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5 books to read before running the London Marathon

Co-instigator of BookMachine, Gavin, is running the London Marathon on 21st April in support of Book Aid.

It’s very tempting, when training for a marathon, to spend as much time reading about the theory of running, as actually running. If you’ve fallen in to this trap, and I certainly did for a while, you’re as well to make sure that you’re reading the right stuff. Here are my top 5 must reads about running…

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BookMachine Oxford March [REVIEW II]

Bea Longworth is director and co-founder at Whooc Publishing Ltd, a fledgling startup making first-person fiction apps for young adults under its Freed Fiction imprint. 
 

A few minutes after arriving at House Bar, I felt a tap on my shoulder. “Is there going to be a talk or something?” It was a valid question – Wednesday night marked the debut of BookMachine Oxford’s ‘With…’ event format.

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Jim Carrey’s metaphysical children’s book is a thing now

‘It’s called How Roland Rolls, and if you wanna know about it, it’s at Roland, at howrolandrolls.com, and I’m gonna self-publish, ’cause that’s just the world right now and I think it’s cool, and it’s gonna be beautifully illustrated, and it’s a story about a wave named Roland, who’s afraid that one day when he hits the beach, his life will be over, but when he gets deep, he’s struck by the notion he’s not just the wave, he’s the great big wide ocean. So it’s a metaphysical children’s book and it deals with a lot of serious things in a really fun way, and I think kids are gonna like it and parents are gonna go to bed feeling a little safer.’

So sayeth Jim Carrey – noted metaphysicist, courter of Emma Stone and sometime arse-speaker – in an interview with HitFix, ostensibly to promote his latest cinematic exploration of the hidden chasms of the soul, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, which only seems like it should have been directed by Terrence Malick, because of all the metaphysics.

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Kickstart Brian Blessed shouting for the children

Clearly familiar with the internet’s love of all things Brian Blessed, London music teacher Matt Parry has taken to Kickstarter in a bid to source funding for his mixed media project for children, Sheherazade. Parry’s aim is to introduce children to classical music through a series of stories told as both audio plays available on CD, scored by a relevant piece of music, and as accompanying graphic novels. (Readers of a certain age who are also progeny of a certain level of aspirational parent might recall the similarly-pitched 90s magazine series The Magical Music Box, whose fortnightly issues contained a radio play on CD or tape that had some thematic or narrative ties to a particular piece of classical music, as well as the complete piece of classical music excerpted in the play and an illustrated print telling of the play in the magazine, alongside some historical context for the music. So yeah, this is like that, to bring to completion an illustrative reference an exceptionally limited number of people will recognise.)

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Mind, Body, Pet and Other Genre Predictions

There are probably as many genres in the world as there are successful living writers. We all know about misery memoir, chick-lit, sick lit, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, dystopian romance, nostalgia fiction, new adult, adult, space opera etc etc and that amorphous beast we just call ‘literature’, into which falls any book we like but we can’t really pair with an obvious partner. They spring up out of seemingly nowhere and dominate our lives and the charts and have publishers rushing to buy up in bulk. But their popularity isn’t random – it is based on a delicate balance of social factors. Tapping into that idea, I’ve made a list of five genres I predict will be massive in the next few years.

(Please note: this is not an analysis of what defines genre. I’d recommend this article by author Kate Griffin if that’s what you’re looking for. She’s smart as hell and makes some really good points.)

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Seanan McGuire breaks records with Hugo nominations

The nominees for this year’s Hugo Awards were announced this past weekend, and brought with them a record-breaking number of nods for author Seanan McGuire. The annual awards recognising the best in science-fiction and fantasy this year see McGuire up for four awards under both her own name and her pen name, Mira Grant, with two nominees in one of those categories. As McGuire noted on her own blog: ‘here are my firsts for this year: First woman to appear on the ballot four times in fiction categories alone. First person to appear on the ballot five times in a single year. First person to appear on the ballot with a purely self-published work.’ She added: ‘I have eaten nothing but ice cream today. I have cried a lot.’

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BookMachine Oxford March [REVIEW]

Jonathan Davis (Chandos Publishing), who you might have seen on Twitter as @canadiancat has written this comprehensive review of BookMachine Oxford with Richard Sullivan – a great summary for those who missed it.

If BookMachine is “the most fun you can have with your clothes on”, the latest gathering had no problem in filling up the top-floor of Oxford’s House Bar on Wednesday night.

With a new, and untested, approach for BookMachine Oxford, organised by wunder-kind, Charly Ford of Osprey and sponsored by recruitment specialists, Atwood-Tate, the evening started with a short talk from Richard Sullivan, Managing Director of Osprey Publishing.

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5 Questions for Maria Cardona, host of BookMachine Barcelona [INTERVIEW]

Maria Cardona runs her own digital consultancy for publishers and will be hosting our first Spanish BookMachine event. Prior to setting up Mmcardona, she worked in both trade and educational publishing, and was also part of the core London Bookfair team. Here, Maria shares some of her thoughts and tells us why you should come along to BookMachine Barcelona.

Eventbrite - BookMachine Barcelona with Javier Celaya, CEO of Dosdoce.com

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