while 2020 isn’t the best year, it’s still full of amazing book releases, amongst which you can find a number of novels by muslim authors. since it’s ramadan, and i’m fasting so i can’t seem to concentrate on studying, i decided to compile a list of five books by muslim authors i am looking forward to! so you check them out! and hopefully give them a try once they come out!
once upon an eid, an anthology edited by s. k. ali and aisha saeed
Once Upon an Eid is a collection of short stories that showcases the most brilliant Muslim voices writing today, all about the most joyful holiday of the year: Eid!
Eid: The short, single-syllable word conjures up a variety of feelings and memories for Muslims. Maybe it’s waking up to the sound of frying samosas or the comfort of bean pie, maybe it’s the pleasure of putting on a new outfit for Eid prayers, or maybe it’s the gift-giving and holiday parties to come that day. Whatever it may be, for those who cherish this day of celebration, the emotional responses may be summed up in another short and sweet word: joy. The anthology will also include a poem, graphic-novel chapter, and spot illustrations.
The full list of Once Upon an Eid contributors include: G. Willow Wilson (Alif the Unseen, Ms. Marvel), Hena Khan (Amina’s Voice, Under My Hijab), N. H. Senzai (Shooting Kabul, Escape from Aleppo), Hanna Alkaf (The Weight of Our Sky), Rukhsana Khan (Big Red Lollipop), Randa Abdel-Fattah (Does My Head Look Big in This?), Ashley Franklin (Not Quite Snow White), Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow (Mommy’s Khimar), Candice Montgomery (Home and Away, By Any Means Necessary), Huda Al-Marashi (First Comes Marriage), Ayesha Mattu, Asmaa Hussein, and Sara Alfageeh.
this is an middle-garde anthology of a dozen of short stories by muslim authors with the theme of eid celebration. being a muslim myself, my excitment is over the roof for this one. i am anticipating it, very much. i heard that if you’re muslim, it definitely gives the mood for ramadan and eid and family celebration during these times. plus! it comes out very soon, so you can definitely read it during ramadan.
comes out may 5th, 2020.
the henna wars, by adiba jaigirdar
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.
this is literally in my top three most anticipated books of the year. a wlw romance about two girls in a henna competition? SIGN ME UP! i literally cannot express how excited i am for it. i have extremely high expectations, and i heard some some people that it does not disappoint.
i am really waiting for my copy in the mail with a lot of anticipation. i really hope it lives up to my excitment! eee!
comes out may 12th, 2020.
court of lions (mirage #2), by somaiya daud
i’m not going to put the synopsis for the second book so you won’t be spoiled, but here’s the synopsis of Mirage, the first book in the series:
In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon.
But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.
As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.
as you may or may not know, i have been screaming about Mirage, the first book in this trilogy since i read it and i really can’t wait to know what happens next in this story. the first book was just mind-blowing in my opinion. I wish there was more attention surrounding these books because the story just…*chef’s kiss*.
comes out august 4th, 2020.
more than just a pretty face, by syed m. masood
Danyal Jilani doesn’t lack confidence. He may not be the smartest guy in the room, but he’s funny, gorgeous, and going to make a great chef one day. His father doesn’t approve of his career choice, but that hardly matters. What does matter is the opinion of Danyal’s longtime crush, the perfect-in-all-ways Kaval, and her family, who consider him a less than ideal arranged marriage prospect.
When Danyal gets selected for Renaissance Man–a school-wide academic championship–it’s the perfect opportunity to show everyone he’s smarter than they think. He recruits the brilliant, totally-uninterested-in-him Bisma to help with the competition, but the more time Danyal spends with her…the more he learns from her…the more he cooks for her…the more he realizes that happiness may be staring him right in his pretty face.
this is a book that, in my opinion, is not talked about enough. yet it looks like the cutest contemporary romance ever. plus! look at the cover!! it’s so gorgeous! i have a feeling i will enjoy this book, a lot, because of a lot of reasons, especially the cooking part.
comes out august 4th, 2020.
this is all your fault, by aminah mae safi
Set over the course of one day, this smart and voice-driven YA novel follows three young women determined to save their indie bookstore.
Rinn Olivera is finally going to tell her longtime crush AJ that she’s in love with him.
Daniella Korres writes poetry for her own account, but nobody knows it’s her.
Imogen Azar is just trying to make it through the day.
When Rinn, Daniella, and Imogen clock into work at Wild Nights Bookstore on the first day of summer, they’re expecting the hours to drift by the way they always do. Instead, they have to deal with the news that the bookstore is closing. Before the day is out, there’ll be shaved heads, a diva author, and a very large shipment of Air Jordans to contend with.
And it will take all three of them working together if they have any chance to save Wild Nights Bookstore.
this story follows three teenagers as they try to save the bookstore they work in the span of one day. and i haven’t read any of the author’s previous books (even though i am planning to do so), but the premise of this one is definitely very appealing. i am excited to see how far these characters will go to achieve their goals.
comes out october 13th, 2020.
i think these are books that should definitely be on your radar because they all look amazing and sweet and beautiful and ugh…i really have no other words to explain how much it means to me to see these cultures represented in books and i am excited to dive into all of these books.