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: What Becomes a Legend Most by Philip Gefter

Updated 26 October 2020

What We Are Reading Today: What Becomes a Legend Most by Philip Gefter

This is the first definitive biography of Richard Avedon, a monumental photographer of the 20th century, from award-winning photography critic Philip Gefter.

“Balancing glamor with the gravitas of an artist’s genuine reach for worldy achievement — and not a little gossip — plus sixteen pages of photographs, What Becomes a Legend Most is an intimate window into Avedon’s fascinating world,” said a review in goodreads.com. 

“Dramatic, visionary, and remarkable, it pays tribute to Avedon’s role in the history of photography and fashion — and his legacy as one of the most consequential artists of his time,” the review added.

In his acclaimed portraits, Richard Avedon captured the iconic figures of the twentieth century in his starkly bold, intimately minimal, and forensic visual style. 

Concurrently, his work for Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue transformed the ideals of women’s fashion, femininity, and culture to become the defining look of an era. 

“As successful as Avedon became, he was plagued by doubts about his work not being taken seriously and tirelessly worked to make the critics look at his work as art,” said the review.