Tuesday, April 30, 2013

City libraries turn up the volume with live performance programs

130426a Dan AcfieldSounds in the silence of Brisbane Square Library from musician Dan Acfield. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen Source: The Australian

DOWN a quiet street, the sound of jazz can be heard. It's a midweek evening and a motley group is gathered at the local library in the inner Sydney suburb of Newtown: students, young professionals and couples in their 60s mingle under low-slung fairy lights, sampling wine and cheese before the show.

There's a wonderfully spontaneous feel to the evening. Upstairs, a black curtain is draped haphazardly across the library's mezzanine, lights rigged up and an assortment of chairs and cushions supplied. It's as though everyone has gathered at a friend's apartment for a show, except here Campfire Collective, a boutique events producer, has invited local comedian Michael Hing to perform as part of a comedy series.
Wine, cheese, comedy -- in a library? Evidently, this isn't your average book-club meeting. This is Late Night Library, something decidedly different.

The City of Sydney council launched the Late Night Library program in 2011 as a way of revitalising the city's night-time entertainment options. Originally based at Surry Hills Library, word spread quickly and the free events, ranging from cult film screenings and discussion panels to erotic fan-fiction readings and performances where local personalities read embarrassing excerpts from their teenage diaries, became regularly booked out. More than 4000 people have attended these late-night events since the launch and the program has expanded. This year, events will be held not only at Surry Hills but also at the Customs House, Kings Cross and Newtown libraries.

"Libraries aren't just for quiet reading any more," Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore says. "We want them to be useful for everyone, including people who can't get there in the day."
Libraries across the country are redefining themselves as dynamic and multi-functional cultural centres. While they continue to provide a haven for quiet reading and reflection in the noise of a big city, by night they are discovering a second vocation as centres of community interaction and broader cultural exploration.

Lambeth Palace retrieves stolen collection of extraordinary rare books

Early edition of Shakespeare and historic accounts of expeditions among 1,400 'priceless' books discovered in attic

The thief removed around 1,400 books from Lambeth Palace library in the early 1970s. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian

From an early edition of Shakespeare's Henry IV Part 2 to illustrated accounts of the first expeditions to America, an extraordinary collection of rare books dating back to the early 17th century has been returned to Lambeth Palace almost 40 years after it was stolen.

The palace's librarian realised as long ago as 1975 that there were gaps on the library's shelves, putting the number at around 60 missing volumes; it was difficult to ascertain the exact figure, as the catalogue cards had been removed and the collection was still in a certain amount of disarray following a direct bomb hit during the second world war.

"It's nearly 40 years since it happened and we'd long ago given up hope that we would get them back," said Declan Kelly, director of libraries for the Church of England. "The theft was discovered in the early 1970s and the police were informed, the book trade were informed, but the police didn't catch the thief and the trail ran cold."

In February 2011, the palace's newly appointed librarian was stunned to hear from a solicitor dealing with the estate of the recently deceased thief, in which the culprit – who had "been associated with the library", said Kelly – made a full confession, and revealed the location of the books in a London attic. "I had a list of 60-90 books we definitely knew were gone," said Kelly. "But it gradually became clear that the loft was just completely full of books."

The thief had taken not 60 books, but around 1,400, many from the libraries of the Elizabethan and Jacobean archbishops John Whitgift, Richard Bancroft and George Abbot, dating back to the library's original foundation collection in 1610. The theft included engraved, illustrated volumes from Theodor de Bry's America, from the early 1600s; a book about Martin Frobisher's search for the Northwest Passage in the 16th century, A True Discourse of the Late Voyages of Discoverie for the Finding of a Passage to Cathaya; and a book about French surgery from the late 1500s, of which only six or seven survive in the world.

"Once we got over the shock, we were very happy to have them back," said Kelly. The thief had damaged quite a number of the books, trying to remove proof of ownership by cutting out pages or crests, or by using chemicals to eradicate the ink. The library has spent the last two years in a restoration project, with 10% of the titles now restored – staff were keen not to reveal the books' return until they "had some evidence of progress", said Kelly.

"We can't work out what the thief was thinking," he said. "If you go to the trouble of trying to remove marks of ownership, it does suggest you are trying to sell them. But on the other hand, the fact they had all been put in the loft suggests differently. You do read about fanatics who just want to have art and own it for themselves – but it's very strange."

He declined to put a value on the collection, although one rare book dealer told the BBC that Bry's America could be worth £150,000, and the Shakespeare around £50,000, if undamaged. "We couldn't put a monetary value on them – the value to the library is for researchers [and the books' return] gives quite a different view of [the Elizabethan and Jacobean] archbishops, that they were staying abreast of current affairs," said Kelly. "We can't put a price on something like that."

And report from BBC

Pushkin House Russian Book Prize shortlist announced

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The shortlist for the inaugural Pushkin House Russian Book Prize, sponsored by Waterstones, “shows the extent of vibrant writing on the Russian speaking world which can help promote mutual understanding” said Andrew Jack of the Financial Times.

The announcement took place this evening at the Russian Bookshop at Waterstones Piccadilly. “We are excited to have such a strong shortlist in the first year of the Pushkin Prize” added Jack who is co-chairman of Pushkin House.

The prize is open to any popular non-fiction books written in English on Russia, or the Russian-speaking world, and attracted more than 40 entries, including translations from both German and French. Pushkin House, which is London’s leading centre for Russian Arts, hopes the prize will encourage and reward the very best non-fiction writing on Russia, whilst promoting serious discussion on the issues raised.

The list takes in the lost aristocracy after the revolution, in Former People; the emergence of Stalin’s Terror, in Moscow, 1937; a look back to Cold War Russia, in The Iron Curtain, and Soviet Baby Boomers; the growth of Russia’s oil industry in Wheel of Fortune; and the Man Without a Face, Vladimir Putin.
The shortlist in full:

The Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-1956, Anne Applebaum (Allen Lane) Read an extract
Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin, Masha Gessen (Granta)
Wheel of Fortune: The Battle for Oil and Fortune in Russia, Thane Gustafson (Harvard University Press)
Soviet Baby Boomers: An Oral History of Russia’s Post War Generation, Donald J Raleigh (Oxford University Press)
Moscow, 1937Karl Schlögel (Polity Press)
Former People: The Last Days of Russia’s Aristocracy, Douglas Smith (Macmillan)

The winner will be announced at the Hay Festival on Wednesday 29th May at 6pm, and will win a cash prize of £5,000.

Dan Lewis, for Waterstones.com/blog

Taiwanese Bookstore Chain Eslite Expands Aggressively into China

Taiwanese bookstore chain Eslite is aggressively expanding beyond its borders, with new stores in Hong Kong and several planned for mainland China, including one in a hotel.
Do super-sized bookstores still have a viable business model or are they being reduced to mere showrooms for ebooks?
More News from PP:
Our weekly roundup takes in Cory Doctorow's conversion to data evangelism, reaction to Patterson's wake up publishing ads, BEA's silly cupcake promo and more.
Publishing Perspectives' Berlin-based contributing editor Amanda DeMarco is launching a new short-form publishing company focusing on translations.
From the Archives:
In what’s become a trend, Korean publishers are opening popular bookstore cafes. Should more Western publishers follow suit or is bookselling no longer part of their DNA?

Jeffrey Paparoa Holman to judge the Kathleen Grattan Award for Poetry 2013

Jeffrey Paparoa Holman (left) - poet, fiction/non-fiction writer and lecturer, will judge the Kathleen Grattan Award for Poetry 2013, New Zealand’s premier poetry prize.

The winner of the Kathleen Grattan Award receives $16,000, making it the richest poetry prize in New Zealand; the winning manuscript is considered for publication by Otago University Press and the winner also receives a year’s subscription to Landfall.

Jeffrey Paparoa Holman, reflecting on the role of judge, said:

‘I got to visit the great American poet Jack Gilbert last year, in a rest home in Berkeley, three days before he died. Jack had Alzheimer’s – he was there but not there. I read him two of his poems, one of mine and held his hand.

‘In a 2005 Paris Review interview, he said that what mattered to him was “paying attention to being alive”. Jack, in his poetry, certainly did.  “When I read the poems that matter to me,” he said, “it stuns me how much the presence of the heart – in all its forms – is endlessly available there.”

‘The endlessly available human heart – that’s what I’ll be hoping to find.’

Holman has written several collections of poetry: As Big as a Father (2002), was long-listed for the Poetry Category of the Montana New Zealand Book Awards 2003. The title poem ‘As Big as a Father’ also won the 1997 Whitirea Prize; CUP published his most recent collection, Shaken Down 6.3, in 2004. In 2012 he was awarded the Creative New Zealand University of Iowa Residency. The Lost Pilot: A Memoir is due to be published by Penguin Books NZ in May 2013.

The Kathleen Grattan Award is for an original collection of poems or a long poem by a New Zealand or Pacific resident or citizen. Entries are accepted from 1st May; the closing date is 31st July. 
The winner will be announced in the November issue of Landfall. Conditions of entry are available on the Otago University Press website: http://www.otago.ac.nz/press/landfall/grattanaward.html

MEET LAURAINE JACOBS: THURSDAY, 9 MAY from 6:00-7:30PM upstairs at Time Out Bookstore in Auckland's Mt.Eden

Food legend and well-known cookbook author, Lauraine Jacobs will be instore to talk about her latest book: Everlasting Feast: A treasury of recipes and culinary adventures. 

Join us on what promises to be a great night of talk about food and memories...rsvp essential to 630 3331 or books@timeout.co.nz

All-female shortlist for 2013 Miles Franklin Award

ABC News

An all-female shortlist has been named for the 2013 Miles Franklin Award, Australia's most prestigious literary prize.

First-time novelists Romy Ash, Annah Faulkner and Drusilla Modjeska, are among the five nominees competing for the $60,000 prize.
Author of Questions of Travel, Michelle de Kretser, and Carrie Tiffany, who penned Mateship with Birds, complete the shortlist.
The winner will be announced on June 19 at The National Library of Australia in Canberra.
The five authors will also receive $5,000 in prize money from Copyright Agency's Cultural Fund.

The shortlist

  • Romy Ash - Floundering
  • Annah Faulkner - The Beloved
  • Michelle de Kretser - Questions Of Travel
  • Drusilla Modjeska - The Mountain
  • Carrie Tiffany - Mateship With Birds

"Congratulations to all the shortlisted authors," Simon Lewis, Head of Philanthropy and Community at the Trust Company said.
"The shortlist demonstrates how strong Australia's pipeline of female literary talent really is, as witnessed with last year's Miles Franklin winner, Anna Funder, as well as by the growing number of first time female authors included in the long and shortlists in recent years."

Spoilt for Choice - three new short story collections reviewed by Maggie Rainey-Smith

I’ve just read three new short story collections and it feels greedy. They are all quite different, and yet too, they deal with similar themes, love, loss, convention, modernity, relationships.   I was trying to think what a good short story does – and nourish seems a good word, the idea, that the story leaves you feeling satisfied (maybe disturbed, maybe provoked) but still a sense of substance – the familiar and the peculiar.  

‘Two Girls in a Boat’
By Emma Martin
Published by VUP, May 2013
RRP $35.00

                Emma Martin’s collection with the intriguing title ‘Two girls in a boat’ is dark, dense and suspenseful and a very good read.     The stories are mostly quite conventional, stories we’ve heard before.  But too, they are also original and compelling in the telling.  I read recently on Emma Darwin’s blog, quoting Paul Ashton ‘Plot is the route you take; story is the journey you make.’   It is the journey that Martin excels at.  I found myself right inside all of the stories, at times holding my breath, frequently expecting the worst.   Even the most benign story has a sense of foreboding.  And yet, there are no fancy tricks, no spectacular metaphors, just exceptionally good writing – someone who understands what a short story is meant to do.   And too, although filled with a sense of dread and foreboding at times (quite palpable, my heart racing even)...when I let my guard down and was not expecting it, true tragedy struck.  For obvious reasons, I won’t tell you which story.
                 One of my favourites was ‘Vukovar’ about a young woman hitchhiking in Yugoslavia (perhaps the 70’s) and I loved ‘Victor’ a most poignant story about an older man who protests outside an abortion clinic – two stories beginning with a V that really appealed to me.   The cover is by the very talented Sarah Laing, the slightly incongruous image of two women fully clothed and thigh-deep in water, one with a fox fur around her neck. It lends the collection an air of mysterious modernity. Although, the stories range in era from a father returning from war, to the perennial unwed mother on a bus going out of town, to the title and very contemporary story.
                It is an impressive debut. But having said that, the title story ‘Two girls in a boat’ was published in Granta online in June 2012 and other work has appeared in ‘Sport’ and the ‘Listener.’ I was reminded at times of Charlotte Grimshaw – that deliberate and specific gathering of ordinary and at times random information as it builds and builds seemingly without any particular purpose but there is nothing random whatsoever in this writing – it lures you right in.  The stories are beautifully crafted and   reminded me just how much I love short stories – especially when they are well done.

