'Coming Home' by Annabel Kantaria
Evie has been away from home long enough to bury the pain that shaped her childhood. Now, with the sudden death of her father, she must return. Back to the same house. Back to the memories. Back to her mother.
At first, coming home feels unexpectedly comforting. But, as she goes through her father’s files, Evie uncovers a secret that opens old wounds and changes her life forever. That’s only the beginning. As Evie’s world starts to shatter around her, she realises that those she loves most are also those capable of the deepest betrayal.
A powerful, poignant novel, Coming Home is perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult and Liane Moriarty.
Extra: World Exclusive!
Come and meet Annabel Kantaria author of 'Coming Home' a gripping new novel that also features Dubai! Annabel will be at Magrudy's Al Wahda store, Abu Dhabi this Saturday May 2, from 3-4pm for book signing. This is an event not to be missed!
'The Gulf Wife: A Memoir' by Jocelyn Henderson
Since she first arrived in the Trucial States with her husband, British diplomat Edward Henderson, Jocelyn Henderson has seen the region transform beyond all recognition. Set against the backdrop of cataclysmic wars and events that came to shape her life, 'The Gulf Wife' tells the story of Jocelyn’s remarkable life, her relationships with the families of the ruling Sheikhs, and the people she met along the way.
From tumultuous political developments to meetings with celebrities and international statesmen, The Gulf Wife is a window into the life of one of the UAE’s most prominent expatriates and an intimate look at life in the UAE and all that has changed.
'Generation Z: Their Voices Their Lives' by Chloe Combi
Generation Z have never had to save their pocket money to buy an album. They laugh when you tell them there used to be four channels on TV. Not many of them have grandparents that fought in a war. They've never known a world without the internet and have grown up with violence and porn at their fingertips with an object barely known to just one generation before them: a mobile phone.
Generation Z are growing up in a world of widening social inequality, political apathy and economic uncertainty. They join gangs, are obese, have underage sex, drink, commit crime and are a menace to society - or so the media leads us to believe.
Chloe Combi has interviewed hundreds of teenagers and children born between 1994 and 2005. She has talked to some of the richest and poorest in kids in the country. She has travelled on night buses with gangs, gone on a post-GCSE trip to Glastonbury, hung out in crack houses where teenagers get high, rehabilation centres where they get help and churches where they find God.
Chloe has found that Generation Z are selfish, violent, scared, sex-obsessed and apathetic. She has also found them delightful, curious, kind, and worried about their futures.
Generation Z is an emotional, illuminating, sometimes dark, sometimes hilarious odyssey through the lives of this generation told in their own voices.
Extra Reading: Hard-core porn, violent YouTube videos and live sex shows: A devastating new book reveals the terrifying truth about what teens really get up to on their laptops and smart phones (by Chloe Combi for The Daily Mail)
'Love & Justice: A Compelling True Story Of Triumph Over Tragedy' by Diana Morgan Hill
At the age of 29, Diana Hill fell under a London train. In 7 seconds the tall, glamorous businesswoman went from busy woman of the world with everything to live for to double-leg-amputee, her life in ruins.
Then it got worse. A few days after her accident, as she lay in hospital, traumatised and heavily sedated, she learnt via a newspaper article that the railway's Transport Police were to interview "The Fall Girl", as the Press had labelled her, with a view to prosecution. She had boarded a moving train, they said, and trespassed onto their railway line.
Her fight for justice took five years and was, she declares with no hesitation, a more harrowing experience than having both of her legs 'stolen' from her. As any young, single woman would be, Diana was shocked to the core by the sudden, catastrophic change in her body image. What man would ever love her now?
The issues surrounding sexuality and disability are explored here with stark honesty as she recalls her complicated love life, the High Court dramas, and the rawness of her pain amidst a turmoil of emotion, all told with tremendous humour, charm and heart. For Diana loves to tell stories. Especially true ones. A brutally honest, heartwarming memoir that shocks and delights in equal measure - when you're not crying for her you're laughing with her.
Extra Reading: 'I lost both my legs under a train - then the rail company sued me!' Diana Morgan-Hill was rushing to meet a friend when, in a split second, her life changed forever
Here are some funky accessories to make reading not only more fun but fashionable as well!
All products were photographed at Virgin Megastore in Yas Mall, Abu Dhabi with my ever-glamorous shopping buddy for the day Sharon P.
