Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tim Wilson: made in Manhattan

By Stephen Jewell, New Zealand Herald, Friday Oct 29, 2010

TV One's New York correspondent Tim Wilson might have spent much of the last decade reporting some of the world's biggest stories but somehow he's found time to write his first novel, too. Stephen Jewell spoke to him in New York.
Tim Wilson considers live TV a tightrope act, which when done right, is thrilling. From Hurricane Katrina to the Virginia Tech shootings, TVNZ's American correspondent has witnessed the aftermath of many of the momentous events in American history of the last decade.

All of which has fed into his debut novel, Their Faces Were Shining. Indeed, such cataclysms have marked the 45-year-old's time in New York City - he first relocated there nine years ago, a fortnight after the devastating events of September 11.

"During the first weeks I was here, I was able to walk down by Ground Zero and, even before you got there, you could smell burnt electrical stuff several blocks up," he recalls when we meet at a Lower East Side cafe.
"The book is set in America and during the time I've been here America seems to have been exposed to those kinds of apocalyptic notions, which are times when the established order is falling apart. I've got to watch that over the past few years and it's helped me to write about it from a sort of low level instead of what you usually get, which is the apocalypse from the Nick Cage hero's point of view."

Formerly a staff writer at Auckland's Metro magazine, Wilson had long harboured a desire to shift to the US, which he attributes to suffering a mid-life crisis at the age of 36.

Full piece at NZH.

Australian Food Media Awards 2010

29 Oct 10

1. Simon Johnson Award for Best Food Related Book

Highly Commended: Christine Manfield for "Fire", published by Penguin Books (Australia)

Winner: Stephanie Alexander for "Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden
Companion", published by Penguin Books (Australia)

2. AAFP Award for Best Recipe Book Over $40

Highly Commended: Paul Allam & David McGuinness for "Bourke Street Bakery", published by Murdoch Books

Winner: David Herbert for "The Really Useful Cookbook", published by Penguin Books (Australia) Award for Best Recipe Book Under $40

Highly Commended: Donna Hay for "No Time to Cook", published by HarperCollins Australia

Winner: Valli Little for "delicious. Faking It", published by HarperCollins

Porkstar Award for Best Cookery Book by a Chef or Restaurant

Highly Commended: Neil Perry for "Balance and Harmony", published by
Murdoch Books

Winner: Luke Nguyen for "The Songs of Sapa", published by Murdoch Books

Sydney Markets Award for Best Health or Specific Diet Book

Highly Commended: Jude Blereau for "Wholefood for Children", published by Murdoch Books
 Trudy Williams for "this = thatchildsize, published by Trudy Williams Nutrition and Dietetics Pty Ltd

Winner: Joanna McMillan Price for "Inner Health Outer Beauty", published by Random House

For a full list of all awards incl uding for magazine and newspaper writing link here.


Three more crossed my desk last week:

My Story
Susan Boyle
Bantam Press - $39.99

My Life So Far
Richie Benaud
Hodder & Stoughton - $39.99

Judi Dench
Weidenfeld & Nicolson - $55


My Story
Susan Boyle

One year ago, a modest middle-aged woman from a village in Scotland was catapulted to global fame when the YouTube video of her audition for Britain’s Got Talent touched the hearts of millions all over the world.

and Susan Boyle became an international superstar.

This astonishing transformation has not always been easy for Susan, faced with all the trappings of celebrity, but in the whirlwind of attention and expectation, she has always found calm and clarity in music. Susan was born to sing.
Now, for the first time, she tells the story of her life and the challenges she has struggled to overcome with faith, fortitude and an unfailing sense of humour.


My Life So Far
Richie Benaud

Few people understand cricket as well as Richie Benaud. A high-class attacking batsman and a masterful leg-break bowler, he captained Australia in 28 of the 63 Tests in which he played. After retiring as a player in 1964, Richie quickly became a successful TV commentator. No one else has found such favour with the vast numbers of cricket lovers in both Britain and Australia.
In Over But Not Out, Richie revisits his career and reveals his thoughts on some of the most controversial issues in the game. Looking back on England s victories in the 2005 and 2009 Ashes series, Richie debates the future of Test cricket and, conversely, the recent growth in Twenty20 cricket, the effect it has had on technique, and the rise of India as a major power in world cricket. Richie has known every major figure in cricket for fifty years, as colleague and friend or both, and in his book Richie turns his attention to the role of coaches such as John Buchanan, Duncan Fletcher and Peter Moores, and players such as Shane Warne, Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen. With the expansion of the IPL, increasingly overloaded schedules and referral systems becoming more commonplace, Over But Not Out is the must-read cricket book of 2010.


Judi Dench

From the moment Judi Dench appeared as a teenager in the York Mystery Plays it was clear that acting would be her career. Trained at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama, she has played every classic role from Titania to Cleopatra.

But she first became a household name via television, thanks initially to a sit-com, A Fine Romance, in which she played alongside the actor Michael Williams, whom she married in 1971. In the cinema her films have ranged from Ladies in Lavender through to Notes on a Scandal with Cate Blanchett to Shakespeare in Love, in which she played Queen Elizabeth, a role which gained her an Oscar.

This book is, however, much more than a career record. It is the first time Judi has written about her life in her own words and it captures her voice, her impish sense of humour and her charm.

It is full of fascinating never-before told reflections on an extraordinary life. This is a vivid account of more than half a century as one of Britain’s best-loved actresses.

Judi Dench is a foremost actress in the British theatre. She was created a DBE in 1988 and a Companion of Honour in 2005.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


A Century of New Zealand Cricket Poems 1864 -2009
Edited by Mark Pirie
HeadworX - $34.99

'A Tingling Catch' is the first anthology of New Zealand cricket poems to be collected. It is where poetry meets the essence of cricket: bowling, batting, fielding, commentary, cricket watching and listening, accounts of famous matches and players, childhood cricket poems, social members of the game and lots more!
The result is a wonderful insight into the world of cricket from all levels and standpoints of the game that will have the reader tingling for the next catch from some of our best poets. I have so enjoyed reading their poems.

The anthology presents some of New Zealand literature's most well-known names (and some overseas authors), both past and present, featuring highly acclaimed and award winning poets and cricket writers such as Don Neely, Kevin Ireland, Michael O'Leary, Alistair Te Ariki Campbell, Brian Turner, Harry Ricketts, James Brown, Geoff Cochrane, John Clarke (aka Fred Dagg), Whim Wham, Denis Glover, Mark Pirie, Richard Langston, Bill Direen, William Pember Reeves, Elizabeth Smither, Anne French, David Eggleton, David Mitchell, Graham Lindsay, Thomas Bracken, Murray Edmond, Samuel Butler (England), Sir AP Herbert (England), Nick Whittock (Australia) among others.

About the editor:

Wellington-born writer, editor, publisher and critic Mark Pirie initiated, co-edited and produced the literary magazine JAAM (Just Another Art Movement) from 1995-2005, and currently edits the HeadworX New Poetry Series and the poetry journal broadsheet, as well as co-organising the Poetry Archive of New Zealand Aotearoa in Wellington (

Pirie is the author or editor of over 20 books, including the anthology of Generation X New Zealand writing, The NeXt Wave and (with Tim Jones) a prize-winning anthology of New Zealand Science Fiction poetry, Voyagers (winner of the Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Collected Work and one of the “Best 100 Books” of 2009 in the NZ Listener). He is listed in the new critical book 99 Ways into NZ Poetry (Random House, 2010) and is included in New New Zealand Poets in Performance (Auckland University Press, 2008). He has been a cricket watcher and enthusiast since he was a boy and has played social grade cricket for two Wellington clubs, Wellington Collegians Cricket Club and Hutt District Cricket Club.

HeadworX is one of New Zealand's most productive and leading independent poetry publishers. It publishes about 5 titles per year and its list runs to over 50 titles since 1998, many of which have received funding from Creative NZ. (More info on the HeadworX website.)

'A Tingling Catch' will launched at the Basin Reserve's Cricket Museum this coming week.

Herea are three of my favourites:

Anton Vogt

Eluding his opponent, knowledge,
He kicked and bowled his way through college;
And now that he has entered heaven,
He plays for Peter's 1st X1.

Brian Turner

A game about which
you can know very little
and say anything
and be right sooner or later.

Epitaph for an old cricketer
Harry Ricketts

Death;s sharp offcutter
has bowled you though the gate

'What Is the Value of a Book?'

by Casey Coonerty Protti - Bookshop Santa Cruz

It is hard to have a conversation about the state of bookselling these days without discussing the topic of e-books. Whenever those discussions come up at the store, my thoughts go back to the main question at hand:

"What is the value of a book? Are books beloved because of their physical nature or because of their content?
At Bookshop, we don’t view it as an either/or situation. We love books for both reasons. Our first love is sensory--the smell of books, the weight of it in our hands, how it feels to discover a new book you never knew about as you browse through the aisles of a physical bookstore.
This is why there is a place for independent bookstores now and in the future. The second reason we love books is because of the way the content of books can change an opinion, a relationship, or even a life. We know that this is something that will continue to exist even if the book is delivered electronically.... Bookshop Santa Cruz would like to play an increasing role in the e-book market because we want to serve our customers no matter how they 'consume' their book content. In the next few months, we hope to launch our new e-bookstore in partnership with Google Editions, providing millions of titles at competitive prices....

"E or not... either way we will continue to be obsessed about books. If you are obsessed too, come see us. We look forward to getting the perfect book into your hand--or your device."

--Casey Coonerty Protti is the owner of Bookshop Santa Cruz, and her piece above is an excerpt taken from the store's book blog. Do have a look at their blog.

Rohinton Mistry Petition

Pen Center US report:

Our latest petition is for Rohinton Mistry, whose novel Such a Long Journey has currently fallen pray to censorship in India. The book was removed from the English literature syllabus at the University of Mumbai. Vice-Chancellor Rajan Welukar’s decision to remove the novel from the second year reading list of the Bachelor of Arts program, under an emergency provision, without holding a review with members of the Department of Language, Linguistics and Literature, or with members of the Faculty of Arts, raises troubling questions.
It is a further cause for concern that the ban was apparently rushed through to appease members of the Shiv Sena party, following a book-burning protest organized by Aditya Thackeray, the new leader of Yuva Sena, the party’s youth wing.

Published twenty years ago, Such a Long Journey has a distinguished history. It received the 1991 Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction in Canada, the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book, the W.H. Smith / Books in Canada First Novel Award and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. It was first placed on the English Literature syllabus at the University of Mumbai four years ago. Until Mr. Thackeray criticized the novel’s “foul language against many things that we, in Mumbai, hold close to our hearts” most reviewers had emphasized the book’s “loving humour” towards the citizens of Mumbai, and its “sharp affectionate sketches of Indian family life.”

For more information, please see our RAN petition at

‘Must You Go?’ By Antonia Fraser

Reviewed by Dwight Garner in The New York Times
Harold Pinter’s widow, Antonia Fraser, recalls their years together. A Literary Romance, Rich in A-List Names

Review in NYT.

Author photo by Susan Greenhill.

Garcia Marquez finishes new novel

MEXICO CITY — Colombian author and Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez is putting the finishing touches on a new novel and is about to publish his first book in six years, his editor said Thursday.

The book out Friday in Spain and Latin America, "Yo no vengo a decir un discurso," (I Didn't Come to Give a Speech) is a compilation of 22 speeches Garcia has given throughout his life, Random House Mondadori editor Cristobal Pera said at its presentation.

Garcia did not attend the unveiling, but Pera said the author "is as good as can be expected of an 83-year-old man who has come out undefeated in his battle with cancer."

The editor said Garcia, who was last seen in public two weeks ago in Mexico City, was busy completing his latest novel "En agosto nos vemos," whose title in English means "We'll Meet in August" and which awaits a publishing date.

Full story at AFP.

Behold, It Lives! Frankentext! (Or How Textbook Publishing Got So Scary)

Publishing Perpectives

The textbook, the revered embodiment of knowledge for more than 150 years, had turned into Frankentext, The Monster: overstuffed, overpriced, and unloved. In honor of Halloween, Erik Frank, co-founder of Flat World Knowledge, explains why the textbook has turned into a hulking codex and what might be done to thwart the monster.
(Left - Frankenstein - not Eric Frank)

Read the article

What is Your Greatest Fear for the Future of Publishing?

Some people look across the book publishing landscape and see nothing but monsters. For some, it's, for others it's conglomerate publishing or digital distractions. What is your greatest fear for the future of publishing?

Read the article

Pearson goes online for schools

29.10.10 - Caroline Horn - The Bookseller

Educational publisher Pearson has launched a reading programme for schools, Bug Club, available entirely as electronic resources and e-books. Bug Club is also available in physical book form as trials have shown that schools still prefer physical books to the cheaper online alternative.

Lindsay Nadin, acting head of publishing for primary literacy and languages at Pearson, said schools using the reading scheme, which launched in September, were buying the books and using the e-books as an additional resource.
She said: "That may change in a few years but for now we have found that teachers and parents still value books and want to have the book to share with children."

Bug Club is a phonics-based reading scheme for children aged four–11, which includes 145 e-books, teachers' notes and assessment tools. The stories include licensed characters such as Ben 10 and Shaun the Sheep. The cost of the electronic resources and relevant e-books is less than £5 per child for the year.

Up to 40% of schools buying the books have gone on to buy the electronic scheme. Nadin said: "Schools don't need to buy the printed books if they don't wish to; it's the first online reading scheme that is completely available online. But that's not what is happening. We are not saying it's the end of the printed book."

Pearson may also launch book packs for families to support their child's learning. Nadin added: "Many schools are reluctant to let books go home in case they get misplaced or damaged, but with this scheme schools can make the e-books available to parents for home use."

Another 44 books at KS2 level will be published in the spring, and a separate phonics learning scheme, Phonics Bug, is available.

The library should get selling its books

The library should get selling its books

The Library is overcrowded and oversubscribed - wouldn't all this be better in the cloud?

