29 Jun

19th #KHIBookSwap Meeting

For April, our ‘Book of the Month’ was ‘And Then There were None‘ by Agatha Cristie . At the 19th #KHIBookSwap meeting we discussed ‘And Then There were None’ book and our memebers shared their review as for Fiza Mari she didn’t read the book so she shared the review of Reflections of a Man by Amari Soul.

Review by Noor Unnahar

“A mystery so unpredictable and tangled; one could never guess who was the murderer. And Then There Were None is one of the finest mysteries I have ever read. There were many characters in the story and it seemed like I would lose the hold over their specific characteristics but the story is brilliantly weaved together and it never became a problem. 5/5 I would recommend it to every crime thriller/mystery genre enthusiastic.”

Review by Me

Beautiful twists and turns. Subtle clues. Well developed characterizations, especially for having so many characters and so little time to dive into backgrounds. Just enough insight to the minds of the characters, just enough of a view from the top to keep you guessing, but not enough to make it perfectly predictable. I love how Agatha Christie kept this novel quick and easy to read. She’s the British expert of mystery, suspense, and crime solving.”

Review of Reflections of a Man by Fiza Mari

“In the book the author encourages both the men and the women. For the women he says that a woman should always know her worth and she continuously reevaluate her standards and she should never settle herself for anything less which she doesn’t deserve. And it’s okay to be single when the right man will come she would know the difference. For the men, the author doesn’t only encourages the men but he also gives a very clear insight about what a woman really wants from her man. And how men should take care of women, respect them, spend time with them and most importantly love and treat them the way they deserve.”

This is our group photo from that day.

19th #Khibookswap meeting

 

Written by Farman Shams Co-founder of #KHIBookSwap

21 May

Word Inc. Vol. 1

Word Inc. is a place where people who love books, and people who love to write, come together. They tell tales, recite poetry and speak their hearts out. Long, short, spontaneous, designed. Doesn’t matter. Everything is included.

Recently we selected ‘Share Your Writings’ as our topic of the month and our members shared their prose and poetry. We have received so many submissions that we decided to put them all in a magazine with other news about our book club. So I hope you’ll love reading it. This will be our annual issue.

If you want to contribute, kindly share your prose or poetry at khibookswap@gmail.com

Written by Farman Shams Co-founder of #KHIBookSwap

05 May

18th #KHIBookSwap Meeting

For March, our ‘Book of the Month’ was Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. At the 18th #KHIBookSwap meeting we discussed Dark Places and our members shared its review.

 

Review by Hiba

Flynn wrote a perfect thought afloat in her well thought out character, Libby’s mind: “It was surprising that you could spend hours in the middle of the night pretending things were okay, and know in thirty seconds of daylight that simply wasn’t so.” Dark Places, though a good read cannot beat Gone Girl a great novel which even the movie did justice to, shooting every scene as depicted in the book and with Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike being the perfect cast choice. Now a motion picture, featuring Charlize Theron (well she is pretty tall and Libby is supposed to be 4 feet something – a good choice of actress still), Dark Places is set to awe the audience.

Also, unlike Gone Girl, Dark Places was pretty predictable, though with a sudden, unexpected twist at the end. The story might end up being a little drag by the its mid but would soon gain pace after that, thus becoming a page turner. Also, the past flash backs would keep you impatient about whatever is happening in the present life, that is, the next chapter. A lot of readers would tell you that Ben is innocent, but is he? Either innocent or not, he is definitely keeping a secret that is refraining him from being free, he is protecting someone or something for sure but at what cost? Definitely his freedom. Who or what is that?

Her full review can be found on her blog.

 

Review by Me

As I love psychological thrillers I enjoyed this book. It was a real page turner that will grab you till the end. Gillian Flynn knows how to create unpleasant characters and disturbing situations. It was dark and at some times disturbing, but that is what made it so intriguing to me. Ben and Libby are sympathetic figures, despite both being deeply flawed. Still, she makes you understand their motivations, making them seem all too realistic. The parallel structure of the book builds the suspense. Dark Places is a book capable of leaving a nasty aftertaste and vague uncomfortable feeling for days after finishing it. I strongly suspect it is its intended effect.

 

Review by Soha

‘Dark Places’ was the first book I read that was written by Gillian Flynn. I liked how the protagonist, Libby gives a vivid description of herself and creates a perfect image of the situation in the mind of the reader. The book seemed predictable at first where all fingers pointed towards one culprit but the author unfolded the mysteries very well throughout the book that the ending was not expected. However I did think that at one point, matters unfolded one after the other, giving no time to take in the sudden changes in the plot. I’d say the book was slightly above average, not more.