The China Factory’
by Mary Costello
Published by Text Publishing, Melbourne, Australia, April 24, 2013-04-29
RRP NZ $30.00

The title story reeled me right in to this collection. The China Factory is about a young woman who goes to work in a China Factory working as a sponger (“sponging off the symmetry lines that the moulds left on the clay cups.”).   She hasn’t told the other workers that this is temporary and that she will leave and go to study in Dublin and even worse, she is so good at her job, she gets promoted.   But the story is also about her distant relative Gus, who is considered a freak by the factory girls, and with whom Mary gets a ride to work each day.  I loved this story and the guilt that Mary feels when she escapes their lives to pursue her own.
                Costello writes with great eloquence of the loneliness within relationships, marriage, old age, a whole host of domestic arrangements, but all imbued with perhaps a slightly new angle, although again, nothing is really new, just the way the story is revealed.       The second story in the collection ‘You fill up my senses’, reminded me of ‘The Bull calf’ by Janet Frame.   ‘Astral Plane’ is an alluringly modern story and the finals story ‘The Sewing Room’ is an old story, a truly Irish, but also universal story, and it breaks your heart a little.  The tension between fidelity, domesticity and the personal journey in a relationship is explored from many angles in this very Irish collection.   Lovely place names like the Burren, the Atlantic Ocean close at hand, characters gone to Canada and Boston, and the shadow of guilt just there on the edge of many stories.    There’s space in these stories for the reader to observe and fill in the gaps - at times a safe distance which doesn’t diminish their impact.  This too is a debut collection. 

The Secret Lives of Men’
By Georgia Blain
Published by Scribe Publications, April 2013
 RRP NZ $35.00

I really like the title of this collection.  The cover too.   These are modern stories, and they are full of interesting ideas.  This not a debut, Blain is a well-known and successful writer who has been short-listed for numerous awards.  Indeed, the sticker on this collection says “Love this book or your money back.”    Blain’s themes are varied and contemporary and interesting.  I enjoyed ‘The Bad Dog Park’, a quirky story about an older man, his sick dog, his sad life and his decision to love – I felt it worked well, and too ‘Mirrored’ which began as quite a clutter and then distilled.  ‘Big Dreams’ had me chuckling, but the characters felt more like caricature. ‘Intelligence Quotient’ has an interesting theme at the heart of it and ‘Escape’ feels like part of a novel with more to explore.                 At times the stories suffer from the clutter of too many characters, and this diluted my emotional connection, particularly in ‘Enlarged+heart+child’ a quirkily named story that didn’t quite come off for me, with characters labelled Bed 1, Bed 2, and Bed 3.
                Many of the stories in this collection feel as if they are ideas for bigger pieces. Some of the stories fail to nail that essential ingredient, a key moment, a core theme, a transition -something that lingers longer than the story itself, something quite simple, but now I can see, actually quite difficult to pull off.   But to be fair, the stories are original, quirky and uncompromising.  I really enjoyed ‘Her Boredom Trick’, three generations, an ailing grandmother, her daughter and the granddaughter.  Although very little happens, it has that ‘after-taste’ of a good story, and finally ‘Flyover’ which held me in its grip.

About the reviewer:
Maggie Rainey-Smith is a Wellington writer and regular book reviewer on Beattie's Book Blog. She is also Chair of the Wellington branch of the NZ Society of Authors.    

