Thursday, 20 October 2016

Compass Points 189

I love science fiction for its ability to ask really big questions, and tackle really important subjects; and Iraq + 100: Stories from a Century After the Invasion does exactly that. This collection poses a question to ten Iraqi writers: what might your country look like in the year 2103 – a hundred years after the disastrous American and British-led invasion, and 87 years down the line from its current, nightmarish battle for survival? How might the effects reach across a century of repercussions, and shape the lives of ordinary Iraqi citizens, or influence its economy, culture, or politics? Might Iraq have finally escaped the cycle of invasion and violence and, if so, what would a new, free Iraq look like? Covering a range of approaches – from science fiction, to allegory, to magic realism – these stories use the blank canvas of the future to explore the nation’s hopes and fears in equal measure.
We meet time-travelling angels, technophobic dictators, talking statues, macabre museum-worlds, even hovering tiger-droids, and all the time buoyed by a dark, inventive humour that, in itself, offers hope. As the city of Mosul begins its fight back, writers from all over Iraq are also fighting back with their visions of the future, and of a different Iraq. There has been publicity about this on the BBC World Service and also on BBC Arabic, and a post this week by its editor Hassan Blasim about Iraq + 100  on Twitter became a social media sensation, receiving over 2,000 likes in just a matter of hours.  Iraq + 100 (pb, £9.99, 978 1905583669) edited by Hassan Blasim and featuring stories by Anoud, Hassan Abdulrazzak, Ibrahim Al-Marashi, Zhraa Alhaboby, Ali Bader, Hassan Blasim, Mortada Gzar, Jalal Hasan, Diaa Jubaili and Khalid Kaki is published on 17 November, by Comma Press.

Meanwhile back in the world  today rather than the future one, it’s another week, another US Presidential debate. I love this - a fascinating look back at photos of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton through the years from Getty Images.

There was a terrific 4-star review in the Mail on Sunday this week for Glen Maxwell’s Drinks with Dead Poets (hb, £12.99, 978 1783197415) published by Oberon: “Think Alice in Wonderland with a bit of Narnia thrown in…thrilling…readers will emerge enlightened and enthralled.” This follows an excellent piece in the Guardian praising it as a “a wholly brilliant evocation of a mysterious university campus, its students and visiting lecturers” – you can read that review here.
Drinks with Dead Poets is a gorgeous gem of a book, which I think will strike a chord with many readers and poetry lovers – it is truly written from the heart from the author who Simon Armitage called “compelling, original, charismatic and poetic.”

Talking of drinking, you can tell we are now well and truly in the run up to Christmas by the number of lavish alcohol adverts flooding the airwaves and billboards; so it’s also the ideal time for Birlinn to be publishing Whisky by Aeneas MacDonald (hb, £9.99, 978 1780274218) This is a terrific re-issue of what is – in the opinion of most whisky writers and experts – the finest whisky book ever written. It is certainly the first written from the point of view of the consumer and is thus historically significant. But more than that, poetic and polemic in style and with its emphasis on the importance of single malt whisky it remains fresh and relevant to the interests of today’s whisky drinker. It is a remarkably prophetic book, and with Ian Buxton’s shrewd commentary and analysis, combined for the first time with 20 full-colour period illustrations, it is brought bang up to date for today’s generations of whisky aficionados.  Previous editions have sold in excess of 10,000 copies in UK and the US and are highly collectable and this new edition features extensive notes from Ian Buxton, pre-eminent among contemporary whisky writers. His own book; 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die has now sold 200,000 copies worldwide. This beautifully designed new hardback edition of Whisky is published at the end of the month by Birlinn.

Who doesn’t love this - an iconic 15 seconds from the classic Ealing comedy Whisky Galore!

Well, while we’re on the subject of the auld country, what is Scotland’s favourite book? I’m sure in the future many of our titles from our wonderful Scottish indie publishers will be on the shortlist – but right now it’s Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon as voted for in a poll for the BBC's Love To Read campaign. You can see the full top ten titles here.

It was Super Thursday yesterday, when many publishers bring out their “biggies”:  a staggering total of 219 new books are published on this one day alone, many of which are expected to be this Christmas’s bestsellers. Have a look here at an article in The Guardian on what bookshops think will sell well for them in the next couple of months…

There has been loads of publicity for the new ITV Sunday evening series, Tutankhamun starring Max Irons and Sam Neill. You can watch a trailer for it  here. The only edition available of the discovery of the tomb written by Howard Carter himself is The Tomb of Tutankhamun (hb,£14.99,  978 1 906251 10 9) published by Max Press. For more than 3,000 years, the tomb of the boy king lay undisturbed by grave robbers. When Howard Carter uncovered it in 1922, his find made a landmark in archaeological history. To its discoverers the tomb yielded a treasure of unimaginable significance and the story of this great discovery, first published in instalments between 1923 and 1933, is here told by Howard Carter himself, who led the excavation. Carter’s diary captures all the drama of the moment and in this book the events and consequences of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb are rivetingly traced in the discoverer's own words. There has always been huge interest in this fascinating subject; which of course has been re-ignited with the new ITV series. The Tomb of Tutankhamun by Howard Carter is available now.

The Velvet Cloak of Moonlight by Christina Courtenay (pb, £7.99, 978 1781893203) is book four in the Shadows from the Past series and has just been published by Choc Lit. This author gets absolutely rave reviews for her titles on Amazon – don’t let them scoop up all the sales – she has many many fans and as one reviewer says: “If you like romance and history then this book is perfect. The present and the past blend seamlessly to engage and delight the reader. Believable characters, a steady pace and a real page turner. I will seek out more of her books. Lost myself in the pages and had a wonderful reading experience.” This title is a fantastic time-slip adventure, combining drama, romance and mystery with plenty of skulduggery and intrigue. It follows The Silent Touch of Shadows, the Secret Kiss of Darkness and The Soft Whisper of Dreams.

I don’t think you expert booksellers will have any problems with this - a chance to see if you can guess the famous book from its cover image alone. From those Friday funsters over at BuzzFeed!

The Life Assistance Agency (pb, £8.99, 978 1911129035) Thomas’s Hocknell’s debut novel just published by Urbane, will be in the WH Smith Fresh Talent promotion in January 2017. This entertaining story features Ben Ferguson-Cripps who sets aside his literary ambitions to join the mysterious Life Assistance Agency. Their first case is to trace a missing person with links to the Elizabethan angel-caller Dr John Dee. Pursued by a shadowy organisation the trail leads through Europe into the historic streets of Prague, where long-buried secrets are revealed, and Ben discovers there is far more to life than simply living…

Speaking of Urbane, here is author Anne Coates at the launch party for Dancers in the Wind (pb, £8.99, 978 1911129639), a gritty and gripping crime thriller which was published last week – we love it when publication day involves cupcakes with edible books on! You can read a great post about Dancers in the Wind and an interview with its author Anne Coates on the Damp Pebbles book blog here.

The Adventures of Tintin is often considered to be one of the greatest series of all time with an estimated 230 million copies of the titles sold worldwide – over 100,000 a year are sold in the UK alone.  So if you stock this iconic series, then make sure you have Tintin in the Congo which is newly available in the UK from Casterman. In this, the second of the Tintin books, the young reporter travels to Africa, unearthing a criminal diamond smuggling operation run by the American gangster Al Capone (who he will meet again in Tintin in America). Tintin in the Congo has not previously been widely translated into English or available in the UK, and its publication has often led to heated discussions concerning accusations of racism and censorship. However, many have argued that banning the book would set a dangerous precedent for the availability of works by other historical authors, and Tintin in the Congo should be read in its historical context – it was first published in 1931. This new hardback edition will be shrink-wrapped and have a bellyband saying “Collector’s Edition” and fans will certainly want it to complete their collection of all 24 Tintin adventures. Tintin in the Congo (hb, £10.99, 978 2203096509) was published this week. Reviewers have praised it for “showing off the early spontaneity of Herge’s drawing style” and said it “provokes thought rather than outrage.”
Here is an interesting 5 minute film  from the European Journal from 2012 when a Congolese man tried (unsuccessfully) to get Tintin in the Congo banned in Belgium.

Where do you stand on the news that Bob Dylan has won the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature? He is the first songwriter to win the literature prize; other contenders this time included Salman Rushdie, Syrian poet Adonis and Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o. Author Karl Ove Knausgaard told the Guardian: “I’m very divided. I love that the novel committee opens up for other kinds of literature – lyrics and so on. I think that’s brilliant. But knowing that Dylan is the same generation as Pynchon, Philip Roth, Cormac McCarthy, makes it very difficult for me to accept it. I think one of those three should have had it, really. But if they get it next year, it will be fine.” However, so far Dylan has responded with silence since he won the prize last Thursday, and has yet to get in touch with the Swedish Academy, made any mention of the accolade or indicate whether he will attend the celebrations! On 10th December, all the Nobel prize winners are invited to Stockholm to receive their awards from King Carl XVI Gustaf and to give a speech during a banquet. Sara Danius the academy’s permanent secretary said “I have called and sent emails to his closest collaborator and received very friendly replies. For now, that is certainly enough. If he doesn’t want to come, he won’t come. It will be a big party in any case and the honour belongs to him.” See if you agree with these  - the Top Ten Bob Dylan songs of all time!
Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. Here are some of our favourite tweets from this week...
Comma Press ‏@commapress Did you see @commapress in @thebookseller yesterday talking about #northern #indie #publishing, the #NFA and @Book_Fair!
Freight Books ‏@FreightBooks Your publisher needs you! Walking the Lights needs votes to win @GuardianBooks #NotTheBooker prize.
Matthew at Urbane ‏@urbanepub Book sales of Tea & Chemo have provided over £1,600 for cancer charities #charitytuesday #breastcancer
Gallic & Aardvark ‏@BelgraviaB Did you know that Promeces longipes, encountered on #tablemountain were the models for the mystery beetle that infests Nineveh? #bugs
BrookesPoetryCentre@BrookesPoetry Our #WeeklyPoem is 'Belle Étoile' by John Kinsella & Alan Jenkins from their book 'Marine' pub by @EnitharmonPress: "Don’t stretch out a hand to the drowned man I’ll roll like a pebble to the sea"
Booksaremybag ‏@booksaremybag We love this write-up about Stromness Books and Prints, one of the UK’s most remote and northerly bookshops  #Orkney
And Other Stories ‏@andothertweets Retweeted Chloe Turner: “The stitched together tapestry of over three hundred teasing glimpses of love...” Lovely review of Emmanuelle Pagano's Trysting!
Polygon Books ‏@PolygonBooks Jan-Philipp Sendker tours the UK next week with latest mystery novel, DRAGON GAMES. Come along to meet him and hear all about his writing.
Leah Moyse ‏@LeahJMoyse There are books that sit within their genre. #AnHonestDeceit smashes the boundaries of brilliance with its own genre. @urbanepub @Gmankow
Freight Books ‏@FreightBooks What does Friday afternoon at Freight mean? #BookAndABeer of course! *opens can*
That’s all for now folks! More next week!
This bog is taken from a newsletter which is sent weekly to over 700 booksellers as well as publishers and publicists. If you would like to order any of the titles mentioned, then please talk to your Compass Sales Manager, or call the office on 020 8326 5696.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Compass Points 188

Off to Daunts in Notting Hill this week for the launch of the new edition of the Good Hotel Guide 2017 (pb, £20.00, 978 0993248412) featuring the best hotels, inns and B&Bs in Great Britain and Ireland. There has been a distinct resurgence in sales for this guide in recent years – consumers seem to be realising that the physical book has many advantages over the website – not least the fact that you get £150 worth of vouchers in the printed guide, giving you a whopping 25% off compared to the 10% off that is available online! As the Mail on Sunday said, this is “the one guide that offers a sense of what a place is really like” and the newly designed 2017 Guide has a cleaner brighter format, full-colour throughout, with 11 pages of user-friendly maps showing you locations for around 900 selected hotels in Great Britain and Ireland. It includes lists of special hotels, ranging from child-and-dog-friendly to romantic and great value and is the clear market leader in its field; as the Guardian said: “Squeaky clean advice. No. 1 of the guides that take no freebies.”

You booksellers are ever innovative with your well-chosen but seemingly random displays for titles; designed no doubt, to make the browsing punter pick up and try something they wouldn’t otherwise have thought to try! We love this brilliant example of this at Toppings St Andrews – where I spot Prime Minister Corbyn: and Other Things that Never Happened (hb, £14.99, 978 1785900457) from Biteback nestled up against books by George Orwell, Oscar Wilde and Shakespeare!

As the US election gets ever closer, In Trump We Trust: How He Outsmarted the Politicians, the Elites and the Media by Ann Coulter (pb, £9.99, 978 1785901416) and Hillary Rising: The Politics, Persona and Policies of a New American Dynasty by James D. Boys (pb, £14.99, 9781849549646) both published by Biteback continue to sell well.

I love this moment when a CNN reporter is genuinely dumfounded by the fervour of a particular ardent Trump supporter, and if you haven’t seen this already then you must watch – Clinton and Trump having the time of their life!

This week was Ada Lovelace Day and Twitter went bonkers celebrating the achievements of Ada, and other women in science who were ahead of their time. Hopefully you used the opportunity to sell lots of Ada’s Algorithm: How Lord Byron’s Daughter Launched the Digital Age through the Poetry of Numbers by James Essinger (£8.99, pb, 978 1783340712) which has just been published in paperback by Gibson Square. This title tells the story of Ada’s turbulent private life and her exceptional achievement. It traces how her scientific peers failed to recognise the extraordinary breakthrough she had made in the middle of the 19th century and suggests that if they had, the computer age could have started almost two centuries ago. The film rights for Ada’s Algorithm have already been optioned by Monumental Pictures who made Suffragette.

We gave you an introduction to Anness Books last week, and this week we’re getting very excited about one of their October titles, Microwave Mug Meals (hb, £9.99, 978 0754832850) by Theo Michaels which is published by their hardback imprint, Lorenz Books. As it says on the cover, this book brings you fifty delectably tasty home-made dishes in an instant: all are speedy and simple and taste incredible. Whether you are after a quick brunch, a speedy spag bol, a healthy bean stew or fresh-tasting fish, there's every kind of meal here from Mexican chicken to a Brazilian feijoada to an authentic Asian stir-fry. Not forgetting the instant sweet fixes, such gooey chocolate orange cake!
Theo Michaels first came to light during MasterChef 2014 when he reached the heats of the semi-finals and since then he’s appeared on BBC Breakfast News, Sky TV, The Food Networks and The Big Eat and is a regular on BBC Radio’s Weekend Kitchen. He has his own YouTube Channel which is featured on Woman’s Own, Best Magazine,  Netmums, MumsGuideTo and many others. He also has his own website and blog at has recently been at the St Albans Food Festival, where he was promoting Microwave Mug Meals: here’s an extract from his blog: “Yes, that’s right, there wasn’t a frying pan in sight! The dishes turned out great with plenty of surprise from the audience. I cooked Eggs Florentine with my reverse engineered Hollandaise sauce (which is spectacular, honestly, it is brilliant!), this was followed by my five-minute moussaka complete with béchamel sauce and finally the piece-de-resistance: my stuffed chicken breast with cream cheese and olives on a bed of cumin and chickpea ragu. All done in a mug in 6 minutes!”
Yum, that all does indeed sound scrumptious! There are a few of these “meal in a mug” cookbooks around – but this is definitely superior to most of them – it’s a great price, great quality, and by a great chef who will be giving it loads of publicity!

I love it when authors put up videos on YouTube – and here's  a fascinating conversation about David Herd's poem Feedback from his recent Carcanet collection Through (£9.99, pb 978 1784102562. The poems in this stunning collection resume David Herd's inquiry into the language of public space taken up in All Just (2012) and address the ways in which contemporary public language has been rendered officially hostile. Through sets out to register broken affections and to re-explore possibilities of solidarity and trust.

A terrific piece in the Guardian by Mohammed Moulessehoul, whose books are published under the female pseudonym of Yasmina Khadra entitled “Algeria could have been a paradise for all” where the novelist explains why he turned to boxing to tell the story of his country’s struggle against France’s bloody post-war repression. You can read the whole interview here . The Angels Die has just been published by published by Gallic. The New York Journal of Books said The Angels Die is a must read for readers of international fiction, whether historical or contemporary” while the TLS enthused: “here is a skilled storyteller working at the height of his powers.”

The turmoil in the middle east at present has prompted many booksellers to highlight the incredible range of literature that is now coming out of that region. This is a great display in Blackwell’s Oxford, entitled Around the Middle East: The Perspective from some of the Region’s Best Novelists. As well as including The Angels Die (Gallic) it also features short story collections The Book of Gaza (£9.99, pb, 978-1905583645) and The Book of Dhaka (£9.99, pb,  978 1905583805) which is published this month by Comma;  and Refugee Tales (pb, £9.99, 978 1910974230) published by Periscope, described by one reviewer as “a collection of beautifully written tales about real asylum seekers and refugees experiencing the iniquities of the UK's detention system which is essential reading for anyone interested in human beings.” A really good theme for a book display methinks…

There was a double page spread on The Philanthropist's Tale: The Life of Laurie Marsh (hb, £16.99, 978 1910692547) in this Saturday’s Express Life & Style magazine. Laurie Marsh is one of the world's most successful entrepreneurs but I bet you’ve never heard of him! Here for the first time is the incredible tale of this extraordinary philanthropist; from the streets of Lambeth to glamour of LA, it's a compelling true story of rags to riches, and sharing those riches with others.  From persuading Disney to license their characters for the first time outside the USA, to convincing film stars to perform in low budget movies, Laurie has carved success from his confident, entrepreneurial and collaborative approach to life. Now in his eighties, Laurie still works every day, using his wealth and influence to help as many good causes and charitable organisations as he can. It's an inspirational and fascinating story of entrepreneurial success, and commitment deserving causes. The Philanthropist's Tale: The Life of Laurie Marsh is published by Urbane.
Talking of entrepreneurial success; is Karthik – one of this year’s contestants on the new series of The Apprentice, one of the biggest plonkers of all time? You decide: watch here!

The royal family continue to enthral some of us, and annoy others in equal measure, as the pretty much blanket coverage of Wills, Kate, gorgeous George and cutie-pie Charlotte in Canada has demonstrated. So two new titles from Biteback should do well this Autumn I think. Mrs Keppel: Mistress to the King (£20.00, hb, 978 1785900488) is by bestselling author Tom Quinn who draws on a range of sources, including salacious first-hand eyewitness accounts, to paint an extraordinary picture of Alice Keppel, and her infamous affair with King Edward VII. This is great read, giving us loads of detail about the outrageous goings-on of the Edwardian aristocracy, and the lives of royal mistresses right down to Alice’s great-granddaughter, the current Duchess of Cornwall. Both intriguing and astonishing, this is an unadulterated glimpse into a hidden world of scandal, decadence and debauchery.
The King Who Had to Go: Edward VIII, Mrs Simpson and the Hidden Politics of the Abdication Crisis (£25.00, hb, 978 1785900259 is a fascinating behind-the-scenes account of the royal abdication crisis of 1936, in which Adrian Phillips reveals the previously untold story of the hidden political machinations and insidious battles in Westminster and Whitehall that settled the fate of the King and Mrs Simpson. The monarch’s phone lines were tapped by his own government, dubious police reports poisoned Mrs Simpson’s reputation, and threats to sabotage her divorce were deployed to edge Edward VIII towards abdication. Here's  that famous abdication speech from 1936 – very evocative of a different era. And here's a short ten-minute film reminding us of the part Camilla played in the long list of royal mistresses!

If you’ve received your copies of The Un-Discovered Islands: An Archipelago of Myths and Mysteries, Phantoms and Fakes by Malachy Tallack (hb, £14.99, 978 1846973505) which is published this month by Polygon then you will no doubt be exclaiming at its beauty, and the glorious full-colour illustrations by Katie Scott. Gathered in the book are two dozen islands once believed to be real but no longer on the map. This is an atlas of legend and wonder; of places discovered and then un-discovered. You can watch a lovely two-minute preview of the book here on YouTube and if you haven’t ordered this book for your bookshop yet, then I really don’t know what you are waiting for, it’s fab!

Is getting old all about attitude? Arnold Appleforth claims it is. In which case he certainly needs all the attitude he can get, because his journalistic career is on life support, his sex life non-existent (except for a recent regrettable incident at a well-known chain restaurant), his financial position precarious and his alcohol consumption prodigious. The Diary of a Has-been: The Intimate Chronicle of Arnold Appleforth: Legendary Journalist, Idealist and Sponger by William Humble (£12.99, hb, 978 1911129608 ) has just come out from Urbane in October and takes the form of a diary, dealing with Appleforth’s own life with intimate, eye-watering honesty and also providing pungent political comment on the disgraceful state of contemporary Britain. Join Arnold as he drops pearly bon mots before swine and makes one last grab for literary immortality. And struggles to survive in a sadly unappreciative world...

Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. It’s 90 years today since Winnie the Pooh was first published, so today here are some of our favourite tweets in an outpouring of love for #WinnieThePooh!

Waterstones‏@Waterstones Happy 90th anniversary to #WinnieThePooh, first published on 14th October 1926.
Blankspace@blakeney “Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” A.A. Milne. Happy 90th Birthday #WinnieThePooh
Parris@supernovester You're an old guy but i love you so much happy 90th pooh bear
Identity Design ‏@identitylondon You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter thank you think. Happy 90th birthday #WinnieThePooh!!
Paul Squires@paulsquirescom “It is wise to ask someone what you are looking for, before you begin looking for it.” #WinnieThePooh
Blondie Rambles@BlondieRambles "I need you to come here and find me ‘cause without you I'm totally lost." #WinnieThePooh
Duck Barn Interiors‏@DuckBarn “Home is the comfiest place to be” Winnie the Pooh
Curved House Kids ‏@CurvedHouseKids Anyone else think Penguin was a weird idea? Is nothing sacred? Maybe we're just old being old fashioned. #Pooh90
Prestige Bathrooms ‏@PrestigeBathLtd If the person you are talking to doesn't seem to be listening-be patient- he may have some fluff in his ear #WinniethePooh
Celeste Thorson ‏@CelesteThorson I knew when I met you an #adventure was going to happen.
SusanGarren ‏@SusanGarren #WinniethePooh What day is it?" It's today," squeaked Piglet. My favorite day," said Pooh. A.A. Milne
And here are ten things you may not have known about our furry friend!
That’s all for now folks! More next week!
This blog is taken from an e-newsletter which is sent weekly to over 700 booksellers as well as publishers and publicists. If you would like to order any of the titles mentioned, then please talk to your Compass Sales Manager, or call the office on 020 8326 5696.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Compass Points 187

A very warm welcome to Anness Books who joined the Compass team at the start of October. Here’s Paul Anness signing the contract with MD Alan Jessop, and the rest of our super sales squad!

You may think you know Anness as a promotional books operation – or you may not have heard of them at all – but it’s definitely time to take another look at this 28-year old company, as they have been re-focussing their publishing over the last year; and we’re really looking forward to telling you about some of the terrific new titles they have to offer you! They incorporate the imprints Lorenz Books, Southwater and Armadillo (children’s) as well as a stationery range called Peony Press and all of their titles are high-quality and highly illustrated; all generated in-house using their own team of photographers, editors and designers.

The adult lists incorporate cookery, gardening, history, art books and general non-fiction. There’s a lovely catalogue of their 2016 books – just ask your Compass Sales Manager for a copy and they have a very comprehensive website too which lets you flip right through (every single spread!) all the books they publish! Just type the title into the search box and then you can preview the entire book as well as see the AI and cover.
Current cookery bestsellers for them include The Wood-Fired Oven Cookbook by Holly and David Jones (hb, £9.99, 978 1903141946); The Spiralizer Cookbook by Catherine Atkinson (hb, £12.99 978 0754831570); Tagines by Ghillie Basan (hb, £9.99, 978 1908991263) and Microwave Mug Cakes: Home Made Treats in an Instant by Hannah Miles (hb, £9.99, 978 0754831365).

Have a quick look and I think one of the things that will strike you first is what high quality content and pictures you are getting for a really great price! Look out from more from Anness in the coming weeks…

Congratulations to KJ Orr, winner of the BBC Short Story Award. The London-born writer's Disappearances, was described by judge Kei Miller as “a near perfect example of how the short story works.” The story was inspired by Orr watching a solitary man in a café in Argentina whilst travelling. Surfaces and what lies beneath were a starting point for this tale of a retired plastic surgeon who develops a relationship with a local waitress and is compelled to visit the same café every day.
Orr was presented with the prize of £15,000 on Tuesday (4 October) evening by the 2016 Chair of Judges Dame Jenni Murray at a ceremony held in the BBC's Radio Theatre in London. The news was announced live on BBC Radio 4's Front Row, during a special programme celebrating the short story. The BBC National Short Story Award (pb, 9781910974278, £7.99), edited by Jenni Murray and published by Comma Press is available now. As you can see here, someone else appears to have crashed the awards ceremony at the BBC...

More prize winners to congratulate! Carcanet celebrated a double win at the Forward Prize ceremony which was hosted last week at the Royal Festival Hall in London! Vahni Capildeo's Measures of Expatriation won Best Collection (£15,000) and Sasha Dugdale's poem Joy, published in PN Review Issue 227, won Best Single Poem (£1,000). The three awards (there’s also one for Best First Collection) are Britain’s most coveted poetry prizes, celebrating the best new poetry published in the British Isles.
Measures of Expatriation is Vahni Capildeo’s fourth collection. Born in Trinidad, she has lived in the UK since 1991. She is at ease in a number of languages – including the Spanish, French, English and creoles of her childhood – and she writes in her winning book: “Language is my home, I say: not one particular language.” Malika Booker, chair of the five-strong jury, said: “Vahni Capildeo’s Measure of Expatriation is a work that amazes … this is poetry that transforms. When people in the future seek to know what it’s like to live between places, traditions, habits and cultures, they will read this. Here is the language for what expatriation feels like.”
Booker also described Dugdale's Joy, a poem which presents the death of William Blake as retold by Catherine, his widow, as “addictive writing, compelling and tender.” Measures of Expatriation (pb, £9.99, 978 1 784101 68 8) and PN Review Issue 227 including Joy (£6.99, journal, 978 1784101 38 1) are both available now from Carcanet.

An excellent ad which you can see above, in the London Review of Books this week for two important books published this month by Skyscraper. State of Terror: How Terrorism Created Modern Israel by Thomas Suárez (hb, £20.00, 978 1911072034) is a detailed account of the way terrorism was used to force the British out of Palestine. Baroness Jenny Tonge said “Everyone who has ever accepted Israel’s own account of its history should read this book.”
And Politically Incorrect: Why a Jewish State is a Bad Idea by Ofra Yeshua-Lyth (pb, 978 1911072041, £12.99) discusses how Israel’s insistence on an exclusively Jewish state is setting it on a course of self-destruction. Noam Chomsky called it “poignant and painful.” Both titles are published on 13 October.

I know versions of this have been all over the internet forever – but this still amuses me greatly: see what happens when you replace the word “wand” with something else in the Harry Potter books…

Ken Hom has been absolutely everywhere this week promoting My Stir Fried Life (£20.00, hb, 978 1849549783) published by Robson Press. I heard him on Simon Mayo’s Drivetime on Radio 2, and he’s also been on BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen, ITV’s This Morning, Radio 4’s Midweek, Radio 5Live’s Afternoon Edition and on LBC, Steve Allen in Conversation. There have been interviews in the Telegraph, The Sunday Times, BBC Easy Cook and Delicious Magazine; he’s been at the Daunts October Festival and will also be at the Blenheim Palace Literary Festival on 14 October. Simon Mayo used Bob Marley’s Stir It Up to introduce Ken on his show – love a bit of that!

You may have seen a piece in this week’s Bookseller, about Hillsborough Untold: Aftermath of a Disaster which is by Norman Bettison, the former chief constable of both Merseyside and West Yorkshire Police. The title will give an insight into what was happening at South Yorkshire Police headquarters following the tragedy, and will also "respectfully" seek to explain why Bettison feels his involvement has been "unfairly scapegoated" in parliament and by the press. The proceeds of the book will go to charity. Biteback said this "personal account" will describe how the Hillsborough disaster unfolded, and gives an "objective and compassionate" account of the bereaved families’ "long struggle for justice". Bettison said: "I wrote this account because I did not want my 40-year professional career to be defined by false accusations. The book should appeal to anyone with an open mind who remains curious about one of the UK’s most tragic, and controversial, peacetime disasters." Hillsborough Untold (hb, £18.99, 978 1785900891) will be published in November by Biteback.

We love a bit of e-books versus real books debate, so thoroughly enjoyed this thoughtful piece from Alison Jones at the Book Machine on the role of the print book in an increasingly online world. She writes how “that phrase, ‘friction and texture’ summed it up for me: this is what print provides and a white screen does not.”

Another Ken is also out and about at the moment: Ken Livingstone is on the road again, promoting Being Red: A Politics for the Future (£12.99, pb, 978 0745399058) which has just been published by Pluto Press. In it Ken serves up an account of the Labour Party and its future, at a pivotal moment in its history. Having worked most of his life within the party in various leading roles; as the head of the Greater London Council, as Member of Parliament and as Mayor of London, Livingstone is able to offer insights into the internal workings of the party, and the rise and fall (and potential rise again) of its radical socialist ethos. Discussing his battle with Boris Johnson, the fight against privatisation and pollution as well as his analysis of Jeremy Corbyn’s arguably radical leadership and its implications for the future; Livingstone displays his trademark honesty and humour. Ken has just been at the Henley Book Festival and will be at the Chichester Speakers Festival, this Saturday, followed by the Hillingdon Literary Festival on Sunday. Then he’s on to the Canterbury Festival on 27 October, and the Folkestone Book Festival on 21 November.

I still love this amusing moment from Top Gear 2007 when Ken is nominated for almost all of the awards!

