Thursday 17 March 2016

Compass Points 162

Very well done to all of the regional winners of this year’s British Book Industry Awards’ Independent Bookshop of the Year. Stores in seven regions across the UK and Ireland are winners; the only 2015 winner to retain its title was Wicklow’s Blessington Book Store, which won the Ireland crown. Judges praised owner Janet Hawkins and her staff for a shop that “sits at the heart of the community”. Atkinson-Pryce in Biggar was the Scotland winner, a region the South Lanarkshire business last won in 2013. Judges commended the staffers Sue Kekewich, Chris McCosh and Millie McCosh for constant reinvention that makes it the “ideal destination shop”.
In London, judges were impressed by the “amazing turnaround” of radical booksellers Housmans, which expanded its premises and had record turnover in its 70th year, all while being a National Living Wage employer. There was a similar story in the South-East and East region, with The Haslemere Bookshop getting a “new lease on life” after Ian Rowley took over the business in 2014.Two regions were won by shops owned by former Waterstone’s booksellers: Helen Stanton’s Forum Books in Corebridge took the North England crown, with judges impressed by a “stellar events line-up”; and the South-West champion was Winstone’s Books in Sherborne, owned by Wayne Winstone.
The shop was hailed as a “total package”. The hotly contested Midlands and Wales region was won by Book-ish in Crickwell, Powys, a “small shop that punches well above its weight”, yet judges also wanted to highly commend Rossiter Books of Monmouth and Ross-on-Wye for “second-to-none operational expertise and a top-notch customer experience”. The winners will vie for the overall Independent Bookshop of the Year prize, to be awarded at the British Book Industry Awards on 9th May in London. Gardner’s will award the winner with £5,000, to be put towards the running of their shop.

In celebration of great booksellers everywhere, let’s have a look at The Bookshop Sketch; starring Marty Feldman and John Junkin which originally aired in 1970 – still pretty funny and it will strike a chord with many of you I feel sure!

Coalition (hb, £25.00, 978 1849549660) by David Laws is published next week – and the superb publicity machine at Biteback has really gone into overdrive on this one! The Mail on Sunday serialisation has begun – with the terrific headline PM: Gove Is Nuts, Boris Is After My Job! You can read the whole piece here. The second and third parts of the serialisation come this weekend and next – so this story will run and run as they say! There have also been articles in the Daily MailThe TelegraphThe Observer, the Sunday Telegraph, the Mirror, The Sun on Sunday , the  Independent on Sunday, the Sunday Express , the Guardian, the Independent, the Express , The Sun, The Times and the Mirror plus tons of regional press too. David has also been a guest on BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show,  - you can watch that here -  where Peter Hitchens said “These memoirs are terrific. Everybody should read them.” Couldn’t agree more Peter, if everyone in the country buys this £25 hardback we can all go off to the Maldives for week on the proceeds! David has also been on the Daily Politics show and BBC Radio 5Live. Phew!
Coalition is the definitive insider account of the historic Conservative-Lib Dem coalition from its birth in 2010 through to its demise in May 2015. This revealing account is one of the most important political books of the year, shedding light on perhaps the most fascinating political partnership since the Second World War. Paddy Ashdown (has he eaten that hat yet?) said “David Laws has written what deserves to become the definitive account of the 2010–15 coalition government. It is also a cracking good read” and Mathew Parris commented: “There are few – even from within my own party – whose inside story of the coalition I would trust more than David Laws’s.” Find out more and order Coalition here.

Labour peer Joan Bakewell caused massive controversy earlier this week when she said that anorexia is a sign of "narcissism". Hay House author, and wellness blogger Katie Dalebout has written an excellent article for Glamour Magazine about her own harrowing experience of living with an eating disorder and how its cause was a complicated issue. You can read that piece here and I’m pleased to see it contains a massive plug for Katie’s book Let It Out which is published by Hay House next month. Over three million people will have read this article online – that’s a lot of potential customers for this paperback – so please do stock it! Let it Out: A Journey through Journaling is unlike anything else out there, as it is not a is not a workbook but instead offers the reader an eclectic collection of exercises that can be used at any time for solace and self-discovery. It can be read chronologically or it can be flipped through to whichever page or tool is relevant that day. It has a great contemporary cover and this fresh guide for young, modern women on finding clarity and direction in life through writing – and sharing that writing – offers a unique, new voice to those looking for a peer to speak to them about finding a different way to cope. Let it Out: A Journey through Journaling by Katie Dalebout (pb, £10.99, 978 1781806708) is published in April. Find out more and order it here.

