2015 Book Exploits!

So as we start a new year, I thought I should probably share some of my Book exploits around London in 2015! I should’ve shared them earlier but for a Muslim, I’ve been doing a shocking amount of festive binging on food and telly of late!! πŸ™‚

Tying in nicely with Bookself’s 2016 reading challenge, I went to see Nawal El Saadawi in conversation with the fab For Books Sake as part of her promotion for the re-publication of Woman at Point Zero, (which I will have a review of up soon) Saadawi herself was funny, engaging and a feminist powerhouse brimming with confidence and rebellion, she came across to me, as a wise, eccentric and hilarious aunty figure! (you know we all have one!) Here’s a pic of her from the evening.

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Naawal El Saadawi and my eye!

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In between book events, I’ve also spent a LOT of time swanning around bookshops in London.

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The Gorgeous Daunt Books

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The new Alef Book shop on Baker Street

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and I also went to see Lois de Bernieres do a book reading from his novel Birds Without Wings as part of the Autonomy of Self exhibition at the P21 Gallery. The event was a small and intimate affair and I enjoyed hearing Bernieres motivations for writing the book and he even gave me a book recommendation.

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Lois De Bernieres book recommendation!

The evening was slightly marred when I turned down a group invitation to the pub, which resulted in the author and another middle class woman completely ignoring me and whitesplaining/mansplaining to the group about how I ‘wasn’t allowed’ to attend as a Muslim woman and perhaps I ‘needed permission’. I just didn’t fancy hanging out with them is all! Anywhooo…

I also attended the Wicked Young Writer’s award at the Apollo Victoria in the Summer which was a real treat, made particularly fab by the fact that my daughter was runner up in the competition! The How to Train Your Dragon author Cressida Cowell gave a wonderful speech about the importance of reading and writing which was inspiring to all.

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The Wicked Young Writer’s award

Finally I attended Nina Ansary’s UK Book Launch of Jewel’s of Allah,Β  which was a packed event. Ansary herself came across as an intelligent and generous woman, so much so that she spent much of the time talking about others achievements rather than her book! But I’ll get into the book when I post up my review shortly. What bookish things have you guys been up to and are there any events that you’re looking forward to in 2016?

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Dr Nina Ansary

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18 comments

  1. Can I just say – I read your daughter’s story and I was absolutely stunned. MASHA’ALLAH! I had a huge smile on my face as soon as I saw where it was going. She is incredibly mature for age eight and I love the moral of this piece. “Wear what makes you comfortable because it’s never weird to be yourself.” I also love how the dupatta was literally a transportation tool into another country. You are a genius yourself and clearly the mother of a genius! And more importantly she has such beautiful thoughts! Masha Allah, may Allah bless you both! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a lovely comment, thanks so much, it really means a lot and also what a coincidence as I was just reading your poetry slam post and was about to comment on how beautiful, brave and confident you are mashaAllah! If you have a moment please do stop by her blog and comment as it would mean the world to her! Thanks again lovely πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m really jealous of all your book travels!
    {It must be very hard to do as you’re not allowed to leave the house πŸ™‚ }
    I used to try and see a few authors each year but it has become harder since having my son. I also love browsing bookstores: how lovely, being able to do it on a weekday when it’s quiet, except for the fact my son is either bored or running around the shelves!
    I was able to do a lot of book shopping when in Melbourne last year and it was divine!
    Despite living in London I haven’t been to Daunt but it looks wonderful. I should make the effort.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pahaha, your first comment did make me chuckle!:) I know exactly what you mean about getting out with kids, I have three and getting in the shower, let alone to a book event is a challenge some days! I actually took my book mad daughter to Daunt with me, but left the little two at home cos aint nobody got time fo that!! I’m happy to give you a heads up about book events if you want.. Han Kang is at Foyles on the 13th if you’re interested! As a mum, i find i have to actively make time for myself (permission pending! hahaha!) πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Having read Woman at Point Zero, I would expect Nawal El Saadawi to be awesome to see in person! Sounds like she is even more awesome than I would expect. I want to read some of her memoirs too.

    I got to visit Daunt books in 2015 also! Basically all of the books on my to-read list in one place…
    Good thing I was traveling and knew I wouldn’t be able to carry too many.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post and awesome shot of Nawal El Saadawi! Happy New Year girl!
    Any recs on where to start reading her work (besides Women at Point Zero)? I bought her book ‘Searching’ some weeks ago because I loved the synopsis…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks love and a hope you have a great year too! Hmm tbh I haven’t read any of her other stuff so i’ll be interested to read your review of Searching. She did tell us that she would be releasing a memoir this year which I’m sure will make for colourful reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. That Louis de Bernieres but made steam come out of my ears! But in the photo of the book he recommended, I love your nail polish…
    Thanks for sharing. I only heard about Nawal’s event after the fact grrr
    Ages since I’ve been to Daunt, none of the branches seem to appear in my various orbits…

    Liked by 1 person

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