Weekly book agenda: Comic Market in Tokyo, Costa Awards in London

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The semi-annual Comic Market comes to Tokyo in the last days of December. Coming in early 2010: Winners of the Costa Book Awards are announced in London, and comic books are back in the spotlight during the International Comics Festival in Angoulême, France.

Comiket 77
December 29-31
Tokyo, Japan

Comiket, also called the Comic Market, is held twice a year in Tokyo to promote sales of doujinshi, or self-published Japanese works. Since the market began in 1975, attendance has grown to more than half a million people, making it the world's largest handmade comic book fair. The main attractions at the fair are doujinshi focused on manga, anime, and video games. Held at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center, Comiket is open to the public each of the three days from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. First-time attendees are advised to arrive in the afternoon to avoid the famously long morning lines.

'Cook This, Not That!' by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding
December 29

In late December, Rodale Press will publish the follow-up to Eat This, Not That! Supermarket Survival Guide: The No-Diet Weight Loss Solution, Amazon.com's sixth bestselling title of 2009. Cook This, Not That!: Kitchen Survival Guide includes recipes for healthy versions of chain-restaurant dishes, strategies for cutting calories and saving money at the supermarket, and cooking tips such as 37 Ways to Cook a Chicken Breast and A Dozen 10-Minute Pasta Sauces.

'The Happiness Project' by Gretchen Rubin
January 1 (December 29 in the US)

In the vein of memoirs such as The Year of Living Biblically and Eat, Pray, Love, Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project: Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun follows the author's year-long project test-driving techniques for how to be happier. Rubin looks at happiness from the perspective of science, religion, and popular lore, testing the advice of guides ranging from Plutarch to Ben Franklin to the Dalai Lama. Rubin's previous books include Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill and Power Money Fame Sex.

'Committed' by Elizabeth Gilbert
January 5

Elizabeth Gilbert is the author of the widely popular 2006 memoir Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia, which is due to be released as a film featuring Julia Roberts in 2011. Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage is a memoir that picks up where Eat, Pray, Love left off, following the heroine into the next chapter of her life.

Costa Book Awards
January 5
London, UK

The Costa Book Awards, previously called the Whitbread awards, are given annually to authors based in the UK and Ireland. Launched in 1971, the awards recognize the "most enjoyable books of the year," and are a more populist version of the Booker Prize. Winners are chosen in five categories, and each receives £5,000 (€5,500); an overall winner for Costa Book of the Year (to be announced January 26) is given a further £25,000 (€27,700). The 2010 shortlists, announced November 24, are posted on the Costa Book Awards website.

Blio unveiled
January 7
Las Vegas, USA

The Blio e-book platform will be unveiled January 7 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The platform is being released through a partnership with Baker & Taylor (B&T), the world's largest distributor of books, which has committed 180,000 titles to Blio (50,000 will be available when the product is launched). Blio software will reportedly work on any device with an operating system, including computers and iPhones. The platform will handle text-to-speech, e-publishing, and multimedia functions including videos, graphics, and web links. The Blio was developed by voice-recognition inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil in partnership with the National Federation for the Blind.

International Comics Festival in Angoulême
January 28-31
Angoulême, France

The International Comics Festival in Angoulême is the largest event of its kind of Europe. The 37th edition, which begins January 28, will feature a Manga Building, an exhibition of Russian comics, and an International Encounters Forum. An annual highlight is the 24-hour Comic Strip Contest, in which contestants create 24-page comic books in the 24 hours before the festival begins. General entrance fees are €14 per day, or €30 for all four days.

New Delhi World Book Fair
January 30 - February 7
New Delhi, India

India's publishing industry, the third largest for English books after the US and UK, has been featured in recent years as guest of honor at the 2006 Frankfurt Book Fair, 2006, Market Focus of the 2009 London Book Fair, and guest country at the 2009 Moscow International Book Fair. The National Book Trust of India has organized the New Delhi World Book Fair since 1972 to integrate the Indian publishing world with the global market. The theme of the 2010 fair, in honor of the Commonwealth Games, is "Reading Our Common Wealth: An International Rights Exhibition of the Books on Sports in India."