Word Wonder’s TBR Expansion: MENAH Month Recommendations

Menah Month

Hello friends!

I know I haven’t really been keeping up with blogging the past month and I’m really sorry about that! But I’ll get more into that in my August wrap-up, for now, I am back with a list that’s near and dear to my heart. In case you didn’t know (how?) I’m North African, Moroccan to be more specific. So, in celebration of August being Middle Eastern North African Heritage Month (which, most of the world isn’t aware of) I decided I would make books with North African and Middle Eastern  main characters the focus of my recommendations post.
I knew venturing into this that the rep is pretty scarse, but I didn’t anticipate how frustrated I would get because of a couple reasons:

  1. I have just a little over 20 books on the list and only five of them are actually North African. @ Publishing, what’s up with that?
  2. WHERE IS MY MENA FANTASY? Fantasy books were a struggle to find and even then I only have five. So it’s safe to say I’m annoyed.

I will try to include content warnings for as many of them. The ones that I couldn’t find content warnings for will have a (*) in front of their titles.1Contemporary

Darius the great is not okay – Adib Khorram (Iranian)
37506437

CW: Depression, fatshaming, bulliying, relative has terminal illness.

Saints and Misfits – S. K. Ali (Egyptian)

31123249

CW: Sexual assault, death of a loved one, one aromisic comment (unchallenged)

Not the girls you’re looking for – Aminah Maé Safi (Iraqi)

35795940

CW: Dubious consent, sexual assault and harrassement, slut shaming, ableist language (not challenged), underage drinking

Down and Across* – Arvin Ahmadi (Iranian)

35134061

Kiffe kiffe, Tomorrow * – Faïza Guène (Algerian)

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A land of permanent goodbyes – Atia Abawi (Palestinian)

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CW: War, violence, death, depictions of torture and hanging, human trafficking, drowning, bombing, mention of sexual assault.

The Authentics * – Abdi Nazemian (Iranian by adoption)
31371275

Driving by starlight * – Anat Deracine (Saudi Arabian)
34628349

Ten Things I Hate About Me * – Randa Abdel-Fattah (Lebanese)

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Does my Head Look Big in This – Randa Abdel-Fattah (Palestinian)

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CW: Ableist language, islamophobia, fatshaming.

Here we Are Now – Jasmine Warga (Jordanian)

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CW: Father and grandmother’s death.

My heart and Other Black Holes – Jasmine Warga (Turkish)

18336965

CW: Depression, suicide ideations, suicide attempt, bullying, survivor’s guilt.

The Map of Salt and Star – Jennifer Zaynab Joukhadar (Syrian)

36373417

CW: Attempted rape, violence, death.

SFF:

Mirage – Somaiya Daud (Moroccan)

32768520

CW: Colonization, racism, gore, violence, torture, death

The Forbidden Wish – Jessica Khoury

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The Final Six – Alexandra Monir (Iranian)
36491465

CW: Suicide attempt, death, drugs, natural disasters.

Historical fiction:

Hot Pink in the city * – Medeia Sharif
23655849

The Servant * – Fatima Sharafeddine (Lebanese)
16073071

2

Contemporary

Crescent * – Diana Abu-Jaber (Iraqi)

Crescent

SFF

The City of Brass – S. A. Chakraborty (Egyptian)
32718027

CW: Death, blood, violence, assault, passing mention of rape.

The Queue*  – Basma Abdel Aziz
33823722

Historical Fiction

The Moor’s Account * – Laila Lalami (Moroccan)
20262502

Salt Houses * – Hala Alyan (Palestinian)
30971664

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That’s it until next time.

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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10 thoughts on “Word Wonder’s TBR Expansion: MENAH Month Recommendations

  1. As I was scrolling through your list, I missed The City of Brass the first time through and had to go back and double-check. I was like, noooooo!!! But then I realized I’m just a goof and scrolled right past it, haha. Gosh that book is just too dang good.

    Also, I’ve had Saints & Misfits on my TBR for months now and still haven’t picked it up yet. My goal is to read it really soon though. I’ve heard such great things about it!

    Thanks for all of the recommendations, Fadwa!

    Like

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  3. As always, I appreciate your book recommendation lists! I am always on the look out for these to diversify my reading. It really is a shame this list is so small… AND that there are not more SFF MENA books.

    I have an adult book to add, or recommend. I remember taking a class in college that focused on Middle Eastern/ North African culture. The professor assigned the book Midaq Alley by Naguib Mahfouz. It is set in Cairo, Egypt. It has been a good 10 years since I read it, BUT I remember really enjoying the book.

    Like

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