Sunday, August 02, 2015

I Am Malala - cover reveal

I Am MalalaMalala Yousafzai was 10 years old when the Taliban took control of her region. They said music was a crime, women weren’t allowed to go to the market and girls couldn’t go to school.
Malala fought for her right to be educated and, on 9 October 2012, she was shot at point blank range on her way home from school. No one expected her to survive.
Now she is an international symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest ever winner of the Nobel peace prize.

On the road: mapping the great road trips of American literature

Richard Kreitner and Steven Melendez have created a comprehensive, interactive map that plots every location visited by a dozen authors during their famous expeditions across the US

Altas Obscura's map of American literature
More than 1,500 locations are charted by the interactive map. Photograph: Altas Obscura
Cheryl Strayed killed time at a small casino adjoining a Reno bus station at 4am, pack still strapped to her back; Jack Kerouac went down the mountain between Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Benson, Arizona, “with the clutch in and the motor off to save gas”; Bill Bryson drove through a landscape of gumdrop hills in Virginia, with a sky “full of those big fluffy clouds you always see in nautical paintings”, and came across towns with names including Snowflake, Horse Pasture and Charity.

Cheryl Strayed Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild was adapted in to a film starring Reese Witherspoon. Photograph: DDP USA/Rex Shutterstock
These are just a handful of the more than 1,500 locations charted in a comprehensive and interactive map of American literature’s most iconic journeys, created by self-declared “freak for the American road trip” Richard Kreitner, in collaboration with developer Steven Melendez, and hosted online by Atlas Obscura.

“We’re at a time where so many Americans will go to see south-east Asia before Kentucky or Arkansas. That’s a real shame,” says Kreitner. He has charted every location mentioned in 12 books after travelling around the country himself and “obsessively reading” many of the classics. He then spent the last year reading and rereading on the subway, manually compiling each of the entries


Saturday, August 01, 2015


Pushkin Press Launches New Crime Imprint
Pushkin Vertigo will publish crime classics from around the world, with the first titles going on sale in September 2015 in both the U.S. and the U.K. »

Happy Birthday, J.K. Rowling: Seventeen Harry Potter stars wish the author a happy birthday.

Remembering James Salter, and His Commas: Mary Norris in the 'New Yorker.'

Amazon Prime Gains on Improved Retention: The service now has 44 million U.S. members, spending on average about $1,200 per year, compared to about $700 per year for non-members.

Blume to the Rescue: After a Brooklyn man accidentally gave away his wife's signed copy of 
Judy Blume's 'Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret,' the author vowed to send the husband another signed copy of her book for his heartbroken wife.

How to Write a Novel in the Dark: Writing fiction while sharing a tiny New York apartment with a husband and child, Siobhan Adcock discovered that the enforced intimacy was good for all, even the novel.

Edward Gorey: cover star of book design

Detail from Edward Gorey illustration for <em>The Awkward Age</em> by Henry James.
Detail from Edward Gorey illustration for The Awkward Age by Henry James.
Deliciously and subversively cryptic, Edward St John Gorey’s books, plays, postcards, toys, stage sets and costumes – indeed an entire lifetime of utterly sublime, mockingly apprehensive artistry and authorship – are celebrated and critically acclaimed by everyone from cultural pundits to goth cultists. The rare front-page New York Times obituary, on 17 April 2000, is testament to Gorey’s eclectic narrative range. “In creating a large body of small work, he made an indelible imprint on noir fiction and on the psyche of his admirers,” Mel Gussow wrote.

Harry Potter At 35: How He Would Be Celebrating Life In His Thirties

Book2BookFriday 31 July 2015

Born on July 31, 1980, Harry would be celebrating his 35th birthday today. JK Rowling is yet to give away any more details about their adult lives. But, as an overly imaginative Potter fan, who thought I shared Harry's academic year (I read the first book at 10, and this trend continued until the release of the seventh, when I was 17), I like to imagine what it might look like.


Latest News from The Bookseller

Sales at Hachette UK were down 3.5% in the first six months of 2015 compared to the year before, because of a “slate of new releases that was not as strong as the first half of 2014”, according to results announced by Hachette's parent company Lagardere.
E-books represented 33% of sales in adult trade in the UK, falling from 36% in the first half of 2014. In the UK the digital market is “stabilising and has been impacted” by the increase in VAT brought in on 1st January this year, Lagardere said.
Zoe Sugg revealed the title and cover of her next novel in a video on her “More Zoella” vlog channel yesterday (30th July), and praised her Penguin editor Amy Alward for helping her to write.
Did You Ever Have a Family
Jonathan Cape is to bring forward the release date of Bill Clegg’s Man Booker-longlisted Did You Ever Have a Family.
The book was originally due to be released on 17th September, but it was this week included on the Man Booker Prize longlist for 2015, prompting Jonathan Cape to move bring the release forward to 25th August.
Two books on suffragettes are on the shortlist for this year’s 'Slightly Foxed' Best First Biography Prize.
Sophia, Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary by Anita Anand (Bloomsbury), about Indian suffragette Sophia Duleep Singh, joins Lady Constance Lytton – Aristocrat, Suffragette, Martyr by Lyndsey Jenkins (Biteback), about a lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria who disguised herself and took on a false name to fight for rights for women.
Andrew Nurnberg
Andrew Nurnberg Associates will open a new office in Warsaw, to be run by Marcin Biegaj, currently senior agent and sales director at the Graal Literary Agency.

The opening follows a decision by Andrew Nurnberg Associates and Warsaw's BookLab Literary Agency to part company.  BookLab – run by Aleksandra Lapinska - will continue to operate as a separate agency and will be responsible for extant contracts drawn before 1st July until their natural expiry.

Sophia Blackwell is to join The Bookseller as head of marketing.
Blackwell is currently marketing manager at global professional publisher Kogan Page and has previously worked in marketing and publicity management roles at Bloomsbury, Palgrave Macmillan and Taylor & Francis.
Blackwell is a publicity and marketing mentor for the Society of Young Publishers and has been a trainer on online marketing for the Publishing Training Centre.

Sphere has launched an online game to accompany the release of Virginia Macgregor’s novel What Milo Saw in paperback.
Described as “essentially a guessing game”, the game, of the same name, will see players having to focus on the detail of an image as if seen through a moving pinhole to find out how observant they are.
melville house uk
Independent publisher Melville House has formed a UK retail partnership with British music company Rough Trade.

The collaboration will see Rough Trade stores in London and Nottingham featuring dedicated Melville House displays. These will include both new and backlist titles, with prominent displays of Melville House’s Art of the Novella, Neversink and Last Interview series, as well as exclusive Melville House merchandise. Other promotions and events are also in the pipeline.

Michael Joseph has signed up 16-year-old food blogger Alessandra Peters to write a cookbook.
Cookery publisher Lindsey Evans bought world rights in The Foodie Teen direct from Peters.
Peters is a blogger, photographer and health enthusiast who has been cooking her way through an autoimmune disease and numerous food intolerances.
The Crime Writers' Association has launched Dagger Reads, an online literary initiative that showcases and promotes the shortlisted titles for the 2015 Dagger Awards.

Dagger Reads focuses on the books in contention for the CWA Goldsboro Gold, the CWA Ian Fleming Steel and the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Daggers. It is designed to provide readers, shops and libraries with a comprehensive guide to each book and its author.

Profile Books
Profile Books is joining forces with Shakespeare’s Globe to celebrate the 400-year anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 2016.

In March next year, Profile will publish a revised edition of Andrew Dickson’s The Rough Guide to Shakespeare (Rough Guides), titled The Globe Guide to Shakespeare: The plays, the poems, the life, with Shakespeare’s Globe. The book includes accounts, critical commentaries and reviews of noted productions and will be published as a £19.99 Crown Quarto paperback. World rights were acquired from Sarah Chalfant at Wylie.

All the Bright Places
US author Jennifer Niven is writing the screenplay for her YA novel All the Bright Places, which is published in the UK by Penguin Random House.

The book, published last January, is about a girl who learns to live by becoming friends with a boy who intends to die. It is longlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize 2015.

Friday, July 31, 2015

How The Man Booker Fiction Prize Became Stacked In Favour Of The Big Publishers

Book2Book Wednesday 29 July 2015

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction has announced its longlist for the 2015 award. Now in its 46th year, the award is among the most prestigious in the literary world. It is also incredibly generous to the big publishing houses. Five of the six books shortlisted last year came from Penguin Random House, following a longlist where nine out of the 13 books came from the big publishers. 
This year it is eight out of 13. But whether or not you think this sounds too much, the real problem lies in submission rules that risk locking in this dominance and making it progressively worse in years to come.

The Conversation

Man Booker prize 2015: the longlist - in pictures

This year’s Man Booker longlist sees five American authors named, along with nominees from Ireland, Nigeria, New Zealand and India as well as the UK.

The shortlist will be announced on 15 September, with a winner named on 13 October

More at The Guardian


Anna Smaill (New Zealand): The Chimes (Sceptre)

A daring and unusual dystopia based around music and memory, and a fiction debut from the New Zealand violinist and poet. In a quasi-medieval London, a totalitarian regime inflicts daily amnesia on a brainwashed populace through discordant music. And then one teenager fights back…

Catherine Taylor’s Guardian review - lexical ingenuity that rewards patience



We have hugely exciting news! New Zealand poet and novelist Anna Smaill, who is heading to Christchurch for WORD Christchurch's Shifting Points of View programme in the Christchurch Arts Festival, has just been long-listed for the Man Booker prize for her superb novel The Chimes. The novel is set in a dystopian future where music has replaced the written word, and people's memories are wiped every evening. It is written using exquisite language and tense plotting, and is a favourite in our office.

Anna joins luminaries such as Marilynne Robinson, Anne Tyler and Anne Enright to compete for a place on the shortlist, and for the final prize of
£50,000. Anna is only the fifth New Zealander to secure a place on the list, after Keri Hulme, Patricia Grace, Lloyd Jones and of course Eleanor Catton. We wish her very warm congratulations and look forward to welcoming her to the Imaginary Cities panel on 30 August.

Anna Smaill was born in Auckland in 1979. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from the IIML, and a PhD in contemporary American poetry from University College London. She is the author of a book of poetry, The Violinist in Spring, and her poems have been published in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. She has lived and worked in both Tokyo and London, and now lives in Wellington, with her husband, novelist Carl Shuker, and their daughter. The Chimes, her first novel, was published in 2015 to great international acclaim.

The Independent called Anna “2015’s most impressive new novelist”.

You can hear Anna interviewed by
Kim Hill
, and read an interview in
The Independent

And congratulations too from The Auckland Writers Festival:


Our warmest congratulations to NZ's Anna Smaill who has been selected for the Man Booker Prize longlist for her debut novel The Chimes which constructs a world ruled by a large musical instrument, and navigated via a musical language. Anna appeared at this year's Festival in a session with Bernard Beckett titled Memory Loss as well as our Life Beyond reading session. You can listen to Anna in Memory Loss online or via itunes.

Congratulations also to 2008 Festival guest and 2007 Man Booker Prize winner Anne Enright who has also been longlisted for her novel The Green Road.

View the full
2015 Man Booker Prize longlist.

Ann Rule's true crime books: what made them so compelling?

She may not have been the best writer, or the sharpest assessor of psychology. But she had a gift for tapping into our collective obsession with crime

Ann Rule: went back to the dark well again and again.
Ann Rule: went back to the dark well again and again. Photograph: Betty Udeson/AP
Usually, when a writer as widely read as Ann Rule dies, the internet gets papered over with heartfelt tributes. That didn’t happen for her – there are obituaries everywhere, but few eulogies – and I’ve been ruminating on why. My own adolescent bookshelf held battered paperback copies of some of her books – I must have read The Stranger Beside Me and Small Sacrifices at least 10 times each – and I was hardly alone: she was the kind of writer whose sales counted in the tens of millions.

In other words: she was doing something that inspired devotion. It just wasn’t the kind that people have been willing to cop to, now or ever. Even I wouldn’t call myself a “fan”, exactly.

Rule never claimed literary status. She never seemed to mind, either, that she wasn’t accorded it. She told one interviewer that as far as she was concerned, “financial success is critical acceptance”, and she certainly did make money.

a “Gritty,” Dystopian ‘Little Women’ Series


The CW Is Developing a “Gritty,” Dystopian ‘Little Women’ Series

We all know the feeling. You’re watching/reading Divergent, The Hunger Games, The Giver, the Whatever, and you realize you just need to skip ahead to see if Jo will contract Beth’s Scarlet Fever or whether Amy and Laurie will make it as a couple.

…Read More

The Roundup with PW

'Watchman' Sells 220K in Week Two, Stays Put at #1
According to data from Nielsen Bookscan, which accounts for approximately 80% of print sales, 'Go Set a Watchman' sold more than three times the number of copies than the #2 book on the chart, E.L. James's 'Grey,' in it second week on sale. more »

Lonely Planet Rolling Out New Cookbook Series
This fall, Lonely Planet is stepping into new culinary territory with the launch of From the Source, a cookbook series that explores dishes and traveling by locale. The first titles in the series, 'From the Source: Italy' and 'From the Source: Thailand,' go on sale September 1. more » »

Record Day for 'What Pet Should I Get?' at BAM
Following record-breaking sales for Harper Lee’s 'Go Set a Watchman' on July 14, Theodore Geisel’s 'What Pet Should I Get?' has repeated that feat at the nation’s number two chain retailer two weeks later, on July 28. more » »

NYC to Sign $30M Contract with Amazon: The Department of Education is about to approve a $30 million contract with Amazon to create an e-book marketplace for New York City's 1,800 public schools.

CW Orders 'Little Women' Adaptation: The network is taking on a literary classic in one of its first script buys of the 2015/2016 development season.

A Triumph of the New and Diverse: A bracingly varied Man Booker prize longlist suggests that complaints about the whiteness of the literary world are finally being listened to, and addressed, writes the 'Guardian.'

Amazon Dash Buttons Now On Sale: The gadget, which costs $4.99, allows customers to reorder products with the push of a button.

Austen Prose Used by Hackers: Hackers have started to use passages of Jane Austen’s 1811 debut novel 'Sense and Sensibility' to trick firewalls.

A Literary Map of Paris’ Left Bank

By Dianna Dilworth 


The San Francisco Chronicle has created a literary map of Paris online called The Literary Left Bank.
The interactive map plots book stores and the historic homes and cafes frequented by authors onto a Google Map. Check it out:
There is no doubt that the Latin Quarter, the student district centered around the venerable University of Paris (founded in the 12th century), has lost much of its bohemian allure as real estate prices have risen. But as the accompanying interactive map of the Left Bank shows, there is still a thriving literary culture in the city’s 5th and 6th arrondissements. San Francisco Book Co. and Berkeley Books of Paris fit nicely into that tradition, keeping alive the rich history of Americans and other foreigners contributing to the literary life of Paris.

Why our Man Booker longlist spans the globe

From Marilynne Robinson’s Lila to Chigozie Obioma’s The Fishermen, and from Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life to Tom McCarthy’s Satin Island, the chair of the Booker judges, Michael Wood, explains how focusing on quality brought diversity to the longlist

Global quality. Photograph: Image Source/Rex
Been staying at home too much lately? Reading some of the novels on the Man Booker prize longlist will change that. Do you want to retrace the Spanish conquest of the Americas? Travel to a dystopian England where music has largely replaced language? Get close to assassination and murder in Jamaica and Nigeria? Visit the Burren Way Green Road in the west of Ireland? Come back from Afghanistan to spend time with your grandmother?

These stories are so different from each other, but they are linked by their amazing formal precision and the high quality of their writing. The judges are very happy with the diversity of the material – and of the places of origin, ages and experiences of the writers – but we were not looking to commend diversity. We were looking for the best books.