Monday, December 31, 2012

A Box of Birds: thank you

As 2012 draws to a close, it's a good time to say thank you again to the people who made A Box of Birds possible. That's a lot of people.

Readers of this blog will know that crowd-funding a book is a long haul, and that it depends on the generosity of many friends and strangers. I hope to have got some of you interested in Yvonne's story and the questions it raises. We've covered a lot of ground, from the fundamental question of why human beings tell stories, through my own particular story of getting addicted to writing fiction, to the practical issue of how to balance fiction-writing with doing science.

Those who pledged for the special edition hardback should have received their copy by now. I hope you enjoy reading it, and that we can keep the conversation going.

Just before Christmas I went to London to sign some copies for those who had pledged at that level. Here's a picture of me and my editor, Rachael, working hard to get them signed and dedicated before the courier arrived to take them back to the warehouse for dispatch.

Don't forget that there are plenty more great books needing support at Unbound, and that your support could help to make any of these books happen. For a recent catch-up on how crowd-funding is taking root, see this piece in the Spectator.

Happy New Year to all of you!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Pieces of Light: 2012 in review

It's been good to see Pieces of Light appearing on a few of the end-of-year round-up lists:

In the Sunday Times, Christopher Potter chose it as one of his science Books of the Year:
In Pieces of Light, Charles Fernyhough has had the arresting idea of writing a book about memory that is also a memoir. As a psychologist clearly well up on the latest research, he shows how memory itself relies on language and storytelling. Investigating his own memories with a writerly eye, he brings to vibrant life scenes from a childhood refreshingly free of misery.
In the Sunday Express, historian Bettany Hughes said it was the book she would most like to find under her tree: 'a very clever book', she called it.

The New Scientist, who reviewed the book back in July, picked it as one of their top ten popular science books of the year, calling it 'a moving tour through the unique deceptions of memory'. They are running a promotion where you can win all ten books on the list.

Finally, the excellent podcast series Little Atoms have picked it as one of their top ten books of 2012. I talked to Neil from Little Atoms about the book back in August.

You can read some of the reviews from earlier in the year in the panel on the right.

There's still time to grab a copy for a last-minute Christmas present. In the US, you'll have to wait until 19 March, when the book is published by HarperCollins. Here's how the US cover looks. The book is also available for pre-order.