What We Are Reading Today: Four Friends by William D. Cohan

Updated 04 August 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Four Friends by William D. Cohan

  • It not only captures the fragility of life but also its poignant, magisterial, and pivotal moments

Four Friends is an immersive, wide-ranging, tragic, and ultimately inspiring account of promising lives cut short, written with compassion, honesty, and insight. It not only captures the fragility of life but also its poignant, magisterial, and pivotal moments.

The latest book by William D. Cohan chronicles the lives of four of Mr. Cohan’s classmates at the very elite Phillips Academy Andover who had grown to prove to the world that they had something special to offer, yet fate intervened and took them away from us all too soon. 

“We meet and get to know Jack Berman, Will Daniel, Harry Bull and John Kennedy Jr. in ways we may not have known them before,” said a review in goodreads.com.

Cohan is an American business writer. He is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. The book “has a wonderful fluidity that grabs onto you so you never want to put it down making for easy reading yet rich with detail,” said the review. It added: “While all four gentlemen made some sort of impact on society, we aren’t bogged down with pages of what feels like excerpts extracted from a history book.”


Startup of the Week: Saudi baker and chef winning hearts of food lovers

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Updated 20 August 2019

Startup of the Week: Saudi baker and chef winning hearts of food lovers

  • Working over 15 hours a day and being self-taught was just the start; Essam is the interior and graphic designer, the marketer, the CEO and the chef at White Mountain

A Saudi bakery and restaurant business specializing in pastries is finding its way into Saudi hearts with a delectable selection of fine Italian, French, and Swiss foods.
Ahmad Essam, 28, a self-taught baker and chef, left a productive family business to create what is now one of the most prestigious bakeries in Alkhobar.
Essam set up his bakery and restaurant while working as a production engineer, selling tarts and cakes to his friends.
He was overwhelmed by the encouragement he received, and little by little Essam, his dream of running his own company emerged.
Working over 15 hours a day and being self-taught was just the start; Essam is the interior and graphic designer, the marketer, the CEO and the chef at White Mountain.
Baking French pastries such as croissants, macarons, mille-feuille, eclairs and tarts require a true artisan. Essam described the glory he feels when he bakes, saying: “Dealing with precise tips to get the real essence of French pastries and reaching a level to bake without recipes is a matter of experience and good knowledge. Being a real baker requires a lot of learning as it’s not only about mixing water and flour; its trick lies behind the process of fermentation that sometimes lasts for days.’’
Every once in a while, the young man distributes membership books to loyal customers. “On Valentine’s Day, we distributed 3,000 roses,” he added.
Essam is very passionate, and dreams of opening a cooking academy in Saudi Arabia so he can inspire other amateur bakers; he told Arab News about his future 12,000-square-meters cooking village project that he is aiming to create in Riyadh, “including a library that collects all cookbooks, a seasonal spice shop, a great lake garden, a pizzeria, glossary shop and more, all of which falls under one theme: Cooking.”
For him, business is an obsession and profession. “Chefs have their egos. They are dealing with a tricky job and they know what they are doing exactly. They do not accept comments or advice from other chefs,” he explained.
You can follow him for more information on White Mountain on Instagram: @wm.bakery.