Friday, 16 November 2018

Compass Points 283

In amongst the Brexit bollocks there’s plenty of serious news – including a lot of talk of poverty. This piece in the Guardian and this on the BBC News make sobering reading. Invisible Britain: Portraits of Hope and Resilience by Paul Sng (£20, pb, 978-1447344117) reveals untold stories from people who have been left out of the media narrative and left behind by government policy. Featuring new work from award-winning and accomplished documentary photographers the book presents people speaking in their own words to create a narrative that illustrates how an unprecedented world of austerity, deindustrialisation and social upheaval is affecting us all. With a foreword by actor and activist Michael Sheen, this is an incredibly moving and important book. Aditya Chakrabortty writing in the Guardian said: "This is Britain in the decade of cuts – but these aren't portraits of despair. They're stories of defiance, of fight and of faith that a better country awaits us all. These are your friends, neighbours, family – and they've got stuff to tell you." It’s just been published by Policy Press.

Boyd Clack is a Welsh actor and writer – you may know him from his work on High Hopes, the classic cult Welsh sitcom written by him and Kirsten Jones. If you don’t, give it a go – lots of episodes are on the iPlayer here . Now he has written a book; Head in the Clouds: Memories and Reflections based on years of observing the common beauty found in people, animals and trees; it’s something of a work set to defy genres. One hundred blog posts blend prose with poetry to share tales from the stage and screen and Boyd’s thoughts on growing up in the Welsh valleys. High-profile Welsh actors, directors and playwrights are queuing up to say nice things about it – so this could be a bit of a winner I feel! Rhys Ifans said “Boyd is a brilliant actor and writer, truly unique, a genius by any definition of the word. Head In The Clouds is a work of profundity and sparkling wit. You’d be crazy not to buy it” while Rob Brydon said “I love Boyd’s unique take on life. A wonderful, thoughtful and rewarding read” and film director Kevin Allen wrote “Whilst most commentators of Wales and the wider world about them keep their heads firmly lodged up their asses these days, Boyd effortlessly manages to buck the trend. This book is a must read.” It’s out from Parthian on 5 December.

Ooh we publishing types love an obscure word – and even more when it comes from an even more obscure literary novel! Have a look here at these fifteen words that came from classic literature and see if you a) know what they mean and b) have read the books they came from!

Deborah Binner suffered the unimaginable pain of losing her precious daughter Chloe to bone cancer when she was just eighteen years old. Still blinded by grief, just eighteen months later, she then received the devastating blow that her beloved husband Simon had motor neurone disease. Simon refused to allow the disease to take him and instead opted for an assisted suicide in a Swiss clinic, leaving Deborah bereaved once more. Many people would have sunk into despair but Deborah who had another daughter and two grandchildren to think of, knew she couldn't afford to succumb to her heartbreak and instead set about carving an altered future for herself and small family. In Yet Here I Am she talks candidly of the crippling pain she suffered and how she learned to live with such cruel loss and find a form of happiness once more. The Mail ran an extract of this heart-rending story last week which you can read here which was picked up by other tabloids such as the Mirror here and Deborah was on Victoria Derbyshire’s BBC2 show talking about the book this morning. Yet Here I Am has just been published by Splendid Books.

Some excellent reviews for The Remainder (978 1911508328, £10, pb) by Alia Trabucco Zerán, translated by Sophie Hughes, which was published last month by And Other Stories. The Spectator called it a “darkly comic road trip” in which “her spring-heeled prose moves lightly from lyrical to demotic, bawdy to elegiac” while the TLS said it was “intelligent, immersive and elegiac” The Irish Times wrote: “In a notable translation by Sophie Hughes, Zerán’s lyricism and eye for detail shine on the page ...There is plenty to commend in the book’s intentions, and in its elegiac ambitions” while The Big Issue called it a novel which “tells us ... everything about what it is like to grow up in the shadow of other people’s unhappiness.”

If there’s one thing we can all relate to in these frazzled times, it’s the concept of less rather than more. The Year of Less by Cait Flanders (pb, 978 1781808597, £11.99) is out in paperback from Hay House in January and Cait is writing a multi-page feature for Marie Claire’s January issue. Cait will also be interviewed on In the Moment podcast, there will be an interview with Cait in February’s Yoga magazine and Psychologies will also mention it in one of their early 2019 issues. The Year of Less documents Cait's life for twelve months during which she bought only consumables: groceries, toiletries and petrol for her car. Along the way, she challenged herself to consume less of many other things. She got rid of 70 percent of her belongings; learned how to fix things rather than throw them away and completed a television ban. At every stage, she learned that the less she consumed, the more fulfilled she felt. The Year of Less will leave readers questioning what they’re holding onto and, quite possibly, lead them find their own path of less.

If a review begins with the sentence “Right, straight off the bat – this collection is insanely f***ing good!” followed by “this collection is so good that it has quite literally jumped into my top books I’ve ever read!” then you definitely want to buy it right? This quote comes from a review in Storgy magazine of the Comma anthology The New Uncanny: Tales of Unease (pb, £9.99, 978 1905583188); you can read the full review here here.

Legend Press are delighted to announce an exciting two-book deal with Australian journalist and author Holly Wainwright. The Mummy Bloggers will be published on 3rd June 2019, followed by How to Be Perfect in November 2019. The Mummy Bloggers offers a sharp and funny look into the brave new world of mummy blogging, the power of social media and the women behind the likes, shares and filters. Wainwright shines a mirror on the lives we create for ourselves – and the vortex of lies we can fall into when living life through the filter of social media. Holly Wainwright (who originally hailed from Manchester) has been described as “the freshest, funniest new voice in fiction since Liane Moriarty” so this is definitely something to look forward to!

Many congratulations to the one and only Vivian Archer from the Newham Bookshop, who won the Outstanding Contribution to Bookselling award at the Books Are My Bag Readers Awards this week. Described as “total legend, absolute hero, rock-solid human,” she was a popular and a well-deserving winner!

Critics, booksellers, newspaper editors and all esteemed workers in the literary field, do let know if you’d like to have a proof/galley copy of Lina Wolff's The Polyglot Lovers (£9.99, 978 1911508441, pb, translated by Saskia Vogel) which is published next May by And Other Stories! Irreverent and smart, not least on #metoo issues this is a brilliant read! You can find out more and read an excerpt on the And Other Stories website here. Both of Lina’s two novels (this one and Bret Easton Ellis and the Other Dogs) have both been awarded PEN Translates Awards in recognition of their importance and the excellence of the translations.

Bad Lies (978 1684016020, hb, £23.00) by high-profile golfer Tony Jacklin is, as the strap line says: a story of lies, slander and professional golf. Its hero is Eddie Bennison, a successful pro golfer whose world is shattered when, at the peak of his success, the golf world’s most popular magazine runs articles that claim Eddie is cheating and doping to get ahead. Weaving in and out of the courtroom, across the offices of the lawyers, the litigants, the sponsors, and through well-known golf courses, Bad Lies is a gripping and entertaining novel which would make a good Christmas gift for any golfer. Jack Nicklaus said of it "I have always said that you can learn more about a person in four hours on a golf course than you can in a day of meetings. Golf exposes how one handles adversity and success and provides a glimpse into someone’s personality and integrity. Simply put, the game of golf often unveils the truth about someone. The same could be said for a courtroom, and much like a golf tournament, there are highs and lows in every legal battle. My long-time friend, Tony Jacklin, and author, Shelby Yastrow, understand these similarities and have managed to wonderfully weave them into a fascinating, fictional page-turner." It’s published by Gazelle.

Fiction and the fairway are a popular mix of course – perhaps most famously here in Goldfinger – and I think you will also enjoy these top ten funny golf scenes from the movies!

There have been some super reviews from the bloggers for The Truth Waits by Susanna Beard (£8.99, pb, 978 1787198012) which is out this month from Legend. Book in the Bag said “Beard does not disappoint in this fast-paced thriller. Be warned, if you are looking for a book that you will be able to put down to go to bed at night, this is not the book for you”, Robin Loves Reading called it “compelling” while Great Leaves and Tea Leaves said “I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves mystery and thrillers or even if you don’t! There’s a bit of everything in here, suspense, relationships, love, money, greed, power, tragedy and corruption.”

Congratulations to Mary O'Malley who has been awarded the 2018-19 Trinity College Dublin Writer Fellowship. Mary’s latest book (and eight collection) from Carcanet is the wonderful Playing the Octopus (pb, £9.99, 978 1784102807) which is a body of writing buoyed by the redemptive power and sustaining joy of music.

Professor Simon Fishel worked with Robert Edwards during his pioneering early IVF research and was part of the team in the world’s first IVF clinic, with all the trials and tribulations that involved at the time, including a writ for murder! As the science developed over the decades so did his career, and the clinic he founded has grown into the largest IVF group in the UK. His book Breakthrough Babies (pb, £14.99, 978 1788600736) which is out from Practical Inspiration in March is a riveting account from the frontline of fertility treatment, giving a unique insight into not only the medical and scientific advances involved but the human cost and rewards behind this life-changing technology. The national media are very interested in this one as it covers three popular areas of interest: infertility, medical science, and parenting. There will be features in Science, Nature, The Guardian, British Medical Journal and Science News – and probably lots more.

Well done to And Other Stories who won Small Business of the Year in the Northern Soul Awards last night, were the Specially Commended in the Publisher category (which Dead Ink won), and were named in their Great Northerners list too! Hurrah! 

During his campaign for President in 2016, Senator Bernie Sanders stated over and over again that the future of the US was dependent upon its willingness to start a political revolution. Real change never occurs from the top down it always happens from the bottom up. That's what he said when he ran for President, and that's what he believes now. Where We Go From Here: Two Years in the Resistance by Bernie Sanders (hb, £20, 978 1785904677) is an important new book in which America's most popular political figure speaks about what he's been doing to oppose the Trump agenda and strengthen the progressive movement, how America can go forward as a nation and the impact that can have on the global stage. It’s published by Biteback on 27th November and the Sunday Times, Guardian and Observer will be reviewing it shortly. Furthermore, Bernie Sanders will be interviewed (from the US) on Newsnight and by Robert Peston on Peston.

Let’s finish with some music – what do we all think of the 2018 John Lewis ad? It’s certainly a very good opportunity to remind you about Captain Fantastic: Elton John's Stellar Trip Through the '70s by Tom Doyle (978 1846973741, £16.99, hb) published by Birlinn, which I think could do rather well on the back of this year’s tribute to the great man and his mum!

This weekly blog is written for the UK book trade. If you would like to order any of the titles mentioned, then please talk to your Compass Sales Manager, or call the Compass office on 020 8326 5696. Every Friday an e-newsletter containing highlights from the blog is sent out to over 700 booksellers – and if you’d like to receive this then please contact

Monday, 12 November 2018

Compass Points 282

Who doesn’t love Anne of Green Gables – and now it’s getting a whole new lease of life as Anne with an E (which you can watch a trailer for here ) has become a very popular show on Netflix. Arcturus already have four editions available of this classic title by Lucy Maud Montgomery: a paperback with a traditional picture cover (978 1788286824, £4.99), a paperback with their appealing Arcturus classic series look (978 1784284237, £4.99), a hardback with the same series look (978 1788882200, £9.99) and also a 228x183mm hardback gift edition (978 1788883788, £14.99). Coming in 2019 is a very good-looking slipcase, The Anne of Green Gables Collection which contains six hardback Anne titles (173x113mm, £49.99, 978 1788282611). Readers can follow the journey of the 11-year-old orphan as she grows up over the course of these six books: Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne's House of Dreams and Anne of Ingleside. Perfect gift for all fans of Anne both old and new!

Defeating loneliness by putting social activities such as cookery and art classes on prescription for older and isolated people is very much in the news at present, and Boomer lit – fiction written, and marketed with the baby boomer audience (those born between 1946 and 1964) in mind is also on the rise. I’m delighted to tell you that The Best Boomerville Hotel (978 1912550043, £7.99, pb) (Cumbria’s answer to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) hits bookshop shelves this week, propelled into paperback by its huge success (becoming an Amazon bestseller) as an ebook. Its author Caroline James says, “I am over the moon to see The Best Boomerville Hotel out in paperback and must thank all my readers for making it happen. I’ve been overwhelmed by the reception it’s received and the terrific support. It goes to show that pursuing your dreams, even in middle years – a subject very much at the heart of The Best Boomerville Hotel – is not a thing to fear but a passion to embrace because I’ve found that coming out of your comfort zone in midlife and beyond is absolutely brilliant.” Hear hear! There’s been some great coverage for this so far – including this feature in the Cumbria Crack and this in the Westmorland Gazette. The Best Boomerville Hotel centres on a fictional hotel set in the Lake District that hosts holiday retreats for guests of a certain age wishing to stimulate both mind and body with new creative experiences – and for some, hoping to beat loneliness.It's published by Choc Lit

