Recent Blog Posts

Friday July 7, 2017 at 7:18pm
A fundraising auction supported by authors including Margaret Atwood, Jacqueline Wilson and Philip Pullman has raised more than £150,000 to support residents affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.Pullman, who offered to name a character in the second instalment of his new series The Book of Dust, raised £32,400 after teacher James Clements suggested the character should be named in memory of his former pupil Nur Huda el-Wahabi, who died in the tragedy.Bidding crashed through the £30,000 barrier ai....
Friday July 7, 2017 at 7:12pm
City of Sydney scraps library fines after trial shows reminders work better The City of Sydney council has abolished all library fines after an eight-month trial revealed they do not work as an incentive for people to return books.Three times as many overdue items were returned to the council’s libraries during the no-fine trial period, compared with the 12 months before the trial.The lord mayor, Clover Moore, said fines often had a detrimental effect and “frightened” borrowers into never return....
Saturday July 1, 2017 at 7:14pm
Nipples on My Knee by Graham and Debra Robertson, a memoir of “25 years in the sheep business”, is the fleecy frontrunner for the the 2017 Diagram prize for oddest book title of the year.It leads a modest flock of five titles contending for the annual prize run by trade magazine the Bookseller. Without giving away the origins of the title, the Robertsons invite readers to “sit back in front of the fireplace on a cold, snowy evening, perhaps with a glass of sherry, while we relate to you our expe....
Thursday June 22, 2017 at 7:16pm
Hilary Mantel’s hotly anticipated final instalment to her Man Booker-winning Wolf Hall trilogy is unlikely to appear next summer, the author said this week. Responding to a question from the audience in her latest Reith lecture for the BBC, she said it was “increasingly unlikely” the book would be published in 2018 as she had previously hoped.The novel, which completes the story of Henry VIII’s doomed right-hand man Thomas Cromwell, will be titled The Mirror and the Light. The first two books in....
Tuesday June 6, 2017 at 1:46am
Speaking at Hay festival, writer accuses ‘aggregating news agencies’ of not taking responsibility for their contentStephen Fry has called for Facebook and other “aggregating news agencies” to be reclassified as publishers in order to stop fake news and online abuse spreading by making social media subject to the same legal responsibilities as traditional news websites.
Thursday June 1, 2017 at 1:39am
Passages quoted in new edition of Eliot’s correspondence show Vivien Haigh-Wood convinced herself that he had been kidnapped to explain his absence.The first wife of TS Eliot refused to accept that their marriage was over, explaining away his absence from her life with deluded excuses, her diary reveals.Vivien Haigh-Wood was devastated when her relationship with one of the 20th century’s most important writers ended with their separation in 1933.
Friday May 19, 2017 at 1:41am
Northern Irish writer praised by judges for his ‘fierce intellectual determination’ wins annual award in memory of the late Nobel laureateBelfast poet Michael Longley, whom Seamus Heaney described as “a custodian of griefs and wonders”, has been awarded the 2017 PEN Pinter prize. The prize has a personal resonance for the poet, who is one of the most significant figures in Irish poetry. Not only is he an admirer of Harold Pinter, after whom the award was named, but the playwright had spurred him....
Tuesday May 2, 2017 at 1:42am
Peter Wohlleben’s book has become bestseller in Germany but he tells Hay festival audience it has annoyed scientists Trees are social creatures that mother their young, talk to each other, experience pain, remember things and have sex with each other, a bestselling author has said.If that persuades you to go and hug the nearest tree, then great, said Peter Wohlleben. Just avoid a birch: “It is not very sociable. Try a beech.”Wohlleben was at the Hay literary festival in Wales to talk about a boo....
Thursday April 27, 2017 at 1:44am
Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel rockets to number one on Amazon after Channel 4 begins airing series starring Elisabeth MossThe Handmaid’s Tale, the 1985 novel by Margaret Atwood envisaging a hellish dystopia where the US is ruled by an ultra-far-right regime that treats women as chattels, has rocketed to the top of the bestseller charts after the UK broadcast of the first episode of the TV adaptation.
Sunday April 23, 2017 at 9:19am
“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” — Jane Austen“Reading is a conversation. All books talk. But a good book listens as well.” — Mark Haddon“Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.” ? Groucho Marx“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” ? C.S. Lewis“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ?....