Saturday, 31 October 2015

Compass Points 146

Who is excited about the new Adele album: 25? The first single Hello from it has just been released – and the album itself is out on 20 November. It has been predicted record sales, perhaps even as high as 2 million. The video for Hello also shattered the record for most views in 24 hours when it was watched over 27 million times, and has since totted up 127 million views. Previous record holder Taylor Swift received 20.1 million views for Bad Blood on the first day of its release. If the predictions are to be believed, Adele is also set to surpass Swift in album sales too. Swift's 1989 was the last album to sell 1 million copies in its first week. Whether or not you are personally an Adele fan, you might well want to think about stocking the piano, vocal and guitar sheet music song book for 25 in your bookshop. The sheet music for Adele’s previous albums has sold tens of thousands of copies via music shops and online – so why not scoop up some of those sales yourselves this time? There are thousands of singers, pianists and guitar players out there desperate to emulate the throaty tones of this unstoppable singing sensation and having the music is the vital first step! Adele 25: Piano, Vocal and Guitar Sheet Music (pb, 978 783057719, £15.99) can be ordered from Compass now – it’s published by the Music Sales Group, which the larger organisation encompassing Omnibus Press.

And here is that first single from the album, Hello with its obligatory moody video!



Congratulations to David Wethey whose excellent book Mote has just been shortlisted for the CMI Commuter Read Award. Mote: The Super Meeting (£12.99, hb, 978 1909273207) was published in June by Urbane and introduces organisations to a workable, practical and effective system of running meetings. Even conservative estimates say that we spend more than a quarter of our working lives in meetings, 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? Mote: The Super Meeting is that better meeting and a life-changing way forward. When you learn how to mote you open up the pathways to business success. With Mote you can empower people, inspire innovation, promote productivity, and mote your way to your business goals. You can find more about the award (and read the first chapter) here.

Halloween nearly done and dusted, firework night ditto – and then it’s the countdown to you know what. Looking even further ahead, once you’ve boxed up your boxing day returns for all those celeb biogs that didn’t sell: the very next thing to fill your bookshelves with in the New Year will be a slew of diet books. I very much like the sound of Accidentally Overweight by Dr Libby Weaver which is published in January by Hay House. Libby explains how the 'calorie equation' (how much you eat versus how much you move) is not the only determinant of our body shape and size: as she says if it was truly as simple as that, surely everyone would be trim, taut and terrific. Let's face it - for many people it is not a lack of education that leads them to polish off a packet of chocolate biscuits after dinner. Dr Weaver (a nutritional biochemist) has found nine factors that cause us to either lose or gain weight which include calories for sure, but also consist of stress hormones, sex hormones, thyroid function and emotions. I think this book will strike a chord with an awful lot of people – and there will be a big feature on it in the Daily Telegraph on 4th January. It will also feature in the 5th January issue of Bella magazine and there will be plenty of online publicity too – such as HonestlyHealthy.com. You can order Accidentally Overweight: The 9 Elements That Will Help You Solve Your Weight Loss Puzzle (pb, £10.99 978 1781806302) here

A reminder that the album of Kurt Cobain’s unreleased recordings, A Montage of Heck is released on November 13th. This accompanies the book A Montage of Heck (hb, £24.95, 978 1783059669) which is published by Omnibus Press. Cobain is on the cover of this month’s Uncut magazine which includes an interview with the director of the Montage of Heck documentary; Brett Morgen who is very complementary about our book. “I think the book and the album and the movie all very much complement each other. The interviews work better as a book than they do as the foundation of a film.” The Kurt Cobain legacy still continues to fascinate and inspire people and this riveting chronicle paints an illuminating and honest portrait of the Nirvana frontman, capturing the contradictions that made up his character. You can order A Montage of Heck and find out more here.

Here’s a short trailer for the Montage of Heck film – which gives you a good feel for the remarkable and sometimes shocking portrait of Kurt that the book delivers.



Eerie thriller Silma Hill (pb, £8.99, 978 1908754936) by Iain Maloney was picked as an ideal Halloween read by BBC Radio 2 this week. This is a fast-paced historical thriller where a rural village is ripped apart by accusations of witchcraft. It is described by reviewers as “engagingly disturbing ... leaves the reader asking questions about the nature of society and the role of religion and belief. The story is in many respects timeless.” It is published by Freight and available now.

And here's a great piece written today by Iain Maloney on exactly why Scottish writers are so damn good at being scary!

We were sad to hear of the death of Philip French – the well-known Observer film critic whose work was published by Carcanet. There will be special supplement in the Observer this Sunday with many tributes including one from Carcanet MD Michael Schmidt. For nearly half century French’s writing on cinema has been essential reading for anyone who enjoys witty, intelligent engagement with the big screen. Two titles currently available from Carcanet are: I Found It at the Movies (pb, £19.95, 978 1847771292) which collects the best of Philip French’s film writing from 1964 to 2009 and is an illuminating and entertaining companion to the world of the cinema. 
Westerns (pb, £19.95, 978 1857547474) is the classic account of the emergence, growth and flowering of one of the most perennially popular film genres. When it was first published thirty years ago it was welcomed by reviewers as a major work and this new edition, fully revised and updated, with a new introduction, is a fascinating exploration of a genre which remains highly influential and reflects many of the social and psychological currents in American life. The piece in the Observer and other obituaries will definitely focus readers’ attention on the superb quality of Philip French’s sharp, clever and amusing writing – so do make sure you have these two titles in stock.

