Middle East/North African Lit discussion

121 views
2018 > MENA 2018 Challenge Progress

Comments Showing 1-50 of 62 (62 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 753 comments In this thread you can track your reading progress for MENA 2018 READING CHALLENGE as well as share your reading plans.
https://www.goodreads.com/challenges/...
Here are the list for 2018 reading challenge :
1. One biography
2. One Historical Novel ( or actual history book?)
3. One Crime Thriller

4. "One Science Fiction or Dystopian novel set in a MENA country

5. One collection of stories
6. One book that offers hope
7.A book by an author from Al Sham (Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Syria )
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levant

8. A book by an author from The Arabian Peninsula
( Yemen, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia , the United Arab Emirates, and Iraq)
.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabian...

9. A book by an author from The Maghreb ( Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania. )
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maghreb

10. A book by an author from Egypt
11. A book by a Turkish author
12. A book by an Iranian author


message 2: by Carol (last edited May 19, 2018 10:54AM) (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 207 comments This is my 2018 Challenge planning and tracking list.

1. Bio/memoir
2. Historical Fiction. Birds of Amber by Ibrahim Abdel Meguid
3. Crime/thriller
Dead Man's Share: An Inspector Llob Mystery by Yasmina Khadra
4. SciFi/Dystopian set in MENA country
5. Short Stories (collection)
Baghdad Noir edited by Samuel Shimon (Finished 19May)
6. "Book that offers hope"
7. Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan or Syria
The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984: A Graphic Memoir by Riad Sattouf (finished 23Jan)
Death in Beirut by توفيق يوسف عواد
8. Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Yemen
Daughters of Iraq by Revital Shiri-Horowitz
The Gardener of Baghdad by Ahmad Ardalan
The Dove Flyer by Eli Amir (also fits historical fiction task)
9. Algeria, Libya, Mauritania,, Morocco, Tunisia
Horses of God by Mahi Binebine
The Caliph's House: A Year in Casablanca by Tahir Shah
The Happy Marriage by Tahar ben Jelloun
The Rabbi's Cat by Joann Sfar (Finished 22April)
10. Egypt
Alexandrian Summer by Yitzhak Gormezano Goren
Midaq Alley by Naguib Mahfouz
11. Turkey
Liar's Candle: A Novel by August Thomas (finished 17Jan)
Madonna in a Fur Coat by Sabahattin Ali
The Messenger Boy Murders by Perihan Mağden
12. Iran
Song of a Captive Bird by Jasmin Darznik
Foreigner by Nahid Rachlin
Fortress of the Golden Dragon: A Persian Tale Inspired by the Shah-Nameh by Homa A. Garemani
Us & Them by Bahíyyih Nakhjavání


message 3: by Ntamson (new)

Ntamson This is my list according to my current bookshelf:

1. Biography: A game for swallows (Zeina Abirached)
2. Historical fiction:
3. Crime/thriller:
4. Dystopian:
5. Collection of stories: دومة ود حامد (الطيب صالح)
6. Book of hope:
7. Al sham author: Mornings in Jenin (Susan Abulhawa)
8. Arabian peninsular author: ساق البامبو (سعود السنعوسي)
9. Maghreb author: Season of Migration to the North (Tayeb Salih)
10. Egyptian author: The City Always Wins (Omar Robert Hamilton)
11. Turkish author:
12. Iranian author: Until We Are Free: My Fight for Human Rights in Iran (Shirin Ebadi)


message 4: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2750 comments Mod
Interesting lists ! Good luck everyone :)

Ntamson wrote: "This is my list according to my current bookshelf:

8. Arabian peninsular author: ساق البامبو (سعود السنعوسي)
10. Egyptian author: The City Always Wins (Omar Robert Hamilton)..."


I hope you will like The Bamboo Stalk , I really enjoyed reading it :)

I had no idea that Omar Robert Hamilton became an author like his mother Ahdaf Soueif !


message 5: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 753 comments I'm not sure about everything yet, but the following are what I'd like to read for the 2018 reading challenge :

1. One biography
Empress of the East: How a European Slave Girl Became Queen of the Ottoman Empire
2. One Historical Novel
My Name is Red

3. One Crime Thriller
?

4. "One Science Fiction or Dystopian novel set in a MENA country:
Iraq + 100: stories from a century after the invasion

5. One collection of stories:
A Hundred and One Nights

6. One book that offers hope
?
7.A book by an author from Al Sham (Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Syria )
The Night Counter

8. A book by an author from The Arabian Peninsula
( Yemen, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia , the United Arab Emirates, and Iraq.
Fatma: A Novel of Arabia

9. A book by an author from The Maghreb ( Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania. )
Horses of God

10. A book by an author from Egypt
The Open Door

11. A book by a Turkish author
Three Daughters of Eve

12. A book by an Iranian author
?


message 6: by Niledaughter (last edited Jan 17, 2018 03:28AM) (new)

Niledaughter | 2750 comments Mod
Lila wrote: "7.A book by an author from Al Sham (Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Syria )
The Night Counter ..."


Will you be reading this one after (A Hundred and One Nights) group read .
I have a copy of (The Night Counter) , if you have a date in your mind ; please tell me , I will try to catch up ..though I am horrible lately :(


message 7: by Brenda (new)

Brenda | 2 comments Lila wrote: "I'm not sure about everything yet, but the following are what I'd like to read for the 2018 reading challenge :

1. One biography
[book:Empress of the East: How a European Slave Girl Became Queen ..."


Lila wrote: "I'm not sure about everything yet, but the following are what I'd like to read for the 2018 reading challenge :

1. One biography
[book:Empress of the East: How a European Slave Girl Became Queen ..."



message 8: by Brenda (new)

Brenda | 2 comments Subject: Re: New discussions from Middle East/North African Lit
not sure of the author of the message with all the titles, but I want to
thank you! As a librarian, it's very useful to have info about what
readers want, beyond what they actually request from us.
As to your comment about your library buying only currently published
titles, I feel your pain! It's often very difficult to find books that
were published even a few years back, as publishers are printing very small
runs sometime. And if an older title can be located, it may be very
expensive and out of the question in these days of increasingly shrinking
budgets! I realize this doesn't help you but maybe it will encourage folks
to recommend titles as soon after publication as possible and to keep
asking. Usually, the early (and pesky) bird gets the worm... er, book.
Libraries are increasingly relying on what we cannot buy, we will get for
you via ILL, etc. but if they/we don't know what folks want, it's easy to
ignore the ever-increasing lists from publishers, etc. So, I guess my real
message here is to get to know your librarian(s) and stay in touch with
them about what you need. (most of the time) we want to help you get what
you need!!!
Also, just a note about the titles of books people are recommending: it's
very helpful if you can provide as much bibliographic info as you have, at
least author & date of publication (publisher is helpful too but not
essential) so that list readers can more easily identify works and if
needed request them from their local library.
This list is wonderful!
cheers, Brenda

Brenda E. Bickett
Bibliographer for:
*Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
*Center for Eurasian, Russian & East European Studies
*Prince AlWaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding
*Dept. of Arabic & Islamic Studies
*Dept. of Slavic Languages
Georgetown University Library
Washington DC 20057-1174
voice: 202/687-4482


message 9: by Melanie, Marhaba Language Expertise (new)

Melanie (magidow) | 595 comments Mod
Thanks for writing, Brenda. I'm glad you found something helpful here!


message 10: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 753 comments Brenda wrote: "Subject: Re: New discussions from Middle East/North African Lit
not sure of the author of the message with all the titles, but I want to
thank you! As a librarian, it's very useful to have info abo..."


