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Between the Covers 4/08/2013

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

The Independent on Sunday has three pairs of tickets to give away to the performance of Patrick Ness's exclusive short story, "Now That You've Died", at the Roundhouse theatre in Camden, north London, this Thursday evening. The story is being narrated by the actor Christopher Eccleston and the production is co-directed by Hector Harkness (Punchdrunk) and Kate Hargreaves (Gideon Reeling). Tickets are not available to the public, so this is a rare chance to hear an exclusive work, written especially for Read for RNIB Day at the Sense Stories event, by the brilliant and extremely popular author. The event is about the accessibility of books for blind and partially sighted people. The story is a "journey of the senses", which is about as much as we can say here without giving too much away. There's an exclusive extract from Ness's next book, More Than This (Walker Books, 5 Sept) with his interview here. Enjoy the interview and then send the answer to the following question to sensestories@rnib.org.uk by 23:59 tomorrow (Monday 5 August) to be in with a chance of winning: how many volumes comprise the braille edition of Patrick Ness's Monsters of Men? The RNIB will randomly draw three correct entries and alert the winners on Tuesday morning.


Staff at the publisher Canongate are still coming down from the news that their author, Ruth Ozeki, has been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize for her fourth novel, A Tale for the Time Being, in which a character called Ruth finds a Hello Kitty lunchbox on a beach containing the diaries of a young Japanese girl. They're also still coming down after their office summer beach party. Says a very excited publisher: "We celebrated by launching a copy of the book into the sea as per the book's plot – it was even packed in a Hello Kitty lunchbox with a letter from the company!" The source goes on to say: "While I can't guarantee no wine had been consumed, the plan had been formed before then! A few brave souls even swam into the sea with it, to make sure it got away safely. Talk about dedication …."


Between the Covers WLTM some of the new "pin-ups" over at The Omnivore. The magazine is more famous for its Hatchet Job of the Year Award, which rewards (with a year's supply of shrimp) "the writer of the angriest, funniest, most trenchant book review of the past 12 months", but now it has turned to the friendlier side of life and seems to be promoting some familiar literary London figures as hot dates. There's Fran, "a beguiling mixture of brains and beauty [who] works in publishing"; Henry, a "dreamy 23-year-old writer and journalist"; and Daisy, "a 26-year-old writer and journalist from Wimbledon". Fall in love at www.theomnivore.com.


The President who could do no wrong has done wrong, according to American liberals. Barack Obama gave a speech about jobs on Tuesday, from the Amazon warehouse in Chattanooga. Although he has appeared publicly several times at independent bookshops, this is it for some former fans. "Does President Obama Hate Indie Bookstores?" is Publishers' Weekly's headline (to which, to quote my colleague John Rentoul, the answer is "no").