Between the covers: 10/02/2013

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

* Bad news for bookworms! New adverts for the relationship website eHarmony seem to advise against dating us. Between the Covers spotted an ad on the London Underground, featuring pictures of a handsome man and a series of "dead-end dates" that he ought to avoid. Among them are "clinger", "highly strung", "too-tuff" and, err, "bookworm". Between the Covers has filled in an inquiry form on the eHarmony website and was promised a response, "if you are a qualified member of the press", but so far an explanation has not been forthcoming. In the meantime, Between the Covers would like to stress that bookworms really make for excellent dates, and even better relationships.

...

Congratulations to Damian Barr, who read from his forthcoming memoir on Wednesday at the Shoreditch House Literary Salon, the gin-fuelled bookish event which he has hosted for four years. Barr swapped stools to be interviewed by Rowan Pelling about Maggie & Me (Bloomsbury, £14.99, 9 May), which describes growing up gay in Thatcher's Britain. Coincidentally, the book had its first public reading the day after a Conservative-led government mostly voted against, but failed to prevent, the Second Reading of a Bill to allow gay people to marry. At Barr's feet sat Clare Balding and Alice Arnold, who had just announced that morning that they will get married, and Polly Samson and David Gilmour, who already have. "The Damian in this book didn't think this would ever happen," he said. There were tears.

...

Between the Covers is indebted to a number of women bloggers for their humorous responses to The Bell Jar-gate – in which Faber reissued Sylvia Plath's novel with a new, pink cover that some said made it look like derivative chick lit. Suzi Feay suggests repackaging classics by male novelists: "Just put hunky guys on covers of everything with a male protagonist," she tweeted. "Pref with heads cropped out. Or just pics of men's shoes … I can see it now: Ulysses with pic of buff male torso, plus shamrock..." Sam Carelse has gone a step further, by photoshopping just such a cover on her blog, and adding: "The Road, by Cormac McCarthy – a Ferrari … The Portrait of a Lady, by Henry James – some breasts … Moby Dick, by Herman Melville …" Mediabistro.com has a selection of cover ideas, from Dostoyevsky's The Idiot (a clown) to another The Road idea, featuring a pink, cartoon woman pushing a pram. But perhaps the most promising idea comes from Kimono Press, which has suggested republishing The Great Gatsby with a cover image of David Beckham in his pants.

...

They couldn't be expected to know that, the very next day, someone would do almost that … F Scott Fitzgerald's beautiful novel is the latest to suffer the indignity of being rewritten with an "erotic" slant. "Nick Carraway, a young virgin from Minnesota … steps into [Gatsby's] raunchy, wild mansion …" reads the blurb. The Great Gatsby Unbound, by Fitzgerald and Karena Rose, author of Jane Eyrotica, will be published in April. (Its cover is mercifully restrained.)

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff

TV
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne modelling

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West is on his 'Yeezus' tour at the moment

Music
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.

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week