Richard Martyn-Hemphill

Wednesday 27 October 2010, The Journal Issue 39

For the kind of money I paid for last year's 'required reading', I could almost have bailed out the banks. This year I returned to university with a whole new plan: to use the library resources instead. Bad idea, as it turns out. The Edinburgh University Library is a phenomenal literary resource, provided that 28,000 other students are not trying to use it as well. The popular books are invariably either checked out, or restricted to three-hour loans, and the specialist books are often only to be found in subject specific libraries dotted around the city.

So, personally, I decided to bite the bullet and pay up for another year's worth of shelf-fillers. But there's a definite sense that this isn't right. Students have a tough enough time paying rent and living expenses, and if they have to make austerity measures in their budget, it won't be the Glen's vodka that gets struck off the shopping list. If students no longer see the required reading as a valuable investment, their education will inevitably suffer.

Contemplating such a dystopian scenario, I had an epiphany. Why don't the library sell their books? There are four key points to this idea. First - students can use their book money from the average year to buy a university-backed e-reader (preferably at a substantially discounted price due to university and taxpayer subsidies). Second, given the likelihood that hard-copy books are going to steadily become devalued in the coming years, as ebooks continue to dramatically undercut the price of texts, the library should sell off as many of its books as possible while they can still make a tidy sum from them. Third, the University can use the revenue these sales would bring in to invest in boosting its e-journal and ebook reserves; and fourth, that all required reading could then be made available for viewing at the click of a buttom from MyEd. It would be free, you could download it from anywhere in the world, and you could even keep one of the 'reserve' titles for as long as you liked.

The benefits of online storage are manifold: you could cut costs by collaborating with other Scottish academic institutions - indeed, Edinburgh already has this in place for e-journals, why not ebooks as well? It would be green; think of the forests of trees to be saved when all your text is in the cloud. The days of lugging weighty tomes to and from George Square would be over. Students would likely achieve better grades, raising this respected seat of learning's standing still further - to the glee of the administration - and giving helping ensure its students have to labour under less of a debt burden. And best of all, you could even have your own copy of The Journal posted straight to you. Happy days.

Guardian first book award shortlist revealed

Three novels and two non-fiction works vying for £10,000 Guardian first book award

Benedicte Page The Guardian, Friday 29 October 2010
The Guardian first book award shortlist 2010

Books that challenge orthodoxy and readers' expectations dominate the shortlist for this year's Guardian first book award, which includes a novel influenced by the African tradition of sung history, and a study of error that argues we should celebrate our ability to get things wrong.

Three novels and two non-fiction works are vying for the £10,000 prize. The shortlist was chosen by a judging panel that includes the biographer Richard Holmes, the actor Diana Quick and the novelist Adam Foulds, plus Waterstone's reading groups in Oxford, Bath, Leeds, Covent Garden and Edinburgh West, exercising one vote between them.

The Guardian's literary editor, Claire Armitstead, who chairs the judging panel, said: "This brilliant shortlist reflects one of the year's big literary themes – how to tell stories in our new era. Each of these books provides its own very different answer, and it is thrilling that our judges and the Waterstone's reading groups have chosen five such rich and challenging works."

One of the shortlisted novels, Nadifa Mohamed's Black Mamba Boy, has already appeared on the longlist for this year's Orange prize for fiction as well as the shortlist for the John Llewellyn Rhys award. Written in homage to the author's father, and partly based on interviews with him, it tells of a boy's epic journey across Africa in the 1930s, drawing on the African griot or "praise singer" tradition of delivering history.

Another title, Ned Beauman's darkly funny murder mystery Boxer, Beetle, offers the reader an inventive narrative featuring what Armitstead called "bravura post-modern flights of imagination". The story, related by a collector of Nazi memorabilia with a chronic sweat problem, is set partly in contemporary times and partly in the East End of London in the 1930s.

The third novel on the shortlist, Maile Chapman's Your Presence is Requested at Suvanto, challenges convention with its seemingly obscure subject: a group of elderly female patients in a Finnish hospital in the 1920s. The story tells how the arrival of a new patient, a former ballroom-dance instructor with a bad temper, upsets the complex dynamics on the ward.

In Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error, the journalist Kathryn Schulz asks us to rethink our attitude to our own fallibility, arguing that our discomfort with getting things wrong erodes our relationships, whether in the domestic sphere or on an international scale. Drawing on thinkers from Augustine and Darwin to Freud and even Groucho Marx, she argues that we should instead see error as an essential part of human creativity.

The final book on the shortlist is Romantic Moderns: English Writers, Artists and the Imagination from Virginia Woolf to John Piper by Alexandra Harris, which turns on its head the concept that the artists and writers of the 1930s and 1940s were in love with a provincial world of old churches and tea shops.

Instead, says Harris, the period was eclectic, with figures including Florence White, Evelyn Waugh, the Sitwells and Cecil Beaton all demonstrating that nostalgia and the modern could sit side by side.

The winner of the prize will be announced on 1 December.

Full report at The Guardian. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Shortlisted titles for the inaugural CLL Educational Publishing Awards 2010

Winners will be announced at the awards event on Thursday 18 November at 6pm at the Auckland Art Lounge, CNR Wellesley & Lorne St., Auckland. Email Nikki at for tickets.

Finalists for Best Book or Series in Primary Publishing

Figure it Out: Statistics in the Media Levels 3+-4 and Levels 4-4+ by Lisa Darragh and Jasmine Hardy, Learning Media

Nitty Gritty Novels: Series One by various authors, Pearson

Spelling Under Scrutiny: Practice Activities one and two by Joy Allcock, MJA Publishing

Teaching Reading Comprehension Strategies by Sheena Cameron, Pearson

Finalists for Best Book or Series in Secondary Publishing

Alpha Mathematics (second edition) by David Barton, Pearson

Geography on the Edge: Geography for NCEA Level One by Justin Peat and John Lockyer, Cengage Learning

Level 7 and Level 8 Biology Student Workbooks by Tracey Greenwood, Kent Pryor, Richard Allan and Lissa Bainbridge-Smith, Biozone International

The Nature of Science 1 and 2 by Gary Hunt, Pearson

Finalists for Best Book in Higher Education Publishing

Employment Relations in New Zealand (second edition) by Erling Rasmussen, Pearson

Exploring Society: Sociology for New Zealand Students (third edition) by Gregor McLennan, Ruth McManus and Paul Spoonley, Pearson

Principles of Law for New Zealand Business Students (fourth edition) by Jeremy Hubbard, Cordelia Thomas and Sally Varnham, Pearson

Inside Indie Bookstores: McNally Jackson Books in New York City

Poets & Writers
November/December 2010

.In a recent New York magazine article about the renaissance of indie bookstores in the city, Joe Keohane wrote, “New York’s independent bookshops were supposed to be long gone by now. After a decade of slow financial strangulation at the hands of the big-box stores, the web, the Kindle, and, finally, the recession, the fact that there are still Strands and McNally Jacksons standing seems positively miraculous.”
Yet what is interesting about this article is not just the fact that new stores are opening and thriving in the city, but that McNally Jackson Books is likened to an institution like the Strand, which has been in business since 1927.

Although Sarah McNally’s bookstore at 52 Prince Street in Manhattan certainly feels as though it’s always been a part of the New York City literary scene, the truth is that it was founded only six years ago, in December 2004.

Sarah McNally, owner of McNally Jackson Books.

Credit: Jeremiah Chamberlin

Perhaps part of the store’s sense of legacy has to do with the fact that McNally herself comes from a bookselling family. Her parents own several McNally Robinson bookstores in Canada—the flagship store in Winnipeg, and another in Saskatoon. In fact, though always owned and operated by Sarah, the store in New York City originally opened as a McNally Robinson. It became McNally Jackson in August 2008, both to end confusion about the store being independent from those run by her parents and to commemorate the birth of her child with her then husband, Christopher Jackson, executive editor at Spiegel & Grau.

It’s also clear that this store is an integral part of the fabric of this neighborhood. It’s located in a vibrant area of lower Manhattan—though technically in NoLita (North of Little Italy), it’s also on the eastern fringe of SoHo (South of Houston)—that is filled with boutiques, hip coffee shops, and trendy restaurants. On the Thursday morning that I showed up, there were already several people waiting for the place to open. One person sat casually on a bench outside the bookstore’s café, others chatted together on the sidewalk, and a few peered in the front windows at the beautiful display of arranged books.

Full story at Poets & Writers.

Eva Ibbotson, Children’s Book Author, Dies at 85

By Margalit Fox
Published New York Times: October 27, 2010
Eva Ibbotson, an English writer for children whose comic novels of enchantment — which rumble with wizards, ghosts, ghouls and mustached elderly aunts — anticipated the work of J.K. Rowling, died last week at her home in Newcastle upon Tyne. She was 85.

The cause was a heart attack, her son Piers said. She died late on Oct. 19 or early on the 20th, he said.
Ms. Ibbotson, who did not publish her first children’s book until she was 50, was best known for her witty novels on subjects magical, supernatural and genially gruesome.

Those issued in the United States include “The Great Ghost Rescue” (H. Z. Walck, 1975), in which a boy sets out to save endangered specters; “The Secret of Platform 13” (Dutton, 1998), about a railway station with a portal to a hidden kingdom; and “Which Witch?” (Dutton, 1999), in which a wizard goes a-wooing. All were first published in Britain.

In later years she turned to adventure novels for young people, including “Journey to the River Sea” (Dutton, 2001), a widely acclaimed story of an orphaned English girl in the Amazon rain forest, and “The Star of Kazan” (Dutton, 2004), about a foundling in turn-of-the-century Vienna.

Reviewing “The Star of Kazan,” The New York Times Book Review called Ms. Ibbotson’s prose “tender but also refreshingly tart.”
Left - Detail of jacket illustration by Kevin Hawkes for “The Star of Kazan,” by Eva Ibbotson.

Full obituary at NYT.

When I suggested to John McIntyre of The Children's Bookshop in Wellington that Eva Obbotson wasn't that well known in New Zealand he replied:

I agree she misses many radar, but she is well cherished by us, we've even put in a memorial window, and The Star of Kazan and Journey to the River Sea sell in their dozens per month, and have done for the past 6 or 7 years.

She is a beautiful story-teller in the old european style, and when she writes about austria, as she does at times, you can smell the pastries and hear the music of vienna.

Nicely put John.

Saturday Morning with Kim Hill: 30 October 2010

Radio New Zealand National

8:15 Andrew Fraser: cocaine, cops, corruption
8:45 Grant Morris: California cannabis
9:05 Tim Winter: Britain's most influential Muslim
9:45 Kate's Klassic: Candide
10:05 Playing Favourites with Peter Quinn
11:10 David Suzuki: a sustainable future

Producer: Mark Cubey
Wellington engineer: Lianne Smith
Auckland engineer: Ian Gordon

Guest information and links:

8:15 Andrew Fraser
Melbourne criminal lawyer Andrew Fraser was sentenced to seven years imprisonment in 2001 for being knowingly concerned with the importation of a commercial quantity of cocaine. He was released after agreeing to give evidence against serial killer Peter Dupas, and has written two books about his prison experiences and police corruption, Court in the Middle (Hardie Grant, 2007, ISBN: 978-1-74066-999-3) and Lunatic Soup (Hardie Grant, 2008, ISBN: 978-1-74066-893-4), and a new book about whistleblower police officer Malcolm Rosenes, Snouts in the Trough (Hardie Grant, ISBN: 978-1-74066-917-7).

8:45 Grant Morris
New Zealand writer Grant Morris is based in New Orleans, where he was a DJ on the seminal 90s music station, The Zephyr, and currently hosts the webcast, It's New Orleans Live!. Grant was recently in Los Angeles, and will discuss California's Proposition 19, also known as the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, which will be on the 2 November statewide ballot as part of the United States midterm elections.

9:05 Tim Winter
Timothy Winter, also known as Shaikh Abdal-Hakim Murad, is a British Muslim researcher, writer, columnist and teacher. He is regarded as one of the world's leading Islamic scholars.

9:45 Kate's Klassic
Kate Camp will discuss the 1759 French satire, Candide, or Optimism, by the philosopher Francois-Maric Voltaire (Penguin Classics, ISBN: 978-0-14-045510-6).

10:05 Playing Favourites with Peter Quinn
Photojournalist Peter James Quinn has documented the lives and circumstances of New Zealanders for over two decades. His work has been collated in the new book, New Zealanders in Focus: the Documentary Photography of Peter James Quinn (New Zealand Geographic, ISBN: 978-0-473-17050-9).

11:10 David Suzuki

Canadian scientist, educator, broadcaster and activist David Suzuki is one of the world's leading authorities on climate change and sustainability. His new book is The Legacy: An Elder's Vision for a Sustainable Future (Allen & Unwin, ISBN: 978-1-74237-355-3). David Suzuki will visit New Zealand as a guest of the Auckland Writers & Readers Festival in association with the University of Auckland Business School, to give two talks based on The Legacy, on 10 November in Auckland (7.30pm Fisher & Paykel Auditorium) and 11 November in Wellington (6pm, Embassy Theatre).

Saturday Morning repeats:

On Saturday 16 October 2010 during Great Encounters between 6:06pm and 7:00pm on Radio New Zealand National, you can hear edited repeat broadcasts of Kim Hill's interviews from Saturday 23 October with Janet Frame-Cutmore, the niece of writer Janet Frame, and Patrick Evans, author of a novel based on the meeting between Janet Frame and Frank Sargeson.

Preview: Saturday 6 November 2010

Kim Hill's guests will include rugby league player Steve Price, television presenter Kevin Milne, and Fast Company founder Alan Webber.

Jules Older sounds off in his occasional newsletter

Anne and Me, We Disagree

Last Writers Lifeguard was about how author Anne Lamott loves writing but disdains publishing, while I feel I owe the amazing life I lead to getting published.

In response to Anne & Me, We Disagree, Justin Brown wrote this from New Zealand: “Well said Jules. I agree with both of you!”

In Vermont, Mary Kerr concurs. “Right on Jules- I take great joy in thinking that what I write is of value- and does allow a more spiritual, nature related everyday existence. In some ways, however, I agree with Lamott, whose writing I so admire. The drive, the quest to write, and to know you can is equally as important.”

From western Canada, Steve Threndyle realized, “The day that I started writing professionally was the day that I STOPPED keeping a diary. (I only noticed that once I'd been writing for about two or three months). For the first couple of years, I really piled on the work and literally had no time for 'personal' writing. Frankly, I didn't care. I was writing and getting paid for it. I was livin' the dream!”

From New Hampshire, Barbara Rogers replied, Nice, Jules, but there’s another point to publication, I think. Getting published is how we share those ideas. Without it, we are talking to ourselves. Writing is communication, and publication is the means of getting it out there.

And from Vermont, Karen Hesse wrote: “The upper right side of the page???!!! Oh, dear.”
To which I replied, “And that, dear Karen, is why you never got published.”
(If you think my response was mean-spirited, let me suggest you Google “Karen Hesse.”)

Nature Writing

In that last Lifeguard, as part of my defense of publishing, I wrote, “The pay comes from publication. Not from keeping a journal, not from nature poems...”

Right. Not from nature poems. The next day a book arrived filled with nature prose and, yes, nature poems. And the book is terrific. I have one short chapter (though not a poem) near the end, but the writing that really sings comes from Steve Bodio’s ode to meat, Jim Sullivan’s fishing and aging tale, Jefrey Lockwood’s romantic riff on grasshoppers, Charotte Pyle’s remembrance of Tennessee.

The contributors (no money changed hands) are environmental writers. The publisher is the University of Utah Press. The book is Wildbranch. It would make a fine gift for word lovers and nature lovers, alike.

From nature, let’s move on to money and power — and

That Old Devil Clause
When I'm with other writers, I always harp on the importance of negotiating potentially deadly indemnity clauses.

But in late 2010, writers have lost much of our power, and I began to fear that such negotiations might no longer be possible.

Last month I had a chance to find out. One of my favorite editors reluctantly sent me the new contract ordered by her employer. From grabbing up more rights to inserting an indemnity clause that might well bankrupt writers, it was a horror.

Hating to lose the assignment but unwilling to sign the contract, here's what I wrote:
I notice the new agreements read more like Defense Department documents than a simple contract for a ski article. I notice that they want all rights, not one-time. (When I'm selling more, I kinda’ expect to be paid more.)

There's also a problem clause. It reads:

The undersigned agrees to pay to Publisher on demand all costs and expenses (including, but not limited to, reasonable attorneys’ fees and disbursements) incurred by Publisher in protecting or enforcing any of its rights under this Agreement or in seeking to recover damages for any breach of this Agreement.

This hardly seems fair. The company makes the arrangements; the author pays. And takes all the risks.

Let me suggest instead, a clause other publishers use. It’s this:

"The Author shall cooperate with the publication in the event of any legal action that arises from this article. The publication shall cover the Author under its own liability insurance."

Then I waited. And waited. Fifteen days later, I got the new contract. They didn't take my suggested revision, but instead, simply deleted the indemnity clause.
And raised my pay.


AND NOW for something completely different. A Lifeguard who prefers to remain nameless writes…

Have you ever noticed that I disdain punctuation and upper case in my emails? It's been kind of a trademark for me.

But, I'm changing my ways. A friend sent me a message recently on the IMPORTANCE OF CAPITALIZATION. Consider the difference in the following two sentences:

I helped my Uncle Jack off a horse.

i helped my uncle jack off a horse


— jules

Any writer who would like to receive Jule's occasional Writer's Lifeguard should drop a note to Jules and he will add you to his subscriber list while anyone who wishes to comment on the issues he raises above should do so by e-mailing him.

First Glimpse at Bush's Memoir

from The Daily Beast

Jimmy Carter’s White House Diary looks like a page turner by comparison. Matt Drudge appears to have scored an early copy of George W. Bush’s memoir, Decision Points, though if his preview is any indication, the book’s a snooze:
Sections that Drudge highlights include a bone about how Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia almost walked out of Bush’s ranch because he was so angry about Israel, until he saw a turkey and took it as a good omen. Drudge also says Bush reveals he gave an order to shoot down planes on September 11, and thought the plane in Pennsylvania had been shot down. Drudge adds that Bush rarely addresses his critics and steers clear of President Obama entirely.

Read it at Drudge Report


 Loved by children worldwide, Clifford the Big Red Dog and Geronimo Stilton kicked off a global literacy campaign by doing a SkyWalk and jumping off the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

The Read Every Day. Lead A Better Life. campaign started in Auckland in a bid to raise awareness about A Child’s Right to Read, an international call to action to encourage everyone to read every day.

The sight of a big red dog made a golden retriever excited at Auckland’s Ferry Terminal. Clifford and Geronimo then ascended 192 metres up the Sky Tower and, firmly harnessed, walked the 1.2 metre-wide walkway above the city.
When it came to the bungy-jump, at the last minute Clifford got cold paws and decided he didn’t want to do it, so Geronimo Stilton showed he is an adventurous mouse and jumped in his place. Footage can be viewed on YouTube.

Clifford and Geronimo were accompanied by staff from Scholastic that is celebrating its 90th Anniversary with its global literacy campaign.

Scholastic is spreading the word about every child’s right to read and what that means in the 21st century, from access to books and great stories to the ability to analyse, interpret and understand information in the digital age.

YouTube bungy footage:

Huge Sponsorship by Galaxy

Katie Allen -- The Bookseller - 28 October 2010

The publishing industry is looking increasingly chocolatey as Galaxy, the confectioner which cajoles its customers to “indulge yourself with a good read and the smooth taste of Galaxy chocolate”, has stepped in with £300,000 sponsorship for the advertising campaign for Quick Reads. The World Book Day Promotion in March next year will include titles by Benjamin Zephaniah, Cathy Gayle and James Patterson.

The chocolatier, which is also promoting the likes of Ian Rankin and Audrey Niffenegger in its one million book giveaway, is also sponsoring the inaugural National Book Awards, which revealed their shortlist this morning. In the running are titles from Tony Blair, the Duchess of Devonshire, Patrick Ness and Man Booker shortlistees David Mitchell and Rose Tremain. The winners of the prizes will be revealed at the ceremony next week (10th November).

In Writings of Obama, a Philosophy Is Unearthed

By Patricia Cohen
Published New York Times: October 27, 2010

Reading Obama:

Dreams, Hope, and the American Political Tradition
James T. Kloppenberg
Princeton University Press

$24.95 / £16.95
296 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

When the Harvard historian James T. Kloppenberg decided to write about the influences that shaped President Obama’s view of the world, he interviewed the president’s former professors and classmates, combed through his books, essays, and speeches, and even read every article published during the three years Mr. Obama was involved with the Harvard Law Review (“a superb cure for insomnia,” Mr. Kloppenberg said). What he did not do was speak to President Obama.

“He would have had to deny every word,” Mr. Kloppenberg said with a smile. The reason, he explained, is his conclusion that President Obama is a true intellectual — a word that is frequently considered an epithet among populists with a robust suspicion of Ivy League elites.

In New York City last week to give a standing-room-only lecture about his forthcoming intellectual biography, “Reading Obama: Dreams, Hopes, and the American Political Tradition,” Mr. Kloppenberg explained that he sees Mr. Obama as a kind of philosopher president, a rare breed that can be found only a handful of times in American history.

“There’s John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and John Quincy Adams, then Abraham Lincoln and in the 20th century just Woodrow Wilson,” he said.
Full story at NYT.

