Friday, 21 April 2017

Compass Points 211


In January, one week before the President's inauguration a fierce fight erupted in the Senate between Republicans and Democrats over the confirmation of the key figures for President Trump's cabinet. In front of four separate Senate committees the nominees were subjected to tough and relentless cross-examination and questioned forensically about their ethics, beliefs and political philosophies. Each of them had to fend off accusations ranging from corruption to deceit or racism. These gripping and dramatic verbatim Senate sessions gave a vital insight into the future policies and direction of Trump’s presidency and a verbatim account of the confirmation hearings of four key cabinet members is published next week by Oberon as a play text: All the President’s Men? (pb, £9.99, 978 1786822116) edited by Nicholas Kent. Also next week, the National Theatre will present a staged reading of All the President’s Men? for one night only at the Vaudeville Theatre in London – which has now completely sold out; you can find out about that here.  A top cast (which you can see here ) are performing, and we expect the event to be very well covered by the media. I think there will be very strong demand for this paperback – it is a tremendously dramatic and effective way of presenting real life drama – and as I say, the National Theatre presentation of it is likely to get a lot of coverage. There will be loads of people who would like to have seen it but couldn’t get tickets – this book is for them!
Manchester based independent publisher Comma Press have just appointed two new patrons – the very wonderful Maxine Peake and Courttia Newland. Peake said she was "really honoured" to be asked to be a patron for the publisher. "Comma are cultural and political trailblazers, and I’m looking forward to working with them to promote great writing talent, both from this region and beyond." Literary activist, author and playwright Newland added that he is "thrilled" to be working with the publisher. "The timing couldn't be better for me to become a patron for Comma Press", Newland said. " I'm so thrilled to be working with a publishing company that sees the enormous merits of the short story, and is committed to putting their political money where their mouth is. I look forward to exciting times ahead pushing the boundaries for writers and readers alike." You can read the full story in the Bookseller here.
Many congratulations to Freight whose title A Drink of One’s Own: Cocktails for Literary Ladies by Laura Becherer and Cameo Marlatt has just been shortlisted for two Scottish Design Awards, Best Publication and Best Use of Illustration. This is such a fab idea for a book: 50 cocktails each inspired by famous women writers from around the world, are presented with cocktail recipes and literary profiles of the writers that inspired them. You can discover the delights of the Sylvia Plath, the Virginia Woolf, the Simone de Beauvoir, the Zelda Fitzgerald, the Angela Carter, the Jane Austen, the Marguerite Duras and many more in this beautifully conceived and presented gift book celebrating the very best in women's writing, with beautiful illustrations and photography of many of the cocktails. In addition to a 5-page feature in the Herald, a big article has also appeared in the Stylist which you can read here. Why not try out some of the recipes this evening – just the thing for a bookseller’s Friday night tipple!
This seems like a very good opportunity to watch this short scene from one of my favourite films, Woody Alan’s Midnight in Paris where the hero meets Zelda Fitzgerald – and yes, she is drinking a cocktail! I wonder if it’s the one featured in A Drink of One’s Own?

How much do you know about sex? No, really! Well, a new book out from Hay House on 30 May believes that pretty much everything we think we know; is incorrect. Real Sex: Why Everything You Learnt About Sex is Wrong (£12.99, pb, 978 1781808245) feels strongly that the more modern culture shines its light on sex, the longer the shadow it casts. This shadow of commercialism, pornography and shame leads to performance pressure, increasing numbers of sexual 'dysfunctions' and a fundamental disconnect from ourselves and others. Authors Mike and Louise Lousada believe that sexuality is one of the most important paths to happiness, simply because it requires us to engage all the other aspects of ourselves. Real Sex will show you how almost everything that our society has tried to teach you about your sexuality is misleading or simply inaccurate. It sets out seven keys that will teach you how to love and accept your feelings and desires at a deeper level, leaving behind feelings of guilt, insecurity and shame. Real Sex offers a new, integrated idea of sexuality that holds a positive perspective of the intimacy and aliveness that we know deep down makes our lives meaningful. Mike and Louise Lousada are experienced sexual therapists – you can find out more about them on Mike’s website www.mikelousada.com  Real Sex will be featured in the May issue of Red magazine and a quiz designed by Mike and Louise will appear in Woman’s Way. They have already had articles published in the national press and have spoken about their work on Radio 4. 

There was a brilliant full colour double page spread by Paul Thomas on making your own cheese in this week’s Metro – as seen above!  Homemade Cheese: Artisan Cheesemaking Made Simple (hb, 978 0754832423, £14.99) published by Lorenz features 40 classic cheeses, including mozzarella, cheddar, halloumi, stilton, and brie, and tells you exactly how to make them! It is a fantastic price, and the full colour spreads are informative, easy to follow and beautiful to look at – you can see some below. It covers the importance of food safety and hygiene; where and how to source milk; plus essential techniques such as milling, draining, pressing, salting, rind-washing, maturing and storing. And, if you get stuck, there’s a user-friendly troubleshooting section! There are over 475 beautiful photographs in this title – and it shows you exactly you can develop your cheesemaking skills whatever your previous experience or level of expertise! Getting all “artisanal” and making your own stuff is a massive foodie trend right now that looks set to stay around for a while – and this is the best book on the subject. You can find out more about Paul Thomas on his Twitter account @wheymaker here. And you can see Paul showing us how to make some scrummy looking ricotta here at his School of Artisan Food.
Well, that was pretty good. But what are the five best cheese moments available on YouTube I wonder? Here’s a fairly obvious one – what are the Top Ten Cheeses and what’s number one? Find out here! I quite enjoyed this from BuzzFeed – a quiz where punters try to tell expensive cheese from cheap. What about the Cheeseball Bath Challenge here ? Is this funny?? Can 12 million viewers possibly be wrong? If you’re feeling hungry then DON’T watch this  – a 40 second clip of gorgeousness from the raclette restaurant in New York. But the top cheese moment of all time must surely be this one – don’t forget the crackers Gromit!

Jamaican Poet Laureate Mervyn Morris will be doing a UK tour shortly, which will celebrate the end of his tenure as (he officially hands over to Lorna Goodison in May), his 80th birthday and the release of the definitive collection of his poems, Peelin Orange (978 1784104580, £14.99, pb) which has just been published by Carcanet and explores his Jamaican heritage with trademark musicality, often drawing upon Creole dialect. On Saturday 29th April, he’ll be at Waterstones Piccadilly, as part of their Writers of the World festival – you can find out more about that here.  On Tuesday 2nd May he’ll be doing a reading at Waterstones in Bristol, which you can find out about here.  On Wednesday 3rd May he’s at the John Rylands Library, in Manchester –  that info is here -  and then on Thursday 4th May he’s back in London at the George Padmore Institute for an exclusive in-conversation with Kei Miller about his life and distinguished writing career from pre-independence Jamaica to post-colonial times. Mervyn Morris is also likely to be soon reading some of his poems on Radio 4’s Front Row and Radio 3’s The Verb
We’re getting ever closer to the French Presidential elections – and as a result there’s been lots of recent publicity for France: A National on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. (978 1783340842, pb, £8.99) by Jonathan Miller which is published by Gibson Square. There’s a big piece in the Spectator coming tomorrow, and there have already been articles on this title in the Telegraph, the Western Daily Press, the Sunday Mirror the People and on the BBC and Today FM.  Former Sunday Times journalist, Jonathan Miller believes that the image the French have of being savvy, sophisticated and elegant is entirely wrong, and this is a nation who lecture the world about haute cuisine yet eat more MacDonald's than anywhere else in the world; roll their eyes at foreign culture even as CSI is their most watched TV programme and pretend to be literary even as Fifty Shades of Grey is France’s bestselling book! Miller believes he has uncovered the true France – one where its people live in a feverish state of fantasy, are paid to pretend to work, pretend to strike, and generally think work causes depression and suicide. Dental hygienists are illegal, yet the French exchange a staggering 184 billion kisses every year. While preaching liberté, the State forbids everything, is run by one school’s alumni, and messes up over two thirds of the economy! Zut alors! As Andrew Neil said of this book: “the French will complain” –  but everyone else will probably love it!
And just to prove that no one knows more about what it means to be French than an Englishman – let’s finish by watching the top ten best moments from that master of la comédie française; Peter Sellers – what a genius!

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.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Compass Points 210



Things are really hotting up for the release of Queen in 3-D by Brian May which is published by the London Stereoscopic Company on 25 May. There is a fab piece about the book on the Classic Rock website here. Over on social media, fans are getting very excited about a teaser video released by Brian May talking about the title, which you can watch here.  The book is under a strict embargo until 21st May and the Sunday Times Magazine have secured first serial rights and the first interview with Brian on the book which they will publish it as a front cover story. This will be bannered on the front of main paper and advertised on the radio. Mojo magazine has been granted an exclusive interview with Brian to come out in the issue to come out just after publication date and following this there is likely to be massive syndication, press and media interest!
With excellent timing (wow, it’s almost like he planned it!) Brian has just released a new single with Kerry Ellis (from a new album Golden Days) entitled Roll With Me which is getting massive airplay on the BBC – you can listen to that here.  At the start of this year Queen announced a tour and possible new album – see a teaser for that news here. All in all, there is going to be a whole lotta Queen/Brian May publicity going on – so do make sure you have ordered plenty of copies of Queen in 3-D (978 0957424685, £50, 323 x 245mm) which is published as a slipcase containing the 256-page full colour deluxe hardback and the easily assembled patent 3D viewer known as the OWL. For more information on this mega book, go to the special website www.queenin3-d.com

As one Tweeter said recently, “If there are any writers that make you put all other reading plans on hold, it’s César Aira. Another @andothertweets triumph” and his two new novellas The Proof (pb, £7.99, 978 1908276964) and The Little Buddhist Monk (pb, £7.99, 978 1908276988) both translated by Nick Caistor have just been published by And Other Stories to much acclaim. “César Aira is a master of the supernatural…all his novellas have a challenging philosophical core — yet they seem effortlessly produced and are fun to read” said Louis Amis in an outstanding Spectator review which you can read here .

There have been some fab displays recently for these and other And Other Stories titles all around the country – see above and below for those in Foyles, Waterstone’s Guilford, Burley Fisher Books, the Lutyens and Rubenstein Bookshop and Waterstones Norwich. Thanks guys!

Fill in the missing word in this headline: “*** have now became the latest warriors in the battle against the digital revolution.” Any guesses? The answer is jigsaw puzzles – and so strong is their resurgence that they have for the first time been included in the UK’s official shopping basket, as researchers for the Consumer Price Index found that retailers are freeing up more space on their shelves for the puzzles. At John Lewis, jigsaw sales have risen by 16% this year, while the jigsaws and games category at the National Gallery gift shop is 49% up. Vinyl, premium stationery and (hurrah!) physical books are the most significant examples of this rediscovered taste for the tangible, but jigsaw puzzles are very much riding on the crest of the same wave; you can read more about this story in the Telegraph here. So, this is a good time to remind you of the bestselling puzzles from Peony Press and Galileo – and urge you to order them! From Peony, (which is an imprint of Anness) the top three sellers are three high-quality 1,000-piece puzzles, all priced at £12.99 which feature The Laughing Cavalier (978 0754825272,) The Flying Scotsman (978 0754833536) and A Stop at the Fox Inn (978 0754833529). From Galileo, the top sellers are puzzles showing scenes from The Lord of the Rings (700 461754725, £14.99) and a compilation collage entitled Beautiful Britain (702 811645912, £10.99). The Lord of the Rings puzzle is illustrated by John Howe who is widely recognised as the premier artist interpreting JRR Tolkien’s masterpiece He has painted book covers, calendars, board games, posters and was the art advisor on all Peter Jackson’s highly successful movies. In Beautiful Britain, all the scenes in the picture are painted from actual locations and the place names of the parts of Britain that have been illustrated are on the back of the box.
How long would it take to do these jigsaws do you think? An afternoon or two maybe? How about tackling one that takes an astonishing NINE MONTHS?! Luckily it only takes two and a half minutes to watch it – have a look at this 33,600-piece epic endeavour!

Who are the best parents in the world? And what are their secrets? From morning sickness to tricky teenagers, fussy eaters to iPad addicts, the core challenges facing parents are the same all over the world – but how each country deals with them is astonishingly different. In Planet Parent: The World’s Best Ways to Bring up your Children (pb, £10.99, 978 1908281807) Mark Woods looks in every corner of the globe to find the very best parenting tips and techniques. He gets the lowdown on potty training success in China, learns why French kids eat vegetables rather than throw them and discovers how much screen time Apple boss Steve Jobs allowed his children. The result is a funny, fascinating book which will be an invaluable source of wisdom and advice for parents everywhere. Mark Woods meets tiger mothers, stay-at-home dads, hover parents and boomerang babies, pulling together the very best parenting advice in the world. Emma Freud said “My children would like to point out that they would have been grateful if I had read this book twenty years ago” while Kirstie Allsopp described it as “funny as it is fascinating; a must-read for the planet's parents.” Planet Parent is published by White Ladder
And talking of fascinating facts from all around the world; this  is fun – the world’s statistics as if it had a population of just 100 people.

Everybody wants a better life, yet many of us are focused on external resources instead of relying on ourselves to know the way. In her new title, Now Is Your Chance (978 1781808047 £10.99). author Niyc Pidgeon shares her own life experience of being raped, bullied, and feeling like she had no voice, to healing from the inside out, and emerging empowered as a heart-centred and spirit-led female entrepreneur, who is successful, thriving, and helping other women live that too. Each chapter includes real life lessons from the author's own experience, practical tips, a Positive Psychology tool or a spirit-led mantra, stories from real clients, colleagues, and friends, and the latest happiness research, presented in an easily digestible way. Niyc has an exclusive interview with May’s Marie Claire magazine and the book will also be featured in July’s Yoga Magazine. Reviews of Now Is Your Chance will also appear in a current issue of Your Fitness and Soul & Spirit. It is published this month by Hay House.

Two Carcanet poets – Chris Beckett and Karen McCarthy Woolf (Karen’s new book is out in June) – are involved in a project on Radio 4 next week called The Odyssey Project: My Name is Nobody. It’s a modern retelling of Homer’s Odyssey over several episodes and you can listen to Chris’s episode, Tamrat in the Cyclops Cave and Karen’s Night Shift on the BBC website  here.  Both poets perform in the episodes as well.

 We love a quiz – and we love an anagram! So, can you solve these anagrams of ten classic book titles?

Before Pep Guardiola and before José Mourinho, there was Béla Guttmann: the first superstar football coach, and the man who paved the way for the celebrated coaches of the modern age. More extraordinarily still, Guttmann was a Holocaust survivor. Having narrowly dodged death by hiding for months in an attic near Budapest as thousands of fellow Jews in the neighbourhood were dragged off to be murdered, Guttmann later escaped from a slave labour camp. But by 1961, as coach of Benfica, he had lifted one of football's greatest prizes: the European Cup, a feat he repeated the following year. Rising from the death pits of Europe to become its champion in just over sixteen years, Guttmann performed the single greatest comeback in football history. The Greatest Comeback: From Genocide to Football Glory: The Story of Béla Guttmann (£20, hb, 978 1785901393) by David Bolchover was described by Daniel Finkelstein in the Times as: “Moving, original, full of insight, this is a gripping tale told by a skilled storyteller. You don’t need to be interested in the Holocaust to find this fascinating account of some great footballing moments absorbing. And you don’t need to be interested in football to want to learn about this tale of survival. But if you are by chance interested in both, you will find this book extraordinary.” The Mail on Sunday called it “A fascinating, brilliantly told biography … a moving, terrifying and inspirational story of survival and triumph.” There will be a serialisation of this title in The Guardian and reviews in the Sunday Times, the Economist, When Saturday Comes, the Times and the Mail on Sunday, plus interviews with Bolchover on Talk Sport and Five Live. The Greatest Comeback is published in May by Biteback.
Staying with a sporting theme, The Kings of Summer: How Cricket's 2016 County Championship Came Down to the Last Match of the Season by Duncan Hamilton (hb, £9.99, 978 0993291128) has just been published by Safe Haven and there was a brilliant review for this excellent book last week in the Telegraph calling it “a fine piece of cricket writing, and a fitting tribute to a match that was everything a connoisseur of our wonderful game could want.” You can read that piece by Simon Heffer in full here.  The book describes in thrilling detail how, last autumn, the 2016 County Championship all came down to the final afternoon of the very last match. The two sides, Middlesex and Yorkshire, went into the game first and second in the table. If neither managed to force a win, it would leave the County Championship title to third-placed Somerset. Late September was blessed with beautiful Indian-summer weather; the biggest crowd for a county match at Lord's for some 40 years turned up to watch, and four days of battling, nail-biting cricket, the balance swinging either way, culminated in an unbelievably tense run chase by Yorkshire. As the autumn shadows lengthened, an unforgettably gladiatorial contest was finished by the Middlesex fast bowler Toby Roland-Jones in the most memorable way of all: a hat-trick. The award-winning sports writer Duncan Hamilton, who was at Lord's to watch every ball, re-lives this extraordinary, epic match, the finest advert for one of the most demanding competitions in any sport. You can read another a great piece about this book in the Yorkshire Post; here.
To finish, and looking forward to the publication of Queen in 3D next month; let’s have the top ten Queen songs of all time! Which one is your favourite?!

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.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Compass Points 209


Congratulations to Pluto Press who are shortlisted along with Chatto, Viking, Picador, Faber, Granta, Melville House and Fourth Estate for the Rathbones Folio Prize for Burning Country; Syrians in Revolution and War (£14.99, pb, 978 0745336220) by Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Al-Shami. The judges said “We're delighted to have worked with a prize that rewards exceptionally good writing in novels and non-fiction alike, and honours and showcases brilliantly innovative, uncategorizable books.” The winning author will receive a cheque for £20,000 at the awards ceremony on 24th May at the British Library. Burning Country explores the horrific and complicated reality of life in present-day Syria drawing on new first-hand testimonies from opposition fighters, exiles lost in an archipelago of refugee camps, and courageous human rights activists among many others. These stories are expertly interwoven with a trenchant analysis of the brutalisation of the conflict and the militarisation of the uprising, of the rise of the Islamists and sectarian warfare, and the role of governments in Syria and elsewhere in exacerbating those violent processes. Burning Country is a vivid and ground-breaking look at a modern-day political and humanitarian nightmare.
The bestselling An Illustrated History of 151 Video Games by Simon Parkin (£15.00, hb, 978 0754823902) published by Lorenz has just come back into stock – this is an amazing good-value title which has got an astonishing amount of content! It chronicles the history of gaming through the individual stories of the worlds’ most iconic and best loved games, charting five decades of video game evolution. You can see a great preview of it here on YouTube – which flicks through the book showing you all the fabulous full-colour spreads. Gamers are massively enthusiastic about this title: “lots of photos and a witty incisive text”, “a wonderful book…highly recommended”, “a certified must-read”. It would make the ideal present for hard-to-buy-for teenagers or nostalgic dads reminiscing about the games of their youth – a good option for Father’s Day displays in June!

And to get you in the mood, here  is WatchMojo’s list of the Top Ten Video Games EVER!

The Wipers Times (which took its name from the army slang for Ypres, where it was first produced) was a famous trench newspaper produced during the First World War. Often produced in hazardous conditions (at one point only 700 yards from the front line) it acted as the voice of the average British soldier, relaying his experiences, grief and anger during the entire conflict. A play based on The Wipers Times is currently playing to rave reviews in the West End – you can see a trailer here. The Best of The Wipers Times (£12.99, pb,  9781 906251 85 7 ) is published on 25 May by Max Press and this unique selection of the very best of the previous bestselling Max Press edition now has detailed explanatory notes and appendices, a foreword by Ian Hislop, an extensive introduction by acclaimed military historian Malcolm Brown and maps by Patrick Beaver. The satire of the paper; at times, irreverent, at times hysterical; helped reinvent the situation in the trenches – diffusing the conditions of war by ridiculing and exaggerating them and its humour provides an excellent insight into life in the trenches. The Best of The Wipers Times is published to coincide with 100th anniversary Passchendaele events this year and obviously, interest in and demand for books on WW1 is going to continue right though until 2018.

If there’s one topic that is quite rightly getting a lot of media coverage at present it’s mental health – and anxiety disorder in particular. All Birds Have Anxiety (978 1785921827, £9.99, hb) by Kathy Hoopmann is a new take on this topic which has just been published by Jessica Kingsley. Following the style of the best-selling All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome (978 1843104810, hb, £9.99) and All Dogs Have ADHD (hb, £9.99, 978 1843106517); wonderful photographs express the complex ideas related to anxiety disorder in an easy-to-understand way. Through a light-touch and quizzical depiction of bird behaviour, All Birds Have Anxiety uses vivid images and astute explanations to explore with gentle humour what it means to live with anxiety day-to-day. This simple yet profound book validates the deeper everyday experiences of anxiety, provides an empathic understanding of the many symptoms associated with anxiety, and offers compassionate suggestions for change. The combination of understanding and gentle humour make this the ideal introduction for those diagnosed with this condition, their family and friends and those generally interested in understanding anxiety. Educators, doctors, mental health practitioners and psychiatrists are falling over themselves to recommend this title: “this wonderful book is a powerful resource for parents … it normalises the experience of anxiety, it explains how worry happens and how it affects us, but it also gives hope on how to overcome worry, stress, and fear. The beautiful images are carefully selected, displaying common emotions amongst all living beings. I strongly recommend it” and I strongly advise you to stock it – the photography alone is worth the cover price! Jessica Kingsley ran a fun promotional campaign for this book (appropriately!) on Twitter under the #birdsmeetbooks. The Tern of the Screw, The Last Kingfisher of Scotland, The Oyster Catcher in the Rye, All Quiet Swan the Western Front, We Need to Stork About Kevin, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Snipe and Robin-son Crusoe are some of the tweeted ideas – any more suggestions all you literary twitchers out there?
First-hand accounts of journalists working in war-torn dangerous places are always gripping to read, and Ed Gorman’s powerful autobiography Death of a Translator has been described as “required reading for any editor in charge of sending journalists into harm’s way.” PJ O'Rourke said of it: “I have never read anything that so fully and perfectly captured the personal experience and the personal aftermath of war.  This is a brave book. Ed Gorman has a lonely struggle, but, excellent reporter that he is, he shows us how the struggle is not his alone.” Gorman starts as a young, devil-may-care Englishman, determined to report on the Soviet war and make a name for himself who makes a fateful commitment to a swashbuckling Afghan guerrilla commander. Not only will he go inside the capital secretly and live in the network of safe houses run by the resistance, he will travel around the city in a Soviet Army jeep, dressed as a Russian officer. Waiting in the mountain camp, from where Niazuldin’s band of fighters lived and planned their hit-and-run attacks on Soviet troops, he soon discovers what it means to experience combat with men whose only interest is to be killed or martyred. Death of a Translator (hb, £14.99, 978 1911350088) is published by Arcadia in June, and there are a series of planned events and significant enthusiasm in publishing extracts from The Times.
Have you discovered the Tony Underwood thrillers written by Joseph Clyde (aka former MP, diplomat and journalist George Walden) yet? If not – you really should, as they are getting some superb reviews! The China Maze (978 1783341368, pb, £8.99) has just been published by Gibson Square and was launched with a party at the Garrick Club, London – Piers Morgan attended and tweeted to his five million followers that the title was “riveting” and author Jung Chang agreed, calling it “gripping and intriguing … intelligent... in the tradition of Frederick Forsyth." It’s been chosen for the WHS travel promotion, and follows Walden’s two successful previous titles The Oligarch (978 1908096715, pb, £8.99) of which the Sunday Times wrote: “Echoes of Frederick Forsyth and Gerald Seymour, you’re reminded of French or Russian literary fiction in this suavely cynical novella, which is resolved cleverly” and the Independent said: “Sit back in wonderment and enjoy this romp around a parallel universe that exists – I assure you, it does. A treat of acute observation and deadpan humour that testifies to a highly-informed eye.” The first in the series was A State of Fear (978 1906142957, pb, £8.99) which the TLS praised as “echoing the best of Len Deighton or John Le Carré.”
We love a bit of JK Rowling sass – so I certainly enjoyed these 25 best comebacks from one of the feistiest authors on Twitter!

I’m delighted to announce that Adam Crothers' Several Deer (£9.99, pb, 978-1784102449) published by Carcanet has won the Shine/Strong Award! This is presented annually to the author of the best first collection of poems published in English or Irish by an Irish poet in the previous year. The Shine/Strong Award is awarded in memory of Rupert and Eithne Strong and is made possible by the generous support of Shine: the national organisation dedicated to upholding the rights and addressing the needs of all those affected by mental ill health. Addressing themes of destruction, consumption, misogyny, gods, sex, form, failure and rock ’n’ roll, Several Deer is the debut collection by this wonderful Northern Irish writer who is as much indebted to Bob Dylan and Lana Del Rey as to Emily Dickinson and George Herbert.

What do you do when the most important person in your life is about to die? Who can help you? How do you keep going? When Alison Murdoch's husband catches viral encephalitis, and falls into a life-threatening coma, everything changes. Bed 12 (£9.99, pb, 978 0995647800) which is published in May by Hikari Press is a survival guide to the world of acute medicine, and a poignant and darkly comic account of what it's like to fight for someone's life. Over the course of a summer, machines beep and clatter, medical staff come and go, and family and friends of varying beliefs offer well-intentioned advice. For someone unfamiliar with hospitals, death and dying, the insights of Buddhism assume a greater relevance than ever before and this book is an astute, profound and uplifting insight into how to cope with despair, heartache and the unknown. This powerfully moving book has a forward by Dr Phil Hammond who called it a “love letter to the NHS, and the everyday acts of kindness that keep it afloat ... it needs to be widely read.” Half of all royalties from the sales will be donated to the Encephalitis Society and you can watch a short film about it here.

What does Brexit actually mean for the UK? What are the wider implications for Europe? Was the UK vote symptomatic of broader issues such as population mobility and the rise of non-traditional parties? Written by three leading international authors, The Human Atlas of Europe: A Continent United in Diversity (£20.00, pb, 978 1447313540) by Dimitris Ballas, Danny Dorling, and Benjamin Hennig explores Europe's society, culture, economy, politics and environment using state of the art mapping techniques. With maps covering over 80 topics ranging from life expectancy, greenhouse gas emissions, GDP to Eurovision voting; The Human Atlas of Europe addresses fundamental questions around social cohesion and sustainable growth. This concise, accessible atlas is packed with very readable and appealing features, including short introductions to each topic, maps using the very latest data, infographics bringing this all to life, and handy summaries of the key information. Taken as a whole, the atlas shows how geographical boundaries only tell a partial story and that we still live in a far more cohesive Europe than we realise. The Guardian called it “a fascinating, accessible and timely guide to modern Europe, providing an essential toolkit for understanding the continent post-Brexit” while Kevin Featherstone, LSE said: “Think you know Europe? Think again: this is a captivating window on the deeper realities of the Europe we share.” It is published next week by Policy Press.
One thing I think we can all agree despite our Brexit differences, is that the very best of Europe is to be found in the Eurovision Song Contest. So, here,  to finish, are the Top Ten Eurovision entries of all time!