I highly recommend a new fiction title coming in October by Jen Waldo; an astonishing new American voice who will stop you in her tracks. She brings an electrifying tone to fiction, tackling difficult subjects with a warmth and humour, and creating an unforgettable protagonist. Our MD can’t put it down! Old Buildings in North Texas begins when thirty-two-year-old Olivia (a recovering cocaine addict) returns to live with her mother and pregnant sister. Under pressure to take up a hobby, she decides to try urban exploration. Soon she's poking through derelict homes, churches and schools across North Texas. This vivid and humorous book modulates effortlessly from domestic nuance to taut adventure and social and moral transgression. It is a book about a modern woman's dilemma as she searches for personal equilibrium and wild adventure, trying to find stability in her existence without losing sight of what makes life worth living, and I think it will strike a chord with many. Old Buildings in North Texas by Jen Waldo (hb, £12.99, 978 1910050781) is published in October by Arcadia.

Talking of the US, we all know that book jackets are often different when they’re published in the UK and over the pond. But why? Have a look here at these fun comparisons on BuzzFeed to see if you can come up with any answers!

It was National Poetry Day this week, a good time to remind you about the paperback of A Lion Was Learning to Ski and Other Nonsensical Limericks by Ranjit Bolt (pb, £8.99, 978 1783340927) which is published this month by Gibson Square. The hardback edition was a 2015 Christmas bestseller which reprinted three times and has now sold over 10,000 copies! Robert McCrum in the Observer said it “Transforms Ranjit Bolt into a literary lion … a parable of print and paper in the age of eBooks and social media…”

You’ve done extremely well with the David Bowie Colouring Book, and on a similar theme, the Classic Album Covers Colouring Book (978 1905959938, pb, £9.99) just published by Red Planet is getting tons of promo and I think could be equally successful. It’s been mentioned on The Radcliffe & Maconie Show, BBC 6 Music are talking about it and radio interviews are coming up on BBC Berkshire, BBC Lancashire, BBC Stoke, BBC Ulster, BBC Wales, BBC Cumbria, BBC Solent, Wirral Radio Merseyside, Swansea Sound, Talk Radio Europe, Real XS, North West, Planet Rock, and Absolute Radio and there will be more to follow! This great gift paperback features 30 classic album covers to colour in yourself – and I can think of tons of people who would like to find this in their stocking! It includes all the greats – from Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Bowie, Nirvana, The Eagles, Duran Duran, The Cure, The Sex Pistols, Bruce Springsteen –  they’re all here! As one Amazon enthusiast said “What a great idea. Loads of my favourite albums in here and its great fun digging them out and making your own version of the cover! I've now got a psychedelic cow on Atom Heart Mother and The Beatles are all in blue jeans on Abbey Road! Great fun.”

So to finish – let’s watch this brilliant 10 minute round-up of the Greatest Albums of All Time – how many are in the Red Planet colouring book I wonder!

Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. This week we’re loving all the great tweets at #TheApprentice – have a look for some hilarious pictures, gifs and memes celebrating the return of the show!

LilianHarry ‏@LilianHarry I can't believe that they get thousands of applicants and THESE are the best......?

Mark Johnson ‏@Testwood The Apprentice is our annual reminder to appreciate our colleagues because there are at least 18 worse people you could be working with

Lily Bailey ‏@LilyBaileyUK WatchingThe Apprentice is great because I always feel I have mediocre life skills, but then I see theirs and by the end I feel like a CEO.

hoskas ‏@hoskas Can't wait for that woman to find out that the chair she was so proud of selling for £17.50, was actually worth £300

Katie Weasel ‏@KatieWeasel "Thank you for the opportunity to reveal myself as a useless cretin to around 6 million people Lord Sugar."

Ian Hyland ‏@HylandIan Lovely tribute to Alan Rickman on tonight's The Apprentice. One of them has come as Hans Gruber.

The Apprentice@bbcapprentice “You got any experience in antiques?” / “I watch a bit of Bargain Hunt.” / “You’re hired."

Jack Edwards ‏@jackbenedwards The first episode of a new series of The Apprentice mostly just consists of me muttering "wanker" under my breath.

Sam Avery ‏@samaverycomedy The reason you never see the face of Lord Sugar's receptionist is because it's last year's winner.

Moe ‏@MoesusLDN It's been 1 episode only & i swear the gyals got less brain cells combined than Claude has hair on his head.

Ricky Gervais@rickygervais LikeThe Office never happened #TheApprentice

That’s all for now folks! More next week!

This blog is taken from a newsletter which is sent weekly to over 700 booksellers as well as publishers and publicists. If you would like to order any of the titles mentioned, then please talk to your Compass Sales Manager, or call the office on 020 8326 5696.