Between the Covers 27/01/2013
Your weekly guide to what's really going on inside the world of books
Sunday 27 January 2013
The shortlists have just been released for this year's Romantic Novelists' Association Awards, and Madeline Miller's Orange Prize-winning The Song of Achilles seems to stand a good chance in the Epic Romantic Novel category.
Between the Covers can confirm that this is not the first time that a gay romance has been shortlisted for a Rona award: the 1995 overall Romantic Novel of the Year Award went to Sue Gee's The Hours of the Night, in which the love affair between Edward and Rowland is a peripheral, though not the primary, relationship. However, Miller's book, which makes explicit the sexual relationship between Achilles and Patroclus that is hinted at in classical literature, may be the first shortlisted novel in which the romantic couple's relationship is threatened by one partner's mother, a homophobic sea goddess. (If any IoS readers know of another, Between the Covers can't wait to read it.)
Sometimes the title of a book makes it a guaranteed winner, especially when it comes to members of reading groups. A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka just begged to be read, as did Chris Stewart's Driving Over Lemons and Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows's The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Between the Covers is able to predict, then, that a new guide to choosing wine will be a sure fire winner among book clubs. It's called The Knackered Mother's Wine Club, and it will be published by Macmillan on 14 February.
Thanks to Tom Tivnan, the features editor at The Bookseller for figuring out the following statistics: In 2012, 9,236 people bought Lance Armstrong's autobiography, It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life. That's 2,000 more people than bought Sir Chris Hoy's autobiography in the same period. The lesson: cheaters win.
On the other hand, two Canadians who purchased the book are now suing Armstrong under California laws against unfair competition and false advertising. They accuse Armstrong of marketing the book as a "true and honest" work of non-fiction, and claim that they would not have bought it had they known that it was a really a work of his active imagination. They are seeking unspecified damages. One imagines that they will not be at the top of the list.
For the next four months, the British Library will be hosting an exhibition celebrating the history of crime fiction. Enticingly, it is called "Murder in the Library".
Between the Covers is fascinated by the questionnaires sent out to readers of Mslexia – the magazine for women who write. Not just reading the results, but filling them in. The latest aims to discover if women's writing is affected by cyclical hormonal changes, or by anti-depressants. Or even by phases of the moon ….
By opportunistic local hoping to exhibit the work
Fans will be hoping the role finally wins him an Oscar
What do gigantic horse heads tell us about Falkirk?
Finnish Postal Service praises the 'self irony and humour' of the drawings
The actor has confessed to his own insecurities
Allotments are the focus of a new reality show
Arts & Ents blogs
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
- 1 Poveglia: 'World's most haunted island' up for auction...is anyone brave enough to buy it?
- 2 Big Bang Theory to get special Star Wars episode with help from Lucasfilm
- 3 Pharrell Williams 'Happy': British Muslims dance to song in video
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Scientists warn we've hit 'peak beard': The more people grow facial hair, the less attractive it is