Sunday, 3 April 2011

Bookworm News: April 2011

Billy Joel
Memoir News
"The Book of Joel", the Billy Joel autobiography due to be published this summer, has allegedly been dropped by Harper Collins due to the musical icon's reluctance to discuss his substance abuse and failed marriages. Makes you wonder why he signed up for it then really.
In the meantime, I was also wondering if my favourite stand-up comedian, Bill Bailey, will ever do an autobiography. After all, given that other successful comedians such as Michael McIntyre, Peter Kay and Dawn French have already done so, it would just be rude not to :p

Banned Books
The author of a new book about Mahatma Gandhi has defended claims that he accused the book's subject of being racist or secretly bisexual. Joseph Lelyveld's "Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India" has already been banned in Gandhi's home state and, according to the BBC, it is possible that bans in other areas may follow. This has arisen from early reviews which cited words from some of Gandhi's letters; the author claims that these words have been taken out of context and that the word 'bisexual' was not once used in his book.

Booker Batted Back
In a moment akin to Benjamin Zephaniah refusing the OBE he was offered in 2003, crime writer John le Carré has now rebuffed his International Man Booker Prize nomination, saying only that he does not compete for literary awards. The other writers on the shortlist are David Malouf of Australia; James Kelan and Philip Pullman of Britain; Wang Anyi and Su Tong of China; Juan Goytisolo of Spain; Amin Maalouf of Lebanon; Dacia Maraini of Italy; Rohinton Mistry of India and Canada; and Marilynne Robinson, Philip Roth and Anne Tyler of the United States.

In celebration of success, however...
Jeff Kinney, author of the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series, is still marvelling over its success. The series has been made into two blockbuster films and has also been recently recommended by education mogul Chris Woodhead as essential reading for children. "For me, this has been really fun, beyond my wildest expectations. I feel like I have my normal life in Plainville, Mass., and then my ridiculous fantasy life where I'm up on a stage, talking to people like this. So, it's just been surreal and very, very fun," Kinney, who is also an executive producer of the junior high-set flicks, told UPI at a recent New York press conference. There were reportedly 42 million copies of the series in circulation in 2010.
Aussie author and illustrator Shaun Tan has also recently won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, and the Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title was given to Michael Young's Managing A Dental Practice The Genghis Khan Way. The Ridenhour Prize (awarded to a book deemed to be of social significance) went to Deadly Spin, by Wendell Potter.

Innovation of the month
Byook is not only a new reading experience but it is also keeping up with the latest technology with its recent launch for iPhone. Using codes and rules defined by the film industry, these ebooks are not just any ebooks: they are entrenched with pictures, animations and sounds, and as you read the first Byook for iPhone, a classic Sherlock Holmes tale, you will see the rain fall and blood drip in the palm of your hand as sound effects resonate in your ears, taking imagination to a whole new level. Out now, the app costs $1.99, and allows your senses to lead you beyond words.  

No comments: