The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss. Courtesy Penguin Random House
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss. Courtesy Penguin Random House

My Favourite Reads: Donna Horvath



Donna Horvath is Head of Systems and SEO at The National

The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss  (1957)

This is one of the first books I remember reading. The one that sparked my desire to pick up the next book and the next. Seuss’s last book was Oh, the Places You’ll Go! These children’s classics, of which there are more than 40, thrust a girl from the Canadian prairies farther and farther into the world, literally and figuratively, including my current home in Abu Dhabi. Thank you, Dr Seuss.

Not Wanted on the Voyage by Timothy Findley (1984)

Findley irreverently reimagines the Bible story of Noah and the Great Flood. The tale is narrated by a beleaguered cat. Beyond the expected animal pairings, the ship’s manifest also includes a she-devil named Lucy, a unicorn, an ovine choir and a nascent suffragette movement  The pious and prudes need not come aboard.

The Passage Trilogy by Justin Cronin (2010, 2012, 2016)

I couldn’t find words befitting this dystopian masterpiece, so I leave it to someone who knows a bit about the genre, Stephen King: “One of the great achievements in American fantasy fiction.” There is an apocalypse and there are vampires. There are The Twelve and a saviour named Amy. It’s about love and survival in a dangerous time. Let’s say a few millennia.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (2014)

Doerr sidesteps the battlefields and brings the depredations of the Second World War to life through the eyes of a blind French girl and a German orphan conscripted into Hitler’s army. If the essence of great fiction is uncluttered writing, this Pulitzer Prize winner is a masterclass. Short sentences and short chapters that linger long after the reading.

Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream by H G Bissinger (1990)

Hailed as the best book ever written about American football, it follows the championship season of a high-school team in 1980s small-town Texas. It inspired an award-winning TV series that ran for five years. The boom and bust of oil, racism and the elusive American Dream are backdrops to the central story.

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Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

Avatar (2009)

Director: James Cameron

Stars: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver

Rating: 3/5

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE.

Part three: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part two: how climate change drove the race for an alternative 

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Biography

Her family: She has four sons, aged 29, 27, 25 and 24 and is a grandmother-of-nine

Favourite book: Flashes of Thought by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid

Favourite drink: Water

Her hobbies: Reading and volunteer work

Favourite music: Classical music

Her motto: I don't wait, I initiate

 

 

 

 

 

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

GOLF’S RAHMBO

- 5 wins in 22 months as pro
- Three wins in past 10 starts
- 45 pro starts worldwide: 5 wins, 17 top 5s
- Ranked 551th in world on debut, now No 4 (was No 2 earlier this year)
- 5th player in last 30 years to win 3 European Tour and 2 PGA Tour titles before age 24 (Woods, Garcia, McIlroy, Spieth)

The specs: 2019 Audi A7 Sportback

Price, base: Dh315,000

Engine: 3.0-litre V6

Transmission: Seven-speed automatic

Power: 335hp @ 5,000rpm

Torque: 500Nm @ 1,370rpm

Fuel economy 5.9L / 100km

South Africa squad

Faf du Plessis (captain), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock (wicketkeeper), Theunis de Bruyn, AB de Villiers, Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen (wicketkeeper), Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada.

Bugatti Chiron Super Sport - the specs:

Engine: 8.0-litre quad-turbo W16 

Transmission: 7-speed DSG auto 

Power: 1,600hp

Torque: 1,600Nm

0-100kph in 2.4seconds

0-200kph in 5.8 seconds

0-300kph in 12.1 seconds

Top speed: 440kph

Price: Dh13,200,000

Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport - the specs:

Engine: 8.0-litre quad-turbo W16 

Transmission: 7-speed DSG auto 

Power: 1,500hp

Torque: 1,600Nm

0-100kph in 2.3 seconds

0-200kph in 5.5 seconds

0-300kph in 11.8 seconds

Top speed: 350kph

Price: Dh13,600,000

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

The specs

Engine: 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6
Power: 456hp at 5,000rpm
Torque: 691Nm at 3,500rpm
Transmission: 10-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 14.6L/100km
Price: from Dh349,545
On sale: now

Company profile

Name: Cashew
Started: 2020
Founders: Ibtissam Ouassif and Ammar Afif
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: FinTech
Funding size: $10m
Investors: Mashreq, others

Five expert hiking tips
  • Always check the weather forecast before setting off
  • Make sure you have plenty of water
  • Set off early to avoid sudden weather changes in the afternoon
  • Wear appropriate clothing and footwear
  • Take your litter home with you

The Arts Edit

A guide to arts and culture, from a Middle Eastern perspective

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