Monthly Wrap Up

July 2020 Monthly Wrap Up

This month has simultaneously been incredibly long and gone in the blink of an eye. I actually had a pretty good reading month and read some incredible books.

I also announced my next bookish box which is Muslim Shelf Space and you can find all the details on my instagram post over on @thetsundokuchroniclesetsy

Here are the books I read this month:

1 The Trouble With Hating You by Sajni Patel – I listened to the audiobook and it was so great. So relatable in so many ways and I was totally rooting for them

Rating: 4 out of 5.

2 A Dead djinn in Cairo by P. Djeli Clark – I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was an interesting story.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

3 Queen of Coin and Whispers by Helen Corcoran – I was so excited to read this unfortunately I was disappointed by this and I barely managed to finish it

Rating: 1 out of 5.

4 Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron – This was another anticipated read that I was disappointed by it was a really interesting concept but the characters fell flat for me.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

5 No Shame by Anne Cassidy – This is a book that deals with the trauma of trying to get justice for being sexually assaulted. It’s such an important book to read.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

6 Amazing Muslims who Changed the World by Burhana Islam – This is an incredible book full of wonderful Muslims that are so important for everyone to read. You can read my review here

Rating: 5 out of 5.

7 Seven Devils by Laura Lam & Elizabeth May – I enjoyed this book though I had issues with some of the pacing in the book but after that ending I am interested to know what will happen next.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

8 The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang – This book was incredible, it tore my heart to pieces but I cannot wait to read the sequel. You can read my review here

Rating: 5 out of 5.

9 Avatar The Last Airbender: The Promise, Part 1 by Gene Luen Yaang – It was interesting to see what happens after the end of the show though I would love another season. It’s safe to say I am obsessed.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

10 Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey – I enjoyed the book as it dealt with a married couple trying to improve their marriage rather than a couple meeting for the first time.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

11 Pride Prejudice and Other Flavours by Sonali Dev – I loved this retelling so much! It was so much fun and the second hand embarrassment killed me. I loved all the themes that were incorporated into the story too.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

12 Agent Zaiba Investigates – The Missing Diamonds by Annabelle Sami – This was such a fun MG story of a young Pakistani girl who wants to be a detective

Rating: 4 out of 5.

13 Descendant of the Crane by Joan He – This book was incredible, the ending with all the plot twists blew me away!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

14 Diana and the Island of no Return by Aisha Saeed – I really loved this MG story about Wonder Woman before she became wonder woman. I also loved that her best friend is a Muslim Princess!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I also shared reviews for:

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

The Damned by Renee Ahdieh

10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandya Menon

I also shared some posts about some incredible women:

Khadijah – A phenomenal woman and my role model

Inspirational Women Throughout History – Lubna of Cordoba

And I also shared a list of recommendations for feel good books.

Inspirational People

Inspirational Women Throughout History – Aisha bint Abu Bakr

Today I am going to talk a little about Aisha bint Abu Bakr (ra). She is one of my favourite women to read about as I find her so inspiring and someone to look up to.


She was an incredible woman, she was a wife of the Prophet (saw) and we know through many narrations that he loved her most from everyone. And when I read about her life and the woman she was I can see why!

She was the most renowned scholar and a teacher and she taught all the companions of the Prophet (saw) especially after his death. If anyone needed clarification on any matters or needed an answer for something they would go to her. She was known to be the most knowledgeable person. She especially excelled in hadith, fiqh, poetry and medicine. She was the type of person who, if she didn’t know or understand something she would go and learn about it until she became confident in that area.

She was a very sharp and feisty woman who stood up for her beliefs and was confident and assertive when it came to correcting people so that misinformation wouldn’t spread. She was also very eloquent in her speech, a great speaker and was even known to be a better speaker than the first four caliphs, Abu Bakr (ra), Umar (ra), Uthman (ra) and Ali (ra) and these four were known to be some of the best of people and leaders. She was outspoken and voiced her opinions on many matters in Islam, even if the other scholars disagreed she would give her opinion and her evidences for her opinion and always be confident in speaking up.

She spoke up about so many things from women’s rights, to education and so much more.

Her assertiveness and confidence to speak up is even more important to note because she lived in a time when that wasn’t the norm for women to be so outspoken. This slowly changed as Islam spread but she was alive right at the beginning when things were slowly changing. So for her to be so unafraid to speak up against even the men and those in power was something amazing. She did this throughout her life and because of her we have so much information about Islam and the Prophet (saw) and about life at the time.