Sharjah’s Int’l Book Fair Makes a Big Push for UK and US Publishers

Sharjah's International Book Fair, running now through November 6, is emphasizing collaboration with western publishers, particularly from the UK and US, and bestowed several new awards to highlight excellence in English-language publishing. Roger Tagholm reports from the UAE on this important growth market.

Read the article

Twitter book chat: Hand Me Down World by Lloyd Jones

Follow our inaugural Twitter book chat as the Guardian's books team and readers discuss Lloyd Jones's latest novel

Claire Armitstead, Monday 25 October 2010
Author Lloyd Jones. Photograph: Michael Danner for the Observer

After her child is abducted by her mysterious lover, an unnamed African hotel worker quits her job and sets off across Europe to find him. The story of her journey is told in fragments by the people she meets, and gradually she accumulates a history, a personality and a name. Lloyd Jones's follow-up to his Booker-shortlisted Mister Pip is a novel in mosaic. Does it work?

We will be catching up with the New Zealand writer for a podcast interview at point of publication but Hand Me Down World isn't published until mid November, so we decided to use the four weeks before publication to ask readers to form their own opinions as part of a Twitter chat group.
We started by cadging 12 signed copies to give away to our regular Twitter followers and inviting those followers to tweet us their impressions.

All the discussion will happen on Twitter (follow #HMDWchat to see everyone's messages), but we will be displaying some of the tweets on this page. If you would like to join in you can find us on Twitter @GuardianBooks and can also follow me (@CArmitstead) and Guardian fiction editor Justine Jordan (@justine_jordan).

You can also see everyone taking part in the Twitter book chat on our Twitter list.


New Site, Including a Separate Community for Kids,
Asks Users, “Which Five Books Shaped Your Life?”

More than 130 “Names You Know” – including Bill Gates, Taylor Swift,
Daniel Radcliffe, Eva Mendes,Damien Hirst, Tony Hawk, R. L. Stine, Whoopi Goldberg and Two Former Presidents – Share the Books that Influenced Them

New York, NY (October 28, 2010) – To celebrate the importance of books and reading, Scholastic is launching You Are What You Read, a social networking site for readers around the world. Users log on to, list the five books that had the biggest impact on their lives, and connect with readers all over the world through these shared “Bookprints.”
The site also contains the Bookprints of more than 125 “Names You Know” – notable people from entertainment, academia, business, media, publishing, and more – including Scarlett Johansson, Al Roker, Sir James Dyson, Venus Williams, Jodi Picoult, Malcolm Gladwell, Judy Blume, President George H.W. Bush and President William Jefferson Clinton.

After logging into You Are What You Read via Facebook or users can:

• Discover new books through an interactive web that shows how users’ Bookprints are connected

• Find and connect with users across generations and from around the world to see the books in their Bookprints

• Compare their Bookprints to those of the participating “Names You Know,” and find out if they share a book in their Bookprint with famous athletes, award-winning entertainers, world-renowned scientists, or iconic business leaders

• “Favorite” other books they like and check out what similar users enjoy reading

• See which books have been chosen as Favorites from around the world

• Share a book in the real word through Pass It On, which encourages users to give a favorite book to a family member, a friend, or even a complete stranger.

• Coming Soon: Users can join ongoing conversations about books and Bookprints in “Book Buzz,” a live feed of comments, news, and reviews.

You Are What You Read also features a separate community for young readers that provides kid friendly information about books and other activities.

“Books leave an indelible mark on who we are and who we will become,” said Maggie McGuire, Vice President, eScholastic, Kids and Parents Channels. “You Are What You Read is a celebration of the books that bind us together, and the personal connection we feel when we read a great book. In addition, the new site adds a tool in our arsenal to help kids and parents find the books that will keep kids reading every day. We know that parents struggle with this challenge and yet they are the number one source kids’ rely on for recommendations. We plan to help them.”

The site is part of Scholastic’s Read Every Day. Lead a Better Life. global literacy campaign, in celebration of Scholastic’s 90th anniversary. For more information on the Read Every Day campaign, visit

George Bush ends his purdah with a memoir, a library and Oprah

Former US president's first account of time in White House will be 'honest and direct about flaws'
 Ed Pilkington in Dallas, Wednesday 27 October 2010

 George Bush greets well-wishers upon his return to Texas in 2009 after completing two terms in the White House. Photograph: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Amid the Republican resurgence that has been building ahead of next week's midterm elections, one key conservative figure has been conspicuously absent.
His public appearances have been limited to bike rides and a baseball game or two, he has avoided endorsing candidates and instead kept himself secluded in the sleepy Dallas suburb of Preston Hollow.

In a couple of weeks, however, the mystery of the disappearing former president is likely to be solved. After two years of an enforced purdah, George Bush will come out into the open.

On 9 November he will give his first public account of his tumultuous two-terms in office in the form of a memoir, Decision Points. Its publication has been timed to hit the shelves long enough after the elections to avoid any accusation of interference but close enough to profit from the euphoria the Republican troops are likely to be feeling from their anticipated drubbing of the Democrats.

Interviews with Oprah Winfrey and on the NBC Today show will give the 43rd president the kind of exposure he has rigorously avoided since he was spirited away from Washington aboard the Marine One helicopter on 20 January 2009. "I have zero desire, just so you know, to be in the limelight," he said in Chicago last week at one of his sparse speaking engagements.

The book is one element of an intricately choreographed attempt on Bush's part to define his own legacy. On 16 November there will be a groundbreaking at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas of his presidential library, which will form the core of a 20,000 square foot Bush Centre that will also incorporate a meeting space and an institute tasked with finding Bush-style solutions to global challenges.

As a taste of the cornucopia of George Bush that is to come, a mini-exhibition of some of the most evocative memorabilia of his time in office has just been opened at the university.

Unsurprisingly, 9/11 features prominently, with a display of the original handwritten notes he made in his favoured black Sharpie pen for his first press statement on the morning of the attacks: "Today we have had a nat'l tragedy. 2 airplanes have crashed into the World Trade Centre … Terrorism against Amer will not succeed."

There's the megaphone he used three days later as he stood on top of the rubble in Ground Zero. "I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you," he said. Beside it is the ball he pitched that same Autumn at Yankee Stadium at the start of game three of the World Series.

If 9/11 was his finest hour, there are also reminders of more controversial decisions. A brick from the Taliban leader Mullah Omar's compound in Afghanistan is displayed next to the 9mm Glock pistol found in Saddam Hussein's possession down his spider hole near Tikrit in December 2003
Read the full piece at The Guardian.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The nation’s best short story writers announced

The nation’s top short story writers were announced tonight at the Sunday Star-Times Short Story Awards ceremony in a star-studded literary affair.   

Supreme Award for the open division went to political analyst Gemma Bowker-Wright for “The Red Queen Hypothesis”, who struck gold with her second entry into the competition after taking out the runner-up spot in the Secondary School category in 2002.

Gemma’s story “The Red Queen Hypothesis” was also the People’s Choice for best short story.

