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  1. #561
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    Chethan Bhagath is a mediocre writer..no issues with that..but i have a grudge for the spread of this mediocrity..in schools, in english literature books we are exposed to the best of indian writers..we read dickens, mark twain (in western writers) , r k narayan all in school..and then i see college students reading chethan bhagath and one of my favourite posters reading " i too had a love story"..then i think our evolution has been put back because of Chethan Bhagath phenomenon.. anyway, sorry to butt in..enjoy that book..i was only thinking that i shouldnt have made fun of that girl who read that book.
    Last edited by GentleMan; 3rd January 2013 at 02:02.

  2. #562
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    Quote Originally Posted by GentleMan View Post
    Chethan Bhagath is a mediocre writer..no issues with that..but i have a grudge for the spread of this mediocrity..in schools, in english literature books we are exposed to the best of indian writers..we read dickens, mark twain (in western writers) , r k narayan all in school..and then i see college students reading chethan bhagath and one of my favourite posters reading " i too had a love story"..then i think our evolution has been put back because of Chethan Bhagath phenomenon.. anyway, sorry to butt in..enjoy that book..i was only thinking that i shouldnt have made fun of that girl who read that book.
    I think you are getting confused by reading and then liking it..and then proclaiming it as genious!! anybody who reads bhagath would not say they are great books...but good entertaining books with a connectable story!!! 90% of those people would not even read books....remaining 10% will go back and read great books and then appreciate genius in them.....comeback to me when I say bhagath's books are great literary works.... I enjoy his books..and I think it takes skill to connect with people all over India....especially because we are not that much into book reading these days..a 10,000 copy seller is considered a best seller in india..and bhagath sells lakhs....there is difference between entertaining books and books with great writing....if you can pull of both...you become grisham...and dan brown....etc etc..

  3. #563
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    he is not connecting with people all over india..he is connecting with the typical high school, college going kid who wants to read about college friendship and romance, and since he is too good to read books in his mother tongue and too bad to understand good literature in english..he goes for chethan bhagath..when you are having that cappuccino at starbucks and you have a chethan bhagath novel on the coffee table it makes you look trendy..thats the readership he is connecting with.

  4. #564
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    I was talked into reading One Night @ the Call Center by a cousin during one of my visits to India. Poorly written, superficial, and mundane. Haven't read any of this other novels, but I would be surprised if thy were any better.

    In response to the thread, Tapestry 5: Building Web Applications. I haven't read fiction in years.

  5. #565
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    I don't always read books, but when I do................I read em just by their cover.

  6. #566
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    The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad.

  7. #567
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    Kafka on the shore by Haruki Murakami. Great book, lot of supernatural stuff, dreams, parallel worlds, past and future colliding, strange happenings, sci fi, a young boy and an old man.....worth reading if you are into that kind of stuff.


    “I am not young enough to know everything.”

    ― Oscar Wilde

  8. #568
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    I totally agree with Navroks and totally disagree with Gentleman.. Till Oct 2012, I never bothered reading any of the novels.. I always though that reading novel is a waste of time as you can't visualise it easiliy..Also, I found the diction quite OTT in almost every novel and I usually don't find any connection with the words used by highly critical novels mentioned by Gentleman... However when someone told me to read 'Five point someone', '2 States' and ' 3 Mistakes of my life', I actually started appreciating novels.. I actually read Life of Pii just because Chetan Bhagat changed my views toward novels... I agree that 'One night at Call Centre' is crap and 'Revolution 2020' is ok ok, '2 States','Five point someone'and ' 3 Mistakes of my life' are just brilliant.... and Gentleman, I am a full time working power engineer and I don't think CB novels are just for high school or college going students...

    btw Gentleman, being a lurker at home and away forum, I have noticed that you are a very opinionative person and easily generalize people...

  9. #569
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    i didnt mention any highly critical novels, i mentioned good writers.. the writers whom we read in school.. if you have read the bachelor of arts, the guide, swami and friends by R K Narayan, train to pakistan by Khushwant Singh, books by Ruskin Bond, a suitable boy by Vikram Seth (read that in college) then you will find there is nothing difficult about these books..they are easy to read and yet quality reads.. but while these books gather dust in school and college libraries, people go and buy books by CB because they are fashionable and everyone is reading them..jumping on the gravy train...

    i think all of his books are mediocre..the macdonaldization of indian (english) literature... but if he has helped the young generation to start the habit of reading then i must commend him for that..although he or rather the success of his mediocrity has created the mushrooming of novels like " i too had a love story" and "anything for you ma'am" ..and other novels meant for juveniles.. and when mediocrity starts becoming popular, literary novels will start dying a slow death..why will the publishers risk a good book when they can have a campus romance written by some iitian or iim grad..the success of CB and CB copycats has lowered the standard of acceptance for the publishers.

  10. #570
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    Classic gentleman!!! anything people do which he does not like..it is because it is fashionable... not because they like it..not because they connect with it..not because that is their standard in reading ...but because it is fashionable??? you think peple pick up books and then push themselves to read it coz it is fashionable? seriously??? whom do you think the regular college going kid will connect too..chethan bhagath who writes simple stories or some hi-fi english complex senstence writing mature story telling authors....Nobody in the right mind is saying bhagath is the greatest indian author ever..but he tells simple stories in a simple manner in a simple setting....Do you know the impact chethan bhagath had on publishing bussiness in India..do you even think Immortals of Meluha and likes ... and some amazing indian books would have had the same market if chethan bhagath did not create a new generation of book readers in India. What the hell is quality if people do not connect with it..,,Chethan bhagath writes books for laymen like me....not intellectuals like you...and tommarrow may be I will improve to read better books ( I do read better books to btw )...Today I am pretty sure Bhagath is one of the main reason why books like Immortals of Meluha has the readers it has.....He made young indians realize the joy in book reading including me...it was after I read five point someone..did I search for better novels..and started reading Dan brown..bhagath may be mediocrity compared to your authors...but he is not mediocre by indian standards...it takes lot of skills to keep the reader engaged for a 300 page book especially when he narrates very simple stories like bhagath does...

    Did you read " I too had a love story" at all? or did you start judging right away???...I think the amateur simple writing is what makes these books connect more....narrator in the book is not some genius..but a normal man like me...and how he writes makes a lot of dfference...the same story told by some genius writer would have made some intelligent people orgasmic...but would have lost of the soul in the narration when they use complex words...poetic writing !!!

  11. #571
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    My friend navroks, the books you have been reading are not books but bollywood screenplays masquerading as books..giving credit to CB and CB copycats for making the young generation read better books is like giving credit to bad movies because they are so bad that people want to go and watch good movies... CB and others should not be even called indian writers in english..they are into hinglish and colloqial indian english..because that is what the juvenile segment of our population likes to read..while there is a treasure of literature in their own indian languages and english by indian writers.. they dont read the litearture of their mother tongue ( have you read telugu books of late?) and they dont want to read the likes of RK narayan and vikram seth because that is proper english..because they think they will need a dictionary to understand those books.. this cappuccino generation wants instant gratification and the easy way out..no wonder CB is so popular among them.. anyway they have the right to read that mediocrity...and i will be putting them down whenever i find a CB or CB copycat reader..

  12. #572
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    Quote Originally Posted by GentleMan View Post
    i didnt mention any highly critical novels, i mentioned good writers.. the writers whom we read in school.. if you have read the bachelor of arts, the guide, swami and friends by R K Narayan, train to pakistan by Khushwant Singh, books by Ruskin Bond, a suitable boy by Vikram Seth (read that in college) then you will find there is nothing difficult about these books..they are easy to read and yet quality reads.. but while these books gather dust in school and college libraries, people go and buy books by CB because they are fashionable and everyone is reading them..jumping on the gravy train...

    i think all of his books are mediocre..the macdonaldization of indian (english) literature... but if he has helped the young generation to start the habit of reading then i must commend him for that..although he or rather the success of his mediocrity has created the mushrooming of novels like " i too had a love story" and "anything for you ma'am" ..and other novels meant for juveniles.. and when mediocrity starts becoming popular, literary novels will start dying a slow death..why will the publishers risk a good book when they can have a campus romance written by some iitian or iim grad..the success of CB and CB copycats has lowered the standard of acceptance for the publishers.
    wh@t bullshh.... Gentleman, I think you are this nerd who thinks that showing off books is way to impress the girls... Dude, people read CBbooks because they enjoy it...... Your kinda author's write 'wind is blowing, flowers are blossoming, rays are coming out with Shyman drinking tea which taste like honey found in the jungles of Brazil' whereas CB writes 'Shyam is drinking tea' which I prefer..easy and fun to read .... Dude because of CB, publishers have actually started making money... literary novels were already dying in India and because of CB, we are getting a new young audience to save it from dying...

  13. #573
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    Quote Originally Posted by GentleMan View Post
    My friend navroks, the books you have been reading are not books but bollywood screenplays masquerading as books..giving credit to CB and CB copycats for making the young generation read better books is like giving credit to bad movies because they are so bad that people want to go and watch good movies... CB and others should not be even called indian writers in english..they are into hinglish and colloqial indian english..because that is what the juvenile segment of our population likes to read..while there is a treasure of literature in their own indian languages and english by indian writers.. they dont read the litearture of their mother tongue ( have you read telugu books of late?) and they dont want to read the likes of RK narayan and vikram seth because that is proper english..because they think they will need a dictionary to understand those books.. this cappuccino generation wants instant gratification and the easy way out..no wonder CB is so popular among them.. anyway they have the right to read that mediocrity...and i will be putting them down whenever i find a CB or CB copycat reader..
    huhh... but CB novels are actually good .. btw whats wrong if the new generation wants to actually read novels to relax rather than spending half the time googling words and making sense out of those fancy words... i

  14. #574
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    Bad for whom??? for people like you ..intelligent ..hi fi english reading...symbolicism appreciating....linear sentence hating readers...who read for the pleasure they get when they understand something complex!!...not for people who read CB who only read for the story it tells in the language they understand. Why is writing in hinglish bad...what is your problem with that?? Main purpose of his book is to connect to his audience...not write perfect english complex sentences and then feel good about after 3 people out of 10000 who attempt to read!!!

    I understand your awesomeness you when you call somebody mediorcre...that is a your opinion and standpoint...fair enough...and he is medicore compared to RK Narayanan or other great writers..sure..so???? I like books which I connect to..which I can read without much effort...not books written by the author to prove his potential !!!! ..what I hate is how you generalize the readers because they like CB..may be like CB's stories in common langauge..and then they also Narayanan or other big authors??? Why does a person need to have a unidimensional taste..may be people read CB when they want a light book..and read others when they need a great literary piece of work !!!!! ..and absolutely discredit the author when his whole intention was to write books for hinglish talking college going todays generation kids...he was not aiming the book at your intelligent brain...but normal college going today's generation kids !!! Chethan bhagath never intended to write books for you...never intended to act like he is best author ever...even people who enjoy him say is not greatest author ever. this is almost like going to a masala movie expecting an artistic movie..and then hating it..discrediting the director..and everything in it even though they were screaming from beggining what type of movie it was. This is art form that communicates to its readers..or audience...and it is very important to know the intention of the author before you discredit him. or people can paint ..make movies..and write books..watch the painting...read the book and watch the movie all by themlseves..and 2 people can discover it and write how great the book is !!!

    Why do you even bring Indian literature here...who is saying bhagath is the face of Indian literature !!! Do you make up arguements in your mind..and then counter them in your next post??? I am still kinda confused what are you arguing against.....

  15. #575
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    Quote Originally Posted by rahulrulezz View Post
    wh@t bullshh.... Gentleman, I think you are this nerd who thinks that showing off books is way to impress the girls... Dude, people read CBbooks because they enjoy it...... Your kinda author's write 'wind is blowing, flowers are blossoming, rays are coming out with Shyman drinking tea which taste like honey found in the jungles of Brazil' whereas CB writes 'Shyam is drinking tea' which I prefer..easy and fun to read .... Dude because of CB, publishers have actually started making money... literary novels were already dying in India and because of CB, we are getting a new young audience to save it from dying...
    if I was after impressing girls i wouldnt have made fun of a sonakshi sinha lookalike because she was praising "i too had a love story".. truth has to be spoken even if it pushes girls away from me..because seriously if a girl likes CB type books , i cant have a serious relationship with her..

    do you think RK Narayan, Ruskin Bond, Khushwant Singh, Mulk Raj Anand write like that?? i guess you havent read them.. arundhati and rushdie have a bad style of writing, that is why i never mentioned them..

    publishers are making money of course, but at what cost..by promoting cheap mediocre books..it is like saying movies like singh is kinng are making money..the downside is that it their success creates many copy cats and discourages others who want to make better cinema (although that is not the perfect analogy because bollywood has takers for all kind of cinema, but hope you get my point)

    my grouse is not against CB or the copy cats per se, but against the success of medicority which has made revival of indian literary novels that much more difficult.
    Last edited by GentleMan; 3rd January 2013 at 20:08.

  16. #576
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    Quote Originally Posted by rahulrulezz View Post
    huhh... but CB novels are actually good .. btw whats wrong if the new generation wants to actually read novels to relax rather than spending half the time googling words and making sense out of those fancy words... i
    yes..what is wrong if they like to use sms speak in real life..if they pepper every statement with modern lingo like "like" and "you know"..what is wrong if they dont bother to read literature in their mother tongue..or "real" english literature.. i tell you what is wrong..this generation which is fed on mediocrity, loves mediocrity and strives for mediocrity becomes a lost generation...and instead of evolving, digresses and undoes the progress of the past generations who nurtured a language and a culture.

  17. #577
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    navroks, you still havent anwered which was the last telugu novel you read.. of course it is your choice to read it or not..but i want to know if my assumption is correct.

  18. #578
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    Rahulrulez

    Rule no. 1 -- anything Gentleman does not prefer..if people prefer it is coz they have low self esteem and want to be fashionable..and there is soemthing wrong with them..they can never do things for themselves..like even a book which they read at home is because of wanting to be something which they are not...than actually enjoying it..coz they are incapable of enjoying it...stupid unidimensional people !!!!! ..anything gentleman does not prefer which people prefer..that is due to his objective thought process...intense psycholgical analysys and him promoting awesomeness over mediocrity !!!!

    @ gentleman...your disinterest in rushdie and roy...is only because they are not good..and nothing to do with sorrounding world..unlike poor innocent souls around you who like stuff because of the world around them ..than actually liking it!!! i am yet to see a discussion from you which does not go in the similar lines...while you can have opinions ..people are not allowed to with out intense criticism on their self esteem..their intelligence!!!

    It is one thing to like great works...another thing to completely dismiss people who do not like the works you like..may be they have different tastes...Lakshmi Mittal the other day said..he watches Govinda movies regularly.....and likes masala bollywood cinema ....so what do you think.. mittal is not intelligent?? or that is prefence of cinema? or is encouraging medicrity? has low self esteem to be away from the herd of masala likeing common people?? People are not unidimensional...give them credit...if lakhs of people connect to CB..especially when they do not even read books..there must be something that is going between the audthor and the reader..and that is what matters in a book ..not fancy words...not awesome literature!!!!

  19. #579
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    Interesting debate. Isn't it obvious why most people listen to pop music and few listen to alternative/indie music or classical music. Same goes with books. I don't think there is anything wrong with reading mediocre or light books. Kids in US read Vampire/Twilight Novels more than any of the more intellectually stimulating books. Books are a form of entertainment and learning, not just learning. So take it easy Gentleman. Indian youth will be fine.


    “I am not young enough to know everything.”

    ― Oscar Wilde

  20. #580
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    Gentleman, the use of the world mediocre is subjective..what is mediocre for your brain..may not be mediocre for others...we are actually talking about an art of story telling here....why would a persion whose main language is not english...who is brought up in hinglish...connect with complex stories written in complex language?? you cant just use the world mediocrity as a fact...it is an opinion,..subjective one!! ..what the hell is real english....why are books written in "real" english great books..and not books which communicate to the readers in hinglish?? why??? are books supposed to communicate to the intended readers or write real english??

    I would rather have mediocrity thrive than publishing bussiness going bankrupt....India does not read books...as I said..5,000 copies is considered a best seller....untill CB arrived..!!! because books were written in language people do not understand telling stories which they do not connect..what was the use here??? today if books like Immortals of Meluha trilogy has great sucess..do you think it was possible before CB?? what CB did was revolutionize books and book reading in India....nobody is saying he is awesome..nobody is saying his english is shakespeare ish...he writes books for the masses in lnaguage masses understand? what is wrong in that? I consider books with incredible complex writing mediocre because it does not make the reader immerse into its world..unless the reader is the author himself..those books are mediocre...where author is trying to get orgasmic pleasure to his low self esteemed brain thinking people who read it will not understand it straight away..and I must be awesome!!

    we can keep on writing books for great brains...but that does not solve the purpose!!!

    and No..I do not read Telugu novels..coz I am not that fluent in reading telugu..and i do not like reading telugu books...so??? now i do not have right to have an opinion on CB???
    Last edited by IgnitedMind; 3rd January 2013 at 20:30.

  21. #581
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    of course my disinterest for rushdie and roy is not because of the surrounding world..in fact they are respected in the world and have won literary rewards..i still say that their work is too convoluted to be a good read.. i was giving examples of writers who write quality and easy to read english to rahulrulezz.

    unidimensional? i am talking only about that dimension of people which makes them appreciate CB like novels and claim is it good..they can be more intelligent or more stupid in other dimensions of their life.. it was only your assumption that i was treating the entire person as unidimensional based on his tastes in books..i would think it would be obvious that i am talking about the relevant dimension..

    and please i have repeated for the umpteenth time my problem is not with CB and others per se, but the success of their mediocre work which has led to mushrooming of more mediocre work and created a class of readers who lap up such garbage and claim that it is good read... you see my rant as that of an elitist and snob..but i am against the bastardization of literature...and the creation of a market where literary work is discouraged and garbage is peddled and made fashionable.. CB has been the catalyst for his unfortunate phenomenon in india..where forget vernacular literature, even english literature has to die because the young 19 something educated crowd who is handicapped and lazy in reading literary work goes for CB books..

  22. #582
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    lol its funny how you keep calling CB work mediocre even though from my perception, his work is as brilliant it can get.... who are you to decide what is mediocre or not.. may be its you who is a mediocre....

  23. #583
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    Gentleman, you should know you re hitting your head against a wall when all their mind is on about is "hermetic books with complex meaning and no story" vs "easy to understand epic stories you can connect with".

    It would be interesting to know what categOry the stranger would come in. Or anna karenina.

  24. #584
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    Currently reading Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Such a fun book!


    So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said --
    I'm just not the same since there's rain in my head.

  25. #585
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    Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson (hackers/jinns and the Arab spring)

    *this book deserves a separate thread
    http://www.pakpassion.net/ppforum/sh....php?p=6205127

  26. #586
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    Eagle (Book 1 in the saladin trilogy) by Jack Hight, first historic fiction novel i ever read and it was brilliant

    Currently reading Game of Thrones


    Ah, so this is what it feels like

  27. #587
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    What was the last Book you read?

    The Bhagavad Gita.


    "It sounds like you have a great strength of character and strong will" - Ellyse Perry about me.

  28. #588
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    Quote Originally Posted by DHONI183 View Post
    The Bhagavad Gita.
    I've always thought what it's like and how it seen in different culture, as guidance or laws to follow? What about the stories? I remembered in one post you said you have read lots of religious texts, is that just general interest?

  29. #589
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    rangeela Wazir-e-Azam a book written on lot of dubious activities by these Bro's apart from corruption

  30. #590
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    Quote Originally Posted by hz View Post
    I've always thought what it's like and how it seen in different culture, as guidance or laws to follow? What about the stories? I remembered in one post you said you have read lots of religious texts, is that just general interest?
    The Bhagavad Gita is an allegory for the struggle between the I (Arjuna, the immanent individuality) and the Absolute Reality (Krishna, the transcendental personality) where the former seeks divine union (through yogic practices) with the latter - also, Arjuna is called "gudakesha", which means "the one who conquers sleep". Compare it with the (mahayana) Buddhist concept of "awakening" (or bodhi) or how the true samurai, following the code of bushido, sees life as a "dream".
    The Bhagavad Gita is a spiritual manual of virile asceticism or what in Islam the prophet (pbuh) called "al jihad al akbar".

    As I'm there, just read Hermann Hesse's Steppenwolf, a rare "spiritual" novel (ironically, even more so than his own Siddhartha) that you'll either worship or find it absolutely repulsive, depending on your own perspective.
    Last edited by akheR; 2nd November 2013 at 13:13.

  31. #591
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    What was the last Book you read?

    Quote Originally Posted by hz View Post
    I've always thought what it's like and how it seen in different culture, as guidance or laws to follow? What about the stories? I remembered in one post you said you have read lots of religious texts, is that just general interest?
    Following Professor AkheRs detailed response, I will just answer the question that relates to me:

    Yeah, mine is just a general interest. Religious scriptures fascinate me a lot! I feel being touched by them.


    "It sounds like you have a great strength of character and strong will" - Ellyse Perry about me.

  32. #592
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    Started reading 80 not out - Harold "Dickie" Bird's autobiography.

    Seems quite interesting and funny.



  33. #593
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    Started the Malazan Book of the Fallen series.

    Halfway through book 1, phenomenal.

    Right up there with ASOIAF and LOTR. Not to everyone's taste though and is incredibly long and nor is it paced very well but I'm obsessed with epic fantasy.

  34. #594
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    I'm going to start either one of Anna Karenina or Count of Monte Cristo tonight after my final, final exam..


    He who fears he will suffer, already suffers because he fears.
    Michel De Montaigne

  35. #595
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    If it means anything, I read the 'Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals' by Immanuel Kant for my philosophy course.

    Although an enlightenment writer, almost all of his concepts are tragically too idealistic and good to exist practically. A dense, often hyper-analytic reading - but the message behind it is truly brilliant. Impractical, improbable - but simply brilliant.


    He who fears he will suffer, already suffers because he fears.
    Michel De Montaigne

  36. #596
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    Started the Malazan Book of the Fallen series.

    Halfway through book 1, phenomenal.

    Right up there with ASOIAF and LOTR. Not to everyone's taste though and is incredibly long and nor is it paced very well but I'm obsessed with epic fantasy.
    Wait till you get to Memories of Ice. It is epic fantasy at its best.

    The pace will pick by then too. Most people find Book 1 and 2 hard to get through because Erickson takes an insane amount of time in building up the world. However, if you get through it, its worth the wait and feels justified. The series is just humungous in scale and the world created is one of the most complex and detailed ones ever. Only WOT and LOTR can compare.

    Malazan Book of the Fallen is one of my most favorite series along with LOTR and Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. This is how Fantasy should be.

    ASoIaF was amazing for the first 2-3 books but falls flat in the next 2.A Dance with Dragons is just a mess. Seems like the plot is getting too big for Martin and he chopping off, introducing new character just for the sake of. If he doesn't get his act straight for the next books, I see this going down the WOT way.

  37. #597
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    Currently reading 'The Last Mughal' by Dalrymple.


    I am not one of those who when expressing opinions confine themselves to facts.

  38. #598
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    Feeling kind of nostalgic and have some time so i have decide to read two books i had read some years before at school.

    Animal farm (george orwell) a good read in this time of revolutions and les miserables (victor hugo) i love the era,scenery,it's follow the saga of jean valjean a man rejected by the society who is in a redeeming quest make think about some good philosophical and sociological questions.

    I'm looking to the art of war by sun tzu do anyone have read it and does it good?