She narrated 2210 hadith (sayings of the Prophet ) which included things on worship and family and especially women’s health, for example what women can and can’t do on their periods in terms of worship etc. She always shared intimate moments about her life with the Prophet (saw). Things we otherwise would never have known, from how he was in the home, how he spoke to her, how much he joked and made her laugh, how much he expressed his love to her and so attentive to the point that he knew by her changing one word in how she spoke to him that she was mad at him. We would never know any of these things without her.

She preserved so much of Islamic beliefs and worship and so much more because she was one of the best teachers and leaders in education. Without her so much would have been lost to time.

Non Fiction Books

Boys Will Be Boys by Clementine Ford – ARC Review

Thank you to One World Publications for sending me ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I absolutely loved Fight Like a Girl so when One World Publications surprised me with by sending me an ARC of Boys Will Be Boys I was so excited to read it! And it did not disappoint!

You can read my review of Fight Like a Girl here


Rating: 4.5/5

What the book is about:

Fearless feminist Clementine Ford’s incendiary first book, Fight Like A Girl, is taking the world by storm, galvanizing women to demand and fight for real equality and not merely the illusion of it.
Now Boys Will Be Boys examines what needs to change for that equality to become a reality. It answers the question most asked of Clementine: “How do I raise my son to respect women and give them equal space in the world? How do I make sure he’s a supporter and not a perpetrator?”
Ford demolishes the age-old assumption that superiority and aggression are natural realms for boys, and demonstrates how toxic masculinity creates a disturbingly limited and potentially dangerous idea of what it is to be a man. Crucially, Boys Will Be Boys reveals how the patriarchy we live in is as harmful to boys and men as it is to women and girls, and asks what we have to do to reverse that damage. The world needs to — this book shows the way.

This book made me laugh and cry and rage and everything in between. It’s a book that explains the injustices and the toxic structural issues in society that prevent most people from truly gaining equality and justice. It’s a book that took me a long time to get through and not because I didn’t like it but because it is an incredibly difficult read because of how personal it felt to me.

I have grown up in a society that told me because I am a woman I am less and that added to the obstacles put in place because I am brown and Muslim and wear a hijab, made me rage and cry for all the things that I could barely put into words myself. Clementine wrote all the things I felt and gave voice to those feelings. The second half of the book took me months to read because I had to keep putting it down after every few pages.

However it’s a book that I think everyone NEEDS to read. From discussing rape culture to how boys are taught from a young age that, ‘that’s just boys being boys’ and how the victim is blamed and men are protected from being held to account, to how toxic masculinity not only is an issue for women but for men too.

One of things I really loved reading about was how toxic masculinity can have such a negative effect on so many boys as well as girls. There is a very rigid view of what makes a man, ‘a man’ and that means that any boy that does not fit that description is shamed for it.

I know this from experience of having to constantly stand up for my young cousin (he’s 11) because he expresses his emotions, he likes reading and art instead of sports and is a total nerd (very proud of this fact lol) but is constantly told by those who should be his role models that he needs to ‘be a real man’ and that ‘boys don’t cry’ and it makes me so mad because of how much it affects him. So reading about how it affects men was really great because it helped me to explain better just how it affects him to his parents and explain to him that there is nothing wrong with him.

This book has helped with my confidence in standing up with these issues that I am so passionate about and that to bring about real change in society we all need to learn about what obstacles have been put in place to allow only a small minority to hold all the power and then we can really make structural changes.

Fiction Books, YA Books

Queen of Ruin by Tracy Banghart – ARC Review

Thank you to Hachette Children’s Group and Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Grace and Fury was one of my top reads last year so I have been eagerly awaiting the sequel and it did not disappoint! Queen of Ruin is just as amazing as Grace and Fury! Tracy Banghart has now become an auto-buy author for me!

If you haven’t read Grace and Fury I highly recommend it! You can read my review of Grace and Fury here.


Rating: 4.5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Banished by Asa at the end of Grace and Fury, Nomi and Malachi find themselves powerless and headed towards their all-but-certain deaths. Now that Asa sits on the throne, he will stop at nothing to make sure Malachi never sets foot in the palace again. Their only hope is to find Nomi’s sister, Serina, on the prison island of Mount Ruin. But when Nomi and Malachi arrive, it is not the island of conquered, broken women that they expected. It is an island in the grip of revolution, and Serina–polite, submissive Serina–is its leader.
Betrayal, grief, and violence have changed both sisters, and the women of Mount Ruin have their sights set on revenge beyond the confines of their island prison. They plan to sweep across the entire kingdom, issuing in a new age of freedom for all. But first they’ll have to get rid of Asa, and only Nomi knows how.
Separated once again, this time by choice, Nomi and Serina must forge their own paths as they aim to tear down the world they know, and build something better in its place.

Guys! This book had me up reading ALL NIGHT! As in I started it at 11pm thinking oh I will read for a little while and suddenly it’s 6am and I’ve finished the entire book! If that doesn’t tell you how much I adored it then I don’t know what will.

