Whew, December was a crazy month for us all, both in the store and on the blog with all those top 5s. No time for Bookbits, in other words – but we’re into a new year, and I’m determined to make this year bend the rules of time. So here’s some bookish news again, hooray!
- R. I. P. Dick King-Smith, who wrote The Sheep-Pig, the book that was the basis for the movie Babe, died aged 88. Obituaries here and here.
- Awards! Earlier this week the Costa Book Awards category winners were announced, and they are (*drumroll*)… Novel Award: The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O’Farrell (YAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!)(I told you so! I told you so!); First Novel Award: Witness the Night by Kishwar Desai; Biography Award: The Hare With Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal; Poetry Award: Of Mutability by Jo Shapcott ; Children’s Book Award: Out of Shadows by Jason Wallace. The Costa Book of the Year will be announced on January 25th – but even if Maggie doesn’t win that one, the Costa Awards are now firmly my favorite literary awards ever.
- It was given a month ago, but if you’re interested here is Mario Vargas Llosa’s (lengthy) Nobel Prize lecture, “In Praise of Reading and Fiction,” in full.
- Best of 2010: Entertainment Weekly has a slideshow with their favorites. NPR’s Rachel Syme sums up her favorite “weird and wonderful” books of 2010 (excellent list!). The Guardian tallied up its favorites, and its readers massively sent in their favorites of the year (I wonder where they got that idea from?). I also have to post the Guardian’s year-end quiz here (11/18 for me).
- Best of 2011: lists of what you have read are so last year! Thankfully the Guardian is on-trend this week (those 2010 lists above are old-ish since I hadn’t learned to bend the rules of time and space two weeks ago) and has a list for us of what we are all about to read.
- Julian Assange has reportedly sold his memoirs. Apparently they’ll be on the shelf in March already, so he’s either a very quick writer, has been preparing them for a long time, or hasn’t had a very interesting life. Hmmm, probably not that last one, then…
- If you’re suffering from writer’s block, click here for a scientific study of one person’s self-treatment of this condition.
- Regular lists: Flavorwire writers showcase their favorite children’s book authors – I found it an interesting list, because it doesn’t include a single favorite childhood author of mine! Richard and Judy picked books for their spring book club.
- And finally, a bit of literary art. Because it’s beautiful. Thank you Sigrid for this picture of The Giacometti Variations by John Baldessari (here’s also the link to his website, but it’s currently not doing much). Click on the picture to embiggen: