Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Italian publisher Mondadori is in talks to buy RCS Libri,
according to a Reuters report. Reuters said Mondadori was in “advanced talks” about
purchasing RCS Libri, with the deal worth between €120m and €150m (£88.8m
Blackwell’s has opened a new shop on Oxford Brookes University
campus, 40% bigger than its previous one on the site. The shop officially opened yesterday (18th February), and sits
above Starbucks in a new partnership for the bookseller. Starbucks is based
on the ground floor and Blackwell’s takes up the first and mezzanine levels
of the building. It features more trade books front of store than usual to
entice locals to use the shop.
Waterstones’ flagship Piccadilly store is expanding its
children’s section after a sales increase of 20%. London regional manager Luke Taylor said the company decided
to re-think the space after “the recent explosion in children's sales”,
driven by reference, games and educational related products. The children’s area will take up two-thirds of the second
floor and will include a bigger picture book and board book range, a new YA
space with crossover titles like Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird, and an area for
related products such as party packs and toys.
Writer Ali Smith has said the decrease in contact with the
arts in state schools, revealed in the Warwick Commission's report yesterday (18th
February), is "deeply distressing" and the sign of an
education system "going backwards".
Random House Children's Books US will this July publish a
recently discovered Dr Seuss book. What Pet Should I Get? features the brother
and sister characters introduced in Seuss’ One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, and
is about a child’s excitement over selecting a pet. The book will be
illustrated and will hit bookshelves in the US on July 28th. The manuscript was found in a box of the author’s texts and
sketches by his wife, Audrey Geisel, and his secretary Claudia Prescott,
said Random House. The story and the illustrations were nearly complete.
Jackie Collins, Margaret Atwood and Jojo Moyes are among the
names joining the third #TwitterFiction festival taking place from 11th to
15th May. The festival, which is run by the Association of American
Publishers and Penguin Random House, invites authors from across the
industry to create original fiction using the Twitter platform. Its aim is
to “embrace, explore and develop the art of storytelling on Twitter”, with
fiction that uses Twitter functionality creatively strongly encouraged.
Staffordshire has confirmed plans which will see more than
half of its libraries passed to volunteers. The county council's cabinet approved plans today (18th
February) that will see only 20 of the county's 43 libraries remain managed
and staffed by the council, while the rest will be "supported and
delivered by the community, with access to formal county council
Octopus imprint Mitchell Beazley is to publish a Chinese
cookbook by restaurant owner Andrew Wong. Publishing director Stephanie Jackson acquired world rights
all languages to A Wong
– The Cookbook from Juliet Pickering at Blake Friedmann. The book will provide “a fresh take on regional Chinese
cooking as well as breaking new ground and reintroducing forgotten Chinese
foods to the west”. Containing more than 100 recipes, the book will include a
foreward from Chinese chef Ken Hom.
Freight Books has signed a short story collection from writer
Janice Galloway. Publishing director Adrian Searle bought world English
language rights in the collection, titled Jellyfish, from Juliet Pickering at Blake
Friedmann. Searle said: “I’m delighted to be publishing Janice Galloway’s
latest collection of stories, Jellyfish.
She is a writer I have read with admiration from the beginning of her
career. She is undoubtedly one of the most significant voices in
contemporary British literature and a master of the short form.”