I would classify myself to be a bookworm, but only until quarantine did I relive my 8th-grade dedication to reading. My preferred genres expand from classics to romantics to historical-fiction read from PDFs, Apple Books, and the classic cover and page. Below are some of my quarantine reads listed from earliest to latest.
Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (7/10)
Although French literature is not my forte, LPP was a book forced upon us by my school’s Moderns Department. I spent the majority of my time reading the English version, oddly emotional over the accurate presentation of childhood innocence and adult tendencies — an excellent read if you’re interested in expanding your French reading skills while reliving childhood imagination.
The Orenda by Joseph Boyden (7/10)
The Orenda, another book forced upon me by my school — this time the English department, proved to be an eye-opening novel to the Aboriginal experience pre-colonization. The book details the lives of Jesuit priests living amongst thriving Wendat communities challenged with war, disease, and European military tactics. The book dispels and reinforces threatening stereotypes yet provides readers with a new perspective rarely given in modern-day portrayals of Indigenous culture and history.
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (5/10)
I know, I know, I’m extremely late on the bandwagon, but after months of attempting to find Crazy Rich Asians in my school library, I was finally successful. Although the book was a cute story beyond the cliche portrayal of Asians, I felt it was extremely predictable in its romantic plot and overly descriptive in its writing, pushing me to skim through the majority of the time.
Rush Home Road by Lori Lansens (7/10)
This book, originally recommended to me by my English teacher, details the life of a young abandoned girl living with an elderly woman confronting her past’s saddening history. The book details rape, death, abuse, and racism, and is beautifully written with artistically developed characters.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (9/10)
Truly one of my top picks, The Alchemist is philosophical, historical, and magical. The lessons of a young shepherd traveling to diverse lands in search of his treasure will connect to your own life experience and tug at your heartstrings.
Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali (5/10)
Muslim youth romcom books are undoubtedly rare gems, so my excitement was set high for this read. Although I enjoyed the representation of my identity, the book felt extremely cliche, unrealistic, and for lack of a better term — cringey — when discussing Islamophobia and young love. And yet with all these in mind, my girly personality at heart completed the novel within two days — we can say this book is complicated.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (7/10)
Classic books are essential to any bookworm’s library — they deepen our understanding of literature, improve our vocabulary, and usually have messages transcending generations while still maintaining relevance. Little Women pleasantly surprised me — I did not expect 19th-century female characters to be so confident, bold, and comical or that I would relate to them so much. The friendship between Jo and Laurie was adorable, however, all I will say is there’s a reason I gave this book a 7/10.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley and Malcolm X (10/10)
Amongst the current BLM movements, I realized I was extremely uneducated on Black civil rights and history. Many Muslims in the West admire the endearing Malcolm X for his outspoken admiration for Islam and the liberation it provided from his previous ways of life. Yet, I realized the hypocrisy that resided within myself: I admired Malcolm for being Muslim but never delved into his true message — the liberation of the Black American. I particularly enjoyed this book because it provided a genuine portrayal of his life story, highlighting the mistakes and successes he achieved along the way. I completed it feeling moved, content, and wanting more.
Animal Farm by George Orwell (8.5/10)
Another classic tale detailing mankind’s greed that manifests in anyone who obtains wealth and power. Animal Farm follows the lives of animals who start up their own society after the exaltation of their evil owner. If you’re interested in reading from a completely different perspective or you’re simply an animal lover, this is for you.
So, what will you read next?