Nearly half of all book reviews in Australia in 2018 were of works by female authors


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Stella Count researchers say gender parity reached by most publications

Researchers have praised most Australian publications for reaching gender parity in their book review sections last year.

Of published book reviews in Australia in 2018 49% were for books written by women, according to research published on Thursday by the Stella Count.

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Handmaid’s sales: Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments is immediate hit


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Novelist’s return to the dystopia of Gilead sold more than 100,000 copies in hardback in its first week on sale in the UK

A hardback copy of Margaret Atwood’s follow-up to The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments, was sold every four seconds in the UK last week, according to sales figures that show the dystopian novel racing to the top of this week’s book charts.

Published at midnight on Monday, The Testaments had sold 103,177 hardbacks by Saturday, according to official book sales monitor Nielsen BookScan. Set 15 years after the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, the novel traces the continued evolution of Atwood’s totalitarian state of Gilead, where women are reduced to their wombs and justification is found in the Bible for every abuse of power.

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The Far Side trails ‘new online era’ for Gary Larson’s beloved cartoons


This post is by Alison Flood from Books | The Guardian


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Immediate excitement has greeted one of the first sign of life from the hugely popular franchise since the publicity-shy artist retired it in 1995

Fans of the surreal, the bizarre and sardonic anthropomorphic cows are in a fervour after The Far Side cartoonist Gary Larson’s website was updated this weekend with promises of “a new online era”, 24 years after the reclusive creator retired at the age of 44.

Larson’s iconic Far Side cartoons were syndicated in more than 1,900 daily newspapers from 1980 to 1995, treating readers to daily offerings from his offbeat visions of the world. In one of his most famous cartoons, a female chimpanzee finds a blonde hair in her mate’s fur, and asks him: “Been doing more ‘research’ with that Jane Goodall tramp?” (Goodall approved.) In another – voted one of his best by scientists – a boffin with a large rectal ...

For the Record: signs of trouble before David Cameron book hits shelves


This post is by Ben Quinn and Alison Flood from Books | The Guardian


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Preorders appear sluggish and some shops in remain-voting areas say they won’t stock memoir

It is the fruit of three years’ work, at least some of which is presumed to have taken place inside a £25,000 shepherd’s hut.

The much-anticipated publication next week of For the Record, David Cameron’s 752-page book promising a candid account of his time in politics, is expected to be the moment a man widely blamed for Britain’s greatest postwar crisis will make a concerted bid for control of his tainted legacy.

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Ian McEwan announces surprise Brexit satire, The Cockroach


This post is by Sian Cain from Books | The Guardian


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Out this month, the Kafkaesque novella sees a man wake up as prime minister and is described by the author as a ‘therapeutic response’ to Brexit turmoil

In Kafka’s Metamorphosis, Gregor Samsa awoke to discover that he had been transformed into a monstrous beetle. Now, in Ian McEwan’s unexpected new project, Jim Sams wakes and finds he must endure a worse fate: he has become the British prime minister.

Announced on Thursday, and to be published in just two weeks time on 27 September, The Cockroach is McEwan’s 16th work of fiction and his second to be published this year, after the novel Machines Like Me. Following the transformation, Sams – who was “ignored or loathed” in his previous life – finds himself with new powers and a new mission: to carry out the will of the people.

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Lyra McKee anthology to show ‘subtlety and courage’ of murdered reporter


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Collection of the campaigning journalist’s work will be published next year to mark the anniversary of her killing

An anthology of work by the investigative journalist Lyra McKee, who was fatally shot by New IRA gunmen, will be published next year on the first anniversary of her death, Faber & Faber has announced.

The 29-year-old was reporting on unrest in Derry on 18 April while standing close to a police vehicle when she was killed by activists from the dissident republican group. Both marking her loss and celebrating her work, Lyra McKee: Lost, Found, Remembered will be published in April 2020.

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‘She’s a prophet’: handmaids gather for Margaret Atwood’s midnight launch of The Testaments


This post is by Sian Cain from Books | The Guardian


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With cocktails and craftivism, fans and authors including Neil Gaiman and Jeanette Winterson countdown release of sequel

The last time bookshops saw this much action at midnight on a weekday, a certain boy wizard was on the shelves.

“There’s not another Potter out?” a passing man asks the growing queue outside Waterstones in London’s Piccadilly, where a parade of women dressed in red flowing robes and white bonnets are silently gliding by.

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Exclusive: John le Carré’s new novel set amid ‘lunatic’ Brexit intrigue


This post is by Alison Flood from Books | The Guardian


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Agent Running in the Field, due out next month, reflects ‘the divisions in Britain, and between Britain and Europe’.

  • Read an extract below

Just as intrigue over Brexit is expected to reach peak intensity next month, Britain’s master spy novelist John le Carré will be releasing a new novel, set in 2018, where the UK is ruled by “a minority Tory cabinet of 10th-raters”, and the country’s new prime minister Boris Johnson is at that point merely “a pig-ignorant foreign secretary”.

An early extract from Le Carré’s 25th novel, Agent Running in the Field, is published in Saturday’s Guardian. It shows Nat, a 47-year-old member of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (MI5), revealing his career choices to his daughter. As she picks away at his beliefs, Nat admits to serious reservations about the idea of England “as the mother of all democracies”, describing the country as in freefall, with “a minority ...

Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale sequel escapes from tight secrecy


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Strict measures meant to keep all details of The Testaments confidential until publication have fallen through for some US readers

Hundreds of readers in the US have received early copies of Margaret Atwood’s heavily embargoed follow-up to The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments, after copies were shipped out early by Amazon.

Security around the novel had been as tight as anything mounted for JK Rowling or Dan Brown’s blockbuster releases – the judges for the Booker prize, who shortlisted The Testaments for the award on Wednesday, were warned they would be held liable if their watermarked copies leaked. But since Tuesday, readers have been posting images on Twitter of their freshly delivered copies, a week before the novel’s official release on 10 September.

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Lost Girls by DJ Taylor review – love, war and literature 1939-51


This post is by Aida Edemariam from Books | The Guardian


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An urbane attempt to offer belated autonomy to a small band of well-born, well-connected young women

The scene with which DJ Taylor begins his 26th book, Lost Girls, in which a girl enters, with some trepidation, a literary party in a house in Bloomsbury, is striking for many reasons. It is, as befits a Booker-longlisted novelist, involving and full of detail about the allotments that then took up the north side of this grand central London square, the railings taken for Spitfires, the bomb craters; it is an outsider’s view of a world in which the reader is shortly to be entirely immersed. It is interesting because the girl is fictional and the scene a composite – there is no proof that George Orwell, Evelyn Waugh, Lucian Freud, Peter Quennell and Cyril Connolly actually stood together in that room, the offices of the literary magazine Horizon, ...

JD Salinger estate finally agrees to ebook editions


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Author’s son explains that wish for accessibility has persuaded trustees to look past his father’s dislike of digital media

After years of refusing to allow publishers to digitise his works, the estate of JD Salinger has announced that the author’s famously small body of work will be published as ebooks for the first time.

Salinger’s son Matt said that the author had always valued accessibility, but preferred the experience of reading a physical book. The Catcher in the Rye author, who died in 2010 at the age of 91, also hated the internet; Matt told the New York Times that he once explained Facebook to his father, who had been horrified that people shared personal information online.

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Hillary and Chelsea Clinton co-write The Book of Gutsy Women


This post is by Alison Flood from Books | The Guardian


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Their book profiles more than 100 path-breaking women down the centuries, from a 17th-century radical nun to Greta Thunberg

Hillary Clinton is set to publish a new book about the women who have inspired her, from Mary Beard to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – “leaders with the courage to stand up to the status quo, ask hard questions, and get the job done”.

After publishing her memoir about the 2016 presidential election campaign, What Happened, Clinton teamed up with her daughter Chelsea to write The Book of Gutsy Women, due out in October from Simon & Schuster. “If history shows one thing, it’s that the world needs gutsy women,” the Clintons say. “So in the moments when the long haul seems awfully long, we hope you will draw strength from these stories. We do.”

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Edward Snowden memoir to reveal whistleblower’s secrets


This post is by Alison Flood from Books | The Guardian


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In Permanent Record, the former spy will recount how his mass surveillance work eventually led him to make the biggest leak in history

After multiple books and films about his decision to leak the biggest cache of top-secret documents in history, whistleblower Edward Snowden is set to tell his side of the story in a memoir, Permanent Record.

Related: Edward Snowden: 'The people are still powerless, but now they're aware'

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Less ado: Boris Johnson’s Shakespeare book delayed for ‘foreseeable future’


This post is by Alison Flood from Books | The Guardian


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The incoming prime minister’s Shakespeare: The Riddle of Genius was scheduled for October 2016, but has been pushed back multiple times

The riddle of Shakespeare’s genius must remain unsolved, for now at least, after Boris Johnson’s publisher said on Wednesday morning that the new prime minister’s “simple and readable” book exploring the “true British icon” had been indefinitely delayed after his victory in the Conservative leadership vote.

Johnson’s biography, Shakespeare: The Riddle of Genius, had originally been scheduled for October 2016, but this was postponed. In April this year, publisher Hodder & Stoughton said the book had been scheduled for April 2020, but admitted it was not yet finished.

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Evan Winter Explains How His Self-Published Novel Was Picked up by Orbit Books


This post is by Stubby the Rocket from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


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The Rage of Dragons book trailer Evan Winters

To celebrate his debut novel, The Rage of Dragons, author Evan Winter dropped by r/fantasy for an AMA. Described as “Game of Thrones meets Gladiator,” and inspired by the Xhosa culture, The Rage of Dragons began as a self-published book before it was picked up by Orbit, later soaring to a #1 best-seller spot on Amazon. In his AMA, Winter breaks down how this came to be, as well as his influences, process, inspirations, author recommendations, and more. Check out the highlights below!

On his journey from self-publication to Orbit:

There were fewer steps than I expected and each step took longer than I thought it would :)

I published the book on Amazon (using Amazon KDP);

I announced it here, because I’d been visiting r/Fantasy for years and years (I’m a dedicated lurker);

r/Fantasy pushed the book into the top 250 of all books selling on ...

Not the Booker prize 2019: nominate your novel of the year now


This post is by Sam Jordison from Books | The Guardian


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Now into its second decade, the reader-driven books award is introducing some exciting new features. But we still need your votes

The Not the Booker prize is back – for the 11th time. We’ve been uncovering excellent novels for more than a decade, and that’s a mighty fine thing. But let’s not dwell on the past, because the future promises yet more excitement. Like many 11-year-olds, the Not the Booker is changing.

We still want to find this year’s best novels and uncover a few gems that might otherwise have gone unnoticed. We still want to have a serious discussion about literature and prize culture. We still want to have fun. And we still want to hear from you about the books that matter. So this year’s Not the Booker prize begins like every other, with nominations ...

‘What did you order?’: Christian publisher CBD changes name after cannabis queries


This post is by Alison Flood from Books | The Guardian


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US Bible vendor Christian Book Distributors says its acronym has become confusing for customers

After 40 years of trading, the American Christian bookseller CBD has been forced to change its name after customers in search of a different kind of balm – the cannabis-derived compound CBD – ended up in the wrong place.

Christian Book Distributors, also known as CBD, was started four decades ago by brothers Ray and Stephen Hendrickson, selling Christian books, Bibles, home-schooling materials, toys and games. But the company has announced that the rising popularity of cannabidiol, the legal cannabis-derived chemical known as CBD, has begun to cause some unfortunate customer errors.

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Should books include credits like films?


This post is by David Barnett from Books | The Guardian


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Books are generally presented as the work of one person, but almost 60 others worked on mine. But will readers care enough to read about them?

We writers lead a necessarily solitary life – at least, that’s what we like to think. Though the act of writing can involve lots of lonesome glaring at an open Word document (with occasional breaks for coffee and Countdown), the process of turning deathless prose into an actual book involves a lot more people than the name on the cover suggests.

This is why my publisher Trapeze, an imprint of the Hachette company Orion, is starting to put full, movie-style credits at the back of their books. They asked me if I was amenable to this for my forthcoming novel Things Can Only Get Better, after trialling it in Candice Carty-Williams’s hugely successful Queenie. Of course I said yes – not only because I ...

Publisher accused of ‘ripping off’ best-selling book on racism


This post is by Lanre Bakare from Books | The Guardian


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Ben Lindsay’s We Need To Talk About Race has similar cover and title to prizewinning book by Reni Eddo-Lodge

The publisher of a new book about racism in the UK has been accused of “ripping off” Reni Eddo-Lodge’s best-selling polemic Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, after announcing a book with a strikingly similar cover design and title.

Ben Lindsay – the author of We Need To Talk About Race – which focuses on ethnicity and the church – and his publisher SPCK launched the book online on Thursday.

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Turkish translation of Paulo Coelho ‘removed mention of Kurdistan’


This post is by Sian Cain from Books | The Guardian


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Publisher and translator express shock that version of Eleven Minutes published in Turkey had reference cut

A Turkish publishing house is pulling its translation of the Brazilian author Paulo Coelho’s Eleven Minutes after readers discovered that the translation had removed a reference to Kurdistan and changed it to the Middle East.

In the English translation of the original Portuguese, Coelho writes: “She went into an internet cafe and discovered that the Kurds came from Kurdistan, a nonexistent country, now divided between Turkey and Iraq.” The Turkish translation changes the second part of the sentence to “it was written on the internet that the Kurds lived in the Middle East.”

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