Sir Edmund Hillary: An Extraordinary Life

author - Alexa Johnston - Penguin Books - $35

60 years ago New Zealand's greatest adventurer  Edmund Hillary made world history with his ascent of Mt Everest.

This intimate and inspiring book, first published in 2005 and reissued now on the 60th anniversary of the first ascent of Mt.Everest, tells the full story of Sir Edmund Hillary's extraordinary life, from his expeditions to remote corners of the world to his humanitarian activities serving the Sherpa people.

Drawing on Sir Ed's personal archives, it is a portrait of a revered yet modest man who lived life to the full – surviving personal tragedies as well as achieving historic triumphs, earning worldwide fame and displaying tireless philanthropy.

The Book Show

    Mondays & Fridays at 7.45pm, from 13th May
A-list authors and big-name guests discuss their favourite reads and their own works with host Mariella Frostrup. 
The Book Show is a weekly show featuring interviews with leading authors and well known guests including world figures President Carter and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, entertainment personalities Bob Geldof and Michael Palin, and international authors P D James, Salman Rushdie, Terry Pratchett and John Irving. 
The show covers topical literary news such as the trend for vampire fiction, the phenomenon of atheist books, the demise of paper books, and authors’ working environments.

Ep 1: Monday 13th May, 7.45pm
Ep 2: Friday 17th May, 7.45pm
Ep 3: Monday 20th May, 7.45pm
Ep 4: Friday 24th May, 7.45pm
Ep 5: Monday 27th May, 7.45pm
Ep 6: Friday 31st May, 7.45pm

Four appealing new NZ kid'.s books from Scholastic

10 Kooky Kiwi:
Ten kooky kiwi getting on a bus,
ten kooky kiwi getting on a bus,
and if one kooky kiwi should make a great big fuss …
there’ll be nine kooky kiwi getting on a bus.

Sing along with iconic entertainer
Pio Terei counting down from
ten kooky kiwi to one!

Blue Moon Bird:
One night, at the Turtleduck Toy Factory,
a strange thing happened to Theodore Cubb.

When a crazy old man leaps out of the bushes
at Conrad on his way to swimming training,
he gets the fright of his life.
And when he discovers the man’s granddaughter
is that weird horse-riding girl from school,
he decides to steer clear of them.
But fate has other ideas … and he is drawn
into a grim secret. What’s the old man’s
connection to a death from long ago?
And whose life is in danger now…?
 Scrap #3 -  Dog On Trial:
“A blond pup who chases invisible sheep
and wants to go to the dog trials.
What a loser!”
Scrap’s Dad doesn’t believe a blond pup
could be his son, and thinks Scrap’s a loser.
So Scrap makes up his mind
to beat him at the dog trials …
If only he knew what dog trials were!
It's a rough ride at Rocky Ridge Station!


10 Kooky Kiwi
Pictures by Deborah Hinde
Sung by Pio Terei
Includes CD - RRP $21
Maori lyrics by Kotuku & Te Okahurangi Tibble

Blue Moon Bird
Sabrina Malcolm - RRP $19.50

David Hill - RRP $19.50

Scrap Book 3 - Dog on Trial
Vince Ford - RRP $15.00

'Selling a Home Privately in New Zealand'

Private Sale Book

Written specifically for the New Zealand market and constantly updated and reprinted, is the 130 page book 'Selling a Home Privately in New Zealand' .

Read book reviews and media releases.
  • Explains in logical and easy to understand step by step chapters (from pricing and marketing to negotiating the sale of your property)
  • Provides confidence, knowledge and skills
  • Helps give you a professional edge to all parts of the selling process
  • Gets you through the realestate paperwork and legal details
  • Gain access to a Book Owners section (download check lists, brochure template and more)
The book 'Selling a Home Privately in New Zealand' can be bought direct from the author.

Museum man dies after fight with cancer

New Zealand Herald - Tuesday Apr 30, 2013

Rodney Wilson a central figure in art circles who helped transform an Auckland institution.
Rodney Wilson. Photo / Nicola Topping

Rodney Wilson. Photo / Nicola Topping

One of New Zealand's cultural icons, Rodney Wilson, has died, aged 67.

