Book Talk: When Wings Expand

when wings expand bookAmong the books I read last year was When Wings Expand by Mehded Maryam Sinclair.

When Wings Expand is written in a ‘diary entry style’ (epistolary) which makes it very reader friendly. Here is the book blurb:

Winner of the Unpublished Muslim Writer’s Award 2011.

She wrapped her arms around me and said, “Nur! I know. I don’t want to go. But all I can do is keep trusting in Allah. Nur, I will always be with you! My love and advice will always be with you to guide you in the right direction.” She patted my heart. “They are forever sealed inside this little place.”

Writing on the pages of her journal, Nur, a teenage girl in Canada, charts the onset and advance of her mother’s cancer. Nur watches her mother’s body begin to shrink and her mood begin to darken. And when family and friends begin to encroach, Nur must face the prospect of her mother’s looming death.

Nur bears the crushing loss and finds her adolescent life more demanding and complex. But with the legacy of her mother’s love, her family’s support, and the guidance of her faith, she manages to overcome the searing pain and use her newfound strength to bring joy to the lives of others, showing them that after death wings can expand.

It is quite an amazing book. Definitely kept me hooked from the beginning and I would look forward to reading it everyday!

It is full of beautiful lessons- something that readers of all ages and people of all backgrounds can benefit from. It sort of brings you back home, on what it means to be a true Muslim. What being a servant of Allah Almighty is all about.

The author’s writing and storytelling makes all of it feel so real. If you’re feeling lost and are looking for a renovation in your perspective on life- give this book a read.

Something I couldn’t help thinking while reading this book… Allah subhanahu wa taala has truly blessed the author to be able to write something so aesthetically beautiful and to convey the essence of Islam in this manner.

I hope Sister Maryam writes more books, especially for the older age group. I can only imagine the kind of wonderful content she may come up with for that demographic. Even with a book like When Wings Expand, which may be seen primarily as centered for children and perhaps teens- she did a wonderful job nonetheless as it has come to be a piece all ages can benefit from.

MashaaAllah TabarakAllah La hawla wa la quwwata illah billah.

One of my favourite quotes from the book that I’d like to share:

May Allah always make you straight and true in all that you do. I have great faith that Allah is guiding you for some special purpose, my dear, and that everything that happens in your life, including something so dire as your mother dying, will be for your benefit. You must never forget that in the days ahead, when the wretched devil will want you to forget and will whisper to you to rebel and complain against what Allah has destined for you. He can convince us of all kinds of things and when we listen to him we can become angry and resentful and full of self-pity, all of which dissolves our gratitude. So may your Guardian Lord Allah guide your every step and protect you from the wiles of the devil.

Have you read this book? Feel free to share your thoughts below! 🙂

My Favourite Reading Apps

My Favourite Reading Apps

I love reading. Paperbacks are lovely, but so are eReaders. I know, I know! Most avid readers will be shocked to see me profess this but hey- just, hear me out.

To me, it doesn’t matter what medium you use- what matters is that you read. And if eReaders are an option for you to increase your daily reading, then why not! 😀

I, too, was a skeptic when it came to eReaders once upon a time. But now- I pretty much love them! I love how reading on my iPad has enabled me to read books which were otherwise hard to get locally. Also, the reasonable rates at which I can get some books is unbeatable. Especially when it comes to books I’m not sure I will end up loving.

I also love how I can read in the dark without worrying about a book lamp 😉

What’s more? Free books. You definitely can’t beat that.

So, here I am sharing my love for my absolute favourite reading apps, in no particular order whatsoever:

1- iBooks [iPad/iPhone/iPod]

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This was my first real eReading experience. I loved it instantly.

The screen brightness adjustment, bookshelf style view (which, unfortunately is not a there in the new iOS update- boo!),  “flip-able” pages, the feature to highlight and add notes, the multiple bookmark feature- l loved it all. Highly recommend to all book readers! Only drawback is that it is available only for certain devices. But don’t worry- the next app I am going to mention is definitely just as good!

2- KOBO [Desktop/eReaders/Tablets/Android/iPhone]

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This app, you guys– it’s awesome! Extremely well designed and packed with features. My favourite has to be the Social Reading feature. It is pretty cool and very engaging. I am currently reading “A Christmas Carol” on this app (which is available for free, by the way) and it has been absolutely delightful so far. Best part? This app is available across multiple platforms so you can get your reading fix no matter which device you are on!

3- Adobe Reader 

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I actually began to enjoy Adobe Reader when I installed the app on my iPad. Sure, it is your standard PDF viewer and for most of us common folk it doesn’t have more value than that. But what I love about the iPad app is that I don’t only use it for reading my PDF files, I also find myself using it very often to edit them if need be. When it comes to PDF files, you can’t go wrong with this app.

4- Scribd

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This is a newer app for me that I have yet to discover all features of. But that aside, what makes me love it already is the fact that I can now read my files from Scribd offline on my iPad! It’s a score in my book 🙂

So, these are all my favourite apps for reading! What are yours? 🙂