Tuesday, October 13, 2015

John le Carré to reveal his spying secrets in memoir

The Pigeon Tunnel, to be published in 2016, will detail the real-life experience of spying for MI5 and MI6 behind his thrillers

John le Carré is to open the door to his “secret world” for the first time in a memoir due to be published next autumn.

The bestselling spy novelist, whoThe spy novelist, who worked for MI5 and MI6 before he hit the bestseller charts with The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, will release The Pigeon Tunnel, subtitled “stories from my life”, in September 2016.

“Out of the secret world I once knew, I have tried to make a theatre for the larger worlds we inhabit,” he writes in the book. “First comes the imagining, then the search for reality. Then back to the imagining, and to the desk where I’m sitting now.”

“The Wallace Arts Trust Prize” short fiction contest

Alternative Bindings invites you to enter the 2016
“The Wallace Arts Trust Prize” short fiction contest 

With the support of the Wallace Foundation and the GABA Charitable Trust we are awarding the following prizes in 2016

·         $600 for the Wallace Arts Trust Prize Best Short Story; and
·         $300 for the Wallace Arts Trust Runner-up Short Story.

The competition welcomes both emerging and established writers to share their stories based on the theme ‘A Kiwi Romance’ using a maximum of 750 words 
Participation is the most valued aspect of this inaugural award, which is also supported by the GABA Trust. 
The winning story will be announced in Auckland during Pride 2016 and published on gaynz.com. Additional publicity and storytelling opportunities are being pursued – watch this space! 

The rules can be found at this link: http://alternativebindings.blogspot.co.nz/2015/09/alternative-bindings-and-2016-wallace.html

Kupapa: The Bitter Legacy of Maori Alliances with the Crown

Kupapa has been variously defined as being neutral (in a quarrel), being loyal, being an ally, or being a traitor. The word itself has come to be as hotly contested as its history.

The Treaty of Waitangi struck a bargain between two parties: the Crown and Maori. Its promises of security, however, were followed from 1845 to 1872 by a series of volatile and bloody conflicts commonly known as the New Zealand Wars.

Many people today believe that these wars were fought solely between the Crown and Maori, when the reality is that Maori aligned with both sides — resulting in three participants with differing viewpoints.

It is rarely recognised, for instance, that Te Wherowhero, later the first Maori King, was originally a strong supporter of the Crown; or that the numbers of Maori who aligned with the Crown or were neutral probably exceeded those who fought against it. Or that the frontline combat over the final two years was fought almost exclusively between opposing Maori forces.

Captivating, comprehensive and thought-provoking, Kupapa addresses those realities, the complex Treaty-related reasons for them, and the cynical use of Maori by the Crown for its own purposes.
In the vein of Belich, Binney and Salmond, author Ron Crosby, a lawyer and recent member of the Waitangi Tribunal, provides an unstinting examination that — for the first time ever — focuses on a critical component of what Maori might consider New Zealand's very own civil wars.

An important work that gives voice to an unspoken chapter of New Zealand history.

Penguin Books Hardback - $65.00

About the author:
Ron Crosby holds a Bachelor of Law (Honours) from the University of Auckland and spent the first 35 years of his career working as a barrister in the New Zealand courts (including twice in the Privy Council). He has since acted as a commissioner hearing a wide range of cases under the Resource Management Act, as a part-time member of the Waitangi Tribunal (since 2011), and as a mediator and arbitrator.

While still practising law, over a period of five years he researched and wrote his first book, The Musket Wars: A History of Inter-iwi Conflict (1999, republished in 2001 and 2012). This was followed by Gilbert Mair: Te Kooti's Nemesis (2004), Andris Apse: Odyssey and Images — An Illustrated Biography (2006, republished in 2013 as Andris, Where Are You?), Albaneta: Lost Opportunity at Cassino (2007), NZSAS: The First Fifty Years (2009, republished in 2011), and A Desperate Dawn: The Battle for Turuturu Mokai, 1868 (2013).

Ron's deep interest in Maori history was first sparked by his wife, Margy, and her father, Manga Kamariera (Cameron) of Te Rarawa and Te Aupouri. Ron and Margy have three adult children and eight grandchildren, and now live in Blenheim.

Top 50 Women Writers of the last 50 years - vote now !


Have you voted? Voting extended to this Wednesday 14 October

Help The Women’s Bookshop find the Top 50 Women Writers  of the last 50 years.

VOTE NOW for your TOP 5 and go in the draw to win all 50 books!

Exploring Nature's Pattern Magic

Exploring Nature's Pattern Magic, by Dee Pignéguy

Nature displays an endless variety of eye-catching patterns in a variety of form, colour and texture.
Patterns help us understand how energy flows through nature’s network of complex systems. Patterns show us how nature’s organisms survive, how they make things and how life is organized and connected on our planet- Earth Nature’s patterns give us an introduction and understanding of mathematics. She packs efficiently, ties knots, builds columns, makes hexagons, uses spirals and nets and bubbles. But thinking about and seeing the mathematics of nature requires practice. So open your eyes and discover a new way of looking at the world around you.
Author Bio:
Dee Pigneguy came to New Zealand from Canada in 1963 and trained as a primary school teacher. Her interest in nutrition, healthy food and nature developed as she grew up on a remote coastal property in British Columbia. Her mother, Joan Donley engaged all her children in their self-sufficient lifestyle, growing fruit and vegetables, raising pigs, chickens, duck and goats and gathering shellfish at low tide .Dee believes her new book Exploring Nature’s Pattern Magic will help people engage with nature and realise just how important the natural environment is to sustaining our own life here on Planet Earth

Dee Pignéguy’s website: www.feedmeright.co.nz

Exploring Nature’s Pattern Magic
by Dee Pignéguy
Publisher: Mary Egan Publishing
ISBN: 9780473323561
Extent: 32 Pages + Cover
Cover: 4c x 0c (Full colour)
RRP: $24.99

Four curiously good books from Gecko Press for October 2015

SHHH! I’M SLEEPING by French author/illustrator Dorothée de Monfreid reminds readers of the joys – and headaches – of sharing a bedroom. This boardbook is in an eye-catching skinny format, and will be one for dog-lovers, too!    $19.99
• • •

Gecko Press favourite Leo Timmers (author/illustrator of the bestselling Who’s Driving?) is back with a picture-book treat for robot-lovers – or anyone who needs reminding about the importance of opening one’s mind to the unbelievable. FRANKY is an intricately illustrated story about a boy and his robot friend.
Hardback $29.99 Paperback $19.99

• • •

You may already have heard rumblings about HAVE YOU SEEN ELEPHANT? by David Barrow, as we’ve been having trouble containing our excitement, and word is spreading…!

It’s an absurd story of a boy playing hide-and-seek with his elephant. Its understated humour and watercolour illustrations (reminiscent of David Burningham’s) will appeal to a wide range of readers
and ages.

Have You Seen Elephant? is a debut picture book from a UK author/illustrator who has already had international publishers in bidding wars over his work. We sold the rights to this book to China and Taiwan months before its release.   Hardback $29.99 Paperback $19.99

• • •

Older children will be pleased to discover THE KNOT IMPOSSIBLE in their Christmas stockings. The fourth and final book in Barbara Else’s multi award-winning “Tales of Fontania” series is a rollicking sea adventure in which a boy who suffers stage-fright is suddenly centre stage: the only one who can right an ancient wrong and save the kingdom. The Knot Impossible is a stand-alone story, making it a great place to discover the world of Fontania. 

Taking My Mothter to the Opera - Dunedin author's remarkable memoir

Gosh I was hugely impressed and moved by this astonishing poetic achievement by Diane Brown 
Essentially a 116 page memoir written entirely in verse Brown tells us of her family life and
at the same time paints a thoughtful picture of domestic life in New Zealand post Word War Two. 
I was so captivated that I read it in one long sitting lasting several hours.And how wonderful that Otago University Press published it in hardcover  - a bargain at $29.95.

About the author:

Diane Brown is the author of two poetry books – Before the Divorce We Go to Disneyland and Learning to Lie Together; two novels – If the Tongue Fits and Eight Stages of Grace; a travel memoir, Liars and Lovers; and a prose/poetic work, Here Comes Another Vital Moment. She has received the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship, the Janet Frame Memorial Award and the Beatson Fellowship, and in 2013 was made a Member of New Zealand Order of Merit for services to writing and education. Diane lives in Dunedin with her husband, writer Philip Temple, and runs her own writing school, Creative Writing Dunedin.

