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Winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize is Marlon James with A Brief History of Seven Killings

A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James - winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize

A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James – winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize

Congratulations to Marlon James, author of A Brief History of Seven Killings. James is the 2015 winner of the prestigious Man Booker Prize and the first Jamaican author to win the prize since it was first awarded 47 years ago.

His novel is fictional history and focuses on the attempted murder of Bob Marley in 1976. With more than 76 characters, this epic story has been hailed by many to be one of the best books of the year. Brilliantly inventive, A Brief History of Seven Killings is an “exhilarating” ( The New York Times) epic that’s been called “a tour de force” ( The Wall Street Journal). Find copies of A Brief History of Seven Killings here.

Explore the 49 winning books since the prize’s inaugural year in 1969.

AbeBooks Literary Link Lineup


1. Penguin Books celebrates its 80th anniversary

2. 13 Creepy Bits of Bookish Trivia from Book Riot

3. Ladybird publishers updates its famous kids books for modern adults

4. The supremacy of Lewis Carroll’s Alice books.

5. A disaster manual is proving to be very popular with people in Tokyo.

6.  Loss, Politics and the Stars: Going remote with George Orwell

7. Books with Beasts on Lithub.com

8. Fine Books & Collections reports on an illustrated version of Lolita published by The Folio Society.

9. The 68th Frankfurt Book Fair runs from October 19-23

10. Instagram feed to follow: lilitslittlelibrary

Champion of oral history Svetlana Alexievich wins Nobel Prize for Literature

Belarus journalist and author Svetlana Alexievich has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. The Swedish academy praised her for: “polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.”

Her recordings of oral histories documented the implosion of the Soviet Union from the point of view of the ordinary person. English translations of several of her books are available.

Alexievich was born in 1948 in the Ukrainian town of Ivano-Frankovsk. Her father is Belarusian and her mother Ukrainian. Her family returned to Belorussia when Svetlana was a child and she began her working life as reporter on a local newspaper in Narovl. As a journalist, she has covered the Chernobyl nuclear accident, the Soviet war in Afghanistan and many other key moments in modern Russia. In Voices From Chernobyl, Alexievich interviewed hundreds of people affected by the disaster.

She was forced to leave Belarus in 2000 by the ruling regime, who disliked her writing, and she lived in various European cities before settling in Minsk in 2011. Alexievich becomes the 14th woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature since it began in 1901.

Voices from Chernobyl by Svetlana Alexievich

Voices From Chernobyl

On April 26, 1986, the worst nuclear reactor accident in history occurred in Chernobyl and contaminated as much as three quarters of Europe.

Voices from Chernobyl is the first book to present personal accounts of the tragedy. Alexievich interviewed hundreds of people affected by the meltdown – from innocent citizens to firefighters to those called in to clean up the disaster – and their stories reveal the fear, anger, and uncertainty with which they still live. The book offers interviews in monologue form.

A short film, embedded below, based on Voices from Chernobyl, was nominated for an Academy Award in 2010.

Zinky Boys by Svetlana Alexievich

Zinky Boys: Soviet Voices from the Afghanistan War

This account of the Soviet war in Afghanistan takes its title from the name given to the bodies of soldiers sent home in zinc coffins. Her interviewees include soldiers, doctors, widows and mothers.

The conflict raged from 1979 to 1989 and forced millions to flee the country.

Her writing is also featured in Nine: An Anthology of Russia’s Foremost Woman Writers, published by GLAS New Russian Writing, the authors include Ludmila Petrushevskaya, Olga Slavnikova and Ludmila Ulitskaya.


See inside San Francisco’s Green Apple Books

Green Apple Books has been helping book lovers find their next great read for nearly 40 years. A San Francisco favorite, the new and used bookstore shelves more than 160,000 titles, from gorgeous vintage hardbacks to mystery paperbacks and everything in between. Housed in a building filled with endless nooks and crannies, Green Apple Books is a bibliophile’s paradise. Visit them at 6th and Clement, or shop their books online at AbeBooks.

Green Apple Books

We bet you can’t walk by without stopping…

Green Apple Books

Aisle after aisle.

Green Apple Books

Green Apple Books

Co-owner Kevin Hunsanger doing what he loves.

Green Apple Books

Green Apple Books

We found Alice!

