134. Exploring Bookshelves with Fatima

Hello everyone! And welcome back to another episode in the series: “Exploring Bookshelves”.

For this post, I invited the beautiful Fatima from @inbookishfashion on Instagram, but before we begin, if you want to read the previous posts click on anyone of the following names: Sheree, Ridhi, Omair, Komal and Tamreez

So lets begin?

About Fatima:  The BG account @inbookishfashion came into being on 23rd March, 2017. I stumbled upon the world of #bookstagram totally by accident, a year prior to that when I landed on a book photo on a travel blog, it was a revelation!


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NIGHT BOAT TO TANGIER . This book’s blurb was the only one that caught my attention off the Booker longlist. My instinct proved right yet again 😀👌 . First off, this is a very male centric high on testosterone story. Book opens like a play with the ferry station as centre stage. Two middle aged men down on luck and tired of life sit on a bench waiting. Maurice and Charlie are two gangsters from Ireland. Childhood friends with a long history of crime and betrayal. Maurice has lost his wife and daughter to his criminal ways and addictions. Both men are fighting their demons. Beaten down by a life of crime. Hashing out their grievances as they look back at their life which is now full of regret, loss, guilt and yearning for lost family. They wait for Maurice’s runaway daughter who according to their intelligence is supposed to pass the station some time that very day. . Barry impressed the hell out of me with this cracker of a novel. Narrative is so crisp, fast paced, atmospheric and affective like a gunshot hitting the bull’s eye. It’s got a crackling dry and dark wit. His penchant for dialogue is stunning. Dialogues are sharp like the crack of a whip. Written in Irish slang. I almost googled Cork accent. My favourite part was their “gangster banter”🤣👌 His scene construction is also superb. I felt like I was right there with them .There is a bar scene where the two friends have a showdown. It is set to PERFECTION💣💣 . The only thing that can put people off is the fact that this book has a lot of vulgarity, bad language and crude sex scenes. There are a ton of lines I underlined which had me laughing out loud but there’s no way I can bring myself to reproduce them here🙈🙈Also people familiar with British/Irish humour will love this a lot more than others. People who are offended by any of that? Sadly, the beauty of this book will be lost to them. . I love a good gangster story. Once Upon a Time In America, LA Confidential, The Departed, No Country for Old Men are some of my favourite movies. If you loved any of those movies, this book is not to be missed. . #kevinbarry #nightboattotangier #bookerprize

A post shared by Let’s talk about books📚🇨🇭🇵🇰 (@inbookishfashion) on

It took me a year to muster up enough courage and confidence to make my own. The name comes from my two loves: Books and fashion. Over time and with the introduction of stories, the fashion side has been relegated to stories only.

Other than that, I’ve been living in Geneva Switzerland for the past two decades with my husband and three teenage children. And I’ve recently started teaching Nursery as well.

What made you want to read and stick to it?

How I got into reading is something that frustrates me to no end. As much as I’ve tried to wrack my brain I can’t seem to remember what triggered my love for reading.

My mother was a reader in her youth but I dont remember her or anyone else reading to me. My earliest bookish memory is at 10 yrs old being obsessed with the Urdu detective series by Ishtiaq Ahmed. The thrill the suspense with a bit of crime and fantasy thrown in.

(Image provided by Fatima)

Crime fiction remains my favorite genre to date. No other genre gives me a bigger high.

So, I’ve wanted to know how you make time to read among all your responsibilities while managing your household and job as well?

Do you want the real answer or the “My life is perfect” Instagram answer? Hahaha….I don’t think I’m pretentious so you’ll be getting the honest and real answer. I read first thing in the morning after sending hubby and children off to work and school.

That is the biggest chunk I get read during the day. That is, if I can prise myself away from mad Insta scrolling…! I spend the day doing household chores, cooking, groceries and laundry ..not to mention the picking and dropping of children in case they need it.

I’m on their speed dial! The second chunk of reading is again done in bed at night. You can guess what my favourite place to read is..hehe!

That is a pretty busy lifestyle! A lot of people say they can’t read due to studies, kids, work and more, any advice for them?

Honestly, I had it very easy till last month.

This month I have gone back to teaching Nursery. Even though it’s only twice a week I’d be lying if I said it was easy. I could only manage to read two books this month.

As I’m still in transition phase I’m sure I’ll sort out a plan and organize myself.

The one thing I’d like to say to all reader moms/working women is to believe in Quality over Quantity. Its okay if instead of ten books a month you’re reading two or even one. As long as you’re experiencing that joy and high of reading you’re good.

I believe if you love something you’ll find the time to do it. Of course, sometimes it means there will be dishes unwashed or the laundry still in the machine or like me maybe even food on the stove boiling over or burning…ooops!!

Hahaha I guess we’ve all been there stuck in an exciting paragraph while the tea has boiled and spilled all over.

Alright then, let’s get to the quick Q&A session:

1. One Book you turn to in times of need: Honestly there isn’t any one book that I return to but a genre in fact. Yes you guessed it..reading a thriller revives me and reconnects me with why i fell in love with reading in the first place.

So if I feel a slump coming on or if I’ve read a few literary fiction books back to back, I read a fast paced crime fiction to cleanse my palate if you will.

2. One Book you can’t help but re-read: That would be a very unknown book which I’ve never seen on Bookstagram called, The Smoke Jumper by Nicholas Evans. It is about three friends and the love triangle between them. It has wit, emotion, love, tragedy, war and adventure, which would make for a fabulous movie.

(Image provided by Fatima)

3. One Book everyone should read: I would say Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte but I don’t think there is anyone left who hasn’t read it. So I’d say The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini and Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier are books everyone should read.

(Image provided by Fatima)

Oh no, there are people who haven’t read it (people like me who deprived themselves from the wonderful story of Jane Eyre

4. One Book that no one should read: Well I don’t want to stop people from reading whatever they choose to, but personally there were two books in recent years that were totally over-hyped and overrated in my opinion. The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry and Normal People by Sally Rooney.

(Image provided by Fatima)

I remember the conversation we had regarding Normal People, I still feel a likeness towards it.

(Image provided by Fatima)

5. One Cult-Classic Book you never read: It was Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen up till a month ago which I’m very glad to have rectified. Now its Harry Potter. I don’t think I’ll ever be reading it.

(Image provided by Fatima)

Jane Austen is freaking amazing! I’m so glad you finally read her books 😀

6. One Book that changed your life: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. I stopped reading for 10 years after getting married and having children. I still curse myself for it. This book was the first purchase of my married life and just blew me away!!!

Aah, the Dan Brown addiction is too real.

7. One Book Series everyone should have:  I’ll never stop thanking Bookstagra, and in particular Abby @crimebythebook who first introduced me to Jo Nesbo and Nordic Noir. His detective Harry Hole series became an instant favourite when I read The Snowman.

This was pre @inbookishfashion.

Well, thank you Fatima for joining the series.

I thoroughly enjoyed her opinions and comments, and hope everyone did too. So I’ll see you next time with a new guest.

Till then take care,


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