To kick off this week, we’ve just heard about a fantastic new series which will start on ITV on Monday 6 January at 8pm entitled A Great Welsh Adventure with Griff Rhys Jones. This is running over two months; in eight 30 minute episodes. ITV are expecting really good viewing figures of around 5 million for this series as Griff is such a popular presenter, and it is being aired at peak viewing time. I’m pleased too say that Parthian is publishing the accompanying full-colour hardback edition (9781909844698 £4.99) in January which features lots of lovely photographs from the series. In this informal guide to
, Griff Rhys Jones rediscovers “the land of his
aunties”. Born in Wales Cardiff but raised in Essex, he
returns home on a mission to explore the real : the one
beyond the tourist trail that exists in the deep beautiful countryside, full of
hidden treasures and eccentric characters that make this country so unique. With
help from a hidden hand, Griff is set a number of quests in eight distinct
regions that not only test his knowledge of his homeland but his body too, as he
climbs, abseils, rides and canoes his way through some truly breathtaking
scenery. Griff’s journey takes him through Snowdonia, Anglesey, and the Gower;
mid Wales Wales, Brecon,
Pembrokeshire, north and Monmouthshire. Packed with
all manner of weird, wonderful and enlightening facts, you’ll learn as much
about Wales as you do about Griff! And is
he or isn’t he insufficiently Welsh?! Wales
There was an interesting article by Griff in the Guardian a couple of weeks ago (which mentions the book and TV series) about moving on with life following the sad death of comedy partner Mel Smith which you can read here
And here’s ten minutes of clips of Smith and Jones at their fabulously funny best!
Order Sex here (not sure this sentence will get past the porn filters, but let’s give it a go!)
Some good publicity for three Carcanet titles in the Christmas book features. Her Birth (978 1 847772 38 1 pb) by Rebecca Goss will be included in the Daily Mail Christmas Round Up of Best Books. The Greek Anthology, Book XVII (9781906188054) by Greg Delanty has been listed in Times Literary Supplement’s Books of the Year, selected by A.E. Stallings. “In these archly archaic ventriloquisms, Delanty’s wry wit comes through.” And finally, the Sunday Telegraph Supplement Seven Magazine featured Muriel Spark’s biography of Mary Shelley (978 1 847772 37 4 pb £12.95) “a brief but brilliant biography of Mary Shelley which has all the economy and ruthless insight of her novels.”
And if you need reminding of Mary Shelley’s most famous work, then it's time to have a look at Boris Karloff's finest hour!
The Totes Ridictionary by Balthazar Cohen will be featured in the Sunday Times Style magazine at the end of December – there will be a big two page spread on it and then they’ll run an image from it each week. There certainly has been a crazy amount of media nterest this year in words like “deets”, “jel”, “obvs” and “twerk” – and The Totes Ridictionary is the ideal way to keep ridiculously up to date with the way language has changed during 2013 – in emails, tweets, Facebook posts, text messages, blogs and even real-life conversations. It’s a paperback from Plexus, with over 60 photos and illustrations (978 0 85965 511 8).
And if you’d rather have a visual definition of the word “twerk” – well then take it away Miley – or should I say put it away Miley.
Can you name 10 famous Belgians? Or do you think it is just boring
and all those Eurocrats on the gravy
train? Until 1993, Alec le Sueur had
never been to Brussels Belgium, so it
came as some surprise when in August that year he found himself at the altar of
a small church in Flanders, reciting wedding
vows in Flemish. It was the start, for better or for worse, of a long
relationship with this unassuming and much maligned little country. He decided
to put worldwide opinion to the test: is really
as boring as people say it is? Bottoms up in
Belgium: Seeking the High Points of the Low Land sees Alex immersing
himself in Belgian culture – and sampling the local beer and ‘cat poo’ coffee
along the way. He discovers a country of contradictions; of Michelin stars and
processed food, where Trappist monks make the best beer in the world and grown
men partake in vertical archery and watch roosters sing (not necessarily at the
same time). This colourful and eccentric jaunt is proof that Belgium isn’t
just a load of waffle. It’s published in paperback (978 1 84953 247 1 £8.99) by
We are delighted to announce that The Summer My Father Died (9781846590948, paperback £8.99) by Yudit Kiss and published by Telegram has been shortlisted for the 2014 Jewish Quarterley Wingate Prize. This prize is awarded to a book that explores themes of Jewish concern in any of its myriad possible forms either explicitly or implicitly. The other shortlisted titles are Shani Boianjiu’s The People of Forever Are Not Afraid, Otto Dov Kulka’s Landscapes of the Metropolis of Death, Ben Marcus’ The Flame Alphabet, Anouk Markovits’ I Am Forbidden and Edith Pearlman’s Binocular Vision. Yudit Kiss grew up a communist in
, soaking up her
father’s ideology unquestioningly. As her father lies dying, Yudit tries to
understand the enigma surrounding his life. As she digs deeper into his tragic
history Yudit is forced to confront the contradictions and lies woven into the
life of her family – and her country – through the dramatic twists of twentieth
century Budapest . Lyrical and poetic, The Summer My Father Died is a powerful memoir.
The winner will be announced on 26 February, during Jewish Book Week, at a
ceremony at Hungary Kings
Place in . London
2014 marks the 100th anniversary of Ernest Shackleton’s expedition to
Antarctica - one of the most breath-taking and inspiring
adventure stories of all time. Shackleton’s Boat
Journey by Frank Worsley is
published in new B format edition by Birlinn to mark the anniversary of
this classic tale of British bravery, loyalty and inspiring leadership. Ernest Shackleton was 11th in the BBC public poll
of 100 Greatest Britons – ahead of Sir Francis Drake, Charles Dickens and
Florence Nightingale and Sir Edmund Hillary called this “A breath-taking story
of courage under the most appalling conditions”. On August 1, 1914, on the eve
of World War I, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his hand-picked crew embarked in HMS
Endurance from ’s West India Dock, for an expedition to
the Antarctic. It was to turn into one of the most breathtaking survival stories
of all time. Even as they coasted down the channel, Shackleton wired back to
London to offer
his ship to the war effort. The reply came from the First Lord of the Admiralty,
one Winston Churchill: “Proceed.” And proceed they did. When the Endurance was
trapped and finally crushed to splinters by pack ice in late 1915, they drifted
on an ice floe for five months, before getting to open sea and launching three
tiny boats as far as the inhospitable, storm-lashed London . They drank seal oil and ate baby
albatross (delicious, apparently). From there Shackleton himself and seven
others – the book’s author Frank Worsley
among them –went on, in a 22-foot open boat, for an unbelievable 800 miles,
through the Antarctic seas in winter, to South Georgia and rescue. It is an
extraordinary story of courage and even good-humour among men who must have felt
certain, secretly, that they were going to die. Worsley’s account, first
published in 1940, captures that bulldog spirit exactly: uncomplaining, tough,
competent, modest and deeply loyal. Elephant Island
And talking of breathtaking journeys made under the most appalling conditions over hundreds of miles – what do we all think of Amazon’s ambitious idea to get their drones to deliver the books? Have a look here to find out more.
Hang on a minute though, Waterstone’s have a much better plan. Very Harry Potter, and I like it a lot!
But do the general public actually want to get books for Christmas anyway – whether or not they are bought in a bookshop or delivered by an owl? Well this little brat certainly didn’t: I must say I found this clip absolutely hilarious!
That’s all for now folks, more next week!
This blog is read weekly by 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.