Weekly book agenda: Celebrations of edible books, children's literature

Friday 26 March 2010 01:00

In honor of April Fools' Day, the annual International Edible Book Day invites book-lovers from around the world to submit the edible "bookish" creations. A day later, schools, bookstores, and libraries around the world will hold events in honor of International Children's Book Day.

International Edible Book Day
April 1

International Edible Book Day has been held every year since 2000 to coincide with April Fools' Day. Its founders invite people from all over the word to submit edible creations in the shape of books or in any way "bookish." Groups from Australia, Brazil, India, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, Russia, and Hong Kong have taken part in the event, holding events at which they display their creations, take pictures, and submit them to the Edible Book Day website.

International Children's Book Day

April 2

Since 1967, International Children's Book Day has been celebrated annually on or around April 2 to coincide with the birthday of Hans Christian Andersen. Each year one country serves as sponsor, selecting a theme and commissioning a poster and poem to be used for worldwide events promoting reading and children's literature. Thailand held the title in 2008, followed by Egypt in 2009, and this year Spain takes the honor, contributing the theme: "A book is waiting for you, find it!" Schools, bookstores, and libraries around the world will hold events in conjunction with the 2010 event.

Apple iPad roll-out
Beginning April 3

Since the first rumors about Apple's iPad began, analysts have said the tablet computer - with its full-color display, iBooks app, and user-friendly size - was likely to revolutionize the e-reader market. Apple is due to release the iPad in the US on April 3, then in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK by late April. IBooks will be offered in the US as a free download on April 3, according to Apple, and will be available in additional countries within the year.

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
April 12
New York City, NY

The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, one of the most prestigious literary prizes in the US, has been awarded since 1918 (then called the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel). The prize honors distinguished fiction by an American author. To be eligible, a work must be entered with a $50 entry fee. Recent winners include The Road by Cormac McCarthy (2007), The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (2008), and Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout (2009).

Yann Martel's 'Beatrice and Virgil'

April 13

Yann Martel's first novel since the Booker Prize-winning Life of Pi, Beatrice and Virgil is a Holocaust tale told through taxidermied animals Beatrice (a donkey) and Virgil (a howler monkey). The Spanish-born Canadian author's Life of Pi has been published in more than 40 countries and 30 languages and has sold seven million copies worldwide. Beatrice and Virgil is due to be published in the UK on June 3.

World Book and Copyright Day

April 23

UNESCO's World Book and Copyright Day has been celebrated internationally each April 23 since 1995. (In the UK and Ireland, readers enjoy a head start: The event is celebrated on March 4.) The event is celebrated in Spain, where the idea originated, and around the world with all nature of book-related events. Among 2010 highlights: The Night of the Books in Madrid, with workshops and performances by more 400 artists and a midnight closing time for more than 200 area bookstores.

London International Book Fair

April 19- 21
London, UK

The 2010 London Book Fair is set to take place at London's Earls Court from April 19 to 21. The leading spring book event in Europe, the fair spotlights the UK publishing industry - the second-largest in the world for English-language books - and also attracts up to 23,000 industry professionals from more than 100 countries around the world. South Africa is the 2010 guest of honor. While the fair is not open to the public, it directly affects what new titles readers will find on shelves in the months and years to come.

PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature
April 26-May 2
New York City, NY, USA

The Sixth Annual PEN World Voices Festival will feature 150 writers from 40 countries in more than 50 events all around New York City. Organized by PEN, which campaigns around the world on behalf of persecuted writers, the festival is chaired this year by Salman Rushdie. Other participating authors include Sherman Alexie, Philippe Djian, Toni Morrison, Patti Smith, and Jean-Philippe Toussaint. Events include readings, a cabaret, and a panel on film adaptations.

'The Carrie Diaries'
April 27/29

Candace Bushnell's Sex and the City prequel, written for young adults, is a coming-of-age story set during Carrie Bradshaw's high school years. It tells the story of Carrie's small town beginnings and early friendships, and how she finds both her first love and her voice as a writer. In addition to Sex and the City, which was adapted into both a widely successful TV series and two films, Candace Bushnell is the author of Lipstick Jungle, One Fifth Avenue, 4 Blondes, and Trading Up. The Carrie Diaries is the first of two young adult books Bushnell is set to write.

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