Want to get back to reading more? Want to support local writers? Don’t know where to start? Whether you believe in horoscopes or not, the dilemma of deciding what book you should be reading next has all been sorted out. Here is a breakdown of what desi book you should be reading based on your zodiac sign:
Aries are known for their boldness, fierce pride, and the tendency to show a selfish streak from time to time.
(So no surprise that – because I am an Aries, not only am I going to recommend my absolute favorite book from the list to the children of the red planet, I am also going to break out of third person writing to point it out.)
But my Aries narcissism aside, The Pakistani Bride by Bapsi Sidhwa is a story about the world of a Pakistani orphan girl who decides to run away from home to avoid an arranged marriage. This is a story about women (but in no way something men wouldn’t want to read), tribal culture, and politics. Perfect fuel for any Aries’s appreciation of passion and independence.
Taurus folks, under that soft Venus light, are full of grace and elegance. But they can also be stubborn and are absolute go-getters who know what they want and refuse to compromise on their standards.
So it’s only fitting that they read Salt and Saffron by Kamila Shamsie – a soft but steadfast story detailing the life and loves of a Pakistani girl living in the US.
Not to spoil anything about this beautiful novel – but the main character in this novel learns how “saffron is a luxury, but salt is a necessity” as the story wittily explores class values.
Ah, Geminis. Why is the rest of the internet so hellbent persistent on labeling Geminis as the “villains” of the zodiac world? Maybe they are jealous because of how quick-witted, sociable and expressive you are? Not that it matters because you don’t, technically, care.
How It Happened by Shazaf Fatima Haider is a hilarious laugh-out-LOUD book that you gotta read to drown away the haters. It is a story about arranged marriages (I’m sorry – there are just way too many of them but, hey, it’s a topic that there IS a lot to write about, I mean?) – and it’s romantic (but not in a sappy way, don’t worry), amusing and just a delight.
People born under Cancer can often be introverts who prefer the quiet at home over going out and about. Even the Cancers who are more social like to withdraw in their shells (just like their symbol’s crabs) from time to time.
The Upstairs Wife: An Intimate History Of Pakistan by Rafia Zakaria is a beautiful heartbreaking story that is part-family saga, part-memoir and part a chronicle of Pakistan’s history. It explores, almost with a punch in the gut, the emotional and personal costs on women by laws and policies made by men.
It’s a perfectly melancholy escape for Cancers (plus family is an important theme in the book – and something Cancers usually feel strongly about.)
Like lions, Leos are natural leaders and all about empowering themselves (and others) to strive towards accomplishments.
Sikander by M. Salahuddin Khan is a story about a 17-year-old Pakistani boy in 1986 who dreams of going to America to study and live. But his plans are crushed when, after a disagreement with his family, he flees home and ends up joining a band of mujahideen warriors who are fighting Soviets in Afghanistan.
It is far from a light read but all its themes about wars, self-surrender, wars, and the clash of cultures are perfect for a Leo looking to indulge into a battle-cry against the more mainstream narratives.
Virgos are all about attention to detail and perfection. And while they crave for everything to be absolutely in order in their lives, they are also some of the most modest and humble signs out there.
Manto: Selected Stories by Saadat Hasan Manto perfectly sums up this existential dilemma Virgos experience. Plus, Manto’s heavy symbolism is just what this Earth sign, that is known for being way too good at picking out the obvious, need when the more direct-to-the-point prose gets somewhat dull. Plus, who is a better reminder than Manto that perfection can manifest itself in the darkest of ways?
Libras have a scale for a symbol – representing peace and justice. And if you’re a Libra, chances are you probably seriously dislike conflict and prefer to be at peace (and in love).
Try a dose of Karachi, You’re Killing Me by Saba Imtiaz.
It’s light, funny, and all about that fairytale love that you swoon over.
There is no middle ground with Scorpios. They are smart, emotional, and perceptive individuals who have no interest in pretense. They are also great at picking up on hidden meanings, body languages, and just about every symbolism out there.
The Scatter Here Is Too Great by Bilal Tanweer explores the complicated lives of ordinary people whose paths cross after a deadly bomb blast at a Karachi train station. The characters are complicated and interesting and the story is emotionally intense – everything a Scorpio needs to read into and indulge in.
Sagittarius (November 23rd to December 21st)
A Sagittarius is all about wonderment. If you are a Sagittarius, you probably are always craving adventures or looking to discover new things
The Geometry of God by Uzma Aslam Khan is going to be a journey into a somewhat unorthodox style of writing and allow you to explore all the little and weird details of language. It’s going to stretch the way you think. Plus, it’s emotional, compelling, and so beautiful.
You may or may not agree with its themes but you are definitely going to enjoy the way they were presented to you.
Capricorns are ambitious and determined. You are all about practicality and being realistic so you get the job done – which is what it all comes down to for you at the end of the day.
Agency Rules – Never an Easy Day at the Office by Khalid Muhammad is an excellent spy thriller about a terror attack in Karachi that is just the right kind of intense for you. It’s pacy and you won’t be wanting to pause on the page turning even for a bit – and extra points if you can use your deduction skills to solve the plot before you reach the end.
Aquarians just want to make the world a better place… You are humanitarians with an eye for innovation.
And if you want to read something that will leave you feeling enlightened, provoked, and slightly challenged, add Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie to your reading list.
The novel traces the shared histories of two families, from the final days of the second world war in Japan, and India/Pakistan around and just after the partition, to New York in the aftermath of 11th September to the war that followed in Afghanistan just after.
Pisces babies are sweet, selfless, and spiritual beings. They are kind, humble, compassionate, and have untamed imaginations.
But for days when you want to remind yourself that you are not always going to be a really good person and that it’s okay – and realistic – to have multitudes in your personality and that not all of them root from a good place, read My Feudal Lord by Tehmina Durrani, William Hoffer, and Marilyn Hoffer.
It’s about a woman who is not always “good”. She is married to a man who is as far from “good” as possible. All in all, it’s a vulnerable but complex story – something a Pisces completely understands.
Let us know how you like our recommendations once you’ve given them a read. And if you’re looking to gift someone something, we got your back in the shape of a book.