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Nowadays I am so carried away from the reality in a world of books, the last one being “Firarperest” by Elif Shafak. Shafak’s books are just like freshly baked desserts always appealing my taste in a way or another! Her being my favourite female writer in Turkish literature, time to time i tend to google her to know more about her, to see what her pluses are comparing with other writers, or to find a way out when i am densely lost in thoughts about how to be a good writer!

During these searches, i came across her official website, which is available both in Turkish and English, and contains short reviews of her books, her bibliography, interviews with her published in various newspapers and articles penned down by her every week in a Turkish newspaper…There is also a section where you can drop messages to her (although she is not able to check her mails regularly, surely someone replies the reader-mails – -proven by experience ; )

For those who like her style and to get to know more about her, this site is a well to dig deeper!

Happy reading,

Choti

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Photo Credit

Twitter is a site which i rarely use since i believe that it is useless unless there exists a spesific purpose such as promoting something that you are into, let it be a site, a book, a place, etc. Otherwise i don’t think anyone would be interested in what i’m doing at the moment (May be i’m wrong about it, and if this is the case, please enlighten me!)

However, yesterday twitter became one of my favourite sites as i came across Elif Shafak’s page on it by chance. Following her on Twitter (not what she eats and drinks but what she writes and reads) seemed so charming to me as she is my role-model as a writer, and the best event of the day was the news that her new book “Firarperest” had now taken its place on the shelves (in Turkey). Hearing that my mouth became so watery to get it ASAP! (ASAP = As soon as possible here has the meaning of ‘as soon as my twins let me’). 😀

Happy Reading,

Choti

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 Last night i managed to go to a bookstore after a long time to check what is new and what has changed on the shelves! And surprisingly i came across with the English version of Elif Shafak’s last book “Aşk” under the title “40 Rules of Love”.

Reading its Turkish version and adoring the book itself, it immediately caught my attention and i gave myself some time to sit and view some passages from the book. And at first glance (as i am not able to go into a much detailed reading) it seems the English version also has the capacity to give the same delight to the readers or even more!

By the way, i should say that i love the book cover with its oriental motifs…

Here is the link of an online newspaper where you can find an interview with Shafak regarding the book.

Have a nice read!

H

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Pinhan” dedi Dürrü Baba. Sesi yaprak kımıldatmayan saba rüzgarı gibi doldu odanın içine. “Pinhan!” dedi çocuk üst üste üç kere. İlk kez bu ismi söylerken farkında olmadan el çırptı; omuzları sevinçle oynadı; yüzünde gonca güller açtı. İkinci kez söylerken duruldu, az evvelki taşkınlığından utandı. Üçünkü kez söylerken, ateş bastı dilini, damağını; dudaklarında buruk bir tat kaldı. Beti benzi kül kesildi. O zaman Dürri Baba, kollarını iki yana açıp, olan biteni izleyen dervişlere doğru dönerek, “Nicedir adını bekler dururdu. Velhasıl adı da onu. İşte bugün kavuştular birbilerine. Adı Pinhan olsun bundan böyle” dedi.

Ve bu şekilde akıp gidiyor kapak yazısı siyah bir fon üzerinde…mistik kokular saça saça. 1998 Mevlana Büyük Ödülünü alan Pinhan, Elif Şafak’ın ilk kitabıdır. Bir başlangıçtır. Şu günlerde etrafı kasıp kavuran “Aşk” gibi romanlarının temellerinin atıldığı sağlam bir zemindir Pinhan.

Elif Şafak’ın kitaplarında bir adam, bir kadın, bir olay, bir zaman, bir yer ve bunlara bağlı giriş, gelişme, sonuç aramak yersizdir. Çünkü kahramanlar birden fazladır ve her biri daha kahraman olmak için savaşır. Olaylar içiçe geçmiştir, birini diğerinden ayırırsanız yarım kalır bir yanınız. Zaman esnektir, geniştir, düz bir çizgide akıp gitmez hiçbir zaman. Sandığınız yer olduğunuz yer değildir, yer kavramı somutluğunu yitirir çoğu zaman. Ve kimi zaman bizim son diye addettiklerimizden Şafak büyük bir başlangıç yaratır. İşte böyle bir roman Pinhan. Bir dervişin derin mavi gözlerinin koca bir dünyaya bedel olduğunun, bir elma vesilesiyle başlayan bir tekke hayatının, hem fiziksel hem de ruhsal açıdan kendini bulmaya çalışan Pinhan’ın, ayrılıklar (farklılıklar, zıtlıklar) arasında bir bütünlük sağlamaya çalışan mahalle sakinlerinin, tasavvufun, gerçekliğin, gerçek olmayanın hikayesidir Pinhan. Elif Şafak kitaplarında izler bırakır bizlere, ipuçları sergiler sayfalar arasında, böylece adı yer almasa dahi bu kesin Elif Şafak romanı dedirtir bize.

İşte bu romanında da Mevlana’dan, Ömer Hayyam’dan yaptığı alıntılar, birbirinden farklı, güçlü ve bir o kadar da sıradışı karakterleri, hemen hemen bahsi geçen her bir kişinin ve meydana gelen her bir olayın er ya da geç birbirine bağlanması Şafak’ın parmak izleridir sayfalarda bıraktığı. Sonuç olarak, ben bu kitabı okurken çok keyif aldım. Zaman zaman kayboldum kitabın içinde, nerede olduğumu kestiremedim. Zaman zaman onlardan biri oldum akıp gittim her bir satırla birlikte. Özellikle Elif Şafak’ın tarzını seven, biraz da mistik öğelere, somutun soyutlandığı kitaplara meraklı olan herkese tavsiye edebileceğim bir kitap Pinhan.

Keyifli okumalar dilerim.

H

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I decided to make some changes in the way of my blogging, preferring to appeal to both Turkish and English readers, hence today i just introduced the first entry in Turkish which is a book review. I won’t go for the word for word translation; instead i will give a short summary what has been talked above.

Accordingly, in this entry i reviewed a book by one of my favourite Turkish writers Elif Shafak. The book “Pinhan” is her first book getting the Mevlana award for her. I consider this book as a baseline where she laid the foundation for her newly released and quite popular books such as “Aşk”.

In her books you cannot find only one hero, heroine or villain because everyone strives to be more hero or to be more villain, or you can’t easily decide which event is more significant, or you can’t simply determine  the main place and the time of the book, hence it is hard to find  a routine introduction, development and a finalization part, since Shafak likes to deduce new starts from the ends thus all these items (and many more) are just interwoven. And Pinhan is one of these books.

It is mainly about a person named Pinhan who enters a lodge to discover himself both physically and spiritually, then the chain of events starts. We are given the chance to closely observe the lives of lodge and dervish, to witness spiritual journeys within a self, we are introduced to a whole city where the citizens think that they are punished by God as some misbehaved among them, we are made to taste both the eartly and the heavenly love. We see the bad in good and the good in bad simply.

Main feature of the book is the diversifications and varieties within a whole maintained throughout the whole story as it is clear that Shafak likes to escape from standardizations. The book also carries the traces of sufism and has the footprints of Mevlana which are the main hints for Shafak literary style.

In short, Pinhan is quite an absorbing one where you can easily lose yourself and when you find out yourself again, you realize how far you take a step.

Have a nice read.

H

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new%20moonTwilight-mania has been on its way with the rest of the series including New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn…Purching all of them and consuming them to the end, being jelous of Bella, stucking between Edward and James, and even sometimes tending towards Jacob, even i lost myself in the exciting adventures of Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. In the first book (Twilight), we were the witnesses of the big love saga of Edward and Bella (a vampire and a human being) and the deep envy of Jacob Black  (a wolfman) struggling to win Bella’s heart. 

In the second book (New Moon), a sad separation follows what has happened. Being aware of the danger existing in vampire world, Edward decides to leave Bella for her own good and he sacrifices his love. Being devasted losing her true love, Bella finds consolation in the friendly presence of Jacob which was soon to be turned into love by this yet to be wolfman!

The book Twilight had met with its audience after its readers and the big new_moon_by_viviou_1239312313screen folded the fans into millions. Now it is time for New Moon to meet the fans on the big screen (November 2009). In Twilight, we were introduced to the fascinating world of vampires rather than the dark side! Strong family bonds (althought not blood-related) and true love (although between two different species) were praviling in the first movie in accordance with the book…As for the New Moon, i am much more excited and impatient, as there will be lots of changes, new or updated faces, deeper relations, more excitement and more danger for us, the human beings 😛

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elif_safak_ask_kitabi_I am a big fan of Elif Şafak. I read almost all of her books till now but when i saw her recent novel “Aşk” (Love) on the shelves of bookstores, i was a bit disappointed and felt reluctant to read it because just assessing the title and the book cover (all in pink with a light pink heart on the front cover), i just thought that it is another classical love story prevailing on the shelves lately.

So many people around me read the book within months, so many people were still reading it around me on the bus or the underground, so many people were carrying the book in their hands or handbags while passing by me. And last week suddenly i just went to bookstore and bought the book to find out what was there attracting so many people’s attention. I read the book in 5 days (415 pages) and i read it slowly on purpose in order not to see “the end” and i came to see that all i had was prejudice against the book as it was totally different from what i had thought!

No need to flatter or glorify the writing skills of Elif Şafak as it is already well-known especially in Turkey and she is considered under the same category with Orhan Pamuk who has already won a nobel prize. And again in this book she was just excellent. The storyline, the characters, the choice of words, the decriptions, everything was just outstanding carrying the trace of perfection. I usually draw/mark the lines that i like in a book but i didn’t/couldn’t in this book because each and every sentence was just an excellent quote.

The topicline of the book is LOVE as suggested by the title. But it is not just a admin_9735071063earthly love occuring between a woman and a man; it is rather about a holy love under islamic mysticism/sufism. And mostly the eartly love is interwoven with the mystic love.

There is a novel within the novel so two different stories are processed at the same time going on at different time points and at different places. One is talking about the present, about a married woman with three children living in Boston, about her searches for love, and her struggles to get rid of the vicious circle in her entire life, and the other tells us about the past, about Mevlana and his soulmate Şems living in Konya. And these two stories are just to be intersected by a mysterious writer (A. Z. Zahara) teaching the reader the most basic elements of love, even proving that the two people can love each other without seeing or hearing one another at all.

Unfortunately i don’t have the book in English version, and in fact i’m not sure whether it is published in English or not yet. Still i want to share some passages with you which i loved, however i will provide the translation myself at least to give you some slight idea of the meaning:

Aklın kimyası ile Aşkın kimyası başkadır. Akıl temkinlidir. Korka korka atar adımlarını. ‘Aman sakın kendini’ diye tembihler. Halbuki aşk öyle mi? Onun tek dediği: ‘Bırak kendini, ko gitsin!’ Akıl kolay kolay yıkılmaz. Aşk ise kendini yıpratır, harap düşer. Halbuki hazineler ve defineler yıkıntılar arasında olur. Ne varsa harap bir kalpte var! (Page. 95)

The chemistry of mind and the chemistry of heart are just different. The mind is just cautious. It moves with hesitant steps. Always warns ‘Just be careful’. But what about the love? Only thing love advices is ‘Let it go!’  The mind is difficult to demolish. However, love overwears itself, falls into ruins. But the treasury is found among the ruins. A devasted heart worths anything!

No matter how much i try to describe the book, no matter how much i try to translate some lines, no matter how much i sound enthusiastic about it, i am just unable to render the true and the exact power of the book. What can i say?! The love is hidden between the pages…Just go and get it!

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It was such a sunny day today and unfortunately i missed the quarter of it waking up almost at noon as i slept quite late last night losing myself in Breaking Dawn. As soon as i opened my eyes in the morning (i mean at noon :P), not minding my starving innerself, i attempted to go on where i stopped last night. Just 1oo pages were left and the excitement was at the peak! Rather than reading in bed and starving and getting lazy whole day, i got out of the bed, got dressed and went to the nearest starbucks so that i could enjoy both eating and reading at the same time!

While sipping from my coffe latte and hearing the sound of water flow in the small pool in front of starbucks, the real world slowly lost the reality and i was among the vampires again. The rest might contain some spoilers so if you haven’t read the book yet, you better stop here 🙂

What i saw within the pages…Edward Cullen (as dashing as ever), Jacob Black (as the warmest and softest friend on earth), Bella Cullen (the new surname after the marriage, a new-born vampire with a strong ability, a baby born soon after the wedding in an unusual way), Nessie (A new and cute member of the family, little daughter of Edward and Bella who erases the Jacob’s love for Bella in a blink as it is found out that Nessie is the soulmate of Jacob, who also causes a threat from Volturi),strong family bonds, friendship in every form (between vampires, between humans, between vampires and wolfmen)…what is more…love (forever), passion (between burning skins), jelousy (like a heavy stone in heart), but the most important is the happy end:)

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Hope you realize how tight i am hugging the book in the photo due to two reasons: 1) I didn’t want to end it so soon 2) i wanted to see what would happen in the end so impatiently. Such a controversy 😛

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A small room with a window, a table with a chair, a bed, a lamb, some papers, some photographs…This is the place where an old man, with a blank mind except a few memories, is kept…

It starts with a simple, plain story about this old man. Then other characters come on the scene and the story gets accelarated. It sounds like a story within the story. Each and every character is somehow connected with one another, the old man being the key point…

An unknown story, an open end to be shaped by the reader… Abundant details, all to be used at some place sooner or later in the book…. Quite random, usual, even routine, still next page calls for the reader…

Reading some other works by Paul Auster, I would rate this one as 3/5 since it doesn’t create enough curiousity for the reader…

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 Do you believe in coincidences? Well i do…at least I started to do after reading this short but rich-in-content book!