Taking My Mother to the Opera
By Diane Brown

In bookshops now.
Hardback with ribbon
ISBN 978-1-927322-15-4, $29.95


Latest News from The Bookseller

Atlantic Books has three titles on the shortlist for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2015, which celebrates the best in non-fiction writing.
The shortlisted books were revealed yesterday (11th October) at The Royal Festival Hall in London.
Julia Donaldson
Picture book author Julia Donaldson is encouraging online shoppers to use her local independent bookshop, The Steyning Bookshop.
Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction judges 2016
Margaret Mountford, Elif Shafak, Naga Munchetty, Laurie Penny, and Tracey Thorn will judge The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2016.
Sales of Robert Galbraith’s first two books have reached 1.5m copies across print, audio and e-books.
The Publishers Association
The Publishers Association has released a formal response to the BBC’s Charter Review in which it highlights the “powerful” and “mutually beneficial” relationship between the BBC and publishers, and warns the broadcaster against venturing into commercial territory.
Dan Davies has won the Gordon Burn Prize for In Plain Sight: The Life and Lies of Jimmy Savile (Quercus).

Viking has pre-empted a “major literary memoir of love, loss and redemption” called Gone by child prodigy Min Kym.
South Korean born Kym was raised in the UK and started playing the violin at the age of six. At seven she was accepted as the youngest ever scholar to the Purcell School of Music; at 13 she was playing with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra; at 16 American violinist, Ruggiero Ricci said she was "the most talented violinist I have ever worked with".
Publishers are kicking off 2016 with débuts they hope to launch as the next big thing.
Viking is to publish two books by US novelist and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout, whose book Olive Kitteridge (Simon & Schuster) was turned into an HBO miniseries.
Publishing director Venetia Butterfield acquired the books from Penguin Random House USA.
Viking said it plans a major campaign to launch Strout, a bestseller in the US, in the UK, including broadsheet profile interviews, national radio interviews and an author visit with major literary events on publication.
Penguin RandomHouse will next month publish a series of Ladybird books for grown-ups with titles such as The Ladybird Book of the Mid-Life Crisis and The Ladybird Book of The Hipster.
Mayersche and Osiander
Two of Germany’s largest family-owned chains have announced a strategic partnership in order to safeguard their future as independent booksellers.
Mayersche and Osiander will continue to be run as commercially separate businesses but are exploring possibilities to closely cooperate in areas like buying, marketing, e-commerce, IT systems and background administration. They will also each have a seat on each other‘s boards.
Penguin Random House's Michael Joseph division has signed three new thrillers by MJ Arlidge.

When Pen Names Take On A Life Of Their Own


“The literary appeal of the pseudonym and of the reclusive genius tend to go hand in hand.”

Avatar comics series announced by James Cameron


Dark Horse Comics to publish new work expanding on the mythology and history of the film’s fictional world
‘Expanding the breathtaking world of Pandora’ ... detail from the Avatar comics’ artwork. Photograph: PR             Monday 12 October 2015           The Guardian                                                                                                         A new series of comics set on the planet of Pandora and exploring the universe of Avatar has been announced by James Cameron. The writer and director, who is currently working on three follow-ups to the hit 2009 science fiction film, revealed at New York Comic Con this weekend that he was teaming up with Dark Horse Comics to expand the story of Avatar into the world of comic books. The new series will, he said, “shed more light on the mythology and history of the beloved film franchise”.  Set on the distant planet of Pandora, an exotic world peopled by the alien Na’vi, Avatar made nearly $2.8bn (£1.8bn) at the box office. The science fiction writer Steven Gould, author of Jumper, is also working with Cameron on four standalone novels set in the Avatar universe, it was announced in 2013.  More   

Ladybird Books to deal with hangovers and mid-life crises

The Ladybird Book of the Mid-Life Crisis is just one of a series of new books designed to tackle modern problems

The Ladybird Book of The Hipster, and The Mid-Life Crisis
The Ladybird Book of The Hipster, and The Mid-Life Crisis  

They were the wholesome educational aids which taught generations of children the basics of everything from cake decorating to nuclear power

But now Penguin Ladybird Books have tapped into the ‘kidult’ trend, launching a series of books which promise to help with modern day problems such as ‘mid-life crises’, hangovers and dating.
While the original books reflected an idealised world of happy nuclear families and endless promise, the new editions are darkly comic.

"It's like being allowed to mess about with a national treasure."
Joel Morris
"When we're young we wonder if we'll be a surgeon or an astronaut. We can be anything we want to be. Then one day we can't," begins The Ladybird Book of the Mid-Life Crisis.
Author Joel Morris, who helped write the new books said: “That bit makes me cry. It's too close to the bone.”
Morris said he wanted to help adults make sense of the world, just as the original books had helped children fathom the workings of cars and steam engines. More

The Apprentice star Margaret Mountford hired to judge Baileys women's prize

Mountford, famous from Alan Sugar’s business reality show, will chair judges for women’s fiction award

Judging again ... Margaret Mountford Photograph: Talkback Thames/BBC
Margaret Mountford, the former lawyer whose putdowns and raised eyebrows made her the stuff of legend on The Apprentice, will chair the judging panel for next year’s Baileys women’s prize for fiction.

Mountford, who took part in five series of Alan Sugar’s The Apprentice before leaving to gain a PhD in papyrology at UCL, will be joined by fellow judges Tracey Thorn, the Everything But The Girl singer and author of two memoirs, New Statesman contributing editor Laurie Penny, whose latest book Unspeakable Things is a dissection of modern feminism, the award-winning Turkish novelist Elif Shafak and BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty.

Launched in 1996 to celebrate fiction by women after the Booker’s failure to shortlist a single female author in 1991, the women’s prize is now in its 21st year, and has been won by names from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to Lionel Shriver.

“There are so many great female writers that chairing this year’s panel for the Baileys women’s prize for fiction is going to be a real challenge,” Mountford said in a statement. “I’m really looking forward to reading and comparing views on the books with my fellow judges.”

The £30,000 prize, which will be awarded on 8 June next year, is open to any woman writing in English.

How to Make Readings Not Boring

An Oral History of Lit Crawls Across the Country

October 9, 2015  By Literary Hub

Over the last decade Lit Crawl—which started in San Francisco—has expanded to nine cities, with more added each year. Essentially an act of literary bar-hopping, the Lit Crawls have become bookish institutions in their respective cities, an ideal way for local literary communities to unite, and drink, and read. What follows is a brief history of the Lit Crawl, from across the country.

Describe your first experience with Lit Crawl...

Jack Boulware (co­founder and Executive Director of Litquake): This is sort of the apocryphal Lit Crawl tale, and it happened in 2004, the first year we did it in San Francisco. The event was scheduled to be in a bar in the Mission District, which shall go unnamed, and was curated by the MacAdam/Cage publishing house. We all assembled inside the pub and it was already packed with rowdy drunk people who of course had no knowledge there was a Lit Crawl. We asked the staff to turn down the music, and they just stared at us and said we needed to talk to the manager, who was not there. There were about five readers, and a cluster of people who wanted to hear them. TV screens were locked on some kind of game, the music was blasting. We were trapped. And then, hats off to the late David Poindexter, publisher of MacAdam, he grabbed a chair and hoisted it over his head, and we all followed him through the bar and out onto the sidewalk, and he sat it down, and each writer stood on top of the chair, in front of a janitorial supply store, and read from their work. No microphone, people just gathered around, drinks in their hands, and listened to the readings. Cars were slowing down, and people were hanging out the windows, asking what’s going on. Somebody shouted, “It’s a literary reading!” It was so raw, pure. I’ll never forget it.


A Playfully Unconventional Take on a Modern Love Story

Off the Shelf
By Ana Giovinazzo    |   Monday, October 12, 2015
Daniel Handler, the man behind the popular Lemony Snicket books, is best known for this beloved, delightfully melancholy children’s series, but nowhere does he showcase his artful prose and knack for capturing the essence of human relationships better than in his underappreciated fragmentary novel for adults, Adverbs. READ MORE

Monday, October 12, 2015

Gordon Burn Prize Goes To Jimmy Savile Book

Book2BookSunday 11 Oct 2015

A journalist who interviewed Jimmy Savile extensively over the last six years of his life has won an award for his book about the fallen celebrity.
Dan Davies won the Gordon Burn Prize for his book, In Plain Sight: The Life and Lies of Jimmy Savile.
Actress - and judge - Maxine Peake described it as "compelling".
"This is so much more than a book about the monster that is Savile. It's about grotesque social attitudes towards the famous and money," she said.
The winner was picked from a selected shortlist by a judging panel comprising of Peake, authors Roddy Doyle and Doug Johnstone, artist Gavin Turk and journalist Suzanne Moore.



UK-based Romanian author's first novel in English becomes a sensation

Murder mystery The Book of Mirrors, snapped up by publishers in 18 countries, is expected to make Eugene Chirovici a seven-figure sum

Eugene Chirovici
Eugene Chirovici moved to Britain three years ago because his son was studying at Cardiff University. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian
He came to live in Britain only three years ago, now Eugene Chirovici’s first attempt at writing a novel in English has become a global publishing phenomenon.

The Romanian author’s murder mystery, The Book of Mirrors, has been snapped up by publishers in 18 countries – with auctions having involved up to 11 publishers in each territory. Smaller countries such as Iceland, which tend to wait until an untested English-language book has proved itself in the UK and US, have also bought the novel before its publication in 2017.

Chirovici, 51, who lives in Reading, wrote 10 “literary mystery” novels in Romania over the past two decades, but the market was too small for him to live off his books and he worked as a journalist. Now he is expected to make a seven-figure sum from the publishing deals alone.
He said: “I’m not sure I realise what’s happening. It is very overwhelming and unexpected.” 

NZSA Book Week 2015

12 October 2015


October 26 – November 1

New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc) celebrates Book Week with a grass roots campaign.

Facing a second year with no NZ Book Month, the NZSA has taken the initiative and is running a grass roots campaign with the message 'Read NZ Buy NZ'. NZSA Book Week will take place October 26 to November 1.

NZSA Book Week 2015 incorporates the inaugural NZ Bookshop Day – Your Place, Your Bookshop on Saturday October 31.  175 Booksellers will be hosting local events and celebrating with authors in their shops for  book signings, readings, window displays and helping out in the store, seminars or chatting to customers.

Back in 1936 NZSA, then known as the PEN Centre, instigated Authors Week which was a successful event for many years, so it is fitting that the Society is promoting Book Week as a campaign for recognition for books written by New Zealand authors.

Old newsletters of the Society report “NZ Books emerged from the back shelves of booksellers’ shops and into the window display”. We aim for the same in 2015 – and more.

Posters featuring the slogans ‘Read NZ Buy NZ’ and ‘Read Our Stories’ will spearhead the campaign and author activities include in-store events, workshops and forums together with a NZ Books campaign on Facebook and Twitter. Everyone is welcome to use the posters which can be downloaded from www.authors.org.nz

“Positive spin-offs of the week are seeing such a wide variety of grassroots activities being developed in response to this initiative, and providing an opportunity for booksellers and authors – who should be natural allies – to come together,” said Kyle Mewburn, President of NZSA.

This is an opportunity for book groups around the country to choose the work of a New Zealand writer, or for clubs to invite a local author to speak to their group.

For more information, or to find an author to speak to your group, contact NZSA National Office or your nearest NZSA Branch.

National Office email: office@nzauthors.org.nz phone 09 379 4801

Helen Clark: Inside Stories - Major title coming from AUP later this month

During 2012–2013, documentary-makers Claudia Pond Eyley and Dan Salmon interviewed a host of participants about the life of Helen Clark. 
The resulting transcripts from those interviews are woven together into a compelling narrative. In stores later this month is Helen Clark: Inside Stories; a brilliantly multi-faceted, inside account of the tumultuous life and times of one of our most important political leaders.

Other news from AUP

An explosive and original thriller for fans of I Am Pilgrim.

The Killing Kind
Published by Hachette New Zealand,  TPB $34.99 RRP/EBK $19.99 RRP

Michael Hendricks is not a good man. He doesn't deserve a good life. But he is very good at his job. He's the killing kind.  
He doesn't accept contract kills. He doesn't work for any criminal organisation. And he never kills civilians. He only hits hitters.
He's not the kind of guy you call if you want to pop somebody who's pissed you off or done you wrong. He's not a guy you call at all - he calls you.  
And when he does, you'd be advised to take his call. Because it means that someone wants you dead, and time is running out to save your life.   
It's not a bad way to make a living, but it's a great way to make enemies.   
And now both the FBI and the mafia have Hendricks in their sights, he's about to learn just how good he really is.....

A great read. I hope more titles featuring Hendriccks will be forthcoming. 

About The Author: Chris Holm is an award-winning short story writer whose work has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, including Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Needle: A Magazine of Noir, and The Best American Mystery Stories 2011. His critically acclaimed trilogy of Collector novels, which blended fantasy with old-fashioned crime pulp, appeared on over forty year's best lists. He lives in Portland, Maine.