– The Man Booker Prize Shortlist has been revealed! The six lucky candidates have been chosen following the culling of 145 other novels from the initial selection. These six are: NoViolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names, Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries, Jim Crace’s The Harvest, Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland, Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being, and Colm Toibin’s The Testament of Mary. Moreover, as of next year the Man Booker will be allowing US entries to compete…Shock! Horror! Does this mean us Brits can now be eligible for a National Book Award? Pulitzer perhaps? Only joking, this Man Booker more the merrier mentality is good to hear.
Talking of the Man Booker, the judges for the 2015 International Prize have been announced. The 2015 panel shall be chaired by author and academic Marina Warner, along with Professor Elleke Boehmer (Oxford University), novelist Nadeem Aslam, Edwin Frank, the Editorial Director of New York Review Classics, and Wen-chin Ouyang (SOAS Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature).
– In other international literary news, the six finalists for the German Book Prize shortlist 2013 have been revealed. This annual prize awards 25,000 euros to the author of the best German language book each year, and this year’s winner will be announced October 7th just before the Frankfurt Book Fair.
– Bookriot posted a link last week to a rather awesome set of minimalist images created by Ryan McArthur, set against bookish quotes. Enjoy! http://bit.ly/17ZfB33
– There is now a new blogging platform for booklovers – BookLikes – where you can create personal libraries of your favourite books to share with others: http://booklikes.com/
– Filming has now begun on Martin Amis’s London Fields, starring Charlotte Rampling, Gabriel Byrne, Amber Heard and Jim Sturgess.
– Russian master Leo Tolstoy’s entire body of work is being made free to access online on the Tolstoy.ru website. Tolstoy’s literary works will be converted into PDF and other downloadable formats for easy use on electronic devices and e-readers. This is incredible news but, because there must always be a but, you need to be able to read Russian to benefit from this project.
– Are you a Shakespeare buff? Have you ever wondered about the difference between modern and Early Modern English pronunciation? Well, check out this informative video by linguist David Crystal, featuring his son, as they discuss the common misconceptions of Shakespeare’s speech: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPlpphT7n9s#t=271
– Another educational slant to this week’s news is the release of a study by the University of London showing that reading for pleasure significantly improves academic performance through cognitive development.