From Dante’s Inferno to Monty Python’s Flying Circus, accounting has often had a bad name. The Reckoning by Jacob Soll goes a long way towards redeeming it, showing how financial accountability has been at the heart of the rise and fall of nations from Renaissance Italy to the present day. A history of accounting may not sound […]
Came across some interesting stats on UK book sales in the latest issue of The Author magazine from the Society of Authors, and thought I’d share a few of them with you: Sales of physical books fell 5% in 2013, while ...
Authors and publishers generally live in different camps. They have their own associations, their own awards, their own complaints about the people in the other camp. Meike Ziervogel is one of the few people to have a foot in both. ...
Reading Adam Foulds’s new novel In the Wolf’s Mouth, I was reminded of literary movements like Oulipo, which explored the concept of ‘potential literature’. Don’t get me wrong: it’s not that the novel is particularly experimental. It’s the ‘potential’ aspect that ...
I always promised myself I’d never write a “Sorry I haven’t posted in a while…” post. So this isn’t one of those posts. I’m not apologising, nor am I labouring under the illusion that hordes of you were out there waiting for my latest post. I’m just trying to get back into a regular rhythm, […]
I cannot get out. Something must have happened to the lock. That’s the first line of Hanne Ørstavik’s novel The Blue Room. Are you feeling claustrophobic yet? If I tell you that the entire novel takes place with the protagonist locked in the same small bedroom, you may feel yourself starting to hyperventilate. Don’t worry, though. Johanne may […]
In February 2008, I was in despair. I’d given up a good job as a reporter at The Wall Street Journal in New York to pursue my dream of writing fiction, and all I had to show for it was a stack of rejection slips. Exactly a year later, I was standing outside a branch […]
How do you tell the story of a remote injustice to a jaded world? You could make a documentary, or interview the survivors and write a 15,000-word magazine exposé. You could petition the authorities to commission an official enquiry, and wait a decade or two for the results. Hamid Ismailov chose to write a lyrical […]
How would you like to read a book that reacted to your emotions, and changed its storyline to give you exactly what you wanted? It sounds bizarre, impossible and faintly terrifying, but according to this article in NewScientist magazine, it’s coming soon, not just to books, but to movies, TV and other formats. Welcome to […]
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- Ebook vs print sales 31 October 2013
- The limits of automatic recommendation systems 12 December 2013
- 2013 reading highlights 31 December 2013
- I’m back! 21 November 2013
- Halcyon Days 31 January 2014
- Latest UK book stats 16 October 2014
- Clara’s Daughter by Meike Ziervogel 30 September 2014
- A potential novel: In the Wolf’s Mouth by Adam Foulds 3 September 2014
- The Reckoning by Jacob Soll 2 August 2014
- What I’m Doing When I’m Not Here 8 July 2014
- Andrew Blackman: Ah, you're right, Fiona - the online dictionary i...
- Fiona Pearse: I too am surprised at that drop in paperback sales...
- Andrew Blackman: Yes, that would be an interesting stat! I know I'...
- Andrew Blackman: Hi Brian Yes, I thought it would be higher. I thi...
- Andrew Blackman: Hi Alice I'm the same as you - I never read eboo...