January 2011

The Sheep-Pig by Dick King-Smith
The Sheep-Pig
Dick King-Smith
  • Bestselling children’s author Dick King-Smith dies at 88. His 1983 book The Sheep-Pig inspired the 1995 movie Babe. King-Smith wrote more than 100 books.
  • Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool wins the Newbery Medal for the most distinguished book for children and A Sick Day for Amos McGee illustrated by Erin E. Stead and written by Philip C. Stead wins the Caldecott Medal for best illustrated children’s book.
  • St. Lucia poet Derek Walcott wins the T.S. Eliot Prize for poetry with his collection, White Egrets.
  • The letters of reclusive writer JD Salinger, who died in 2010, revealed he liked gardening, eating hamburgers and following the career of tennis player Tim Henman.
  • AbeBooks’ bestselling signed book of the month is The Empty Family by Colm Toibin.

February 2011

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Help
Kathryn Stockett
  • AbeBooks launches its own YouTube Channel.
  • Redwall author Brian Jacques dies at 91. His fantasy series about animals was translated into 29 languages and sold 20 million copies.
  • Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help, is accused by her brother’s former maid that she used her life story in the novel.
  • An unpublished and previously unknown Enid Blyton novel is discovered - Mr Tumpy’s Caravan is a 180-page fantasy story about a magical caravan.
  • John Le Carre donates his literary archive to Oxford University, including the first manuscript for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
  • AbeBooks’ bestselling signed book in February is Swamplandia! by Karen Russell.

March 2011

The Spellcoats by Diana Wynne Jones
The Spellcoats
Diana Wynne Jones
  • AbeBooks signs an agreement to acquire German online marketplace for used and rare books, ZVAB.com.
  • A poll reveals Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter books is the most popular fictional dream date for teenage readers.
  • Britain’s Royal Mail launches eight stamps celebrating magical figures, including Dumbledore Lord Voldemort, and Rincewind and witch Nanny Ogg, from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld.
  • Britain’s minister of education Michael Gove sparks debate by saying children should read 50 books a year.
  • Diana Wynne Jones, the children’s fantasy and science fiction author, dies at 76.
  • John Le Carre asks to be removed from the shortlist for the Man Booker International prize - literary awards are just not his cup of tea.

April 2011

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
A Visit From
the Goon Squad

Jennifer Egan
  • A new edition of James Jones’ novel, From Here to Eternity, is published containing gay sex references that were removed from the original.
  • A Catholic diocese in Poland warns that the Harry Potter books are unacceptable because they encourage “instructions to practise magic.”
  • A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan wins the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
  • It is revealed Barack Obama earned £1.1m from his books in 2010.
  • Three Cups of Tea author Greg Mortenson is accused of making up parts of his bestselling book.
  • The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton is named America’s best mystery novel at the Edgars.
  • Modernist Cuisine, a heavyweight cookbook of 2,400 pages and six volumes, is revealed to be riddled with hundreds of errors.

May 2011

Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof
Half the Sky
Nicholas Kristof
  • Philip Roth wins the fourth Man Booker International Prize. He was chosen ahead of 12 other contenders.
  • Author and playwright Alan Bennett compares proposals to close many public libraries in Britain to ‘child abuse.’
  • AbeBooks sells a first edition of To Kill A Mockingbird for £16,000.
  • Oprah’s long-running TV show, famous for its book club, finally ends much to the chagrin of America’s publishers.
  • May’s bestselling signed book is Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof.

June 2011

The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht
The Tiger's Wife
Tea Obreht
  • Irish author Colum McCann wins the International Impac Dublin Literary Award for his novel, Let The Great World Spin. It’s world's most lucrative literary prize worth £85,000.
  • Prince William’s bride Kate Middleton is revealed to be a distant relation of novelist Jane Austen, according to a genealogy website.
  • Debut novelist Téa Obreht becomes the youngest winner of the Orange Prize for fiction at 25 - The Tiger’s Wife is AbeBooks’ bestselling book in June.

July 2011

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee
  • JK Rowling’s Harry Potter franchise finally ends with the world premiere of the final film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
  • A manuscript of Jane Austen ‘lost’ novel, which was never published, is sold for nearly £1 million. The Watsons tells the story of four sisters who are the daughters of a widowed clergyman, and their attempts to marry.
  • David Beckham reveals his newborn daughter, Harper, was named in honor of Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird.
  • A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin is July’s bestselling signed book on AbeBooks.

 

August 2011

A Kind of Loving by Stan Barastow
A Kind of Loving
Stan Barstow
  • English novelist Stan Barstow dies at 83. He was best known for his 1960 novel, A Kind of Loving.
  • London is rocked by several days of riots – bookshops go untouched.
  • An ‘I Hate Reading’ page is discovered on Facebook. AbeBooks offers a video reply that is viewed more than 9,500 times.
  • James Patterson is revealed as the world’s best paid author with an annual salary of £53 million.
  • Babar the elephant celebrates his 80th birthday.
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett is AbeBooks’ bestselling signed book in August.

September 2011

Chicks With Guns by Lindsay McCrum
Chicks With Guns
Lindsay McCrum
  • The Borders chain finally shuts down after bankruptcy and a fire sale.
  • Scotland’s Wigtown book festival hires a resident literary hermit.
  • A photography book called Chicks with Guns becomes a bestseller in the USA.
  • Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is September’s bestselling signed book on AbeBooks.

 

October 2011

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Marriage Plot
Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer, who is mostly unknown in North America, wins the Nobel Prize for Literature.
  • AbeBooks.co.uk is named the UK’s fourth best Internet shopping site in a poll of Which Magazine readers.
  • Nine years after Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides returns with a novel called The Marriage Plot.
  • Supermodel Tyra Banks becomes a successful author with Modelland – the novel lands at No.2 on the New York Times bestseller list.
  • Julian Barnes wins the Man Booker Prize with The Sense of an Ending – it was the fourth time he had been shortlisted for the prize. The novel becomes AbeBooks’ bestselling signed book of the month.
  • Huraki Murakami’s 1Q84 is finally published in English. A month later it’s nominated for the annual Bad Sex Award.

 

November 2011

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
Salvage the Bones
Jesmyn Ward
  • Stephen King’s latest book is released. Titled 11.22.63, the time-travelling novel tackles the JFK killing.
  • Inheritance, the final book in Christopher Paolini’s four-book fantasy series, becomes an instant bestseller with 500,000 copies sold on day one.
  • Esi Edugyan wins Canada’s Giller Prize for her novel, Half-Blood Blues. Also in Canada, The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt wins the Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction.
  • Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward wins the fiction category at America's National Book Awards.
  • Anne McCaffrey, the author of the Dragonriders of Pern fantasy series, dies in Ireland at 85.
  • Jack Kerouac’s ‘lost’ novel, The Sea Is My Brother, is published. He wrote it aged 20 and it is based on his early years as a merchant seaman.
  • American poet Ruth Stone dies aged 96.
  • AbeBooks sells an 1867 first edition of Das Kapital by Karl Marx for £33,000.

December 2011

Book Collecting Guide
Book Collecting School
  • AbeBooks launches a Book Collecting Guide.
  • David Guterson wins the 2011 Bad Sex Award in London for the sex scenes in his latest novel, Ed King - a modern retelling of the Oedpius story.
  • Lady Gaga publishes her own photo book with a leading celebrity photographer. It's called Lady Gaga x Terry Richardson.
  • Tea Obreht's The Tiger's Wife is the bestselling signed book of 2011 on AbeBooks.
  • Journalist, author and intellectual Christopher Hitchens dies of complications from esophageal cancer at age 62.

 

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