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The Queue
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
Set against the backdrop of a failed political uprising, The Queue is a chilling debut that evokes Orwellian dystopia, Kafkaesque surrealism, and a very real vision of life after the Arab Spring.In a surreal, but familiar, vision of modern day Egypt, a centralized authority known as the Gate has risen to power in the aftermath of the Disgraceful Events, a failed popular uprising. Citizens are required to obtain permission from the Gate in order to take care of even the most basic of their daily affairs, yet the Gate never opens, and the queue in front of it grows longer. Citizens from all walks of life mix and wait in the sun: a revolutionary journalist, a sheikh, a poor woman concerned for her daughters health, and even the brother of a security officer killed in clashes with protestors. Among them is Yehia, a man who was shot during the Events and is waiting for permission from the Gate to remove a bullet that remains lodged in his pelvis. Yehias health steadily declines, yet at every turn, officials refuse to assist him, actively denying the very existence of the bullet. Ultimately it is Tarek, the principled doctor tending to Yehias case, who must decide whether to follow protocol as he has always done, or to disobey the law and risk his career to operate on Yehia and save his life. Written with dark, subtle humor, The Queue describes the sinister nature of authoritarianism, and illuminates the way that absolute authority manipulates information, mobilizes others in service to it, and fails to uphold the rights of even those faithful to it.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Liz_M
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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Pickpick

After “the Disgraceful Event“, Yehia queues outside The Gate to ask for treatment for an injury received. Told from multiple viewpoints, mostly Yehia a doctor, but also Yehia's girlfriend, and other people in the queue. Inspired by post-Arab Spring events, it‘s a clever blend of dystopia, absurdism and Kafka. But it is conveyed dispassionately. We hear the character's thoughts, but don‘t feel their emotions. An intriguing, if not compelling read.

BarbaraBB Clever but dispassionately, that is so true. I wish I could have said it like that! 5mo
Librarybelle Great review! 5mo
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vivastory Wonderful review 👏 Between yours @BarbaraBB review I think I'm going to try to squeeze this one in this week 5mo
Liz_M @vivastory 👍 5mo
37 likes6 comments
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BarbaraBB
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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Mehso-so

Another tough read. A kind of Kafka in #Egypt. Governments and bureaucracy are hidden behind a gate and people are queuing to ask their questions and requests for all kinds of basic human rights. The gate never opens though and people spend their lives just waiting in line.

#pop22 #NameOfABoardGameInTitle #FoodAndLit #ReadingAfrica2022 🇪🇬
#19822022 #2016 #52BooksIn52weeks #AuthorWithXYZinTheirName

Librarybelle Look at all of those challenge prompts for this one!! 5mo
squirrelbrain Wow, so many prompts! Shame about the book…. 😬 5mo
Megabooks Sad because it sounds good in theory. Sometimes execution is everything! 5mo
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vivastory This has been on my shelves forever... 5mo
BarbaraBB @vivastory No rush needed if you ask me, but maybe @Liz_M review makes you think differently! 5mo
Liz_M 😉Book twins! 5mo
Reggie Oof, sounds rough. 5mo
87 likes8 comments
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Awolfe
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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Pickpick

Aziz‘s dystopia is a chilling insight into government corruption.

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nelehelen
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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Pickpick

Translated from the Arabic, THE QUEUE by Basma Abdel Aziz is a short dystopian novel that explores the psychology of authoritarianism. After the Gate assumes power in an unnamed Middle Eastern City, citizens have to wait in a queue to gain permission for even their most basic necessities. I loved the symbolism of the queue for democracy, or the pursuit of it. I did wish that the Gate was explored more and the characters a bit more developed.

coffees Oh wow this sounds interesting!! 2y
nelehelen @crimson613 it really was! 2y
35 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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ChasingOm
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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Yikes! Today got away from me! #IntegrateYourShelf

This week, I wanted to look for African translations for #WomenInTranslation month; apparently, that is a hard to find task! A lot of authors in Africa are published in English first rather than any regional language. The tagged book has been on my TBR for years though, so maybe this year...

If you can't find a translated text, tag one of your favorite African authors who identifies as a woman.

ErinSBecker Unity Dow is a supreme court justice in Botswana. She's written several novels. This is the first I read and it was great. Not for the faint of heart, in case you couldn't tell by the title. 2y
ErinSBecker Also Malla Nunn, a mystery novelist and screenwriter from South Africa and Eswatini. 2y
ChasingOm Ooh, thanks @ErinSBecker!! 2y
26 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Geeklet
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
Pickpick

This was an interesting dystopian book. I‘m not sure if I‘d put it on a list with the greats of the genre but sometimes, you need the perspective that time allows to realize how well those books stand. I really enjoyed reading an Arabic take on the genre. I would recommend this one to anyone who enjoys a good depressing dystopian book.

