Ramadan is coming soon and it’s a wonderful reminder to buy and/or borrow books by Muslim authors. Fortunately, there are many excellent books to choose from. If you’re interested in being part of an online event, Nadia over at Headscarves and Hardbacks is hosting the #RamadanReadathon again this year. Whether you participate or not, you can still consult her extensive list of books by Muslim authors that are being published this year. She also had a list in 2019 if you need or want to catch up on older titles.
There are also two other hashtags that may also be helpful for locating titles or even sharing them yourself — #MuslimShelfSpace and #RamadanReads. I’m not Muslim, but over the past few years I’ve found many fantastic books through these hashtags and events. I appreciate this opportunity to learn about books I might not discover otherwise and have the reminder to support Muslim creators. These three books are on my TBR so far. One is from last year, one is from this month, and one will be released next month. Do you have a list? Please share any suggestions in the comments below.
A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes #3) by Sabaa Tahir
Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.
The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.
Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.
And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion–even at the cost of his humanity.
Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know by Samira Ahmed
It’s August in Paris and 17-year-old Khayyam Maquet—American, French, Indian, Muslim—is at a crossroads. This holiday with her professor parents should be a dream trip for the budding art historian. But her maybe-ex-boyfriend is probably ghosting her, she might have just blown her chance at getting into her dream college, and now all she really wants is to be back home in Chicago figuring out her messy life instead of brooding in the City of Light.
Two hundred years before Khayyam’s summer of discontent, Leila is struggling to survive and keep her true love hidden from the Pasha who has “gifted” her with favored status in his harem. In the present day—and with the company of a descendant of Alexandre Dumas—Khayyam begins to connect allusions to an enigmatic 19th-century Muslim woman whose path may have intersected with Alexandre Dumas, Eugène Delacroix, and Lord Byron.
Echoing across centuries, Leila and Khayyam’s lives intertwine, and as one woman’s long-forgotten life is uncovered, another’s is transformed.
The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar
Page Street Kids [pub date May 12, 2020]
When Nishat comes out to her parents, they say she can be anyone she wants—as long as she isn’t herself. Because Muslim girls aren’t lesbians. Nishat doesn’t want to hide who she is, but she also doesn’t want to lose her relationship with her family. And her life only gets harder once a childhood friend walks back into her life.
Flávia is beautiful and charismatic and Nishat falls for her instantly. But when a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, both Flávia and Nishat choose to do henna, even though Flávia is appropriating Nishat’s culture. Amidst sabotage and school stress, their lives get more tangled—but Nishat can’t quite get rid of her crush on Flávia, and realizes there might be more to her than she realized.