Dr Wilson was a former director of the Auckland War Memorial Museum, the Auckland Art Gallery, founding director of the Voyager Maritime Museum and an arts administrator and activist.
He died peacefully at his Mt Wellington home on Saturday after a battle with prostate cancer. He is survived by his wife Maureen, sons Marc and Leon and stepsons Jeremy and Tim.
Dr Wilson had been a stalwart of the cultural sector for 40 years.
Once known for his colourful bow ties, he was named the greatest living Aucklander in a survey in The Aucklander in 2010.

As director of the Auckland War Memorial Museum for 13 years, he helped transform it into an institution of international standing, pushing through its $115 million expansion.
He was central to book, art and architectural awards and helped establish an art gallery in a former Takapuna library.

Dr Wilson was the Arts Foundation governor from 2002 to 2010.

In a statement, the foundation said Dr Wilson was "an excellent advocate for the visual arts".
"Rodney provided a confident voice for architecture, furniture design and sculpture at selection meetings. We will miss Rodney's advice, his warm smile and laughter."

In 2011, a celebration of his achievements was held in Auckland.

Artist John Coley said at the time: "Rodney has been a most remarkable, sometimes controversial figure in our country's museum history. He has been a visionary, passionate and highly effective leader."

A death notice for Dr Wilson thanked the teams at the Auckland City Hospital oncology ward and Mercy Hospice, as well as his doctors.

"A gathering of Rodney's friends and family will farewell Rodney to the great immensity," the notice said.

The digital truths traditional publishers don't want to hear

    The choices offered by digital publishing can only be good news for writers, says Barry Eisler. So why are traditional publishers so angry?

    Monday 29 April 2013   

    The Ptolemaic System
    Still the centre of the universe? ... detail from Andea Cellario's print Harmonia Macrocosmica showing the Ptolemaic description of the heavens, with the Earth at the middle of creation. Photograph: Enzo and Paolo Ragazzini / Corbis

    Until November 2007, when Amazon introduced the Kindle, the only viable means of book distribution was paper. Accordingly, a writer who wanted to reach a mass audience needed a paper distribution partner. A writer could hire her own editor and her own cover design artist; she could even hire a printing press to create the actual books. The one service she couldn't hire out was distribution. And publishers didn't offer distribution as an à la carte service. If a writer wanted distribution, she had to pay a publisher 85% of her revenues for the entire publishing package: editorial, copyediting, proofreading, jacket design, printing, and marketing, all bundled with distribution.

    Was a price of 85% of revenues a good deal for this packaged publishing service? For some writers, it clearly was. JK Rowling became a cash billionaire via the traditional packaged publishing service, and obviously there are hundreds of other examples of authors for whom the packaged service has represented a good value.

    But for every author who wanted and benefited from the packaged service, there were countless others who took it – if they could get it at all – only because they had no alternative.

    Digital distribution has provided that alternative. And increasing numbers of authors are choosing it.

    Handwritten Manuscript Pages From Classic Novels

    Handwritten Manuscript Pages From Classic Novels

    These days, almost all works of literature are written on computers — from their first inklings, saved in a document called “notes,” to their final, emailed-out drafts — and even, increasingly, read on them. In such a climate, we are even more fascinated by the handwritten drafts and original manuscripts of classic literature, from which much can be inferred via handwriting and paper choice, strength of pen.
    Either way, they’re nice to look at, so with more than a little help from awesome Tumblr Fuck Yeah, Manuscripts!, we’ve collected a few of our favorite specimens. 
    After the jump, sneak a peek at the handwritten manuscripts and drafts of some of the world’s greatest novels, and peer at the elegant script or frantic cross-outs of your favorite authors to your heart’s content. … Read More

    Anne Somerset wins Elizabeth Longford Prize

    Anne Somerset’s biography Queen Anne has won the 2013 Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography.

    The book, published by HarperPress, was described by chair of judges Professor Roy Foster as: “a psychologically subtle and surprisingly vivid portrait of a ruler who has hitherto remained obscure to her biographers".
    Sponsored by Flora Fraser and Peter Soros in memory of biographer Elizabeth Longford, the £5,000 prize will be awarded on 13th June at the Society of Authors annual awards party at the Army and Navy Club in Pall Mall.

