Between The Covers: 04/09/2011
Your weekly guide to what's really going on inside the world of books
Sunday 04 September 2011
*Don't look now, but...a) it's nearly Christmas, and b) that, apparently, means bottoms.
Those are the only conclusions that can be drawn from the surge of books by celebrities that's about to hit the shelves. Half a dozen comedians' memoirs are published at the end of this month, all hoping to be the next Booky Wook, and now the Americans are at it, too. First comes a "visual dialogue" with Lady Gaga, taken by Terry Richardson. Then there's the picture book and memoir The Oprah Winfrey Show: Reflections on an American Legacy. But surely the most hotly anticipated of all the celebrity doorstoppers is a coffee table slab by P Diddy, will.i.am, and the photographer Raphael Mazzucco, dedicated entirely to women's bums. Culo (Spanish for "ass") was inspired by a trip to Brazil, and advance information suggests that it captures the raw power and exhilaration of the natural form while the mixed media elements underlay a knowing pathos that makes the work immediate and contemporary. It is published by Atria Books on 22 November (£45).
*The illustrious literary history of London's Baker Street continues, it seems. Famous as the home of true blue British legends including Sherlock Holmes, Dusty Springfield and the head office of Marks & Spencer, the street will now be associated with the Swedish novelist Stieg Larsson, after his publisher, Quercus, moved into swish new offices there on the profits from his squillion-selling books. "We're all very excited," reads their blog. Let's hope they raise a glass to Stieg.
*Bibliophiles with house envy, switch off Phil and Kirstie and look instead at www.accreditedonlinecolleges.com/blog/2011/20-celebrities-with-stunning-home-libraries. The site offers a sumptuous gallery of celebrity libraries, including those of Karl Lagerfeld, Keith Richards, Woody Allen, Ralph Lauren, Nigella Lawson, Agatha Christie, Sting, and William Randolph Hearst. One can tell a lot about a person by his or her library. Funnily enough, Nigella and Keith are the only people whose books look as though they are there for reading and not just for looking at.
*Speaking of libraries, a little reported section of the recent DCMS study, This Cultural and Sporting Life: The Taking Part 2010/11 Adult and Child Report – buried among "Attitudes to the Olympic Games", "Digital engagement" and "The Big Society" – shows that people (three-quarters of children and two-fifths of adults) do use libraries, that their use has not declined in the past two years, and there is less of a difference in use of libraries between rich and poor areas than in any other cultural sector. The Government is just going to have to think of some other excuse for closing them all down, then.
*Much excitement and intrigue at the all-new Voewood Festival, where the ever-ready Paul Blezard stepped in to interview Sir John Scarlett, the former head of MI6, after Misha Glenny had to go home. During the interview, two ladies in the front row were muttering in stage whispers: "Have you noticed, dear, how his eyes have never stopped moving around the tent?" Then Voewood hostess Claire Conville's dog escaped its tether and made a dash up the aisle. "I hope that dog is secure," barked the eagle-eyed Scarlett. The dog could not be reached for comment.
Art Somebody is going around telling people he's Banksy - but it isn't the street artist
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 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
- 3 Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
- 4 Mafia's wall of silence broken: Victim of Cosa Nostra's extortion rackets in its Corleone heartland co-operates with authorities for the first time ever
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent answer to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
Game of Thrones season 5: Grey Worm actor Jacob Anderson is all for more male nudity – as long as it’s not him
The Jump 2015 line-up: Joey Essex, Phil Tufnell, Heather Mills and co take to the slopes
Costa Book Awards 2015: H is for Hawk named book of the year
New Ghostbusters movie lands all-female cast with Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones
'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
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures