Latest Read: Letters to a Young Muslim by Omar Saif Ghobash

This was a refreshing read. It was suggested to me by a friend and as I had told him that I would read it, I bought a copy last week. I was dreading the usual Muslims should pray and fast and things will be hunky dory  advice BUT this book surprised me. 

Omar Saif Ghobash is an extremely well read man and the gist of his advice to his son is that he should think about things, should not be afraid to question anything, should be wary of self appointed experts on religion and should lead a life of personal responsibility. Ghobash talks about 9/11 and ISIS and homosexuality and the need for strong women and the importance of arts and music and literature. 

Ghobash was brought up in Abu Dhabi, as I was, and is almost the same age as I, and so it was interesting to read this book for that reason too as we were both undergoing the same brainwashing at the same time.

I would recommend this book for all parents and for young Muslims growing up in this confusing world.  

Latest Read: Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff

Hmm...I was a bit angry at myself for reading it and enjoying it. I enjoyed it because it renewed hope that Trump will not be able to remain in power too long. I did not gain a new perspective but instead felt like I was getting a history lesson on 2017. My opinion of the book fell even further when I heard the author talking about Trump having an affair with someone in the WH. I am sure it is true but it is not relevant and the glee with which it was announced does not portray professionalism.

I do not recommend it.

Latest Read: What Happened by Hillary Clinton

It was OK. I do appreciate how difficult the journey was for her as a woman and also admire that she does say that she messed up.

You can read it if you want but will not be missing too much if you do not.

Latest Read: The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

This lovely book was recommended to me by my ten year old daughter. It has a good witch, a sweet but tiny dragon, a wise monster as old as time and a village full of sorrow. The protagonist is a little girl who was enmagicked by mistake when she was a baby and now lives with the good witch. She does not remember that she came from the village but that secret comes out along with the secret of the volcano that burst five hundred years ago and changed the lives of everyone.
I was enthralled. It is beautifully written - childlike not childish. I would recommend this book to all children and to the young at heart.

Latest Read: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Well!  Well Well! Was certainly not expecting this.  

When Trevor Noah was introduced last year as host of the Daily Show I decided to trust Jon Stewart. I watched the first few episodes. Of course I saw potential but I also knew that it had taken Jon Stewart many years to come into his own.

Then the elections came and I devoured talk shows. Trevor Noah was much more comfortable by then. I loved that he spoke about Africa on his show often; that he owned his past with pride.

I got the book last week. It is a book of stories from his childhood arranged more or less chronologically; it is honest, down to earth and made me fall in love with his mother. 

It is also a familiar book in many respects for people coming from a third world country. As he describes the ghettos I see glimpses of my home country in that. When his stepfather is worried about what people will say and lets that completely destroy himself and his family, I find myself nodding in understanding. I have seen the Black Tax his mother warns him about.

Due to this book, I now understand about why a fishing rod is as necessary as lessons on fishing and have gained a better understanding of how blurry the line is between civilian and criminal when circumstances are hard.

I would recommend this book. 

Latest Read: The Golden Legend by Nadeem Aslam

Nadeem Aslam, hum aap pay waray jaain.

I think Nadeem Aslam is one of the most important writers of our time. He writes about what plagues people, giving a reason for the madness while neither justifying nor blaming anyone for it. 

This story is set in the fictional city of Zamana in Pakistan. Zamana is an Urdu word meaning era or these times. In the story, Helen, a poor Christian girl is educated by her parents' Muslim employers: a husband and wife architect couple with big hearts and a wondrous house. There is also a beautiful Kashmiri boy who plays the santoor and falls in love with Helen. The character I bonded with the most is Lily, Helen's father; a man who wants to do more for himself and his family. 

I think The Wasted Vigil was brilliant. This book is better. 

Latest Read: Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

I had not liked his previous book too much; had been put off by the style mostly. This book I liked very much. It is about two young adults who fall in love and then have to leave their city as refugees. 
Some people did not like the doors in the book - I loved the doors. They helped put emphasis on the couple and their relationship rather than on the journeys refugees have to undertake. Hamid, I think, wanted to focus on what a person becomes when they are forced to leave their life behind.
I would recommend this book. It is a bit long winded at times but I did not mind that and appreciated his style quite a bit.