IPAF Shortlisted authors Lined Up For Series of Abu Dhabi Appearances Ahead of Abu Dhabi International Book Fair Next Week
The six shortlisted International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) authors will soon arrive in Abu Dhabi to take part in a number of events prior to the announcement of the winner on May 6th; the eve of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair which will open its doors to the public from 7-13 May.
Atef Abu Saif, Ahmed Madeeni, Jana Elhassan, Lina Hawyan Elhassan, Shurki Mabkhout and Hammour Ziada will take part in a panel discussion entitled: Arabic Fiction Now: A Conversation with the IPAF 2015 Shortlisted Authors at 6:30 pm on May 4th at New York University Abu Dhabi. The authors will discuss the status of the novel in the Arab World, as well as the relationship between fiction and politics. They will examine the question of fiction as an alternate window into the state of society in this dynamic, restless region. The panel discussion will be moderated by Marilyn Booth, Khalid bin Abdullah Al Saud Professor for the Study of the Contemporary World, University of Oxford.
Emirates Writers Union Event:
On May 5th at 8 pm, the authors will take part in an open seminar organized by the Emirates Writers Union at the National Theatre. During the session, the authors will discuss their shortlisted novels as well as Arabic literature in general.
Eve of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2015:
The six authors, as well as the 2014 judges, trustees and guests of the Prize, will attend the winner announcement ceremony on May 6, the eve of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.
by Rana Asfour
This is the story of Rachel, an alcoholic who drinks to the point of blackouts, and is prone to drunk dialling her ex-husband's house in which he lives with his current wife Anna and their baby daughter Evie, ranting and screaming hysterically. Rachel's relationship with her drink has cost her a marriage, friends, a job and soon the only place she can call home.
Rachel has lied to her roommate about her work situation. So each and every day, she wakes up and takes the 8:04 train from Ashbury into London and spends the day wandering aimlessly until it's time to take the 17.56 train back home. Her daily commute passes just behind her old neighbourhood where she used to live blissfully with her husband. Now, unable to look at her house because of the hurt it brings back of her husband's infidelity, she has become fixated on the goings on in house number 15 that she can see into from the train. Every time the train stops, she imagines the 'perfect' life being lived by the 'perfect couple' she passes everyday. She assigns them names, and imagines what they do for a living and what they talk about in their 'perfect' world. They become her golden couple and part of her everyday life.
However, Rachel wasn't always this over-weight, alcoholic, down-trodden, disillusioned woman. She blames Anna, the woman who stole Rachel's husband from her. Anna who now lives in the same house that Rachel and her husband, Tom, bought together, sleeping in the same bed and using the same furniture. Understandably, the two don't get along and Anna is desperate to get rid of Rachel once and for all especially after an incident that has terrified Anna into believing that Rachel is not only a danger to Anna herself but also to little Evie.
Soon Rachel's world is turned upside down when she learns of the disappearance of Megan, the woman in house 15! Rachel believes she can help find her and is adamant that whatever happened to Megan is linked to events during one of her blackouts and so tries time and time to remember with no success. Memories of a dress, a car, a red-haired man, and a struggle pop up in her dreams, and even during her drunken episodes but she cannot connect all the dots and is therefore unable to create any logical sequence to the events or any explanation to why she would actually know anything. But we do know she was there at the train station where Megan was last seen. However, when she goes to the police, even they dismiss her as a disillusioned alcoholic and a 'rubbernecker'.
However, Rachel persists. Both with her drinking and with her sleuthing to find out what could have happened to Megan on 'that' night; She soon meets and befriends the other half of the 'perfect couple' in house number 15; the 'perfect husband' Scott and lies to him about having known Megan before she disappeared. She makes an appointment to see Megan's therapist believing him to be directly responsible for Megan's disappearance. She cannot bring herself to believe that Scott could ever harm Megan because she 'knows' and 'seen' how much he loves her.
Rachel's depressed moods and sense of loss serve to intensify and justify her drinking binges. Her life spirals out of control with excessive drinking hindering her perception of what's real and what's imagined, what happened and what didn't happened. As the lines blur, the reader is taken backwards and forwards in time as Rachel, Anna, and Megan narrate the events that lead the reader to the final whodunnit!
For all those of you who loved 'Before I Go to Sleep' by SJ Watson or the more recent 'Gone Girl' by Gillian Flynn, this one is for you. It is a nail-biting, intense, quick-paced and very well-written, thriller. It's only downside is that it does sadly come on the heels of a string of very successful thrillers so I was able to figure out the culprit long before the ending and yet that did not detract from my enjoyment. I remained gripped until the end. A very good debut and I highly recommend it!
Diary About the Armenian Genocide in Animation
A hundred years have passed since the ‘Armenian Genocide’ took place in 1915. As further proof of the atrocities committed at the hands of the Ottoman Empire, the BBC’s Rengin Arslan and Khashayar Joneidi have uncovered a very important witness in Istanbul: the diary and writings of contemporary Iranian author Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh.
According to the report, Jamalzadeh, was one of several Iranian nationalists working in Ottoman-controlled Baghdad at the time. It was World War I and as the British approached Baghdad, Jamalzadeh decided to leave Baghdad and head to Istanbul. It was on the way there that he witnessed the atrocities he later described as ‘brutal and shocking’ towards the Armenians.
According to the BBC, Jamalzadeh’s diary remains one of the most important accounts of what happened particularly that it was penned by someone not directly involved in the conflict as most recordings and writings in existence are of surviving Armenian relatives.
The animation is by Morteza Rakhtaala. You can see it HERE.
Brush Up On Middle East Politics
This found its way to my desk over the weekend:
‘A Line in the Sand: Britain, France and the Struggle that Shaped the Middle East’ by James Barr is one I am really looking forward to reading in the next few weeks.
Published in the UK in 2011, James Barr uses recently declassified papers from the British and French archives and depicts the covert, deadly war of intrigue and espionage between Britain and France to rule the Middle East.
James Barr has worked for the Daily Telegraph, in politics and in the City, and has travelled widely in the Middle East. During the research of the book he was a visiting fellow at St. Antony’s College, Oxford. Barr is the author of ‘Setting the Desert on Fire: a history of T.E. Lawrence and the secret war in Arabia’.
What's on the back cover:
In 1916 two men secretly agreed to divide the Middle East between them. Sir Mark Sykes was a visionary politican; François Georges-Picot as diplomat with a grudge. They drew a line in the sand from the Mediterranean to the Persian frontier, and together remade the map of the Middle East, with Britain’s ‘mandates’ of Palestine, Transjordan and Iraq, and France’s in Lebanon and Syria.
Over the next thirty years a sordid tale of violence and clandestine political manoeuvring unfolded, told here through a stellar cast of politicians, diplomats, spies and soldiers, including T.E. Lawrence, Winston Churchill and Charles de Gaulle.
Here We Go Again: ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Back in the Headlines!
By now you’ve probably read the books, watched the film so now prepare to hear incessant news about the upcoming film sequel that’s being lined up for the screen.
According to Stuff.co.nz the writing of the sequel ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ will be done co-jointly between author EL James and her husband, Niall Leonard, who is an author and screenwriter whose credits include the television shows Monarch of the Glen and Wire in the Blood and the crime fiction books Crusher.
Why is this even news? Because it has been reported that EL James has gathered up a reputation for being quite the control freak wanting to write the screenplay to the movies herself. She might have figured that it’s OK if it’s husband doing the co-writing, although it’s possible she’ll still have her way yet with hubby on the job.
Feeling inspired to kick back this weekend with a good book and don't know what titles to go for? Well, we thought we'd help with some inspiring titles.
Tonight is World Book Night, an annual celebration of books that takes place on April 23 in the UK. World Book Night brings together a powerful collaboration of UK partners – publishers, printers, distributors, libraries, booksellers, private donors, trusts and foundations – to inspire more people to read. Thousands of volunteers share their love of reading by giving out books to people in their communities who, for whatever reason, don’t read for pleasure or own books. National, regional and local events up and down the country celebrate the difference that reading makes to people’s lives.
Here's the 2015 list of choices:
'All the Light We Cannot See', a novel by multiple award winner Anthony Doerr has been announced as this year's recipient of the Pultizer Prize for Fiction.
It is a beautiful, stunningly ambitious novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
When Marie Laure goes blind, aged six, her father builds her a model of their Paris neighbourhood, so she can memorise it with her fingers and then navigate the real streets. But when the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure’s agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall.
In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, is enchanted by a crude radio. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that ultimately makes him a highly specialised tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure.
American Anthony Doerr is the author of the story collections 'Memory Wall' and 'The Shell Collector', the novel 'About Grace', and the memoir 'Four Seasons in Rome'. He has won numerous prizes both in the US and overseas, including four O. Henry Prizes, three Pushcart Prizes, the Rome Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award, the National Magazine Award for fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Story Prize.