    Judges for the award this year included Lady Antonia Fraser, Flora Fraser, David Gilmour, Professor Munro Price and Foster.
    Somerset has previously published books on William IV and the courts of James I and Louis XIV.

    Publisher David Fickling leaves Random House and goes independent

    David Fickling will leave Random House Children's UK after more than 12 years in order to launch his existing children's imprint, David Fickling Books, as an independent venture in July. 
    Fickling will be chairman of the new company, and author and editor Simon Mason will take on the role of managing director. 

    The venture will continue to be based in its existing Oxford office and plans to publish 25-30 books a year. After a period of transition, DFB backlist titles, including Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and John Boyne's The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas -- will move to other RHCP imprints.

    "I will miss colleagues hugely, and some of the teams are beyond brilliant," Fickling told the Bookseller. "The international team led by Simon Littlewood have looked after David Fickling Books so well and I hope may continue to do so. Annie Eaton [RHCP's fiction publisher] has been my colleague for years. We're going to want to form partnerships, one of which I hope will be with Random House."

    RHCP manaaging director Philippa Dickinson said in a statement: "I have had the great pleasure of working with David Fickling, watching him grow and develop the DFB imprint at Random House, publishing a number of wonderful books to both critical and commercial success." She added: "I have always known that, in his heart of hearts, David wanted one day to publish independently. Now he has taken that step, one which has our whole-hearted support."
    Publishers Lunch

    And further details at PW

    And at The Guardian

    Editor of Philip Pullman and Mark Haddon bestsellers leaves Random HouseAuthors welcome David Fickling's decision to launch 'small' independent publishing company

    2013 Crime Writing Festival Tickets Selling Fast!

    Day Rovers, Weekend Rovers and Individual Event Tickets for the 2013 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival are flying out the door! On this year's programme there's more of the biggest names in the business than ever before with Special Guests including Val McDermid, Kate Atkinson,  Charlaine Harris, Susan Hill, Ruth Rendell interviewed by Jeanette Winterson, Lee Child,  William McIlvanney and Ian Rankin (all pictured below). With individual tickets for one of these international stars already sold out, we advise you book soon .


    For the Full Festival Programme Click Here

    Author-Bookseller-Entrepreneur Ann Patchett

    Shelf Awareness
    Author-bookseller Ann Patchett was called a prime example of entrepreneurs who "don't take no for an answer," in a Wall Street Journal article about how entrepreneurs' ideas often run counter to accepted general wisdom.

    "Sometimes, though, entrepreneurs know something that the critics don't," the paper wrote. "It's more than just a gut instinct. They grasp some fundamental aspect of the situation that others don't--a nuance of the market, for instance, or what makes potential customers tick. And sometimes that insight pays off big-time."
    Patchett recalled that when she considered opening a bookstore in Nashville, Tenn.--which became Parnassus Books--people said "opening a bookstore was the stupidest thing you could do. You might as well be selling eight-track tapes. It's dead; it's over."

    Patchett's twist was keeping Parnassus much smaller than the two large, profitable bookstores in Nashville that had closed.

    Now the store is "thriving," the Journal wrote. "Ms. Patchett's partner in the venture, Karen Hayes, says it has exceeded their sales projections every month they've been open."

    Sony Pictures Acquires Publishing Phenomenon ‘The Rosie Project’

    By MIKE FLEMING JR | Thursday April 25, 2013

    EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures has optioned screen rights to The Rosie Project, the global breakout novel by Australian writer Graeme Simsion. The film will be produced by Sony-based Matt Tolmach and Michael Costigan, both of whom were longtime colleagues as Sony execs and get to work together again for the first time as producers. The deal was closed by Columbia Pictures president Doug Belgrad and production president Hannah Minghella. The author will write the script. Simon & Schuster will publish in the U.S. in October.

    The Rosie Project centers on Don Tillman, a professor of genetics who may suffer from Aspergers and has never been on a second date until he embarks upon The Wife Project, designing a questionnaire to help him find the perfect partner: a punctual, non-drinking, non-smoking female who will fit in with his regimented lifestyle. When the unorthodox and free-spirited Rosie appears on the scene, it is clear that she fits none of his selection criteria, but she still may just be the perfect match to help turn his life around.

    “We love this story,” Minghella said. “Not only does it have tremendous commercial appeal, but a wonderfully interesting, groundbreaking lead character. There’s already been an incredible response to this novel in Australia and the UK and we think it will strike a similar chord in the States.”
    Simsion was formerly an IT consultant, who, in his early 50s, decided to learn how to be a screenwriter, then a novelist, and discovered publishers all over the world clamored to buy rights to his book after the publishing rights were secured by the text publishing company.

    The Rosie Project has become a breakout hit everywhere the novel has so far been published. Rich Green at Resolution represented the author/screenwriter and Sam Dickerman will oversee it with Minghella.

    Literary Benefit for One Fund Boston

    The Boston literary community is holding a reading this Thursday, May 2, at 6 p.m., at Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St., Boston, to support those most affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. Among those reading are Robert Pinsky, former U.S. Poet Laureate; Sue Miller, author of While I Was Gone and The Lake Shore Limited; Fanny Howe, poet, fiction writer and essayist; author and AGNI editor Sven Birkerts; and poet Jill McDonough. Others will be named later.

    A donation of $10 is suggested, and all proceeds will go to One Fund Boston. The organizers' fundraising goal is $5,000.

    This reading is sponsored by Boston Review, AGNI, Ploughshares, Grub Street, BU Center for the Humanities and College of General Studies, the Woodberry Poetry Room, Consequence Magazine, the Mass Cultural Council, Suffolk University Poetry Center, the Academy of American Poets, the ALSCW, the Mass Poetry Festival, Harvard Bookstore, Black Ocean, Aforementioned Productions, the National Writers Union and the Boston Poetry Union.

    Shelf Awareness

    Top writers back Museums at Night 2013

    The Reading Agency is delighted to have partnered with Culture24 brokered appearances by leading writers to talk about their work at prominent cultural venues, as part of the 2013 Museums at Night Festival (16-18 May 2013).

     *18 May: Simon Mayo, BBC broadcaster and author of the bestselling Itch children’s novels, which chronicle the misadventures of the teenage science nut Itchingham Lofte, will be at the Royal Institution in central London, where the programme will include live experiments.

     *Multi-award-winning illustrator Chris Riddell will be at Hove Museum and Art Gallery on 16 May, to discuss his work on bestselling titles such as The Edge Chronicles and the Ottoline series, sharing drawing tips and encouraging his audience to try out their own drawing skills.

     *An evening of cultural celebration at the London Transport Museum on 17 May will see author Andrew Martin reading from his new book Underground Overground: A Passenger’s History of the Tube, as well as featuring a tour of the museum’s Poster Art 150 exhibition and a celebration of Kew Gardens’ edible festival, including cocktail-making workshops, quizzes and much more.

     At the Northampton Museum and Art Gallery on 17 May author and historian Lucy Moore will read from her major new biography Nijinksy: A Life.  Northampton is renowned for its production of ballet shoes, and the evening will include a demonstration of ballet and an exhibition of shoes belonging to top dancer including Anna Pavlova, Moira Shearer and Margot Fontaine.

     *In a special out-of-normal-hours event for children aged nine and over, Young Sherlock Holmes author Andrew Lane will read from his new book Lost Worlds at Barts Pathology Museum on 18 May.

     *The Cartoon Museum in central London will play host on 18 May to writer and stand-up comedian Mo O'Hara, in an interactive family event which will feature The Great Hamster Massacre author talking about how she got into writing, and reading from her new book My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish.

    Museums at Night is the annual after-hours celebration of arts, culture and heritage – when hundreds of museums, galleries, libraries, archives and heritage sites open their doors for special events. (www.museumsatnight.org.uk).

    The authors appearing as part of this year’s festival build on the success of similar events last year, which saw writers including veteran ITN war reporter Sandy Gall speak at Surgeons’ Hall Museum in Edinburgh and Hugh Barker, author of Hedge Britannia, discussing how we became a nation of gardeners at the Lyme Regis Museum.