Thursday, February 28

What Is BTS Reading? BTS Reading List 2019

One of my 2019 Resolutions is to start reading again. And since I'm a huge fan of BTS and have no clue what to read, I decided to begin with the books that the members have been reading.

I can't seem to find an up-to-date BTS book recommendation list online, so I decided to make one myself. After lots of googling and twitter research, here's my BTS Reading List 2019: a list of books that the members have read recently (2018 - 2019).

BTS RM - Namjoon’s Books

- Denken wie Einstein by Theresa Bäuerlein and Shai Tubali
ARMYs spotted this book (along with a few more) in RM's studio during his Rkive work studio tour. The title means "Think like Einstein" and according to goodreads there are only 2 editions of this book: a German and a Chinese one. So, I won't even try reading this one as I don't speak either of these languages.
- Highly Sensitive People in an Insensitive World by Ilse Sand
This book helps highly sensitive people to overcome common difficulties like low self esteem and the exhausting effect of socialising.

Another one in RM's bookshelf, I actually purchased a paperback copy of this one and am planning on reading it very soon.

- The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
This story is about a young woman in love with a man torn between his love for her and his incorrigible womanizing and one of his mistresses and her humbly faithful lover. This magnificent novel juxtaposes geographically distant places, brilliant and playful reflections, and a variety of styles, to take its place as perhaps the major achievement of one of the world’s truly great writers.(source)
There is also a 1988 American film adaptation of this novel with the same title.

- Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
The plot circles around a quiet, young college student in Tokyo (Toru) who is devoted to a beautiful and introspective young woman (Naoko). Their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. 

I know that RM is a huge fan of Haruki Murakami's work; I personally haven't opened any of her books yet, I guess I'll start with this one.

- The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm,
Most people are unable to love on the only level that truly matters: love that is compounded of maturity, self-knowledge, and courage. As with every art, love demands practice and concentration, as well as genuine insight and understanding. (source

This is RM's book recommendation from the BTS Official Fanclub 5th ARMY Kit.

- 죽고 싶지만 떡볶이는 먹고 싶어 (I want to die but i want to eat tteokbokki)
This book was spotted on RM's bed and it's a story of a person who wants to be loved and loved comfortably without a doubt. (source) Unfortunately, there is only a Korean version of this one.

BTS JIN - Seokjin's Books

- I'm glad you lived like BonoBono by Kim Shin Hoi
I think this one's a comic book. Here's a short synopsis: There are similarities among the people that like Bonobono. They are people who live every day quietly without big dreams, people who prefer comfort to thrills, people who don’t live the life they dreamed of when they were young but do not despair about it, people who know how to give up knowing there are things that can’t get done no matter what, people who know how to listen to other people’s tears and sighs as much as their own, and people who sometimes look lazy without any drive… People who like Bonobono are not especially energetic or bright, but they live on. (source)

I'm so sad I can't read Korean, this sounds like a bittersweet story, but something uplifting to read. There is a quote from this book that I find so touching: “It’s okay to go the wrong way. You might discover something else.”

BTS SUGA - Yoongi's Books

- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
I'm pretty sure we all have heard of the story about the shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. It's a pretty popular book, my sister enjoyed reading this one.

Suga recommended The Alchemist on the BTS Official Fanclub 5th ARMY Kit.

BTS JHOPE - Hoseok's Books

- Living, Loving & Learning by Leo F. Buscaglia
This one's a self-help/inspirational type of book. Apparently Jhope mentioned this in one of his solo Vlives and I've already added it to my to-read list. This seems like a book that gives you lots of insight about yourself and I'm quite exciting to delve into this one.

BTS JIMIN - Jimin's Books

- 냉정과 열정사이 Rosso (Between Calm and Passion - Rosso)
Jimin recommended this novel on the BTS Official Fanclub 5th ARMY Kit (Source). Unfortunately, there is no English edition of this book but thankfully someone wrote a blog post, so I can learn what it is about.

