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Preview: Aisha's Book Reviews

Aisha's Book Reviews

Check here for my book reviews! My main website is !

Updated: 2015-09-16T09:43:15.798-07:00


Head Hunters [Book #8]


This book was painful to plough through. A story about a sociopathic head hunter for a company in Iceland and his difficulties as an art thief. Perhaps things were lost in translation but it was a truly terrible book with unlikeable characters and an awful ending. Period.

Love InshAllah [Book #7]


So I can't talk too much about this because, well, I'm in it! But, I did enjoy it and I liked it, and I hope you will support it and like it too!

American Dervish- Akhtar [Book #6]


I wanted to like this book. I paid full price for this hard-cover. I regret it very much. This book is an awful representation of what it is to be an American Muslim and the fact that its getting so much praise for showing what it is to be just this disturbs me more than I can properly articulate. Outside of this, the characters are one dimensional and flimsy. The main character is unlikeable and nothing much happens to him as much as happens around him. Most of this book was simply a soap box for the author to let out what seems like years of angst. Absolutely awful.

Talk Talk- Boyle [Book #5]


Wow. Just. Wow. TC Boyle is easily one of my favorite writers and this book certainly sealed the deal for me personally. This is a jarring novel about identity theft and just how badly it can affect someone's life. The story follows a thirtysomething woman who is deaf and is arrested for crimes committed under her name. She and her boyfriend are determined to find out the man who did this and make him pay. The story is told from the perspectives of herself, her boyfriend, and the criminal in question. I found it very difficult to put this book down and was overall quite satisfied with the ending.

Kindred- Butler [Book #4]


This is a science fiction book about slavery and time-travel. Yes, really. Dana travels back and forth through time when summoned by her great-grandfather Rufus, a white slaveowner's son to save his life. Each time he is near peril she is swept back into the era of slavery and each time she falls into peril there she is swept back to her life in the current contemporary world she lives in with her white husband. I found this to be a very jarring novel detailing what happened in the time of slavery, a topic I haven't really thought about since high school and for that I very much appreciated it. There were definitely things I didn't like about the novel such as character motivations, etc, but overall this is a great book that makes you think.

The Fixer Upper- Andrews [Book #3]


I wanted a light breezy well-written novel and hoped that this book would live up to fit the bill. It began very interesting and I enjoyed reading about how the young attorney got caught up in a political scandal, thrown under the bus by her boss, and then headed to Guthrie, Georgia to fix up her family's old fixer upper and in the process fixed up herself. While the bare bones outline of this story is good enough, I just didn't really connect with the protagonist and her love interest and thought the author fell a little too in love with the details of fixing up a house. While not a bad book, it wasn't a great book, one that I ultimately skimmed quickly at many parts, and felt I missed nothing as a result.

The Sweetness At The Bottom Of The Pie- Bradley [Book #2]


A lovely book about a young orphaned girl Flavia growing up in a creaky old mansion in a town in which nothing much happens until a dead sparrow with a suspicious postage stamp affixed to his beak winds up at their doorstep followed by a red haired man breathing out his last breath as the eleven year old Flavia looks on determined to solve the mystery of exactly what is going on. The story is earnest, light hearted, and well written. I do wish it had been edited a bit as the history of postage stamps went on a touch too long, and the ending was drawn out longer than I would have liked, but I very much enjoyed this debut novel and will certainly keep an eye out for others Bradley writes.

Patron Saint of Liars- Patchett [Book #1]


After reading Ann Patchett's beautiful epic novel Bel Canto I immediately set about finding her other books to quickly devour. [Warning: small spoilers may follow] Patron Saints of Liars does not disappoint to a certain extent as her debut novel does have a similar beautiful writing style, an easy way with sentences and character creation that makes you lose yourself completely in the story. I liked this story for the most part but I had a really difficult time understanding the percipitating event that led to everything in this novel. I have a hard time believing not loving your kind husband is enough of a reason to run away and leave behind everyone including the mother who desperately loves you and who you also desperately love in return particularly when Rose knows that her mother would help her and support her through a divorce if she wanted. Taking on the life she took instead makes zero sense to me. I also really wish the author hadn't divided the novel into three sections one of Rose a woman leaving behind a loveless marriage and heading to an unwed mother's home to give her baby away, the second of Son the man she meets at the Home, and the third the story of the daughter she gives birth to. I will say that this is another one of her novels that makes me think and that leaves characters who stick with me for some time to come, so I'm glad to have read it, but it was a library read, not one that I should have purchased.

An update


I'm reviewing books at my new site. If you're interested I'd love to see you there- otherwise I hope the years of reviews I've maintained at this site are of some help to you. Thanks for reading!

Food Rules- Pollan (Book #18)


I wanted to read this book since I found his other books to have quite an impact on my life and how I view food. While this is a light read, the downside is its a light read. Its really just quotes from his other works. It felt like a publisher who just wanted to make more money off the same concept recycled it to make this book. I wouldn't buy it, but if its at the library or if a friend wanted to lend it to you then you could read it since its not bad, just not that useful if you've read his other stuff. And honestly, if you've not read his other stuff, read that, not this.

The Hate List-Brown (Book #17)


A powerful YA book about a girl who is living with the after effects of her boyfriend performing a "Columbine-like" massacre on the students that had picked on him and Valerie, his girlfriend, for years. Valerie and him had compiled a notebook with a list of people they hated. It was from this list that her boyfriend picked his victims. Though Valerie never knew he would use the list as anything more than a tool to vent with, she is looked at with suspicion when she returns to school not only from teachers and classmates, but from her own parents who also not-so-secretly blame her for what happened. This is a story about healing and forgiving oneself. I enjoyed it though it followed a very predictable format for me. Still, over all, a poignantly written novel.

Revenge of The Spellmans- Lutz (Book #16)


A humorous tale of a former-detective trying to leave the family business but finding it near impossible to actually do. We follow the lead character as she investigates minor cases, figures herself out, and tries to discover what secrets are ailing her family.

I thought this was an okay book. Not awful by any means, but not quite as funny as it was promised to be. Just a very solid medium. In defense of this book- I did not read the first two in this series, so perhaps had I done so I might have a different opinion on this book.

Butterfly Mosque- Wilson (Book #15)


Can't say enough about this book. I thought it would be another conversion story full of effusive good words for Islam and while this is well and good, this book is far more than this. It's elegantly written about Willow's journey to Islam and meeting her husband as she taught in language school in Egypt. She discusses challenges in our faith, in the west, and how she is forming a third culture in between with her multi-cultural families. She is not a perfect Muslim. She is human. And Muslim. And that is why I loved this read.

Book of Joe- Tropper (Book #14)


I love anything this guy writes. He is similar to Nick Hornby who I also love though he deals with sometimes a bit harsher issues. This is a story about Joe and how he wrote about his town Bush Falls in scathing terms and never returned for 17 years until his father got ill. He returns to learn that the town residents hate him for the words he wrote. What follows is a look into dying, prejudice, the meaning of life, and so and so forth. I find myself often underlining passages and parts of this book. Its just beautifully written. It's deep without being heavy handed. I find it interesting though, as a side note, that the more ou read certain author's collective works, the more you learn a bit about them too. I've begun to identify themes in Tropper's books that show up in all of them. As you read more and more of an author's book you begin to feel you're treading in autobiography more than you previously thought. Still, this is definitely a book I might read again.

Hand Wash Cold- Miller (Book #13)


I read this because I had read Momma Zen and loved it and wanted to devour anything else she penned. Hand Wash Cold is about enjoying and appreciating the life you currently have instead of being dissatisfied because you want more or the next big thing. This one was a little bit more boring than her previous book and not as insightful as I had hoped. It was still okay, but I struggled trying to finish it.

