Weekly book agenda: 'Committed,' Blio, Bolaño's 'Monsieur Pain'

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The Independent Culture

The highly awaited sequel to Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love is due out January 5. On the 7th, the Blio e-book platform is unveiled. And January 12 sees the English-language release of Roberto Bolaño's Monsieur Pain, the first of four titles by the Chilean author due out in English in 2010.

'The Happiness Project' by Gretchen Rubin
January 1

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, US

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.

Roberto Bolaño's 'Monsieur Pain'
January 12/February 1

The first of four Bolaño titles to be published in English by New Directions in 2010, Roberto Bolaño's Monsieur Pain will be available January 12 in the US and February 1 internationally. Bolaño, a Chilean author who died at age 50 in 2003, has become a literary sensation in the English-speaking world since the posthumous publication of his 2666, a 900-page novel set in a fictional Mexican-US border town. Monsieur Pain was originally published in Spanish in 1999. Set in 1938 Paris, the story centers on Peruvian poet Cesar Vallejo, afflicted with an undiagnosed illness and unable to stop hiccupping, and the mesmerist Pierre Pain, a timid bachelor.

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

The International Comics Festival in Angoulême is the largest event of its kind in 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."