Weekly book agenda: UK's 'most enjoyable' reads, comics festival in France

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The Independent Culture

The FIL fair in Guadalajara is underway, with an international program unfolding over the course of nine days. Coming up: The Costa Book Awards in London honor the "most enjoyable books of the year," and comic-lovers from around the world gather in southwest France for the International Comics Festival in Angoulême.

Guadalajara International Book Fair
November 28-December 6
Guadalajara, Mexico

The Guadalajara International Book Fair, known as the "FIL" (Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara) is the second largest book fair in the world, after that of Frankfurt. It is the principal book fair for Spanish-language publishing worldwide. An estimated 500,000 readers attend the event each year, as well as 1,600 publishers from 40 countries. This year, the fair celebrates the cultural and literary heritage Los Angeles, its 2009 Guest of Honor.


Stones into Schools by Greg Mortenson and Mike Bryan
December 1

The follow-up to 2003's Three Cups of Tea, Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan follows Greg Mortenson's continued humanitarian efforts as founder of the Central Asia Institute. Three Cups of Tea was translated into nearly 20 languages and earned literary awards in Italy, Canada, and the USA. Stones into Schools will be published by Viking Press.


MediaBistro eBook Summit
December 15-16
New York City, USA

Mediabistro.com, the international resource for media professionals, will hold its first eBook Summit on December 15-16 in New York City. The event will gather leaders in the media field to discuss innovations in digital publishing, including e-books, e-readers, e-commerce, and publishing on-demand. Speakers include executives from Google Books, DailyLit, the Sony Digital Reading Business Division, and Lexcycle, the company behind the Stanza iPhone eBook reader.


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.


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.


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 highlights 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.