Wednesday 30 July 2014

Compass Points 94

A new prime time autumn series on BBC One is always a major event – especially when it features a whole host of big name stars. This September, Academy award-nominees Miranda Richardson and Anna Chancellor will play E F Benson’s notorious small-town social rivals Miss Elizabeth Mapp and Mrs Emmeline ‘Lucia’ Lucas, in a fantastic new adaptation by Steve Pemberton of the comic drama Mapp and Lucia. And I’m pleased to tell you that the original timeless classic (first published in the 1930s) by EF Benson is coming from Hesperus in September (pb, £8.99, 978 1843915461) This poisonous witty, comic tale of two upper-class women battling for social supremacy in the most underhand ways possible was immensely popular when Channel 4 made it into a TV series in the 1980s and this new BBC series is certain to do the same for its fortunes, introducing Mapp and Lucia to a whole new readership. You can have a sneaky behind the scenes look at some photos from the series (which is being filmed at the moment). Miranda Richardson says: "I am so looking forward to a summer of hard work and I hope, great fun, working with the ensemble on Steve's masterly adaptation of EF Benson's delicious confection" while Anna Chancellor added "I am thrilled to be playing the glorious Lucia. I hope I can do justice to EF Benson's wonderful creations." They will be joined by Mark Gatiss who said "EF Benson's tales of life in Tilling are some of the slyest, funny and waspishly brilliant stories in the language. It's an absolute treat to be joining my old friend Steve and such a glorious cast to bring them to life. "The cast also includes Alan Partridge, Gemma Whelan, Paul Ritter, Katy Brand and Frances Barber. What a treat this is going to be – I foresee massive book sales; do make sure you order plenty! Mapp and Lucia by E F Benson is a carefully observed tale of 1930s village life and social ranking which features two of the most unpleasant, disgraceful women you’re ever likely to encounter! It is published by Hesperus in September and you can find out more and order it here.

While we’re on the subject of the BBC; The BBC National Short Story Award 2014 is a unique paperback publication of the five short-listed stories in the world’s biggest prize for the form. The book, which is introduced by Alan Yentob, features all the short-listed stories by this year’s selected authors (this information is strictly embargoed until 15 September 2014). The stories will receive extensive coverage on BBC Radio Four everyday for a week after the short-list announcement, with readings in the afternoon and interviews with the authors the evening before on Front Row. The BBC National Short Story Award is one of the most prestigious awards for a single short story, with the winning author receiving £15,000, the runner-up £3,000 and three further shortlisted authors £500 each. The prize continues to serve as a reminder of the power of the short story and to celebrate a literary form that is proving ever more versatile in the 21st century. All previous anthologies in the series (2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013) have consistently sold out, with last year’s anthology selling almost 2,000 copies since September, so do not delay in ordering your copies of this title! The BBC National Short Story Award 2014 (Pb, £7.99 978 1905583676) is published by Comma Press in September and you can order it here

Aids: Don’t Die of Prejudice by Normal Fowler is an important title which examiness the HIV/AIDS crisis that –scandalously – continues to affect millions of people across the world, despite the fact that we now have all the necessary means to prevent it. Travelling to nine different cities, from Russia and the Ukraine to the United States, Fowler shows that the problem is not limited to Africa, and that the threat often lies closer to home that we might think. According to health experts, the world has reached a tipping point. If governments do not take the necessary action to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, we face the prospect of an ever-rising death toll: a tragedy which must be avoided at all costs. This title attracting a lot of attention; there was a piece in the Financial Times last week which said “Fowler’s message of tolerance and pragmatism, and his con­tinued commitment to the field, is creditable in a world that still has a long way to go in fighting prejudice, and as a result in ending the scourge of HIV” and you can see a short interview with Norman Fowler talking about the book here.
Aids: Don’t Die of Prejudice has just been published by Biteback (Pb, £14.99 978 1849547048) and you can order it here.