Serina and Nomi are so amazing though I do love Serina a little more. They both went through such a huge change in their lives and an unexpected one at that. Yet they handle it so well, they have such great character development and their relationship is tested again and again yet they come out stronger each time. The story is very much driven by the choices the sisters make and it really focuses on them two, rather than following lots of others around.

It’s safe to say that I loved the female empowerment in this book and in the duology, I loved how different ways to be empowered are shown, how different women were empowered in different ways and the things they did differed yet still was an act of rebellion which they were punished for. I loved seeing the women supporting each other, being their for each other and being able to rely on each other. It’s so nice to see rather than women being pitted against each other we see a lot in YA books.

I really like how it ended too, it wasn’t a perfect happily ever after, there was lives lost and compromises made to ensure that things will change for the better. It was a new beginning rather than a happy ending. Though I would have liked to see a bit more in how the changes that were spoken about at the end would be implemented especially dealing with the hostility that they will no doubt face from men and especially other men in power.

I also really liked seeing how men can be ally’s and actually support women without it diminishing them in the least bit. We see them actually supporting Nomi, Serina and the other women and not just being all talk. They also didn’t expect to be praised or put on a pedestal just because they supported the women. They just did what needed to be done.

I think one the things I would have liked to see more of is more development of Malachi and Asa, we barely see Asa in this book and although Malachi does want things to change for women I wished we could have seen more of him and his character development. I also would love to see more of the world, other places are mentioned in the book but we only g et glimpses so I would love to see what it is like for women living in these places and whether it’s much different for them.

I think what I’m getting at is that I want another book! A duology just isn’t long enough for me and I just want to spend more time in this world and with Nomi and Serina and see them be the badasses they are and change things for the better!

So if I haven’t said it enough, I really loved this book and the duology as a whole and I highly recommend you read it!

Non Fiction Books

Fight Like A Girl By Clementine Ford – Book Review

I have been wanting to read this book for a long time and then I received an ARC of her new book coming out in July so it finally gave me the push to read it. And wow did I love this book so much!


Rating: 4.5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Personal and fearless – a call to arms for feminists new, old and as yet unrealised by one of our most outspoken feminist writers.
Online sensation, fearless feminist heroine and scourge of trolls and misogynists everywhere, Clementine Ford is a beacon of hope and inspiration to thousands of Australian women and girls. Her incendiary debut Fight Like A Girl is an essential manifesto for feminists new, old and soon-to-be, and exposes just how unequal the world continues to be for women. Crucially, it is a call to arms for all women to rediscover the fury that has been suppressed by a society that still considers feminism a threat.
Fight Like A Girl will make you laugh, cry and scream. But above all it will make you demand and fight for a world in which women have real equality and not merely the illusion of it.

I borrowed the audiobook from the library and the narrator was Clementine herself. Her narration was so engaging, witty and sarcastic that I just didn’t want to pause the audiobook! She speaks about a lot of things that I related to and I was glad to hear her speak about cross sectional feminism and including everyone and not just white feminism.

Honestly, this book had me pumped and raging and I just wanted to tear down the patriarchy! It reignited my passion for speaking up about female empowerment and injustices done against women. It was empowering to listen to her and also heart breaking at times to hear the statistics and encounters of what so many women are faced with on a daily basis.

One of the benefits of reading it as an audiobook was that my husband also heard it when I played it in the evenings, and this led to lots of healthy discussions (and lots of me ranting). And I think it’s a book that can create lots of engagement and discussion. You don’t have to agree with everything she says but it’s important to listen to other perspectives too.

“We fight like girls. This is how we prevail, and this is why we’re still standing.”

This book gave voice to so many things I could not express myself, I found myself nodding along and gasping in horror and laughing my head off at her sarcasm and sass! She is actually hilarious, and I think that helped when dealing with so many heavy and intense topics. She was serious and light-hearted and balanced both really well so you don’t feel overwhelmed by everything.

One of things I do want to mention is how she spoke about having a girl gang. How having a really great group of female friends who are truly there for you and you for them is so important in battling the patriarchy. The system is set up against us and it can be exhausting constantly fighting against it but your girls can support and empower you. I adore my girl gang and I have no idea where I would be without them. They have been there for me through everything.

She also spoke about how women can never win no matter what they do in this system. We are either too feminine or not feminine enough and it’s men who decide this for us. There are so many issues so deeply ingrained into our society that most people, especially me, don’t even see that a problem exists but we need to start speaking up and making a change.

This book is unapologetic, it’s empowering and I absolutely loved it. I highly recommend you all read this and if you enjoy audiobooks do listen, it’s really great!