Name: Olga Petroff

Department: Emirates Woman

Role: Senior Art Director

In Motivate since: 2011

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My Recommendation: Touching the Void by Joe Simpson

Why did I pick this book?

Recently I finished reading The People's Act of Love by James Meek and Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, both very interesting novels in so many different ways, but I remembered this book which I read years ago and I thought it might be a more unusual recommendation.

It’s a non-fiction, classic mountaineering book – somewhat technical but fairly accessible. You might think the story is only for climbers but is utterly an inspiring book for anyone with love for adventure and believes in the power of the human spirit.                      

What do I love about it? 

It’s an honest look at life-changing decisions. An astonishing tale of courage and strength, and an amazing story about survival.

Simpson himself closes the book reflecting on how his life has changed in such unexpected ways: “Life can deal you an amazing hand. Do you play it steady, bluff like crazy or go all in? I’ll never know.”

A question we might all have cause to consider at some point.


What do I hate about it? Nothing.

Best read during? Definitely not a beach read

Value for money? Good

How many stars would you rate it? 4/5


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