Our reviewers check out a selection of non-fiction books.
A Fort of Nine Towers
By Qais Akbar Omar (Macmillan, RRP $38)
Reviewed by Michelle Lee
Allah-hu-Akbar (God is great) is a calling which will forever remind author Qais Akbar Omar of many different emotions on the night he heard his entire town chant it together.
Most of all it being the end of an idyllic life for him and his family in Kabul.
Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? More to the point, have you finished it yet?
Books are a good choice for Christmas pressies: they are useful, interesting, and easy to wrap. Unlike socks.
Here are a few ideas.
BOOK REVIEW: Single Serve
By Penny Oliver, photography by Manja Wachsmuth (Penguin, RRP $40)
Presented as simple dishes, for the single person, Single Serve recipes double as meals for couples wanting something quick and delicious.
Divided into handy sections aptly named Easy Bites, Tasty Every Day, Vegetable Crunch and Sweet, Oliver and photographer Wachsmuth deliver an accessible cookbook with every-day ingredients thrown together in clever and surprising ways.
The recipes in the book are not the healthiest, best illustrated by the scrumptious Buttery Brussels Sprouts and Bacon - a dish I defy all those who despise brussels sprouts to try.
Healthy or not though, Single Serve dishes up some yummy meals.
Self-help books available now include:
Emotional First Aid
By Dr Guy Winch (Exisle Publishing, RRP $30)
We have methods of treatment for all our physical injuries but most of us have no idea how to treat day-to-day emotional injuries such as failure, rejection, guilt and loss.
Dr Guy Winch - a licensed psychologist and author who has also dabbled in standup comedy - says these kinds of emotional injuries often get worse if untreated. In this book he provides the emotional first-aid treatments we have been lacking to offer "practical strategies for treating failure, rejection, guilt, and other every day psychological injuries".
BOOK REVIEW: My Notorious Life by Madame X
By Kate Manning (Bloomsbury, RRP $35)
My Notorious Life was inspired by the true story of 19th century New York midwife and abortionist Ann Trow Lohman, better known as Madame Restell; a woman once labelled "the wickedest woman in New York".
At the age of 13, young Axie Muldoon was living a hard life as an Irish immigrant in New York in the 1860s, begging on the streets for pennies for herself and her younger siblings.
When the children are "rescued" from their lives of poverty and sent west to Illinois by a well-meaning Christian philanthropist, Axie is separated from her mother, brother and sister.
However, she ends up back in New York looking for her family. After her mother dies in childbirth, she is taken in by a local midwife, who teaches her the craft of midwifery.
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