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the-kitschiesWriter Hanif Kureishi has handed over his journals, notebooks and personal writings to the British Library. The institution’s archive has paid £100,000 for the author’s collection, which includes diaries from Kureishi’s teenage years, as well as draft work for his novels.

Science Fiction award, the Kitschies, have revealed their shortlist for 2013 books. Authors up for the prize include Anne Carson, Ruth Ozeki, Patrick Ness, James Smythe and famously reclusive American writer Thomas Pynchon for his novel Bleeding Edge. Setting this award apart from most other standard annual celebrations is the odd fact that the winner receives a tentacle trophy – ‘The Red Tentacle’ ­- alongside the £2000 prize. The 2012 winner was Nick Harkaway for Angelmaker, while Patrick Ness has won previously in 2011 for A Monster Calls.

The anonymously written short stories for the Costa Book Awards now have some names attached! The longlist entrants remained secret, but now the six shortlisted candidates have been identified. Out of an amazing 1,400 submitted stories, the chosen few were written by Angela Readman, Sheila Llewellyn, Clare Chandler, Tony Bagley, Erin Soros and Kit de Waal. The winner is to be announced very shortly – tomorrow in fact (28th January 2014).

In trade news, London-based Independent publisher Quercus formally announced last week that, due to falling sales with retailers and with digital books over 2013, the company has had to put itself up for sale.

This infographic is a rather interesting encapsulation of modern reading habits. It is good to see Literature as the bestselling fiction, with the sci-fi genre coming in a close second.  The trivia further shows that 82% of ebook readers reside in cities – so do digital books really suit the fast-paced, busy lives of those in urban areas? Or maybe it is just a way of saving living space from stacks upon stacks of books… DNA of a successful book

The Fifty Shades of Grey movie has released a teaser poster for the much awaited book adaptation, which, teasingly, shows simply the suited-up back of Mr Christian Grey himself. Certain to be a tantalising glimpse for many fans of this hugely successful series, to others the corporate-man image may look like an entirely bland marketing strategy. Any thoughts?

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