Books Weekly News Digest- November 21st 2014

Books Weekly News Digest- November 21st 2014

Costa Book Awards Shortlist Announced

The category finalists for this year’s Costa Book Awards were announced earlier this week, with a chef, a brain surgeon and a renowned artist all making the shortlist. The awards, which received a record-breaking 640 entries this year, are split into five categories: Novel, First Novel, Children’s Book, Poetry and Biography. There are four nominations for each category, with this year’s shortlist having an equal split of male and female writers. In the Novel category this year is Ali Smith’s ‘How to be Both‘ and Neel Mukherjee’s ‘The Lives of Others‘, while First Novel nominees include Carys Bray for her debut book, ‘A Song for Issy Bradley‘, and former chef Simon Wroe for ‘Chop Chop‘. Simon Mason’s ‘Running Girl‘ and Marcus Sedgwick’s ‘The Ghosts of Heaven‘ are shortlisted for the Children’s Book award, while nominees in the Poetry category include Jonathon Edwards for ‘My Family and Other Superheroes‘ and Colette Bryce for ‘The Whole & Rain-domed Universe‘.

This year’s Biography shortlist features ‘Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery‘ by one of the country’s leading brain surgeons, Henry Marsh. Helen Macdonald’s ‘H is for Hawk‘ also made the final four. A different panel of judges will be picking the winners for each category. The five winners will be announced on the 5th of January next year and will receive £5,000 each. The overall winner of the Costa Book of the Year Award will be announced on the 27th of January and will receive prize money of £30,000.

More information, including the complete shortlist, can be found on the Costa Book Awards website.

More Kids Involved With Summer Reading Challenge This Year

A report from charity group The Reading Agency has revealed that 839,622 children got involved with this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, which is a 3.6% increase on last year’s figures. Chief executive of the charity, Sue Wilkinson, said she was extremely pleased that numbers were up, particularly considering that there have been cuts to library services across the country. Around 3,519 libraries and 251 mobile libraries were involved with this year’s project, with The Reading Agency estimating that kids borrowed more than 18 million books to read over the holidays. The Summer Reading Challenge takes place every year in an aim to get kids to read one book every week during their six week break.

Marvel Announces New Ant-Man Prose Novel

Are you an Ant-Man fan? Well, earlier this week Marvel announced that it will be releasing an Ant-Man book as part of the publisher’s forthcoming series of original prose novels. Ant-Man: Natural Enemy will hit shelves in June 2015, coinciding nicely with Marvel Studios’ release of the Ant-Man film one month later. The novel will be penned by crime novelist Jason Starr, with Marvel describing protagonist Scott Lang as “an ex-con, single parent and part-time superhero […] settling in to a new city with his teenage daughter, Cassie.”

Why not check out Ant-Man on our website to keep you going in the meantime?

BBC To Adapt The Secret Agent For TV

The BBC has unveiled plans to film a TV adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s classic 1907 novel, ‘The Secret Agent‘. The book’s plot centres on a terrorist bomb plot in Victoria, London, with a protagonist who is both a Soho shopkeeper and a secret agent for the Russian government. The adaptation will take the form of a three-part series, written by Tony Marchant. Conrad’s novel has been adapted once before in 1992, in a miniseries which starred David Suchet and Peter Capaldi.

Ex-Marine Wins National Book Award For Fiction

Former US Marine Phil Klay has won the National Book Award for fiction for his debut book, ‘Redeployment‘, a collection of short stories focusing on soldiers on the front line fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. The book is an honest account of what happens to soldiers at war, and what happens when they return home. Judges commented that Redeployment was a “brutal, piercing, sometimes darkly funny collection” that “stakes Klay’s claim for consideration as the quintessential storyteller of America’s Iraq conflict.” Klay, who said he thinks of books as “really thick letters to friends,” spent 13 months in Iraq’s Anbar province in 2007 and 2008, and served as a public affairs officer for the Marines.

Have you picked up your copy of Redeployment yet?

Paul Greengrass To Direct New 1984 Film

This week it was confirmed that Paul Greengrass will direct the new film adaption of George Orwell’s 1984. Greengrass is best known for directing The Bourne Ultimatum, as well as the more recent film Captain Philips, which starred Tom Hanks in the lead role. 1984 is a critically-acclaimed novel that centres on the ideas of war and state surveillance, and has been adapted for screen twice before in 1956 and 1984.

New Fifty Shades of Grey Book Cover Released

E L James’ hugely popular Fifty Shades of Grey has received new book cover art in the run up to the film’s release next February. The film tie-in book, which will be released in January, features Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) on the cover. The two other books that make up the trilogy will also receive new covers. The Fifty Shades of Grey series has sold over 100 million copies, becoming one of the world’s most-read series.

Take a look at the new Fifty Shades of Grey cover and tell us what you think!

Which stories were you most interested in this week?