Talking of Books

Saturdays, 10AM-1PM

A bibliophile’s dream…

Every week co-hosts Isobel Abulhoul and Annabelle Corton are joined by an ever-changing cast of guest reviewers drawn from the UAE’s reading community. Each show features different literary anecdotes to improve your dinner party conversation, a star ‘Castaway’ guest recommending the three books they’d take to a desert island, the book-related questions you’ve always wanted to know the answers to in The Big Question, and not to mention in-depth reviews of books that haven’t even hit the shelves yet.

Talking of Books features regular interviews with today’s greatest writers, with previous interviewees including bestselling novelists Chris Cleave, superstar children’s authors Jacqueline Wilson, Andy Stanton and David Almond, internationally-renowned philosopher AC Grayling and rugby legend Brian Moore. And if you’re lucky enough you’ll catch Literary Soundtrack at the end of the show, highlighting a song inspired by literature every single week.





The Young Reviewer Slot – The Iron Gauntlet by Eoin Colfer

Tony Stark is known throughout the world as many things: billionaire, inventor, Avenger. But mainly for being the Invincible Iron Man.

Just when Tony is about to add his pizzazz to an international eco-summit in Ireland, someone close to him forces him to question his role in making the world a more dangerous place with his high-tech weaponry. But Stark doesn’t have much time to reflect before an old enemy presents him with an even greater challenge: the assassination of all the eco-ministers, and Iron Man himself.

About Eoin Colfer

Eoin Colfer is the author of the internationally bestselling Artemis Fowl series, as well as The Wish List, The Supernaturalist, Airman, WARP and the Legends series for younger readers.

Eoin’s books have won numerous awards including The British Children’s Book of the Year. The BBC made a hit series based on his book Half Moon Investigations, and Kenneth Branagh is slated to direct the movie version of Artemis Fowl for Disney.


Castaway Guest: Anthony Horowitz

“Show Holmes a drop of water and he would deduce the existence of the Atlantic. Show it to me and I would look for a tap. That was the difference between us.”

― Anthony Horowitz, The House of Silk

2018 Emirates Airline Festival of Literature Anthony Horowitz is one of the most prolific and successful writers working in the UK, juggling writing over 40 books, creating and writing beloved TV series, films, plays and journalism.

This Saturday, we gleefully strand him on a desert island much in the manner of the Bond and Alex Rider villains he writes so well…except we’ve left him with three books to keep him company, so we’re not that bad.


Literary Spotlight – India with Riz Khan

“India has always had a strange way with her conquerors. In defeat, she beckons them in, then slowly seduces, assimilates and transforms them.”

― William Dalrymple

Tune in to Literary Spotlight at 11:20am for our special feature on three very different authors writing about India and appearing at the 2018 Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. Joining us for this discussion is Riz Khan, international journalist, author, and public speaker known worldwide for his flagship TV shows on CNN International and Al Jazeera English – of which he was a Founding Director. Not only did Riz launch the first, global, live interactive talk show, Q&A with Riz Khan but through the span of his career, he has conducted more than 10,000 interviews…No pressure.

The Literary Spotlight Lineup:

Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India by Shashi Tharoor

Inglorious Empire tells the real story of the British in India – from the arrival of the East India Company to the end of the Raj – revealing how Britain’s rise was built upon its plunder of India.

Koh-i-noor: The History of the World’s Most Infamous Diamond by Anita Anand and William Dalrymple

The first comprehensive and authoritative history of the Koh-i-Noor, arguably the most celebrated and mythologised jewel in the world.

And Maddhur Jaffrey

“People ask me where to go out for a curry. How would I know? I never go out for one.”

– Maddhur Jaffrey

What would a conversation about India and its legacy be without mentioning food? Our guest Riz Khan has interviewed the Curry Queen herself, and looks forward to doing so again at a special dinner event at the #DubaiLitFest this year.

Now regarded by many as the world authority on Indian food, Madhur Jaffrey is an award-winning actress and bestselling cookery author. Her first book, An Invitation to Indian Cookery, was published in 1973 and her series for BBC television Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cookery made her a household name. She has appeared in more than 20 films, including Merchant Ivory’s Heat and Dust, and written over 15 cookery books, including Madhur Jaffrey’s Ultimate Curry Bible (2003), published by Ebury Press.


The Bookshelf – What You Should Be Reading

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” ― Gautama Buddha

This week we’re browsing the titles appearing at the 2018 Emirates Airline Festival of Literature for some answers to the question we all seem to have at the beginning of every new year:

How can I be happier?

In a sea of self-help books and get-happy-quick guides, is there a book out there for the realists searching for inner peace? We’re going to look at three rather different books, one by the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, one by an engineer and Chief Business Officer at Google’s [X], and one by the fifth grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.

The Bookshelf Lineup:

About The Little Book of Lykke

Lykke (Luu-kah) (n): Happiness

Nobody knows more about happiness – what the Danes call lykke – than Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and author of the bestselling sensation The Little Book of Hygge. But he believes that, whilst we can certainly learn a lot from the Danes about finding fulfilment, the keys to happiness are actually buried all around the globe.

In this captivating book, he takes us on a treasure hunt to unlock the doors to inner fulfilment. From how we spend our precious time, to how we relate to our neighbours and cook dinner, he gathers evidence, stories and tips from the very happiest corners of the planet. This is the ultimate guide to how we can all find a little more lykke in our lives.

About Solve for Happy

Mo Gawdat is a remarkable thinker and the Chief Business Officer at Google’s [X], an elite team of engineers that comprise Google’s futuristic “dream factory.” Applying his superior skills of logic and problem solving to the issue of happiness, he proposes an algorithm based on an understanding of how the brain takes in and processes joy and sadness. Then he solves for happy.

Thirteen years later, Mo’s algorithm would be put to the ultimate test. After the sudden death of his son, Ali, Mo and his family turned to his equation—and it saved them from despair. In dealing with the horrible loss, Mo found his mission: he would pull off the type of “moonshot” goal that he and his colleagues were always aiming for—he would share his equation with the world and help as many people as possible become happier.

About The Gift of Anger

Discover ten vital and extraordinary life lessons from one of the most important and influential philosophers and peace activists of the twentieth century—Mahatma Gandhi—in this poignant and timely exploration of the true path from anger to peace, as recounted by Gandhi’s grandson, Arun Gandhi. In the current troubled climate, in our country and in the world, these lessons are needed more than ever before.

The ten vital life lessons strike a universal chord about self-discovery, identity, dealing with anger, depression, loneliness, friendship, and family—perfect for anyone searching for a way to effecting healing change in a fractured world.




on air