 

Review by Maham

Dark Places was a fairly good read. I loved how the book began and the way Gillian Flynn has described the characters.. But despite that.. The plot of the book was pretty ordinary.. As the story preceded.. It turned into every other thriller I’ve read. There were no plot twists and no unpredictability.

Written by Farman Shams Co-founder of #KHIBookSwap

20 Mar

17th #KHIBookSwap Meeting

We have selected ‘Go Set a Watchman’ as our book of the month for our 17th #KHIBookSwap meeting. As usual we gathered at Del Frio where we met our members and discussed our book of the month.

Review by Maham

Go Set A Watchman isn’t nearly as good as it’s prequel. The story lacks the depth which drew the readers so close to the first book. But keeping the prequel aside, this book is a very good read itself. It makes a few, but significant points and urges it’s readers to understand the need to evolve with society. The fact that both the stories take place 20 years apart should be enough to understand the change in principals in both the books.

Her favorite part from the book is . . .

Review by Gulzaib

Go set a watchman by Harper Lee wasn’t that intriguing to me. It wasn’t a page turner but some parts of it were actually very relatable which I’d like to share.

“Dear goodness, the things I learned. I did not want my world disturbed, but I wanted to crush the man who’s trying to preserve it for me. I wanted to stamp out all the people like him. I guess it’s like an airplane: they’re the drag and we’re the thrust, together we make the thing fly. Too much of us and we’re nose-heavy, too much of them and we’re tail-heavy—it’s a matter of balance. I can’t beat him, and I can’t join him. “

Review by me

An excellent prequel to ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. It examines what happens to childhood ideals as people age and are affected by their surroundings and the people who inhabit them on a daily basis. When you leave home and return, hoping to find the values you remember growing up with; sometimes people change and we’re not sure whether they changed or we have.

The story takes place shortly after the Supreme Court’s Brown vs The Board of Education, saying that equal but separate educations for blacks and whites violated the constitution. We encounter a different version of Atticus Finch, a different version of the Mockingbird trial. Scout must come to terms with her father’s racism and her own perceptions their relationship. We are given additional looks at Scout’s past as she grew up in Maycomb Not having a mother who could explain what becoming a woman causes her some difficulties. The story keeps you interested and wanting a better resolution. Harper Lee wrote this book first and may not have did not really finish it. It is still a good read. My favorite paragraph from the book is as follows:

“As you grew up, when you were grown, totally unknown to yourself, you confused your father with God. You never saw him as a man with a man’s heart, and a man’s failings—I’ll grant you it may have been hard to see, he makes so few mistakes, but he makes ’em like all of us.”

There was a special #KbsSnailMail for Maham and our book of the month.

17th #KHIBookSwap Meeting

17th #KHIBookSwap Meeting

Written by Farman Shams Co-founder of #KHIBookSwap

18 Jan

15th #KHIBookSwap Meeting

For 15th #KHIBookSwap meeting our topic was ‘Your Favorite book of 2015‘. Our members shared review of their favorite book of 2015.

Ifrah’s Review of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

The American classic by Kate Douglas Wiggin stole my heart in the year 2015. ‘Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm’ is a beautiful story that every girl needs to read while growing up! A coming-of-age story that will leave you feeling grateful for life, family, friends, health and every blessing you have been taking for granted.

Jamal’s Review of The Humans

I read Matt Haig’s The Humans for this month’s meetup. It is a story of an alien who lands on Earth to kill a professor. The Alien relates his observation of humans to his superiors and the whole narrative is a brutally truthful yet an extremely hilarious analysis of humans. A must read !

Gulzaib’s Review of Masnavi

The Masnavi by Rumi really touched my heart in 2015. It’s a collection of tales some are his personal experiences while other tales just include the complicated part of any particular story and the moral being translated as simple as possible. It soothes you in such a way you’ll want to read it again and again I myself saved some quotes from it. It’s not as serious as the title portrays it to be. It’s a self help in itself.

Noor’s Review of Eleanor and Park

I chose Eleanor and Park for this “Favorite Book of 2015″ discussion in the book club. It’s a YA, romance based story that revolves around two (teenagers) characters from 1980’s. The story is beautifully written and the story is very relatable.”Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.” This quote from this book inspired me to a great extent. It’s about embracing both, the good and the bad, sides of the person you’re in love with. I’d rate it 4.5/5

Areeba’s Review of Gone Girl

Gone Girl is a psychological thriller. It starts when Nick Dunne’s wife Amy Elliott Dunne goes missing on their fifth anniversary. The book has twists that will turn your mind and your guesses upside down. It’s one of my MOST favorite books of all the time. I’d highly recommend everyone to read it, especially if you’re into psychopathic characters.

