Emirates Literature Foundation Blog (ELF)

LitNews: A Sustainability Award, Roald Dahl's Witches, The 100 Best Fantasy Novels & More

Your weekly guide to the weekly happenings in the world of books

This was an exciting week at the Emirates Literature Foundation blog! Among posts celebrating World Dictionary Day and World Mythology Day, and reviews from our younger, but no less passionate readers, here's what happened to catch our eye in the larger book world: 

The Emirates Literature Foundation scooped two awards at the Gulf Sustainability and CSR Awards ceremony. Delighted to welcome the Silver trophy in the Best Sustainability Education or Awareness Programme, and the Bronze in Best Community Development.

Don’t forget to submit your entriesto the Oxford University Press Story Writing Competition before the November 4. The competition is open to full time students 25 and under and the theme is ‘Change the Story.' You can find out more about the criteria and how to submit here

Do you want your children to love books? Listening to podcasts might do the trick according to the latest research from the UK’s Annual Literacy Survey. The Times reflects on the research say-ing that “Children who enjoy listening to programmes on subjects as diverse as science, comedy and cookery are more likely to want to read.” The survey establishes a connection between pod-cast listening and reading for pleasure and we’ve provided a link to explore the key findings of the research in more detail in our blog post.

How many of you felt personally victimized by the witches in Roald Dahl’s The Witches? A look at some book reviews written by children revealed that one reader is actually grateful to Dahl as ‘Witches sometimes can be very scary, but now i know how to spot one i could easily spot one in the street.’ More endearing book reviews available here. After the 1990s film adaptation terrified many, the latest adaptation starring Anne Hathaway is released today to scare a brand new generation. 

There’s a new episode of the Boundless Book Club available to listen to. After our Booker special with shortlisted author Avni Doshi, we thought we’d celebrate the spooky season with psychological thriller writer Jessica Jarlvi and talk about some of our weirdest fears and the books that give us a fright. What was the last book that properly scared you? Let us know in the comments! You can listen to the latest episode of The Boundless Book Club wherever you get your podcasts.

Time.com released their list of 100 of the best fantasy books of all time this week. They said “In a year defined by grim reality, we look to artists to help us understand—and escape. TIME cele-brates the best, most captivating and essential fantasy books of all time, dating back to the 9th century.” A panel of fantasy writers put this together with the Time magazine staff: Tomi Adeyemi, Cassandra Clare, Diana Gabaldon, Neil Gaiman, Marlon James, N.K. Jemisin, George R.R. Martin and Sabaa Tahir. Check out the list here.

Fans of fantasy fiction have even more to be excited about this week as Philip Pullman has re-leased a short story titled Serpentine perfect for readers who are up to date with the story of Lyra Belacqua thus far. More details in this reviewFun fact: Olivia Coleman reads the audiobook version.

Another book hot of the press this week is the latest biography of Malcolm X. This review in the Los Angeles Times ‘Malcolm X’s full story will never be told. These biographies explain why’ is an interesting look at both the latest book, and other depictions of the legend over the years. 

Where Do Reading Lists Come From? (And Why Do We Love Them?) asks this fascinating LitHub read which explores the history of a format we’re all so familiar with.

You can explore four books that show the power of a letter in What’s On this week with a nod to our Montegrappa Letter Writing competition.

For more news on what the Emirates Literature Foundation is up to, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. And to keep up with the rest of our book-filled discussion, you can listen to the latest episode of our Boundless Book Club podcast below!