This category contains 127 posts

New Google doodle celebrates Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday

Today is Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday. Or it would be, if he had lived long enough. Anyway, Google is celebrating with another doodle, this time featuring a variety of his most famous characters. As one of the English language’s most popular and most enduring authors, it’s perhaps no surprise that Dickens has been honoured in … Continue reading

Obituary: Dalziel and Pascoe author Reginald Hill dies aged 75

Reginald Hill, one of Britain’s most successful and prolific crime writers of recent years, has died at the age of 75. He had been suffering from a brain tumour. From 1970 onwards, Hill’s Dalziel and Pascoe grew to become one of the UK’s most successful modern fictional detective duos. A successful BBC adaptation ran from … Continue reading

McDonald’s to gave away free books with Happy Meals in the UK

McDonald’s is to replace toys with books in its Happy Meals until February 7th in the UK, as part of a new hook-up with HarperCollins. The book in question will be from Michael Morpurgo’s popular Mudpuddle Farm series, and The National Literacy Trust has welcomed the move in light of recent research that showed one … Continue reading

Amazon’s KDP Select program gets off to a strong start with $1.70 per borrow

Authors who enrolled their ebooks in Amazon’s KDP Select program earned $1.70 per borrow, much higher than guestimates that had put the likely figure at between 10 and 50 cents. For authors whose books are in the 35% royalty category, this means that borrows were worth significantly more than outright sales. The figure is likely … Continue reading

Obituary: cartoonist and Molesworth, St Trinian’s creator Ronald Searle dies aged 91

Ronald Searle, the cartoonist best known for creating the popular St Trinian’s series, has died at the age of 91. He passed away peacefully in his sleep at a hospital in France. The first St Trinian’s cartoon appeared in 1941 in the Lilliput magazine. The series, which focused on hijinks at a girls’ school, proved … Continue reading

Have Ibsen scholars been duped by a mass forgery?

The world of Scandinavian literature is in shock this week after allegations that a mass forgery has been perpetrated. It’s alleged that buyers have been tricked into buying forged documents by two of Norway’s biggest literary figures, Henrik Ibsen and Knut Hamsun. The allegations emerged after a collector claimed to have uncovered a previously lost … Continue reading

Are ebook prices too high? Why should a digital edition of a book cost MORE than the physical edition?

If you’re one of the thousands of people getting a Kindle, Nook or some other type of ereader for Christmas this year, you might be looking forward excitedly to running amok on Amazon and buying loads of ebooks. And you might be assuming that digital editions of popular books will be cheaper than paper editions. … Continue reading

Obituary: Shakespeare and Company owner George Whitman dies aged 98

George Whitman, whose Shakespeare and Company shop in Paris was one of the most famous bookshops in the world, has died at the age of 98. The recipient of France’s prestigious Officier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Whitman was a key figure in the Parisian literary scene. There had already been one shop … Continue reading

Obituary: Riddley Walker author Russell Hoban dies aged 86

Russell Hoban, whose apocalyptic novel Riddley Walker became a cult favourite shortly after it was first published in 1980, has died at the age of 86. The cause of death has not been revealed. Born in the US but living for most of his life in the UK, Russell Hoban started out as a writer … Continue reading

David Guterson wins bad sex award for fifth novel Ed King

American writer David Guterson has won this year’s bad sex award, beating off competition from the likes of Haruki Murakami and Lee Child. Guterson won for his fifth novel, a re-imagining of the Oedipus myth titled Ed King. Guterson was not able to collect his award in person, but accepted his victory in good grace. … Continue reading