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Behind-The-Books Blog

Articles by Sophie

You can’t judge a book by its cover – especially if you’re a robot.

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

The robots are going to rise up and take our jobs, yes? Well no, maybe not. At least when it comes to book cover design. I was looking through The Guardian‘s book section and came across an article about an algorithm created to predict a book’s genre by its cover. Designed by academics at Kyushu University […]

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The creepiest place on the internet

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

The internet is a crazy place, full of cat memes, avocado on toast and, it seems, excellent scary stories. Courtesy of Emerald Street‘s latest newsletter,  I came across a Reddit forum called NoSleep where a community of horror writers keep the tradition of ghost stories alive. There are strict rules about what tales can be published: no […]

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The Espresso Book Machine

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Technology never ceases to amazes me. Especially technology that helps revive a struggling bookshop. The Librairie des Puf, a bookshop in the Latin quarter of Paris, is a strange kind of place because there are no books. Instead, there are tablets and an Espresso Book Machine; the combination of the two lets you print a book of […]

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Human beans, snozzcumbers and phizzwizzards

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

This month, Steven Spielberg’s cinematic re-imagining of one of my favourite childhood books was released: Roald Dahl’s The BFG. My excitement is only equalled by the release of the Harry Potter script book (pre-ordered it). But before I go and see the BFG on screen, I thought best to revisit the book itself. To my utter […]

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Women Making Waves

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Next month, we publish Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford about the early days of the BBC in the 1920s, featuring real-life figures such as Hilda Matheson, Lord John Reith, T. S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf. The novel focuses on the brilliant women behind the BBC’s programming, notably Hilda Matheson, the charismatic director of Talks Department. The BBC was one […]

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Festivals Galore!

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

It’s that time of year where festivals are cropping up everywhere. If you can’t get over to Hay this year, do not fear; there’s another literary festival happening in central London: Emerald Street Literary Festival. Taking place over one day at the Royal Geographical Society, the line up features Kate Mosse, Jessie Burton, Maggie O’Farrell, the Baileys Prize […]

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Destined for Greatness

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

A great part of working in publishing is hearing about the next big thing, the new rising star in the industry – although it turns out this time I already knew. Back in 2013, I blogged about an amazing poetry launch I went to for Splitfish by Kiran Millwood Hargrave. Aged only twenty-six, Kiran already […]

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Got a spare £300,000?

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

A handwritten draft of a Sherlock Holmes mystery from 1893 is to be sold at a fine literature auction in New York this week. Estimates are suggesting the work could sell for as high as £300,00. The mystery in question, ‘The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter’, is one of fifty-six short stories written by Doyle about Sherlock […]

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Making a Murderer

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

Every once in a while, a show comes on TV that just blows everything else out of the water. After finally succumbing to Netflix a few weeks ago, I discover the thriller-documentary ‘Making a Murderer’ and I am now utterly addicted. (Source) Exonerated after spending nearly two decades in prison for a crime he did […]

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Doctor Faustus Returns!

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

My week has been brightened my the news that Kit Harington is returning to the stage for Christopher Marlowe’s play Doctor Faustus. My favourite Game of Thrones character (‘You know nothing, Jon Snow’) will take on the title role in the 400-year-old story of the man who swaps his soul for the ability to do as […]

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A Prescription for Fiction

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

Life is too short for bad books. I recently came across bibliotherapy: the art of prescribing fiction to cure life’s ills in an attempt to help, heal or provoke. So you’ll never have to read a bad book again. The School of Life in London runs a bibliotherapy session where you meet with one of their trained consultants […]

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Jackanory 50th Anniversary

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

I’ve recently found out my childhood, while wonderful, was missing out on one thing: ‘Jackanory‘. A BBC children’s television series designed to stimulate an interest in reading (not that I needed any coaxing). The format usually involved an actor reading from children’s novels or fairy tales, such as The Snow Queen or A Bear Called […]

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The Met’s Secret Archives

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

Calling all amateur sleuths – for the first time the secret archives of the Metropolitan Police are going on display in a new exhibition at the Museum of London. The city’s most inaccessible museum must surely be The Crime Museum, a macabre collection of evidence and criminal tales which was created in 1875 but has only […]

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Rail’s Golden Age

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

In light of Birmingham’s main station reopening after a £750m makeover, the National Railway Museum in York is using its latest exhibition to celebrate the architectural styles from the past and the Golden Age of train stations. Most of our current railway stations favour a futuristic design on the outside, with a bright and spacious […]

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Inspiration and writing practice with A&B author Alanna Knight MBE

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Inspiration? The answer to that most-asked question is more like perspiration, constantly fighting time with six months to write one historical crime novel a year, excluding the research involved, meanwhile no coffee mornings for the novel’s duration, and my friends know the rules so it’s a quiet time. A computer at 9 a. m. is not […]

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The Cheese Sloth and Other Curiosities

Friday, June 12th, 2015

The other week I went to the Embankment summer fair and spent a lovely few hours wandering around in the sunshine perusing the various stalls. One stall in particular caught my attention: Jimbobart – which is London-based designer James Ward who creates ‘a range of ceramics and illustrations centering on his expressive animal drawings.’ His charming […]

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Joining the Club

Monday, June 1st, 2015

After nearly three years of working in publishing, I have finally got round to joining The Society of Young Publishers. It’s been on my to-do list for some time and I’m glad I finally did. Established in 1949, the SYP is open to anyone and ‘caters especially for those with fewer than ten years’ publishing experience. Run […]

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Literary Homes

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

It was announced this week that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s home is now up for sale in Long Island. The manor home is twenty miles outside New York and Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda are believed to have lived there between 1922 and 1924. The Mediterranean style home features seven bedrooms, six bathrooms, a music room and […]

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What’s in a Title?

Friday, May 8th, 2015

Sometimes book titles can be incredibly obscure and give nothing away about its content. Like Shadow in the Wind or A Bend in the River. They hint at something mysterious and literary without actually making much sense at all. On the opposite side of the spectrum, there are some book titles that get straight to […]

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Do You Believe the Hype?

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Every now and again a book appears that everyone is raving about; the critics love it, readers can’t recommend it enough. But sometimes I find it almost puts me off – what if I don’t like it? Am I then somehow wrong in my judgement? For example, The Deaths by Mark Lawson, eventually fell a […]

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  • Currently we are...

  • Admiring

    Our lovely October books, which are all available now!

  • …Reading

    Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon

    Ailsa: I challenged myself to read more non-fiction this year. Bryony writes about her lifelong struggle with OCD, and I'm finding the book really interesting.

  • …Tweeting