– Happy December everybody! As the beginning of the end draws near (farewell 2013, hello 2014!), we should celebrate with the loveliest of things: the list… actually no, how about one step further – the end of year list. The New York Times Sunday Book Review has put together its ‘100 Notable Books’ of the year, and it is well worth a read, despite the brevity of its summaries and, obviously, US publication details. New York Times
– Hilary Mantel can now add ticket sales to her bestseller status, as the upcoming theatre productions of her much beloved historical novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, about political schemer Thomas Cromwell, have already reached sell-out status. Ben Miles (Coupling, Dracula) will play the lead role in what is now seemingly to be a sure-fire hit for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s adaptation of these award-winning books.
– To like or not to like, now that’s the modern question. Penguin UK has adopted a new social media app! Let’s all start ‘liking’ ebook posts. The publishing house is partnering with app developer Readmill to promote a new service for ebook readers, which will allow people to share their reading progress, discuss books, sync to Twitter and Facebook and, of course, ‘like’ posts.
– The Scottish Book Trust engaged their readers with a poll to find the nation’s favourite Scottish book of the past half century. The Edinburgh-set, drug-fuelled, colloquially-versed Trainspotting, by Irvine Welsh, topped the survey. Alasdair Gray’s Lanark arrived in second place and Ian Rankin came in third for Black and Blue.
– The Costa Book Awards have announced their shortlist. The four authors on the list are Kate Atkinson, Maggie O’ Farrell, Evie Wyld and Bernardine Bishop.
– Three unpublished stories by the late JD Salinger have now leaked online. One tale, ‘An Ocean Full of Bowling Balls’, an early work narrated by the older brother of Salinger’s most famous character, Holden Caulfield, was previously only available to a very limited number of scholars at Princeton University in the US. The other two stories, ‘Paula’ and ‘Birthday Boy’, were held at the University of Texas. Scans of the stories were posted online to What.cd, before being removed.
– The 2nd annual British Comic Awards 2013 took place in late November: Glyn Dillon’s The Nao of Brown won Best Book and Winter’s Knight: Day One by Robert Ball won Best Comic. Isabel Greenberg, (whose work Culturefly enthusiastically praised with a 5 star review) unfortunately did not win the Emerging Talent award, which went to Will Morris for The Silver Darlings. Congrats to all recipients!
– Finally, Donal Ryan’s The Spinning Heart won the Guardian’s First Book award 2013. The Irish author is the recipient of £10,000 for his debut novel.