One of my favourite books, and indeed authors, Americanah by Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, has just won the National Book Critics Circle’s fiction award, a prestigious American literary prize.
A Boston-based technology company has invented an App, called Spritz, which makes it possible to read an astonishing 1000 words per minute. A typical novel, around 90,000 words or 360 pages, would take 90 minutes to read using Spritz.
The recently established Folio Prize published their first shortlist last week. The £40,000 prize which aims to ‘to celebrate the best fiction of our time, regardless of form or genre, and to bring it to the attention of as many readers as possible’ is the first book prize to be open to all English language fiction from around the world. The Folio Prize was set up on the back of the dismal 2011 Booker Prize which was deemed too low-brow by the literary community.
Do you prefer to bring ‘light’ reading on your holiday or are you one of those who sees it as a chance to dig into some more heavy going titles? I oscillate between the two, so I’ll suggest a bit of both.
Many of you will remember a highly controversial article on parenting style in The Wall Street Journal a couple of years ago written by Chinese American Amy Chua. You know, the one whose children have never been allowed a playdate, a sleepover or to get any grade less than an A; who practise their instruments three hours a day and are perfect on all quantifiable dimensions.
…David Mitchell’s new book, The Bone Clocks, coming out in September. His last book, The Thousands Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, was one of my all time favourites, recommended ad nauseam to all my friends and family. Better, and certainly more accessible, than his previous multi-layered Cloud Atlas made into a film last year. Will keep you posted!
More than 500 authors have condemned state organised surveillance of citizens in an open letter to Barak Obama. The letter, signed by literary giants such as Margaret Atwood, Orhan Pamuk, Martin Amis, JM Coetzee, Ian McEwan and Gunther Grass, urges the United Nations to create an international digital bill of rights to protect the fundamental human right to ‘remain unobserved and unmolested’.