Between The Covers: 24/04/2011

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

Authors often say that by the time they finish a novel they know their characters better than their closest friends: their moods, their favourite foods, the music they listen to...Evidently one of these is David Nicholls, author of the word-of-mouth bestseller One Day, which is currently being made into a film.

Nicholls has confessed to his online social networking addiction in this paper before. ("It's coming up to the third hour of the working day when I find myself slowly scrolling through someone else's party photos and I realise that I have a problem," he wrote.) Now, he has published on Facebook a link to a Spotify playlist which is the soundtrack to One Day's heroine. "The Emma Morley Mix Tape" is an eclectic collection, with songs by The Cure, Joni Mitchell, Nina Simone and even Fairport Convention.

Fans can see the full list here:

Meanwhile, David – get back to work on the next one!


News that Karl Lagerfeld is to design a perfume that smells of books sends me to the website of the US company, Demeter Fragrance, which got there first with its scent, Paperback. Like Lagerfeld, folk there are obviously bibliophiles, as their note on the perfume reads: "A dusty old copy of a Barbara Pym novel did it for us. This Demeter scent is sweet and just a touch musty, a lot like Pym's world, come to think of it. Read her if you haven't. Her writing is wonderful, if slightly musty, English satire from the 60s and 70s." The company's bestsellers include scents named Wet Garden; Gin & Tonic; Laundromat; Snow; Grass; Rain; Salt Air; and Dirt. More esoteric scents are: Redhead in Bed; This Is Not a Pipe; Dregs; Earthworm; Fiery Curry; and Giant Sequoia. Nowhere, among the hundreds of perfumes (from $10– £6 – for a purse spray) is anything called "ebook reader".


Thanks to Mslexia, the magazine "for women who write", which has relaunched in a swish new format but still offers unusual tips on how to write. In the latest issue, the poet Jackie Kay unveils the winners of the short story competition and reveals that Kazuo Ishiguro "says that he actually interviews all of his characters before he chooses a narrator 'to see who should get the job'". Elsewhere in the magazine: why Wendy Cope keeps her failed poems ("one day you might be able to sell your archive", ahem), and the novel that went badly wrong for Louise Welsh.