Thanks for you post Brenda!
It might seem like I was complaining about my library in other posts, but, I've actually had pretty good luck finding most of the books I want to read.
In 2017 my library ended up purchasing all 3 books I requested and
I was able to get 10 from the 11 books I requested as inter-library loans. The only book I had a hard time getting was Iraq + 100: stories from a century after the invasion
When I tried ordering it as an interlibrary loan they were unable to locate a copy in Canada and when I suggested they purchase it they took a long time deciding before deciding to buy it, so I missed the group read. It's good to know I should be persistent because with the Iraq book I was starting to feel like I might be annoying :)


message 11: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 207 comments Lila wrote: "I'm not sure about everything yet, but the following are what I'd like to read for the 2018 reading challenge :

1. One biography
[book:Empress of the East: How a European Slave Girl Became Queen ..."


@lila, I voted for another novel in the poll because we have already agreed to read Three Daughters and I want to read 2 novels with this group from these two countries. Just thought I'd explain in case you see my vote and think I'm ditching Three Daughters. fyi.


message 12: by PS (last edited Aug 11, 2018 03:36PM) (new)

PS Hello, I'll be taking part in the challenge. I plan to read a minimum of 11 books:

1. A biography
Nahid Rachin:Persian Girls

2. A historical Novel/History Book
Albert Hourani: A History of the Arab Peoples

3. One Crime Thriller
N/A

4. Science Fiction or Dystopian novel set in a MENA country
Hassan Blasim: The Iraqi Christ
Ahmed Saadawi: Frankenstein in Baghdad

5. A collection of stories
Leila Aboulela: Elsewhere, Home
Mai Al-Nakib: The Hidden Light of Objects

6. A book that offers hope
Leila Aboulela: The Translator

7. A book by an author from Al Sham
Edward Said: Orientalism
Elias Khoury: The Broken Mirrors: Sinalcol

8. A book by an author from The Arabian Peninsula
Deepak Unnikrishnan: Temporary People

9. A book by an author from The Maghreb
Mahi Binebine: Horses of God
Tahar Ben Jelloun: This Blinding Absence of Light

10. A book by an author from Egypt
Nawal El-Saadawi: Woman at Point Zero by Nawal El-Saadawi
Alifa Rifaat: Distant View of a Minaret and Other Stories

11. A book by a Turkish author
Orhan Pamuk: My Name is Red

12. A book by an Iranian author
Rumi: The Spiritual Poems of Rumi
Evin Ahmad: En dag ska jag bygga ett slott av pengar


message 13: by Niledaughter (last edited Dec 30, 2018 11:29AM) (new)

Niledaughter | 2750 comments Mod
I will do my best :)

1. One biography
The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: My Family's Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World

2. One Historical Novel ( or actual history book?)
Discoveries: Alexandria: Jewel of Egypt

3. One Crime Thriller
Vertigo

4. "One Science Fiction or Dystopian novel set in a MENA country
N/A

5. One collection of stories
N/A

6. One book that offers hope
N/A

7.A book by an author from Al Sham (Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Syria )
The Night Counter: A Novel

8. A book by an author from The Arabian Peninsula
( Yemen, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia , the United Arab Emirates, and Iraq)
N/A


9. A book by an author from The Maghreb ( Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania. )
So Vast the Prison

10. A book by an author from Egypt
The Automobile Club of Egypt

11. A book by a Turkish author
Three Daughters of Eve

12. A book by an Iranian author
Equal of the Sun


message 14: by Cheryl (last edited Nov 14, 2018 05:44PM) (new)

Cheryl | 4 comments I'm belatedly joining the 2018 reading challenge:
I'll add books that I'm planning to read as we go through the year and add a check mark when I've read them.

12/12 complete

✔ 1. Biography: Nujood Ali, Delphine Minoui - I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced
✔ 2. Historical novel or history book: Mahbod Seraji - Rooftops of Tehran
✔ 3. Crime thriller: Morituri
✔ 4. Science fiction or dystopian novel set in a MENA country: Basma Abdel Aziz - The Queue
✔ 5. Collection of stories: Ibtihal Mahmood - Snow in Amman: An Anthology of Short Stories from Jordan
✔ 6. A book that offers hope: Ahmad Ardalan - The Gardener of Baghdad
✔ 7. A book by an author from Al Sham (Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Syria): Balcony on the Moon: Coming of Age in Palestine
✔ 8. A book by an author from The Arabian Peninsula (Yemen, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia , the United Arab Emirates, and Iraq): Mai Al-Nakib - The Hidden Light of Objects
✔ 9. A book by an author from The Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania): Mahi Binebine - Horses of God
✔ 10. Egyptian author: Short stories: Naguib Mahfouz - The Time and the Place: And Other Stories
✔ 11. Turkish author: Orhan Pamuk - The Museum of Innocence
✔ 12. Iranian author: Marjane Satrapi - The Complete Persepolis


message 15: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 753 comments Up to now I have read 2 books for the challenge
Empress of the East: How a European Slave Girl Became Queen of the Ottoman Empire for #1 a biography and
Horses of God for #9 a book by an author from the Maghreb.

I still have no idea of what I'll read for #3 a thriller and #4 science fiction or dystopian novel.
I know of The Dove's Necklace for #2 and Iraq + 100: stories from a century after the invasion for #3, but I'd like to have more options to choose from.
Any suggestions would be welcome!


message 16: by Camille (new)

Camille Ammoun (camilleammoun) | 1 comments Lila wrote: "In this thread you can track your reading progress for MENA 2018 READING CHALLENGE as well as share your reading plans.
https://www.goodreads.com/challenges/...
Here a..."


Interesting New York Times article on dystopian novels in the Middle East: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/30/bo...


message 17: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 753 comments Camille wrote: "Lila wrote: "In this thread you can track your reading progress for MENA 2018 READING CHALLENGE as well as share your reading plans.
https://www.goodreads.com/challenges/......"


Thanks!


message 18: by Carol (last edited Mar 13, 2018 01:59PM) (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 207 comments Lila wrote: "Up to now I have read 2 books for the challenge
Empress of the East: How a European Slave Girl Became Queen of the Ottoman Empire for #1 a biography and
Horses of God ...



@Lila, I may be misunderstanding your ask for suggestions, so please ignore if I am. For task 3, crime thrillers, here are several novels you may want to consider:

The Messenger Boy Murders by Perihan Mağden. Only 120 pages. Female Turkish author.

Waking Lions by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen. Female Israeli author. I loved this, and more over time. It deals with more than a typical crime thriller, because it addresses the African refugees in Israel, which is particularly topical given the April 1 deadline for them to leave the country.

Literary Murder by Batya Gur. Female Israeli author. This is the second book in a traditional, police procedural series.

The Tobacco Keeper by Ali Bader. Iraq.

Among the Ruins by Ausma Zehanat Khan. Khan is a British-born Canadian currently living in the US and this is the third novel in her excellent series featuring detective Esa Khattak, and it takes place in Iran. I understand that this might not appeal if you only want to read authors resident in MENA countries for this challenge, but thought I would mention it because otherwise I think you would enjoy this series. Of course, as a Canadian, you may be way ahead of me. :)

Vertigo by Ahmed Mourad. Egypt. Highly rated by my crime-thriller reader friends.

The Golden Scales by Parker Bilal, pseudonym of Jamal Mahjoub. The novel takes place in Cairo, but its lead detective is Sudanese. Mahjoub was born in London and currently lives in Barcelona. You may want to read his bio and determine whether he fits your criteria. He meets mine, but I may be more liberal on this challenge than you would want to be.


message 19: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 753 comments Carol wrote: "Lila wrote: "Up to now I have read 2 books for the challenge
Empress of the East: How a European Slave Girl Became Queen of the Ottoman Empire for #1 a biography and
[book:Horses ..."


