Friday 27 March 2015

Compass Points 120

This is the week that we said goodbye to both Jeremy and Zayn – and whether you are a) gutted b) gleeful or c) totally indifferent; there is no doubt that this has presented us with an excellent book selling opportunity! Stock up then on the Plexus title One Direction: No Limits by Mick O’Shea (pb, 978-0859654937) so that the gazillions of distraught fans can get their fill of the clean-cut cuties. Packed with sumptuous full-colour photographs of Harry, Niall, Zayn, Liam and Louis; One Direction: No Limits tells each member's story in full and chronicles the group's journey to become the hottest boy band in the world.

Now, if I was being really clever I’d say something about Clarkson here – but I just can’t think of a punch line.

Congratulations to the Carcanet author Caoilinn Hughes who has just won the Shine/Strong Award for First Published Collection with Gathering Evidence at the Dun Laoghaire Mountains to Sea Festival. Gathering Evidence is Caoilinn's first collection and was published in 2014. In it she aligns scientific and poetic venturing, from the first controlled nuclear reaction to the shape of an avalanche as witnessed from its catchment area. It has been much praised and poems from the collection have also won the 2012 Patrick Kavanagh Award, the 2013 Cúirt New Writing Prize and the Poetry Ireland Competition. Gathering Evidence (£9.95, pb 978 1 847772 62 6) is available now, and you can find out more on the Carcanet website here

Three new Bluffers Guide titles to look out for are The Bluffer’s Guide to Horse Racing, The Bluffer’s Guide to Cats, and The Bluffer’s Guide to Social Media. Something for everyone you will have to agree as I think these three titles cover pretty much the whole social spectrum; from poshie gamblers to sad middle aged women to geekie nerds. Or am I just reinforcing the stereotypes – well we’d better have a look at the Bluffer’s Guides to find out! Jilly Cooper has said of The Bluffer's Guide to Horse Racing: "David Ashforth writes like an angel. This utterly brilliant, wildly funny guide to racing will be invaluable to any newcomers. Whether its rampant iconoclasm will encourage any of them to dare invest in a racehorse is debatable." David Ashforth was also described by the Racing Post as “one of racing's greatest writers” and his book Hitting the Turf was described by the Guardian as “the funniest book ever about horse racing”.  Find out more about The Bluffer’s Guide to Horse Racing by David Ashforth (pb, £6.99 9781909937369) here

And here’s a very funny clip from an old Graham Norton Show where he discusses the various racehorse names which have NOT been allowed – for all too obvious reasons!

The Bluffer’s Guide to Cats is written by Vicky Halls; the UK's best selling writer on cat behaviour – she has been voted Nation's Favourite Cat Author by the readers of Your Cat Magazine which tells you all you need to know really. The Bluffer’s Guide to Cats (pb, £6.99, 978 1909937444) is out this month and you can find out more about it here

The Bluffer’s Guide to Social Media (pb, £6.99, 978 1909937406) by Susie Boniface is out in April. Susie Boniface, aka Fleet Street Fox, is a regular on Question Time, What the Papers Say and lots of other TV and radio stations - she seems to be the go-to social commentator on many matters as well as being a well known blogger with over 70,000 followers on Twitter. You can find out more here.

Ooh – who loves Poldark – yes, yes, yes me too. And I’m sure all you lovely booksellers are coming up with many inventive ways of your own to promote every book under the sun using the current love-in for all things Cornish.
 Personally I don’t think I’ve seen a better advert this year for Wild Swimming: Hidden Beaches and Wild Swimming Walks than the sight of the lovely Aiden Turner stripping off and plunging into the sea. I’m sure many of you would like to watch that again – never say I don’t give you what you want. 
Wild Swimming Walks by Margaret Dickinson (pb, 978 1910636015 £14.99) is published in May and contains 28 lake, river and seaside days out by train from London. It’s a beautiful retro-styled book with lovely photography, detailed instructions and vintage maps; and is also full of natural history and intriguing anecdotes. Wild Swimming: Hidden Beaches is a spectacular and practical guide by Daniel Start who charting Britain’s most beautiful secret beaches and the best places to swim, walk and explore.  These little slices of peace and paradise welcome the intrepid adventurer and those in the know. So why not set out to discover our shell-white sands and blue lagoons, hidden smugglers’ coves and sea grottoes sparkling with coralline just like the ones in Poldark
Wild Swimming: Hidden Beaches (16.99, pb, 978 0957157378) is available now as is the original bestselling title Wild Swimming: 300 Hidden Dips in the Rivers, Lakes and Waterfalls of Britain (pb, £16.99 978 0957157330)

