Morpurgo, Riddell and Sedgwick selected for World Book Day

An announcement has been made that next year’s World Book Day £1 stories will include work by such literary stars as Michael Morpurgo, Chris Riddell and Marcus Sedgwick.

Children will be transported from Friendship Forest to World Frock Night to a dark, dark path leading into the dark, dark woods…in these brilliant tales.

Sophy Henn's illustration for World Book Day.

Sophy Henn’s illustration for World Book Day.

Sophy Henn, author and illustrator of Where Bear?, will be decorating the World Book Day website, tokens, resource packs and display materials with her charming illustrations of eager readers (pictured). She has a Fashion degree at Central Saint Martins, and an MA in Illustration at the University of Brighton. She is taking over the role previously held by Alex T. Smith, creator of Hector and the Big Bad Knight and Foxy Tales: The Cunning Plan.

This year’s World Book Day titles featured David Melling’s Hello, Hugless Douglas, Emily Gravett’s Little Book Day Parade, I am Nit a Loser by Barry Loser, Fun with the Worst Witch by Jill Murphy, The Midnight Picnic by Lauren St. John, Terrible Trenches by Terry Deary, Middle School: How I Got Lost in London by James Patterson, Jack Pepper by Sarah Lean, Rock War: The Audition by Robert Muchamore, and The Boy in the Smoke by Maureen Johnson.

World Book Day 2015 list:

Age 2+:

The Dinosaur That Pooped A Lot! by Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter
Elmer’s Parade by David McKee

Age 5+:

A Pirate’s Guide to Landlubbing by Jonny Duddle
Magic Animal Friends: Lucy Longwhiskers Finds a Friend by Daisy Meadows

Age 7+:

Goth Girl and the Pirate Queen by Chris Riddell
The Diary of Dennis the Menace: World Book Menace Day by Steven Butler

Age 9+:

Best Mates by Michael Morpurgo
Dork Diaries: How to be a Dork! by Rachel Renée Russell

Young Adult:

Geek Girl: Geek Drama by Holly Smale
Killing the Dead by Marcus Sedgwick

Ireland only:

The Fairytale Trap by Erika McGann

Posted in Authors, Books/Literature | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Visit Guardian’s Neverwhere BookBench

Neverwhere BookBenchThe 51st BookBench depicting Neil Gaiman’s story Neverwhere is now available to visit.

In July, Guardian readers were asked to vote for which book or character should be celebrated as a new BookBench sculpture for the National Literacy Trust, and Gaiman’s Neverwhere was the eventual winner. Other titles included in the poll were the classics Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland, as well as contemporary tales Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling and London Fields by Martin Amis.

The Neverwhere BookBench illustrated by Chris Riddell will be displayed until 3 October at the Guardian in King’s Place in London.

Posted in Art and Design, Authors, Books/Literature | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Leo Tolstoy’s Google Doodle

Leo TolstoyLeo Tolstoy’s 186th birthday has been marked today with a Google Doodle depicting scenes from his stories War and Peace, Anna Karenina, and The Death of Ivan Ilyich.

Roman Muradov, illustrator for the Penguin Classics Centennial Edition of James Joyce’s Dubliners, created the striking imagery for the search engine.

Muradov said: “I hardly need to say that making a tribute to Leo Tolstoy was a daunting task. No set of images can sum up a body of work so astonishing in scope, complexity, and vigour – its memorable scenes come to life with seeming effortlessness, fully realized in the immortal lines and between them. Tolstoy’s lasting influence is a testament to the power of his art, which will remain relevant as long as the questions of life and death occupy our minds, which is to say – forever.”

Last month, Sheridan Le Fanu was given a Gothic Doodle, and in February Doodler Mike Dutton depicted Of Mice and Men, The Pearl and other John Steinbeck classics to celebrate the author’s 112th birthday.

Posted in Authors, Books/Literature | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Miniature Sherlock Holmes book to be published

Sherlock HolmesSir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes story How Watson Learned the Trick will be published by Walker Books and the Royal Collection Trust next month as a tiny 38.5 x 30mm book, a replica of the handwritten tale created especially for Queen Mary’s Doll House in 1922.

The precious miniature building is on permanent display at Windsor Castle, and has had over 200 extremely small titles stocked inside it including works by Thomas Harding, Rudyard Kipling and Edith Wharton.

In the detective story, Watson attempts to copy Holmes’ reasoning skills as he forms judgments over his friend’s unshaven face, and interest in the financial news.

Oliver Urquhart Irvine, the Royal Collection Trust’s librarian, commented, “Sherlock Holmes is a world-renowned literary figure and an enduring character, who remains as popular today as in the Victorian society that Conan Doyle characterised. I am delighted that for the first time this Sherlock Holmes tale will be available in the exact format that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle produced nearly 100 years ago.”

How Watson Learned the Trick by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle will be released on 2 October as a £12.99 clothbound hardback in a special presentation box.

Posted in Authors, Books/Literature | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Murakami’s new Christmas gift book

The Strange Library teaser.

Haruki Murakami’s The Strange Library teaser.

It has been revealed that Haruki Murakami’s The Strange Library will be published in English for the first time on 2 December this year.

Dedicated supporters who had queued up for hours at the popular author’s Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage book signing at Waterstones Piccadilly were given a mysterious library card. This teaser mentioned the publication date of the next book in a subtle style, and featured the hashtag #strangelibrary.

In the bizarre narrative, a schoolboy finds himself trapped in a special “reading room” by a menacing old man who has an appetite for eating young brains.

The book has already been published in Japanese in 2008.

The new illustrated hardback edition of The Strange Library is priced at £12.99.

Posted in Books/Literature, Libraries | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Limited edition Jack Wills Penguin Classics

Limited edition Jack Wills Penguin Classics.

Limited edition Jack Wills Penguin Classics.

Three Penguin classics, Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, have been given new Jack Wills cover designs.

Customers who spend over £75 at the Jack Wills’ digital and physical stores will receive a free limited edition book while stocks last.

Jack Wills describes themselves as “Fabulously British University Outfitters”, and was the winner of the Sunday Times 2011 Fast Track 100 Best Brand Award.

This is not the first time that Penguin has teamed up with fashion companies. A few months ago, Pelican Books t-shirts were made by Covent Garden-based company Super Superficial, and last year Roam created limited edition Peter Rabbit scarves.

Posted in Books/Literature, Fashion | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Picador Classic series to launch next year

The Book of Evidence by John Banville (Picador Classic).

The Book of Evidence by John Banville (Picador Classic).

The Picador Classic list including John Banville’s The Book of Evidence and Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones will be launched in January next year.

The series will feature new introductions by well-regarded writers, for instance, Birdsong author Sebastian Faulks will provide his views on Alan Hollinghurst’s The Line of Beauty, and Filth scribe Irvine Welsh will comment on Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho.

And each book will be printed on high quality paper, and will be encased in thick cover boards. The cover for American Psycho is predominantly white with a single splodge of blood, and Oliver Sacks’ The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat features the titular garment, mole and lips in simplistic shapes.

Picador’s blog said: “Now, many months and many passionate discussions later, we have the twenty-four books that will launch the Picador Classic series. It has been a real treat for us discovering new favourite books, whether novels, non-fiction, or poetry, and we hope you’ll have as much fun reading them.”

Waterland by Graham Swift (Picador Classic).

Waterland by Graham Swift (Picador Classic).

Picador Classic list:

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis, with an introduction by Irvine Welsh
An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison, with an introduction by Andrew Solomon
Cloudstreet by Tim Winton, with an introduction by Philip Hensher
Dispatches by Michael Herr, with an introduction by Kevin Powers
Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller, with an introduction by Anne Enright
Essays in Love by Alain de Botton, with an introduction by Sheila Heti
Four Letters of Love by Niall Williams, with an introduction by John Hurt
Once in a House on Fire by Andrea Ashworth, with an introduction by Eimear McBride
Scottsboro by Ellen Feldman, with an introduction by Jayne Anne Phillips
The Book of Evidence by John Banville, with an introduction by Colm Tóibín
The Butcher Boy by Patrick McCabe, with an introduction by Ross Raisin
The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester, with an introduction by John Banville
The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst, with an introduction by Sebastian Faulks
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, with an introduction by Karen Thompson Walker
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks, with an introduction by Will Self
The Piano Tuner by Daniel Mason, with an introduction by Sadie Jones
The Snow Geese by William Fiennes, with an introduction by Robert Macfarlane
The South by Colm Tóibín, with an introduction by Roy Foster
The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston, with an introduction by Xiaolu Guo
The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy, with an introduction by Jeanette Winterson
Them: Adventures with Extremists by Jon Ronson, with an introduction by Russell Brand
Unreliable Memoirs by Clive James, with an introduction by P. J. O’Rourke
Waterland by Graham Swift, with an introduction by John Burnside
We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with our Families by Philip Gourevitch

Posted in Art and Design, Books/Literature | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment