Book review, Giveaway

The Prophet by Khalil Gibran

Statistics

Format: Paperback

Length: 126 pages

Genre: Poetry, Spirituality, Philosophy, Classics

Publisher: Fingerprint Classics

Date of Publication: 2017; First published in 1927

Rating: 3.5/5 stars


I received this book as a giveaway win from @reader_viddh. Everybody has been raving about the book and it seemed interesting to find an insight into another religion so I was very interested in reading it. I am not a big fan of poetry but I found that the book was beautifully written and I could handle it quite well.


The Blurb

A book of twenty-six poetic essays written in English, Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet is full of religious inspirations.

With the twelve illustrations drawn by the author himself, the book took more than eleven years to be formulated and perfected and is Gibran’s best-known work. It represents the height of his literary career as he came to be noted as ‘the Bard of Washington Street’.

The Prophet has chapters covering such sprawling topics as love, marriage, children, giving, eating and drinking, work, joy and sorrow, housing, clothes, buying and selling, crime and punishment, laws, freedom, reason and passion, pain, self-knowledge, teaching, friendship, talking, time, good and evil, prayer, pleasure, beauty, religion, and death.

The Book

The book begins with the prophet lamenting about having to leave the place that he has come to love even though he is actually going back home. It describes a pain that all of us have felt when we have been used to living in a place that is home away from home. I found the first half of the book relatable but as the book progressed it seemed to incline more towards a fanatical approach towards life than practical. But seeing that the book was written a century ago, I think it was way ahead of its time.

In the first chapter ‘Coming of the Ship’, the author says “love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation”. I found this to hold true even for non-romantic love. It is only when we lose something that we seem to realise its importance. Later in the chapter titled ‘Marriage’, he says “we shall be together […] but let there be spaces in our togetherness.” It amazed me to see that a book written in 1927 could place so much importance on individuality and space in a relationship. Compared to the relationship advice that we saw in the latter half of that century, I was sad that such thinking existed but we did not carry it forward.

About ‘Giving’, the author says “is not dread of thirst when your well is full, the thirst that is unquenchable?”. He later gives more examples to show that greed is what consumes most people. This resonated with me because we now see countries that have an excess of resources being stingy and ‘saving up’ for a later date while in fact they would be more at peace and happier if they would just let people make use of everything that they have to offer. When asked about ‘Talking’, the author says “when you talk you cease to be at peace with your thoughts. And when you can no longer dwell in the solitude of your heart you live in your lips, and sound is a diversion and a pastime.” I remember someone saying “when you talk you stop listening”. As an introvert who has trouble finding things to talk about in social situations, this made a lot of sense. I often find that people talk for the sake of talking and it does nothing to help the knowledge base of the talker nor the listener. This chapter validated a lot of thoughts that I had about talking and listening.

When asked about ‘Pleasure’, the author said: “your body is the harp of your soul and it is yours to bring forth sweet music from it or confused sounds”. Again, I was surprised by the amount of freedom that the author gives to the individual. Rather than telling the woman that she exists for the pleasure of the males, he tells her that she is in control of her body and her mind. Later in the last chapter, ‘Farewell’ the author says […] you are as weak as your strongest link. This is half the truth. You are as strong as your strongest link. To measure you by your smallest deed is to reckon the power of ocean by the frailty of its foam”. This is great advice even in the present day. We see so many interviewers asking the interviewee what his weakest skill is and instead of helping to work on it or on his strengths, he is not even given a job. Concentrating on the weakest link is a very negative approach to a situation and I believe that solving an issue using everybody’s strengths will be quicker than eliminating people based on their weaknesses.

The book is a quick read but has life lessons in every paragraph. It makes you think. As a person who does not read much of poetry, I must say that it managed to keep my attention throughout. I don’t read religious books so I was a bit apprehensive about what I would find in this book but I was pleasantly surprised that it did not allude to any religion even in a roundabout way. Although I did not agree with some of the chapters, I would recommend the book to everyone at least as a means of having a philosophical discussion if not a spiritual or a religious one.

The Author

Khalil Gibran was a Lebanese-American artist, poet, and writer.

Born in the town of Bsharri in modern-day Lebanon (then part of Ottoman Mount Lebanon), as a young man he emigrated with his family to the United States where he studied art and began his literary career. In the Arab world, Gibran is regarded as a literary and political rebel. His romantic style was at the heart of a renaissance in modern Arabic literature, especially prose poetry, breaking away from the classical school. In Lebanon, he is still celebrated as a literary hero.

He is chiefly known in the English-speaking world for his 1923 book The Prophet, an early example of inspirational fiction including a series of philosophical essays written in poetic English prose. The book sold well despite a cool critical reception, gaining popularity in the 1930s and again especially in the 1960s counterculture.

Gibran is the third best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Lao-Tzu.


TL;DR: A book written a century ago that still has lessons for us in the present day.


Do you read philosophical books?

What is your favourite?