Heatherfeather "a good depressing dystopian book" hahahaha 3y
Geeklet @Heatherfeather Right? No one wants a happy dystopian book! 🤣 3y
29 likes2 comments
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Geeklet
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz

Starting book 4 for the Tome Infinity and Beyond round three readathon! The Queue is my pick for a read from Africa because the author is from Egypt. This has been a really fun readathon!

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Lindy
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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Pickpick

Surreal satire, with dark—very dark—humour that left me in despair for the future of humanity. Individuals are sometimes altruistic & help each other but what can be done against the greater power of authoritarianism? Maybe the bleakness prompted me to rate this 4 stars on Goodreads last night but I realized today that I‘ll never forget it, so 5 stars it is.
#Translation by Elisabeth Jaquette. #Audiobook superbly narrated by Mark Bramhall.

batsy Wonderful review. This has been on my TBR for awhile but I've been reluctant—dystopias hit too close to home lately. 3y
Lindy @batsy follow up: I decided to read another middle eastern setting, but this time I'm going with escapist fantasy: (edited) 3y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa I love the face on your audiobook walker sticker! And yes, dystopians are getting harder to read, some nonfiction for me too, I don‘t think we really realize how toxic the current environment really is to all of us. 3y
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Lindy @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I find myself struggling to maintain a satisfactory level of mental health while keeping my heart open and compassionate, and, at the same time, keeping up-to-date with current events. What I read definitely affects my mood, so it's unfortunate that I'm drawn to dark stories. 3y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Lindy I completely understand! I feel like I need to stay on top of current events, and know what is going on...but yet it can be a real struggle with maintaining mental health....and some of my escapist readings don‘t seem to be as escapist anymore. 3y
46 likes2 stack adds6 comments
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Lindy
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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I finished The Queue at 9:30 last night, the 30th book I read in August. Looking back on these covers, I realize that I haven't reviewed them all yet on Litsy. Watch for a lot of activity from me because I will try to catch up today. #AugustReadingStats

MelissaSue81 Lol, I finished my last book (23) at 11:50pm or something last night. Just made it! Great month for you!! 3y
Lindy @MelissaSue81 Feels good to get one in under the wire, right? 😁 3y
47 likes2 comments
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Lindy
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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So I shut up and hold out a one-pound note, but he throws it on the ground, snatches back both pieces of bread, and shouts at me, 'We don't have any bread! And don't come back!”

48 likes1 stack add
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mreads
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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Citizens #walklikeegyptians every day to queue in front of the Gate for permission for the most basic needs, the line grows longer but the gate never opens.
Great novel about the sinister nature of authoritarianism, illuminates the way that absolute authority manipulates information, mobilizes others in service to it, and fails to uphold the rights of even those faithful to it.

#wanderingjune @Cinfhen @BarbaraBB

BarbaraBB Egyptian dystopian, sounds very intriguing. Have you read it? 3y
Geeklet I just got this book last week. I‘m waiting for a readathon to read it. It sounds fascinating. 3y
mreads @BarbaraBB @Geeklet I've read it, it's very good. The author background is interesting shes an Egyptian journalist and psychiatrist who treated torture victims at a center in Cairo, and continued that work even after the center was raided and closed by authorities. 3y
batsy Great blurb and pick... I've had this on my TBR for far too long! 3y
BarbaraBB Okay you‘ve sold it! #stacked 3y
47 likes1 stack add5 comments
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lkurgs
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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About halfway through the book written by the amazing Basma Abdel Aziz and I am really enjoying the story. It‘s a dystopian novel and reminds me of “1984”. It‘s also been a goal of mine to read more works by non-western authors. I welcome recommendations! #currentlyreading (recommended to me by @JeannieReads )

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TheBookAddict
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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Mehso-so

What?!? Ok, this got a so-so because of the ending...it‘s a good story otherwise. Anyone who‘s read it help me out in understanding the ending, please!

Another book finished during the #24b42019.

#litsyAtoZ2018 #endofyearreadingcrunch #Q #abecedarianTBR #diverseauthors #diversebooks #femaleauthor

Even #TwinkyToles is confused. #catsoflitsy #littenkitten #readingbuddy #gingerbrat #mybrat #Tolesbrats

BeansPage Very nice! 3y
Andrew65 Great! 👍😊 3y
38 likes2 comments
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TheBookAddict
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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Forgot to post this last night. I‘m hoping to finish this book tonight. #readathon #24b42019 #endofyearreadingcrunch #LitsyAtoZ #Q #AbecedarianTBR #diversebooks #diverseauthors

Andrew65 Right on track for 24 hours 👍😊 3y
34 likes1 comment
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TheBookAddict
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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47 likes1 stack add
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morgan_lionheart
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
Mehso-so

The concept was good, but the story rambled pointlessly.... This would have been better as a short story.

