Books Weekly News Digest- December 5th 2014

Books Weekly News Digest- December 5th 2014

Zoella’s Book Becomes Fastest-Selling Debut Novel

If you’ve been keeping up with the world of video blogging (or ‘vlogging’ as it’s better known), then there’s a good chance you will have heard of fashion and beauty vlogger, Zoella. Last week saw the release of Zoella’s book, Girl Online, which has since become the fastest-selling debut novel since records began. Over 78,000 copies were sold in the first week, overtaking debut novels from the likes of JK Rowling and 50 Shades of Grey author EL James.

Real name Zoe Sugg, Zoella has become a YouTube sensation with over 6.6 million subscribers. After hearing the record-breaking news, Zoella took to Twitter to thank her fans, writing: “I’m legit blown away by this. I never in a million years thought that so many of you would pick up a copy of Girl Online. Almost wanna cry…” The record-breaking figure was revealed by Nielsen BookScan, which has been collecting information on the book market since 1998.

Girl Online, a book about a 15-year-old girl who takes to blogging, has also become the fastest-selling hardback of 2014. Zoella has signed a two-book deal with publisher Penguin, so fans can expect another novel in the not-too-distant future.

Have you picked up your copy of Girl Online yet?

Man Sets World Record…For Most Guinness Record Books

Computer security consultant Martyn Tovey has earned himself a place in the Guinness Book of World Records…for owning the world’s largest collection of Guinness Record books. The 57-year-old owns a staggering 353 annual copies from around the world, as well as 2,164 items of memorabilia. Martyn’s fascination with the books started back in 1971 when he received his very first annual as a school prize. Martyn, from Radstock in Somerset, spent years tracking down some of the more rare editions. His mum has fully supported Martyn’s hobby, buying him a Guinness Record Book every year since 1971.

You can check out even more surprising world records in The Guinness World Records 2015 book.

Unpublished Raymond Chandler Work Discovered

An early, unpublished work by renowned crime author Raymond Chandler has been discovered in the Library of Congress in Washington. The work is a short libretto to a comic opera called ‘The Princess and the Pedlar’ with music written by Julian Pascal. Surprisingly the work has hidden in plain sight in the library since the copyright was first registered back in August 1917.

Are you a fan of Raymond Chandler’s novels?

Free Books Revealed For World Book Night 2015

The 20 free books that will be given away during World Book Night 2015 were revealed earlier this week. Some of the giveaway titles include children’s book Skellig by David Almond, Roddy Doyle’s short novel Dead Man Talking, and Lynda La Plante’s Prime Suspect. Next year will be the first year that a poetry anthology is included in the collection. World Book Night 2015, which will be taking place on the 23rd of April, will see 250,000 free books being handed out to communities by volunteers. The initiative is aimed at encouraging more people to read, with the books appealing to people of all ages and reading abilities.

For the full book list, and if you want to sign-up as a volunteer, check out the World Book Night website.

Study At Hogwarts! (Sort Of…)

There’s no doubt that all Harry Potter fans have shared one dream; the dream to study at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Well, now that dream could turn into reality (almost…) For four days next year, Czocha castle in Poland will be transformed into The College of Wizardry. Organised by volunteers, the event is a live-action role play experience where people are invited to enrol as wizard-students and learn the art of magic.

The first event took place in November, where 190 people from 11 countries turned up to learn one of four ‘trades’: training as a healer; working the magical animals as a magizoologist; studying the unspeakables; or fighting the dark arts as aurors or curse-breakers. The next event is taking place from 9-12 April next year and costs £220 to attend. That price includes lodging and meals, robes, a house tie and college books. Each pupil will be split into one of five houses: Libussa, Molin, Sendivogius, Faust or Durentius.

So, if you fancy becoming a wizard next year, check out the website to see how you can bag yourself a ticket. (Sorry younger Potter fans: attendees must be 18 or over).

Educational Writers’ Award Goes To Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom, an infographic-filled book about animals, has won this year’s Educational Writers’ Award. The £2,000 prize was presented to authors Ed Simkins and Jon Richards by shadow secretary of state for education, Tristram Hunt, during a ceremony at the House of Commons. Speaking of the book, the judges said: “More information is packed into its vivid, colourful pages than looks possible. The whole book jumps out at you and is thoroughly engaging and informative.”

The Educational Writers’ Award is organised by the Authors’ Licensing & Collection Society (ALCS) and the Society of Authors (SoA). It “celebrates educational writing that inspires creativity and encourages students to read widely.”

You can get your copy of The Word in Infographics: Animal Kingdom from the WHSmith online store.

Which stories were you most interested in this week?