For the 4th installment in my Exploring Bookshelves series, I’d like to introduce you all to Komal Hashmi. A fellow bookstagrammer who takes stunning book flatlays and happens to read a ton of English and Urdu novels.
We followed each other randomly, and since then have had tons of interesting conversations, rants and lovely talks.
Komal is a finance graduate, born & raised in Lahore, Pakistan who loves reading books and started blogging almost a year ago about all the books she read and wants to read in the future.
Her to-be-read pile has amounted to a surplus of 100 books, but she keeps on adding more to the collection. She is on a mission to have her own mini library, loves hoarding books and is fond of reading historical fiction, young adult, local literature (both in English & Urdu), mystery, suspense, thrillers (especially Sidney Sheldon), romance, biographies/memoirs, classics and pretty much everything else.
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Another year in our lives is coming to an end tonight leaving countless memories & loads of lessons. I joined this community of readers on April 29th, 2018 upon the insistence of my brother @kr8v & I thank him for it. This amazing world of bookstagram has given me so much love, appreciation, support that leaves me overwhelmed & humbled. Started with nothing & today I am 1234 followers strong. Came across so many wonderful people doing an incredible job. I am always in awe of the efforts & love you all pour in your posts & stories. I read 131 books this year including YA fiction, partition literature, books about mental health, racism, terrorism & romance, middle-grade fiction, some classics & thrillers, few self-help books & so much work by the fantastic authors of my homeland ‘Pakistan’ along with various debut books. It was so difficult to choose 10 books as almost all the books I read had something brilliant to offer. My top 10 reads are; 🔹️Turtles All the Way Down – John Green (the way it focuses on anxiety is commendable) 🔹️The Unpredictability of Being Human – Linni Ingemundsen (talks about grief, death, family issues & is bound to tear you up) 🔹️Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman (it exceptionally discusses loneliness & kindness & will leave a huge impact on your life) 🔹️The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas (MUST be read by all, it deals with many ESSENTIAL topics) 🔹️Sea Prayer – Khaled Hosseini (a tear-jerking & important book giving voice to the war survivors, victims & refugees) 🔹️Remnants of a Separation – Aanchal Malhotra (discusses the partition of 1947 in a totally unique style, leaving you an emotional wreck) 🔹️Dozakhnama – Rabisankar Bal (one of the best reads, because, Ghalib & Manto) 🔹A Case of Exploding Mangoes – Mohammed Hanif (best political thriller which made me a fan of the author’s writing & I love his books) 🔹️Our Story Ends Here – Sara Naveed (it was devastating & will remain a favorite forever but I enjoyed her other two novels too) 🔹Feast – Bisma Tirmizi (perfect combination of romance & food) I have to appreciate a few other authors, friends & acquaintances, which I will do next week. THANK YOU & HAPPY NEW YEAR
Honestly Komal, if I were you I would have had serious anxiety on such a huge tbr collection, more power to you on staying strong 😀
What made you want to read and stick to it?
The love for reading runs in my family and everyone is quite fond of it, so I was into it from my childhood.
I would read Taleem o Tarbiat and Nau’nehal regularly along with the children’s spy & fantasy stories like Commando Action series or Dastaan e Ameer Hamza and the likes of them.
Then I had a phase where I read so many Urdu novels, even some difficult ones. I refrained from reading English novels for a long time but then I read The Kite Runner and To Kill a Mockingbird, and I was hooked.
Oh my, those are my favorite too. Such complex characters and thrilling plots.
Never looked back ever since.
When I come to think to it, I stuck with reading all these years because books provide me a comfort which nothing else can give. They make me laugh when I don’t even want to smile, they make me cry at the most unexpected times and they take me on a different journey every single time.
I live the life of the characters with them and each story leaves with a message that comes back one way or another. Every genre has something to offer and I just enjoy the whole process of it.
Reading is also a welcome escape from reality and I truly find immense pleasure in the anticipation of some unique and captivating journey whenever I start reading a new book. I also love exploring books and trying different genres depending upon my mood.
Visiting my favorite bookshops is another magical experience which I cherish with all my heart.
Honestly, I relate to your feelings so well. Books have a way of understanding you like no human can. But enough of that talk, lets begin with the quick Q&As, shall we:
- One Book you turn to in times of need:
“Mind Platter” because its excerpts inspired me even before I got the book. The passages it contains resonate with the reader on a different level. It has something for everybody and is not preachy at all.
- One Book you can’t help but re-read:
“The Little Prince” – It is a short book which is both adorable and intense. There is always something new to learn whenever I re-read it and it leaves me inspired every single time.
- One Book everyone should read:
I always recommend “To Kill a Mockingbird” as it discusses so many important themes and is so eloquently written that you will fall in love with the characters and the story instantly. It touches the deepest cords of your heart and soul. It is one of my favorites of all times.
- One Book that no one should read:
I will go with “Why Men Love Bi*****” because this is one book in all my reading life that I hated after reading only 5 or 6 pages. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.
- One Cult-Classic Book you never read:
“War and Peace” as I got it ages ago but never felt inclined to start reading it and I feel that I won’t be picking it up anytime soon.
- One Book that changed your life:
There are so many books, but I will go with “The Kite Runner” because it was my first introduction to proper English novels and even though I read it years ago, I still feel attached to this gem of a book. It also made Khaled Hosseini my auto-buy author.
- One Book Series everyone should have:
“Harry Potter”, without a second thought. It is exceptionally well-written & whether you are young or an adult, it always welcomes you with an open heart and has so much to offer.
Alright then, thank you Komal for taking part in this series, I loved your answers to all the questions. But honestly, I’m more a fan of your photography and flatlay skills 😀