Maham’s Review of The Picture Of Dorian Gray

I picked The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I searched for this books for months and it was totally worth the wait. As an artist, this books speaks to me. Art is much more than just a few brush strokes. This book explains perfectly the power it can have. It tells us how beauty is overrated. But despite that society always has and always will worship it.

Fizza’s Review of Chicken Soup for the Soul

I bought the book “Chicken soup for the soul”. It is collection of short stories on love, life, dreams, people. The best thing about it is that you can read it every now and then and learn from it. The reason why I selected it, is solely because I realized as humans we are always whining and complaining about things, we must learn to be grateful and happy about the life we have, as only a thankful person can live a positive life.

Natasha’s Review of Bossypants by Tina Fey

It’s a book that talks about her story and some tips by her. I liked h it says when someone talks instead of disagreeing try going with the flow and adding to it cause in life all we do is disagree and argue. So how about agreeing a little and seeing how it goes.

My Review of The Forty Rules of Love

It was my 2nd novel by Elif Shafak. As I love Rumi’s poetry it was a must read for me. There is a story of Ella Rubenstein, who is forty years old and unhappily married when she takes a job as a reader for a literary agent. Her first assignment is to read and report on Sweet Blasphemy, a novel written by a man named Aziz Zahara. That novel changed her life. Whether you’re a Sufi or mystical seeker, or someone rather unfamiliar with Sufism, I’d 85% recommend reading this book because I think in either case, it is thought provoking and a rather light and enjoyable read nonetheless.

Jamal surprised us with A BLIND BOOK DATE. He brought so many books for all of us but wrapped in a paper bag and wrote a few things about the book. I got Ibn-e-Safi‘s ‘Jasoosi Dunya‘ & ‘The Coral Island’ by R. M. Ballantyne.

15th #KHIBookSwap Meetup

Books we got at 15 #KhiBookSwap Meetup

 

Overall, It was a great meetup. After 2 meetups I’ve met all my regular members and one new member Gulzaib joined us for the first time. A Group Photo is must after this successful meetup.

115th Khibookswap Meeting

 

Recently Areeba shared her experience about our meetup at her blog.

Written by Farman Shams Co-founder of #KHIBookSwap

21 Jul

#KBSKitabReview A Hashtag Series

Few months back I swapped 2 books at the KhiBookSwap meetup and finally I finished them. So I had an idea instead of sharing their reviews on goodreads or on this blog, we should start a hashtag series called ‘#KBSKitabReview‘ that might help some book buyers. Every month we will be featuring one best photo with this hashtag at our instagram account.

Here are the rules to be a part of this hashtag series:

1. Upload an image of a book with a short review, genre and its rating on your instagram.

2. Tag that photo with #kbskitabreview

And here is my first contribution to the #KBSKitabReview

#KBSKitabReview

#KBSKitabReview

Written by Farman Shams Co-founder of #KHIBookSwap

15 Jun

3 Book Reviews

We have found some interesting book reviews at our facebook group. So I thought they are worth sharing here.

The Stranger by Albert Camus

This book review has been shared by Syed Wajahat Ali

The Stranger by Albert Camus

The only sure thing in life is death. Human life is then a subtle tragedy, a march to nothingness while love, emotions, sorrow and happiness are all fragile and temporal abodes which entertain us for a time being till we embrace death which is the final fate that awaits everyone.

If the above makes sense to you, then Albert Camus’s “The Stranger” is one book that is bound to make a profound impact on your life.

Albert Camus’s “L’Étranger” otherwise known as “The Stranger” or “The Outsider” which aims to elaborate on Camus’s philosophy of the “Absurd”. Mimicking Camus’s philosophy of the absurd, Meursault becomes it physical manifestation that lives a life of emotional indifference and finds it difficult to coexist in this world which tends to attach meaning to life even when events don’t warrant them. Meursault, loses his Mother but he realizes that, “one more Sunday was over, that Maman was buried now, that I was going back to work, and that, really, nothing had changed”. It was this indifference of his that will ultimately prove to be the defying moment of his life though little will he know at that moment.

The book is a staunch assault on the French society which aims to attach meaning to things and events which really do not merit any explanation. Meursault therefore is a character which aims to interpret life in the most rational of manners without erecting false facades of emotions which according to him are both useless and “absurd”. This is evident from the fact that throughout the book, Meursault practices certain verbs without explaining any reason for their occurrence nor justifying in details such as when he kisses Marie “…and for no apparent reason, she laughed in such a way that I kissed her.”

Albert Camus’s summarizes this masterpiece with his own saying which echoes even to this day and ultimately sums up the true tragedy of the French society which considers the unessential and the irrational to get to the true meaning of an event:

“’In our society any man who does not weep at his mother’s funeral runs the risk of being sentenced to death.”

Rating: 5/5

Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton

This book review has been shared by Jamaluddin

Published after his death, legendary author Michael Crichton’s Pirate Latitudes is a cracker of read.

The year is 1665 and privateer Captain Charles Hunter from the English colony of Jamaica is out there looting rival Spanish ships when news comes in that the Spanish are repairing a Galleon filled to the brim with looted gold from the New World. It is being repaired in a near impregnable fortress commanded by the dreaded Cazalla. Naturally, this looks like an ideal outing for Captain Hunter and he along with his band of ruffians, sets out to attack the fortress, commandeer the galleon and take possession of all the gold.
Trust me when I say that it’s a pirate adventure tale filled with relentless action & heart pounding suspense.

Karachi, You’re Killing Me! by Saba Imtiaz

This book review has been shared by Areeba

Karachi you're Killing Me!

Photo by Areeba

This is the book. All fancy cover and a catchy title. Catchy for people who think if you step out in this city Karachi, some namaloom afraad will shoot you and boom go away.  This is the story about a journalist Ayesha who works in Karachi and lives with her cat & her dad who loves the cat more than her. She has a crappy boss, a job that might kill her and she drinks a lot of beer. There. Is. So. Much. Booze. As Ayesha writes about her bad days, rallies coverage. breaks up, booze, smoking, she keeps writing her diary and BAM you’re on the last page. The writer forgot to put “story” in this book. There is more booze in the book than the story. The end is pretty much Bollywoodified which no wonder was expected. A typical happy ending, finding true love on the airport and the book ends. Well, this book is more like someone’s personal life has been leaked in the most hideous way.

I am afraid people from all around the world will read this book and create an image of Karachi based on this book which is totally wrong. The story might relate to the ELITE-ELITE-ELITE class of the city that makes like 2% of the city but not to the rest of the population and people like me. In my opinion, the whole purpose of this book is to get controversial in ANYWAY. The mount of swearing & inappropriate words is way too much. You can find 10 F words in one single chapter,or maybe I’m wrong, EVEN MORE THAN THAT.

Don’t touch this book. I wish the writer hadn’t put Karachi in this book’s title.

This book review can be found on her blog.

Rating: 1/5

Written by Farman Shams Co-founder of #KHIBookSwap

27 May

9th #KHIBookSwap Meeting

I was so excited for this meetup cos 3 new members will be joining us and they all reached the venue between 5.17pm – 5.40pm as Ifrah Waqar didn’t join us due to work so I’ve to host this meetup.

9th #KhiBookSwap

We started with the little introduction of the new members. Then we started our reading session and for this meetup our ‘Genre of the Month’ was ‘Thriller’. So here are the reviews by our members of their favorite thriller book.

Fizza read ‘The Lost Symbol’ by Dan Brown and this is what she thinks about the book:

“The Lost Symbol is Dan Brown’s another famous work. I am still reading it but this book deals with Professor Robert as usual and how he must save his mentor, Peter Solomon. Not only him but the great Masonic knowledge which needs to be revealed if he wants to save Peter. The Masonic knowledge is powerful yet can be the most dangerous thing if handed to the antagonist, Malak’h. This thriller tells how Professor Langdon puts himself in danger in order to rescue his mentor and the great knowledge.”

And I fortunately I read ‘Inferno’ by Dan Brown which is the 4th book in Robert Langdon series and here it is my review:

“This book has the same storyline as all the previous Langdon series books. Professor Langdon – expert on symbology and iconography finds himself embroiled in the middle of a high-stakes mystery, teams up with an attractive, smart and capable foreign woman who helps fill in the gaps and challenges him, and the two cement alliances, skirt villains, and undergo a hair raising adventure to save the world’s. It is not good as The Lost Symbol and sometimes it seemed like it was a tour book of Italy. Story began well but quickly became long & drawn out. I would rate it 2/5.

Fiza Mari’s review of ‘Needful Things’ by Stephen King:

“The book which I read this month is “Needful Things” written by Stephen King. It’s a story of a small town where a new shop opens named Needful things. Gaunt is the character who owns this shop. When the shop gets opened, there are objects that each person in the town desire the most and want to buy those objects at any cost. What Gaunt does, whoever comes to his shop to buy, he further requests them to play a small deed that is, a small prank on someone else. What happens later, all these pranks get out of control and everyone start killing each other. Sheriff Alan is the only character who knows that it’s Gaunt who is behind all these violent acts. I found this book very thrilling and I loved reading it.”

Yusra Hanif’s review of ‘Silkworm’ by ‘Robert Galbraith’ aka J. K. Rowling:

“This novel is second in series of a private detective’s story who sets out to solve yet another mystery. A writer goes missing after having written a controversial novel and his wife contacts our hero to solve the case. What unfolds is an intricately woven web of conspiracies and revenge which takes unexpected turns and twists. My verdict: 2.5/5 as the idea is decent but plot execution lacks finesse. It’s a non-thrilling thriller which leaves much to be desired. only read it if you are craving for a murder mystery and can compromise on the quality of fiction. or a friend is willing to lend you a copy.”

Maham Zafar’s review of ‘Darkly Dreaming Dexter’ by Jeff Lindsay:

“I decided to read the book “Darkly Dreaming Dexter” by Jeff Lindsay for the genre “thriller”. The book is actually a psychological thriller on which the famous TV series “Dexter” has been based. It tells the story of a young man named Dexter who lives a secret life. Everyone knows him as a blood spatter analyst. But he is also a killer. He refers as his need to kill as his Dark Companion. And he only kills other killers, in a very smart and clean way which he refers to as Harry’s (his adoptive father) Code. I personally loved the show which is why I love the book even more. It is very difficult to like a killer, but in Dexter’s case, you can’t help but admire him and the way he lives. At some point, you feel sorry for him, given his past. But in the end, it’s a treat to watch justice being served.”

Areeba’s review of ‘Tell Me Your Dreams’ by Sidney Sheldon:

“Sidney Sheldon meets psychology, a perfect combo. Tell Me Your Dreams is a story about a girl searching for answers about the terrible things happening to her. She is in trouble yet she is the trouble. Sidney Sheldon’s another page-turning thriller that made me love him, once again.”

Noor Unnahar’s review of ‘If Tomorrow Comes’ by Sidney Sheldon:

“If Tomorrow Comes by Sidney Sheldon : this thriller is one of the best books I’ve read so far. The story is based on a woman, who gets betrayed from her loved one, her family is destroyed by some gangsters and she ends up losing her career and getting into jail. Where a lot of accidents change her life. She becomes a con artist. Not your average one but the MIND-BLOWING mastermind who had nothing to lose.”

Jadirah’s review of ‘Mockingjay’ by Suzanne Collins:

“If wouldn’t have been for my brother, I wouldn’t have ever myself picked up the Hunger Games series. However, once I started reading, I flipped through all three pretty quickly. While, I thoroughly enjoyed the first part, I found Catching Fire to be a bit slow paced initially. By the time I picked up Mockingjay, the thrill again was real. I liked it because it was gripping and unpredictable. There was one thing or the other to keep the reader busy thinking about and then a sudden change of events. It didn’t have the happiest of the happy ending but I still pleased that it was ended realistically. I would rate the series a 5/5 because I couldn’t find any glitches in the plot.”

The Fun Part:

Selfie is must! Courtesy Noor Unnahar…..

9th #KhiBookSwap MeetingFor the last 2 meetups I’m acting like a Santa Claus  thanks to Zeeshan as my bag was full of books but this time it was filled with gifts for the members, why ? Well last month I went to Malaysia for vacation and I bought some gifts for the members but unfortunately thanks to Emirates they lost my bag which has the gifts. So I bought them again and here they are…..

9th #KhiBookSwap Meeting

Gifts for #KHIBookSwap members

And then they (Maham, Natasha and Fizza) gave me my birthday presents 🙂 which was on 1st May and I swapped Sidney Sheldon book with Areeba for Karachi, You’re Killing Me!

9th #KhiBookSwap Meeting

Books I got from the 9th KHIBookSwap Meetup

And Maham surprised us with these cute bookmarks based on Harry Potter characters.

9th #KhiBookSwap Meeting

Free Bookmarks by Maham

Written by Farman Shams Co-founder of #KHIBookSwap