Bookish Bookworm’s recommendations!

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This year I took part in the #bookchallenge set on Instagram, by fellow book bloggers worldwide. While most of you follow fashion icons and fashionistas for beauty/ clothing tips, I, on the other hand love to follow bookish readers like myself. There are many book bloggers out there and I have come to like a few much more for their witty book reviews and recommendations (@crimebythebook @theguywiththebook @alice.in.wonderbookland @paperfury and etc…)

My challenge was to read 30 books within a year and I accomplished it by reaching 31, knowing fully well that I could have surpassed the limit by far more. Hence next year’s challenge being set to 50. I have a specific genre that I like to read and that is psychological thrillers, murders, mysteries. On the other hand, I like to drown myself into novels that are set in time and locations such as 18th century France or Britain with the clash between the royals and the common peasant. I know two extreme genres. And I like them the best. I have three pages of to be read books recommended by my fellow book bloggers (apart from the un-opened books left on my shelf) and I cant wait to start.

I was keen on sharing with you some of the books that I enjoyed much reading this passing year, hoping that I might spark some interest in you to devour as well;

Crimes & mysteries books > You have none other than James Patterson, Lisa Jackson and Mary Higgins Clark to dwell into. Michelle Davies’s “Gone Astray” is a very good read. Full of suspense and last minute twist to the plot.

One book that had me hooked for a whole week, day and night, was none other than “The Crow Girl” by Erik Axl Sund. To be honest, you need the stomach to read this last one as some scenes within are a bit too graphic and even for the strong hearted like myself, left me a bit queazy. Not recommended for sensitive readers.

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My all time favorite crime author is Jo Nesbo. I don’t know what it is but I feel its the whole psychological challenge/ thriller that is behind his characters that has drawn me into his books. I recommend “The Snowman”. The latter left me exploring the same genre of writing within other Norwegian crime writers. I gotta thank @crimebythebook for encouraging me through her posts into exploring these crime authors.

Furthermore, if you are an avid historian and love the history behind the famous capitals of the world, I advise you to grab Edward Rutherfurd’s timeless books. I read “Paris” , “London” and “New York” and I travelled with the characters of each book within each century. Each city unfolds the lives of a few and more families who with each passing years intertwine together through love affairs, marriage and secret pacts. It is an enjoyable read for anyone wishing to escape their present state into the glorious past of of these capitals. The author has been awarded the Goodread choice Awards Best Historical Fiction. Goes without saying 🙂

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This last month, I decided to end my book challenge by exploring some readings from Middle Eastern authors. I came to realize that as a middle eastern, I related to the plots and stories within these books, my favorite authors being Elif Shafak and Ahdaf Soueif. I recommend “The Bastard of Istanbul” , “Honor”, “Three daughters of Eve”. Shafak tackles modern day issues within her books that any woman can relate to. Ahdaf Soueif’s writings are dreamy and poise. I would recommend “The eye in the sun”, and especially “The map of Love” . Before I forget, “The Yaacoubian Building” by Alaa Al Asarany is an enjoyable read. If you have the patience to read the story behind Rabih Alameddine’s “The Hakawati” then I would recommend you start right away and immerse yourself into the story telling of djinns, queens and kings and slaves.

thehakawati

I know I had started this post by wanting to recommend to you a few of my favorite books within each genre and I ended up pouring my heart out. It is good that I stopped and realized what I was doing before I opened up all my library’s collection.

You like crimes, do not hesitate and go straight away and explore jo Nesbo and his fellow crime authors. I know that is what I am gathering as TBR for 2017.

Moreover, I am challenging myself to read more Middle Eastern author’s  books as their content is surprisingly good.

Do you have any more recommendations for me? I would love to hear about it!

xo

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BookReview: Honour by Elif Shafak

It hasn’t been long since I started reading novels from Middle Eastern authors, among whom Turkish writer, Elif Shafak, my first read being “The Bastard of Istanbul”.

“Honour” is my second read from the author and to be honest I was not 100% sure I wanted to tackle a subject that is controversial; honor killing. However, I slid the book among a couple of other, bought it, got it home and left it on my bookshelf for a few weeks before grabbing it for a night read a few days ago. Contrary to other books, I felt I was pushing myself to read the first couple of chapters before the plot started to unfold and the story behind the characters started to interest me.

“Honour” is the life of a Turkish/ Kurdish family who immigrated to London in the 1970s. The book is divided into different time span and space. We have a remote Kurdish village in Turkey around the 1940’s, London during the 1970’s. And at last, 1990’s London within the confines of a prison cell and the home of one of the characters, Esma.

The story is summarized as such:

Pembe and Adem Torpak leave Turkey for London. There they make new lives for their family. Yet the traditions and beliefs of their home come with them – carried in the blood of their children, Iskender and Esma. Trapped by past mistakes, the Torpak children find their lives torn apart and transformed by a brutal and chilling crime. Set in Turkey and London in the 1970s, Honour explores pain and loss, loyalty and betrayal, the clash of tradition and modernity, as well as the love and heartbreak that can tear a family apart.

The book narrates the murder of the mother figure of the Torpak family by her eldest son, Iskender, who in turn is paying for his crime in a prison cell and voicing his story through written letters (1990’s). If you have noticed I unconsciously wrote murder and not honour killing because that is what I believe it should be labelled. I, being firmly opposed to any kind of violence when diplomacy is an available option.

“Honour” further paints the level of intolerance of western countries towards immigrants. Something that is not far-fetched from modern day society. Moreover, it shows the resistance of full integration and clash of values between the immigrants and their adoptive country.

This book affected me. Born and raised in the Middle East, I have seen the importance of the role of the Arab man in society and especially within his family. I have seen the acceptance of the Arab women of their limited role as well. This model of upbringing clashed with my own upbringing which was a blend of Middle Eastern and western values (having lived in Canada during my childhood and stayed in the UK during my adulthood).

And like any story the end plot surprises the reader with a final twist. I am not going to say more. Grab the book and have a good read!

Yours truly,

Bookish Bookworm.. xo