Compass Points 10
Your weekly round up of publishing news, publicity information and trivia!
Well, is anyone actually doing any work, or are we all sitting in front of a screen glued to the Olympics? Let’s hope your tills are ringing as loudly as our hands are clapping – and the first book that you really shouldn’t miss out on with this national fervour for all things cycling is Matt Carroll’s Escape Routes. This is Matt’s (who is an experienced travel writer and well know broadcaster) handpicked selection of 60 stunning cycling routes all over England. You don’t need to be a keen cyclist; this is your guide to exploring the beautiful English countryside. And with routes ranging from a five-mile pootle to a 20-mile day trip, there’s something for all levels of cyclist. Beautiful hand-drawn maps mark out the routes and step-by-step directions will guide you all the way round. And, when you’re ready to give your legs a rest, there’s a detailed list of cracking places to eat, drink, and sleep. With routes falling under categories such as ‘jaw-dropping views’, ‘taste tour’, ‘best for pubs’, and ‘magical history tour’, and spectacular photography throughout, this beautiful guide will inspire you get off that sofa and off onto your very own cycle tour. There’s a cycle hire listing for each route, so you don’t even need to own a bicycle!
And talking of cycling – who hasn’t gone Wiggo wild this week? Just about everyone in Britain is crazy for our sideburned superhero – and now the race is on for which publisher can get their biography out first! Sorry guys – Birlinn get the yellow jersey - click below to find out about Bradley Wiggins Tour de Force which is out in October. It will include all the results of the London 2012 Olympic Games, plus tons of stuff on his extraordinary historic Tour de France win. It is written by Bradley’s long-standing friend and cycling journalist John Deering, who has had unique access to Team Sky since its inception. It doesn’t get much more wiggolicious than that!
However – back in the real world; let’s face it some of us are going to need to do a whole lot more than just buy a load of fancy cycling kit and grow some sideburns to make ourselves into Olympic champions. Giving up that chocolate doughnut and white wine habit might be a good place to start – and Beyond Sugar Shock by Connie Bennett is going to tell us how. The book promises us a Six Week Plan to Break Free of your Sugar Addiction and get Sexier, Slimmer and Sweeter! Connie’s approach is fun and motivational and the book offers much more emotional and physical care than your typical diet book. There was a big two page spread on the book in Woman magazine last week – which has a circulation of over a quarter of a million readers. Here's Connie discussing the US edition of the book on a wacky US TV show
Good news for Muckraker: The Scandalous Life and Times of W.T. Stead by W. Sydney Robinson, which has made it onto the shortlist for this year’s HW Fisher Best First Biography Prize - worth £5,000. This prize is awarded annually by The Biographers Club, and the shortlisted entrants are: Ian Donaldson – Ben Jonson: A Life (OUP); Joanna Hodgkin – Amateurs in Eden (Virago); Louise Miller – A Fine Brother: The Life of Captain Flora Sandes (Alma Books); Thomas Penn – Winter King (Penguin); W. Sydney Robinson – Muckraker: The Scandalous Life and Times of W.T. Stead (Robson Press) and Tom Williams – A Mysterious Something in the Light: Raymond Chandler (Aurum). The prize is awarded to the best book by a first-time biographer and the winner will be announced at a dinner on 13 November at the Saville Club in London.
Well, Pink Floyd may have said that we don’t need it, and the kids may be on holiday right now – but just in time for that Back to School window display that you know you’ll be putting in soon; comes Education Education, Education: Reforming England’s Schools by Andrew Adonis. Tony Blair said his three priorities were education, education, education and Andrew Adonis played a decisive role in turning this slogan into a reform programme. This book describes his quest to transform standards and opportunities in England’s schools, and his ambition to make English education truly world class. It is an essential book about a hot ticket issue by one of British politics’ genuine big-hitters which is published in September to coincide with the start of the new school term and the Party Conference season. The book will be serialised in the Daily Mail on 31st August and 1st September, then The Sunday Times will be running a major interview with Andrew Adonis on 2nd September.
And now for something completely different. Who has heard of Greek poet Yannis Ritsos? Considered by some to be "the greatest poet of our age" he was proposed nine times for the Nobel Prize for Literature and won the Lenin Peace Prize. He was a left-wing activist and an active member of the Greek Resistance during World War II who wrote the most beautiful poetry in the face of personal tragedy, persistent ill health and systematic persecution. In Secret: A Version of Yannis Ritsos by David Harsent is published by Enitharmon Press in October and it has just been chosen as the Poetry Book Society's Recommended Translation for the Winter Quarter. You can read this article all about Yannis Ritsos by David Harsent in last week's Guardian. And Yannis’s translator, David Harsent who is one of Britain’s most prominent contemporary poets, has himself has just won The Griffin Prize for Poetry (which is the world biggest most prestigious prize for poetry). You can find out more about the prize here.
And finally – who’d like a poster for Fifty Shades of Grey? Ooohh yes please; me, me – pick me. Click here to get one.
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That’s all for now folks, more next week!