47 episodes

From Russian tragedies to Australian comedies, via Emirati slam poetry and Saudi science fiction, our appetite for words knows no bounds.

In our day jobs at the Emirates Literature Foundation, you'd normally find us planning the next Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, but the rest of the time we're guessing whodunnit, debating the ultimate feel-good novel, or reading the stacks of books that line our office walls.

As we are here in Dubai, one of the best connected cities in the world, we aim to bring you recommendations for books from all over the world. We are joined by a different writer in every episode so stay tuned.

Want to get in touch? Send us a message on comms@emirateslitfest.com

The Boundless Book Club Emirates Literature Foundation

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

From Russian tragedies to Australian comedies, via Emirati slam poetry and Saudi science fiction, our appetite for words knows no bounds.

In our day jobs at the Emirates Literature Foundation, you'd normally find us planning the next Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, but the rest of the time we're guessing whodunnit, debating the ultimate feel-good novel, or reading the stacks of books that line our office walls.

As we are here in Dubai, one of the best connected cities in the world, we aim to bring you recommendations for books from all over the world. We are joined by a different writer in every episode so stay tuned.

Want to get in touch? Send us a message on comms@emirateslitfest.com

    The Books on Socials episode with Chloe Gong

    The Books on Socials episode with Chloe Gong

    In this episode, Annabelle and Andrea team up with Nivea Serrao to take on some of the buzziest books from social media. They are also joined by the YA superstar, social media sensation and one of the New York Times youngest bestselling authors, the one and only Chloe Gong. (TikTok: @thechloegong)
    To find out more about the impact social media is having on literature, listen to Episode 3 from this season.
    Books and authors mentioned in this episode include:
    One of Us is Lying, by Karen M McManus
    The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars in this twisty page turner.
    These Violent Delights, by Chloe Gong
    Romeo & Juliette in 1920s Shanghai with a big bad threatening the very existence of our protagonists.
    This Woven Kingdom, by Tahereh Mafi
    A Cinderella story set in a magical Middle East-flavoured kingdom, with magic, Jinn, and forbidden love, blowing up on TikTok.

    About Chloe Gong:
    Chloe Gong is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of These Violent Delights and its sequel Our Violent Ends. She is a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where she double-majored in English and International Relations. Born in Shanghai and raised in Auckland, New Zealand, Chloe is now located in New York pretending to be a real adult.

    Need more recommendations? How about some armchair travel or perhaps we can tempt you with the Best Books of 2021 for your TBR?

    About us:
    Andrea Gissdal is the Ex Head of Communications and Marketing for the Emirates Literature Foundation, and current resident podcaster. A book pusher and compulsive book clubber, she is a literary omnivore with a preference for fiction. Andrea also dabbles in creative writing, and once scored 82 points in one move in Scrabble. Best day ever.
    Annabelle Corton is the English Programme Manager at the Emirates Literature Foundation. She runs the Festival Book Club and has a background in guesting and presenting on talk radio shows about various literary topics. She likes words like ‘equinox’ and ‘vespa’, and loves a good pun. She’ll read anything in reach, but has a fondness for witty tussles of good vs. evil on page and screen, especially vampire fiction where a great deal is at stake. Get it? Stake? ….She’s not sorry.

    • 31 min
    The Myths, Legends & Fairytales episode with Ben Miller

    The Myths, Legends & Fairytales episode with Ben Miller

    Dipping into the cool pond of myths and magical make believe, Ahlam and Andrea share their top tips before speaking with actor, director, comedian and author of wonderful children's books, Ben Miller!
    Books and authors mentioned include:
    Shahnameh: The Epic of the Persian Kings, by Ferdowsi
    Part myth, part history, these epic tales contain magical birds, superhuman heroes and centuries-long battles.
     
    The Silence of the Girls, by Pat Barker
    This retelling of the Iliad and the battle of Troy from another perspective works not only as a great story, but makes us question history as we know it.
    Ben Miller is an actor, director and comedian and the bestselling author of magical stories for all the family: The Night I Met Father Christmas, The Boy Who Made the World Disappear, The Day I Fell Into a Fairytale, How I Became a Dog Called Midnight and Diary of a Christmas Elf. His next children's book will be released in September 2022. He is best-known for the Armstrong and Miller sketch show, the Johnny English and Paddington films, BBC's Death in Paradise and recent Netflix smash, Bridgerton.
    About us:
    Ahlam Bolooki is the Festival Director for the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the largest celebration of the written and spoken word in the Arab World. Ahlam finds it difficult to choose a favourite genre as it’s always changing and she’s still in the midst of discovering her literary self. She’s catching up on all the gems she missed as a child such as The Little Prince and The Giving Tree, but has also developed a new appetite for Crime Fiction so who knows what’s next?
    Andrea Gissdal is the Ex Head of Communications and Marketing for the Emirates Literature Foundation, and current resident podcaster. A book pusher and compulsive book clubber, she is a literary omnivore with a preference for fiction. Andrea also dabbles in creative writing, and once scored 82 points in one move in Scrabble. Best day ever.
    Annabelle Corton is the English Programme Manager at the Emirates Literature Foundation. She runs the Festival Book Club and has a background in guesting and presenting on talk radio shows about various literary topics. She likes words like ‘equinox’ and ‘vespa’, and loves a good pun. She’ll read anything in reach, but has a fondness for witty tussles of good vs. evil on page and screen, especially vampire fiction where a great deal is at stake. Get it? Stake? ….She’s not sorry.

    • 34 min
    The Debuts episode with Jo Browning Wroe

    The Debuts episode with Jo Browning Wroe

    On this episode the team talk about some smashing debut novels, before they are joined by the critics' favourite debut writer of 2022, Jo Browning Wroe, author of A Terrible Kindness, who shares some of the background to her debut novel as well as some great writing tips.
    Books and authors:
    Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus
    Set in the 1960s, this is a story of an unconventional female scientist with a quiet game-plan to change the world, and Tamreez loved it.
    How to Kill Your Family, by Bella Mackie
    Andrea is on a mission to make everyone laugh out loud in public by pushing this revenge comedy slash family drama slash slasher.
    Teen Couple Have Fun Outdoors, by Aravind Jayan
    A bittersweet comedy offering candid insight into contemporary Indian society and an online generation, Annabelle predicts this one will be big when it drops in July.
    Jo Browning Wroe grew up in a crematorium in Birmingham. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and is now Creative Writing Supervisor at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge. Her debut novel, A Terrible Kindness, was shortlisted for the Bridport Peggy Chapman-Andrews award. 
    About us:
    Andrea Gissdal is the Ex Head of Communications and Marketing for the Emirates Literature Foundation, and current resident podcaster. A book pusher and compulsive book clubber, she is a literary omnivore with a preference for fiction. Andrea also dabbles in creative writing, and once scored 82 points in one move in Scrabble. Best day ever.
    Annabelle Corton is the English Programme Manager at the Emirates Literature Foundation. She runs the Festival Book Club and has a background in guesting and presenting on talk radio shows about various literary topics. She likes words like ‘equinox’ and ‘vespa’, and loves a good pun. She’ll read anything in reach, but has a fondness for witty tussles of good vs. evil on page and screen, especially vampire fiction where a great deal is at stake. Get it? Stake? ….She’s not sorry.

    • 32 min
    The Modern Love episode with Ty Tashiro

    The Modern Love episode with Ty Tashiro

    In this episode Andrea and Annabelle investigate modern love with psychologist, relationship expert, and author, Ty Tashiro.
    As always, there are two fantastic novels to consider when you explore the evolution of love and relationships.
    Books and authors mentioned:
    Love Marriage, by Monica Ali
    Two families come together and unravel ahead of their children's wedding. Characters with depth deal with their secrets and traumas in this beautiful novel.
    Exciting Times, by Naoise Dolan
    A more modern relationship story would be heard to find, from the poster child of the millennial novel.
    Dr Ty Tashiro is an author, social scientist, and relationship expert with a Ph.D in Psychology. His first book, The Science of Happily Ever After, shows how our decision-making abilities falter when it comes to choosing mates and how insights from social science can help us make smarter decisions.
    In Awkward: The Science of Why We’re Socially Awkward and Why That’s Awesome, he explains why some of the same characteristics that make people feel socially awkward can be the same traits that propel them toward extraordinary achievements.

    About us:
    Andrea Gissdal is the Ex Head of Communications and Marketing for the Emirates Literature Foundation, and current resident podcaster. A book pusher and compulsive book clubber, she is a literary omnivore with a preference for fiction. Andrea also dabbles in creative writing, and once scored 82 points in one move in Scrabble. Best day ever.
    Annabelle Corton is the English Programme Manager at the Emirates Literature Foundation. She runs the Festival Book Club and has a background in guesting and presenting on talk radio shows about various literary topics. She likes words like ‘equinox’ and ‘vespa’, and loves a good pun. She’ll read anything in reach, but has a fondness for witty tussles of good vs. evil on page and screen, especially vampire fiction where a great deal is at stake. Get it? Stake? ….She’s not sorry.

    • 31 min
    News from the Frontline of Literature

    News from the Frontline of Literature

    For many years, people have been talking about the decline of the book, with shorter attention spans and a general thirst for instant gratification. But we have seen reading and books make a major mainstream come-back since the start of the pandemic. 
    So instead of interviewing an author or recommending books, today, we dive into the results of a study we have just published about trends in literature with our partners and friends from Four Communications.
    The Emirates Literature Foundation team are joined by Natalie Amos, Managing Director Lifestyle MENA, and dialling in from London is Truda Spruyt, Managing director Culture at Four Communications, where her clients include the International Booker Prize, and the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction.
    Download the white paper: https://www.elfdubai.org/en/white-paper-read-between-the-lines
    Click here to take the test and find out what kind of reader you are!

    • 23 min
    The Secrets and Lies episode with Sophie Hannah

    The Secrets and Lies episode with Sophie Hannah

    It is a gorgeous sunny morning in Dubai, but readers know there is always darkness lurking beneath the surface. In this episode the Emirates Literature Foundation team talk about sneaky, manipulative, and secretive behaviours.
    Andrea and Annabelle are joined by Maham for a quick book recommendation, before internationally bestselling writer of crime fiction, Sophie Hannah, comes on to talk about her latest book, her characters, and her love of luxury spas.
    Books and authors:
    Sometimes I Lie, by Alice Feeny
    Twisty enough to make your head spin, nothing is what it seems in this domestic noir. read it now before the TV show starring Sarah Michelle Gellar comes out.
    The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy
    A family drama or a textbook of morality? Maham recommends a favourite read where each of the characters have secrets to hide.
    The Couple at the Table, by Sophie Hannah
    Six couples. One luxury resort. And the perfect murder.
    A woman on her honeymoon receives a note warning her about the couple at the table next to hers, but all the tables are the same distance from each other. Who would write this note, and what does it mean?
    Sophie Hannah is the master of outlandish and impossible mysteries, and in this podcast she explains how she plots her novels, and how she found inspiration in the works of Agatha Christie, even before she began writing Poirot novels.

    • 33 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
2 Ratings

2 Ratings

Gagabongo ,

Great recommendations!

Like being in a book club, and I enjoy the wide list of authors and books.

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