London Book Fair announces Author of the Day prog.

The London Book Fair has announced writer Caryl Phillips, leading YA novelist Holly Bourne and acclaimed Indonesian author Seno Gumira Ajidarma, to headline its annual Author of the Day programme. A key element of the fair, the programme brings some of the most successful writers working today to showcase their work and celebrating their achievements.

Headlining the opening day of the fair is Caryl Phillips, whose eminent body of work includes sixteen works of fiction and non-fiction including Crossing the RiverA Distant Shore and Dancing in the Dark.

Children’s Author of the Day is Holly Bourne, author of the award-winning ‘Spinster Club’ series. In  2018 she released her first, adult novel How Do You Like Me Now while returning to her YA roots with Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes?


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Costa Book Awards 2018 Category Winners Announced.

Congratulations to the five winning authors:

  • Stuart Turton takes the First Novel Award for his debut, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, a high-concept crime novel;
  • Irish novelist Sally Rooney wins the Novel Award for her second novel Normal People, becoming the youngest-ever recipient of the Award;
  • Oxford Professor Bart van Es wins the Biography Award for his memoir The Cut Out Girl, a deeply moving story of war, families, loss, survival and friendship;
  • Scottish poet J.O. Morgan wins the Poetry Award for Assurances,  a book-length war-poem in part inspired by his father who was a former RAF officer involved in maintaining Britain’s Airborne Nuclear Deterrent;
  • The Children’s Book Award goes to Hilary McKay for The Skylark’s War, an evocative and heartbreaking novel of family and friendship in wartime.

The Costa Book Awards is the only major UK book prize open solely to authors resident in the UK and Ireland and recognises some of the most enjoyable books across five categories – First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book – published in the last year.

One of whose books will be named 2018 Costa Book of the Year on 29th January

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Barney’s Novel Worth the Read

Just finished the excellent debut novel by Barney Norris.

‘Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain’ (Transworld) is set in and around Salisbury, Wilts, and is a very readable composition. Norris weaves together the lives of seemingly ordinary people – a flower-seller, a schoolboy, an army wife, a widower and a security guard. We see how each of them deals with their own very different tragedies – perhaps not so tragic in the great scheme of things – but vital to them as it moulds their lives.

It’s refreshing to see five separate, but interesting lives, gradually intertwine, albeit in unexpected ways. It’s not a heavy story and is certainly worth a re-read even if it’s only certain stories. Highly recommended and a great debut novel.

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