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Announcements > First Book of 2019 (Jan/Feb) - The Things I Would Tell You: British-Muslim Women Write edited by Sabrina Mahfouz

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message 1: by Jo, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (last edited Jan 01, 2019 09:04AM) (new)

Jo (jo_9) | 373 comments Mod
Dear Our Shared Shelf:
Our selection for January/February 2019, is: The Things I Would Tell You: British-Muslim Women Write edited by Sabrina Mahfouz. This empowering anthology of essays, poems, opinions and stories from emerging and renowned writers help begin to reveal a rich and complex picture of Muslim women. In the face of Brexit, media misrepresentations, documented intolerance and violent acts of Islamophobia around the world, we are honored to be able to amplify these diverse voices of British-Muslim women who inspire us with their insight, passion and experience.

As a special treat, we asked poet, writer and editor, Sabrina Mahfouz, if she would share a short introduction to this book, especially for Our Shared Shelf members. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

The new year is a time of hope and reflection. One stark observation that stood out to me is how the policing of women’s bodies as an oppressive global obsession seemed to increase during 2018. Among countless examples, one was Egyptian actress, Rania Youssef, facing criminal trial for wearing a ‘revealing’ dress to Cairo film festival. Then Denmark became the latest European country to ban ‘face covering veils’. It happens differently in places but has the same misogyny at its root. Growing up between Europe and the Middle East, I have seen women in one country being legally banned from wearing something that in another, they are legally forced to wear. This constant shift over the decades, reminds me of the phrase ‘that which unites us is far greater than that which divides us’. Yet, those supposed divisions must be examined in order for meaningful unification to be possible. In some areas of the UK, including London, Muslim women wearing Islamic clothing have reported being unable to leave the house due to the increase in physical and verbal attacks. This Islamophobia, enabled partly by non- and/or misrepresentation of Muslims, continues to be stoked by politicians and the media. We must counteract this fear and misperception at every possible turn, and I hope this book, along with being entertaining and enjoyable, can shake up the representation of Muslim women in some small way.

The contributors to this anthology are an inspirational force. They offer the reader a range of styles (fiction, memoir, opinion, poetry and dramatic writing), striking stories, thoughts and experiences. The fact that these women all have a British and a Muslim identity is important in dispelling the narrow image of who a British-Muslim woman is and how she lives. We also hope to inspire those who don't often find writing that resonates with their own experiences or in the canon we are taught at schools. It is a simple idea, but it never fails to surprise me how much representation can empower and how much non- or misrepresentation can disempower. In my opinion, to not be reflected in a complex way in the cultural output of your society is to be denied your humanity. And we must all do whatever we can to alter the current, dominant narratives, for the benefit of everybody’s future. Thank you for joining the journey!


Here’s to an empowering and inspired 2019!

With love,

Sabrina Mahfouz and Team Our Shared Shelf


P.S. For our OSS members in North America, due to high demand, this book is currently being reprinted in the U.S. and may take a week or so to be restocked, in case you experience issues with availability. Thank you for your patience.


message 2: by Anna (new)

Anna | 38 comments Another excellent choice. Looking forward to read it :)


Agnes Szalkowska | 386 comments Is only 7 book available on Amazon UK .


message 4: by Karen (new)

Karen Witzler (kewitzler) | 0 comments I see it available for Kindle in the US.


message 5: by Marcia (new)

Marcia Malory (marciamalory) It is also available on eBay


message 6: by Ashley (new)

Ashley | 194 comments Just ordered a copy from Amazon. I'm US based, and there were only 3 left in stock when I ordered.

This sounds really fascinating and I can't wait to get into it! Really excited since I'm currently finishing up Persepolis and I feel like this will be a really good follow-up to that.


message 7: by Sondra (new)

Sondra | 1 comments This will be my first book from Our Shared Shelf. Just ordered it from Amazon. Very excited.


message 8: by Camilla (new)

Camilla (repressedpauper) | 64 comments My library had it available! Really looking forward to staying on track this year. Looks like a great pick.


message 9: by Pam (new)

Pam | 1091 comments Mod
Jo wrote: "P.S. For our OSS members in North America, due to high demand, this book is currently being reprinted in the U.S. and may take a week or so to be restocked, in case you experience issues with availability. Thank you for your patience.."

This is a great subject. Thank you very much for choosing it.

In regards to the publications: that's awesome that the publisher will be sending another print through. Do you know if the publishing house has plans to print the book in languages besides English, too?


message 10: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 02, 2019 06:54AM) (new)

Pam wrote: "Jo wrote: "P.S. For our OSS members in North America, due to high demand, this book is currently being reprinted in the U.S. and may take a week or so to be restocked, in case you experience issues..."

I second everything in Pam's comment ;)

Edit: I'll just add that sometimes things are unconsciously exclusive and therefore it makes a group of people having privileges. I know, I am both part of the grain of sand in your shoes that want to see/show an ocean of possibilities and the warm and supportive water 😉 In other (less subtle) words, I know I am annoying but you know I do that because I respect, love and support you (otherwise I would not even take time to question you). 😊


message 11: by Hanita (new)

Hanita | 6 comments So sadthat I can’t participate for this! Can’t find the book in my libraries and can’t afford to buy it. I wish the book was announced far before we have to read it, so I can recommend it to the library.


message 12: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 02, 2019 06:55AM) (new)

Avi wrote: "The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write Kindle Edition
https://amzn.to/2BSc1AG"


Thanks for the link. Some people cannot afford kindle though, some people prefer hard copy so that they can donate the book to a library. And I cannot help to think about those people who want to read the book but won't because of accessibility barriers, it makes me sad because they will feel excluded and I cannot stand that 😢.

There are some progresses, it cannot be denied and I (just like many people) appreciate that but OSS needs to be more inclusive in the future. Easy to say, difficult to apply, I know. At one point, I'd like to see every single person of OSS being able to descently access the suggested book. Right now, it seems to be mainly a Western Privilege (I am really sorry to say that but it looks true :( ).


message 13: by Ross (new)

Ross | 1444 comments looks like an interesting selection follows on well from last books. UK Amazon apparently going to restock too.


message 14: by Marcia (new)

Marcia Malory (marciamalory) I am new to this forum so forgive me if this has already been tried, but what about instituting some type of book sharing between OSS members - when one member finishes with the book they could privately send it to another member. Regarding costs, this could be worked out between individual participants, although I personally would like to see it as a "pay it forward" exercise. Of course, this would mean that we couldn't all finish the book at the same time, but I'm sure there are are ways to work around that. (It could also be a nice way of initiating friendships between people of different backgrounds.)

I would also like to use this as an opportunity to remind you to press your government representatives (if possible) to support funding for public libraries.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Hey Marcia, thanks for asking. Actually there is a thread for eaxh book where one can ask for a copy to other members. Since Jo recently posted the announcement and because of the beginning of this year the thread has not been created yet, stick around it should magically appear soon ;)

For People in Paris in France Gibert Joseph in the 6th (Saint Michel) has a few copies. I asked them how many more long it would take if I order one: 2-3 weeks since it is imported. I am not sure if small bookstores in smaller cities may do the same. The price was 16.89 €. To what I know you can order a book from the website of Gibert Joseph and decide of a store where to pick it up or ask for a delivery. I hope that will help you.

Any thread regarding accessibility possible? I think it could be a good point, the first comment being edited to summerise the different place where to access the book (regarding the countries) while people provide information where they bought their copy.


message 16: by Kathrin (new)

Kathrin | 25 comments Looking very much forward to reading yet another great book chosen for OSS :-) Thank you so much.
And a very happy new year to everyone!


message 17: by Fran (new)

Fran | 3 comments Hanita wrote: "So sadthat I can’t participate for this! Can’t find the book in my libraries and can’t afford to buy it. I wish the book was announced far before we have to read it, so I can recommend it to the li..."

Hi, I can post it to you once I finish it if you would like.


message 18: by Mari (new)

Mari O'Neill | 1 comments Marcia wrote: "I am new to this forum so forgive me if this has already been tried, but what about instituting some type of book sharing between OSS members - when one member finishes with the book they could pri..."

I think this is a wonderful idea. I'd be happy to help organize it with you if the moderators feel that it's good idea as well.


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

@Mari and Marcia: my apologies, maybe my words were not crystal clear. There is a Pay it forward section there 👉https://www.goodreads.com/topic/group... 😊 a thread regarding the book of Jan/Feb will be created soon by a moderator I guess 😉


message 20: by Hanita (new)

Hanita | 6 comments Fran wrote: "Hanita wrote: "So sadthat I can’t participate for this! Can’t find the book in my libraries and can’t afford to buy it. I wish the book was announced far before we have to read it, so I can recomme..."

Hi Fran! Thank you very much for the kind intention, but I actually live in Indonesia, so it will probably cost a lot to send it from wherever you live. I do have a kindle, so I think I will wait for someone to lend it for me theough Kindle Sharing (still waiting for the thread~~~). I particularly want to read this book because I am a Muslim.


message 21: by Ellis (last edited Jan 02, 2019 02:42PM) (new)

Ellis Pines | 2 comments It is also available for FREE as are most OSS books for Scribd, the Netflix of books, subscribers. Scribd has a one-month free trial and then is about $9 per month thereafter for zillions of e- and audio books as well as magazines, sheet music, documents, etc.


message 22: by nitya (new)

nitya (nityatrip) | 4 comments Amazing choice!! Can't wait for this :)


message 23: by TM (new)

TM | 1 comments Excellent choice to start the year. I am happy to be part of the OSS and look forward to the discussions.


message 24: by nil (new)

nil (nilnil) I am a bit bummed. My library has no copies of this available, and I have a wait to get the book to my area for purchase so I guess I will be a month behind still! Fortunately, I only finished two of last month's picks, so I can start on the third while I wait. ;)


message 25: by Heather (new)

Heather White | 1 comments This will be my first book from Our Shared Shelf. I'm excited. I ordered it in on Kindle. I hope those of you that don't have access to the book can find a way with the great suggestions or sharing.


message 26: by Jo, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (new)

Jo (jo_9) | 373 comments Mod
For those asking for the Pay it Forward thread, you can now find this here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

If you have copy and are happy to send it to another member, please use that thread.

Many thanks :)


message 27: by Simone (new)

Simone | 1 comments The Dutch bol.com sells the eBook!


message 28: by Rasheeda (new)

Rasheeda Wilson (rasheeda_wilson) Cannot wait to dive into this one!


message 29: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 1 comments Sounds great, will pick up soon!


message 30: by Zeynep Kutlu (new)

Zeynep Kutlu | 1 comments This is gonna be my third book from Our Shared Self im very happy to feel like a part of this great book club 🖤


message 31: by Saoirse (new)

Saoirse | 1 comments Have the book on order, looking forward to it arriving! My first book with Our Shared Self, so grateful to be able to participate in this book club!


message 32: by Shana (new)

Shana Kaplan (sek1128) | 93 comments Ordered it from B&N. Great choice to start year 3. Look forward to reading it. :)


message 33: by Féline (new)

Féline (fline) | 1 comments I've ordered it at Shakespeare & Co, can't wait to read it !


message 34: by J (last edited Jan 10, 2019 01:06AM) (new)

J Bergqvist | 2 comments Just finished the first story. Beautiful! For those in London library consortium, this is available as an ebook (i currently have it on loan though, sorry, will try to be quick 😉). Xxx


message 35: by Lidija (new)

Lidija | 2 comments This will be my first book here, since I am new, I have just ordered it :)


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

Lidija wrote: "This will be my first book here, since I am new, I have just ordered it :)"

The first from a long series :)


message 37: by Baya (new)

Baya | 8 comments For the guys who struggle to find the book in their library, I managed to get mine from the Nottingham (UK) e-library. I was so surprised to find it there :-) Never underestimate your library especially their digital catalogue!


message 38: by Emma (new)

Emma | 1 comments This will be my first book here and I'm super excited!! Looks to be a fantastic read :)


message 39: by Ines (new)

Ines | 1 comments FYI, the ebook is discounted today on Amazon.com, at $2.99: https://amzn.to/2VJ089m
Got my copy and look forward to reading it! :)


message 40: by Charlene (new)

Charlene Morris | 89 comments Ines wrote: "FYI, the ebook is discounted today on Amazon.com, at $2.99: https://amzn.to/2VJ089m
Got my copy and look forward to reading it! :)"


Thank you. I just bought the e-book.


message 41: by Alyson (new)

Alyson Stone (alysonserenastone) | 149 comments I'm adding this to to read shelf. I'm still waiting on the last books from my library.


message 42: by Jocelynne (new)

Jocelynne Lowans | 3 comments I am looking forward to reading this book. I just ordered it on Kindle and am hoping for a work snow day tomorrow so that I can dive in!


message 43: by Syed (new)

Syed Attia (syedattia) | 1 comments I couldn't find the book in my libraries and can't afford to buy it. It was my first book with OSS, but quite upset not to get it.


message 44: by Sierra (new)

Sierra | 42 comments Good news! I had ordered from Amazon but was waiting for the second printing and it’s shipped!


message 45: by Catrina (new)

Catrina Farnell | 2 comments So happy to read this!


message 46: by Gwladys (new)

Gwladys Gerard (glagla60800) | 3 comments I joigned the group two days ago, i ordered the book on amazon this morning and i'm waiting for it now.

(Sorry if i made any mistakes, i'm french)


message 47: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 20, 2019 06:38AM) (new)

No worries for making mistakes, you won't be alone 🙋‍♂️ and please do not feel shy because of barrier language. Here, people are mainly kind and willing to listen (I am saying that just in case).
Also, note you can create thread in French too (I am sure Moderators encourage that!), other people using french (me for example) will probably join you. In addition, it would be (partially) answering one of the concern(?) Jo voiced a couple of weeks ago regarding feedback from people who do not speak english or are not comfortable enough to speak in english. If people create a spark it may give an impulse resulting in more participation no matter the tongue used. It would be great 😃👍


message 48: by Anna (new)

Anna (irrelevantliest) | 4 comments Already ordered it in the library :) Can't wait!


message 49: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Spence | 4 comments I just signed up for the 2019 Reading Challenge and am so grateful for this recommendation. Can’t wait to dive in!


message 50: by Samia (new)

Samia Sany | 1 comments Greetings fellow readers. I'm new and I also am a journalism graduate. I want to start my podcast. The one topic I really wanna discuss is feminism, as many interpret it wrong. I don't care about people's attitude but being an advocate of equality I deem it necessary to talk about the pure essence of feminism. I need guests on my podcast. If anyone is interested kindly mail me we could do it over skype, if we live far apart. I would be really grateful if I could help from you wonderful people. Thank u. My email: samiasany1295@gmail.com


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