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Laughing All the Way to the Mosque

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Zarqa Nawaz has always straddled two cultures. She's just as likely to be agonizing over which sparkly earrings will "pimp out" her hijab as to be flirting with the Walmart meat manager in a futile attempt to secure halal chicken the day before Eid. Little Mosque on the Prairie brought Zarqa's own laugh-out-loud take on her everyday culture clash to viewers around the Zarqa Nawaz has always straddled two cultures. She's just as likely to be agonizing over which sparkly earrings will "pimp out" her hijab as to be flirting with the Walmart meat manager in a futile attempt to secure halal chicken the day before Eid. Little Mosque on the Prairie brought Zarqa's own laugh-out-loud take on her everyday culture clash to viewers around the world. And now, in Laughing All the Way to the Mosque, she tells the sometimes absurd, sometimes challenging, always funny stories of being Zarqa in a western society. From explaining to the plumber why the toilet must be within sitting arm's reach of the water tap (hint: it involves a watering can and a Muslim obsession with cleanliness "down there") to urging the electrician to place an eye-height electrical socket for her father-in-law's epilepsy-inducing light-up picture of the Kaaba, Zarqa paints a hilarious portrait of growing up in a household where, according to her father, the Quran says it's okay to eat at McDonald's-but only if you order the McFish.


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Zarqa Nawaz has always straddled two cultures. She's just as likely to be agonizing over which sparkly earrings will "pimp out" her hijab as to be flirting with the Walmart meat manager in a futile attempt to secure halal chicken the day before Eid. Little Mosque on the Prairie brought Zarqa's own laugh-out-loud take on her everyday culture clash to viewers around the Zarqa Nawaz has always straddled two cultures. She's just as likely to be agonizing over which sparkly earrings will "pimp out" her hijab as to be flirting with the Walmart meat manager in a futile attempt to secure halal chicken the day before Eid. Little Mosque on the Prairie brought Zarqa's own laugh-out-loud take on her everyday culture clash to viewers around the world. And now, in Laughing All the Way to the Mosque, she tells the sometimes absurd, sometimes challenging, always funny stories of being Zarqa in a western society. From explaining to the plumber why the toilet must be within sitting arm's reach of the water tap (hint: it involves a watering can and a Muslim obsession with cleanliness "down there") to urging the electrician to place an eye-height electrical socket for her father-in-law's epilepsy-inducing light-up picture of the Kaaba, Zarqa paints a hilarious portrait of growing up in a household where, according to her father, the Quran says it's okay to eat at McDonald's-but only if you order the McFish.

30 review for Laughing All the Way to the Mosque

  1. 4 out of 5

    hanna

    Well, that was memorable! I loved every minute of reading this book, it was so raw and honest. Some parts though came off as fictional, particularly the conversations she had with some people. I can't fathom anyone ever saying things so embarassing outloud. Her voice comes off as self confident, funny and kind. Overall, this was such a great book. You really finish it feeling as though you've been with the author throughout all her experiences. As an author, I think that's difficult to do but Well, that was memorable! I loved every minute of reading this book, it was so raw and honest. Some parts though came off as fictional, particularly the conversations she had with some people. I can't fathom anyone ever saying things so embarassing outloud. Her voice comes off as self confident, funny and kind. Overall, this was such a great book. You really finish it feeling as though you've been with the author throughout all her experiences. As an author, I think that's difficult to do but Zarqa flawlessly draws the reader in with each chapter. Ahhh I recommend this to everyone, people who want to learn more about Islam, people who don't really care for Islam but want to know about Muslims and why we are so scary to Trump, conservative Muslims, secular Muslims, just everyone really.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Taryn

    You may have noticed that I've been tailoring my reading recently to counter some of the damaging narratives that have dominated the news cycle. It's become increasingly important to me to read books that shed light on and celebrate the lives of people of color in this beautiful, heterogeneous country of immigrants in which we live. I decided to pick up Laughing All the Way to the Mosque in direct response to a recent event in my hometown. You can read my full post about it here. More book You may have noticed that I've been tailoring my reading recently to counter some of the damaging narratives that have dominated the news cycle. It's become increasingly important to me to read books that shed light on and celebrate the lives of people of color in this beautiful, heterogeneous country of immigrants in which we live. I decided to pick up Laughing All the Way to the Mosque in direct response to a recent event in my hometown. You can read my full post about it here. More book recommendations by me at www.readingwithhippos.com

  3. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    I couldn't put it down. I was reading it, walking around the grocery store and generally not paying attention: "are Brussels sprouts okay?" Sure. "Do we need candy?" Yes. "I think I am going to buy this deep fryer (deep fried foods make me sick) because apparently you can deep fry everything!" Whatever you think is best... Thankfully, we didn't really come home with a deep fryer. Zarqa Nawaz really did belong in journalism, or at least writing. She brings a lovely sense of humour to struggling I couldn't put it down. I was reading it, walking around the grocery store and generally not paying attention: "are Brussels sprouts okay?" Sure. "Do we need candy?" Yes. "I think I am going to buy this deep fryer (deep fried foods make me sick) because apparently you can deep fry everything!" Whatever you think is best... Thankfully, we didn't really come home with a deep fryer. Zarqa Nawaz really did belong in journalism, or at least writing. She brings a lovely sense of humour to struggling between two worlds and, well the oddities she brings to life (thankfully, her husband Sami seems incredibly patient). I rather enjoyed the details I learned of Islam, overbearing but loveable mothers, and her antics. I am grateful that the title was "Laughing All the Way to the Mosque," as I think people understood my random bursts of out-loud laughter seeing the title. Actually, I could see similarities win myself, which may have made the book more enjoyable for me and a matter of personal taste. You cannot enjoy this book if you cannot laugh at people without judgment: if you think any laughing at people is derogatory, you'll hate this book; if you judge people for being different, like they must be less than to be funny, you are going to miss some of the humour and all of the heart. Also, while there are some stories about her life during Little Mosque, this is about Nawaz's life and not the show. I only had two criticisms for the book: the childhood stories were so good, I really thought there should have been more; and the spacing was rather empty, making the book too short. Still, it is not enough to make me dislike the book. I am keeping this book to re-live the laughter and for a little Canadiana.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    More a 3.5 - I enjoyed it, just wasn't SUPER WOWED by it. But, I do think it is an important memoir from a woman in the Canadian entertainment industry who had a significant impact on that industry. I loved "Little Mosque on the Prairie" and am so proud of how well it did here and how it was exported around the world. Nawaz is a good writer and the book kept me interested. My favourite chapter was the one where she did the Hajj with her in-laws. Turns out (not surprisingly) there is a lot about More a 3.5 - I enjoyed it, just wasn't SUPER WOWED by it. But, I do think it is an important memoir from a woman in the Canadian entertainment industry who had a significant impact on that industry. I loved "Little Mosque on the Prairie" and am so proud of how well it did here and how it was exported around the world. Nawaz is a good writer and the book kept me interested. My favourite chapter was the one where she did the Hajj with her in-laws. Turns out (not surprisingly) there is a lot about the Hajj I didn't know! One of the reasons I liked it so much was that it had a lot of great detail - I feel some of the other chapters are a little light. Also, if you're looking for stories about filming LMOTP, there really aren't any - it's about Nawaz' life, not the show. Which isn't bad, just something to be aware of. Worth the read (I checked it out of the library). Easy, fun summer read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Carla

    This book was like sitting down with Zarqa and hearing her stories, like she was my best friend. Many were laugh out loud funny, some, I even found embarrassing. What an amazing woman, who "puts it out there" and is so confident in her own skin. A Muslim woman, having immigrated to Canada, she talks about day to day activities and the culture clash. She tells tales of Islam, that I've never heard. She's the bane I'm sure of her existence to some, particularly in the Muslim community. She created This book was like sitting down with Zarqa and hearing her stories, like she was my best friend. Many were laugh out loud funny, some, I even found embarrassing. What an amazing woman, who "puts it out there" and is so confident in her own skin. A Muslim woman, having immigrated to Canada, she talks about day to day activities and the culture clash. She tells tales of Islam, that I've never heard. She's the bane I'm sure of her existence to some, particularly in the Muslim community. She created and wrote a Canadian sitcom called Little Mosque on the Prairie that was a huge hit for six years. I've never seen the show, but I'm sure it would be something I would hugely enjoy. Zarqa Nawaz is hilarious, honest, and she writes from her heart. What could be wrong with that?

