Between The Sheets: What’s really going on in the world of books
Sunday 24 November 2013
The Booksellers Association has released its Independent Bookshops’ Alternative Christmas Top 10, which it publishes for “shoppers looking for intelligent Christmas gifts and something a little different this year. The books on this list are just some of the gems that bookshops are so brilliant at finding and championing”. The most recommended title, by 200 bookshops across the country, was the completely un-celeby England’s 100 Best Views by Simon Jenkins (below), with Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch and Patrick Barkham’s Badgerlands in at two and three. Not a celebrity life story in sight – unless you count Penelope Lively’s lovely Ammonites & Leaping Fish, a memoir which addresses ageing, memory, and time.
Last month Between the Covers wrote about a new paperback edition of Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom, which has on its cover a photograph of Idris Elba, who plays Mandela in the movie – presumably so that the young people know who it’s about. Now another formerly great statesman has been reduced to drawing on slightly low-rent associations in order to sell a book. George Walden (above), the George Walden, the former diplomat who became the Tory MP for Buckingham and the Minister of Higher Education in Margaret Thatcher’s government, has written his first crime novel, A State of Fear, published by Gibson Square. Walden has written under a pseudonym, Joseph Clyde, because, he has confessed: “I gave up politics in 1997 and I’ve written all sorts of non-fiction books on politics, diplomacy and the arts. Now I feel it would be nice to think a reviewer could say this book is utter rubbish without saying the author is a typical Tory bastard.” However, the press release received by Between the Covers not only unveils him as the “former Cabinet minister” but also flaunts the fact that he is Piers Morgan’s father-in-law.
Celebrate Christmas (and probably count your blessings) at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth. From now through December there are mince pies, mulled wine, readings by the Ilkley Players, and tales from the Brontës’ servant, Tabby. This weekend is Steam Punk Weekend (and we all know how much Charlotte Brontë loved her steampunk). Find out more at www.bronte.org.uk.
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
- 1 Michael Brown shooting: Police shoot and kill second young black man near Ferguson
- 2 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns aged 27
- 4 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence