What We Are Reading Today: The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak

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Updated 14 February 2020

What We Are Reading Today: The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak

“The Forty Rules of Love,” written by Elif Shafak, is truly a life-changing book. I have found myself quoting and referencing it in daily life.

The central theme of the book is Sufism and preaching the religion of love. The main character, Shams of Tabriz, is a wandering dervish, while Rumi is a great scholar.

The way the book is written, the readers live the events mentioned through many of the important characters. Readers also live through the story of Ella, a middle-aged women living in 2008, with children and a husband seemingly living the perfect life.

Then she starts reading the story of Shams and Rumi, and while reading sees shifts in her own life and discovers herself. Throughout the book the readers are told the 40 rules covering aspects of life that readers of all ethnicities and backgrounds will find helpful and applicable.

The book carries so much weight that after reading a particular chapter I had to put it down and absorb what I had just read, taking longer than I would have with any other book.

The book is full of lessons while telling a beautiful story of all kinds of love. The popularity of the book makes it easier to find in bookstores. Jarir Bookstore almost always has a copy of the novel. The audiobook on audible.com is also beautifully read out — perfect for those wanting to delve into the story but don’t have enough time to read.


What We Are Reading Today: The Boys In The Boat by Daniel James Brown

Updated 26 February 2020

What We Are Reading Today: The Boys In The Boat by Daniel James Brown

Daniel James Brown’s robust book tells the story of the University of Washington’s 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans.

The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.

The emotional heart of the story lies with one rower, Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not for glory, but to regain his shattered self-regard and to find a place he can call home.

Drawing on the boys’ own diaries and journals, their photos and memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, “The Boys in the Boat” is an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times, according to a review published on goodreads.com.

It will appeal to readers of Erik Larson, Timothy Egan, James Bradley, and David Halberstam’s “The Amateurs.”