Wonder Crush Wednesday: Hijabi MC

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Wonder Crush Wednesday is a weekly post by yours truly where I choose to discuss the wonders of diversity. We all have Superman and/or Superwoman within us. The right representation is needed to make sure that everyone knows that. These posts aim to highlight diversity in both literature and other aspects of life. Feel free to adapt this on your blog too!


Last week I wrote about Diversity Bingo, one square is dedicated to Hijabi MC. As a hijabi I thought I’d recommend a few books you could read if you’re participating or if you just want to read great books in general!

Does My Head Look Big In This? is one of my all-time favourite contemporary books! It’s about a girl struggling with her religion, identity, family, and friends. The main character does go through “typically muslim” problems but I think any young adult can easily identify with her. Great short and quick read!

I have not read Love In A Headscarf but have heard amazing things about it! I’ve heard it perfectly describes the misunderstood how muslims get married, have relationships, and fall in love.

A Thousand Splendid Suns is an incredibly emotional book I believe we’ve all heard much about. It’s written by the amazing Khaled Hosseini that is known for unapologetically breaking hearts. This one is a classic and must be included in all ‘books to read before you die’ lists!


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Goodreads synopsis: When sixteen-year-old Amal decides to wear the hijab full-time, her entire world changes, all because of a piece of cloth…

Sixteen-year-old Amal makes the decision to start wearing the hijab full- time and everyone has a reaction. Her parents, her teachers, her friends, people on the street. But she stands by her decision to embrace her faith and all that it is, even if it does make her a little different from everyone else.

Can she handle the taunts of “towel head,” the prejudice of her classmates, and still attract the cutest boy in school? Brilliantly funny and poignant, Randa Abdel-Fattah’s debut novel will strike a chord in all teenage readers, no matter what their beliefs.


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Goodreads synopsis: ‘At the age of thirteen, I knew that I was destined to marry John Travolta. One day he would arrive on my North London doorstep, fall madly in love with me and ask me to marry him. Then he would convert to Islam and become a devoted Muslim.’ Shelina is keeping a very surprising secret under her headscarf – she wants to fall in love and find her faith. Torn between the Buxom Aunties, romantic comedies and mosque Imams, she decides to follow the arranged-marriage route to finding Mr Right, Muslim-style. Shelina’s captivating journey begins as a search for the one, but along the way she also discovers herself and her faith. A memoir with a hilarious twist from one of Britain’s leading female Muslim writers. Love in a Headscarf is an entertaining, fresh and unmissable insight into what it means to be a young British Muslim woman.


A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

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Goodreads synopsis: A Thousand Splendid Suns is a 2007 novel by Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini. It is his second, following his bestselling 2003 debut, The Kite Runner. The book, which spans a period of over 40 years, from the 1960s to 2003, focuses on the tumultuous lives and relationship of Mariam and Laila, two Afghan women. Mariam, an illegitimate child, suffers from the stigma surrounding her birth and the abuse she faces throughout her marriage. Laila, born a generation later, is comparatively privileged during her youth until their lives intersect and she is also forced to accept a marriage proposal from Rasheed, Mariam’s husband.


FOR MORE OF WHAT I’VE READ THIS YEAR YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER, GOODREADS, AND TUMBLR. MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT THIS TWITTER THREAD OF BOOKS I HAVE READ IN 2016 AS GIFS.
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Wonder Crush Wednesday: Diversity Bingo 2017

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Wonder Crush Wednesday is a weekly post by yours truly where I choose to discuss the wonders of diversity. We all have Superman and/or Superwoman within us. The right representation is needed to make sure that everyone knows that. These posts aim to highlight diversity in both literature and other aspects of life. Feel free to adapt this on your blog too!


In an effort to promote diverse reading, some amazing bookish people, came together to make a 36 box bingo sheet with diverse topics. The aim is to promote and challenge diverse reading.

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Romance with a trans MC: Coffee Boy by Austin Chant

Non-binary MC (own voices): Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard

SFF w/disabled MC: Six of Crows / Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Practicing Jewish MC: Simon Vs. The Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Indian MC (own voices): Enter Title Here by Rahul Kanaki

Displaced MC: The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen


MC with an under-represented body: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Neuro-diverse MC (own voices): History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Re-telling with MC belonging to LGBTQIA+: Beast by Brie Spangler

Bisexual MC (own voices): A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab

MC with an invisible disability: Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Waley

MC with an anaphylactic allergy: Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn


MC of colour in SFF: The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Ownvoices Latinx MC: The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Non-Western (real world) setting: And The Mountains Echoed by  Khaled Husseini

Ownvoices: Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

MC with chronic pain: A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara

West Asian: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh


Arab MC (own voices): Ten Things I Hate About Me by Randa Abdel-Fattah

MC w/ wheelchair: The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell

Book by author of colour: The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma

Biracial MC (own voices): The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Hellig

Pansexual MC (own voices): Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate

Black MC (own voices): The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas


MC on the ace spectrum (own voices): The Bone People by Keri Hulme

LGBTQIA+ MC of colour: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Visually impaired MC: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Book set in Central America: Send More Idiots by Tony Perez-Giese

Contemporary world arranged marriage: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Indigenous MC (own voices): The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina


Diverse non-fiction: I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

POC on the Cover: Perfect Liars by Kimberly Reids

Deaf and Hard of Hearing MC: 27 Hours by Tristina Wright

Immigrant or Refugee MC: The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez

Hijab MC (Own Voices): Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah


FOR MORE OF WHAT I’VE READ THIS YEAR YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER, GOODREADS, AND TUMBLR. MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT THIS TWITTER THREAD OF BOOKS I HAVE READ IN 2016 AS GIFS.

Wonder Crush Wednesday: Diverse children’s fiction

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Wonder Crush Wednesday is a weekly post by yours truly where I choose to discuss the wonders of diversity. We all have Superman and/or Superwoman within us. The right representation is needed to make sure that everyone knows that. These posts aim to highlight diversity in both literature and other aspects of life. Feel free to adapt this on your blog too!


I walked into the book store the other day and saw an interracial couple with their child that had a children’s book open and asking her parents why they didn’t look like them. It was cute but also very alarming that some children are not represented in literature and thereby alienated from a very young age.

Below is a list of diverse children’s fictions for all the parents out there looking for diverse children’s books! There are loads more, but these are some kickass ones I’ve been told about by friends and family.

Ramadan Moon by Na’ima B. Robert
The Sandwich Swap by Rania Al Abdullah
The Great Big Book of Families by Mary Hoffman
One Dad, Two Dads, Brown Dad, Blue Dads by Johnny Valentine
Princess Princess Ever After by Katie O’Neill
Two Old Potatoes and Me by John Coy

FOR MORE OF WHAT I’VE READ THIS YEAR YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER, GOODREADS, AND TUMBLR. MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT THIS TWITTER THREAD OF BOOKS I HAVE READ IN THE PAST YEAR IN GIFS.

Wonder Crush Wednesday: Disability Diaries part 1

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Wonder Crush Wednesday is a weekly post by yours truly where I choose to discuss the wonders of diversity. We all have Superman and/or Superwoman within us. The right representation is needed to make sure that everyone knows that. These posts aim to highlight diversity in both literature and other aspects of life. Feel free to adapt this on your blog too!

#DisabilityDiaries2017 is an event created and hosted by ElyAngel, Cee Arr, Dina, Jolien, and Lara between 14/1 and 21/1. Unfortunately, I’ve found out about this quite late but I’m so happy to have found it nevertheless. It is a great initiative that aims to start a discussion on disability within the book community, which I think is superb.

The coming few Wednesdays I would like to write about personal accounts of disabilities in me and close family members. I hope that this offers some insight into various disabilities and normalises the word, hopefully we can all destigmatise the term.

Hello, my name is Yasmin and I have hemiplegic migraines associated with sleep disturbances and hormonal changes (basically, when I get my period). There’s not a lot of information about it but let me explain how and why I refer to it as a partial disability.