Green Apple Books

Green Apple Books

“A word after a word after a word is power.”

Green Apple Books

Green Apple Books


Green Apple Books

Green Apple Books

Green Apple Books

Green Apple Books

Green Apple Books

Beautiful Book Covers

Who doesn’t love a good book? We certainly do. But a good book with an beautiful cover certainly takes the cake. Here’s a small selection of nine beautiful book covers found this week on AbeBooks.


1. Cherry-Blossoms: Japanese Haiku Series Three. Translations of Poems by Basho, Buson, Issa, Shiki and Others

2. Discovering Aberration by S.C. Barrus

3. Vain Pursuit by Grant Richards

4. The Days of Surprise by Paul Durcan

5. The Happy Hypocrite by Max Beerbohm

6. Dream of a Woman by Remy de Gourmont

7. The Passenger to Folkstone by J.S. Fletcher

8. Tiger Joy: A Book of Poems by Stephen Vincent Benét

9. Sitka: Portal to Romance by Barrett Willoughby

Vintage Hollywood Photographs from AbeBooks

AbeBooks.com is famous for helping people find used, rare and out-of-print books, but our marketplace also offers thousands of photographs, including hundreds featuring Hollywood stars from Greta Garbo to Lee Marvin. Signed publicity images, candid on-set photographs and rare snaps from the very early days of cinema are offered for sale from our booksellers, some of whom specialize in film and cinema.

Find vintage Hollywood photos at AbeBooks.

September’s bestselling signed books

September's Bestselling Signed Books on AbeBooks

Once a month we like to take a peek at our top-selling signed books. September was a busy month for literary award-finalists – our list includes two National Book Award and four Man Booker finalists.

1. Purity by Jonathan Franzen

2. Brief History of Seven Killings by James Marlon

3. A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety by Jimmy Carter

4. The Martian by Andy Weir

5. Trigger Mortis by Anthony Horowitz

6. Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg

7. The Year of Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota

8. A Little Life by Yanagihara Hanya

9. Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

10. A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

AbeBooks’ Literary Link Lineup


1. Swedish crime writer Henning Mankell dies.

2. Bibliophiles around the world reveal their top books and best places to read.

3. The top 10 most beautiful medieval manuscripts.

4. British Politician Jeremy Corbyn’s cultural favorites including his favorite book, his favorite band, poet and author.

5. The New York Times Sunday Book Review talks to Colm Toibin, the author of Nora Webster.

6. A recent outbreak of mold has been discovered on rare books at the Boston Public Library.

7. Is the movie version of The Martian better than the book?

8. Letter written by heroic naval commander Admiral Lord Nelson found hidden away in book for over 200 years.

9. A town in New Zealand, Featherston, has declared a weekend in October to be solely dedicated to celebrating books.

10. Instagram feed to follow: Subway Book Review

Amazon’s Top 10 Books: October 2015

Those Amazon book editor’s sure know their books! Once again they’ve suggested ten titles, many of which will end up on my ever-growing pile of books to be read.

You can see last month’s suggestions here: Amazon’s Top 10 Books: September 2015

Which of these titles appeal to you?

Spotlight title:


Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt

The inspiring true story of a transgender girl, her identical twin brother, and an ordinary American family’s extraordinary journey to understand, nurture, and celebrate the uniqueness in us all.


Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia’s teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that’s cruelly ripped open when Claire’s husband is killed.


City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg

The individuals who live within this extraordinary first novel are: Regan and William Hamilton-Sweeney, estranged heirs to one of the city’s largest fortunes; Keith and Mercer, the men who, for better or worse, love them; Charlie and Samantha, two suburban teenagers seduced by downtown’s punk scene; an obsessive magazine reporter and his idealistic neighbor; and the detective trying to figure out what any of them have to do with a shooting in Central Park. Their entangled relationships open up the loneliest-seeming corners of the crowded city. And when the infamous blackout of July 13, 1977, plunges this world into darkness, each of these lives will be changed forever. A novel about love and betrayal and forgiveness, about art and truth and rock ‘n’ roll, about how the people closest to us are sometimes the hardest to reach–about what it means to be human.


Find A Way by Diana Nyad

On September 2, 2013, at the age of sixty-four, Diana Nyad emerged onto the shores of Key West after completing a 110-mile, fifty-three-hour, record-breaking swim through shark-infested waters from Cuba to Florida and delivered three messages to the world: never, ever give up; you’re never too old to chase your dreams; and it looks like a solitary sport, but it takes a team.


Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price–and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…


Thirteen Ways of Looking by Colum McCann

Deeply personal, subtly subversive, at times harrowing, and indeed funny, yet also full of comfort, Thirteen Ways of Looking is a striking achievement. With unsurpassed empathy for his characters and their inner lives, Colum McCann forges from their stories a profound tribute to our search for meaning and grace. The collection is a rumination on the power of storytelling in a world where language and memory can sometimes falter, but in the end do not fail us, and a contemplation of the healing power of literature.


The Last of the President’s Men by Bob Woodward

Bob Woodward exposes one of the final pieces of the Richard Nixon puzzle in his new book The Last of the President s Men. Woodward reveals the untold story of Alexander Butterfield, the Nixon aide who disclosed the secret White House taping system that changed history and led to Nixon s resignation. In forty-six hours of interviews with Butterfield, supported by thousands of documents, many of them original and not in the presidential archives and libraries, Woodward has uncovered new dimensions of Nixon s secrets, obsessions and deceptions.


The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA and the Rise of America’s Secret Government by David Talbot

America’s greatest untold story: the United States’ rise to world dominance under the guile of Allen Welsh Dulles, the longest-serving director of the CIA. Drawing on revelatory new materials—including newly discovered U.S. government documents, U.S. and European intelligence sources, the personal correspondence and journals of Allen Dulles’s wife and mistress, and exclusive interviews with the children of prominent CIA officials—Talbot reveals the underside of one of America’s most powerful and influential figures.


Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell

On August 16, 1824, an elderly French gentlemen sailed into New York Harbor and giddy Americans were there to welcome him. Or, rather, to welcome him back. It had been thirty years since the Revolutionary War hero the Marquis de Lafayette had last set foot in the United States, and he was so beloved that 80,000 people showed up to cheer for him. The entire population of New York at the time was 120,000.


My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life by Ruth Reichl

In the fall of 2009, the food world was rocked when Gourmet magazine was abruptly shuttered by its parent company. No one was more stunned by this unexpected turn of events than its beloved editor in chief, Ruth Reichl, who suddenly faced an uncertain professional future. As she struggled to process what had seemed unthinkable, Reichl turned to the one place that had always provided sanctuary. “I did what I always do when I’m confused, lonely, or frightened,” she writes. “I disappeared into the kitchen.”


Mrs. Engels by Gavin McCrea

Lizzie is a worker in the Manchester, England, cotton mill that Frederick owns. When they move to a posh townhouse in London to be closer to Karl Marx and his family, she must learn to navigate Victorian society. We are privy to Lizzie’s intimate, wry, and astute views of Marx and Engels’s mission to spur revolution among the working classes, and to her ambivalence toward her newly luxurious circumstances. Haunted by her first love (a revolutionary Irishman), burdened by a sense of duty to right past mistakes, and torn between a desire for independence and the pragmatic need to be taken care of, Lizzie knows, as she says, that “the world doesn’t happen how you think it will.

Peter Rabbit turns 113

On this day in history in 1902, Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit was published. The beginnings of Peter Rabbit was ignited by Potter writing letters to a little boy – the ill child of her former governess.  After several rejections from publishers, Potter privately printed the book in 1901. The book was an instant hit and was printed by Frederick Warne  & Co. in 1902. With over 45 million copies in print, The Tale of Peter Rabbit is considered one of the best selling books of all time.

There are many different lovely editions on AbeBooks of this beloved children’s tale ranging from first editions,  pop-up versions,  board games, puzzles and everything in between.

A selection of The Tale of Peter Rabbit covers:


First Edition (1902)


Printed in 1928 with both color and black & white illustration


This is the second version of the “Wee Books for Wee Folks” edition, printed in 1904


Illustrated by Virginia Albert (1916)


Printed in 1907, this book includes 30 full pages of black and white illustrations – each illustration has another image embedded in it that is obscured or hidden. The end of the book includes a key to deciphering the puzzles. A rare, uncommon version of The Tale of Peter Rabbit.


A facsimile edition printed in 1989