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If you could have one talent…

Friday, August 30th, 2013

What would it be? I am not musical, athletic nor a literary genius. But if I could have one talent in the world, I would love to be able to draw. To capture someone’s personality and emotions with only a pencil is a true talent, one that takes years of patience and craft. I think […]


Those unforgettable first lines…

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

The authors on the longlist for this year’s Man Booker prize were recently asked what their favourite opening lines from literature were. (Read more in the Guardian here…) Intrigued by this idea and being of the technology-crazed generation where the answer is nearly always “look on Google”, I stepped into the realms of the internet […]


Wednesday Cover Story: autumnal picks

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

As we approach the end of August, the sunshine has become more unreliable, the morning air makes me shiver and darkness is falling earlier in the evenings. The publishing world is reflecting that autumnal feel with some of the covers planned for the next month or two. Take the following similar examples: Paul Torday’s Light […]


The Lion, the Statue and the Murals

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

For people of my age group the BBC adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was a seminal event. The idea of winter but never Christmas truly appalled me. I may have been acting out some Susan fantasies when I took up archery a few years later. And I felt a species of […]


Poetic graffiti

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Poetry: archaic or beautiful? Its an ongoing debate on which everyone has their own opinions, but whether you see poetry as an art form to be avoided at all costs or as something of great beauty and meaning, it still plays a part in the modern world. From the Underground to underpasses, lyrical musings surround […]


Three cocktails in, and Sara still spots grammar mistakes…

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

So, last night we bade farewell to the lovely Sara Magness, taking ourselves off to the London Cocktail Club in Goodge Street (barely visible but for a small sign pointing underground somewhere between Nandos and The Newman Street Tavern – who knew?) to drown our sorrows  in martini mixes and the like. The old-school-music track […]


A Farewell Favour

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

One month ago, after much deliberation, I handed in my notice and made the official decision to leave my job at Allison & Busby. It wasn’t an easy choice, as I’ve absolutely loved my time here, but I was keen to take the leap and disappear off to Continental Europe for some travelling (while I’m […]


A less-than-typical London Tour…

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

This weekend, I enjoyed a lovely surprise-visit from my Italian cousin and her family, which saw me taking them on an afternoon walk through a bit of London. I find the responsibility that comes with playing ‘London guide’ quite daunting, especially when you’ve only got a few hours to play with and the aim was […]


Literature brought to life by dance…

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Since I love books, I’ve found I tend to like most things associated or derived from literature such as film adaptations, art work and even literary home wares. So I thought I’d try literature-inspired ballet and last week I sent to see the Shanghai Ballet’s production of Jane Eyre. Apparently Jane Eyre is as popular […]


The Wonders of Spine Poetry

Friday, August 16th, 2013

A spur-of-the-moment reading of the Waterstones blog recently introduced me to a completely new concept: spine poetry. I clicked from Twitter to a guest post by author Tracy Guzeman, and was immediately intrigued. Spine poetry, it turns out, is a way of arranging the books on a shelf so their spines create some sort of mood or […]


Unlikely stuffed companions

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

This past week I have been visiting my husband’s family and staying in the bedroom that was his from birth. There was recently a cull of many items, so we’ve said farewell to the giant Yoda poster and a caricature of my hubby circa 1997, but a few childhood bits and pieces do remain. One […]


Wednesday Cover Story: The new Caper Court Covers!

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Designing a beautiful cover for an individual book is hard enough, but creating the right package for an entire series is a whole other feat and an even more difficult one at that. Our art editor, Christina has produced some real gems, like the covers to The Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes series (which we […]


Would a hobbit hole be your perfect reading spot?

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

There are many perfect reading spots, indoors and outdoors (as a child my favourite was the staircase, much to my family’s annoyance). Whilst the crowded doorways of the early morning commuter train is far from perfect, it seems that most of us persevere with reading all the same, whether we are wrestling with a newspaper […]


Behind the Stories

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Over the weekend I started reading our very own The Disenchanted by Budd Schulberg. Since I’ve been here I’ve started an A&B reading list and this has been top of the pile for a while. It’s one of those books I want to force on everyone. I am utterly fascinated by Manley Halliday, the tragic […]


Where will one missing letter take you?

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Earlier this week we had the pleasure of a visit from Laurie R King (bestselling author of the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series) and her lovely daughter, Zoë. I naturally tweeted the news with the picture above, but my over-excitement caused me to type too fast and I ended up tweeting the caption “Lunch in […]


Reading (and reviewing) The Etymologicon

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

As all booklovers know, it is almost impossible to walk past a book shop and not be enticed inside. Only one thing is more tempting-a bookshop that is having a sale. It is pretty much fatal- you’re guaranteed to leave with yet more books to weigh down that already complaining bookshelf. Last week I gave […]


Wednesday Cover Story: Crustaceans Covered

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Like anything, when it comes to book covers there are trends, but I wonder whether here in the UK our designers might be thinking with their bellies of late. I didn’t expect two books this summer to catch my eye thanks to a bright orangey-red lobster slap-dab in the middle of a fresh white cover. […]


The Regrettable White Choice…

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Just like Sara last week, I recently came across one book with two very different covers. I’m currently reading The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst after being captivated by his recent release The Stranger’s Child. I’m trying to work my way through his extremely esteemed backlist (one prize and one long-list for the Man […]


Jane Austen…and Sea Monsters?

Monday, August 5th, 2013

I’ve been on a light-hearted reading spree lately. After finishing David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas, which was great but I must admit quite long and serious, I turned to R.J. Palacio’s Wonder. Not really a light-hearted subject, I admit (the book centres on a boy born with a facial abnormality), but it does have the advantage […]


Kickstarting the love of stories

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Recently, bestselling author Rachel Caine successfully launched a Kickstarter campaign to get her mega-popular Morganville Vampires books made into a Web TV Series. Fans have been clamouring to see their favourite Morganville characters on screens, and finally, thanks to these same hordes of fans who pledged their support for the project, they will see their […]


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