The plot of Between Calm and Passion circles two individuals, Aoi and Junsei, who made a promise to each other when they were 20 years old that on Aoi’s 30th birthday, they would meet again at the Duomo, located in Florence, Italy. (source - check out the full blog post it's really interesting)

Apparently there is a movie adaptation for us who can't read Korean. It's a 2001 Japanese film called "Calmi Cuori Appassionati"

BTS V - Taehyung's Books
- 말의 내공
V was seen at the airport holding this book. Again, there's only a Korean edition. The book is about how to talk to people in a way you can attract them, talk fluently, deeply, and thoughtfully. (source)

BTS JUNGKOOK - Jungkook's Books

- The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
This is JK's book recommendation for the BTS Official Fanclub 5th ARMY Kit. Some fans think that Serendipity MV was inspired by this book, so maybe that's why Jungkook recommended it. 

PLOT: The narrator introduces himself as a man who learned when he was a child that adults lack imagination and understanding. He is now a pilot who has crash-landed in a desert. He encounters a small boy who asks him for a drawing of a sheep, and the narrator obliges.

I Decided to Live As Me by Kim Soo Hyun

Jungkook was also seen reading this book, but unfortunately there's no English version. A wonderful fan translated the message behind the book for those who can't understand Korean.
- Save Me a Line Webtoon
I'm pretty sure that BTS members are reading this because we all know they're ARMYs just like us and they regularly keep up with whatever content BigHit puts out there. I haven't really read any webtoons before this one, but I must say the story is intriguing. I'm glad that all those BTS MV theory videos I'v watched are now being sewn together into a webtoon.



Tuesday, February 26

Muslim Marriage Events Manchester Review

Photo: Royal Nawaab Resturant
And We have created you in pairs
[78:8] Sûrah Al-Naba'

It's official: You're ready to get married! However, the only thing stopping you is that you don't seem to know where to find Mr/Mrs Right. And it feels even more challenging when you want to get into marriage the most halal way possible.

This is actually what lead me to rely on my good old friend Google for help. A quick search about 'Single Muslim' took me to event suggestions in Manchester and I found Muslim Marriage Events Manchester - British Muslim Professionals which sounded promising. I decided to give it a try since my mom and younger sister were being very supportive.

How it works.
You book & pay in advance (£39.99 x person) and it's non-refundable. You receive the ticket with QR code via email which you need to show at the venue.

You are given a few sheets to fill in (profile details, contact details and attendance sheet). A card where you write your name and table number so that others can recognise you. They also give you a list of possible questions you may want to ask the other person. One of the organisers will then give a brief introduction about the event and the procedures. 

TIME TABLE (this may not be 100% correct as I'm just writing what I remember) 
12.00 Introduction 
12.30 - 14.00 Table Rotation 
14.00 - 15.00 Lunch 
15.00 - 16.30 One to One 

The event was held at Royal Nawaab Restaurant and there were about 60-70ish candidates. Men and women were given separate tables, and mahrams were seated at the back of the hall.

Table Rotation
During the table rotation the women were divided into groups of three, so they sat and stayed at the same table, while men had to rotate through the tables and move to the next one every 6-ish minutes or so.

The ratio for women and men was 3:2. There were more women than men who attended the event, which is not that surprising I guess, as apparently there are more females than males in the UK (according to Wikipedia).

During the table rotation you need to write down the names of the candidates you're interested in.

Staff & Organisers
There were enough staff to assist you during the event. They were nice, friendly and tried their best to make you feel at ease. The event itself was very well organised. I think the fact that the candidates showed up on time (except for a couple of tardy people) helped a lot. Everything went smoothly without any accidents. This event was organised by Muslim Marriage Events and the events are held in different cities around the UK.

One To One
So after you've talked to everyone from the opposite sex, you have lunch and then you get to have a personal talk with whom you're interested with (only if he/she accepts to talk to you).

Final Thoughts
This is my first time participating an event like this and I didn't really know what to expect. I think this isn't the best way to find the right person (not for me at least). I feel like most of the candidates were trying to be as sincere and honest as possible, but I didn't meet anyone compatible (because of age difference & interests).

There wasn't much diversity culture wise, as most of the people were from Pakistani ethnicity. During the table rotation the conversations can get quite superficial and repetitive.

Overall, I would recommend this event to those who are around their 30s (most of the participants were around that age range) and if you're a working professional this could definitely work for you too. If you want to go to an event like this make sure to get dolled up as most of the time people choose by the way you look. Remember, first impressions matter!
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