Book Club: fascinating reads to entertain, inspire and inform

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By Bessma Bader

Books. They have always been magical to me. I remember as a child when we would travel to Paris, one of our first stops was always WH Smith on Rue De Rivoli. We would walk into those doors and smell the books! You know that smell, right? That woody, inky smell that you only get in a book store. Not a big one with toys and a cafe - a small one in an old building with shelves and shelves of nothing but books!

We would buy as many as we could carry. And when I would come home at the end of the day and see them, it was like they pulsed with energy of mystery and excitement. They were pages of potential! I’ve always loved the idea that I could read something that would make me laugh or cry or show me something I have never seen before. I would anticipate and expect and be overjoyed when they met my expectation, and disappointed when they didn’t.

The magic would seep out of them, and they would just be paper. But when it’s a good book, the magic intensifies and glows out of it even after I have finished. Even after it sits on the shelf.

In this series, I want to share with you the books that are sitting on my shelf, glowing magic and waiting for the next person to pick them up. I will share three books each time: one fiction, one non-fiction and one parenting book. I hope you enjoy them! 



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Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

This is a story of a bank robbery gone wrong: a group of the worst hostages in the world, what it means to be an adult and the power of forgiveness. 

It’s a dark comedy that somehow manages to be one of the most uplifting things I have read recently, despite touching on the subjects of depression and anxiety. It’s also incredibly quotable, and is rapidly becoming one of my most recommended books.   


Pile of books on a table Shutterstock

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Differences by Malcolm Gladwell

This book is about that moment when something becomes a trend. About the things that push products, behaviours, books, songs over the tipping point and they spread like wildfire. It’s an unpretentious book that keeps you reading from story to story.  

If you’re looking for well-documented studies, lots of citations and academic reviews then put the book down. I find those kinds of books boring, to be honest. If you would rather pick up a book that is interesting, easy to read and full of backstories about the world’s biggest trends, then this is a good book for you.   


A mum and her daughter drawing together Shutterstock

Nurtureshock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman

This book was published in 2009 and was on the best seller list for months. If there’s one book you read about children and their development, let it be this. 

This book upends the old and dated view on child rearing and rethinks parenting, discipline and what really affects children developmentally and emotionally. It's based on sound scientific research, which is nothing less than groundbreaking. If you work with children, have children or are around children, please read this. 


Tell us what you think...

We would love to hear your thoughts on these books! Please do share you thoughts by commenting below.  

About the author

Bessma bint Bader is an avid blogger and qualified parenting coach with a passionate interest in child development and education. She began her popular blog, Ya Mamma, in 2010 where she shares pertinent insights into the trials and tribulations of parenting, inspired by her five young children.  

Since 2010, Bessma has been on the board of Saut as its treasurer - a charitable organization that promotes the welfare of people with Downs Syndrome. She is also on the board of the King Khaled Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the social and economic conditions for thousands of Saudi citizens.

Bessma is also the co-founder and owner of The Playroom – a play center in Riyadh, built around the belief that child-led play fosters creativity, encourages divergent thinking and builds good social skills.

Image credits: Shutterstock