Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Beaver enthusiast wins Management Book of the Year

The Management Book of the Year competition is run by CMI (The Chartered Management Institute) in association with the British Library. The competition seeks to uncover the UK’s best books on management and leadership and raise the profile of the great management writing published or distributed in the UK.

This year the title has been won by Henry Mintzberg for his seminal work Managing

Following the announcement Henry Mintzberg said “I would be honoured by this lovely prize in any event. But it has special meaning for me because, of all the places I go in this world, none matches the U.K. for intellectual stimulation"

Professor Mintzberg, collects beaver sculptures in his spare time.

Bill Lucas, author of rEvolution: How to Thrive in Crazy Times and Richard Donkin, author of The Future of Work, were also named as winners in their respective innovation and entrepreneurship and digital book categories.

So you want to be an (American) librarian?

My, how we laughed - but in a sad, self-knowing sort of way ...

And here is a small quiz based on the above -

How many rural people can you cram into a library caravan?

How many general classifications of librarian are there?

What colour are books about television?

Would the boy @ 3.22 be better off looking for books on amnesia?

Did she really say "Screw your books on China"?

Why is Gabriel Byrne selling stolen library books out of the back of a taxi?

How have our microfilm readers travelled back in time?

Can I have a magic finger that produces music from scores?

Does the expression on the face of the boy @ 9.20 really have anything to do with gaining knowledge?

Jo Shapcott wins the Costa - bit of a shock apparently.

In a surprise result Jo Shapcott scores one for poetry and wins the Costa Book of the Year Award for her collection Of Mutability.

This is the second year in succession a poet has won the Costa and it is seen by many as heralding a resurgence of interest in the form.

Here's what the Costa people say -

Poet Jo Shapcott has won the 2010 Costa Book of the Year for her collection Of Mutability, her first new work in over a decade and in part influenced by her experience of breast cancer.

In Of Mutability, Shapcott is found writing at her most memorable and bold.  In a series of fresh, unflinching poems, she movingly explores mortality and the nature of change: in the body and the natural world, and in shifting relationships between people.  By turns grave and playful, arresting and witty, the poems in Of Mutability celebrate each waking moment as though it might be the last and, in so doing, restore wonder to the smallest of encounters.

Click here to read more about Jo Shapcott and hear her read some of her poems.

Ooh, strange feeling of deja vu then!

Derek Walcott wins T S Eliot Prize for Poetry

Derek Walcott has won the T S Eliot Prize for poetry for his collection White Egrets.

Sixty Years After by Derek Walcott

In my wheelchair in the Virgin lounge at Vieuxfort,
I saw, sitting in her own wheelchair, her beauty
hunched like a crumpled flower, the one whom I thought
as the fire of my young life would do her duty
to be golden and beautiful and young forever
even as I aged. She was treble-chinned, old, her devastating
smile was netted in wrinkles, but I felt the fever
briefly returning as we sat there, crippled, hating
time and the lie of general pleasantries.
Small waves still break against the small stone pier
where a boatman left me in the orange peace
of dusk, a half-century ago, maybe happier
being erect, she like a deer in her shyness, I stalking
an impossible consummation; those who knew us
knew we would never be together, at least, not walking.
Now the silent knives from the intercom went through us.

The shortlist for the 2010 T S Eliot Prize was:

Seeing Stars - Simon Armitage (Faber)
The Mirabelles - Annie Freud (Picador)
You John Haynes - (Seren)
Human Chain - Seamus Heaney (Faber)
What the Water Gave Me - Pascale Petit (Seren)
The Wrecking Light - Robin Robertson (Picador)
Rough Music - Fiona Sampson (Carcanet)
Phantom Noise - Brian Turner (Bloodaxe)
White Egrets - Derek Walcott (Faber)
New Light for the Old Dark - Sam Willetts (Jonathan Cape)
Click here to read more about Derek Walcott and hear him read some of his poems.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Friday, 21 January 2011

Funnest book added to stock January 2011 (so far).

Don't you just love it when a book comes along and fills a niche that's never been filled before?

May I present to you -

See, everyone *does* have a book in them.

Go on borrow it - it'll be the only time you can take The P out of Cardiff Libraries and we won't mind.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Costa Book Awards category award winners announced.

Costa has announced the Costa Book Awards 2010 winners in the Novel, First Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children's Book categories.

