Problem Solving Page Turners

Need help? Forget the therapist’s couch, get comfy on the sofa and let a book boost your wellbeing instead...
Sunday , 17 April 2011
Staying In
Staying In
Staying In
Staying In
Staying In
Staying In

Books have had a tough few years. What with that little thing called the World Wide Web and the birth of the Kindle, nice old fusty-smelling books have had to take on a more supportive role recently. But, with 3 March being World Book Day and the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature taking place between 8-12 March, now’s the time to bring the book back! So to celebrate, we’ve rounded up our favourite people from the book world to tell us what they read to boost their mood – it seems whatever situation you’re in or however you’re feeling, there’s treatment in the form of a tome. As Madonna once said, “Everyone probably thinks that I’m a raving nymphomaniac, that I have an insatiable sexual appetite, when the truth is I’d rather read a book”. We couldn’t have put it better ourselves...

The problem: “I’ve just moved to the UAE and I feel lost”

The read: “I was given Arabian Sands, by Sir Wilfred Thesiger, to read before I moved to the UAE and I still go back to it every now and again. I recommend it to anyone who comes here as, despite it being written more than 50 years ago, it still gives you a wonderful insight into the culture here. It also provides you with a better understanding of what the area was like and how different it was only a short time ago. This really helped me understand the region and its people much better.” Isobel Abulhoul, Emirates Airline Festival of Literature director.

The problem: “I’m so stressed at work, I just want to escape from it all when I get home”

The read: “For pure escapism, you can’t beat chick-lit. I read (and write) chick-lit and when I was growing up, all I ever wanted to be was the new Jilly Cooper. Now I read Marian Keyes as she’s one of the great writers of her genre. For me, her best book is Rachel’s Holiday, which is about a woman who ends up in rehab after being mistaken for a drug addict. It’s incredibly poignant but also uplifting and – most importantly – easy to read.” Helena Frith Powell, Abu Dhabi-based author of Love in a Warm Climate (Gibson Square Books, Dhs80).

The problem: “I feel depressed and need a pick me up”

The read: “I read Portia de Rossi’s memoir, Unbearable Lightness, recently and found it really inspiring. Although I’ve never suffered from an eating disorder myself, I know poeple who have and this really helped me to understand what they go through so much better. This is an account filled with sadness, but also hope and I would recommend it to anybody who has ever suffered from, or loved anybody with, eating problems.” Adele Taylor, member of Dubai-based book club, Bookends.

The problem: “I don’t feel I’m going anywhere in life”

The read: “I read The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom a few years ago and I still go back to it whenever I need to remember what life is all about. It’s a relatively short book about a man who dies and meets five people who have made an impact on his life, whether he was aware of it or not. It sounds depressing but it’s not at all – it’s written beautifully and makes you think about life in a whole new way.” Lesley Cully, shop assistant at Magrudy’s Jumeira branch.

The problem: “I’ve tried everything to lose weight, but nothing works!”

The read: “Adore Yourself Slim, by Lisa Jackson, worked for me. Find out what to eat, the exercises you need to do and even how to hypnotise yourself into losing weight – all in one handy book!” Anna Robinson, Simon & Schuster publishers.

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