9 Books Monday · bookish list

9 Books with Muslim Main Characters

9 books with muslim main characters

9 Books Monday is a feature here on Bookish Wanderess where I talk about books that are focused on marginalized group (Here are the 9 Books Monday posts I have written so far). The idea is that on Mondays, I will talk about 9 books that have positive representation for a minority/marginalized group.  Today, I will talk about 9 books with Muslim main characters.

The truth is that I have not read that many books with Muslim characters and I definitely want to change that. This series is not only to recommend books that I have read to you and to talk about books I want to read, this series is also a reminder to me that I need to expand my reading and search for books that allow me to know other cultures, perspectives and ways of life. Today, I will talk about books with Muslim Main Character: 2 books I read and loved, 4 books on my tbr and 3 books releasing soon.

2 Books I Read and Loved

Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik:

This book is really funny; it deals with a lot of the stereotypes that people have about Muslims and their love lives, while being respectful, honest and entertaining (this is my Opinion, but I also looked at #ownvoices reviewers to check their opinions). Another thing that I loved about the book was that female relationships have such a central place throughout it. Also, it’s #ownvoices. 

God Smites and Other Muslim Girl Problems by Ishara Deen

This book is a funny, charming and interesting book that talks about the problems Muslims have to deal with in everyday life, particulary, Muslim teenage girls. The heart of this book is the main character Asiya, she is funny, smart and she has a unique voice that shines throughout the book. The humour in this book is absolutely brilliant and that comes from being honest and outspoken about things that are not often talked about in YA like sex and religion. Also, it’s #ownvoices. Here’s my full review.

4 Books on my TBR 

The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi

This is described as a steampunk Jumanji with a Middle Eastern flair and I’m so excited. I loved Jumanj (the movie) when I was young and I haven’t read that much steampunk, so those two things definitely have me intrigued about this book. Also, it has a Muslim main character and it’s #ownvoices.

The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters by Nadiya Hussain

I only found this book recently and I wanted to included in this list becuase is set in England and I would love to read about the lives of Muslims in different parts of the world. I’m also really excited to read this because it focuses on the lives of 4 different Muslim women that have made different life choices and that want different things, I think it’s gonna be fascinating to read about them. Also, #ownvoices

Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

This book talks about arranged marriage, which is a topic I have not read anything about, and I’m quite interested in seeing how it plays out in a contemporary setting. I know it’s gonna revolve around a Muslim family, which is also somethings I’m curious about.  I have heard great things about this book and I can’t wait to read it.  Also, #ownvoices

When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah

This is another one I chose because I want to read about the lives of Muslims in different parts of the world; this is set in Australia. For what I know about this book, When Met Mina is full of political discussions, it adresses racism and imigration and I think those are very important subjets right now, so I’m really excited about reading it. Also, #ownvoices

3 Books Releasing Soon 

Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali

The main character of this book is an Arab Indian-American hijabi teenager and at the same time she is a book nerd, aspiring photographer, and sometime graphic novelist. I think the main reason I want to read this is that description of the main character. I’m also interested in the fact that it seems like a tightknit Muslim community plays a big role in this book. This is #ownvoices. Release date: June 13th 2017

That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim

This book has a Pakistani-American main character and I have never read a book told from a Pakistani-American perspective, so it’s exciting to be changing that. It seems like this has references to historical events like the Partition of India, which I don’t know much about, so I’m looking forward to learnd about it a little bit. Also, it seems like there’s gonna be discussion about some religion related subjets and I think it’s gonna be fascinating coming from a #ownvoices perspective.  The release date for this one is May 9th 2017.

The City of Brass by S. Chakraborty

I wanted to add this book because is fantasy and recently I have looking for diverse fantasy books to read. There’s a magical Middle Eastern kingdom in this book, it’s set in 18th century Cairo, the main character is a con woman and there’s also a djinn warrior. I don’t know what else to say,  I simply  can’t wait to read this!  The release date is November 14th 2017.  Also, #ownvoices. 

Have you read any of these books? did you enjoy them? Are you planning on reading any of them? Do you have recommendations for books with Muslim main characters? 

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7 thoughts on “9 Books with Muslim Main Characters

  1. Great post! I want to read most of these books too! I came across When Michael Met Mina just this week actually – it’s also called ‘The Lines We Cross’ (the synopsis sounded familiar so I had to check!) Also, Nadiya Hussain won The Great British Bake Off in 2015, and we have the same ethnic background, so I was always excited for her book! I just haven’t gotten around to reading it yet…

    I would recommend Khaled Hosseini’s novels if you haven’t read them, especially A Thousand Splendid Suns, and The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had no idea that Nadiya Hussain won The Great British Bake Off, that’s amazing! I can’t wait to know what you think about her book, it would be incredible to know the opinion of someone who shares her ethnic background. I look for reviews by #ownvoices reviewers and they seem to think the representation in the book was good, so I think there’s not gonna be a problem with that. Still I would love to know how you feel about it after reading it.

      A Thousand Splendid Suns has been on my radar for a long time, I really need to read it soon. Thanks for the recommendations! I have never heard about The Pearl That Broke Its Shell, but I’m definitely adding it to my tbr.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been meaning to read Written in the Stars. The City of Brass sounds amazing – give me some more djinn!!!

    I’d recommend Fire Boy (and the sequel Earth Boy) – really amazing. It’s an urban fantasy set in Pakistan and it’s so creepy and intriguing.

    Funny Boy follows a Tamil Sri Lankan boy grow up during the clashes between the Sinhalese and Tamils in Sri Lanka. It’s a contemporary novel.

    Liked by 1 person

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