Friday 13 March 2015

Compass Points 118

Compass is now on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. You’ll get the breaking news on our top titles even faster – and better still, we can find out what all of you lovely booksellers are up to – and re-tweet your news back to all of our publishers, editors and sales people! Happy days!

Very sad indeed to hear about the death of Terry Pratchett – he will be very much missed both in the book world and everywhere else in the galaxy. Here are some of our favourite Terry Pratchett quotes:
“Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.”
“I’d rather be a rising ape than a falling angel.”
“Fantasy is an exercise bicycle for the mind. It might not take you anywhere, but it tones up the muscles that can.”
“It’s still magic even if you know how it’s done.”
“I have no use for people who have learned the limits of the possible.”
“So much universe and so little time.”
RIP Sir Terry Pratchett.

Now, talking of rising apes; The Independent has just given a cracking review to Nigel Farage: In His Own Words which you can read in full here. Entitled “A fair picture of the man who may yet have the last word” it calls the book “clever” and says that it “offers good insights into why Farage is so effective at what he does”. You will remember that Nigel Farage: In His Own Words by Andrew Liddle (pb, 978 1849548175) is a collection of the dazzling array of politically incorrect, tell-it-like-it-is bon mots and public utterances of Nigel Farage, all collected together in one £6.99 paperback from Biteback.  As the Independent remarked, it is a “surprisingly effective way of distilling the essential person”, and is often laugh-out-loud funny offering a tonic to those who are sick to death of the usual round of sound bite politicians. Like him or loathe him, Farage has reinvigorated political debate in Britain in recent years and his growing popularity is sure to be reflected among book buyers. You can order it and find out more here.

And while we’re talking politics; My Political Race: An Outsider’s Journey to the Heart of British Politics by Parmjit Dhanda (hb, 978 1849548069 £16.99) was serialised last weekend in the Sunday Times. This is an extraordinary and unique biography that reveals how Britain fails to address issues of race within its own Parliament and out in the constituencies. Parmjit Dhanda held three ministerial posts in his time as Member of Parliament for Gloucester. He was rolled out at party conferences and for TV appearances as a poster boy for his party, a shining example of a new Britain, where white constituencies chose ethnic minorities as their candidates and elected them. He was a feel-good story, and telling the other side of the story was not on the agenda. He was defeated at the 2010 general election and it was then that a decapitated pig’s head was left in the middle of Parmjit Dhanda’s house’s drive. After nine years’ service people didn’t even realise Parmjit was actually a Sikh and not a Muslim. But prejudice doesn’t make these distinctions. In what promises to be one of the most important political memoirs of recent years, Parmjit Dhanda speaks out for the first time about some of the uncomfortable issues in politics, in the hope it helps present a smoother path for others in the future and makes it easier for those in the game now to speak out too. As David Lammy MP says; “This story is about triumph, but also about the uncomfortable truths ethnic minority politicians are faced with, but rarely talk about.” You can find out more and order it here!

The vogue for all things vintage and retro shows absolutely no sign of going away – and Pinterest and Instagram are still awash with suggestions as to how to achieve the look. 
Don’t forget about Vintage Secrets: Hollywood Diet and Fitness by Laura Slater (978 0859655026, hb, £14.99) and Vintage Secrets: Hollywood Beauty (978 0859655088) both of which were published at the end of last year by Plexus; and also Vintage Fashion: Classic 20th Century Styles and Designs (978 1848589773) available from Arcturus
The Vintage Colouring Book (pb, 9781784047634, £8.99) is a new title coming in April from Arcturus, which contains a gorgeous selection of designs, ranging from Victoriana to Art Deco and Op Art, all ready for you to colour in. 
Arcturus tell us that by taking part in this gentle activity, you will de-stress your mind and body, using colouring as a relaxation technique, calming the mind and occupying the hands. Whether or not you buy into this theory, the fact is that these colouring books for adults are currently extremely popular – this one contains over 120 images and will certainly bring out the artistic and creative side of your customers! 

Oh my goodness, Joanna Trollope has certainly put the cat among the pigeons with her remark that you will be a better author after the age of 35, because you have seen a bit more of life. Loads of media commentators have weighed in to agree – or (more often) totally disagree, with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein seeming to be the most often quoted example of a work of towering genius produced by a bright young slip of a thing. Here is another list of 12 extremely good authors who managed to produces brilliant work while they were still (almost) in their cradles!

Plenty of publicity to look out for on the biography of Nicola Sturgeon by David Torrance (978 1780272962, pb, £8.99) which has just been published by Birlinn. There will be a big serial of it in the Sunday Post this weekend and the one after as well; and it will also be also featured in The List, the Financial Times and the Scottish Review. You can order Nicola Sturgeon: A Biography and find out more here.

I think you will all enjoy these – Tom Gauld’s cartoons from the Guardian Review– many of which have a bookish theme!

