Friday 14 November 2014

Compass Points 106

Let’s start with a bit of a literary quiz – which Shakespearean character do you think you most resemble? Hmm – Lady Macbeth or Juliet? Second Spear Carrier or Bottom? Have a go to find out who you really are?!

Well the nights are drawing in, the rain is thundering down – winter is well and truly on its way. What better time therefore to read a really dark and chilling thriller and Mind of Winter by Laura Kasischke is just such a book! It was the Winner of the Prix de Elle 2014 in France, and is a chilling and dark drama which combines domestic drama with elements of psychological suspense and horror - perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn or Kate Atkinson, Gone Girl and Before I Go to Sleep – you know the sort of thing.  On a snowy Christmas morning, Holly Judge awakens with the fragments of a nightmare floating on the edge of her consciousness. Thirteen years ago, she and her husband Eric adopted baby Tatty, from the Pokrovka Orphanage in Russia. Now, at fifteen, Tatiana is more beautiful than ever – and disturbingly erratic. As a blizzard rages outside, Holly and Tatiana are alone. With each passing hour, Tatiana’s mood darkens, and her behaviour becomes increasingly frightening . . . until Holly finds she no longer recognises her daughter. Mind of Winter is a spine-tingling and beautifully written novel that will leave you guessing until the very last page. Vogue called it “shocking” and reviews said “It’s rare and wonderful to find a book like Mind of Winter that is both a masterwork of evocative prose and a bone-chilling page-turner”. It’s published in January – but I bet you are ready to read it right now – and luckily you can! To get a free proof, email Ruby Bamber with your name and address at with Mind of Winter in the subject line – and one will soon be winging its way to you! Mind of Winter (978 1843915485, pb, £8.99) is published by Hesperus.
I love the cover for this title – have a look and find out more here.

Great publicity in the Telegraph this week for Mark Kitto’s book That’s China, which has just been published by Fortysix – you can read the whole article here. Again, reading copies of this title are available – just talk to your Compass rep. That’s China is the British entrepreneur’s gripping memoir about his daring attempt to force open China’s closed media sector. Told with Kitto’s trademark self-deprecating humour and potential unsettling honesty, That’s China (pb, £8.99, 978 9881677570) is that rare thing, a business saga that will have you on the edge of your seat all the way to the final showdown in the highest law court in China.

If you would like to listen  to Margaret Evison’s powerful and moving story about the death of her son in Afghanistan which has just been broadcast on the on the Afternoon Drama slot on BBC Radio 4; you can listen to Death of a Soldier here. Death of a Soldier (hb, 978 1849544498, £16.99) is a vitally important reflection on loss, war and our responsibilities to those we send to fight, and it is available now.

There is a great deal of media interest and publicity coming up for Valerie Trierweiler’s explosive memoir Thank You for the  Moment (978 1849548236, hb, £18.99). Her story about her tumultuous relationship with President Francois Hollande, sent shockwaves through the French political establishment and there will be loads of coverage of the book here over the next fortnight – with serials in the Daily Mail ( including a photo shoot) and also the Times Magazine – there will be a long interview with Valerie and she will be on the front cover. The Observer News Review are running a piece; there’s an interview in the Daily Telegraph - with Gyles Brandreth; she’ll be on the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday 23rd November, and also on BBC Newsnight Monday 24th November. All of this publicity is bound to make people feel they’d like to read the book, so please make sure you have it on display! This fascinating memoir of an extraordinary woman whose private life became very public as she was unwittingly cast into the eye of a political storm is published by Biteback, you can find out more here.

Don’t forget about Telling Tales Out of School: A Miscellany of Celebrity School Days by Jonathan Sale which is published this month. The finished copies of this book are now in – and it looks great – with a much better cover than the proof one – now including the great quote from Michael Palin: “A rich compendium of shared confusion” and a fantastic list of many of the names inside, which include Clare Balding, Stephen Redgrave, Jeremy Paxman, Terry Jones, Melvyn Bragg, Simon Schama, Gary Lineker, Sue Townsend, Rannulph Fiennes – and many more! This is a fascinating collection of interviews where some of Britain’s most prominent personalities speak candidly about their childhood and their stories and anecdotes are often intriguing, startling and hilarious. Author Jonathan Sale says in his introduction: “Over a fifteen year period I have been engaged in a series of interviews of school, art school, drama school and university. They are on the whole, the kind of people sufficiently well known to appear on Desert Island Discs. It is not a crime to be a celebrity, and the word describes most of the people in this book. The word “interesting” however, describes all of them. Being a boring celebrity I hope you’ll agree should be a criminal offence. These are people who may not be typical – they have chosen to stick their heads above the parapet – but many of their experiences are similar to those undergone by the rest of us.” Telling Tales Out of School (hb, £18.99, 978 1849547734) is published by Robson Press, and you can find out more and order it here

While we’re on the subject of reminiscing about our school days – how many times a day do you bore your children about how little pocket money you used to get – or how costly things like phones were compared nowadays? Of are you one of those real oldies who is continually telling us that it was when things “went decimal” that everything started to get more expensive? Well you will have hours of entertainment on this fun inflation price conversion website finding out exactly how the numbers add up. Type in your salary for example – and see whether it would have been worth more or less if you were a Victorian bookseller in 1854! Or your pocket money – and the date you received it (sixpence a week in 1977 in my case) to see what you would be getting nowadays – (£3.70 – hmm) It goes right back to 1751 – oh what fascinating facts can be yours to entertain your pals with in the pub tonight!

Now – are you or are you not, Ready For Hillary? This becoming a highly relevant question in the US, with a Super Action committee driving ever forward to encourage her to run for President in 2016.   Read all about the campaign in this interesting article in The Daily Beast here.  And here’s a thought provoking view on what the liberal media think of Hillary – on the Politico website.  Ready for Hillary by Robin Renwick is a vivid, balanced and candid biography of Hillary Clinton and an assessment of her chances and abilities should she reach the highest office in the world. She will announce her position early in the New Year. Hillary Clinton’s biography Hard Choices (978 1471131509) has sold 30,000 copies in the UK since June 2014. What happens in the US inevitably has an effect on the UK; there are also many people who are absolutely fascinated by US politics and it is a major part of both A level and degree level politics courses. So there is a big market for this title.  Ready for Hillary by Robin Renwick (978 1849547888 £17.99) is published this month by Biteback and you can order it here.

Talking of the US, can you think of a book title for every American state? It doesn’t have to have the name of the state in the title of the book – it just has to be the best book to represent that state. Have a look here at this great map which does exactly that – and see if you agree with the choices!

And as a counterpart to that – where would you say are the ten top place in the UK that every book lover should visit? Have a look here for some suggestions – terrific photos, it makes me want to set off on a tour of Britain right now – but looking out of my window perhaps I’ll wait for better weather!

Yes yes, yes, I hear you say; enough of this literary stuff – what we really want is the next trailer for the hotly anticipated Fifty Shades of Grey film – out on Valentine’s Day 2015. Well you’re in luck – it’s just been released and you can watch it here.  And here’s the first trailer – if you’re not one of the 36 million who’ve already watched it – looks remarkably similar to the second one to me – but hey – EL James would surely approve of making a little go a very long way!

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

This newsletter is sent weekly to 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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