Books to Inspire

The Testament of Gideon Mack – by James Robertson

For Gideon Mack, faithless Minister, unfaithful husband and troubled soul, the existence of God, let alone the Devil, is no more credible than that of the ghosts or fairies. Until the day he falls into a gorge and is rescued by someone who might just be Satan himself.
Mack’s testament – a compelling blend of memoir, legend, history and, quite probably, madness – recounts one man’s emotional crisis, disappearance and death. It also transports you into an utterly mesmerising exploration of the very nature of belief.

Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

An amazing celebration of the many kinds of love between men and women. In part it is a brilliantly witty account of the tussles in a long marriage, whose details are curiously moving; elsewhere it is a fantastic tale of love finding erotic fulfilment in ageing bodies … The richness, delicacy and resonance of this fable places it among Marquez’s best fiction.

Three Cups of Tea – Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

In 1993, after a terrifying and disastrous attempt to climb K2, a mountaineer called Greg Mortenson drifted, cold and dehydrated, into an impoverished Pakistan village in the Karakoram Mountains. Moved by the inhabitants’ kindness, he promised to return and build a school. Three Cups of Tea is the story of that promise and its extraordinary outcome. Over the next decade Mortenson built not just one but fifty-five schools in remote villages across the forbidding and breath taking landscape of Pakistan and Afghanistan, just as the Taliban rose to power. His story is at once a riveting adventure and a testament to the power of the humanitarian spirit.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist – by Mohsin Hamid

“Excuse me, sir, but may I be of assistance? Ah, I see I have alarmed you. Do not be frightened by my beard. I am a lover of America. So speaks the mysterious stranger at a Lahore Café as dusk settles. Invited to join him for tea, you learn his name and what led this speaker of immaculate English to see you out. For he his more worldly than you might expect; better travelled and better educated. He knows the West better than you do. And he tells you his story, of how he embraced the Western dream – and a Western woman – and how both betrayed him, so the night darkens. Then the true reason for your meeting becomes abundantly clear….

Solar – Ian McEwan

Michael Beard is a Nobel prize-winning physicist whose best work is behind him. A compulsive womaniser, Beard find his fifth marriage floundering. But this time it is different: his wife is having the affair, and he is still in love with her. When Beard’s professional and personal worlds collide in a freak accident, an opportunity presents itself for Beard to extricate himself from his marital mess, reinvigorate his career and save the world from environmental disaster. Ranging from the Arctic Circle to the deserts of New Mexico, this is a story of one man’s greed and self-deception; a darkly satirical novel showing human frailty struggling with the most pressing and complex problem of our time.