Great to be back to England – I love taking a break, but I also love returning to the excitement of publishing. Today we received four more classics books, and they all look wonderful. My Inbox was full of interesting submissions – two poetry ones, two short-story collections and four novels. I can't wait to get my teeth into them.
It's also great to catch up with the books that are already out there or about to come out. There've been great reviews of Tibor's new book, which made it into the Small Publishers' chart last week. John Boyne (The Boy with a Striped Pyjamas) has written a wonderful endorsement for Rosie Alison's The Very Thought of You, which says, "Without question one of the best debuts I've read in recent years" (full quote here). The Ice Chorus, Don Juan de la Mancha and Dear Everybody are doing fine and picking up nice reviews, excitement is growing for The Search, The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy, The Invisible City and The Shadow of a Smile, and Tsutsui Paprika is ticking along nicely, with the author expressing in a recent interview his belief that "the human race will be extinct before the printed word ceases to exist". I'll raise my glass to that.
So all in all there is reason to remain optimistic, despite the general doom-and-gloom atmosphere.
Fellow independent Canongate are also doing very well these days, and well done to them. But after reading Microsoft's big announcement today, I cannot help wondering that if Jamie Byng had registered byng.com and bing.com a few years ago rather than go into publishing, he'd be throwing much flashier parties by now.