And behind door number 1 is…

17 November, 2016

Does anyone else think it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas? I don’t usually get the urge to deck the halls quite so early, but I’m going to blame the surge in ‘grown-up’ advent calendars that I’ve seen around recently. Tea, make-up, gin*: there’s something for everyone. And then I spotted this rather jolly […]

Book Vote

2 November, 2016

There’s an election coming up in America, maybe you’ve seen a bit about it in the news? Yes, well, the less said about that I think the better. I have certainly needed a bit of distraction from my wails of ‘What is the world coming to?’ and have done what I do best: stick my […]

For she’s a jolly good fellow – 70 years of Woman’s Hour’s Radio Girls

11 October, 2016

I am always listening to the radio. I listen in the mornings while dragging myself out of bed and into the waking world. I listen to one of my favourite radio show’s podcasts while travelling to work. I listen while cooking, while cleaning and, far too often, while not sleeping in the wee hours. So […]

Radio Girls giveaway

16 August, 2016

This is London calling. Tune in for the Radio Girls giveaway! For your chance to win a copy of Sarah-Jane Stratford’s Radio Girls as well as a cool retro radio (3 runners up will receive copies of the book), just answer the following question: Which real life character in Radio Girls became the imposing first Director-General of the BBC?  This competition is now closed.

Listen up – audio books

21 July, 2016

Audio books are big business these days. It’s the fastest growing part of our industry and the number of audio books produced  has doubled since just 2013*. There are so many situations recently where they have proved their worth to me. My niece is already devouring Roald Dahl on CD. Our editor Sophie has described […]

Library Inspiration

9 June, 2016

I love my library. My bank account loves my library. My son loves our library. Books are an increasing part of that love, but his earliest associations are of place for raucous rhyme time sessions and a satisfyingly noisy sensory wall where he can push buttons to elicit elephant and tiger noises. It’s about as […]

In fictional footsteps

18 May, 2016

Susie, our intrepid Publishing Director, is just back from a trip to Switzerland. While she was in the country of fine chocolate (some samples of which she has been kind enough to share – yum) and yodelling (which she has been kind enough not to share), she included a must-see visit for any devoted crime fan to […]

Helen Cadbury on The Writing Process: Pantsing v. Plotting

4 May, 2016

Over the next couple of months I’m involved in a project called Read Regional, where I’ll be visiting libraries (and one book shop) across the North, talking about my latest book, Bones in the Nest. My favourite part of every event is the Q and A. It’s always interesting to get a question nobody has […]

Get It Right – what’s that book worth?

28 April, 2016

Talk is cheap, entertainment is prolific, fashion is fast. We know that we live in a disposable, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it kind of world. But while the economies of scale might mean that you can get a decent bite to eat with your loose change, I say that we need to take a moment and make sure we […]

Off the grid

21 April, 2016

via GIPHY *Ping* “Oh sorry was that me? I’ll just check, won’t be a sec…” Sound familiar? Yes, I hate to admit it but I am frequently guilty of being one of those people with an itchy thumb restless for the next email or status update. I’m beginning to think that simply people watching to […]

Shelfie – books on the go

31 March, 2016

Generally, when I’m reading for pleasure, I read a printed book. While my tablet is incredibly useful for work and for reading submissions, it does seem more restful to curl up with a bundle of crafted paper, ink and glue. However, there are going to be times when I just can’t squeeze a(nother) book into my […]

The Silk Road

23 March, 2016

With the number of TV channels at our fingertips these days, your average night at home on the sofa becomes something of a lucky dip of entertainment. One such surprise was stumbling upon David Baddiel’s latest show, a four part travelogue along the 2000-year-old trade route of the Silk Road. From East to West, Baddiel’s […]

Computer says show*

26 February, 2016

When you really enjoy the theatre and haven’t been for nearly 2 years due to a (not so little) thing like a rapidly rampaging toddler, you jump at the chance of a spare ticket from a friend. However, I’ll admit though that when I checked out the website for Beyond the Fence I wasn’t expecting […]

Harper Lee – the best kind of One-Hit-Wonder

22 February, 2016

The passing of Harper Lee on Saturday garnered a number of column inches and that rare thing on TV – footage of bookshops and books of shelves on the evening news. As one of a generation (or two? Three?) who studied To Kill a Mockingbird at school (and thankfully didn’t come away with a distaste […]

An Anniversary Reading List

28 January, 2016

If you had come across me about this time in 2006 I was probably on the rumpled side. You see, I was doing the clichéd post-student thing of sleeping on friends’ and family’s sofas and floors, not just for the ‘fun’ of it, but so that I could do work experience placements and short-term jobs […]

The story is after you!

6 January, 2016

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Oh, sorry, was that a little too enthusiastic for you? OK, granted, it’s grey outside, it’s a long way until pay day and you’re suddenly regretting the seconds you helped yourself to over Christmas. But if the idea of leaving your hibernation on the sofa with a good book is hard to […]

Have my cake and eat / read it

21 October, 2015

As a mum to a toddler (toddler – when did that happen?!), my reading this past year has been more Julia Donaldson than Julian Stockwin. (See my last post here before starting maternity leave – ha! So many left unread…) Basically, if you find yourself in need of a slightly frazzled person to recite children’s […]

Licence to thrill – our love affair with spies

23 September, 2015

Next month I will be embarking on an international adventure, living the high life with an attractive partner by my side and infiltrating the shady goings-on in an illicit sinister organization with only my wits and trusty Walther PPK to help me… OK, so that’s a ‘bit’ of a tall story, what I mean of […]

Reading Leave

11 July, 2014

I am about to embark (I use the word advisedly, as I certainly feel like I could give the new HMS Queen Elizabeth a run for its money) on maternity leave. While I’m excited about my little one’s imminent arrival, the idea of not coming into A&B HQ every week is still a very alien […]

An unfortunate event for a library

30 June, 2014

Through the wonder of twitter I have seen a few fabulous pictures of people’s mini free libraries around the country and the world. Whether in disused phone boxes, as we highlighted in last week’s blog, in other nooks and crannies or in little bird-box-like constructions, there’s a growing variety out there. Check out this blog […]

Fonts in the flesh

23 June, 2014

As you might expect in an office filled with bookish types, we’re partial to a good font at A&B. In fact, spotting the ‘Morganville Vampires’ font has become something of an office game, with our former colleague Chiara the current champion with most far-flung points. The picture below was taken a suburb Sydney. But I […]