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Guest post: Stevie Marsden on the Man Booker Prize

This is a guest post from Stevie Marsden (@StevieLMarsden), who is currently studying for a PhD in Literary Awards and Prize Culture at the University of Stirling's Centre for International Publishing and Communication and is a literary awards researcher at the Saltire Society. ---------- I had intended to write a blog about this year’s Man Booker Prize for Fiction on the announcement of the shortlist in September, but one thing led to another and the blog was never written. But, with the announcement of this year’s winner, and a fresh article from The Guardian in which Colin Dickey bemoans the staleness and predictability of the award, my inspiration regarding the troubling aspects of this year’s Man Booker Prize was reignited. The reason why I wanted to write this blog was to highlight some of the issues regarding the submission process for the Man Booker Prize, which have … [Read More...]

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Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 16.07.17

Guest post: Stevie Marsden on the Man Booker Prize

This is a guest post from Stevie Marsden (@StevieLMarsden), who is currently studying for a PhD in Literary Awards and Prize Culture at the University of Stirling’s Centre for International Publishing and Communication and is a literary awards researcher at the Saltire Society. ———- I had intended to write a blog about this year’s Man […]

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The Lemon Grove – ‘SEXY’, ‘SHOCKING’, ‘SULTRY’? …nope.

The Lemon Grove is about as sexy as my left pinky toe. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a perfectly fine pinky toe but it doesn’t really have that alluring factor. (my other pinky toe however…) As a victim of the over-hyped, over-endorsed book, I found myself disappointed and left a little flat after closing The […]

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A Lovely Way to Burn – Louise Welsh

FINALLY. About time I read a Louise Welsh book. If you’re in or around the Scottish literary scene, you’re bound to know her name regardless of whether or not you’ve read any of her work. I was shamefully in the latter camp. I can only blame dissertation, work, general life for so long before I […]

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Weegie Words 101 – Glasgow2014 special

Originally posted on Saraband's Blog:
Weegie* Words is a pop-up festival to celebrate Glasgow’s finest literary talent in the spirit of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Authors will go head-to-head in specialist rounds to determine the winners of stereotypical Glasgow tropes; sport vs the weather and famous sex scenes vs gritty crime. Aka: STILL GAME vs…

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Long live the indies: Independent Booksellers Week 2014

Rejoice! The indie bookseller! We bloody love our indies, don’t we? Rightly so, independent booksellers take a high proportion of hours out of their lives to recommend life-enriching books, to make readers happy readers. They create a humanly homely environment for readers old and new and the best bit, every single one is different. No […]

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My year without Amazon

This April past marked a year of my Amazon boycott. I was surprised to realise it’s been that long and surprised how little I’ve missed Amazon. I wrote a blog back in April 2013 about Amazon’s Goodreads acquisition which marked the turning point for me personally. I rather enjoyed using Goodreads despite its infuriatingly unintuitive UI. […]

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The Hachette vs Amazon turning point?

I ask the question ‘the Hachette vs Amazon turning point?’ because I wonder if the most recent dispute could act as a catalyst for a public Amazon backlash. Backlash towards Amazon within the book industry itself is no new reaction and wouldn’t be the indicator of any particular turning point, but what if this backlash […]

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Showcasing the end: 2 years of Publishing Studies

Last Monday (12th May) was the Publishing Showcase at the University of Stirling to mark the end of the academic year and the end of 2 years of masters study for me. I’m not technically finished my studies, there’s still a dissertation to write, after all. But let’s not worry about that for now. Classes are very […]

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My/PRH’s Independent Bookshop

After its announcement at the London Book Fair in April this year, Penguin Random House launched My Independent Bookshop. Maybe I didn’t listen closely enough the first time round but I must admit to confusion at its launch. So it’s for independent bookshop owners? Oh, it’s for everyone? I have to start up a bookshop? […]

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Lexicon – Max Barry (Review)

‘Sticks and stone break bones. Words kill.’ Oh yes. Ooooooh yes. Cheesy line for the back of a book, maybe, but right up my literary street. A world where poets can quite literally compromise people through carefully selected words? Oooooooh yes. Max Barry’s Lexicon was a premise that was going to be a winner from the very […]

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Crumbs – Miha Mazzini (Review)

Miha Mazzini’s Crumbs is an unusual one. It was published in 1987 in its original Slovenian language, a language that was spoken by less than two million people according to Mazzini’s 2004 foreword. It has been picked up by Glasgow publisher Freight and given a new audience to coincide with the current lead up to the independence […]

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Marketing Games: Half Bad vs We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

I expected great things from Half Bad by Sally Green, dubbed the next Hunger Games and the like. Unfortunately, I was left underwhelmed after too much hype and found it not meeting expectations. Many promotional stories are riding on the feat of Green, an accountant, writing a book of such quality. Maybe it is an impressive […]

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If Lynn Shepherd has any credibility, she should shush

You’ve no doubt seen the pretty horrifically venomous article by author Lynn Shepherd on Huffington Post suggesting ‘If JK Rowling cares about writing, she should stop doing it’.  Codswallop. That’s all you can say to that. I’ve read the ‘article’ numerous times and have yet to truly absorb a point or a message other than, […]

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The Potter Burden

The Potter Burden: the self-inflicted, masochistic inability to let go of long-defined tropes and relationships in the Harry Potter series. That’s something I just made up. I’m making it a thing. This is because I’m seeing both fans and JK Rowling herself putting too much apparent burden on themselves in the wake of theoretical changes […]

FIOS

The Fault In Our Stars – John Green (Review – sort of)

If I thought The Rosie Project had a lot of coverage on Goodreads, I am dumbfounded by the almost 500,000 ratings and almost 63,000 reviews of John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars. If I thought a review for The Rosie Project was unnecessary, well, I truly am the last person to the FIOS party. Not that the book is much […]

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The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion (Review)

At the time of writing this post, there are 18,000 ratings and over 3,800 reviews of Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project on Goodreads. This means I really have nothing new or particularly interesting to add to what has already been said about this book. I do, however, believe in telling people when there’s a book out there […]

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Love books like you love Sherlock

If you’ve been online at all in the last few days you’ll have heard distant high-pitched sounds from afar that could only be described as ‘squees’. The first episode of the new Sherlock series aired and was met with much enthusiasm around the interwebs. That squee sound can be mistaken as a mating call of […]

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2013 Top 5

Following on from my 2013 flash review round up, here’s my top 5 books that I read and were published in 2013. There will of course be some belters that I missed out, some like The Goldfinch and Life After Life, but there were only so many hours in 2013, I hope to use a […]

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2013 Round Up – Flash Reviews

On January 1st 2013 I set up this blog and gave myself the ‘Goodreads Challenge’ of reading 30 books this year. I thought it would doable, maybe a bit of a struggle during busy uni times, but I need to push myself when it comes to reading, funnily enough. A victim of social-media stunted attention […]

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The last two weeks in numbers: Nov 30th – Dec 13th

As I missed last week, today I combine the last two weeks of publishing in numbers. Apologies for lack of blogs, December is typically the busiest month of my year and this year is no exception. Normal service to resume in the new year I expect! So, here’s the last two weeks’ numbers in publishing. […]

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