Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Vladimir Putin Book Club…Or Literary Censorship in Russia?


Putin, president of Russia, will follow in the footsteps of fellow mononyms Oprah and Zuckerberg by selecting books for his nation’s reading public. But the owners of Russia’s bookstores are pointing to the government’s new plan as an act of censorship by other means.
…Read More

The Roundup with PW

Ann Rule Dies at Age 83: The true-crime writer, who wrote more than 30 books, including a profile of her former co-worker, serial killer Ted Bundy, has died.

Mailman's Book Plea Answered: When 12-year-old Mathew Flores asked his mail carrier for spare reading material, Ron Lynch took to Facebook in a call that's now gone viral.

Read It Before Seeing It: 'Paper Towns' and 21 other books to read before you see the movie.

From California to France: Two bookstores with Bay Area roots help literary life thrive in Paris.

'Watchman' Sells for £988: In the U.K., a copy of Harper Lee’s book, which contains printing errors, has sold for almost £1,000 on



From the Boston Globe:
"I'm shocked at how well it's doing. The parking lot is always full": Jeff Kinney on his newly opened bookstore. Click here
From the New York Times:
Jimmy Carter and Jacqueline Woodson on race, religion, and rights. Click here
From Deadline:
Elle Fanning to star in a movie adaptation of Jennifer Niven's All the Bright Places. Click here
From the Horn Book:
The People in My Neighborhood: Author/Illustrator Stephen Savage Rambles Around Brooklyn. Click here
From the Guardian:
Does the age of an author matter when writing YA fiction? Click here
From Vulture:
John Green on Lonelygirl15, Rushmore, and 10 Other Things That Influenced His Work. Click here
From BuzzFeed:
19 Books To Read If You Loved Paper Towns. Click here
From Here and Now:
John Green: "I try to take teenagers seriously and credit them with the intelligence and curiosity I've seen in them." Click here
From the Telegraph:
Why YA books aren't afraid to tackle dark subjects. Click here
From WABC:
Utah boy reading junk mail gets thousands of books after mailman’s plea goes viral. Click here
From School Library Journal:
Christopher Franceschelli on the Art, Design, and Nutritional Value of Board Books. Click here
From Time:
John Green Is This Close to Having All His Books Made Into Movies. Click here
From the Guardian:
A collection of photographs from London's Young Adult Literature Conference. Click here
From Hypable:
5 book-to-film changes that improved Paper Towns. Click here

NZSA Lilian Ida Smith Award 2015

Award of $3,000 available to writers over the age of 35yrs

 The Lilian Ida Smith Award is offered by the NZ Society of Authors PEN Inc (NZSA) thanks to a bequest from Lilian Ida Smith, a music teacher of Wanganui who had a keen interest in the arts.

Lilian left part of her legacy to the NZSA to 'assist people aged 35yrs and over to embark upon or further a literary career'.

The $3,000 award is to assist writers of non-fiction, fiction, poetry, comic / graphic novels and drama for adults and children. Applicants need to be aged 35 years and over, working towards completion of a specific project, and members of the NZSA.

Applicants are expected to be either in the early stages of their writing career, or to be someone for whom opportunities to fulfill their potential have been limited.

Past recipients of the Lilian Ida Smith Award have used the award to purchase a laptop and to pay for childcare in order to schedule time for themselves to write in.

Deadline for applications is 30 October 2015

Membership of the NZ Society of Authors PEN Inc (NZSA) is open to all budding and established writers. NZSA advocates for and represents writers and is affiliated with International PEN. It provides a mentorship programme, a manuscript assessment programme, manuscript services, contract advice, grants and other opportunities, information about writing and publishing via a fortnightly e-news and a quarterly magazine and other membership benefits.

For an application form and terms & conditions for the Lilian Ida Smith Award
For more information go to

The Tuesday Poem

The Tuesday Poem this week is "Anna God Remembers" by US poet Eileen Moeller, selected by guest editor, Helen Lowe.

Firefly, Brightly Burning comprises a number of poetic sequences, one of which features the fictional Anna God. It's too easy, in an age of often intensely personal poetry, to overlook that it is also a form of fiction, and that the point of view character central to a poem is frequently not the poet. The creation of poetic characters such as Anna God helps sustain this vital aspect of the poetic tradition.

Anna God Remembers

the time she followed in
her father’s footsteps,
tiptoeing through the night
behind him as he left for the barn.


To read more, click on the title of the poem, following:

Anna God Remembers

You can also check out other great poems from the international Tuesday Poem community, featured in the left hand side bar on the Tuesday Poem Blog.

Obituary Notes: Ann Rule; Tom Moore

True-crime author Ann Rule, who wrote 35 books, "including a profile of her former co-worker, serial killer Ted Bundy," died Sunday, the Associated Press reported. She was 83. In addition to The Stranger Beside Me, Rule's books included Small Sacrifices: A True Story of Passion and Murder and Too Late to Say Goodbye: A True Story of Murder and Betrayal. Her latest book, Practice to Deceive, was about a murder on Whidbey Island in Washington State. Her books have 50 million copies in print in 16 languages.

Noting that the FBI and the Justice Department eventually "started turning to Rule for her expertise on serial murders," the AP wrote that "she aided the Green River Task Force as that group sought another Seattle-area serial killer, passing along tips that her readers shared. She wrote a book about the case, Green River, Running Red."

The Los Angeles Times noted that Rule "was truly the 'Queen of True Crime,' humanizing the victims as she told their tales."

"By deciding to focus her books on the victim, Ann Rule reinvented the true-crime genre, and earned the trust of millions of readers who wanted a new and empathetic perspective on the tragic stories at the heart of her works," Carolyn Reidy, president and CEO of Simon & Schuster, commented. "She will be remembered not only for her many books, but also for her ongoing and tireless work on behalf of victims' rights. We are proud to have been her publisher for many years, and we will miss her."


Artist and Archie cartoonist illustrator Tom Moore, who "brought to life the adventures of the beloved red-haired, freckled-faced Archie Andrews and his friends on and off from 1953 until his retirement in the late 1980s," died June 20, the El Paso Times reported. He was 86.

"He's a legend, in El Paso and, really, around the United States," said All Star Comics & Games owner Brad Wilson. "A lot of people don't realize how much he influenced comic book art.... He was still buying comics and a really nice guy, a fun guy."

Latest from The Bookseller

child reading
The number of children visiting libraries in the UK has fallen to 70%, driven by a decrease in girls’ visitor numbers, according to a Department for Culture, Media and Sport report.
The Taking Part 2014/15 Annual Child Report said 70.3% of children aged 5-15 visited a library in the last 12 months, a similar percentage to 2013/14 but a “significant decrease” (-7%) from 75.3% in 2008/09.
Rosalind Porter
Six years after being made redundant from Granta magazine, in a period of intense upheaval which also saw the departures of editor Alex Clark and Granta Publications m.d. David Graham, Rosalind Porter has returned as deputy editor.  
Porter rejoins the magazine after an 18-month stint as editorial director of fiction at Oneworld.
Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press saw sales rise 5% year-on-year at constant currency rates to £269m in the year ended April 2015, according to its latest annual report. The increase reflected "significant" expansion in its Education division, which was offset by lower increases in Academic.
However profit fell 23% to £6.7m (£8.7m in 2013/14) for the year, with CUP saying a significant factor in the drop was "a sharp decline in government spending in South Africa, affecting all publishers."
Marwyn, the investment group that took over Peppa Pig rights owner Entertainment One in 2007, has launched a cash vehicle to buy media companies, according to news reports.
The Financial Times said the AIM-listed vehicle is led by Rebecca Miskin, former digital strategy director at magazine group Hearst Magazines UK, and Juan Lopez-Valcarcel, former chief digital officer for Pearson.
Carol Drinkwater
Actress and writer Carol Drinkwater has signed a two-novel deal with Michael Joseph.
The Penguin Random House division acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, including Canada, to the novels from Jonathan Lloyd at Curtis Brown.
Drinkwater, who starred in the BBC drama “All Creatures Great and Small”, is  the author of the Olive Farm series of memoirs, published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson and about her life on a farm in Provence. She has also published two recent successful Kindle Singles, The Girl in Room 14 and Hotel Paradise.
Curtis Brown
Curtis Brown and Conville & Walsh received more than 2,000 pitches for books on the first Twitter #PitchCB day.
Held on Friday 24th July, #PitchCB invited unpublished writers to tweet a one-line pitch for their work.
Agents from Curtis Brown and Conville & Walsh looked at the pitches throughout the day, favouriting any they liked. Any users whose tweets were favourited by agents can now submit to that agent via Curtis Brown’s online submissions portal.

Hodder & Stoughton
Hodder & Stoughton has acquired a “powerful account of grief, motherhood, depression and the healing power of horses”.
Assistant editor Maddy Price bought UK and Commonwealth rights to Clover Stroud’s book, provisionally titled To The Horses, from Kirsty McLachlan at David Godwin Associates.
Shappi Khorsandi
Ebury has bought comedian Shappi Khorsandi’s debut novel.
Gillian Green, Ebury Fiction publishing director, bought world all language rights to Nina is Not OK from Off The Kerb Productions.
Harper Audio
HarperAudio has signed a deal with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to add 150 of its audio titles to the RNIB Talking Books Service over the next 12 months.
The first batch to be converted will include Wilbur Smith’s Golden Lion, Bernard Cornwell’s Warriors of the Storm and David Walliams’ upcoming new children’s book, which will be available to Talking Books members the same day as they released to the general trade.
Audible has partnered with TV show “Crackanory” for the programme’s third series.
As part of the deal, Audible will receive bespoke sponsorship idents on both linear and VoD broadcasts of the new series, and Audible users will be access audio versions of their favourite stories from the third series of “Crackanory”, which airs on UKTV channel Dave.
Top Gear
Orion has bought a book about "Top Gear" by its script editor Richard Porter.
Deputy group publisher Jon Wood acquired world rights to And On That Bombshell from Luigi Bonomi at LBA Literary Agency.
For 13 years, 22 series and 175 shows, Porter was script editor of "Top Gear", from the pilot episode in 2002 until the very last show presented by Jeremy Clarkson with Richard Hammond and James May in 2015.
Ruby Tuesday Books
Book packager Ruby Tuesday Books will from this autumn publish its own non-fiction titles for the UK market.

David Walliams unveils new children's book, Grandpa's Great Escape, on Twitter

The book, with illustrations by Tony Ross, will be published in September

David Walliams has revealed his new book, Grandpa's Great Escape
David Walliams has revealed his new book, Grandpa's Great Escape Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire/Tony Ross
Funnyman David Walliams has announced the name of his new children's novel as Grandpa's Great Escape.
The latest book from the Britain's Got Talent judge is illustrated by the award-winning artist Tony Ross and described as "a daring adventure full of comedy and heart".
Its front cover, tweeted by Walliams, features a drawing of an elderly man and little boy flying a plane.

The star wrote: "I'm delighted to tell you that my new children's novel is called Grandpas Great Escape!"
Last year, Walliams generated upwards of £7 million for sales of his top children's books, making him one of the biggest stars of the literary world.
He shifted more than a half a million copies of Awful Auntie alone, making it the biggest children's book of 2014 in the UK. 

Man Booker prize 2015 longlist: let the 'posh bingo' begin

At midday on Wednesday, the opening list of runners and riders for Britain’s leading books prize is unleashed on the reading world. Who will it be? Who will it be?

And they’re off! And Harper Lee is nowhere! (probably) ... Lingfield park races.
And they’re off! And Harper Lee is nowhere! (probably) ... Lingfield park races. Photograph: Guardian montage/Julian Herbert/AllSport
With less than 24 hours to go before the longlist is announced, we’re starting to wonder who’ll make up this year’s Man Booker dozen – even though offering predictions is, in this game of “posh bingo”, as Julian Barnes put it, a bit like filling in your card before the numbers have been called.

In the second year that American authors have been eligible, one obvious contender is Hanya Yanagihara’s epic tearjerker about love, friendship and the effects of childhood abuse: A Little Life is hot off presses in the UK and currently consuming readers on both sides of the Atlantic. Other US novels to look out for include Marilynne Robinson’s Lila, the third in her Gilead series, published to ecstatic reviews last November; a strong debut from Atticus Lish exploring poverty and hard graft in an unforgiving post-crash US, Preparation for the Next Life; plus highly praised novels of New York intellectual life (Ben Lerner’s 10:04), politics and race in Clinton’s Houston (Attica Locke’s Pleasantville) and gothic goings-on in rural Virginia (Sara Taylor’s The Shore).

Romance Writers Of America 2015 Award Winners

Book2BookMonday 27 July 2015

Romance Writers of America (RWA), the trade association for aspiring and published romance fiction authors, announces the winners for the 2015 RITA® and Golden Heart® Awards

Guardian Not The Booker Prize Longlist Announced

Book2Book Wuesday 28 July 2015 

Let's get straight to business. Our longlist of Not the Booker novels is so long this year that we don't have much space to waste.
These are the nominations for this year's Not the Booker prize, which is, as ever, a Guardian mug:


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Roundup with PW

New Neruda: A cache of newly rediscovered poems by Nobel-winner Pablo Neruda will be translated and published.

Amazon Groceries: Amazon may be planning brick-and-mortar grocery stores.

Murakami's Moment: Haruki Murakami recalls the moment he knew he would be a novelist.

The Horror, the Horror: A roundup of must-read horror books.

'Wimpy' Bookstore: A look at Jeff Kinney's dream bookstore.