More good publicity for London's Street Trees (978 0993291135, pb, £12.99) and Birdwatching London (£12.99, pb, 978 0993291159) in The London Naturalist which is the annual journal of the London Natural History Society. These two titles are both from Safe Haven and reviewers have loved the “beautiful presentation”, “handy size” and “wonderful research”. There’s also been a super feature here on Birdwatching London in the

There has been some excellent publicity for Caught Beneath the Landslide: Manchester City in the 1990’s (£18.99, hb, 978 1909245808). This is the Manchester City of Maine Road and Moss Side, when the music was by Oasis and the football by Georgi Kinkladze and Uwe Rosler. It is the story of club that plunged through two divisions and then clambered back up again. In the words of Uwe Rosler: “It was a different club, a working-class club supported by the people of Manchester”. Jim White wrote in the Telegraph “The distance the club [Man City] have travelled is brilliantly chronicled by the journalist Tim Rich in his new book Caught Beneath The Landslide who writes about the changing times for Manchester City, going from losing 2-1 at home to Mansfield 20 years ago to being the Champions of England”. There have also been features in Sky’s Soccer Saturday, in the Independent who called it “brilliant”, on BBC Radio Manchester, in the Daily Mail  and The Scotsman, who also published an extract. It's published by De Coubertin.

Which drinks will we be enjoying around the Christmas tree this year? Well, I’m pretty sure that gin and champagne will be on the menu for many – and the two Birlinn titles on these subjects have been getting some good publicity! Ian Buxton author of the brand new and updated edition of 101 Gins To Try Before You Die (9781780275659, hb, £12.99, ) was asked by Which magazine to taste test the latest gin offerings and decide which would be awarded the accolade of Which Best Buy (it’s Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Blackfriars Gin, in case you were interested) Ian was fascinating about the process – it’s done very seriously, no labels, different glasses and numbers for each gin so the testers can’t compare with each other and you really can be sure that a Which Best Buy has not been paid for or sponsored in any way. And The Week has just featured the best champagnes offers of the season, and recommends the effervescent new title by wine expert by Davy Zyw, 101 Champagnes and Other Sparkling Wines To Try Before You Die (£14.99, hb, 978 1780275567) as the “definitive” book on the subject! Chin chin!

Booksellers have a pretty good track record when it comes to moving from stacking the shelves to sitting on them – so many of you out there may well be interested in the Search for a Star Novel Writing Competition which has just been launched by leading independent women's fiction publisher, Choc Lit. Sponsored by Your Cat magazine, on offer to the winner is a three book deal across all platforms, digital, print and audio – and of course the winner and runners up will feature in the magazine! Search for a Star is for writers not previously published or accepted by an agent or publisher; competition submissions should be full length novels (60,000 to 100,000 words) and they must include a cat! It could be a heart-stopping romance or a gripping thriller, even a Christmas story, as long as there's a moggie in there somewhere! Lyn Vernham of Choc Lit said, “This competition is about finding fresh new talent and giving readers a voice. There are no industry yays and nays - the judges here are a panel of readers and the manuscripts won't have been subject to filtering by the traditional industry gatekeepers. It's exciting and we can't wait to see what fresh new talent the competition delivers!” Competition entries must be made by 28 February and submitted via the website 

HUGE and ongoing media interest in Queen in 3D (hb, £30, 978 1999667429) including the unseen photos Brian took on the set of Bohemian Rhapsody which has now been the number one film in the UK for several weeks. There have now been features in the Mail , the Express, the Sun, the Mirror, the Big Issue, Mojo, Classic Rock and the Mail on Sunday. ITV’s Lorraine interviewed Brian May about the book with images on screen and Lorraine enthusiastically flicking through the book saying “A remarkable book for anybody who’s a fans of the band, it’s an absolute must have … a really brilliant insight”and you can watch that here. Sky News, Radio 2, Magic FM, Absolute Radio, and Planet Rock have all run promotions. And there’s more to come including a BBC Future video interview about the book coming later this month, the Mail on Sunday’s feature on the best books for Christmas and BBC Radio 2’s Johnnie Walker to interview Brian about his stereo world and the book on the massively popular Sounds of the Seventies show!

