Friday 17 July 2015

Compass Points 134

Summer reading lists in all the weekend papers – doncha love ‘em? Assuming that the zillions of punters do come into your shops clutching a copy of the paper with the relevant titles highlighted, and their credit cards all ready to make a purchase; here are the titles from Compass you need to make sure will be easy to find in the front of your store!

The big Guardian and Observer summer reading feature this weekend included:

John Banvill; who wrote: “I detest holidays and have to be dragged off on them; books are the only consolation. This year, to County Carlow and Lucca, I shall take Clive James’s Sentenced to Life (Picador £14.99), his superb, late poems on mortality, his own and everyone else’s. Also in my bag will be Pascal Garnier’s Boxes (Gallic Books £7.99), which is sure to freeze the cockles of my heart nicely. For those unacquainted with Garnier’s work, think Simenon and Patricia Highsmith mixed, with jokes added to the black brew.“

Jackie Kay; who said:”…and Curriculum Vitae, Muriel Spark’s autobiography (Carcanet, £8.99) – been meaning to read this for years. “

Blake Morrison who wrote: “While by the east coast, I’ll have Julia Blackburn’s Threads (Jonathan Cape £25) with me, her illustrated biography of John Craske, a Norfolk fisherman who turned to painting and embroidery when he fell ill. Marine by Alan Jenkins and John Kinsella (Enitharmon £9.99) will also be essential reading – two very different poets both writing about the sea. “

Damian Barr; who said “I’ve found a secret garden in Brighton with high flint walls and shade-dappled corners. I am going to cool my feet, and some bottles, in the pond. I discovered To Kill a Mockingbird when I turned 13 – I wonder if I’ll revert to my teen self when I reread it in prep for the new Harper Lee. I will have to ration Janice Galloway’s new short story collection, Jellyfish (Freight £12.99).”

Great to have so many of our fab indie publishers in such a prestigious summer reading supplement – well done all!

And talking of summer reading – what do you think are the best depictions of summer in a novel? Have a look at this top ten list of fictional summers in the Guardian, to see if you agree!

Business books are two a penny, but something a little bit different is The Commando Entrepreneur, by Damian McKinney . Following the success of his previous book The Commando Way, Damian McKinney draws on his own experience as a Royal Marine and as a highly successful international business consultant, and writes about the values of being a Marine that have served him well in his commercial life. He suggests that the ‘commando entrepreneur’ is a particularly vital and valuable role in business success, the strengths offered by a disciplined ‘maverick’, able to innovate outside the restrictions of everyday business. Business leaders have commended this title; Howard Boville MD of BOA said “This book is a must-have if you are working through how to deliver break through results for your firm” and Alex Pratt, CEO of Serious Brands said “Outstanding people are no mistake … Commandos don’t dabble. They decide. They deploy. They deliver.” There’s plenty of approval for this title on Twitter too, with bloggers saying “The Commando Entrepreneur by Damian McKinney is a MUST READ for any budding entrepreneur” and “If you want high performance, read The Commando Entrepreneur!The Commando Entrepreneur, by Damian McKinney (pb, 978 1909273610, 12.99) has just been published by Urbane Publications and you can find out more and order it here.

Now, take yourself, if you will, back to the mid-1990s, when ordinary Russians are reeling from the collapse of the Soviet Union. Old habits clash with new money, and war rages between Russia and the breakaway Chechen republic. Our hero, Leonid, a hard-luck lorry driver, lives with his senile, military-veteran father in Moscow and ferries shipments of illicit goods all over Russia for his Mafia bosses. He nurses a single wish: to leave behind the country of his birth, for which he feels nothing but disdain, and immigrate to the United States – the land where dreams come true. During a haul to the Caucasus with a cargo of vodka intended for parched soldiers on the front line of the campaign against Chechnya, Leonid and his dim-witted sidekick take a wrong turn. They wind up in the centre of the Chechen capital Grozny, at the height of one of the cruellest bombardments of the twentieth century. What follows will shock Leonid into a confrontation with reality. Drinking and Driving in Chechnya, a short, biting debut by Peter Gonda is destined to become a bit of a cult classic. Leonid is a hard nut with a soft centre, and however amoral his behaviour, even he cannot fail to be moved by the events he witnesses. This exciting debut by a novelist with a strikingly original voice and a gift for memorable characters is told with a tough-guy sensibility redolent with moral indignation, reminiscent of Chuck Palahniuk and Norman Mailer and has attracted considerable early attention from international foreign-rights buyers and film producers. Drinking and Driving in Chechnya (pb, 978 859641057, £9.99) by Peter Gonda is published in September by Periscope Books and you can order it here

What on earth is going to happen to the Labour party? Every day seems to bring some new challenge, and anyone seriously interested in the future of the left should be reading Peter Hain’s new books: Back to The Future of Socialism (hb 978 1447321682, £9.99)  published by Policy Press in September. Anthony Crosland’s The Future of Socialism (1956) provided a creed for governments of the centre left until the global banking crisis. Now Peter Hain, with over 50 years’ experience in politics, revisits this classic text and presents a stimulating political prospectus for today. Hain argues that capitalism is now more financially unstable and unfair, productive but prone to paralysis, dynamic but discriminatory. A rousing alternative to the neoliberal, right-wing orthodoxy of our era, Hain’s asks what’s gone wrong with capitalism and how should governments respond? Did Big Government or Big Banking cause the global financial crisis? Is the answer austerity or investment in growth; untrammelled market forces or regulating for the common good? With over nearly 50 years in UK politics, Hain is known for favouring candour over caution, and plain speaking over political spin. He has published over twenty books – including his memoirs Outside In (2012) appearing widely on radio and television. Archbishop Desmond Tutu called Back to The Future of Socialism "A clarion call for justice, equality and liberty to triumph. Greed and selfishness, a widening chasm between the haves and the have nots, indifference to climate change and poverty, threaten the very future of humankind." This new hardback has an updated preface and chapter on the 2015 election, and there will be plenty of author publicity when it comes out in September. Find out more and order it here

Well, we can’t mention a book called Back to the Future without showing a clip of you know what can we?! Wow, I LOVE that film!