Thanks Carol!
Yes you understood correctly! I am looking for suggestions for both categories 3 and 4
This and Camille's suggestion helps!


message 20: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2750 comments Mod
Lila wrote: "I still have no idea of what I'll read for #3 a thriller and #4 science fiction or dystopian novel..."

You can check Utopia . I have not read it yet myself .


message 21: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 207 comments For Task #4, here is a link to an article from The National, and the sci fi novels mentioned:

https://www.thenational.ae/arab-scien...

Theologus Autodidactus by ابن النفيس.
Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson
Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed
The 99 by Naif Al-Mutawa

This 2015 article from the Middle East Monitor includes several of the same sci-fi novels, but a few different ones, too.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/201...

The Elixir of Life by Mohammed Aziz Lahbabi
Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi
HWJN by Ibraheem Abbas
Utopia (mentioned by NileDaughter above)
Somewhere! by Ibraheem Abbas
The Secret Life of Saeed: The Pessoptimist by Emile Habiby

FYI - Several of these novels are available in English translations, but I doubt all are and I didn't research that. I also couldn't identify many of the referenced novels in GoodReads' database, which doesn't mean they are not there, but - in my experience - the database doesn't recognize searches for English-language titles of translated works, and often Arabic authors names are not in the database with the same spelling and hyphenation as journalists and feature writers employ.


message 22: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 753 comments Thanks for the great suggestions everyone!
Finally for # 4 science fiction/dystopia I am going to read The Corpse Exhibition and Other Stories of Iraq which I believe is the same as The Iraqi Christ.
My library did not have many of the titles, but that have this one with no cue!
Still have not decided for the thriller!


message 23: by PS (new)

PS Lila wrote: "Thanks for the great suggestions everyone!
Finally for # 4 science fiction/dystopia I am going to read The Corpse Exhibition and Other Stories of Iraq which I believe is the same as..."


I didn't realise they were the same! I plan to read The Iraqi Christ (I have a copy) for #4 :)


message 24: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 753 comments Sofia wrote: "Lila wrote: "Thanks for the great suggestions everyone!
Finally for # 4 science fiction/dystopia I am going to read The Corpse Exhibition and Other Stories of Iraq which I believe i..."


I am not 100% sure if it is, but it looks like it.


message 25: by Jalilah (last edited Mar 16, 2018 06:17PM) (new)

Jalilah | 753 comments Carol wrote: "Theologus Autodidactus by ابن النفيس.
Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson
Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed
The 99 by Naif Al-Mutawa

This 2015 article from the Middle East Monitor includes several of the same sci-fi novels, but a few different ones, too.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/201...

The Elixir of Life by Mohammed Aziz Lahbabi
Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi
HWJN by Ibraheem Abbas
Utopia (mentioned by NileDaughter above)
Somewhere! by Ibraheem Abbas
The Secret Life of Saeed: The Pessoptimist by Emile Habiby
[..."


I had a chance to look at all of these today. Of all of them [book:HWJN|18309979]looks the most appealing to me because it's fantasy taking place in our world. Actually I am not a fan of dystopia/science fiction, but as it would be I happened to read 2 in same month because they were from author I liked. This just confirmed it is not my cup of tea!

Just a note, Alif the Unseen is not by a MENA author. I absolutely loved it! It was a group read for a group I co-moderate last year. Even though the author is "white" American she is obviously very familiar with the Arab world, in fact I think she lives in Egypt.

Theologus Autodidactus looks very interesting too!


message 26: by Calzean (last edited Aug 27, 2018 02:00AM) (new)

Calzean Just saw this challenge. Here is my list, I'll strike out the entry when I've read the book:
1. One biography - Dear World: A Syrian Girl's Story of War and Plea for Peace byBana Alabed
2. One Historical Novel ( or actual history book?) - Cities of Salt by Abdul Rahman Munif A beautiful classic.
3. One Crime Thriller - White Masks by Elias Khoury An unsolvable murder in Beirut during an Israeli invasion.
4. One Science Fiction or Dystopian novel set in a MENA country - The Queue by Basma Abdel Aziz Just brilliant.
5. One collection of stories - Tales from the Thousand and One Nights Naughty people doing naughty things.
6. One book that offers hope - Twenty Two Years to Life by Mohammed Massoud Morsi The impact on one man as Israel and Palestine continue to take revenge on each other.
7.A book by an author from Al Sham (Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Syria - Balcony on the Moon: Coming of Age in Palestine by Ibtisam Barakat The coming of age of a young Palestinian woman. Beautifully written.
8. A book by an author from The Arabian Peninsula
( Yemen, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia , the United Arab Emirates, and Iraq) - A Land without Jasmine by Wajdi Al-Ahdal Sexual repression causes the death of a young university student.
9. A book by an author from The Maghreb ( Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania. ) - Swallows of Kabul by Yasmina Khadra Life under the Taliban is no bed of roses.
10. A book by an author from Egypt - The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany Life in Cairo early 1990s .
11. A book by a Turkish author - Snow by Orhan Pamuk A haunting tale of modern Turkey and living life as a Muslim.
12. A book by an Iranian author - Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi My fav of the year so far.


message 27: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 207 comments Calzean wrote: "Just saw this challenge. Here is my list, I'll strike out the entry when I've read the book:
1. One biography - Dear World: A Syrian Girl's Story of War and Plea for Peace by[author..."


I look forward to seeing what you select in connection with this challenge, Calzean!


message 28: by Calzean (new)

Calzean Carol wrote: "Calzean wrote: "Just saw this challenge. Here is my list, I'll strike out the entry when I've read the book:
1. One biography - [book:Dear World: A Syrian Girl's Story of War and Plea for Peace|356..."

I think I have found a good selection.


message 29: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 207 comments Calzean wrote: "Carol wrote: "Calzean wrote: "Just saw this challenge. Here is my list, I'll strike out the entry when I've read the book:
1. One biography - [book:Dear World: A Syrian Girl's Story of War and Plea..."


I agree! I forgot that you are more disciplined than I in sticking to lists.


message 30: by Jalilah (last edited Apr 28, 2018 05:07PM) (new)

Jalilah | 753 comments Up to now I've read 5 books for the reading challenge.
All of them were excellent!
They are:

1. One biography Empress of the East: How a European Slave Girl Became Queen of the Ottoman Empire

7.A book by an author from Al Sham The Night Counter
9. A book by an author from The Maghreb Horses of God

10. A book by an author from Egypt The Open Door
11. A book by a Turkish author Three Daughters of Eve

I tried reading Fatma: A Novel of Arabia for 8. A book by an author from the Arabian Peninsula, but I could not continue it! There are too many snakes. It's about a woman who is married off to a man she's never met. He's handsome but very mysterious. He leaves her alone a lot and there is a room he tells her not to go into, like the fairy tale Bluebeard. She goes in only to discover the room is full of hundreds of snakes! This is not a spoiler as it says the same thing on the cover description. It happens early on, but there are snakes in every chapter. I got about half way through and just could not take it any more!
So I'll be reading something else for that category!


message 31: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 207 comments I finished Baghdad Noir, edited by Samuel Shimon, and thought it was stunning. It’s available as an ARC from Edelweiss now, with an August release date.


message 32: by Anne (new)

Anne (anna231) | 15 comments I've just finished reading The House of the Mosque by Kader Abdolah, who is an Iranian author living as a political refugee in The Netherlands, so this is my MENA 2018 challenge "Book by an author from Iran".

The book is very good - I highly recommend it.


message 33: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 753 comments Anne wrote: "I've just finished reading The House of the Mosque by Kader Abdolah, who is an Iranian author living as a political refugee in The Netherlands, so this is my MENA 2018 challenge "Book by an author ..."

I loved that book! It was very evocative!


message 34: by Jalilah (last edited Jul 13, 2018 05:38AM) (new)

Jalilah | 753 comments How is everyone coming along!
I've read 6 books so far:
Here are the list for 2018 reading challenge :
1. One biography
Empress of the East: How a European Slave Girl Became Queen of the Ottoman Empire by Leslie Peirce ( I am aware I am kind of cheating because this author is not from a MENA country
2. One Historical Novel ( or actual history book?)
3. One Crime Thriller
4. "One Science Fiction or Dystopian novel set in a MENA country
5. One collection of stories
A Hundred and One Nights translated by Bruce Fudge
6. One book that offers hope
7.A book by an author from Al Sham
The Night Counter by Alia Yunis
8. A book by an author from The Arabian Peninsula
9. A book by an author from The Maghreb
Horses of God b Mahi Binebine
10. A book by an author from Egypt
The Open Door by Latifa Zayyat
11. A book by a Turkish author
Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak
12. A book by an Iranian

I still don't know what I'll read for #2,#3,#6 and # 12!
I will be reading The Green Bicycle for # 8
and Frankenstein in Baghdad for #4


message 35: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 207 comments I've only read 4, so far, but I'm blaming my lack of progress on a bit of over-enthusiastic requesting from NetGalley and Edelweiss. I'll tame that beast and progress in September and beyond, I hope. Still, I love this challenge because it keeps these books front and center of my TBR, instead of dropping out of sight as new shiny baubles take my attention.


message 36: by Steve (last edited Jul 12, 2018 02:07PM) (new)

Steve Middendorf (stevemid) | 75 comments I appreciate all of your diligence, the breadth of your interests, and your ideas which help me populate my reading lists. Although I am a voracious reader, I’m not very organised, and even less disciplined. As I explained in an earlier post, I’ve come back to MENA just this past month -- so I've missed out on the discussions of what to read. I think I'm a consumer of your suggestions rather than a provider. Based on what I’ve seen, I just finished and can’t wait to discuss Three Daughters of Eve and the Green Bicycle. As I said elsewhere I read the wrong One Hundred and One Nights (Buckholz. ) I also finished Without A Country by Ayse Kul, and am reading now Bird Without Wings which was mentioned somewhere here although the author is not MENA. Hey, what is it with all the cultural appropriation?


message 37: by Melanie, Marhaba Language Expertise (new)

Melanie (magidow) | 595 comments Mod
Thanks for writing, Steve. I'm looking forward to opening The Green Bicycle discussion thread soon :)


message 38: by Maria (last edited Jul 24, 2018 05:31AM) (new)

Maria N | 10 comments That popup box for first time posters like myself keeps disappearing every time I wish to go near it! Arrgh... :)

I've just finished reading The Palace Of Angels The Palace Of Angels by Mohammed Massoud Morsi by Mohammed Massoud Morsi. The book is so moving - I highly recommend it. That completes at least 1 book for me! :)


message 39: by Steve (new)

Steve Middendorf (stevemid) | 75 comments Maria, I've just put this on my to-read list. I need a little hope.


message 40: by Sue (new)

Sue | 628 comments I just read a couple of reviews of the book. Very interesting. I will have to look into this one.


message 41: by Calzean (new)

Calzean Well I'm done. An enjoyable challenge gave me a mix of books to read, new lands and new authors.


message 42: by Maria (new)

Maria N | 10 comments Mornings in Jenin. Incredible story, not so impressed by the voice. It's a highly rated book but I found it to be ok, not amazing. It's got a bit of "putting it thick on" at parts which it doesn't need at all.
Anyway, done with that one.
Next Egyptian author. Naguib or Tawfiq or Alaa?


message 43: by Jalilah (last edited Aug 29, 2018 02:09PM) (new)

Jalilah | 753 comments I've added two more!
I recently finished Frankenstein in Baghdad for
4. "One Science Fiction or Dystopian novel set in a MENA country.
While reading it I realised it not really Science Fiction or Dystopian as it is allegorical, but I'm still going to count it!
Then I read The Green Bicycle for #8 a book by an author from the Arabian Peninsula.


message 44: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 207 comments Maria wrote: "Mornings in Jenin. Incredible story, not so impressed by the voice. It's a highly rated book but I found it to be ok, not amazing. It's got a bit of "putting it thick on" at parts which it doesn't ..."

Naguib... but really you can’t err with any of those choices.


message 45: by Maria (new)

Maria N | 10 comments Thx Carol!

Carol wrote: "Maria wrote: "Mornings in Jenin. Incredible story, not so impressed by the voice. It's a highly rated book but I found it to be ok, not amazing. It's got a bit of "putting it thick on" at parts whi..."


message 46: by Fl (new)

Fl | 15 comments Not far to the end of the year, but I've done it! Although it doesn't seem to be recorded by Goodreads...

1. One biography: Jassim - The Leader: Tribesman, Statesman and Father of a Nation. by Mohamed Althani. Local interest.
2. One Historical Novel ( or actual history book?): Kurt Seyt & Shura
3. One Crime Thriller: Vertigo. I usually don't read thrillers, and I really enjoyed the human side in this one.
4. "One Science Fiction or Dystopian novel set in a MENA country: Utopia
5. One collection of stories: Under a Crescent Moon: Stories of Arabia. Well written, and felt spot on.
6. One book that offers hope. Gosh this one was hard to find! I used the group's suggestion, The Gardener of Baghdad, a sweet book.
7.A book by an author from Al Sham (Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Syria ): LA Maison Sans Racines. She is shamefully absent from the group shelf!
8. A book by an author from The Arabian Peninsula
( Yemen, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia , the United Arab Emirates, and Iraq): Cities of Salt. One of the best books I have read this year.
9. A book by an author from The Maghreb ( Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania. ) I was running a bit out of time, si I went for graphic novels... Le Chat du Rabbin
10. A book by an author from Egypt: Impasse des deux palais.
11. A book by a Turkish author: Three Daughters of Eve.My first book by Elif Shafak, there will definitely be more!
12. A book by an Iranian author: Refuge. I liked it, but it feels like I have read too many books written by westernized young women about the vagaries of identity lately, they all feel a bit alike now...

I want to thank the moderators for their hard work, I want you to know it is not lost on me even if I am afraid I am happy to lurk in the shadows... I am impatient for the 2019 challenge!


message 47: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 753 comments Does anyone want to do another challenge for 2019?


message 48: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2750 comments Mod
I am so glad to see all these challenges and comments :)
Fl wrote: "I want to thank the moderators for their hard work, I want you to know it is not lost on me even if I am afraid I am happy to lurk in the shadows... I am impatient for the 2019 challenge! . ..."

Jalilah wrote: "Does anyone want to do another challenge for 2019?"

This will be great ! :D
Any ideas for the new 2019 challenge .
N.B
Thank you so much Jalila for the effort you put in the group :D


message 49: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 753 comments Niledaughter wrote: "I am so glad to see all these challenges and comments :)
Fl wrote: "I want to thank the moderators for their hard work, I want you to know it is not lost on me even if I am afraid I am happy to lur..."


I just replied in the other thread and here are some ideas based on members suggestions:
For the 2019 MENA Challenge Read:
- a book about or set in a MENA city with an ancient history
-a book based on a famous real life MENA historical figure
- a fantasy or science fiction book by a MENA author"

Please let me know if you like this and I'd be happy to set up a challenge again!


message 50: by Fl (new)

Fl | 15 comments Yes please!
Happy to read about a city, with or without ancient history! And even a village if centered around it!
Can we have a book of poetry as well?


« previous 1
back to top