Last week, The Millenial Muslim and I did our first Instagram Live chat together titled ‘Bookversations’, and the idea behind it was for us to discuss our top five books from the year so far. The live sessions went great and I’ve had a couple of people ask me to do a summary of the books that I talked about during the chat. Below are the titles and a quick blurb.
Revive Your Heart by Nouman Ali Khan: How do modern Muslims maintain a spiritual connection with Allah and how do they address major challenges facing the ummah today? These questions and more are answered by Nouman Ali Khan, with his profound engagement with the Qur’an, in this inspiring collection of reminders that exhort us to remember our place in this world.
Born A Crime by Trevor Noah: A collection of eighteen personal stories, Born a Crime tells the story of a mischievous young boy growing into a restless young man as he struggles to find his place in a world where he was never supposed to exist. Born a Crime is equally the story of that young man’s fearless, rebellious and fervently religious mother – a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence and abuse that ultimately threatens her own life.
Nabila’s Garden by Hawa Fuseini: Nabila’s Garden is the journey through the life of a young Muslim girl from the Hausa tribe in Northern Nigeria who migrates to the United States fleeing from the havoc in her village. It is divided into nine chapters of poetry and focused on a personal narrative relating to love, loss, heartbreak, redemption and faith in Allah (God).
The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas: Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice.
Dear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Here, in this remarkable new book, Adichie replies by letter to a friend’s request for help on how to bring up her newborn baby girl as a feminist. With its fifteen pieces of practical advice, it goes right to the heart of sexual politics in the twenty-first century.
Books I’ve Read in 2017
As you can tell from the list below, I’m behind on doing book reviews but I’m aiming to correct that soon. The linked titles have book reviews up so check those out if you haven’t already.
- Selection Day by Aravind Adiga
- Yassmin’s Story by Yasmin Abdel-Magied
- The Wait by Devon Franklin and Meagan Good
- When Wings Expand by Mehded Maryam Sinclair
- Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
- Mrs Funnybones by Twinkle Khanna
- Dear Ijeawele (A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions) by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- What I Know Now (Letters To My Younger Self) by Ellyn Spragins
- Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
- Born A Crime by Trevor Noah
- Memory Man by David Baldacci
- Nabila’s Garden by Hawa Fuseini
- Revive Your Heart by Nouman Ali Khan
- Introvert Power by Laurie Helgoe
- The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas
- Foreign Gods Inc by Okey Ndibe
I also thought it would be fun to do a quick book tag at the end of this post so here goes.
Can you stop reading at any time, or does it have to be a certain page or chapter?
Mostly I can stop reading at any time but there are instances where it’s dependent on if I have a bookmark or not. If I do, then I can stop reading at any time, if I don’t, I prefer to stop at the end of a chapter so I remember where to begin the next time I read the book.
Can you read listening to music or watching TV?
It’s a big fat No.
One book at a time, or several at once?
I only used to read one book at a time but strangely enough this year I’ve been reading a lot of books at the same time.
Where is your favourite place to read?
On a commute. It’s like a journey within a journey.
Physical Books or Ebooks?
I used to dislike Ebooks but they’re so convenient that I’ve grown accustomed to them. I still buy a lot of paperback books though.