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.
Russell Brand described schools without a library as a
"disgrace", and said public libraries closures were driven by a
"fundamentalist philosophy of profit", in an entertaining and
enthusiastically received Reading Agency Lecture last night (Tuesday 25th November). The comedian and author told the audience at the Institute of
Education that he had returned to visit his old school in Grays, Essex, now
called the Hathaway Academy, and found that it no longer had a library.
The penultimate book in Sylvia Day's Crossfire erotica quintet
has ended Jeff Kinney's two-week run at the summit of the UK Official Top
50 by a matter of just 221 copies, while Lynda Bellingham's just-released
novel joined her memoir in the top 50.
More than half of staff at Constable & Robinson have left
the publisher since Little, Brown Book Group bought the company, it has
emerged. The formerly independent publisher was purchased by the
Hachette division in February, with the Constable & Robinson team
moving into Little, Brown’s Victoria Embankment offices in April.
Egmont UK is cutting two roles in its marketing team following
last year’s merger of its two book businesses.
Sales, marketing and PR director Ingrid Gilmore confirmed that two
employees will be made redundant, saying: “The restructure means that the
marketing team will now consist of five roles. These roles will work
across fiction, brands and licensing, picturebooks, pre-school and
non-fiction. Previously there were two marketing teams made up of
seven roles working across the separate books divisions.”
James Patterson has launched a campaign
in the US to persuade President Barack Obama to draw attention to the
importance of reading. The campaign, which has the hashtag #SaveOurBooks on Twitter,
asks people to sign a petition, write to their politicians, spread to word
on social media and find out what more Patterson is doing to keep people
reading, borrowing and buying books.
Patricia Cornwell has released an essay as a Kindle Single via
Amazon Publishing’s crime imprint Thomas & Mercer. Chasing the Ripper, which costs 99p on the
Kindle store, documents her investigation of Jack the Ripper for her 2002
book Portrait of a
Killer (Little, Brown). In the book Cornwell controversially identified British
painter Walter Sickert as the Ripper.
The Chinese government official behind the Shanghai Children’s
Book Fair (CCBF) has said he is committed to co-operating with the team
behind the London Book Fair (LBF), with further events in China under
consideration. Kan Ning Hui, whose official title is deputy director of the
Shanghai Press & Publication Administration, told The Bookseller: “To
make CCBF more open internationally we are thinking of working with book
fairs and organisations all over the world. We are planning new
co-operative projects with the London Book Fair, including a new project in
Independent children’s publisher Nosy Crow was last night
(25th November) named Young Company of the Year 2014 in the Growing
Business Awards. Nosy Crow beat five other companies shortlisted in the same
category, including popcorn maker Propercorn and cement producer Hope
Construction Materials. The Growing Business Awards are hosted by trade magazine Reed Business and
supported by the CBI in association with Lloyds Bank.