Head judge of the Awards’ open division and award winning fiction writer Charlotte Grimshaw says she was instantly struck by the winning story.
Bowker-Wright’s ability to create atmosphere with the use of spare, straightforward language – somehow unleashing the mysterious power of ordinary words – demonstrates a real talent for writing,” says Grimshaw.

“The Red Queen Hypothesis” is a story about three Wellington students flatting together in a dilapidated old house. All three are students studying evolution as part of a science degree in their final year of University.

The story has won the author $5000 cash, publication of her story in the Sunday Star-Times and $500 worth of books from Random House as well as an additional $750 cash for winning the People’s Choice Award.

Second prize in the open division went to Alexandra Sides of Dunedin for her story “End of a Holiday” and third prize was awarded to Cantabrian Anna Keir for her story entitled “Stalking Ella Ryman”.

The number of short story entries entered into the Sunday Star-Times competition continues to grow with over 2,400 received, 600 more than the number of entries submitted last year into the open division, and over 300 in the secondary school division.

Open division head judge Charlotte Grimshaw said that she has been so fascinated by the judging process that she is considering writing a short story about the judge of a short story competition.
“I’ve always been interested in the voices of New Zealand, and in these stories I’ve encountered a terrific range”, says Grimshaw. “I’ve read and reread, and discovered more about the stories in the process and I believe this year’s winners have written truly impressive stories.”

Grimshaw was joined by prolific writer Joy Cowley, head judge of the secondary school division, along with eight pre-jdges who are all professional writers or book editors to help whittle down the number of entries.

Now in their 26th year, the Sunday Star-Times Short Story Awards, in association with Random House, encourage and recognise the talents of published and unpublished New Zealand writers. The top prizes were announced in an awards ceremony at Fables Galleries in Parnell, Auckland tonight.

The awards are nationally recognised for championing and showcasing New Zealand short fiction. Some of this country's leading writers, including Norman Bilbrough, Judith White, Barbara Anderson, Linda Olsson and Sarah Quigley have achieved success in the competition.

First prize in the Secondary School division went to Hamilton Christian School’s Tim McGiven for his story “The Long Lake”. McGiven went home with $1000 cash, $500 worth of books from Random House for his school, a work experience day at Random House and publication of his story in the Sunday Star-Times.

The winning stories will be published in the Sunday Star-Times on Sunday 31 October.

It was a superb event held in the charming Fables Rug Gallery in Parnell, Auckland wonderfully chaired for the third consecutive year by Sunday Star Times journalist Finlay Macdonald with excerpts from the winning stories being read in fine style by popular radio broadcaster Jim Mora.

Shortlists for the Galaxy National Book Awards

Press Release: Prizes and Awards

Posted Thursday 28 Oct 2010

* Tony Blair's memoirs are up against Chris Mullin's while Jamie, Nigel and Nigella feel the heat of the kitchen

* The Awards showcase the best of British publishing, celebrating books with wide popular appeal and critical acclaim

The 2010 Galaxy National Book Awards shortlists are announced today (October 28th 2010) with some of the nation's favourite writers pitted against each other in battles for the 'Oscars of the publishing industry'.

Tony Blair, Chris Mullin, Stephen Fry and Sir Alan Sugar are among those vying for the top slot in the autobiographies category while Jamie Oliver is up against Nigel Slater and Nigella Lawson for the food and drink book of the year.

Many of the books shortlisted - including titles by Bill Bryson, Jilly Cooper, Peter James, Philippa Gregory and Hilary Mantel - have spent weeks in this year's best-seller charts.

The Awards showcase the best of British publishing, celebrating books with wide popular appeal, critical acclaim and commercial success. The Awards are designed to recognise the very best in popular fiction and non-fiction from British writers published during 2010. There are eight categories including biographies, food and drink, children's books, UK author of the year, international author of the year and new writer of the year.

Category winners will be revealed at a star-studded awards ceremony, produced by Cactus TV, on November 10th. The public will subsequently be invited to vote online for the Galaxy Book of the Year and the final result will be announced on December 13th. The awards ceremony will be televised on More4 on November 13th .


Tony Blair's A Journey is pitched head to head against Chris Mullin's Decline and Fall: Diaries 2005-2010 in the biographies category as recent political events take centre stage. Two other major contemporary figures also dominate the list: Stephen Fry (The Fry Chronicles) and Sir Alan Sugar (What You See is What You Get), while insights into other worlds are provided by the critically acclaimed Wait For Me by the Duchess of Devonshire and Justine Picardie's biography Coco Chanel, The Legend And The Life.

Insights into two worlds of a very different nature – mathematics and the domestic home - are provided by Alex's Adventures in Numberland by Alex Bellos and Bill Bryson's At Home, which feature in the non-fiction shortlist. Other non-fiction titles show the enduring popularity of twentieth century history - and in particular the second world war - with Ben MacIntyre's Operation Mincemeat competing against D-Day (Antony Beevor) and Andrew Marr's The Making Of Modern Britain. Must You Go? Antonia Fraser's memoirs of life with Harold Pinter – part literary memoir, part love story – is the sixth book in this category.

TV chefs make a strong showing with Nigel competing against Nigella and Jamie. All three have titles in the new food and drink category: Nigel Slater's Tender II is up against Nigella Lawson' Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home and Jamie Oliver's Jamie's 30 Minute Meals. Also in the running are three less familiar names: Niki Segnit for The Flavour Thesaurus, Rose Prince for Kitchenella and Yotam Ottolenghi for Plenty.

The bitter struggles of The War of the Roses are the backdrop to Philippa Gregory's The Red Queen, which is competing in the popular fiction category against novels in more modern settings such as Jilly Cooper's horsy saga Jump! and David Nicholls' moving love story, One Day.

Crime fiction is well represented on the popular fiction shortlist by Worth Dying For (Lee Child), Dead Like You (Peter James) while debut writer Simon Lelic's Rupture is shortlisted in the new writers category.

Other first books competing for this coveted category award include Mr Chartwell, Rebecca Hunt's inventive and original take on Winston Churchill's description of depression as a black dog; Patrick Barkham's search for Britain's 59 species of butterfly in The Butterfly Isles and Katherine Webb's multi-generational drama The Legacy. Edmund de Waal (The Hare with Amber Eyes) and Natasha Solomons (Mr Rosenblum's List) complete the new writers shortlist.

The shortlisted authors for the UK author of the year category tackle a diverse range of themes from technology and mourning (Tom McCarthy's C) to memory and motherhood (Maggie O'Farrell's The Hand That First Held Mine). Settings too, range far and wide and take readers from rural France in Rose Tremain's psychological thriller Trespass to Japan in the eighteenth century in David Mitchell's love story The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. Completing the category are Hilary Mantel for her Booker winner Wolf Hall, which explores individual psychology in the context of the politics of Tudor England, and Kate Atkinson, who is shortlisted for her crime novel Started Early, Took My Dog.

While the Galaxy awards are designed primarily to celebrate British writers, one category has been reserved for those international authors who have made a major impact on the British reading public. No such list would be complete without Stieg Larsson for his third thriller in the Millennium trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. Larsson's book is up against Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, another literary big hitter who has recently been dominating the news as well as the review pages. >From Franzen's Minnesota, the shortlist moves firstly to mid-twentieth century New York, the setting for Brooklyn, Colm Toibin's tale of Irish immigrants, and secondly to the Deep South of the 1960s for Kathryn Stockett's debut novel The Help. The final titles in this category are Emma Donoghue's deeply disturbing book Room, triggered by the Josef Fritzl case in Austria and lastly the phenomenal international success, The Slap, by Australian author Christos Tsiolkas.

