The Spring Bank Holiday Monday is drawing to a close in the UK, traditionally a time when people first venture to the seaside in the knowledge that summer is just around the corner. National days leave in Britain are so called due to the tradition that banks are closed for business on these days, a custom harking back to the late 19th century when clerks needed branch closure time to update accounts and tally bookkeeping. Nowadays bank holidays are retained to give tired workers a decent break to relax and recover from the stress of life over long weekends and the opportunity to enjoy extra leisure time.
In the holiday spirit of today’s day off work, we are drawing attention to Jolabokaflod’s Book of the Day feature.
Every day of our campaign to celebrate the Sumarbokaflod season (from 25 April to 8 September 2019), we are publishing one recommendation suggestion from either an A-list celebrity reader or a crowdfunding contributor who has purchased a GBP £50.00 reward from our live Book Bulletin project.
Today, at a rate of one per hour, we are tweeting the first 12 books in the Book of the Day sequence, one title per time zone. From tomorrow onwards, we shall reveal each Book of the Day title on the day in which it features.
We hope you get inspired to read some of the Book of the Day titles recommended for you in the coming weeks and months, especially when you take a relaxing evening, a lazy weekend mini-break or a chilled-out vacation in order to read for pleasure.
Never one to miss an opportunity to make analogies, today – 5 May – is International Day of the Midwife. Whilst the medical world of baby sherpas have their awareness day in the sunshine – this year the emphasis is on defending women’s rights – here at Jolabokaflod Towers we can extend the metaphor to include authors giving birth to their work (all 2,200,000 per year around the world). Once you suspend disbelief to compare and contrast the process, there are similarities:
- The decision to write a book can be years in the making
- Aspiring authors can attend ante-natal classes to learn about the publishing process
- Research is a key factor in planning for a new arrival
- The act of consummation involves love, foreplay, mind games and active imagination
- The foetus moves through many evolutionary drafts
- Authors often don’t know how their work will turn out until it is completed
- Gestation of a manuscript in an author’s room often takes around nine months
- The birthing process is often painful and may need to be induced with coffee and/or alcohol, depending on the time of day and the severity of the discomfort
- There is often a room in the house that needs painting, even if this is only a displacement activity
- Delivery of a manuscript via an agent is usually a joyous occasion
- Finding a place for a moulding the future of a manuscript, taught by publishing tutors, can involve moving house
- Some authors prefer their offspring to be home-schooled
- The growth of a book is part nature, part nurture
- In the genetic make up of successful books, X marks the spot and Y gets an answer
- The First Day at School is celebrated in the company of friends and colleagues with free-flowing, warm white wine, liberal helpings of cake, copious tears of pride and a few congratulatory speeches
So, please be up-standing – and raise your glass of flat Prosecco with us – to toast the author-parents of the world and their publisher-midwives, as well as – obvs – the unsung heroines (and heroes) that help to bring our real-world babies into the universe.
According to Ananthanarayanan V (Founder and CEO: Techdivine Creative Services) in Entrepreneur India magazine ‘books are a great source of learning for entrepreneurs’. Why would this be so? The article argues that this comes as a result of ‘wisdom from industry leaders who have brought forth their decades of rich valuable experiences and learnings in the form of a book.’
The article identifies nine sub-genres of business that benefit from the slow release of information over the chapters of a book. The links provide recommendations for great books on each subject:
- Management: ‘Top 50 best-selling management books of all time‘, Top Management Degrees
- Decision-making: ‘100 best decision-making books of all time‘, BookAuthority
- Customer experiences, innovation-friendly: ‘The 20 best customer service books you need to read,’ HubSpot
- Innovation, disruption for the greater good: ‘The 15 best business innovation books ever written‘, Cultbizztech
- Time and resource management: ‘10 best time-management books recommended by great entrepreneurs‘, Lifehack
- Take action and calculated risks: ‘What are the best books about taking risks?‘ (16 recommendations), Softonic
- Ethics and values: ‘94 best business ethics books of all time‘, BookAuthority
- Know your strengths: ‘24 leadership books to read before you die‘, CEO.com
- Mindfulness: ‘The 10 best books to read for learning mindfulness‘, The Monk Life
Entrepreneurs will always seek out the wisdom in books – and will seek to impact their own wisdom by writing books of their own. This is a never-ending positive spiral of creativity, flair and the opportunity to start businesses and make money.
Another day, another international occasion to commemorate: today is World Press Freedom Day (3 May), hot on the heels of World Intellectual Property Day (26 April); both United Nation’s designated awareness days
World Press Freedom Day is an opportunity to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom; assess the state of press freedom throughout the world; defend the media from attacks on their independence; and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
In parallel World Intellectual Property Day creates the chance to learn about the role that intellectual property (IP) rights play in encouraging innovation and creativity.
The two concepts are linked: freedom to investigate and report news stories that impact society is fuelled by the opportunity for authors to benefit financially from their work, including books that build on the findings on investigative journalists.
When these human rights are denied, the likes of Amnesty International, PEN International, Reporters Without Borders, Witness, and Prisoners Abroad step in to highlight bad behaviour by leaders and regimes that exclude dissenting voices from public conversations.
When the press has the freedom to investigate and when intellectual property laws give writers an income to support their work, we all benefit and have the chance to live in a better world.
Today – 1 May – is May Day, a celebration of the seasons changing, especially in Celtic festivals like Beltane as well in modern times as International Workers’ Day, an occasion to celebrate workers’ rights, and International Day of the Icelandic Horse.
In Iceland, this seasonal tradition is slightly earlier: the First Day of Summer (sumardagurinn fyrsti) is an annual public holiday held on the first Thursday after 18 April. This year, the First Day of Summer was marked on 25 April 2019. The occasion is marked around the country with parades, outdoor entertainment (including sporting events and children’s games) and free access to museums and exhibitions. This custom derives from the nation’s former use of the Old Norse calendar, which divided the year into two seasons: winter and summer. Years were considered less important than seasons: people saw their age in terms of the number of winters they had lived.
Here at Jolabokaflod CIC, we are celebrating these First Days of Summer by promoting our current Book Bulletin catalogue, full of book recommendation ideas for taking on holiday over the next few months, and to highlight our crowdfunding campaign for you to get your book title suggestions into the Book Bulletin – along with information about you and any project or issue you would like to promote – at a starting contribution of £10.00.
We shall be active online over the summer publicising all things book-related of interest to readers and book-trade professions. We call this campaign Sumarbokaflod (Sumarbókaflóðið, the summer book flood) to both name-check the long-standing Jólabókaflóðið Christmas tradition and to remind everyone that books make for great gifts at any time of year, especially for taking on vacation during our summer breaks.
Spring is in the air – a time for flowers, courtship and reading, encapsulated by the long-established Catalonian tradition of celebrating St George’s Day on 23 April with a celebratory festival that combines love, books and roses.
The Festival of Sant Jordi in Barcelona marks the victory over the eponymous crusading St George over the dragon, symbolised by our hero giving his rescued princess roses formed from the blood of the beast he has just slain. Patron saint of the region since 1436, booksellers in Barcelona took up the writer Vicente Clavel Andres’ idea of using St George’s Day as an opportunity to celebrate the anniversary of the death of Spain’s best-known author, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (on 22/23 April in the Gregorian calendar) – known to the world as Cervantes – by merging a festival around gifting books (like Cervantes’ masterpiece, Don Quixote) with the religious commemoration and the legend of courtly love and floral displays of affection. The Festival of Sant Jordi was established in Barcelona in 1923.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Former Director-General of UNESCO (1987-99), Federico Mayor Zaragoza, wanted to bring his native city’s festival to the world. In 1995, he led UNESCO’s General Conference, held in Paris that year, to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone to access books: World Book and Copyright Day was established and quickly took root around the world.
On World Book and Copyright Day 2019, current Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, circulated her official message to mark the occasion. She referenced UNESCO’s International Year of Indigenous Languages (in 2019) and announced the start of Sharjah’s tenure as World Book Capital 2019.
The date 23 April was auspicious: it gives the world the opportunity to celebrate the lives of many writers of global significance, including:
Date of birth
- 1516 Georg Fabricius, German poet
- 1564 William Shakespeare, British playwright and poet
- 1708 Friedrich von Hagedorn, German poet
- 1818 James Anthony Froude, British chronicler and novelist
- 1852 Edwin Markham, US poet
- 1892 Minus van Looi, Belgian chronicler, novelist and short-story writer
- 1895 Ngaio Marsh, New Zealand crime-fiction novelist
- 1896 Margaret Kennedy, British novelist and playwright
- 1898 Edwin Erich Dwinger, German writer
- 1899 Vladimir Nabokov, Russian novelist
- 1902 Halldór Laxness, Icelandic novelist, playwright and poet
- 1918 Maurice Druon, French novelist and journalist
- 1923 James Kirkup, British novelist, travel writer and poet
- 1926 J P Donleavy, US novelist
- 1928 Okke Jager, Dutch theologian, writer and poet
- 1929 George Steiner, French literary critic
- 1937 Victoria Glendinning, British biographer, critic, broadcaster and novelist
- 1948 Pascal Quignard, French novelist, literary critic and screenwriter
- 1954 Michael Moore, US documentary filmmaker and author
- 1972 Pierre Labrie, Canadian poet
- 1977 John Oliver, British comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actor and television host
Date of death
- 303 St George, Greek officer in the Roman army, beheaded: patron saint of many countries and causes
- 1616 William Shakespeare, British playwright and poet
- 1616 Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Peruvian chronicler and writer
- 1616 Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Spanish novelist, playwright and poet
- 1695 Henry Vaughan, British poet
- 1740 Thomas Tickell, British poet
- 1850 William Wordsworth, British poet
- 1889 Jules-Amédée Barbey d’Aurevilly, French novelist and literary critic
- 1915 Rupert Brooke, British poet
- 1926 Joseph Pennell, US illustrator, printmaker and art critic
- 1929 Rudolf William Nilsen, Norwegian poet
- 1936 Teresa de la Parra, Venezuelan novelist
- 1945 Albrecht Haushofer, German geographer, diplomat and author
- 1952 Minus van Looi, Belgian chronicler, novelist and short-story writer
- 1975 Rolf Dieter Brinkmann, German poet, novelist, essayist, chronicler and short-story writer
- 1981 Josep Pla, Spanish [Catalonian] novelist and journalist
- 1993 Bertus Aafjes, Dutch poet
- 1996 Pamela Lyndon [P L] Travers, Australian children’s author
- 2007 David Halberstam, US chronicler and journalist
- 2011 John Sullivan, British comedy writer
Other celebrations on the day
This winter’s opportunity to tell the world about your favourite books, yourself and your projects is now open. By contributing to the Book Bulletin 2018 crowdfunding campaign at CrowdPatch, you are paying for space in the catalogue to display your book recommendations and to promote yourselves and your company, organisation and projects.
Each book recommendation can be purchased from book retailers by clicking through title-specific links in the Book Bulletin catalogue.
The Book Bulletin 2018 campaign started officially on 27 October 2018 (‘The First Day of Winter‘ in the Old Nordic calendar), covers the Christmas holiday period, and concludes on International Book Giving Day (14 February 2018, St Valentine’s Day).
We recommending buying, giving, reading and contributing to Jolabokaflod CIC, to capture a new spirit of Christmas.
Note: For those of you who are native speakers, here is this year’s Bókati∂indi (the original Book Bulletin), the catalogue of newly published Icelandic titles for Jólabókaflóðið in 2018.
Christopher Norris (Founder and Director, Jolabokaflod CIC) introduced the Icelandic ‘Christmas book flood’ cultural phenomenon at the London Book Fair in April 2018.
The video on Jolabokaflod CIC profile page outlines how the tradition will spread beyond Iceland, to the UK and beyond.
If you are planning to attend LBF, you are most welcome to come and visit our Jolabokaflod CIC stand (1G41) to find what all the fuss is about. We have a few deals on offer for the duration of the book fair:
- One free Book Bulletin recommendation – If you register with the Jolabokaflod patch at CrowdPatch (via this online form – choose ‘Jolabokaflod CIC’ from the drop-down box options), you get one book recommendation in the current online book catalogue along with our promotion of you, your projects and your company. Once you have registered, send me your book choice and what projects, etc. you would like me to publicise.
- Free seminar – Attend our seminar tomorrow: Jolabokaflod: Iceland’s Christmas gift to the world (Buzz theatre, 3A55: 13:00-14:00).
- Free liquorice: Icelanders are obsessed with liquorice, so we are offering free Liquorice Allsorts to visitors to the Jolabokaflod CIC stand (1G41)
Also, visit our ‘For the Book Trade’ web page to find out how Jolabokaflod CIC’s Book Bulletin can help you sell more books whilst promoting you and your recommendations (website | crowdfunding campaign)
Have a great London Book Fair; we look forward to seeing you.
‘So this is Christmas, And what have you done,’ as John Lennon once sang.
Hopefully, by now you’ll have enjoyed the Jolabokaflod season of discussing the books you’d like to receive for Christmas and the special delight that comes from spending money on books you hope will share your mind, love and soul with your loved ones.
Not long to go, now: one more sleep until Icelanders eat their big Christmas meal, open their presents and spend the evening reading their new books.
As John and Yoko continued, ‘Another year over, And a new one just begun.’
Well, almost. But for the Jolabokaflod Book Campaign, the New Year can’t come soon enough. We have plenty of Good News to share when the time is right to make 2018 the year when the world gets to hear about the Christmas Book Flood.
Merry Jólabókaflóð, everyone.