Recently I read a wonderful book that I highly recommend to you if you like coming of age type biographies with a little wit and a lot of heart.
The Perfect Gentleman: A Muslim Boy Meets the West is a delightful read. Written by Imran Ahmed who is born in Pakistan in 1962 and shortly thereafter his family moves to London. Both witty and poignant Imran's family witnesses first hand discrimination and the lack of understanding of the Muslim faith but they never seem to waiver from their beliefs or their good nature. Imran questions not only the Western worlds understanding of Islam but his own understanding of the Christianity and is always asking himself weighty questions. The book is not heavily religious but is more about a boy trying to navigate through a culture that is familiar but at the same time foreign to his core beliefs.
Imran's questions and antics will sometimes make you laugh; like his quest to be cool like James Bond but without alcohol, cigarettes, or a Jaguar; sometimes make you cringe, how can my religion be so wrong and how can I keep myself from going to hell. Often you have the urge to shout at him "study your chemistry" as you see him fall further behind in his studies all the while pursuing the woman of his dreams who isn't exactly in tune with those same dreams!
Imran uses his wry whit and his unique perception to take you on an enjoyable ride as he navigates his way through childhood and adolescence. He's a typical boy in a not so typical world and his explanations of the differences between Islam and Christianity are spot on in my book. Definitely socially relevant for our time.
A must read if you're looking for a book you won't be able to put down and are sad at the end because you wish it were a few hundred pages longer.
The Perfect Gentleman