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Literaturenut
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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Pickpick

Chilling and apropos in light of the current administration.
#SetInTheMiddleEast #MiddleEasternAuthor #GetReading2018 #18of36 #audiobook

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Kammbia1
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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Thanks to @ReadingEnvy for recommending this one! I heard it on her podcast #79 and I found it interesting. I will admit that I have OD on dystopian fiction but it seems that The Queue comes at it from a different perspective like Station Eleven. I hope it is!

ReadingEnvy I think it has more similarities to Kafka than anything else...also hi! Thank you for listening. :) 4y
Kammbia1 @ReadingEnvy You are welcome. I was writing not that it is similar to Station Eleven but it comes at Dystopian Fiction from a different perspective. I have read a lot of dystopian fiction over the years and if there‘s a new angle or perspective then I‘m intrigued. 4y
TrishB What a cover 👍🏻 4y
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ReadingEnvy @Kammbia1 totally... And it's another one that feels very present day, as if dystopia is just one bad decision aay.. 4y
Kammbia1 @TrishB It is an interesting cover. 4y
Kammbia1 @ReadingEnvy I got my hold from the library here in San Antonio for this novel. I will start reading it tomorrow. 😊👍🏿 4y
12 likes6 comments
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Read66
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
Pickpick

The writing here was a like a slow burn that snuck up on me - a powerful story about citizens learning to cope in a country that has become autocratic.

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ladyneverwhere
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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#amreading The Queue by Basma Abdel Aziz, loving the characters and the writing

rather_be_reading welcome to litsy!! 📚🎉📚 @LitsyWelcomeWagon 4y
RaimeyGallant Welcome! 4y
3 likes2 comments
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roneea
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz

https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2018/mar/01/translators-vanguard-lit... A great article about the worth of books in translation with some recommendations. Happy Friday!

5 likes1 stack add
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sarahjane1077
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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Up next! Can‘t wait to get started on this one. I need a novel after such heavy reading (We Were 8 Years in Power.) #TBR #amreading #readwomen

7 likes1 stack add
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TheAnitaAlvarez
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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There‘s another really cute shark in my tea today!

hermyknee 😍 4y
starlight97 And the mug... *___* 4y
Bertha_Mason I loved that book. I hope you enjoy it too. 4y
TheAnitaAlvarez @starlight97 the Little Prince is an institution in this household 4y
TheAnitaAlvarez @Bertha_Mason it reminds me of Kafka a little 4y
110 likes5 comments
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TheAnitaAlvarez
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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Look at the cute shark infusing my tea!

FlowerFairy 😍 4y
SandyW Cute and shark, two words I never thought to hear in the same sentence. 😂 4y
106 likes1 stack add2 comments
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kgriffith
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
This post contains spoilers
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Mehso-so

I‘m glad this one was only ~6 hours, I really wanted to enjoy it but it fell short of my hopes by a long ways. The concept is good, there‘s an element of creativity I appreciate, but execution lacked anything to really engage me and the end felt less deliberate and more like a cop-out.

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kgriffith
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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Struggling through the last minutes of this one, but at least I have delicious food and drinks?

Valink Wait, I never thought to put the everything seasoning on the cream cheese!! This is bringing it to the next level!! 4y
kgriffith @Valink So much better than when the stuff is all on the outside of the bagel and falls off everywhere! 4y
OceanStateM Everything Bagel! I recognized it even without the bottle there. 💚 4y
kgriffith @OceanStateM You did end up buying it last night, right?? 4y
21 likes4 comments
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kgriffith
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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I wish I had something I knew I‘d enjoy waiting in the wings; if I had, I‘d Nancy P this one. It‘s all character development which I usually love, but I need more about the world in order to feel the tension that should be building. The narrator isn‘t helping, he‘s basically just reading the book aloud. 😕

Lindy 😕 4y
16 likes1 comment
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kgriffith
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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Sadly finished the existing eps of The Penumbra Podcast today and needed something that wasn‘t too heavy or demanding of my attention. Cloud Library has been a giant fail for the most part since my library switched to it, but found a couple of titles today that may not suck. We shall see.

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Valeka
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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Saturday afternoon coffee and a read.

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Valeka
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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At home with a sick puppy. I read to her and she fell asleep.

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I hope she feels better soon 🐶❤️ 4y
kspenmoll Hope she is better soon! 4y
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Valeka Thank you @kspenmoll ! 💖 4y
VeganCleopatra Oh no! I hope she feels better now. 4y
Valeka Thank you @VeganCleopatra! Matilda finally got over her tummy issues. 💖 4y
VeganCleopatra I'm glad to hear it! 4y
16 likes7 comments
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Valeka
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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Sounds eerily familiar...

