8 books to read before the Emirates Literature Festival

Welcome to our pick of literary essentials ahead of Dubai’s highly anticipated 2020 Lit Fest.

Words by Ipshita Sharma

The visiting author list for the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature has been confirmed, and tickets for the event, which takes place between the 4th and 9th of February next year, are available now. Leaving us plenty of time to get lost between the lines of these written worlds.

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Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

A book that zags when it should zig and zigs whenever it pleases, this book is everything you could possibly want in a manor mystery. A genre made famous by Agatha Christie; Turton adds on to the intrigue by adding in fantasy elements that are rarely short of WHOA.


Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

You may be one of seven people in the world that hasn’t read this bestseller but even if you have, go brush up on why this book inspired millions around the world. IF you haven’t read it, go read it now! Part-inspirational self-help manual, part memoir, part tearjerker, this book tells the true the author’s visits to his former sociology professor Morrie Schwartz, who is slowly succumbing to ALS.



The Day the Crayons Quit by Oliver Jeffers

The modern-day Eric Carle, illustrator Jeffers has revolutionised the look of children’s books. This addictive book about the demands of a box of crayons is both intelligent and adorable.


American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Deftly moving between pain and joy, this book explores the framework of a marriage through the themes of racism, grief and love. The language is beautifully woven and deserves a special mention.



No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay

The book that started it all for Barclay, read it and embark on a fantastic suspenseful trip. Well-crafted and gripping, all the books by this Canadian novelist are well worth a weekend afternoon.


Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know by Ranulph Fiennes

One of the world’s foremost explorers Fiennes has been at the Litfest before but his events are always jam-packed. And why not? Don’t you want to hear the charismatically recounted experiences of a man that conquered Everest at 65.


Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi

The winner of the Man Booker International Prize for 2019, this book by an Omani author highlights the various hues of a rural life slowly coming into the modern world. Read it in the original Arabic for a special connection with this gorgeous piece of literature.


Karen Osman


The Good Mother by Karen Osman

Local author and blogger, Osman runs the successful Karen’s bookshelf channel where she talks about books she’s read and loves. She won the festival’s First Fiction Prize and has penned some fantastic novels since, with this book being her very first.


Special mention for Killing Eve – check out this marvelous show that combines action, suspense and utter chills with perfect acting, direction and casting. The creator Luke Jennings is coming to host the annual murder mystery dinner that always gets sold out. Go get them tickets!


Emirates Airline Festival of Literature will run from the 4th to the 9th of February at the Intercontinental Festival City. Tickets and schedules are available on www.emirateslitfest.com

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