Archive | For the love of books

A literary evening with author Mini Nair

I had a wonderful evening last night, at the Emirates Lit Fest’s ‘open door’ event with author Mini Nair. Her book ‘The Fourth Passenger’ is set in Mumbai (where she’s spent lots of time) and is a reference to the crammed conditions on India’s trains. Usually, the train seats are big enough for three, but […] [...more]

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Author Amanda Hocking’s novel experiment comes to an end

By Alice Johnson Published in The National, Jan 13, 2012 The vanity press of the past existed for rich, fame-seeking aristocracy who wrote and wanted to see their name in print. Today, that’s been replaced by the self-publishing phenomenon, facilitated by the technological revolution and the advent of e-books. After the credit crunch hit publishing […] [...more]

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Book Review: Taxi, by Khaled Al Khamissi

By Alice Johnson Dubai One of the only ways to get around in Cairo is by Taxi – any one of the city’s 80,000 beaten-up, smoke-filled cabs that navigate themselves around the capital’s chaotic, pot-holed streets. The hardships of life in Cairo – and indeed Egypt – are encapsulated by the city’s taxi drivers, who […] [...more]

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A lovely evening with crime writer Peter James

Spent a lovely evening last night at the Emirates Literature Festival event with the very witty crime-writer Peter James. The evening was held in the Lit Fest’s new ‘Literary Square’ in Bastakiya, Bur Dubai, and it’s lovely! It’s great to be able to sit outside in the balmy evening warmth now the heat of the […] [...more]

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Good quality Arabic children’s books on the rise

*Published on 15/11/2011 in The National By Alice Johnson The Arab world has a rich, centuries-old historic tradition of aural storytelling. Adults told each other stories around desert campfires and parents invented stories to help their children fall asleep at night. For this reason, children’s books written in Arabic are more of a modern product […] [...more]

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Unbound – the future of publishing?

I’m not sure why I’ve only just heard about Unbound, but it’s going to be the future of publishing. In much the same way as the music industry has taken note, publishers may soon be a thing of the past as the middle-men are cut out of the industry all together. Unbound has been described […] [...more]

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Brilliant cardboard reading chair!

Check out this brilliant reading chair – totally made of cardboard! It’s available from LuSSi Design in Sharjah, UAE, and has been designed by Giorgio Caporaso, along with these wicked bookshelves.   [...more]

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Book review – The American Granddaughter, by Inaam Kachachi

Review by Alice Johnson When Iraqi-American Zeina Behnam hears that the FBI is recruiting translators, she doesn’t hesitate to apply. Having watched the Twin Towers collapse on her TV screen right in front of her eyes in her living room, she feels a mixture of excitement and vulnerability. What could she do to help her […] [...more]

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The best of… #lessexcitingbooknames

Ok, I don’t normally post threads from Twitter – in fact this is the first time! Some of these had me in stitches though, for hours! Here’s the best of #lessexcitingbooknames: @MrVilliers The Reasonably OK Gatsby @IntrovertedKev The Spy Who Came in With a Cold @Pocket_Books The Raisins of Wrath @Bertchester The Lie In, The […] [...more]

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Egypt’s revolution: in Tweets

A highly recommended book I recently reviewed – how the Egyptian revolution unfolded, as told by Cairo-based Twitter users. I think it might even be the first book of its kind published in this format. The story of the Egyptian revolution told through the eyes of Cairo-based tweeters By Alice Johnson There is only so […] [...more]

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Sibling relationships more important than rivalry

How much do you value your relationships with your brothers and sisters? According to author Jeffrey Kluger, siblings are vastly underrated: they provide our earliest lessons on how to conduct friendships and how to resolve conflicts. They serve as both role models and as cautionary tales. And they’re fixtures in our lives longer than our […] [...more]

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Celebrate banned books week by reading one

The lovely people across the water in the USA host a Banned Books Week every year (starting tomorrow 24th September – 1st October) in the fight against literary censorship. To take part, they encourage fellow Americans to read a banned book. But how can you get your hands on a banned book, I hear you […] [...more]

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Are memoirs ‘prostitution’? Wikileaks and that book…

Julian Assange’s ‘unofficial’ biography is set to be released by tomorrow – much to the Wikileaks founder’s disdain. The row has just developed, with Assange posting a statement on his own site: I have learned today through an article in The Independent that my publisher, Canongate, has secretly distributed an unauthorised 70,000 word first draft […] [...more]

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No time for books? Learn to speed read!

If you haven’t heard already, some people in the White House aren’t very happy with a book that’s come out – one Confidence Men by Pulitzer prize winning, Wall Street Journal reporter Ron Suskind. But how did the news break so quickly after its release? The answer’s in the speedread! Average readers can take in […] [...more]

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The Cat’s Table over the radiowaves

Catch me this Saturday 24th on the very wonderful Talking of Books show on Dubai Eye, 103.8. We’ll be discussing The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje – The wait The Than are Heck base when hand also what otc producs contain tamoxifen washing length to flaking online pharmacy no rx required not different could […] [...more]

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