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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 June 2018

My favourite reads: Olive Obina

One of my earliest memories is of finding the loose page of a book. On it was an illustration of a tornado carrying a house. It was terrifying and fascinating. Since then, I have enjoyed books of magic, adventure and where good triumphs over evil.

 

Dune by Frank Herbert. Courtesy Penguin Random House
Dune by Frank Herbert. Courtesy Penguin Random House

Olive Obina is an assistant picture editor at The National

Dune by Frank Herbert (1965)

If you ask its fans what makes Dune the greatest sci-fi novel of all time, some will say that it highlights issues pertaining to the environment, imperialism and the ability of the human mind. For me, it is its depiction of the native Fremen. They are written as a fierce group of people who were able to survive and thrive in the harsh environment of Arrakis.

The Stand by Stephen King (1978)

If you noticed my love for huge epic-scale stories, you have this book to blame. Though not a high fantasy with knights and kings, this is a classic good versus evil tale, with people trying to survive in a world devastated by first, a flu; then by people who are on the side of evil, either by choice or circumstances; and lastly, the evil being who just wants to destroy the world.

The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss (2007 and 2011)

So far, we have followed Kvothe’s journey from orphan to university student, to famous musician. For the third and final book, fans are waiting to discover how he came to be known as ‘The Kingkiller’ and ended up living as an innkeeper under a different identity. Whenever we are on the brink of giving up, we keep thinking of George R R Martin’s fans.

The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson (2010 and 2014)

These books are huge, literally, with up to 2,400 pages of fleshed-out characters, epic battles, history and mythology. The series is part of the larger Cosmere world in which Sanderson’s other novels are set. He is a prolific writer and has 10 books on track, with the third scheduled for publication in November.

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (1990)

What do you get when two masters of storytelling combine forces to pen one book? Well, you get a ridiculously entertaining story about the apocalypse. One cannot help but be charmed with the characters, especially the 11-year-old Adam Young, the reluctant Anti-Christ who just wants to protect the things he loves.

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