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Valeka
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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Working on my own writing and reading a little bit this Sunday afternoon. #bookriotreadharderchallenge #writerslife

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parasolofdoom
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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1. Give me Doritos over Cheetos
2. The Queue (6 books down so far)
3. Solo parenting stir crazy kids while husband is at work
4. Speak every language
5. I'm only a high school graduate

@jesshowbooks

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parasolofdoom
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
Pickpick

A bureaucratic dystopia that wonderfully shows the effects of beating down the population by simply making the red tape impossible to unsnarl or cut through. It was chilling in it's realistic portrayal, not of uprising, but of a people that can't do anything but become numb to the government's ever closing fist.

9 likes1 stack add
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parasolofdoom
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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It's a balmy 20 degrees so I'm having a quick drink in the garage with my Kindle 😂. I neeeeed my quiet space, the cold front was killing me.

britt_brooke 😆👏🏻🍻 4y
parasolofdoom @britt_brooke I have my space heater, I'm good 😂 4y
20 likes2 comments
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parasolofdoom
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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Starting this for my A entry in #LitsyAtoZ. Shaping up to be a good one! Image from https://arablit.org/2017/08/31/basma-abdel-aziz-on-writing-the-queue/

Notafraidofwords This one is nuts. 4y
13 likes1 comment
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tstan
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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Pickpick

In an unnamed, probably Egyptian city, people are told to line up outside the Gate whenever they need government paperwork done. But the Gate never opens. Meanwhile, the movements of certain citizens are tracked constantly, and people are disappearing, but no visible government officials, just edicts. This was very disturbing- those in the queue didn‘t consider protesting, or even leaving. Even more scary: the events in this could easily happen.

BarbaraBB Great review. You got me interested! 4y
5 likes1 comment
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Ashley_Nicoletto
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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At one point this morning I was all "I'm going to go for a run today."

Plans change. ???‍♀️

Side note: baileys side eye. ???

Leelee.reads I woke up, looked at my clock, considered my original plans, and thought, "Nah..." It's a good day to sleep in! 5y
MicheleinPhilly Still hasn't forgiven you for that faux pizza. 5y
Ashley_Nicoletto @Leelee.reads Yes! We've been doing nothing but snoozing and reading and eating. 5y
65 likes3 comments
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Ashley_Nicoletto
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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Easy like Sunday morning.

😍🍳🍞😍

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Ashley_Nicoletto
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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Drove the 40 minutes home from the boyfriend's house this morning to realize that I left my house keys there and had to go back.

I earned this coffee. Just going to stay here awhile. 🤷🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️

Redwritinghood Definitely earned. Enjoy! 5y
67 likes1 comment
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Giovannacb
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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Day 2 of the #Riotgrams challenge ! Yellow star of yellow covers 🌞🌟

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prowlix
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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Happy Easter Littens! Mine is starting early with coffee and hoping to finish this one! It's so weird but so wonderful 💗

31 likes1 stack add
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prowlix
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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#bookishconfession - does anyone else see short author bios like this and then immediately want to know more about them? I may (hypothetically) accidentally Internet stalk because I think someone's really badass but feel creepy later!? Please say I'm not the only one? 😳

Laura317 @prowlix You're not alone at all! I do it on occasion when I fall in love with writer's work. I always want to know why they wrote what they did. 5y
33 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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prowlix
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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This has been on my tbr for almost a year after hearing about it on Bookriot and I'm finally starting it! Anything being called Orwellian is in my wheelhouse

#translation #Arabic

Notafraidofwords I read it. And it's a mind bending story. 5y
Alicia I remember hearing about this too! Sounds so good! 5y
prowlix @Notafraidofwords so far it's so weird but great! I can definitely see the Orwell comparisons 5y
prowlix @Alicia if you like dystopian with a creepy government, then you should definitely check it out! It's starting great 5y
35 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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sherrynuts
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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Babysitting the collator in the Print Shop instead of reading like I want to be, but it's almost lunch time!

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sherrynuts
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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"Politics had eaten away at people's heads until they in turn had begun to devour one another." I just started this political fiction book based on life after the Arab Spring and it feels like it could be talking about life here in the United States as well.

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Heidsalot
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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Pickpick

A picture of the ludicrousness that comes with totalitarianism. And I do mean ludicrousness. Be prepared.

10 likes1 stack add
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Heidsalot
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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Really enjoying this dystopia from Egypt. Bonus: it's by a kick-ass lady! #recommendsday

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Heidsalot
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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Watch out for those wily females who encourage people to think!!!

TrishB 😂😂 5y
6 likes1 comment