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BOOK OF THE WEEK – GOOD NIGHT STORIES FOR REBEL GIRLS, ELENA FAVILLI & FRANCESCA CAVALLO, 9780141986005 PARTICULAR BOOKS (RANDOM PENGUIN HOUSE) BD9.800 for members of Gulf Weekly Book Club
What if the princess didn’t marry Prince Charming but instead went on to be an astronaut?
What if the jealous step-sisters were supportive and kind?
And, what if the queen was the one really in charge of the kingdom?
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls introduces us to 100 remarkable women and their extraordinary lives, spanning from Elizabeth I to Serena Williams , Ada Lovelace to Malala, Amelia Earhart to Michelle Obama (and the list goes on ...) including illustrations from 60 artists across the world.
Empowering, moving and inspirational, these are true fairy tales for heroines who definitely don’t need rescuing.
Starting out as a Kickstarter campaign in April 2016, the book has been both a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller, described as having ‘wonderful stories’ and being ‘beautifully illustrated’.
The authors said that the stories we have told girls so far have offered them a ‘very narrow representation of who they can be’ as have the illustrations accompanying the stories. They said: “This reflects a lot of self-doubt and the feeling of being constantly wrong, which plagues girls in school first, and later in the workplace. We feel the time has come to start changing the narrative around femininity, this is what Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is about.”
This truly inspirational set of biographies deserves a place on all children’s bookshelves, be they boys or girls.
READ IT NOW IN PAPERBACK
ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE, GAIL HONEYMAN
9780008172145 (HARPER COLLINS)
BD4.400 for Gulf Weekly Book Club members
Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine has breezed into the UK Official Top 50 Number One spot in recent weeks and continues to sell copies galore.
After just four weeks on sale, the paperback topped 100,000 copies sold – one of the fastest-selling debuts in the format in the last 10 years.
The hardback was a debut bestseller and Costa First Novel Book Award winner for 2017, so now is your chance to read it in paperback. The story goes:
Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live. She leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal-deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.
Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.
One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.
Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than … fine?
An astonishing story that powerfully depicts the loneliness of life and the simple power of a little kindness.
READ OF THE WEEK
THE LAST TUDOR, PHILIPPA GREGORY
9781471133077 (SIMON & SCHUSTER)
BD4.400 for Gulf Weekly Book Club members
How long do I have?’ I force a laugh.
‘Not long,’ he says very quietly. ‘They have confirmed your sentence of death. You are to be beheaded tomorrow. We don’t have long at all’.
Jane Grey was Queen of England for nine days. Using her position as cousin to the deceased king, her father and his conspirators put her on the throne ahead of the king’s half-sister Mary, who quickly mustered an army, claimed her crown and locked Jane in the Tower.
When Jane refused to betray her Protestant faith, Mary sent her to the executioner’s block. There Jane turned her father’s greedy, failed grab for power into her own brave and tragic martyrdom.
‘Learn you to die’ is the advice that Jane gives in a letter to her younger sister, Katherine, who has no intention of dying. She intends to enjoy her beauty and her youth and find love. But her lineage makes her a threat to the insecure and infertile Queen Mary and, when Mary dies, to her sister Queen Elizabeth, who will never allow Katherine to marry and produce a potential royal heir before she does.
So when Katherine’s secret marriage is revealed by her pregnancy, she too must go to the Tower.
‘Farewell, my sister,’ writes Katherine to the youngest Grey sister, Mary. A beautiful dwarf, disregarded by the court, Mary finds it easy to keep secrets, especially her own, while avoiding Elizabeth’s suspicious glare.
After watching her sisters defy the queen, Mary is aware of her own perilous position as a possible heir to the throne. But she is determined to command her own destiny and be the last Tudor to risk her life in matching wits with her ruthless and unforgiving cousin, Elizabeth.
Fans of Gregory’s popular historical (and immaculately researched) fiction will not be disappointed with this latest offering.