Sunday, June 5, 2016

#DiverseBookBloggers: The Diverse Books Tag

Today's tag post is an extension of the #DiverseBookBloggers Twitter movement that is being spearheaded by Naz of Read Diverse Books and Demelza Griffiths of Books ft. Politics. It aims to bring together and lift up the voices of bloggers from marginalized groups as well as allies promoting diverse books (more on this later). 

The Diverse Books Tag is a bit like a scavenger hunt. You are tasked with finding a book (that you have read or intend to) that fits each of the specific criteria listed below. The purpose of the tag is to promote the kinds of books that may not get a lot of attention in the book blogging community.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Post Reading: Danger, Sweetheart - MaryJanice Davidson

Book Review Danger, Sweetheart - MJ Davidson


Title: Danger, Sweetheart
Author: MaryJanice Davidson 
Published: May 10th 2016 by Piatkus
Source: Publisher
Add it on Goodreads

This city boy's about to get a taste of country life . . .

Blake Tarbell has a town to save. Rich, carefree, and used to the Vegas party lifestyle, Blake is thrown for a curve when his former cocktail-waitress mother pleads he go back to her roots to save the town she grew up in. Blake's used to using money to solve his problems, but when he arrives in Sweetheart, North Dakota, this city boy has to trade in his high-priced shoes for a pair of cowboy boots - and he's about to get a little help from the loveliest lady in town . . .

Natalie Lane's got no time for newbies. The prettiest gal to ever put on a pair of work gloves, there's nothing she can't do to keep a farm up and running. But when a handsome city-slicker rolls into town with nothing but bad farmer's instincts and good intentions, Natalie's heartstrings are pulled. She's about to teach him a thing or two about how to survive in Sweetheart. And he's about to teach her a thing or two about love.


A literary trope is the use of figurative language – via word, phrase, or even an image – for artistic effect such as using a figure of speech. The word trope has also come to be used for describing commonly recurring literary and rhetorical devices, motifs or clich├ęs in creative works.
We love them. We hate them. Literary tropes have been a point of debate among readers and reviewers alike over the years. Some see them as lazy writing and some simply adore them. And there are others who believe that plot and thematic tropes when done right, can be quite successful.

MaryJanice Davidson's Danger, Sweetheart is full of common tropes found in the romance genre. 45 of them, actually. Yes, you read that right.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Post Reading: Raif Badawi, The Voice of Freedom - Ensaf Haidar

Raif Badawi #FreeRaif Ensaf Haidar


Title: Raif Badawi, The Voice of Freedom: My Husband, Our Story
Author: Ensaf Haidar and Andrea Claudia Hoffmann
Published: 16 March 2016 by Little Brown
Source: Publisher
Add it on Goodreads

When Raif Badawi and Ensaf Haidar fell in love with each other as adolescents, they did so in violation of every moral precept in the strictly Islamic Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. During their clandestine love affair, the young couple had no idea that, more than a decade later, Ensaf's love for Raif would attract the attention of politicians from around the world as the blogger's wife now mobilises global public opinion in an effort to save her husband from murder at the hands of the Saudi judiciary. With a courage born of desperation, she is fighting from exile in Canada to secure the release of the father of her three children, and is bringing great pressure to bear on the murderous regime in her native country.

Ensaf Haidar tells Raif's and her own story: the story of their shared liberal ideas and her fight for her husband's release.


Ensaf Haidar's Raif Badawi, The Voice of Freedom: My Husband, Our Story is the kind of book that sticks with you. Having finished it in more or less one sitting, I couldn't stop thinking about it for a long time. Days after having turned the final page of this powerful non-fiction piece, I was scouring the web for Badawi's work, Haidar's interviews and updates on the trial.

I was obsessed.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Post Reading: The Obsession - Nora Roberts


Title: The Obsession
Author: Nora Roberts
Published: April 14th 2016 by Piatkus
Source: Publisher
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She changed her name. She changed her life. But someone won't let her go. The brand-new novel of love, drama and hope from legendary Nora Roberts. 

Naomi Carson is a survivor. As a child, her family was torn apart by a shocking crime. It could have destroyed her, but Naomi has grown up strong, with a passion for photography that has taken her all around the world. 

Now, at last, she has decided to put down roots. The beautiful old house on Point Bluff needs work, but Naomi has new friends in town who are willing to help, including Xander Keaton - gorgeous, infuriating and determined to win her heart. 

But as Naomi plans for the future, her past is catching up with her. Someone in town knows her terrifying secret - and won't let her forget it. As her new home is rocked by violence, Naomi must discover her persecutor's identity, before it's too late.


With over 200 books under her belt Nora Roberts has mastered the art of story telling. However, when you release this many books it's only natural that your books get somewhat formulaic. Nevertheless, it's formula that works pretty well for Roberts. Whenever I'm in a reading slump I can count one of Robert's contemporaries or her In Death books to pull me out so it's no surprise that I enjoyed her recent release, The Obsession.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Muslims Represented in YA Fiction


I can't quite remember a time when I didn't read. I progressed from Ladybird books to Enid Blyton to Nancy Drew to Jeffrey Archer to Jane Austen and then much later to Suzanne Collins. Despite devouring hundreds of book, I can count on one hand the number of times I have seen myself portrayed in these books

I identify as a South Asian Muslim. And the handful of books that have portrayed people of color? They have always gotten it wrong.

Misrepresentation is not just a problem relegated to literature. A study released by 416 Labs reveals that the New York Times portrays Islam/Muslims more negatively than alcohol, Democrat, cocaine and cancer (WAIT. WHATTTT?!!) among other benchmarked words. It's no secret that the media often favors sensationalism (who cares about facts and stats, amirite?!) over balanced coverage. But what's surprising is prominent 'feminists' like Tina Fey in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, a movie that reinforces white superiority, erasure of Afghan women and the role of white saviors in 'rescuing oppressed Muslim women'. Not only are warped representations of Islam and muslims being propagated by media but now racist statements being tossed about in public by fear-mongering politicians. And it doesn't end there. We have Ayaan Hirsi Ali and other pseudo-experts on Islam who perpetuate offensive and untrue ideas about Muslims.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

#OwnVoices - Is it my story to tell?

The #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign initiated in 2014 has brought about a significant shift in publishing trends. This is wonderful.

Except, the stats suggest that things may not be wonderful as they appear to be.