Saturday, May 26, 2018

From The Bookseller

Urban Express
Foyles has struck a "significant" strategic partnership with a global travel retail group, which could see the roll-out of a national presence for the London-based bookseller.
Marcus Leaver
Marcus Leaver has resigned as chief executive from the Quarto Group with immediate effect.
BA Diversity Logo
The Booksellers Association has unveiled a raft of measures to improve diversity in bookselling, including handing out £50,000 worth of grants to bookshops.
Publishers are urging the UK government to support measures that would allow VAT to be removed on e-books, audiobooks and online newspaper and magazine subscriptions in the UK.
Susanna Wadeson
Transworld's Susanna Wadeson has been promoted to publishing director, head of non-fiction, taking over the leadership of the company’s non-fiction team.
Simon Mayo
Simon Mayo is to launch his own fortnightly book club, following the ending of his popular BBC Radio 2 book club last month.

Golden Man Booker Prize
Retailers and libraries have revealed their plans to support the Golden Man Booker Prize, a one-off award crowning a winner among winners after five decades of the prize.
Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Kit de Waal are fronting a new feminist teen YA series from Hachette Children’s Group, called Bellatrix.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
While Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine vacated its print number one in the week this chart covers, Gail Honeyman is nowhere near done in the Weekly E-Book Ranking: The British Book Awards’ Book of the Year notched up a 15th week as the e-book number one.
Nadiya Hussain
Hodder Children’s is to publish My Monster and Me, a debut picture book from Nadiya Hussain and illustrator Ella Bailey in September.
James Comey
Former FBI director James Comey, author of Trump exposé A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership, is coming to London for an exclusive UK event in June. 

Publishers Lunch

Today's Meal

Carole DeSanti will retire from Viking, where she is vp, editor-at-large, on June 1 after more than 30 years with the company "achieving a singular mixture of critical and commercial success and modeling the importance of the fierce editorial advocacy she offered all of her authors," according to Viking publisher Andrea Schulz. She added in the announcement: "Personally and professionally, I will miss Carole terribly – I have relied so much on the acuteness and the generosity of her editorial judgement, not to mention her excellent cold remedies – but I hope you will join me in wishing her well in this new chapter of her life. Please share this with anyone I may have missed."

DeSanti noted: "I came into publishing during the pre-Amazon, typewriter-and-carbon-copy era, imagining I’d stay for only a few years. I didn't plan on falling in love with our thorny, stubborn industry -- but that's what happened. It's been immensely challenging but also sustaining in such important ways, and I am especially grateful for the magnificent community of authors and colleagues, and the creative partnerships that have always been at the heart of Penguin. I will miss you all so very much, but look forward to exciting new projects, and to taking full advantage of the opportunities offered by the next phase of my career."

Alex Bowler will join Faber & Faber on September 3 as publisher for all adult publishing, reporting to Stephen Page, filling the position that Mitzi Angel is leaving to become publisher of Farrar, Straus. Bowler is currently executive publisher at Granta Publications. He says in the announcement, "I am immensely excited and profoundly honoured to be joining Faber, whose originality and courage, independence and extraordinary heritage have forever inspired me as a reader and publisher. I cannot wait to get to work on building the next chapter of that history with such an impressive, expert team."

Page adds: "Mitzi Angel leaves a brilliant publishing legacy as she heads back to New York, and in Alex we have found the perfect champion to build on her work and take the company to even greater publishing success."

At Macmillan Children's, Kelsey Marrujo has been promoted to senior publicist; Jeremy Ross moves up to marketing manager; and Caitlin Crocker becomes marketing coordinator.

Longtime literary agent Elaine Markson, 87, died on May 21. She is remembered by Alice Hoffman: "Everyone knows that if Elaine Markson was your agent you had a fierce and loving protector for life. I was Elaine’s second client, back when she was working out of her apartment where the windows faced Washington Square Park and her eleven-year-old son watched TV as we talked about books. I fell in love the first time I met her and she remained my agent and great friend for 40 years.... Elaine was the one agent in America who didn’t care about making deals. She was there for the authors, and I know that she was always there for me. She was excited to receive any new manuscript and got back to me the following day. She was my coach, my cheerleader, my truest believer. I would not have had the courage to become a writer without her."

Richard Peck, 84, the author of children's books A Long Way from Chicago and John Newbery Medal winner A Year Down Yonder, died on May 23.

Friday, May 25, 2018




The 2018 Programme was our most ambitious yet: hosting over 230 novelists, playwrights, song writers, scientists, historians, children’s writers, illustrators, journalists and poets from all over the world.
With a record attendance of 74,000 this Festival was the most diverse yet, spanning continents and cultures and reflecting the interests of people across all age groups. Audiences came from all over New Zealand and across the world, and left inspired by stories of change and hope, and a deeper understanding of the role they, as individuals, can play in the world.

And now, straight into the planning for next year...

We hope to make next year’s event even better and you can help us do that by giving us your feedback. We would be very grateful if you would take a few minutes to complete a short survey about your 2018 Festival experience, which will help to inform our planning for 2019. 

The demographic information we collect also helps us to secure grants and funding for future Festivals, so we are extremely grateful for your help.

To thank you for your support and feedback, everyone who completes the survey below will go into a draw to win 10 free tickets* to the next Auckland Writers Festival, 14-19 May 2019. 

*10 General Event tickets. These can be used by one person or shared among friends and can be redeemed for one event, or multiple events. 
If you would like to talk in more detail, to discuss this year's event or to make suggestions for the future, please don't hesitate to contact us by phone on (09) 376 8074 or by email at

Best wishes,
Auckland Writers Festival team 

An important grief story

The Gift Horse
by Sophie Siers
Illustrated by Katharine White

The Gift Horse, written by Sophie Siers and illustrated by Katharine White, is the rural tale of a girl named Olivia and her family, following the loss of her mother. It is an important grief story, with lovely, relatable descriptions of sadness such as - her bed where she can pull the duvet over her head and make the world silent around her.
and expressive metaphors like -
    She feels like there's a balloon in her chest which is blown up so tight that there's no room for anything else. It squishes right up into her throat; sometimes she feels like she can't breathe.
    The portrayals of feelings as they change - questioning why, being angry and feeling numb - will be so recognizable and validating to children experiencing loss or sorrow. All the grief stages, and the importance of one's unique walk through them, are thoughtfully referenced through Olivia's emotions.
    People just don't understand. She would cry, but there aren't any tears. The big
balloon has pushed everything away and her heart feels empty inside.

    In this backdrop, the arrival of a young horse, himself traumatized – a parallel to Olivia's character – is an uplifting, hopeful storyline. It's a special connection to Olivia's mother, who also had a way with horses, and a path towards feeling close with her again.  It's also a chance for Olivia to find some catharsis and to help herself through this journey, in her own time and her own way.

    The overall themes of grief and the healing of time and love are well handled in The Gift Horse. The illustrations really support the feelings, with dark pastel scribbles isolating bleak moments and whirls of moving, colourful pastel giving movement and life to turnaround scenes. They're appropriate for children in their style, as is the simple text, so there is a wide range in age appeal.
​    The ideas are universal, helpful and, of course, we all love a happy, hopeful ending.

Review by Jenny Palmer
​Title: The Gift Horse
Author: Sophie Seirs.    Illustrator: Katharine White
Publisher: Millwood Press
ISBN: 9780473408558
RRP: $19.99
Available: bookshops

Are Friends Electric - Book launch invitation

You are warmly invited to the launch of

Are Friends Electric?
by Helen Heath

on Thursday 14 June, 5.30pm for 6pm start,
at Te Auaha, 65 Dixon St, Te Aro.
Level 1 - volunteers will show you the way!
All welcome.

Helen will be in conversation with poet Maria McMillan.
Books will be available for purchase courtesy of Unity Books.
Are Friends Electric? p/b, $25

Hellholes of the World

Hellholes of the World
A Love Story
David G. Brown

  Publication date: May 2018,
  978 047341 782 6, paperback, 344 pp
  maps, rrp: $35

In an age of mass tourism, aspirations to make voyages of discovery increasingly degenerate into tramping in the footsteps of the masses, with interaction reduced to incessant facebook posts. How different the experience of inveterate traveller David G. Brown, who set out on the backpacking trail in the early 1980s and in his heart never really left.

Hellholes of the World compiles writings over three decades of travel until his untimely death – some published in magazines, others now finally landing on the printed page. Part memoir, part travelogue, part reportage, it voyages from Singapore in the 1980s to Tanzania and Kilimanjaro in 2014, taking in the familiar (Hamilton, Phoenix, Rotterdam) and the still exotic (Amazonas, Belarus, Rwanda).

Short ‘postcards’ from some choice hellholes intersperse chapters that detail and dissect the unglamorous realities of long-term travel, and include unvarnished reflections on his New Zealand homeland and his adopted homeland of Finland.

David G Brown was born in Tuakau, New Zealand, in 1962.He lived in New Zealand, Israel, Denmark and Finland, where he worked in publishing, English language teaching, and as a writer and journalist. His articles have been widely published in New Zealand and internationally. He died in Helsinki in 2015.
Hellholes of the World is published by David’s brother Neil through Archetype and distributed by Upstart.