Thrilling historical tales of adventure always sell well – so I’m pleased to introduce you to Anthony Knivet: gentleman, baker, lover, linguist, explorer, and an indispensable advisor to the kings of several Brazilian tribes. Roebuck: Tales of an Admirable Adventurer by Luke Waterson is a swashbuckling tale of the highest order, following Knivet’s escapades in South America during the 1590s. It is inspired by the true story of this explorer’s ill-fated circumnavigation of the globe and his determination to carve a name for himself despite the bizarre, unsavoury and sometimes just plain evil characters that stand in his way. Luke Waterson is a popular travel writer for publishers such as Rough Guides and Lonely Planet as well as many newspapers, and this is his debut novel. Roebuck (pb, 978 1910692035, £8.99) is published in December by Urbane and you can find out more and order it here.

Floyd Mayweather has dominated sports news around the world in 2015 declaring himself to be the greatest boxer there has ever been, eclipsing even Muhammed Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson. There’s no denying that he is a world champion at five weights, he has won all 48 bouts of his near 19-year professional career and he has won 26 world-title fights. Money: The Life and Fast Times of Floyd Mayweather Junior is the first-ever biography of the planet’s wealthiest sports star – and one of the world’s most controversial. He has never married, has four children by two women, and is a habitual gambler, known to win and lose millions on a single half of US football or basketball. He is obsessed with money, almost as obsessed as he is about protecting his unbeaten record. This book is a searing, insightful and often brutal exposé of one of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen – and I think it will sell well! Money by Tris Dixon (hb, 978 1909715271, £16.99) is published by Arena Sport in December and you can order it here.

And if boxing isn’t your thing, and you’re not entirely sure who Floyd Mayweather Junior actually is – then here are eight minutes of his greatest hits - literally!



It’s Halloween tomorrow! We’re enjoying these #TenuousHalloweenTitles from Biteback and Robson Press...
Project Fear by Joe Pike
Getting Out Alive by Roger Mosey
Finding The Plot: 100 Graves To Visit Before You Die by Ann Treneman
The Lost Journal of Bram Stoker by Elizabeth Miller & Dacre Stoker
Weirwolf: My Story by David Weir
The Shark That Walks On Land by Michael Bright

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.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Compass Points 145

We like nothing more than a bit of a stooshie (as my Scottish colleagues would say) at Compass – and three subjects pretty much guaranteed to provoke one are: racism; how other people bring up their children and the meaning and message of Islam. How fortunate then that these are the subjects of three of the aptly named Provocations titles coming in November, all published by Biteback.

First up is Blame the Parents by Julia Hartley-Brewer (hb, 978 1849549431 £10.00). In this extraordinary polemic, Julia Hartley-Brewer argues that how people parent shouldn't be a matter of personal choice since we all (as taxpayers) will be the ones picking up the tab when parents fail to do it properly. She demonstrates just how bad the problem is, and how much it is costing us socially and financially as a nation. There is no definitive guidance on what parents should do to get the basics right and whilst we have rules governing most areas of our lives, we have nothing for the single most crucial one – raising children. When parents fail to do their job properly, they often leave a trail of devastation that can stretch through generations, leaving unhappiness and misery in its wake. Julia Hartley-Brewer argues that the parenting of every single child should matter to all of us and suggests ways we can prevent issues before they arise, rather than just throw money at them when the damage has already been done.

If you don’t have any examples of badly behaved children waiting for you at home – then have a look here at this winsome threesome – from the US series of Supernanny! And would you use this tactic to stop your little boy using “bad words” – I think there are several parents here who could do with reading Julia Hartley-Brewer’s book!


The second title in the Provocations series published this month is Racism: The R Word by Kurt Barling (hb, £10.00, 978 1849549424). Kurt Barling is Professor of Journalism at Middlesex University and was a leading broadcaster for the BBC for twenty-five years, making many prime-time documentaries and wining numerous awards for his journalism, filmmaking and writing. He examines the paradox at the heart of anti-racism: whether by adopting the language of the oppressor to liberate the oppressed, we are paralysing ourselves with the language inherited from racism? Many argue the post-racial society is upon us and racism is no longer a block on opportunity. Overt racism is certainly much less present than at the time of the Broadwater Farm riots in 1985. Music, youth culture, sport and the obsession with the body beautiful have all made ‘blackness’ commercial. But is this all just an illusion conveniently masking a culture of denial? Is it yet possible to step out of our skins and leave the colour behind?

Also this month is Islam: Beyond the Mad Max Jihadis by Ziauddin Sardar (hb, £10.00, 978 1849549493). Behind the stories of atrocities, strife and turmoil caused by a particularly virulent strain of Islam, there are a number of different versions and visions of Islam struggling to survive. Writer and critic Ziauddin Sardar tells the stories of different interpretations of Islam and argues for a critical version of a religion that has a long and distinguished history – but which appears to have been swept aside by a fundamentalist interpretation. Along the way, he answers a host of questions uppermost on the minds of most people. Is Islam inherently violent and misogynist? Why do young men and women go to join the Jihadi Caliphate? Does Islam need a reformation? Should we be frightened of Sharia? What part do Muhammad’s teachings play in our own times? This is a remarkable book, in which Ziauddin Sardar (a practising Muslim) urges all to work together to preserve the sanity of our world.

And here’s an interesting article in today’s Guardian about what the word “radical” actually means.

The vogue for vintage etiquette books shows no signs of abating anytime soon. The bestselling Don’ts for Wives and Don’ts for Husbands have been core stock at Waterstones since their publication 8 years ago and Edwardian and Victorian etiquette guides have proven to be very strong sellers in the gift market. Coming in November is Manly Manners for the Impeccable Gent – unusual in that it is one of the very few guides to etiquette for men written in the Sixties. This is a period which (partly thanks to shows such as Mad Men) is having a bit of a moment – and the advice Manly Manners contains is entertainingly very much of its period (1961) but also contains many timeless gems which are still relevant today. Filled with little known secrets to help you get ahead in business, in society and in your romantic affairs, its author Guy Egmont provides invaluable guidance on everything how to pronounce the word ‘scone’ without causing ineffable consternation; how to excuse yourself from work for the day whilst remaining entirely above suspicion; how to conduct business on the golf course rather than in the boardroom and how to dissuade your wife from purchasing those abominably unflattering slacks. Manly Manners for the Impeccable Gent (pb, 978 0859655453, £12.99) truly is a trove of advice for the aspiring gentleman-about town; it’s published in November by Plexus and you can find out more and order it here.

And if we want to remind ourselves how “gentlemen’s” manners really were in the 1960’s – take a look at this hilarious advert for coffee!


It’s always good to hear about an exciting bit of publishing coming up in the future, even if you can’t order it quite yet, so we were thrilled to hear that Martin Cathcart Froden’s unpublished debut novel Devil Take the Hindmost has been announced as the winner of the Dundee International Book Prize 2015. Cathcart Froden was awarded the £10,000 prize and Freight Books will be publishing it. Cathcart Froden said: “I am absolutely over the moon! Winning the Dundee International Book Prize is a dream come true. It’s one of those life-changing surprises. I am so, so happy.” Which is exactly the sort of pleased reaction you want from an author – nicely said Cathcart! The winning novel, Devil Take the Hindmost, is set in London in the 1920s and centres on velodrome racing and a "cyclist so fast criminals want him: to win races, to stage losses and to run important messages.” Adrian Searle, publisher at Freight said: “Martin Cathcart Froden has created a unique, compelling noir that combines a literary sensibility with that all-important quality; it’s a real page turner. He brilliantly evokes the seedier side of interwar London.” I’m very much looking forward to reading this – sound like a goodie! Read more about it on the BBC news here

Three big prize shortlistings this week for Carcanet titles, hurrah! Firstly, Waiting for the Past by Les Murray and The World Before Snow by Tim Liardet have both been shortlisted for the major T.S. Eliot Prize. It’s a big coup to have two Carcanet books on the list! The winner will be announced in January and you can read about that here.  An Aviary of Small Birds by Karen McCarthy Woolf has been shortlisted for the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. The winner will be announced in November:  more details on that one here. And finally, Ice Roses by Sarah Kirsch has been shortlisted for the Popescu prize for Translation which you can find out about here.

Our publishers don’t do a huge amount non-book product – but all ready for Christmas (and not of course to cash in on the enthusiasm for all things James Bond) in December comes the Famous Spies of History Spy Pen and Book from Forty-Six. Perfect for the novelty gift market, this is a fun hi-tech gift with a unique retro feel: a spy camera pen with HD photo taking and video shooting capability that comes with a free memory card. The package (in a box) also includes a 45 page mini book on Fifteen Famous Spies of History, which range from Casanova and Mata Hari to Kim Philby. Here are the technical details: the ISBN is 978-988-14105-4-2; the recommended retail price is £24.99, the supply price: is £12.49 (ex-VAT of £2.99). This plug and play package of the camera pen with HD photo taking and video shooting capability includes a free 8GB memory card and a USB charger.

Well, talking of pens and spies – this has got to be a good opportunity to see the moment when the fabulous Ben “Q” Whishaw meets Daniel Craig for the first time – classic!
And here's the original exploding pen scene they’re referencing – which also I note includes the phrase the writing’s on the wall – way back from 1997 – spooky!
And if you’re in the mood for more even spy pen action – then how about this tense little moment from Goldeneye!
But if you want a truly hilarious scene involving spies and pens – then you will need to watch this from Jonny English!
Award winning writer Jackie Buxton began her successful blog to write about life as a mother, wife and author…but it soon had a much more serious purpose. In 2013 Jackie was diagnosed with breast cancer, and the blog became not only a place to share her experiences as she battled the disease, but an inspirational forum for cancer suffers and their families to find advice, support and hope. In collaboration with two leading cancer charities Jackie is now sharing her experiences with others in the hope of providing positive and practical advice and support for all those dealing or facing the trauma of cancer Tea and Chemo by Jackie Buxton is an emotional, honest, warm and humorous account of one woman’s battle with breast cancer – and how her experiences can inspire others. All proceeds from the sale of Tea and Chemo will go to two incredibly important charities, whose compassionate care makes the difference to so many lives: The Haven, and the Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre. There is a full PR campaign planned for this with coverage already secured for Woman’s Hour and in the Daily Mail. Tea and Chemo (pb, 978 1910692394, £7.99) is published by Urbane in November and you can find out more and order it here.

And you can find out more about Jackie on her own website and blog here.

Christmas and stress go together like mince pies and brandy butter – so what your customers are definitely going to need is a little seasonal therapy in the form of Christmas Colouring, published by Arcturus (978 1785990014, pb, £6.99. This fab paperback features over sixty timeless illustrations, including classic holiday scenes, decorated trees, baubles, bows, and other traditional patterns, ornaments, and motifs. The perfect companion for cold winter evenings, it will get you feeling festive – promise! The outlines provide the perfect opportunity to produce your own Christmas artwork which you may even decide to turn into greetings cards, or decorations for your home – assuming you want to look as if you are living in a primary school that is! You can order Christmas Colouring here.

Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. Here are some of our favourite tweets from this week...
Great signing event with @thedecentbrief at @bedsbookshop for The Brief @CompassIPS @WstonesNewSt
Carlton Cole is in 'best team names' section of The Five-a-side Bible - SEX, DRUGS AND CARLTON COLE #Celtic #5aside
Hey, you. What's the most influential academic book of all time? Vote here: http://acbookweek.com/20abcworld/  #20ABCWorld
Close of Play looking fabulous in Waterstones - think how good it would look on your shelf!
We are delighted to announce we have an incredible three books shortlisted for the @Saltire_Society awards 2015! #SaltireLiterary
"I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity" - Edgar Allan Poe summing up our #FridayFeeling
 "A lively, well-researched read...” @Telegraph review #CallMeDave

That’s all for now folks! More next week!


This newsletter 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. 

Friday, 16 October 2015

Compass Points 144

Which year do you think is the most important in British history? Well, I’d probably put up a strong argument for 1066, or possibly 1939. But no – Francis Beckett and Tony Russell feel that the crucial year is in fact….1956. 1956: The Year That Changed Britain is “a wonderfully evocative and thoughtful account of a year that saw the ends and beginnings that explain why and how we got to today” according to Michael Rosen and this is the story of a defining year that heralded modern Britain. In the immediate post-war years, many people thought that having conquered the Nazis, there was little else left to conquer. In 1956, they learned that they were wrong. 1956 was the end of the Second World War and the start of the ’60s. It was the year Attlee’s Britain started to crumble and Thatcher’s Britain stirred in the womb. This extraordinary book takes us through this most momentous of years, week by week and sometimes hour by hour. Britain and France occupied Suez, and the Soviet Union sent tanks into Hungary. Nikita Khrushchev’s ‘secret speech’ exposed the crimes of Stalin. The Royal Court Theatre unveiled John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger, exploding the upper-middle-class complacency in which British theatre had cloaked itself. Tommy Steele and Lonnie Donegan leapt to fame; rock ‘n’ roll music replaced gentle pop songs. It was the first full year of independent television, and the year the Treaty of Rome was negotiated. All the comfortable post-war assumptions were shattered. Neil Kinnock has called it “an important and absorbing living history book” and 1956 : The Year that Changed Britain (hb, 978 1849549127, £20.00) is published this month by Biteback:  order it here

You can find out a bit more about this on the Francis Beckett's blog here where he’s talking about the changing attitudes to sex in the 50’s.

Here are three of my favourite hits from 1956: Louis Armstrong,  Count Basie and Nat King Cole . Who needs rock ‘n’ roll! I must say though, I think Francis Beckett and Tony Russell might just be onto something about the importance of this one year – if you look at the list of hit records from 1956 both the variety and quality is truly astonishing!

Good news for poet Rebecca Goss. Her Birth has just been shortlisted for the Portico Prize as well as the Warwick Prize for Writing. You may remember that it was previously shortlisted for the 2013 Forward Book Prize.  This poetic journal follows the short 16 month life of Rebecca Goss’s newborn daughter Ella who had a rare and incurable heart condition. She lived for just sixteen months. Her Birth is a sequence of poems beginning with Ella’s birth, her short life and her death, and ending with the joys and complexities that come with the birth of another child. Goss navigates the difficult territory of grief and loss in poems that are spare, tender and haunting. Her Birth (£9.95, pb, 978 1847772 381) is available from Carcanet now.

Let’s move from one sort of poetry – to something completely different! A Lion was Learning to Ski: Whimiscal Lines to Brighten up your Day by Ranjit Bolt (hb, 978 1783340828, £9.99) is a collection of hilarious nonsensical limericks that are the perfect Christmas humour stocking filler which Stephen Fry has described as  "rhythms and delights." Ranjit Bolt is a published playwright, who writes regularly for the Guardian and Telegraph. Ever since reading Edward Lear's A Book of Nonsense while growing up in Manchester, he has been writing limericks to for himself and his friends' children. When he is in between writing plays, he even goes out and sells them on a few pages stapled together to market goers in Canterbury where particularly children delight in them. These humorous limericks are written with the love for ordinary words that makes the dialogue of his plays so successful. A Lion was Learning to Ski is published in November by Gibson Square and you can find out more and order it here

Exciting news this week that Rebecca F. John has won the Pen International New Voices Award 2015for her dark and dazzling debut collection of short stories Clown’s Shoes published by leading indie publisher Parthian Books. In an interview with Wales Arts Review Rebecca said: “One of the great joys of the short story is that it can take you anywhere.  The stories in Clown’s Shoes amble around the globe, trip across history and into the future; they run through the minds of starving little girls and lost mothers, desperate men and neglected children; they explore voices and styles that might not be sustainable over the length of a novel.  And though they are small, short stories tackle the very biggest of subjects with more punch, often, than any novel.” Congratulations Rebecca – you can read that whole piece here.
Clown’s Shoes (pb, 978 1910409671, £8.99 was published this month and you can find out more and order it here.

More congratulations due – this time to author Kirstin Innes and publisher Freight Books for Fishnet which has just won the Not the Booker Prize  (run by the Guardian). Fishnet (pb, 978 1910449066, £8.99) was published in April, and has been hailed by reviewers. It is a novel which takes a clear-eyed, meticulously researched, controversial look at the sex industry and the lives of sex workers, questioning our perception of contemporary femininity. 
The Guardian said of it “Fishnet is a fine novel … there is some excellent writing in there, as well as real emotional and political urgency. It’s gripping, it’s humane and it’s the kind of novel that can actually make you investigate your own prejudices and opinions. I know it challenged a few of my ideas about prostitution and the vulnerability (or otherwise) of sex workers.  It’s a book that really moves people and really makes them think. It feels like a novel that has the potential to make a difference to a lot of lives – if only enough people read it. Hopefully this victory will help to make that possible. I hope that this book is spread far and wide – and I’m proud to have been involved in a prize that can ignite that process.” You can read the whole of that Guardian article and find out what the judges thought of all the books on the shortlist here.

Are you a nice bookseller? Do you empathise with others? If not then maybe you need to put down The War of the Worlds and pick up War and Peace. A new study has found that reading literary fiction sharpens our ability to understand others' emotions – more than thrillers or romance novels. Read the whole the whole article here.

Find Me A New Way to Die is the untold story of Edith Piaf by David Bret (pb, 978 1783199297, £8.99) which is published by Oberon Books next month and will be serialized in a major national Sunday newspaper.  This book is published to mark the centenary since Piaf’s birth in Dec 2015 and includes many new and shocking revelations about Edith Piaf, from her friends, lovers, colleagues and songwriters, as well as Bret’s close friend Marlene Dietrich.  Since her death in 1963 Piaf has become a legendary figure with a life story so compelling that it has become difficult to separate the truth from the hearsay, thanks to a wealth of stories, plays, films and biographies about her life. For the first time, David Bret is in a position to reveal the material on the ‘real’ Edith Piaf that was too controversial to publish whilst the interviewees were alive and this new book will mean a significant revision to the Piaf myth. There are legions of Piaf fans, who will want to read this book and David Bret is a prolific and bestselling author of revelatory (and often controversial) celebrity biographies – so he knows how to make a splash. The book is published in November and you can find out more and order it here.

If you are not completely up to speed with the whole legend that is Piaf – then you may enjoy this four minute film about her life – made in 1963 (the year she died) it is a very evocative tribute.


There seems to be a bit of a musical theme developing this week, so let’s move onto Blue Monday: New Order by Michael Butterworth. This is a firsthand account of the studio sessions for Blue Monday, New Order’s classic dance track, and Power, Corruption and Lies and Lies, their acclaimed second album; compiled from the journals of Michael Butterworth, trusted friend of New Order who lived and worked with the band. The book documents a string of notoriously intense sessions at London’s Britannia Row Studios to reveal exactly what went into the recording of this classic track, (the fastest selling 12” single ever ) as well as Power, Corruption and Lies. Committed to creating a minute-by-minute record of the band’s arduous creative process, Butterworth devoted three weeks to living and working alongside his friends and from beneath a perpetual fug of dope smoke, speed and alcohol in the band’s miniscule flat; not a single detail is censored. Blue Monday is an infectious dance anthem that will never date; released in 1983, it helped cement the band’s identity like no other track. In the wake of Ian Curtis’ loss – the maudlin, magnetic personality who once fronted them in the guise of Joy Division – it provided exactly the creative spark needed to ignite the band’s fledgling career. The book is written with the blessing of the band, and the market for New Order and Joy Division is still huge: New Order’s last tour encompassed sold-out stadium shows everywhere from Chile to California. Blue Monday: New Order (pb, 978 0859655460, £14.99) is published in November by Plexus and you can find out more and order it here.

And here is that classic track – Blue Monday, just the thing for a Friday!


#bluemonday or #fridayfeeling? Optimist or pessimist? Are you someone who thinks “hurrah, my bookshop is busy; excellent” or “damn I’m going to actually have to do some work this afternoon”? Here are 40 great quotes about life  for the cheerily positive among you – and here are 40 quotes about life for all you Eeyores!

And to finish, who doesn’t love a bit of Neil Young. He’s 70 in November, and Heart of Gold by Harvey Kubernik is the ultimate tribute to one of rock music’s true giants. Kubernik charts every aspect of Neil Young’s extraordinary career with exclusive interviews conducted with fellow musicians, record producers, music journalists, film directors and loyal fans. It encompasses a spell with the seminal West Coast band Buffalo Springfield, collaborations with Crosby, Stills and Nash, and a glittering solo career which began in the 1970s. The scale of Neil Young’s achievements as a singer-songwriter and his longevity as an artist have given him a status and an influence that helped shape the history of popular music and among those featured in this book are musicians Graham Nash, Nils Lofgren and Richie Furay, filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, photographer Henry Diltz, producers Jack Nitzsche and many, many more. Along with a retrospective commentary on every studio and live album, this is a must buy for all fans. Neil Young: Heart of Gold (hb, 978 1783057900:£19.95) is published by Omnibus Press in November. Find out more and order it here.

I want to live, I want to give. I've been a miner for a heart of gold. Here’s some classic 1971 footage for you!


Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. But if the world of twitter leaves you just a wee bit cold, then go straight to Buzzfeed to see these tweets that are guaranteed to make you laugh!

Here are some of our favourite tweets from this week ...
#APoemIs the nest, the branch, the wind and the fledgings all at once.
It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious." #OscarWilde #birthday

'The 5-a-side Bucket List'. No1: Jinhua, China









Enjoy @mrrobnewman's Entirely Accurate Encyclopaedia of Evolution on @bbcradio4 last night?
Absolutely thrilled to be named the winner of the PEN International New Voices Award last night! What an honour!
'What poem best explains politics?' Andrew Marr picks Hillaire Belloc.
'She was the ocean and I was just a boy who loved the waves but was completely terrified to swim' - Christopher Poindexter
How to beat Midlife Brain Fog by @DoctorMikeDow for @MailOnline: #BrainFog
The @BitebackPub stand at the Frankfurt book fair. 'Journeyman' in its rightful place just above Dave and Maggie T!


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.


Friday, 9 October 2015

Compass Points 143

Every few years, both Hollywood and the publishing industry decide to revisit JM Barrie’s perennial favourite – Peter Pan. And 2015 is one of those years, with a new film Pan, set to open next week in the UK – all ready for October half term. The film stars Hugh Jackman and looks pretty good – it’s certainly had plenty of media coverage – you can watch a trailer here. ITV are also getting in on the act, with a two hour film which will be screened at Christmas. Entitled Peter and Wendy it starts Breaking Bad star Laura Fraser and also Stanley Tucci – with Paloma Faith as Tinkerbell! You can read more about that here!  So I’m sure all of you booksellers will be getting ready for your Neverland displays and windows! Don’t forget to include Birlinn’s charming graphic novel: JM Barrie’s Peter Pan: The Graphic Novel by Stephen “Stref” White and Fin Cramb (pb, 978 1780272900, full colour, £12.99). As one reviewer described it, this is “a delightful book taking Barrie's original text and giving it a faithful and truly beautiful graphical adaptation. Stephen White goes back to the very heart of Barrie’s original tale to create a story that is dark, magical, charming and authentic.” The complexity of Barrie’s original is drawn out in vibrant illustrations and engaging text to create a new vision of the tale for those familiar with it and to enchant a new generation of readers. The stunning illustrations draw on original, authentic features from the locations that inspired Barrie to write his tale including Moat Brae House in Dumfries and the garden where he played as a boy. You can watch a 30 second film of Stref creating one of the illustrations here. Birlinn have created a brilliant pack of colourings and other Pan activities based on Stref’s lively illustrations – ideal for half term children’s bookshop activities! If you’d like one to download then please email Vikki Reilly: VikkiR@birlinn.co.uk.


A major serialisation of My Way: Berlusconi in His Own Words begins in the Daily Mail, starting on 17 October. Its author Alan Friedman will be all over the UK publicising it, including BBC Breakfast and Newsnight and there will be lots more to come! This billionaire media mogul turned Prime Minister, has dominated Italian life for the past twenty years and these candid and revealing interviews are sure to get the media all wound up! From the bunga-bunga parties to his most secret moments with world leaders, the book is rich in anecdotes and revelations involving Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush, Vladimir Putin, Mikhail Gorbachev, Tony Blair, Nicolas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel and many others. My Way: Berlusconi in His Own Words (hb, 978 1849549868, £18.99) is published by Biteback and you can find out more and order it here.

I LOVE it when authors or publishers make a short video to promote their books – and here’s an excellent trailer for Billy and the Devil by Dean Lilleyman (978 1910692332, pb, £8.99) which was published this summer by Urbane. Billy and the Devil is a shocking and intimate portrayal of isolation, sexual misadventure, and addiction which is getting terrific feedback on social media: "This is wild stuff, very dark and very brilliant." "Put it this way, a great novel doesn't end after you have read the last page. It reaches out after publication and plants its own mythology in the world." “Brilliantly evoked in all its sordid detail, black humour, demented courage, and alienation."

How was National Poetry Day for you? I hope you found it suitably lyrical and inspiring! You can read some of our favourite tweets from the day at the end of this newsletter! Carcanet chose the day to make an exciting announcement: Anvil Press Poetry and Carcanet Press have agreed to merge operations. The result: the most diverse world poetry list in the United Kingdom and one of the great poetry lists in the Anglophone world, to be published from Manchester in a Northern world-poetry powerhouse. Greenwich-based Anvil Press Poetry, founded in 1968, is Britain’s longest-standing independent poetry publisher. Manchester’s Carcanet began a year later. Both have, for over four decades, been directed by their founders. Peter Jay has been the editorial and production director of Anvil, and Michael Schmidt editorial director of Carcanet
Their lists are complementary: they have shared authors, both are internationalist, committed to translation, honouring the classics with modern translations, and both have made notable discoveries among emerging poets. Between them they have six Nobel laureates, more than a dozen Pulitzer Prize-winners, and in 2014 Carcanet poets won the Forward Prize and the TS Eliot Award. In 2000 Carcanet was named the Sunday Times Small Publisher of the Year
Peter Jay is retiring from front line publishing to continue the writing and translation projects which have long been on his back burner. He said, “It is wonderful for our poets that Anvil is moving to the best possible home with Carcanet, a publisher for which I have always had enormous respect and admiration.” Michael Schmidt commented, Carcanet Press in a sense grew out of Anvil. Peter inspired and catalysed our programme and it is a great pleasure to bring the two together into a single operation. They have always been family.”

In celebration of National Poetry Day I love this website which brings together some of the best quotations about poetry – including one of my favourites “Poetry is life distilled”.

Good luck to all booksellers everywhere with their terrific Books Are My Bag promotion running NOW! Lots more info and picson the Twitter page at https://twitter.com/booksaremybag and also on social media under #BAMB and @booksaremybag.

Gyles Brandreth has been relentlessly promoting his new book Breaking the Code all over the UK.  Breaking the Code (pb, 978 1849549158, £14.99) has just been published by Robson Press, and Gyles has been on all the BBC radio stations as well as being Guest of the Day on the Daily Politics Show. You can hear an entertaining interview with him here on Radio Two’s Steve Wright in the Afternoon.

It was SuperThursday this week of course – when all the publishers bring out their best hopes for the Christmas bestsellers. One title which may not be on your radar – but which is an ideal stocking stuffer for the indie relation in your family who definitely DOESN’T want to read yet another big fat celeb bio; is Noel Gallagher's High Flying Words edited by Melissa Bond. Noel Gallagher has been called the finest song writer of his generation, but the outspoken star is probably almost as well known for his quick wit and excoriating humour as for his musical ability. The rocker will readily offer illuminating thoughts on everything including other musicians, football, politics, life and Liam; and this hilarious volume brings together the funniest of his wit, wisdom and gratuitous insults. For example: “People say we’re the Rolling Stones and Blur are the Beatles. But we’re the Stones and the Beatles. They’re the f*cking Monkees.” Or “Until you’ve actually thrown a television set out of a window you don’t even know the sense of joy that brings.” Noel Gallagher's High Flying Words (pb, 978 1849549592, £6.99).is published by Biteback at the end of this month, and you can find out more and order it here.

Team SCA were the only all female team intrepid enough to take on the world’s most competitive and challenging ocean experience: the Volvo Ocean Race 2014/15 – a 40,000-mile race around the world in state-of-the-art yachts. Ocean racing has traditionally been the preserve of men, but over a gruelling nine months Team SCA proved that women can compete on an equal footing. The race requires huge physical and mental strength, there were over 250 applications to join Team SCA and only 15 were chosen to compete: the women come from six nations; USA, UK, Switzerland, Australia, Sweden and the Netherlands. Journey of Change: Women Pushing Boundaries is the official book of Team SCA’s journey and gives a unique insight into life on board and the challenges the team face as they take on their global marathon. A round-the-world yacht pushes the physical and mental boundaries of human endurance and is truly transformative experience. The dramatic and engaging stories of the crew from the onboard reporters, combined with the exceptional photography of Rick Tomlinson, make this a great gift book. You can see lots of the pics from the race on the Team SCA website here. Journey of Change: Women Pushing Boundaries is published by Max Strom Publishing (hb, 978 9171263469, £30.00) next week, and you can find out more and order it here

And you can watch some video footage of the Ocean Yacht Race here


 Let’s face it, most of us are not elite athletes, and we won’t be pushing the boundaries of what our bodies are capable of any time soon. However, nevertheless, we all very much enjoy poncing around the place in our sportswear, looking as if we might spring into action at any moment! I think you’ll enjoy this hilarious skit on the whole “women wearing active wear in order to look active” phenomenon!


An amusing canine titbits coming up November:  Dog Owners: A Spotters Guide by Robbie Guillory is a satirical guide to the extraordinarily diverse range of breeds of dog owners to be found out walking today from the author of the best-selling In Rude Health (60,000 copies sold) and Cyclists: A Spotter’s Guide. Dog owners remain one of the most diverse species in the world, with a wide variety of weird and wonderful breeds across the traditional range of classifications: toy, pastoral, hunting, terrier, utility and working. From the portly restaurant-owning Red Trouser and his trusty chocolate Labrador, the elegant but aloof UKIP Pointer with mandatory bulldog and cute but snappy Chihuahua-carrying Trusty Fund, to the docile Farming Subsidy and his collie; this book will be an invaluable companion to all those interested in learning more about dog owners and their idiosyncrasies.  This hilarious send-up of dog walking culture has instantly recognisable caricatures and is fabulously illustrated by award-winning artist Judith Hastie. Dog Owners: A Spotters Guide by Robbie Guillory (pb, 978 1910449394, £7.99) is published by Freight, and you can find out more and order it here.

Still love this moment from 101 Dalmatians, which illustrates to perfection the many dogs that look exactly like their owners!


While we’re in a cartoon frame of mind, The Best of The Oldie Cartoons is a tried and tested Christmas favourite which should do very well. Following the huge sell-out success of the previous two Oldie cartoon books, The Oldie editors have made a selection of the very best cartoons of the last 23 years. Along with Private Eye and The Spectator; The Oldie has the best reputation for cartoons in Britain and they’re all here: Larry, Bill Tidy, Tony Husband, Robert Thompson, Nick Downes, Kathryn Lamb and Bernie. Most of them were chosen by Richard Ingrams, the former editor of Private Eye and The Oldie, who insisted that every published cartoon had to make him laugh out loud. The perfect Christmas present for parents and grandparents, The Best of The Oldie Cartoons (pb, 978 1901170245, £7.99) with an intro by Alexander Chancellor is published in November and you can find out more and order it here.

What a very heartening story this week that Waterstone’s is to stop selling the Kindle e-reader in most of its stores – could this be a watershed moment in the battle between real and ebooks? Personally, I wish I had made a bet with every one of the many saddo techno-geeks over the last decade who have boringly assured me that our wonderful industry was doomed to oblivion; as I have a feeling I would be about to rake in the serious spondulicks. Sales of hardbacks and paperbacks are enjoying a widespread resurgence and James Daunt says he has removed Kindles from most of the books chain’s 280 stores because they were “getting virtually no sales” and the space has instead been turned over to paperback and hardback books. Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah. You can read more of that story in the Guardian here.

And if you have 15 minutes to spare on a Friday for a charming little animated film on a book related theme – then you'll probably enjoy this!


Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. Here are some of our favourite #NationalPoetryDay tweets from this week...

A tweet, though neat
Will often deplete
The weight of words in it
Due to chrctr limit.
All chocolate is NOT the same
From taste and texture
To from whence it came.
Roses are red,
Violets are red,
Baboon butts are red,
Rashes are red, Everything is red,
I'm colour-blind.
But my words become stained with your love.
You occupy everything, you occupy everything.... Pablo Neruda
My light saber is red,
Obi-Wan's is blue,
If you love Star Wars,
I love you.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
If you don't like Harry Potter puns
Something's Siriusly Ron with you
This, I saw today;
It cut the air
With flash of flight,
Kingfisher,
Bringing all to light.
Light by Margaret Tait
Did you say it's made of waves?
Yes that’s it.
I wonder what the waves are made of.
Oh waves are made of waves
Waves are what they are
Shimmeringness
Oscillation…
The small girl smiles.
One eyelid flickers.
She whips a pistol from her knickers.
They Tuck You Up by Adrian Mitchell
They tuck you up, your mum and dad
They read you Peter Rabbit too.
They give you all the treats they had
And add some extra, just for you.
A pointless walk along the coast
That’s what floats my boat the most

That’s all for now folks! More next week!


This blog is taken from a newsletter 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.