7   +   8   =  

Wind in the Willows bench for NLT– An exciting new book-related scheme will soon be taking place in London, commissioned by the National Literacy Trust. Summer 2014 will see the introduction of a new set of park benches across the Capital; each bench to be shaped like an open book, featuring elaborate artistic renderings of particular stories, from the children’s classic We’re Going on a Bear Hunt to George Orwell’s 1984. When the scheme ends, the benches will be auctioned off for charity. Meaning, for example, that a lucky bidder will be able to go home with a Peter Pan inspired bench. Better get saving now!

– The National Book Award winner has been revealed. In a rather surprising turn of events, James McBride has won the US prize for his historical novel The Good Lord Bird, beating out more prominent authors such as Thomas Pynchon, George Saunders and Jhumpa Lahiri. Unfortunately McBride’s book is not yet available in the UK, but this win could get the ball rolling on finding a British publisher for this tale of slavery abolitionist John Brown. Additionally on the night, the poet Maya Angelou and novelist E. L. Doctorow were given lifetime honours awards for their contributions to literature, with the former receiving her award from Beloved author Toni Morrison.

– If you’re a lover of contemporary literature and a follower of recent trends, then this list of the 50 books which have defined the past five years in fiction will be just your cup of tea (or coffee…this feature was created by American readers). Any ones missing that should definitely be added? Flavorwire 50 books

– The Oxford English Dictionary has chosen its annual ‘word of the year’, announcing that ‘selfie’ has won the coveted (for words, at least) title, due to its vast increase in usage over the past year by 17,000%. Although for the literary minded here, ‘bookshelfie’ may have been a more appropriate choice.

– BookRiot have produced a ‘Would you rather’ literary game for the book nerds among us, to suit our bookish deliberation needs. Number three is a bit of a thinker, it’s tempting to opt for the first option – take a look and see what you would choose: BookRiot

– The Guardian has produced a list of favourite reads for 2013. The compilation of books has been devised according to the tastes of many well-known authors, from William Boyd to Hilary Mantel, and includes a number of non-fiction titles (for instance, Hermione Lee’s biography of Penelope Fitzgerald) as well as contemporary and recently read fiction: The Guardian

– Now that the excitement over debut novel The Bone Season has finally quietened down a bit, another new first-time British author has sprung up to become the ‘next’ JK Rowling.  52 year-old Sally Green, a former accountant, is the author a trilogy of supernatural thriller books centred on witches. The author’s work – her first novel titled Half Bad – has garnered enough attention already for rumours to be circulating that a £1 million advance for the trilogy would not be a stretch for her publishers, Penguin, to be considering. And yes, film rights have been procured, by the producer of the Twilight Saga no less.

– Actor Cary Elwes has announced he is writing a book about his career-making experiences working on the film The Princess Bride. The book will be published next year.

– Lastly, check out this list of 10 books that will apparently NEVER be adapted to the big screen. There are a few arguable choices here; especially considering we should never underestimate what Hollywood decides would make a good film these days: The Airship . Other recent lists at The Airship include ’10 instances of literary censorship’, so what are you waiting for, get reading!

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