Episode 19

The Perfect Pairing episode

An espresso and an early start, hot cocoa and cold weather – there are some things in life that are just a perfect match. In this episode, we discover that books are no exception, as Andrea, Ahlam and Annabelle from the Emirates Literature Foundation each select two books that are perfect companions. Side-by-side or one after the other, these are the perfect pairings.  

Books and authors mentioned in this episode:


Love in Colour by Bolu Babalola 

In this anthology of love stories inspired by legendary figures from myth and history, you can expect to see Nefertiti running an underground club, a Yoruba goddess in her element, Greek gods working at a London fashion magazine, and much more. Read it with..

My Name is Why by Lemn Sissay 

From an abundance of love to not enough, in this memoir, acclaimed poet and Manchester treasure Lemn Sissay explores his formative years spent in the UK care system and the upheaval caused by his foster family’s rejection.


Friend by Paek Nam-nyong, translated by Immanuel Kim

The first state-sanctioned novel from North Korea translated into English tells the story of a couple’s marriage unravelling, the judge who becomes involved in assessing their grounds for divorce, and a fascinating insight into a culture and society we are rarely granted access to. And speaking of the worlds we rarely see..

The Madman’s Library by Edward Brooke-Hitching

Here's something you definitely haven't seen before. If you could build a fantasy library with all the most weird and wonderful books from history, this book details what it would it would look like according to Edward Brooke-Hitching – from books made of cheese to books written in blood, there is no quirky page left unturned.


I Know You by Annabel Kantaria

When Taylor, an American wife moves to London to be with her husband who is frequently away on business, she turns to social media to escape her loneliness, and finds more sinister company than she bargained for. She should have read.. 

Surrounded by Psychopaths by Thomas Erikson

In this book, we learn how to spot a psychopath and the tricks they use to manipulate us. Surrounded by Psychopaths is the follow-up to bestselling Surrounded by Idiots. Read it and learn to spot the warning signs that will stop you from getting into the sticky situation Taylor found herself in.  



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.