'I love reads that make me think'

I love reads that make me think

Talking books with Dubai-based education consultant Laura Toma

Published: Fri 13 Jul 2018, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 13 Jul 2018, 2:00 AM

What are you reading now?
I am really enjoying IQ84 by Haruki Murakami, as the plot slowly unravels in all its dystopianism. It's very well written and filled with various cultural references, from music to poetry.
Which books changed your life?
I love books that make me think, so I'd say Sapiens and Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari. The first looks back on our common human history; the second explores what is to come. Both are well researched, with arguments presented in a balanced manner. The frank way in which they analyse and reveal different things about who we are as humans, our achievements and our destructive tendencies will make you see the world in a new way.
A book you'd recommend?
While there is a certain fatigue in discussing the results of the 2016 American elections, I strongly recommend Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes to anyone managing teams or interested in learning strategy. The book is an objective, almost surgical, look at the mistakes HC's team made. There is a lot to learn.
Favourite literary character?
Binti, from the novella series of the same name by Nnedi Okorafor. The young woman is the first of the Himba ethnic group on Earth to be accepted into an intergalactic university. I read the novellas this year and wished they'd been written when I was growing up, because I'd have been inspired by Binti. Her desire to follow her heart while honouring her family, her hunger for knowledge, and her desire to do the right thing are internal struggles portrayed with a lot of humility and genuine feeling. We - especially women - go through some form of these hard choices, and the resolutions Binti makes could serve as an example to any reader.

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