Toby Wilkinson hits the NYT Bestseller List

We’re thrilled that Toby Wilkinson’s THE RISE AND FALL OF ANCIENT EGYPT (Random House) has hit the New York Times bestseller list! 


“Absolutely divine . . . a thorough, erudite and enthusiastic gallop through an astonishing three thousand years.”—The Sunday Times

“…Mr. Wilkinson…writes with considerable verve, and his narrative provides an acute understanding of how the Egyptian brand of divine kingship evolved over the centuries, how its pharaohs used their mastery of the architectural and decorative arts to glorify themselves (and cement their historical reputations) and how intertwined the monarchy’s power became with religion and the military. Mr. Wilkinson is nimble at conveying the sumptuous pageantry and cultural sophistication of pharaohnic Egypt…In addition [he] provides an intriguing account of how archaeologists and historians have pieced together portraits of ancient Egypt’s kings…”
—The New York Times

HACK ATTACK Publishes in the US

On sale today in the US, Nick Davies’ Hack Attack (Faber & Faber) has already received great praise and plenty of attention on both sides of the Atlantic:



Interview on CNN’s Amanpour 

Long-listed for the 2014 Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award 

Named one of the 5 best books about journalism by Esquire (UK) 

Previous advance praise for Hack Attack:

“First in The Guardian and now in this book, the reporting of Nick Davies has revealed the insidious abuse of power—and the public trust—by the Murdoch press from the top down. The British hacking scandal is the ultimate expression of Murdoch culture run amok: corruption in the Fourth Estate as dangerous to democracy as the worst excesses of heads of state.” —Carl Bernstein


“This is the book we’ve been waiting for, the thrilling and important inside story of how a single reporter came through with the truth of the hacking scandal. He exposed shameful intrusions, the years of deceit, lies, and bullying. And he did more. He revealed a rottenness at the heart of British life in the relations of press, police, and Parliament, institutions that, taken as a whole, failed the big test. Hack Attack is an indictment of the worst of journalism, but is itself an exhilarating demonstration of how the best of journalism—hard-won, honest reporting—is the lifeblood of any democracy.” —Sir Harold Evans


Dwight Garner Names His Candidate for Novel of the Summer

We are over the moon about Dwight Garner’s rave review in the New York Times for David Shafer’s WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT (Mulholland Books). As Shafer said yesterday, “I’m just going to sit here and sip this coffee, like nothing’s happening…”  

Garner on Shafer:

Is it too late to nominate a candidate for novel of the summer?

David Shafer’s first book, “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot,” is a paranoid, sarcastic and clattering pop thriller that reads as if it were torn from the damp pages of Glenn Greenwald’s fever journal.

An amazing first day out for WTF. Don’t forget, Portlanders, that he will be at Powell’s Books tonight at 7:30, reading and signing books.

We can’t help it but quote Garner’s review again:

This is another way of saying that Mr. Shafer gets the playfulness-to-paranoia ratio about exactly right. He also delivers plausibly cool technology — remote seabed units called serve-whales, cloud computing that communicates with, and through, plants.

“Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” is a page-turner, yet many more “literary” writers will, I suspect, envy Mr. Shafer’s tactile prose. His eye is hawklike.



It’s here! The day has finally come. The long-awaited debut from David Shafer, WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT is out today from Mulholland Books. Buy it here!

The Committee, an international cabal of industrialists and media barons, is on the verge of privatizing all information. Dear Diary, an idealistic online Underground, stands in the way of that takeover, using radical politics, classic spycraft, and technology that makes Big Data look like dial-up. Into this secret battle stumbles an unlikely trio: Leila Majnoun, a disillusioned non-profit worker; Leo Crane, an unhinged trustafarian; and Mark Deveraux, a phony self-betterment guru who works for the Committee.

In the spirit of William Gibson and Chuck Palahniuk, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is both a suspenseful global thriller and an emotionally truthful novel about the struggle to change the world in- and outside your head.

WTF was listed in TIME Magazine’s ‘Book of the Summer’ predictions and is The ‘Book of the Week’ at Salon.

“My jaw has dropped about 50 times reading this book. Astoundingly good.” —Lev Grossman, bestselling author of The Magicians Trilogy, and Time magazine book critic –  (@leverus)

Rave review in The Seattle Times.

Event this week at Powell’s Books- don’t miss it if you’re in Portland!

 Some lucky followers of Eric Ries are getting free copies:Ries on Twitter

Selected Praise:

“Journalist Shafer hits all the right buttons in his debut, as he mixes crime fiction, espionage, and SF in a darkly comic novel about paranoia and big business… the plot thrives on a realistic approach while seamlessly switching between locales… evokes a chilling, Orwellian society.” -Publisher’s Weekly, starred review

“Shafer’s arch prose, comedic timing and deft feel for shadowy motives in high places are reminiscent of the late Richard Condon (The Manchurian Candidate), only with sweeter, deeper characterizations … An edgy, darkly comedic debut novel whose characters and premise are as up-to-the-minute as an online news feed but as classic as the counterculture rebellions once evoked by Edward Abbey and Ken Kesey.” –Kirkus Reviews

“Shafer etches diamond-sharp and precisely observed contemporary satire of everything from Heathrow Airport to the fatuity of high-tech and celebrity culture.” –Salon, Book of the Week pick

“Hilarious, moving, and wildly ambitious, David Shafer’s Whiskey Tango Foxtrot reads like a plot against America dreamed up by the NSA and then ghostwritten by Don DeLillo-a love story-cum-international thriller about our surveillance society that’s so convincingly paranoid you’ll tape over your webcam. Forget debut: it marks the arrival of a major new writer.”—Adam Ross, New York Times bestselling author of Mr. Peanut

“Roaming from Burma to Oregon to a mysterious ship in the open ocean, David Shafer’s debut novel is a stylish, absorbing, sharply modern hybrid of techno thriller and psychodrama that bristles with wit and intellect and offers a dark, incisive vision of the global consequences of turning our lives into collectable data. This book will stay with you long after you’ve finished it.Maggie Shipstead, author of Astonish Me

“Outlandishly clever. Evoking the technological-paranoia of Philip K. Dick and the verbal pyrotechnics of David Foster Wallace, Shafer’s digital take-over is absurdly comical and all too familiar. The characters are complicated, fascinating, and fully engaging while the threats feel frighteningly real.”—Joe Meno, author of The Great Perhaps

“David Shafer’s amazing debut novel should be a controlled substance, its addictive quotient of the highest order. I devoured it imagining this is what a brainstorming event between Thomas Pynchon and Edward Snowden would deliver.”—Bob Shacochis, author of The Woman Who Lost Her Soul

“Hilarious and chilling, fast-paced and thoughtful, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is literary entertainment of the highest order. While the novel reads like a comic thriller, it speaks powerfully to our over-connected, over-watched, privacy-depleted moment. I admire the hell out of it.”—Ken Kalfus, National Book Award nominated author of Equilateral

“A Graham Greene novel written by Edward Snowden. The Anonymous novel I have been waiting for — a stiletto thriller of the too-real panopticon digitizing our every breath nowadays.”—Tom Paine, author of Scar Vegas



Announcing the Bracken Bower Prize for Young Writers

Bracken Bower Prize

We want to share news of an exciting prize for young business writers. The FT and McKinsey are partnering to present the Bracken Bower Prize for writers under the age of 35. Those interested should submit their proposal for a new business book by September 30th. More information on the prize is below:

The Financial Times and McKinsey & Company, organizers of the Business Book of the Year Award, want to encourage young authors to tackle emerging business themes. They hope to unearth new talent and encourage writers to research ideas that could fill future business books of the year. A prize of £15,000 will be given for the best book proposal.

The Bracken Bower Prize is named after Brendan Bracken who was chairman of the FT from 1945 to 1958 and Marvin Bower, managing director of McKinsey from 1950 to 1967, who were instrumental in laying the foundations for the present day success of the two institutions. This prize honors their legacy but also opens a new chapter by encouraging young writers and researchers to identify and analyse the business trends of the future.

The inaugural prize will be awarded to the best proposal for a book about the challenges and opportunities of growth. The main theme of the proposed work should be forward-looking. In the spirit of the Business Book of the Year, the proposed book should aim to provide a compelling and enjoyable insight into future trends in business, economics, finance or management. The judges will favour authors who write with knowledge, creativity, originality and style and whose proposed books promise to break new ground, or examine pressing business challenges in original ways.

Only writers who are under 35 on November 11 2014 (the day the prize will be awarded) are eligible. They can be a published author, but the proposal itself must be original and must not have been previously submitted to a publisher.

The judging panel for 2014 comprises: 
Vindi Banga, partner, Clayton Dubilier & Rice
Lynda Gratton, professor, London Business School
Jorma Ollila, chairman, Royal Dutch Shell and Outokumpu
Dame Gail Rebuck, chair, Penguin Random House, UK

The proposal should be no longer than 5,000 words – an essay or an article that conveys the argument, scope and style of the proposed book – and must include a description of how the finished work would be structured, for example, a list of chapter headings and a short bullet-point description of each chapter. In addition entrants should submit a biography, emphasizing why they are qualified to write a book on this topic. The best proposals will be published on

The organizers cannot guarantee publication of any book by the winners or runners-up. The finalists will be invited to the November 11 dinner where the Bracken Bower Prize will be awarded alongside the Business Book of the Year Award, in front of an audience of publishers, agents, authors and business figures. Once the finalists’ entries appear on, authors will be free to solicit or accept offers from publishers. The closing date for entries is 5pm (BST) on September 30th 2014.

Full rules for The Bracken Bower prize are available here.


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