Tribute for all future authors 19 Jan 2014 17:37:39
The publishing industry has never been so sharply divided. In the week when the erotica writer Sylvia Day signed a staggering eight-figure two-book deal with St Martin's Press, a survey reveals that 54% of traditionally-published authors and almost 80% of go-it-alone writers are making less than $1,000 (£600) a year.
More than 9,000 writers, from aspiring authors to seasoned pros, took part in the 2014 Digital Book World and Writer's Digest Author Survey, presented at this week's Digital Book W... Read Full Story
Rubish can kill us - the book Junkyard Planet written by Adam Minter19 Jan 2014 17:35:09
By 2017, according to the Solving the E-Waste Problem (Step) initiative, a UN-supported project, each person on the planet will discard a third more electronic waste than in 2012, a grand total by then of 64.4m tonnes. Much of it will be shipped from the affluent world to developing countries for cheap reprocessing, a pattern of trade that Step defines as a problem. Adam Minter, a journalist and son of a US scrapyard entrepreneur, would disagree. Minter does not see the global scrap trade as a m... Read Full Story
New novels written by Stella Gibbons will be availiable for readers soon19 Jan 2014 17:33:03
The novelist Stella Gibbons, who delighted a generation of girls with her rural satire Cold Comfort Farm, left behind two unpublished novels – including a ghost story – when she died in 1989, her family revealed this week.
Gibbons was also the author of 24 other novels, three volumes of short stories and four volumes of poetry, and has enjoyed something of a renaissance after many years languishing out of print. Fourteen of her novels were brought back into print by Vintage Classics in 2011, co... Read Full Story
James Frey become a millioner17 Jan 2014 03:27:24
James Frey, best known for his partially-fabricated memoir A Million Little Pieces, has landed a reported $2m (£1.2m) film deal for his latest novel, a Hunger Games/Battle Royale-esque story about duelling teenagers.
According to film website Deadline, Frey's young adult novel Endgame has sold to HarperCollins, with sister company Fox striking a film deal for "around $2m". The story, said Deadline, is set on an Earth-like planet, where there are 12 "bloodlines, or races".
"Each bloodline has a... Read Full Story
Fantasy novels for children in new 2014 year17 Jan 2014 03:25:49
From The Hobbit to the Hunger Games and Harry Potter, the list of books that the UK's children loved the most last year is almost entirely stuffed with fantasy novels.
Early findings from the biggest annual survey of UK children's reading habits were released today, showing a marked preference for dragons, magic and dystopia over novels set in the real world. According to the What Kids Are Reading report, the most-loved books of last year were JK Rowling's tales of a magical schoolboy, Harry Po... Read Full Story
New book from the author Hilary Mantel17 Jan 2014 03:24:06
Thomas Cromwell will play no part in Hilary Mantel's next book, to the inevitable disappointment of readers avidly awaiting The Mirror and the Light, the promised finale of her majestic trilogy of historical novels.
Instead 4th Estate has announced The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher, a collection of contemporary short stories to be published next autumn, simultaneously in the UK and by HarperCollins Canada and Henry Holt in the US.
Nicholas Pearson, publishing director of 4th Estate, promi... Read Full Story
The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud16 Jan 2014 01:51:11
Actually, I was a little put off by this opening, on the old-fashioned grounds that I would prefer to be shown, rather than told of, this woman's anger. It also seemed to clash with what I had come to know of Messud's writing, which in her previous novels has tended towards the precise; the kind of style that routinely gets called "Jamesian". In comparison, this seemed somewhat immature.
But after the explosive opening the book settles down, and we learn that our narrator is called Nora Marie E... Read Full Story
The Dig by Cynan Jones16 Jan 2014 01:48:26
The Dig turns the reader into a helpless animal; transfixed, waiting for that blow to the skull. The first, unexpected emotional whump is actually the worst, but the story that unfolds from this shock is like a badger bait: you can root for the underdog but the game is rigged – there can only ever be one outcome.
The illicit "sport" of digging badgers and baiting them with dogs is not much covered in literature, apart from a brilliant poem by John Clare in the 1830s and a brutal 20th-century ac... Read Full Story
Tove Jansson Life, Art, Words by Boel Westin16 Jan 2014 01:47:10
"What I liked best," wrote Tove Jansson, the creator of the Moomins, "was being beastly to Hitler and Stalin." Jansson's lovable, chubby, hippo-like Moomins are now a brand rivalling Winnie the Pooh and Hobbit heroes in terms of world-wide money-spinning. But unlike Pooh and the Hobbits, the Moomins started life as anti-fascist political beings who had the courage to yelp when Hitler was annexing bits of Europe. In 1938, the year of the Munich conference, 24-year-old Jansson was working as a car... Read Full Story
Different people with different stories in one place15 Jan 2014 02:58:59
In 1967 Austin Davies purchased a house for his ex-wife and family at 42 Albert Street, in Camden Town, initially occupying the basement flat before making the house over to Bainbridge when he emigrated to New Zealand. Albert Street remained Bainbridge's home for the rest of her life, increasingly a showcase for her idiosyncratic taste, while offering irresistible copy for interviewers and journalists. To gain entry visitors had to squeeze past a stuffed water buffalo which blo... Read Full Story
Sonic Wonderland: A Scientific Odyssey of Sound by Trevor Cox 15 Jan 2014 02:56:41
Pity the wife and children of Trevor Cox. Here's a man who in the middle of a French holiday wanders off to start whistling at a staircase and recording its response, who comes back from a day trip to London needing to shower off a patina of human waste picked up during a subterranean walk among the fatty stalactites of a storm drain; someone whose idea of a good night out is driving around Manchester in his pyjamas, sunroof wide open so he can capture the howl of the winter wind, or whose perfe... Read Full Story
What read next - new book The Virtues of the Table written by Julian Baggini 15 Jan 2014 02:54:27
"Coarse rice for food, water to drink, and the bended arm for a pillow – happiness may be enjoyed even in these," says Confucius. "You should eat to live, not live to eat," pronounces Socrates. This is how we like our philosophers: ascetic, skinny, far above the terrestrial joys of the table, drinking a cup of wine only for the hemlock at the bottom.
And generally – except for Kant, who may have died from a surfeit of cheese sandwiches – the philosophy faculty seems to have stayed away from the ... Read Full Story