Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Peter May - The China Thrillers - The first three in the series now in paperback

I have just read these three, one after the other, couldn't put them down; now I can't wait for the final three to be published later in the year. Details of the three just read follow:

The Firemaker
Peter May
Published by Hachette New Zealand, 13 December 2016 PBK $24.99 RRP

The first of Peter May's China thrillers, reissued in paperback with a new introduction from the author.

A grotesquely burned corpse found in a city park is a troubling mystery for Beijing detective Li Yan. Yan, devoted to his career as a means of restoring the respect his family lost during the Cultural Revolution, needs outside help if he is to break the case.

The unidentified cadaver in turn provides a welcome distraction for forensic pathologist Margaret Campbell. Campbell, married to her work and having left America and her broken past behind, throws herself into the investigation, and before long uncovers a bizarre anomaly.

An unlikely partnership develops between Li and Campbell as they follow the resulting lead. A fiery and volatile chemistry ignites: exposing not only their individual demons, but an even greater evil - a conspiracy that threatens their lives, as well as those of millions of others.

The Fourth Sacrifice
Peter May
Published by Hachette New Zealand, 13 December 2016 PBK $24.99 RRP

The second of Peter May's China thrillers, reissued in paperback with a new introduction from the author.

The Chinese police have once more been forced to enlist the services of American forensic pathologist Margaret Campbell: this time to investigate a series of four horrific ritual executions that have taken place in Beijing.

Detective Li Yan is determined to discover just how one of the victims in particular, an American diplomat, became caught up in the slaying. And he is arguably even more determined to have nothing to do with Campbell.

The polarity that once attracted Yan and Campbell eventually pulls them back into partnership. Yet the closer they are drawn to the truth, the nearer they come to a killer prepared to use extreme force to conceal it.

The Killing Room
Peter May
Published by Hachette New Zealand, 13 December 2016 PBK $24.99 RRP

The third of Peter May's China thrillers, reissued in paperback with a new introduction from the author.

When a mass grave containing eighteen mutilated female corpses is discovered in Shanghai, detective Li Yan is sent from Beijing to establish if the bodies are linked to an unsolved murder in the capital. Here, Li will be working with Mei Ling, deputy head of Shanghai's serious crime squad.

Mei Ling is a formidable woman: a fact that is not lost on Li's on-off lover, forensic pathologist Margaret Campbell. But when Campbell, vulnerable and still grieving the loss of her father, learns that the victims were subjected to 'live' autopsies, she knows the case is bigger than her pride.

Li, Campbell and Mei Ling are now entering the arena of a sickening nemesis, and opening a door behind which lies each of their very worst nightmares.

About The Author: Peter May was born and raised in Scotland. He was an award-winning journalist at the age of twenty-one and a published novelist at twenty-six. When his first book was adapted as a major drama series for the BCC, he quit journalism and worked on more than 1,000 episodes of rates-topping drama before deciding to leave television to return to his first love, writing novels. He has received the USA's Barry Award for The Blackhouse; and in 2014 was awarded the ITV Specsavers Crime Thriller Book Club Best Read of the Year award for Entry Island. Peter now lives in South-West France with his wife, writer Janice Hally.

Author Website: www.petermay.co.uk

Novel explores Fijian family history and drama

From the University of Auckland's website:

Maiden Fiji is Auckland-based writer Samantha Gale Peckham-Togiatama’s first novel. It was published in 2014 by the University of the South Pacific (USP) Press, but has flown under the radar of most Pacific literary aficionados.

Fiji High Commissioner His Excellency Mr Filimone Waqabaca says, “It is important for us to recognise and celebrate the achievements of one of our very own writers from Fiji who now lives in New Zealand.”
The Fiji High Commission in Wellington is therefore hosting an event to promote Maiden Fiji on Friday 22 April at its offices at 31 Pipitea Street, Thorndon. The event is co-sponsored by the Kai Fiji Club (Fiji Students Association at Victoria University of Wellington) and will feature readings of excerpts from the novel by members of Voqa Kei Seri: Fiji Writers in Wellington.
A secondary school teacher by profession, with a daughter currently attending Victoria University of Wellington, Peckham-Togiatama is excited by the attention her book is finally receiving. It started off as a manuscript she developed while enrolled in the Master in Creative Writing programme at the University of Auckland. Then she submitted it for consideration in a USP Press competition in 2011 and received a commendable mention for it. The book was finally published a few years later in 2014.
Maiden Fiji weaves together the stories of several generations of the Logan family. From the fiery 19th-century character of Eliza to her great-granddaughter Ginger, the novel is set in locations as diverse as the old capital of Levuka and a plantation in Bua, Fiji, and the University of Waikato and Whakatane in New Zealand.
Copies of Maiden Fiji will be available for sale ($20) at the launch and the author will be available for book signings.
The book is also available for sale online via the USP Bookstore.

