By Basmah Alotaibi
Senior Editor SandRose Magazine

In this issue of SandRose Reviews, we delve into the dynamic theme of resilience. This force shapes extraordinary moments and journeys, from the high-speed world of Formula One to the strategic maneuvers of corporate acquisitions. Whether you prefer reading a book, watching a documentary, or listening to a podcast, we hope you gain a new perspective on the power of tenacity and perseverance. Check out our top picks below!

For future editions, we will be taking ‘Recs from our Readers,’ if you’d like to submit your reviews, send them to SandRose ([email protected]) for a chance to be featured.


We’re delighted to share an assortment of mixed-media submissions from our SandRose community; delve into the fantastic selections from our readers in this edition below!


Muhannad Alawaz

Petroleum Engineer

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Is it a heartfelt odyssey that stirs the soul? It tells the story of Santiago, a shepherd who embarks on a quest for his dreams. Along his journey, he encounters love, loss, and self-discovery. Through the book’s enchanting prose, we are reminded to seek our own destinies, trust our intuition, and embrace the beauty of the unknown. It is a timeless reminder that our hearts hold the key to unlocking the extraordinary within us.


Abdulrahman Alharbi

Petroleum Engineer

Jiro Dreams of Sushi(2011)

This documentary captures the life of Jiro Ono, an 85-year-old sushi master and owner of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a Michelin three-star restaurant nestled in a Tokyo subway station. It vividly portrays Jiro’s lifelong devotion to perfecting sushi craftsmanship, highlighting his meticulous attention to detail and relentless pursuit of excellence. The story resonates with me because it exemplifies the profound dedication and passion one can have for one’s craft. Jiro’s commitment to sushi goes beyond mere occupation; it’s an art form and a continuous challenge to better oneself, reflecting a universal theme of striving for perfection in one’s endeavors, no matter the field.


Abdulaziz Botwaibah

Petroleum Engineer

TEDx: تعلّم متى ترحل

Discover the insightful talk by Anmar Motawa, a Co-Professor at KAU’s Faculty of Communication and Media, on TEDx. Learn about handling small problems without letting them bother you, knowing when to address issues or let them go, and avoiding making small things seem bigger than they are. This talk is perfect for those who want to get better at negotiation, enhance decision-making abilities, master the art of persuasion, and cultivate inner tranquility.


How Big Things Get Done

by Bent Flyvbjerg and Dan Gardner

“We’re good at learning by tinkering—which is fortunate because we’re terrible at getting things right the first time.”

In How Big Things Get Done, Bent Flyvbjerg and Dan Gardner masterfully explore the extensive and often uncertain world of mega projects. From sprawling infrastructure initiatives to novel technological developments, the authors provide a critical analysis of why some projects achieve remarkable success while others face unexpected failures, emphasizing the critical need for realistic planning and transparent risk assessments.

Through a series of case studies, Flyvbjerg and Gardner bring to life the “iron law of megaproject management,” a principle that warns against the common hazards of underestimation and excessive optimism. The detailed narratives stress the complexity of these large ventures and highlight the human factors influencing their outcomes. Recently shortlisted for the 2023 Financial Times Best Business Book Award, How Big Things Get Done serves as a valuable guide for anyone interested in bringing grand visions to fruition.

If you enjoyed How Big Things Get Done, you’ll enjoy Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek.


Senna (2010)

There is no compromise. You give everything you have, everything, absolutely everything.

In the realm of Formula One, few names resonate as profoundly as Ayrton Senna’s. The documentary Senna, directed by Asif Kapadia, artfully portrays the intensity and spirituality of one of motorsport’s most legendary figures using a compilation of archival footage. The film allows Senna’s own words and actions, such as his famous quote, ‘I am not designed to come second or third. I am designed to win.’ and his daring overtakes on the track to narrate his story, providing an authentic and emotionally nuanced view.

From his modest beginnings in kart racing to his tragic end at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, the film portrays not just a racer but a national icon and a relentless advocate for safety and integrity in the sport. The film explores Senna’s fierce rivalries, notably with Alain Prost, and his bold confrontations with the sport’s governance, illuminating his profound influence both on and off the racetrack.

Senna is more than a sports documentary; it is a testament to a legacy that continues to inspire courage and excellence.

If you enjoyed Senna, make sure not to miss out on Arnold.


Acquired (Ongoing)

“Losers make excuses. Winners make adjustments.”

Acquired, hosted by seasoned venture capitalists Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal, offers an insightful look into the histories and strategies of influential companies and their leaders. Each episode is a meticulously researched exploration of the business dynamics that drive success in the global market.

With their backgrounds as investors, Gilbert and Rosenthal provide a unique perspective on the podcast, dissecting complex business operations and high-stakes acquisitions with three hours of deep insight. Their expertise enriches the narratives, making complex concepts accessible and transforming company stories into tales of ambition and achievement.

This podcast stands out for its comprehensive analyses of major deals, providing listeners with rare insider perspectives. It is an indispensable asset for aspiring venture capitalists and anyone intrigued by high-level business strategies. With its blend of historical depth, analytical rigor, and engaging storytelling, Acquired is both a podcast and a masterclass in business.

If you enjoyed Acquired, be sure to listen to The Tim Ferriss Show.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *