Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Shaun Tan wins The Astrid Lindgren Prize

Australian illustrator Shaun Tan has won The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for Children's Literature (basically the Nobel Prize in this field - it doesn't get better than this!)

Tan has illustrated more than 20 books including, The Red Tree, The Arrival, The Lost Thing and, most recently, Tales from Outer Suburbia, which was hailed in the Guardian as possibly "the most beautiful book you'll see all year". At this year's Academy Awards, he won the Oscar for best animated short film for The Lost Thing (voiced by Tim Minchin), based on his book of the same title.

Tan's response on winning the £490,000 prize (yes, that much - that's a LOT of sharp new pencils), was a restrained "OK, OK, thanks very much. That's amazing. I'm going to have to take a little time to get used to it."

Antipodean understatement - how refreshing.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Orange Prize Longlist 2011

The Orange Prize for Fiction, the UK's only annual book award for fiction written by a woman, announces the 2011 longlist. Celebrating its sixteenth anniversary this year, the Prize celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women's writing throughout the world.

Just click on the titles to check their availability in Cardiff Libraries - how easy is that?

Use your card number and PIN to reserve them on-line.

If you subscribe to our new premier Super Soporific Service, we'll even bring them round to your place, make you a milky drink, tuck you in, and read to you until you drop off.*

As ever, rest assured that the Library Elves will be working overtime to secure those titles not in stock.

* not really.

Two great films - two great books.

Film or tv versions of books you've enjoyed reading are always a bit daunting.  The possibility of a much loved book being butchered by some ham-fisted buffoon, who then puts images in your mind that will haunt you forever, is ... worrisome:  I still haven't watched Gormenghast despite having bought it on video and dvd.

Nevertheless, the film versions of both Submarine and Norwegian Wood have received plaudits by the shedload (this is definitely the correct collective noun for plaudits - go look it up if you don't believe me).

Submarine is a dark coming-of-age comedy about a lovelorn teenage boy in 1980s Swansea, written and directed by Richard Ayoade (the one with the fascinating haircut in Channel 4's The IT Crowd - and yes we do have the dvds in-stock - thank you for asking), adapted from a novel by Joe Dunthorne.

The film has many things to recommend it, not the least of which must be the best role for a duffle-coat since Jonathan Creek (and no we don't have the dvds in stock!) The Swansea of Dylan Thomas's "ugly, lovely town", or more prosaically of Twin Town's definition, provides a perfect backdrop to the tale.

Murakami, ah, what can you say about Murakami?  The man's a genius damn it!  If you haven't read anything then rush out now and buy one oops, borrow one from your local library.  We've got lots - check here.

Norwegian Wood is a story of love and loss set in Tokyo in 1969, told in retrospect by the protagonist and narrator Toru Watanabe.  The film is directed by Vietnamese director Trần Anh Hùng, who previous films include the critically acclaimed The scent of green papaya.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Hold your hand out for twelve of the best.

The list which comprises seven female authors and five male was picked by a panel comprising Alex Clark, critic and broadcaster, Janet Lee, editor of  "The Culture Show" and novelists Helen Oyeyemi and Sam Leith.

And do we have them in stock?  We surely do (well most of them).  Just click on the title to check their availability.

And the two little tinkers we don't currently have, will be added to stock as soon as possible.

And now they have been, or at least they're on-order.  Don't they look smart in their new underlined blueness?  Bless.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Dewey Charades #2

I know, I know, I said a week (actually I said about a week), and it's been considerably longer, but I'm here now, so you can relax - especially you Jim!

Yes, it was Zulu!

Patently this was way too easy for this blog's inspired, intelligent and probably very attractive readership, so we'll go for something a little more demanding - but not too demanding as I don't want to alienate or embarrass you.

Are you ready?  Oh.

Are you ready now? Ok -


It's a film - three words and the first one's The - no more clues!