Friday 5 October 2012

Compass Points 17

Compass Points 17
Your weekly round up of publishing news, publicity information and trivia!

Well, it’s the time of year for party conferences – and we’ve now heard from Labour and the Lib Dems as to how exactly they’d run the country – if only they were in charge. Out this month is the gripping first biography of one of the men who actually is in charge – George Osborne. The Age of Osborne by Janan Ganash charts the mixture of rare brilliance, deadly opportunism and extraordinary good fortune that propelled Osborne’s vertiginous ascent through British politics, from journalist fresh out of university to the youngest Chancellor in over a century. In doing so, it paints a portrait of that rare thing in the coalition government: a compelling character. A lifelong Tory but a man of few fixed convictions, the author of the most dramatic austerity programme this country has seen since the war, the most aristocratic member of an unusually privileged government and a ferociously ambitious moderniser with aspirations for the premiership, George Osborne is perhaps the most modern and metropolitan figure in British public life. Janan Ganesh is the British political correspondent of The Economist, and this title is attracting much media attention, as you would expect. Starting this Saturday it will be serialised in the Daily Mail – which will run through into next week.

Another title in the news is Ted and I: A Brother’s Memoir by Gerald Hughes – his story of growing up with the poet Ted Hughes. This had a two page serialisation this weekend in the Sunday Times. Anecdotal and immensely charming, this book is a unique portrait of one of the finest and best-known poets of the twentieth century. Hughes brings alive a period when the two brothers would roam the countryside, camping, making fires, pitching tents, hunting rabbits, rats, wood pigeon and stoats. Ted’s fascination with all wildlife subsequently fed directly into his sublime poetry and Gerald subsequently describes how he watched his brother become one of the greatest poets in English literary history, and his relationships with others, in particular. The title containing a great many unique and never-before-seen photographs of Ted Hughes, and has a foreword by Frieda Hughes, daughter of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes.  I have always loved Ted Hughes, and was lucky enough to see him reading his poems at a festival years ago – if you too are a fan you can watch a short tribute to him here.

Now – something very exciting is happening on Monday – 46 million people all over the world will watch the largest ever global photographic show!  A Day in the World will be simultaneously shown across 85,733 major digital display screens in 22 countries; including in New York’s Times Square.  The synchronised exhibition will kick off on the farthest eastern screen in Sydney, Australia, and travel across the world until it reaches the most western in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Come on – surely those sorts of numbers and that sort of publicity have got to lead to some serious sales for the Day in the World book which has just been published!
On 15th May 2012, asked amateur and professional photographers around the world to pick up their cameras to photograph what was close to them on a single day. The response proved phenomenal and the initiative became the most comprehensive documentation of a single day in human history through digital photography. Of over 100,000 photographs taken and submitted, from 165 countries, the 1,000 best have been selected for this book. A Day in the World highlights the sharp juxtapositions between different geographical regions and economic positions – and includes a great variety of situations and subject matter. As Desmond Tutu says in the book’s introduction “Every picture has added to my experience – my comprehension of life is suddenly richer.”

This is fun – one of the Compass publishers has their own radio station! Hay House –the world’s leading mind body and sprit publisher – as well as having a great website, also has its very own radio station, where you can listen to words of wisdom from some of their bestselling authors. If you’re bored of Classic FM, Radio 5 Live or 6Music then why not have a listen to it here.

Who fancies escaping the wild weather of a typical British autumn, and jetting off to the isle of Mustique for a decadent party with the rich and famous?  Sadly most of us don’t have this option – but it’s always fun to read about those who do. Lord of the Isle: The Extravagant Life and Times of Colin Tennant (Lord Glenconner) by Nicholas Courtney is the long anticipated biography of the late Lord Glenconner – an often unconventional and always newsworthy figure. Born to an immensely rich Victorian industrial family, he used his wealth to live an eccentric lifestyle of self-indulgence from the 1940s to his death in 2010. He bought the private island of Mustique in the West Indies and made it one of the world’s most exclusive destinations for the famous –  royalty, film and pop stars, international businessmen and the jet-set flocked there. His parties were legend. The inside story of this remarkable and often tragic life continues to cause ripples even after his death – not least because, to his family’s surprise, he left his estate to his manservant. This book is a major biography for the autumn and Christmas and will generate a lot of publicity. A serialisation is running in the Daily Mail to run in three instalments between 13th October and the date of publication, Monday 29th October.  There will also be big pieces in the Sunday Telegraph and The Scotsman and we’re expecting interviews with Nicholas on the BBC World Service, BBC Scotland and BBC Radio 4.

New in this week’s “oooh er missus” spot comes Venus in the Cloister by the rather unfortunately named L’Abbe du Prat.  Fifty Shades of Grey may have created a phenomenon but is a relative newcomer to the world of fictional eroticism – why not go back to the beginning to see how it all began. Written in 1683 as a series of dialogues (known as whore dialogues) between the two nuns, Venus in the Cloister shows erotic fiction was popular long before the days of EL James and could be just as titillating. In fact it was considered so shocking at the time in its portrayal of sexual voyeurism and notion of female intimacy; it was responsible for the first trial for obscenity in the United Kingdom. This is the only available edition of this classic erotic tale, and it’s published in November, by Hesperus. It has a suitably saucy but tasteful black and white cover – and will sit very nicely alongside all the other mummy porn – sorry erotic fiction – on your shelves!

Who’s into rugby union? Well, then this is the book for you! Behind the Lions: Playing Rugby for the British & Irish Lions by Stephen Jones, Tom English, Nick Cain and David Barnes is a unique history of the Lions told in the players’ own words. These four world-renowned rugby authors represent each of the Home Unions – and 2013 marks 125 years of Lions tours so there’s certain to be plenty of interest in this book! Just to give you a flavour of emotions involved, here’s one fan's tribute to the 2009 Lions tour! The Lions tours embody a revered legacy that is steeped in tradition yet maintains a vibrant standing in the modern era. Every four years the rugby world’s focus is drawn to a great red pilgrimage as the Lions embark on a brutal and exhilarating tour that challenges the very limits of their rugby ability and the strengths of their characters. They travel to the far reaches of the earth to confront the great powers in the world game… and the weight of history itself. Behind the Lions delves to the heart of what it means to be a Lion, interviewing a vast array of former tourists to uncover the passion, pride and exhilaration experienced when wearing the famous red jersey. It is a tale of heart-break and ecstasy, humour and poignancy that is at once inspirational, moving and utterly compelling.

This newsletter is sent weekly to over 550 booksellers. If you would like to order any of the titles mentioned, then please click here to go to the Compass New Titles Website.

That’s all for now folks, more next week!

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