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Book Reviews

Butterfly by Yusra Mardini | Book #104 | Dec 2023

February 13, 2024

We read 12 fantastic books in 2023.

We were joined by 7 authors at our events - in London, Bristol or online.

We recorded the first season of The Books That Made Me podcast - listen to all the episodes.

You told us why RBC is the best nonfiction book club you can find + why join.

But first, read about our December book…

Journeys: Our 104th book - Butterfly by Yusra Mardini

About the book:  When war broke out in her native Syria, Yusra Mardini fled to the Turkish coast in 2015 and boarded a small dinghy full of refugees bound for Greece.

When the small and overcrowded boat's engine cut out, it began to sink. Instinctively, Yusra and her sister took to the treacherous open water and guided the boat for three and a half hours, helped by two other refugees, until they eventually landed on Lesbos, saving the lives of the passengers aboard.

Butterfly is the story of that remarkable woman, whose journey started in a war-torn suburb of Damascus and took her through Europe to Berlin and from there to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.

Why we chose it:

“An extraordinary tale of bravery, survival, and winsome, never-give-up moxie. It is impossible not to be won over by Yusra.”

- Khaled Hosseini

Wrapping up 2023’s year in non-fiction together

With a shorter window to finish the book pre-Christmas, we held our December online & in-person events in London, Bristol + Oxford. 

Online, we were joined by Dina Nayeri, author of RBC book #66, The Ungrateful Refugee, and her newer read, Who Gets Believed?, and by Dina Pasic from Second Tree, to talk about people forced to leave their home countries to find refuge.

We then met in-person, for our Big Fat Rebel Book Club Quiz 2023. Get a flavour for our London event by watching Jon’s TikToc recap at The Ministry.

Join us for our 2024 non-fiction reads!

If you’re not an RBC member yet


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