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Girls of Riyadh
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
When Rajaa Alsanea boldly chose to open up the hidden world of Saudi womentheir private lives and their conflicts with the traditions of their cultureshe caused a sensation across the Arab world. Now in English, Alsaneas tale of the personal struggles of four young upper-class women offers Westerners an unprecedented glimpse into a society often veiled from view. Living in restrictive Riyadh but traveling all over the globe, these modern Saudi women literally and figuratively shed traditional garb as they search for love, fulfillment, and their place somewhere in between Western society and their Islamic home.
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review
akaGingerK
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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Mehso-so

Added to my TBR several years, moves & a full state ago, I wish I‘d read it closer to when it was written- it‘s very contemporary to a past decade. I enjoyed the emails-via-Yahoo!groups frame and wanted to know how all the braided stories turned out. Two major caveats though prevent me from recommending it: when encountering their love rivals, one character got real racist, real fast (anti-Asian, specifically) and another became smugly fatphobic.

akaGingerK Overall, it was a gossipy behind-closed-doors of a culture I know very little about, and the frame provides an interesting commentary on the plot/characters. But the racism & fat phobia were both overt and not held out as problems either by the narrative itself nor by the framing commentary - and once my attention was drawn to it, it was hard not to question other moments that I might have otherwise missed 7mo
9 likes1 comment
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Victoriahoperose
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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Panpan

This was short and quick, but just not enough connection for me. I am going to probably guess that the translation just didn‘t work for the book and that‘s why I disliked this one. I read it in a few hours just to get through it and be done with it but I did like the bits of culture in this and learning some new stuff in this book. Overall, it just wasn‘t for me.

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Butterfinger
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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Pickpick

It sort of reminded me of Crazy, Rich Asians with all the education and rich nuances that only those in the know -know. It was written as an expose and I enjoyed getting to know them. #SaudiArabia #ReadingAsia2021 @Librarybelle @BarbaraBB

Librarybelle Sounds interesting 11mo
35 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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literarymermaid
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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Sooooo late posting on this, but these were my WIT reads last month. Loved them all!

As soon as school came back and it was virtual, I just found all my stamina for hobbies fade out. I'm getting a second wind, though. How are my fellow Littens?

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Sharpeipup
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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“Anyone who has gone through love and knows how far it can go can never be satisfied with a love that‘s just so-so. “
#quote #coverlove😍 #translation

28 likes2 stack adds
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Deifio
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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Anyone interested in these books?
I want to give these away to someone who would appreciate them.

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Tove_Reads
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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Time to move on to #saudiarabia #readingtheworld

28 likes1 stack add
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ValerieAndBooks
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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#7days7covers #covercrush Day 5 (I will go ahead and explain anyways that pics don‘t do justice to this shiny, tactile cover, not even the close-up).

Want to play @Liberty 😁? Post a cover you love, each day for 7 days. No explanation needed; use the hashtags ☝️and feel free to tag others 😊

KarenUK 😍😍😍 3y
64 likes1 comment
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IamIamIam
Girls of Riyadh | Marilyn Booth
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Pickpick

What an interesting book! This story is told via emails that are blasted through Saudi Arabia and follows 4 young girls on their journeys through failed relationships and some eventual happy endings. Quite informative and eye opening!!
#Booked2019 #MuslimAuthor #Summer
@Cinfhen @BarbaraTheBibliophage @4thhouseontheleft

alisiakae Sounds good! 4y
IamIamIam @4thhouseontheleft It's really frustrating, however, because of social norms and the relationships these women have. There's also a discussion on how different women and men adapt to and fight against these varying customs. It's a very different view than I'm used to! 4y
Cinfhen This sounds really interesting 3y
IamIamIam @Cinfhen I really liked it but try it in print. Since the chapters start with an email header, it was very confusing for about half the book. It was hard for me to move from the email to the story part of each chapter. Overall, a very interesting look at how the wealthy Saudi families live and their familial expectations! 3y
Cinfhen Thanks for that tip!! 3y
32 likes1 stack add5 comments
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IamIamIam
Girls of Riyadh | Marilyn Booth
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While interesting, this is really tough on audio. The chapters begin with emails and then the stories go forward but there are quotes and poems mixed in. I want to keep going but I'm having a tough time discerning what's what.

Avanders Yeah.. I know they don‘t want to “add” to books when narrating... but I feel like indicating when something‘s a thought, an email, etc., when it‘s not otherwise clear *audibly* would be really helpful sometimes!! 4y
IamIamIam @Avanders Exactly! Plus, this being translated, the author added asides to explain further, like dress items or what certain customs are called. I might have to grab the print coot. 4y
IamIamIam @Avanders Print copy... ugh, "send" is too close to "delete" ??? 4y
Avanders Oooh yeah, that would be helpful! Lol it happens 😂😂 4y
24 likes4 comments
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Literaturenut
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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Pickpick

Overall I enjoyed this book. I appreciated the author challenging some of the patriarchal aspects of Saudi society, but I did still feel like the book was full of internalized misogyny. #BookAboutFriendship #Booked2018 #19of36 #audiobook

BarbaraTheBibliophage Looks interesting! Just going to tag my cohosts here. @Cinfhen @4thhouseontheleft 4y
11 likes1 comment
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jveezer
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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Pickpick

This book was an amazing look into how Islam and Saudi society and institutions affect women‘s lives. It caused a sensation in the Arab world and I am thankful that the author saw fit to translate it to bring it to the English-speaking world. As we watch fundamentalism rolling back women‘s and other marginalized groups rights, it is important to see how those rights are in other countries as well, whether they are expanding or contracting.

Leftcoastzen I read it a few years ago and really liked it. 4y
6 likes1 comment
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jveezer
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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My pie-latte class today included a book and the beach...

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jveezer
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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First woman author from Saudi Arabia for me...from the Arabic, translated in part by the author! #ReadWide #ReadWomen #LiteratureInTranslation

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Librosycafe
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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Pickpick

The author shows how Girls of Riyadh face the social challenges of marriage, family, and the pressure to live life by their own rules.

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kricheal
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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Pickpick

The struggle of four friends navigating love, marriage and divorce in Saudi Arabia. I really like it!

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kricheal
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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Starting this on #audible next

37 likes1 stack add
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sofiaga
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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This week I finished several books I was reading at the same time, which means I am starting a couple of new books. I don't know anything about Saudi Arabia beyond what is said on the news, so I think it will be very interesting to read about it.

UrsulaMonarch I just heard about this book recently, would be interested to hear what you think! ☺️ 5y
10 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Magic_Kiwi
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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Pickpick

I ate this book up, purely because of the drama (sorry not sorry). I felt like it was very unrealistic compared to what is preserved in the media, but honestly I have no idea. If you're looking for a sex and the city vibe, pick this up ASAP! I honestly wish there was a sequel to this! 🙊

8 likes1 stack add
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Magic_Kiwi
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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Can I just say the "love interests" or at least most of them are jerks and I hope they never find happiness.
Someone please give these girls a happy life and someone that will love and treasure them???

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Megara
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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Pickpick

😭

I'm having an emotional book hangover right now.

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Africa_Reads
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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Pickpick

A very rare unique story about four friends and their relationship with each other, their families and their romantic encounters.

There was heartbreak, sweet romance, struggle between family members, fun. Basically this book had it all.

A lovely read.

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Magic_Kiwi
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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I'm having a love hate relationship with this book.
I feel like it's very unrealistic, but at the same time I'm eating up the girls stories.
I can see why they compare this book to sex and the city. It has similar elements.
My only complaint thus far is that are leaving out one of the characters! Where is Lamees?!?!
I'm curious to see where this will go🤔

11 likes1 stack add
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thereadingwomen
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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Pickpick

#ReadingWomenMonth day 10: #booksintranslation
One of the books we're featuring on the podcast this month is THE GIRLS OF RIYADH. Its the story of a group of friends told in an email list-serve style (hello early 2000s!). Hear my full review on the latest episode.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/reading-women/id1118019442?mt=2&i=1000386254...

DimeryRene The cover. 😍😍😍 5y
KirstyMcDougall Such a great read! 5y
sumaiyya.books Really did not like this book, and that's from someone who actually lives in Saudi 😒 5y
See All 8 Comments
thereadingwomen @sumaiyya.books I wondered about that. There are some mixed reviews online from people like you who actually live in Saudi. What about it did you not like? - A 5y
sumaiyya.books @thereadingwomen it's hard to explain. I felt the book cashes in a lot on western stereotypes about Saudi and gives a very one sided view of girls here. The things that happen in the book are real, but not as often as the book claims. It wasn't honest about what life is really like for the *majority* of girls living in Saudi, not just a few of the privileged. 5y
sumaiyya.books @thereadingwomen It would be wrong to expect one book to represent a wide spectrum of people within a society, but the book is being hailed as a true insight of life behind the Saudi women's veil - but it's not. 5y
thereadingwomen @sumaiyya.books I wondered about the privileged aspect. That's why I felt it was more of a "Gossip Girl" perspective, which would be upper class. GG absolutely does not represent the average American. Thanks for taking the time to explain. It's good, at least, to know it's accurate, if not representative. - A 5y
sumaiyya.books @thereadingwomen that is true! This brief discussion with you makes me want to read it again so I can look at it from a more mature perspective (I read it nearly 8-9 years ago) and review it critically, especially because it seems to be the go-to Saudi fiction for most readers. I should do that soon so we can discuss properly. ☺️ 5y
110 likes18 stack adds8 comments
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ValerieAndBooks
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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Novel #setinthemiddleeast that I don't think has been used yet for today's prompt. It's about wealthy, educated young women in Saudi Arabia trying to be above the old-fashioned customs of their country. It was controversial when it first came out. Not just because of the topic, but also because the author rejected the original English translation and chose to translate it herself. The result isn't always smooth, but I enjoyed it nevertheless.

