Friday 29 January 2016

Compass Points 156

Top five songs about sugar. Well, yes please to this one, and of course we definitely need a spoonful of this as well this classic Sinatra ditty from 1967 and this cool little number from Rodriguez.  But top of my list would have to be this one from Billie Holiday, recorded in 1939.

However, despite the sweet singing - what is the biggest dietary threat to the modern world? Yep, it’s that same syrupy gloop. Due to refined sugar in so many foods, we are seeing epidemics of obesity and type II diabetes on a global scale. The warnings are stark yet; as many of us know who are a little too fond of our large glass of Sauvignon or the large plate of Krispy Kremes; it's really not as straightforward as just nagging people to cut it out. Sugar consumption is an addiction that begins at birth and it requires a proven method to get you free. So who can help? Step forward Mr Allen Carr of course – whose Easyway method has already helped gazillions to stop smoking and lose weight. Good Sugar, Bad Sugar (like all Allen Carr Easyway books) works by unravelling the brainwashing that leads us to desire the very thing that is destroying us, in this case junk food. Good Sugar Bad Sugar is a simple, logical method to help you cut sugar out of your diet and replace it with your favourite foods. No willpower. No painful withdrawal period. No magic formula. This is the method that works. Good Sugar, Bad Sugar by Allen Carr (pb, 978 1785992131, £8.99) is published by Arcturus in April and you can order it here.

Our animal chums out in the natural world do not seem to suffer from the sugar addiction that we humans do. But what if they did? Have a look here at this at this gently amusing 2 minute cartoon exploring the consequences of wild animals that have eaten WAY too much junk food…

There has been quite a bit of publicity for Guy Burgess: The Spy Who Knew Everyone. The Sunday Times ran an excellent article this week about Guy Burgess and the BBC in yesterday’s paper and ITV News ran a story on the book and the authors’ findings in their 10 o’clock bulletin– you can read an accompanying piece about it in Tom Bradby’s ITV blog  here. This is the first ever full biography of the unhappy life of one of Britain’s most notorious Cold War traitors and contains never-before-published material from recently de-classified secret service files.  This book reveals how, at the heart of Burgess’s network was an inner cell of communist spies and sympathisers, who were influential in the British media in the 1930s and ’40s. The outer layer of his network was made up of contacts, ranging from two prime ministers to celebrities in the arts and show business, who unwittingly gave him the inside track on British life. Fascinating stuff – this book is very absorbing on just how this scruffy, smelly, sexually promiscuous, conspicuous drunk was such a successful Soviet spy that he was never challenged by Britain’s spy-catchers. It culminates in new revelations about his final, lonely days in Moscow as ‘the spy who knew nobody’. There will be more review and feature coverage to come – revelations about Britain’s ruling classes and the Eton/Cambridge mafia are endlessly appealing to the British media – and this hardback is a genuinely startling read. Guy Burgess: The Spy Who knew Everyone by Stewart Purvis and Jeff Hulbert (hb, 978 1849549134, £20.00) has just been published by Biteback. Find out more and order it here.

Here is a short 7 minute Channel 4 film which give you a little more background on Guy Burgess -  including some rare audio soundtrack of him speaking – very evocative.

A new collection from one of Britain’s best loved poets is always an important event, so we’re very much looking forward to Ian McMillan: New and Selected Poems (pb, 9781784101886, £9.99) which is published by Carcanet in April. Carol Ann Duffy has described Ian as “World-class – one of today’s greatest poetry performers” and Andy Kershaw said he was “inching towards the status of a National Treasure”. There’s no doubt that the ‘Bard of Barnsley’ (he’s poet in residence for Barnsley FC) is both well known and popular for his work in schools, radio and television (Radio 3, the Mark Radcliffe Show, The Verb, Poetry Please and Newsnight Review), as well as being a prolific tweeter with a huge online following (25.5k) of poetry fans. There will be plenty of acclaim for this new collection – find out more about it here.

And here is  the superlative Mr McMillan in full flow, with his lyrical rhapsody on the famous Barnsley v Liverpool FA Cup match of 2008….

What does friluftsliv* mean?? You’ll be able to find out if you order the latest Wild Guide title - now firmly established a bestselling series; popular as much for the spectacular photography as much as the insider knowledge; these books have now sold over 100,000 copies. The Wild Guide to Scandinavia: Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Denmark guides the reader to over 800 adventures and wild experiences. 
The reader can canoe through hidden Norwegian fjords, hike to Sweden’s cosiest lakeside bothies and feast on locally sourced regional specialities as well as swim in the secret hot springs of Iceland and discover the best of Denmark’s golden sand beaches. Travelling from high above the Arctic Circle to the very south of Sweden, the landscapes you will discover are as varied as they are idyllic. 
Scandinavia is very much the trendy destination at present – and this book is ideal for those even thinking about heading north this year – the Wild Guide books are as appealing to have on your coffee table as they are to pack in your suitcase I find! There will be plenty of newspaper and magazine coverage for this gorgeous paperback and features are planned with the Guardian, the Sunday Times and Conde Nast Traveller magazine. 
Also published this spring is the latest addition to the Wild Swimming collection; Wild Swimming Spain. Discover where you can plunge into the crystal clear turquoise waters of the Picos de Europa’s glacial lakes as well as the laid-back reservoir beaches of Andalucia, the magical waterfall grottos of the Pyrenees and the secret pools of the Rio Tajo in Guadalajara
This is perfect for family explorers or romantic adventurers. As always with the Wild Swimming series,  beautiful photography is combined with all the practical information you’ll need to get off the beaten track, including maps, directions, grid references and walk-in times, and recommendations for trips, campsites and tavernas.
Wild Guide Scandinavia by Benjamin Love (pb, 978 1910636053, £16.99) and Wild Swimming Spain by John Weller and Lola Culsan (pb, 978 1910636060, £15.99 are both published by Wild Things Publishing in April. 

* Friluftsliv = free air life; a Norwegian word that encaptures the unique and uplifting Scandinavian outdoor culture.

What a treat, a new title  – Too Close to the Edge – from Pascal Garnier is published by Gallic in April. This is intelligently written noir with a distinct French flavour; the Financial Times described him as “a mixture of Albert Camus and JG Ballard” while John Banville said “think Simenon and Patricia Highsmith mixed, with jokes added to the black brew”
Every new Garnier title that comes out in the UK gains him new fans (the whole series has an eye-catching and distinctive look which you can see here) and this story which begins when a widow’s quiet retirement in the foothills of the Alps is turned upside down by the arrival of a mysterious stranger is sure to do well. The Sunday Telegraph said “A brilliant exercise in grim and gripping irony, it makes you grin as well as wince.” You can find out more about Too Close to the Edge (pb, £7.99, 978 1910477250) here.

We’ve had many publishers vying to prove that their book brings us “the year that changed everything” here at Compass Towers – many have argued for 1914 and Biteback recently put up a spirited case for 1956. Today’s contender however, is 1977.  77 Sulphate Strip: An Eyewitness Account of the Year that Changed Everything by Barry Cain is a brand new edition of this 20,000 plus selling title which (along with England’s Dreaming) has become the acknowledged seminal work on punk. Barry Cain was at every major gig and interviewed all of the acts at the time. He was viewed as an ‘insider’ and his access was unrivalled. This book is a vibrant and fast-paced trip through an extraordinary year. It includes major new interviews with Sex Pistol Johnny Rotten, Strangler Hugh Cornwell and Rat Scabies of The Damned. 
Moving forward a few years; Punks, Posers and Pop Stars: Messy Encounters with 80’s Musicians  is a riotous romp through the music scene of this decade, and contains an exclusive collection of never-seen-before vintage interviews with some of the biggest names in music: The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Jam, Marc Bolan, Bruce Springsteen, The Buzzcocks, Iggy Pop, Paul and Linda McCartney, The Who, Blondie, Bob Marley, The Stranglers, Dr Feelgood, Queen, Ian Dury, AC/DC, Spandau Ballet and many others. This is a brand new title, and there is very likely to be a newspaper serialisation of it, plus lots of promotional and social media support from some of the bands and singers featured. Punks, Posers and Pop Stars is full of scandalous quotes and anecdotes from household names such as Debbie Harry and Jools Holland: read this book and you’ll never see them in quite the same way again!
77 Sulphate Strip (pb, with 16 pages of pictures, 978 0954867492, £12.99) is available here and Punk Posers and Pop Stars (pb, illustrated, 978 1905959877, £12.99) is available here. Both are by Barry Cain and are published by Red Planet in March.

Well, we do like to finish with a bit of music – s0 time to wallow in nostalgia – with this: the top 50 songs of 1977 – complete with pop videos – all in 12 minutes! I’m not sure whether this proves Barry Cain’s argument or not (Mull of Kintyre anyone) but I’ve certainly got the entire top 20 in my iTunes playlist – please tell me that makes me deeply cool!

Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. This week we’re loving these quotations from #ShakespeareSunday...
"There is no more mercy in him than there is milk in male tiger"
Would you have a love song, or a song of good life?
12th Night
POLONIUS: What do you read, my lord? HAMLET: Words, words, words
You must bear with me. Pray you now, forget and forgive. I am old and foolish.
King Lear
What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties.
'Tis time, I think, to trudge, pack and be gone.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool"
As You Like It  
"Love is merely a madness and, I tell you, deserves as well a dark house and a whip as madmen do"
AYLI a3 s2
Say whatever you want about Shakespeare, but someone who writes "methinks" should have flunked out of his grammar school
Why, what's the matter, That you have such a February face, So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?
#Much Ado
“You, minion, are too saucy.”
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
We'll have flesh for holidays, fish for fasting-days & moreo'er puddings & flap-jacks. #Pericles
Also how amazing is "I have drunk, and seen the spider"? VERY AMAZING is right!

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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