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Safar 1442 Book Club Pick — A Review & A Short Discussion

Bismillahi ar-rahmani ar-rahim

Assalamu aleikum waramatulahi wabarakatuhu everyone!

The Review...

More Myself by Alicia Keys is a-272-page personal biographical account of artist, composer and songwriter Alicia Keys. Born Alicia Augello-Cook to an African American father and an Italian mother, she is a very eclectic person. An introvert but also a social activist, she is a nurturing mother and an inspiring person.

In addition, Her memoir is well-written and a good read. It grapples with her growth; mind, body and soul. You would think that such a person has it all figured out but like every other normal human being, she is on her own personal journey. She shares her highs and lows with the reader in an effortless and fluid manner which makes the book an easy read.

While More Myself is a compilations of snapshots of major turning points in her life, we also have personal accounts of people she has worked with who strongly vouch for her with concise feel-good snippets in every chapter. They include honest testaments about Alicia from Oprah Winfrey, First Lady Michelle Obama, Jay-Z, her first and ex-boyfriend, her husband Swizz, and America Ferrara just to name a few. All testifying of her good character.

That said, the anger of Alicia is still very palpable between the lines of the pages regardless of the positive vibe she emanates or tries to upload in my opinion. She does a good job at keeping her anger in check to maintain her half-glass philosophy on the regular. That said, she has a lot to be mad about; police brutality, black people history erasure, wealth disparities, health challenges in Africa, etc.

More Myself also has many beautiful quotes. It's simply soulful, relatable, and beautifully written. While Alicia Augello-Cook is married to Swizz— A Muslim Rapper, the book doesn't delve in those touchy subjects. Keys is a polytheist but one who is very connected to her spiritual side. Loved the concepts that giving too much gatekeeping power to people who work for you is very toxic to an artist and a free spirit. We couldn't agree more. She also reminds the reader to ignore people’s judgements of oneself, to have boundaries, to remember that creating art is a way to grieve and express oneself, to say “no” often for self-care purposes, that losing anonymity is a downside of her business, to value privacy, to give back, to keep your love life your business to avoid looking fickle and foolish when it fails, that death is a wake up call for the living, and that finally we are here on earth for one another. It’s true we are here to know one another and worship the one true God.

One thing to take away from More Myself overall is this: Trust your instincts (fitra in Muslim Vernacular) and keep your authentic side intact and don't be or become a people pleaser.

A Favorite Quote: "The magic in any art is not only in its technique but in its authenticity."— Alicia Keys

Rating: 4/5

The Short Discussion...

1. What did you like most?

PF: I found it very relatable.

Other Reader 1: The book has a lot of inspiring quotes.

Other Reader 2: More Myself touches on many subjects such as feminism, race, social issues, etc.

2. What gave you pause?

PF: The fact that the faith of her husband is not even glossed on in the book. Surely, that creates a bit of marital tension. But I get it, the book is about her not him.

OR1: Nothing that I can think of.

OR2: N/A

3. What didn't you like?

PF: The things I didn't like also border on the things that gave me pause.

OR1: N/A

OR2: N/A

4. What are your other thoughts?

PF: I mainly shared them in the review.

OR1: It's a wonderful self-discovery booster. I loved it!

OR2: I simply highly recommend it.

Thank you for tuning in and reading. Dear Readers & Members, see you in

Rabi-I 1442 AH insha'Allah.

Our Usual Book Club Questions Are:

1. What did you like most?

2. What gave you pause?

3. What didn't you like?

4. What are your other thoughts?

5. What question (s) do you have for the author(s)?

6. What questions about the book(s) do you have for the moderator or other members of the discussion(s)?

We look forward to hearing from you.

G E T  I N  T O U C H !


Books, Teas & Coffees

Until next time, subhanaka Allahumma wa-bihamdika ash-hadu anla ilaha illa anta as-taghfiruka wa atoobu ilayka. (O Allah, You are free from every imperfection; praise be to You. I testify that there is no true god except You; I ask Your Pardon and turn to You in repentance.) Aameen.


The Fofky's Book Club

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