The public’s interest in all things royal (particularly when it concerns Meghan), shows no sign of abating and the news that the Duchess of Sussex now has her own coat of arms which you can find out about here  on the BBC, has piqued an interest in heraldry in general. A good opportunity to tell you about the new Lorenz title The Illustrated Book of Heraldry: An International History of Heraldry and Its Contemporary Uses by Stephen Slater (hb, £15, 978 0754834601). This lavishly illustrated and highly informative book looks not only at the medieval world in which heraldry thrived, but also at its language, the elaborate system of coded messages it conveyed, and its inextricable link with chivalry. Featuring more than 700 illustrations, it also covers the origins and development of heraldry, everyday heraldic uses, royal and global heraldry and contains a comprehensive glossary. This masterly history is full of both fascinating archive material and specially commissioned artworks.

Great to see Love Letters by Deborah Brown (hb, £10, 978 0995647831) featured with a pic of the jacket in the Bookseller February Highlights this week. This title is published by Hikari Press in February and as the Bookseller writes, is an “ingenious book which describes the trajectory of a relationship using combinations of the word LOVE rendered in illustrative typography in which each of the letters takes on a character of its own. The result conveys complex meanings with powerful effect telling a story in which love is an endlessly complicated yet beautiful four-letter word.” Love Letters will be produced to a very high spec and will look gorgeous! It will be a hard­back, quarter binding with a strip of burnt-orange cloth, foil blocking on the spine and spot UV on the cover. There will be a major marketing campaign for it, leading up to its launch on Valentine’s Day 2019. Telling a universal story of love in simple, illustrated form it should have wide appeal and is a great gift for someone special.

Nature, the world's most cited scientific journal, has just run a glowing review of Mission Moon 3D (hb, £30, 978 1999667405 ) from London Stereo calling it “spectacular” – you can read that whole piece here.

This weekly blog is written for the UK book trade. If you would like to order any of the titles mentioned, then please talk to your Compass Sales Manager, or call the Compass office on 020 8326 5696. Every Friday an e-newsletter containing highlights from the blog is sent out to over 700 booksellers – and if you’d like to receive this then please contact

Friday, 2 November 2018

Compass Points 281

Fantastic publicity this week for Bristol University Press author and one of Britain's most respected economists Simon Wren-Lewis; when Theresa May was caught lying about him in parliament! The PM misquoted Wren-Lewis who wrote a chapter in John McDonnell's new book which she was waving about and criticising. He then took her to task on Twitter which created a buzz and then wrote an article for the New Statesman How Theresa May Lied About My Views on Economic Policy which references his own forthcoming book The Lies We Were Told. The story has now been covered by the Mirror and the BBC. The Lies We Were Told: Politics, Economics, Austerity and Brexit (£14.99, pb, 978 1529202137) presents some of Wren-Lewis’s most important work, telling the story of how the damaging political and economic events of recent years became inevitable. His widely-read blog Mainly Macro has been a highly influential resource for policymakers, academics and social commentators around the world, and this new title should sell very well – especially given Theresa’s help with promotion!

Great to hear historian Robert Grenville, the author of Amber’s Haunted Places (£19.99, hb, 978 1782745211) interviewed this week as part of a Halloween special on BBC Radio London. Five minutes of fascinating chat about the book! There was also a spooktacular feature on the title in the Mail Online which you can see here headlined Bone-chilling images of the world's most haunted places – this piece has had 1.8K shares which is terrific promotion for this title!  Have a look at all the atmospheric pictures – they really are very evocative and frightening!

I hope Halloween was good for you and your bookshop! If you enjoy the witching season, then you will probably like these -  twenty five creative Halloween costumes all inspired by books!

Big congratulations to Lost Lives, New Voices: Unlocking the Stories of the Scottish Soldiers at the Battle of Dunbar 1650 (£20, pb, 978 1785708473) which has just won Best Archaeological Book at the British Archaeology Awards. You can also watch the video presentation from the day here. This Oxbow title has had some superb reviews – the Hexham Historical Society called it a “fascinating reconstruction of lost lives which does indeed give new voice to the potential of the human spirit to transcend hardship, war, and banishment overseas.” and Medieval Archaeology said “this important book fills a substantial scholarly gap.”

Self-healing is a fast-growing trend, and for those confused about where to start, The Practical Encyclopaedia of Self-Healing: A Mindful Approach to Holistic Fitness by Raje Airey and Jessica Houdret (£20, hb, 978 0754831525), published by Lorenz is ideal. This wide-ranging guide to complementary healthcare is split into easy-to-follow sections, and details all kinds of natural treatments and approaches for body and mind. Specific treatments give fast, effective remedies for colds, allergies, muscular pain, fatigue, depression and more. And over two thousand photographs and illustrations show alternative healing in action, and will help you to achieve optimum health and vitality in simple steps. It’s just had a great review from AHA Quarterly which says “Of course, I like this book! I always like Houdret’s work. … a beautiful presentation that displays gorgeous photography… offers a complete healing package… easily accessible to the reader.”

Want to hear about the day Michael Winner left the queen standing in the rain? Or what happened when Muhammad Ali went AWOL Or what it was like to be a guest at Joan Collins' Dynasty-style wedding? It’s all here in the fabulous Daily Mail two-page serialisation from Jeremy Robson’s publishing autobiography, Undercover (978 1785904097, £25, hb). Great stuff!

A terrific review in the Irish Literary Times here for Dermot Bolger's new novel, An Ark of Light (£12.99, pb, 978 1848406971) “a tale of marriage, the Big House and happiness” which has just been published by New Island. Calling it “expansive and empathetic” the review ends; “this meshing of fiction and biography adds a new and distinctive layer to what is in essence a homage to a life lived fully. An Ark of Light is an act of appropriation – of a female voice, experience, and sensibility – offered to the reader in a form that is as moving as it is distinctive and respectful.” An Ark of Light is a devastating portrayal of a mother’s anxiety for her gay son in a world where homosexuality is illegal and explores a terse relationship between a mother and daughter with nothing in common beyond love. Remarkably affecting and gorgeously rendered, this is a towering achievement by one of Ireland’s best-loved authors.

We’re delighted that the Annual Rylands Reading with Marilyn Hacker on 22 November has been featured in the Top Picks Literature Guide on – you can read that piece here. The annual Rylands Poetry Reading is a very grand affair, not just for attracting a literati audience but also for its backdrop: the cathedral-esque surrounds of the John Rylands Library’s Historic Reading Room. The prestigious programme of readings is run in conjunction with the University of Manchester’s Centre for New Writing and every year features a prestigious poet published by Carcanet. Marilyn Hacker has published twelve books of narrative poems, lyrics and elegies; she is witty, angry, traditional and experimental. Her new volume, Blazons: New and Selected Poems (£14.99, pb, 978 1784107154) will be published by Carcanet in March 2019.

What’s it really like being a writer? Social media – of course – has the answer. Here  are twenty-five of the best tweets on the subject – from “Being a writer is just constantly googling synonyms” to “Me: *writes for hours* Me: THAT MUST HAVE BEEN SO MANY WORDS. At least half a million. Okay, okay, let's be realistic, it's probably only like ten thousand. Word count: 247 words.”

Bestselling author Chris Lewis and superstar megatrends analyst Dr Pippa Malmgren were interviewed live on Sky News this week, talking about their new book The Leadership Lab (pb, £14.99, 978 0749483432), which has just been published by Kogan Page. Covering everything from how to build a new type of leadership trust when other spheres of public power have been overturned, to robots overtaking companies and worldwide indebtedness affecting business, this book explains not only why the old rules no longer apply, but also how to blaze a trail in this new world order and be the best leader you can be.

The Truth Waits (£8.99, pb, 978 1787198012) by Susanna Beard, has just been published by Legend, and is off on a month-long blog tour including: Mad on Reading, Buttercup Review, Crime Reads and Coffee, Quirky Bookwork Always, Great Reads and Tea Leaves, Anne Bonny Book Reviews, Book in the Bag, Donna’s Book Blogs, Robin Loves Reading, Read Along with Sue, Rich Reviews, My Bookish Blogspot, Amy’s Bookshelf, Cennins Book Reviews, Short Book and Scribes, B for Book Review, Book Reviews for U, Orchard Book Club and Booking Good Read . The title was launched at The Marlow Bookshop this week and there’s also an event coming up at Daunts in Holland Park on 8th November. There have been interviews with Susanna on BBC Berkshire and Marlow FM.  A recent review said of it “This novel bears all the hallmarks of a great thriller. It not only deals with huge issues like greed, guilt, evil and revenge, but with Anna’s deeply personal search for justice, reconciliation, forgiveness and trust. Her journey takes her to the very limits of herself but, at its heart, The Truth Waits is also a story about love in its best forms and I defy anyone not to get swept up in it.”

I think you will enjoy these funny illustrations all about our love for books!

Quite the social media buzz for Landscape Beneath the Waves, by Caroline Wickham-Jones (£29.95, pb, 978 1789250725) which has just been published by Oxbow – with hundreds of likes and shares for its post on Facebook. The study of the now submerged landscapes that our ancestors knew represents one of the last barriers for archaeology and only recently have advances in underwater technology reached the stage where a wealth of procedures is available to explore this lost undersea world. This volume considers the processes behind the rising (and falling) of relative sea-levels and then presents the main techniques available using case studies projects around the world. It is written for all archaeologists, whether they work on land or at sea, and offers an easily accessible introduction to the exciting realm of underwater archaeology.

Apparently nearly half of Brits think we should be proud of our colonial heritage, and 43% think the British Empire was a good thing. There’s a really thought-provoking article here on the reasons for that on which has been much commented on on social media! A good time to remind you about two new titles: firstly, the Pluto book Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain (pb, £16.99, 978-0745338309) which is out now, and also Rule Britannia: Brexit and the End of Empire (hb, £12.99, 978 1785904530) by Danny Dorling and Sally Tomlinson which is published by Biteback in January. Both these brilliant books offer somewhat more nuanced views than those you may find over on Twitter…

A brilliant event coming up at Waterstone’s Deansgate next Thursday for two Carcanet authors: Claiming the Great Tradition: Women Recalibrate the Classics. Chaired by Michael Schmidt, Jane Draycott will discuss her translation of the 14th-century poem Pearl (£8.99, pb, 978 1 784106 59 1) whose account of loss and consolation has retained its force across six centuries, and Jenny Lewis will talk about Gilgamesh Retold (£12.99, pb, 978 1 784106 14 0), and how she captures the powerful allure of the world’s oldest poem giving it a fresh dynamic while creating a fast-paced narrative for a new generation of readers. This sounds absolutely riveting and I’m sure it will be super-popular!

An excellent launch party in Cardiff recently for cricketer turned broadcaster Alan Wilkins’ book Easier Said Than Done: A Life in Sport (£20, hb, 978 1902719610). “Good guy, fine sportsman and the best TV sports presenter Wales has ever produced” said BBC presenter Phil Steele who hosted the event, which included a question and answer session capturing highlights of Wilkins’ life and career. Alan was quite “bowled over” by the reaction as you can read here on Expo Sport! Published by St David’s Press, Alan’s story is written with great humility and humour, and should inspire anyone who has experienced a set-back in life. As Clive Lloyd said “Alan epitomises what sport is all about” and this super book would make the perfect prezzie for any sports fan.

I enjoyed Twenty Ways AI is Changing Our Lives, here on Expresso this morning. No doubt at all that robots are clanking ever faster from the screens of science fiction into our actual lives and Canbury Press has the perfect guide to our robot future: Hallo Robot: Meet Your New Workmate and Friend (978 1912454051, £14.99, pb). It's illustrated, very readable and an ideal present for a techie teenager or a curious adult. 

This weekly blog is written for the UK book trade. If you would like to order any of the titles mentioned, then please talk to your Compass Sales Manager, or call the Compass office on 020 8326 5696. Every Friday an e-newsletter containing highlights from the blog is sent out to over 700 booksellers – and if you’d like to receive this then please contact