This month I have been taking part in the Ramadan Readathon reading books by Muslim authors to support diversity in publishing and on our bookshelves. You can find out more about it here: #RamadanReadathon
Readathons/ challenges and I have a difficult history. I try to be sensible. I make a list. I pile up my books. Somewhere (usually around half way through the first book) it all goes awry as I decide to completely ignore my sensible plans and just READ ALL THE BOOKS EVER WRITTEN like that time I ended up reading almost 100 books for a series challenge where most people were reading one series. It doesn’t take long before I start regretting my poor life choices and cursing past me and her atrocious decision making skills.
I didn’t stick to my plan for this readathon, but so far, I’ve made excellent choices. I started with
The Other Side of Happiness by Ayisha Malik
Yes. I know NOW that this is the second book in the series. I found out about 30 pages in. Nevertheless, I persisted. I am nothing if not stubborn.
I loved Sofia Khan from the very start. She’s hilarious. She reminded me of Bridget Jones. Sofia is married and navigating life as a wife whilst still wanting to retain her independence and pursue her career in writing. There is a huge twist to the story which leaves Sofia (and her readers) heart-broken. But I won’t spoil that for you, because you need to read this book.
I finished this book with a great reader crush on Sofia. And that’s where my Readathon list went to pot, as I immediately downloaded the first Sofia Khan book to read.
Sofia Khan is Not Obliged
Reading this after its sequel was perhaps not my greatest plan, but knowing how it ended didn’t take away from my enjoyment of discovering how Sofia got there, although it probably meant I lost some of the tension and surprise of Sofia’s dating adventures. In this book, we learn how Sofia came to be writing her book and how she ended up married and travelling.
Both books are brilliantly written. As a reader, you feel like you know Sofia inside out and you get a good perspective of the other characters through her eyes. I really enjoyed that a lot of the story is told through diary type entries, text messages and emails giving a more personal insight. I learned an awful lot from reading these books about the Muslim religion, what religion meant to Sofia and those around her and differences of opinion within the Muslim community about wearing the hijab.
These books are excellent and I highly recommend reading them if you haven’t already. Although, you might wish to consider reading them in the right order.