Submitted by Leah on Fri, 2014-02-14 15:44
There is a small ray of light in the just-released Public Lending Right figures of the 100 most borrowed books from UK libraries in 2012-2013. Needless to say, the prolific James Patterson is the most borrowed author again and, inevitably, Fifty Shades of Grey was the third most borrowed book (behind Lee Child's The Affair and A Wanted Man). However, Hilary Mantel struck a blow for literary fiction – she shot up to 177th place from 404th in the most borrowed author list but Bring Up the Bodies was the real winner, coming in at number eight in the most borrowed title list courtesy of a whopping 57,394 loans. It is the first time a Man Booker winner has appeared in the top 10. No mean feat in the stand-off with thrillers, children's books and spanking.
Mantel has also notched up another first. She is the first living novelist to have her portrait on display in the British Library. Her picture, painted by Nick Lord, goes on display from February 24th. Mantel wanted the portrait “to have a bit of force behind it. I didn't want to look as if I was just sitting, contemplating the daffodils” and she has got her wish – there's not a daffodil in sight. The experience has also helped in writing the third volume of her Cromwell trilogy. In it Cromwell has his own portrait painted and Mantel will now write the scene with first-hand experience. Cromwell was famously painted by Hans Holbein which means Lord is filling some huge shoes.
D.B.C Pierre's 2003 Man Booker winner Vernon God Little was a book that induced strong opinions from its readers, having, as it does, the theme of a school shooting at its core. It seems only appropriate then that the latest news about Werner Herzog's forthcoming film version should also be divisive. Some fans will whoop with delight that Russell Brand, Mike Tyson and Pamela Anderson are apparently in talks to take part while others might wonder what the casting director has on his cornflakes in the morning. Still, it's a cast list even D.B.C. Pierre himself might have struggled to invent.
Eleanor Catton's MB winning The Luminaries has spawned an unexpected one-man industry back in New Zealand. A gentleman named David Verrall has started giving tours of the West coast town of Hokitka, the gold-rush port on which the events of Catton's novel are centred. Apparently “His one-hour tours take visitors on a history adventure with Catton's novel interwoven, his timbre adding theatrical drama as he quotes from The Luminaries in apt spots.”
Words of advice for aspiring writers from Stuart Kelly, one of last year's MB judges. He whittles down the necessary attributes to a shortlist of five points: read (“Find inspiration in reading”), discipline (writing is work), trust your editor (“There's no such thing as a good unedited book”), planning, and aim to change the world – “RDTPA” for short, through Scrabble fiends should be able to find an easier-to-remember anagram.