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.
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COMING UP ON TALKING OF BOOKS THIS WEEK…
Young Reviewer – The Trials of Apollo – The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan
The god Apollo, cast down to earth and trapped in the form of a gawky teenage boy as punishment, must set off on the second of his harrowing (and hilarious) trials.
He and his companions seek the ancient oracles – restoring them is the only way for Apollo to reclaim his place on Mount Olympus – but this is easier said than done.
Somewhere in the American Midwest is a haunted cave that may hold answers for Apollo in his quest to become a god again . . . if it doesn’t kill him or drive him insane first. Standing in Apollo’s way is the second member of the evil Triumvirate – a Roman emperor whose love of bloodshed and spectacle makes even Nero look tame.
To survive the encounter, Apollo will need the help of a now-mortal goddess, a bronze dragon, and some familiar demigod faces from Camp Half-Blood. With them by his side, can Apollo face down the greatest challenge of his four thousand years of existence?
About Rick Riordan
Rick Riordan is an award-winning mystery writer. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, Rick’s first novel featuring the heroic young demigod, was the overall winner of the Red House Children’s Book Award in 2006 and is now a blockbuster film franchise, starring Logan Lerman. Rick lives in Boston with his wife and two sons.
How to Survive Anything: A Visual Guide to Laughing in the Face of Adversity
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
Arab World Topic of the Week
Afra Atiq – A Day in the Life of an Emirati Spoken Word Artist
Afra Atiq is the first Emirati female spoken word artist and slam poet.
She has been featured on local and international stages in 13 cities across four countries including at organizations such as the Salama Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, Arab Gulf States Institution, NYUAD and Sheraa.
Atiq enjoys giving back to the community through workshops and mentorships.
She holds a master’s degree in international relations and diplomacy (specializing in Middle Eastern politics, gender policies, and power dynamics) and is currently pursuing her PhD at UAE University; however, performing takes center stage in her life.
The Big Question – Writing Clinic – How do I edit my manuscript?
Your manuscript is sitting in front of you, but perhaps it’s still not… quite right. How do you bring out the best in your work and make that important upgrade from good to great? The answer to this question and more from our publishing industry guest Flora Rees. Email us any questions in advance and tune in at 11:30am this Saturday for a chance to hear them answered.
About Flora Rees
Flora Rees is a former book editor for Headline Publishing Group, specialising in structural editing. She has edited international bestseller Victoria Hislop since her debut novel, The Island. She is currently Head of Education, Training and Publishing, at the Emirates Literature Foundation.
Book of the Week – Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor
When a massive object crashes into the ocean off the coast of Lagos, Nigeria’s most populous and legendary city, three people wandering along Bar Beach (Adaora, the marine biologist- Anthony, the rapper famous throughout Africa- Agu, the troubled soldier) find themselves running a race against time to save the country they love and the world itself… from itself.
Told from multiple points of view and crisscrossing narratives, combining everything from superhero comics to Nigerian mythology to tie together a story about a city consuming itself.
‘There was no time to flee. No time to turn. No time to shriek. And there was no pain. It was like being thrown into the stars.’
About Nnedi Okorafor
Nnedi Okorafor is a Nigerian American author of African-based science fiction, fantasy and magical realism for both children and adults.
Her works include Who Fears Death (soon to be adapted as a major fantasy TV series by HBO and George RR Martin), the Binti novella series, the Book of Phoenix, the Akata series and Lagoon.
She is the winner of Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards and her debut novel Zahrah the Windseeker won the prestigious Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature.
She is a professor at the University at Buffalo, New York.
She lives with her daughter Anyaugo and family in Illinois.