In My Hands Today…

I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity – Izzeldin Abuelaish

By turns inspiring and heart-breaking, hopeful and horrifying, I Shall Not Hate is Izzeldin Abuelaish’s account of an extraordinary life.

A Harvard-trained Palestinian doctor who was born and raised in the Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip and who has devoted his life to medicine and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians, Abuelaish has been crossing the lines in the sand that divide Israelis and Palestinians for most of his life – as a physician who treats patients on both sides of the line, as a humanitarian who sees the need for improved health and education for women as the way forward in the Middle East. And, most recently, as the father whose daughters were killed by Israeli soldiers on January 16, 2009, during Israel’s incursion into the Gaza Strip.

His response to this tragedy made news and won him humanitarian awards around the world. Instead of seeking revenge or sinking into hatred, Abuelaish called for the people in the region to start talking to each other. His deepest hope is that his daughters will be the last sacrifice on the road to peace between Palestinians and Israelis.

In My Hands Today…

If I Knew Then: Finding Wisdom in Failure and Power in Aging – Jann Arden

Jann Arden – bestselling author, recording artist and late-blooming TV star is back with this funny, heartfelt and fierce memoir on becoming a woman of a certain age. The power, gravity and freedom she’s found at fifty-seven are superpowers she believes all of us can unleash.

Digging deep into her strengths, her failures and her losses, Jann Arden brings us an inspiring account of how she has surprised herself, in her fifties, by at last becoming completely her own person. Like many women, it took Jann a long time to realize that trying to be pleasing and likeable and beautiful in the eyes of others was a loser’s game. Letting it rip, and damning the consequences, is not only liberating, but it’s also a hell of a lot of fun: “Being the age I am–that so many women are–is just the best time of my life.”

In My Hands Today…

Step by Step – Simon Reeve

TV documentary maker Simon Reeve has dodged bullets on frontlines, hunted with the Bushmen of the Kalahari, dived with manta rays, seals and sharks, survived malaria, walked through minefields, tracked lions on foot, been taught to fish by the President of Moldova, and detained for spying by the KGB.

After a decade spent making more than 80 programmes he has become a familiar face on British TV, well known for his extraordinary journeys across jungles, deserts, mountains and oceans, and to some of the most beautiful, dangerous and remote regions of the world.

But what most people don’t know is that Simon’s own journey started in a rough area of Acton, West London where he was brought up and left school with no qualifications. For the first time he will tell his life story with a book rich in anecdotes to entertain and inform readers about some of the most fascinating (and often dangerous) places in the world and what it took to reach them.

In My Hands Today…

More Ketchup Than Salsa – Joe Cawley

Have you ever thought about making a new life abroad?

It was while holding aloft a not altogether pleasant-smelling mackerel that the decision was made. The March rain hammered on the rotting tin roof high above the market stall, where I had spent the last six months pushing out dubious trays of marine life at three for a fiver. After a two-week holiday in Tenerife, one of Spain’s Canary Islands, Joy and I vowed that a life in fish giblets was not going to be our destiny and a life in the sun, was.

A complete lack of catering experience, zero business acumen and the sum of our vastly wealth barely reaching waist level of a ceramic pig did little to deter our enthusiasm. “Where do we sign?” we replied. And then the whole silly, sunny saga began…” Joe Cawley

When Joe and his girlfriend Joy decide to trade in their life on a cold Lancashire fish market to run a bar in the Tenerife sunshine, they anticipate a paradise of sea, sand and siestas. Little did they expect their foreign fantasy to turn out to be about as exotic as a wet Monday morning.

Amidst a host of eccentric locals, homesickness and the occasional cockroach infestation, pint-pulling novices Joe and Joy struggle with the expat culture and learn that, although the skies might be bluer, the grass is definitely not always greener.

An hilarious travelogue exposing the wild and wacky characters of an expat community in a familiar holiday destination, More Ketchup than Salsa is full of humor and is a must-read travel memoir for anybody who has ever dreamed about moving abroad, finding a job overseas or even momentarily flirted with the idea of ‘doing a Shirley Valentine’ in these trying economic times.

In My Hands Today…

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen – Christopher McDougall

Born to Run is an epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt? In search of an answer, Christopher McDougall sets off to find a tribe of the world’s greatest distance runners and learn their secrets, and in the process shows us that everything we thought we knew about running is wrong.

Isolated by the most savage terrain in North America, the reclusive Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s deadly Copper Canyons are custodians of a lost art. For centuries they have practiced techniques that allow them to run hundreds of miles without rest and chase down anything from a deer to an Olympic marathoner while enjoying every mile of it. Their superhuman talent is matched by uncanny health and serenity, leaving the Tarahumara immune to the diseases and strife that plague modern existence. With the help of Caballo Blanco, a mysterious loner who lives among the tribe, the author was able not only to uncover the secrets of the Tarahumara but also to find his own inner ultra-athlete, as he trained for the challenge of a lifetime: a fifty-mile race through the heart of Tarahumara country pitting the tribe against an odd band of Americans, including a star ultramarathoner, a beautiful young surfer, and a barefoot wonder.

With a sharp wit and wild exuberance, McDougall takes us from the high-tech science labs at Harvard to the sun-baked valleys and freezing peaks across North America, where ever-growing numbers of ultrarunners are pushing their bodies to the limit, and, finally, to the climactic race in the Copper Canyons. Born to Run is that rare book that will not only engage your mind but inspire your body when you realize that the secret to happiness is right at your feet, and that you, indeed all of us, were born to run.