Between The Covers: 16/01/2011
Your weekly guide to what's really going on inside the world of books
Sunday 16 January 2011
Thanks to The Bookseller's First Edition news service for the always illuminating "accelerators" chart.
This shows which books have been around for ages but have put on a sudden sales spurt. This week, inexplicably, it was Paul McKenna's book and CD combo I Can Make You Thin (Bantam Press, £14.99), soon to be followed by his I Can Make You Happy (£10.99). It looks as if James Caan has chosen the right time to publish Get The Job You Really Want (Viking, £12.99), then. Time to get cracking on the seminal work How To Become a Best-Selling Author, ready for publication in January 2012.
If there is relief to be had in 12,500 people complaining to the BBC about the baby-stealing cot-death plot of EastEnders, it is that at least these people are inside watching TV instead of going to the theatre. Imagine if they saw Euripides' Medea, in which a woman punishes her husband's affair with a princess by murdering all his children, or Titus Andronicus, which has a man avenge his daughter's rapists by grinding their bones and feeding them to their mother in a pie. On the other hand, let's not give the EastEnders scriptwriters ideas ...
However, it's going to be a good year for literature on the BBC: last week it announced that a three-part adaptation of Dickens's Great Expectations is due next Christmas and that Emma, by Jane Austen, will also be adapted for the autumn. Add to that documentaries on Milton and Donne and a poetry series by Owen Sheers, and book worms might be safe to get back into the telly.
A postscript to the splutter-fest surrounding the recent launch by an American publisher of an edition Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain which has the word "nigger" replaced some 200 times with the word "slave" – a publication guaranteed to enrage white middle-class intellectuals who don't know whether to be more upset about the word or about censoring it. In the absence of a verdict from God personally, Between the Covers is obliged to concur with the US Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison, who admits to being "disturbed" by the word in the book, but objects to efforts to censor it. In which case, thanks to the E-Books blog, which points out a 2009 edition of Joseph Conrad's The Nigger of the Narcissus re-titled The N-Word of the Narcissus. In order "to remove this offence to modern sensibilities", every occurrence of the dread word in the text has also been changed.
Next up: Othello: The Bloke from Venice, and The Taming of the Independent Modern Woman, by William Shakespeare.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 2 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 3 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 4 George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
- 5 Medina: Saudis take a bulldozer to Islam's history
Strictly Come Dancing 2014: Gregg Wallace joins line-up as final celebrities revealed
Great British Bake Off 2014: Ofcom receives 13 complaints about Baked Alaska episode
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Friends reunion: Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox perform mini sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
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