  39. #599
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    Netherland by Joseph O'Neill

    Sometimes prose can approach poetry in its phrasing. When I find myself reading a sentence 2 or 3 times, I realize that this is great writing. This is a post 9/11 story told against the background of a troubled marriage and the principal character's love for the game of cricket. The characters are well drawn and the story is intriguing.

  40. #600
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    Naveeda Khan - Muslim Becoming. Although an academic book, it is a fascinating account.

    Naveeda Khan, a Bangladeshi anthropologist, in a brilliant book has captured some of the wonder and enthusiasm, which accompanied the birth of Pakistan. Contrary to those accounts which claim that Pakistan lacked vision, she identifies a commitment to Pakistan being a place for continual Muslim striving and aspiration, without a fixed end point. It is the spirit of striving, of becoming better Muslims, that is central in her account. And

    “If…Pakistan’s claim upon Islam is more in the nature of an aspiration than a clear vision of the ends of such striving, we have to allow for the possibility that Pakistan’s identification of itself as an ideological state enables some experimentation”

    She cites Wilfred Cantwell Smith, an observer of the Pakistan movement who wrote in 1957:

    “We do not mean—and certainly the Pakistani devotees did not mean— that any independent state comprising Muslims is automatically Islamic. This is in fact not so. Egyptians, Turks, and other Muslims do not talk, do not feel, about their body politic as Pakistanis began excitedly to do about theirs. . . . Certainly Pakistanis themselves strongly felt their nation to be an Islamic state in a fashion unique in the modern world. Indeed, part of their enthusiasm was precisely for the point that they were doing something for Islam that other present-day Muslims were not doing: they were offering it a political existence that otherwise it has not had for centuries. Yet once again, their claim was not based on what their nation had accomplished; rather, on the spirit that it embodied.”

    For Smith, ‘‘an actual Islamic state is a state that its Muslim people are trying to make ideally Islamic.’’ It is a state of becoming, rather than being, a continual process, rather than an end.

    She shows this ideal of striving to be grounded in the thinking of Muhammad Iqbal. She demonstrates how the state inherited and took its cue from Iqbal’s thinking. She sees the Objectives resolution in a very new way as an espousal of the ‘spirit of enabling’ rather than one of ‘entailing’. She cites Liaquat Ali Khan’s speech where he envisaged Pakistan as a ‘laboratory’. As she states powerfully, summarising Liaquat's speech:

    “It was to be a place for self-directed experimentation. And the question of ends is left intriguingly open. Only Muslims could find out for themselves what they could yet be, an opportunity for self-exploration for which they had been long seeking. That is, they alone could find out the answer to the question, “To what does a Muslim aspire?” as in God’s parting words in Iqbal’s Jawab-i-Shikwa.”

    Her study also draws extensively on her ethnographic research, in such settings as the mosque, the library and the family home, pointing out that even in everyday sites of dissonance there is this tendency towards perpetual striving. She looks at the conflict in Pakistan, between Muslims, in very new ways. Indeed she acknowledges the dark side to the effort of striving, in the exclusion and discrimination that the Ahmadi community has been subjected to.

    As she summarizes in her epilogue, it "a quality of restlessness of religious striving...which was informed both by disappointment with the present and by the pleasure taken in feeling bound to Islam" that she has sought to highlight.

    This magnificent book unsettles many ideas that are regularly discussed in relation to Pakistan. It is difficult to see Pakistan in the same light after reading this book and there are not many books that one can say that about.

  41. #601
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    Candide by Voltaire...


    Its incredible to think this book was written in 1759...its so relevant today...

    Using satire Voltaire completely destroys Leibnizian philosophy...something which people still advocate today...ie 'that everything is for the best'...

    Voltaire shows just how miserable life is for some...he exposes the evils of things like slavery and colonialism which is incredible considering when it was written...

    The book asks how an omnipotent loving God can create a world with so much evil...

    Not only does Voltaire destroy Leibniz through satire but also Rousseau on human nature...

    El Dorado unfortunately is a utopian place not grounded in reality and represents Voltaires ideal state based on equality and tolerance...

    This is a very negative book yet also very funny at the same time...life is indeed tragic...

  42. #602
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    Currently reading the Run of his Life which details the trial of the famous American footballer O J Simpson, who was put on trial for the murder of his wife.



  43. #603
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    Almost finished Purity by Jonathan Franzen ,remarkable novel most of them say this is not his best work can't wait to read Corrections(which is considered his best).


    In cricket, my superhero is Sachin Tendulkar. He has always been my hero.
    -Virat Kohli

  44. #604
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaDed View Post
    Almost finished Purity by Jonathan Franzen ,remarkable novel most of them say this is not his best work can't wait to read Corrections(which is considered his best).
    The last comic-book/graphic novel I read was Batman: Arkham Assylum, I loved the story arc surrounding the origins of the assylum; how it was built and back story on the founder Amadeus Arkham. Bats is called inside the mental assylum when a riot breaks out and tangoes with many of the super-villains who the writer deconstructs. Pretty cool but what makes the novel unique was the heavy use of symbolic references so it might not be every ones cup of tea given how the panels were illustrated with the symbolism.

    But worth a look for any Bats fan, I got it from the comic book store on batman day 10% off and a free episodic comic too of the new Rebirth series; it was pretty funny in the episode Bats saves a boeing 747 which had its complete tail plane blow up he was literally on top of it while alfred hacked into the avionics system I think and Bats would use some tech which was a mini jet-engine/jet-pack which he would stick underneath one of the damaged gas turbine engines acting as a replacement

  45. #605
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaz619 View Post
    The last comic-book/graphic novel I read was Batman: Arkham Assylum, I loved the story arc surrounding the origins of the assylum; how it was built and back story on the founder Amadeus Arkham. Bats is called inside the mental assylum when a riot breaks out and tangoes with many of the super-villains who the writer deconstructs. Pretty cool but what makes the novel unique was the heavy use of symbolic references so it might not be every ones cup of tea given how the panels were illustrated with the symbolism.

    But worth a look for any Bats fan, I got it from the comic book store on batman day 10% off and a free episodic comic too of the new Rebirth series; it was pretty funny in the episode Bats saves a boeing 747 which had its complete tail plane blow up he was literally on top of it while alfred hacked into the avionics system I think and Bats would use some tech which was a mini jet-engine/jet-pack which he would stick underneath one of the damaged gas turbine engines acting as a replacement
    Batman is probably the only comic which somehow manages weird action cheesiness with more layers to its characters,this sounds pretty interesting.


    In cricket, my superhero is Sachin Tendulkar. He has always been my hero.
    -Virat Kohli

  46. #606
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    Reading the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz. Recently finished Stormbreaker and currently reading Skeleton Key.


    "Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all." --Aristotle

  47. #607
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    Quote Originally Posted by leatherface58 View Post
    'Salem's Lot by Stephen King

    A real nervewracker.
    Does that have witches in it? I love witches

  48. #608
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaDed View Post
    Batman is probably the only comic which somehow manages weird action cheesiness with more layers to its characters,this sounds pretty interesting.
    You should check it out but be warned it will put your head in a spin at times

  49. #609
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    Being so busy with academic stuff I've not managed to finish reading books which i started a while back, have been stuck on the shining for over a year only 1/4 has been read. Started reading comics again because I tend to finish them and they don't take long to read

  50. #610
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    Just started Economics: The User's Guide by Ha Joon Chang. Haven't read any fiction in years and almost all of the last 10-15 books I've read most recently are in one way or another about developmental economics. Almost regret going for an engineering degree because it's become clear to me over the last few years that my true calling is in development economics.


    Fauj ka jo yaar hay, mulk ka ghaddar hay,
    Ye jo dehshatgardi hay, is kay peechay wardi hay.

  51. #611
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    Quote Originally Posted by DW44 View Post
    Just started Economics: The User's Guide by Ha Joon Chang. Haven't read any fiction in years and almost all of the last 10-15 books I've read most recently are in one way or another about developmental economics. Almost regret going for an engineering degree because it's become clear to me over the last few years that my true calling is in development economics.
    How are you managing to switch?Have you managed to change your line of work or get another degree?


    In cricket, my superhero is Sachin Tendulkar. He has always been my hero.
    -Virat Kohli

  52. #612
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaDed View Post
    How are you managing to switch?Have you managed to change your line of work or get another degree?
    Not switching to anything, still an engineer. This is more of a personal interest that I indulge in my spare time.


    Fauj ka jo yaar hay, mulk ka ghaddar hay,
    Ye jo dehshatgardi hay, is kay peechay wardi hay.

  53. #613
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    Quote Originally Posted by DW44 View Post
    Not switching to anything, still an engineer. This is more of a personal interest that I indulge in my spare time.
    Can you please list your top 5 books you would recommend to someone interested in Pakistan.


    Narendra Modi and Imran Khan Zindabad! NOT

  54. #614
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    Quote Originally Posted by CricketCartoons View Post
    Can you please list your top 5 books you would recommend to someone interested in Pakistan.
    Waiting for Allah - Christina Lamb
    The Murder of History - K.K Aziz
    From Jinnah to Zia - Muhammad Munir
    Moth Smoke - Mohsin Hamid
    Blasphemy - Tehmina Durrani


    The last two are works of fiction though Tehmina Durrani's book is based on true events but both offer a realistic portrayal of life in Pakistan. The other three are more historic texts that look at how the Pakistani state and society evolved over the years.


    Fauj ka jo yaar hay, mulk ka ghaddar hay,
    Ye jo dehshatgardi hay, is kay peechay wardi hay.

  55. #615
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    I really need to up my reading game. Or readings game of intellectually stimulating content

    Haven't read much literary work at all since graduation. Always enjoyed reading academic work.

  56. #616
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    I need to read more, used to be a bit of a nerd in this regard 2-3 years back, now I don't even bother.


    Politics trumps intelligence (pun intended).

  57. #617
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    Mother by Maxim Gorky

  58. #618
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    Who reads??

    Don't read a book unless it's for school


    Does cricket survive off of it's money or does it survive for it's money?

  59. #619
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    Am in the midst of Reading Wounded Tiger by Peter Obrone


    Amazing Book !! Highly Recommended

    Once I am done with this, I'll probably buy White on Green

  60. #620
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaz619 View Post
    Does that have witches in it? I love witches
    Nah, But is worth your time. IT even has a classic horror movie adaptation that served as the inspiration for Buffy the vampire slayer

  61. #621
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    Quote Originally Posted by TQ89 View Post
    Nah, But is worth your time. IT even has a classic horror movie adaptation that served as the inspiration for Buffy the vampire slayer
    Will do once I finish The Shining, I was reading somewhere it revolves around gothic themes, vampires and haunted houses; love that sought of thing. Buffy was a great and underrated series!

  62. #622
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaz619 View Post
    Will do once I finish The Shining, I was reading somewhere it revolves around gothic themes, vampires and haunted houses; love that sought of thing. Buffy was a great and underrated series!
    Yeah do watch the movie though. 3 hours long but once it picks up the pace, it really scares you.

  63. #623
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    Shadow of Forgotten Ancestors. Amazing as always.

  64. #624
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaz619 View Post
    Does that have witches in it? I love witches
    No it's not about the witch trials. It's best I don't spoil it but it's supernatural horror and very well-written supernatural horror which pushes your buttons.


    2 possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are terrifying.

  65. #625
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    Few books lined up that I'll try to get round to reading:

    Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden by Steve Coll.

    Shameful Flight: The Last Years of the British Empire in India by Stanley Wolpert.

    Ben Pimlott's biography of Harold Wilson.

    FDR by Jean Edward Smith.
    Last edited by Muhammad10; 7th January 2017 at 18:10.

  66. #626
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markhor View Post
    Few books lined up that I'll try to get round to reading:

    Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden by Steve Coll.

    Shameful Flight: The Last Years of the British Empire in India by Stanley Wolpert.

    Ben Pimlott's biography of Harold Wilson.

    FDR by Jean Edward Smith.
    This is why Markhor is an intelligent guy, he reads quiet a bit of non-fiction top lad

    What are your favourite fiction novels?

  67. #627
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rayyman View Post
    Reading the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz. Recently finished Stormbreaker and currently reading Skeleton Key.
    It's a good series,wait for Scorpia Rising.

  68. #628
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    Islam's Response to Contemporary Issues.


    Mujhay hai Hukm e Azaa-n

  69. #629
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    Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World.


    Be brave and be fearless, and for God's sake, stand up for yourself.

  70. #630
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arham_PakFan View Post
    It's a good series,wait for Scorpia Rising.
    I will probably stop after Ark Angel or Crocodile Tears. Read some more mature books.

  71. #631
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    Spacecraft systems engineering

  72. #632
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    All in French, so no need to give the titles I guess, but in the last days :

    - a biography of Saddam Hussein

    - a book on the concept of the ego in Wittgenstein

    - the Cantos (poetry) from Ezra Pound

    - a book on how 'democracy' and 'State' are in fact antinomian concepts, written by a Marxist author

  73. #633
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rayyman View Post
    I will probably stop after Ark Angel or Crocodile Tears. Read some more mature books.
    I read the first 3 when I was a kid. Enjoyed them then but they're not for more mature readers


    "Our business is our business. None of your business" - Race 3

  74. #634
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliasad1998 View Post
    I read the first 3 when I was a kid. Enjoyed them then but they're not for more mature readers
    Yeah I know, but I suck at reading. So I am trying to improve by reading these books.


    "Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all." --Aristotle

  75. #635
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    Current reading Jewish foundation of islam by Torrey.

  76. #636
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rayyman View Post
    I will probably stop after Ark Angel or Crocodile Tears. Read some more mature books.
    I finished the series when I was 10,yup it's for kids.

  77. #637
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    438 Days
    Primary Colors

  78. #638
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    Why the world does not exist by Markus Gabriel



    جاگن والیاں رجّ کے لٹیا اے،
    سوئے تسیں وی او، سوئے اسیں وی آں۔

  79. #639
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arham_PakFan View Post
    I finished the series when I was 10,yup it's for kids.
    Might just stop after Skeleton Key and start reading the Martian.


    "Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all." --Aristotle

  80. #640
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    To Kill a Mockingbird lol, only ever read when I have to for school.


    Does cricket survive off of it's money or does it survive for it's money?


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