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Heston Blumenthal’s historic tribute to British cuisine wins 2014 James Beard cookbook of the year

The biggest prize in the cookbook genre was announced yesterday and a book describing the long and complex legacy of British cuisine has picked up the main award. The James Beard Foundation Book Awards named Historic Heston by English chef Heston Blumenthal as cookbook of the year. Blumenthal, owner of The Fat Duck, details the identity […]

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Signed first edition of John le Carré’s debut novel sells for £13,345

Famous fictional secret agents and spies abound, from 007  and Simon ‘The Saint’ Templar to Jason Bourne, but John le Carré’s wonderful creation George Smiley might just be the best of them all. Our most expensive sale last month was a signed first edition of Call for the Dead, the author’s debut novel from 1961. […]

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Iain Banks leaves more than £3.5 million

Scottish author Iain Banks left more than £3.5 million in his will, it was reported this week. Banks died from gall bladder cancer in June last year aged 59. Papers from the Glasgow Sheriff Court show that Banks’ estate was worth £3,640,011 including £2.1 million in royalties. His assets also included an archive of his […]

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“Sausage machine” to disliking birds’ feet – 10 facts about Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie, the prolific writer of murder mysteries, was far from dull. Aside from her infamous disappearance in 1926 that fascinated a complete nation, there were many interesting aspects to her life. 1) Agatha dictated all her novels to an assistant. She suffered from dysgraphia, a learning disability, which stopped her from writing in a […]

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The art of Ed Emsh: legendary science fiction illustrator

Our latest video salutes the work of Edmund Emshwiller, better known as Ed Emsh or just Emsh, who was a prolific illustrator in the 1950s and 1960s. He contributed to countless sci-fi magazines including Amazing Science Fiction Stories, Astounding Science Fiction and most notably The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction . His work also […]

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Set of programmes from Spurs double season sells for £3,600

A complete set of League and Cup programmes from Tottenham’s famous double-winning season of 1960-61 has sold for £3,600 on AbeBooks. In all, there are 64 programmes in the collection, including 42 home and away League games and a full set of seven FA Cup ties (including the 2-0 Wembley victory against Leicester City). There are […]

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The best since Cervantes? Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies at 87

Gabriel García Márquez has died at the age of 87 in Mexico City. The Nobel Prize-winning author was one of the most influential Latin American authors of recent times. The writer had recently been hospitalised for a lung and urinary problems, but was released last week. Many literary critics have argued that Garcia Marquez was […]

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Donna Tartt’s golden year continues

Donna Tartt’s novel, The Goldfinch, reached new heights today after being awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction – one of the top gongs in American literature. Last week, Tartt was shortlisted for the Bailey’s Prize for women’s fiction and prompted named as the bookie’s favourite. Signed copies of The Goldfinch are now seriously in demand. […]

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Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68

Sad news yesterday. The death of author Sue Townsend was announced. Townsend, of course, created Adrian Mole. She was 68 and had been left blind after suffering from diabetes. She suffered a stroke in December 2012. The Guardian describes her success and where the idea for Adrian Mole came from – her own experiences. Mole […]

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Bailey’s shortlist for women’s fiction

The shortlist for the UK Women’s Prize for Fiction (once called the Orange Prize but now sponsored by Bailey’s) has been revealed. Eimear McBride, Hannah Kent and Audrey Magee are all contenders with their debut novels. Donna Tartt and Jhumpa Lahiri are the big names, while Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie continues to enhance her […]

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