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40 Books in 2020




For as long as I can remember, every January I set myself a new reading challenge. It’s never binding, nor is there any reward attached upon its completion, it just is. Though, I will admit, in recent years it’s been near impossible to reach my reading goal. The year always starts on a high and the moment I find myself in a slump, I give up on the things I enjoy because in my (flawed) version of logic, if I cannot do the things I need to do well, then I don’t need to let myself indulge in things that aren’t a necessity. And yes, I am aware of just how flawed this version of logic is, and yes, I am working on it. But, I digress.

This year I set myself the challenge of reading 40 books – the temptation to set 52 was very strong, but I knew there would be off weeks – and as of today, 10 June 2020, I am exactly 31 books into this list. Below is a list of the books I’ve read so far, and where possible, direct links to the publisher’s site (otherwise Amazon) where it can be purchased:

  1. With the Heart in Mind – Mikaeel Ahmed Smith
  2. Letter to a Disciple – Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali
  3. Ayesha at Last – Uzma Jalaluddin
  4. Purple Hibiscus – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  5. A Treasury of Rumi – Muhammad Isa Waley
  6. The Tafsir of Surah Yusuf – Abdul Raheem Limbada
  7. The Forty Rules of Love – Elif Shafak
  8. The Man Who Didn’t Call – Rosie Walsh
  9. Never Greener – Ruth Jones
  10. Room 101 and Other Stories – Ahmad Bassam Saeh
  11. Lost Islamic History – Firas AlKhateeb
  12. The Heart of the Qur’an – Asim Khan
  13. Prayers of the Pious – Omar Suleiman
  14. Persian Poems – Peter Washington
  15. The Essential Gibran – Suheil Bushrui
  16. The Book of Wisdoms – Ibn Ata’illah Al-Iskandari
  17. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
  18. Khadijah – Fatima Barakatullah
  19. Love, Longing, Intimacy, and Contentment – Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali
  20. Splitting the Moon – Joel Hayward
  21. Shades of Islam – Rafey Habib
  22. Prophet of Mercy – Abul-Hasan Ali Nadwi
  23. Al-Shamail Al-Muhammadiyya – Al-Tirmidhi
  24. The Book of Remembrances – Yahya ibn Sharaf an-Nawawi
  25. Imam Bukhari: Al-Adab Al-Mufrad – Adil Salahi
  26. The Beginning of Guidance – Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali
  27. Riyadh Us-Saliheen – Yahya ibn Sharaf an-Nawawi
  28. After the End – Clare Mackintosh
  29. Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell
  30. The Collection of Forty Hadith – Yahya ibn Sharaf an-Nawawi
  31. CURRENTLY READING: Killing Comendatore – Haruki Murakami

I’m hoping to hit far beyond the 40 for this year, so if you have any recommendations, as always, they are very welcome. I am trying to dip into books outside of my comfort zone so there are no genre restraints!


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Ayesha Khanom

Sometimes a teacher, sometimes a student, but mostly caffeinated. This blog is a terrible attempt at writing out my thoughts - think of it as the 'comments, complaints, and suggestions' section of my brain. Nevertheless, I hope that some of these words will find a place in your heart and will stay with you even when I do not. If you'd like to get in touch, send me a message on Instagram or leave a comment on one of these posts and I'll get back to you at the best possible time.

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