March was a fantastic reading month for me, I managed to finish 10 books. I read 3 classic fiction books, 2 Arabic fiction books, 2 graphic novels, 1 modern fiction book, 1 massive poetry collection, and 1 tiny non-fiction book. Of those books, I reread 2 of them: رجال في الشمس and Animal Farm. I also discovered a new favorite book: We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, who has become one of my all-time favorite authors.
Below is a list of all the books I read this month, along with excerpts from my reviews of them.
1. البحريات لـ أميمة الخميس – 2006
تدور أحداث هذه الرواية حول ثلاث نساء من الشرق الأوسط ”البحريات“ ذهبوا إلى وسط الصحراء ليعيشوا في الرياض، لأسباب مختلفة وفي فترات زمنية مختلفة.
أسلوب أميمة الخميس السردي جميل جدا، خاصة في النصف الأول من الرواية. أما في النصف الأخير، فكان هناك تكرار سردي ممل حيث تدهورت القصة نوع ما حتى ضاع المغزى.
2. رجال في الشمس لـ غسان كنفاني – 1963
هذه قرائتي الثانية لهذه الرواية العظيمة. استطاع كنفاني أن يروي من خلالها قصة مؤثرة ورمزية عن القضية الفلسطينية في ١١٠ صفحات فقط. تدور أحداث الرواية حول ثلاث رجال فلسطينيين يحاولون الهجرة إلى الكويت بالتهريب بعد أحداث النكبة.
This was a great little book with 15 suggestions on how to raise a feminist child. Adichie writes a letter in response to her friend who asked “how can I raise my daughter to be a feminist”.
4. My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier – 1951
My Cousin Rachel is a suspenseful novel that tells the story of a young and very entitled Englishman, Philip Ashley, who inherits his cousin Ambrose’s estate and falls under the spell of his cousin Rachel, Ambrose’s widow. The novel is set in the 19th century in Cornwall, England, and is a Gothic tale full of thrill and suspense.
5. Batman: Year One by Frank Miller – 1987
“Batman: Year One” by Frank Miller is a comic book series that explores the origins of the Batman character in his early years as a vigilante crime-fighter in Gotham City. Not much about his actual childhood and his parents’ murders, but rather why and how he decided to be Batman. The story is told through the perspectives of both Batman/Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon, a police lieutenant new to the city.
6. Animal Farm by George Orwell – 1945
This is my second time reading “Animal Farm” by George Orwell. The novel is a brilliant political allegory that tells the story of a group of farm animals who rebel against their human owner Mr.Jones and create a society based on the principles of equality and cooperation. As the story progresses, the pigs, who are the most intelligent animals on the farm, gradually take control and establish a totalitarian regime that oppresses the other animals.
“The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” (Vol. 1 and 2) by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill is a comic book series that brings together a diverse cast of characters from classic literature and pop culture to form a team of Victorian-era adventurers. I had high expectations from this comic since I absolutely love V for Vendetta and The Killing Joke by Alan Moore, but this was very disappointing for me.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a brilliant gothic novel that is so eerie in a way that only Shirley Jackson could write and it has definitely become one of my absolute favorites. It tells the story of two sisters, Merricat and Constance, who live in a large old house with their uncle Julian. The rest of their family was poisoned to death years ago, and the townspeople believe that Constance is responsible for the murders.
I don’t read a lot of poetry, but I came across a few poems by Emily Dickinson a while ago and loved them. So I decided to take a chance and read her entire collection written over the course of Dickinson’s life. Although it was A LOT to go through (took me a couple of months!), it was definitely worth it. I found a bunch of new poems that I absolutely loved.
10. Disobedience by Naomi Alderman – 2006
Disobedience is a novel that explores the complex relationships between family, faith, and sexuality in the Orthodox Jewish community. The story follows the life of Ronit, a young woman who grew up in a strict Jewish community in London but left to pursue a non-religious life in New York. When she returns to London to attend the funeral of her father, a prominent rabbi, Ronit is forced to confront the community and people she left behind.