Your Weekly Digest on What Muslim Women Are Talking About

Here Are Our 20 Recommended Reads for 2019 by 12 #Bookstagrammers

by in Identity on 11th January, 2019

So, one week after the entire Amaliah team recovers from a bad bout of the TMI virus, (also known as Norovirus), we’ve all come down with a bit of book fever, and have decided to pull some recommended reads for 2019 from some of our favourite #bookstagrammers and present a fancy video for you to get some inspiration from going into 2019. We’ve got books that cover most categories, but we’ve got some niche Soul, World, Lifestyle and Identity recommendations for you. Enjoy!

You can watch the video here:

View this post on Instagram

Okay, so I’m not entirely sure how to describe Akala’s Natives in a way that does it justice but I’d say it felt like reading a massively reflective personal journey where Akala explores how different factors in his life (from his trips to Scotland and Jamaica as a child to his access to Maths masterclasses and so much more)  affected his opportunities, influences, and shaped his worldview and his understanding that we certainly don’t live in a meritocracy as we’re often led to believe from childhood. As well as the biographical elements of the book, there is a lot to learn in terms of an understanding of the effects of the British Empire, the myths and collective amnesia associated with it. Akala also talks about the intertwining of race with class, particularly in Britain. This is something that I realised I tend to ignore or overlook sometimes so it was a really important reminder to myself that class affects everything. This was a heavy read for me, some parts I found easy to follow and other parts I think my own lack of knowledge on certain aspects of history meant I had to stop, do some internet research, take notes and continue reading but the important thing is that I’m learning. At a recent talk I went to during Black History Month the sheikh (scholar) said “Knowledge of oneself should be used to transform and propel us” and that has just been going through my mind on repeat. This book has been a reminder that seeking true knowldedge is to break free from others forcing their narrative or their thought process on you. I still think I have  a lot to unpack from this book, but the short extract I’ll end with is one that I feel just spoke volumes to me as an ethnic minority and as a teacher. I often wonder if I'm doing all I can for the children I teach that may see some small part of themselves in me. Book quote: “If we want to fix the racial and economic disparities in the criminal justice system or at least reduce them, combat teenage gang violence, produce better educated children and create a generally better society, then the work starts in the primary school, not in the prison.” – @akalamusic

A post shared by CR: Understanding Eritrea (@emansbookshelf) on

View this post on Instagram

October was #blackhistorymonth in the UK so as always, #bookclubleeds had open nominations so all members were invited to nominate one book by a Black author. As always we were left spoilt for choice! The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, nominated by @ishratm was voted in as the month’s read. I read this one last year and loved it so am looking forward to our book club meet for it already! Our other nominations were: * Born a Crime by Trevor Noah * The History of Mary Prince by Mary Prince * Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo * Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler * Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie * Passing by Nella Larsen * Bone by Yrsa Daley * Washington Black by Esi Edugyan * Sing Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward * The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson * Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe * All About Love by bell hooks * Sojourner Truth: A Life, A Symbol by Nell Irvin Painter #blackhistorymonth #blackhistorymonthuk #goodblackreads #bookclubleeds #theundergroundrailroad #colsonwhitehead #bookclubread #bookflatlay

A post shared by Sofia (@sofia_reading) on

View this post on Instagram

"Indeed, Africa has been ignored within the conversation over today's global protest wave. This silence derives in part from long-standing Western images of Africa as too rural, too traditional, and too bound by ethnicity for modern political protests to arise." . If you missed it in the stories we went live today with our @becauseweveread Emergency Read on #Sudan, called for in light of ongoing political uprisings. We're reading the enlightening book Africa Uprising (and include a free PDF!), exploring incredible resources, and have a YouTube Live Q&A conversation scheduled with brilliant Sudanese scholar Nisrin Abdelrahman! Tap the link in my profile for everything you need to join us! ✊🏾📚❤ #nowreading #BecauseWeveRead #sudanuprising

A post shared by HODA KATEBI | هدی کاتبی (@hodakatebi) on

View this post on Instagram

#toread 📖 In 2004, the French government instituted a ban on the wearing of "conspicuous signs" of religious affiliation in public schools. Though the ban applies to everyone, it is aimed at Muslim girls wearing headscarves. Proponents of the law insist it upholds France's values of secular liberalism and regard the headscarf as symbolic of Islam's resistance to modernity. 📖 This book examines the long history of racism behind the law as well as the ideological barriers thrown up against Muslim assimilation. She emphasizes the conflicting approaches to sexuality that lie at the heart of the debate–how French supporters of the ban view sexual openness as the standard for normalcy, emancipation, and individuality, and the sexual modesty implicit in the headscarf as proof that Muslims can never become fully French. Scott maintains that the law, far from reconciling religious and ethnic differences, only exacerbates them. #bookshelf #bookstagram #bookworm #joanscott #islam #france #veil #gender #feminism

A post shared by Sara Salem (@radical_reading) on

View this post on Instagram

✨Book Review✨ Big Magic ~ Elizabeth Gilbert ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 • This book has been on my list forever and I don’t know why it took me so long to finally pick it up. That said, there is a time for everything and I wonder if I would’ve been as receptive to it or if I’d have completely ‘got it’ if I’d read it before now. ✨ There was once a time I think I truly believed that the creative life was reserved for the select few who were born blessed with the natural ability to just create (as opposed to what I have no idea). At the time, what I didn’t recognise was that the desire to create is more than enough to be getting on with and I also didn’t believe that this desire is all the permission you need to do it. Whether you want to write, take photos, bake cakes, paint, make music, the reality is that you don’t require anybody’s permission but your own and I was so glad when I eventually figured that out. ✨ This book also contains a healthy reminder that you don’t need to be driven insane by the creative process; it doesn’t need to be painful and it can, and probably should, bring you absolute joy ✨ I’ll admit, my interest waned a little around 2/3 of the way and there were moments I felt I was being preached at but I’ll excuse both of those things because Gilbert was making complete sense and I’m glad I persevered. All in all, Big Magic is a great read for anyone who feels they want to lead a more creative life, and especially anyone who senses that they’re allowing fear to them from doing that as fully as they would like. 💫

A post shared by Tasnim | Reads & Reveries 🇬🇧 (@reads.and.reveries) on

View this post on Instagram

| Book Review | Year of Yes ~ Shonda Rhimes ⭐️⭐️⭐️ #mynonfiction19 Book no.1 ✨ … I love to read stories about people waging war against their own demons and winning so whilst Year of Yes isn’t exactly a life-altering read, is a little rambling on occasion and often reads like the internal monologue of Shonda Rhimes (not necessarily a bad thing), overall it gets a thumbs up from me. … I will say that you will probably get this book and all of its references more if you’ve watched any of Shonda Rhimes’ shows, Grey’s Anatomy in particular, but it’s definitely not a requirement. Ultimately, I think everyone can take something from this and I’ll admit that I definitely recognised a little of myself reading it. I also found myself wondering how many of you would recognise yourselves too. … So, the big question: did reading this book give me a much-needed shove in any particular direction? Absolutely. It was a welcome reminder that if you can dream the dream there is no reason you shouldn’t achieve it or, at the very least, take steps towards it and see where they lead. No reason other than yourself and the voice that’s saying no instead of yes. So with that said, whilst it’s not a must-read, it was definitely a good start to the year and #mynonfiction19 ! ✨

A post shared by Tasnim | Reads & Reveries 🇬🇧 (@reads.and.reveries) on

View this post on Instagram

“Nowadays when we speak about love, we almost exclusively refer to romantic love. But for the mystics, love is light. Love comes unabashedly, radiantly, in a thousand different shades and colors that still blend into One. There is love of the friend, the neighbour, the child, the parent, the lover, the stranger, of God and the prophets, of saints and sinners, love of the self, love of the enemy, of nature, of realms seen and unseen. And more. For these mystics, love is fire. It is a purifying fire that burns away selfishness, greed, anger, ego, and leaves behind nothing but God”. . Radical Love by Omid Safi brings together voices of the mystical path: Mazhab-e-eshq, often translated as the “Path of Love”. Though Safi clarifies that the eshq Muslim mystics speak of is more “alchemical” than how ‘love’ is conceptualised in today’s world. Spirituality is a long, and at times uncomfortable, journey inward into one’s own heart to ultimately connect with God. And this collection of Quranic quotes along with the poetic wisdom of Muslim mystics beautifully articulates how the journey to God is the journey of radical love, an omnipresent divine love, that completely shatters the ego. This is the only book I’m currently spending time with outside of my research. Highly recommend this as well as Omid Safi’s podcast called Sufi Heart with Omid Safi. Words of Love: I’ve heard nothing lovelier than the melody of love a keepsake lingering in this whirling azure dome. -Hafez ——————————— I had promised a while back that I’d share some of my spiritual reads, and since this one’s been one of my favourites, I thought I’d do a quick post on it before *actually* signing off Instagram for real. I’ve left details on how to contact me in my highlights – feel free to get in touch anytime. Love & light to you all✌️🦋✨

A post shared by hanain | حنان [on hiatus] (@hanain.b) on

View this post on Instagram

Hello fellow bookstagrammers🙋‍♀️ How are your current reads treating you? 📚😉 . I'm about halfway through LIFTING THE VEIL by Ismat Chughtai. Its a collection of short stories. Chughtai is a very famous Urdu language writer of her time famous or rather notorious for her controversial stories. Coming from a conservative Muslim back ground her stories were considered highly shameful and brazen especially back in 1940's and 50's. I am slowly making my way through them and enjoying the old world charm and cheekiness of her writing😉🎀 . A cautionary note for Anglophones..this book is a little Urdu heavy 🚩 . This book is part of a set of four books released by @penguinukbooks @vikingbooksuk in order to celebrate 100 years of Women Vote in the UK. This is my third book of the month and is a part of my #allwomenfebruary list. . #booklover #fortheloveofreading #bookstagram #bibliophile #bookaddict #unitedbookstagram #livrestagram #urduliterature #femaleauthor #bookcover #lovereading #pentaltouchpen #stilllifephotography #stationaryaddict #bookmail #bookmark #vikingbooks #livresalire #کتاب #lifeofanartist #artforthehome #createeveryday #booktography #bookpic #igreads #booknerd #ipreview @preview.app

A post shared by Let's talk about books📚 🇨🇭🇵🇰 (@inbookishfashion) on

View this post on Instagram

"Life is going to give you just what you put in it. Put your whole heart in everything you do, and pray, then you can wait." – Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings — I absolutely loved these lines when i've read them that I had to stop reading , close the book and just meditate lol . تعرضكم ساعات جملة في كتاب الي تعبّر برشا عليكم و تخلّيكم تسكّرو الكتاب و تقعدو تخممّو فيها ؟. — #books #bookstagram #igreads #bookstagrammer #booksofinstagram #bibliophile #booknerd #booklover #mayaangelou #mayaangelouquotes #memoirs #africanamerican #coffeeshop #bookquote #currentlyreading #epicreads #bookblogger #bookworm

A post shared by Amal Bedhyefi | أمل بالضيافي ♡ (@amal.books) on

View this post on Instagram

"If you are disgusted by what you see, and if you feel the fire coursing through your veins, then it's up to you. You don't have to be the leader of a global movement or a household name. It can be as small scale as chipping away at the warped power relations in your workplace. It can be passing on knowledge and skills to those who wouldn't access them otherwise. It can be creative. It can be informal. It can be your job. It doesn't matter what it is, as long as you're doing something." – Reni Eddo-Lodge, Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race _________ #books #igreads #bookstagram #booksofinstagram #bookstagramming #nonfiction #race #whyimnolongertalkingtowhitepeopleaboutrace #renieddolodge #racerelations #socialcriticism

A post shared by Amal Bedhyefi | أمل بالضيافي ♡ (@amal.books) on

View this post on Instagram

#BookoftheWeek – The Alchemy of Happiness. This book spoke to my SOUL.  It's sort of an abridgement of an abridged version of his famous work 'Ihya Ulum ad Din' which means The Revival of Religious Sciences. I think the easy to read, pocket sized nature of this book made me enjoy it even more though. Imam al Ghazali was a Muslim, a  prominent Persian theologian and philosopher among many things who was alive during what's known as the Islamic Golden Era. Disclaimer: I think it's really important to do some background reading on any scholar, jurist, philosopher, islamic thinker and their position in society during their time, their own life, the customs in their time etc as you approach their work. So on to the book, Ghazali claims there are four stages for spiritual transformation and attaining spiritual truth and they are 1. knowledge of the self, 2.knowledge of God, 3. knowledge of the world as it really is and 4. knowledge of the next world as it really is. There are SO MANY GEMS in this book but I'm going to share some snippets from the 'knowledge of the next world' section. I'm SUCH a planner, i'm forever writing to do lists and organising my time and my goals and this chapter served as a reminder that if all those worldly plans are not rooted in actively planning for the next, then they will all have been a waste. Ghazali says ~ "the world is a stage of market place passed by pilgrims on their way to next" (also this reminds me of that shakespeare quote about the world being a stage?) On the "deceitful character of the world" – " it pretends that it will always remain with you when it's actually slipping away, moment by moment" People have swapped simplicity and core needs for excess so they've forgotten that the body is a vehicle for the soul in its journey towards the next world. Ghazali advises that our chief business in this world is to prepare for the next. [Disclaimer number 2: the chapter on marriage has some very problematic & erroneous translations but there is a footnote that clears some of them up so it's worth giving that a read.] What are your favourite soul reads? Recommendations below please! ✨

A post shared by CR: Understanding Eritrea (@emansbookshelf) on

View this post on Instagram

“When we understand love as the will to nurture our own and another’s spiritual growth, it becomes clear that we cannot claim to love if we are harmful and abusive. Love and abuse cannot coexist. Abuse and neglect are, by definition, the opposites of nurturance and care. Often we hear of a man who beats his children and wife and then goes to the corner bar and passionately proclaims how much he loves them. If you talk to the wife on a good day, she may also insist he loves her, despite his violence. An overwhelming majority of us come from dysfunctional families in which we were taught we were not okay, where we were shamed, verbally and/or physically abused, and emotionally neglected even as we were also taught to believe that we were loved. For most folks it is just too threatening to embrace a definition of love that would no longer enable us to see love as present in our families. Too many of us need to cling to a notion of love that either makes abuse acceptable or at least makes it seem that whatever happened was not that bad.” .⠀ I am always astounded by bell hook's wisdom. She explores the definition of love, how society has failed to provide a model of what good love is, and all aspects of love right down to healing. Too often, when we think of love, we think of romantic love. hooks talked regularly about family, the crux of where children and adults learn how to love. She notes that sometimes parents teach children that abuse and neglect can coexist with love where authoritarianism and control is a way to show love because we are being 'protected'. However, no one can rightfully claim to be loving when we are controlling and undermining another's autonomy. Essentially, our warped notions of what love is, is a byproduct of a society that has used patriarchy as a framework to express love, where hierarchy, ownership, power and control are mistaken to be acts of love.⠀ .⠀ I really liked this book, albeit, it is verrrrrrrry and extremely catered to heterosexual relationships.⠀ .⠀ Available at NLB.⠀ .⠀ #bookstagram #bibliophile #bookstagrammer #books #igreads #bookworm #bellhooks #bellhooksquote #allaboutlove #whatareyoureadingsg #nonfiction #bookaddict⠀

A post shared by Nonfiction Firqin (@nonfirqtion) on

View this post on Instagram

To kick off #nonfictionnovember is this review on a local #nonfiction book! "Running On Empty" made me want to scream into a pillow! Initially, I was hesitant to read this book – only because of the fact that I am cautious about celebrity memoirs (they tend to be sensationalized). BUT this book was far from all the prejudices and assumptions I held. It was a critical analyses and assessment of the athletic association of Singapore, the bureaucracy, and system that makes living as an athlete in Singapore so difficult through the eyes of Singapore's fastest man: Uk Shyam.⠀ ⠀ Growing up, Shyam was a household name for me. He was branded by the media as the notorious troublemaker who was fuelled by greed. When tbf, it honestly makes sense if Shyam demanded that his stipend be paid on time (SAAA wasn't punctual), given that this was his livelihood and rice bowl! Shyam, a national sprinter, was struggling to even afford his lunch on some days on his meagre stipend. There were parts that made me so angry like when Shyam described his times during NS (conscription) – where his supervisors would call up the hospital just to check if he was there! The (ongoing?) culture of distrust, and paternalism towards athletes infuriated me.⠀ ⠀ There were some positive moments in the book, like when Shyam managed to break the 33 year record. But i soon felt bitter as all the officials/people in power who made his journey so incredibly difficult, swooped in to congratulate him. Very sycophantic & a familiar image nonetheless. Kenneth did a stellar job in spelling out the slow, gnawing, and debilitating gears that prevented Shyam from achieving his best.⠀ .⠀ Today is nonfiction november. It’s my time to shine! Lol. Do you know which nonfiction books you’ll be reading?⠀ .⠀ Won this book in a giveaway held by @ethosbooks , thanks! ⠀ .⠀ #bookstagram #bibliophile #bookstagrammer #books #igreads #bookworm #booksintheair #womenwhoread #wellreadwomen #nonfictionreview #bookaddict #athletes #singaporeathletics⠀

A post shared by Nonfiction Firqin (@nonfirqtion) on

View this post on Instagram

THE THINGS I WOULD TELL YOU➰: . – *Special thanks to @saqibooks for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review* . – The Things I Would Tell You, containing contributions from 22 British Muslim women, sets out to achieve “proper representation” and it did so, impressively, being a first of its kind. One need only look through the diverse style of writing, exceptional storytelling and the ages of the contributors, to affirm this. . – I liked the dramas most and the poetry, least. In fact, I connected with only 2/3 poems. The rest felt abstract and ‘trying too hard’. I agree with Ilham @ilhamreads that The Insider (a drama) by Leila Aboulela is the star player in this book. This is the first piece by Aboulela that I’ll be reading and I can’t wait to read more of her works. It maybe the storytelling or what the story represents (or both) but The Insider encapsulated one of the main themes of the anthology; Re-writing mis(non)represention. Battleface (a drama) by Sabrina Mahfouz is also gripping and a favorite of mine. . – Ahdaf Soueif’s Mezzaterra left me heartbroken especially after I googled “Abu Ghraib Prison” and Shaista Aziz’s Blood and Broken Bodies highlights the reality of Muslim women and honor killings in some parts of the world. I loved almost all the short stories but Hanan al-Shaykh’s An Eye that sees tops all others (for me). . – All in all, a wonderful 3.75 stars and a worthy debut into this type of anthology. I hope to see more anthologies by Muslim women from other parts of the world especially the Middle East, Africa and Asia . – ___________________ #QOTD: “ A society is judged by the way it treats its most vulnerable” ___________________ Shaista Aziz, The Things I Would Tell You

A post shared by Aeesha || Bookstagram (@thatothernigeriangirl) on

Amaliah Writes

Amaliah Writes

Written by someone from Team Amaliah. Follow us on @amaliah_tweets for the latest. To contribute your own piece contact us on [email protected] ✌????