#DiverseBookBloggersDiscuss: A Brown girl thinking about Books

 

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Look at the sky and scrunch up your eyes.

Now, what do you see?

You know what I see? I see myriad skies at once – orange sprouting grey tufts, blue gilded gold, a sombre red grouching very noticeably. I sense words trickle through my mind – a brazen shower of emotions and thoughts.

I see the skies I’ve read. Continue reading

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How Books helped me acknowledge my trauma

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Hello friends,

In today’s programming is another episode of “Fadwa overshares”. I would say I’m sorry but uuuuhhh… I really am not. I love pouring my heart into the virtual pages of my blog because I recently (as in the last year) found out that it’s extremely cathartic for me to just put it all into words without necessarily talking to anyone in particular. But also, in the hopes that someone who needs these words reads them and feels less alone. So I’ll continue doing what I do, and I hope you all get something out of it.

Continue reading

#DiverseBookBloggersDiscuss: Exclusivity and #Bookstagram

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When I first joined the online book community in the middle of last year it was an exciting time. Having been a lifelong reader it was amazing to have this space where I could connect with other readers and enthuse over my favourite books with others.

It’s still that amazing space but there are elements that I hadn’t considered then, that are apparent now. There is a lot of work that goes into blogging, not just the time it takes to read but the act of reviewing, cross posting reviews and maintaining one or more social media accounts. Continue reading

Author/Reviewer Interaction Etiquette part II

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Hello friends!

If you remember, a few months ago (back in March), I did a post on Author/Reviewer interaction etiquette and for that post to be as short as possible, I kept it exclusively addressed to authors, I listed some basic do’s and don’ts they should keep in mind and follow when reaching out/responding to bloggers and reviewers across all platforms. Back then, I promised a part two addressed to reviewers was coming and I’m finally coming out of my summer-long blogging rut and feeling inspired to write it. Continue reading

#DiverseBookBloggersDiscuss: Where are all the British Pakistani authors in YA?

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There are a variety of reasons for the lack of the representation of British Pakistani young adults in literature as well as the lack of British Pakistani authors, but the prime reason is perhaps the fact of how the publishing industry is perceived. That’s not to say that there aren’t many other marginalised groups such as British Bangladeshi, British Indian and British Chinese…to name just a few, there’s a whole long list, but because of my own experiences I’ve decided to focus on British Pakistani. Continue reading

Let’s be Candid – Where I’ve Been

 

Life update

Hello friends !

You may have noticed, you probably haven’t, but this summer my blogging wasn’t the best. In fact, it was absolutely shit (for what I’m used to doing, I mean, not in a general sense, all blogging is good blogging, but yeah…moving on). I wasn’t consistent at all, barely wrote any posts, didn’t blog-hop or reply to comments AT ALL. And I’m gonna let you on on a secret, this is the first non-review post I write since mid-june, I didn’t even post July nor August wrap-up.

And since I’ve always been pretty transparent on this blog, I thought I should keep that up and tell you a little bit about what has been going on. This won’t be a very cheery post, and if you’re only here for the book content, I don’t blame you, you can skip it and come back for the three book related posts going up later this week! I’ve been debating whether of not to write this post for over a week now but I feel like it’s important, mental illnesses are so stigmatized and we’re made to feel ashamed of them when they just are what they are and we don’t need to hide them. I also wanted all of you to know that I’m not always perky and happy and that if you’re not either, then you’re not alone.

TW: depression and anxiety.

In June, I sank into a very bad depressive episode. Not life threatening, but bad. My anxiety was also the worst isn’t ever been with intrusive thoughts, daily panic attacks and being on the verge of them 24/7. 2018 has been a pretty mentally taxing year for me, I won’t go into too much detail about it because it’s very personal and no matter how open I am on here, some things I still keep to myself. But the gist of it is that I saw the breakdown coming from miles away, it was only a matter of when and what would trigger it, the last straw if you will. Which is what explains my lack of blogging. I struggled to find motivation to do anything, even the things I love and that bring my joy didn’t sound appealing anymore. I didn’t blog, didn’t draw, barely read, and struggled to get out of bed most days. I couldn’t even find the energy to take care of myself, let alone do anything that requires additional energy.

And then when I thought I had started getting better, something happened while I was in Italy that got me right back to square one. Not gonna lie, putting myself back together was one of the hardest things to do, I’m the type of person who is functional as long as I have structure to my days, no matter how bad my mental health gets, that keeps me going. So being on summer break and having nothing to do made doing anything ten times harder than it would normally be. And writing this I realise I sound like an ungrateful spoiled brat, because I spent an amazing ten days in Italy, but I did that while having a foggy brain. I enjoyed it. I loved it. Because I had a program to my days, and thus a structure I could follow. But some of my memories (luckily not all) from the trip are very hazy because of a combination of brain fog and suppressing trauma.

I’m okay now. Well, on most days I am. I’m not the okayest I’ve ever been, but I’m getting there again. Some days are still hard but I realized that my main problem is that I absolutely suck at prioritizing myself so that’s what I’m learning to do now, I’m learning to take care of me and not feel guilty about it, about not being able to be there for everyone all the time, not being able to put up reviews on time, to keep up with anything. I’m learning to be okay with not being okay and to get myself back to a place where I am okay.

I didn’t wanna make this a fully non-bookish post and eventhough I was in a weird slumping mood, I still managed to read 8 books in July and August (the ones I read in June are in the wrap-up). I only read 3 in July, one of which was a novella and 5 in August, 4 of which were in the second half of the month as I finally got out of that slump. so YAY!!! Here are said books in the order in which I read them:

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I’m also currently rereading my favourite book of all time The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (here’s my review, and GO READ IT PLEASE!!!) I’m going back to school and hospital rotations on the 10th, so life should be going back to normal and I’ll be going back to my normal three posts a week schedule starting this week! I’m also gonna be slowly replying to comments over the next few days as well as catching up on other blogs.

If you made it this far, thank you for reading ❤ !


That’s it until next time.

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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#DiverseBookBloggersDiscuss: Arabs & Muslims in YA Literature

 

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As a child, I read a lot. A lot a lot.

I guess it had something to do with the fact that I’m the eldest of my siblings, and I wasn’t very good at making friends.

Back then, I didn’t have much of a preference. I just read whatever I could get my hands on in the school library—books about fairies, a girl’s misadventures in high school, mythological fantasy, even (mild) horror. They were all very different and I liked them very much.

Except that they all had one thing in common: white. White. White. Continue reading

Spreading the Love: Favourite Book Bloggers

 

Favourite bloggers pt 1

Hello friends!

I’ve been around for over two and a half years now and in the time I’ve been in the community, I had the chance to visit hundreds and interact with hundreds of blogs and bloggers, some of which I’ve stuck with, some of which I drifted away from (nothing personal, things happen, no hard feelings) and some I have stuck with since day one for a variation of reasons, most of which can be summer up in one sentence: Their content speaks to me. You can see here, what makes me keep coming back to a blog but the gist of it is a show of personality and content I’m interested in. So, I thought why not rave about some of those blogs and spread the love.

This list is in no way exhaustive, I have WAY more favourite blogs and I’ll probably do a second edition in the future but to keep this post readable, I’m keeping the number reasonable and talking about ten blogs I adore!

Green Tea & Paperbacks – Laura

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  • Laura is one of my favourite people in existence as well as one of my best friends.
  • She does all kinds of different posts that are equally enojoyable to read.
  • She reads and reviews great middle grade books.
  • She makes SUPER fun bookish quizzes.

Some of my favourite posts:

One Way or An Author – Aila

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  • I LOVE AILA SO MUCH, OKAY?
  • You’re looking for a book review? You’ll probably find it on her blog.
  • She reads a wide variety of genres, which… BLESS! I can always go to her for a recommendation.
  • HAVE YOU SEEN HER ART? *cries* it’s so gorgeous!!

Some of her reviews:

Drizzle and Hurricane Books – Marie

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  • Marie is the sweetest and her blog is one of the very first I followed almost 3 years ago?
  • She writes great and insightful discussions.
  • Her travel posts give me major wanderlust (as if I didn’t have enough already).
  • Also the minimalist theme is 10/10 good on the eye.

Some of my favourite posts:

Utopia State of Mind – Lili

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  • Lili is another one of my friends and she’s an absolute joy to talk to.
  • She focuses on SFF titles and I trust her recommendations an incredible lot.
  • She also reviews other genres though, and her reviews are clear and concise.
  • She hosts interviews of some really great authors.

Some of my favourite posts: 

Forever and Everly – May

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  • May is discussion posts royalty, and I don’t think anyone can disagree with me.
  • They’re also so funny??? Like? They manage to make me laugh even in the most serious posts.
  • Their reviews are always honest and they don’t shy away from telling it as it is. I appreciate that.
  • Also? The soft pink? Absolutely adorable.

Some of my favourites posts:

A Whisper of Ink – Ilsa

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  • Gotta support fellow muslim bloggers, AMIRITE?
  • She’s also another one who’s super funny and she just has a very genuine likeable voice.
  • ALL THE SNARK. I live for it not gonna lie.
  • She’s had a more chill approach to blogging lately (which is great) and I still read whenever she posts.

Some of my favourite posts:

Aimee, Always – Aimee

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  • Aimee writes super fun and varied posts.
  • Some of them have super helpful tips and resources.
  • She also does blog design for low rates, and looking at her blog, you want to hire her.
  • She organizes blog tours pretty frequently and the next one is for Mirage (AAAHH!!)

Some of my favourite posts:

The Bookish Actress – Elise

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  • Elise is both eloquent and funny and I’m here for it.
  • She has really creative post ideas that go beyond books, although, yes books are the focus.
  • She’s really honest and genuine in her posts;
  • You need sapphic recommendations? SHE GOT YOU!

Some of my favourite posts:

Vicky who Reads – Vicky

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  • Vicky writes spot on discussions about important issues.
  • She pushes for the better inclusion of international bloggers and I REALLY appreciate that.
  • She’s also super sweet!
  • Besides that, she recommends books based off of books we already know and love.

Some of my favourite posts:

Paperblots – Julianna

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  • Julianna writes a lot of great discussion posts and lists.
  • She’s actually funny too? Her post titles make me cackle!
  • Her blog is so aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate. Blue is my favourite color so.
  • She hypes up Asian YA titles, especially in Fantasy, and I LOVE those!

Some of my favourite posts:


That’s it until next time.

Recommend me some of your favourite blogs to follow in the comments, please!

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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#DiverseBookBloggersDiscuss: Representation Matters – An African Perspective

Etinosa

 

The need for people to see themselves represented in books, movies, real life has been talked about so much that some people might be tired of hearing it. But let me tell you about my own personal experience. Continue reading

#DiverseBookBloggersDiscuss: Writing your Trauma – Writing and PTSD

 
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TW: Rape, Sexual harrassment, unwanted touching

Living with the scars of the past is hard. It takes courage to even tell others about the experiences that haunt us even after years of therapy. Sometimes however as writers we have occasion to come across these same things in our own writing, whether we meant them to appear or not. Continue reading