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23 March 2017Last updated
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The book rush

Escape the festive madness and allow yourself to drift off to another world with Khulekani Madlela’s pick of must-read books out in time for Christmas...

By Khulekani Madlela
16 Dec 2014 | 12:30 pm
  • Escape the festive madness and allow yourself to drift off to another world with these books.

    Source:Getty Images

The Unimaginable by Dina Silver

8

Dh29, Amazon.com

This is a perfect read on the cusp of a new year, and the second tome from One Pink Line author Dina Silver, who spent 15 years as a freelance copywriter in the advertising industry. At the centre of this novel is a heartfelt story about letting go of the past and discovering courage in the depths of fear. Set on the gorgeous beaches of Thailand and the choppy waters of the Indian Ocean, The Unimaginable follows 28-year-old Jessica Gregory who embarks on a journey to find herself, discovering romance, action and adventure along the way. Interestingly the book, which is as painful as it is inspiring, is based on two real-life stories with very different endings – one will break your heart, the other will send your spirit soaring. This book is a compelling read packed with adventure, but be warned you might need to keep the tissues handy.

Life on Air by Sir David Attenborough

5

Dh147, available at Waterstones.com

Broadcaster and natural history legend Sir David Attenborough has enjoyed a career spanning nearly six decades and is now known as the world’s master of films, capturing animal and natural habitats in their raw and beautiful environment. This is an updated version of his autobiography first published in 2002 in which he shares detailed accounts of his expeditions and the politics of working in the television world, from the beginning 
of his incredible career – when he filmed in black and white after graduating from Cambridge University – to working in the digital age today. His extreme passion for his vocation shines through in his sparkling prose on each page. You will learn a lot from this eloquent account of a humble, fascinating man who is still at the top of his game.

 Jamie’s Comfort Food by Jamie Oliver

4

Dh149, Magrudy’s

British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver serves up a compilation of 100 recipes from family dishes he grew up eating to cuisine he’s discovered on his travels. There’s his modern take on moussaka, katsu curry, eggs Benedict, and desserts such as sticky toffee pudding and tutti frutti pear tarte Tatin. In his latest cookbook, Oliver blends traditional flavours with exotic ingredients using contemporary cooking techniques to create mouth-watering dishes. The beautiful photos by acclaimed food photographer David Loftus complement these easy to follow recipes. By this time next year your copy is more likely to be covered in splodges and splatters than sitting untouched on a shelf.

Girl Online by Zoe Sugg (aka Zoella)

1

Dh29, available at Amazon.com

An amazing tipped-to-be-huge debut novel from 24-year-old YouTube phenomenon Zoe Sugg, aka Zoella, a fashion and beauty blogger with 6.7 million subscribers, who have watched the process of the book from concept to publishing to the printing online. The story follows Penny, who adopts the alias Girl Online, as she shares her hidden feelings about friendship, high school drama and family through her blog. She details the pain of her panic attacks, which, when they worsen, lead to her family whisking her off to New York. There Penny meets Noah and begins blogging about their friendship. But does Noah have his own secrets? This interesting take on social media will appeal to teens and adults who are intrigued by the modern world.

The Good Life by Martina Cole

2

Dh46, available at Amazon.com

If you want to live a good life you have to pay the price, well, so says the message running through Martina Cole’s new thrilling novel. For protagonist Cain Moran a good life means leaving his wife and starting a new one with Jenny Riley. But Cain’s wife won’t take defeat lying down and Cain suddenly finds himself sentenced to life in prison. But he refuses to let that get in the way of his new relationship, knowing that if he and Jenny can survive this, they can survive anything. Is it true commitment or naivety in its rawest form? Only time will tell. One thing is for sure, this Sunday Times number one bestselling author is as skilful as ever at presenting characters grappling with the push and pull of emotions, lessons learnt the hard way and heartache against a murky London backdrop. Another triumph from the queen of crime writing. Fans of Cole will not be disappointed.

Playing it my Way by Sachin Tendulker

7

Dh86, available at bookshops across the UAE

Former Indian cricketing superstar Sachin Tendulkar was given his first cricket bat at the age of 11, and became India’s youngest Test Pro cricketer five years later. One of the most gifted batsmen of his generation, he recounts his humble beginnings and major sporting achievements in his autobiography that includes many firsts – he was the first cricketer to score 100 runs in a single innings, the first to record 15,000 runs in one-day-international play and to lead his team to World Cup victory in 2011. He’s also a huge foodie and attributes his love for Indian cuisine to his mother. Tendulkar broke records on the field and his tome has already sold 150,000 copies, outselling Steve Jobs’ biography.

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My Life as a Fairy Tale by Sophia Loren

10

Dh78, available at Amazon.com

She’s an Academy Award–winning actress and one of Hollywood’s original sirens. Who wouldn’t want to read Sophia Loren’s stories of the golden age of Hollywood, working with co-stars Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando and Paul Newman? The Italian bombshell even shares letters penned by Cary Grant in his early attempt to woo her, recounts growing up in Italy during the Second World War and how a beauty pageant brought her first break into films that led to an acting career spanning six decades. She was the first actress to win an Oscar for a foreign language performance, spent 17 days in jail, and became a mother and a grandmother. You’ll be gripped by the glamorous fairy tale – the arguments, the red carpet dramas, and the loves lost. It’s all there in the detail you’d expect of a silver screen idol.

Guinness World Records 2015 by Guinness World Records

3

Dh99, Magrudy’s

Launched in 1955, the Guinness World Records is celebrating its 60th anniversary in the New Year. Bringing the next edition into 2015 it comes complete with flashback features, never-before-seen photographs and an amazing 3D Augmented Reality App that brings the book to life with interactive digital content such as an animation of the tallest man who ever lived – Robert Wadlow (2.72m), Nick Stoeberi who has the longest tongue (10.1cm) and you’ll meet Jumpy the dog who smashed the fastest 100m on a skateboard by a canine in 19.65 seconds. Expect new features including alien hunting, Game of Thrones facts, the ultimate extreme bodies and the world’s longest golf club. It’ll keep you saying “Wow!” all through the festive season. A must for trivia geeks and fact lovers alike.

Revival by Stephen King

6

Dh103, available at bookshops across the UAE

American author Stephen King never disappoints when it comes to upping the scare factor. In Revival, his second novel this year after Mr Mercedes and 58th overall, King explores religion, science and supernatural horror. His latest book centres on Charles Jacobs, a reverend who arrives in a New England town in the 1960s, befriends and mentors a young boy called Jamie Morton, and is then banished from the town when a gruesome turn of events shatters his faith. The two men embark on separate journeys with Morton adopting a rock’n’roll lifestyle and Jacobs pursuing his passion for science. Decades later their paths cross by chance, with profound consequences. The coming-of-age tale that spans five decades of horrific tragedy and human redemption has an explosive climax and has already been described as the “most terrifying conclusion Stephen King has ever written,” which says a lot of the man who wrote The Shining, Carrie and Misery. Brace yourselves!

Vivienne Westwood by Vivienne Westwood and Ian Kelly

9

Dh159, Virgin Megastore

Fashion designer, activist and punk pioneer Vivienne Westwood has collaborated with award-winning biographer Ian Kelly to produce a book about the events, people and ideas that have shaped her extraordinary life. This unique memoir features Westwood’s own thoughts alongside contributions from her family, colleagues and celebrity friends like Pamela Anderson and Naomi Campbell. Readers are taken back to Westwood’s childhood in Derbyshire, UK, her marriage and her early years as a primary school teacher. When she met muso Malcolm McLaren her life changed forever. She opened her first controversial shop on King’s Road and five decades later she’s still raising the fashion bar. The book also details the icon’s warm-hearted and witty personality.

By Khulekani Madlela

By Khulekani Madlela

Junior Writer