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Hemiplegic migraine is referred to as a “migraine variant”. The word hemiplegic simply means paralysis on one side of the body. A person with hemiplegic migraine will experience a temporary weakness on one side of their body as part of their migraine attack. This can involve the face, arm or leg and be accompanied by numbness, or pins and needles. The person may experience speech difficulties, vision problems or confusion. This can be a frightening experience for the individual as these symptoms are similar to those of a stroke. This weakness may last from one hour to several days, but usually it goes within 24 hours. The head pain associated with migraine typically follows the weakness, but the headache may precede it or be absent.

My symptoms start out four days before the actual attack with two days of mild headaches. Then, I’m fooled with two headache-free days where the only symptom I have is a bit of nausea and the experience of deja vu without the actual deja vu… This becomes more intense as I near the attack. This is referred to as an aura that most people with any type of migraine might experience. It’s very hard to describe since the experience varies between patients and the phenomenon is not quantifiable.

It is a scary thing to experience because the first thing I feel is pain in my shoulder and arm, extreme dizziness, and a sense of falling. The feeling comes about from the weakness on my left side which is accompanied with speech difficulties and, when it’s really bad, uncontrollable tremors.

To any medic and doctor it looks like a stroke so I’ve done more CTs and MRIs than necessary and they’ve all come out perfectly fine. My blood tests are always within the reference range, since I’m otherwise healthy. It occurs once or twice a year (three times last year) and it usually lasts up to 24 hours. Every attack is different, sometimes I will only experience weakness in my arm and other times I have to be carried around like a rag doll.

The main symptom is of course hemiplegia which is:

a condition with varying degree of weakness, stiffness, and lack of control in the affected side of the body.

This is how it looks like:

This is how it feels like:

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Now, about the “partial disability”. This condition isn’t something that I suffer with daily, during the attack (and before and after) I am disabled from using any vehicles or being alone. The attack can strike at any minute and there have been instances where I have fallen on the street and hit my head. But, apart from that, I am pretty much able bodied (wellll, except from the chronic pain in my knee and insomnia but that’s for another time).

This is a personal preference because I feel like it takes away from people with more permanent disabilities that affect their daily lives. Even people with hemiplegic migraines that suffer way more than I do and that are completely debilitated by this migraine variant.

I feel especially strongly to identify as partially disabled since I am a medical student and I work in the ER. We meet people with chronic disabilities every day and it feels like an insult to them to compare our struggles in any way. Of course, this is a very personal account and anyone with a real diagnosis may identify however they might like.

This is a very rare condition and I hope you’ve learned a little bit about it. Please feel free to comment your own thoughts and feelings!

One tip, if you do know someone with this, please don’t be scared of them. I remember being in hospital and my friends being scared of coming near me. That made me very agitated which I couldn’t communicate. My brain is still very much functioning and I understand everything going on around me. If you can’t handle it, please leave the room.

More links on hemiplegic migraines:

1, 2

More interesting links on disabilities in literature:

Harry Potter and PTSD

Percy Jackson and dyslexia and ADHD

Six of Crows and disability

The Trope of Curing Disabilities


For more of what I’ve read this year you can follow me on Twitter, Goodreads, and Tumblr. Make sure to check out this twitter thread of books I have read in the past year in gifs.

 

 

Wonder Crush Wednesday: Diversity December Bingo Review

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I realised I never made a final review of my Diversity December Bingo reading! Here’s how it went:

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Miles Morales Spider-Man

POC Superhero

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Link.


Teaching my mother how to give birth by Warsan Shire

Diverse non-fiction

Own voices

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Link.


Interim Goddess of Love by Mina V Esguerra

Own voices

Non-Western Real World Setting

Asian Main Character

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(Loved this, will continue on with the series and make a whole review. Low rating does not mean it’s bad, just that it’s not in the 4-star category.)


When The Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

SFF w/ LGTBQAI+ Main Character

(Although not Sci-Fi nor strictly Fantasy, it did belong to Magical Realism which is a sort of Fantasy. According to the source of all knowledge: me.)

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(Only reason this doesn’t get a lower rating is because I don’t want the goodreads average to be so low, because it is a very important story.)


The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer

Neurodiversity

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Link.


Wonder Crush Wednesday: Wonder Woman

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This weeks post will fully be devoted to the one and only Wonder Woman!


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Background Info:

Psychologist William Moulton Marston believed that the only chase we stood to have peace was for everyone to adopt a feminine submissiveness in compromises.

