Book News January 2017

In a new approach for the blog this year I am trailing a few new things. One being a monthly book news wrap up rather than 4 separate ones.

Here is my pick of the month

There are four debut writers on Richard and Judy’s Spring Book Club list, exclusive to W H Smith: Samuel Bjork, Hollie Overton, Joanna Cannon and Keith Stuart.

I’m Travelling Alone by Samuel Bjork is a Norway-set crime thriller as detectives look to solve the murder of a young girl found hanging from a tree; Baby Doll by Hollie Overton is a “tense” psychological thriller about a girl kept captive in a single room; The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon  is a tale of secrets in suburbia in the 1970s; and A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart  is a “beautiful, funny and heartwarming”story  based on the author’s life with his autistic son.

The debuts join Jessie Burton’s second novel The Muse , Bryony Gordon’s story of living with depression and OCD Mad Girl , and thrillers Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent and Lie with Me by Sabine Durrant.


Irish novelist Sebastian Barry has won the Costa Book Award for a second time with Days Without End beating off competition from Golden Hill by Francis Spufford, Dadland: A Journey into Uncharted Territory by Keggie Carew, Falling Awake by Alice Oswald and The Bombs That Brought Us Together by Brian Conaghan

The winner of the Costa Book of the Year was selected by a panel of judges chaired by Professor Kate Williams and comprised authors and category judges Nicci Gerrard, Charlotte Heathcote, Matthew Dennison, Kate Kellaway and Cressida Cowell.


A secondhand bookshop owner in North Yorkshire who charges customers 50p for entry has received complaints about rudeness after calling a customer a “pain in the arse”, according to a Press Association report.

The owner of secondhand bookshop Bloomindales, Steve Bloom, has been branded “the bookseller from hell” by the chairman of Hawes parish council John Blackie. Blackie said the “rude and offensive” bookseller was a discredit to the town, adding: “He is doing a disservice to the other traders, to the reputation of the town, which is very much a friendly town. We welcome people to come and visit us.”

Bloom has received more than 20 complaints from customers and poor reviews on a Yell website.



The Man Booker Prize 2017 is now open for entries from publishers.

The famous literary prize is awarded annually by the Booker Prize Foundation to the author of the best eligible novel,

This year’s judging panel is chaired by Baroness Lola Young and includes literary critic Lila Azam Zanganeh, the Man Booker Prize shortlisted novelist Sarah Hall, the artist Tom Phillips CBE RA and the travel writer Colin Thubron CBE.

The judges are responsible for compiling a longlist of 12 or 13 books – ‘The Man Booker Dozen’, which will be revealed in July. The shortlist of six books will be announced in September, and from this the winner will be selected and awarded their prize in October.

Each shortlisted author receives £2,500 and a designer bound copy of his or her novel. The winning author receives a further £50,000.


Man Booker Prize winner Marlon James is to publish a new epic fantasy trilogy dubbed the “African Game of Thrones” in the US in 2018.

The Dark Star Trilogy will consist of three novels – Black Leopard, Red Wolf; Moon Witch, Night Devil; The Boy and the Dark Star – which will follow three characters called the Tracker, the Moon Witch, and the Boy.

Each of the three novels will unravel one of the three characters’ tales of what happened over those nine years, with one perspective per book.


Christopher Bone, formerly senior communications manager at FMcM Associates, has been appointed to the new role of publicity director for Hay Festival.


Five Welsh publishing companies have received a grant of £250,000 from the Welsh Books Council.

Firefly Press, based across Cardiff and Aberystwyth, is a new recipient of the funding, along with Seren Books, Parthian Books, Gomer and Honno Press which have received the grant before.

The money, shared between all five publishers, will provide funding for the next three years.


Over 100 writers have put their names to a message pledging solidarity with Turkey’s imprisoned writers and journalists and promising to “raise our global voice against any effort to silence yours”.

The letter, which has been sent to all imprisoned Turkish journalists, says: “We are writing to you to let you know that you are not alone. We are writing to tell you that we will not stand idly by in your time of need. We will not be silent while your human rights are violated. We will raise our global voice against any effort to silence yours.

More Details can be found here 


My Book of Last Year The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead has selected as the winner of the 2017 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction




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