  6. 4 out of 5

    Preethi

    This series of essays make the reader think and feel for the writer and her experiences when not laughing out loud at her antics. Books like this are important to beat the notion of 'one single story'. These tell us that no matter which religion we are all brought up in, most children have similar experiences growing up - the insecurities of teenage, the silly rebellions we undertake against our parents, the struggles to find the right partner, the journey through parenthood and growing up , This series of essays make the reader think and feel for the writer and her experiences when not laughing out loud at her antics. Books like this are important to beat the notion of 'one single story'. These tell us that no matter which religion we are all brought up in, most children have similar experiences growing up - the insecurities of teenage, the silly rebellions we undertake against our parents, the struggles to find the right partner, the journey through parenthood and growing up , finding foot in our chosen careers and finally death. A flavor of just enough religion to add to the personal touch and viola, you have a brilliant book full of amazing human beings beating the stereotype crowding popular media these days. This book made me think for a faint second that may be I could write one too, though obviously not as brilliant. Haven't I had my share of such experiences as an inactive member of my weird, very small community. Haven't I done sillier things to get back at my parents and haven't they held on to their own amidst all my tumultuous years. Haven't I resorted to useless missions to not get married to next guy around the corner. Haven't I gone through a series of comedies in the process of finding the right partner myself. Doesn't he provide the voice of reason in all the crazy projects I undertake almost everyday and doesn't my Mom have that resigned-its-useless-to-talk-to-you tone most of the times. Don't I outrage at the smallest of injustices around me making me a flight-risk in a public location sometimes. Don't I go through the growing pains of adulthood every single day. Am I not known for speaking my mind a little too much and causing unrequited laughter and the recipient of glares from even my otherwise-friendly-mother-in-law. And that's when I realized why this book is brilliant - it's a normal book about a normal human being who can write very well. And that's the beauty of this book! Now I shall look up the documentaries and TV shows Nawaz has written. If the book is any indication, they'll be brilliant as well!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Natali

    I didn't hate this book but I didn't like it at all. Reading this book was like listening to family stories from a family you do not know or particularly care about. Or watching someone's wedding videos when you don't know any of the people in it. I expected some kind of insider look at Islamic life and she does frame her life around the religion but she wavers between strict interpretation and liberal interpretation of the doctrine with no explanation for the shift. She never addresses what she I didn't hate this book but I didn't like it at all. Reading this book was like listening to family stories from a family you do not know or particularly care about. Or watching someone's wedding videos when you don't know any of the people in it. I expected some kind of insider look at Islamic life and she does frame her life around the religion but she wavers between strict interpretation and liberal interpretation of the doctrine with no explanation for the shift. She never addresses what she actually believes and presents her life as a blind follow of a doctrine that can be nonsensical. "Okay I'm just going to do the pilgrimage to Mecca now. Okay that was really uncomfortable. Next thing." She points out inconsistencies in her religion without seriously challenging them. When she does challenge them, she frames it as something that is probably no more than her own personal neuroses. "Oh everyone thinks I'm nutty so that's why I did or said that...." I think that's a cop out because she is afraid of blowback in her community. She is clearly smart enough to take on the issues of gender, fundamentalism, discrimination. She simply doesn't bother to and that really bugged me. As for the "laughing part," not once did I actually laugh. I'm not a tough nut to crack with humor but these stories were just not funny. So you didn't prepare for Eid dinner in advance and had to go to 2 stores to find enough chicken for 100 people. Who the heck cares about this kind of banal storytelling??? How about I write a book about how I ran out of peanut butter when I actually thought I had peanut butter!? Is that hilarious or what? No. No it is not. And neither is this book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Suraya (thesuraya)

    if i met zarqa in real life id probably thinks shes annoying if i met zarqa in real life i’d probably thinks shes annoying

