Sonya, a Lahore-based journalist, has an expansive body of published work comprising over 400 articles. Her work has been featured in:Â TIME, The Wall Street Journalâ€™s Scene Asia, Rolling Stone [Middle East], BBC [The Strand], Asia Society, Esquire [Middle East], The Hindu, The Huffington Post, Al Jazeera, The Diplomat Magazine, Forbes, TheÂ FridayÂ Times, DAWN and The News International, amongst others. In 2010, Sonya was awarded the Fulbright Scholarship to pursue her Masters degree in Print Journalism at Columbia University, New York, and was one of four students (in the same year) to receive the Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Pulitzer Moore Fellowship.Â In addition to her prolific publishing career, Sonya teaches English and Journalism, runs her own postcard start-up, From Lahore With Love (established in 2012) and was selected as a speaker at an independently organized TED event, TEDxKinnaird in Lahore in 2011. Sonya has also anchored and scripted for television at HUM TV, hosted a radio show for City FM89 and conducted journalism workshops at the Lahore University of Management Sciences over the years. Sonya spoke to Afshan Shafi about the books that guided her on her personal journey and shaped her as a writer
Sheâ€™s Come UndoneÂ
This book is such an inherent part of me. I have continued to re-visit this book over the years. A gorgeous, heartbreaking, joyous read. Such beautiful, real charactersâ€”they come to life. You canâ€™t help but sink in. Iâ€™ve bought so many copies of this book to give to friends I canâ€™t count them on my fingers.
Iâ€™m a huge fan of Malcolm Gladwell, read all his works, yet this one, by far, remains my favourite. Itâ€™s an excellent read on success and greatness. What makes an individual a trail-blazer? How does circumstance shape an individual to reach for the stars? How can one achieve greatness? Buy the book, thank me later.
The Great GatsbyÂ
â€”F. Scott Fitzgerald
A short, quick read – but what a book. The recent movie paled in comparison. I adore this book because it isnâ€™t a typical love story, itâ€™s a story of friendship and empathy. It resonated with me deeply. Incredibly insightful from a psychological perspective. Fitzgerald had an intuitive understanding of human relationships.
The Examined LifeÂ
Apart from fiction, Iâ€™ve been reading books on social and behavioural psychology since I was a teen. I picked up Groszâ€™s book in Dubai last year even though I found the cover terribly depressing (yes, I do judge books by their covers!). Iâ€™m so glad I bought the book, itâ€™s an arresting read on human behaviour.
The Power of OthersÂ
Bondâ€™s book highlights why we do what we do, in addition to the roles of the â€˜othersâ€™ that (directly or indirectly) propel us to act in certain ways. If youâ€™d like to understand group psychology, peer pressure and emotional contagion, from terrorists to astronauts, get this book. Genius!