The Bone Sparrow was one of the first books I read in 2017 and I’m ashamed to admit that I was shamefully ignorant of the refugee crisis in Australia beforehand. My knowledge is very Euro-centric and it’s something I need to work on. This book highlighted the human rights abuses towards Rohingya refugees from Mayanmar in Australia detention camps.
The narrator, a boy born in such a camp, navigates the cruelty of the camp guards, the quiet depression of his mother, the fleeting safety of his best friend and the cynicism of his sister in a lyrical, child-like way. He reads to a local girl who sneaks in at night and watches as tensions rise within the camp with devastating consequences.
It’s a tragic story because it’s grounded in such a horrific reality. Endorsed by Amnesty International, Subhi’s story is one of millions of Muslim refugees around the world who are treated with cruelty and suspicion and are vilified by mainstream medias.
Of course, it’s also a story that needs to be told by refugees in their own words, and I’m seeking more and more diaspora stories written by people with that experience (if anyone has any recommendations then please let me know!) because it’s important that they tell their own stories.
I was given this book on the London Bookshop Crawl by my friend Bex with very little idea of what to expect. I love Shappi Khorsandi’s comedy so the fact that she’d written it was a big selling point for me. Despite me having no idea of expectations this book still managed to surpass them.
Nina Is Not OK is about seventeen year old Nina, whose dad drinks himself to death when she’s nine, shortly after her boyfriend moves to Hong Kong. Her drunken exploits are notorious at college, she’s drinking more and more and insists she doesn’t have a problem. But she can’t remember one night in particular and the situations she’s getting herself in to are becoming far more dangerous.
I cried a lot reading this book. Personally, Nina’s path is one I narrowly escaped; my dad didn’t die of alcoholism until I was twenty, so I grew up very aware of the dangers of alcohol and skipped that whole teenage-rebellion-drinking-until-you-puke stage until I was a lot older than Nina and was angry enough to lash out at everything and everyone. I could have very easily been her.
The bits that got me in the story, though, were Nina’s thoughts on what might have happened if her dad had lived long enough to get help. It’s something that occurs to you daily when you lose someone to addiction and Shappi Khorsandi writes it very very well, as well as that weird juxtaposition between life then and now, and how hard it is to feel like you fit in to a life without that chaos and worry daily.
It was a much harder read than I was expecting, and is warn heavily for sexual assault, rape and talk of addiction and death from it. But it’s also very hopeful. Nina is not OK, but you feel like she will be.
Hello everyone! I’ve fallen off the face of WordPress for a while now; things got so drab and dreary over winter that I had zero motivation to take book review photos and now I’m about 40 books behind in reviewing! I’m hoping to get back in to the swing of things this week so I can share all of the wonderful books I’ve read since… November? I’ve also had the London Bookshop Crawl (haul above) to talk about which I really need to do because it was such a good day.
Bye for now, but hopefully I’ll see you soon!
I’m taking part in another rereadathon!
I’ve been thinking recently about the kind of YA books I’ve enjoyed reading recently and how I missed out in a lot of YA books as a teen because I moved on to adult fiction so young. The thing is… as much as there are some YA books that I do love, they’re not written for me. I’m twenty five, I can’t and shouldn’t judge them as their intended readership. So, I made a list of the books I enjoyed aged 10-13, found the ones that I still own and there’s my TBR for this week! I’m going mega old school, back to 2002!
My list for the week is:
The Raging Quiet by Sheryl Jordan
Almost Perfect by James Pope
The Misfits by James Howe
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
If I can find them and have the time I’d also quite like to reread Another Life by Frank McGinty, Doll by Nicky Singer and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D Taylor.
Here’s to a busy week with old favourites!
If you’d like to join in, check out Bex’s post!
Hello! I’m hosting this month’s theme for Discworldathon: Wizards! A quick poll chose The Colour of Magic as our book for the month and it makes sense to start with the very beginning!
Fortunately The Colour of Magic is, against all tradition with Discworld novels, split in to four handy parts… one for every week in February! I know we’re two days in already but if we fal a few pages behind it’s no big deal.
So, the month is going to be set up like this, with discussions going on on Twitter/Instagram under the hashtag #discworldathon, the readalong goodreads thread and/or here if people fancy it (wherever you like really!):
Week 1: The Colour of Magic
Week 2: The Sending of Eight
Week 3: The Lure of the Wyrm
Week 4: Close to the Edge
The last weekend (25/26th) I’ll also be hosting a mini readalong of The Last Hero- the graphic short story about wizards trying to stop an old man from killing the gods.
I’ll mainly be posting on Goodreads and Twitter to save people’s timelines on here!
Finally, I’m also hosting a giveaway on twitter if you would like the chance to win a Discworld novel of your choice!
The Diverse-A-Thon starts again this week and I’m really excited to see what everyone on Twitter, Bookstagram and Booktube are reading! I joined in last time and I think ended up reading about four books. This time round I’ve chosen only three books for my TBR; partly because I wanted to not stress about reading lots and instead enjoy actually reading and partly because one of the books I’ve chosen is a 1,000+ page Japanese epic.
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
I’ve been planning on reading Norwegian Wood for my Read the World Project but I’ve been loathe to use the same books for more than one ‘project’ because that seems like cheating (I’m also taking part in Diversity Bingo 2017 and trying not to have any crossover). So, this seems like a perfect opportunity to read another of Haruki Murakami’s books that has been recommended to me by a few friends now. This may well end up being the only book I finish this week (although I tend to have more than on on the go) because it’s so long, but I’ll never turn down the opportunity to read a 1000 word dystopia!
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
This one has been recommended by so many people on Twitter that I just had to include it in my TBR this week. I have actually read the first two pages already a few weeks ago, but only because I got carried away when I bought it. This YA story is about a trans girl who starts at a new school.
Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik
Sometimes I am really in the mood for a romantic comedy book. Not always, but when the mood strikes I love them. Sofia Khan looks perfect (and the first page has already made me laugh); about a woman whose boss asks her to write an expose on dating as a Muslim woman.
Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson
I have to add this one because I’ve just realised that it comes out this Tuesday. I’ve heard a lot of great things from people who were sent the ARC and I’ve been looking forward to it for months now!
What is on everyone’s TBR this week?
(Top image found on @diverseathon Twitter and used with permission)
So, I decided on a whim to start a booktube channel. It’s nothing fancy because I have no knowledge about video editing (I assume I’ll get better with practice) and my first video was a bit of a learning curve, but I’m rambling on about some of my favourite books that I read between… 2004 and 2015ish!