Books Weekly News Digest – November 28th 2014

Books Weekly News Digest – November 28th 2014

Shakespeare Folio Discovered In Small French Town

An extremely rare Shakespeare First Folio has been discovered in the small French town of Saint-Omer, near Calais. The valuable book is considered by many to be the most significant text in English literature. The Folio was stored on the shelves of the town’s library for 200 years before it was discovered by a group of librarians planning an exhibition on the historic connections between England and Saint-Omer. The Folio was first printed back in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare’s death. It is the very first book to collect 36 of the writer’s 38 known plays, 18 of which would never have been known were it not for the Folio. The book is considered by many to be the reason behind Shakespeare’s lasting legacy.

It is estimated that around 800 copies of the book were printed, 233 of which are thought to remain. The Saint-Omer copy is missing several pages, which may have been the reason why the text was first classified as an ‘unexceptional’ copy. Currently, the Folio is the only copy known to exist in the whole of France. The library copy contains many handwritten notes which indicate how Shakespeare’s plays would have been performed during the time they were written. Though similar Folios have sold for millions, the library owner said that they will be keeping the book and that it will be the centrepiece in an upcoming exhibition exploring rare texts written by English authors.

Mary Berry Honoured For ‘Outstanding Achievement’ At Book Awards

Much-loved food writer and presenter Mary Berry has been honoured for ‘outstanding achievement’ at this year’s Specsavers National Awards, which took place earlier this week. The award acknowledged Mary for her 60-year-long writing career, during which she has published 80 bestselling cookery books. The award was presented to Mary by long-time friend and fellow cook Ken Hom.

Mary Berry’s cookbooks have sold over 5 million copies worldwide. Is there one on your Christmas list?

Comedian Julian Clary To Write Children’s Book

Comedian Julian Clary will be turning his attention to writing once more, but this time he’ll be focusing on children’s fiction. Clary, who has already written several adult novels, has just signed a deal with Anderson Press to publish his very first children’s book. The Bolds is a comic tale about a family of hyenas living in the London Teddington who disguise themselves as humans. Aimed at ages 8 and up, the book will be illustrated by David Roberts and will hit shelves next August. The comedian commented that he hoped to ‘relive the thrill of reading as a child’ through writing his book.

Do you have any Julian Clary books in your collection?

Nosy Crow Crowned ‘Young Company Of The Year’ At Growing Business Awards

Nosy crow was crowned ‘Young Company of the Year’ at this year’s Growing Business Awards, which took place earlier this week. The independent children’s publisher was up against five other companies for the award, including a cement producing firm and a popcorn making company. Judges credited Nosy Crow managing director Kate Wilson as being an “exceptional entrepreneur” whose “extreme focus and maximum personal effort is evident in everything she does.”

We stock a huge range of titles published by Nosy Crow – take a look at what they’ve got to offer!

Lost Letter That Inspired Jack Kerouac Novel Found After 60 Years

A 16,000-word letter than inspired Jack Kerouac’s famous novel On the Road has been found after 60 years. Penned by Beat author Neal Cassady, the letter takes the form of fast-paced, spontaneous prose; the writing style which influenced – and was later adopted by – Kerouac for his novel. The letter was discovered in a stuffed box in a home in Oakland, US. Kerouac was sure that the letter had been dropped overboard and into the sea by a friend of American poet Allen Ginsberg, who lived in a houseboat at the time. Speaking to The Paris Review in 1968, Kerouac accused Allen of being ‘careless’ with the letter, adding that had it not been lost, the letter had the potential to turn Cassady into a legendary literary figure. The letter will go on sale at a US auction on the 17th of December.

You can pick up your copy of the Cassady-inspired On the Road from our online store.

Irish Writer Colin Barrett Wins Guardian First Book Award For Young Skins

Irish writer Colin Barrett has won the Guardian First Book Award for Young Skins; a collection of short stories which follow the lives of young people living in the fictional town of Glanbeigh. Barrett collected his £10,000 prize at an award ceremony in London on Wednesday. The judges said his book was “simply the best written” of all the titles that made the shortlist, adding that the author “barley hits a false note in the entire collection.”

Have you picked up your copy of Young Skins yet?

Vlogging Star Zoella Launches Debut Novel

This week saw the launch of vlogging superstar Zoella’s debut novel, Girl Online; a book about a 15-year-old girl who takes to online blogging. Zoella, whose real name is Zoe Elizabeth Sugg, started her fashion and beauty blog back in 2009. Just five years later, the 24-year-old has a staggering 6.5 million people subscribing to her YouTube channel.

Have you checked out our Zoella competition yet?

Which stories were you most interested in this week?