Talking of Books is a weekly review show which showcases some of Dubai’s most intrepid readers. From new releases to chats with local and international authors, this is a must-listen for any bibliophile.
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, to discuss and review a broad selection of fiction and non-fiction books, from business to travel; holistic to historical. Also, every week Isobel and Annabelle select a Book Champion to come in and introduce Dubai to a book they think is particularly significant and should be more widely read.
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.
FANCY BEING A BOOK CHAMPION? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
COMING UP ON TALKING OF BOOKS THIS WEEK…
Book Champion – This Truck Has Got To Be Special by Anjum Rana
“This truck has got to be special!” says truck artist Zarrar to Chinar Gul, a truck driver from Pakistan. Gul, who drives along the mountain roads of the Karakoram and the Hindu Kush, has finally acquired his own vehicle and wants it painted beautifully.
As Zarrar gets to work, Gul waits in the yard, thinking about his many journeys, the splendour of the hills and the intricacies of truck art – until everything is at last ready and it’s time to be off, on the road again!
A richly imagined collaboration between a Pakistani writer, truck artists and an Indian illustrator, this book celebrates the energy and joy of Pakistani truck art as well as the artists whose skill and labour breathe life into it. All along, the bold graphic vigour of truck art tells its own story.
About Anjum Rana
Anjum Rana is a Pakistan-based interior designer who works with truck artists on furniture, walls, household objects as well as objects d’art.
Through the initiative Tribal Truck Art, she has helped develop opportunities and contexts for truck artists to practice their craft in sustainable ways. She is committed to bringing this art into mainstream cultural life and give it the recognition that it so richly deserves.
Rana is a recipient of the UNESCO Seal of Excellence in Handicrafts Award in 2008.
Young Reviewers – Rebel Of The Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumour has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic. For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female. Amani Al’Hiza is all three. She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead.
Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she’s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she’d gallop away on a mythical horse – or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew.
About Alwyn Hamilton
Alwyn Hamilton was born in Toronto and spent her childhood bouncing between Europe and Canada until her parents settled in France. She grew up in a small town there, which might have compelled her to burst randomly into the opening song from Beauty and the Beast were it not for her total tone-deafness.
She instead attempted to read and write her way to new places and developed a weakness for fantasy. She left France for Cambridge University to study history of art at King’s College, and then to London, where she became indentured to an auction house.
She has a bad habit of acquiring more hardcovers than is smart for someone who moves quite so often.
When Palestinian intellectual Walid Masoud disappears, suspicion arises that he may have gone underground as part of a political movement. Masoud leaves behind a lengthy tape recording which is transcribed by each of his comrades in a series of monologues narrating their own experiences.
About Jabra Ibrahim Jabra
Jabra Ibrahim Jabra was a Palestinian author, poet, painter, translator and literary critic.
Jabra also translated some English works into Arabic, including James Frazer’s The Golden Bough and some of the works of T. S. Eliot.
He produced over 70 books consisting of novels and translated material, and his own work was translated into more than 12 languages.
Book of the Week – If I Could Tell You Just One Thing by Richard Reed
President Bill Clinton, Clare Balding, Stephen Fry, Dame Judi Dench, James Corden, Margaret Atwood, Sir David Attenborough, Annie Lennox, Andy Murray, Joanna Lumley, Anthony Bourdain, Marina Abramovic, Sir Richard Branson, Sandi Toksvig, Jude Law, Nicola Sturgeon, Harry Belafonte, Olivia Colman, Simon Cowell, Martha Lane-Fox, Mario Testino, Esther Perel, Bear Grylls, Diana Athill, Mike Bloomberg, Ruby Wax, Alain de Botton, Jo Malone, Heston Blumenthal, Ruthie Rogers, Nitin Sawhney, Katie Piper, Richard Curtis, Shami Chakrabarti, and Michael McIntyre are just some of the many inspiring people who appear in Richard Reed’s fascinating book.
In each case Richard asked them to share with him some of their hard-earned wisdom and insights into life and how to make the most of it.
If I Could Tell You Just One Thing… is not only packed with great advice but is also an enormously entertaining, brilliantly written and stunningly designed book. Each of the encounters is complemented by a pen and ink portrait by the award-winning British artist, Samuel Kerr. The resulting book is a treasure trove for readers of all ages and interests and a perfect gift book for just about anyone.
About Richard Reed
Richard Reed studied geography at St. John’s College, Cambridge before starting a career in advertising. A few years later he and two friends left their jobs to found Innocent Drinks. Starting from a market stall, today Innocent produces more than a million smoothies a day and sells them in 17 countries across Europe. Reed is the founder of Art Everywhere and co-founder of the Innocent Foundation and JamJar Investments. He also presented the BBC Three series Be Your Own Boss. This is his first book,