The Vanishing Witch by Karen Maitland

Posted by Guy Pringle, 31st July 2014

In a THEY SAY, WE SAY in nb82 we looked at Karen Maitland's new novel, The Vanishing Witch, as we had been big fans of her bestselling and critically acclaimed debut Company of Liars.   We revisit the book here because we now have on site (see Home page) a reading group guide AND a view...

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Is this us?

Posted by Guy Pringle, 27th September 2013

“Whoever is the best at connecting authors’ works with the end consumers — they win.” So said Peter McCarthy, founder of McCarthy Digital and former vice president of marketing innovation for Random House.   He was speaking at the Digital Book World Marketing + view...

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I told you they were good!

Posted by Guy Pringle, 23rd July 2013

Extremely pleasing to see Donal Ryan's The Spinning Heart and NoViolet Bulawayo's We Need New Names on the Man Booker longlist just announced as I have raved about them both here and in the magazine. Fingers crossed they make it to the shortlist - and on for one of them to view...

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Jonathan Dee's A Thousand Pardons

Posted by Guy Pringle, 25th June 2013

Good to hear Jonathan Dee on Radio 4's Front Row last night talking to Mark Lawson who said the book physically shook in his hand when he got to the one line twist at the end of the first chapter. Perhaps it was the fact it was a 50 page first chapter that had something to do with it??? Anyway, I view...

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A matter of gender?

Posted by Guy Pringle, 7th March 2013

Having watched Harold Fry’s inexorable progress up the bestseller charts – partly, we’d like to think, because of the influence of our Book of the Year – the time had come for reading group 1 (or is it 2?) to discuss the unlikely pilgrimage.   As the only man in the view...

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Coincidence?

Posted by Guy Pringle, 3rd January 2013

It takes me a while to work my way through the weekend's papers, especially when it's the Christmas break, so I've only just got round to last Saturday's Guardian Review. Interesting to see Linda Buckley-Archer reviewing Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner view...

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Mike Shatzkin

Posted by Guy Pringle, 18th December 2012

Mr Shatzkin is the visionary behind The Idea Logical Company in the US and is truly a lateral thinker about the publishing industry. His blog today posits his ideas on  Rethinking book marketing and its organization in the big houses (see view...

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A peculiar lack of imagination?

Posted by Guy Pringle, 11th December 2012

I guess it was inevitable that the Guardian would come up with a piece like this - http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/shortcuts/2012/dec/09/learn-to-write-erotica-centaurs   What I found depressing when I MC'd Gosport's reading group quiz last Thursday was a display of recently published view...

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Riding a wave

Posted by Guy Pringle, 9th November 2012

Rosie Gailer, one of our favourite publicists, is currently promoting a clutch of books that have got us all excited!   Madelaine has been raving about Ros Barber's The Marlowe Papers for some time, such that we've scheduled coverage in a future issue - in which she wants to be view...

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Some random thoughts on Guildford Readers Day authors – as gleaned from them!

Posted by Guy Pringle, 22nd October 2012

Once again an outstanding day with a delightful selection of authors displaying a rainbow of talents. Steve Mosby and Sadie Jones took the hardest slot when people had only just arrived and were feeling their way into the day. When crime aficionado Steve confessed he found character easy but plot view...

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My how the time flies!

Posted by Guy Pringle, 18th July 2012

When I launched the search for a newbooks Book of the Year back in 2002 I thought I’d done well to keep the magazine going for 2 years. If I remember rightly, the award only came about because there was an empty page in the September/October issue that I needed to fill at short notice. And view...

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The Submission by Amy Waldman

Posted by Guy Pringle, 2nd July 2012

As well as picking up a laudatory review in a recent Guardian Review, Ms Waldman's book has today been announced as one of Waterstones next 12 titles in its quarterly Book Club.   Of course, newbooks readers are already able to claim a copy free (all we ask, as ever, is that view...

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What is it about Wilfred Price?

Posted by Guy Pringle, 18th May 2012

Forgive the chutzpah, if you will, but over the years I feel we’ve made a forte of our ability to spot promising debuts. (There are, of course, many other books that failed to catch our readers’ attention but they have been quietly swept under the carpet – which is the way with view...

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Please Look After Mother

Posted by Guy Pringle, 16th March 2012

As on of our featured books this issue it came as no surprise to hear that Kyung-sook Shin has become the first woman to win the Man Asian Literary Prize, Asia's most prestigious award for writers, for her novel. The South Korean novelist attended the black tie Prize Dinner at The Conrad Hotel in view...

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Persephone Books

Posted by Guy Pringle, 9th February 2012

On a recent trip to London I found myself not far from Lamb’s Conduit Street which is where you will find Persephone Books. Knowing that Little Boy Lost by Marghanita Laski, one of our titles for the May gathering, is published by them I took a small detour.   If you’re view...

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More on Mantelpiece

Posted by Guy Pringle, 19th January 2012

This just in from Kath Rhodes   'Dear Guy,   Just had to say thank you so much for the extra surprise present at Christmas. I'm referring to 'My Sister lives on the Mantelpiece' of course. When I first saw it I'll admit I was a little dubious I thought it didn.t look like my kind of view...

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Praise for Mantelpiece

Posted by Guy Pringle, 3rd January 2012

Many readers have been kind enough to send comments of approval for the free copy of My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece which went out to UK subscribers with the last issue. I’ll single out here two slightly longer notes which may encourage you to spread the word further:   "Anyway the view...

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Glass Castle morphs into My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece

Posted by Guy Pringle, 12th December 2011

From The Glass Castle, a dysfunctional – real-life - American family I’ve moved straight on to a dysfunctional – fictional - British family in My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher.   If you’re a subscriber to newbooks then a copy of this Young Adult view...

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newbooks ahead of The Telegraph

Posted by Guy Pringle, 9th December 2011

I only mention this because it is highly unlikely that we'll ever beat a national daily newspaper to the story again but, after my Showrooming part 2 post yesterday, you'll find The Telegraph's take on the story view...

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Showrooming part 2

Posted by Guy Pringle, 8th December 2011

Have clipped this from Moby Lives, a website for Melville House Books who in turn credit Businessweek reporter Rachel King, “Amazon.com Inc. wants shoppers to do a price check the next time they’re at the store. The world’s largest online retailer is offering a 5 percent view...

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Showrooming - it's official

Posted by Guy Pringle, 5th December 2011

Both reading groups are fed up with me going on about supporting our local Waterstone’s by buying from them at least some of the books we read. I’ve declared previously that I’ve acquired a Kindle so obviously I’m not following my own advice entirely. However, I’d like view...

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Kevin deserved it

Posted by Guy Pringle, 1st November 2011

One of the reading groups went to see We Need to Talk About Kevin last week and although it wasn't as gripping as the book, we were certainly stunned when we left the cinema. Tilda Swinton isn't my favourite actress but there's no denying that she makes the part of Eva hers in a way you can't view...

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In at number 18, with a bullet?

Posted by Guy Pringle, 26th September 2011

  Actually, it wasn't a bullet that killed Stieg Larsson. According to Wikipedia, Larsson died on '9 November 2004 in Stockholm at the age of 50 of a heart attack after climbing seven flights of stairs to his office because the lift was not working. There were rumours that his death was in view...

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How much prescience can you cope with?

Posted by Guy Pringle, 8th September 2011

Following on from my last post - and at risk of blowing our trumpet too much - as well as our R&J successes this week, AD Miller's Snowdrops has gone through to the shortlist for this year's Man Booker prize. And acclaim, too, for Dori Ostermiller's Outside the Ordinary World which has view...

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A Kind of Prescience?

Posted by Guy Pringle, 1st September 2011

The choice of autumn books for Richard and Judy's Book Club has just been announced and it's gratifying to find that two of the eight books are among our selections. Whatever you may say about the sainted R&J - and plenty of book trade pundits have had their digs - they do seem to have the view...

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Eileen Shaw takes up the cudgels!

Posted by Guy Pringle, 19th August 2011

Elsbeth's editorial in the latest issue has obviously touched a nerve as several readers have sent in responses, the following being from Eileen Shaw, Leeds. "I think we are even more in danger, these days, of losing our notion of reading as an adventure. Some publishers like to stick to novels view...

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And I thought I was a bookaholic!

Posted by Guy Pringle, 29th June 2011

Last Saturday I was a guest speaker at the first Read It, Swap It (RISI) conference in Birmingham. I knew something of this website as several of its members also review for newbooks, among other outlets.   RISI does pretty much what it says on the tin as it’s effectively a social view...

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Teen crossover to watch out for

Posted by Guy Pringle, 4th May 2011

Not only is Helen Boyle the Editor of tBkmag, newbooks’ sister magazine for pre-teen readers, she somehow also finds the time to be a Commissioning Fiction Editor for Templar, a well-respected children’s publisher. And Helen it was who put a copy of VIII by HM Castor in my hands. view...

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Flipbooks?

Posted by Guy Pringle, 12th April 2011

A review copy of one of my favourite author's books arrived here the other day. But I read Chris Cleave's The Other Hand a year or two ago, so why a review copy now? Well, because it is in a remarkably different format and, no, it's not one of those 'new technology platforms' - although view...

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Orange prescience

Posted by Guy Pringle, 18th March 2011

The release of this year's longlist gave me pause for thought - didn't I recognise several of those names from books we'd previously featured in newbooks?   Checking back I found that Carol Birch's Come Back, Paddy Riley was a featured book in nb17 and Julie Orringer's How to Breathe view...

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World Book Night 4

Posted by Guy Pringle, 18th March 2011

I have corresponded with Margaret Paterson for a couple of years or more now - and was lucky enough to meet her once at a Devon Libraries Readers Day. Margaret personifies, for me, the spirit of the newbooks reader - intrepid and passionate about her reading and how important it is as part of our view...

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World Book Night 3

Posted by Guy Pringle, 17th March 2011

Julie Cohen is an author who brought a lump to my throat and tear to my eye in these cynical times. An author who willingly promotes another author's book and goes out of her way to cheer up folks whose current lives are not as sunny as they might be.   Julie chose to give RACHEL'S HOLIDAY view...

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World Book Night 2

Posted by Guy Pringle, 14th March 2011

Debbie Davies understands Twitter - which I don't - and that's a good thing because she represents newbooks to the Twitterati (see what I did there?). Remarkably, in a matter of months, and particularly since Christmas, she has taken the number of our/her followers stratospheric. OK, not Stephen view...

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Blurbs - Shortest? Yes. Cleverest? Quite possibly.

Posted by Guy Pringle, 9th March 2011

People are often dismissive of book blurbs - what appears on the outside back cover of a book - but few realise how much thought is put into what you read there. Like the front cover, it has the briefest of chances to persuade you to buy that book as opposed to all the others on display. Most book view...

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World Book Night 1

Posted by Guy Pringle, 8th March 2011

World Book Night seems not only to have been a success on the night but to have created a will to repeat the event next year. And I have to say originator Jamie Byng handled a delicate situation well on Radio 4’s Front Row last week. Mark Lawson hosted a conversation between Jamie and an view...

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Bargains at Lidl!

Posted by Guy Pringle, 28th February 2011

Pam Mayhew was kind enough to alert me to the following:   Hello Guy,   I was doing my weekly supermarket shop on Friday in Lidl and was browsing along the special offers of the week, when I came across paperback books for £1.49. Of course, I couldn't resist, but to my view...

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TV and books - why so hard?

Posted by Guy Pringle, 18th February 2011

I recently watched the TV Book Club for the first time but couldn’t understand why they’d decided to film it in the foyer of the Crossroads motel. And much as I approve of any media coverage that encourages reading and talking about books it did seem a motley crew of celebs. However, view...

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World Book Night taking off

Posted by Guy Pringle, 11th February 2011

newbooks subscriber Judy Gillespie in Fife wrote recently to let me know she was successful in the World Book Night lottery. For her book to distribute on 5th March she chose All Quiet on the Western Front. Her plan is to provide a set for history students at our local school and hand out others in view...

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Relative values?

Posted by Guy Pringle, 4th February 2011

On the day before a national day of protest in the UK about library cuts it seemed eerie to read the following on the MobyLives blog  'In a week that’s been described as chaotic and now violent, the unrest in Egypt seems not to have given way to the large-scale looting of view...

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Luddite alert

Posted by Guy Pringle, 20th January 2011

You’d think a gadget boy like me would have jumped onto the Kindle/e-reader bandwagon by now, but no. Anything with an Apple logo on it has me drooling from the mouth and here at newbooks Towers my colleagues are amazed I haven’t found an excuse to buy an iPad yet.   But view...

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Good resolutions

Posted by Guy Pringle, 7th January 2011

I've had the good fortune to sneak away for some winter sun and found myself a quiet corner with a pile of books. So to get my journal entries off to a cracking start for 2011, I can already claim to have finished The Fountainhead/Ayn Rand – loved it although a little didactic in parts; view...

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Boy, am I stoopid!

Posted by Guy Pringle, 21st December 2010

What is it about blokes that they can’t turn down the testerone, even when it’s an innocuous challenge and from a lady at that? I was feeling a little smug about being so well-read, now that The Fountainhead is going so swimmingly. And I let slip as much to reviewer of this parish, view...

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Books in the media

Posted by Guy Pringle, 29th November 2010

This weekend two book-related stories caught my eye in The Sunday Times. First, Jamie Oliver’s book sales broke the £100 million mark, making him second only to JK Rowling (albeit by a still hefty margin). This struck me as something of a dog-bites-man story. Since The Naked Chef view...

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Re-reading - a double edged sword

Posted by Guy Pringle, 12th November 2010

Double-guessing the preferences and interests of newbooks readers for our March 2011 Readers Gathering has enlivened many coffee and tea breaks here at nb HQ. The nb crew are so widely read that the suggestions ranged from the exotic, to the esoteric, through to the extraordinary. But view...

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Sweets for my sweet, sugar for my honey . . .

Posted by Guy Pringle, 11th November 2010

Around the time The Searchers were trilling these inane lyrics (that I store in my grey cells for some unknown reason), you could still buy a chocolate bar called Fry's Five Boys. As I recall, each of the five segments was imprinted with a different smiling boy's face - or perhaps it was only view...

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'Foyle's bookseller makes first real profit for a decade'

Posted by Guy Pringle, 24th September 2010

Elsewhere on this website we've started posting pix of bookshops we love but this headline in today's Guardian took me back to one of my favourites. At various times in my career I've called on the world famous Charing Cross Road shop, then the only branch of Foyle's, to sell the wares of whichever view...

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The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead pt 3

Posted by Guy Pringle, 21st September 2010

Which book characters would you invite to a dinner party, and why? I’m not deliberately avoiding this question when I say I haven’t a clue. When I’m reading I immerse myself - worryingly - deeply in the book of the moment but once finished could be (should be?) alarmed at the view...

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The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead pt 2

Posted by Guy Pringle, 20th September 2010

Which book do you wish you had written? Pretty much anything by Dickens or Hardy – even though I still haven’t managed to read all of what those two giants published. For some reason Jane Austen doesn’t join their company for me, even though I love her work – and all of view...

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The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead pt 1

Posted by Guy Pringle, 18th September 2010

I’m not an author - and have no desire to write a book – but, as you should be aware by now, I am a passionate reader. So when Sandra Rabiasz of RBWM asked for our support for an October promotion I was happy to offer the following (which I'm stretching over 3 blogs!)   What view...

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Franzen Schmanzen

Posted by Guy Pringle, 17th September 2010

The Guardian today reports that 'Nine years after Jonathan Franzen derided Oprah Winfrey's choice of "schmaltzy, one-dimensional" novels for her book club, becoming the first author to be formally disinvited to appear on her show, these two giants of American cultural life appear to have view...

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Future subjects for our A Life's Work coverage

Posted by Guy Pringle, 26th July 2010

Pamela Lewis kindly volunteered a future subject for this article we've made a feature of in recent issues   "I would like to submit Daphne Du Maurier as a suggestion for the Life's Work feature. Her books are consistently brilliant, she has a huge following and each of her books remains as view...

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It's not what you know . . .

Posted by Guy Pringle, 13th July 2010

Proof copies of high-profile books aren't unusual in this neck of the woods - it's one of our innocent pleasures, opening the packages that arrive each day.  However, when they are accompanied by a hand-written card from the Trade Group Sales & Marketing Director of one of the UK's view...

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Should you judge a book by its cover?

Posted by Guy Pringle, 9th July 2010

Designing book jackets is definitely an art and I doff my hat to the creative souls who have to visualise books they haven't read and keep the author, agent, editor, marketeers and sales people happy - not forgetting the retailers - before it gets anywhere near you or I. Even the simplest view...

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