from the blogging community. I feel ashamed :/ – dont emancipate me please!! )

I surprisingly do not regret it as much. Its been a off month even in Uni, and Ramadhan comes only once a year, so why not make the best of this spiritual month eh??

On better news, I might be getting a new lappy this week, ( :O ) so if God wills, you guys can look forward to two book reviews within the week, both of which I’m extremely excited to let you guys know more of!!

 

Hope every one of you has been having better times >_<

Happy blogging!!

 

ps, show my biases some love  L_L (press on links)

 

 

Top 5 Wednesday | I need a sequel!

Hallo everyone,

Where do the weeks go? Once one T5W is done, its already time for another of them. Or I’ve been really busy I didn’t notice two T5W’s go past. Sowwy!

So today’s topic is on stand alones or books in series which I would love to see a sequel to 🙂 Its no rare matter that we reader folks grow a partiality to some books over others due to some aspect within the books (the reasons are unique and diverse) Here are my 5 picks for books I would love to see a sequel to 🙂

 

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Husseini

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I want to know how Pari bint Abdullah now feels with her new found extended family. Does she feel connected or more separated than ever due to the differences in culture?

If you wanna know where my thoughts lead from, you can check my review of And the Mountains Echoed 🙂

 

 

Wonder by R.J.Palacio

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Does Auggie fit in as he grows? Does he learn to accept his fate of being sidelined on first sight? Does this change his out look of life?

 

Pride and Prejudice

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I know there are tons of spinoffs and sequels to this book, but there’s nothing like having the original author tell us like it was, to answer our many questions, and put our hearts and minds to rest 🙂

Does the love continue for Dizzie? What will become of Lydia and Wickham? Does Mr Bennet die? Who does Georgiana marry? I need to know these things!

I attempted a lil something with the story myself >_<

 

 

Harry Potter (and now we have it 🙂 )

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Does the need for more Harry Potter related input need any explanation?

Thought so!!!

 

Moving on….

…..

 

Cinderella ?

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with the realest picture I could find

My love for this story comes from the lessons we girls can take. There’s nothing wrong with being nice, showing kindness and the underrated courage a majority of women have to face day in-day out across the world. If anything its something we are lacking right now.

Fairy tales are real lives after all. Things must go wrong, arguments must be had behind closed doors. I would very much like to know how my pseudo-namesake deals with her new life, her family and her new responsibility as queen.

 

 

Which books would you like to see sequels of? Please do share. As for me, I cannot wait to get reading on HP & the Cursed Child!

 

Until the next T5,

 

 

Top 5 Wednesday| My favourite fathers in literature!

Long time no Top 5 Wednesday !

Yes yes yes. I’ve been a truant playing girl when it comes to T5W these past few weeks, but I was just not feeling the topics. This one though I couldn’t let go without attempting it.

Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Lainey @ gingerreadslainey and is now hosted by Sam @ Thought on Tomes.

 

Father figures in literature, here’s my picks after much thought and debate. It wasnt easy folks!

 

Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird

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He can be said to be the epitome of fatherhood in the  literary world. Kind, generous, brave and seeking the path of justice. His advice to his children are some we ourselves could do with and has been inspiring readers since the book was first published.

 

Mo from Inkheart

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I love Mo, for all his love of books, and ofcourse for tid bits like the above! I love the close knit connection these two have shared by their love of books and the magic they hold.

 

 

Hans Hubermann from The Book Thief

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I love how Hans saves Liesel’s life by just teaching her how to read. Those late night nightmares and reading sessions are a wonderful look in to the depth of his caring and generous character.

 

 

Otto Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank

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He is perhaps the reason why Anne ever kept a diary, and ironically he is also the reason why we, years later read about the horrors of Anne’s hideout, and the trials she went through growing up.

 

Mentions 🙂

Carson Drew  from  Nancy Drew Series / Song girl’s Dad in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before 

I had to mention these two father figures for their utmost faith and trust in their daughters. For Carson allowing his only child into dangerous cases must be the single most dangerous thing he does day in day out, while the Song girls dad must have worried his hat off at the thought of bringing up three girls single handedly.

Yet all the girls turn out wonderful. What I love is the give-take relationship they all have with their fathers and how the fathers in return know when and how to handle a girl crisis 😛

 

So, who would you chose? Have I missed any literary greats? Please let me know 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

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Synopsis

In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most.

Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.

(From Goodreads)

 

Review

“They tell me I must wade into waters, where I will soon drown. Before I march in, I leave this on the shore for you. I pray you find it, sister, so you will know what was in my heart as I went under.”

 

‘And the Mountains Echoed’ begins with a story a father tells his children and this is a premonition to them of things to come. How a brother and sister are separated in childhood. It turns out to be a tale of “the finger cut, to save the hand.” The rest of the story tells us how the hand reacts, and what happens to the finger. For me this book is more than the story of Abdullah and Pari . It is the story of how a twin has to live with the moral burden of hurting her prettier twin, it is the story of two cousins returning to their homeland now as adults, it is the story of a boy coming to an understanding of his father’s real reputation, it is the story of brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, lovers and even the bond of master and servant. It is, in simple words, the story of love and loyalty transcending borders and time.

 For a book that reached the top 10 even before its release based on pre publication reviews alone, and a book that sold approximately 3 million copies in its first 5 months after publication,  And the Mountains Echoed, lived up to all the complexity and magic it was expected to hold. It is the third book by acclaimed Afghan – American author, Khaled Hosseini and it without a doubt cements his name as being one of the most prolific storytellers in this century.

The fact that such simple language, be it the prose or the poetry, can bring to mind such vivid emotions and thoughts is wondrous. I must confess, I read through the last quarter of the book in a puddle of my own tears. No shame here. I was left contemplating thoroughly moved.

His poetry, as well as the stories within this story are compelling in their own right, his philosophy and thinking which we see and feel through his characters show us despite our differences in faith, culture and geography, the dynamics of relationships are universal and basic humanness and human emotion are the same. Our basic instincts and needs are one, regardless of whether we chose to enclose ourselves from the public eye or not. There were many moments when I had read a paragraph, a line or a string of words, when I just sat back and thought of how it affected me in my own story and those around me today.

 

“They say, Find a purpose in your life and live it. But, sometimes, it is only after you have lived that you recognize your life had a purpose, and likely one you never had in mind.”

 

The book consists of nine chapters, or in another light, nine sub-stories, each from the perspective of different characters who span many generations and from across the globe. The book’s fragmented narrations gives us an indepth look into the characters and we find them all to be surprisingly interconnected, only an arm’s length from each other. These narratives span the past, present and future, and we see the characters encounter each other in surprising and tragic ways.

The familial themes which Hosseini brings into even his third book, is further explored. Sibling relationships and sibling like relationships are put to the test.  I was impressed at his way of talking and showing us the complexity of sibling love, the purity of it, as well as the good, bad and ugly aspects often left unventured. We are left heartbroken on some and deeply conflicted on others. Siblings are reconnected, but not in how our hearts expect them to. In fact none of the endings are satisfactory, and Hosseini is clearly trying to tell us something. Is it that, in his words,

“Nothing good came free. Even love. You paid for all things. And if you were poor, suffering was your currency.

 

Afghanistan’s political situation plays a huge role in the story as a backdrop for events taking place. Hosseini has tread this path well, and I didn’t for once feel stifled by my lack of knowledge on the political aspects of the story. If not for the war, many of our characters wouldn’t have met the way they did, nor have moved across the globe as we see them do. What’s surprising is that though the presence of war is there, it is never about it. The human struggle is always above this and Hosseini shows us. Afghanistan to us is not presented as a war ridden country but as a country like any other. There is no ‘Other’ here, just one and all.

With the ending of war we see warlords, we see corruption, we see them taking advantage of the poor and we see how cleverly money and power can stifle even the loudest of yearnings. The troubling experience of having to flee one’s home and adopt to other cultures is portrayed, how living with the echoes of your roots is a trying experience.

We are constantly asking ourselves if memory is a curse or a blessing. Pari cannot remember her beloved brother, but she feels an emptiness. Abdullah lives his life with her memory on his sleeve. She never leaves him. Its heartbreaking to see the consequences of their separation. The need for answers is a continual theme throughout the book, and the latter narratives tie up the strings as to how the journey ends for our characters.

 

 

What I like about this book,  is the balance of male and female characters, in their colourful diversity. We have the humble Afghani man Saboor and the modest Afghani woman Parwana living by what they are duly required to do, haunted by their moral burden; the strong faithed Abdullah admirable in his life long memory of his baby sister; the determined Amra, Collette and Odie trying to live up to their standards of justice; Masooma and Thalia showing us two ends of the spectrum with regards to living with deformity in societies and how can one forget the likes of the dramatic and narcisstic set of Madeline, Timur and Nila; of different cultures yet fighting the same battle. The one true loves of Mr. Wahdati, Nabi and Abdullah are telling, each of a different nature yet complex and sadly ones that never see the light of day.

Be it the sheer will power of a woman, or the life long memory a boy held on to into his old age of a sister he was heartbreakingly separated away from, be it the unconditional love of a son, daughter, brother or sister, or the never ceasing loyalty of a friend and/or servant I loved the balance of how man and woman, and what each has to offer is seen as essential in the equation of love, stability and life in general.

I loved that Hosseini explored how sometimes we just have to give in, not because they we forced to but because there is no other way. We see the likes of Nila and Pari binti Abdullah, just give in to what is expected of them, leaving aside their need to work on their dreams and aspirations.

“The world didn’t see the inside of you, that it didn’t care about the hopes and dreams, and sorrows, that lay masked behind skin and bone. It was as simple, as absurd, and as cruel, as that.”

As we close up on this story and lives of these people, we realize that the title of the book stands true and fitting, for in the end the mountains did echo, of the voices that struggled to be heard, accepted and reconnected throughout multiple generations.

 

 

Clearly I loved the book and I recommend it to anyone.  You are never too old or young to read this story. Just go ahead! Pick it up, be transported and inspired.

 

 

 

I made some hard choices aka The Book Life- Tag!

Hallo all!

I hope you’ve been having a wonderful week. Its Friday already, where did the week go? Let alone, where did the year go. Its JUNE already???!

I got to go book shopping a few days ago, and I grabbed a handful (not a trunk load sadly) so till I get the reading done, I decided I’d answer some tags I got tagged to 🙂

 

Since the experience of reading about characters who I wish were real wasn’t agonizing enough, I thought why not give this tag a try as I was so graciously tagged by a buddy, Simra @ Simply Simra.

Why girl you do this to me!?!!?!?! 

And why did I say yes! :/

Its all to do with that genetic disposition in humans to make life as hard, miserable and tricky as possible for themselves.

Is this post a qualification to certify that I’m 100% human? You be the judge 🙂

SO YES, I picked out my family from my many adventures to and with these bookish people and lands.

 

Who would my parents be?

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I’ve noticed so many striking single parent figures peppering literature, and it’s rare that we find a duo who fit the bill. So I decided on the Weaselys. Kind, considerate, hardworking, understanding, generous and intent on the welfare of their kids and all who they love, striving for the greater good.

 

 

Who would my sister be?

Louisa Clarke. Shes supportive, caring and a bit cuckoo like me.

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Who would my brother be?

Brothers if you may. I’d chose Fred and George Weasely. Being a slight case of a goody two shoes, I know I will be teased mercilessly but there’s a lot I can learn to ease off a bit when it comes to rules 😛

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Who would my pet be?

Aslan!

Yes the Lion!

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Logically, (the Susan in me speaks)  lions are cats, only bigger. Aslan is someone I could talk to, he’d advice me with his gazillion years of wisdom, and if I’m late for something he’d even give me a ride! 😄

Just Crookshanks maybe :/

 

 

Where would I live?

I’m torn between Avonlea (so beautiful), Narnia (Cair Paravel to be exact) and who can say no to Pemberly.

 

Where would I go to school?

Hogwarts ??  😛

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Ok ok I’ll chose another.

Hmm.

Chuck it.

Hogwarts it is. I’d love to experience boarding school. Added bonus is: there’s flying lessons.

 

Who would be my best friend?

Anne Shirley and/or Simon Lewis from TMI

They both are kindred souls on the same wavelength as me. As siblings we’d be ridiculous work for our parents hence they can be my besties 😛

 

 

Who would be my significant other?

This is such a deal breaking question.

There’s  a riff between Mr Darcy and Mr Tilney.

Mr. D is just an overall accepting person (what am I kidding!!) He’s rich, dashing and he’ll get you everything you’ll ever want and more.

Then there’s Tilney who’s very surely going to help me overcome my TBR list 😄 (a man who reads sure is attractive) and will help me pick out my linen haha! And I will not say no to his cottage (That’ll be something to tick off my bucket list. )

How can I forget dear Knightely. He’ll not make fun of my fanciful fits and my ridiculous ideas. *Sigh*

I’m glad this decision is not a life or death situation. I’m in a hopeless muddle 😄

After much thought I’m going to say Tilney! ^_^ Now shoo before I change my mind 😛

 

*whispers* Gilbert Blythe!! 

 

 

 

~~I must add, it yet another tag that would be completed in a wink of the eye if I could fill it up with names of Harry Potter characters. J.K. ROWLING WHY did you have to write such an epic story???~~

 

I tag the following fellow bloggers to try this tag out 🙂

Lizzie ~  Jill   ~  Ruzaika  ~  Lola 

Anyone else willing to try this out, you are hereby tagged 🙂

Who would you chose to fill in the blanks? Please share! I’d like to know who I forgot 😛

 

 

The Diverse Books Tag!

Hallo everyone!

Long time no book tag! 🙂 And this time, keeping in tune with the Diversity wave hitting blogs, I’ll be attempting, yes! The Diverse Books Tag created by non other than our very own Naz @Read Diverse Books ^_^  For more book recommendations check out the #DiverseBookBloggers campaign on twitter.

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I pulled out my notebook, pen and PC readers glasses prepared to take a trip around the world, one Goodreads page at a time 😛 Here’s a few books that caught my eye and were added to my every growing TBR. I included a few I have already read, because I thought them fitting 🙂

~All summaries from Goodreads~

A book starring a lesbian character.

Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden

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This groundbreaking book is the story of two teenage girls whose friendship blossoms into love and who, despite pressures from family and school that threaten their relationship, promise to be true to each other and their feelings. This book is so truthful and honest, it has been banned from many school libraries and even publicly burned in Kansas City.

Of the author and the book, the Margaret A. Edwards Award committee said, “Nancy Garden has the distinction of being the first author for young adults to create a lesbian love story with a positive ending. Using a fluid, readable style, Garden opens a window through which readers can find courage to be true to themselves.”

 

 

A book with a Muslim protagonist.

Love in a Headscarf by Shelina Zahra Janmohamed

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‘At the age of thirteen, I knew that I was destined to marry John Travolta. One day he would arrive on my North London doorstep, fall madly in love with me and ask me to marry him. Then he would convert to Islam and become a devoted Muslim.’ Shelina is keeping a very surprising secret under her headscarf – she wants to fall in love and find her faith. Torn between the Buxom Aunties, romantic comedies and mosque Imams, she decides to follow the arranged-marriage route to finding Mr Right, Muslim-style. Shelina’s captivating journey begins as a search for the one, but along the way she also discovers herself and her faith. A memoir with a hilarious twist from one of Britain’s leading female Muslim writers. Love in a Headscarf is an entertaining, fresh and unmissable insight into what it means to be a young British Muslim woman.

 

 

A book set in Latin America.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez

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One of the 20th century’s enduring works, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a widely beloved and acclaimed novel known throughout the world, and the ultimate achievement of a Nobel Prize winning career.

The novel tells the story of the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the family. It is a rich and brilliant chronicle of life and death, and the tragicomedy of humankind. In the noble, ridiculous, beautiful, and tawdry story of the family, one sees all of humanity, just as in the history, myths, growth, and decay of Macondo, one sees all of Latin America.

Love and lust, war and revolution, riches and poverty, youth and senility — the variety of life, the endlessness of death, the search for peace and truth — these universal themes dominate the novel. Whether he is describing an affair of passion or the voracity of capitalism and the corruption of government, Gabriel Garcia Marquez always writes with the simplicity, ease, and purity that are the mark of a master.

Alternately reverential and comical, One Hundred Years of Solitudeweaves the political, personal, and spiritual to bring a new consciousness to storytelling. Translated into dozens of languages, this stunning work is no less than an accounting of the history of the human race.

 

 

A book about a person with a disability.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

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Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.

 

 

A Science-Fiction or Fantasy book with a POC protagonist.

Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

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In an unnamed Middle Eastern security state, a young Arab-Indian hacker shields his clients—dissidents, outlaws, Islamists, and other watched groups—from surveillance and tries to stay out of trouble. He goes by Alif—the first letter of the Arabic alphabet, and a convenient handle to hide behind. The aristocratic woman Alif loves has jilted him for a prince chosen by her parents, and his computer has just been breached by the state’s electronic security force, putting his clients and his own neck on the line. Then it turns out his lover’s new fiancé is the “Hand of God,” as they call the head of state security, and his henchmen come after Alif, driving him underground.

When Alif discovers The Thousand and One Days, the secret book of the jinn, which both he and the Hand suspect may unleash a new level of information technology, the stakes are raised and Alif must struggle for life or death, aided by forces seen and unseen

 

 

A book set in (or about) any country in Africa.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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From the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun, a dazzling new novel: a story of love and race centered around a young man and woman from Nigeria who face difficult choices and challenges in the countries they come to call home.

As teenagers in a Lagos secondary school, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are leaving the country if they can. Ifemelu—beautiful, self-assured—departs for America to study. She suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships and friendships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze—the quiet, thoughtful son of a professor—had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London.

Years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a writer of an eye-opening blog about race in America. But when Ifemelu returns to Nigeria, and she and Obinze reignite their shared passion—for their homeland and for each other—they will face the toughest decisions of their lives.

Fearless, gripping, at once darkly funny and tender, spanning three continents and numerous lives, Americanah is a richly told story set in today’s globalized world: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s most powerful and astonishing novel yet.

 

 

A book written by an Indigenous or Native author.

Swallow the Air by Tara June Winch

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“When May’s mother dies suddenly, she and her brother Billy are taken in by Aunty. However, their loss leaves them both searching for their place in a world that doesn’t seem to want them. While Billy takes his own destructive path, May sets off to find her father and her Aboriginal identity.” Her journey leads her from the Australian east coast to the far north, but it is the people she meets, not the destinations, that teach her what it is to belong.

 

 

A book set in South Asia.

Cinnamon Gardens by Shyam Selvadurai

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Set among the upper classes in the gracious, repressive and complex world of 1920s Ceylon (Sri Lanka), this evocative novel tells the story of two people who must determine if it is possible to pursue personal happiness without compromising the happiness of others. A young teacher, Annalukshmi, whose splintered family attempts to arrange an appropriate marriage for her, must decide whether the independence she craves will doom her to a life without love and companionship. It is also the story of Balendran who, respectably married, must suppress-or confront-the secret desires for men that threaten to throw his life into chaos. With sensuous atmosphere and vivid prose, this masterfully plotted novel re-creates a world where a beautiful veneer of fragrant gardens and manners hides social, personal, and political issues still relevant today.

 

 

A book with a biracial protagonist.

Hope by Isabell Monk

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During a visit with her great-aunt, a young girl learns the story behind her name and learns to feel proud of her biracial heritage.

A book starring a transgender character or transgender issues.

George by Alex Gino

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BE WHO YOU ARE.

When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.

George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part . . . because she’s a boy.  

With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte — but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.

 

 

 

 

I tag the following lovely bloggers 🙂

Fatima @ Noteablepad 

Dash @ Books and Swashbuckling 

Fawda @ Word Wonders

Zaheera @ Reading and Reviews

Ryy @ Dembooksdoee 

 

Enjoy !! 🙂

 

Reading Lolita in Tehran : Azar Nafisi

 

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Every Thursday morning for two years in the Islamic Republic of Iran, a bold and inspired teacher named Azar Nafisi secretly gathered seven of her most committed female students to read forbidden Western classics. As Islamic morality squads staged arbitrary raids in Tehran, fundamentalists seized hold of the universities, and a blind censor stifled artistic expression, the girls in Azar Nafisi’s living room risked removing their veils and immersed themselves in the worlds of Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James, and Vladimir Nabokov. In this extraordinary memoir, their stories become intertwined with the ones they are reading. Reading Lolita in Tehran is a remarkable exploration of resilience in the face of tyranny and a celebration of the liberating power of literature.

~Summary from Goodreads~

 

 

This book weighs heavily on our prior reading of books the author entwines into her narration. This can be a good thing or not so good. For me it was weary, and I felt like it blocked out the flow she needed to bring about the urgency of her situation. I understand that her attempt was a to re read and retell Lolita and other classics with her situation in mind, but I felt it didn’t do the testimony of her oppression justice. I picked up the book based on the title, Reading Lolita in Tehran. The idea of mixing culture, classics and storytelling intrigued me, but I was a bit disappointed. Maybe it was different for other readers. It was nevertheless a memoir in books alright!

What I did learn was women like me, Muslims, hijabis or not, are reading, reading and comparing their societal segregation just like me with those in books. We find culture, society and religion fighting to be top priority, in a world where each is demanding attention and its tolling on the soul. There is always a need for escape to ease the journey. I know this to be true for marginalized groups, and in the end we are trying to find ourselves in the stories we devour and look for ways to find hope in these other worlds.

As for recommending it to another, I’d think twice. If you have a prior knowledge of these books mentioned, go ahead. Its not a book I’d recommend for those starting out on diverse reading as tempting as the title sounds. Sorry.