Friday, 29 November 2013

Compass Points 65

Let’s have a look at some of the titles coming in January. First up is Ad and Wal: A Story of Values, Duty, Sacrifice. This is by the British Labour MP for Neath, Peter Hain. What would you do if you lived under the ugliest of regimes, a byword for repression and injustice? What would you do if you knew that you could stay safe only if you stayed quiet? Most of us like to think we’d stand up to fight against evil.Ad and Wal is the story of two people who became heroes by rebelling against the regime, despite the knowledge they were putting themselves in grave danger. Peter Hain recounts the true story of his freedom-fighter parents in this deeply affecting portrait of love, sacrifice and tragedy. It is a story of how two people put their deep-seated feeling for what is right ahead of their own safety, and took on the vicissitudes of an unjust and brutal regime. This heart warming and heartbreaking story of two white South Africans who risked everything to battle apartheid is a parable for our time and its publication coincides with the release of the major new film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom in January 2104. Peter Hain is a superb writer, his memoir Outside In sold 4,000 copies in hardback and the Guardian said that it “Reads more like a political thriller than a memoir.” while the Observer commented that it was “Disarmingly understated … refreshingly honest … Peter Hain has lived life to the full, which is more than most of our politicians can say.” Ad and Wal is published by Biteback in hardback (9781849546430, £16.99).

Never again need you confuse consommé with coulis, or entrée with entrecôte.Now you can bask in the admiration of your fellow companions as you pronounce confidently on what to do and where to do it and effortlessly hold your own against the most highbrow of society. The Bluffer's Guide to Etiquette by William Hanson is the brand new title for the 5-million-copy bestselling series. William Hanson is considered by Sky News to be “the UK's leading consultant in etiquette & protocol” and is widely regarded as the UK’s freshest and most trusted authority on etiquette and protocol. His youth, coupled with his old-fashioned values, gives him credence to adjudicate on modern manners. A regular contributor to global media not only as an etiquette expert but also as an astute social commentator, William has been seen on BBC Breakfast, ITV This Morning, CNN, and Russell Howard's Good News, and is regularly to be heard on BBC Radio 5 Live- so you can expect lots of reviews and features in national and regional press and magazines for this entertaining and useful title! It published in paperback, 9781909937000, £6.99.

And here’s a very amusing five minute clip of The Bluffer's Guide to Etiquette’s author William Hanson in action on BBC3, trying very hard to teach comedian Russell Howard some manners…


But if you’re looking to be entertained in an entirely different manner, then how about Sexy Ways to Play: A Guide to Sex Toys by Emily Dubberley. This is a fun and frank introduction to bedroom toys and the paperback boxed set from appropriately named Connections Publishing (978-1-85906-381-1 £12.99) even includes a toy to try straight away. Oooh er missus indeed! Expert author with media profile Emily Dubberley is a bestselling author and journalist specializing in sex and relationships. The UK’s number one sex guru, Emily pioneered online erotica for women, and she regularly appears on TV and radio shows as a spokesperson on sex-related topics. Written in a fresh, frank and fun style this pack presents all you ever wanted to know but were too shy to ask about bedroom toys. The range is bewildering, but Emily has tested over 600, and offers here a selection of the classics to help you find the right vibe for you, and your partner. You’ll find useful profiles on the toys, along with guidance on best use. Plus there’s advice on how to introduce toys into your lovemaking, and different techniques to explore with your partner. There are even tips on advanced toy play, for when you’re ready to take it to the next level. I don’t have to tell you what a growth area of the market spicy saucepot publishing is – and I’m not even going to mention F***y S***** of ****; but something tells me this book might do very well. And no – I’m not going to even attempt to give you an appropriate film clip to watch on You Tube – as I don’t think it would get past Big Brother's - sorry David Cameron’s - porn filters.

Who did Forbes Magazine name as the most powerful man in the world, last month? Yes, it’s Vladimir Putin. Seen through Western eyes he is strong-willed, unpredictable, venal, and vain. But how does he appear to his people? The Putin Mystique:  Inside Russia’s Power Cult by Anna Arutunyan has been described as “Gripping… a dramatic eye-opener on the Russian soul” and is a vivid and revealing exploration of the way in which myth, power and religion interact    to produce the love-hate relationship between the Russian people and Vladimir Putin. Anna Arutunyan is a journalist and writer, working for the Moscow News. She was born in the Soviet Union but was raised and educated in the United States. She lives in Moscow and has observed Putin in action over the last ten years and in this learned but readable book she puts Putin in the context of Russian history and culture and shows how it is almost inevitable that every ruler of Russia plays the role of a tsar, whether or not he is crowned. There is a deep need for autocracy which generates autocrats. With lively reportage of such topics as the Pussy Riot Affair, the treatment of autocrats like Khodorkovsky and Berezovsky, and the vital role bribery and corruption play in Russian society; she vividly and amusingly illuminates news stories which are covered fitfully and sometimes inadequately in the West, and shows how they often echo events across hundreds of years of Russian history. This book is published to coincide with the Winter Olympics in Russia, in February 2014, which will undoubtedly focus attention on Putin and his rule. 2014 is also the UK/Russia Year of Culture. This is a £16.99 hardback (978-0-9926270-2-7) from Skyscraper Publications and you can order it here.

And if you’d like to see another side to Vladimir, then have a look at this five minute clip of him playing the piano and singing Blueberry Hill – I kid you not!


Once Christmas is over, and the January sales have finally been and gone, our thoughts will be turning to the next opportunity to sell some books – Valentine’s Day. Here is an ardent selection of gift titles from Summersdale, all new in January and essential for any romantic bookseller’s Love themed promotion. Classic Love Poems (hardback £9.99, 9781849535151) is edited by Max Morris. Previous edition of this title have sold 24,000 copies, and there is no doubt that poetry is the perfect medium to express affection and passion in all its forms – from the initial stirrings of romance and desire to enduring love in full bloom. This exquisitely illustrated anthology contains inspiring and moving poetry by some of the best-loved writers in the English language, from Geoffrey Chaucer to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and from William Shakespeare to Christina Rossetti.

I Love You is by Lisa Swerling & Ralph Lazar who are the husband-and-wife team that created the hugely popular Harold’s Planet and Vimrod Cards. The simplest romantic gestures are the best – scribble ‘I Love You’ with a red crayon and it can get you into all sorts of trouble! This is the perfect (and quirkiest) way to say those three little words. This is a gift hardback 9781849535144, £5.99.

Another gift hardback; I Love You to the Moon and Back is a beautifully-designed collection of quotations to appeal to lovers young and old. This delightful book, packed with heartfelt quotations from romantics old and new, is the perfect way to say, ‘I love you to the moon and back.’ (9781849535250 £5.99)

Or you may prefer You’re The Spring in my Step, also a £5.99 hardback which is a little quirkier, exploring how falling in  love is like finding the yin to your yang, the butter on your crumpet, the Watson to your Holmes. This little book is packed with romantic, funny and charming ways to tell the one you love just how much they mean to you and adds a modern twist to the traditional declarations of love, with a fresh, contemporary design.

Love Vouchers and Sex Vouchers are both £5.99, tear-out books of vouchers which give you the opportunity to pamper someone you love. You can decide if you prefer the sweet or the saucy: will you choose the romantic gestures, from breakfast in bed to a dreamy weekend away or something a bit spicier; from a seductive massage to a steamy shower session!

Ahhhh – all this soppy stuff has put me in the mood for something sentimental – how about Love is the Sweetest Thing as sung by Al Bowlly with Ray Noble – just to remind ourselves of what it’s really all about!


Can any of us remember when journalists were daring investigative heroes – working tirelessly to expose corruption rather spending their days hacking celebrities’ mobile phones and trying to photograph Kate Middleton’s bosoms? One such journalistic colossus is without doubt Chapman Pincher, now 99 years old, and going stronger than ever. Dangerous to Know: The Autobiography of Harry Chapman Pincher is colourful, indiscreet and compelling – and also reveals the secret history of the century he bestrode. Harry Chapman Pincher was one of the most famous newspaper men of his day and his era’s foremost investigator of the vicissitudes of the state. He is the author of many bestselling books including Their Trade is Treachery. His name, a byword for investigative journalism, sounded a note of real terror for those trying to safeguard the secrets of state. Chapman Pincher came to journalism late, after early careers as a teacher, a scientist and a soldier, but after joining Lord Beaverbrook’s then all-powerful Daily Express in the summer of 1945, he swiftly became the master of the journalistic scoop. His first splash, a leaked top secret account of the development of the atomic bomb, sparked a furious trans-Atlantic row. It was only the start of a career in which the name Chapman Pincher became synonymous with high-level leaks from the most secret parts of government. At a time when national newspapers operated out of Fleet Street and journalists hunted in packs, Chapman Pincher preferred to hunt alone, cultivating the high and mighty at shooting parties and other social gatherings where they were relaxed enough to share what seemed at the time to be every secret they knew. He still revels in the bitter claim of historian E P Thompson, that he was “a kind of official urinal” into which senior members of the government and the intelligence services stood “patiently leaking in the public interest”. When he finally retired from journalism, the leaks kept coming, leading to a series of best-selling books on the infiltration of Britain’s intelligence services by Moscow which culminated in the allegation in Their Trade is Treachery that the head ofMI5 was a Soviet spy. It is a £20 hardback from Biteback (9781849546515)

And talking of the head of MI5 being a secret agent, what better way to while away fifteen minutes than watching The Top Ten moments in Spooks as voted for by cast and crew. Oh why oh why did they get rid of this series I cry…


And now a round up of what’s in the media this week….

There was a great piece in the Telegraph promoting Glitzch by Hugh Kellett and you can find out all the details on Glitzch! here. It’s £8.99 from Bene Factum Publishing  (9781909657212).

There’s lots and lots in the news about what will or won’t happen if Scotland do or don’t decide to vote for independence. Which is all good publicity for The Battle for Britain: Scotland and the Independence Referendum by David Torrance (9781849545945). This book charts the long political fight between the Unionists and Nationalists, detailing the ins and outs of the referendum campaign based on opinion poll data, contemporary media coverage and, most importantly, in-depth interviews with protagonists on both sides of the debate: strategists, ministers, campaign gurus and leading journalists. This is the ultimate companion to the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence and gives readers the full story of how the referendum came about, detailing the people involved and the essential facts and figures. The Guardian said this week “If you are looking for a clear, informed and balanced guide to this subject, this book will be very hard to beat.” It’s published by Biteback in paperback, £14.99 , 978184954594.

100 Reasons to Love Ryan Gosling by Joanna Beneke is getting lots of publicity in the gossipy mags – and on line. The book reviewed in Reveal magazine, Now magazine, Star magazine, QX magazine, Bent magazine and in Out in the City magazine’s Christmas gift guide.100 Reasons to Love Ryan Gosling is £12.99 in paperback. 9780859655019 from Plexus.

A massive spread this week in the Daily Mail with tons of pictures this week for author Jennifer Berkley, on trying to be a mother with lots of good plugs for her book Falling in Honey: Life and Love on a Greek Island, which is published in paperback by Summersdale (978-1849532716).

A bit of exciting news for one of our independent publishers this week (as reported in today’s Bookseller); Myrmidon has signed a companion guide to cult TV drama Breaking Bad. It is the independent publisher's first ever non-fiction book. The publisher signed UK rights in Wanna Cook? The Complete, Unofficial Breaking Bad Companion by Ensley F Guffey and K Dale Koontz. Handyside, the publisher at Myrmidon, said: "Expansion into non-fiction was always a feature on our horizon and this excellent volume is a sound beginning. Wanna Cook? is a unique and expertly written companion guide to the hit TV series Breaking Bad and will appeal to existing fans as well as those new to and curious about it.”  Wanna Cook? is a 500-page paperback covering every episode of Breaking Bad, from filming details to overall themes. Guffey and Koontz are both pop culture writers who have written scholarly essays on films and TV. The book is set for publication in April 2014, to coincide with the BAFTA awards, where the TV programme is expected to feature among the nominations. And in case you’ve been under a stone for the last year, Breaking Bad is the crazy popular TV hit which follows an American chemistry teacher called Walter White, who begins making drugs after discovering he has cancer.


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:

  1. Spooks + Breaking Bad = TV at its finest!

    ReplyDelete