The Red Notebook consists of 4 sections which are 1)The Red Notebook 2)Why Write? 3)Accident Report 4) It Don’t Mean a Thing and all telling about the coincidences in life which are frequently ignored or not paid attention by most of us. The content is based on facts, real events from the writer’s or his friends’s lives/experiences which are narrated by himself like a fictive short story captivating the reader.

The attracting part is the one where he explains simply yet strikingly how he became a writer, what the basic motive behind this decision…One night after a baseball game, he has a chance to get the autograph of his favourite baseball player, but unfortunately neither the player nor himself has a pen at the time. He keeps asking everyone around for a pen but he cannot find and fell into a helpless situation since his dream player is just in front of him but he cannot take even an autograph. The player says sorry and leaves the stadium leaving him behind helpless. Being a 8-year old kid with a devastated heart at the time, Auster cannot supress his tears and keeps crying all through the way home. Since that night he never goes out without carrying a pen in his pocket not to get caught unprepared again. He says he never plans to do anyhing with the pen he carries, but having a pen in your pocket, most probably one day you will feel like using it. That is how i became a writer he mentions.

In The Red Book, Paul Auster puts forward how the chain of coincidences plays an important role in our lives no matter we are aware of it or not and events are kind of connected to one another  even though we cannot realize it at the first glance.

I read the book in Turkish. I liked especially its simplicity. Simple, random, every-day events are narrated in such a way that keeps the reader captivated and appreciating till the end. So deserves a 5/5!

P.S.: In the bookstore I bought also a film magazine together with THE RED NOTEBOOK and soon i realized the giveaway of the magazine was a red notebook in which i already started to take notes:)

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music-of-chance1What would you give away to gain your freedom back?!

It is the story of a man, his stand to life, his approach to his family, his point of view about the happenings and his patience with the series of events that he is exposed to…

Nasha looks like a lonely man being left by his wife and leaving his only daughter to his sister to be taken care of. He works as a fireman till he finds out that he is inherited some fortune as a result of his father’s death, whom he has never known about. After this relatively lucky event (according to him), he spares some of the money for his daughter’s future and the rest for the feeling of freedom to be led by himself…

He quits his job soon afterwards and hits himself on the roads, new and strange and feeling his car as his home more and more day by day unchaining himself at the same time from a routine-based settled life cycle…

This is when he meets Pozzi and the really interesting part of the book takes a start. Although Pozzi looks just like a child to him by his appearance, he soon finds out that he is an assertive card player. At this point their roads (fates) intersect on the same ambition in order for Pozzi to earn more money and for Nasha to maintain lately gained freedom he has been drenched in so far…

After a card game they participiate (Pozzi as the player and Nasha as the investor), as they consume all the money at the end and as they still owe some amount, they are hired by the other rich players as the constructers (to construct a WALL), which constitutes the main part of the book. After this point Nasha loses his control over the events, the people, the environment, his life and himself…

This was the first book i read by Paul Auster and was not my own choice but the Book Club’s. It was a translation book (I read it in Turkish) and although subject matter is a bit different, I enjoyed the book.

So my rate is 4/5!

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As of today, i would like to share my favourite book covers with you…i have various reasons to be caught by a book cover and with each cover i want to mention my reason as well…here we go with the first book cover of the week…

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Reason: First of all i love snow under any condition, secondly i cannot think of anyone who does not like such a romantic scene:P

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20021081Name: The Book of General Ignorance (Cahillikler Kitabı).

Writers: John Lloyd & John Mitchinson

Translators (into Turkish): Cihan Aslı Filiz & Emre Ergüven

Publisher: NTV publications.

Page: 278 pages

About: The things we do not know at all and the things about which we have the wrong information.

My view: First of all i read the book in Turkish. It is organized in question-answer way. It can be considered as an interesting reference book, but frankly it is not a good read as a total. My reason to read it was its being selected by the Book Club. May be it was not my type of book at all as I am more into romance or thrillers so this one was quite a plain read and dull for me. However, if you are a curious-born soul about anything, then i believe this is the book you are looking for so long!

