Books Weekly News Digest- January 9th 2015

Books Weekly News Digest- January 9th 2015

Costa Book Awards Category Winners Announced

The category winners of the 2014 Costa Book Awards were announced earlier this week on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row. The Costa Novel Award category winner was Ali Smith for her sixth, already award-winning book, ‘How to be Both‘, which judges described as a “truly dazzling and inventive story.” Helen Macdonald won the Costa Biography Award for ‘H is for Hawk‘; a story about Macdonald’s mission to train a goshawk after the death of her father. Describing the book, judges said it is “unique and beautiful” with a “searing emotional honesty.”

English teacher Jonathon Edwards won the Costa Poetry Award for his collection, ‘My Family and Other Superheroes‘, which was praised by judges for being “joyous, brilliant and moving.” Journalist and children’s author Kate Saunders scooped up the Children’s Book Award for ‘Five Children on the Western Front‘ a WW1 adaptation of E. Nesbit’s Five Children and It.

Completing the winners list is Emma Healey, who won the Costa First Novel Award for ‘Elizabeth is Missing‘. The book – about an elderly dementia sufferer who attempts to solve the mystery of her disappearing friend – was described as “outstanding” by the judges, who said that Healey’s writing shows “incredible flair and unusual skill.”

All category winners receive £5,000 and will go on to compete for the £30,000 Costa Book of the Year Award. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, 27 January.

Have you read any of the winning titles? Let us know what you thought of them in the comment box below.

Mark Zuckerberg Launches Book Club

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has declared 2015 to be the ‘Year of Books’ and has launched his very own book club, where he aims to read a new title every two weeks while discussing them with fellow Facebook users. Zuckerberg’s chosen books will have an “emphasis on learning about different cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies.” First up is Moisés Naím’s ‘The End of Power‘, which has seen sales rise by a staggering 775% since Zuckerberg revealed that he would be reading it.

‘A Year of Books’ online reading club can be found on Facebook. Will you be joining?

New Teen Category For Keats-Shelley Prize

The Keats-Shelley prize has launched a new ‘Young Romantics’ category for teenage writers aged 16 to 18. Teens are invited to write a short story or poem inspired by Romanticism and on the theme of ‘Lost Angels.’ Stories must be no more than 1,000 words; and poems no longer than 20 lines. Winners will receive £100 in book tokens and a week-long creative writing course with Arvon. Runners up will also receive book tokens.

The Keats-Shelley prize was set-up in 1998 and celebrates the lives and works of Romantic poets. If you’re aged 16-18 and fancy a shot at the competition, visit the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association website for more information. Good luck!

Game Of Thrones Exhibition Comes To London Next Month

A never-seen-before Game of Thrones exhibition will be taking place at The 02 in London next month. Sky TV customers will have exclusive access to the event, which will run from 9-12 and 15-17 February. The exhibition will focus on the fourth season of the HBO television series, featuring nearly 70 artefacts as well as pieces from the forthcoming fifth season. Visitors will also get a chance to sit on the infamous Iron Throne.

In the meanwhile, why not take a browse through our Game of Thrones products?

Big Names Revealed For Essex Book Festival 2015

Well-known authors, poets, artists, filmmakers and dramatists have been confirmed for this year’s Essex Book Festival, which takes place this March. The event will host 65 different events in 36 venues across the country. Over 100 authors will be taking part, including popular crime writer Sophie Hannah, The Miniaturist author Jessie Burton, and poet Pam Ayres. The line-up also includes our very own book club duo, Richard and Judy. Richard will be interviewing Judy about her new book, ‘I Do Not Sleep‘.

As well as many guest appearances, the festival will be hosting numerous workshops, storytelling sessions, performances and panel discussions. For more information, check out the Essex Book Festival website.

Guns N’ Roses Bassist To Publish New Book

Guns N’ Roses bassist, Duff McKagan, has revealed that he will be releasing a new book, entitled How to Be a Man (And Other Illusions). Speaking to rock news website Blabbermouth, McKagan said that his new book is inspired by a column he wrote for Seattle Weekly. He described his new book as a “how-to-guide of things I’ve learned about life – being a dad, being a husband and being in a rock band.” McKagan said that the book’s overall aim is to amuse, adding that “hopefully it’s gonna be a funny book.”

McKagan’s new book is a follow up to his autobiography, ‘It’s So Easy (And Other Lies)‘, and will be available from 12 May.

Which stories were you most interested in this week?