Karachi Literature Festival 2015
Literature Festival / February 10, 2015

Keynote Speaker: Nayantara Sahgal Karachi Literature Festival 2015 is the sixth festival organized by Oxford University Press. Held at Beach Luxury Hotel, the event has broken all previous records of attendance. About 125,000 people attended the 3-day festival of which the first day was only inauguration. While this fact calls for a celebration, much else is a cause for concern. Once held as the king of literary activities in Pa...

Agency Rules – Review
Action Thriller, Indie / February 6, 2015

Published in 2014, Agency Rules - Never An Easy Day At The Office by Khalid Muhammad is the first espionage novel in English language from Pakistan. Based on the 90s era of Pakistan, the story takes us across the country where the readers experience urban warfare of Karachi, the diplomatic battles in Islamabad and military operations on the north-western border. Synopsis Celebrated as a ragtag force that defeated and broke the Soviet...

John Keay on How India Was Mapped
Speaker Session / February 6, 2015

Post by The Second Floor (T2F). John Keay spoke during a session at T2F Karachi titled The Great Arc - The Dramatic Tale of How India Was Mapped on 5th of February. Starting at 7 PM and suffering from a few technical glitches, for the next hour John took us through the history of explorers who ventured through thick and thin to plot Indian territory, from the southern tip right up to the northern mountains. A bit about the speaker: B...

TRA Meetup January 2015
Book Club Meetup / February 1, 2015

The Readers' Avenue, a growing family of book lovers in Karachi, met on 31st January to discuss Philippa Gregory's "The White Queen". Suggested by Kiran Bashir, the book captivated most participants and nearly everyone in attendance had read the book. Some members had even progressed further in the series by reading its sequel The Red Queen and subsequent novels. Everyone agreed that Philippa had masterly told the life of a queen in ...

The White Queen – Review
Fiction, Historical Fiction / January 31, 2015

First published in 2009, The White Queen is the sixth book by Philippa Gregory and first in The Cousins' War series. The story explores 15th century England and power struggles that rocked the country between Lancasters and Yorkists, with meddling of foreign entities and betrayals from within. The book has all the right elements and is no wonder a best seller. Following the story of a young widow Elizabeth Woodville, the reader exper...

Force 5 Recon: Deployment: Pakistan – Review
Action Thriller, Fiction / January 27, 2015

First published in 2003, Force 5 Recon: Deployment: Pakistan by P.W. Storm is a confusing jumble with whiny marines, witty one-liners, lack of authentic ground realities and too much stereotyping. The story, when ignored of obvious bias, is easy to read and follow. While the reader is able to see and feel through the characters, the lack of authenticity at several places makes it hard to appreciate good writing. Since it came out so ...

The Architect’s Apprentice – Review
Fiction, Historical Fiction / January 24, 2015

First published in 2014, The Architect's Apprentice explores 16th century Istanbul swinging between artistic glory and religious bigotry, with an Indian boy called Jahan trying to find its place in society and a rare white elephant called Chota to company. The novel brings to life the historic city and how the renowned Master Sinan, the Chief Royal Architect, created majestic buildings that give Istanbul its beauty. Synopsis 'There w...