Art & Literature
Style & Life
Curling up with a new book can transport you to another time and place, an opportunity for escapism, learning and relaxation all at once. To celebrate our love for reading this World Book Day, we have compiled a list of some of our favourite reads at Sahara. From riveting memoirs to fascinating fiction, we hope that you enjoy them as much as we have.
Pachinko – Min Jin Lee
Pachinko narrates the story of Sunja, the central character connecting four generations of the Beaks family. Born to a crippled fisherman in the early 1900s in Korea, a young Sunja falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant he refuses to marry her, bringing shame and disgrace upon Sunja and her entire family. Through a stroke of fortune, Sunja receives an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly Christian minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son's powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations. Richly told and profoundly moving, Pachinko is a story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty.
Taste by Stanley Tucci
From award-winning actor and food obsessive Stanley Tucci comes an intimate and charming memoir of life in and out of the kitchen. Growing up in a large Italian American family where life centred around the kitchen table, Tucci takes us back to the roots of his relationship with food. After successfully writing multiple cookbooks including The Tucci Cookbook and The Tucci Table, he takes us beyond the recipes and into the compelling stories behind them. From early memories of his mother’s kitchen to shooting the famous Julia Child biopic Julia & Julia with Meryl Streep, five-star meals and culinary disasters, Taste is a reflection on the intersection of food and life told in Tucci’s captivatingly funny and honest tone.
The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller
On a perfect August morning, Elle Bishop heads out for a swim in the pond below 'The Paper Palace' - her family's holiday home in Cape Cod. As she dives beneath the water she relives the passionate encounter she had the night before, against the side of the house that knows all her darkest secrets, while her husband and mother chatted to their guests inside... So begins a story that unfolds over twenty-four hours and fifty years, as Elle's shocking betrayal leads her to a life-changing decision. Tender yet devastating, The Paper Palace considers the tensions between desire and dignity, the legacies of abuse and the crimes and misdemeanours of families.
See What You’re Missing by Will Gompertz
Artists have learnt to pay attention. The rest of us spend most of our time on auto-pilot, rushing from place to place, our overfamiliarity blinding us to the marvellous, life-affirming phenomena of our world. But that doesn't have to be the case. In his typically engaging style, Will Gompertz takes us into the minds of artists, from contemporary stars to old masters to show us how to look and experience the world with their heightened powers of perception. In See What You're Missing we learn, for example, how Hasegawa Tohaku can help us to see beauty, how David Hockney helps us to see colour, and how Frida Kahlo can help us see pain. In doing so we come to know the exhilarating feeling of being truly alive.
Marriage Portrait – Maggie O’Farrell
The life of 16th century noblewoman Lucrezia Cosimo de’Medici was short and tragic. Three years after marrying Alfonso II d’Este, Duke of Ferrara she died at only 16 from Tuberculosis, although historians have speculated for years that Alfonso killed her instead. Written by the award-winning author of Hamnet, Marriage Portrait is the fictionalized account of the Lucrezia and her battle for survival inside the Florentine Court. Painting a vivid picture of Renaissance Italy as well as it’s dizzying maze of power and politics, Marriage Portrait is a re-imagined memoir of a woman mostly forgotten by history.
Olive Kitteridge – Elizabeth Strout
In a voice more powerful and compassionate than ever before, New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Strout binds together thirteen rich, luminous narratives into a book with the heft of a novel, through the presence of one larger-than-life, unforgettable character: Olive Kitteridge. At the edge of the continent, Crosby, Maine, may seem like nowhere, but seen through this brilliant writer’s eyes, it’s in essence the whole world, and the lives that are lived there are filled with all of the grand human drama–desire, despair, jealousy, hope, and love. As the townspeople grapple with their problems, mild and dire, Olive is brought to a deeper understanding of herself and her life–sometimes painfully, but always with ruthless honesty. Olive Kitteridge offers profound insights into the human condition–its conflicts, its tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires
Manifesto by Bernardine Evaristo
Manifesto is the radically honest, powerful memoir on never giving up from Booker prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo. In 2019 Evaristo became the first woman with Black heritage to win the prestigious Booker Prize for her novel Girl, Woman, Other - a revolutionary landmark for Britain. Manifesto details her journey of discovering her love for the arts and the power of story-telling, and the adversity she encountered along the way. From early childhood experiences with racism in her local community, to an adolescence spent moving between temporary homes and toxic relationships, to eventually setting up Britain’s first Black women’s theatre company and becoming the trailblazing writer, creator, teacher and community activist we see today – Evaristo’s story is one of bravery, integrity, resourcefulness and perseverance.
Educated – Tara Westover
Tara Westover recounts her harrowing upbringing and unlikely escape in this best-selling memoir. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d travelled too far, if there was still a way home.