For RSVPs and more information, please contact:
Maraia Vakasilimiratu, Fiji High Commission (021 416148; Secretary002.fhc@gmail.com)

Double Whammy - A Story About Beating an 'Unbeatable' Cancer

Double Whammy

A Story About Beating an 'Unbeatable' Cancer

By Rowan Bishop | Paperback

Renaissance Publishing | $27.99

This is a portrait of a family with their backs against the wall. A story of complexity, of agency and positivity that validates human emotional responses, and ultimately it is a story of survival - a story with a happy ending.
In September of 2013, Rowan Bishop's husband Russell was diagnosed with Double Hit lymphoma, at that time a seemingly unbeatable cancer. Up to this point, Russell was an internationally recognised academic, acclaimed for his work in improving the educational outcomes of indigenous students, the most benighted students in many education systems. He was fit and healthy, exercised regularly, was a non-smoker and underwent regular medical check-ups. Completely out of the blue, he was confronted with what seemed to be a death sentence - even though just four months previously he'd had an 'all clear' from his GP. 
When all hope was gone, he agreed to become Number Six or, in other words, the sixth person in the world to trial a new chemotherapy approach. It was so successful that it not only saved Russell's life so that he became part of medical history, but it is now saving many more - and in doing so is beating the 'unbeatable'.
Now, more than two years later, both Russell and Rowan are convinced that his survival is entirely due to a collaboration of extremely dedicated medical professionals, a modicum of luck and unflagging positivity and support from all concerned.

Thrillers read and greatly enjoyed over the holidays

CAST IRON by Peter May - Hachette  - $34.99

THE WRONG SIDE OF GOODBYE - Michael Connelly - Allen & Unwin - $36.99

GOOD ME BAD ME - Ali Land - Michael Joseph - $37.00

CROSS THE LINE - James Patterson - Century - $37.00

RATHER BE THE DEVIL - Ian Rankin- Orion Books - $37.99

TURBO TWENTY-THREE - Janet Evanovich - Headline Review - $34.99

ODESSA SEA - Clive & Dirk Cussler - Michael Joseph - $37.00

Why Brazil’s Greatest Writer Gave Up Writing

WORDS Posted:  

Raduan Nassar was forty-eight and at the height of his literary fame when, in 1984, he gave an interview with Folha de São Paulo, the country’s biggest daily newspaper, in which he announced his retirement. He wanted to become a farmer. “My mind is lit up with other things now; I’m looking into agriculture and stockbreeding,” he told the interviewer. Many were baffled.

Book & Bed Tokyo Adds Booze

Book and Bed Tokyo, the bookstore-themed hotel that opened in 2015 in the city's Ikebukuro neighborhood, is "currently putting the finishing touches on a round of renovations that will add a bar to the premises," RocketNews24 reported. The chain's recently opened Kyoto branch already offers this option.

The location will have the new name Book and Bed and Bar Tokyo, and the "new amenity is sure to be a hit with the hotel's youthful, worldly customer base (85% of guests are under the age of 40, and roughly one in three is foreign-born). And just so Tokyoites and travelers who've already secured lodging elsewhere don't feel left out, Book and Bed and Bar Tokyo will also be offering day-use plans, starting at ¥500 (about $4.42) per hour and topping out at ¥1,500 (about $13.26) for a block of time from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.," RocketNews24 wrote.

Shelf Awareness

Latest news from The Bookseller

Sainsbury’s has revealed its book sales grew 7.5% year on year in the fourth quarter of 2016, The Bookseller can reveal, with its growth in total retail sales a more modest 0.8%.
Nosy Crow and Faber are in the running again for IPG Publishing Awards after the shortlist was revealed today (23rd January).
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Faber is launching new educational editions of its books for students at GCSE, IGCSE and A Level in close collaboration with authors Kazuo Ishiguro, Alan Bennett and Michael Frayn.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Harry Potter returned to number one among the Top 50 bestselling books in France last year, according to a study carried out by market research firm GfK for French trade publication Livres Hebdo.
Emma Tennant
Emma Tennant, the author of Pemberley (Sceptre) and Burnt Diaries (Canongate), has died following a long illness.
Amazon has launched a £20,000 cash prize for authors who self-publish their work on its Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform.

Pearson Education is moving offices from Edinburgh Gate in Harlow to Harlow's Kao Park in mid-2017.
Gail Rebuck
Baroness Gail Rebuck has called for the needs of the creative industries to be "truly recognised” by government following prime minister Theresa May's speech.
London Book & Screen Week and the UK Publishers Association (PA) are launching an award for books that inspire films, television, games and theatre.
Jeffrey Boakye
Influx Press is to publish Hold Tight, a book about black masculinity and Grime music written by Jeffrey Boakye, in July 2017.
Cesar Aira
And Other Stories is to publish three titles from “cult Argentinian provocateur” César Aira this year.

The Roundup with PW

Barnhill, Steptoe, 'March: Book Three' Win Newbery, Caldecott, Printz
Kelly Barnhill won the 2017 John Newbery Medal for 'The Girl Who Drank the Moon' (Algonquin Young Readers), Javaka Steptoe took the 2017 Randolph Caldecott Medal for 'Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat' (Little, Brown), and John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell won the 2017 Michael L. Printz Award for 'March: Book Three' (Top Shelf). more »

Washington, D.C. Booksellers Bring Together Women's March Participants
Washington, D.C. booksellers took full advantage of the Inauguration and Women's March held the day after by hosting party, panels, and poetry readings that drew crowds. more »

ALA Midwinter 2017: Librarians Ponder the Future Under Trump
In his opening keynote at the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta, just hours after Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, W. Kamau Bell made a plea to librarians: don’t let Trump’s vision of America become the new normal. more »

A Dutch Classic Arrives in English: Gerard Reve’s 'The Evenings' was published in 1947, but English-language readers are only now getting a chance to read it.
Canada and Apple Reach a Deal: Canada's Competition Bureau has come to an agreement on discounted titles with Apple and three e-book publishers.
George Saunders's Forgotten Kids' Book: The 2000 book 'The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip' deserves the same critical acclaim as the rest of George Saunders's work.
Archie vs. Zombies: How a 76-year-old gang of comics teenagers wound up fighting the undead and starring in a sex-infused murder-mystery show on the CW.
Amazon Launches £20,000 KDP Prize: Amazon U.K. has launched a £20,000 cash prize for authors who self-publish their work on its Kindle Direct Publishing platform.


Break-Ups, Mess-Ups, and Come-Ups: Wise Words from a Woman Who Knows

Off the Shelf
By Tolani Osan    |   Monday, January 23, 2017
There’s an unwritten rule (possibly one I made up myself) that if you’re in a reading rut, it’s best to turn to a book that you’re certain will deliver. I was introduced to the book that rescued me from my latest slump in the middle of a “Parks and Recreation” binge—during which I came to admire Leslie Knope’s (Amy Poehler) aggressive optimism and unfettered ambition (two attributes I was seriously lacking). I picked up Amy Poehler’s bestselling memoir YES PLEASE—and I was not disappointed. READ MORE

Trade News from Publishers Lunch

The American Library Association presented their annual book awards at their mid-winter meeting in Atlanta. First came the naming of the Carnegie Medalists on Sunday night, Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad and Matthew Desmond's Evicted (the two consensus fiction and nonfiction books of the year in our annual aggregation as well).

On Monday morning, at the Youth Media Awards ceremony, the National Book Award-winning graphic novel March: Book Three, written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell (Top Shelf Productions/IDW) won four awards -- the Michael L. Printz Award for young adult literature, the Excellence in Nonfiction award, the Coretta Scott King Book Award, and the Sibert Medal for distinguished informational book. Author Sarah Dessen was given the Margaret A. Edwards Award for "significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature."

The Newbery Medal went to The Girl Who Drank the Moon, by Kelly Barnhill (Algonquin Children's) and the Caldecott Medal went to Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, illustrated and written by Javaka Steptoe (Little, Brown Children's), which also won the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award.

Newbery Honor Books
Freedom over me, Ashley Bryan
The Inquisitor's Tale, Adam Gidwitz
Wolf Hollow, lauren wolk

Caldecott Honor Books
Leave Me Alone!, Vera Brosgol
Freedom in Congo Square, written by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
Du Iz Tak?, Carson Ellis
They All Saw A Cat, Brendan Wenzel

The complete award winners are listed in this press release.
Following the announced departure of Dutton publisher Ben Sevier to Grand Central, Penguin Publishing Group president Madeline McIntosh told staff today that deputy publisher Christine Ball is being promoted to senior vice president, publisher, Putnam Dutton Berkley, reporting to Ivan Held. Ball "will now work even more actively and directly with Ivan and the imprint editorial teams under him to shape the lists and the editorial strategy as a whole," while continuing to oversee the marketing and publicity teams for all three imprints and lead efforts with the sales department. But Putnam editorial director Sally Kim, Berkley editor-in-chief Claire Zion, and associate publisher, paperbacks Ben Lee will continue to report to Held. New senior editorial leadership for Dutton will be announced "in the coming weeks."

