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The Thirty Names of Night
The Thirty Names of Night: A Novel | Zeyn Joukhadar
17 posts | 9 read | 1 reading | 27 to read
The author of the vivid and urgentimportant and timely (The New York Times Book Review) debut The Map of Salt and Stars returns with this remarkably moving and lyrical novel following three generations of Syrian Americans who are linked by a mysterious species of bird and the truths they carry close to their hearts. Five years after a suspicious fire killed his ornithologist mother, a closeted Syrian American trans boy sheds his birth name and searches for a new one. He has been unable to paint since his mothers ghost has begun to visit him each evening. As his grandmothers sole caretaker, he spends his days cooped up in their apartment, avoiding his neighborhood masjid, his estranged sister, and even his best friend (who also happens to be his longtime crush). The only time he feels truly free is when he slips out at night to paint murals on buildings in the once-thriving Manhattan neighborhood known as Little Syria. One night, he enters the abandoned community house and finds the tattered journal of a Syrian American artist named Laila Z, who dedicated her career to painting the birds of North America. She famously and mysteriously disappeared more than sixty years before, but her journal contains proof that both his mother and Laila Z encountered the same rare bird before their deaths. In fact, Laila Zs past is intimately tied to his mothersand his grandmothersin ways he never could have expected. Even more surprising, Laila Zs story reveals the histories of queer and transgender people within his own community that he never knew. Realizing that he isnt and has never been alone, he has the courage to officially claim a new name: Nadir, an Arabic name meaning rare. As unprecedented numbers of birds are mysteriously drawn to the New York City skies, Nadir enlists the help of his family and friends to unravel what happened to Laila Z and the rare bird his mother died trying to save. Following his mothers ghost, he uncovers the silences kept in the name of survival by his own community, his own family, and within himself, and discovers the family that was there all along. Featuring Zeyn Joukhadars signature magical and heart-wrenching (The Christian Science Monitor) storytelling, The Thirty Names of Night is a timely exploration of how we all search for and ultimately embrace who we are.
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KelsiTaylor
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Pickpick

Probably one of the most beautifully written books I‘ve ever read. This book covers so many topics, ornithology, grief, identity, immigration, belonging, and it doesn‘t gloss over any of them. They‘re all handled and discussed beautifully. 10/10
Thanks for the recommendation @kera_11 . I‘ll probably give this back at some point.

kera_11 I want it back immediately 4w
6 likes1 stack add1 comment
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psalva
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Pickpick

Finn says, “Read this book. It‘s got so many birds in it!” — I couldn‘t resist adding a cat photo to this post. Honestly, this was a treasure of a read. The split narrative reminded me of a tapestry and the way the ornithological symbolism was woven throughout was lovely. There was so much depth to this novel that I know it will end up being a reread for me, maybe even later this year.

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psalva
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I‘ve been having a slow start to my reading month, and this book is part of the reason. Don‘t get me wrong. I‘m thoroughly enjoying it so far. However, it‘s got this narrative style that just makes me slow down, wanting to savor it. In addition, it‘s been hard to get into anything else because this story is just inhabiting my mind. I have about 60 pages left so I‘m going to try to finish this today.

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kera_11
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Laila Z is a Syrian-American artist who paints birds and though she disappeared sixty years ago, a closeted trans boy who doesn‘t yet know his name, found evidence that Laila saw the same unidentified bird his mom did, and was trying to prove existed before she died. following his mom‘s ghost, he goes on a journey to find himself, his name, validate his mom‘s work and find how Laila is connected to not only his mother, but his grandmother.

kera_11 from the characters, their stories and their relationships to the lyrical prose, everything about this book is beautiful 2mo
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monalyisha
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Choices, choices…

Clare-Dragonfly One Last Stop! 11mo
Clare-Dragonfly Especially as you mentioned a concern about the sex in your last book being very hetero. This book is very not hetero 😉 11mo
monalyisha @Clare-Dragonfly It‘s not a concern of mine, actually. Just a heads-up for anyone who might not prefer that. Lots of descriptions of swinging penises in that last one. That‘s not something you want to…spring on someone. 😅 (edited) 11mo
See All 6 Comments
DivineDiana I‘ve only read “The Summer Before the War”. I liked it, and I like reading a book during its season. 🙂 11mo
Erinreadsthebooks The Five Wounds is a special, special book! ❤️💯 11mo
thebookienook I keep eyeing OLS on my bookshelf. Definitely need to pick it up soon! 10mo
64 likes6 comments
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Lindy
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Pickpick

Alternating storylines in two timeframes, both told in 2nd person diary format, about three generations of Syrian Americans. Queer artists and ornithologists. This epic tale endeared itself to me more and more as I listened to the #audiobook read by Samy Figaredo and Lameece Issaq. Stonewall award + Lambda Transgender Fiction award. #Trans #LGBTQ

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Lindy
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Even memory begins to cut if you hold onto it too tight.

BookishMarginalia Cool pic 11mo
Lindy @BookishMarginalia A forest fire went through this stretch of the Alaska Highway just a few weeks ago. It was bleak driving through there yesterday. 11mo
34 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Nutmegnc
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Lambda Literary Award finalist! I‘m so intrigued and I can‘t wait to dive in!!

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ErraticElle
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Pickpick

A rich & complicated book with a lot going on. A colorful & intimate exploration of sexuality & community. Sometimes a heart-wrenching read, but also a necessarily slow one. The writing is lyrical & beautiful, displaying emotion in a very moving way, but there are moments where it can be convoluted & confusing. My own naivety likely made things more difficult. A second read would likely result in a higher rating. It's just so very much to process.

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Soubhiville
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Pickpick

I tried to start this a few weeks ago, but with the insanity of holiday work it was too complicated. I almost bailed altogether, but decided to throw it in my Bookspin mix and try to get back to it. It was drawn for my #doublespin, and I‘m so glad.

At first I was confused about the two POV characters, and the lyrical prose was off putting. Then as both characters began to bloom, I was obsessed with getting the rest of the story.

Beautiful 🤩

Soubhiville January‘s #doublespin 1y
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 1y
Soubhiville This was also the December #FantasticStrangelings book. 1y
Linsy Good to know! I‘ve been curious 1y
72 likes3 stack adds5 comments
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StellarDoc
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Mmmmmm. Now I'm hungry.

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StellarDoc
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Lazy morning with #Loki.

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Soubhiville
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My next #FantasticStrangelings book club read came today! Hooray for #bookmail! I love the bookmark they included this time. Jenny Lawson‘s adorable dog Dorothy Barker is pictured on the reverse, along with a list of all the books the club read this year.

This book sounds great, I can‘t wait to dive in. And I love the cover!

Eyelit I got mine today as well! :-) 2y
StellarDoc I got mine yesterday! 2y
Soubhiville @StellarDoc @Eyelit yay! It‘ll be my next read 😊 2y
StellarDoc @Soubhiville Probably mine too! 2y
56 likes4 comments
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Cinfhen
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Pickpick

This wasn‘t an easy read, there‘s a lot going on and unfortunately I rushed through, when I probably should‘ve taken my time to get lost in the evocative dreamy prose. A woman of Syrian descent is both mourning the loss of her mother, an ornithologist, and of herself as she sheds her old skin to make room as a new fledgling. As her NY neighborhood is transforming a mysterious phenomenon is also occurring , birds dropping from the sky👇🏽

Cinfhen I don‘t do well with magical realism but this story worked for me. It had the quality of a fever dream, where the truth and fiction are blurred. This was my #DoubleSpin and an #ARC @TheAromaofBooks 2y
CBee I have the same Kindle cover 😁 2y
Cinfhen Parts of this book, especially the author‘s note really leaves an emotional impact and I had the sense that certain passages were autobiographical. 2y
See All 13 Comments
TheAromaofBooks Great review!!! 2y
Cinfhen So does @AmyG and I want to say maybe @robinb too @CBee it‘s a HAPPY COVER 🌹🌷🌻🌹🌷🌻 2y
Cinfhen Thanks @TheAromaofBooks xx loosey-goosey finishes before the clock strikes midnight 😁 2y
TheAromaofBooks hehe I'm even willing to let you read until I draw December's numbers, so you still have probably 36 hours of solid reading time 😂 2y
Cinfhen I kind of suspected that!! Good to know for future reference 🥰 @TheAromaofBooks (edited) 2y
CBee @TheAromaofBooks Sarah, if I‘ve already started a book that‘s on my bingo list, will it count for December? I started it and got hooked before I realized 😂🤦‍♀️ 2y
CBee @Cinfhen it IS 😁♥️ 2y
robinb Now I‘m crushing on your Kindle cover, Cindy...I don‘t have that one. 😂 I‘ll post a pic of mine for you. 😉 (edited) 2y
TheAromaofBooks @CBee - I'm usually willing to let it slide 😂 Ask @Cinfhen - I'm pretty loosey-goosey with the rules!! 😆 You can also replace it with a different book if you'd rather, it's up to you!! 2y
CBee @TheAromaofBooks okay! I‘ll let you know what I decide 😁 2y
74 likes3 stack adds13 comments
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Cinfhen
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#ARC #NetGalley #DoubleSpin It‘s good but I‘ve seen mixed reviews so keeping my expectations low. Gorgeous prose. Hoping to complete before the month ends 🤞🏽( which is about 12 hours from now) 😜

BethM This is a lovely pic! 2y
Cinfhen Thanks @BethM I love the way it turned out too 💜 2y
80 likes2 comments
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Jerdencon
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Thanks for the tag @Coleen_Nieto
1. Im not a big fan of autumn but enjoy the leaves changing
2. I just finished the Searcher by Tana French had some good descriptions of fall scenes
3. Tagged book and just got anxious people ebook waiting for me to start!

#wondeouswednesday @SaturnDoo @Bookwormjillk @robinb @BookishBelle @Eggs

Eggs Thanks for joining in 📚👏🏻 2y
33 likes1 comment
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ChaoticMissAdventures
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The author is a Trans Arab American man, and this is an #ownVoices read.
And what a gorgeous cover. The story is if a Trans man after his mother (an ornithologist) dies, and during his transition. Where "The only time he feels truly free is when he slips out at night to paint murals on buildings in the once-thriving Manhattan neighborhood known as Little Syria"

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