Posts Tagged ‘2008’
The organisers behind two of the biggest book awards have announced the judging panels for their 2009 awards. The Man Booker Prize and The Costa Book Awards are some of the most respected in the literary world and anyone asked to judge these awards must see it as a great honour.
The judging panel for The Man Booker prize has been announced with the powers that be opting for a more ‘serious’ line-up. Heading up the critics is Today Program (BBC Radio 4) presenter Jim Naughtie providing some serious journalist clout and is definitely a more suited judge than last year’s choice Michael Portillo.
The remaining seats on the judging panel will be filled by literary editor of The Sunday Telegraph Michael Prodger, the writer Lucasta Miller, who has written a critically acclaimed book on the Bronte’s. Every literature judging panel has to include the token celebrity personality and this year that great honour has fallen to Sue Perkins of Mel and Sue fame. Check out the full panel right here.
The Costa Book Award has announced its judging panel (already touched on by The Scribbler) leaning towards a more broadcasting friendly collective. The judges include world renowned reporter Michael Buerk and comedian/actor Alexander Armstrong. The panel is headed up by columnist and broadcaster Matthew Parris. To see the full line-up and biographies of the judges click here.
Are the personalities listed here qualified enough to decide which piece of writing should win over another? Who would you like to see on a book award judging panel?
Words: Seamus Swords
Books no longer need be read in the traditional stinging paper-cut inducing way.
A collection of popular novels will be released on 26 December. The DS release will be entitled 100 Classic Book Collection.
Developed in partnership with publishing heavyweight HarperCollins the collection will include classics like Jules Vern’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in Eighty Days as well as tales from legendary detective Sherlock Holmes.
The software also features a brief synopsis of each book and recommends reads based on what mood you are in.
It has been well documented that more books will be available via the DS’ Wi-Fi function. The initial package will set you back the modest fee of £20.
The Nintendo Wii has managed to redefine gaming for many users but the question still remains will the 100 classic books collection redefine reading DS users across the globe?
Words: Seamus Swords & Dean Samways
The overwhelmingly in-depth history of 20th century music, embracing classical through to contemporary, was the undisputed winner of the £10 000 first prize.
Chair of the judging panel, Guardian literary editor Claire Armitstead, said: “In some quarters this book has been seen as not having a popular appeal. Our prize – which, uniquely, relies on readers’ groups in the early stages of judging – proves that, on the contrary, there is a huge appetite among readers for clear, serious but accessible books.”
Another judge said: “Where Ross lifts his book above the ‘expert’ and impressive to the ‘good read’ category is in the way he wears his learning lightly, never clutches for false or contrived ways of explaining music, and never dumbs down in order to explain.”
Waterstone’s reading groups up and down the country also helped with the judging process. One member said: “Every time I felt overwhelmed by the technicalities, along came a sublime metaphor or simile that would light up the prose.”
The Guardian’s website describes Ross’ book as ‘a lifetime’s enthusiasm and learning distilled into a rich narrative of musical history, setting the works of Mahler, Schoenberg, John Cage and the rest into their cultural and political contexts – but also giving a vivid sense of what the music he describes actually sounds and feels like’.
It goes on to say: “Of all the artforms, modern and contemporary classical music is often seen as the most rebarbative. Ross brushes aside the mythology of 20th-century music’s “inaccessibility” as he charts its meandering histories. Along the way, fascinating connections are made: hip-hop has more in common with Janacek than you might think; Arnold Schoenberg and George Gershwin were tennis partners; Gershwin, in turn, was an ardent fan of Alban Berg and kept an autographed photo of the composer of Lulu in his apartment. If there is an overarching idea to the book, it is perhaps contained in Berg’s pronouncement to Gershwin: “Mr Gershwin, music is music”.”
The current music critic of The New Yorker Ross, 40, was born in Washington DC. He was an enthusiastic teenage musician but it wasn’t until studied English and history at Harvard when he became interested in journalism and became a student broadcaster. Ross began writing music criticism after university and was appointed to his current role at The New Yorker in 1996. He also has a blog which he uses to great effect in transmitting his work around the globe.
The media reception of for The Rest is Noise has been phenomenal. The New York Review of Books said: “by far the liveliest and smartest popular introduction yet written to a century of diverse music”. The Economist noted: “No other critic writing in English can so effectively explain why you like a piece, or beguile you to reconsider it, or prompt you to hurry online and buy a recording.”
Former Observer music writer Nicholas Kenyon said: “At a time when people are still talking about 20th-century music as if it were a problem, here is a lucid and entertaining book about what I regard as some of the greatest music ever written. It’s a wonderful way to advance the cause of 20th-century music to an ordinary, intelligent general reader. It’s the ideal mix of enthusiasm and information.”
The judging panel for this year’s Guardian first book award was made up of novelist Roddy Doyle; broadcaster and novelist Francine Stock; poet Daljit Nagra; the historian David Kynaston; novelist Kate Mosse and Guardian deputy editor, Katharine Viner. Stuart Broom of Waterstones‘ spoke as the representative of the retailer’s reading groups.
The other books shortlisted for the award were Mohammed Hanif‘s A Case of Exploding Mangoes; Ross Raisin‘s God’s Own Country; Steve Toltz‘s A Fraction of the Whole (also put forward for the Man Booker prize) and Owen Matthews’s Stalin’s Children.
See Ales Ross talk about The Rest is Noise in an interview below:
Words: Dean Samways
The shortlist for the 2008 Costa Book Awards has been announced. The prestigious award attracted 616 entries this year, which have been narrowed down to four books in five categories.
Judges on this year’s panels (three judges per category) include author Lisa Jewell, actress and writer Pauline McLynn, journalist, writer and broadcaster Michael Burke, poet and broadcaster Roger McGough CBE; and writer Victoria Hislop. The final judging panel will be announced in mid-December.
The winner of each category will be announced on the 6 January 2009 with the overall winner of the 2008 Costa Book Award announced on 27 January at a lavish awards ceremony in London.
The shortlisted books are:
Costa First Novel Award:
- The Behaviour of Moths by Poppy Adams
- The Outcast by Sadie Jones
- Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
- Inside the Whale by Jennie Rooney
Costa Children’s Book Award:
- Ostrich Boys by Keith Gray
- The Carbon Diaries by Saci Lloyd
- Just Henry by Michelle Magorian
- Broken Soup by Jenny Valentine
Costa Biography Award:
- Somewhere Towards the End by Diana Athill
- Bloomsbury Ballerina by Judith Mackrell
- If You Don’t Know Me By Now: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton by Sathnam Sanghera
- Chagall by Jackie Wullschlager
Costa Novel Award:
- The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
- The Other Hand by Chris Cleave
- A Partisan’s Daughter by Louis de Bernieres
- Trauma by Patrick McGrath
Costa Poetry Award:
- For All We Know by Ciaran Carson
- The Broken Word by Adam Foulds
- Sunday at the Skin Launderette by Kathryn Simmonds
- Salvation Jane by Greta Stoddart
Have a look at the award video for the winner of last year’s accolade, A.L. Kennedy, by clicking below:
So what do you think of the shortlists? Are there any omissions you’re particularly surprised about? Has anyone read any of the listed books? What did you think?
Words: Seamus Swords