Between The Covers: 02/10/2011
Your weekly guide to what's really going on in the world of books
Sunday 02 October 2011
*Authors will go to incredible lengths to be considered for the big prizes, but we've never heard of anyone bribing the judges with cod before.
However, we learn that Peter James, the author of Dead Man's Grip (the latest in his Brighton-set detective series), has offered a fish supper to anyone who votes for him in the People's Bestseller category at the Crime Thriller Awards on Friday. James has 4,800 followers on Twitter and has informed them all that if he wins he will treat them to fish and chips on Brighton pier on Wednesday 12 October. (Go to itv.com/crimethrillerawards/ to cast your vote.)
*Early editions of Private Eye were designed so that you could grow cress on them. This ingenious gimmick was fondly remembered at Tuesday's Oldie literary lunch by the biographer Fiona MacCarthy. She was there to discuss her latest book, about the painter, Edward Burne-Jones; but she couldn't resist starting with a couple of reminiscences about her host Richard Ingrams, the founder of Private Eye and The Oldie, whom she has known for more than 50 years. "We were at Oxford together," she laughed. "I knew him when Private Eye was still a student rag. Back then it was called Mesopotamia, or Mess Pot for short. I remember one issue having a special cover, on which you could grow your own cress." Ingrams confirms: "It's quite true, we had the cover made of some kind of Hessian. And it actually worked."
*Those of you who missed Martin Rowson's cartoon last week, do not panic: not only is he back every Sunday, but there are options for all those other Rowson-free days of the week. Rowson's The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman is already published by SelfMadeHero, and a collection of his columns from this paper, The Limerickiad Volume 1: From Gilgamesh to Shakespeare, will be published by Smokestack Books in November. We can also reveal that his updated graphic adaptation of Gulliver's Travels will be out next March from Atlantic Books.
*News that a few million "virtual monkeys" have finished writing Shakespeare's "A Lover's Complaint" has exercised number theorists, philosophers and Shakespearians alike. This is a test of the old hypothesis that, given infinite time, an infinite number of monkeys would eventually type the complete works of Shakespeare by ran- domly hitting letters on an infinite number of keyboards. In an even more far-fetched visual concept, the "virtual monkeys" are computer programmes sitting on an Amazon cloud. The pretend monkeys have apparently 99.99 per cent completed the complete works project in remarkably short order, but real monkeys are lagging embarrassingly behind. According to a BBC report: "In 2003, Paignton Zoo carried out a practical test by putting a keyboard connected to a PC into the cage of six crested macaques. After a month the monkeys had produced five pages of the letter 'S' and had broken the keyboard."
*Here's a challenge to the record-breaking seller Jamie Oliver, whose latest book Jamie's Great Britain was released last week. Now, his imprint, Michael Joseph, has announced a new series of food books for spring 2012, including Saved by Cake by the novelist Marian Keyes. The book will give an account of her battle with depression and how baking helped her.
Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 2 UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
- 5 This crazy skiing video will leave you feeling queasy
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
Mr Selfridge series 3: Actress Kara Tointon says 'we're starting to see his demise'
Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors
Downton Abbey season 5 episode 6 - review: Thomas and Lady Edith show sad signs of the times
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party