Five things we loved this week

Posted on 18th March 2016 by Sally Campbell
Our literary round-up of the last seven days

1. Roald Dahl’s Count of Mousy Christo

Revenge, as they say, is a dish best served with a dead mouse in it. Roald Dahl’s tale of childhood revenge, The Great Mouse Plot, in which he and his friends harass a local sweetie-shop owner using a deceased rodent, is the author’s first ever number one best seller. This fact is surprising, considering the quality of Dahl's massive oeuvre, but then, perhaps it isn’t: revenge is not only sweet it is riveting, ask fans of Hamlet, Carrie or Mr Frank Underwood.

2. Are you Elena Ferrante?

Yet another author has been suggested as the real ‘Elena Ferrante’, the incredibly successful, pseudonymous and mysterious author of the Neapolitan Novels. We really want to get to the bottom of this story and thought why not just ask, if you are Elena Ferrante, please write in. We know, it is unlikely that of all places, you would like your unveiling to be here, but sometimes in life, you just have to ask. In the meantime, wherever you are, in this age of 1984-esque surveillance, for evading all detection: Elena, we salute you.

3. And the winner is…

The wait is over, the results are in, and the winner of this year’s Waterstones Children’s Book Prize is My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons. The book pips both The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield, which was winner in the Picture Books category, and The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson, winner of the Older Readers Category, to the proverbial post. David Solomons received the award last night at a glitzy ceremony, have a look at our photographs from the event to vicariously feel part of the action.

The wonderful shortlisted authors:

The victorious category winners:

Overall winner David Solomons with Children's Laureate Chris Riddell:

4 . Blame Wittertainment

Firstly, Hello to Jason Isaacs (not the first time I have said so on here)  Secondly, I quite like Battenberg. Thirdly, Simon Mayo has written what promises to be a belter of YA novel, Blame, due to be released this summer. The novel features a 16-year-old anti-heroine, Ant, and her 11-year-old brother, Mattie, who exist in a chillingly plausible world where innocent people can be imprisoned for the unpunished crimes of their parents or grandparents. Has incarcerating entire families solved the ills of this imaginary world? Of course it hasn’t. Does this blatant, sycophantic mention get me a free, signed copy of the book? Would that it were so simple.

5. As though Shakespeare travelled in time

With the publication by the British Library of Shakespeare’s last handwritten manuscript online,  a central scene of which features Thomas More railing against prevalent anti-immigrant sentiment in England at the time… the first thing any reader will ask is: is that really Shakespeare’s handwriting? My doctor writes neater than that. Then, the uncanniness in him managing to address the current immigration crisis in Europe, 400 years before it happened, will make you shake your head at the brilliance of the man and wonder, did he invent time travel too?



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