For a book first published in 1917, The Candy Cookbook by Alice Bradley is a ground-breaking work, featuring as it does mouth-watering recipes for fudge, meringues, fondants and all kinds of other sweets – perhaps more importantly though, it was the first ever recipe book to contain recipes for cooking with chocolate! The Candy Cookbook is a must-have for any keen baker of confectionary. Reprinted in a beautiful edition, with brand new striking line-drawn illustrations, this is a book both to treasure and to use practically, helped along the way with the handy lists of instructions and desirable utensils. With The Great British Bake Off moving to BBC1 in autumn 2014 the interest in baking and confectionary has never been higher and this is the perfect gift book for Christmas and all occasions. The Candy Cookbook (Pb, £8.99, 978 1843915331) is a stylish, nostalgic volume perfect for cooks and bakers of all skills! It is published by Hesperus in September and you can find out more and order it here

On Further Reflection by Jonathan Miller (hb, 978 0992627065 £20.00) has just been published by published by Skyscraper and as you might expect is getting plenty of publicity. Actor, doctor, TV presenter, film director, opera director, sculptor – Sir Jonathan Miller’s careers cover a vast range. He is also a gifted and insightful writer, but his writings have been scattered across a series of books and articles over the last sixty years. This selection gives an idea of the depth and variety of his preoccupations, from mesmerism to neurology, film and theatre to art history and technique, parody to reportage. Each extract has an introduction by Miller, setting it in the context of his interests in the arts and sciences. A big interview with Jonathan will appear in this coming Sunday's Mail on Sunday magazine (3 August); with a circulation almost 2 million this is sure to increase demand for this title!

The Good Food Guide is the UK’s bestselling and longest-running restaurant guide. The guide and its loyal readers lead the discovery of hidden dining gems and new restaurant talent. Combining expert, anonymous inspections with thousands of pieces of reader feedback, the 2015 Guide will lead you to brilliant brunches, perfect lunch spots, great value local restaurants – or something really special for that once in a lifetime experience. New in for this year are the Top 50 Budget Restaurants list and the Top 50 Pubs list; and of course as always it will contain the hotly anticipated list of the UK’s Top 50 restaurants. It contains over 1,300 independent, impartial reviews and recommendations and is a one-stop guide to the culinary trends for 2015, containing many foodie features and chef interviews. It also contains £50 worth of money-off vouchers and full colour maps. This is the second year that The Good Food Guide has been published by Waitrose; which is terrific as that means there will be a significant marketing campaign through Waitrose Weekend and Waitrose Kitchen magazine (combined monthly circulation of over 2.2 million). The Good Food Guide 2015 (pb, £17.99 978 0953798322) is published in September and you can find out more and order it here

And here’s a customer in a restaurant who possibly shouldn’t really be eating any more today!

Have you ever thought that there might be something wrong with human beings, even that we might be slightly insane? Why is it that so many human beings are filled with a restless discontent, and an insatiable desire for material goods, status and power? Why it is that human history has been filled with endless conflict, oppression and inequality Back to Sanity: Healing the Madness of our Minds is a ground-breaking and inspiring book in which Steve Taylor shows that we do suffer from a psychological disorder, which he refers to as humania, or ego-madness. This disorder is so close to us that we don't realize it's there, but it's the root cause of all our dysfunctional behaviour, both as individuals and as a species. This book explains the characteristics of humania, where it stems from and how it leads to the madness of materialism, status-seeking, warfare, inequality and other symptoms of our insanity. But equally importantly, Back to Sanity shows how we can heal this mental disorder and allow the fleeting moments of harmony that we all experience from time to time to become our permanent state of being. Back to Sanity: Healing the Madness of our Minds (Pb, £11.99 978 1848505476) by Steve Taylor is published by Hay House. There has just been a brilliant article about it in the Guardian which you can read here, and it was there was a big feature in Guardian Weekend Magazine on 19th July.

Well, we seem to have been a bit low on funky music videos this week as I don’t really count Dick Van Dyke as a musical maestro supreme, whatever he says. So while we’re on the subject of psychological disorders, let’s have a look at three of the best ever example of inspired lunacy, and see what really happens when you’re going slightly mad, suffering from virtual insanity or afflicted by madness: they call it madness!

 That’s all for now folks! Compass Points is off on holiday – back on 15 August!

This blog is read weekly by over 700 booksellers as well as 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.

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