Friday 25 October 2013

Compass Points 60

Brace yourselves for a luvvie-fest darlings, this year the National Theatre is 50.  As part of the celebrations, the BBC will be broadcasting a unique, live 90 minute performance from the NT’s Olivier Theatre on BBC 2 on 2 November, consisting of a montage of theatrical landmarks from the past 50 years. There will also be two BBC 4 Arena documentaries on 19 and 26 Oct and a BBC Radio 4 Extra afternoon of NT delights. All fabulous publicity for our book The National Theatre Story by Daniel Rosenthal which will be serialised in the Sunday Times on 3rd Nov, alongside features and interviews. This definitive, authorized account takes readers from the National Theatre’s 19thcentury origins, through false dawns in the early 1900s and on to its hardfought inauguration in 1963 at the Old Vic. There, Laurence Olivier was for ten years the inspirational leader of the NT Company, before it moved into its concrete, South Bank home, whose three theatres have since 1976 hosted more than 700 productions, premiering some of the 20th and 21st centuries’ most popular and controversial plays, including Amadeus, The Romans in Britain, The History Boys and War Horse. Certain to be essential reading for theatre lovers and students, The National Theatre Story is packed with photographs and draws on Daniel Rosenthal’s unprecedented access to the National Theatre's archives, unpublished correspondence and more than 100 new interviews with directors, playwrights and actors, including Olivier’s four successors as NT Director (Peter Hall, Richard Eyre, Trevor Nunn and Nicholas Hytner), as well as the likes of Edward Albee, Alan Bennett, Judi Dench, Michael Gambon, David Hare, Ian McKellen, Maggie Smith, Stephen Sondheim and Tom Stoppard. This sumptuous 800-page £35 hardback is full of great photos and is published by Oberon Books in November. You can order it here.

Let’s remind ourselves of some of the NT’s most famous moments – here’s Laurence Olivier taking about what makes a great actor from the time when the theatre began back in the 1960’s. And here’s a trailer from one of its most famous recent productions; War Horse – based on the wonderful book by Michael Morpurgo of course. If you haven’t seen this amazing production then I really do urge you to go.

Trains and Lovers by Alexander McCall Smith is coming in paperback in November from Polygon – with an absolutely gorgeous cover, this is the ideal stocking filler present for – well pretty much anyone who loves a good read really! This lovely novel from one of the world’s most popular authors links a group of passengers on an Edinburgh to London train journey. In turns, romantic, charming and poignant this story is delightful and would make the perfect pocket sized companion for any journey, or a beautiful gift. The Times said of it “His writing is as warm as cocoa, as cosy as thermal underwear and just what the doctor ordered for cold winter evenings. Exceedingly good.”       
You can order Trains and Lovers here and remind yourselves of the ultimate Trains and Lovers film clip here!

Now, who wanted Frances to win The Great British Bake Off? Really? Personally my vote would have been for Becca, but I must say, anyone that uses banana flavouring in the semi final – in fact anyone who uses bananas at all – probably wasn’t taking it seriously enough. Sorry if that offends all you banana lovers out there! And who thinks that Paul and Ruby may have been just ever so slightly overdoing it with the coy glances between his piercing blue eyes and her fluttering green ones?! Have a look here and see what you think!  Anyway, if you feel the UK has now had quite enough of girlie British baking; then hurrah, it must be time for This is a Cookbook: Recipes for Real Life by Max and Eli Sussman. This is a cookbook written by two of New York’s hottest young and up-and-coming chefs and will appeal to students and twenty-somethings looking to up their kitchen competence and confidence.  The brothers’ engaging cookbook features more than 60 great recipes, including Grilled Peach Salad, Hot Wings and Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie as well as recipes for pizzas, sandwiches and BBQs. The recipes are written in a simple and engaging manner that demystifies the cooking process for at-home chefs. Equal parts entertainment and culinary know-how, the book is organised into six chapters that target key occasions when young cooks need inspiration, whether cooking for themselves or friends. Six DIY-style projects present easy culinary adventures, from pickling and making cocktails to curing bacon. Max and Eli’s tales and irrepressible humour are woven throughout the book, and with over 80 full-colour lifestyle photographs and over 100 chalk-style line illustrations, this is a very good looking £14.99 paperback (with flaps!). It’s published by Emex Ltd.

More good news for our poetry titles: we’ve just heard that Parallax by Sinéad Morrissey has been shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, which was announced yesterday. Sinéad Morrissey is a vital voice in contemporary Northern Irish poetry and in August 2013 she was appointed Belfast’s inaugural Poet Laureate. The Guardian called her “Excellent... Truly marvellous” while the Independent said she was “The outstanding poet of her generation”. In Parallax, she explores ways of seeing: what is read and misread in the surfaces of the presented world. This is her fourth poetry collection, it was published in paperback by Carcanet in July (978 1 84777 204 6). Her previous collection won the Irish Times Poetry Now Award, was also shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, selected as a Poetry Book Society Choice and featured on Woman’s Hour.

Now, I know some of us really could not give a monkeys about footie titles – but there are many many out there who do buy them – and this one has the potential to be a big bestseller. Spain: The Inside Story of La Roja’s Historic Treble by Graham Hunter published by Back Page Press in November follows in the critical and commercial success of Graham’s 2012 title, Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World which has now sold 25,000 copies (paperback) in 12 months in the UK and was Football Book of the Year at the 2013 British Sports Book Awards. When they won the 2012 European Championships, Spain became the only country ever to win three consecutive major titles, following their successes at Euro 2008 and the World Cup in 2010. The timing is also perfect for this title in the lead-up to the 2014 World Cup in Rio as Spain will be favourites to win their fourth major championship in Brazil. In 2008, after decades of under-achievement, the Spanish national team beat Germany in the European Championships final and went on to enjoy unparalleled dominance in world football. With players such as Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique, David Villa, Andres Iniesta, Iker Casillas, Fernando Torres and Xavi Hernandez at the heart of their team, they became virtually unbeatable. The only journalist trusted with privileged entry to the Spain dressing room, no writer has been closer to the real story of this squad’s achievements than Graham Hunter. He has lived in Spain for 11 years and was correspondent in the camp for all three tournament victories. His unprecedented access has resulted in remarkable eyewitness accounts and in-depth interviews with the star names and key figures. You can order this £19.99 hardback here.  And if you fancy a little burst of the best of Spain - see below! 

This next title will appeal to any of us who has ever sat at work, daydreaming of ways to make their work and their annoying colleagues disappear. That deadline is looming, your diary is full to the brim with mind-numbing meetings, and that pile of paperwork has grown so much that it’s touching the ceiling. It’s no wonder you’re at your wits’ end. Office Genius: An Alternative Guide to Getting By at Work by James Andrews is an amusing catalogue of tricks and shortcuts which has the solution to all your office work problems. Whether it’s subtly letting down a colleague who has had a rubbish idea with a Consolation Cupcake or making other workers jealous of your self-inflated salary with a Fake Payslip, Office Genius is the perfect antidote to dreary days behind a desk. It’s published by Summersdale as a £9.99 Gift and Humour paperback in November.  Order Office Genius here

And talking of being annoying in an office – well – there’s only really one clip we could choose really; have a look below to see Twenty Five of the Office's funniest lines

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

This newsletter is sent weekly to over 600 booksellers, publishers and publicists. If you would like to order any of the titles mentioned, then please click here to go to the Compass New Titles Website or talk to your Compass Sales representative.

1 comment: