Chasing Autumn’s Galore

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It’s October again.
And I’m at home, like the past couple of years.
There’s a heatwave in town too, an unforgiving sign of climate change, and i’m trying to get along with it.

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But where were we? Oh yes, October.
I associate this month with warm, dry afternoons and annual book fairs at Generations. Those are some of my best memories from secondary school.
We’d have a massive tent in one of our courtyards with various book sellers underneath it, enticing me to throw away all my money (and some of my sister’s) to simply have a huge book haul. I’d go crazy in those three days. Every year the goal was to buy more books than last time, every year my parents would shake their heads in exasperation, because i already had so many things to read. I am pretty sure that’s the time period when I actually learned how to emotionally blackmail my parents into lending me more money or tagging along with me to the book fair.
Anyway, I can go on and on about this really important part of my childhood, but today the goal is to share some of my favourite autumn reads. As Karachiite’s, we don’t experience much of autumn’s galore but there’s always Instagram, Tumblr and #Inktober to set the mood. And the uber dry nights, don’t forget them!

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Short books:
These are mainly those which I bought during those annual book fairs or remind me of my school’s library.
A Wish for Wings and Nightmare Stairs by Robert Swindles
The Chronicles of Narnia by
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The Karazan Quartet.
The Enchanted Tree by Enid Blyton. (the librarian’s assistant joked that i won’t be able to finish it in a week and that made me devour the whole book in three days) [i was in grade five, just for the context]
The Borrowers (my school had this gorgeous edition which was scarlet-red in color)
Salem Falls by Stephen King
Misery by Stephen King (thank-you for one of the best nights in 2017)
The Book Thief
The Tulip Touch by Anne Fine (can’t recommend this enough!)
A Little Princess (read this while we were locked out of the house)
Ink Heart (it had the fanciest book cover and I finished it after one of those uncanny October rains, while walking barefoot on wet ground in my new bell-bottom jeans)
The Killer’s Cousin (one of my favourite book fair hauls from school)
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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Long books:
Again, some of these I’ve salvaged from book fairs, or ordered online.
The Night Circus by Erin Mongestern
The Luminaries
A Suitable Boy
Any book from The Cousin Wars’ Series by Philippa Gregory (especially Another Bolyen Girl)
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (I’m reading it right now)
It by Stephen King
Ivanhoe
Anything by Kate Morton
The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt (it has a beautiful book cover and I’m not ashamed to admit that this was the sole reason for making the purchase)
Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt (one of those books which remain etched in your mind for the times to come. I read it a long time back, probably during fifth grade, and can’t even remember if it was long or short; but parts of it always come back to me.)

What are your favourite reads or which book are you planning to start in the coming months? Comment below!

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What I’ve Read in the Past Couple of Months

“Keşke bir şiir okumuş,
Bir kedi sevmiş olsaydınız,
Belki bu kadar kirletmezdiniz dünyayı.”

I wish you recited a poem,
petted a cat,
perhaps you wouldn’t have fouled the world so much (Turgut Uyar)

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‘For all that it takes away, life also gives’

High drama by Fifi Haroon [x]

The racialized history of “hysteria” by Grant Shreve [x]

Meet Pakistan’s Modern Middle Class by Ammar Masood [x]

Chunks of a Shia Muslim childhood by Kisa Abbasi [x]

Austenistan by Moni Mohsin [x]

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First day of school in Mosul – with ISIS gone, public schools open for first time in three years.

Special report: The Breakup of Pakistan 1969-1971 by DAWN. [x]

Much ado about nothing: ancient Indian text contains earliest zero symbol by Hannah Devlin [x]

Far From Myanmar Violence, Rohingya in Pakistan Are Seething by Mehreen-Zahra Malik [x]

Why the Greatest Advocates of Nonviolence Didn’t Condemn Anti-Racist, Anti-Fascist Acts of Violence by Avram Alpert [x]

Urdu linguistics and Abul-Lais Siddiqi by DAWN [x]

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Mother helping her son through a tough level in Super Mario Land on Gameboy from 1989

Return of the city-state by Jamie Bartlett [x]

We Need More Alternatives to Facebook by Brian Bergstein [x]

Who’s Allowed to Hold Hands? by Nicole Dennis-Benn [x]

‘Listen to women’: UK doctors issued with first guidance on endometriosis by Sarah Boseley [x]

Identity issue haunts Karachi’s Rohingya population by Zia Ur Rehman [x]

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“You asked me for space”

Pakistan: A slice of China in Islamabad by Asad Hashim [x]

Rachel Rostad – “To JK Rowling, from Cho Chang” [YouTube Vid]

How does a Russian feast for Eid al-Adha look like by Maria Azhnina [x]

Sea Prayer: a 360 story inspired by refugee Alan Kurdi by Khaled Hosseini [x]

Golding’s Introduction to Lord of The Flies [YouTube Vid]

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Histology of Urethra (pic taken by me)

On beauty, or why zadie smith’s comments aren’t about you by Meg Sri [x]

Mehr Sattar aur Nawaz Sharif by Mohammed Hanif [written in Urdu]

‘Alarmingly high’ levels of arsenic in Pakistan’s ground water by Matt McGarth [x]

Women Have Always Been a Part of White Supremacy by Jenn M. Jackson [x]

Women in tech history: Margaret Hamilton, the engineer who helped get us to the moon by Jennifer Harrison [x]

