Saturday, 5 May 2012

This week in books

It has been a busy seven days at Five Leaves Towers. On the Saturday we did a bit of basking in the glory of a big Guardian review of our 1948. I've already mentioned it on this site so instead I'll suggest you read this blog, by Charles Boyle, about Nicholas Lezard:
The same day we had a book launch in Nottingham for Joanne Limburg's collection, The Oxygen Man. This was the first in an occasional series of joint events with Nottingham Poetry Society. I was up in Scotland at the time but our Pippa Hennessy(who is, handily, secretary of NPS) struggled through without me. The event was well attended and Joanne read well from a rather difficult book - difficult because it is about the suicide of her brother, a scientist and the "man" of the title.
Another good launch this week, which I was able to attend, was that of our writer and occasional editor David Belbin who, promiscuously, is published by other publishers too. In this case the launch was for his second "Bone and Cane" book with our friends at Tindal Street. What You Don't Know is, I think, the better of the two books - indeed, I think it is excellent, and the author is clearly getting into his stride in this series. Meantime, time to do some work on his Student, coming out from Five Leaves later this year. More on that to follow.
On Tuesday the first Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing took place. I'll post about this fully, soon. Suffice to say that my fellow trustees also managed to struggle through without me on the night. Maybe I don't need to actually go to anything ever again.
Just as well though that I did turn up at Lowdham Book Festival's First Friday event with the Nottingham writer AR Dance (the man who proves that some self published books are worth reading, as I introduced the session and did the tea for 60 people. These First Friday events have rather taken off. For family reasons I can't do much of the organising of Lowdham events this year, but my Lowdham colleague Jane Streeter looks quite calm about having the programme out in a couple of weeks for our summer events. One date I have set up though is the "Lowdham Lecture" on September 20th, with Alan Gibbons talking about "Libraries, Education and Literacy". More on that nearer the time.
Meanwhile, the proof for Michael Malone's novel Blood Tears has landed on my desk. We should have finished copies next week and, so far, it looks like it will get a lot of coverage in Waterstones branches in Scotland. We had some fun proof-reading the book as our internal and external proof-reader kept trying to change Scottish rhythms into standard English. No, kiddos, they really do speak like that in the West of Scotland.
We are carrying on turning backlist into e-books and this week - announcement imminent - we have turned our out of print travel title After the Gold Rush by John Stuart Clark into an e-book, which will please the mad cyclists of America who keep asking for it.
Finally, a couple  of pieces to read. Fresh from his geographically challenging pair of readings in Inverness and Berwick, J. David Simons has been interviewed by Scottish TV about his writing. Read that here:
And, finally, in this weekly round up, here's a set of reviews in the Newcastle Journal that brings together reviews of poetry publications by three Nottingham presses, Candlestick, Shoestring and Five Leaves, together with books published by our  friends in the north, Iron Press and Smokestack whose editors are regularly published by Five Leaves. Long live this Midlands/North East twinning! Read them here:

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