Between The Covers: 08/05/2011
Your weekly guide to what's really going on inside the world of books
Sunday 08 May 2011
According to the IoS's top political sources, one of the first acts of one of the new ministers in the coalition Government when it came to power a year ago was to give members of his staff copies of George Orwell's essay "Politics and the English Language".
In 1946, Orwell wrote: "In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible...Political language...is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." Plus ça change...
It's a Conservative win at the Parliamentary Bookshop at Westminster, where the window display has clearly swung to the Blues. In prime position next to David Willetts's The Pinch: How the Baby Boomers Took Their Children's Future – And How They Can Give it Back (Atlantic, £18.99) are copies of How to Be in Opposition: Life in the Political Shadows (Biteback, £14.99) by Nigel Fletcher, who started his relentless upward trajectory in Tory circles working as Willetts's researcher. Let's hope that Willetts is a generous type and does not feel resentful that his former protégé is taking his mentor's future and outselling him on Amazon by about 100,000 places.
The latest novel by Jeffrey Archer (inset), Only Time Will Tell (Macmillan, £18.99), is billed as his "most ambitious work in four decades as an international bestselling author". It will be launched in the UK on Thursday, but when he took the novel to India last month, Archer was mobbed by crowds of adoring fans. Does anyone think that they might be persuaded to keep him?
Andrew Morton succeeded in his mission last week to be the author of the fastest-published book in world history, with his hot-off-the-presses William and Catherine: Their Lives, Their Wedding (Michael O'Mara, £20) hitting the bookshops just 72 hours after the couple said "I will". Meanwhile, St Martin's Press, a US imprint of the publisher Macmillan, is thanking luck for the timing of its forthcoming release, Seal Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy Seal Sniper, by Howard E Wasdin, who served on the same special-ops unit that killed Osama bin Laden last weekend. The book was due to be published on 24 May, but has been brought forward to this week. In pre-publication interviews to publicise the book, Wasdin told a US radio station: "I can tell you for a fact that not one member on that hit team cared about anything you or I was going to say, what the history books were going to say, what the liberal or right-wing press was going to say. They had one thing on their mind: that was mission accomplishment."
When they're not being at the edge of cuts, libraries are at the cutting edge of new technology, especially in Edinburgh, where they are already preparing for the rise of the digital book. Download stations are planned for all the city's libraries, making ebooks available for digital devices such as the Kindle and the iPad, in a format that can be downloaded from home and then will disappear after a set loan period. However, a library spokeswoman assured bookworms that this is not the end of the paper book in Edinburgh. "Books are absolutely critical and are at the heart of everything public libraries do," she told The Scotsman, "[but] I think we have to have a much longer-term view on the balance of hard copy and 'born digital' materials."
Listen to his collaboration with Naughty Boymusic
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 3 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 4 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 5 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
Gaza Banksy mural sold to 'conman' for just $175
Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
Top Gear live to go ahead: Jeremy Clarkson to join Richard Hammond and James May... just don't call it Top Gear
James May hints he will not continue on Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans