Ohhkay then. Considering all the crazy events of late, my reading update is non existent unless reading Holes for Y8 counts. So here I am, compiling a list of books I hope to eventually get my hands on.
I want to start by saying: Oldham Library, you’re the flippin’ best. I loved you way before it was ‘cool’ to go to the library, I loved the old you just as much as (or maybe more) than the new you. The pale brickwork and high windows, the torn armchairs, the taking your books to the counter for a librarian to swipe it on the metal scanner – I loved it all.
And the new library has equally been a source of peace in my life. It was thanks to the religion and philosophy section that I truly began contemplating Islam. The film library was a gem of a resource for my A Level in Media Studies, and I am forever indebted to the library’s open doors and Naked Bean’s iced lattes during the taxing days of dissertation writing.
But all of that is thousands of miles away, where I said farewell to both the library and my book collection. Only four of my books have made the journey with me: The Seerah of the Prophet (s.a.w), my Quran, a dua book, and the fourth…that one is a secret for now – it’s research for a future project.
Online searches on the Qatar National Library have given me some hope – I think there are books in English there and I definitely know there are English Literature books at Education City. And hubby has promised me a once-monthly trip to a library but until I get my residence permit, I can’t apply for a library card! And postal deliveries are out of question for reasons I can’t disclose.
So here’s the books I could’ve been reading right now….*sigh*
Maps for Lost Lovers – Nadeem Aslam
Those of you who have read my previous updates will know that I have this bug: a bug to read every book written by a Pakistani author/about Pakistan. In some ways, this is me trying to make up for the lack of exposure to Pakistani literature during my entire career as a Literature student and teacher. I am constantly searching for recommendations. The subject in Maps for Lost Lovers is very dear to me as it covers the stories of working-class immigrants in the northern towns of Britain. I only wish I had known of this before writing my dissertation.
Women of Sufism – Camille Adams Helminski
This book was recommended to me by Ustada Iffet. Sufi Literature and I go quite a long way back and I love all poetry and music related to it – perhaps for the same reason as above. It’s probably the one book I am most excited for especially after hearing the story of Princess Jahanara from Ustada.
Elif Shafak – Three Daughters of Eve
I am a die-hard Shafak fan. It used to be very rare for me to re-read novels but then I came across Shafak’s novels. Her works are timeless and so magical that reaching the final page immediately signals the need to start over. (The novel is available for pre-order at the moment).
The Forgotten Tale of Larsa – Seja Majeed
This book by the gorgeous Seja has been on my wishlist for years, I jotted it down in my journal and then forgot all about it. It took Seja 9 years to complete the epic novel which is inspired by her family story and written in memory of her two uncles who were killed during the Baa’th regime.
Do you guys have any good recommendations? Send them my way so I can build my wishlist in the meantime.