4 Books to Help You Make Sense of the World

The past few months for me since November’s election results in the US have been a time of feeling bewildered, confused, angry, despondent and fiercely determined. Reading has been a way to make sense of my confusion, and here are four books that have helped me make sense of the world.

These four books are:

  1. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  2. The Good Immigrant, edited by Nikesh Shukla
  3. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
  4. Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak

Watch the video below for my take-aways from each book!

On Strong Female Characters, a Cape Malay Family and Apartheid Tales

I have a new favourite book. I just read Nadia Davids book “An Imperfect Blessing” published by Umuzi Press in 2014 and it’s difficult to express how amazing this book is. This book is about a Cape Malay family in Cape Town in 1986 and 1993, and in the telling of the family’s story, so much of South Africa’s history is told as well. I love the incredible female characters, the window it offers readers into South Africa, and the way it challenges readers to go and read more about South Africa’s history. It is a stunning book, and I highly highly recommend the book. The information I had about South Africa was poor before I moved to Johannesburg, and in the telling of one family’s very specific story, this book shares so much about South Africa as a whole. This book is a gift.

My full video review is above. Please do share and comment with your thoughts!












My Five Favourite Books Featuring Muslim Female Characters


My 5 Favourite Books with Muslim Women Characters

My 5 Favourite Books with Muslim Women Characters

If you’ve ever wanted to read a book with amazing female Muslim characters and felt frustrated that you can’t find a good book to read, Episode 3 of the Seriously Planning ‪#‎booktube‬ show is for you. In this episode,I discuss my 5 favourite books featuring Muslim women. Please do watch, share and subscribe!

On “Sofia Khan is Not Obliged” and the Joy of Books With Muslim Characters

Sofia Khan is Not Obliged, by Ayisha Malik

Sofia Khan is Not Obliged, by Ayisha Malik

Greetings friends! Seriously Planning has a new YouTube show about books, and this week’s episode is a review of a new UK release called “Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik.”  In this episode I talk about how this book introduced to the Youtube book/reading community, why I started a channel,  the importance of good cover art, and discuss my favourite and not so favourite parts of this book. It’s a book that would be a fun holiday/relaxing read or a book that would be good company if you’re stuck in bed with the flu during Joburg’s cold cold winter. This book will only be available in Canada in October 2016 I believe (not sure about the US release date), but it is available here in Johannesburg. If you’re read this book, what are your thoughts? I’d love to hear from you.

You can find the video below.

Seriously Planning Has a BookTube Show!

Greetings Seriously Planning friends! I have exciting news to share. Seriously Planning has a new BookTube channel (a YouTube channel that talks about books) and the first episode is finally out!  I’ve been watching Booktube for a couple of months now and have been desperately trying to find other booktubers who are people of colour (especially other Muslim women) as well as other people who are broadcasting from South Africa but haven’t been able to find other voices. So I thought it was time for Seriously Planning to have a YouTube channel! We’re just starting out, but I’m excited for this to grow and become a community of sharing. Please do watch, like, subscribe, and share with friends! Till next time.

We All Like Different Books (A Post about Diversity Things)

Friday stops (Port Elizabeth, South Africa, April 2016)

Friday stops (Port Elizabeth, South Africa, April 2016)

About a month ago, I discovered a magical community on YouTube called BookTube. “BookTubers” make videos where they review books they’ve read, display their latest “book hauls” of the books they’ve recently purchased or received from publishers, give tours of their personal bookshelves and and generally discuss topics that are literary related.  Not all of this appeals to me – it’s far less interesting to hear about the books you own/have recently bought than hearing what you’ve recently actually read and what you gained from the read, and a lot of existing BookTube content is YA related, which is not really my thing, but still, the premise about books on YouTube fascinates me.

When I first discovered BookTube I found a few people I really liked, and hearing enthusiastic people talking about books they’ve just read felt almost as nice as having a conversation with a wonderful friend who has read something amazing and wants to tell you about it. But at the same time, when I discovered BookTube one of the first thing I noticed is that it’s not a very racially and geographically diverse community – the vast majority of the people making videos about books are white, female and from North America or the UK. Though this surprised me I wasn’t sure if it mattered so much, after all, good books are good books no matter who you are right?

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