Parliament votes for How to Stop Brexit as book of the year

Nick Clegg’s polemical call to arms against leaving the EU takes top prize in poll of MPs and lords to win top award at 2017’s Parliamentary book awards

Brexit may have divided the UK, but Nick Clegg’s call to arms against the break with Europe has united MPs and members of the House of Lords, who have voted it the best non-fiction book by a parliamentarian this year. It emerged the winner at the 2017 Parliamentary book awards from a shortlist dominated by titles addressing populist discontent and protest.

In How to Stop Brexit (And Make Britain Great Again), the former deputy prime minister debunks myths about Europe, which he claims were used to persuade the public to support the UK’s departure from the EU. Describing the vote as a “historic mistake”, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats explains how Brexit could be reversed.

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Doctor’s diary This is Going to Hurt wins public vote for book of the year

Adam Kay’s firsthand account, first published as a rebuke to the health secretary during the dispute with junior doctors, takes readers’ choice award

A doctor’s irreverent and heartbreaking diaries, published as a rebuke to the government in the pay dispute with junior doctors, has been voted the nation’s favourite book of the year. Adam Kay’s This Is Going to Hurt came top in a poll of readers to win the Books Are My Bag readers’ choice award.

Voted for by 40,000 members of the public through bookshops, Kay’s book saw off competition from 2017 Man Booker prize winner George Saunders’s Lincoln in the Bardo and Philip Pullman’s hotly anticipated La Belle Sauvage.

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Sri Lankan civil war novel takes DSC prize for south Asian literature

Anuk Arudpragasam’s The Story of a Brief Marriage takes the $25,000 award with a novel ‘exploring the tragic heart of war with quiet eloquence’

A novel that condenses the horrors of the 26-year Sri Lankan civil war into an intimate love story has won the 2017 DSC prize for south Asian literature, the region’s richest book prize. Anuk Arudpragasam’s The Story of a Brief Marriage beat four shortlisted rivals to win the $25,000 (£19,000) award presented at the Dhaka literary festival in Bangladesh.

Announcing the winner, Ritu Menon, chair of judges, praised the novel for its “intensity and rich detail … exploring the tragic heart of war with such quiet eloquence”. She added: “It is also a testament to the redemptive power of love, and to the human spirit’s capacity for hope.”

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Small indie publishers report booming sales

In a sector that has struggled elsewhere, figures for 60 of the smallest players in the UK industry show sales up 79% in the last year

Independent publishers have unleashed a boom in sales, according to new research. Latest figures from Inpress, which works with 60 of the smallest players in the books industry, revealed sales up 79% in the last year – a performance hailed by Inpress managing director Sophie O’Neill as phenomenal.

“It’s down to a mix of really good books such as Audre Lorde’s Your Silence Will Not Protect You from the feminist Silver Press,” O’Neill said, “and Dead Ink’s crowdfunded book Know Your Place – which is like The Good Immigrant except about class – and great attention to detail.”

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Up lit: the new book trend with kindness at its core

From Matt Haig’s How to Stop Time to Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, the empathetic literature inspired by a year of tragedies, political upheaval and economic uncertainty A bruising year dominated by political and economic uncertainty, terrorism and tragedy has, publishers say, kickstarted a new trend they have have branded “up lit”. In contrast with the “grip lit” thrillers that were the market leaders until recently, more and more bookbuyers are seeking out novels and nonfiction that is optimistic rather than feelgood. And an appetite for everyday heroism, human connection and love – rather than romance – is expected to be keeping booksellers and publishers uplifted, too. Led by Matt Haig’s How to Stop Time and Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, the emphasis in this summer’s launches has been on stories of empathy. Other high-profile publications in July included Rowan Coleman’s The Summer of Impossible ...

Young adult literature convention under fire over disabled facilities

Authors speak out after reports of problems because a specialised toilet had been given over to celebrity guests at associated Comicon festival Authors who appeared at the YALC young adult literature convention over the weekend, including Alex Wheatle and Joanne Harris, have spoken out about what they feel was a lack of disabled facilities at the event. Their complaints centre on the sequestering of one of two disabled toilets for the use of celebrities attending the associated Comicon festival on a lower floor. Organisers of the event, tied to the London Film and Comic Convention (Comicon) at Olympia in London, were accused by one visitor of “ablism” after wheelchair users ended up squeezing into busy lifts and negotiating crowds to reach accessible toilets on the Comicon floor. Continue reading...

Young adult literature convention under fire over disabled facilities

Authors speak out after reports of problems because a specialised toilet had been given over to celebrity guests at associated Comicon festival Authors who appeared at the YALC young adult literature convention over the weekend, including Alex Wheatle and Joanne Harris, have spoken out about what they feel was a lack of disabled facilities at the event. Their complaints centre on the sequestering of one of two disabled toilets for the use of celebrities attending the associated Comicon festival on a lower floor. Organisers of the event, tied to the London Film and Comic Convention (Comicon) at Olympia in London, were accused by one visitor of “ablism” after wheelchair users ended up squeezing into busy lifts and negotiating crowds to reach accessible toilets on the Comicon floor. Continue reading...