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The Forty Rules of Love
The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi | Elif Shafak
Listen to Elif Shafak's The Forty Rules of Love reviewed on NPR In this lyrical, exuberant follow-up to her 2007 novel, The Bastard of Istanbul, acclaimed Turkish author Elif Shafak unfolds two tantalizing parallel narrativesone contemporary and the other set in the thirteenth century, when Rumi encountered his spiritual mentor, the whirling dervish known as Shams of Tabrizthat together incarnate the poet's timeless message of love. Ella Rubenstein is forty years old and unhappily married when she takes a job as a reader for a literary agent. Her first assignment is to read and report on Sweet Blasphemy, a novel written by a man named Aziz Zahara. Ella is mesmerized by his tale of Shams's search for Rumi and the dervish's role in transforming the successful but unhappy cleric into a committed mystic, passionate poet, and advocate of love. She is also taken with Shams's lessons, or rules, that offer insight into an ancient philosophy based on the unity of all people and religions, and the presence of love in each and every one of us. As she reads on, she realizes that Rumi's story mirrors her own and that Zaharalike Shamshas come to set her free.
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review
kathedron
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Pickpick

Well that was a blast from the past! Twenty years ago I taught myself Persian so I could read Rumi's actual words. This book is two parallel narratives, that of the extraordinary friendship between Rumi and the dervish Shams of Tabriz, framed as a novel read by unfulfilled middle-aged housewife Ella. It was all rather "romantic" but I enjoyed catching up with an old friend!?

kathedron The audiobook is read by George Blagden. Very good, but now Shams sounds like Athelstan from "Vikings"! ? 1w
BarbaraBB You taught yourself Persian? That is so impressive. A friend of mine tried that too but didn‘t succeed. 1w
IndoorDame I‘m beyond impressed that you taught yourself Persian so you could read Rumi in the original! It‘s not an easy language. 1w
squirrelbrain Wow, you taught yourself Persian?! 1w
kathedron @BarbaraBB @IndoorDame @squirrelbrain What can I say? Rumi was a special interest: I went deep! 😆 7d
35 likes5 comments
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Ellohcin
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24 likes2 stack adds
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Another_bibliophile

“Intellect and love are made of different materials. Intellect ties people in knots and risks nothing, but love dissolves all tangles and risks everything. Intellect is always cautious and advises, ‘Beware too much ecstasy,‘ whereas love says, ‘Oh, never mind! Take the plunge!‘ Intellect does not easily break down, whereas love can effortlessly reduce itself to rubble. But treasures are hidden among ruins. A broken heart hides treasures.”

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Princy_Lal
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Pickpick

Ella, a forty years old ordinary housewife, encounter love for the first time in her life at an unexpected moment. There is another story line behind this, one about the greatest poet Rumi and his companion Shams of Tabriz. They made the perfect companionship. Or, it is Love, made the perfect companionship. It is all about Love and only about Love. A book that can be read like a silent prayer... A sweet blasphemy!! ❤️

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Noveldrama
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Keep building something of yours 🖤

marleed Great pic! 9mo
Noveldrama Thanks🥰 9mo
5 likes2 comments
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NovelNancyM
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“The universe is one being. Everything and everyone is interconnected through an invisible web of stories. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are all in a silent conversation“ (207).

“Every true love and friendship is a story of unexpected transformation. If we are the same person before and after we loved, that means we haven't loved enough“ (277).

NovelNancyM “Love cannot be explained. It can only be experienced.
Love cannot be explained, yet it explains all “(194).

12mo
IuliaC Such a beautiful book 👍 12mo
19 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Noveldrama
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Pickpick

I just finished reading this book.
This book is so mystical.
The simplicity and complexity of this book are extraordinary
The story of Ella and Aziz and Rumi and SHAMS OF TABRIZ is very engaging.
SHAMS OF TABRIZ is my favorite character 🥰
This book is a masterpiece! Every bit of it felt so realistic like l was playing a part in the story
Absolutely in love ❤️

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fredamans
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Wanderer18
Pickpick

What a wonderful well told beautiful story. This book is woven with insight and love. I absolutely loved this book! A wonderful read. I highly recommend this book.

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Wanderer18

“Love is the water of life. And a lover is a soul of fire!
“The universe turns differently when fire loves water.”

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Wanderer18

“It‘s Rule Number Forty,” she said slowly. ‘A life without love is of no account. Don‘t ask yourself what kind of love you should seek, spiritual or material, divine or mundane, Eastern or Western. . . . Divisions only lead to more divisions. Love has no labels, no definitions. It is what it is, pure and simple.”

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zezeki
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Read this book couple of months ago and I loved it so much that I went and bought it! And I really love this cover so it was an easy choice to make! 😍😍

📚📚#bookhaul 📚📚

BookishMarginalia Lovely #cover indeed! 1y
IuliaC I very much enjoyed this one too! Lovely cover 😍 1y
Velvetfur That's a fab cover! 😁 1y
kspenmoll What a pretty cover! Nice review; I have this in a pile! 1y
marleed Yep, I need to own this book too! 1y
73 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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reading.in.brussels
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How gorgeous is this cover (picture taken by yours truly)? Diving in next weekend!

Traci1 That's beautiful. 2y
marleed So pretty. I loved this book! 2y
reading.in.brussels @marleed thank you! Heard all good things about it. 2y
14 likes3 stack adds4 comments
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zezeki
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Pickpick

It's been a while since a book hit me this hard. I really wasn't prepared for this book to speak to me on such a level, and that it will relate to this self-growth journey that I recently embarked on. It's a beautiful, layered book, and I cannot cover all aspects of it one review. All I can say is, I love it, and it will stay with me for a while.

#rumi #love #tbr ♥️📚📚

Heideschrampf Elif ❤️ 2y
zezeki @Heideschrampf This is the first time I'm reading her work. What do you recommend next? 2y
See All 6 Comments
Heideschrampf She just has a knack for telling women‘s and minorities stories so profoundly yet sensitive. 2y
zezeki @Heideschrampf Sounds great, stacked! 2y
IuliaC I liked this one very much ❤ 2y
75 likes2 stack adds6 comments
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zezeki
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Starting this one tonight, my first time reading Elif Shafak. This one has been on my TBR for a while, and I'm not gonna lie, I have high expectations from it. 😄📚📚

#tbr #rumi #love ♥️

Avanders What a gorgeous bookmark! 😍 2y
Come-read-with-me The bookmark and the cover are gorgeous! 2y
zezeki @Avanders @Come-read-with-me Thanks, I actually made it myself. 😄 2y
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Come-read-with-me @zezeki WOW!!! It‘s gorgeous- you have TALENT!! 😍😍😍 (edited) 2y
zezeki @Come-read-with-me The bookmark I mean, not the cover. 😅😅 2y
Come-read-with-me @zezeki I meant the bookmark! It‘s really beautiful! 2y
Avanders Wow!! What @Come-read-with-me said! 🤩🤩 2y
zezeki @Avanders @Come-read-with-me Thank you for your lovely comments, I really appreciate it. 😊 This is actually quite simple to make, it's just about using some tricks. I'd recommend you to check out makoccinos on YT, she has beginner friendly tutorials on watercolours, if you're interested to give it a go. 2y
Come-read-with-me @zezeki Thanks for the YT. I‘ll try it but it will take a while before I will be brave enough to share my work here! I really do think it‘s beautiful! 2y
81 likes9 comments
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Eva_B
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Pickpick

I received this as a Christmas gift from my son. I really enjoyed it! I am fascinated by Sufism and this book had me wishing I could jump on a plane to Turkey and see the whirling dervishes of Konya. The world being as it is at the moment with the pandemic all I could manage was to purchase some Turkish Apple tea and drink that whilst I read! 😊

marleed I love this book! 2y
20 likes1 comment
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Kristinechynna

No matter who we are or where we live, deep inside we all feel incomplete. It‘s like we have lost something and need to get it back. Just what that something is, most of us never find out. And of those who do, even fewer manage to go out and look for it.

4 likes1 stack add
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suvata
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Pickpick

Continuing my TBR project:
This is one of the oldest selections on my TBR list - Originally added October 18, 2017.

From the Publisher:
The Forty Rules of Love unfolds two tantalizing parallel narratives—one contemporary and the other set in the thirteenth century, when Rumi encountered his spiritual mentor, the whirling dervish known as Shams of Tabriz—that together explore the enduring power of Rumi‘s work.

Traci1 That cover is gorgeous 😍 2y
suvata @Traci1 Yep, I think that‘s part of the reason I picked it. 2y
marleed I really enjoyed this book. I don‘t own it but kind of wish I did. 2y
suvata @marleed it‘s worth owning it just for the pretty cover but it‘s also a very good book. 2y
Roary47 I‘m still work on 2015 TBR reading Yikes! Glad you‘re knocking out older TBRs and enjoying. 😊 (edited) 2y
51 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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binte_badr
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Having roots no where, I have everywhere to go.

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Shaleen
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Mehso-so

The Forty Rules of Love has two parallel narratives- one based in 2008 with the story of a forty year old woman named Ella and the other based in 13th century with the story of Shams who is said to be the inspiration behind Rumi‘s poems. The book presents a blend of the two stories connecting the past with present.I liked the part about Shams and Rumi but Ella‘s story made me cringe a little.It can be read for the love of Rumi and all things Sufi.

ChaoticMissAdventures Elif Shafak is one of those authors I always want to love but I seem to struggle with her work. 2y
fredamans I was a so-so for this book as well. 2y
Shaleen @fredamans I am sure ours is the unpopular opinion 😅 2y
61 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Qeti
Pickpick

It was a really good book! Rdcommended!

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GatheringBooks
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Petelord

Loneliness and solitude are two different things. When you are lonely, it is easy to delude yourself into believing that you are on the right path. Solitude is better for us, as it means being alone without feeling alone. But eventually it is best to find a person, the person who will be your mirror. Remember, only in another person‘s heart can you truly see yourself and the presence of God within you.

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Sameya
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This world is erected upon the principle of reciprocity. Neither a drop of kindness nor a speck of evil will remain unreciprocated. Fear not the plots, deceptions, or tricks of other people. If somebody is setting a trap, remenber, so is God. He is the biggest plotter. Not even a leaf stirs outside God's knowledge. Simply and fully believe in that. Whatever God does, He does beautifully..
Forty rules of love @elifshafak #fortyrulesoflove

5 likes1 stack add
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Mrswords
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Pickpick

If you like Rumi, mysticism and believe in the power of self-transformation through your relationships and love, you will enjoy this book! #Spirituality #mysticism #ElifShafak #love #travel

rather_be_reading welcome to litsy 📚☕📚 #litsywelcomewagon 3y
Mrswords Thanks 3y
RaimeyGallant Welcome! 3y
Eggs Welcome to Litsy 🥳🌹🥳 3y
Mrswords @RaimeyGallant @Eggs Thanks 🙏🏼 ✨ 3y
9 likes5 comments
review
marleed
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Pickpick

I wasn‘t sure if this would be a book for me, but I loved it. I‘d like to own it because there are so many thoughtful lines to revisit. I enjoyed the POV switch between current day (well almost) and the 1240s since it showed those rules having significance nearly 800 years later. I sure hope we can apply the above quote after lessons are learned from the current world situation.

#ReadingEurope2020 Turkey

rockpools I like that quote! 3y
marleed @RachelO I keep reading that line followed by Ohmmmmm in hopes I don‘t add to the fear. I have a sister who is a small business owner that juggles which bills must be paid in a given month. Her year is basically funded by activities surrounding St Patrick‘s day. All that was canceled last night as it should have been. But she‘s an absolute wreck. 3y
rockpools @marleed I‘m so sorry. The whole thing‘s such a nightmare. I think we will be doing a lot of things differently after this - but very aware that doesn‘t help right now 😕 3y
75 likes3 comments
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thoughts_brewery
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Love has no labels, no definitions. It is what it is, pure and simple.
#bookblogger #fortyrulesoflove #elifshafak #thoughtsbrewery