Pride and Prejudice- Austen (Book #12)


Wonderful and perfect each and every time. I've read Austen's other works but this is my favorite book by far. I particularly liked Penguin's new cover for the book. Very cool. I know you should not judge a book by its cover but when a cover is this cool it does make you look twice. In any case, this is a perfect love story that is awesome on every read, and I can't wait to now watch the BBC miniseries!!

Momma Zen- Miller (Book #11)


There are a million and one books written about motherhood and parenting but if you must purchase one book let it be this one. Miller writes beautifully about her journey in motherhood with small chapters filled with beautiful reflections and advice that I truly took for heart. It's a must buy and re-read.

Can You Keep A Secret- Kinsella (book #10)


This is a re-read reviewed here!

Your Baby And Child- Leach (Book #9)


I got this as a baby shower gift and I really do find myself relying on this for a great deal of knowledge. I find the author a little bossy in some of her views which turns me off since I appreciate a more objective read when it comes to things like childcare but overall its been a book I have relied on considerably and is worth the read.

Zeitoun- Eggers (Book #8)


A must read. The true story of a Syrian man Zeitoun, and his family's hellish ordeal through and after Hurricane Katrina. The book is so powerful without even trying to as we learn about what this heroic man Zeitoun had to endure both through the failed policies of Katrina as well as the 'war on terror'. I enjoyed this book thoroughly and feel sad that I knew so little of what happened in Katrina. Why. WHY doesn't the media actually do its job? These stories should have been front and center.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo- Larsson (Book #7)


A fast-paced story about a man accused of a crime he did not do. As he waits for his prison sentence, he is given an opportunity of a lifetime: discover who killed an elderly man's niece and in exchange receive a hefty sum of money and a chance to clear his name. Little does he know how complicated his journey will be. I enjoyed this story. It is just that- a story. There is no depth or thought-provoking situations, very much like a Koonz book- fun and light but worth the read.

Baby Bargains- Fields (Book #6)


If you are having a baby this is a must have book. It's an informative guide to everything you would need to buy for a baby with tons of reviews and options and advice on what you need and what you really don't. I take it with me whenever I go shopping and its been very handy in avoiding things I might have bought had I not known the safety ratings and issues the furniture had.

The Unnamed- Ferris (Book # 5)


I loved Ferris' first book and so eagerly awaited this book from the library. Its very well written, certainly a departure from the dark comedy of his earlier book but still you can tell you're in the presence of a good writer. This is a story of a man who suffers from something unnamed, he is convinced its biological but most doctors suspect its psychological. From time-to-time this successful attorney, husband and father, must take a walk that he cannot prevent himself from going on despite the weather, conditions, or where he is at the moment. This disease takes away everything in his life and this book involves us watching his life unravel. It's a sad disturbing book. While well written, I did not find the plot as satisfying as I would like. Still, its a good book but its not as good as his first novel in my opinion.

No Place Safe- Reid


What an absolutely beautiful read. It has been so long since I've come across a book that I just can't put down and I thoroughly enjoyed this engaging well written memoir about life in Atlanta as a young black woman comes of age. Her mother is police officer and in charge of investigating a serial killer in the area killing mostly young boys, some blocks from where the author lived. The author writes powerfully about racism, the murders, being a single mother, and a child growing up caught between two worlds. Strongly recommend reading!

Any black person could probably tell you- no white hood is needed to see the truth in people who hate a race for simply being. The danger just rises from them like steam from just rained on asphalt in summer."- Reid

It Sucked and Then I Cried- Armstrong (Book #3)


I read the website of this author, and I was disappointed that her book seemed more or less her website in book format, nothing new or different. I thought the book was going to talk about post-partum depression since that's what some of the reviews implied but she didn't really get into it. Sure she talks about crying and checking herself into a clinic for a few days but I really didn't think she did the best job describing this condition and seemed more intent on being funny. If you want a good view of the first year that really is funny but also incredibly poignant I recommend reading Lamott's "Operating Instructions" instead. If you've never read Dooce's website you might enjoy the book though.