The Icelandic Book Flood
From Havana To Reykjavík, It’s Raining Books... Muy Caliente!
What the hell is going on with publishing? Lots of empty opinion, hype, doom saying and general noise. Cutting through to the signal is difficult – but heck, that’s what LAD does best!
So tonight, we bring you an author, a leading industry expert and a publishing rain-maker (oh yes) to cut through the cacophony and tell us exactly what’s going on. Hint: it’s not all bad news.
While a quarter of all Americans didn’t read a single book last year (you know who you are) over in Iceland, a million books get checked out of the Reykjavík city library every year… and that’s in a city of only 200,000 residents! What’s more, those frozen Icelandic nutters have a tradition where people buy each other books for Christmas and sit down to read them on Christmas eve often while drinking hot chocolate or alcohol-free christmas ale! It’s called Jolabokaflod. Our rain-making guest Christopher Norris is bigging it up although frankly, it’s unAmerican.
Speaking of unAmerican, and books (seamless segues: it’s what we do) another of tonight’s guests— the whip-sharp, and ethically-focused former barrister Leila Segal— has just published Breathe, her steamy short story collection set in Fidel Castro’s Cuba. Read it and you’ll know she’s been there– heck, she reads a slice to us on air!
But even if Leila takes your breath away (and she will) with hundreds of new titles being published every week, how can she sell the book without selling her authenticity? And even if her metric is more profound than sales, how can her work affect more people?
We’re delighted that one of the publishing industry’s most senior experts can join us for this show. Neill Denny, editor of the publishing trade’s daily news magazine BookBrunch, has had a ring-side seat to the publishing world’s lumbering move to digital for more than a decade. Neill graciously allows us to pick his industrial-sized brain on trends, famous authors, the role of your local bookshop and more. He even offers us some hope: turns out the rise of coloring books for adults is actually propping up some first-rate literary fiction– who knew?
So look out readers, authors, agents and publishers, tonight, we’re bringing sexy back. Only in paperback!
- Release the Jolabokaflod! Follow Christopher @chris24n!
- Buy Leila’s book! Follow @leilasegal!
- Subscribe to Bookbrunch! Follow @BookBrunch!
Main Photo by Alexander Schimmeck