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ellie M

    Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for this review copy. I very much enjoyed this novel - it was both amusing and educational. I'd not heard of the author but reading the blurb and the idea that this novel focused on the author's upbringing, and some of the challenges along the way, interested me. The author's parents arrived in Toronto, via Liverpool and Pakistan. As Muslims in Toronto they were part of an active and busy Mosque, and there was a real sense of community evidenced in her Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for this review copy. I very much enjoyed this novel - it was both amusing and educational. I'd not heard of the author but reading the blurb and the idea that this novel focused on the author's upbringing, and some of the challenges along the way, interested me. The author's parents arrived in Toronto, via Liverpool and Pakistan. As Muslims in Toronto they were part of an active and busy Mosque, and there was a real sense of community evidenced in her writing. She explains some of the challenges attending a non-Islamic school - her mum preferred her to wear more traditional hairstyles and clothing for example (plaits in her hair, courdroy trousers etc) whereas she was keen to dress similarly to her classmates, in short skirts and styled hair. Attending Mosque she felt more part of the community but quite clearly wanted to challenge attitudes, including the separation of men from women, and the subjects covered at Muslim Summer School. When she finished school her Dad had been keen for her to become a Doctor but her grades weren't up to it. Her parents didn't resist when she got a place on a journalism course and again she persued important issues she felt worth challenging (this part of the story is set around the time of 9/11). Her mother was keen to see her married though. She'd avoided marriage earlier due to education, and despite her parents trying to find a suitable match, she engineered a meeting with her brother's friend who she deemed a more suitable husband. With her husband she moved near her parents-in-law to their much smaller Muslim community. She was still perusing her journalism but began branching out to film media. Again she tackled important issues through her work, including her TV show. I've not heard of Little Mosque on the Prairie but this TV show ran on CBS for 6 seasons. It met with a mixed reception in her community, possibly because of the satirical elements. Whilst part of the story is her journalism career there is much focus on the importance of family. Her Mum is a key figure in her life and she appears close to both parents, despite the general craziness (which felt very familar to me). She's quite an amazing woman managing her career and four children (four pregnancies in four years!). I liked her character and spirit - she was desperate to provide the feast at the end of Eid but her planning went a little awry with amusing consequences and this is just one example. In another example she's on the phone to a TV exec whilst she's feeding one child and breast-feeding another - she's a perfect example of a multi-tasking woman! This book is amusing - the anecodotes are told in a light manner but you also get a good sense of how important Islam is to her. I was also fascinated by her explanations of Hajj, and the Five Pillars of Islam for example. I'd recommend this read, and I'd be interested to see the TV shows she made, if they ever aired in the UK (they may well have done without me realising).

  10. 4 out of 5

    Julie Mestdagh

    If you're looking for a light version of "introduction to Islam", search no more but read "laughing all the way to the mosque" by Zarqa Nawaz. The book is a wonderful and honest collection of the author's experiences as a muslim woman in the Western society. While introducing and explaining muslim rituals and habits such as buying alarm clocks at the halal butchers, cooking huge meals for Eid or getting stepped on while circling the Kaaba in Mecca, she also reveals how her culture and religion If you're looking for a light version of "introduction to Islam", search no more but read "laughing all the way to the mosque" by Zarqa Nawaz. The book is a wonderful and honest collection of the author's experiences as a muslim woman in the Western society. While introducing and explaining muslim rituals and habits such as buying alarm clocks at the halal butchers, cooking huge meals for Eid or getting stepped on while circling the Kaaba in Mecca, she also reveals how her culture and religion clashes with the society she lives in and how she is torn between the two, which leads to hilarious situations that just make you laugh out loud. A wonderful book to read, and I just wish they showed "little mosque on the prairy" on Belgian TV channels.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    Very funny but also informative mémoire of a Muslim woman living in Canada. Thwarted in her ambitions to become a doctor, she enrols in journalist school. She doesn't shy away from serious issues but sees the world in her own way.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ivy Moser

    I loved this book! I laughed and I learned so much about people who are muslims and the religion of Islam (and Canada!). Zarqa's humor is subtle, so it took me a few chapters to realize that how incorrigible, irreverent, and funny she is. She'll be writing along, normal as pie, and then ZING! she's down her own path of reality. Again! :) One of my favorite moments: Upon failing to achieve her family's expected vocation of being a doctor, Zarqa decides to try journalism, despite her parents' I loved this book! I laughed and I learned so much about people who are muslims and the religion of Islam (and Canada!). Zarqa's humor is subtle, so it took me a few chapters to realize that how incorrigible, irreverent, and funny she is. She'll be writing along, normal as pie, and then ZING! she's down her own path of reality. Again! :) One of my favorite moments: Upon failing to achieve her family's expected vocation of being a doctor, Zarqa decides to try journalism, despite her parents' reluctance to let her attend because "for me, the daughter of conservative Pakistani immigrants, a career such as a novelist, journalist or filmmaker was too sexy--like wearing fishnet stockings for sparkly eyeliner..." She attempts to apply for school anyway, and writes "...the deadline for Ryerson's School of Journalism in Toronto loomed, like a glittery, forbidden disco ball at the end of a dark tunnel." :) I also loved her description of Hajj and how she met her husband, Sami. It was also hilarious to see non-muslims popping into her narrative--it was like being able to see myself (white, Christian-raised) through new eyes. I wish everyone would read this book!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Innes

    Having grown up watching and loving Zarqa's show "Little Mosque on the Prairie", I knew I needed to read this as soon as I found out she had written a memoir! It was a very quick and entertaining read and fun to see some of the threads of reality that she wove into the show.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Saba

    My new fave. Couldnt put this book down. A very quick and easy read. Humour is incredibly real and experiences relatable. The innocent straightforwardness will either shock you to oblivion or you will laugh till some body parts fall off. My new fave. Couldn’t put this book down. A very quick and easy read. Humour is incredibly real and experiences relatable. The innocent straightforwardness will either shock you to oblivion or you will laugh till some body parts fall off.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Vipin Sirigiri

    Absolute delight! Binge watched all the seasons of her 'Little Mosque on the Prairie' after finishing it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bibi

    I picked up this book on impulsive 'cos I was looking for some light reading and the word - laughing - in the title caught my eye. My reaction is however mixed about this book. I applaud the author for being gutsy and bold enough to challenge long held traditions and practices which have no religious bearing/authenticity to her religion. I applaud her for poking wholesome fun at what is often sacred cows with her people as she often refers to Muslims. I did find the chapter on 911 a bit I picked up this book on impulsive 'cos I was looking for some light reading and the word - laughing - in the title caught my eye. My reaction is however mixed about this book. I applaud the author for being gutsy and bold enough to challenge long held traditions and practices which have no religious bearing/authenticity to her religion. I applaud her for poking wholesome fun at what is often sacred cows with her people as she often refers to Muslims. I did find the chapter on 911 a bit self-centred - please don't let it be one of us- she writes. True Muslims do not carry out dastardly acts. In fact the entire chapter is focussed on how her family would be affected by this and wanting to smoke out whoever may have reported her father-in-law to the RCMP. I understand her fear and for the consequences for innocent Muslims but it would have make her look better if she had shown some care and touched on those who died in this horrific event - very many of whom were Muslims. I also find her comments about her educated family, a bit ostentatious. I am a successful journalist/film-maker; my husband is a Doctor of Psychiatry, my father-in-law was an Eye-Ear-Nose Doctor, my sister-in-law's husband is off to Boston to do post-doctoral work at Harvard, my Dad is an engineer and he enrolled my mother in two universities when they arrived in Canada, and my eldest daughter is now on her way to the prestigious McMaster University. This information is not funny. At times, I find her humour a bit contrived especially the parts where she is applying for admission to a University or program, or pitching one of her ideas to media network staff. She made the process, her behaviour, and her attitude to be flippant, nonchalant, and audacious. This is usually far from the case in real life when moments like these are stressful and a person tries their hardest and best in an attempt to achieve their goals. (Job interviews, entrance interviews, funding applications, sponsorships etc.). Ironically, her early chapters refer to her mother giving her curried chicken to take for lunch and she writes in great detail about her feelings about this and how she begged for white bread with jelly and peanut butter. Later, she is telling her daughter that rice-krispie squares are full of air and that a curried lunch is more wholesome. She tries just too hard; at my most generous - this book is 3 stars.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dale White

    I never watched Little Mosque on the Prairie once so I am not sure what made me decide to pick this book up when I saw it displayed at the library. I suppose I was looking for some understanding of Islam from an ordinary person's view. And you do get that in this easy, sometimes funny (and sometimes painfully unfunny) memoir. I am not a religious person but I understand why some people are attracted to religions. And with Islam being such a misunderstood religion, it is good to read a book that I never watched Little Mosque on the Prairie once so I am not sure what made me decide to pick this book up when I saw it displayed at the library. I suppose I was looking for some understanding of Islam from an ordinary person's view. And you do get that in this easy, sometimes funny (and sometimes painfully unfunny) memoir. I am not a religious person but I understand why some people are attracted to religions. And with Islam being such a misunderstood religion, it is good to read a book that gives us some insight into the faith from the perspective of a neighbour down the street. Unfortunately, I came away feeling that the emphasis was more on some of the absurdities of the faith rather those things that obviously makes Islam important to Zarqa Nawaz. For example, it is just plain silly for a modern women of any faith to be so frightened by jinn - supernatural beings from early Arabian mythology - that she would refuse to use an outhouse when desperate. And the tenets of the faith - prayer, fasting, and the hajj - as seen through these stories, seemed such a hassle, that I wondered why she bothered. The most interesting chapter for me described the the funeral of a family member and the importance of the rituals in Islam. But even here, Nawaz's attempts at humour didn't just fail, but spoiled an otherwise moving situation. I am sure fans of Little Mosque on the Prairie will be satisfied with this book, but reading Laughing All the Way to the Mosque did not make me feel that I had missed anything by never watching the show.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rona

    How do Canadian and US Muslims live a wholly Canadian or American life and also be fully Muslim? Like this. What is life like inside a North American Muslim home and mosque? Instead of the drama we've been hearing about, the conflicts of her life are the stuff of being an immigrant in suburbia. Did you have conflicts with your mother over what she packed for lunch, what you could wear, when she let you shave your legs, who you should (date or) marry? What your career should be? Did you care How do Canadian and US Muslims live a wholly Canadian or American life and also be fully Muslim? Like this. What is life like inside a North American Muslim home and mosque? Instead of the drama we've been hearing about, the conflicts of her life are the stuff of being an immigrant in suburbia. Did you have conflicts with your mother over what she packed for lunch, what you could wear, when she let you shave your legs, who you should (date or) marry? What your career should be? Did you care enough about your religion to argue about its true meaning? This is a fast read. An easy read. Mostly enjoyable. Not many authors are willing to describe themselves so thoroughly -- neuroses and all. She's awkward, she's funny, she succeeded -- it seems -- by sheer luck. Somehow, I can't buy that. There's too much talent here. If you like this book, check out The Little Mosque on the Prairie (Canada TV.) It is silly, but I am in love with the father!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    Zarqa Nawaz is a very rare bird indeed -- a Saskatchewan Muslim. She is also a self-confessed trial to her family and community because of her outspoken nature, zany wit and need to share the traditions and practices of Muslim family and religious life with the non-Muslim society around her. Nawaz became quite well-known for her ground-breaking television sitcom, Little Mosque on the Prairie. It's six seasons were seen in over sixty countries shining a light on a culture most of us know little Zarqa Nawaz is a very rare bird indeed -- a Saskatchewan Muslim. She is also a self-confessed trial to her family and community because of her outspoken nature, zany wit and need to share the traditions and practices of Muslim family and religious life with the non-Muslim society around her. Nawaz became quite well-known for her ground-breaking television sitcom, Little Mosque on the Prairie. It's six seasons were seen in over sixty countries shining a light on a culture most of us know little about. This books is accurately described as a "memoir of sorts" and, while mildly amusing, one can understand why the jacket blurb describes her family as "loving but long-suffering". Granted, many of the incidents described have probably been exaggerated for effect but this woman is impulsive with a capital "I" and it seems the concept of "too much information" has never occurred to her. A little over the top and mundane at the same time.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Joanka

    Its a light, sweet and funny memoire with very strong Muslim themes. Im always a little wary when an author presents herself as this mixture of severely distracted, rather crazy and sweetly inappropriate. Still Zarqa Nawaz manages to stay charming and not irritating. I guess that the reason for it is that despite all her craziness, she remains respectful and good-willed. There is lots of honesty in the way she portrays Muslim community in Canadas North, and its not always favourable. But almost It’s a light, sweet and funny memoire with very strong Muslim themes. I’m always a little wary when an author presents herself as this mixture of severely distracted, rather crazy and sweetly inappropriate. Still Zarqa Nawaz manages to stay charming and not irritating. I guess that the reason for it is that despite all her craziness, she remains respectful and good-willed. There is lots of honesty in the way she portrays Muslim community in Canada’s North, and it’s not always favourable. But almost without exception it’s full of kindness. The book is nothing ground-breaking, its informative value isn’t overwhelming either… But if you need a nice book to cheer up, something to read on a tram… It’s a good choice. It’s really a pleasant read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Judith Siers-Poisson

    I enjoyed this book a lot. It is light, breezy and very relatable. There are some more serious sections, like her family's experiences in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, but they don't seem like a big deviation from the overall tone. Nawaz does a great job of poking gentle fun at herself, her family and her community, but in a way that makes them all seem like people we would want to know and spend time with. Her stories of going on the Haj and away to Muslim summer camp are hilarious and can I enjoyed this book a lot. It is light, breezy and very relatable. There are some more serious sections, like her family's experiences in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, but they don't seem like a big deviation from the overall tone. Nawaz does a great job of poking gentle fun at herself, her family and her community, but in a way that makes them all seem like people we would want to know and spend time with. Her stories of going on the Haj and away to Muslim summer camp are hilarious and can easily remind anyone of family vacations gone wrong. A fun and fast read that has the benefit of a peek into cultures that many of us don't get to see often.

  22. 5 out of 5

    mckenna ʕ •ᴥ•ʔ

    This book was so wholesome! I enjoyed every moment of it! From little moments like shaving her legs to big life events like Hajj the author has a bubbly and inviting way of telling stories. The fact that this books content came from the entire span of the authors life seemed really neat to me, stories from her childhood all the way up to her childrens stories. I would highly recommend this book to anybody who is interested in the lives of Muslim women or just want a light-hearted, interesting This book was so wholesome! I enjoyed every moment of it! From little moments like shaving her legs to big life events like Hajj the author has a bubbly and inviting way of telling stories. The fact that this book’s content came from the entire span of the author’s life seemed really neat to me, stories from her childhood all the way up to her children’s stories. I would highly recommend this book to anybody who is interested in the lives of Muslim women or just want a light-hearted, interesting read!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    This book was fire the Amnesty International Canada book club! Even though I have never watched Little Mosque on the Prairie the book was still enjoyable. It was funny and offered a really interesting perspective. I learned a few interesting details about Islam that I didn't know before. Would recommend

  24. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Eh, it was ok. Bits of it were funny but on the whole her sense of humor if very sitcom-y laugh track-y. I guess that makes sense since the author is known for developing and writing a Canadian sitcom. I think Aziz Ansari's riffs on being Muslim are a lot funnier than the author's stories. The most interesting part of the book was her chapter on going to Saudi Arabia for haji.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lillian

    This book was hilarious! I'm glad I ended my summer break reading this book. :) I found out about it in chatelaine (of course), and had to wait until I had a library card again to read it. Worth the wait! I laughed out loud, read NUMEROUS passages to my sister, and learned a few things. All in all all you want from a book. Id also like to check out little mosque on a prairie now.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sabeeha Rehman

    Delightful, funny, and highly entertaining. A second generation immigrant Muslim in Canada traces her run-in with tradition, as she re-defines her identity as a Muslim. Eventually launches the hit series 'Little Mosque on the Prairie'. A light-hearted approach to a very serious topic. I laughed my way through the book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Abdalla Alkhalifa

    This book is so funny, Ive read the ebook version of it, and I couldnt put the phone down. Every story is raw and real, its like you are having a conversation with the author in person. I didn't accept some of the embarrassing and the controversial parts, but the overall impression is good. This book is so funny, I’ve read the ebook version of it, and I couldn’t put the phone down. Every story is raw and real, it’s like you are having a conversation with the author in person. I didn't accept some of the embarrassing and the controversial parts, but the overall impression is good.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Karly

    Zarqa is a funny lady! I learned so much about Muslim culture and religion from this book. She has a way of telling stories in an informative but light manner. I also really want to watch Little Mosque on the Prairie!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amalia

    Funny enough that it makes me want to watch Little mosque on the praries. I've heard of the series before, but didn't know about the relationship to Zarqa when I stumbled across the book. The book is funny, easy to read and is a reminder not to take life too seriously.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Aziza Mehmoudzai

    Funny at some points but a bit too much exaggeration and hyperbole. Seemed contrived at times.

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