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‘Divine Blossom in Hunza’ by Mobeen Ansari

How to Speak to Someone About an Unspeakable Loss by Linda Carroll [x]

How Can You Tell if You’re Being Sexually Empowered or Objectified? Ask Yourself This Simple Question by Ronnie Ritchie [x]

A Muslim Preacher’s Texting Scandal Is Making Some Women Speak Out About Sexism by Hannah Allam [x]

Ashura: the Victory of Musa & the Victory of Hussain by The Salafi Feminist [x]

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Bookseller of Lahore 1920s

STAY – A heartfelt post by Drama Mama (comprises of financial difficulties and marriage) [x]

Modern “halal” meat is a mockery of Islam by Gabriel Abraham [x]

“We should be naming hurricanes after Exxon and Chevron, not Harvey and Irma.” by Emily Atkin [x]

Pakistanis refuse to give up on their happy, conflicted lives by Soufia Siddiqi [x]

Holy men – theirs and ours by Pervez Hoodbhoy [x]

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“Men want to beat me. I play men, six, seven hours a day. Men…they do not beat me.”- Masako “Katsy” Katsura

Redefining Masculinity by Akhtar Mirza [x]

Why men don’t believe the data on gender bias in science by Alison Coil [x]

How we prevented Musharraf from speaking at our university in London by Jaffer Abbas Mirza [x]

All 339 Books Referenced In “Gilmore Girls” by Krystie Lee Andoli [x]

The emotional depth of a cow by Hannah Velten [x]

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by Moise Kisling

14-month jail for harassment through Facebook by DAWN [x]

A new life after bonded labour in Azad Nagar, Pakistan by Faras Ghani [x]

12 Powerful Comics About What It’s Like To Be A Woman In A Man’s World by Mari Andrew [x]

Why Men Keep Demanding Sex From Their Partners Over and Over by Mark Greene [x]

Glorifying Selflessness In Women Is A Way To Make Us Do All The Work by Priya Alika Elias [x]

About Zohra Sehgal [x]

Teaching Consent to Small Children [x]

The Chaos by Gerard Nolst Trenité [x]

pictures taken from [x] [x] [x] [x] [x] [x] [x]

What I Read in the Past Couple of Months

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Always a re-read on 14th August: Kis ki Azadi? [x]

Missing Since 1947 by Hamid Mir [x]

In Lahore, trauma of partition’s silent generation slowly comes to light by Sune Engel Rasmussen [x]

India’s partition: ‘People in their final years are desperate to open up’ by Michael Safi [x]

What Does It Mean to Make Art in the South Asian Diaspora? by Hrag Vartanian [x]

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Elina Chauvet, Zapatos Rojos, 2013, empty red women’s shoes, protest for all the missing/murdered women and girls due to #MVWAG*

Abuse in Pakistan: ‘I’m more scared of harassment online than offline’ by Sabrin Toppa [x]

Pakistan’s New Patriarchs by Mohammed Hanif [x]

Exclusive: Khaadi ripping off workers of over Rs100 million every year by Fawad Hasan [x]

What happens when children recovering from drug addiction spend time at an animal shelter? by IMAGES [x]

Munshi Premchand: The Aam Aadmi’s Author by Gaganjeet Singh [x]

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The moment in history when Muslims began to see dogs as dirty, impure, and evil by Alan Mikhail [x]

Chann Kitthan Translation [x]

‘Hans gayi aur phans gayi’: On the mechanics of laughter and sexual harassment by Kaneez Rehman [x]

The imagined threat of the ‘modern’ woman by Ammar Ali Jan [x]

15 Years by Meenah Tariq [x]

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Parachinar and censorship by Ammar Rashid [x]

In the narrow lanes of Old Delhi, a unique and flavoursome dialect of Urdu is going extinct by Malini Nair [x]

The Chaos by Charivarius [x]

“‘Gender Performativity’ is Victim Blaming” by Huff [x]

The Political Nature of “Human Nature” by Ruth Hubbard [x]

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A post on Parachinar written so eloquently by my friend, N. [x]

Women pioneered computer programming. Then men took their industry over. by Josh O’Conner [x]

Understanding The Language of Female Breakups by Hayley Krischer [x]

Chester Bennington’s Legacy Is In What Linkin Park’s Music Did For Teens Like Me by Kadeen Griffiths [x]

Qandeel Baloch: The Making And Unmaking Of A Working Class Heroine by Sana Saleem & Saad Khan [x]

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The Balloon Seller of Kabul (Taken on May 14, 2008)

Boy recorded coming out to his mother (i cried) [x]

Why Sexism and Homophobia in Old TV Shows Is Such a Big Problem Today by Oliver Lee Bateman [x]

To Stay in Love, Sign on the Dotted Line by Mandy Len Carton [x]

C.S. Lewis’s Greatest Fiction Was Convincing American Kids That They Would Like Turkish Delight by Jess Zimmerman [x]

Ode to my Bitch Face by Olivia Gatwood [x]

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Afghanistan’s Sesame Street gets proud brother muppet by Anne Chaon [x]

I also read:
Salt and Saffron by Kamila Shamsie
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Skimmed through the Millennium Series
Re-read three of Artemis Fowl series

*MVAWG = Male Violence Against Women and Girls
Images taken from [x] [x] [x] [x] [x] [x] [x]