Archive for the ‘Hot Book News’ Category

Up and coming authors.

Posted: February 15, 2010 in Hot Book News


Top new novelists for 2010

We all have our favourite authors, but how do you spot a rising star, that new voice in literature that will really make an impression? Lucinda Everett makes it a little easier as we go into 2010, and has picked out some names that won’t be familiar… yet. Here are the debut novels that, we hope, will give all of us something to talk about in the months to come .

Read more…


From the You Must Be Kidding Me file:

Lost Man Booker Prize longlist to award best omitted novel of 1970

Any of 22 authors, including Iris Murdoch and Joe Orton, could be awarded the coveted Lost Man Booker prize for novels that missed out due to rule changes in 1971

by Sam Jones, from The

” The few seconds between the reading of the shortlist and the tearing open of the prizewinner’s envelope can last a nerve-mangling eternity for even the most garlanded writer. Imagine, then, what it must be like to wait 40 years to discover whether your manuscript has won one of the most prestigious awards in literature.

That is the predicament in which 22 authors – some living, many not – find themselves today as the longlist for the Lost Man Booker prize is announced. ”

Once you’ve finished rolling your eyes, read the rest…

That must be one HUGE envelope if it’s taken 40 years to open. Perhaps they should enlist the services of another stationer. I  hope they also have a good psychic on hand just in case a deceased author wins. Terribly inconvenient if they don’t.

Get out of my sandbox! No, YOU get out of MY sandbox!

Read more in the seemingly endless struggle between Amazon and big publishers (in this case MacMillan) from The New York Times:

” After a weekend of brinksmanship, on Sunday surrendered to a publisher and agreed to raise prices on some electronic books.

Amazon shocked the publishing world late last week by removing direct access to the Kindle editions as well as printed books from Macmillan, one of the country’s six largest publishers, which had said it planned to begin setting higher consumer prices for e-books. Until now, Amazon has set e-book prices itself, with $9.99 as the default for new releases and best sellers.

But in a statement Sunday afternoon, Amazon said it would accept Macmillan’s decision. ”

Read full article…

First edition of Ulysses sells for record £275,000

Well-preserved copy of James Joyce’s 1922 classic had been unread, except for the racy bits

james joyce

A first edition copy of the book Ulysees by James Joyce, on sale at Antiquarian Book Fair, Olympia, London. Photograph: Martin Argles/Guardian

If you’re going to read any of Ulysses then it might as well be the racy bits at the end. And so it was with a fabulously rare first edition of the James Joyce novel which today sold for £275,000, the highest price recorded for a 20th-century first edition.

The astonishingly well-preserved and previously lost edition of the book, bought surreptitiously in a Manhattan bookshop despite it being banned in the US, was sold to a private buyer in London on the opening day of one of the world’s biggest antiquarian book fairs.

Ulysses, hailed by some as a modernist masterpiece, follows the events of one day and is one of those novels that people often never quite get round to finishing, or in many cases starting.

Joyce’s vast novel was met with bafflement and anger when it was first published in 1922 with one reviewer complaining that it “appears to have been written by a perverted lunatic who has made a speciality of the literature of the latrine”.

The more salacious bits are in the last episode, where Molly Bloom’s long stream-of-consciousness soliloquy ends in her orgasmic “yes I said yes I will Yes”.

This first edition is unopened – apart from that last episode. The copy is number 45 of the first 100 and is printed on fine Dutch handmade paper.

The dealer who made the sale, Pom Harrington, said the book was one of only four copies of that first edition print run, all signed by Joyce, which had been unaccounted for. “In terms of collectability, Ulysses is considered to be the number one 20th-century book. This is such a find and it is in such fabulous, pristine condition.”

Throughout the 1920s the book was banned in the UK and the US and any import or sale involved a degree of subterfuge.

This copy was sold at the subversive Manhattan bookshop Sunwise Turn, an eclectic shop where patrons could also pick up Peruvian fabrics or the mystic teachings of Gurdjieff. It was bought by a Mrs Hewitt Morgan and then passed down the family, stored in its original box, unopened and away from the light.

“The colour is amazing – this lovely Aegean Sea, Greek flag blue which would normally have darkened into a more dirty blue but because it has been in a box it is a complete thing of beauty,” said Harrington.

The Antiquarian Book Fair at Olympia, west London, which runs until Saturday, is one of the year’s highlights for collectors of first editions, manuscripts, letters and so on. Among the other highlights is a book that shows the value of rooting around skips.

For £12,500, a copy of Morgante Maggiore by the Renaissance poet Pulci, rescued from a skip outside a house in France, can be bought. It has been written on, but then the pencilled annotations are by its original owner, Lord Byron, so the sellers are optimistic of a sale.

Mindful of it being a big year for Charles Darwin, one US dealer is bringing over a first edition, first issue of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection which will set someone back around £70,000.

From BBCnews:

‘Staggering’ Library Book Thefts (Wales)

” Chris Franks found more than 100,000 books had been stolen or not returned, with losses for Wales’ biggest council, Cardiff, running at £1,000 a week.

He said he is “staggered” and wants action, including a books amnesty.

Cardiff Council said it hopes a new system will combat thefts but there was “no evidence” amnesties worked. ”

Read more …

From BBCnews:

Rushdie wins Joyce Award

” Accepting the James Joyce Award at University College Dublin, Sir Salman said he said he had learnt “a daring of language” from Joyce. ”

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From The Independent:

Libraries Should be About Books

” Perhaps the peculiarly hybrid name of his department – Culture, Media and Sport – has clouded his judgement. But the Secretary of State, Andy Burnham, will today add his voice to calls by chief librarians for a revolution to modernise public libraries and “bring them into the 21st century”. In Mr Burnham’s words, this means banishing the image of libraries as “solemn and sombre places patrolled by fearsome and formidable staff” and making them “come alive for generations to come”. ”

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Nobel Literature Head: US too Insular to Compete

” STOCKHOLM, Sweden — Bad news for American writers hoping for a Nobel Prize next week: the top member of the award jury believes the United States is too insular and ignorant to compete with Europe when it comes to great writing. ”

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From The Independent:

Top novelist feels pressured to “dumb down”

” Margaret Drabble, one of Britain’s leading novelists and biographers, believes her publishers are pushing her to “dumb down” her work to appeal to a larger readership. ”

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One of the co-authors of 100 Places to See Before You Die dies from a fall at age 47.

From The Daily Mail online UK:

” The man who co-wrote the best-selling adventure travel guide 100 Things To Do Before You Die has died at the age of 47.

Dave Freeman had visited half the places mentioned in his book whose recommendations included a voodoo pilgrimage to Haiti and running with bulls in Pamplona, Spain.

He died after falling over at his home in Venice, California, and hitting his head. ”

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The Kindle, and Ebooks in General, are Only Selling More Like Lukewarmcakes Than Hotcakes: Lisa Breathes a Sigh of Relief.

From The Register:

” The humble paper-based book isn’t burnt just yet. Amazon is keeping schtum as to how many e-books it has sold, but evidence is mounting that predictions of iPod-grade sales and billion-dollar revenues were a smidge optimistic.

Earlier this month CitiGroup predicted that Amazon would shift 380,000 electronic books during 2008, and would see annual revenue of over a billion by 2010. But it’s worth taking a moment to see where those figures came from as Amazon won’t release any official figures. ”

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Salman Rushdie May Soon Have Company on the List of Authors Threatened by a Fatwah: Censorship is Alive and Well.


” A Danish publisher is in negotiations to buy Sherry Jones’s novel about the child bride of Muhammad, which was dropped by Random House in America and pulled from bookshops in Serbia.

The Jewel of Medina tells the story of Aisha, one of Muhammad’s wives, from the age of six to 18 when Muhammad dies. It was bought by Random House US for a reported advance of $100,000, but then dropped after the publisher was told by academics and security experts that publication was potentially more risky than Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses and the Danish publication of cartoons of Muhammad.

Last week, Serbian publisher BeoBook withdrew 1,000 copies of the book from shops across Serbia, following protests from an Islamic pressure group. BeoBook also apologised for publishing the novel. ”

Read more …

Speaking of Salman Rushdie.


” For many high-profile public figures, a visit to the libel courts has become something akin to a trip to the casino: victory triggers a large windfall and a substantially enhanced reputation.

Yesterday, Sir Salman Rushdie achieved the latter, but notably turned his back on the chance of a big payday as his legal team forced an apology from a former policeman who had painted a disparaging picture of the author in a sensationalist book. ”

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From The New York Times:

” Now a hallmark feature of these screens — their rigidity — is changing. New technologies are developing that make displays flexible, foldable or even as rollable as papyrus, so that large screens can be unfurled from small containers.

One new mobile device, the Readius, designed mainly for reading books, magazines, newspapers and mail, is the size of a standard cellphone. Flip it open, though, and a screen tucked within the housing opens to a 5-inch diagonal display. The screen looks just like a liquid crystal display, but can bend so flexibly that it can wrap around a finger. ”

Read more …