Book Review: Breathe by Tumkeen

It’s a collection of Beautiful soulful poems and reflections by the author during covid lockdown period. Each and every poem is so poignant, Well written, relatable and asking you to pause and reflect upon it and your life. The writer takes you along in her journey of thoughts , introspections, spiritual evaluations, emotions and learnings. This is definitely a book to be digested poem by poem, line by line.
It was hard for me to choose one for my posts, but this poem ‘Keep’ is close to my heart, keeps me going.
I absolutely recommend this book !

Breathe by Tumkeen
Book Review and Poem Recital

Book Review Time : The Beauty of your face by Sahar Mustafah

I finished the book last week, its really hard to put this book down once you start reading it, it  is totally engrossing and capturing your attention. It had made me cry , sad, few times angry too and smile .

Plot :
Afaf is American woman born to  Palestinian parents , she is a principal of Nurideen Girls High School in Tempest Illinois. There is an attack in school by an alt right extremist and story moves in flashbacks between this scene and her past.
Afaf’s parents had to emigrate from Palestine  to US during an ongoing war situation in the country only to find a life of struggle in US.
The family could never come out of the trauma  when their eldest teenager daughter runs away from home, life was never the same again  for Afaf and  her brother as kids and her parents as a family together .
Despite of all the hardships, struggles and a disturbed childhood Afaf found her Peace in Islam,  friendships and belongingness  in the local mosque and it’s community.

My opinion about the book:

The good part of the book is it doesn’t load all the information related to Islam or muslims in one fold, it opens up slowly and slowly revealing what each phrase or act means to Muslim or in Islam. The segregation between culture and Islam was done beautifully.

I loved how the  struggles  of muslims in different layers is highlighted.
For example : What it means
if you are Muslim in America.
If you are a Muslim and Arab ,
If you are Muslim , Arab,  Palestinian.
If you are Muslim, Arab, Palestinian and a  woman .
If you are Muslim, Arab, Palestinian,  a  woman and a Hijabi .
Each word adds a layer of  complexity of struggle and micro and macro aggressions faced  in everyday life by these people.

I totally recommend .

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BOOK REVIEW: Its not about the Burqa edited by Mariam Khan.

It’s a non fiction , list of 17 essays on varied topics of what it is like being a muslim woman in UK but each worth reading.

When the voices are about Muslim Women, their choice of clothes are discussed on National TV without a proper representation , the book came as a response to take a stand and speak up about themselves rather than being spoken of or about and yes their issue is definitely not the burqa.

I took my time to read the book and have enjoyed reading it few essays per day .There wasnt a dull moment in the whole book.

Some of the essays I really loved were on topic of depression in muslims , divorced muslim women , issues arising due to unregistered muslim marriages and being a feminist muslim wearing a Hijab.

The book clearly speaks of othering, racism, marginalization, misrepresentation, falsifications , public harassments , fabrication of lies by media to get TRPs and feeding the news hungry vultures.

I was shocked to see the extent of hate mails, comments , trolling, condemnation received by muslim women authors, writers, journalists and leaders when they write or speak up for themselves and the effect of all that on those individuals. The hate mails and death threats were from both muslim extremists and white supremacists.

Anything non white , non conformist in speech, or even in dress up is unacceptable in general public. The white savior syndrome and its harmful effects on all Intersectional women all the while dealing with patriarchal mindsets within their own communities itself .
So much to know and learn from this book .
I highly recommend .

Book Review: My past is a foreign country by Zeba Talkhani

* Book Review time *


My past is a foreign country by Zeba Talkhani .

Absolutely loved it and recommend it .


I have got my bunch of ordered books on Tuesday and I thought to start with it first because it’s almost 200 pages and it will be quick to finish.
It didn’t matter what size is the book but what’s inside, it’s a powerful read and since I picked it up I couldn’t put it down until my eyes were no longer agreeing to stay open .
Book plot :
It’s a past memoir of author born in India but spent most of her life outside her home country . She spent her childhood and teenage in Saudi Arabia. she has stayed in India , Germany and UK for studies and work .
Each of these journeys has shaped her life and her thoughts to be the feminist she identify herself to be in today’s world.
The memoirs also revolves around the issue of her early hair loss which started at an age of 12, her worried parents , her distant relationship with her mother , the insensitive remarks of people around her and how it all took a toll on her in the beginning.
I think it was all very traumatizing. The book also highlights the problems arising due to deep rooted patriarchy in muslim societies living in India, South Asian community living in Saudi Arabia and in UK.
Zeba did her best to not influence the reader with her side of the story, it was narrated very unbiased and brutally honest.
Loved it how she found peace within herself and the confidence to move forward in life and achieve her dreams and goals . Her technique of radical self care is worth practicing.
The book is also close to home , being an Indian Muslim woman trying to break open the patriarchal doors myself I found it very relatable.
It even opened some old wounds.

Book Review : Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak

Plot: The story is set in Instanbul and Peri Nazbantoglu is an intelligent beautiful girl who is confused about life, God and religion.The book revolves around the agnostic gap/confusions that lie between atheism and religious absolutism. The differences were present starting from her home where her father is a liberal non practicing muslim who question every religious act and sometimes mock them too and her mother a religious person and she a confused / agnostic with leaning towards her father’s way of thinking , basically her family symbolic to present day Turkey. She gets a scholarship to Oxford where she meets the other two protagonists Shirin and Mona, one an atheist and another a practicing Hijab wearing devout Muslim and all three became friends . In the words of Author : the trio as the sinner, the Believer and the Confused hence the title three daughters of Eve. The story revolves around the Professor Azur who conducts Seminars on God.

What I like : excellent writing style
connected dots and plots .
lot of great quotes.

What I didn’t like: The story is set in the past and oscillating from a present dinner scene where it begins and ends too and that part was boring in my opinion. The other protagonists Shirin and Mona on whom the title of book suggests, weren’t given much space in book either .It was the story of Peri majorly .

Book Review: Expendable By Sahar Abdulaziz

Love the book ! One of the best one so far from Sahar Abdulaziz.
REVIEW: How much should one try to keep up the relationship or is it best to walk away from an abusive marriage or Relationship? Sums the summary of book. The story is about Bella a young girl caught in such a marriage which revolves around a narcissist person ,her husband Logan who is a perpetual liar and womanizer. Bella wants to do everything to keep up this marriage which landed up her in a psychological department of hospital when she tried to commit suicide. What call Bella takes now for saving her life is totally in her hands ! I will not kill the suspense of this book by telling you the complete story. I love the character of Prim and Ike too ,Bella’s friends who helped her out. The book also raises awareness for mental health and how important it is to take care of it and of people fighting with it. After reading the book i could decode the meaning of guitar on cover , the butterflies and expendable of course 🙂 They all have reason to be there.

My Rating for the Book: 4 stars.

Book Review: A Tight Rope By Sahar Abdulaziz

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I have read a thriller after a long time and it came out to be the right one , to be more precise it is a political thriller. The chapters in book are well divided based on main Characters in book. The plot is well developed , detailed enough and keeps you hooked till the end. The story gives you an inside view into lives of American Muslims post Trump Era , effects of Iraq and Afghanistan war and the rampant racial profiling and growing Islamophobia. It also highlights the flaws within the muslim society and the division which from the outside world seems so homogenous.

The main Protagonist of story is Nour Ibrahim who is a young African American Muslim woman. Nour is honest, dedicated to her work, have a vision in life and is a good speaker . Recently she has been given a task to organise a rally to mobilize public on growing racism, hatred and islamophobia. Nour finds herself juggling between work , her declining health and being stalked and threatened by a crazy bigot! How and what happens next unwinds in the book. I am not going to kill the suspense here.

My Rating for the Book: A straight 4 stars.

I am definitely going to read more of her work.

Book Review: Unveiled by Rumki Chowdhury

I am back guys , this time with a Book Review 🙂 , Thanks to Sister Papatia for introducing me to this book which I have enjoyed thoroughly . It is a collection of short poems and an essay . I would say a very poetic expression of what Hijab means to the author, breaking some stereotypes through her power packed poetry. The images used in the book adds so much more to her words . The name of book is Unveiled , though it is all about the Islamic Veil -Hijab , I was wondering why she chose this name and smiled then thinking why not , the Author has unveiled her heart writing this book. The book is well divided into 3 sections ( Body , Mind and Soul) which gives an overview of Hijab inclusivity to all aspects of person’s life who is wearing it . I loved how the contrast is shown about Hijab as people conceive it as symbol of oppression while the person who wears it sees it as symbol of liberation from all peer pressures of conformities. There is also her Hijab story at end of the poems which reminds me so much of my Hijab story . Every time I read someone’s Hijab journey, I walk down the memory lane again . The book is simple, well written and heart touching. An inspiring book for all Hijabis and women in general. A small book but impactful !

My Rating for the Book: 4/5

The book is anyone who is a Poetry lover and also for people who are curious to read Hijab stories.

You can find her book on links below :

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Book Review: Bedouin Bedtime

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This is the first time I am reviewing a children’s book  from an amazing blogger and friend Um A’yube , from  the blog  Desert Chameleon , Do check out her blog , I am sure you will love it too and that is where we had met . Bedouin Bedtime is her first book MashaAllah and I love it.

It is the cutest little book I have read. It makes up a good read for little ones who likes bed time stories or you can even read out to them and show them pictures to inculcates good reading habits since beginning. The book has interesting pictures with text  liners to relate to the pictures and trigger the imagination of children. There is also a introduction from the Author and her first hand experiences of Bedouin life. The book consists of 12 pages,  not enough for an adult’s perspective I wanted to read more so  I went through it again 😀 , jokes apart,  for kids I think  it is good enough and the sense of finishing the book will be great for them. Um A’yube is a mother herself so the book is well written keeping in mind the needs of children and what they like. We definitely need to know more of such Bedouin stories, I wish her all the best for her future books.

Book Description : A picture book for children 0-6 yrs celebrating diversity and a now fading, nomadic way of life. A boldly illustrated story about the simple, natural, bedtime routine of Bedouin nomads. Included after the story is a short section about Bedouin people, the word “Bismillah” and a note from the author.

My Ratings :  4 stars 

Book Review: A Case of Exploding Mangoes

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My rating for the book: 4 stars

The Book starts with a great opening, the storyline is superb, It has the advantage of historical fiction where the readers know some of the characters and start imagining them in real life as they are described by the author.The humor is good and fresh in first half but I felt  it started to get boring and monotonous in the second half and I dragged at few places to finish the book, The story is set on the scenes when Zia ul Haq was the ruling President of Pakistan, it throws light on corruption of Army , his dictatorship, The Hypocrisy of American intervention in Afghan War and how the Islamization of country started at his hands. The book is about the possibles conspiracies that could have been in place which killed the then Military Dictator of Pakistan in airplane crash of 1988. There are so many interesting pieces in the book which highlights the the plight of country like case of blind Zainab where the failure of judiciary is shown, She was convicted to being stoned when she was a victim of rape, the overpowers of ISI chief who were killing people mysteriously to their advantages, The mystified death of Colonel Shigri around whom the story revolves as the male protagonist of the story is his son trying to avenge his father’s death . Overall it makes a good read ! An altogether different book I must say.