Friday, 11 January 2019

Compass Points 288


Happy New Year booksellers! I hope you all had an excellent Christmas! Here you see some of our staff at our Christmas party – I hope all of your festivities were as merry! 

First up is this article from the Guardian on readers’ favourite bookshops around the UK – and why they want their “ashes scattered in the fiction section”. Lots of our faves are here too – nice one!

For such a beautiful industry, there is a lot of ugly behind the scenes in modelling, and with the aspirational nature of this world comes exploitation. The Model Manifesto (£14.99, pb, 978 1788600651) from Practical Inspiration empowers and educates models to take control of their lives into their own hands and educates the public on the reality of what's involved. Leanne Maskell has drawn on her 13 years of experience working as an international model together with her legal background to create this easy-to-understand, A-Z guide in order to end exploitation of vulnerable models. With contributions from top industry experts, The Model Manifesto includes solid advice on everything from mental health issues to paying tax. It covers every aspect of the modelling industry in detail to give an honest and realistic insider view, covering both the highs and the lows. It has a foreword by Carole White of Premier Models and there is a big six-week PR campaign for this one, it’s published in May during London Fashion Week, so is certain to attract attention. There are confirmed features in Vogue, Elle, In Style, Glamour, Cosmopolitan and Grazia and for parents of child models, or those considering entering modelling from a young age, features in Junior, Smallish, Absolutely Mumma and Angels & Urchins and there will be lots more publicity for this one I’m sure.

I love the bold new branding for Carcanet Press as they enter their 50th year of publishing– check it out at their website: www.carcanet.co.uk! They have also been featured in BookBrunch and The Bookseller today!

It’s definitely the weather for a warming bowl of something spicy – and ramen (an enticing combination of noodles, broth and topping) is loved for its wonderful depths of umami flavour. Ramen: 50 Classic Ramen and Asian Noodle Soups by Heather Whinney (£10, hb, 978 0754834366) which has just been published by Lorenz shows how to make classic ramen dishes as well as irresistible twists and variations. Quick, sustaining and delicious, ramen is low-fat and healthy, and this book has traditional recipes as well as all kinds of tempting new ideas, clear instructions for making your own base stocks and gorgeous pictures by William Shaw. Every recipe also has a nutritional breakdown. There’s been some syndicated reviews for this one – meaning that local newspapers from Hull to Hertfordshire have carried a picture and feature.

Andy Grant will be on Sky Sports Soccer Saturday in the coming weeks, with Jamie Carragher talking about You’ll Never Walk (hb, £15.99, 978 1909245709). As reviewers have said: this is “shocking and graphic in parts, gut-wrenching and heartbreaking in others, but through all of the adversity is a true story of courage, grit, determination and never giving up. It's filled with humour, honesty and and is heart-warming in its entirety. You can't fail to be moved by the life of this incredibly brave young soldier.” It’s published by De Coubertin.

Here's the Guardian’s take on “2019 in books: what you'll be reading this year” and we’re pleased to see a great bit of publicity for Jane Yeh’s forthcoming Discipline (£9.99, pb, 978-1784107079) which is coming from Carcanet in March, the feature calls it “Haunting and hilarious: explorations of identity and performance prompted by videos and paintings, animals and street life”. Also pleased to see a plug for Border Districts (£8.99, pb, 978 1911508380) by Gerard Murnane which is out from And Other Stories this month. This is the first UK publication for the cult Australian author who, at nearly 80, is gaining international recognition; his 1974 debut Tamarisk Row (£10, pb, 978 1911508366) follows in February.

Half boat, half aeroplane; the flying boat was the journey of a lifetime. Imperial Airways legendary Empire boats flew up the Nile in nightly hops alighting on lakes and in harbours all the way down to South Africa. But in 1939 the Corsair came down in fog on a tiny river in the Belgian Congo and, through an epic salvage operation, gave its name to a new village in an obscure backwater. The Flying Boat that Fell to Earth: A Lost World of Air Travel and Africa (£9.99, pb, 978 0993291166) by Graham Coster tells the story of this amazing adventure, and seeks out, from Alaska to the Bahamas, the very last places on earth where it was still possible to catch a flying boat. This is published by Safe Haven this week and a promotion will be appearing in the Telegraph on the 21st and 25th January.

Got the January blues? Have a look at these these  – that should cheer you up!

The Bookseller announced this week that “Comma scoops Constantine's fifth short story collection” – you can read that piece here. The Dressing-Up Box, Constantine’s fifth collection, will bring together all of the author's new stories written since Tea at the Midland, winner of the 2013 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, the title story of which also won the 2010 BBC National Short Story Award. Oscar-nominated David Constantine is regarded as one of the UK's leading short fiction writers, and on signing the deal, commented: “Comma Press is the place to be. No editor has done more for the short story – and so for contemporary literature altogether – than Ra Page.”

There was a full page spread in the T2 section of the Times this Monday for Katri Skala headlined “Me, My Mother and Her Anger.” Katri writes “The title of my recent novel A Perfect Mother is an ironic riff on the traditional notion of the perfect nuclear family... I wrote against the idea of perfection and certainty. I wrote to embrace complexity and difficulty.” Her book (978 0995647848, £15, hb) came out from Hikari last year and is a bracing, hypnotic story of mid-life crisis about the complexities of love, relationship and legacy

What a Hazard a Letter Is (hb, £14.99, 978 0993291173) from Safe Haven has continued its run of terrific publicity with an excellent review in the Spectator calling it a “sparkling collection” and “a great idea for a book”, that’s here  and a handsome four-page feature by the author about letter-writing in Country Living. It also features in the latest QI podcast, www.nosuchthingasafish.com (it starts at about 21 minutes 40) which has 700,000 subscribers!

Angela Readman's short stories have won many awards including The Costa Short Story Award which she has been shortlisted twice for. Next week And Other Stories publish her debut novel Something Like Breathing (pb, £12.99, 978 1911508304). There are reviews confirmed in the Guardian Review, the Daily Telegraph, and the Sunday Express, plus an author “20 Questions with the TLS” next week. Set on a remote Scottish island in the 1950’s. friendship blossoms between the enigmatic Lorrie, and the shy Sylvie, a whisky distiller’s granddaughter. As the adults around them struggle to keep their lives on an even keel, the two young women are drawn into a series of events that leave the small town wondering who exactly Sylvie is and what strange gift she is hiding. Readman’s feel for emotional nuance and flair for mixing strangeness with poignant detail make this long-awaited debut novel one to savour.

The Black Prince and the Capture of a King: Poitiers 1356 (£25, hb, 978 1612004518) by Morgen Witzel and Marilyn Livingston is featured in the Feb issue of Military History Monthly. The capture of a king in the course of a battle was a relatively rare event and this, the climactic event of the Black Prince's first campaign as commander, came at the end of nearly a year of campaigning across the southwest of France. The battle of Poitiers in 1356 is less well known than more famous clashes such as Agincourt, however, it was no less dramatic, and equally important in terms of the course of the Hundred Years War. The detailed account and analysis of the battle and the campaigns that led up to it has a strong focus on the people involved in the campaign: ordinary men-at-arms and non-combatants as well as princes and nobles. It’s published by Casemate in May.

Top Ten Kings  in history anyone?

“2019 is set to be a fascinating year for women in translation: Kamila Shamsie suggested that, more than the Year of Publishing Women itself, the real question is what will happen in 2019?” So begins a really interesting Women in Translation blog piece which you can read here. Good to see a mention for Comma’s The Sea Cloak (£9.99, pb, 978 1905583782) as well as titles by And Other Stories and Parthian.

A good little push for The Grand Tour Cook Book (£40, 9788799816903, hb) in the February issue of Bikes Etc. This modern classic is the ultimate performance cookbook and a must-have for all cycling aficionados serious about nutritional intake. Translated from the original in Danish, Hannah Grant’s unmissable cookbook takes you through 350-pages of easy-to-prepare recipes containing allergy friendly, natural foods. The Grand Tour Cookbook is the ultimate companion in the kitchen for athletes and is based on actual food prepared for professional cycling’s gruelling three-week Grand Tours including the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and the Vuelta. It’s published by Musette/Casemate.


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 nuala@compass-ips.london


Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Compass Points 287


Happy Christmas! This is the final Compass Points of the year and we would like to wish every bookseller, publisher and publicist a fabulous festive season! Here’s a round-up of the publicity highlights for the final weeks of 2018.

First up is this beautiful ten-minute film made by BBC Future about Brian May and his passion for Victorian stereoscopy. It references Queen in 3D and Mission Moon (which of course have been two of our biggest sellers this year) and is a genuinely fascinating little documentary. As Robin Rees publisher at London Stereoscopic says: “The footage is far higher calibre than the usual live interviews and if I had to pick one item summarising everything we are trying to do LSC, this would be it.” Have a watch I think you will enjoy it!

Another author this year whose passion for his subject really helped shift those copies was the wonderful 96-year-old WWII veteran John Martin, whose appearance on The One Show at the end of November sent A Raid Over Berlin (£8.99, pb, 978 1912681198straight into the bestseller lists. This engaging and compulsively readable true-life tale of the airman who cheated death in the sky, only to face interrogation, the prospect of being shot by the Gestapo, and months of hardship as a prisoner of war has been a huge and well deserved success for Parthian – and if you didn’t see it, you can watch that One Show interview on the iPlayer here  – it’s 29 minutes in.

The BBC National Short Story Award 2019 is now opened for submissions, so if you fancy dashing off an entry over the holiday – then here's where you should submit it! The new judging panel will be chaired by broadcaster Nikki Bedi, alongside Booker shortlistee Daisy Johnson and previous winner Cynan Jones, and of course the anthology of all the shortlisted stories will be published by Comma next September. 

My Bangladesh Kitchen: Recipes and Food Memories from a Family Table by Saira Hamilton (978 0754834502, £20, hb) was a Bookseller editor’s pick for March saying: "My cookery choice of the month is this enticing book on the authentic cuisine of Bangladesh" and this vibrant book published by Lorenz is packed full of Saira’s much-loved recipes, with everyday classics, regional specialities, street snacks and impressive celebration food too. There are gorgeous photographs, chatty anecdotal descriptions of every dish, and an informative introduction describing the key ingredients and cooking techniques of this land of contrasts.

Great to see a poem from Carcanet’s new selection of Charles Tomlinson’s poetry, Swimming Chenango Lake (£14.99, pb, 978 1784106799) chosen as a Guardian Poem of the Week. You can read it here. As the Guardian writes: “Tomlinson was a wide-ranging poet. His technical scope includes free form and more traditional structures, and he is a master of both. They cohabit enrichingly in Swimming Chenango Lake: a finely chosen collection for existing enthusiasts and an excellent introduction for newcomers.”

We’re loving the antics of the cheeky little Gazelle elves over on Twitter! Check out their festive fun and games at Gazelle Book Services @Gazellian 

Quite a bit of promo for Jeremy Marchant’s excellent title Network Better: How to Meet, Connect and Grow your Business (£12.99, pb, 978 1788600514) which is a very insightful guide to how to conquer any fears you have about this vital business skill, how to do it better, and how to stop tripping yourself up. Most books and presentations on networking stick to its behavioural aspects. But successful networking is also about the successful initiation and nurturing of relationships with other business people, which requires emotional intelligence and an understanding of how to apply it. Network Better provides the necessary vision into what’s going on as well as many tried-and-tested suggestions and encouragements to enable you to do just that. Jeremy will have an article in Business Works, an interview in Financial Management, a featured contribution on Emotional Intelligence & Networking Better in ManageMagazine / Biz Catalyst 360, a guest article in HR News and a feature on the MBA World Book Club. It was published by Practical Inspiration this autumn.

If you’d like to re-connect with your natural side over the festive season, here are two podcasts to listen to from the Royal Horticultural Society, both of which feature London’s Street Trees (pb, £12.99, 978 0993291135) by Paul Wood which is published by Safe Haven. There’s How to help winter wildlife, unusual street trees and are glittered plants a crime against nature?  and also Books Special 2018: Experts pick their favourites old and new, and books for Christmas presents.

A very thought-provoking article here in Stylist by Winnie M Li, Legend’s author of Dark Chapter (pb, £7.99, 978 1785079061) entitled A Message to Everyone Who Dares to Say Women Shouldn’t Travel Alone. Winnie was raped during a solo trip to Belfast but she refuses to let that incident stop her from travelling independently. “It saddens me to think that there may be young women who will not be allowed to travel now, because of what happened to Grace Millane. We are not meant to live our lives in fear, shackled by the spectre of “what might happen”. Lots of things can happen, and the majority of them are good. So get out there, discover the world, live the life you want to lead. And realise that even if you travel solo, you’re not alone. There are so many of us women out there doing the same.”

Most beautiful book covers ever in 2018? See if you agree with this selection from Buzz Feed!

Under the Wig (£16.99, hb, 978 1912454082) from Canbury Press continued its stonking run of superb reviews and stellar sales by being named as one of the best law and order books of 2018 by the Times under the heading “Escapism, extortion and everyday sexism: Put down the papers and indulge your mind during the Christmas holiday with the best of this year’s law and order books.” You can see the selection of ten titles here.

There will be a review of Tentacle (pb, £8.99, 978 1911508342) by Rita Indiana, translated by Achy Obejas, which has just been published by And Other Stories in this Saturday's Guardian Review. Tentacle is an electric novel with a big appetite and a brave vision, plunging headfirst into questions of climate change, technology, Yoruba ritual, queer politics, poverty, sex, colonialism and contemporary art. Bursting with punk energy and lyricism, it's a restless, addictive trip.

The Sheffield Telegraph included Comma’s New Uncanny (£7.95, pb, 978 1905583188) anthology in their Christmas books wish list, saying: "It might not be a conventional holiday read, but if Christmas starts to get a bit saccharine, this sounds like the perfect read to cut through it all." You can read that  here.

Super to see a massive feature for the gorgeous Amber title Ireland: The Emerald Isle (hb, 978 1782746560 £19.99) in the Daily Mail last week, saying: “Here's something we can ALL agree on about Ireland – it's beautiful! Jaw-dropping pictures capture the Emerald Isle's landscape in all its glory.” You can have a look at a selection of the 150 pictures which the Mail correctly describes as “mesmerising” here.  

Congratulations to debut Palestinian author Nayrouz Qarmout who has made World Literature Today’s list of 75 Notable Translations of 2018! The Sea Cloak (£9.99, pb, 978-1905583782) her first short story collection (translated from Arabic into English) will be published by Comma in February 2019. You can find the full list of all the notable translations here.

“If you are told you’re something often enough, you begin to believe it. Eventually, you become it. Racism can institutionalize not only the person being racist but the person on the receiving end . . . racism imprisons you and it’s incredibly difficult to escape.”  A really interesting piece here in the Irish Times, looking at the increasing awareness of racism in 2018 on the terraces and asking if it is very different to the experiences of Howard Gayle, Liverpool’s first black footballer in the 70s and 80s, with reference to what it calls “one of the most under-the-radar sports books of the past few years, 61 Minutes In Munich (hb, £16.99, 978 1909245396).” It’s published by de Coubertin.

Everyone loves a bit of Disney at Christmas, right? So this is a good moment to tell you about How to Read Donald Duck: Imperialist Ideology in the Disney Comic by Ariel Dorfman and Armand Mattelart (978 0745339788, £14.99, pb) which is out from Pluto next March. First published in 1971, How to Read Donald Duck shocked readers by revealing how capitalist ideology operates in our most beloved cartoons. Having survived bonfires, and being dumped into the ocean by the Chilean army, this controversial book is certain to ruffle feathers (see what I did there) and examines how the hapless mice and ducks of Disney, curiously parentless, marginalised and always short of cash, not only reflect capitalist ideology, but are active agents working in this ideology's favour. How to Read Donald Duck is a devastating document of twentieth-century political upheaval and a reminder of the dark undercurrent of pop culture. Ariel Dorfman, who has written a new introduction for this edition, has been getting some good publicity already – there’s an author article in the Guardian here and an interview here on Democracy Now.

And if you’d like to see a bit of Donald daftness – without worrying too much about its imperialist undertones – then this is for you; Donald Duck’s Snow Fight, from 1942. Happy Christmas!


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 nuala@compass-ips.london




Friday, 7 December 2018

Compass Points 286


Congratulations to authors Les Wilson and Leila Aboulela who were both winners at the Saltire Literary Awards. You can see all the winners here. Leila Aboulela's wonderful Elsewhere, Home (£8.99, pb, 978 1846592119); published by Saqi won the Scottish Fiction Book of the Year. This is a collection of short stories that draws the reader into the lives of immigrants at home and abroad as they forge new identities and reshape old ones. The news was covered in the Herald, Scotsman and The Times. There’s also a great radio interview with Leila on BBC World Service – In The Studio. The 2018 History Book of the Year was Islay-based writer and documentary maker Les Wilson’s The Drowned and the Saved (pb, £9.99, 978 1780275437) an extensively researched account of the sinking of US troopships Tuscania and Otranto off the coast of Islay in 1918, a tribute to those who died and an exploration of the huge impact of the disaster on survivors, rescuers and the local community. It’s published by Birlinn.

If you are one of the many who are likely to be taking part in a spot of quizzing over the festive season – then these  twenty impressive literary facts may be just what you need to help you dominate on trivia night!