Tell me in the comments below or on my Instagram @the_food_and_book_life

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Book review, Giveaway

Obsessed by Ruchi Kokcha

Statistics

Format: Paperback IMG_20180711_173820-01-min

Length: 244 pages

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction

Publisher: Harper Collins India

First publication: 15th May, 2018

Rating: 2.5/5 stars


I had been seeing the book Obsessed all over Instagram and when I saw a giveaway hosted for it by ecstatic_yet_chaotic and Harper Collins India I was over the moon when I won it. I also received an Obsessed Bookmark and an Obsessed Spiral Bound Journal as my giveaway prizes.

I buddy read this with my Book Diva @b0rn_2_read (Anupama) and we had a blast with our rants.


The Blurb

Investigative journalist Avik has finally found the one case that could bring him glory. Or death. As the mystery behind millionaire Kalki Rajput’s murder grows thicker, Avik is forced to risk it all to bring out the truth that has eluded many before him. If only he could uncover what the victim’s daughter had witnessed. Of course, that would mean diving into the depths of her madness. He had thought he could resurface with the truth. Now he will count himself lucky if he makes it out alive. And sane.

The Book

Obsessed deals with mental health and unhealthy relationships that are no joking matter. I wish that the author had concentrated on developing these issues rather than introducing characters that did not play much role in the story. The character development could have been better. I felt that the protagonist was unstable and disrespectful in his interactions with the various women that he comes across as the story develops.
I did like the author’s style of writing but I wish that the core issues had been dealt with a little better.

The Author

Ruchi Kokcha is a poet and passionate reader with a Masters in English literature from Delhi University. She has taught creative writing in Hong Kong. Obsessed is her debut novel.


TL;DR: A story with an interesting concept which could have been dealt with much better


Do you like thrillers?

What is your favourite in that genre?

Tell me in the comments below or on my Instagram @the_food_and_book_life

Giveaway, Promotion

No Ordinary Star Series by M. C. Frank

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No Ordinary Star Series by M. C. Frank is a story of a tin soldier and a match girl set in the year 2525. The three books in the series are-

  1. No Ordinary Star
  2. No Ordinary Rebel
  3. No vain Loss

NOS has a brand new trailer out on YouTube and you can watch it here.

A soldier is summoned to the North Pole, days before the year changes, told to fix the great Clock for a celebration. He has no idea what to do. 
A girl, hunted for the crime of being born, almost dies out on the ice. She is rescued by the last polar bear left alive. 
A library waits for them both, a library built over a span of a hundred years, forgotten in the basement of an ice shack. 
The world hasn’t known hunger or sickness in hundreds of years. It has also forgotten love and beauty. 
The year is 2525. 

Inspired by the short stories of Ray Bradbury, this futuristic novel is set in a world where Christmas -among other things- is obsolete and a Clock is what keeps the fragile balance of peace. 

Written in three installments, this is the breathtaking and sensual story of how two unlikely people change the world, and each other, one book at a time. 

Immerse yourself into the icy cold world of this scorching hot new novel.

esthetic for nos


I have already spoken about the Couple’s Giveaway that M.C. Frank is hosting on my earlier blogpost. Let me remind you again that you stand to win $15 for TheBookDepository and a chance to read those amazing books by the author.

Head over to M. C. Frank’s Tumblr to enter the giveaway here.

The couples Ari+Wes from Lose Me., Beatrice+Dominic from Ruined and Astra+Felix from No Ordinary Star are adorable. I am already in love with Beatrice and Dominic and plan to read the other books soon. So head over to the site and take part in the giveaway!

Giveaway, Promotion

Giveaway by M. C. Frank

Hear ye, Hear ye! M. C Frank, the author, reader, teacher and physicist extraordinaire is

Ruined by M.C. Frank- A retelling of Jane Eyre

holding a giveaway that is very much in the spirit of this romantic month. I am a part of the Book Robin Hoods, a place for authors and reviewers to come together and help each other. I am also a part of M.C’s street team which why I am pleased to be announcing this cool Couples Giveaway on my blog as well.


But first, let me introduce you to M.C’s couples. You are already familiar with Dominic and Beatrice from Ruined in my earlier book review post. We also have Ari and Wes, the stunt girl and the actor from the modern P & P adaptation, Lose Me. The book is set in Greece and the teaser that M.C let me read hooked me up and reeled me in from the very first chapter. And then there are Astra and Felix from the No Ordinary Star series. The series consists of three books set in a futuristic icy-cold world where books, Christmas, clocks and kisses are forbidden. *shivers*

As someone who has read Ruined and the first three chapters of Lose Me., I must tell you that these are books that you DO NOT want to miss.

How do you participate in the giveaway, you ask? Just head over to M. C. Frank’s giveaway post and follow the three simple rules and you will stand a chance to win.


Don’t forget to comment below and tell me how much fun you had taking part in the giveaway!!

~May the odds be ever in your favour~