Books of the Month | Month of the Books #28

“Life happened. In all its banality, brutality, cruelty, unfairness. But also in its beauty, pleasures and delights. Life happened.” — Thrity Umrigar “The World We Found”



Dr. Afra Atiq | Photo: © Waleed Shah

Dr Afra Atiq is an Emirati spoken word poet who was born in the United Arab Emirates to an Emirati father and a Japanese-American mother. She has completed her PhD in Media and Creative Industries at UAE University. Dr Afra also has a Master’s degree in diplo­macy and has been published in international journals. Her research focuses on mapping the Arab literary sphere, education, literacy, social media effects and collective memory.

She has won numerous awards for her poetry and has been featured on stages across the world. Her art explores a broad range of topics which include heritage, culture, identity, legacy, self-acceptance, grief, and almost everything in between. She writes and performs in a blend of English, Arabic, and French. She’s a foun­ding member of Untitled Chapters — a community for Emirati women writers. | @afraatiq




This is an inspirational story of Dr Raja Easa Al Gurg, the Managing Director of one of UAE’s leading busi­ness conglomerates, the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group. The autobiography not only tells the story of one of the region’s most respected business leaders, but also charts the growth of the emirate of Dubai. Steadfast com­mitment and determination is the theme that carries through the whole book, as the autobiography brings to life the journey of an entrepreneurial businesswoman. The autobiography also provides an insightful account of how she overcame challenges, inspiring a generation of young women leaders.





An intimate and powerful memoir by the trailbla­zing former CEO of PepsiCo

For a dozen years as one of the world’s most admired CEOs, Indra Nooyi redefined what it means to be an exceptional leader. The first woman of color and immigrant to run a Fortune 50 company — and one of the foremost strategic thinkers of our time — she transformed Pep­siCo with a unique vision, a vigorous pursuit of excellence, and a deep sense of purpose. Now, in a rich memoir brimming with grace, grit, and good humor, My Life in Full offers a firsthand view of Nooyi’s legendary career and the sacrifices it so often demanded.

Nooyi takes us through the events that shaped her, from her childhood and early education in 1960s India, to the Yale School of Management, to her rise as a corporate consultant and strategist who soon ascended into the most senior executive ranks. The book offers an inside look at PepsiCo, and Nooyi’s thinking as she steered the iconic American company toward healthier products and reinvented its environmental profile, despite resistance at every turn.

For the first time and in raw detail, Nooyi also lays bare the difficulties that came with managing her demanding job with a growing family, and what she learned along the way. She makes a clear, actionable, urgent call for business and govern­ment to prioritize the care ecosystem, paid leave and work flexibility, and a convincing argument for how improving company and community support for young family builders will unleash the economy’s full potential.

Generous, authoritative, and grounded in lived experience, My Life in Full is the story of an extraordinary leader’s life, a moving tribute to the relationships that created it, and a blueprint for 21st century prosperity.




Advice for a lifetime of adventure, beauty, and success

The international supermodel shares personal stories and lessons learned from a life of “living dangerously–carefully”

Maye Musk is a fashionable, charming, jet-setting supermodel with a fascinating and tight-knit circle of family and friends, and is 74 years old. But things were not always so easy or glamo­rous. She became a single mom at 31, struggling through poverty to provide for her three children; dealt with weight issues as a plus-size model and overcame ageism in the modeling industry; and established a lifelong career as a respected dieti­tian, all the while starting over in eight different cities across three countries and two continents. But she made her way through it all with an indomitable spirit and a no-nonsense attitude to become a global success at what she calls the “prime of her life.”

As everyone who follows her obsessively on social media knows, Maye is a fount of frank and practical advice on how the choices you make in every decade can pay off in surprising, exciting ways throughout your life. In A Woman Makes a Plan, Maye shares experiences from her life conveying hard-earned wisdom on career (the harder you work, the luckier you get), family (let the people you love go their own way), health (there is no magic pill), and adventure (make room for discovery, but always be ready for any­thing). You can’t control all that happens in life, but you can have the life you want at any age. All you have to do is make a plan.



* This story by Tanja Beljanski first appeared in the October 2022 issue of L'Officiel Arabia.