Wondering what your next read is? This month our resident bookworm Bessma Bader recommends unputdownable books from Lisa Jewell, Jon Ronson and Hervé Tullet
What is the sign of a good book? A life-changing one? One that teaches you something new? A beautifully written one? Or is the true sign of a good book that you cannot put it down no matter how hard you try? Here I list three titles on which I lost quite a lot of sleep and free time once I had picked them up. The theme this month is unputdownable books – a mystery, a non-fiction work about psychopaths and an incredible book of art.
The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell (Penguin Books, available for pre-order, out December 2021)
This is the third book by Jewell that I have read. It’s gripping – I finished it in two days. The plot involves an unsolved mystery, an abandoned mansion and secrets about to come to light. In 2017 Tallulah, a teenage mum, goes missing after a night out with her boyfriend. In 2018, Sophie, a mystery writer, finds a sign outside her cottage saying “dig here,” and the slow and shocking uncovering of what was a cold case of a missing person starts to unfold. I need to see this adapted into a series!
The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson (Picador)
Somehow this is a hilarious book. Award-winning writer and documentary maker Jon Robson takes us on a journey to understand more about psychopathy as it relates to our society and how modern psychology defines, diagnoses and attempts to treat it. How? One way is by meeting actual psychopaths. Jon explains how the test was developed and how to spot a psychopath when you see one. I picked up this book and was unable to put it down.
Art Workshops For Children by Hervé Tullet (Phaidon Press)
If you have not heard of Hervé Tullet, take a minute to look up a workshop with him on YouTube. Tullet is the author of many outstanding books for children and runs workshops that are nothing less than magical. This book shows you how to run 12 of these in detail. The focus of this book is process art. As the name suggests, this activity focuses on the process more than the end product, making it perfect for all abilities. One of my favourite authors and artists! I am excited for you to get to know his work.
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.