Costa Novel Award
Maggie O'Farrell -  The Hand That First Held Mine
Judges "A book of grand themes and intimate moments.  This gripping novel is the one we'd unreservedly recommend."
Click here to read more

Costa First Novel Award
Kishwar Desai - Witness the Night
Judges "We were thrilled and exhilarated by this stunning debut. Just like her feisty main character, Desai has fearlessly blown the lid on the problems that simmer under the surface of modern- day India."
Click here to read more 

Costa Biography Award
Edmund de Waal - The Hare With Amber Eyes
Judges "A truly special book.  De Waal is a first-class potter and has proven himself with this book to be a first-class writer - he's able to handle a very serious subject with a delicacy, charm and touch that is rare."
Click here to read more 

Costa Poetry Award
Jo Shapcott - Of Mutability
Judges "These strong poems are rooted in the poet's experience of breast cancer but are all about life, hope and play. Fizzing with variety, they are a paean to creativity and make the reader feel that what matters to us all is imagination, humanity and a smile."
Click here to read more

Costa Children's Book Award
Jason Wallace - Out of Shadows
Judges "For us, this extraordinary debut novel was a unanimous winner. This compelling portrayal of a nation in crisis gripped us from start to finish and has stayed with us since."
Click here to read more

Click on the book titles to see if they're available in your local library.  If you're a library member and know your PIN you can hold (reserve) them online.  If you aren't, then quite frankly you should be - shame on you.  If you don't know your PIN contact us at

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Love furniture? Love books? #1

Hello Discerning Reader!  Do you enjoy a good read?  Do you enjoy a good piece of domestic furniture?  Then this is the feature for you. 

Manufactured by, they say -

A simple bookcase that playfully curves and becomes a seat, is a creative design responding to the advent of multifunctional spaces in today's urban living. Noted as one of the "ten must sees" at Toronto Interior Design Show 2009. This piece is manufactured with Canadian birch plywood and available with a felt cushion in customizable colors.
We say - it rocks!  Well, it looks as if it might.

First in an occasional table series of creations from people who have access to excess books, woody materials and other substances.

Disclaimer: Cardiff Council is in no way associated with, or affiliated to this company, nor do we approve of, or endorse the use of, woody materials etc.

Can a book save your life? A consumer report from American writers' collective ElectricLiterature. You have to love our colonial cousins.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Penguin launches book app for babies.

The ‘Baby Touch Peekaboo App’ brings to life the popular Ladybird series of books on the touch screen.

The app has been specifically designed for and tested on babies as young as three months so they are able to easily interact with the story on a touch screen device.

Simple taps of the screen make different characters appear, in lots of bold colours with sound effects.

Anna Rafferty, managing director of Penguin Digital, said:
“We are not aware of any other apps designed specifically for babies. The Baby Touch series of books has been extremely popular since its launch in 2005 and we thought it was a good story to turn into an app…. We have designed the app in such a way that it helps develop a baby’s eye tracking skills, hearing ability and motor and touch skills.”
The target age is 3 to 12 months old and that babies as young as six months old should be able to operate the app without their parent’s help. The app also features an auto play tool – which allows parent to play the entire content of the app as a movie.

Ten Tips for your new E-book reader.

Dear Author has a good article about how to get started with a new e-reader.  It's American so some of the tips may not travel across The Pond, but it's a pretty good place to start.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Online reading group at Poetry Book Society

The Poetry Book Society has launched an online poetry reading group.

The group, held on its online bookshop ( will be free to join and open to all.

Two books will be discussed each month in specially commissioned articles: the first being The Forward Book of Poetry 2011, discussed by poet Ruth Padel, and Seamus Heaney's Human Chain, which poet Gwyneth Lewis will write about.

Enrolled reading group members will be given discount offers on the featured titles.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Happy New Year from Cardiff Libraries! If a well-known lager company did hangovers ...

"Dixon was alive again. Consciousness was upon him before he could get out of the way; not for him the slow, gracious wandering from the halls of sleep, but a summary, forcible ejection. He lay sprawled, too wicked to move, spewed up like a broken spider-crab on the tarry shingle of morning. The light did him harm, but not as much as looking at things did; he resolved, having done it once, never to move his eyeballs again. A dusty thudding in his head made the scene before him beat like a pulse. His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum. During the night, too, he'd somehow been on a cross-country run and then been expertly beaten up by secret police. He felt bad."

Kingsley Amis - Lucky Jim