As Facebook helpfully launches a campaign this week to help us spot fake news; this seems like a good time to enjoy some recent stories from The Daily Mash!
Bookies don’t want your shitty £1 bet. The nation’s bookmakers have told once-a-year punters to refrain from placing their pathetic Grand National bets this year.
Fan with ‘Wenger Out’ banner sick of Arsenal winning. A disgruntled fan is tired of bringing his ‘Wenger Out’ banner to games that the Gunners win.
People without kids dreading Easter Holidays even more than parents. Those who prefer to avoid children are concerned that they will be absolutely everywhere next week.
Anywhere without ‘No Fly Tipping’ signs fine for fly-tipping. Any lay-by, alleyway or domestic garden that does not display a ‘No Fly Tipping’ sign is open for fly-tipping, local authorities have confirmed.
Child taken on term-time holiday will never catch up on colouring. A six-year-old girl taken on holiday during the school term will be a week behind in colouring for the rest of her life, teachers have confirmed. 
If you run away from our missiles you’re a terrorist, says US. Anyone fleeing Syria because of US airstrikes is not a refugee but a terrorist, the US has confirmed
London in grip of normality. The capital is today in the grip of normality today, with millions having their breakfast then going to work.
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.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Compass Points 208


There is always demand for and interest in books about the Churchill family, so Winston, Churchill and Me by Jonathan Dudley looks set to sell strongly I feel. With echoes of The Go-Between, this short memoir tells the story of a young boy who is invited to stay with a school friend during the summer holidays and finds himself at Chartwell, the family home of Winston Churchill. Jonathan Dudley was eight years old at the time and was accepted into the Churchill family alongside his school companion, the young Winston, grandson of the former Prime Minister. Over two summers, the young boy observed the comings and goings of various members of the Churchill family and visiting statesmen, and over 60 years later, he recalls what he saw through the eyes of a child. The result is a collection of memories, some funny, some sad, some exuberant, some poignant, which together add up to a highly evocative and original sketch of Winston and Clementine Churchill at that time. Winston, Churchill and Me (978 1 911072195, £7.99, pb) is published in June by Skyscraper and contains black and white photos. This new, first-hand biography with its many vivid and readable extracts will provide good newspaper serialisation and is a touching and fascinating read.
It’s been a while since we had a look at the entertaining Epic Rap Battles of History – so this seems an ideal moment to watch at this one  – Winston Churchill vs Theodore Roosevelt!

From one political giant to another, and as Donald Trump continues to entertain and appal us all in pretty much equal measure – don’t forget to keep a pile of The Wit and Wisdom of Donald Trump (pb, £5.00, 978 1911072157) also from Skyscraper by the till! A book which reveals the true vision and intellect of the US President; this book consists largely of blank pages, divided into sections under headings such as: How I will bring peace to the world; How I will heal the divisions in American society between racial, ethnic and lifestyle groups; How I will protect the rights of women; How I will demonstrate restraint, civilised behavior, and compassion; The major positive achievements of my business career; and The major benefits my presidency will bring to the USA. Great stuff!
And if you feel that actually, the Trumpster can genuinely come up with some witty wisdom for real – than you might enjoy this – a five-minute compilation of some of his best comebacks!

The novelist and short story writer Edward Upward (1903-2009) is the unsung member of the W. H. Auden circle, revered by his peers – Auden, Day Lew­is, Isherwood and Spender – for his intellect, high literary gifts and unswerv­ing political commitment. Edward Upward: Art and Life by Peter Stansky (hb, £20, 978 191039284) is a new biography of this influential member of the Auden circle, which is published in May by Enitharmon. This illuminating, meticulously researched biography tells the fascinating story of Upward’s conflict be­tween art and life and at the same time colourfully provides significant insight into English society during the twentieth century and explores the special na­ture of English radicalism. It was the lead review in this week’s TLS and there will be strong demand for this title as it is the first proper biography of Upward and contains many never before published photographs.
The New York Times published an interesting article about Edward Upward when he died in 2009 aged 105 – which you can read here.
Mum Hacks: Time-saving Tips to Calm the Chaos of Family Life by bestselling parenting author Tanith Carey is getting some great pre publicity – look at this  fab piece in the Telegraph for starters. Using tried-and-tested advice, Tanith offers everyday shortcuts to allow busy mums plenty of quality time with their children, partner and even themselves! This book is for anyone who is trying to spend less time tidying, cleaning and washing and more time enjoying every day. Early reviews for this title on Amazon are extremely positive – this one is typical: “If you’re sinking under the daily struggle of wearing so many hats there’s not enough time to catch your breath let alone take a few minutes out, look no further than this book packed to the rafters with top tips to give you less stress and more time for family fun! I found some real nuggets of ideas to implement which are already working like a dream. Whatever you’re struggling with – from school runs to bedtimes, holidays to housework –  pick up a copy of this book today and there’s every chance your life will be just that little bit calmer and enjoyable as a result!” Mum Hacks (pb, £9.99, 978 1910336229) is published at the end of April by Crimson.
You can listen to a fun podcast from Tanith Carey about taming your inner tiger parent here and you can go to Tanith’s own website at www.tanithcarey.com
Now that Theresa May has finally triggered Article 50, Philip Jones considers what this means for the future of the book trade. You can read his views in The Bookseller here.
And as the negotiations begin in earnest, can I draw your attention to Beyond Brexit? How to Assess the UK’s Future by Janice Morphet (pb, 978 1 4473 3924 3, £ 9.99). This is an excellent short (128 page) paperback on a highly topical subject written by someone with wealth of knowledge on the subject: Dr Morphet is a Professor at the Bartlett School of Planning at UCL and has been chief executive of a local authority, a senior adviser on local and central government and is also an author, consultant and frequent speaker on Europe. Beyond Brexit? offers a new framework with which to assess and discuss the forthcoming talks and would be interesting to both professionals and policy makers as well as the general public – Janice’s clarity of thinking and her accessible writing style make this very readable. It has just been published by Policy Press.
And just to prove that we haven’t totally lost our sense of humour over the whole European issue, I think you will very much enjoy this hilarious compilation of insults from Blackadder – covering pretty much every nation!

