Is this the most obvious literary photo-bomb ever?

Take a look at this image that was doing the rounds on Tumblr a while back. It was often tagged with “friendship”. All very soppy.

Two people running in a field

Now look at the cover of Booker winner Alan Hollinghust’s novel The Stranger’s Child.

Three people running in a field

Who is the extra guy? Do they know he’s there? Is this the most obvious literary photo-bomb ever?

I think we should be told.

The Manchester launch of @anneliesemack’s #AnyOtherMouth: 18 June 2014


Book launch poster

Any Other Mouth is the debut short story collection by Manchester-based author Anneliese Mackintosh, and we’re delighted to be hosting the English launch of the book here in Blackwell’s.

Anneliese Mackintosh is a Bridport Short Story Prize shortlistee and her fiction has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio Scotland. She is an associate editor in her spare time, and this collection was years in the making.

Supporting her on the night will be master of very short fiction David Gaffney, novelist Socrates Adams and multi-talented author Michelle Green. The event will be hosted by the inimitable Fat Roland.

Click here to join the Facebook event page. Click here to read a five-star review of Any Other Mouth.

Date: Wednesday 18 June 2014
Time: 6.30pm

Venue: Blackwell’s bookshop, Manchester
Admission: free

How #BardDirection saw Shakespeare join One Direction

April 23 is the birth date of Ngaio Marsh and Vladimir Nabokov, but it is also the day on which the birth of William Shakespeare is traditionally celebrated.

And so it seemed entirely inappropriate for us to post pictures of the bard against quotes attributed to him – but actually said by members of the British / Irish pop sensation One Direction. They all appeared on Twitter under the hashtag #BardDirection.

It’s what William would have wanted.

W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7

An appreciation of Mark Z Danielewski’s House of Leaves (2 of 3)

In advance of our Mark Z Danielewski event on Tuesday, we take a little time out for a closer look at the postmodern genius of House of Leaves.

Do join us on Tuesday. The event will take place at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation at 6.30pm, and support will come from the winner of the Dundee International Book Prize, Nicola White 

Get your tickets before they sell out.


The beginning.


If you guess the connection between these names, you get a free lens cap.


Some words just spine chilling.

An appreciation of Mark Z Danielewski’s House of Leaves (1 of 3)

On Tuesday, April 15th, we will host a book talk and signing with Mark Z Danielewski. He has a brand new edition of Fifty-Year Sword out on Cargo Publishing. You can buy your tickets for that event here.

In this, and two other blog posts, we appreciate the stunning beauty of his classic House of Leaves.


“hollowed out… beneath the belly…”


Positively waltz-like.


Lists and lists and lists.

Careers workshop with @skills4study: October 5th

Careers event Oct 5 2013 noon

Careers guru Steve Rook (author of The Graduate Career Guidebook) will run a special one-off event on the first floor of Blackwell’s Manchester on October 5.

Whether you have a career in mind or no idea what you want to do after university, Steve Rook will explain how to find your dream role.

His inspiring approach breaks the career journey into manageable steps and helps you navigate each stage, from deciding what you want, to gaining work experience, conducting a job hunt, writing a great CV, impressing at interview and getting the job. It’s never too early to start planning your future!

Whether it’s one-to-one advice or a group workshop you need, this event will help. Students and graduates are equally welcome.

Date: Saturday 5th October 2013
Time:  Noon until 2pm
Venue: Blackwell’s bookshop, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9RN (first floor)
Admission: Free
Sign up at

Booker longlistees and their anagrams

Here are the 2013 Booker Prize longlistees and their anagrams. With apologies to Colum McCann and probably-favourite Jim Crace who have a pretty unanagrammable names…

Ha Swat =Tash Aw

About Wool Naively = NoViolet Bulawayo

Tolerate Canon = Eleanor Catton

Rear Hives = Eve Harris

Hurried Chaos = Richard House

Jail-Hair Hump = Jhumpa Lahiri

Monocled Alias = Alison MacLeod

A Trenched Melon Lost = Charlotte Mendelson

Uh, Zero Kit = Ruth Ozeki

Annoy Lard = Donal Ryan

Climb In Too = Colm Tóibín