17 April 2008
The first author to participate was one of my favourites: Nick Hornby. It was a great interview and Nick was utterly charming. It was fascinating to hear the challenges he faced in portraying the character of Sam, the teenage protagonist of his latest novel, Slam. You can listen to the interview here…
Since then I’ve been listening to Slam. It is brilliantly read by Nicholas Hoult, who first came to fame by playing Marcus in the movie adaptation of About a Boy but who is more recently known for his role in Skins. It is a great reading and he really brings the character to life… almost too much as you can practically visualise him as he talks! A champion of ‘lad-lit’, this is Nick’s first novel which is aimed at teenagers. The book has been well received and I found it made engaging listening… certainly one that grown-ups can enjoy too! To download the book go here.
10 April 2008
Ian McEwan, who was earlier overlooked by both the Costa and the Man Booker Prizes, was last night crowned the Author of the Year at the British Book Awards. His novel On Chesil Beach was also named the Book of the Year. The ceremony will be broadcast on Channel 4 this Sunday (13th April), at 4.40pm. The key winners were:
- Khaled Hosseini, who won the "Richard & Judy" Best Read of the Year for A Thousand Splendid Suns
- Patricia Cornwell, who won the crime thriller award for her novel Book of the Dead
- Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman, who won the non-fiction award for Long Way Down
- Francesca Simon, who was awarded Children's Book of the Year for Horrid Henry and the Abominable Snowman
Other winners were Russell Brand’s My Booky Wook which won the biography category, Catherine O'Flynn who won Newcomer of the Year award for her novel What Was Lost and the popular fiction award went to Kim Edwards for The Memory Keeper's Daughter (Penguin).
JK Rowling was awarded an Outstanding Achievement award by Prime Minister Gordon Brown. He said: "She has joined a distinguished line of British authors whose work has got the whole country reading, and whose books will be read for many years to come by successive generations."
For a full list if British Book Award nominees available to download from Audible go here.
9 April 2008
The New York Times described the novel as “Mario Vargas Llosa meets Star Trek meets David Foster Wallace meets Kanye West.”
About the book:
Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. From his home in New Jersey, where he lives with his old-world mother and rebellious sister, Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the Fuku: the curse that has haunted Oscar's family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Oscar, still waiting for his first kiss, is just its most recent victim…
Go here to download the unabridged audiobook from Audible.
7 April 2008
3 April 2008
The first title in the series is John Buchan’s pre-World War I espionage thriller The 39 Steps. The novel is given a revamp by Charles Cummings who called his homage to Buchan’s classic The 21 Steps. The interactive story is told wholly through Google Maps. Readers can click on Google’s pointer icons to progress through the story and watch the path traced by Richard Hannay as he travels from London's St. Pancras train station to Heathrow Airport and then to Edinburgh.
The story is makes for entertaining reading and it’s great to see publishers embrace digital technology in such a revolutionary way. I have to admit I’ve never actually read The 39 Steps, but now having finished The 21 Steps I’m going to go back to the original… well almost. We’ve got a unabriged audio recording of the book from the BBC, read by Robert Powell, so my next step will be to download that today!
2 April 2008
The prize was established in 1996 to recognize outstanding books about the Pacific Rim and South Asia that encourage greater mutual understanding of and among its peoples and nations. Jones’ novel is set on the South Pacific island of Bougainville, during the island's bloody secessionist clash with Papua New Guinea in the 1990's.
As well as being chosen for Richard and Judy’s Best Read Award, Mister Pip also won the 2007 Commonwealth writers' prize and was a hotly-tipped shortlist contender for last year's Man Booker prize… but it was pipped at the post by Anne Enright’s The Gathering.