21 Oct

12th #KHIBookSwap Meeting and Interviews

For 12th KHIBookSwap our genre of the month was ‘Book to Movie Adaptation‘ & ‘Black Comedy‘. As usual we gathered at Del Frio on 10th Oct. I was bit late cos I was coming from the Insta Meetup. Areeba & Noor already reached the venue while Fatema joined us for the first time and she contacted me via twitter to spot us and luckily she found us.

Noor’s Review of The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks is one of my all-time favorite books. Though I haven’t read much book-to-movie adaptation, this book was the first one to pop in my mind when I thought about this genre. It’s a love story from two different lifestyles. The guy wasn’t rich as the girl, but their love was true, regardless of their social statuses. They endure every problem society has put in front of them without tearing apart. It’s heartbreaking, funny and sweet. A 5/5 book for me. Recommend to all romance readers.

Areeba’s Review of Diyar-e-Dil by Farhat Ishtiaq

Diyar-e-dil, now a drama on Hum TV, is written by Farhat Ishtiaq. It’s a story of a family shattered into pieces because of ego and unfair decisions. Characters with haunting past, this story covers love, hate, intensity, past, nostalgia and broken relationships. Also, my favorite part is where the protagonist Fara struggles with herself to get back to her blood relations and overcome her own doubts and misunderstandings about her family’s past. I’d rate it 5 out of 5 because I know there are points when I can relate to this book and the dialogs between characters are beautiful. Kudos to Farhat Ishtiaq, I love her work.

My Review of Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

I selected this book cos it’s a Black Comedy & Book to Movie adaptation too. I think it is the best movie adaptation so far although they’ve changed the ending of the movie but overall it was awesome. At my book club I am the only person who has read and watched this movie. It was Chuck Palahniuk debut novel. Fight Club is the story of an unnamed narrator, who is a traveling automobile company employee and suffers from insomnia. On advice from his doctor attends support groups and pretends to be a victim. He gains some emotional release here and feels part of a people and becomes addicted to attending these support groups as an imposter. He’s not the only one who’s a trickster and important character pops up at the meetings Marla and they both find they have an emptiness to fill and befriend each other. After that he meets Tyler Durden and he introduced him to the concept of fighting. What starts as a few rounds in a bar parking lot soon transforms into the nationwide movement known as Fight Club. As the fight club’s membership grows Tyler begins to use it to spread his anti-consumerist ideas and recruits fight club’s members to participate in increasingly elaborate pranks on corporate America. This was originally the narrator’s idea, but Tyler takes control from him. Tyler eventually gathers the most devoted fight club members (referred to as “space monkeys”) and forms “Project Mayhem,” a cult-like organization that trains itself as an army to bring down modern civilization. Overall it was thought provoking book and If you like dark humor and cynicism then it’s a must read for you.

Fatema’s Review of Contact by Carl Sagan

The story is about how a Scientist started receiving a message form Aliens and how Scientists, Politicians and Religious people reacted to the message. The novel may not be an irresistible page turner because the story unfolds slowly and there are long explanations sometimes. Scientific aspects may also be difficult to understand, but this is a great read for those who enjoy rational thinking because the novel is quite thought provoking. It beautifully addresses the differences between Science and Religion. If you are a hard and fast believer, read the book at your own risk because Sagan was a non believer and has addressed the issue from that point of view. The Novel basically gives the message that Humans will unite and forget their differences if they realized how insignificant humans are and how vast and majestic the Universe is. The story is intelligently written and I personally liked the strong female protagonist.

In the movie, they have changed some major relationships of Ellie with other characters and have somewhat altered the message Sagan was trying to give.

As there was only 2 members present with one new member. I got a chance to talk with them cos usually I didn’t get a chance to talk to anyone as they are all busy in their never ending conversations.

We’ve been interviewed for the first time!

Anum Shehreyar interviewed us all to make an archive of Pakistani Readers. It was a great experience and she came very well prepared. Our interviews can be found here while KHIBookSwap back story can be found here.

And in the end most important thing ‘A Selfie’ by Noor

12th #KHIBookSwap Meeting

12th #KHIBookSwap Meeting

Written by Farman Shams Co-founder of #KHIBookSwap

07 Aug

10th #KHIBookSwap Meeting

For the 10th KhiBookSwap meetup we had ‘Paulo Coelho’ as our author of the month. So our members shared his book reviews.

Areeba’s Review of The Witch of Portobello

“The Witch of Portobello is a typical Paulo Coelho fancy worded, preach-ish book with a touch of mystery. Based on female goddesses, nature, gypsies and women who are restless and looking for their life’s purpose. Perfect for people who are interested in spiritual reads, else it’s slightly (or more than that) boring that you might wanna sleep halfway through it.”

Noor’s Review of The Alchemist

“The Alchemist, a journey of a young boy who travels to Egypt in search of a treasure. This journey turns out to be life changing with Paulo Coelho’s enchanting words and simple style, this book is one of my ultimate favorite books.”

Jadirah’s Review of The Zahir

“The Zahir is full of life and relationship lessons, but I found it to be a slow read. The only thing commendable was Paulo Coelho’s choice of words and well; he is known for his quotable quotes. The story itself had no climax, felt unnecessarily dragged and came to a boring end.”

Ifrah’s Review of Life: Selected Quotations

“The ideal book for your night-stand! A collection of Coelho’s most loved and influential quotations, perfect for when you are searching for some sustenance for the soul.”

Jamal’s Review about Paulo Coelho

“Paulo Coelho, though I have read little is someone whom I might never read. The poetic prose and the airiness or the content makes it ideal to find meaning in places where none exists. Is it good for Facebook quotations …yes. Can you quote it to impress your date and act all superior, yes. But if you are a political history and thriller fan like me than try as you might, you can’t read Paulo Coelho.”

Maham’s Review of The Pilgrimage

“The book which I read for this month was The Pilgrimage. It tells the story about Paulo’s self-discovering journey through Spain, on the road to Santiago. And how he uncovers the secret of a happy life through finding joy in the simplest of things.”

My Review of Manuscript Found in Accra

“Those who are familiar with Coelho’s work know that we must read between the lines to get the message. This book, however, answers the questions that we all make to ourselves at least once in our lives. It’s amazing to think how many manuscripts such as these were lost to us generations ago–that many scholars’ thoughts and advice are lost to the ravages of time.

10th #KHIBookSwap Meeting

We love Paulo Coelho – PC: Faiza Yousaf

Group photo at the end of our meeting.

10th #KHIBookSwap Meeting

10th #KHIBookSwap Meeting

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