If you don’t want to trust in the politicians to sort out your future, then how about turning to celestial powers instead? The Angel Oracle: Working with the Angels for Guidance, Inspiration and Love by Ambika Wauters reassures us that angels have the power to touch every one of us with their protection, guidance and eternal love. This is a handsome boxed set containing 36 beautifully illustrated angel cards – one for each of the angels in the heavenly realm – which promises to offer clarity of thought, knowledge and insight to help you with everyday problems as well as the major challenges of life. Hey – it’s worth a shot. The book includes a full commentary for each card, along with clear advice on interpreting the meanings and choosing the card spread most suited to your situation. Whether you’re seeking past, present and future perspective on something that is troubling you or simply looking for a quick, definitive answer regarding an emotional issue, the angels will bring you positive healing energy. Ambika Wauters is a bestselling author both here and in the US and The Angel Oracle: Working with the Angels for Guidance, Inspiration and Love (boxed set of cards, 216 x 150, 978 185906183 £17.99) is published by Connections in September.

Is women's empowerment critical to environmental sustainability? When Friends of the Earth asked this question on Facebook half of respondents said yes and half said no, with women as likely to say no as men. This collection of articles and interviews, from some of the leading lights of the environmental and feminist movements, demonstrates that achieving gender equality is vital if we are to protect the environment upon which we all depend. It is a rallying call to environmental campaigning groups and other environmentalists who have, on the whole, neglected women's empowerment in their work. Friends of the Earth hope that the book will encourage the environmental movement and women's movement to join in fighting the twin evils of women's oppression and environmental degradation, because they firmly believe that social justice and environmental sustainability are two sides of the same coin. Interesting stuff – and Friends of the Earth will be marketing this book strongly to their 150k supporters. Why Women Will Save the Planet features contributions from Caroline Lucas, Maria Mies, Vandana Shiva and Mary Robinson among others. It makes a provocative argument that environmental movements have too often neglected the struggle for women’s empowerment; and this is the first book to present this crucial argument to a general audience. Why Women Will Save the Planet (pb, 978 1783605798, £9.99) is published by ZED Books and Friends of the Earth in September and you can find out more and order it here

Here’s a short film from Friends of the Earth which I think you will like if this book strikes a chord with you.

There has been loads more publicity for Getting Out Alive by Roger Mosey (hb, £20.00, 9781849548311) which has just been published by Robson Press. Of course the itming could not be better, with the furture of the BBC being hotly debated by all and sundry at present.  The New Statseman  gave it a rave review calling it  "a hugely entertaining insider’s account of life at Auntie’" and "a candid and clear-eyed book by one of the best and the brightest of the Beeb’s recent bosses. The BBC needs more Roger Moseys." There is more coverage to come for this excellent book, watch this space! and you can find out more and order it here. 

Dancing Through Red Dust is the long awaited UK and global English debut of the new novel by New York Times columnist and blogger Murong. This is his first novel in English since emerging as one of China’s leading dissident voices and takes readers into new fictional territory with the first fictional representations of China’s prisons and death row. The New York Times calls him “China’s poet laureate of corruption” and the Guardian‘s preview of this vast novel says “Blimey! What an immense novel. Hugely entertaining.”  This is a panoramic book of patchwork brilliance, relentless energy and dark humour: a gripping thriller that delves into the secretive world of China’s legal system. Lawyer Wei Da destroys evidence, hides his assets and plans to flee China. About to escape, he is incarcerated in the horrific Cao River Remand Centre. The worst of human nature is exhibited here and even as Wei Da tries to atone, the day of his execution encroaches. Celebrated for his darkly funny tales of contemporary Chinese urban life, New York Times columnist Murong became a cult hit amongst young middle class Chinese looking for writing that pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable literature. In 2010 he won China’s leading literary prize but was prevented from accepting it. Through his NYT column, and speeches in New York, Oslo and Hay, he has emerged as a beacon for independent writers everywhere. There will be interviews with Murong publicising this book on BBC TV and radio stations. The last quarter of the novel is almost a self-contained novel within a novel, which starts immediately following the main character's arrest and takes him through interrogation, imprisonment and execution. It is very strong writing and there has been a lot of media interest in adapting it – if anyone would like to read it, we can email you a PDF. Please contact with Red Dust PDF in the subject box! Dancing Through Red Dust by Murong (hb, 978 9881410535, £17.99) is published by Forty Six in September and you can find out more and order it here

Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. Here are some of our favourite tweets from last week...
Today @Splodz recommends our #wildsummer book. Experience wild swimming, camping & ruins!
'The illustrations... are lovely, very evocative of the countryside' - fab review of Precious and the Zebra Necklace:
Dementor 1: I hate this job Dementor 2: I know; it's soul destroying Dementor 1: AYYYYYYYYYYYYY Dementor 2: Azkabanter
Heard @malachytallack's Sixty Degrees North on @BBCRadio4 this week? Fancy hearing him live? Get on down to @WaterstonesGla tmrw at 1830!
Well, never thought I'd say this: I signed a publishing contract today with the lovely @urbanepub @urbanebooks Still not sunk in yet!!
"He’d kick the shit out of you but was happy to take it if you responded in kind" #CostaWar

Here’s hoping that the summer sun reaches you this weekend – and to finish here are 42 of the most beautiful literary quotes about summer - from our friends at BuzzFeed!

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

This newsletter is taken form a blog 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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