Cinfhen Sounds fascinating and the cover 💘💘💘 6y
RealLifeReading Oh! Didn't know that about the translation! 6y
ValerieAndBooks @Cinfhen the photo doesn't do the cover justice! It doesn't show the metallic goldness ✨✨✨ 6y
See All 8 Comments
ValerieAndBooks @RealLifeReading there are even academic articles discussing the translation issues over this book. 🤷‍♀️ 6y
MyNamesParadise Awesome cover! I read an article that said since book covers are being designed creatively by publishers now, hardbacks are outselling ereaders and ebooks. Their sales peaked in 2014. 6y
ValerieAndBooks @MyNamesParadise yes I think it's a combination of readers missing the feel of real books, and aesthetics in cover design, that is helping this trend. For me, ebooks are great when I'm on the treadmill but that's it 😊. 6y
EllieDottie I read this last year and I thought the writing was pretty choppy, but I didn't know there was controversy over it! That is very interesting! 6y
ValerieAndBooks @EllieDottie I feel novels in translation often lose a lot from one language to another, so the story itself ends up being what keeps me going (or not). I enjoyed the peek in one aspect of this culture. 6y
83 likes3 stack adds8 comments
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cherrylee14
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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So excited to start this one!!!

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Carleneishere
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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Mehso-so

Clunky writing (forgivable, since it's translated from many different Arabic dialects), and interesting scenes, but I'm halfway through and there doesn't seem to be a real overarching plot. Recommended for anyone interested in Arab gender roles.

12 likes1 stack add
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RanaElizabeth
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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Blurbed as an Arabic Sex and the City, this could be super fun or super problematic. Let's read, friends, and see which it is to be.

8leagueboot The author of this book is so fascinating. She studied dentistry and then later became a stem-cell/neurology researcher in the States. Smart cookie! 6y
RanaElizabeth @8leagueboot Oh, that is interesting! I'm trying not to google stuff too much but I definitely want to look up the book's publication and reception in Saudia Arabia after I'm done. 6y
57 likes1 stack add3 comments
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EllieDottie
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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Mehso-so

This is the story of 4 girls in extremely upper class Riyadh. It is almost entirely focused on their relationships with men and doesn't ever really look at female friendships, which was a little bit of a disappointment to me. But overall if you like the tag line of experiencing sex and the city style story in a different culture, it'd be worth the read! Overall I am glad I read it!

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EllieDottie
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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My travel book as I head home!!

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Martta
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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Pickpick

Good book!

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olyvianne
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
Pickpick

The Get Booked podcast called this "Gossip Girl but in Saudi Arabia" and I'd say they hit the nail on the head.

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Amandajoy
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
Pickpick

I found the writing a little jerky at first but overall I enjoyed the story. It also provided an interesting look at feminism from another culture's perspective.

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Amandajoy
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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Found the perfect mug for me hiding in my friend's cupboard. Now for some quiet reading time while I wait for the rest of the partiers to wake up.

11 likes2 stack adds
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SeeJulieRead
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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As recommended on the @bookriot Get Booked podcast - my Saturday read!

LauraBytheBook Ooh, I heard this reviewed on the podcast too and wanted to add it to my tbr. Thanks for the reminder! 6y
5 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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Amandajoy
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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Moved this to the top of my TBR after last week's Get Booked episode!

Julsmarshall Me too! 6y
Sue Yes please! 6y
15 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Amanda
Girls of Riyadh | Rajaa Alsanea
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Loving this one!

StephAuteri That cover is gorgeous. 6y
Arabiatta Oh this was a good read! May have been a little exaggerated in parts but generally resonated strongly I think. 6y
Bree.Hill Omg! I lived in Riyadh for six months. Will definitely have to look for this. Loved the place 6y
57 likes18 stack adds3 comments