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twilight_book_coverAfter such a long time, i finished a 400-page book in just one and half day…i had the taste of reading once more without even breathing, forgetting myself totally…And that is all due to this book or the main character of the book Edward Cullen🙂

The book is the first one of the Twilight series which is followed by New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn all by Stephenie Meyer.

I read “Twilight” in Turkish which is translated as “Alacakaranlık“. As soon as i turned just a few pages i realized it would be hard to put the book down, it was in the middle of the night like 2 am and i was still reading sometimes smiling and sometimes frowning…

Bella, a 17 year-old teenage, comes to Forks to live with his father leaving behind her re-married mother just to give her some space with her husband. Although Bella never likes Forks in all his life due to rain and cold weather, she thinks she can endure that. Her first day at school is spent in a quite bad and weird way. He meets a guy, Edward Cullen, who seems to be the only one to hate her. He looks very beautiful, dashing and cool with his grey-like skin, deep honey color eyes, well-built body and his charming smell. She thinks it is hard to resist him. But Edward never speaks to her, on the contrary he runs away from her…

In the coming days, Edward saves her life in an acident by showing supernatural powers but noone realizes this situation except Bella. Then one day unexpectedly he starts to talk to her…They seems to enter a complicated friendship followed by a love relation which is hard to manage when it is discovered that Edward is a Vampire.

Then comes the killing sentence in the book…”so the lion fell in love with the lamb”…and this expresses everything, doesn’t it?

In the book some facts are released about the vampires which are not in line with the generally known truths/speculations  like they do not turn into ash under the sun, on the contrary they look so shiny and beautiful like a diamond and that is why they take shelter when the sun is out. They do not have any coffin, skeleton, web, etc at their home, rather they have quite organized and relivingly spacious rooms. And surprisingly they are not afraid of the cross…

The character who impressed me the most in this book is Edward Cullen for sure not only because of his attractive physical outlook but also for his being protective, bossy and even jelous toward the girl he is in love…I even don’t mention that one of the reasons is his being a vampire:P

After finishing the book, i really regret thinking that i should have not read it so fast as i want it to last for a little longer…so now i am just impatient to get the other books of the same series as i want to know whether the lion will eat the lamb or he will take her to the forest to make her a lion as well:)

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“Bollywood films are ‘feel-good’ films which are conerned with how to be happy and to lead a good life. Our cinema productions have a fixed structure: they are at least three hours or more -and thus longer than ‘Titanic’. As a rule they have six song-and-dance number, and deal with subjects with focus on societal values, and most of all the family.”

…says Shah Rukh Khan in the book i would like to introduce you today; his sentences expresses the reason why i see so many bollywood movies as well, (bilkul)  to spend happy and easy hours, to feel many basic emotions which are almost invisible now in reality but surviving in dreams and movies only!

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As the above excerpt suggests, the book is about Bombay (or Mumbai) Film Industry. The title of the book is Bollywood – The Passion of Indian Film and Music. Indeed it is like an encyclopedia with its huge dimensions and colorful, eye-catching photos inside. It is also one of the ear-books, which means you can find 4 different music CDs inside the front cover representing the different categories of indian music namely bollydance, bollypop, bollyrock, bollyjazz so that you can hear the most famous singers like Lata Mangeshkar, Shreya Ghoshal, Shaan, Kishore Kumar, Atif Aslam, Udit Narayan, Asla Bhosle, Mohammad Rafi, etc.

What else can you find out in this book? Lets check the titles…Dream Factory From the Far East, Theatre of Dreams, Cinema is a Religion, Traditional Artwork, Real Emotions, Jobs in the Dream Factory, Glamour on the Red Carpet. Under such basic titles you can see precise but expressive details together with exclusive photos of leading Bollywood Actors and Actresses such as Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Priyanka Chopra and Shaeed Kapoor…

Shortly the book is opening the doors of wonderland, and all you have to do is just to climb the glamorous steps of the dreams:)

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Book Club…

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I forgat to share a lovely news with you. I just joined in (indeed established) a book club last week. We are less in number for now (just 4 people) but we hope to enlarge soon. The name of the book club is a bit funny (which intends to cheer us up), which is “Pseudo Jane Austen Book Club”…..
The basic motive behind this action is not to have deep and detailed intellectual or philosophical debates or discussions but to motivate or support us to read as more books as possible and to distract our attention from the workload we are going through at least to a certain extent.
All we have to do is to exchange the books we read before, to read the book given to us in a month (everyone will read a different book) and to share the topic and our opinions about the book and the writer.

This month i will read “The Book of General Ignorance” by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson. Lets see how it will work! 🙂

 

 

 

 

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