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review 2017-01-19 01:31
Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak
The Forty Rules of Love - Elif Shafak

Elif Shafak is one of the critically acclaimed writers with an exuberant style of writing of the modern era. Her style of writing is simple yet poignant and so very understandable for the humblest of minds. I myself am a personal fan of such a writing style…which reaches out to the masses without being heavily laden with wisdom and experiences.

The biggest feature of this novel is that each and every word of this beautifully written book is a quotation, worthy of sharing to the world.

It was one of those reads that took me a long time to finish but God it was the best one I have read. The beauty is in the alternating stories, both written in different times, but sprawling the generations like a timeless fable. This book will make you love life and God again. Its writing is impeccable, the writing style is easy to follow yet very allegorical. It points out the marathon of life we all are in and how we need to make time for the beauty of things to settle in before we move on to the next one. It talks about how the love of God can bring two people from different parts of the world together. It talks about the power of God. It is so much more than all I have written in this short book review. The complete attraction point of this book is the simplicity yet profoundness of its description of God in a modern world where religion is taken out of context everyday. Must read! If its not on your reading list yet, make it ASAP a part of your Reading Challenge 2017.


Source: writebeforeyouspeak.wordpress.com/2016/12/30/forty-rules-of-love-elif-shafak-book-review-rumi-shams-bastard-of-istanbul
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review 2015-10-19 06:03
The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak
The Forty Rules of Love - Elif Shafak
Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak was not one of those books which i would have picked up myself if not for the book club read, but now i am glad to have read this. I thought the title gave up everything about the book but i was wrong, in my opinion I would say it was not Forty rules of love but Forty rules of LIFE! 
I loved the way how those two parallel stories - Ella’s journey of self discovery and the story of Rumi and Shams of Tabriz was interweaved. Although at times the pace was becoming slow, these parallel stories kept the whole book interesting. 
Ella, a homemaker, at the age of forty is fed up of her current monotonous lifestyle. She is not only disturbed by her husbands infidelity but also is unable to cope up with her children, at this time she takes up a job as a reader for a literary agent and starts reading 'Sweet Blasphemy', a novel about Rumi and Shams of Tabriz and the forty rules of love written by Aziz Zahara. As she reads, she gets herself involved with the book and also gets enchanted by the author’s writing and ideology, this curiosity leads her to know more about Aziz so she starts communicating with him and that turns her life upside down. On the whole I couldn’t connect with Ella’s character as i could’t agree with decision she took in he end. That was a bit disappointing for me.
About the other story of Rumi and Shams that was both fascinating and tragic, those Forty rules of love by Shams were just wonderful to read, but very tough to execute, of course. 
Below are the two rules worth mentioning that i loved. 
Rule 37.“God is a meticulous dock maker. So precise is His order that everything on earth happens in its own time. Neither a minute late nor a minute early. And for everyone without exception, the clock works accurately. For each there is a time to love and a time to die.”


Rule 39.“While the part change, the whole always remains the same. For every thief who departs this world, a new one is born. And every descent person who passes away is replaced by a new one. In this way not only does nothing remain the same but also nothing ever really changes. For every Sufi who dies, another is born somewhere.”
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text 2015-09-04 20:20
Summer Reading
The Architect's Apprentice - Elif Shafak
Pochlaniacz - Bonda Katarzyna
Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953 - Elizabeth Winder

Before yesterday I wrote about September books. Today I want to step back: what about your summer books? There is a reason why I talk about it now: I am so fed up with all this articles and magazines saying that summer reading should be light. No, no, no and no! We work a lot, we are always on the run. Busy, busy, busy. Light reading is for that time. For the time when we are to tired to read anything long and complicated. For the time, when we fall asleep after reading just half page and we don't remember what we've read the next morning. That is the time for light reading.  


Summer is the time for all these huge books that are to heave to carry with you to work, that are to long and you wouldn't have finished it for months because of lack of time. For all these books that are long, complicated and/or challenging. Summer is when you HAVE TIME for all that. 


So what were your summer books? I've just looked through mine. And among others there are 3 books that are MY typical summer books:


1. Elif Shafak ¨The Architect´s Apprentice¨, 432 pages

From the acclaimed author of The Bastard of Istanbul, a colorful, magical tale set during the height of the Ottoman Empire

In her latest novel, Turkey’s preeminent female writer spins an epic tale spanning nearly a century in the life of the Ottoman Empire. In 1540, twelve-year-old Jahan arrives in Istanbul. As an animal tamer in the sultan’s menagerie, he looks after the exceptionally smart elephant Chota and befriends (and falls for) the sultan’s beautiful daughter, Princess Mihrimah. A palace education leads Jahan to Mimar Sinan, the empire’s chief architect, who takes Jahan under his wing as they construct (with Chota’s help) some of the most magnificent buildings in history. Yet even as they build Sinan’s triumphant masterpieces—the incredible Suleymaniye and Selimiye mosques—dangerous undercurrents begin to emerge, with jealousy erupting among
Sinan’s four apprentices.

A memorable story of artistic freedom, creativity, and the clash between science and fundamentalism, Shafak’s intricate novel brims with vibrant characters, intriguing adventure, and the lavish backdrop of the Ottoman court, where love and loyalty are no match for raw power.


2. Katarzyna Bonda ¨Pochlaniacz¨, 674 pages

A crime novel, written by a Polich author who has just signed a contract with British publisher of Stephen King and John Grisham.


3. Elizabeth Winder, ¨Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953¨, 288 pages (not long, but I needed my brain to be totally present to think while reading that one! Although, finally, i didn´t really like the book...)

"I dreamed of New York, I am going there."

On May 31, 1953, twenty-year-old Sylvia Plath arrived in New York City for a one-month stint at "the intellectual fashion magazine" Mademoiselle to be a guest editor for its prestigious annual college issue. Over the next twenty-six days, the bright, blond New England collegian lived at the Barbizon Hotel, attended Balanchine ballets, watched a game at Yankee Stadium, and danced at the West Side Tennis Club. She typed rejection letters to writers from The New Yorker and ate an entire bowl of caviar at an advertising luncheon. She stalked Dylan Thomas and fought off an aggressive diamond-wielding delegate from the United Nations. She took hot baths, had her hair done, and discovered her signature drink (vodka, no ice). Young, beautiful, and on the cusp of an advantageous career, she was supposed to be having the time of her life.

Drawing on in-depth interviews with fellow guest editors whose memories infuse these pages, Elizabeth Winder reveals how these twenty-six days indelibly altered how Plath saw herself, her mother, her friendships, and her romantic relationships, and how this period shaped her emerging identity as a woman and as a writer. Pain, Parties, Work—the three words Plath used to describe that time—shows how Manhattan's alien atmosphere unleashed an anxiety that would stay with her for the rest of her all-too-short life.

Thoughtful and illuminating, this captivating portrait invites us to see Sylvia Plath before The Bell Jar, before she became an icon—a young woman with everything to live for.


So, what do you think? Should summer reading be light? Or it´s for you the right time to catch up with all the more ambitious positions? I am dying to know your opinion. You know, comment or email me! (donostiabookclub at gmail.com)

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review 2015-08-04 00:26
1914: Goodbye to All That, ed. by Lavinia Greenlaw
1914 - Goodbye to All That: Writers on the Conflict Between Life and Art - Jeanette Winterson,Elif Shafak,Colm Toibin,Erwin Mortier

1914: Goodbye to All That was commissioned by 14-18 NOW, World War I Centenary Art Commissions and edited by Lavinia Greenlaw. It contains essays and stories by Ali Smith, Kamila Shamsie, Daniel Kehlmann, Aleš Šteger, Elif Shafak, NoViolet Bulawayo, Erwin Mortier, Xiaolu Guo, Colm Tóibín, and Jeanette Winterson. Most of the pieces have to do with World War I, but others are about other conflicts. The subtitle explains that this collection is really about writers reflecting on the shortfalls of art and language to address war, atrocity, and devastation...


Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type.

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text 2015-05-17 16:27
Der Architekt des Sultans - Elif Shafak,Michaela Grabinger

Mit „Der Architekt des Sultans“ legt Elif Shafak eine beeindruckend ideen- und detailreiche literarische Chronik über die Blütezeit Istanbuls vor. Es ist ein atmosphärisch dichtes Buch über die Liebe zur Architektur und den außergewöhnlichen Schöpfergeist des einstigen Hofarchitekten Sinan. Geschickt und einfallsreich verknüpft Shafak geschichtliche Fakten mit literarischer Fiktion zu einem ebenso lehrreichen wie unterhaltsamen Roman.


Trotz kleiner Mängel im Spannungsaufbau und gewisser Längen schaffte es Shafak, mich zu bewegen. Und ist es nicht genau das, was gute Literatur letztendlich ausmacht?


(Ausführliche Rezension: http://kerstin-scheuer.de/?p=3161)

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