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  • Last night, the winners of the British Book Industy Awards were announced. The Nibbies, as the awards are known, organised by Publishing News in conjunction with the Booksellers Association, are the most important publishing industry awards:

    Canongate picked up Publisher of the Year, with the judges praising the company for its: "great professionalism, attention to detail and sheer exuberance of its publishing programme in 2008, which led to an impressive doubling in turnover during the year." While Atlantic Books scored two: Independent Publisher of the Year and Imprint & Editor of the Year for Ravi Mirchandani.

    Canongate and Atlantic Books weren't the only winner. The winner of the Harlequin Mills & Boon Direct Bookselling Company of the Year was... us! Yay!!

    Well done to everyone in The Book Depository team for all their hard work: good job!

    Right, banging of our own drum can now cease. Back to work!

  • In the current BBC poetry season, Ian Hislop read an extract from In Memoriam A. H. H. by Lord Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892). And the edition he was reading was one of our Dodo Press titles! Very exciting!

    Below is the famous Canto 27:

    I envy not in any moods
    The captive void of noble rage,
    The linnet born within the cage,
    That never knew the summer woods:

    I envy not the beast that takes
    His license in the field of time,
    Unfetter'd by the sense of crime,
    To whom a conscience never wakes;

    Nor, what may count itself as blest,
    The heart that never plighted troth
    But stagnates in the weeds of sloth;
    Nor any want-begotten rest.

    I hold it true, whate'er befall;
    I feel it, when I sorrow most;
    'Tis better to have loved and lost
    Than never to have loved at all.

  • Tweet to win

    Fri, 15 May 2009 07:31

    Starting next Monday (May 18th), and running for the following thirty days, I'll be running an exciting Twitter-based competition in conjunction with our friends from O'Reilly. We're calling it #tbd30 -- or, rather, that is how I'll "tag" each of the tricksy Twitter tasks I'm going to set for you. I love Twitter, but I've not done anything like this before, so it's all a bit of an experiment...

    O'Reilly have just published The Twitter Book which is a really great crib for how businesses and individuals can get the most out of the now hugely popular micro-blogging service. Of course, we've been a-tweeting for ages now (twitter.com/bookdepository) but there is always more to learn about how to get the most from your tweets and how to offer each of your followers a great service.

    So, each day for a month (starting next Monday) I'm going to ask our Twitter followers to do a Twitter-based task -- and the first person to DM (direct message) me the right answer will win a fab, limited edition O'Reilly Moleskine notebook (oh, but you can only win once!)

    If you want to join in, you'll need to follow us on Twitter here: twitter.com/bookdepository -- and, on Monday, I will set you your first task!

    (Here is the link to the small print, i.e. the Terms and Conditions, if you need them.)
  • As you can imagine, plenty of books (no, even more than your thinking; multiply that by ten -- ok, you're nearer!) pass through my hands. In a comparatively short amount of time, I have to decide which books that I want to feature, review, highlight etc. on our site. Inevitably, I sometimes miss books that turn out to be important or popular.

    David J.C. MacKay's Sustainable Energy -- Without the Hot Air arrived here a wee while ago and I thought, "worthy, but dull." Indeed, I think I thought something more like "worthy, but oh so dull I want to weep!" And because I thought it was so dull-looking, I didn't bother to highlight it. But I really, really should have done. This is an excellent book and one that is fast-becoming a bestseller.

    MacKay's own website www.withouthotair.com is certainly worth looking at. As is Leo Hickman's Guardian article where he meets the author, and this piece in the Times where MacKay explains his thesis.

    Whatever you do, don't pass over this book like I did because it looks dull. It isn't dull, it's vitally important.

  • Two new free e-books!

    Tue, 05 May 2009 10:59

    We are giving away not one but two new free e-books!

    The titles are quite different from one another; I know some of you will like both, but I'm sure most of you will enjoy one or the the other!

    The Two Mrs Grenvilles is Dominick Dunne's stunning novel about Ann Woodward, the shooting of her husband, and her relationship with a writer who can only be Truman Capote:

    His mother was blueblood Society. His father was a bank president and a friend of the King of England. But privilege spoils. Their son was tall and handsome. He was also weak and shallow. Billy Woodward had a thing for showgirls. He married one of them -- and, in 1955, after dinner with the Duchess of Windsor, she shot and killed him. Murder? Of course not; Ann Woodward had children, and her mother-in-law didn't want them traumatised by scandal. Better to say that Ann mistook Bill for a prowler. Better that Ann never stand trial for murder. But there are other ways to convict a killer. Rumour is one. In 1975, Truman Capote lightly fictionalised the story and sold it to Esquire magazine. Ann Woodward, ultimately shamed, overdosed on sleeping pills. "Well, that's that," her mother-in-law said.

    Download The Two Mrs Grenvilles here (PDF; no special software/hardware needed) or buy the book.

    Dan Hind's The Threat to Reason is a powerful and eminently readable reclamation of Enlightenment values:

    "In exploring how the Enlightenment continues to operate as a powerful guiding principle in Western politics, The Threat to Reason reveals how the truly pressing threats to free inquiry reside within the allegedly enlightened institutions of state and corporation. In recovering the concept of Enlightenment from its self-appointed defenders, The Threat to Reason demonstrates its crucial importance to a truly democratic politics, rather than a political performance in which we remain merely spectators.

    Download The Threat to Reason here (PDF; no special software/hardware needed) or buy the book.

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