Emirates Literature Foundation Blog (ELF)

LitNews: Percy Jackson Sequel Adaptation, Booker Prize Shortlist, Jane Goodall Interview, & More

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

From unexpected big-budget adaptations, to prestigious prize announcements, and an interview with a living legend. There's a lot to be excited about this week's LitNews round up — and that's without the added presence of Timothy Chalamet's cheekbones

Arm yourself Camp Half Blood! Author Rick Riordan of Percy Jackson fame has some exciting news for fans: His Kane Chronicles, a series which takes inspiration from Egyptian mythology, is being adapted to a series of films on Netflix. This comes hot on the heels of an announcement earlier this year about his Percy Jackson novels also being adapted as a series. He has emphasized his involvement in the project and seems committed to making it a faithful adaptation. 

The Shortlisted titles for the 2020 Booker Prize were announced this week.The shortlist of six novels includes Burnt Sugar by Dubai-based author Avni Doshi, which is an exploration of a difficult and complex mother-daughter relationship. Via the rest of the shortlist you can also expect to explore a post climate-change wilderness, an Italian invasion of Ethiopia in the 1930s, a mining town in 1980s Glasgow, and much more. The winner will be announced on 17 November.  

Over at our Literature Foundation HQ, when we’re not getting excited about all the authors who are beginning to say 'Yes' to attending next year’s LitFest, we like to revisit conversations with authors who’ve attended our events in the past. This week we uploaded a great interview to our YouTube channel – you can hear from ethologist and world authority on Chimpanzees, Dr. Jane Goodall. She’s also accompanied by three very special companions: Octavia, Ratty and Piglet. Watch her speak below! 

Buckle up because there’s a new children’s series in the works and it’s all about bloodthirsty unicorns. Rainbows, sunbeams, and sparkles have left the chat. Annabel Steadman has landed what is believed to be the largest ever book advance for a debut children’s writer with Skandar and the Unicorn Thief, a fantasy series set in a world in which unicorns are dangerous beasts that can only be tamed by the rider who hatches them. 

It’s been a good week for writers with ties to Dubai. The Comedy Women in Print Prize 2020 announced its winners this week. Former Dubai resident Faye Brann won in the Unpublished Comic Novel category with 'Tinker, Tailor, Schoolmum, Spy' and will receive a publishing deal with Harper Fiction. 

If you have a love-hate relationship with the book review platform Goodreads, you’re not alone. After years of complaints, the question still remains: Why has a worthy competitor not yet emerged, and is there one on the horizon? These questions and more are explored in a New Statesman article this week titled, 'Why Goodreads is bad for books.'

And finally, speaking of reviews – the latest in LitHub’s hilarious ‘Bad Amazon Review Series’ highlights one star Amazon reviews of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. One of their favourite review is from Susan, who doesn’t like the the concept of a non-fiction novel at all. She uses capital letters to really get her point across. “The novel is ultimately a LIE. NOTHING in this book can be trusted as having been true since so much of it is a figment of the author’s imagination. The book is a NOVEL, understand, and that means it is full of lies by definition.”

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, featured down below!