Episode 20

The I'm kind of a Big Deal episode

No stranger to being pride of place in bookstores, there are some authors that move us as much as they move sales. Andrea, Ahlam and Annabelle from the Emirates Literature Foundation each review a book by an author who is considered 'kind of a big deal' and decide if and why they're worth the hype.

Books and authors mentioned in this episode:

10 Minutes and 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak  

A longtime Elif Shafak fan, Ahlam talks about Elif's connection to the Arab World and why she's so beloved in the region. After underlining almost all of her copy of the Forty Rules of Love, she reviews Shafak's latest novel that was nominated for the Booker Prize inspired by the findings that the human brain remains active 10 minutes and 38 seconds after death.

Adrift by Amin Maalouf

In Adrift: How Our World Lost its Way, the latest book published in English by one of the most popular writers in the Arab World, Maalouf traces some of the biggest global crises back to a handful of key moments in history.  

I am Malala by Christina Lamb and Malala Yousafzai

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai's autobiographical book subtitled The Girl Who Stood Up for Education co-written with journalist Christina Lamb, is the remarkable story of a teenage girl trying to discuss Twilight with her friends whilst navigating the impact of terrorism on her hometown.

All of the authors mentioned in this episode will be attending the upcoming 2021 Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.This episode was sponsored by Costa Coffee.

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 Head of Communications and Marketing for the Emirates Literature Foundation. From a voracious and indiscriminate reader as a child, to a part time bookseller as a student, as an adult she has become a literary omnivore but with a preference for fiction. She also dabbles in creative writing, and has a penchant for Scrabble.

Annabelle Corton is part of the team that puts together the programme of events for the EmiratesLitFest each year. 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. 

About the Podcast

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The Boundless Book Club
Tune in for fiction and non-fiction recommendations, and great conversations about books and authors from the Emirates Literature Foundation team and special guests.

About your host

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Emirates Literature Foundation

The Emirates Literature Foundation is a non-profit NGO established to change lives for the better by spreading the love of literature. Our flagship event is the annual Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the largest celebration of the written and spoken word in the Middle East.