McIntosh explained in her memo that making Ball a direct replacement for Sevier at Dutton would have been the "easy, natural choice," but "moving her out of Putnam and Berkley would have been a loss for them and for the group." Further, McIntosh said she and Held "have had a chance to take stock of how far the imprints have come and think about the opportunities for future growth. One truth we have come back to again and again is how many of the successes of these last two years would have been impossible without Christine’s leadership, publishing acuity, and extraordinary hard work on behalf of all three imprints. I also have noted how much the group has benefited from the strong and complementary partnership between Ivan and Christine." The imprints will continue to consider submissions and make acquisitions independently of each other.

In other personnel news, Andrea Dewerd has been promoted to assistant director, marketing for the Random House, Spiegel & Grau, and One World imprints.
Lenny Allen has joined Bloomsbury Digital Resources as global sales and marketing director. He was formerly director, international accounts at Oxford University Press.

Ingram Content Group announced a number of new promotions across various group. Caitlin Churchill has been appointed to the newly created position of business development manager, Aerio. At Lightning Source, Ed Spade moves up to senior manager, general sales, California, while Camille Watts has been promoted to manager, content services, general sales. And at Ingram Publisher Services, Bonnie Marie Dailey has been named client implementation manager, while Janine Cook moves up to senior key account sales manager, working out of IPS' UK office in Milton Keynes.

In Canada, over 35 literary agents have come together to create the Professional Association of Canadian Literary Agents (PACLA). Samantha Haywood serves as president, with Jackie Kaiser, Hilary McMahon and Marilyn Biderman as officers and executive committee members. The organization says, "We intend to work closely not only with book publishers but also with federal and provincial governments, prize granting organizations, writers associations, booksellers, literary festivals, review media, and educational institutions." They have established a Code of Practice for members and "will provide a forum for professional development for agents at all stages of their careers." Also, "to start, PACLA will add our Canadian voice to the global Fair Contract Initiative. We will also meet with government representatives to ensure that a greater number of authors have a stronger voice in policy and legislation that has an impact on the lives of creative artists and on the health of the book publishing sector. "

Many in Book World Join Women's Marches

Many members of the book industry across the country participated in the Women's Marches held on Saturday, and as the American Library Association Mid-Winter Meeting and Exhibits got underway in Atlanta, Ga., some attendees ducked out to attend the city's march. Among our favorite signs seen in photos from the marches: "Librarians for Facts," "Book Clubs Against Bigots," "Make Margaret Atwood Fiction Again," "Women Who Read Are Dangerous" and "Women Are Literally the Best."

From top l., clockwise: Shelf Awareness's Kristianne Huntsberger and Marilyn Dahl in Seattle, Wash.; Margot Sage-EL, Watchung Booksellers, Montclair, N.J., in New York City; Christine Onorati of WORD Bookstores in Brooklyn, N.Y. and Jersey City, N.J., at the march in Washington, D.C.; Suzanna Hermans of Oblong Books & Music, Rhinebeck and Millerton, N.Y., with Alex Wolf in Washington; Steve Ross, Abrams Artists Agency, in D.C.; Flatiron's Bob Miller and Brian DeFiore of DeFiore & Company Literary Management in New York
via Shelf Awareness

Academics explore the world’s great ideas

A podcast series produced by Victoria University of Wellington’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and national broadcaster RNZ is looking at the role some of the world’s most revolutionary ideas have played in history and modern society.

Called Great Ideas, the series of six podcasts covers the American, French and Russian revolutions, the origins of democracy, Darwin and the theory of natural selection, the Protestant Reformation, revolution’s impact on art, fashion and literature, and the world of languages.

“This podcast series showcases the importance of the humanities and social sciences in understanding how certain ideas have shaped the world we live in, and why they remain critical today,” says Associate Dean (Teaching and Equity) in Victoria’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Dr Anita Brady.

The podcast series is inspired by the Victoria course Great Ideas. The course is offered online, or as a mix of online and face-to-face delivery, and has students look critically at some of the most exciting, important and revolutionary ideas in society and culture, and considers their ongoing influence.

“We realised that this discussion would prove interesting for a wider audience, so we contacted RNZ and suggested we collaborate on a series of panel discussions focusing on the course’s central ideas,” says Dr Brady.

“RNZ was enthusiastic and proposed Megan Whelan as a host for the series. RNZ recorded six episodes, each one featuring Megan and three academics in a discussion about one ‘Great Idea’ approached from a variety of perspectives.

“The result is a fascinating and lively listen that provides a broad overview of some of history’s most significant ideas from some of Victoria’s leading academics.”

Broadcasting times

RNZ is broadcasting the podcasts at the following times:

Great Ideas 4: The Reformation, featuring Dr Geoff Troughton, Professor Kathryn Walls, Dr Derek Woodard-Lehman (Otago).
9.06pm, Tuesday 24 January         
1.05am, Friday 27 January         

Great Ideas 5: Democracy and its discontents, featuring Professor Art Pomeroy, Emeritus Professor Nigel Roberts, Associate Professor Kate Hunter.
4.06pm, Sunday 29 January 
9.06pm, Tuesday 31 January 
1.05am, Friday 3 February 

Great Ideas 6: Darwin’s Origin of the Species, featuring Dr Rebecca Priestley, Associate Professor Joe Zuccarello, Professor Joe Bulbulia.
4.06pm, Sunday 5 February
9.06pm, Tuesday 7 February
1.05am, Friday 10 February        

Podcasts are also available to listen to on the RNZ website. The podcasts will be made available on Victoria’s podcast accounts on Soundcloud, iTunes and Stitcher once they have all aired on RNZ.

For more information contact Dr Anita Brady on 04-463 5528 or anita.brady@vuw.ac.nz

And, the #1 bestselling New Zealand novelist for 2016 is…

Deborah Challinor

It’s official.  Deborah Challinor is the number one bestselling New Zealand novelist for 2016.  Nielsen Book Scan figures for overall sales during the last calendar year put her at the top of the list of New Zealand novelists by a country mile.  This is the second year in a row she has achieved the number one spot. 

Deborah’s own special blend of well-researched period history, richly developed characters and a compelling story line is the key to her success.  It’s something her fans have appreciated since her first novel, Tamar was published fifteen years ago by HarperCollins New Zealand. 

Deborah’s total book sales in New Zealand alone amount to just over 185,000 copies to date.  She is also published in Germany, UK, Russia, the Czech Republic and Australia. 

Her most recent novel, Cloud Leopard’s Daughter was published in November 2016.  It’s the fourth book in the ‘Smuggler’s Wife’ series, which began with Kitty, set partly in the Bay of Islands of the 1830s. 

Deborah lives in Hamilton, New Zealand.  She recently spent four years in New South Wales researching and writing the four books that make up the Convict Girls series. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

A round-up of the most read stories of the past week on The Bookseller:

1. Children's author Babette Cole dies
2. 'The Guyliner' Justin Myers pens two novels for Little, Brown
3. Jenny Colgan review sparks social media storm
4. Editors call time on clean eating 'fad' (£)
5. British music writer Mark Fisher dies aged 48
6. Pearson to sell its stake in Penguin Random House
7. Fallon admits 'we got it wrong' as Pearson shares plunge
8. Obama names books which helped his presidency
9. A year in review: Huge surge completes Pan Mac push into fourth (£)
10. A year in review: Famous five pull clear at top (£)

Lit Hub Weekly

·         The role of stories to unify—as opposed to divide, to engage rather than to marginalize—is more important than ever.” President Obama discusses books and his love of reading with Michiko Kakutani. | The New York Times
·         “I read my poem, feeling American poets alive and dead by my side, feeling myself as representative in the most grave and beautiful way.” Elizabeth Alexander on composing and reciting a poem for Obama’s first Inauguration. | The New Yorker
·         The finalists for the 2017 NBCC Awards, PEN Literary Awards, National Magazine Awards for Print and Digital Media, and Edgar Awards have been announced. | National Book Critics Circle, PEN America, ASME, TheEdgars.com
·         I think genre is as much a lie as gender is: An interview with Eula Biss. | Fiction Advocate
·         “What a toll it has taken, this death and grieving and loss!” An excerpt from Patty Yumi Cottrell’s novel Sorry to Disrupt the Peace. | BuzzFeed Reader
·         “As long as Trump is in charge, if I absolutely have to visit the United States, I prefer to go in the queue for a regular visa with others.” Wole Soyinka, the first African writer to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, has destroyed his Green Card. | The Atlantic
Listen to me if you know what’s good for you: An advance look at Han Kang’s

When A Writer Says She Wants To Be Famous, The Lit World Has Questions

When A Writer Says She Wants To Be Famous, The Lit World Has Questions

Ottessa Moshfegh: “I think that’s what I’m interested in, this question of whether or not we are allowed to be other people. Are we allowed to change? Do we give ourselves permission to grow? Are we even capable of making those kinds of decisions? Is there a will, or are we just being pushed around by our own personalities, just fucked to be who we are?”