Hilary Mantel has become the first Booker Prize winner to break into the Top 10 most borrowed books from British public libraries according to new Public Lending Right (PLR) figures released this week.
Bring Up the Bodies, the 2012 winner of the prestigious literary prize, was eighth in the list, which was dominated (no pun intended!!) by Lee Child, whose popular Jack Reacher novels The Affair and A Wanted Man occupied first and second spot, and with E.L. James steamy bondage romance Fifty Shades of Grey third. Last year’s top favorite, crime writer Lee Patterson, slipped down to fourth.
The Public Lending Right was established in 1979, ensuring that all lending income goes directly to the author. Presently the top rate in £6600 for the top-lending authors.
We’re quite well represented by these authors ourselves among our Leisure Reading collection up on Level 4, including Bring Up the Bodies, Lee Child’s Killing Floor, and, perhaps appropriately for Valentine’s Day, Fifty Shades of Grey – with or without plain brown wrapper!
A former mental health nurse confounded the odds last night to win the much-coveted Costa Book Award.
Nathan Filer’s The Shock of the Fall is a harrowing but moving account of schizophrenia and grief as seen through the eyes of a boy growing up in the aftermath of his brother’s death. He becomes only the fifth debut novelist to win the prize, which was first awarded in 1972 (then known as the Whitbread Award until Costa took over the sponsorship in 2005).
Filer beat four other writers to the award, including previous winners Maggie O’Farrell and Kate Atkinson, who had been the bookies choice for the £30,000 prize for her novel Life After Life. The other losing finalists were Lucy Hughes-Hallett and Michael Symmons Roberts.
A copy of The Shock of the Fall is on order for our stock, and we already have quite a range of Award-winning novels among out Leisure Reading collection on Level 4, including last year’s winner, Bringing Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. Why not pop up and have a browse?
Avid readers are in for a treat this coming month when Loughborough Public Library plays host to three bestselling authors who will be talking about their lives and works.
On Saturday 8th February from 6.30pm Graeme Simsion will be present to discuss his latest novel, The Rosie Project, which has topped bestseller charts in both the UK and his native Australia.
Then on Thursday 20th February from 7.30pm Lesley Pearse will be talking about her varying literary career, including the popular Belle series of novels (pictured opposite).
Finally, fans of detective fiction with a classical twist certainly won’t want to miss a visit by Lindsey Davis on Thursday 6th March (7pm), whose popular Roman Empire-set Marcus Didius Falco series of novels has won her a multitude of awards, including the Crime Writers’ Associations’ coveted ‘Dagger in the Library’ award.
Pre-booking for all three events is strongly advised, and you can find the full details for the events here. And while you’re at it, why not take a peek at some of the other services the public library provides and think about becoming a member… it’s free!
These events are part of the Leicestershire County Libraries’ Words on the Street programme of author visits. For the full range of these visits, visit this site:
Belle cover image courtesy of Dunedin Public Libraries, reproduced under CC License from Flickr.
We’re currently trialling two new electronic resources that should prove of vast interest to students of English & Drama, or indeed anyone with an interest in theatre and the dramatic arts.
The award-winning Drama Online introduces new writers alongside some of the most iconic names in playwriting history, providing contextual and critical background through scholarly works and practical guides. This constantly growing collection meets the full range of teaching needs for theatre studies, literature courses and drama schools. From the epic to the monologue; ensemble to one-person plays; comedy to tragedy; the historical to the contemporary; and from the highly political to the profoundly personal, there is plenty to discover. The databases’ unique Play Tools with Character Grids, Words and Speech graphs and Part Books offer a new way to engage with plays for close study or for performance.
To begin using Drama Online please go to www.http://dramaonlinelibrary.com – access is via IP address or from off-campus login via the VPN. This trial will end on April 13th 2014.
On a similar theme, we’re also trialling Digital Theatre Plus, which is the home of unique films of leading British theatre productions for schools, colleges and universities and represents a bold new approach to experiencing and learning about theatre online.
To try this database out, visit www.digitaltheatreplus.com. This trial is active only until 27th January 2014.
We welcome feedback – good or bad – about either or both of these trials, so please contact Steve Corn (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your comments.
A unique personal record of life in the trenches during World War 1 have recently been made available online for the first time by the National Archive.
The archive holds 1.5 million pages from diaries and journals penned by soldiers serving in the front line and has so far digitised over a fifth of that collection. The first batch of over 1900 diaries detail the experiences of the first wave of British soldiers deployed when the war began in July 1914.
The project is part of the government’s World War 1 centenary programme, and forms a significant piece of a scheme also involving the Imperial War Museum and the research website Zooniverse dubbed Operation War Diary, which has the ultimate aim of enabling people to find out more about the conflict, and will prove invaluable to people hoping to find out more about ancestors who fought in the war.
We have a huge amount of books examining every facet of the First World War among our history collection on Level 2, as well as a wide range of works by the famous war poets from the conflict, including Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen among our poetry collection downstairs as well. You can also get day-by-day reportage of the entire war through our extensive online newspaper archives available on Library Catalogue Plus.
To view the War Diaries Archive, visit the National Archive website here.
World War 1 recruiting poster by drbexl, reproduced under CC License from Flickr.
Some famous names are among this year’s crop of nominees for the 2013 Costa Book Awards announced earlier yesterday.
Kate Atkinson (pictured) and Maggie O’Farrell, previous winners in 1995 and 2010 respectively, are up for the Best Novel Award again along with Evie Wyld and Bernadine Bishop, who receives a posthumous nomination for Unexpected Lessons in Love.
Lucy Hughes-Hallett’s controversial biography of the philandering Italian poet and politician Gabriele D’Annunzio, which earlier won the 2013 Samuel Johnson Prize, heads the list for the Best Biography Award, while veteren Australian writer and broadcaster Clive James is up against 2004 winner Michael Symmons Roberts in the Poetry Award category for his translation of Dante’s The Divine Comedy.
Last year’s £30,000 top prize went to Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel, which remarkably won the Man Booker Prize in the same year. Since the introduction of the award in 1985 (then known as the Whitbread Prize), it has been won 11 times by a novel, seven times by a poetry collection, five times by a biography, four times by a first novel, and once by a children’s book. For the complete list of this year’s nominees, and to find out exactly who previous winners were, visit the Costa Book Awards site here.
We have quite a range of Award-winning novels among out Leisure Reading collection on Level 4, including last year’s winner. Why not pop up and have a browse?
Kate Atkinson at the Mosman Library, reproduced under CC License from Flickr.
A statuette of one of cinema’s most iconic – and infamous – props, the Maltese Falcon, was yesterday sold at auction in New York for a staggering $4+ million.
The lead-cast statuette was one of two made for and featured in John Huston’s legendary 1941 film noir The Maltese Falcon, starring Humphrey Bogart as Dashiell Hammett’s sardonic private eye Sam Spade.
Ironically during the course of the film, the Falcon changes hands for as little as $10,000 – but many of the people who come in contact with it ended up murdered into the bargain!
If you want to see this ‘rare bird’ in its original form, you don’t have to pay anything but a trip to our High Demand section, where we keep a copy of The Maltese Falcon on DVD. We also have a copy of Dashiell Hammett’s original story among our American fiction section on Level 2, as well as a wide range of books examining the film noir genre and its influence on modern cinema.
Maltese Falcon statuette by Sarah Stierch, reproduced under CC License from Flickr.
Nobel Prize winning British author Doris Lessing died yesterday aged 94.
Born in Persia (now Iran) and educated in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Lessing moved to England in 1949 to further her budding writing career. Her first novel, The Grass is Singing, was published in 1950, though her 1962 work The Golden Notebook is generally considered to be her breakthrough publication. Her final novel, Alfred and Emily, was published as recently as 2008. Her output not only spanned the fiction genres, taking in thrillers and science fiction as well as social commentary, but also included poetry, short stories and drama.
In 2007 she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for The Golden Notebook, described by the Nobel committee as “a pioneering work… that informed the 20th Century view of the male-female relationship.”
We have a wide variety of books by and about Doris Lessing among our literature collection on Level 2, including The Golden Notebook and The Grass is Singing, and you can find out more about the author’s life and work via our many literature databases available through Library Catalogue Plus, most notably LION (Literature Online).
Doris Lessing image by Maria Catello Solbes, reproduced under CC License from Flickr.
Hercule Poirot topped – albeit not literally! – Sherlock Holmes, Philip Marlowe and Hannibal Lector to win his creator Agatha Christie the prize of best crime novel in a poll held by the Crime Writers’ Association.
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, written by Christie in 1926, marked the third appearence of the famous Belgian detective, and the novel has been widely praised for its innovative twist ending which set something of a benchmark for detective fiction thereafter – something undoubtedly reflected in the award of this honour.
The poll comprised of ten classic crime novels selected by the 600 members of the CWA to mark its 60th anniversary, including Conan Doyle’s legendary The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902), Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep (1939) and The Long Goodbye (1953), and Thomas Harris’s The Silence of the Lambs (1988).
We have several of Agatha Christie’s books in stock, along with various works by Raymond Chandler, Arthur Conan Doyle and Thomas Harris, along with a cavalcade of other crime and detective fiction among our Leisure Reading Collection on Level 4. So why not warm up your ‘little grey cells’ and do a spot of investigating yourself…?
Agatha Christie graphic by Brain POP, reproduced under CC License from Flickr.
November is National Novel Writing Month, and every year the gauntlet is thrown down to budding novelists nationwide to complete a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.
Sounds like a tough challenge? Well, according to their statistics, over 340,000 people participated last year – and they’re expecting that figure to hit the magic half-million mark this year!
Since the challenge was started in 1999, a lucky 250-odd authors who entered achieved their ultimate writing dream by getting their entry published, so you never know – you may be writer of the next Game of Thrones series, or a potential Booker Prize winner. Every author has to start somewhere, after all…
If you need a little more help & guidance on the nuts & bolts of writing, we have plenty of books available on the craft of creative writing and authorship – skills and information that would probably stand in you in good stead for your academic essays and reports, too!
No forgetting, of course, that we’ve got a growing range of contemporary novels of every possible genre among our Leisure Reading collection up on the new Level 4, so look no further should inspiration prove elusive.
To find out how to participate, visit the NaNoWriMo site below:
Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month.