Sainsbury's Popular Fiction Book of the Year

Dead Like You Peter James (Macmillan)
The Ice Cream Girls Dorothy Koomson (Sphere)
Jump! Jilly Cooper (Bantam Press)
One Day David Nicholls (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Red Queen Philippa Gregory (Simon & Schuster)
Worth Dying For Lee Child (Bantam Press)

Non-Fiction Book of the Year
Alex's Adventures in Numberland Alex Bellos (Bloomsbury)
At Home Bill Bryson (Doubleday)
D-Day Antony Beevor (Viking)
The Making Of Modern Britain Andrew Marr (Pan)
Must You Go? Antonia Fraser (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
Operation Mincemeat Ben MacIntyre (Bloomsbury)

National Book Tokens New Writer of the Year
Patrick Barkham The Butterfly Isles (Granta Books)
Edmund de Waal The Hare with Amber Eyes (Chatto & Windus)
Katherine Webb The Legacy (Orion)
Rebecca Hunt Mr Chartwell (Fig Tree)
Natasha Solomons Mr Rosenblum's List (Sceptre)
Simon Lelic Rupture (Picador)

WH Smith Children's Book of the Year
The Great Hamster Massacre Katie Davies, illus Hannah Shaw (Simon and Schuster)
Monsters of Men Patrick Ness (Walker Books)
Mr Stink David Walliams (HarperCollins Childrens Books)
Shadow Michael Morpurgo (HarperCollins Childrens Books)
TimeRiders Alex Scarrow (Puffin)
Zog Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler (Alison Green Books)
Tesco Food & Drink Book of the Year
The Flavour Thesaurus Niki Segnit (Bloomsbury)
Jamie's 30 Minute Meals Jamie Oliver (Michael Joseph)
Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home Nigella Lawson (Chatto & Windus)
Kitchenella Rose Prince (Fourth Estate)
Plenty Yotam Ottolenghi (Ebury Press)
Tender II Nigel Slater (Fourth Estate)

Tesco Biography of the Year
Coco Chanel, The Legend And The Life Justine Picardie (Harper NonFiction)
Decline and Fall: Diaries 2005-2010 Chris Mullin (Profile Books)
The Fry Chronicles Stephen Fry (Michael Joseph)
A Journey Tony Blair (Hutchinson)
Wait For Me Duchess of Devonshire (John Murray)
What You See Is What You Get Alan Sugar (Macmillan)

International Author of the Year
Colm Toibin Brooklyn (Penguin)
Jonathan Franzen Freedom (Fourth Estate)
Stieg Larsson The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Quercus/MacLehose Press)
Kathryn Stockett The Help (Fig Tree)
Emma Donoghue Room (Picador)
Christos Tsiolkas The Slap (Tuskar Rock Press)

Waterstone's UK Author of the Year
Tom McCarthy C (Jonathan Cape)
Maggie O'Farrell The Hand That First Held Mine (Headline Review)
Kate Atkinson Started Early, Took My Dog (Doubleday)
David Mitchell The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (Sceptre)
Rose Tremain Trespass (Chatto & Windus)
Hilary Mantel Wolf Hall (Fourth Estate)

Great Escapes Mediterranean

Taschen Publishers has the pleasure of announcing that Great Escapes Mediterranean is the winner of the Villegiature Award 2010: “Best book on hotels published in Europe 2010”.

The 2010 Villegiature Awards were remitted in Paris on the 18th of October 2010 at The Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme Hotel in the presence of major European diplomats, executive managers from leading European luxury hotels, famous architects, VIPs from the worlds of Arts, publishing companies and both French and international media as well as sponsors and partners of the event.

It is the third time that TASCHEN is the winner of this prestigious Award following the Hotel Book 2004 and The Spa Book 2005.

Pictures from the ceremony with be on line shortly on the following links:

Wollongong University designer wins The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo cover competition

After sorting through an overwhelming number of entries from across Australia, Dymocks and Murdoch Books are pleased to announce the winner of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo book cover design competition.

Jonathan Barker, Graphic Designer from the University of Wollongong in New South Wales is set to have his cover design published in a limited, special edition one-off print run of which will be sold exclusively in Dymocks stores in Australia and New Zealand from early November.

I’m excited to have my work appear on bookshelves all over Australia and New Zealand,” said Jonathan Barker.
“Designing for such a popular book that has already been interpreted in many interesting ways - including feature films - was a terrific challenge. It’s a great opportunity and a real honour to be part of this project.”

Judged by Don Grover, CEO of Dymocks, and Reuben Crossman, award-winning designer from Murdoch Books, the competition called for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo book cover design entries from across Australia.

As part of the prize, Barker will also receive the new MacBook Air valued at $2,000, the inclusion of his name on the book as well as 20 copies of the special edition.

Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy is a publishing phenomenon with over 40 million copies sold worldwide. Murdoch Books has sold over 650,000 copies of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Part One of the Millennium Trilogy) in Australia and New Zealand.

AUCKLAND'S METRO MAGAZINE November 2010 is a ripper

Yesterday afternoon I was meant to have been writing a book review and preparing for an address I am to make later in the week. Over lunch though I started reading the latest issue of Metro and before I knew it the afternoon was largely over.
This is an issue filled with stuff I wanted to read. First up there is a part one of a wonderful conversation between retiring Waitakere City mayor Bob Harvey and Metro editor Simon Wilson. I really liked Harvey's honesty, frankness and absence of bullshit and spin.

Then columnist Minty Mansfield proved as always a hoot and made me laugh out loud. I greatly enjoyed Rebecca Wadey on her wardrobe, interesting stories on architecture and running followed, I was shattered by a story of appalling medical incompetence at Auckland Hospital, and then of course one of several highlights, the Metro 2010 Cafe Awards, glad to see my locals in there, Agnes Curran, Dizengoff and Good One included, but others too I didn’t know about and will check out.

New fiction from Shona Koea, the usual great selection of book reviews, especially enjoyed Gordon Campbell’s review of Chris Bourke’s Blue Smoke, and heaps and heaps of other stuff that entertained and interested me including two Auckland booksellers modelling their gear, Where to Eat in Melbourne, Te Radar's column and a superb cartoon of our new mayor, Len Brown.

Gordon Campbell from his review in Metro, Novemeber 2010.

Photo of Bob Harvey by Adrian Malloch.

Storylines - Calling all Auckland members!

Monday night is the night. 1 November 2010.
The night for like-minded children's lit lovers to get together and share our passion.

Interested? Find out more on our events page - we also have a PDF you can print out and share.

Please note: This is for Storylines members only. Non-members are welcome to join on the night.

Poet and tramper Kerry Popplewell interviewed

Author/poet/blogger Tim Jones' latest interview, with poet and tramper Kerry Popplewell, covering the long path to the publication of her first collection of poetry "Leaving the Tableland", (Steele Roberts - $19.99) is now up on his blog at: