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Behind-The-Books Blog

Wednesday Cover Story: What do you think the next colours will be?

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

On the train home last night I spotted a man reading The King’s Evil, by Edward Marston. He was actually right on the other side of the carriage but I clocked it immediately – possibly because I’m predisposed to sighting any of our books, but more probably because the design really jumps out at you. […]

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A certain je ne sais quoi in a bookshop

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Last Thursday I was lucky enough to be invited to a celebration of the opening of Belgravia Books, the chic new retail arm of fellow indie publisher Gallic Books. Considering that on my journey across London I’d been reading about Sir Philip Green’s plans to close 260 stores, it was particularly pleasant to be part […]

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Walking in a winter wonderland…

Monday, November 28th, 2011

It’s now late November, and very soon I feel I will be legitimately allowed to look forward to Christmas. Despite the fact that getting excited about Christmas is counter-productive past the age of about six (you open your presents in four minutes flat, then the anti-climactic disappointment and boredom begins…), I still seem to enjoy […]

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Foreign tastes: the changing book title…

Friday, November 25th, 2011

A chance discovery on Amazon.com (thanks to Christina) led me to searching out the foreign language editions of Jamie Ford’s Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. It’s an elaborate title (and a beautiful book, don’t miss it!) but it rolls off the tongue and conveys a sense of the story. We’ve stuck with […]

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The protesters’ libraries

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

I learnt from the Guardian this week something quite inspiring: Occupy campaigners across the world have begun to set up informal libraries in their tent cities. Yes – in London there is a little library satirically named ‘StarBooks’ (anti-capitalist jokes, what fun!), and the Vancouver protesters even have a whole section on ‘The American Empire’.  […]

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Wednesday Cover Story: Third time’s a charm…

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Every day, for the past few weeks I’ve been admiring the cover for A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness (there’s a poster advertising the paperback as I head to the Northern Line at Waterloo station on my morning commute). It’s a beautiful juxtaposition – the silky, light strands of red contrasting with the stark, […]

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Let’s talk about Sherlock

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

A while ago people needed to talk about Kevin, and now they are talking about Sherlock Holmes. The release of the new official Holmes novel, The House of Silk, by Anthony Horowitz, has sparked this new hype, but Holmes has always been a source of interest and inspiration. A great deal of writers have been […]

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The SYP Conference, publicity and our paper fetish

Monday, November 21st, 2011

On Saturday I had the pleasure of speaking at the annual Society of Young Publisher’s Conference 2011 – giving three seminars, together with Alison Baverstock, on publicity. When our lovely SYP host, Katie Lewis, told us our seminar was the most heavily subscribed to, admittedly my first thought was: ‘Uh oh, pressure is on!’ , […]

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Ronnie Biggs versus his kidnapper, Patrick King

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Today’s news is that The Great Train Robber, Ronnie Biggs, has just launched his official autobiography, Odd Man Out: The Last Straw. Unable to speak and looking extremely frail in this footage from SKY NEWS from the press conference, Ronnie has apparently been working on the book since he was released from jail on compassionate […]

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Hummus or humus inspired musings…

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

I had hummus for lunch today. And this simple fact led me to ponder that I never really know what the correct spelling is for the word. A quick Google informed me that it can in fact be spelt in many different way including houmous, hommos, hommus, hummos, hummous, hamos (not to be confused with […]

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Wednesday Cover Story: First peek at The War of the Dragon Lady

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

We’re very excited to be welcoming author John Wilcox to the A&B list, and we will soon be releasing The War of the Dragon Lady (out January 2012) – his new book in the highly acclaimed Simon Fonthill series. And now we have finalised the cover which I think is fab! And here’s an insiders […]

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A trip down memory lane with Matilda: The Musical

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

I was brought back to my childhood in a flurry of bright scrabble-shaped letters, music, singing and dancing this weekend when I saw Matilda: The Musical at the Cambridge Theatre. Ronald Dahl has been one of my favourite authors since I could read, or perhaps even before that when my mother read to me. James […]

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Rescued prints

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Thanks to a friend with some tickets to the Country Life Christmas Fair, I’m now well and truly enjoying the festive spirit. Hurry – only forty-odd more days to go! (I’m only half joking.) Anyway, while wondering around the surprisingly cavernous Business Design Centre in Angel (how apt) I found stalls of all shapes and […]

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Reading about and remembering the Great War

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Today we celebrate Remembrance Day: the anniversary of the official end to World War One,  and this year I seem to have been thinking about it more. One reason is that my other half is currently reading Somme Mud, a first-hand account of Australian infantryman Private Lynch’s experience in the front-line trenches of the Great […]

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Let other keyboards dwell on poor Austen imitations

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

You don’t know how hard I’m restraining my fingers from tapping out a line on autopilot that the world, his wife and her indolent Pug dog know all to well. So putting aside any truths, universally acknowledged or not, I’m determined to quietly welcome an addition to the Austen continuation shelf from no less an […]

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Wednesday Cover Story: Mo’ Moustaches Please (there’s a prize in it!)

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

We would love to join in the spirit of Movember, but neither I, nor my colleagues in the A&B office will be sporting a moustache this month. As an all-women office, we’re more inclined to go to great lengths to hide any hint of facial hair, let alone show it off.  So, who could we […]

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A week’s worth of good telly

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

I rarely look through the TV listings in the Sunday papers a) because I think I should limit my time in front of the TV and b) because frankly I find there’s usually very little worth watching. But this week, my  negligence in browing the TV listings has meant I’ve missed out on the first […]

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Another Mo-nday in Movember…

Monday, November 7th, 2011

It’s the second week in November, which means the moustaches of men throughout the UK must be coming along nicely. Let me explain, in case you haven’t heard of the fundraising fad that is ‘Movember’. During the eleventh month of each year, men register at www.movember.com and commence their attempts to grow the finest moustache. […]

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An Animated Bookshelf

Friday, November 4th, 2011

I assume anyone following this blog will agree that bookshops can be pretty amazing places. And in the best of them, you could easily believe that something magical happens when the lights are switched off and the daytime human occupants leave. DIrector Spike Jonze (of Being John Malcovich and Jackass: The Movie fame) has taken […]

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When does Christmas start for you?

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

On the first of November I left early to fight my way through Oxford Street to see the Christmas Lighting Celebration. It was packed inside the fenced in street, with a crowd stretched from Marks & Spencer to Marble Arch, and it did, indeed, begin to feel like Christmas. Together the crowd sang out ‘Santa […]

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  • Currently we are...

  • …looking out for

    Christina: Songs of Willow Frost - riding the London Tube lines. Keep an eye out for your free copy!

  • …Reading

    Papillon

    By Henri Charriere -Kathryn: As I recently enjoyed Shantaram I thought I'd give this memoir, by convicted felon and fugitive Henri Charrière, a go.

  • …Tweeting