Between The Sheets: What’s really going on in the world of books
Sunday 24 November 2013
The Booksellers Association has released its Independent Bookshops’ Alternative Christmas Top 10, which it publishes for “shoppers looking for intelligent Christmas gifts and something a little different this year. The books on this list are just some of the gems that bookshops are so brilliant at finding and championing”. The most recommended title, by 200 bookshops across the country, was the completely un-celeby England’s 100 Best Views by Simon Jenkins (below), with Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch and Patrick Barkham’s Badgerlands in at two and three. Not a celebrity life story in sight – unless you count Penelope Lively’s lovely Ammonites & Leaping Fish, a memoir which addresses ageing, memory, and time.
Last month Between the Covers wrote about a new paperback edition of Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom, which has on its cover a photograph of Idris Elba, who plays Mandela in the movie – presumably so that the young people know who it’s about. Now another formerly great statesman has been reduced to drawing on slightly low-rent associations in order to sell a book. George Walden (above), the George Walden, the former diplomat who became the Tory MP for Buckingham and the Minister of Higher Education in Margaret Thatcher’s government, has written his first crime novel, A State of Fear, published by Gibson Square. Walden has written under a pseudonym, Joseph Clyde, because, he has confessed: “I gave up politics in 1997 and I’ve written all sorts of non-fiction books on politics, diplomacy and the arts. Now I feel it would be nice to think a reviewer could say this book is utter rubbish without saying the author is a typical Tory bastard.” However, the press release received by Between the Covers not only unveils him as the “former Cabinet minister” but also flaunts the fact that he is Piers Morgan’s father-in-law.
Celebrate Christmas (and probably count your blessings) at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth. From now through December there are mince pies, mulled wine, readings by the Ilkley Players, and tales from the Brontës’ servant, Tabby. This weekend is Steam Punk Weekend (and we all know how much Charlotte Brontë loved her steampunk). Find out more at www.bronte.org.uk.
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 2 London council removes 'unacceptable' Stamford Hill posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan in new celebrity hacking attack weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 4 Matthew Miller: American sentenced to hard labour in North Korea 'wanted to be Snowden II'
- 5 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea's 'Booty' music video is just a load of butts
Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written
Friends 20th anniversary: The highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Friends 20th anniversary: Six things we wouldn't have without influential comedy series
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'