Ramadan is upon us this month and it is the ideal time to spend hours awaiting Iftar by indulging in some peaceful and quiet reading time. Pick up any of these titles for yourself or for a friend!
A three-way encounter between a monk, a neuroscientist and Ruby Wax results in one of the most fascinating, intriguing and informative books about minds, bodies, brains and mindfulness. A triangulation on what it means to be human answers every question you’ve ever had about evolution, thoughts, emotions, the body, addictions, relationships, kids, the future and compassion.
When an extraterrestrial visitor arrives on Earth, his first impressions of the human species are less than positive. Taking the form of Professor Andrew Martin, a prominent mathematician at Cambridge University, the visitor is eager to complete the gruesome task assigned him and hurry back home to the utopian world of his own planet, where everyone enjoys immortality and infinite knowledge. Slowly and unexpectedly, he forges bonds with Martin’s family, and in picking up the pieces of the professor’s shattered personal life, he begins to see hope and beauty in the humans’ imperfections and to question the mission that brought him here.
Set in Alaska in 1974, this novel follows a family in crisis, struggling to survive at the edge of the world. Cora Allbright and her husband, Ernt, a Vietnam veteran, uproot their teenage daughter to start a new life. Utterly unprepared for the weather and the isolation, but welcomed by the close-knit community, they fight to build a home in this harsh, beautiful wilderness.
In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet — the sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors that can whisk people far away for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through. Exit West follows these characters as they emerge into an alien and uncertain future, struggling to hold on to each other, to their past, to the very sense of who they are.
A man, his jealous ex-wife who desperately wants to stop him from remarrying, and his beautiful new young fiancée are at the heart of a complicated love triangle. But is this really true? Can we trust the narrators of this story? Or are we being fooled into thinking something is real, when it isn’t? The story is told from the points of view of Nelly and Vanessa, two women very similar on the outside and in love with the same man.
Skin in the Game by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
A bold new work that challenges many of our long-held beliefs about risk, reward, politics, religion, and finance. The phrase “skin in the game” is one we have often heard but rarely stopped to truly dissect. It is the backbone of risk management, but it’s also an astonishingly rich worldview that applies to all aspects of our lives. Taleb says, “The symmetry of skin in the game is a simple rule that’s necessary for fairness and justice, and the ultimate BS-buster,” and “Never trust anyone who doesn’t have skin in the game. Without it, fools and crooks will benefit, and their mistakes will never come back to haunt them.”
Louisa Clark arrives in New York ready to start a new life, confident that she can embrace this new adventure and keep her relationship with Ambulance Sam alive across several thousand miles. As she begins to mix in New York high society, Lou meets Joshua Ryan, a man who brings with him a whisper of her past. Before long, Lou finds herself torn between Fifth Avenue where she works and the treasure-filled vintage clothing store where she actually feels at home. And when matters come to a head, she has to ask herself: Who is Louisa Clark? And how do you reconcile a heart that lives in two places?