In a 1943 issue of The American Scholar, Marston wrote: “Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don’t want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women’s strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.”

He wanted a female superhero to show women and men how a more compassionate philosophy, a utopian feminism, could save the world. Thus, Wonder Woman or Diana Prince was born. Although, his philosophy might now be regarded as slightly skewed and misguided, William Moulton Marston birthed Wonder Woman from feminist ideals and would watch her grow to the prominent fictional feminist icon she has become today.


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DC Comics Reading Guide:

Personally I don’t like DC that much but I have started some of the Wonder Woman, so the following is my personal list that I’m planning to follow.

  1. Wonder Woman: Spirit of Truth by Paul Dini [Amazon]
  2. Wonder Woman: Gods & Mortals by George Pérez [Amazon]
  3. Wonder Woman: Odyssey by J. Michael Straczynski [Amazon]
  4. Wonder Woman: Who is Wonder Woman? by Allan Heinberg [Amazon]
  5. Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chang’s Wonder Woman Run (Volume 1-6) [Volume 1: Amazon]

I know there is loads more but this is how I’ve planned to read them because I heard these were the best! But I might not read them because I prefer Marvel… We’ll see!

 


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Book adaptation:

The Queen done did it! Leigh Bardugo has set out to write a book with Wonder Woman in the lead and to save 2017 with her incredible writing. I love comics but there’s nothing better than hundreds of pages packed with adventure. And I’m so happy Leigh Bardugo has been given this task because no one is more fit to chronicle the adventures and life of a non-white, bisexual, powerful, superhero woman.

Goodreads blurb:

She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning…

Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer – a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.


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And of course, the new Wonder Woman movie that’s coming out this year that I’m incredibly excited for.

Wonder Crush Wednesday: #DiversityDecBingo part 2

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Every Wednesday I will be posting a Wonder Crush Wednesday topic which will be dedicated to shed light on diversity, inclusion, and positive representation in literature.


In just a few days, December and the year 2016 will be over! I’m trying very hard to finish my reading goals for this month but have been met with a lot of difficulties. Since Christmas I have been working night shifts at the ER and it has been chaotic… Sometimes there will be a bit of time to read a few pages but this year has been catastrophic. The books I had picked for this month have also been… incredibly boring! It’s been very hard to get through them and I’ve had to DNF a few.

Today I finally finished When The Moon Was Ours by Ann-Marie McLemore. I only had 30 pages left for the past two weeks but I just couldn’t bring myself to finish it. Magical realism is just not my thing… I didn’t get the end, there was no big resolution to the massive buildup.

Then I started reading Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick, author to one of my all time favourite books The Silver-Linings Playbook. I had not read what it was about and thought I would love it because it was a Matthew Quick book and it would fit under the category “Neurodiversity”. I thought two birds one stone, until I got a few pages in.

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock takes us into the mind of a teenage boy planning a school shooting and suicide. We begin at the beginning of the day and follow his otherwise normal routine on this abnormal day. Before he executes his plan he has some people that he wants to say good-bye to. And I guess, not having finished the book, his last encounters with them makes him rethink his decision.

Here’s the catch, I’m incredibly creeped out by the main character. It’s incredibly claustrophobic being inside his head and seeing the world from his eyes. White guys scare the living shit out of me, to the point where I can’t cross the street if no one else is crossing because I imagine a white guy will see me and decide to run me over. And I am petrified of walking on the sides of the train platform incase they decide to push me over. I know it’s an irrational fear and that ANYONE not just white guys can commit these offences but that’s what my mind goes to…

So, I decided to pick another book at random and I got my hands on The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer. I don’t know much about it more than the short blurb on the back of the book:

“I’ll tell you what happened because it will be a really good way to introduce my brother. His name’s Simon. I think you’re going to like him. I really do. But in a couple of pages he’ll be dead. And he was never the same after that.” – The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer

Without meaning to, it turned out to also fit under the “Neurodiversity” category… So, it all kinda worked out in the end. Although I’m only a few pages in I’m hoping to get through it tomorrow or the day after! I rarely go into books blind but this month has been all kinds of crazy and weird!

Below is my progress chart:

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