30 December 2013

End of year quiz: 2013 in books

Posted by John Clegg

Email your answers to the Book Shop - the first correct set of answers drawn out of a hat on 31 January will win a copy of Meeting the Devil, the new collection of the personal essays and memoirs from the London Review of Books.

  1. Whose total output for 2013 exceeded ten publications, including a volume of poems written in the 70s and a pamphlet advocating the Temple Bar’s transfer to Dublin?
  2. Whose long-awaited collected poems opened with the line ‘Against the burly air I strode’, and wrapped up, 935 pages later, with ‘The stars asunder, gibbering, on the verge’?
  3. Whose new book measured 8 x 12 inches closed, and 8 inches x 24 feet open?
  4. The subject of which prize-winning biography emptied a chamber pot full of carrots over the roof of the Italian parliament from a biplane?
  5. What do recent books by Florian Illes, Charles Emmerson and Jean-Michel Rabate have in common?
  6. Whose was the only nine-letter palindromic title of the year?
  7. What does the title of Bill Cheng’s new novel, Southern Cross the Dog, refer to?
  8. In what competition was Sviatlana Aleksiyevich briefly the 4-1 frontrunner?
  9. ‘I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!’ Why was this rather nondescript line from a 200-year-old novel back in the news in 2013?
  10. What did new novels from Francesco Pacifico, Elena Ferrante and Tarjun J. Tejpal have in common?
  11. Who accused Alan Bennett - falsely, we understand - of being good at mending bicycles and electrical equipment?
  12. Whose face adorns the cover of the most recent (Abacus) edition of Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, A Long Walk to Freedom?
  13. Who became the most recently born author to appear in Penguin black-spine Classics?
  14. What did the follow-ups to Telex from Cuba and The Age of Wire and String have in common?
  15. Who followed up Appetite and Thirst with Eat?
  16. How many biographies of Margaret Thatcher were published this year? (Bonus question: How many were subtitled ‘Not for Turning’?)
  17. According to Rebecca Solnit, which city was unfathomable, and which was infinite?
  18. Eleanor Catton is the youngest author to win the Booker (aged 28, having written the novel aged 27); what other Booker record did The Luminaries break?
  19. 'The Bertram who slunk back up the servants' staircase to his quarters, there to bury his head beneath the pillow, was far from the gay boulevardier of song and story.' Name the author.
  20. Which publisher got into trouble for reprinting a seminal fifty-year old novel in a horrible chick-lit cover?
  21. What was Lemony Snicket’s second wrong question?
  22. What genre did Jonathan Coe, Dave Eggers, Ali Smith and Alessandro Baricco make an unexpected foray into?
  23. J.K. Rowling wrote The Cuckoo’s Calling under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith; what did she have in common with another famous Galbraith?
  24. Which poet, author of ‘On Boxing Day, in Basingstoke, at the Edinburgh Woolen Mill’, was given permission by the Agatha Christie estate to write a new Poirot novel?
  25. Which small press, whose publications include Peter Blake’s beautifully illustrated re-creation of Under Milk Wood, moved in alongside the London Review Bookshop on Bury Place?
  26. What award was won by Manil Suri for a passage from his novel The City of Devi, which climaxed with the line ‘In celebration of our breakthrough fourth star, statisticians the world over rejoice’?
  27. Whose new book enthused for the reintroduction of elephants into Europe?
  28. In November 2013, Penguin began reissuing George Simenon’s Inspector Maigret novels in handsome new covers at the rate of one a month. Assuming they keep this up, when will they be getting round to the last novel in the series (Maigret and Inspector Charles)?
  29. Who promised drone delivery as a (depressingly successful) ploy to distract media attention from abysmal working conditions in his warehouses?
  30. Who is the attractively bearded gentleman in the photo above, whose Selected Writings were published by Penguin this year?