Issue 55 of The Reader is now available to purchase

It’s the perfect time to curl up with this brand new issue of The Reader as those cold, dark evenings draw in. In issue 55 which is packed with literary goodness, our editor Phil Davis talks to actress Maxine Peake about risk taking and writing and you will find a fascinating essay from the wonderful Howard Jacobson on Jane Austen. We hope you will also enjoy the excellent selection of new and old literature in this issue including new fiction from llana Baram and a particularly fine collection of poetry from Anna Woodford, Tony Cosier, David Constantine and Paul Connolly.

Please note we are currently having some technical issues with our website, so to order your copy, or subscribe to The Reader please email

We will inform you on here when the website is fixed.

Have a lovely weekend all.

Reading Round-Up – 1st-8th August

Want to be kept up to date with the latest happenings in the literary world, but too busy buried in a book to find out? You’re just in luck as The Reader Online is here to offer you a digest of the what’s happening with all things books and reading related. With our regular Reading Round-Up, you never need be out of the loop again.

The Reader Organisation’s current Arts Admin Intern Rebecca Pollard is your guide:

this bookThe #THISBOOK campaign by Baileys Women Prize for Fiction has recently come to a close with Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird taking the top spot. By using the hashtag #THISBOOK, thousands of readers took to Twitter to state which book, written by a woman, had been the most influential to them.
You can find the Top 20 most influential books on the Women’s Prize for Fiction website.

The Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist has recently been announced, and many people within the literary community are celebrating the fact that this year’s awards have been extended to authors across the globe (as long as the novel is written in English). However, as the Booker Prize only takes into account the views of the judges rather than the public, there is still the issue that the novels (two of which have not yet been released) may not be prizeworthy in the eyes of the public.
The Guardian’s third annual Not-The-Booker-Prize, however, combats this. The prize follows similar rules to the Booker, yet the books are nominated by the public, and judged afterwards. The Not-The-Booker shortlist has just been released if you wanted to check out the public’s shortlist (they’re also running a competition to win the shortlist – but you didn’t hear that from us).

Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo, has been the subject of controversy this week. Her recent book The Scarecrow’s Wedding depicts a scarecrow blowing smoke rings to impress a girl. Although Donaldson says ‘never encourage smoking in a children’s book’, some parents believe that the concept is too adult for its intended audience.
You can read more about this on The Guardian’s website.

On a lighter note, authors such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Jackie Kay, Will Self, and Howard Jacobson have shared their summer memories in The Guardian article ‘A Postcard From My Past’. Adichie shares a photo of her and her brother during the long ‘summer vac’ in Nigeria; Jacobson’s contribution sees him rejoice that his son and grandson love the summer (which he never did).
The full article is available to read here.