Lots of us in the Compass office are reading The Last Pier (which is out next month) at present, and thoroughly enjoying it. Its author Roma Tearne has been previously shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards, and the Orange Prize and this is beautiful literary fiction, perfect for book clubs. The book begins in the summer of 1939 when Cecily Maudsley is only thirteen years-old and desperate to grow up; desperate to be as beautiful and desired and reckless as her older sister Rose. Returning to the deserted family farm as an adult, Cecily recalls the light before the storm, before the war came and before a terrible family tragedy. It was a summer of laughter promises and first love. She remembers her father’s unrequited love for her, her melancholy mother and her brittle and argumentative aunt Kitty, and how everyone, somehow, was guarding a secret. None more so than the impossibly beautiful Rose… The Last Pier is a highly atmospheric novel about family, love, loss and regret and you can watch an evocative trailer for the Last Pier here on YouTube, which gives you a good feel for the book. The Last Pier by Roma Tearne (pb, £8.99, 9781843915645) is published in April by Hesperus and you can order it and find out more here

As highly skilled booksellers, would you say that you “curate” the contents of your bookshop – i.e. select only those titles which you feel truly deserve to be there? “Curate’” has certainly become a bit of a buzzword, applied to everything from music festivals to artisanal cheese. Businesses are now adopting curation as a means of adding value to content, and everyone, it seems, is now a curator. But what is a curator, exactly? And what does the explosive popularity of curating say about our culture’s relationship with taste, labour and the avant-garde? In Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World and Everything Else,  David Balzer travels through art history and around the globe to explore the cult of curation, where it began, how it came to dominate museums and galleries, and how it emerged at the turn of the millennium as a dominant mode of thinking and being. This is a vibrant and original book which makes the connection between what's happening with curators in the art world and what's happening in popular culture. It is a fascinating study that will appeal to art critics, scholars and historians as well general readers. There will be a big press campaign for this title: David Balzer will be writing a big piece on it in the Guardian Review and we’re also expecting reviews in the Sunday Times, New Statesman, London Review of Books, Economist, Literary Review and the Spectator.  David Balzer will also be in the UK (he is Canadian) for publication, doing a series of events, as well as interviews with BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service, Monocle 24 and VICE UK. Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World and Everything Else by David Balzer (978 0745335971, 8.99, pb) is published by Pluto Press in April. You can find out more and order it here

Queen of the Desert; a  biographical drama film written and directed by Werner Herzog based on the life of British traveller, writer, and explorer, Gertrude Bell has juts been released in the UK. You can watch a short fan trailer here. The film stars Nicole Kidman, James Franco, Damian Lewis and Robert Pattinson, and the Times has just given an excellent review to the Hesperus paperback Tales from Queen of the Desert by Gertrude Bell (on which the film is based) calling it “a classic read” and saying “hear her stories from her own pen before you see it.”

The weather is definitely improving every day – hurrah! And what is the fastest growing holiday sector in the UK? Yes, it’s carry on camping! Make sure therefore that you have plenty of copies ordered of Cool Camping Britain and Cool Camping Europe – which are both published in May by Punk Publishing. Cool Camping Britain by Jonathan Knight (978 1906889630, £16.95, pb) is a brand new fully updated second edition for 2015, which has been expanded to feature 160 stunning campsites – many of which are new finds and have never featured in a Cool Camping book before. This book showcases the very best of British camping, from the wilds of the Scilly Isles to the sandy shores of Scotland’s coastline. New finds include a woodland site in the grounds of a World War II training area, a hillside eco-escape on the slopes of the Teifi Valley and an Eden-like camping safari. This hand-picked selection of campsites is brought to life with colourful reviews and hundreds of photographs, plus handy practical info on what you can expect to find on site, things to do in the locality, and the best food and drink options around. And only the Cool Camping guides illustrate every single campsite with photographs, allowing campers to use the book for inspiration as well as information. 
Over 250,000 Cool Camping guides have been sold in the UK and this is Britain’s best-selling camping guide series. Cool Camping Europe (pb, 978 1906889647, £18.95) is a fully revised second edition. The original 2009 edition was the best-selling camping guide to Europe and since the book has been out of print, has been selling on Amazon for up to £100! As with the original book, the new edition will feature a selection of the best campsites and glamping sites in Europe, as chosen by the Cool Camping team. Covering over a hundred outstanding European campsites spread across twelve countries, this bumper guide explores a stunning range of camping grounds from the tip of Portugal’s Algarve to the shady forests of Slovenia.

And to finish, here are some of the week’s best Tweets – remember you can see them all first hand by following us @CompassIPS or click here if you are a Twitter virgin!

As overheard on the streets of Wimborne "It's good this year isn't it, Mother's Day falls on a Sunday"
"Good laugh and a novel way of experimenting with language" Thanks @SocialShelves for great @glitzch review.
Thrilled that Blackwell's will run a compact & bijou promotion for Berkoff's Sod the Bitches! in 4 key locations.
Email from author: 'Baking and swearing are two of my favourite things in the whole world. That’s why we’re signing with Aardvark.'
Spotted - in the fab Review, #Peckham. Emmeline Pankhurst's original, inspiring, autobiography. #feminism #wimmin
150 copies later & we've actually sold out of Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman, fear not Bilodo will be back in on Monday
Just found out Cilla and Rolf Borjlind have a new book coming out. Their last was stunning

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

This blog is taken from a newsletter which 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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