Posts tagged featured

Latest UK book stats

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 sales of digital products rose 19% Digital now accounts for 33% of fiction sales and 7% of non-fiction/reference (and 15%… Read More

Clara’s Daughter by Meike Ziervogel

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. She’s the founder of Peirene Press, which publishes contemporary European fiction in translation, and she’s also written two novellas, published by Salt… Read More

A potential novel: In the Wolf’s Mouth by Adam Foulds

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 stuck in my head. In the world of Oulipo and others, the emphasis was more on the creation of new… Read More

The Reckoning by Jacob Soll

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 like an exciting read, but… Read More

What I’m Doing When I’m Not Here

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, without too much fuss. I’ve… Read More

The Blue Room by Hanne Ørstavik

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 be locked in her bedroom,… Read More

The Dead Lake by Hamid Ismailov

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 literary fairytale about a boy… Read More

The Future of Books: Reactive?

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 the world of “reactive media.”… Read More