I had the distinct pleasure of touring Faber & Faber’s offices in Bloomsbury last week, and what should I be treated to but a copy of Eimear McBride’s debut, A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing, a nominee for the BAILEYS Women’s Prize for Fiction, winner of the inaugural Goldsmiths Award, and my next read.
In the words of Faber publisher Stephen Page, McBride is a “total original.” That’s good enough for me, and the book will take me back to my undergrad days in Minnesota of studying bracing Irish fiction by the likes of Edna O’Brien, another Faber author.
Without having started it, I’m putting it in the category of Anna Burns’s searing 2001 debut, No Bones, nominated for the Orange Prize (which the BAILEYS award used to be called). We shall see if that proves true.
Owing to my being entangled in much business at the London Book Fair last week, I missed the news about the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist. Note that the BWPF used to be the Orange Prize for Fiction, and it “celebrates excellence, originality, and accessibility in women’s writing from throughout the world.” An important prize for Team Collection Development to track, in other words.
One of this year’s judges is librarian favorite Caitlin Moran, FYI. I love the look on her face in the press release photo.
What do we make of the contenders (all of which are in Cloud except for Magee and McBride)?
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Americanah
- Hannah Kent – Burial Rites
- Jhumpa Lahiri – The Lowland
- Audrey Magee – The Undertaking
- Eimear McBride – A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing
- Donna Tartt – The Goldfinch
"Researchers found that being too busy, not enjoying reading, and preferring to spend their spare time on the internet mean men read fewer books, read more slowly, and are less likely to finish them than women."
Here’s a question I field regularly: “Where in the name of ONIX 3.0 are the picture books, H-Dude?” Picture books, in case you’ve never attempted to shop for them, are notoriously difficult to locate in metadata. There is no BISAC category assigned to them, and not all publishers identify titles as picture books in descriptions, which are not searchable anyways.
Complicating matters further is format: many picture books, like Random House’s Dr. Seuss works, are published in fixed format epub, which no library vendor app currently supports (that’s changing for us in the near future).
The good news is that widely accessible, quality picture books do exist in ebook form. Take, for example, the latest entries in Cloud publishing partner Holiday House’s I Like To Read series, designed for emerging readers. The best way to identify picture books for the time being is to, well, read my Top New Releases newsletter every Friday. Drawing on information from library marketers, I break out children’s titles from juvenile and young adult titles, and I clearly mark picture books.
Yet again, the Cloud expands, this time thanks to the arrival of Abrams. We’re so pleased to have the catalog that contains, among other franchises, the Wimpy Kid series, which will become available to us once we have finished building functionality to support fixed format epub (in which many highly illustrated kids’ ebooks are published).
Look for core backlist best sellers in CAT ASAP.
Arty-farty galley photo, from ye auld iPhone camera roll. Congratulations, Donna Tartt.
Remember what Ruth Liebmann said on Twitter:
"Wouldn’t you be surprised?"