Although I use Goodreads, I almost always forget to update it when I start or finish a book. I have decided to blog every month (or two) so that I can process and share my thoughts on whatever I have been reading lately.
So here goes with the first update of 2016…
1. Forty rules of Love by Elif Shafak
Ooookay then, I am kind of cheating with this one. It’s not the first time I’ve read it and surely won’t be the last!
The novel revolves (primarily) around the relationship of Hazrat Rumi (Persian poet) and his spiritual guide Shamz e Tabrizi, and their journey in uncovering mystical layers of Sufiism. It is as though the reader is transported on a Sufi journey – just like the characters, we end up discovering something new or at least come out at the other end entirely moved.
This is definitely up there with my all-time favourites.
2. The writing on my Forehead by Nafeesa Haji
As I was in the middle of writing a short story about a Kashmiri family, I wanted to read more novels by Pakistani authors to widen my understanding of existing literature.
I loved the way the novel celebrates female stories and the relationships between sisters, mothers, and children. Although I felt compelled to keep reading, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that something was lacking. The ideas are great and hold so much potential but the structure of the novel needs tightening: the inclusion of 9/11 incidents were haphazardly added on to reach some kind of ending, and the fact that the narrator had a child born out of wedlock (such a huge taboo topic) was really not dealt with in all seriousness – the family’s reactions were glossed over.
I wish the narrator’s voice was stronger- like I said, there is such potential in this novel.
3. Paradises Lost by Ursula le Guin
This short, science-fiction story is something I would never normally read. But it was on the university reading list and I am so glad about that!
I found Paradises Lost so enthralling and intriguing that I couldn’t put it down, I was constantly imagining the sci-fi world and at many points felt it resonate with very current global, political and environmental issues. I hope to make a start on some of the other short stories in this collection and will definitely venture into this genre more in future reads.