Thursday, April 30, 2015

Please join us on Wednesday 6 May at 12.15pm to hear a public history talk on New Zealand’s First World War Heritage

Imelda Bargas and Tim Shoebridge will talk about their experiences researching and writing the book New Zealand’s First World War Heritage.

Published by Exisle Publishing in April 2015 New Zealand’s First World War Heritage tackles the First World War from a new angle: the places in New Zealand where it happened. No battles were fought here, but our landscape is signposted with thousands of poignant memorials and behind the facades of old buildings, beneath scrub and behind farm fences lies a less visible landscape of war and hundreds of stories waiting to be told: a soldier’s name carved on a remote railway station, a once bustling uniform factory in the heart of a city, a long abandoned gun battery.
Imelda and Tim searched the country from Northland to Stewart Island and rediscovered a huge number of places with wartime associations: army camps, fortifications, soldier-settler farms, convalescent homes and hospitals, cemeteries and war memorials, dairy factories and woollen mills.
In this talk Imelda and Tim will explain how they came to work on the book and some of the challenges they faced putting it together. They’ll also explore the themes covered in the book, using some of their favourite stories and sites.

About the speakers:
Imelda Bargas and Tim Shoebridge are Senior Historians in the Ministry for Culture and Heritage’s History Group. Imelda previously worked as a registration adviser for the then New Zealand Historic Places Trust while Tim worked as a researcher and report writer at the Waitangi Tribunal. Imelda has written extensively for, which she helps manage. Tim is the author of several books including The Good Citizen (2009), Quarantine! (with Gavin McLean, 2010), and Featherston Military Training Camp and the First World War (2011).

Date: Wednesday 6 May at 12.15pm.  Venue: Ministry for Culture and Heritage, L4 ASB House, 101 The Terrace, Wellington.  To listen again to MCH History Group talks go to:

For more information about our regular public history talks please contact

New Zealand Book Council podcast series to explore the books that shape us

The New Zealand Book Council is enhancing its support of the country’s reading and writing culture with a new monthly podcast.

Talking Books will dissect both the latest releases and enduring classics, with input from New Zealand’s top writers, journalists, academics and newsmakers. With a primary focus on New Zealand writing and writers, the podcasts will provide an important addition to the national arts discussion.  
“At a time when support for the literary arts in New Zealand is in flux, it’s vital we find new ways to spread the word about the joy of reading and promote New Zealand writers,” said Book Council Chief Executive Catriona Ferguson.

“Our series of podcasts provides an opportunity to hear smart people talking about great books – and will hopefully foster not only a new listening habit, but encourage more diverse reading habits as well.”
The first edition of Talking Books – available on the Booknotes Unbound website and coming soon to iTunes – is hosted by novelist Catherine Robertson, and features writer Rachel O’Neill, author Pip Adam and book critic Guy Somerset. Catherine and her guests explore the unlikely links between two hot New Zealand releases, The Chimes by Anna Smaill and Five Minutes Alone by Paul Cleave.

The second edition of the podcast will focus on this year’s nominated Great Kiwi Classic, Janet Frame’s debut novel Owls Do Cry. Novelist Paula Morris will lead a spirited debate on the book’s claim to classic status with poet Selina Tusitala Marsh and reviewer, editor and poet Iain Sharp.

Talking Books will be uploaded monthly to the Booknotes Unbound website: The Book Council is grateful to Copyright Licensing New Zealand for its support in making this new podcast series possible.

Listen to Talking Books podcast #1:

Latest News from The Bookseller

Gaby Wood
Daily Telegraph head of books Gaby Wood has been appointed as the next literary director of the Booker Prize Foundation, succeeding Ion Trewin who died earlier this month.
Michael Neil
W H Smith’s book director Michael Neil will be leaving the business at the end of May.
Neil joined W H Smith at the beginning of 2014 as its business unit director for books.

In this role, he has been responsible for the full books and e-books offer at WH Smith High Street and has delivered a number of customer focused initiatives, the company said. 

The Iceberg
Marion Coutts has won the Wellcome Book Prize 2015 with The Iceberg (Atlantic Books).
Bill Bryson, chair of the prize judges, said the book was “painful to read, but beautifully expressed”.
Coutts’ husband, art critic Tom Lubbock, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2008, and died in 2011. The Iceberg is a memoir about the 18 months leading to Lubbock’s death.
Nielsen has promoted Jonathan Stolper to senior vice president and m.d. of Nielsen Book. Stolper will take on the global leadership of Nielsen Book, as current president Jonathan Nowell is stepping down.
Stolper, who is currently senior v.p of Nielsen’s US book business, said: “I am thrilled to take on this role. We have a strong team at Nielsen Book and I look forward to meeting our clients and collaborators around the world over the next few weeks and months.”
Malcolm Edwards
Malcolm Edwards is to leave the roles of deputy c.e.o. and publisher of Orion at the end of this year.
Edwards, 65, will become chairman of Gollancz, where he started his publishing career in the 1970s, and consultant publisher at Orion.
Orion c.e.o. David Young said he had been talking to Edwards for “some time” about the latter’s “desire to work a flexible week which will give him the freedom to work on fewer projects close to his heart”.
Tom Kerridge
Bloomsbury cookery imprint Absolute Press has signed a cookbook from Michelin starred chef Tom Kerridge.
Publisher Jon Croft signed rights in Tom's Table: My Favourite Everyday Recipes in a deal with Deborah McKenna Ltd.
The book will feature 100 recipes focusing around Kerridge's home-cooked dishes, including cheddar and ale soup, roast chicken, and lamb ribs with roasted onions.

Keith and Frances Smith
A couple who were splashed across the national press when they delivered a petition to 10 Downing Street calling on Amazon to pay corporation tax in the UK have sold their two bookshops.
Keith and Frances Smith who owned Warwick Books and Kenilworth Books have sold both the indies to new owners and plan to travel around Europe before moving to Cornwall in retirement. 
Non Pratt
Walker Books has acquired two standalone titles from YA Book Prize shortlisted author Non Pratt.
Publisher Denise Johnstone-Burt and commissioning editor Annalie Grainger bought the world rights to Truth or Dare, which will be released in 2016, and an unnamed book for publication in 2017, from Jane Finnegan at Lutyens and Rubenstein.
Writers including Joyce Carol Oates and Junot Diaz are among two dozen who have signed a letter protesting against PEN America giving an award to French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Six authors – Peter Carey, Michael Ondaatje, Rachel Kushner, Taiye Selasi, Francine Prose and Teju Cole – have already pulled out of the PEN American Center Gala in New York on 5th May, where Charlie Hebdo is due to receive a Freedom of Expression Courage Award.
The Jacqson Diego Story Emporium shop, a children’s bookshop in Essex, is closing next month “due to unforeseen circumstances”.
Owner Jacqueline Johnson said: “As you may have heard, due to unforeseen circumstances the emporium shop will be closing at its current address on 21st May. Jacqson Diego Story Emporium will continue in all of its other forms, including pop ups and events throughout the summer.
Hutchinson has acquired a history of St Petersburg by cultural historian Jonathan Miles.
Senior editor Sarah Rigby bought world English rights at auction for an undisclosed sum from Julian Alexander at LAW to St Petersburg: A City Of Murderous Desire.
The book will “recreate the drama of this absurd and brilliant city, beginning with the homicidal megalomania of its founder and the sadism of its early rulers”.
US author Judy Blume is taking part in this year’s Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC), which is taking place 17-19th July at Olympia, London.
Blume will be interviewed by Patrick Ness on the 18th July to mark 40 years since her coming-of-age novel, Forever, was first published.

Why we need physical books

Object Lesson

Object Lesson Why we need physical books

The committed bibliophile is cousin to the obsessive, an easily seduced accumulator frequently struck with frisson. Cram your home with books, and you’re lovingly called a collector; cram it with old newspapers, and you’re derisively called a hoarder. But be honest: The collector is a hoarder, too—a discriminating and noble-minded hoarder, perhaps, but a hoarder just the same.

Not long into George Gissing’s 1903 novel The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft, you find a scene that no self-respecting bibliophile can fail to forget. In a small bookshop in London, the eponymous narrator spots an eight-volume first edition of Edward Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. “To possess those clean-paged quartos,” 

Ryecroft says, “I would have sold my coat.” He doesn’t have the money on him, and so he returns across town to his flat to retrieve it. Too broke for a ride on an omnibus, and too impatient to wait, he twice more traverses the city on foot, back and forth between the bookshop and home, toting a ton of Gibbon. “My joy in the purchase I had made drove out every other thought. Except, indeed, of the weight. I had infinite energy but not much muscular strength, and the end of the last journey saw me upon a chair, perspiring, flaccid, aching—exultant!”

Paula Morris releases candid memoir on moving home

Award-winning author Paula Morris addresses how it feels to move back to New Zealand after decades living overseas, in a new book published by Bridget Williams Books.

Having spent most of her adult life in the United Kingdom and the United States, Morris has recently taken up a post teaching creative writing at the University of Auckland, where she completed her undergraduate degree.

In On Coming Home she interrogates her fears about giving up an expatriate’s life, writing from the heart about what it means to assume the mantle of ‘New Zealand writer’, and considering questions of nationality, displacement and artistic inspiration.

‘I used to be afraid that I would never come home,’ says Morris. ‘But at the same time I’ve never wanted to come home to live because that implied an end to things: growth, movement, ambition, possibility. And I was scared of coming home to Auckland to find that I no longer belonged here.’

In her book, published as part of the BWB Texts series, Morris embraces these fears that have resonance for so many New Zealanders, drawing on her personal experience and those of other writers who have left their native country to live overseas. On Coming Home is an incisive and engaging commentary on what it means to call a place home.

The Text also discusses the creative beginnings of Morris’s short story ‘False River’, which was recently one of only six stories to be shortlisted for the prestigious Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award.


Judge Wants $10 Million Set Aside For Possible Award In Fifty Shades Lawsuit

Book2ookTuesday 28 Apr 2015

A state district judge wants $10 million in cash or investments to be set aside for a potential award after a Tarrant County jury ruled earlier this year that an Arlington woman was cheated out of royalties from the blockbuster novel Fifty Shades of Grey.

The Roundup with PW

Spiegelman Warns of 'Dangerous' Outcome: With top Moscow bookstores removing his Holocaust tale under a Nazi propaganda law, Art Spiegelman sounds the alarm: "We don’t want cultures to erase memory."

Kobo Not Battling Publishers: Kobo has said it has “no interest in fighting publishers," after signing its first publishing deal with journalist Kevin Donovan for a book about Canadian radio presenter Jian Ghomeshi.

Trollope Trending: Why Anthony Trollope is still the novelist of the way we live now, according to Adam Gopnik at the 'New Yorker.'

Libraries Make Space for 3-D Printers: At hundreds of libraries across the U.S., 3-D printers can sometimes be heard whirring in the background, part of an effort to encourage interest in the new technology and foster DIY "maker spaces."

Required Reading: Thirty of the best horror books, rounded up at 'Paste' magazine.

Antiquarian Book News

Magna Carta

Bloomsbury2015 marks the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta, and a copy of the first engraved version, published by John Pine some 500 years later could sell for £15,000 when it goes under the hammer at Bloomsbury Auctions on Thursday 21st May in the auctioneer’s bi-annual Important Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper sale.

Magna Carta is recognised as one of the most important and most celebrated legal documents in the English-speaking world.

Compiled in 1215, principally on behalf of baronial rebels against King John, Magna Carta was re-issued several times in the 13th century, and over the centuries has been reinterpreted to form the foundation of some of the legal rights we enjoy today.

It is unknown how many copies of the 1215 Magna Carta were issued, but four copies are known to have survived: one in Lincoln Cathedral, one in Salisbury Cathedral and two are preserved in the British Library.

The example in the forthcoming May auction is an early 18th century engraved copy of one of the original 1215 Magna Carta texts now housed at the British Library.

Engraved by John Pine on vellum, with 25 hand-coloured coats of arms, it contains the famous clause “No man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, Nor will we proceed with force against him, except by lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land, To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or injustice.”

Copies of Pine's engraving appear only infrequently at auction and this one is expected to fetch £10,000-15,000 when it is auctioned at Bloomsbury Auctions on Thursday 21st May [Lot 201].

Rare golden ?Koran? on show in New Zealand

A 200-year-old “golden Koran”, which contains pages layered in gold, will be displayed at Auckland's central library next month after some Arabic manuscripts that came with it were translated for the first time.

The handwritten Koran was one of the items donated to the library early in the 20th century by Auckland bibliophile Henry Shaw, who died in 1928.

The full translations will be revealed at a May 28 public seminar, led by Dr Ali, to be held at the central library. The golden Koran and the manuscripts will be displayed for two weeks in the special collections reading room after the seminar along with two other rare Korans.

Consolation of Philosophy

An academic who was visiting a Scottish university has discovered the oldest surviving non-biblical Scottish manuscript in a vault. The 12th century copy of Boethius’s “Consolation of Philosophy” was found in Glasgow University’s Special Collections by Dr Kylie Murray, a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow from Balliol College, Oxford, who is currently at Glasgow on a visiting fellowship.

The university’s Special Collections is one of Britain’s largest collections of old manuscripts with over 200,000 manuscript items and around 200,000 printed works, 1,000 of which are “incunabula” – books produced in the earliest stages of printing from movable type.

The Consolation of Philosophy is thought to have been written in 524 AD by Boethius, a statesman of the late Roman Empire, while he was awaiting execution for a crime he did not commit.

To Contact Ibookcollector
Ibookcollector © is published by Rivendale Press.

Marion Coutts Wins The Wellcome Book Prize 2015

Marion Coutts has been awarded the Wellcome Book Prize 2015 for The Iceberg her memoir on art, work, death and language, published by Atlantic Books. The announcement was made by acclaimed author and chair of judges, Bill Bryson, at a special ceremony held in Wellcome Collection's new Reading Room.

Press release

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson review – the companion to Life After Life

Atkinson picks up the story of the Todd family, with Ursula’s ‘glorious’ brother Teddy centre stage, but how does it compare to its predecessor?

Kate Atkinson
Time games … Kate Atkinson. Photograph: Murdo MacLeod for the Guardian
Kate Atkinson’s previous novel, Life After Life, played an ingenious game with time. Over and over again, Ursula Todd is born on 11 February 1910; over and over again, she dies – at birth, or drowning at the beach aged five, or falling out of a window, aged five again. Or of influenza, four times, in 1918. The first time she dies of influenza, she is tended to the last by her broken-hearted mother. The second time, her little brother Teddy, her mother’s favourite, has also just died of the virus; her mother, demented with grief, hardly has attention to spare for poor Ursula. During her third bout of influenza, something begins to leak through to Ursula from those other selves, warning her, making her feel an incoherent dread, turning her into an odd little person, dreamy and haunted. Until she dies anyway – and then is born again. Eventually, dreamy and haunted still, she pushes past 1918, and on to her future deaths.

$1000 Poetry Prize announced

International Writers' Workshop NZ Inc (IWW)  is delighted to announce that due to an ongoing bequest from the Jocelyn Grattan Charitable Trust the Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems will take place again later this year.

The competition is for a cycle or sequence of poems that has a common link or theme and is open to current and honorary members of IWW.  The rules for the competition and details of how to join are available from the IWW website: although for new members to become eligible to enter the 2015 Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems, application for membership must be received by the third Tuesday in June.

The competition closes on the 1st Tuesday in October and the winner is announced on the 3rd Tuesday in November. The winner will receive a prize of $1000.

This is the seventh time this poetry competition will be held with previous winners being Julie Ryan (2014), Belinda Diepenheim (2013), James Norcliffe (2012), Jillian Sullivan (2011) Janet Charman and Rosetta Allan (joint winners 2010) and Alice Hooton (2009).

IWW is delighted to announce that Rosetta Allan, (right), a previous winner of the prize, will judge the competition this year. 

Rosetta is an Auckland-based writer who grew up in Hawke’s Bay. Her first poetry collection, Little Rock, was released in 2007, and her second volume, Over Lunch, in 2010. Her poetry and essays have appeared in publications and anthologies in New Zealand, Australia and USA, and in online literary journals. Her most recent publication, Purgatory, is a historical fiction novel based on the Otahuhu Murders of 1865, published by Penguin Books NZ June 2014.

The Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems is sometimes referred to as the 'Little Grattan' as the Jocelyn Grattan Charitable Trust also funds the biennial Kathleen Grattan Award, run by Landfall / Otago University Press.

In addition to the Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems, IWW holds six or seven writing competitions a year for members. These cover fiction, non-fiction, children's stories and a single poem. Workshops take place on the first and third Tuesdays of the month in Northcote.

Key Dates

June 16: Last day for new members to join IWW to be eligible to enter the 2015 Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems
October 6: Closing date for entries in the 2015 Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems
November 17: Announcement of the winner of the 2015 Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems

For further information about the Prize or IWW in general, contact IWW President Sue Courtney, email or phone (09) 426 6687. 

Booker Prize Foundation: New Literary Director Appointed

The Trustees of the Booker Prize Foundation announce today that, after a careful selection process, they have appointed Gaby Wood as the next Literary Director of the Foundation. She succeeds Ion Trewin, who sadly died earlier this month.

 For the past five years, Gaby (right) has been Head of Books at the Daily Telegraph. In that time, she has reinvigorated the paper’s literary coverage, been instrumental in its sponsorship of the Hay Festival, and profiled leading cultural and public figures from Toni Morrison to Boris Johnson. She will be leaving her Telegraph post at the end of June, but will continue to write for the paper.

Gaby is the author of Edison’s Eve, a history of automata that was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award in the US. She has contributed to a wide range of publications, including the New York Times, the London Review of Books, American Vogue and Granta. Before her arrival at the Telegraph, she worked at the Observer for 15 years, seven of which were spent in New York.

Gaby was a judge for the Man Booker Prize in 2011, the year when Julian Barnes won with The Sense of An Ending.  She has also sat on judging panels for Granta's once-in-a-decade list of Best of Young British Novelists; the Jerwood Award for non-fiction; the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize; and the Bookseller Awards. She is regularly asked to comment on radio and television, for programmes such as Newsnight, Front Row, Woman's Hour and the BBC News at Ten. Her academic background is in modern languages; she speaks Spanish and French. 

Gaby will take over full responsibility for the Man Booker Prize at the conclusion of this year’s prize, for which her father, Michael Wood, is chairman of the judges. The literary direction of the 2015 prize will in the interim be handled by Fiammetta Rocco, Administrator of the Man Booker International Prize and Books and Arts Editor of The Economist.

Jonathan Taylor, Chair of the Booker Prize Foundation, comments,

‘This is an exciting appointment. Gaby will bring new perspectives while maintaining our mission to bring the best of contemporary literary fiction to an ever widening international audience.

‘Ion was aware of our intentions and shared our great enthusiasm at the prospect that Gaby would succeed him.’ 

Latest from The Bookseller

Lee Child and Paula Hawkins gave Transworld two fiction number ones last week, with Child nabbing his 11th top spot on the Official UK Top 50 since records began. 
Child’s 19th Jack Reacher book, Personal (Bantam), sold 31,994 copies through Nielsen BookScan’s Total Consumer Market, shifting twice as many units through the tills as his Transworld stablemate Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train (Doubleday, 14,541 copies), the second bestselling book overall. 
Kobo has said it has “no interest in fighting publishers”, after signing its first publishing deal with journalist Kevin Donovan for a book about Canadian radio presenter Jian Gomeshi, who is currently awaiting trial for sexual assault.
The Canadian e-book retailer has signed world English language rights in print and digital to Jian Ghomeshi – Secret Life via Donovan’s agents Jesse Finkelstein and Samantha Haywood of Transatlantic Agency – in the first deal of its kind for the company. 
Dead Good
Penguin Random House’s crime community Dead Good Books has created six awards to be presented at this year’s Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival by authors including Lee Child and Val McDermid.
Each award has been created in collaboration with the Dead Good Facebook community and celebrates an element in crime writing.
Phil Carroll
Phil Carroll, former head of book buying for Sainsbury's, is joining Pedigree Books Ltd as its interim head of sales.
Pedigree Books, sister company to Pedigree Dolls & Toys, publishes annuals, yearbooks, learning and seasonal activity formats for children.
Carroll will join the company on Monday 4th May and will work alongside Matthew Reynolds, publishing director at Pedigree. In his new role, he will be responsible for driving forward Pedigree’s sales team across all sales channels and ranges.
Quadrille is launching a new series of pocket guides aimed at "demystifying a wide and eclectic range of subjects".
The series is called The Knowledge, and will be published in hardback form, priced at £10. The books will text-led and feature line illustrations, aimed at both the gift and self-purchase market.
Six launch titles will be published in June, covering red wine, jazz, the periodic table, opera, whisky and stargazing, with more titles planned for 2016.
Fight for Libraries
Library campaigners in Lincolnshire are continuing their fight against council cuts, submitting new evidence to the secretary of state urging them to intervene in the council's decision.
Gordon Graham
Former Butterworths chairman and past president of the Publishers Association Gordon Graham passed away last Friday (24th April).
Fifty Shades of Grey
A judge in Texas has ordered $10m be set aside for a potential payout to a woman who was defrauded out of royalties from the sale of Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James.
The Star-Telegram reported that State District Judge Susan McCoy said Amanda Hayward, who is from Australia, should put the money into an investment fund and escrow accounts until a final accounting determines how much she may owe Jennifer Pedroza, who is from Arlington, Texas.
Tolino, the digital alliance run by German booksellers, has launched its own self-publishing platform.
Tolino Media was created using software developed by publisher Droemer Knaur for its own self-publishing platform, Neobooks, and is aimed at rivalling Amazon. Authors using the Tolino Media earn 70% royalties of the sale price, compared to 35% if they sold their books via Amazon.
Books published on Tolino are also distributed to the alliance’s bookselling partners, which include more than 1,000 online bookshops.
Louise O'Neill
Authors Louise O’Neill, Naomi Wood, Rowan Coleman and Cathy Cassidy are among the writers donating items for an auction to raise money for victims of the Nepal earthquake.
The 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal on Saturday 25th April, and so far more than 5,000 people have been confirmed dead, with the UN estimating that 8m people have been affected in some way.
Authors for Nepal has been set up by Surrey-based writer, Julia Williams, who also works as an editor at Harlequin.
Bright Group
Bright Group International, the agency that represents children’s illustrators such as Benji Davies and Yasmeen Ismail, is opening an office in the US.
The company said Bright USA, which is based in New York, “will grow exponentially over the next few years as we explore the vast and deep landscape of the US children’s publishing world”.
The US office opened on Monday (27th April) and is run by managing agent Alli Brydon, a former freelance children’s book editor who will lead the acquisition of US-based authors and illustrators.
Buyer's Guide
Submissions for The Bookseller’s Autumn Buyer’s Guide will close this week.
Books with a UK publication date between July and December 2015 are eligible for inclusion.
The closing date for submissions is 5pm on Friday 1st May. Amendments and new titles can also be made up to this deadline.
Submissions can be made via the Buyer’s Guide website.