Mohsin Hamid

Cover of "The Reluctant Fundamentalist"

Cover of The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Mohsin Hamid is the Pakistani author of three novels: Moth Smoke, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia: A Novel. I have just finished reading all three and I am impressed with his prose styling which in clarity reminds me of Ernest Hemingway. If you chose to read only one of his books, my recommendation would be The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

It is the story of a western-educated Pakistani who lands a high paying job on Wall Street shortly before the attacks of 9/11/2001. After 9/11, he begins to feel out-of-place working in New York and eventually he decides to quit his job and return to Pakistan. Giving voice to his thoughts, he attracts a group of like-minded followers, some of whom are violent men. He is neither violent himself nor does he advocate violence. However, he is labelled a terrorist leader in the West and an assassin is sent to kill him. The arrival of the assassin is anticipated and prevented from carrying out his assignment.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist grows and evolves as he learns to think for himself and to express his thoughts. It takes courage to speak out in today’s world, and the reader is encouraged to follow suit.

How I find books to read

Image representing Amazon as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Image representing eBay as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

I use these two internet services together, and , to find authors and books I might want to read. It is a great way to find books and authors I might never find in any other way.

First I go to eBay and search for signed books and I sort for auctions ending soon. If I see an intriguing title at a price I can afford, I will look it up on Amazon and read the reviews. I will make a mental note of the new and used prices on Amazon and then I will decide if I want to bid on the book on eBay or buy it at a lesser price on Amazon. I collect signed copies of books and I sometimes find that signed copies are also available on Amazon. Shop and compare is my motto. This system works well for me.

I love books

Books from the Disher trilogy of detective nov...

Books from the Disher trilogy of detective novels by Will Scott, published in the 1920s. Disher, Detective is the UK title of the first book in the trilogy. It was published in the US as The Black Stamp (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love books, but some believe that their days are numbered. I hope not. I am reading a second book by an author whose other book was published in 1999 and listed at $24.95. This book was published in 2012 and listed at $26.95. The decline in quality is disturbing. I believe that the 1999 book will last much longer than the book published 13 years later. The binding of the more recent book is cheaper and the paper used for the pages feels cheaper. It is a different publisher from the first book; otherwise, the decline in quality bodes ill for the future of publishing books other than electronically. Very disappointing.