Saturday, July 23, 2016

Post Reading: Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged - Ayisha Malik

Book Review Muslims in Literature


Title: Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged
Author: Ayisha Malik
Published: September 3rd 2015 by Twenty7
Source: Bought
Add it on Goodreads

"Brilliant idea! Excellent! Muslim dating? Well, I had no idea you were allowed to date.' Then he leaned towards me and looked at me sympathetically. 'Are your parents quite disappointed?' 

Unlucky in love once again after her possible-marriage-partner-to-be proves a little too close to his parents, Sofia Khan is ready to renounce men for good. Or at least she was, until her boss persuades her to write a tell-all expose about the Muslim dating scene. 

As her woes become her work, Sofia must lean on the support of her brilliant friends, baffled colleagues and baffling parents as she goes in search of stories for her book. In amongst the marriage-crazy relatives, racist tube passengers and decidedly odd online daters, could there be a a lingering possibility that she might just be falling in love . . . ?


If I were to count the number of times I've seen myself represented in fiction, it would take no more than 60 seconds. You'd say I'm lying considering the fact that Muslims are mentioned so often in media. However, literature that is truly representative of Muslims, are few and far between.

Ayisha Malik's debut follows Sofia Khan, a Hijabi Muslim and a first generation immigrant from Pakistan living in London and working in the book publishing industry. Just bouncing back from a broken engagement with a man, Sofia is ready to swear off men. Except, she accidentally pitches a book about Muslims dating to her publicity director!

Armed with nothing but a spankin' new profile (for research, of course), Sofia throws herself hijab first into the Muslim blind dating scene.What follows is a heartwarming, authentic tale of a young Muslim woman in a race against time as she attempts to finish her book and maybe, just maybe find love.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

We Need #DiverseBookBloggers


Most readers including myself, read book reviews before making a purchasing decision. Simply put, book reviews drive sales.

But does it matter who reviews the book? Definitely.
I regularly buy books solely based on the recommendation of trusted bloggers and reviewers. And I'm more likely to add books to my to-read list or go out and purchase a book based on the review of book blogger than trade reviewers like Kirkus Reviews.

However, libraries and bookstores are likely to choose which books to stock up by looking at trade reviews since they are long established and are high on the credibility scale when it comes to the book publishing industry. Similarly, readers who aren't active on Goodreads, social media and the blogosphere/booktube community are more likely to go to trade review sites for recommendations.

Either way, there's no doubt that reviewers (both trade or independent) have a direct influence on what readers buy. End of story.

So what happens when these reviewers aka influencers are largely white cishet, able-bodied women?