While we’re on the subject of fabulous TV, who loved Breaking Bad? And who, (like me) knows they would love Breaking Bad, but didn’t have the right sort of TV to watch it first time round and then couldn’t be arsed to actually go out and buy the box sets? Well, in that case I have some really good news for you; the cult US drama is soon to be broadcast in full on UK terrestrial television for the first time! Yippee! A new free-to-view channel, Spike, will show the award-winning series in its entirety when it launches on Freeview, Freesat and Sky TV on 15 April. Naturally this will bring a whole new bunch of fans to the show – so make sure you are ready for them by stocking up now with the bestselling Myrmidon title Wanna Cook? The Complete, Unofficial Companion to Breaking Bad by Ensley F. Guffey and K. Dale Koontz (pb, £13.99 978 1905802968). It explores the most critically lauded series on television with analyses of the individual episodes and ongoing storylines. From details like stark settings, intricate camerawork, and jarring music to the larger themes, including the roles of violence, place, self-change, legal ethics, and fan reactions, this companion book is perfect for those diehards who have watched the series multiple times as well as for all the new viewers the UK terrestrial screening is sure to find. Wanna Cook? The Complete, Unofficial Companion to Breaking Bad was enthusiastically received when it first hit the bookshelves last year with one reviewer commenting “there are a lot of books out there that say they are the unofficial companion guides to whatever television series, but let me say up front, Ensley F. Guffey and K. Dale Koontz have found the perfect formula. Wanna Cook? is the primer for how those books should be written.” Another fan enthused “this book is beautiful both inside and out, making it a perfect treat … the writing is funny and really informative … the fact that it doesn't give spoilers is handy …. plenty of surprises.” Breaking Bad concluded in 2013 and won five Primetime Emmys last year.

And if you really don’t know anything whatsoever about Breaking Bad – then here's a 4 min resume from those funny folk at Honest Trailers.

Breaking Bad may just be the coolest TV programme ever – but what are the coolest book jackets ever? Have a look here to see if you agree with this shortlist of 50!

The Blue Horse by Phil Miller has just been published to great acclaim. Scotland on Sunday said “His portrait of George Newhouse, the art historian half-blinded by grief and drink, is well done, and that strange place, the art world, is brought convincingly to life. An impressive debut” while the Herald called it “A sensitive portrait of a man trying to turn his life around.”  This is a highly atmospheric, exciting, unsettling literary noir about pain, loss and recovery by one of Scotland’s leading art correspondents – and if  this sounds like the sort of thing you’d like in your bookshop but you haven’t yet ordered copies you can read the first two chapters here
Janice Forsyth on BBC Radio Scotland said “What swept me along with the book was that it was a terrific description of grief... It’s quite visceral, there’s quite a lot sex, of drunkenness, of people behaving badly, I thought: this is great. There are very funny moments.” 
Look at these fab blue horse biscuits - made for the launch party! I think we all need more book themed biccies in our lives!

Who loves I Capture the Castle, 101 Dalmatians – and even The Twilight Barking? Thousands of readers that’s who. I’m sure you will therefore be very pleased to hear that A Tale of Two Families by Dodie Smith is coming back into print for the first time in 45 years. The Bookseller tipped it as one to watch: “I can’t believe there are many of you out there you aren’t fans of Dodie Smith – all praise to Hesperus, then, for bringing a novel I’d never even heard of by her, back into print.” A Tale of Two Families is a classic tale of complicated sibling relationships, friendship and forbidden love. Set in 1970s England, this is a delightful, funny novel with deftly drawn characters and true heart. When it was originally published in the Observer called it “Well written, vividly imagined, and crammed with interesting and living characters.” Full of Dodie Smith’s imaginative dry wit and great comedic timing, A Tale of Two Families (pb, £8.99, 978 1843915577) is published by Hesperus in May and you can find out more and order it here

And here are two movie examples of classic Dodie Smith humour and romance – firstly in young girls and secondly in dogs!

We know we love it – but now it seems that reading books may be positively beneficial for our brains! Neurological researchers have spent years studying the impact of books us and have identified a compelling link between the act of reading a novel and enhanced cognitive ability. Reading, it transpires, has a profound effect on mental agility, the memory and our aptitude for imagination and compassion. And better still, reading for just six minutes can be enough to reduce stress levels by up to 68%! Find out more good news for all of us publishers and booksellers here!

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!

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!
Have you seen George's Grand Tour in @hellomag Book of the Week?
Many thanks to @WestHamMagazine for a great review Nearly Reach The Sky
This sweet and charming novel George’s Grand Tour (published by @gallicbooks) has cheered me up no end!
3 new indie bookshops to open, in Manchester, Cheltenham and Cornwall. Hooray! Good luck to all.
See Kelvin Mackenzie, yes that one, defends migrants in @guardian. His book on the subject Provocations @BitebackPub series edited by me.
The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman - one of the best books I've read.
How cool is this? Follow Me Follow You by @Laura_E_James on a central table at @WaterstoneDorch!
Great piece on 'Stanley, I Resume' in The Sun today. Looking forward to PB in April:
IPG @ipghq · 
Happy Indie Book Day! A big pat on the back to independent publishers and our counterparts in bookshops!

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

This blog is taken from a newsletter 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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