Literature

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Review

2016 is all about the new Harry Potter books or should I say screenplays, back in July J. K. Rowling released the 8th Harry Potter book titled ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child‘ which I finished in just 2.5hrs. Now there is new a screenplay  available at the book stores titled Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Its a prequel to the Harry Potter Book Series. I bought the book to read it before watching the movie. So first I’ll be reviewing the book and then the movie.

Story

It was a story of Newton Scamander, a Magizoologist who arrives in New York in 1926, to stay for a brief time following a journey around the world to research creatures for his book.

Book Review

First thing I like about this book was its cover, it has almost every creature mentioned in the book. Some creatures are hidden in the design. This book marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling. Unlike the Cursed Child, this screenplay has more details like the Harry Potter books. Placing the story in New York City during the 1920’s was brilliant, evoking an era that has its own special flavor.  I like the way it links to what we already know and even Dumbledore everyone’s favorite headmaster gets a brief mention.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Review
The ending has a great twist and it definitely stands up alongside the Potter books. For those who don’t know a lot about stage direction etc, there is a dictionary of the terms they use in the back.

Caution: If you didn’t like Harry Potter and the Cursed Child then please don’t read this cos both books followed the same format.

My Rating: 4/5

Movie Review

It is the first of a planned five  prequel movie series. The movie was great and reading the screenplay allowed the details to swim in my mind. I love how faithful the movie director was to the book. The characters are good, the dialog is subtle, the descriptions are vivid.

The very talented  Oscar winning actor Eddie Redmayne shines throughout the movie. He plays an endearing and slightly awkward Newton Scamander. Excellent visual effects and a screenplay which includes more than a few lighthearted moments.  The standout, however, is the Niffler. A dragon-like obsession with treasure makes for some hilarious slapstick comedy where the adorable little creature, like a mix between a dog and a mole, rampages through a bank and collects a veritable trove of trinkets.
Niffler
It  was more like a spellbinding adventure sets in the amazing magical world created by J. K. Rowling and David Yates.
Worth watching at a cinema in 3D

My Rating: 8.5/10

Ciao! Till the next Fantastic Beasts movie which will be released on November 16, 2018.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Review

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KHIBookSwap – Story so far

The Beginning:

I had a dream that there should be a book club where readers from twitter should gather and share their love for the books. Back in August, 2014 that dream became reality thanks to Ifrah Waqar. Together we made Pakistan’s first ever Book-Swapping Book Club called KHIBookSwap. We had our first meeting in August with only three members and now we have 130 members at our Facebook Group.

How it works:

Every month we decide and announced theme for our meetup. It could be ‘Genre of the Month’ or ‘Book of the Month’. Then we meet and discuss it accordingly and swap books at the end of our meeting. In between we do different activities like Book Shopping or Blind Date with a Book.

Projects:

Currently there are three projects in progress. There is an instagram hash-tag series #KBSKitabReview where our members upload a book cover photo which they’ve finished recently on instagram with a small review and its rating out of 5. Recently I started two new projects Word Inc. and KBSSnailMail.

Word Inc. is a yearly online magazine where I include selected prose and poetry shared by our members via email. If you want to be part of it, kindly share your prose or poetry at khibookswap@gmail.com. First issue can be read here.

KBSSnailMail is a project where I combine snail mail with book swap, rules for this project can be found here.

Alhamdulillah! Now we have completed 2 years. In these years we have become a family, where we shared our favorite quotes and books, explored different genres and celebrate birthdays together. It was not possible without my partner in crime Ifrah . . . who always listened to me every time and gave suggestions to make our book club better and our regular members who are always present at our meetups shared their reviews and filled it with so much laughter and unforgettable memories.

If you want to become a part of our book club you can join us here.

Find us here:

Website: khibookswap.com

Facebook: facebook.com/khibookswap

Facebook Group: facebook.com/groups/khibookswap

Instagram: instagram.com/khibookswap

Twitter: twitter.com/khibookswap

 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Review

Launch Party:

Every Potterhead were eagerly waiting for 31st July 2016, why ? July 31st is Harry Potter’s birthday! It is also J.K. Rowling’s birthday and the release date of the new Potter book, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. It is the 8th Harry Potter book came out after 9 years. I was super excited.

Liberty Books and Dolmen Mall had organized the Launch Party for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Dolmen Mall, Clifton. I reached at the launch party at 10:30am and the ground floor was filled with muggles, wizards and witches. People were dressed up as the Severus Snape, Harry Potter and Bellatrix Lestrange. I’ve seen long queues at the HP themed photo booth and at the Liberty Books stall to get the new book. I waited till 2pm just to get my book.

Review:

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child review

The book I’ve been waiting for 9yrs

The book is a two-part stage play written by Jack Thorne based on an original new story by Thorne, J.K. Rowling and John Tiffany. The story is set nineteen years after the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and follows Harry Potter who is now a Ministry of Magic employee, and his younger son Albus Severus Potter.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child review

Its a script not a novel

I was so excited that I read it within two hours coz I couldn’t put it down. Those who bought it without realizing it is a script should read the product description more carefully, it is not the fault of the author, it was clearly advertised as a script. I am delighted to say that the magic within the script was very real and soared way above my, very high, expectations. I loved the twists and turns and call backs. There are so many surprises in the book with few new characters. The book will make you want to go see the play – so in a sense it’s a wordy trailer that you’re actually paying for. I feel like a child again, reading the series for the first time.

    For any Harry Potter fan this is a must read. Brings back memories of reading my way through the first seven books. I really want to see that play on stage in Pakistan.

My Rating: 4/5

Word Inc. by KHIBookSwap

As a co-founder of KHIBookSwap I recently launched annual magazine called Word Inc. It is a place where people who love books, and people who love to write, come together. They tell tales, recite poetry and speak their hearts out. Long, short, spontaneous, designed. Doesn’t matter. Everything is included.

We selected ‘Share Your Writings’ as our topic for January and our members shared their prose and poetry. We have received so many submissions that we decided to put them all in a magazine with other news about our book club. So I hope you’ll love reading it. This will be our annual issue.

If you want to contribute, kindly share your prose or poetry at khibookswap@gmail.com

Book review of What If? by Randall Munroe

Last month I picked What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe, which is most interesting and unusual book I’ve read so far. The book contained the most absurd hypothetical questions you could ever imagine asked by the readers of XKCD webcomic like……

– What if a glass of water was, all of a sudden, literally half empty?

– What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light?

– Is it possible to cry so much you dehydrate yourself?

– What would happen if everyone on Earth stood as close to each other as they could and jumped, everyone landing on the ground at the same instant?

Randall Munroe who left NASA in 2005 and the author of XKCD webcomic answers all the questions with real math and drawings of stick figures. His drawing style is like his intellectual style – spare, efficient, and winning.

 

This is a great book for science geeks and general readers with an interest in scientific concepts. It’s funny, interesting, and unique. Having a scientific background and a childish sense of humor, this book made me smile time and time again.

From Photo Walk to a Book Shopping

Today I organized Howdy Stranger! A Flickr Photowalk at Frere Hall, Karachi. As usual people were late so I checked out the Sunday Book Bazaar at Frere Hall. I really had a great time searching books and found some rare books from early 20th century. Some bookstalls have really great collection. Book shopping is like a therapy to me. It gives me relaxation. Searching books from these book stalls is like a treasure hunt and sometimes you can find some gems or a jewel in the crown.

Some Urdu Books

Some Urdu Books

These are some examples I’ve found during my treasure hunt.

A rare Urdu with price of 5 rupees and 8 aaney

A rare Urdu with price of 5 rupees and 8 aaney

There is a one book stall which has some very different books. Like UFO analysis and data book, book on psychology,  history of Sindh and many other books.

A book about history of Sindh

A book about history of Sindh

 

Urdu book printed in 1963

Urdu book printed in 1963

Every Sunday they setup this small book bazaar at Frere Hall, Karachi from 10am-9pm where you can find almost any book you like to read.