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Whether you are lounging by the pool, at the beach or in the cool confines of your home, these summer reads will inspire and elevate your mind.


By Assouline. Photography by Robert Polidori

AlUla, also known as Wadi al-Qura (Valley of Villages), whose history can be traced back to around 200,000 BCE is a true oasis. A spectacular landscape of epic rock formations, rugged mountains and striking canyons nestled deep within the ancient sands of northwest Saudi Arabia, it is a magical place of extraordinary natural heritage that holds secrets yet to be discovered. In Assouline’s latest title, photographer Robert Polidori leads you through breathtaking imagery of this fertile valley that formed a natural passage for caravans and travellers on the incense trade route. It also provided plentiful groundwater and soil that allowed many civilisations to thrive for thousands of years.

What I Know For Sure

By Oprah Winfrey


Oprah Winfrey needs no introduction. Overcoming her own struggles, she has carved a niche for herself as a guru for positive thought and vision. As you flip through the book’s uplifting pages, you will learn about Winfrey’s ‘stand down moment’, her ‘a-ha moment’ and many more, all of which lead to a feeling of comfort and inspiration – something we all need during uncertain times.

Mykonos Muse

By Lizy Manola

As you lie on your sun lounger let this photo-essay, through the lens of Greek photographer Liza Manola, take you on a majestic and glamorous journey of the gorgeous island of Mykonos in Greece. Think twinkling blue-green Aegean waters, Ibiza-style windswept vibe, Cycladic whitewashed architecture, sun-soaked vistas, windmill strewn roads, flowering bougainvillea trees and, of course, the legendary party scene. Along with this are chronicled ancient mythological stories that defined the history of Mykonos over the past century and a look into the culture and society that brought it all to vibrant life. Dream away.

Camino Winds

By John Grisham

This is Grisham’s second book in his Camino Island series. As the erratic and deadly tropical storm Leo bears down on Camino Island, about two hundred miles west of Cape Verde, it leaves in its wake a scene of total devastation. As with all Grisham tales, this one too has its own alluring twists, perfect for indulging whilst you’re hammock bound.

Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead

By Sheryl Sandberg and Nell Scovell

One of the most vital books for any women in business to read. Sheryl Sandberg’s inspirational book begins when she was working at Google. Now the COO of Facebook, Sandberg claims she has written it for any woman who wants to increase her chances of making it to the top of her field. To any woman who is willing to pursue her goals vigorously; who wants to take down the barriers erected by society and those that exist within her as well. She hopes that any man who reads it will understand what a woman – be it a colleague, wife, mother or daughter – goes through, so he can do his part to help. It’s all about believing in yourself, giving it your all and leaning in.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

By Stephen R Covey

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit,” Aristotle famously said. This, author Stephen R Covey, explains is basically what our habits are like. Our character is a composite of our habits because they are consistent of often unconscious patterns, they constantly express our character and effectiveness or ineffectiveness. And in this lovely gem, a must-read, he explains the seven habits and principles of highly effective people that enable them to rise to the pinnacle of success. Habit one: be proactive. Habit two: begin with an end result in mind. Habit three: put first things first. Habit four: think of winning. Habit five: seek first to understand, then to be understood. Habit six: collaborate. Habit seven: enhance yourself. And the most important thing he reminds us is that success is a habit, as is a failure.

The 4-Hour Workweek

By Timothy Ferris

The message in this book is simple: stop working harder and start working smarter. It is about creating an infrastructure so you can work only four hours a week and invest the rest of the time for and on yourself. It drives the point home that life is not all about work. Outsourcing to virtual assistants, licensing and validating your ideas, not spending too much on time-consuming information and news taking mini-retirement breaks are some of the things he explains in detail. In the book, he also offers practical tips and case studies along with the latest tools and tricks you can adapt to achieve your goals.


By Assouline. Photography by Aline Coquelle

When you think of Zanzibar, visions of sandy beaches, swaying coconut palms, brilliant turquoise waters, sailing dhows and green landscapes come to mind. In this book by Assouline, Aline Coquelle has captured through her lens the essence of this beautiful island. Images and intimate portraits of a community bursting with life that will make you lose yourself in their beauty and mark it as a must-visit on your travel list. Whether it is walking along the labyrinthine streets of Stonetown, visiting the wild forests, scuba diving off the coast of a private island, enjoying the Omani architecture or tasting mouth-watering cuisines from all over the world, Zanzibar has it all. You’ll find yourself wanting to flip through its pages again and again.

Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Physical and Emotional Self

By Tony Robbins

How can I take immediate control of my life? What can I do today that can make a difference? These were some of the questions that author Anthony Robbins asked himself. He, like all of us, had dreams and thought they would never be realised. The book begins with Robbins flying in his helicopter from Los Angeles to his seminar in Orange County. As he looks down he recognises the large building below where he had worked as an overweight janitor, full of life’s problems. It was at that very moment that it hit him how he was now living his dream. In-between the pages of his book, you will find information, philosophies and skills that can assist you in empowering yourself. All you have to do is awaken the sleeping giant within you and focus on where you want to go and what you need to do to get there, one area of your life at a time.

Good Vibes, Good Life: How Self-Love Is The Key to Unlocking Your Greatness

By Vex King

In this book, King shows how true self-love is when you appreciate where you are and who you are regardless of any transformation you aspire to. How when you stop trying to please everyone, surround yourself with positive people, change your body language, get your diet right and make yourself a priority that you really begin to change your world. He believes life will test you, just before it blesses you. Pack this for the perfect beachside read and return to the office motivated and ready to take on any challenge positively.

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Images: Supplied, main image instagram.com/galerieslafayettedubai