Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen published by Puffin Classics. Courtesy Penguin UK
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen published by Puffin Classics. Courtesy Penguin UK

My favourite reads: Tahira Yaqoob



There is a tendency with lists like this to protest how impossible it is to narrow down your choices or to feel they have to say something profound and meaningful about one’s character. I shall do no such thing. My five reads are shamelessly populist, books I return to time and again or represent significant moments in my life.

Miffy in the Snow by Dick Bruna (1970)

I learned to read with Dick Bruna's rabbit; so did my mother, newly arrived in Britain and struggling with English language lessons while I sat at the back of class. We felt the same sense of achievement on finishing a book. I distinctly remember her suggesting we read Miffy in the Snow together. "No," I said grandly, "I'm too big for that now." Even at a young age, I realised the significance of that moment: that I would have to go it alone in a brave new world. My mother stopped coming to the library with me after that.
How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran (2011)

Moran's exuberant, shouty, hilarious take on challenging the patriarchy, giving voice to a new wave of feminism, speaks to the 12-year-old me, the one who pored over copies of Spare Rib and biographies of the Pankhursts and dreamed of one day acquiring a bra she could burn. "We're not arguing for the whole world," she reasons. "Just our share." Well, quite.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813)

Written more than 200 years ago, there is a reason why Austen's gentle comedy of manners still regularly tops book lists. Austen was the wise, witty Moran of her day and Elizabeth Bennet an early feminist heroine. I saw parallels with the conservative Asian community I grew up in, where it was a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman must be in want of a doctor as a husband".
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1985)

From the moment, 100 pages in, when Fermina Daza so cruelly, arbitrarily rejects Florentino Ariza, I was hooked. This is no love story but a melancholic treatise on the different kinds of love there are: obsessive, unrequited love; familial love; dutiful love; and love as a kind of violent epidemic, all set against a backdrop of death and decay.
Mandela's Way: Lessons on Life by Richard Stengel (2009)

Sometimes it is not just about what you read but where. I picked up this book in the Apartheid Museum in Mandela’s homeland. Stengel distills his wisdom into pithy life lessons on bravery, courage, leadership and forgiveness. He reminds us why this luminous, contradictory, extraordinary man was one of the few great heroes of our time.

Tahira Yaqoob is The National's comment editor and was longlisted for the 2018 Mogford International Short Story Prize

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Read more:

My favourite reads: Gillian Duncan

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THE SPECS

Battery: 60kW lithium-ion phosphate
Power: Up to 201bhp
0 to 100kph: 7.3 seconds
Range: 418km
Price: From Dh149,900
Available: Now

if you go

The flights

Emirates offer flights to Buenos Aires from Dubai, via Rio De Janeiro from around Dh6,300. emirates.com

Seeing the games

Tangol sell experiences across South America and generally have good access to tickets for most of the big teams in Buenos Aires: Boca Juniors, River Plate, and Independiente. Prices from Dh550 and include pick up and drop off from your hotel in the city. tangol.com

 

Staying there

Tangol will pick up tourists from any hotel in Buenos Aires, but after the intensity of the game, the Faena makes for tranquil, upmarket accommodation. Doubles from Dh1,110. faena.com

 

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

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).


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