Between The Covers: 08/05/2011

Your weekly guide to what's really going on inside the world of books

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."

Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
Arts and Entertainment
David Baddiel concedes his show takes its inspiration from the hit US series 'Modern Family'
comedyNew comedy festival out to show that there’s more to Jewish humour than rabbi jokes
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Pixie Lott will take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2014, the BBC has confirmed

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Prince and 3RDEYEGIRL are releasing Plectrum Electrum next month

music
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Carell in the poster for new film 'Foxcatcher'
filmExclusive: First look at comic actor in first major serious role
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Kingston Road in Stockton is being filmed for the second series of Benefits Street
arts + entsFilming for Channel 4 has begun despite local complaints
Arts and Entertainment
Led Zeppelin

music
Arts and Entertainment
Radio presenter Scott Mills will be hitting the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce performs in front of a Feminist sign at the MTV VMAs 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has taken home the prize for Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Paige and Scott Lowell in Queer as Folk (Season 5)
tvA batch of shows that 'wouldn't get past a US network' could give tofu sales an unexpected lift
Arts and Entertainment
books... but seller will be hoping for more
Arts and Entertainment
John Kearns winner of the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award with last years winners: Bridget Christie and Frank Skinner
comedyJohn Kearns becomes the first Free Fringe act to win the top prize
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Sue Vice
booksAcademic says we should not disregard books because they unexpectedly change genre
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Muscato performs as Michael Crawford in Stars in Their Eyes

TV
Arts and Entertainment
‘Game of Thrones’

TV
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

    Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

    Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
    Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

    Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

    The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
    America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

    America’s new apartheid

    Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
    Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

    What is the appeal of Twitch?

    Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
    Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

    How bosses are making us work harder

    As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
    Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

    Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

    As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
    Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

    A tale of two writers

    Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
    Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

    Should pupils get a lie in?

    Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
    Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

    Prepare for Jewish jokes...

    ... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
    SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

    A dream come true for SJ Watson

    Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
    10 best cycling bags for commuters

    10 best cycling bags for commuters

    Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
    Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

    Paul Scholes column

    Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
    Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

    Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

    A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
    Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

    The science of herding is cracked

    Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
    Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

    This tyrant doesn’t rule

    It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?