Prince of Shadows competition winner announced

7 March, 2014

Last month we were celebrating Valentine’s Day and Rachel Caine‘s latest release Prince of Shadows , a twist on the Romeo & Juliet tale, by giving away a host of goodies.  Feel free to coo over the image below. Thank you to all the people who entered to win the set, but there can only […]

All aboard the writer residencies

4 March, 2014

The idea of writers’ residencies isn’t new. Current programmes out there range from Gladstone’s Library to Hedgebrook which takes Virgina Woolf’s ‘a room of one’s own’ as it’s motto. While they might differ in focus, they generally seek to offer an environment that facilitates writing, perhaps along the lines of a writing retreat, a place […]

A Night Out at the Museum

3 March, 2014

If you’re at a loose end in London this evening, you might like to pop along to Covent Garden and the London Transport Museum where three authors are speaking there about the inspiration behind their London stories. I particularly like the sound of A London Year: 365 Days of City Life in Diaries, Journals and […]

The Theme Park’s Afoot!

25 February, 2014

Fans of 221b Baker Street resident Sherlock Holmes are in for a treat or a shock depending on your perspective. The deerstalker-wearing detective is about to get the same kind of treatment that has so far been reserved for that most magical (and bankable) literary hero Harry Potter: a theme park. Yes, coming soon to […]

The Wild Girl competitions

21 February, 2014

Going up around the London Underground right now are some beautiful posters. Well, I would say that as they feature Kate Forsyth’s fairy tale-inspired books Bitter Greens and The Wild Girl. To celebrate the release of The Wild Girl in paperback, we’re running a competition to win a very swish Champagne spa day for two […]

Thought Criminals welcome

20 February, 2014

Do you feel the itchy glare of CCTV cameras as you walk down the street? Do you wonder, post-Snowden, who else might be reading your emails and tweets? For anyone who enjoys a little Orwellian paranoia, there’s a new stage production for one of the earliest and possibly best dystopian novels out there: 1984. And […]

A night of storytelling in swish surroundings

17 February, 2014

I do like putting on an audiobook from time to time, although it isn’t my go-to reading format. But it’s rare these days that storytelling is an event, a night out, which is why the mention in a weekend paper of Pin Drop Studio jumped out at me. The Pin Drop Studio hosts authors and […]

Are you lying comfortably? Then I’ll begin…

14 February, 2014

I was astounded the other week to learn that one of my favourite childhood reads: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory turns a whopping fifty years old this year.  Isn’t it wearing well, isn’t it? I do hope that copies of Roald Dahl’s classic are having surreptitious / riotous after-hours parties on bookshelves around the world. […]

A fine performance from Fiennes

11 February, 2014

Ralph Fiennes has a talent for giving me to heebie-geebies. I recall seeing him in The English Patient (ouch – those burns), he was the creepy and conflicted Amon Goeth in Schindler’s List, and let us not forget his turn as the nasally challenged He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. But he might be about to break his freaking me […]

With the benefit of hindsight…

7 February, 2014

What do The Bell Jar and Where the Wild Things Are have in common? Very different books of course, but they were both published in 1963. Literary web magazine and blog Bookslut have decided to step in and right the wrongs of book awards past, creating the Daphnes or ‘The Corrections‘, choosing the best book […]

National Storytelling Week

6 February, 2014

We’re in the midst of the fourteenth annual National Storytelling Week. As a publisher it’s not surprising that this initiative to promote the oldest artform appeals to us here at A&B. Why not see if there’s an event happening near you, like Stories by Candlelight at the Polar Museum, Cambridge tomorrow (Friday) or the Anti-Valentine […]

Shopping for the bear necessities…

31 January, 2014

We’ve got our fingers on the pulse, we’re ahead of the curve here at A&B. I would like to draw your attention to a blog I posted this time last year in which I urged you to check out the sporadic posts over at Fiction to Fashion. Julie, the brain behind the site, works for […]

What great women are on your bookshelves?

27 January, 2014

I was prompted by some discussion on twitter last week to think about who, not what, I’m reading. At the moment that’s Simon Garfield and his To the Letter, as well as Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. While I wouldn’t have said that I read more male than female writers, there’s been much discussion online […]

Showing some bookish love this Valentine’s

24 January, 2014

We are nearing the end of January and the sugary pink displays have popped up: Valentine’s day is fast approaching. But if you’d like to avoid the trappings of what’s arguably the most over-commercialised holiday, I’d like to point you in the direction of International Book Giving Day. Run entirely by volunteers, the initialive is […]

The Art of Keeping Resolutions

7 January, 2014

We’re a whole week into 2014 and I wonder how many of you are feeling a little on the guilty side as good intentions begin to slide? So how about taking the finger-wagging spectre out of this year’s resolution and make it positive goal which, dare I say it, you might actually enjoy. For instance, […]

Natty knits for Christmas

29 November, 2013

Christmas, a good cause, knitwear and a man called Darcy. That’s a pretty irresistible combination, I’m sure you’ll agree. I spotted the other day that Save the Children have launched a perfectly festive fundraising campaign: Christmas Jumper Day. On Friday 13th December, they are encouraging us to wear a suitably Yuletide-emblazoned jumper and to give […]

A Cocktail of Literary Puns…

18 November, 2013

The nights are drawing in, that bitter north wind is finding all the chinks in your coat and at some point in the next month you have to do Christmas shopping for the world and his wife. It’s enough to drive you to drink, isn’t it? Well, my eye was caught the other day by a […]

Bah humbug

12 November, 2013

If you are a sucker for more commercial / soulless Christmas traditions then you probably think your Christmas season has now kicked off. You can pick up caffeinated and no doubt excessively calorific drinks in cups of a certain colour. And a bear and a hare have tried to teach us the true meaning of […]

Christmas comes early…

5 November, 2013

Forget Halloween, while much of London was walking the streets bespattered in fake gore last Thursday night, I decided to get a head start on Christmas at the Country Living Christmas Fair. I wandered through the surprisingly large Business Design Centre making mental notes for Christmas presents (80% for me rather than my nearest and […]

This Book Will Save Your Life (or help you cope with wind…)

29 October, 2013

I’ve spotted a trend in the sphere of self-help. Yes, certain perma-tanned men are still going to sell shed-loads of books, CDs etc with varying promises that they can make you a better/slimmer/non-smoking person, but there’s a more cultured option out there. First of all, there’s the new release Art as Therapy by Alain de […]

Who Do You Think You Are?

21 October, 2013

On Saturday I visited one of my favourite cultural spots in Central London: The National Portrait Gallery. I went with a friend to check out the Elizabeth I and Her People exhibition and would recommend it highly. There were of course a range of striking portraits of Elizabeth, many that I weren’t familiar with, made […]