Who’d like to read an intelligent thriller blending Scandinavian noir with traditional British crime? Me, me, me! If you would too, then email nuala@compass-ips.london and ask for a reading copy of Fatal Crossing by Lone Theils (£8.99, pb, 978 1911350033) which is published on 4 May by Arcadia. This is a crime debut novel which has already sold more than 10,000 copies in Denmark, been translated into thirteen languages and featured prominently in the Danish bestseller charts. It has been described as “a fast-paced and skilfully plotted thriller” and “a candidate for the best crime novel of the year”. When a picture of two Danish girls who disappeared on a boat bound for England in 1985 emerges many years later in an old suitcase from a British second-hand dealer, the journalist Nora Sand’s professional curiosity is immediately awakened. But before she knows it, she is mixed up in the case of a serial killer who is serving a life sentence in a notorious prison and the quest to discover the truth about the missing girls may be more dangerous that she had ever imagined… Lone Theils (who is half Danish and half English) will be appearing in the UK around publication for events and Arcadia will be publishing the second title in the Nora Sand series, The Blue Poet’s Wife, in Spring 2018, so this is well worth supporting.
Energy Balls & Power Bites: All-Natural Snacks for Healthy Energy Boosts by Sara Lewis (978 0754833260, £9.99, hb) has just been published by Lorenz – and looks absolutely terrific! The photography is gorgeous; I don’t usually like to link to Amazon, but there are 11 spreads from this title on their website here which is probably the easiest way to view just how enticing the recipes in this book are. Energy Balls – quick, protein based healthy snacks to give you a boost – are a massive foodie trend at the moment, and this is by far the best book on the market.  Snacking on sugary or salty processed foods is not the healthy answer to tiredness or boredom as we all know, and Energy Balls & Power Bites gives you loads of nutrient-dense and tasty fatigue fighting snacks that are good for you too. Many can be made in a matter of minutes; others can be kept ready in the fridge and even freezer to pull out as you need. There are energy balls made with fresh dates, frozen berries and spirulina; wholegrain muesli bars; lime and chia bars; spiced apple bites; and pumpkin seed, almond and sour cherry bars, all packed with taste and goodness.
So, as we do like to finish with some music, let’s have the top ten songs about balls! Miley Cyrus? Jerry Lee Lewis? Have a watch here!
Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. Here are some of our favourite tweets from this week …
Freight Books@FreightBooks Delighted Dilys Rose's Unspeakable is Waterstones Scottish Book of the Month for April, 'richly compelling' @scotsman_arts
Denis MacShane‏@DenisMacShane Just finished @willwainewright's "Reporting on Hitler. Have rarely enjoyed a book on journalists + reporting so much @IainDale @BitebackPub
Edward Peacock‏@brendonbronco Much liked the ingenious #ThePresidentsHat by #AntoineLaurain. Taste the French food, sniff the French perfumes! #Gallic
Matthew at Urbane‏ @urbanepub Congratulations to @GeorgeCostigan - The Single Soldier publishes today!
Lulu Allison‏@LRAllison77 Martin John by @AnakanaSchofield #AndOtherStories. In an age of careful neutrality, such #books make bold explorers of us all
Matthew at Urbane‏@urbanepub A great piece in @CumbriaLifeMag on @ggaffa 's new novel All The Places I've Ever Lived #BookBoost #Cumbria
Gallic & Aardvark‏ @BelgraviaB Love @madhatterbook display for Books of the Month, incl our v own Fiona Kidman's Songs of the Violet Café!
Biteback Publishing‏@BitebackPub“By the end of the book I was shaking with outrage” | Ann Widdecombe on @bbcsimonwarr's #PresumedGuilty
Freight Books‏@FreightBooks Great night at @Waterstones_Edi launch of Dilys Rose Unspeakable - 80 readers big signing queue live early music too!
Matthew at Urbane‏@urbanepub Thanks Bakewell Bookshop: Nothing better than the support of an independent bookshop!
CompassPoint@CompassIPS We couldn’t agree more!!
That’s all for now folks! More next week!
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