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 ….
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Autistic adults could take pure MDMA to 'reduce social anxiety'
- 2 Before you complain about your GP, this is what you need to know about actually doing the job
- 3 Father of 12 accused of raping, beating, starving and abusing his own children in US 'cult'
- 4 Britain's Got Talent 2015: Jamie Raven divides Twitter as fans expose mind-boggling magic trick
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote