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Did you know there was a literary prize for books about mountains?

I didn’t and I’ve been doing this job for a long time. The Boardman Tasker Prize celebrates mountain literature and is organised by the Boardman Tasker Trust. The prize of £3,000 commemorates the lives of climbers Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker, who died in 1982 while climbing Mount Everest. Both men wrote about mountaineering, hence […]

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2014 Booker Prize shortlist announced

The shortlist for the 2014 Man Booker Prize has been announced. The six books shortlisted are: The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma Death Railway, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his affair with his uncle’s young wife two years […]

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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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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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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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Alice Munro too ill to attend Nobel ceremony

The Canadian media is reporting that 82-year-old Alice Munro will not attend next month’s Nobel event in Stockholm due to her ill health. In other news, her publisher wants to turn Munro’s childhood home in Wingham, Ontario, into a tourist attraction. Like other booksellers, AbeBooks enjoyed a significant Munro boost thanks to Alice’s win,  including the […]

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The year’s top non-fiction revealed on 2013 Samuel Johnson shortlist

The shortlist for the 2013 Samuel Johnson Prize, the UK’s top award for non-fiction books, has been announced and the subject matter ranges from Mrs Thatcher to Afghanistan and bees. David Crane for Empires of the Dead William Dalrymple for Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan Dave Goulson for A Sting in the […]

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Interview with Booker contender Ruth Ozeki

She’s one of the front-runners for the 2013 Man Booker Prize. She splits her time between New York and British Columbia. She wrote an acclaimed novel about a woman living on Cortes Island, British Columbia, in a remote area known as Desolation Sound. She’s currently one of the most talked about authors in the book […]

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Did you know Albert Camus was terrified of cars?

Last night I learned that the French philosopher and writer Albert Camus was not only terrified of motor vehicles (that’s called motorphobia) but died in a car crash on 4 January 1960 at 46 years old. He was travelling from Provence to Paris and the accident occurred in the small town of Villeblevin. He was […]

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Lahiri, McCann & Tóibín Lead 2013 Booker Longlist

The longlist for the 2013 Man Booker Prize has been revealed today. The big names in contention are Jhumpa Lahiri, Colum McCann and Colm Tóibín, although there is plenty of literary talent on the list. Here are the books: Tash Aw – Five Star Billionaire Eleanor Catton – The Luminaries Jim Crace – Harvest Eve […]

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