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  1. #81
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    I've been going through some of Bill Bryson's travel books. He's a pretty engaging writer. Currently on A Short History of Nearly Everything.

    Anything by Iain Banks is great, especially his SF.

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by midwicket
    I've been going through some of Bill Bryson's travel books. He's a pretty engaging writer. Currently on A Short History of Nearly Everything.

    Anything by Iain Banks is great, especially his SF.
    I have read (listened to) the audio version of A Short History of Nearly Everything, excellent and very engaging. I have read (heard) the audio versions of Iain Bank's Walking on Glass and Dead Air.

    Today I am going to start the Kite Runner (once again the audio version).


    Before going to prison he [Nelson Mandela] said, “Make every home, every shack or rickety structure into a learning center.”

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph K.
    I read Dubliners back in 1990, excellent starting point for reading Joyce. That last story, the one about a dead musician is very touching. The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man shows Joyce at his best. Moving on to Ulysses and Finnegans Wake is not necessary but can be done for the sake of a sense of achievement. I had to read Ulysses twice, first to understand TS Eliot's 'mythical method' and second time as a part of my syllabus while studying at the University of London. I read Inferno while studying TS Eliot, back in 1990, as well. Those were the days of leisure and freedom. I read Inferno in one sitting at the Punjab University Library, New Campus, one hot summer day. I think no one has read Inferno here otherwise a fatwa would have been issued by now against the author as well as the readers!
    I agree that Dubliners is an excellent starting point for reading Joyce, but I think Ulysses is Joyce at his best. Portrait is fantastic too (as is its genesis Stephen Hero) but Ulysses just blew me away and literally changed my life. I spent 3 months studying it, doing a chapter a week, with annotations, study guide, the works. I'd rather not discuss the Wake because reading it drove me to the edge of insanity! That too was done with annotations, as I suppose it must, in order to understand it.

    I'm excited about Inferno because I finished reading Paradise Lost a few months ago and I imagine there will be an interesting juxtaposition to identify.

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheikh
    I agree that Dubliners is an excellent starting point for reading Joyce, but I think Ulysses is Joyce at his best. Portrait is fantastic too (as is its genesis Stephen Hero) but Ulysses just blew me away and literally changed my life. I spent 3 months studying it, doing a chapter a week, with annotations, study guide, the works. I'd rather not discuss the Wake because reading it drove me to the edge of insanity! That too was done with annotations, as I suppose it must, in order to understand it.

    I'm excited about Inferno because I finished reading Paradise Lost a few months ago and I imagine there will be an interesting juxtaposition to identify.
    If you really want to invest some time in Finnegans Wake, Adaline Glasheen's Census of Finnegans Wake would help you no end. It is available online (surprise, surprise!) here http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi...sheenFinnegans
    Isn't the nternet wonderful! How times have changed. I had the whole book in photocopied form and I used to spend whole days and nights annotating my Faber & Faber 1st edition of the Wake using this census. There are literally thousands of references to historical characters from Adam & Eve to HCE and Anna Livia.

    As far as as Milton and Dante are concerned, you might not find much in common between the two. Milton is too different from anything else, too much into doing his own thing. If you really want to see Dante's influence, you'll have to stick with the modernists, specially Joyce, Eliot and Ezra Pond.


    Before going to prison he [Nelson Mandela] said, “Make every home, every shack or rickety structure into a learning center.”

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph K.
    If you really want to invest some time in Finnegans Wake, Adaline Glasheen's Census of Finnegans Wake would help you no end. It is available online (surprise, surprise!) here http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi...sheenFinnegans
    Isn't the nternet wonderful! How times have changed. I had the whole book in photocopied form and I used to spend whole days and nights annotating my Faber & Faber 1st edition of the Wake using this census. There are literally thousands of references to historical characters from Adam & Eve to HCE and Anna Livia.

    As far as as Milton and Dante are concerned, you might not find much in common between the two. Milton is too different from anything else, too much into doing his own thing. If you really want to see Dante's influence, you'll have to stick with the modernists, specially Joyce, Eliot and Ezra Pond.
    I said that I don't want to discuss the Wake! Lol! I'm serious man, now you've gone and instilled H.C.E AND A.L.P back into my head!

