Books Weekly News Digest- October 17th 2014

Books Weekly News Digest- October 17th 2014

National Book Awards Finalists Revealed

Earlier this week, the National Book Foundation announced the finalists for this year’s National Book Awards for Poetry, Fiction, Nonfiction and Young People’s Literature. Five writers have been nominated for each category. The Poetry shortlist includes Fanny Howe for Second Childhood and Claudia Rankine for Citizen: An American Lyric. National Book Award newcomer Anthony Doerr is a Fiction finalist for his book All the Light We Cannot See, along with two-time nominee Marilynne Robinson for Lila.

For the very first time in the history of the award, a cartoonist has been honoured as a finalist in the adult category. Roz Chast, a staff cartoonist at the New Yorker, has made it into the Fiction shortlist for her memoir, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? Other writers joining her in the category are John Lahr for Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, and Evan Osnos for Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in New China. Each of the Young People’s Literature finalists have previously been nominated by the National Book Foundation and include Eliot Schrefer (Threatened), John Corey Whaley (Noggin) and Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming).

This year’s ‘5 Under 35’ honouree list include Fiction nominee Phil Klay for Redeployment, along with Yelena Akhtiorskaya for Panic in a Suitcase and Valeria Luiselli for Faces in the Crowd. The winners of the National Book Awards will be announced in New York on the 19th November, in a ceremony hosted by Daniel Handler, AKA Lemony Snicket. The ‘5 Under 35’ winners will be feted two days earlier at an event hosted by American musician, Questlove.

Check out the National Book Foundation website for the full list of nominees.

Harry Potter Spin-Off Trilogy Confirmed

Attention all Harry Potter fans! This week, Warner Bros announced that a Harry Potter spin-off, called Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, is going to be made into a film trilogy, with the first instalment set for release in November 2016. The three films will be based around the adventures of Newt Scamander, a ‘magizoologist’ and author of the eponymous textbook the wizards use at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter books. The movies are set to be directed by David Yates, who directed the final four Harry Potter films. The second and third films are set to be released in 2018 and 2020, with some rumours suggesting that more films could follow.

In the meanwhile, why not check out our Harry Potter range?

JK Rowling To Build A ‘Hagrid Hut’ On Perthshire Estate

Continuing on the Harry Potter theme, this week it was revealed that JK Rowling is planning to build a ‘Hagrid Hut’ right on the edge of the grounds of her Perthshire estate. The application to build the stone-built hut was approved by Perth and Kinross Council planning officials last week. Similar to Hagrid’s home, it will be a circular stone structure, featuring an open front and slate roof. The council report states that no trees can be cut down or damaged during the construction. The hut will join the inter-connected tree houses that Rowling had built for her two youngest children.

Richard Flanagan Wins Man Booker Prize 2014

Australian author Richard Flanagan has won this year’s prestigious Man Booker Prize for his compelling novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North. Flanagan’s book tells the tale of prisoners of war on the Burma railway and is inspired by the experiences of his father, who died on the day the novel was finished. The Duchess of Cornwall presented the author with the £50,000 prize during an awards dinner at London’s Guildhall earlier this week.

You can pick up a copy of The Narrow Road to the Deep North from our online store.

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid Author Jeff Kinney Announces UK Tour

Author of the infamous Wimpy Kid series, Jeff Kinney, will be coming to the UK this December on a five-day tour. Kinney will be visiting five different cities, where he’ll be signing books for his fans and promoting the latest edition to the series, The Long Haul, which will be released on the 5th of November. Each of the events will last around three hours, and kids will be entertained by many ‘activity booths,’ which are inspired by the story lines in the Wimpy Kid books.

If you’re missing a couple of books from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, you can buy them from the WHSmith online store.

Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival Takes Place Next Weekend

The Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival kicks off a week today at numerous venues across Rochdale city. The three-day event will be jam-packed with renowned writers and big names from the screen and stage. Scottish poet and novelist Jackie Kay MBE will be stopping by to talk to fans about her career, while fellow poet Ian McMillan will be reading from his latest collection, Talking Myself Home. Joining Jackie and Ian will be playwright Willy Russell and author Rosie Garland, among many others.

For tickets and more information, head over to the Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival website.

Blind Man Whose ‘Reader Wanted’ Advert Went Viral Receives Dozens Of Offers

A blind man who posted a ‘reader wanted’ advert in a local shop window has received dozens of offers after his advert went viral. Andrew Bailey, who lives in Nunhead in south-east London, suffers from a degenerative disease which has resulted in him being unable to read properly for 15 years. The advert, which was written by Andrew and put in the shop window by his carer, read: ‘Since I became unable to read at all 15 years ago, there has been a huge empty space in my life.’ The note was spotted by a passer-by, who took a picture of it and uploaded it to Twitter. The picture has since been re-tweeted thousands of times, and now Andrew is inundated with people offering to read for him.

Sherlock Holmes Exhibition Opens Today

Who’s a fan of Sherlock Holmes? If you are, you may be interested in an exhibition opening today at the Museum of London… ‘The Man Who Never Lived And Will Never Die’ is an exploration into the mind and life of the world’s favourite fictional sleuth. The exhibition looks at Sherlock Holmes’ influence on literature, stage and screen, with endless artefacts to discover and enjoy. Visitors will be able to step back in time to Victorian London, which provided the setting for many of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books.

For tickets and more information, head to the Museum of London website.

Which stories were you most interested in this week?