Between The Sheets: What’s really going on in the world of books

 

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.

News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Extras
indybest
PROMOTED VIDEO
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law