Friday 26 June 2015

Compass Points 131

“The entrance to the emergency department soon fills with stretchers and running ambulance crews. The area begins to swarm with civilians, with and without visible injuries, policemen in blue camouflage uniforms pushing journalists and cameramen out of the way, while medical workers flock around the newly arrived patients. The air is a cacophony of shouts, screams and sharp commands from the senior surgeon in charge of sorting the casualties. Loudest and most piercing is the unbearable sound of children shrieking. Two young boys, one aged two or three and the other maybe seven, are lying on a stretcher. They have visible burn injuries and a large number of small, black wounds on their faces and necks, some of them bloody, like traces of shrapnel. Dr Atta al-Mzainy looks at me sharply. “We’ve got to take them to the intensive burn care unit. Straight away,” he shouts. “OK,” I answer; my heart pounding. Everything is collapsing around us now, I think to myself. The bombing throughout the night, the number of casualties; it all feels like a tidal wave of blood and screams. Insurmountable ….The Israeli drones buzz above us. Can nobody stop this nightmare?”
This is an extract from a piece in this week’s Guardian on Night in Gaza by Mads Gilbert. Strong stuff – the book is an eye-witness account by one of the European doctors who flew to Gaza to work at al-Shifa hospital, and help Palestinian medical staff deal with the results of aerial and ground attacks by Israel on Palestinian towns and refugee camps last summer. It has just been published, to coincide with the first anniversary of Israel’s seven-week war on Gaza. While Mads Gilbert was helping the wounded, he kept a camera in the pocket of his green operating scrubs and in this book, he tells the story in words and images of the days of bombing and human suffering that he witnessed. At the same time, this book is a tribute to the courage, endurance and almost inconceivably strong spirit of Palestinian health workers and volunteers, a spirit replicated throughout the severely tested society of Gaza, occupied Palestine. Night in Gaza by Mads Gilbert has colour and black and white photos throughout and is published by Skyscraper (pb, £18.99, 978 0993153365). This important book has been endorsed by Jon Snow, and is sure to get more publicity. You can find out more and order it here.

And you can see a very interesting BBC interview with Dr Mads Gilbert following his return from Gaza  here.

Happy First Birthday to one of our wonderful publishers Urbane – who celebrated in style with a terrific party in London this week. One of the authors there was David Wethey – author of Mote: the Super Meeting: the Radical Way to Work Together for Positive Change. Now this is an interesting book – it shows how by reinventing their concept of what a meeting is, a company can completely transform their business. All of us spend far too long in meetings - even conservative estimates say that we spend more than a quarter of our working lives in one, and that over 50% of that meeting time is wasted. Yet meetings appear central to the way process works in the vast majority of organizations – and no-one seems to want to tell the truth about them. Can you embody leadership through meetings? Can you innovate effectively through meetings? Is creativity evolved in meetings? David Wethey tells us why Mote is a life-changing way forward. When you learn how to mote you open up the pathways to business success, empower people, inspire innovation, promote productivity, and mote your way to your business goals. This really sounds very interesting and its unique model has been tested in global companies like Google and McCann. David Wethey wrote the bestselling Decide and I think this book could do equally well. Moting for all! 

Here's  David explaining the concept to Compass MD Alan Jessop – who I’m afraid doesn’t seem to be quite getting it! Mote: The Super Meeting: The Radical Way to Work Together for Positive Change. (pb, £12.99, 978 1909273207) has just been published by Urbane, and you can  find out more and order Mote here
And if you’d like to find out a bit more about Moting – than go to the website  here!

Welcome aboard to a brand new publisher on the good ship Compass – Omnibus Press  – the world's largest publisher of music related books including artist and band biographies, photo books and collectables. Well, you know how much we at Compass Points love a bit of music on a Friday – so this is truly great news, and I’m looking forward to telling you about lots of groovy new titles coming up this summer and autumn. If you’d like to find out a bit more about their back catalogue then take a look at their website

So first up from them is a biog that will have a big review in the Mail on Sunday on 5 July. Who’s a fan of Adam Faith? One of Britain's top three pop stars alongside Cliff Richard and Billy Fury, he had many chart hits including number one singles What Do You Want and Poor Me. He then went into music management during the 70s, managing, among others, Leo Sayer.  Also in the 70s he starred as the chirpy cockney, just out of prison, in the classic television series Budgie. Big Time: The Life of Adam Faith by David and Caroline Stafford includes interviews with Zoe Wanamaker, Laurence Marks, Terry O’Neill and Robert Elms. It follows Faith’s career from massively successful singer and actor, on to financial journalist – and disaster. He was behind the development of digital television's The Money Channel but the venture soon ran into difficulties, the channel closed down and Faith was declared bankrupt, reportedly losing £32m.  He had open heart surgery to treat seriously blocked arteries but died of a heart attack at age 62 in March 2003. A fascinating read, this hardback has eight pages of colour photos.  Big Time: The Life of Adam Faith (hb, 978 1783055524, £19.95) is published by Omnibus Press in July and you can find out more and order it here

And here is Adam from way back in 1960 when he’d already mastered his cute twinkly smile – but my goodness, weren’t pop songs short then – just one and a half minutes!

We do like a bit of Hogwarts trivia on a Friday, and I see from Twitter that Harry Potter is coming to the stage! Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will make its debut in 2016at the Palace Theatre in London’s West End. J.K. Rowling has collaborated with English television writer Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany (a Tony winner for Broadway’s Once) on the project, which Rowling said on Twitter was not a prequel.  “It will tell a new story,” Rowling wrote, but declined to provide more details. “I don’t want to say too much more; because I don’t want to spoil what I know will be a real treat for fans.” Ooh – can’t wait!

What with David Cameron deciding what we will or won’t contribute to Europe – and Greece’s future also hanging in the balance, there has never been a more relevant time to debate what countries can or can’t afford in the way of welfare for their citizens. The Welfare of Nations by James Bartholomew (978 1849548304, hb, £20.00) has just been published by Biteback, and James was on BBC Radio Leeds this week and also writing in the Telegraph promoting it. In this extraordinary sequel to his bestselling The Welfare State We’re In, James travels to eleven countries around the world, from Australia in the east and San Francisco in the west, to look at how “welfare states” are changing it. In America he meets New Yorkers who pay bribes to get social housing in Harlem. In Singapore a welfare official explains the treatment received by single mothers asking for money. He takes a tour of the massive social housing blocks of Marseilles where his guide points out the gang members who control the estates. He discovers why divorce is seen as a positive thing by some in Sweden and visits the hospital in Spain where a new model of healthcare was born. James Bartholomew shows how other countries with welfare states have often gone through similar experiences to Britain, including high unemployment, but with major differences. Some welfare states have done more good and less harm than others. Which ones have got it right and how have they done it? This is an important book for those seeking to understand the changing nature of our liberal nation states.  The Welfare State We’re In had mega good reviews with Milton Friedman calling it “A splendid book … A devastating critique of the welfare state.” and I think this new title will also attract much praise.

The one thing we all need less of in our lives (apart from meetings) is stress. And The De-Stress Effect: Rebalance Your Body's Systems for Vibrant Health and Happiness by Charlotte Watts promises to show us how to achieve just that. The TV and radio presenter Emma Forbes said of it Charlotte's book is my kind of read. I defy anyone to read this book and not relate it to their own life, see where there is room for improvement and, more importantly, use it to help get rid of that dreaded 'stress' that enters all our lives! Great advice, tips and help on how to really de-stress, and keep healthy and balanced in life. More importantly it just makes sense. Good sense. I'm all for it!” and the book and author recently featured in Stella magazine and on (circ. 4.1 million), Mail Online (210 million unique monthly browsers) and in the August issues of Women’s Fitness, Women’s Health and Slimming World – so this is a title that gazillions of readers will have heard of!  The De-Stress Effect is a truly holistic system, offering a wealth of tools such as mindfulness and nutrition to help reduce cravings and stress-related symptoms like mood issues, insomnia, IBS and many more. Charlotte is passionate about helping people find good health and happiness by acknowledging the particular demands of the 21st century and navigating a rewarding path through them to find resilience and grace under pressure. The De-Stress Effect by Charlotte Watts (pb, £12.99, 978 1781804858) is published by Hay House and is available now.

With Sepp Blatter now saying that he did NOT resign as FIFA president, there really is never a day that so called “professional” football is out of the headlines. However, in terms of actual participation (rather than sitting on your bottom ranting to Radio Five Live) five-a-side footie is of course a much bigger sport in the UK than professional football is – with 1.5 million people playing regularly. So I am 100% certain that The Five-a-Side Bible: Inside the World of Tasty Tackles and Terrible Touches by Chris Bruce will be a mega hit this autumn and for Christmas. Five-a-side footie is a massive special-interest participation sport which is crying out for books about it and this is a funny, practical and hugely entertaining exploration of the highs and lows of this great game from British Sports Book of the Year winners Back Page Press and Freight Books. This definitive and wry guide is written in a magazine style and is full of the humour, anecdotes and practical information that made Back Page Press’s Football Manager Stole My Life a bestseller. It covers sports science, tactics, nutrition, fitness warm-ups and warm-downs, but with the emphasis on fun; covering everything from the crazy team names – The Neville Wears Prada, Murder on Zidane’s Floor – to wacky stories of ill-discipline and injuries, outlandish excuses for not playing, kit disasters, and tips from pros like former England international Matt Le Tissier and current Everton winger Aiden McGeady. Fully illustrated in colour, The Five-a-side Bible profiles the best five-a-side players in the UK and provide a bucket list – including a pitch on top of a skyscraper in Shanghai and one on Copacabana beach – for those who want to take their fives obsession to the next level. The Five-a-Side Bible (hb, 978 1910449288, £14.99) by Chris Bruce is published in September and you can find out more and order it here

Chris Bruce is a lawyer and proprietor of   – have a look here – it’s the biggest website dedicated to five-a-side in the world with 50,000 monthly users – and it’s already promoting the book!

And here are Princes William and Harry getting in on the five-a-side footie action at a match in Glasgow!

I’m assuming that if you’re reading this, you’re probably not raving away at Glasto. But hey, maybe we can all pretend we are, by just reading books about music instead? I love this piece in the Guardian today where musicians and writers (including Brian Eno, Beck, Lavinia Greenlaw and James Wood) select their favourite reads about rock, pop, jazz and classical! Elvis as a young man, the size of Mick Jagger’s genitalia, Kristin Hersh’s miracle year, Berlioz in love; it’s all here!

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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