Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature rolling into town. THE best event ever, and I was so giddy and privileged to be involved. In between running around working I managed to catch the odd author session, and as part of my job involved press, I also got to meet most of the authors - a thoroughly lovely bunch. And inevitably, I bought armloads of books. I rinsed the best part of 150 quid in about ten minutes - somehow books are so much more fascinating when you have a real insight into the person behind them and know more about the topic. These are just some of the books on my coffee table which I'm just gagging to get my teeth into:
Emirati Women - Generations of Change - Jane Bristol-Rhys
Lovely American lady who has lived in the region for over 20 years and has interviewed many local ladies to glean insights about their lives and outlooks. Squeak!
Paradise Beneath Her Feet - How Women are Transforming the Middle East - Isobel Coleman
Another fascinating American whose knowledge of the region is staggering. As this is a 'Council on Foreign Relations' book, you can guess that it doesn't include accounts of polo attendance and spank dancing.....Squeak!
100 Greatest Ideas for Personal Success - John Adair
John is the amazing man who recently wrote: The Leadership of Muhammed, (also purchased). An older very sweet English gentleman, he served in the Foreign Legion in the Middle East way back when, and subsequently served with the Bedouin...hence an innate and truly fascinating perspective on tribal culture, Islam, and business. It was an honour to spend time with him.
59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot - Professor Richard Wiseman
I do on occasion like to GI with a self-help book, but they always fall down when they get too etheral, I'm a woman who likes concrete examples and lots of real, helpful advice. Where this book comes up trumps is that it's all based on real scientific research (music to my ears). It covers all sorts of topics from relationships, career, stress, and far from being stuffy, is a hoot. Richard's session had people rolling in the aisles, and I've already been chuckling whilst reading and absorbing it.
A Scandalous Man - Gavin Esler
You remember Gavin...the ex-BBC presenter. Who also happens to be grey-haired and tanned - you can imagine how happy I was to meet him! I decided I needed some fiction in amidst my purchases, and this looks like a slightly more cerebral read than a standard bonkbuster.
Starting Over - Tony Parsons
If you know me, you'll know I adore Tony's books...always interesting, gripping, poignant and beautiful, and after spending time with him and attending his session, I'm an even bigger fan. A beguiling mix of cockney rock and roll hack who is so in touch with his emotions it's staggering. Can't wait to get started on this.
Happily I fly to Amsterdam tomorrow (business not pleasure) so I have two 7 hour flights and lots of airport action to fill with these literary treats. That's just as soon as I've fulfilled the girls' duty free orders, the little monkeys. I'm always calmer when I know I have a decent stack of books to read, so now I'm positively zen-like. If only every working week could be like this....