The weather outside is frightful so let’s talk about next year and holidays instead. Cool Places (pb, £18.99, 978 1906889692) is compiled by Rough Guides founder Martin Dunford and author Jules Brown with a host of regional specialists. Each hand-picked place has an incisive first-hand review and this lavish full-colour guide with over 300 gorgeous colour pics features everything from boutique hotels and designer B&Bs to chic country cottages and luxury glampsites. Inspired by the unique accommodation website www.coolplaces.co.uk it features over 200 of the finest places to stay in Britain, celebrating some amazing independent businesses and also including all the best stuff to do nearby: local pubs, great walks and fun activities. It’s out from Punk Publishing on 31 January and there will be lots of promotion for this one as Cool Places are the go-to UK accommodation experts for the Independent, London Evening Standard and more and there will be a nationwide PR campaign for it with exposure across all media.

I LOVE it when publishers put up promotional films for their titles on YouTube and here's a super trailer for Legend’s Pieces of Me (£8.99, pb, 978-1787198036) by Natalie Hart which as you know is shortlisted for the Costa First Book Award, one of Prima Magazine’s best novels of 2018 and the Reading Agency's best debut novels of 2018. It will be reviewed in the Guardian next week!


Taking of YouTube, let’s have a look at what the top trending videos were for 2018! Let’s take out football, the Royal Wedding and Kardashian related nonsense and based on views, likes, shares, searches, parodies, remixes and responses see what we are left with! The big Yanny/Laurel debate – remember that one? Here's an explanation as to what may or may not have been going on there! Also, the child yodelling in Walmart and five minutes of Real Life Trick Shots Ahh, the world surely can’t be too bad a place if this is what we’re most absorbed by! Strangely no videos featuring the B word appear to be in the top ten…

Casemate’s excellent Masters of Mayhem: Lawrence of Arabia and the British Military Mission to the Hejaz (hb, £19.99, 978 1612005744) by James Stejskal has been officially unveiled as one of the nominees for the Military History Monthly Book of the Year Award, alongside the Helion and Company title The Other Norfolk Admirals: Myngs, Narbrough and Shovell by Dr Simon Harris. The award is a public vote, so if you are a fan of either of these titles, please get onto the website and vote for them here!

Vex King is leading a revolution for the next generation of spiritual seekers. Despite an incredibly challenging childhood growing up in a racist, violent neighbourhood, Vex has had a successful career and became a role model for young people. Good Vibes, Good Life How Self-Love Is the Key to Unlocking Your Greatness (978 1788171823, £10.99, pb) distills the wisdom and advice he shares through his popular online platforms and has just been published by Hay House. It shares deep spiritual knowledge in a way that's easy to understand, while providing practical solutions and Vex will be interviewed on BBC Asian Network on December 19th at 2pm. Vex will also be featured in April’s Spirit and Destiny magazine on their Rising Star page. Soul and Spirit will be taking an extract from this book for their February self-love issue and there will be a feature with Vex in February’s Yoga Magazine. 

Boydell’s English Medieval Church Towers: The Northern Province (£19.99, pb, 978-1783273539) by W.E. David Ryan has just been listed as Christopher Howse’s choice for Book of the Year in The Tablet. Every medieval church tower within the Northern Province is beautifully illustrated here by a watercolour painting and is accompanied by detailed information relating to its location and date and an architectural description. Provided with an index and a glossary of terms, this book can be used both as a visitor's guide and as a reference work for the study of medieval church architecture. 

An EU directive has allowed member states to reduce or do away with VAT on digital publications such as ebooks, audiobooks, journals and newspaper subscriptions and the UK government is being urged to do the same and scrap the “illogical and unfair” 20% tax currently imposed on ebooks. The new legislation came into force on Tuesday – read more on whether Britain should “axe the reading tax” in the Guardian here.  

Great to see What a Hazard a Letter Is (hb, £14.99, 978 0993291173) featured here as one of the Mail on Sunday's YOU magazine's 12 Books of Christmas and described as an “intriguing stocking filler” and “a collection of remarkable unsent letters – angry tirades, unexpressed love and missed deliveries from both fiction and real life. Full of riveting detail for that Christmas quiz.” It’s published by Safe Haven.

Do you know your book jackets? Test your knowledge now, with The Bookseller’s annual book cover quiz based on tiny cut-out images from 50 book covers from a whole range of genres, from children’s to poetry to cookbooks. The person with the most correct answers will win a bundle of books and you can enter here.  

Two nice online reviews for a couple of Lorenz titles as the “best food and drink books of 2018” from www.msmarmitelover.com Firstly for Liquorice, (£10, hb, 978 0754833659) by Carol Wilson saying “Notable recipes I'd like to try out include Liquorice Brownies (chocolate and liquorice are a wonderful combination), Pontefract Style Cakes, Liquorice and Fennel Trout Filets. Nice photography by Nicki Dowey and a picture for every recipe.” And also Vegetable Cakes (£10, hb, 978 0754833246) by Ysanne Spevack writing “We all know about carrot cake, but author Spevack goes further, much further. She has devised sweet recipes using vegetables: velvet artichoke heart cupcakes, spinach macaroons, and a gorgeous courgette rosette tart. If you struggle to get your kids to eat vegetables, there are some great ideas within this beautifully styled and photographed book. If, as an adult, you battle to reach your seven a day, you may find the solution here.”

If you're one of the many booksellers currently attempting to become as successful author then you might enjoy these very messy and muddled first drafts from famous authors and take some comfort that you are not the only one procrastinating and suffering from writers block!

Lots of publicity coming up in the coming weeks for Running Man (£20, hb, 978 1909245693). Its author footballer John Arne Riise will be interviewed by FulhamFanTV, BBC World Service, BBC Merseyside, CNN, the Standard, Radio City Talk, the Liverpool Echo, Goal.com, BBC NW, ITV, the Daily Mail, ESPN, FourFourTwo, the Anfield Wrap and The I. He is also going to be in the Fulham programme and Reuters are doing an interview with him as well. At the start of the twenty-first century, Riise was regarded as one of the most buccaneering left-sided players in European football. During an illustrious career in which he won a Champions League title with Liverpool, he became the finest player Norway has produced in a generation. Yet beneath the veneer of the famous and successful footballer, his ascent masked the huge challenges he had had to overcome on the way to the top: bullying, a broken home, uncertainty, loneliness. Riise has written a perceptive and opinionated autobiography and this is an intriguing portrait of a complex man and a candid insight into the life of a modern footballer. It’s published by de Coubertin.

The might of Rome rested on the back of its legions; the superbly trained and equipped fighting force with which the imperial Roman army conquered, subdued and ruled an empire for centuries. Simon Elliott who is the author of Roman Legionaries: Soldiers of Empire (£7.99, pb, 978 1612006116), which was published this year in Casemate’s Short Histories series; has just appeared popular podcast Dan Snow’s History Hits. In it, Simon discusses his book and explains why the soldiers of Rome were the most elite fighting force of their age, you can listen to that here. This concise and entertaining history of the Roman legionary covers their history from the age of Augustus through the heyday of the Roman Empire. Topics include training, tactics, weapons, the men themselves, life on and off the battlefield as well as significant triumphs and disasters in the great battles of the era.

All together now – what have the Romans ever given us? Answers here!



Guyanese-British poet Fred D’Aguiar was on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row on Monday talking about Translations From Memory (pb, £9.99, 9781784106065) – you can listen to that one here.  The book wonderfully recreates moments of his and our wider history, making inclusions where exclusions have occurred before.

Great piece by Gary Younge on Pluto’s Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain by Peter Fryer (pb, 978 0745338309, £16.99) in the Guardian saying “When it was published in 1984 Staying Power vividly captured the struggle for black British identity. Nearly 35 years on it still has lessons to teach”.

Nearly 130 public libraries closed across Britain in the last year and services continue to be targets for local authority budget cuts, with remaining services increasingly reliant on voluntary staff – an extra 3,000 volunteers have been brought in to run remaining services, as the decade’s austerity pressures see councils continuing to apply swingeing cuts to budgets. You can read more on that here in the Guardian.

A new study has revealed that films adapted from books bring in an impressive 53% more revenue globally than original screenplays and out of the 20 highest grossing films of all time, only 30% of them were original stories. And looking at the stage, the top four longest-running shows in the West End are all based on literary works. Proof, if any were needed, of the importance of our wonderful industry. Of course, the adaptations as well as being successful in themselves also drive sales upwards of the books on which they’re based – one example quoted in the study is John Le CarrĂ©’s The Night Manager, published in 1993 and adapted for TV in 2016. Although the novel has been in circulation for over 25 years, more than four in every five copies it has sold to date were after the 6-part mini-series was released. The report demonstrates that the total economic contribution of UK publishing goes far beyond the profits of publishing houses and the salaries paid to those working in the industry and you can read more on that here.

Here are what Watch Mojo thinks are the top ten books to film adaptations, and here are the top ten movies “most people don’t know are based on books” Well, “most people who aren’t booksellers” I assume!



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 nuala@compass-ips.london