Between the Covers 10/06/2012

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

Sally Magnusson will be bringing her father's famous leather chair when she hosts a special edition of Mastermind at the Brewin Dolphin Borders Book Festival on Saturday. The literary version of the quiz will star the contestants Rory Bremner, John Sessions, Kathy Lette and Kirsty Wark. It takes place at Harmony House Gardens in Melrose from 14 to 17 June. For details and tickets, see bordersbookfestival.org.

***

Thanks to Kate Wilson, the managing director of Nosy Crow children's books, for a top tip about how paper books and digital literature can coexist happily together. Speaking at the Hay Literary Festival last Sunday in a debate entitled "The Future of Books", she revealed: "I find paperbacks very useful on planes, to hide my Kindle in." Between the Covers has recently been informed quite crossly by ebook lovers that it is not big or clever to be a Luddite, so we are not going to offer any opinions about this strategy.

***

As a novelist who has taken great pains to write historically accurate as well as novelistically dazzling fiction, most recently in Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, Hilary Mantel has little patience with writers who bend history to fit the demands of modern entertainment. Asked at Hay whether she ever felt tempted to take liberties with history, she replied quite indignantly: "As soon as you do that you get into all sorts of trouble. Just look at The Tudors on TV [BBC2, starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Henry VIII]. They decided that it was too complicated for the viewer if Henry had two sisters, so they got rid of one. They had to invent a King of Portugal because they'd killed off the King of Spain too soon. They got rid of the Duke of Norfolk! As soon as you start to tidy things up to fit the plot, the rot sets in."

***

Elsewhere in the battle of the ereaders, it sounds as though manufacturers of all other devices but the Kindle are growing paranoid. A blogger in North Carolina has told how he bought a version of War and Peace for Barnes & Noble's Nook device, left, to discover that every instance of the word "kindle" in Tolstoy's classic had been changed to the word "nook". Philip Howard of the Ocracoke Island Journal blog overlooked the first change – "It was as if a light had been Nookd in a carved and painted lantern ..." – only to find many further swaps. (A lot of kindling went on in 19th-century literature.) Experts in the technology press believe that the blunder was made, not by a bona fide Nook employee, but by a lazy middleperson who converted the out-of-copyright text from a Kindle version to a 99 cents Nook copy.

***

The 59th Authors Club Best First Novel Award was won on Wednesday evening by Kevin Barry's City of Bohane – a novel described by the panel of club members who choose the shortlist as a "serio-comic-futuro-retro-Western", and "a blast". At a ceremony at the National Liberal Club, Barry was presented with the award, along with a cheque for £2,500, by this year's guest adjudicator, the novelist, biographer, critic and IoS columnist D J Taylor. And Barry was pleased, finally, to clear one thing up. "By the way, it's pronounced Bohann, not Bohayne," he told the audience, "if I have to go round and beat it into you all, one by one."

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
books
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
books
Arts and Entertainment
The man with the golden run: Daniel Craig as James Bond in 'Skyfall'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
'Waving Seal' by Luke Wilkinson was Highly Commended in the Portraits category

photography
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Art
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard, nicknamed by the press as 'Dirty Diana'

Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
The X Factor 2014 judges: Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Mel B and Louis Walsh

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace was caught by a camera van driving 32mph over the speed limit

TV
Arts and Entertainment
books
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Iain reacts to his GBBO disaster

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Outlaw Pete is based on an eight-minute ballad from Springsteen’s 2009 Working on a Dream album

books
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012

film
Arts and Entertainment
Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Gothic revival: artist Dave McKean’s poster for Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination
Exhibition
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard has left the Great British Bake Off 2014

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live

TV
Arts and Entertainment
TVDessert week was full of the usual dramas as 'bingate' ensued
Arts and Entertainment
Clara and the twelfth Doctor embark on their first adventure together
TVThe regulator received six complaints on Saturday night
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
Puff Daddy: One Direction may actually be able to use the outrage to boost their credibility

music
Arts and Entertainment
Suha Arraf’s film ‘Villa Touma’ (left) is set in Ramallah and all the actresses are Palestinian

film
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.

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

    US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
    Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
    Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
    Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
    Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

    Neil Lawson Baker interview

    ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model for a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering