2016 Last Book Haul and Karachi International Book Fair

Call me a book hoarder or bibliomania! I love books.  I cannot resist the urge of buying


books whenever I pass by any bookstore or book fair. I see books and I feel my legs have got stuck under some heavy object and I cannot move ahead.

This time, it happened when I got an opportunity to visit 12th Karachi International Book Fair (KIBF) 2016 held in the month of December. For those readers who don’t know about KIBF, the five-day book fair is an annual event, which is organized by the Pakistan Publishers Booksellers’ Association (PPBA), with an aim to provide platform for local book-lovers like me.

KIBF is one of the country’s largest book fairs, bringing many publishing and distribution houses together with domestic and international publishers, booksellers, librarians and institutional customers.

Each year many international publishers participate in this event and this year too, publishers from Iran, Turkey, Singapore, China, Malaysia, England, UAE and other countries were part of this international event.

Coming back to my book-haul, I went on the second day of the fair. As I entered Karachi Expo Center, I was pretty excited because I was going to be with my love (read: books). It was a treat to see children and adults sharing same passion for books.

I made my way to hall number three where I went straight into Liberty Books stall. I browsed through variety of books on the shelves and then I decided to take out my list (which I had been preparing for two days) to purchase only selected books. Though let me tell you, I failed to follow my list.

Before coming to book fair, I made a decision that I would purchase less than ten books. However, I believe decisions are meant to be broken (or rules are meant to be broken) whatever, I end up spending more on books in one go and left broke.

I bought 20 books in the month of December which is quite huge after combining all the months’ purchase.

So, let me present you my last book haul for this year which I am sure will keep me occupied in 2017.

  • Swing Time by Zadie Smith

I am going to read this for the first time and I have never read her before. The story is about two brown girls Tracy and Aimee who dream of becoming dancers. One has talent and the other has ideas about rhythm and time. A complicated childhood friendship ends abruptly in their twenties, never to be revisited but never quite forgotten either.

  • The Vegetarian by Han Kang

I got to know about this novel through Goodreads. A story about Yeong-hye and her husband who apparently seem ordinary people but when Yeong-hye seek a more plant-like existence, commits a shocking act of subversion; she refuses to eat meat.

  • The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Don’t know anything about this novel; the reason to buy this novel is its inclusion in the list of winners of Pulitzer Prize for fiction 2016. The narrator, a Vietnamese army captain explored the legacy of Vietnam War in literature, films and the wars fought today.

  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

First time I saw on liberty books website and that’s it, I decided to buy this one because I was in love with its cover and after reading blurb I thought to myself, need to read this one.  The story revolves around Maurie-Laure and her father who live in Paris near Museum of Natural history. When the Nazis occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo with museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

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  • Do Not Say We have Nothing by Madeleine Thien

As soon as my eyes set on this cover which was lying on the shelf at Liberty book stall, I just picked on the spur of the moment. The novel brings to life one of the most significant political regimes of the 20th century and its traumatic legacy which still resonates for a new generation.

  • The Sellout by Paul Beatty

Winner of Man Booker Prize 2016 is the apt reason for buying this novel. According to what I have read in the blurb of this book, the narrator was raised by a single father, a controversial sociologist. His father was killed in a drive-by shooting and the son realized that there never was a memoir as claimed by his father. The son was left with a bill for a drive-through funeral of his father.

  • Thirteen Reason Why by Jay Asher

I saw its cover first on instagram which was shared by one of the bookstragrammars and therefore the book made into my list. The story is about Clay Jensen who found a strange package on his return to home. Later he discovered several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker-his classmate and first love-who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

  • Finders Keepers by Stephen King

King had to be in my list without any doubt. I had in my mind to buy this title for long and finally I bought it. The novel is full of suspense where the main protagonist Morris Bellamy, a reader, consumed by his obsession for America’s author John Rothstein prepared to kill for a trove of notebooks containing at least one more unpublished novel.

  • Where Worlds Collide by David Waterman

I bought this one from Oxford University Press stall. It was just one of those moments when you read something and it captures your attention. Same happened with this book. The reason behind purchasing this book was its survey of contemporary Pakistani writers and their efforts to trace the itinerary of Pakistan in the 21st century.

  • Haruki Murakami novelsharuki.jpg
    1. Wind-up Bird Chronicle: The story unfolds the tidy suburban realities of Okada’s vague and blameless life are turned inside out and he embarks on a bizarre journey guided by a succession of characters, each with a tale to tell.
    2. Norwegian Wood: A story of one college student’s romantic coming-of-age, the novel takes readers to that distant place of a young man’s first, hopeless and heroic love.
    3. Pinball: The story is based on the writer and it’s also about rat. It’s about a quest, a brief love affair, and the three-flipper Spaceship pinball machine.
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

I was introduced to Kazuo through his first novel ‘A Pale View of Hills’ which I read few days back. I found his writing fresh and he has an ability to draw interest of his readers with his writing style. The words flow like a river on the pages of his novel. Therefore I got hold of his finest work which was also shortlisted for Man Booker Prize. It is a story of love, friendship and memory, which is charged throughout with a sense of the fragility of life.

  • The Art of War by Sun Tzu

I want to read something about strategy and how the politicians and executives use this tool on every level from interpersonal to the international, with an aim to understand the physics and psychology of conflict.

  • The Upstairs Wife by Rafia Zakaria

I read its review sometimes back and it was in my mind to get hands on this one for sure. So, I was enthralled to see this book in the Liberty Book stall.  The story is an intimate exploration of disjunction between exalted dreams and complicated realities.

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  • The GoldFinch by Donna Tartt

Obviously I found this title in the Pulitzer Prize List and then next I found in the book fair. The story revolves around son who is abandoned by his father, miraculously survives a catastrophe that otherwise tears his life apart.

  • Taboo by Fouzia Saeed

The title and the cover says it all. My interest to know about the world of prostitution which is considered a taboo in our society instigated me to purchase this book.

  • Keeping faith by Jodi Picoult

I have watched ‘My Sister’s Keeper’ which was based on Picoult’s novel, a brilliant story full of emotions which is why I bought this one. In this story, the author depicts the broken family and how it affects the child’s mind?

  • David Copperfield

I bought this one because it only cost Rs. 50 and other reason is its story which is both fantasy and fact, an autobiographical fiction that stood the test of time.

  • The Fool’s Tale

Less cost so why not! No other reason to buy this one, and after all I am a book collector at the end so yes, I bought it.  The story is a historical fiction, compelling political intrigue and passionate romance to create an intimate drama of three individuals’ bound-and undone-by love and loyalty.

This year, I was no good but next year, I hope to do a lot more reading and less buying. I only hope but no promise because after all I love books…


Book Review-Double Standards

Judith double standardsEvery story has some purpose which needs to be redefined once it is revealed. Judith McNaught‘s novel ‘Double Standards’ intrigue the reader to read story from cover to cover. Reading her novel is like journeying through a romantic experience while it also acts as a hideout for those who want to get away from chaotic life by immersing themselves in a never-ending romantic adventure.

The story revolves around two characters; Lauren Daner and Nick Sinclair. Like every other novel, the male protagonist was an ideal person who was super rich and had chiseled features whereas female character was pretty and innocent. Nick had a Casanova image and just because all his trust and ability to love were taken away after Nick’s mother, Caroline remarried and turned away, ignoring him after his father died. To protect himself from hurt, Nick had always kept women at a safe distant, and under manageable conditions. Now, he was still charming and handsome but very reserved, with an iron-willed self-control. Lauren Danner was the first to get under his skin. He was charmed by her wit and genuinely like her courage and even her stubbornness. She also presented a challenge for she refused to have a ‘sleazy affair’ (as she called it) with him. The passion of romance was obvious every time both characters were together.  Regardless of all abandonment and deception, Nick finally found true love. No surprise there right 🙂

Judith’s every love story ends with happily ever after and this novel is also no different from rest of her stories. Nevertheless for all those love-struck people I think they should read her works once. I am sure they will love the fantasy world which she created through her writings.

Happy Reading 🙂



13 Traits Only Booklovers Will Understand

Are you passionate about books? Are you the kind of person who likes to carry his/her books everywhere? I mean literally everywhere (no, bathroom is not the right place to take your book). Do you feel like to read every minute of your day? Do you feel a part of your missing when you can’t read any day? Is book the only reason of your existence? Okay probably a bit of exaggeration but nonetheless if you nod to all of my questions so here is good news for you; you are a booklover! Yes, you are deeply, madly in love with books. Okay, I have repeated the word ‘book’ many times in a single paragraph but then this blog is all about loving your books. Every booklover has about similar characteristics which connect them with each other. Here are 13 points which I think every booklover can relate to:

Booklovers Smell Books

Guilty as charged! Whenever I get hold of any new book or matter-of-fact tumblr_m46o86LVoj1qbsprjsecond-hand so one of the first things I do is not reading but I smell the pages. The smell of ink inscribed on those pages opens up your mind to a world of fantasy. It’s kind of an addiction and I suppose every book that passes through the hands of a booklover is sure to get a thorough sniff once in a lifetime.

Solitude is better than people

Booklovers are not introverts but it’s a fact that nothing gives them immense pleasure than being around books rather people.  Being alone tumblr_n6jokzHvO31sdo33qo2_r1_400magnifies their excitement than socializing with every other person. Booklovers believe that one gains more knowledge through reading than talking to people and books could be a better source of comfort than words from another person.

Prefer to Carry books anywhere and everywhere

Rory-Gilmore-I-Take-Books-With-Me-Everywhere-Gilmore-GirlsBooklovers love carrying books anywhere and everywhere either bus, café, workplace or to any party (if only my parents allow me, I would definitely take my book along especially to tiresome wedding proceedings).  They love to pass their leisure time by reading books like I try to squeeze my book reading during breaks at workplace and I also read while commuting back and forth between home and office. Booklovers feel empty without books and it’s the mere reason of their existence.

Bookstore is like going on a shopping spree

Booklovers are fascinated by bookshops. They are very lazy when it comes HSMTmeMy36pzto shopping but the only time they are elated when shopping is focused much on buying more books for their shelf.  The bookstore is a booklover’s dreamland in the same way as the restaurant is a foodie’s comfort place.

Book Library; a temporary getaway for booklovers

Booklovers are readers and they like to be surrounded by books.anigif_enhanced-5300-1424220960-8 That’s why they spend much of their time in libraries. They feel serene and secure at this place.  They know what the essence of a book is to their intellectual growth and for that they are willing to pay any price to get one. Library is like a candy store for booklover where they can get a handful of candies under one roof. They can spend ample amount of time at this place while having no qualms in disconnecting themselves from the outside world.

Booklovers are tentative to lending books

chloe-moretz-books-mean-a-lotYes, this is a dilemma for all booklovers. They are reluctant to lend books to anyone, I mean ANYONE! Books are their only assets and lending a book is a nightmare for them. They find it so difficult to let go of their books.

Don’t change bookmark place else bear consequence

The annoying habit that booklovers loath most is the changing ofmyahqc422h2 bookmark place in their book. Mind it! This is not funny at all and doing such act will cause consequence in the form of unsolicited hysteria which I think you will not be able to handle it.

Booklovers hate when someone asks why they read so much

anigif_enhanced-23546-1422989104-6I do not understand why people question about your voracious reading habits. What’s wrong in abundance reading?  There are so many people, who are addicted to Smartphone, video games or fashion but are never looked upon up with inquisitiveness. Reading defines booklovers and what they are capable of. Therefore stop asking such irritating questions because booklovers are chronic readers, that’s it! Period!

Engrossed in a book

Especially I am knee-deep into a good book, it can be easy to book lover 1forget that there’s a world outside those pages. I have certainly been guilty of putting the world on pause while I am immersed in a book, even when I have to be functional and, you know, do things like talk to people per se.

Idea of a Perfect Weekend

If anyone put up an option to booklover either hangout or book anigif_optimized-3989-1436962897-8reading, I am definite that majority of booklovers will prefer to stay around books. For booklovers, a perfect way to spend weekend is to be with books.  Through reading, booklovers transition to a different place and time, they would prefer to either include it in a perfect holiday or make reading one their ideal vacation experience.

Love book as gifts

Books are the best friends for any booklover. It’s a treat for book6booklover to receive books in the form of gifts. So next time if you want to buy me a gift you know what to buy for me. I would love my gifts without wrapping paper unless they are books

Reaction to a non-book lover

anigif_enhanced-buzz-6737-1425616430-7Booklovers prefer people who have similar fondness for books.  A non-reader is a negative force; therefore booklovers keep up a distance from all non-readers

Choose a favorite book

8872184As a booklover, I never understand that

which book is my favorite.  I mean you have infinite choices of books and to pick one favorite book is like searching a pearl in sea of shells.