Adam at the Al Lisaili Club, Dubai.

Leisure

The men who build incredible flying machines

Bill Nighy with Santa's elves
'Love Actually' - film 2003

Movies

6 festive films you must watch this Christmas

“I Refuse” by Per Petterson
You wait a century for a major Norwegian writer then two come along at once... In Per Petterson’s novel “I Refuse” (Harvill Secker), childhood friends Jim and Tommy meet by chance, decades later, at a point of crisis for them both. The familiar Scandinavian tropes are present (snow, skating and depression) but the texture is more Ingmar Bergman than Stieg Larsson: the suspense isn’t in the plot but the prose, with its extraordinary looping sentences. The translator is Don Bartlett, the man responsible for bringing us Karl Ove Knausgaard, the third part of whose life writing epic, “Boyhood Island” (Vintage), also weighed in here this year: why its seemingly banal episodes should be so compelling remains one of the great mysteries of our time.
The best biography I’ve read in 2014 is Adam Begley’s “Updike” (HarperCollins), an admiring but not uncritical portrait of a novelist who was merciless in drawing on his own experiences.

Yearender

Best books of 2014 handpicked by top authors


Top Stories today

Left in limbo. Daniela with guide dog Kara whom she left behind in Barcelona

Airline refuses to board blind woman's guide dog

Visitor cries foul after Dubai-based airline allegedly refused to allow her guide dog on board

Flight to history. Gion Bertuccio, who will fly on Etihad’s The Residence on December 27, has flown 22 inaugural and final flights in premium class cabins over the last 25 years

Flying on the world’s most expensive air ticket

US businessman set to be first passenger to fly in world’s only private three-room cabin

'Drunk girl in public'.

15 worst internet hoaxes of 2014

The year saw the continued rise of the fake news industry and bogus Twitter accounts

Car in Abu Dhabi

Cleaner finds Dh25,000 and does the unexpected

Saudi customer mistakenly left the wad of cash in the rear seat of rental car

A Palestinian dressed as Santa Claus holds balloons at Manger Square, outside the Church of the Nativity, traditionally believed by Christians to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Christmas Eve Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014.

Christmas pilgrims gather after difficult year

Pilgrims gather in Bethlehem to celebrate holiday as Christian leaders decry persecution


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