Look out EL James, there’s a new erotic novel on the block. Reflected in You by Sylvia Day topped the first-week sales of Fifty Shades of Grey and looks set to intensify the ‘erotic boom’ reported The Telegraph this week. Like Fifty Shades, Reflected in You is a story about a wealthy businessman, but, says the Daily Mail, it’s even ruder.
So why has erotica suddenly made a comeback? One might be inclined to believe that today, those partial to a bit of romance can hide behind their e-readers, confident in the knowledge that the person sitting opposite them on the train isn’t sniggering into their morning paper. Apparently, according to the Mail, even Mills & Boon is taking advantage of the revival by launching a new e-book series. Yet Sylvia Day readers are more than happy with the printed novel. In fact, The Guardian says, Reflected in You sold more than 80,000 copies in the first six days – Penguin’s biggest ever paperback sale.
Some true children’s classics are also seeing a revival. Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books are to be newly adapted for TV. The Telegraph says that the series will feature a ‘modern twist’ in the form of time travel – not really a modern concept but certainly more appealing than any realistic alternative. Meanwhile, a CGI version of Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit is set to screen on CBeebies at Christmas.
Writers of more recent children’s literature were honoured this week with a Roald Dahl Funny Prize. Dark Lord: Teenage Years by Jamie Thomson won the funniest book for seven to fourteen year olds, beating David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny. My Big Shouting Day by Rebecca Patterson won the six and under category. Most parents of small children will undoubtedly relate to this tale of a little girl whose day is fraught with frustration.
Rarely far from the spotlight, Amazon is back in the news this week. The Guardian reported that some furious authors are claiming the online retailer has removed their reviews from its site. It says that Amazon has published new guidelines – thought to be a response to the recent sock puppet scandal – that prevent writers from critiquing their own work or that of competitors.
Finally, say goodbye to one of the few remaining big tomes. Ours may be the last generation to experience its reassuring presence on the bookshelf as the Macmillan English Dictionary will soon appear online only. In The Guardian, the dictionary’s publisher explained that the online medium is far more practical for content that needs constant review. The story says, in time, we can also expect the Oxford English Dictionary to follow.