27 Aug

KHIBookSwap Turns 2

2 years ago on 16th August 2014, an idea became reality thanks to Ifrah Waqar. With her I formed KHIBookSwap. I just can’t believe that we completed 2 years. This year I met so many awesome people, read some heartwarming poetry by our members submitted for Word Inc. and send KBSSnailMail  to our members in Karachi and Islamabad. Recently we celebrated its 2nd anniversary with all the regular members.

Almost everyone was there on time. Then the never ending conversation started. Ifrah planned some activities for the celebration. She made some book related questions, wrote them on a paper and then every member has to pick one and answer that question which was so much fun!

Another activity was about the book recommendations. She  brought some Twitter Postcards and asked everyone to recommend books to other members.

KhiBookSwap turns 2

Twitter postcards by Ifrah

Maham surprised us some gifts for all the members.

KhiBookSwap turns 2

Gifts by Maham

And in the end we cut the cake…..

KhiBookSwap turns 2

My gifts from the meetup. Book light by Noorulhuda, Harry Potter Wand by Maham and Twitter Postcard by Ifrah.

KhiBookSwap turns 2

My gifts from the meetup

How can our meetup be completed without selfies ?

KhiBookSwap turns 2

Selfie by Fiza

KhiBookSwap turns 2

Selfie by Maham

Once again a BIG THANK YOU to all the people who were present at the 2nd celebration meetup and I hope to see some new members in the next year’s celebration meetup.

Do you want to join our book club ? Click here

Want to know what happened at our 1st year celebration ? Click here

Written by Farman Shams Co-founder of #KHIBookSwap

20 Nov

13th #KHIBookSwap Meeting and #KBSatKIBF

For October our genre of the month was ‘Banned Books‘ and for the first we decided to discuss it at our Facebook Group with our members so all members can participate our book discussions. So this is what they said. . .

Fizza shared her review about Kite Runner from Khaled Hosseni

I have read the Kite Runner from Khaled Hosseni. It’s such a strong and eye opening book. You could actually feel the chaos, the situations. Amazing read.

Atiya shared her review about A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

It is a phenomenal book that explores the idea that if you are inherently evil society cannot make you good. There is a part in the book where Alex and his droogs (Nadsat for bro) attack a author and kick his wife, Anthony Burgess himself was attacked by such thugs in England and his wife was never able to conceive again…he channeled that pain and wrote about it

Ifrah shared her review about Kite Runner from Khaled Hosseni

I chose Khaild Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner”. I absolutely loved his “A Thousand Splendid Suns” and was disappointed by his “And The Mountains Echoed”. Against all fans and accolades, I found The Kite Runner to be highly predictable! The narrative was only intriguing for the first 25% of the book. The language was of course to-point as always. The central plot dealt with fighting inner demons but along the story you start to sense a pressure to feel sorry for the protagonist – which I am sorry after some, I did not. This was on my ‪TBR, so I guess picked it up for the genre but I wish I had picked up another title. Extremely predictable in all its totality!!!

Gulzaib shared her review about  Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy

I have read Fifty Shades of Grey’s trilogy. Apart from the kinky stuff you see the story was unique and intriguing. The best part was when Christian shares his past secret of that manipulation of his aunt with Anastasia. I really liked it. This trilogy is my first erotic literature fiction. I give it a 4.0 rating.

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower review by me

I chose Stephen Chbosky debut novel ‘The Perks Of Being A Wallflower’. It is a wonderfully written book in which Charlie is confused on so many levels about so many things and throughout this entire book you almost feel like your learning along with him. It was strongly powerful in a manner that diary or letter style books rarely achieve. Charlie’s letters will make you think about yourself and will make you think differently about certain things. Characters, including the teen narrator, drink, smoke, and use drugs. Even so, it has become a classic of sorts because of its tender coming-of-age story that’s easy to compare to The Catcher in the Rye. 

As the 11th Karachi International Book Fair was happening in November instead of December this year in Karachi, we decided to do some book shopping together. We met one of our new member Sawera for the first time and grabbed Jamal from his Kaymu book stall to get some discounts and started book hunting. I’ve been visiting this book fair for past 7 years and the biggest stalls like Liberty, Paramount and Oxford have the same stalls. Like they’ve reserved them. Every year Hall 1 is less crowded as compare to Hall 3 and 2. Hall 3 is always the most crowded Hall due to Liberty Books. Well, Sawera bought Call of the Wild by Jack London, One Shot by Lee child and The Innocent Man by John Grisham. Ifrah bought Mrs. Funny Bones by Twinkle Khanna and The Grownup by Gillian Flynn. Maham bought Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson and Jamal got Next by Michael Crichton.

13th #KHIBookSwap Meeting

13th #KHIBookSwap Meeting


Written by Farman Shams Co-founder of #KHIBookSwap

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

26 Sep

1st year celebration of #KHIBookSwap

16th Aug. 2014 is the day when I formed #KHIBookSwap with Ifrah. The basic idea of this book club is to explore new genres and to connect all the book readers I know on twitter.

Alhamdulillah on 16th Aug. 2015 #KHIBookSwap completed its 1st year and we planned a little celebration. I have a idea of doing a book theme photo booth session at the celebration, so I discussed with Maham who is quite good at this. With some help from tumblr, pinterest and Maham I ordered some props for our celebration. After that I realized that we are first book club in Pakistan do to such a thing. We ordered Twix Cake from Sinful Bites. Which was so delicious and everyone likes it.


Almost all the members were present at the event and lost in their never ending conversations. I was excited as usual. Fizza brings homemade Chocolate Fudge Brownies which was a pleasant surprise for all of us.

First we cut the cake and later on we started our photo booth session and as expected everyone loves it. Here are the some photos from that day.

1st #KhiBookSwap celebration

Jamal and Ifrah holding props

1st #KhiBookSwap Celebration

Maham – who made all the props

1st #KhiBookSwap Celebration

Me with Ifrah Waqar – Cofounders of #KHIBookSwap

1st #KhibookSwap Celebration

My #KhiBookSwap Family

And above all selfie is must. . . . or should I say selfies.

1st #KhiBookSwap Celebration

Selfie by Noor

1st #KhiBookSwap Celebration

Selfie by Faiza

Thanks to my book club I’ve found diverse readers like Zeeshan and Jamal, creative people like Areeba, Noor and Maham and there are people who are with us from day one like Fizza and Noorulhuda. I really hope that in coming months I will find more good readers.

Noor Unnahar blogged about our 1st year celebration on her blog.

Thank you Ifrah, Fizza, Fiza, Noorulhuda, Jamal, Zeeshan, Natasha, Yusra, Jadirah, Maham, Areeba, Noor Unnahar and Faiza for making our book club meetings successful.

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

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

20 Apr

8th #KhiBookSwap Meeting

On the afternoon of 8th April my Boss surprised me with the ticket to Malaysia. I was so excited for this trip but when I checked the date for my flight it was on 11th April, on the same date I have my book club meeting so I asked my Boss to cancel the ticket and buy the ticket for next day if possible cos I don’t want to miss my book club meeting and my Boss gave me this weird look. But after a day my Boss finally find a ticket for next day.  It was a sigh of relief for me cos in the past I already missed 4th KHIBookSwap meeting due to my Jhal Magsi trip.

So our ‘genre of the month’ was ‘Poetry’. I was so excited yet again cos this time we will be trying something new. Me and Ifrah came up with the idea of doing a twisted version of Secret Santa where we asked every member to wrap the book which they want to swap or giveaway. It was one pleasant evening in Karachi as I thought cos Friday was too hot. I reached the venue bit early and Ifrah was already there. First Fizza arrived with her friend Fiza, after her Natasha and Jamal joined us. Then Maham came and she bring these…..

8th #KhiBookSwap Meeting

KHIBookSwap handmade Badges

Handmade KHIBookSwap badges for the members. I met Maham at the Stargazing trip with KaAs. She loves astronomy, books and art and the owner of tween the knots. So I asked her to make some badges for the members and she really did a great job. So after a little introduction, everyone placed their Secret Santa book on the table.

8th #KhiBookSwap Meeting

Books wrapped up for Secret Santa

Then Ifrah wrote everyone’s name on the paper, fold it and asked everyone to pick one and I got the name of Fizza. So I got this book from her.

8th #KhiBookSwap Meeting

Fizza was my Secret Santa

I haven’t read any Kamila Shamsie book so I really looking forward to this book. After that we began our reading session.

Ifrah’s Favorite Poetry:

She selected a Ghazal from ‘In the Bazaar of Love – The selected poetry of Amir Khusrau

8th #KhiBookSwap Meeting

In the Bazaar of Love – The selected poetry of Amir Khusrau

Her review about the book:

Mystic renditions of love, loyalty and passion translated by Paul Losensky and Sunil Sharma; sure to evoke your senses and darkest desires.

Natasha’s Favorite Poetry:

Natasha shared her favorite poetry from different poets. First one is from unknown Pakistani author

a broken promise breaks a little more

than what it sets apart the break of light

after the mourning in the night the shores,

endlessness grows a little short of sight

Jeeva Haroon’s ‘Master’ pain of lost love

Like a slingshot let loose

You left saying nothing

Somewhere between waking in the day

I remain in a free fall

Then she read Munir Niazi’s famous ‘Hamesha Dair Kar Deta Hoon Main’

Hamesha Dair Kar Deta Hoon Main

Hamesha Dair Kar Deta Hoon Main

Jamal’s Favorite Poetry:

Jamal shared this beautiful poem by Faiz Ahmed Faiz titled ‘Sheeshon Ka Maseeha Koi Nahi’

And after reading that, he shared a poem that he wrote recently.

Tell me what I am supposed to do
With all the leftover feelings of being misunderstood
‘Cause you don’t know

Shall I tell you how it’s supposed to feel
When all these pains become real
‘Cause you don’t know

And I don’t think you see the places in my heart
Where I find the meaning of us
Places where reason can’t be separated from desire

And we don’t know how we woke one day
And some how we thought we knew
That we had to back away

So leave me at the book tree and take away those memories
Cry for the departed ones but pity the lost souls
‘Cause this gets written down in our destinies

Shall I tell you how it’s supposed to feel
When all these pains become real
‘Cause you don’t know

Fiza’s Favorite Poetry:

Fizza said, ‘Since Fiza Mari didn’t know about the ‘Genre of the Month’ is Poetry but she has written one which she likes to share that with us.’

Hallucinations of love

A life of imaginations

A dream of ambitions

A journey to stars

Lights lightening up the sky with spark

The brightness of moon as seen from earth

The shine in the eyes of a kid and its worth

A fantasy of dreams

Where love is a pivotal theme

You fall in love

It ends up reminding you of the lost love

For the part of your heart which has been gone

For the love in your eyes collecting the pieces of hope knowing it will always go on

For reality which is no less than an imagination

For the lost love which will always be in your hallucination

You lose a thousand times

Falling for the lost love you can never climb

But you smile mesmerizing the memories

The shine in your eyes watching the moon takes you back in the stories

You can find that poem on her blog too. That was the best moment for me that we inspired her to share that poem.

Fizza’s Favorite Poetry:

Fizza Malick shared her favorite inspiring poem by Veronica Shoffstall.

After a while you learn the subtle difference
between holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
and company doesn’t always mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises
and you begin to accept
your defeats
with your head up
and your eyes ahead
with the grace of woman,
not the grief of a child

And you learn to build
all your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground
is too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way
of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn
that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
so you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone
to bring you flowers.

And you learn
that you really can endure
you really are strong
you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn
with every goodbye, you learn

My Favorite Poetry:

Then It was my turn to share my favorite poetry and I selected a poem from ‘The Love Poems of Rumi

The Agony and Ecstasy of Divine Discontent:

The moods of Rumi

In the orchard and rose garden

I long to see your face

In the taste of sweetness

I long to kiss your lips

In the shadow of passion

I long for your love

Oh! Supreme lover!

Let me leave aside my worries

The flowers are blooming

With the exultation of your Spirit

By Allah!

I long to escape the prison of my ego

And lose myself

In the mountains and the desert

My review about the book:

Rumi’s poems are deeply spiritual and penetrate perfectly into the human condition of love and the tides of overwhelming emotions that run with it. Rumi’s sense of divine Love as the essence of one’s own being shines resplendently through almost every poem in this collection. This book has a short but sweet collection of beautiful poetry by Rumi

Zeeshan’s Favorite Poetry:

After that I read Zeeshan’s favorite poems from ‘Poems of Kabir

O SERVANT, where dost thou seek Me? Lo! I am beside thee. I am neither in temple nor in mosque: I am neither in Kaaba nor in Kailash: Neither am I in rites and ceremonies, nor in Yoga and renunciation. If thou art a true seeker, thou shalt at once see Me: thou shalt meet Me in a moment of time. Kabîr says, “O Sadhu! God is the breath of all breath.”


I am neither pious nor ungodly, I live neither by law nor by sense, I am neither a speaker nor hearer, I am neither a servant nor master, I am neither bond nor free, I am neither detached nor attached. I am far from none: I am near to none. I shall go neither to hell nor to heaven. I do all works; yet I am apart from all works. Few comprehend my meaning: he who can comprehend it, he sits unmoved. Kabir seeks neither to establish nor to destroy.

His review about the book:

One of the most beautiful books I have ever come across, which includes the physical aspects. The whole design, textures and layout of the book and its pages are too beautiful. Kabir is one of my most favorite historical characters, and I look up to him. A simple man, who weaved, sang, and spread the message of love, peace and harmony.

And after that I became a Santa Claus thanks to Zeeshan once again. He sent  books for our book club members.

8th #KhiBookSwap

Books gifted by Zeeshan once again

And we ended our meetup with a selfie thanks to wide angle lens of Noor . . .

8th #KhiBookSwap Meeting

8th #KhiBookSwap Meeting

Written by Farman Shams Co-founder of #KHIBookSwap


18 Mar

7th #KhiBookSwap Meeting

It was a nice sunny day in Karachi. I was so exited about our monthly book club meeting cos I have 8 books to giveaway today and we will be doing a little reading session where everyone has to read some lines from their favorite ‘non-fiction’ book as it was our ‘genre of the month’. We didn’t want to do ‘book of the month’ cos with ‘book of the month’ everyone will be reading the same book and then they will be reviewing it with their own perspective. But with ‘genre of the month’ we have different books by different authors which gives us more choice to explore new author’s work.

7th KHIBookSwap

While I was on my way to the venue, Ifrah told me that Del Frio has not enough space for us to do a meetup so we changed the venue to Gloria Jean’s Coffee and updated everyone on our facebook group. When I reached at the Gloria Jean’s Coffee, I met Fizza and Ifrah after few mins. Jamal and Yusra have joined us too.  We order some food and then officially started our meetup. Ifrah started first with reading few lines from her favorite non-fiction book ‘How To Be Parisian: Wherever You Are by Sophie Mas, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret and Anne Berest.‘ This book explains those confusing subjects of clothes, makeup, men, culture and lifestyle as only a true Parisienne can.

7th #KhiBookSwap Meeting

Ifrah reading from ‘How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are’

Her review about the book:

Not just your average-coffee-table book but also a self-help journey with four women who explore the many facets of female life and tell you exactly how-to, when-to and where-to! If you are looking for a light-read but still want to learn a few cool hacks this book will be right up your alley.

P.S – The recipes are to die for!

Then it was Jamal’s turn. He has ‘The Fifth Miracle The Search for the Origin and Meaning of Life by Paul Davies.‘ The book was about the search for the Origin of Life.

7th #KhiBookSwap Meeting

Jamal reading from ‘The Fifth Miracle”

His review about the book:

Well the book 5th Miracle is about the origins of life on earth. Written by Paul Davies, the book explores how life grew up on earth and attempts to explain why Universe has a pro life bias and its natural progression is towards complex life forms.

It’s very well written with the layman in mind

After Jamal, Fizza shared her non-fiction book which was ‘Charagh Talay by Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi.‘ It’s an Urdu humorous book.

7th #KhiBookswap Meeting

Fizza reading few lines from ‘Charagh Talay’

Her review about the book:

Yousufi has written many humorous books, in Charagh Talay he discusses situations that many of us face in our daily lives and people reactions to them but he turns them all in a classic humor. He reasons his stance not only by humor but facts too. So all in all it’s a good light read and a reflection of your culture.

Yusra shared her favorite non-fiction book ‘Indian Summer: The Secret History of the End of an Empire by Alex Von Tunzelmann.‘ The book covers the end of the British Empire and the partition of the Indian subcontinent that resulted in thousands of deaths.

Her review about the book:

This is a must read book for all the history fans out there who want the real deal. It is a deliciously succulent and neutral narrative of the indo-pak history with vivid characterization of the key players. It gives you all the behind-the-scene details that our history books sadly miss on. A treat to read!

After that it was my turn to share my book for the ‘genre of the month’. I have ‘A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson.‘ The book covers all about life, the universe and everything in between. I have this book as an ebook so I read it from my mobile.

My review about the book:

It’s quite fascinating and informative and accessible book on the history of the natural sciences. This is a history of pretty much everything there is — the planet, the solar system, the universe, astronomy, zoology. Topics are very well arranged and deeply researched.

In between our discussion Natasha joined us, who is a doctor and a blogger. She loves to read almost all genres. There was a little surprise which I saved for the last. At our last meetup at KLF, Zeeshan joined us for the first time all the way from Hyderabad and then he shared his views about the meetup in his blog post. He loved concept of the book club and sent few books for our members.

7th #KhiBookSwap Meeting

Books gifted by Zeeshan

He also shared his favorite non-fiction book with us virtually. The book was ‘The Race of My Life: An Autobiography by Milkha Singh.’ It is the autobiography of Indian athlete Milkha Singh.

His review about the book:

The story of Milkha Singh. What a man. I had been reading about him, and then saw the film when it came out, and he inspired me so much. How Partition changed his life forever, and the struggle that followed and everything else. It’s well-written too. Loved it.

In the end we had this group photo. Just to freeze that moment in time.

&th #KhiBookSwap Meeting

From left: Ifrah,Fizza,Natasha,Yusra,Jamal & me

It was one memorable meetup for me as our group is expanding, Alhamdulillah! After the meetup I shared some suggestions with Ifrah and in our next we will be doing something new, InshaAllah!

Bonus: While editing these pictures, I found some useful tips in ‘How To Be Parisian: Wherever You Are‘ reviewed by Ifrah.

-Throw coffee grounds down the drain, never in the bin. They help decrease the plumbing and remove bad smells.

-Aspirin in the water makes your roses live a little longer.

-New shoes can be slippery. Catwalk pros put up the soles with a knife – but rubbing them with half a raw potato works just as well.

-To give your hair that extra shine, use half a cup of white wine vinegar – simply pour it over your hair and rinse.

Written by Farman Shams Co-founder of #KHIBookSwap