Books Weekly News Digest – January 23rd 2015

Books Weekly News Digest – January 23rd 2015

James Patterson’s New Novel Self-Destructs After 24 Hours

Best-selling American author James Patterson has written a novel that self-destructs after 24 hours -but it will cost one fan a staggering $294,038 (£194,000) to take on the challenge. The ‘lucky’ fan will be flown to an unknown location for a meal with the author. They will then have one day to read the whole of Private Vegas before it self-destructs. A special weapons and tactics (SWAT) team will be on hand to handle what’s been dubbed as the ‘explosive thriller.’

Speaking of the publicity stunt, Patterson said he hopes it will encourage the publishing industry to be more creative when promoting new titles. “The publishing business needs to compete,” he commented. “It needs to compete with movies and the Internet.”

For fans that don’t have a spare £200,000 lying around, there are 1,000 free copies available to download via the author’s website. Each copy will have a 24-hour digital timer that cannot be paused or stopped. Private Vegas is the latest instalment in the author’s ‘Private’ series which features Jack Morgan, who uncovers a murder ring in Las Vegas. Patterson is one of the world’s top-earning authors, publishing over 100 novels and selling over 300 million copies worldwide. Last year, he donated £250,000 to independent UK bookshops with the aim of boosting literacy among younger readers.

The Miniaturist To Be Adapted For TV

A London-based production company has optioned the rights to adapt Jessie Burton’s bestselling novel, The Miniaturist, into a television series. Company Pictures aims to turn the novel into a ‘high-end television drama series,’ with Burton acting as consultant for the adaptation. The author commented that the production company’s “creative vision for The Miniaturist impressed me from the beginning, and I am thrilled they have secured the rights.” Earlier this week, Burton’s novel landed its third number one spot in the official UK top 50 list.

Angry Birds Creator To Publish Series Of YA Books

Angry Birds creator, Rovio Entertainment, is set to publish a series of young-adult fiction novels entitled Storm Sisters. The game developer has described the series as a “high action pirate adventure with a female twist.” The plots will be centred around a group of 11-17 year-old girls who go undercover as girl pirates in the late 18th century. The first instalment, entitled The Sinking World, is written by Mintie Das and will be published in either late 2015 or early 2016.

Unseen Alan Turing Notebook To Be Auctioned In April

An unseen notebook belonging to codebreaker Alan Turing will go to auction in April. It is expected that the 56-page manuscript, which dates from 1942 when Turing was working to break the German Enigma Code, will fetch at least £1m. Auctioneer Bonhams commented that the book’s “mathematical content gives an extraordinary insight into the working mind of one of the greatest luminaries of the 20th century.” The book was willed to Turing’s close friend Robin Gandy, along with many others. Gandy donated many of the notebooks to King’s College in Cambridge, but held onto this one as it contains his own, very personal dream journal.

Discover’s London Children Book Swap: 14th February

Discover’s London Children Book Swap takes place on the 14th of February this year at 38 family-friendly venues across the capital. The event is an opportunity for children to take their old books to one of the venues and swap them with fellow readers for books they haven’t read before. Some of the venues will have entertainment and free activities the whole family can enjoy. According to Discover, the book swap “celebrates reading and encourages children to discover new stories while recommending their own favourite authors and illustrators.”

More information can be found on the event’s website.

Costa Short Story Award Finalists Revealed

The six finalists for Costa Short Story Award 2014 were revealed earlier this week, with authors from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland all making the list. The writers are Zoe Gilbert, Paula Cunningham, Jane Healey, Joanne Meek, Lucy Ribchester and Mark Newman. The finalists’ stories were selected and uploaded anonymously onto the Costa website; the public were then invited to read each one and vote for their favourite. It was only until the vote had closed that the author’s names were revealed. The winner of the award will be announced during the Costa Book Awards ceremony next week and they will receive £3,500 in prize money. The writers in second and third place will receive a respective £1,500 and £500.

You can read all the stories on the Costa website.

Which stories were you most interested in this week?