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  • Prepare to be aMAZEd

    Thu, 02 Aug 2012 15:36

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    What can possibly be cooler than a maze? Oh that's right, a maze made of books!

    The Book Depository proudly supports aMAZEme; part of the London 2012 Festival, aMAZEme is a gigantic maze up to 2.5 meters high, built from over 200,000 books! You might even find some from the Book Depository in there...

    Created by Marcos Saboya and Gualter Pupo, the aMAZEme Project consists of a series of ideas that mix concepts, languages, techniques and multimedia. The audience will unexpectedly come into contact with the installation, helping to stimulate their curiosity, knowledge and creativity. aMAZEme is an art project that unites literature, performance, installation, live cinema, images and the Internet, based on three main concepts:

    Art/Literature + Entertainment + Generosity

    So if you're in London any time from now until August 26, have a stroll by Southbank and discover the maze at The Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall. Time to get lost in books. Literally!

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  • The Very Best of 2012 - sort of

    Thu, 12 Jan 2012 10:56

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    We've rounded up a great selection of titles coming up in 2012. We know we've missed loads so why not help us out and give us some top tips. Guaranteed winners only please! (Only kidding).

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  • Google plus one

    Thu, 16 Jun 2011 15:47

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    We've introduced a little Google +1 button to all our books and blog posts. It's just under the book title like the pic above. Here's Google to tell you what it is:

    Find out even more and let everyone know what you're into at the moment over at Google here.

  • Why Criticism Matters

    Fri, 07 Jan 2011 10:50

    blog imageWhat we can say, for sure, is that sustained exposure to the Internet is changing the way many readers process the written word.
    That's a quote from a recent New York Times article by Sam Anderson. We are reading more and more but the way we read, process and respond to information is changing. Some people think this is turning us into hairy trolls with the attention span of an impatient gnat but I agree with Anderson and think this is a wonderful opportunity for more knowledge, experience and contemplation.

    How we share these experiences is growing exponentially. You may have noticed a Twitter Widget just to the right of this blog, a constant distraction/helpful tool to constantly monitor people's occasionally random, sometimes apposite thoughts. We have the comments on these blogs and you can leave your thoughts on any of the books we have on the site.

    There is, however, a caveat. Among all this chatter, all this free thought there comes responsibility, the 'duty' to try to write well, to make yourself heard. As Anderson says,

    To function as an evangelist, the critic needs, above all else, to write well. A badly written book review is worse than a badly written political speech or greeting card or poem; a badly written review is self-canceling, like a barber with a terrible haircut. The best way to establish critical authority is to demonstrate, in your own prose, a vitality at least equivalent to that of the book you're writing about. There are other ways to do it, but that's the most immediately convincing.

    Of course, most of us are not gifted writers but we can at least stop for a second and think carefully about what we want to say. It is easy to say whether you 'like' something or not but much harder to engage and enrich the conversation between the book, you the reader and any potential readers to follow.

    The critic's job is to help amplify that conversation. We make the whispered parts of it audible; we translate the coded parts into everyday language. But critics also participate actively in that conversation. We put authors who might never have spoken in touch with each other, thereby redefining both. We add our own idiosyncratic life experiences and opinions and modes of expression - and in doing so, fundamentally change the texts themselves.

    So, tweet, comment and post away and remember, you may think those tweets, comments and posts are instantly disposable but they are constantly changing the conversation and in some dark recess of the internet they live on, possibly forever...

    ps Get started with the Oxford Dictionary of Critical Theory!

  • Coffee prizes for books

    Thu, 06 Jan 2011 10:31

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    The Costa Book Awards shortlist winners have been announced:

    First Novel Award - Witness the Night by Kishwar Desai In a small town in the heart of India, a young girl is found tied to a bed inside a townhouse where thirteen people lie dead. The girl is alive, but she has been beaten and abused. She is held in the local prison, awaiting interrogation for the murders she is believed by the local people to have committed.

    Novel Award - The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell A gorgeously written story of love and motherhood, this is a tour de force from one of our best loved novelists.

    Poetry Award - Of Mutability by Jo Shapcott Offers a collection of poems that explores the nature of change - in the body and the natural world, and in the shifting relationships between people.

    Children's Book Award - Out of Shadows by Jason Wallace Zimbabwe, 1980s The war is over, independence has been won and Robert Mugabe has come to power offering hope, land and freedom to black Africans. It is the end of the Old Way and the start of a promising new era. For Robert Jacklin, it's all new: new continent, new country, new school.

    Biography Award - The Hare With Amber Eyes by Edmund De Waal A memoir that traces the network of a remarkable family against the backdrop of a tumultuous century. It tells the story of a unique collection which passed from hand to hand - and which, in a twist of fate, found its way home to Japan.

    The double espresso, skinny, mocha-latte, vanilla winner of winners is announced on Tuesday 25th January 2011...

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