Five things we loved this week
A literary round-up of the last seven days
1. Hear ye, hear ye – there are (Prize) announcements:
We love a literary award. It gets us booksellers all excited. For us, it’s a bit like watching Top of the Pops when you were 10 (sadly, that will be lost on some people). This week saw the announcement of two colossal literary prizes. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of A Yellow Sun won the Bailey’s ‘Best of the Best’, chosen from the last 10 winners of the annual Bailey’s Prize for Women’s Fiction. And Steve Silberman’s Neurotribes, a sympathetic and comprehensive look at the autistic spectrum, has become the first Popular Science book to win the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction. Both books are astonishingly good (clearly, hence the wins).
2. His Dark Materials on the small screen
It has been 20 years since the publication of Northern Lights, the first in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. So, that is 20 years that Lyra, Will, and Pullman’s epic, fantasy, parallel world have been enchanting readers, old and young. During this time, the books have been adapted for stage and screen. And news just in: it is going to be televised! You heard us – a TV series of His Dark Materials. On the BBC.
3. Book – bought. Coffee…ah, yes please.
Gower Street Waterstones have a natty new café. That’s right, one of our beloved London stores now has a cosy place to sit and sip, while you read your copy of something fun and fascinating. It's called Dillons Coffee. Have a little look for yourself:
4. Children’s Fiction, anyone?
This week you may have spotted us on the television as a number of budding entrepreneurs turned their skills to the art of writing a children’s book. Two books were pitched to our booksellers in Waterstones Piccadilly, one more successfully than the other. Before you ask, no we didn’t get to meet Lord Sugar, no we don’t offer it in any of our other shops and yes, writing a children’s book in a day is not advised.
5. J.K. Rowling News
The Second Queen of England, J.K. Rowling, announced this week that she is writing a new children’s book. The world prepares to shift once again on its axis. Get ready.
His Dark Materials: Including All Three Novels: Northern Light, the Subtle Knife and the Amber Spyglass (Hardback)
Lyra is an orphan who lives in a parallel universe in which science, theology and magic are entwined. Lyra's search for a kidnapped friend uncovers a sinister plot involving stolen children and turns into a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust.
Lyra Belacqua and her animal daemon live half-wild and carefree among scholars of Jordan College, Oxford. The destiny that awaits her will take her to the frozen lands of the Arctic, where witch-clans reign and ice-bears fight. Her extraordinary journey will have immeasurable consequences far beyond her own world...
Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter About People Who Think Differently (Paperback)
Winner of the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction, this Sunday Times bestseller upends conventional thinking about autism and suggests a broader model for acceptance, understanding, and full participation in society for people who think differently.