BookishMe Welcome to Litsy 👋🏽👋🏽 3y
thoughts_brewery Thank you so much @BookishMe 3y
RaimeyGallant Welcome to Litsy! #LitsyWelcomeWagon 3y
See All 8 Comments
Eggs Welcome to Litsy 🥳 3y
thoughts_brewery @RaimeyGallant thank u so much 3y
thoughts_brewery @Eggs thanks a lot 🤩 3y
Nute Welcome to Litsy! It‘s a warm and friendly community. I know that you will enjoy yourself here. I‘m looking forward to getting to know you!🙂 3y
thoughts_brewery @Nute thank you so much. I am glad to be a part of this readers community. Looking forward to know you too😁 3y
8 likes1 stack add8 comments
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NeedsMoreBooks
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Pickpick

Between a pick and a so-so. The story has 2 timelines- the past focusing on the story of the real Shams of Tabriz who was a companion/teacher to the famous poet, Rumi, and the 2008 timeline of Ella, a wife and mother of 3 who reads Sweet Blasphemy, a story focusing on Shams and Rumi. The forty rules of love/religion/Sufism are beautiful but the multiple POV s seemed repetitive at times. I wanted to know more about Ella. #covercrush #booked2020

BarbaraTheBibliophage Interesting! 3y
DGRachel I love how people can react so differently to books. I bailed on this one because there was too much of Ella‘s story for me. 😂😂 3y
See All 14 Comments
NeedsMoreBooks @BarbaraTheBibliophage thanks! @DGRachel 😂😂 I wanted more of Ella as historical fiction is not my strength 😁 3y
DGRachel Too funny. I was about to edit my comment with “if this had been purely the historical fiction story, I probably would have loved it.” 😂🤣😂🤣 Contemporary fiction is my nemesis! 3y
NeedsMoreBooks @DGRachel oh my god! Historical fiction usually tires me, after reading so much in grad school 😂 3y
ReadingRachael @NeedsMoreBooks and @DGRachel This has been near the top of my TBR for the past couple months, curious what I‘ll think after really your comments 😂 3y
NeedsMoreBooks @ReadingRachael very interested to see what you think of this novel 😅 3y
Megabooks That is a nice cover! 3y
Cinfhen Agreed, cover is delightful 💓I tried 2 other books by this author and both were just ok/ not sure if it‘s a language issue or pacing issue but both stories seemed to go off on tangents 3y
NeedsMoreBooks @Cinfhen that‘s reassuring to know 😅 I will probably won‘t read anything by the author anytime soon. And yes, the cover is gorgeous 😍 3y
BookishMe Her books have the most gorgeous covers! 3y
alisiakae The storyline sounds intriguing! 3y
47 likes14 comments
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Ricsom
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Ricsom
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1 like1 stack add
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rachaich
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Pickpick

I read this quite speedily as the short and diverse chapters made it very appealing.
I liked the numerous viewpoints very much. Whilst Ella was integral to the story, she was the least appealing as she was simply a conduit for both the modern story and the ancient take.
Really recommend this.

Curiouser_and_curiouser Cool! Great review! I've just bought this by Shafak last week, as well as her book The Architect's Apprentice, which I sampled a snippet of today. These 2 books have beautiful covers also. 3y
19 likes1 comment
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rachaich
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Blimey this is brilliant 😆😆😆😆.
Not as keen on Ella as she's a stereotypical mid life housewife but am really appreciating the eastern philosophy.

marleed Interesting. I‘ll stack this for a Turkey read for #ReadingEurope2020. 3y
rachaich Definitely worth it. 3y
Komal10 Hi, what part of the eastern philosophy did you particularly enjoy? 3y
rachaich I think the idea and theme of presence and acceptance. Also the submission as a positive aspect, not weakness. 3y
16 likes4 comments
review
JSW
Pickpick

A contemplative book that entwines two stories - Ella's, and Shams and Rumi. The sections on Shans and Rumi are further split into the stories of those whose lives they touched, giving the reader multiple perspectives. YMMV with this book, but I found nuggets of wisdom scattered throughout via the 40 rules of the title.

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DGRachel
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Bailedbailed

#unpopularopinion This is a novel with two stories-one, a decent historical fiction account of the poet Rumi‘s spiritual awakening courtesy of the Shams of Tabriz & the other, a modern day literary fiction tale that is everything I HATE about lit fic-a sad, middle aged woman in a bad marriage with disrespectful kids , who begins an emotional affair with a stranger. I defeated the audio narrator, which didn‘t help. Bailing at 60%.

Suet624 That sounds like such a strange combination of things. 3y
DGRachel @Suet624 I can see how it ties together, with Ella‘s “awakening” in some ways mirroring Rumi‘s, and is probably love this if it was just Rumi‘s story, but I hate the kind of literary fiction that consists of unhappy married women discovering they are unhappy and having affairs to find themselves. 🤮 3y
Suet624 Yes, I would enjoy the Rumi and Shams part a lot I think. 3y
71 likes3 comments
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rimwar

The only way to develop compression. it is not similarities or regularities that take us a step forward, but blunt opposites. And all the opposites in the universe are present within each and every one of us.

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rimwar

Love is the water of life. And a lover is a soul of fire!
The universe turns differently when fire loves water

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Emilymdxn
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Pickpick

Fantastic book that has got me fascinated by Sufi mysticism - a beautiful, loving, peaceful part of Islam you can go decades in Britain without hearing a word about apparently 🙄 this was such a poignant inspiring story about a woman who thought it was too late to change her life, and the lives of the 13th century mystics who impacted her 700 years later, as well as a gorgeous romance.

#tbrread #wintergames #merryreaders @Clwojick @StayCurious

Graywacke I‘ll start her latest on audio soon. Looking forward to finally getting to one of her books. This sounds terrific. 3y
Emilymdxn Hey @Clwojick just checking you got this one for points! You must have so many comments to respond to! 3y
Emilymdxn @Graywacke is that 12 minutes 48 seconds? I read that earlier this year fantastic book! 3y
Graywacke @Emilymdxn yes. Have it downloaded 3y
52 likes3 stack adds4 comments
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SanjanaGhosh
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Mehso-so

I'm sure the book is amazing but philosophy is not my type. I think Paulo Coelho lovers will really enjoy this one

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SanjanaGhosh
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Nute Truth! 3y
12 likes1 comment
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SanjanaGhosh
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AkashPhoenix @SanjanaGhosh Awesome pick. I've been a fan of Shafak and she's amazing. I had my fingers crossed for 10mins secs to win the Booker this time :( 3y
SanjanaGhosh @AkashPhoenix are there other books by her which are just this good ?😍 3y
AkashPhoenix I love all her books. I would recommend Bastard of Istanbul & 10mins 38seconds in this strange world. It's hard to not fall in love with Tequila Leila! 👍🥰 3y
14 likes1 stack add3 comments
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stephothebesto
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6 likes1 stack add
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KatieB
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Pickpick

With part of the story set in the 1200s, this book was a little out of my comfort zone but I was surprised with how much I enjoyed it. My only criticism is that equal time wasn't given to both stories in the dual narrative and it left me wanting more from the second one. 4*

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KatieB
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Decided on this for the week of my wedding and so far it seems like a great choice!

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bookaliciouss

“Every true love and friendship is a story of unexpected transformation. If we are the same person before and after we loved, that means we haven‘t loved enough.”

StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Welcome to Litsy 💖📖💖 3y
Leftcoastzen Welcome to Litsy!📚 3y
5 likes4 comments
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Petelord
Pickpick

One of my all time favourites

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IuliaC
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Pickpick

A wonderful praise to love's essence, nature and underlying reality. A contemporary story of the destiny changing and liberating force of love, fueled by the fascinating spiritual bond between the famous Persian poet Rumi and Sufi dervish Shams of Tabriz

6 likes1 stack add
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Sally5
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2 likes1 stack add
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avalinah
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Pickpick

The Forty Rules of Love is poetic, and yet – really simple to follow. Fans of The Alchemist will love it, and yet, fans of more down-to-earth spirituality won't roll their eyes either. Full review: http://bit.ly/2UeChwU

11 likes1 stack add