    While I don't expect to find much in common with Milton and Dante, I'm intrigued to see Dante's depiction of hell as compared to Milton's. The fact that both are written in verse intrigues me as well.

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheikh
    I said that I don't want to discuss the Wake! Lol! I'm serious man, now you've gone and instilled H.C.E AND A.L.P back into my head!

    While I don't expect to find much in common with Milton and Dante, I'm intrigued to see Dante's depiction of hell as compared to Milton's. The fact that both are written in verse intrigues me as well.
    Dante borrowed more from the Muslims, specially ibn i Arabi and the various account of Mearraj than anybody else. Milton was a nutter. From the outset of Paradise Lost he was bent upon doing something different:

    ....while it pursues
    Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhime.

    Milton is all about neo-classical majesty, grandeur and the sublime. Dante' on the other hand, is typical humanistic, renaissance and thoroughly planted in his medieval roots. No other work of literature defines the renaissance more completely than Divine Comedy.


    Before going to prison he [Nelson Mandela] said, “Make every home, every shack or rickety structure into a learning center.”

  7. #87
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    The Kite Runner:

    This picture of the innocent years of the Afghan history is tarnished with the hatreds between the secular and the religious and Pakhtoons and the Hazaras. There is a lesson to be learned here: hatred transforms itself and causes intolerance and strife. Before the Soviet invasion, Afghanistan was all right, no Talibaan, no foreign fighters, no suicide bombers, but the respect for humanity was absent from society. The same disrespect for other human beings bloomed into full-fledged prosecution of people in the name of religion. Hatred, any hatred, is simply wrong. Societies do not make progress without tolerance and respect for other person's point of view.

    Simply a haunting read. I am mind-blown. I don't want to read it. It is too true, too cruel and too dark. But I will read it as I can't not read this book. Will finish it tomorrow. Next project: John Connolly's The Book of Lost Things (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Book-Lost-Th...5962725&sr=1-8)


    Before going to prison he [Nelson Mandela] said, “Make every home, every shack or rickety structure into a learning center.”

  8. #88
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    An Unquiet Mind

  9. #89
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    Harry Potter and the deathly hallows

  10. #90
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    Have we all stopped reading or just forgot about this thread ?

    I'm currently reading a book called Killers, which surprise surprise is a book that details some of history's most notorious serial killers.



  11. #91
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    Psychology AS Revision GUide , Exam In A Week

  12. #92
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    currently reading 'The brief history of time' but dont seem to get the time to finish it.

  13. #93
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    Rediscovering Raymond Chandler's work now. Getting my hands on all of his books that we have.

  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj
    Have we all stopped reading or just forgot about this thread ?
    Actually I havent read a book in a couple of months, I need to get back into it soon!

  15. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlanetPakistan
    currently reading 'The brief history of time' but dont seem to get the time to finish it.
    By Stephen Hawking, a brilliant book. You can start reading the book with no idea about physics at all, and when you finish, you will have a good idea of what most physicists understand about the universe. I have never seen a book so well written for the layman.

  16. #96
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    I am currently reading the complete Sherlock Holmes collection, picked it up on discount. I must say, I don't like Holmes that much. I don't read those stories for their mystery value, but more for their 19th century Victorian society outlook which I find interesting. I think Agatha Christie mysteries are the best.

    I also finished reading "The Bourne Legacy" By some author who is trying to continue Robert Ludlum's work but who has failed miserably. I could have written a better plot then that. It was really hard for me to finish the book as I found it very uninteresting.

    I also read a page or two out of "Reliance of the Traveler" every few days. it is very informative book of Fiqh.

    Don't really get time to read books these days. It has been ages since I last went to the library.

  17. #97
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    One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest by Ken Kesey


    Majid Jehangir Khan - classiest Pakistani cricketer both on and off the field.

  18. #98
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    Recently Read Romeo n Juliet in my College! it was soooooo boring and retarted. I hated it. William Shakespeare is a...............

  19. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by pakcricketfan786
    Recently Read Romeo n Juliet in my College! it was soooooo boring and retarted. I hated it. William Shakespeare is a...............
    Best thing about Shakespeare is that it shows his readers their own face! "A mirror up to nature."

    Finished listening to Ulysses, excellent reading:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ulysses-Mode.../dp/9626343095

    At the moment I am reading Marcel Proust's 'Remembrance of Things Past' in Moncrieff's translation (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Remembrance-...9144945&sr=8-3) Got fed up of carrying the huge book around so bought myself an eReader just to read Proust! Very slow read but very rewarding. I am about to finish the second part.
    Last edited by Joseph K.; 31st December 2007 at 22:53.

  20. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by pakcricketfan786
    Recently Read Romeo n Juliet in my College! it was soooooo boring and retarted. I hated it. William Shakespeare is a...............
    I always felt the same way about Romeo and Juliet until I saw it in a theater. It was really amazing. The plot is certainly intriguing and if you try to see from Act III onwards where things could have changed, it is very hard to tell if there could have been another ending.

    Don't read Shakespeare as a glorified piece of literature, read it the way he meant it to be, a popular drama meant to be enjoyed by the common folks similar to many movies today. Only then do you realize why his stuff is so great. Plays like Macbeth is so badass, it is hard for young adolescents not to enjoy it. Hamlet is pure genius in its philosophical meaning. Give the guy some credit.

  21. #101
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    Veronica decides to die by Paulo Coelho. Extremely good read & well worth it.

  22. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by deviously~fading~away
    Veronica decides to die by Paulo Coelho. Extremely good read & well worth it.
    well worth what?



    کجھ شہر دے لوک وی ظالم سن
    کجھ مینوں مرن دا شوق وی سی

  23. #103
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    Finished reading The Kite Runner. Its a chlling story that makes you put down the book in horror at times but Khaled is a good story teller and you keep coming back to it.

    Now starting Inspite of the Gods by Edward Luce.

  24. #104
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    "Taliban: Islam, Oil and the New Great Game in Central Asia" Ahmed Rashid;

    I just finished reading the book on Taliban by Ahmed Rashid. If anyone wants to understand the complexities in Afghanistan, look no further. Ahmed Rashid is a Pakistani journalist who has spent many years since the 70s in Afghanistan and understands the varying cultures, proxy wars that has kept this region divided.

    It will also explain why Pakistan has and will continue to suffer (thanks to the ISI) as they gambled on the Taliban to provide them with a pro-Afghan government.

    "In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammad" Tariq Ramadan:


    Tariq Ramadan's book is a brilliant writeup which focuses on the lessons to be learned from the Holy Prophet's life which apply even today. We have lost the true meaning of his sunat and have got caught up with meaningless rituals.

    A spiritual yet practical interpretation of the amazing story of the Prophet.
    Last edited by Kashif; 1st January 2008 at 01:36.

  25. #105
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    Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Performance tuning

    a very handy book


    Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed

  26. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by moumotta
    Finished reading The Kite Runner. Its a chlling story that makes you put down the book in horror at times but Khaled is a good story teller and you keep coming back to it.

    Now starting Inspite of the Gods by Edward Luce.
    I found Hussaini's book chilling as well. Horrible, horrible, horrible. But I found things extremely exaggerated in it. Pedophilia is very common in Afghanistan, even in Pakistan (don't know about the plight of children in India) but the Afghans I know confirm that the Taliban came down really hard on the tradition of keeping children for sexual pleasure, specially in the Kandhar region where pedophilia is almost a part of the cultural tradition. Harrowing tale. I have his second book, 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' waiting to be listened to. I might start it alongside reading Proust.

  27. #107
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    cant be bothered to read find it boring and a waste of time

  28. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph K.
    I found Hussaini's book chilling as well. Horrible, horrible, horrible. But I found things extremely exaggerated in it. Pedophilia is very common in Afghanistan, even in Pakistan (don't know about the plight of children in India) but the Afghans I know confirm that the Taliban came down really hard on the tradition of keeping children for sexual pleasure, specially in the Kandhar region where pedophilia is almost a part of the cultural tradition. Harrowing tale. I have his second book, 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' waiting to be listened to. I might start it alongside reading Proust.
    Exactly my thought, that was one vice I never thought a committed religious militia would be associated with. A few pages later when the identity of the villain is revealed you realise that he is a pervert since childhood and has joined the Taliban only for his love of violence.

    While the later part of the book is full of heart wrenching moments, the other situation that sent my head spinning is when the Russian soldier asked to spend half an hour in private with the young lady fleeing Afghanistan and the fact that every one seemed so resigned to fate, like it is a small price to pay for freedom. It is an example of how war debases human dignity.

    I am in the waiting list at the local library for 'A Thousand Splendid Suns', Should get it later this month.

  29. #109
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    Currently reading "Needful things" by stephen King. good so far

  30. #110
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    Bret Hart's "Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling".

    I haven't watched that much wrestling for a while but Bret Hart was one guy I grew up watching, so I really wanted to read this.
    Last edited by Showman; 2nd January 2008 at 18:49.

  31. #111
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    Oedipus the King

    Its a play we're reading in my English class.

  32. #112
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    Read Kite Runner few days back. A good read generally however I was surpirsed the author completely ignored the role American played in destroying Afghanistan.

  33. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunny92
    Read Kite Runner few days back. A good read generally however I was surpirsed the author completely ignored the role American played in destroying Afghanistan.
    The story does not cover that time in history when Americans were there. Still the book was written for a Western audience, going out of its way to confirm their stereotypes. Such books always please everybody.

  34. #114
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    Rage of Angels by Sidney Sheldon.

  35. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by FAM
    Rage of Angels by Sidney Sheldon.
    Wow, that's a right old-timer you've got there. I still remember my cousin reading Sheldon and Harold Robins all the time, I was very small then. Sheldon used to be very famous back then. I read 'Goodbye Jannet' during my teens but for entirely different reasons (had no love for literature then!)

  36. #116
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    reading jinnah by wolpert

    christ it's boring



    کجھ شہر دے لوک وی ظالم سن
    کجھ مینوں مرن دا شوق وی سی

  37. #117
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    lol..
    I finished Nightmare in the Angel city 2 days ago


    #JusticeForFawad

  38. #118
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    Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt

  39. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by TAK
    well worth what?
    well worth the time that you would spend while reading it

  40. #120
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    Just finished reading 'Moth Smoke' by Mohsin Hamid. About to start his other novel 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist'.

  41. #121
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    "Recomend books to read" & "book review" thread

    as the title suggests!

    anyways, im looking to buy a few books to read on the train to uni. wanted to no any books people may suggest. the topics i am looking at is geopolitics and economics.

    the 2 books im looking to buy atm is:

    A Century Of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order
    by F. William Engdahl


    China Shakes the World: A Titan's Rise and Troubled Future -- and the Challenge for America
    by James Kynge

    so if any1 has read anything else on these topics post it up on this thread!




    for any book reviews and suggestions please use this thread!

  42. #122
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    "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" Mohsin Hamid;

    Enjoyed the style of writing. Excellant read covering the media driven tensions rising between Muslims/Non-Muslims after 9/11.


    "The Kite Runner: Khaled Hosseini;

    I just could'nt put this book down. Read it in one go. Gripping story set in Afghanistan mixed well with real events affecting the country since the Soviet invasion. A story of redemption.

    "Taliban: Islam, Oil and the New Great Game in Central Asia" Ahmed Rashid;

    Although written back in 2001....still pretty relevant for today and explaining why Afghanistan are where they are today.....and the events happening in Pakistan.

    "Tunnels" Roderick Gordon; Brian Williams;

    More for kids but an enjoyable read. Expect this to be made into a film later on. Just ordered the sequel...'Deeper'.

    "In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammad" Tariq Ramadan.

    Fantastic read. A refreshing look at The Prophet (pbuh)'s biography and the events affecting his life. Lessons to be drawn from those events and how we can learn from his life. Tariq Ramadan writes down his reflections and views.

  43. #123
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    Just finished 'A Case of Exploding Mangoes' by Mohammad Hanif.

    Here is what I said about it in the other thread....

    I finished reading this book last night. An excellent read and I definitely recommend it to all. The black humour had me in fits of laughter at times. I also loved the way Zia ul Haq was depicted as a mentally deranged paranoid maniac!

  44. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hash
    Just finished 'A Case of Exploding Mangoes' by Mohammad Hanif.

    Here is what I said about it in the other thread....

    Sounds hilarious. I need to buy this one too now. I grew up during the 'Zia daur' in Pakistan.

  45. #125
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    Last couple of months:

    Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
    Cervantes - Don Quixote
    Bourne Identity - Robert Ludlum

  46. #126
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    The Official Book Recommendation Thread

    Hey guys, i just thought i'd create this thread for the PP 'bookworms' out there!

    I love my books, and i've just finished reading 'A Case of Exploding Mangoes' by Mohammad Hanif...and what a 'novel'!
    I absolutely loved it, couldn't put it down! Highly recommend it.

    I've been kept occupied in the last month or two with 'Kiterunner', 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' (both by Khaled Hossaini, both highly recommended) and of course 'A Case of Exploding Mangoes' but i need more!

    Do you guys have any good books to recommend? Hopefully we can keep this thread alive, updating it with various books for each others to enjoy and spread the word!

    Code:
    Mohammad Hanif - A Case of Exploding Mangoes 9/10
    Khaled Hossaini - The Kiterunner 9/10
    Khaled Hossaini - A Thousand Splendid Suns 8/10
    Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto - Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto; Notes From Death Cell 6/10
    Will Adams - Alexander Cipher 8/10
    Last edited by Mohsin; 29th July 2009 at 13:49.


    Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf...for the Quaid(ra) and Iqbal(ra)'s Pakistan

  47. #127
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    Olympics: Power, Money & Drugs. Lord of Rings

    Author/Editor. Vyv Simson & Andrew Jennings

    Basically, it's an eye-opening look at the power, money and drugs in the modern Olympic movement.

    Corrupt to the core.


    Saeed Ajmal & Younis Khan: The Pride of Pakistan

  48. #128
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    Currently I'm reading Toofani Talwar by Shaykh Dawud Ibn Jamal.

    It's a swords and sorcery tale set in a fictional Britain just before the Roman invasion!

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sword-Storm-...3526952&sr=8-1
    Last edited by Mercenary; 1st February 2009 at 21:23.

  49. #129
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    Mera naam Mungoo. I don't know the author but there was a drama on PTV many years ago. I didn't read the book but saw the drama.

    Last book (not counting some of the other course books) I had to read in school was The Sword and the Dollar. Not a boring read (non fictional)
    Last edited by 12thMan; 1st February 2009 at 21:28.

  50. #130
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    I'm reading a text book
    - Economy of Pakistan

    and am about to read a non-text book
    Constitutional and Political History of Pakistan by Hamid Khan


    []Wazeeri aka Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Wazeeri[/]

  51. #131
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    Bourne Series - it's basically an action-packed series, it's much better then the series of movies they released on the books.

    The Audacity of Hope (Barack Obama) - This is an excellent book written by Barack Obama, at that time he was an Illinois Senator. Basically Ilinois's Democratic senator illuminates the constraints of mainstream politics all too well in this sonorous manifesto.


    May the Hawks Fly Forever. Lightning Hawks CC -- Team Thread.

  52. #132
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    Luke Rhinehart - The Dice Man

    A controversial book, it was actually banned in quite a few countries. About a psychiatrist who begins making life decisions based on the simple rolw of a dice. Kind of messes with the mind but good book nevertheless.
    Last edited by Mohsin; 1st February 2009 at 21:36.


    Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf...for the Quaid(ra) and Iqbal(ra)'s Pakistan

  53. #133
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    The Dice Man sounds interesting.
    I haven't read much non-fiction since I was a teen.

    Let me know if this is worth reading once you finish.


    []Wazeeri aka Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Wazeeri[/]

  54. #134
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    Moth Smoke - Mohsin Hamid

    Three Cups of Tea - Greg Mortensen and David Oliver Relin (just started reading this, so far its good)

    War Stories
    - Jeremy Bowen

    Bookseller of Kabul
    - Asne Seierstad
    Last edited by Geordie Ahmed; 13th March 2009 at 21:44.

  55. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wazeeri
    Let me know if this is worth reading once you finish.
    you are not missing much

    it's ok

    very 1970's

    readable

    bury my heart at wounded knee for a bit of non-fiction

    how the white man stole america
    Last edited by TAK; 1st February 2009 at 21:41.



    کجھ شہر دے لوک وی ظالم سن
    کجھ مینوں مرن دا شوق وی سی

  56. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geordie Ahmed
    Three Cups of Tea - Greg Mortensen and David Oliver Relin (just started reading this, so far its good)
    Sounds heart-warming, though i'm interested in the writing style. Is it written in an autobiographical first person manner or more like a novel?


    Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf...for the Quaid(ra) and Iqbal(ra)'s Pakistan

  57. #137
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    The Tao of Muhammad Ali by Davis Miller


    Saeed Ajmal & Younis Khan: The Pride of Pakistan

  58. #138
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    Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist
    by Roger Lowenstein

    Adventure Capitalist: The Ultimate Road Trip
    by Jim Rogers


    Market Wizard, all of them

    Come Into My Trading Room by Alexander Elder

    Inside the House of Money: Top Hedge Fund Traders on Profiting in the Global Markets By Steven Drobny

    Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins

    Empire of Debt: The Rise of an Epic Financial Crisis
    By William Bonner, Addison Wiggin

    In The Line Of Fire By Perveiz Musharraf

    The Art of war by by Sun Tzu

    Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam by Allama Iqbal

    The International Jew by Henry Ford

    Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefevre

    Wall Street – The Other Las Vegas and How I Made $2mil by Nicolas Darvas

  59. #139
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    Dajla
    Mazeed Hamaaqatein
    Dareeche


    all by Shafiqur Rehman (or any other book by the author for that matter)

  60. #140
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    Muhammad By Martin Ling ... great biography!

  61. #141
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    Freedom Next Time
    by John Pilger

    'Freedom Next Time' was published on 5 June 2006. This is John Pilger's first major collection since 'The New Rulers of the World' and includes chapters on Afghanistan, Palestine, South Africa and India - countries where people either have glimpsed freedom or have reached a critical stage in their struggle. Described by the author as "a guide to the unprecedented threat in our midst and those who resist it on all our behalf", this promises to be one of Pilger's most powerful books.



    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Guardian's review of this 'outstanding' book

    John Pilger is a very unusual journalist. He writes about people on the receiving end of grisly western policies - whether bombs or economic "advice" - and then exposes the motivations of those who are responsible. One might think Pilger is just doing his job. In fact, it is an indictment of western journalism that this way of working is rather unusual and Pilger unique. He opens by writing: "This book is about empire, its facades and the enduring struggle of people for their freedom. It offers an antidote to authorised versions of contemporary history that censor by omission and impose double standards." Chagossians, Palestinians, Afghans, South Africans and Indians are the voiceless given a voice.

    Chagossians? The media, especially TV, has largely failed to report Britain's forced depopulation of the Chagos islands (including Diego Garcia, now a US military base), which must count as one of the great state propaganda triumphs in recent history. "What upsets you the most?" Pilger asks Olivier Bancoult, the Chagossians' leader in exile. "The lie that we didn't exist," he replies. Why, with 24-hour news coverage and hundreds of channels, have these people been invisible for so long?

    A secret document drawn up by British planners in 1968 was called "maintaining the fiction", and argued (knowing it was untrue) that the islanders were not permanent inhabitants. The author, one Anthony Ivall Aust, then a legal adviser to the Foreign Office, was subsequently awarded a CMG in the Queen's birthday honours. The story is a good indication of mainstream British political culture - buried in the mainstream media, the perpetrators of crimes against foreign unpeople shower honours on themselves while the US is appeased.

    Yet "maintaining the fiction" also nicely describes Whitehall's current stance in the Middle East, where the official story is that Britain is an "honest broker" between Israel and Palestine. The reality is that Britain has provided more than £70m in military equipment to Israel in the past five years, acts as Israel's chief defender in the EU by resisting calls to rescind preferential trade arrangements and virtually never even calls for an end to the occupation of Palestinian territory. Pilger writes that Britain, and France, gave Israel a "green light" to attack the West Bank in 2001, having been shown a secret plan for an all-out reoccupation. He also counters the "absurd claim" - widely reported - that Israel's former prime minister Ehud Barak previously offered to give up 90% of the West Bank.

    Pilger's interviews with Palestinians are among the most moving in the book, such as with Liana Badr, the director of the Palestinian Cultural Centre, just after it has been hideously destroyed by Israeli soldiers. "We have been raped; and all the while, the perpetrators are crying that they are the victims, demanding the world's sorrow and perpetual silence about us while their powerful army demolishes our culture, our lives," she says.

    What about the "authorised version" of reality in South Africa since the end of apartheid? Pilger notes that while average household income has risen by 15%, average black household income has fallen by 19%. The World Bank in effect imposed a traditional "structural adjustment programme" after apartheid, but with the complicity of the African National Congress (ANC) government. Although the ANC certainly has its achievements, it has failed to reclaim sufficient land for the dispossessed and presides over a growing gap between rich and poor.

    "The unspoken deal," Pilger writes, "was that whites would retain economic control in exchange for black majority rule." Thus secret meetings were held in Britain before 1994 between the current president, Thabo Mbeki, members of the Afrikaner elite and companies with big commercial stakes in the country. Mandela told Pilger: "We do not want to challenge big business that can take fright and take away their money . . . You can call it Thatcherite but, for this country, privatisation is the fundamental policy."

    Pilger is virtually alone in daring to expose the "ambiguity of Mandela" himself. Though recognising Mandela's role in alerting the world to the dangers of the Bush administration, Pilger writes that "as the first liberation president, he ordered a ridiculous and bloody invasion of tiny Lesotho. He allowed South African armaments to be sold to Algeria, Colombia and Peru, which have notorious human rights records. He invited the Indonesian mass murderer General Suharto to South Africa and gave him the country's highest award . . . He recognised the brutal Burmese junta as a legitimate government."

    In some of Pilger's other interviews, such as those with Bush administration officials John Bolton and Douglas Feith, the absurdity of modern imperialism stands out. Bolton was described by Senator Jesse Helms as "the kind of man with whom I would want to stand at Armageddon"; Feith, meanwhile, after his fall from the Pentagon, was described by General Tommy Franks, the US commander in Iraq, as "the ****ing stupidest guy on the face of the earth".

    Pilger sees the low turnout in the 2005 election - when only a fifth of the adult population voted for Blair - as showing not apathy but "an undeclared strike that reflects a rising awareness, consciousness even, offering more than hope".

    Freedom Next Time allows us to hear the personal testimonies of those challenging power. The array of interviews with the voiceless and abused provides an indispensable corrective to the litany of disinformation we are fed by the media, and for this achievement Pilger is surely the most outstanding journalist in the world today.

    · Mark Curtis's Unpeople: Britain's Secret Human Rights Abuses is published by Vintage. Freedom Next Time is launched at the Hay festival tomorrow.

  62. #142
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    Martin Lings - Muhammad (quite possibly the most well-written seerah of the Prophet Mohammad SAW)

    On some more lighter fictional books:
    - Magician series by Feist
    - His Dark Materials by Pullman
    - Bartimaeus Trilogy (forgot who the author was)

  63. #143
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    Unfortunately, call it work commitments or some other excuse, I have stopped reading books!

    I used to read only Tom Clancy but since Ryan has pretty much retired, I dont bother any more.

    Now I rely on PP ( ) , Internet, TV and magazines for information and relaxation.

    Having said all that, as I get older, I have started to read one book more often then ever before....doesnt qualify as a bestseller in the current sense but has more information than anything else and keeps me totally absorbed. Its about 1400 years old.


    For answers to the Universe, Life and everything : TheSourceNews(TSN)

  64. #144
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    Excellent thread.

    Mohsin, I would rank the Kite Runner way ahead of a Thousand Splendid Suns, both in terms of the quality of writing, and the story-telling aspect. He's a pretty good writer Khalid Hosseni, weaves a tangled web that keeps you wanting more. That is, and has always been, the art of being a good writer.

    I'm currently preoccupied with "Of Human Bondage" by Somerset Maugham, who's fast becoming my favorite author.

    I also read recently, "An Equal Music" by Vikram Seth, an Indian writer, who, with this novel, has written perhaps the best novel of music ever. It's cooly written, with wit, dry and harsh humor, both in an inspiring and heart-breaking manner. Definitely recommend both those two books.

  65. #145
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    The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens

  66. #146
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    Of Human Bondage is wonderful, Easa. Too tragic at times and too close for comfort if you know what I mean, but absolutely brilliant. Somerset Maugham is a craftsman.

  67. #147
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    How green was my valley is a delightful read.

  68. #148
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    Shantaram - very good book
    about an aussie convict on the run, who ends up in mumbai, and gets involved with the mumbai mafia

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shantaram-Gr.../dp/0349117543

  69. #149
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    War of civilizations by robert fisk
    Age of the warrior by Robert fisk
    The biography of Salah ud din by his official biographer Baha ud din
    Road to Mecca by the embassador of Pakistan to the UNin 1952 a jewish Austrian who latter converted to Islam
    Islam in Andalus


    Live today, Learn from yesterday, Plan for tomorrow!

  70. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easa
    Excellent thread.

    Mohsin, I would rank the Kite Runner way ahead of a Thousand Splendid Suns, both in terms of the quality of writing, and the story-telling aspect. He's a pretty good writer Khalid Hosseni, weaves a tangled web that keeps you wanting more. That is, and has always been, the art of being a good writer.
    Maybe i was a little rash with the ratings; it was Kiterunner which introduced me to Khaled Hossaini and his magnificent emotive style of writing. Tbh i enjoyed The Kiterunner more but i personally think ATSS was written much better in terms of getting the imaginative juices flowing and really playing with the mind.


    Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf...for the Quaid(ra) and Iqbal(ra)'s Pakistan

  71. #151
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    The Sword of Allah: Khalid Ibn Al-Waleed by A. I. Akram. A wonderful book!

    Download e-book from here:

    http://www.imaanstar.com/khalid.php

    If at all possible though, get hold of the printed version from a library, or buy it. I for one am never comfortable reading an e-book.
    Last edited by Momo; 2nd February 2009 at 14:26.

  72. #152
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    I have never read a novel in my life. I wish i had, i am regreting it now, could have improved my vocabulary and reading skills.

    But i love reading autobiographies and books related to historical events and biographies in general.

    The last book i ever read was on the Israeli Secret Service Mossad "Thou shall do War through art and deception" by Victor Ostrovsky (secret identity) and it is a fascinating account of most of Mossad's secretive operations around the world.

  73. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by khalidali7070
    War of civilizations by robert fisk
    Age of the warrior by Robert fisk
    The biography of Salah ud din by his official biographer Baha ud din
    Road to Mecca by the embassador of Pakistan to the UNin 1952 a jewish Austrian who latter converted to Islam
    Islam in Andalus

    Robert Fisk - The Great War For Civilization

    Robert Fisk - The Age of the Warrior

    both excellent books

  74. #154
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mohsin
    Sounds heart-warming, though i'm interested in the writing style. Is it written in an autobiographical first person manner or more like a novel?
    Only read a few pages so far - its written by David Oliver Relin who narrates the story of what happened to Greg and how he came about to doing what he did.

  75. #155
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    i just started reading , " Islam, A Short History , by Karen Armstrong .

    its actually a course book. but i have found it quite interesting and enjoyable. also i get to know the history of the Muslims through the perspective of a non-muslim.

  76. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by pakistani_banda
    i just started reading , " Islam, A Short History , by Karen Armstrong .

    its actually a course book. but i have found it quite interesting and enjoyable. also i get to know the history of the Muslims through the perspective of a non-muslim.
    I got that book a few years ago - read about a good 50 or so pages BUT then for some reason stopped - and then kind of forgot to finish it off.

    I do intend on reading it because the little i read was very good

  77. #157
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    liked 'the reluctant fundamentalist ' , very good read ....!


    " you don't play for the crowd, you play for your country " - MSD

  78. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by Informer
    Robert Fisk - The Great War For Civilization

    Robert Fisk - The Age of the Warrior

    both excellent books
    Thanks for the correction!


    Live today, Learn from yesterday, Plan for tomorrow!

  79. #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mohsin
    Maybe i was a little rash with the ratings; it was Kiterunner which introduced me to Khaled Hossaini and his magnificent emotive style of writing. Tbh i enjoyed The Kiterunner more but i personally think ATSS was written much better in terms of getting the imaginative juices flowing and really playing with the mind.
    definitely an excellent book.. I have read both Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns... great simplicity in the way it's written.


    May the Hawks Fly Forever. Lightning Hawks CC -- Team Thread.

  80. #160
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    one of the most stunning and eye opening books on banking, the very rare 'The Mystery of Banking' by Murray N. Rothbard is now back in print.

    ebook is availble here, and highly recommended to read
    http://mises.org/Books/mysteryofbanking.pdf


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