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  • 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...

  • Books of the year 2010

    Wed, 05 Jan 2011 16:44

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    I thought it would be interesting to look at the top 1,000 bestsellers for the Book Depository, in 2010, by jacket colour (rather than something arbitrary like our favourites etc). We took a copy of every jacket for each title and to sample the colour reduced it to one pixel. We then sorted these by colour running dark to light.

    On one level there is the cliche of a customer walking into a store and looking for that 'yellow covered book' they can't recall the title of and on the other a serious(ish) insight into jacket colours used. I was interested to see the fairly heavy use of dark colours - a reflection of the zombie/vampire bias? Other things that jump out? The most distinctive run of covers are the lime green Penguin Popular Classics, and a fair few faces looking back at us readers...what do you see?

    Have a look at the full selection.

  • Should have put a few beans on!

    Wed, 13 Oct 2010 02:32

    Many Congratulations to Howard Jacobson on winning the Man Booker Prize 2010 for The Finkler Question as predicted by me, in the office.

    Unfortunately, I failed to put a tenner on him when he was 8-1 a month ago...

    Not that we're condoning gambling at all, which is evil and pernicious...
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