Fiction

How it happened this is the funniest book ever :)

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HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Do you have grandmother? a brother? a sister? a father and mother? a sister in law? a brother in law? are you a Pakistani teenager? do you have relatives? do you belong to a Pakistani Muslim family? are you a girl? do you have a village where your ancestors came from ? a caste? are you syed? are you shia? are not thin? are you really good looking? are you not good looking? have you studied arts or science?
If you do have half of the given traits in you or a quarter. then you can relate to this and laugh at this cunningly crafted satire of our good, weird and sometimes quiet senseless culture. Which manages to revolve around matrimony a bit too much.
even if you don’t support any of those traits laughs are granted.
You can find a way to make this about you and even if you don’t you might know few people in it.
Shazaf haider writes this book in easily crafted English which i term as desi-english which all the subcontinent readers or people who once belonged to this region can easily understand and enjoy. Sit back and be ready to be entertained by this 300 some pages of really bold writing ….

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Last Term at Malory Towers / last book in the series / end of another relationship :(

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End of an Era for me. I seriously doubt i would be reading anymore of Enid Blyton any more. But i have read quiet a number of books by her and so far have not been disappointed.
Enid does not just write but she tries to teach the best she could. To respect ones parents, to care, to compromise, to listen, to share, to be humble, to be courageous, to learn, to grow.

Malory Towers was a beautiful series, a handful of teenage girls who live together, learn together and become better people together.

They are about to graduate and they are taking away number of valuable lessons which they have learned in last six years of schooling and leaving behind number of memories and their juniors to whom they have taught and learned from many small things.
there is this thing writer states through two different narratives
“From what you have told me you’ve made the nice father of yours miserable. You’ve got what you want at the expanse of someone else’s peace of mind”…
“I have to stand on my own feet haven’t i?”… “Not if you stamp on someones else’s toes to do it.”
Something we all need to remember before making unreasonable demands of our parents and peers.

Many character flaws we see in our society are mistakes and miscalculations of our parents. People really need to get their priorities straight.
How important parents are!….Really, I think somebody should start a School for Parents too!

I am kind off crying inside. The horrible feeling of an end 😦

A Storied life of A.J Fikry / I loved this book

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The things we respond to at twenty are not necessarily the same things we will respond to at forty and vice versa. This is true in books and also in life
This book was a recommendation. By far the best I ever had!!
I still have the fluttery feeling and slightly dry throat which in my case are indicators that i loved something and i definitely loved this book.

It is short book which is refreshing. It is a smart book. It has many smart if not life changing but very relate-able and quotable things in it.

The characters are all very real and natural. They are not pretty people or Einsteins or world class heroes. They are everyday people, good folks. People who do not particularly stand out. That is one first thing i love fiction writers ability to make short men and women with no remarkable features and fashion sense standout. When being forty is not ancient and being fourteen is not less sexy or less attractive then sixteen.

Its how writer explains the worries of widower middle aged man adopting a toddler, as “She’s is worse than a puppy. And a man like me shouldn’t even have a puppy. She is not potty trained, and i have no idea how to do that kind of thing or any of the related matters either. Plus I’ve never really liked babies. I like Maya, but .. Conversation with her lacks to say the least. We talk about Elmo, and can’t stand him, by the way, but other than that, it is mainly about her. She’s totally self-centered.”
How can when anyone not love this kind off dialogue? And then how writer explains the same man finds growing ray of fatherly love He wants to laugh out loud or punch a wall. He feels or at least carbonated. Insane, he thinks this is happiness but then he determines it’s love. Fucking love, he thinks. What a bother. It’s completely gotten in the way of his plan to drink himself to death , to drive his business to ruin.The most annoying thing about it is that once a person gives a shit about one thing, he finds he has to start giving shit about everything.

What i really enjoyed was the relationships. How a woman stays is an unhappy marriage and how her unfaithful-husbands dies when in car with her and she does not beats herself about it, though she lived and the accident was more or less her mistake. Because that is how people are, not everyone dwells in guilt for those who have never give damn about them. They even see it is as karma.
How you can fall in love with people after four years of knowing them and barely have any emotional attachment. And how writer accepts that all marriages are half compromise. And there is simple explanation for that and it is He knows she isn’t perfect. She knows he definitely isn’t perfect. They know there’s no such thing as perfect.

I will go no further though even when i have barely started to touch base with awesomeness on the book. but one thing i am obliged to add here is this little unmistakable fact about Mark Twain the writer states in narrative In reading Twain, i often suspect he is having more fun than i am

It is a good simple extremely well written story. It is a must read and great for those who are in reading block. For now on this is the my suggestion for those who are in reader’s block. I read this as an e-book but will definitely buy it because i just have to have it. Need to own physical embodiment of this book.
And end note
We are not quiet novels… We are not quiet short stories…In the end, we are collected works

A reminder of childhood.

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This book is one of the best children-adult book i have come across. Maybe i have not read a lot, but i have never read a book like this one before.

There is nothing extraordinary about this book. There are not many profound quotes or extra terrestrial experiences. This book is very simply written at times i had confusion in understanding it it was written in such a Southern American style.(that i am sure is a only personal deficit)

To really love this book you have to remember your childhood. You must remember those unending summer vacation after which when you went to school you were a little different from before. Those summer vacations when you saw your cousins and friends. a world different from the world of school.

Scout the protagonist of the book lives in every child, little imaginative, fearless, not yet familiar to the lines of social norms, who might claim to be equal to her elder brother, but would follow the elder sibling anywhere.

Scout introduces us to the Maycomb society,  a southern state where the difference between black and white is drilled in the blood and system of the state. She listens to her teacher drone about Hitler being trash because he persecutes Jews. Being prejudiced is wrong and executing people because of it is a crime,  At the same time she witnesses the same prejudices and execution carried on the blacks. It confuses her but she does not get a straight answer.

Scout and her brother are growing with a “radical” father. they have a very close, healthy and idealistic relationship with their him. they are soon thrust into a world where being black is worse than being white trash. Which really does not make much sense to them. Jem thinks there are 4 kinds of people in the world, as his world is Maycomb county so that’s they only division he could come up with but Scout does not get it yet she just thinks everyone is same all are just “Folks”.

This book shows how children progress from believing in haunted houses to navigating differences between races. How tall tales told by a friend can make more sense than long lengthy reasons of adults. How hypocrisy and prejudices of group of women during a tea can be understood by 8 year old but never deciphered not really.

How a society can make a good stand up citizen look weak and coward in his children eyes.

This book explores the world through 8 year old eyes with scale of 12 year old and writer did a damn good job of it.

This book is our childhood.

The Thousand Splendid Suns ( it took me a while to understand what the title stood for)

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A Thousand Splendid SunsA Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The reason i bought thousand splendid suns was because i had watched the Kite runner. i had liked that movie and heard a lot of positive things about the writer.
Now when i read this book i gave it 5 stars but i was on a high the one you get after reading a fantastically tragic ending. But after that i have questioned every single detail.

The good parts ( from writing point of view)

Firstly: The Mariam part of the story is very good. It is something very understandable, relate-able and something we all from east have heard, seen or observed (unfortunately). Her naivety, her innocence and infinite believe in humanity. Like every good woman in Asia her effort were pointless and she was blamed for everything which was not her fault. Her consolation and peace was in Quran, one gift she received as a child and probably only highlight of her life.
Secondly: Rasheed, a loner, a widower, who technically buys his very young bride. In the start the guy is good, even considerate. But all his considerations were purely selfish. No children are indeed a sadness. But like a typical introvert he victimizes himself for having to live with such a woman who cannot give him the only thing he wants while he is provides everything for her. In this again the writer depicts a very typical thinking like earning and providing is favor men do, not a obligation given to them by Allah. But than religion restrictions are only for the woman, typically for the obedient and submissive woman. His hatred towards his wife is more because she was not young anymore. Another very perverted thinking which is not actually thought to be very degenerate as it should be.
Thirdly: Laila was like 14 when he entered her in the book, a very young age to be so mature and responsible and to have such a understanding of world. It felt like she was a grown woman not a adolescent. The war, her marriage to Rasheed the suffering and her relation with Mariam was another was again understandable. There was not much character building in this character.

The parts i strongly disagreed with

In Laila’s character writer tried to show an educated class, the class who valued education above religion. He separated education and religion. Religion was a setback while modern education was key to open and better minds. What a clique. Oddly enough religion is followed only by illiterate idiots or perverts and anyone with education does not need religion.
Another thing it was not that Laila and Jalil relation was unforgivable but it was the fact that writer made it look like it was alright that it was actually appropriate, and it was how unapologetic Laila was. Rasheed probably was the last person on earth who deserved loyalty. But then faith does not depend on how people treat you it depends upon us and our actions despite the situation and state. (It was not that Laila’s self defense mechanism was wrong.)

Mariam’s ending was as good it possibly could be, she believed. The writer should have put a little more effort in developing Laila’s character. She was the legacy she could have been little more flexible and accepting when i say that i don’t mean her situation with her first husband. At times she came of as stubborn child not a wise woman. But than i agreed with Laila on many parts it is that this book made me want to defend my religion and books like that could be very hard for me to enjoy without being sulky.

View all my reviews

The Ocean at the end of the Lane

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Neil Gaiman, i have heard the name of the author before but had not read anything by him. Caroline was an animated movie i had watched with my brothers and was fascinated by it. The colors, the dream like state of all characters, the wicked shadows, everything in it was dark and at the same time was so colorful. At that time i did not know it was based on a book. But reading this book i could see the similarities in the writing style. Neil Gaiman writes books on children or more like on children nightmares and imaginary games. He says the most captivating things in his text.

The memories fade and blend and smudge together. 

Different people remember things differently, and you’ll not get any two people to remember anything the same, whether they were there or not. You stand two of you right next to each other, and they could be continents away for all it means anything.

This book is all about a middle age man going back to the house of his childhood friend, he had suffered some great loss and he arrives unconsciously  to the house of a short term friend he had made at age of 7. There he sits by a pond which he remembered his friend telling him was an Ocean. From there he falls in old memories. When he was a boy, made a friend, with a girl who was not what she looked like, but then nobody really is what they look. They had a small adventure which leads to number of very complicated events. Of course he is made to forget those events. but

Childhood memories are sometimes covered and obscured beneath the things that come later, like childhood toys forgotten at the bottom of a crammed adult closet but they are never lost for good.

The story revolves around a boy who likes to read and is people shy, but there is this thing the author says, which is  next to my own heart

I liked myths. They weren’t adult stories and they weren’t children stories. They were better than that they just were.

The story is like a child nightmarish dream, its vivid but creatures in it don’t have names, they just are because the children do not question thing like possibilities, believing in things which are not possible is very different for them, they had not yet put the world in the boxes of possible and impossible, they had not established which dreams are silly and which are just dreams.

Adults follow paths. Children explore.

the whole book, is about a boy’s encounter with people who are not normal human beings, and other creatures which come from the beyond the bounds of this reality. This  is a different fantasy. It darkly beautiful book.

Adults should not weep, i knew. They did not have mothers who could comfort them.