Poem of the week: from I Sing the Body Electric by Walt Whitman

This best known and most enthralling of Whitman’s poems is a praise-song to physicality that raises questions about the soul

Electric dreams … Walt Whitman
Electric dreams … Walt Whitman. Photograph: Hulton Archive

Read the poem

Latest from The Bookseller

HarperCollins UK has concluded what its chief executive Charlie Redmayne described as “tough negotiations” with Amazon over new terms. The publisher is the latest of the original agency publishers to negotiate new arrangements after its revised agency contract came up for renewal.
Redmayne would not be drawn on the nature of the deal, or if it was a return to full agency. He said: “I am confident that we secured the best deal that we could possibly have got: we negotiated hard and long to make sure that was the case. It’s the best deal we could have done.”
George Osborne
The proposed rise in the Minimum Wage announced by chancellor George Osborne in his recent budget will “hit indies hardest”, booksellers have said.
Osborne said the Minimum Wage for people aged 25 and over would rise to £7.20 per hour in April 2016 (it is currently £6.50 per hour for those aged 21 or over) in what he described as the “new living wage”. That figure will rise to “over £9” per hour by 2020.
Pearson has confirmed that it is in talks to sell The Economist Group.
The company said it is “in discussions” with the board of The Economist Group and with trustees regarding sale of its 50% share.
“There is no certainty that this process will lead to a transaction,” said a statement from Pearson. The company said it would make further announcements “if and when appropriate”.
Boris Johnson is to write a biography of William Shakespeare for Hodder & Stoughton for October 2016.
The publisher has confirmed the deal, which was reported in the Sunday Times to have been done for £500,000. The newspaper reported that Johnson’s advance was almost seven times his salary as an MP, which is £74,000.
Last year Johnson authored a biography of Winston Churchill, The Churchill Factor, for Hodder. It has sold 187,568 copies through Nielsen BookScan, for a value of just over £2.6m so far.
Jane Furze
Jane Furze is to step down as literature festival director for the Cheltenham Literature Festival after four years in the post.
A statement from the board of Cheltenham Festivals said it was announcing the news “sadly”.
Furze said she was leaving to “allow myself some time out”. She will step down from the post on 30th September, just ahead of this year's festival, which takes place from 2nd to 11th October.
The statement from the board said that she had made a “significant contribution” to the development of the festival.
Nosy Crow
Children’s publisher Nosy Crow will from September host a number of evening events dedicated to illustration.

The first Nosy Crow Illustrator Salon will feature Steven Lenton, illustrator of the Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam picture books, written by Tracy Corderoy, on the 14th September. Nosy Crow m.d. Kate Wilson will interview Lenton before opening the questions up to the audience.

Maximum Pop!
Maximum Pop!, a pop music site for 14-21 year olds, has launched a dedicated channel for YA books.
The company has hired a full-time books editor, former YA blogger Laura Fulton, to run the books area of the site and already has more than 4,000 followers of its twitter account @maximumpopbooks.
Publisher Olly Meakings said he decided to launch a books channel after trialling book content in 2014.
Aardvark Bureau
Aardvark Bureau has acquired a “chilling” new novel by Charles Lambert.
Publisher-at-large Scott Pack bought UK and British Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, to The Children’s Home and one other novel, Prodigal, from Isobel Dixon of Blake Friedmann.
Pack published Lambert’s memoir With a Zero at its Heart at HarperCollins’ The Friday Project.
Bloody Scotland
Hachette has three titles on the Bloody Scotland Crime Book of the Year shortlist, while Pan Macmillan has two.

From Pan Mac comes Lin Anderson’s Paths of the Dead, in which forensic expert Dr Rhona MacLeod investigating a murder in spiritualist and Druidic circles, and Ann Cleeves’ Thin Air, which follows a group of old university friends reuniting in Shetland for a wedding when one of them disappears.

Linwood Barclay
Orion has acquired three new books by Linwood Barclay.
Deputy publishing director Bill Massey bought UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, to the thrillers from Helen Heller at The Helen Heller Agency.
The first book from the new deal will be published in September 2017.
Before that, Orion will publish three novels set in Promise Falls, a small New England town that has featured in previous titles by Barclay, over 18 months, beginning with Broken Promise in hardcover in September 2015.
Life in Squares
A television drama based on the lives of the Bloomsbury set, including author Virginia Woolf, starts tonight (Monday 27th July) on BBC2 at 9pm.

"Life in Squares", a three-part drama, explores the relationships between Woolf and her husband Leonard Woolf, and their artistic and intellectual friends, including the painters Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, authors E M Forster and David "Bunny" Garnett, art critics Roger Fry and Clive Bell, the biographer Lytton Strachey and the economist John Maynard Keynes.

No Exit Press
No Exit Press has released the longlist for its short story writing competition.