Stories about book

Malala Yousafzai is not a normal teenager, why expect her to be?

“One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.” These were the poignant words spoken with such simplicity by Malala Yousufzai at the special Youth Assembly held by the United Nations on July 12, 2013 – Malala’s 16th birthday – to pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of the young Pakistani girl. Malala, as we all know, is that special Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban on her way home from school in Swat, Pakistan last year on October 9, 2012. Already the world is enthusiastic to celebrate the anniversary of the fight that ...

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US airport panic: Stopped because I was carrying a book called ‘The Taliban’

The mayhem surrounding the busy terminal of the Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport was evaded by the striking and almost pin drop silence as the check-in machine – more precisely known as the explosive detection machine – started to beep breathlessly. What followed was not a very pleasant sight to witness, to say the least. The officers surrounding the terminal I was checking in through were overtaken by a wave of panic and confusion. Almost taken aback, the officers tried their best to veil the feelings of uncertainty and fear that were clearly visible through their faces. All this time the beeper ...

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The Cuckoo’s Calling: Good under Robert Galbraith, excellent under JK Rowling

The Cuckoo’s Calling by author Robert Galbraith was doing an average business. Since April, 1500 copies had been sold, until it was leaked that the crime novel was actually written by none other than the queen herself, JK Rowling (JKR)! The leak propelled the novel to number one and reprints were ordered. Her fans (including me) was ecstatic and did all that we could to get our hands on The Cuckoo’s Calling. As it turned out, the book didn’t disappoint at all. However, JK Rowling has expressed her anger because she didn’t want her false identity as Robert Galbraith to be leaked to ...

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Broken Triad: Storm of Assassins – When a Pakistani takes a crack at sci-fi

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that a LUMS student was having his fantasy novel published by Ferozsons this year. As a young student novelist myself, I know for a fact how unwelcoming and poorly equipped our publishing industry really is. This is especially so when it comes to entertaining  modern English fiction novels written by young student writers. For a writer, to get a simple third party review done becomes a matter of calling in ‘favours’. It is for this reason that I decided to take a stand for all novelists and readers out there and provide an ...

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Reza Aslan’s interview: What does Fox News have against Islam?

Lauren Green, Fox News correspondent on religious affairs and host of ‘Spirited Debates’, recently upheld Fox News’s impeccable record on focused bigotry and American essentialism, during an interview with the noted academic, Reza Aslan. The talk focused on his new book called Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Normally, any host might have started the interview by asking the author about his/her book and what subjects it deals with, but apparently Lauren Green had a different idea of how an interview should be conducted. Here’s how the interview started: Lauren Green: “You’re a Muslim, so why did you ...

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Man of Steel: Welcome back, Superman!

An oft-heard phrase these days amongst comic book fans is, “The Dark Knight Trilogy has ruined all future comic book adaptations”. This could mean two things, the trilogy was so amazing that all future efforts have an impossibly high bar to reach or the incredible success of the trilogy means all future efforts will be shepherded by studios into being more “real/dark/gritty”. Both are true in varying ways. Batman is a unique character. He has no superpowers, apart from fabulous wealth and slight insanity. His gadgets can all be distilled into existing or easily imaginable variants unlike the only other rich ...

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The Reluctant Fundamentalist: A must watch!

Set against the social and political upheaval following the infamous 9/11, Mohsin Hamid’s book is skilfully brought to life in the movie The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Instead of the somewhat stilted, ‘Excuse me, sir, but may I be of assistance?’ with which the book starts, the movie launches straight into old Lahore (sadly, a Lahore recreated and filmed in Delhi, given the potential volatility of the subject), with an electrifying qawali. And very soon, images of the qawals’ paan stained uvulas are interwoven with disturbing scenes as an American couple on the street is attacked, the man roughly bundled into a car. The screams of ...

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A matter of perspective

On her recent return from a trip abroad, a friend complained of a lack of public spaces for “intellectual stimulation” in Pakistan, particularly in Islamabad. Apparently, she was still reeling from some random art collective in London. Feeling somewhat defensive, I managed a cool “it’s about looking in the right places” as we sipped our steaming lattes. While listing off all the options I could think about, I knew where she was coming from; our reluctance to see the bigger picture, as an easily-bored lot that seeks instant gratification. The discussion veered off to book clubs and I told her about ...

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Spoiler alert: The Casual Vacancy: Rowling shines again

JK Rowling has done it again. Her new novel The Casual Vacancy is a magnificently written piece of literature and one, which will be hotly debated in the coming months. Its language is salacious, its prose is incisive and its delivery is forceful. By writing The Casual Vacancy, JK Rowling has made it clear that her range is not limited to writing fantasy novels only. The Casual Vacancy is the story of a little, apparently peaceful, English village of Pagford, whose façade of calm and serenity actually conceals an ongoing war between its inhabitants. The novel begins with the death of ...

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Why I regretted buying Fifty Shades of Grey

Never trust a newspaper completely. I’m not exactly a die-hard book reader, but there are always a few books which, when I begin reading, I inevitably get hooked on to. Skimming through the New York Times best-seller list and observing ardent adoration levelled at a particular book, I decided to go to Liberty and see for myself what the hype was about. I went to every single branch, from Defence, to Clifton, to Tariq road, but not a single copy was available. Curiosity got the best of me and I ordered a copy of this famous Fifty Shades of Grey ...

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