Friday 11 December 2015

Compass Points 152

Simon Templar always imagined the worst thing that could happen to him was his parents' decision to give him the same name as a fictional hero (and just in case you are in any doubt as to whom that fictional here might be, have a quick look here!)  Ok, back to the story. But then his entire life changes one evening when his drunken father-in-law to be divulges some shocking news about his daughter - the love of Simon's life. Simon Says by Daniel Gothard is about learning to love again, forgive mistakes and completely understand the meaning of FUBAR (google it). This is an entertaining contemporary romantic comic novel in the vein of Nick Hornby, Richard Curtis or David Nicholls. It has a great cover, and the author is very promotable. He has a strong regional following (Oxford); has previously had two novels published (his last novel Friendship and Afterwards was shortlisted for The People's Book Prize) and has appeared in numerous literary journals: he is also Arts Correspondent for After Nyne magazine. Simon Says (pb, 978 1910692486 £8.99) by Daniel Gothard is published by Urbane Publications in January and you can order it here!

The election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader has signalled a lurch to the left in the party. His ascent will, for many, trigger unhappy memories of the dark days of the 1970s and ’80s, when a bitter struggle for ideas raged within the party. Hammer of the Left (originally published in 2003) by John Golding is a compelling account of Labour’s civil war during those decades – and with the rise of Jeremy Corbyn and the left within Labour; the book provides a timely reminder of where the party has been before. It is a visceral, no-holds-barred account of political intrigue and warfare and a vivid portrait of one of the most turbulent times in the history of Labour. A timely reminder perhaps for the party of today of the dangers of disunity and of drifting too far from electoral reality? Hammer of the Left by John Golding with a foreword by Neil Kinnock (pb, 978 1785900266, £10.99 is published by Robson Press and you can order it here.

Are you expecing a baby next year?? And are you trying to come up with THE name – maybe something literary as befits your status as a cool and trendy bookseller? Well, have a look here at this great list of inspirational names taken from novels –Buzzfeed reckons “they’ll make your ovaries tingle”!

2016 will see the 100th anniversary commemorations of the 1916 Easter Rising: an event that has been claimed by many groups. For some it represents a blood sacrifice without the hope, or even intention, of success. For others, it was the first act in a tumultuous political drama played out in Dublin streets and London cabinet rooms that led to the formation of an independent Irish State. 1916: Ireland's Revolutionary Tradition is an important book by Kieran Allen which argues that this pivotal moment in Irish history has been obscured by those who see it only as a prelude for a “war of independence”. This is a highly accessible history of the Easter Rising and its aftermath, emphasising an often ignored social and political radicalism at the heart of the rebellion. Kieran Allen suggests that it gave birth to a revolutionary tradition that continues to haunt the Irish elite. He highlights an alternative history which stresses the revolutionary tradition associated with 1916; one that was betrayed, but never eradicated, and that is needed now more than ever in a country that has been laid low by austerity and debt repayments. 1916: Ireland's Revolutionary Tradition by Kieran Allen (pb, 978 0745336329, £12.99) is published by Pluto Press in January and you can find out more and order it here.

Are you wondering why you don’t have room for as many titles on the shelves of your shop as you used to? Well, the answer could be that it’s not just British women who apparently have an obesity problem – our novels are getting fatter too! Yes, books are apparently steadily increasing in size, according to a survey that has found the average number of pages has grown by 25% over the last 15 years.  You can read about it in the Guardian here.

Nothing like something thoroughly scurrilous to welcome in the New Year with – and Royal Babylon by passionate poet Heathcote Williams is certainly controversial! Royal Babylon sets out in verse form what Williams describes as “the criminal record of the British Monarchy.” It is a short but powerful book, detailing the ways in which the Queen and her family have made headlines over the years by activities and connections which, time and again, have shown poor judgment, demeaning behaviour, or a lack of compassion. From animal killing to sexual scandal, profligacy to remoteness from her subjects, the accusations pile up in a 500-verse tirade which has all Williams’ hallmarks of passion, satire and irony. Blimey – that sounds absolutely extraordinary! This is not the first time Heathcote Williams has tackled “big” topics: his previous poems have covered human rights, capital punishment and pacifism – and of course his powerful argument for a worldwide ban on whaling: Whale Nation. Royal Babylon (978 0993153310, pb, £7.99) is published by Skyscraper Publications in January, and the right-wing newspapers, Telegraph etc are certain to go bonkers – so there will be plenty of publicity;  find out more here.

You can watch a short extract from Royal Babylon on Youtube here

The groundbreaking and wonderfully unconventional memoir, Bound Feet Blues by Yang-May Ooi (978 1910692301, £16.99, pb) from Urbane has had a LOT of press coverage this month which you can see a summary of here.

We can all have a good debate/argument about what we think are the greatest British books of all time – but perhaps it is more interesting to see what readers outside the UK think is our finest literature. Have a look here at this list of the top 100 British novels – as complied by the BBC, who polled book critics from around the world – from Australia to Zimbabwe.  Interesting.

French Women Don’t Get Fat, Tiger Women Don’t have Cocky Kids, and now we have Smart Women Don't Get Wrinkles. This new title by popular author Helena Frith Powell (whose books have sold over 50,000 copies in the UK ) brings you advice from stunning-looking ladies from around the world, as well as exercise routines and recipes; organic non-invasive options and hard-core chemical an d surgical solutions. Basically, Helena utilises all the weapons she can get her hands on, in the ongoing fight to stay sane during the hideous journey into old age. Smart WomenDon’t Get Wrinkles: Anti Aging Secrets from around the World describes one woman's battle with time, using humour and sensible advice on how to protect your body from the marauding years; as well as looking at the cerebral side of ageing – it even includes tips on how to keep your man from looking even worse than you do! This title will be serialised in the Daily Mail – and Helena Frith Powell is a regular contributor to the national press including the Times and Telegraph, so there will be plenty of coverage for it.  Smart Women Don't Get Wrinkles by Helena Frith Powell (hb, 978 1783340606, 12.99) is published by Gibson Square in January and you can order it here.

Poised, elegant and incredibly talented, Audrey Hepburn is one of the best loved actresses of all time. Whether it was her status as a fashion goddess, her amazing ability to portray female characters with such depth, or her legacy as a role model, both on and off the silver screen; Audrey Hepburn remains one of Hollywood’s brightest stars. 100 Reasons to Love Audrey uncovers the unequivocal reasons that make her an icon – and would be a very good Christmas present for teenage girl – she is just as popular with the younger generation as she ever was with us oldies.  100 Reasons to Love Audrey will be featured as the Book of the Week next week in Hello magazine and In-Style Magazine are running a picture spread from it  in this week’s issue and on website – which you can look at here. 100 Reasons to Love Audrey (978 0859655309, pb, £14.99) is published by Plexus and you can order it here.

Remind yourself why we love her so much with this compilation of some of her best moments form YouTube.

If 100 Reasons to Love Audrey is a good prezzie for the girls – then Rock Stars Cars is a good one for the boys – it’s been extracted this week in the Sun and there’s also an extract in the Times. Rock Stars Cars (978 1905959778, hb, 12.99) by Dave Roberts is published by Red Planet and you can order it here.

Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. We’re enjoying the #RuinAChristmas movie this week...
The Grinch Knows What You Did Last Summer
The LIDL drummer boy
The Delayed Polar Express
ET - The Extra Testicle
'There's Something about Mary.'
It's A Wonderful Knife
Rudolph the Red Nosed Alcoholic
Homeless alone
Batman Returns (your gifts)
Gloves, Actually
Clear and presents danger!

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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