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Between the covers


In a happy twist on the “my bank is now a trendy wine bar” vogue, pubs are offering library services as a way of diversifying to stay open. Working with Prince Charles’s not-for-profit organisation Pub is the Hub, The Star Inn at Vogue, near Redruth and The Ship Inn at Lerryn near Lostwithiel, in Cornwall, are working with the county council to lend books from the pubs’ shelves and from other local libraries via an online link. Other pubs are accommodating cinemas, hairdressers and lunch clubs to the same ends, but a book and a pint seems far more convivial.


The Daunt Books Spring Festival 27-28 March is (unless you know otherwise) the only literary festival to take place entirely in  a bookshop, and  tickets are now on sale at dauntbooks.co.uk. Organisers are encouraging Londoners to take a long, literary lunch, and some pre- and post-festival menus have been created, themed to the evenings’ talks. We like the sound of a “Dead Beet Salad” (beetroot, watercress, walnuts), the “Mad as a March Hare” (hare ragu in chianti) and the “Freudian Slip Sole” (with capers, lemon, parsley, butter and new potatoes).


As last Tuesday’s Hatchet Job of the Year Award proved, you’re no one until you’ve been slagged off in print by A A Gill (left) He won for his not very out-of-the-ordinary demolition of Morrissey’s Autobiography. While we’re waiting, here at Between the Covers we are celebrating a more wholesome demonstration of literary success: being followed on Twitter by @Keats_Shelley House and @BronteParsonage. The latter tells us: “It’s a very wuthering day on t’ moors today, but it’s still our favourite place.” We’d like to favourite that comment, but we’re not sure how the Brontes would appreciate “to favourite” as a verb, and we don’t want to stop them following/haunting us.


The young adults’ author Robert Muchamore (above) has gone against the consensus by criticising authors such as Michael Rosen, Francesca Simon and Patrick Ness on Facebook for complaining about library closures. Many children’s writers have piled in to disagree, but not Patrick Ness, who says: “I made a lovely red velvet cake today with vanilla frosting. Want a piece?” How kind.