Guestblog: The End of Eddy

ร‰douard Louis – The End of Eddy by Nynke Anna van der Mark The parameters of life in a small working-class town in Northern France in the 1990โ€™s are narrow. Social life is centred around a few landmarks: the factory in which virtually all men in town work, the schoolyard where the women gossip, the…

The Good Muslim

I bought the novel The Good Muslim by Tahmima Anam without realizing that it was a part of the Bengal Trilogy and this was part two. Actually, I did not even realize this while I was reading it and only found out when I was already finished with the book. The story told in this…

I contain multitudes.

Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself; (I am large, I contain multitudes.) – Walt Whitman Song of Myself – Leaves of Grass (1892-92) When we are kids, we hardly ever question who we are; we just are. I was an exuberant child and my emotions were intense. Whether I was happy,…

Sarajevo: Laheri53 Book Cafรฉ

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a gem of a country that hasnโ€™t been discovered by a lot of tourists yet. Last summer I went on a massive road trip through south-east Europe and discovered so many amazing places. From this trip, I would love to share some of these places with you. Bosnia and Herzegovina has…

Ya bahiyyat al-masakin: Mornings in Jenin

Do you know, Mother, that Haj Salem was buried alive in his home? Does he tell you stories in heaven now? I wish I had had a chance to meet him. To see his toothless grin and touch his leathery skin. To beg him, as you did in your youth, for a story from our…

The Power

Naomi Alderman’s bookย The Power is very popular and features Margaret Atwood’s review on the cover, which describes it as “Electrifying”. This made it very promising but I always remain skeptical when a book is appreciated by the audience at large. However, Atwood’s opinion matters to me (I wrote my MA thesis onย The Handmaid’s Tale) so…

Letters to a Young Muslim

How do you juggle two identities? How do you combine East and West? Do you dare ask what they have in common? Letters to a Young Muslimย immediately caught my eye in the local bookstore. Its cover is a bright blue with intricate patterns of silver and gold and I couldn’t help but pick it up….

Take me home yaqay

Yaqay – Somali word used to emphasizeย emotion/urgency in speech. Such a beautiful word that describes how I felt reading through the chapbook of Warsan Shire, calledย Teaching My Motherย How to Give Birth. She was born in Kenia, to Somali parents, and lives in London. I am amazed by her poetry, even more so than Rupi Kaur‘s….

Bookstore magic: De Nieuwe Boekhandel

We have our little routines. Whenever we meet, we usually decide for endless conversation over a cup of coffee or tea at our local coffee franchise Bagels & Beans. However, our meetups are never complete if we do not end our day with a visit to our favorite bookstore that is just down the street:…

Suitcase of Wonders

We haven’t posted in a while, and one of the reasons is that we are both busy. Yasmina is a superhero by day (read: teacher) and Mojdeh handed in her thesis finally (she’ll gladly send you a copy in the hope someone reads it other than her supervisor). However, that is not the only reason….