Who remembers Mary Decker’s clash with Zola Budd at the 1984 Los Angeles Games – one of the biggest and most controversial events in Olympic history? If you don’t then you can watch it here. In a head-to-head that gripped the imagination of the world, the 3,000 metres race pitted the experienced and glamourous world champion from the host nation against a prodigious, teenage waif from South Africa wearing a hastily-organised British flag on her vest and, memorably, no shoes on her feet. Disastrously, a mid-race collision saw Decker tumble to the inside of the track after her legs tangled with Budd’s as the 18-year-old overtook the American in a battle for pole position. Distraught and unable to carry on, the tearful Decker watched in frustration as Maricica Puica of Romania stormed to gold while Budd, who was heavily booed by the partisan crowd in the closing stages, faded to seventh. Using the famous Olympic moment as its focal point, Collision Course tells the story of two of the best-known and greatest athletes of all time, analyses their place in history as pioneers of women’s sport, and lifts the lid on two lives that have been filled of sporting and political intrigue that, until now, has never been fully told.  Collision Course: The Olympic Tragedy of Mary Decker and Zola Budd (hb, £16,99, 978 1909715363) includes exclusive new interview material from Decker and Budd and is by top sports journalist Jason Henderson. It is published by Arena Sport in June and you can order it here.

Hope everyone enjoyed St Patrick’s Day yesterday? For a comparatively small country, Ireland has made a disproportionate contribution to world literature, music and comedy – have a look here to read and enjoy 30 of the greatest quotes and one liners about Ireland and the Irish.

It’s always terrific to welcome a new publisher to the Compass team, and this week we’re pleased to introduce you to And Other Stories; a literary publishing house, which you can find out more about on their website and also on their blog Ampersand, which you can find here.

They have two new titles coming in July, the first of which is The Seamstress and the Wind by César Aira (pb, £7.99, 978 1908276841). This is an acknowledged masterpiece from a Man Booker International finalist and the most influential writer in Latin America today. A judge for the Booker commented that if more of Aira’s work had been available in English he might have won – so And Other Stories have very high hopes for him as by end of 2019 they will have published at least five more of his books, all in a new Aira series look which will be highly collectable! There’s already a good online cultish buzz building for him; his writing is marked by extreme eccentricity and innovation, as well as a playful spirit and he is without a doubt the true heir to Jorge Luís Borges’ literature of ideas. He has been called many things: “slippery” (The Nation) and “infuriating” (New York Times Book Review) as well as the “most original, shocking, exciting and subversive Spanish-language author of our day” (Ignacio Echevarría). Patti Smith was “quickly seduced” when she read The Seamstress and the Wind, and admits that seeing him at a writer’s conference: “I was so excited at his presence that I bounded his way like a St. Bernard!” Find out more and order The Seamstress and the Wind here.

The second title coming in July from And Other Stories is The Transmigration of Bodies, by Yuri Herrera (pb, £8.99, 978 1908276728). Herrera is a highly acclaimed Mexican writer whose first novel translated into English, Signs Preceding the End of the World, was praised by critics, booksellers and readers, with glowing review coverage and excellent sales (over 8,000 print sales and rising). His new novel is a response to the violence of contemporary Mexico and is a noirish tragedy withy echoes of Romeo and Juliet, Roberto Bolaño and Raymond Chandler. It is set in a time when a plague has brought death to the city and two feuding crime families with blood on their hands need our hard-boiled hero, The Redeemer, to broker peace. Booksellers love Yuri Herrera; Tom Harris of Mr B’s Emporium, Bath said “This is as noir should be, written with all the grit and grime of hard-boiled crime and all the literary merit we're beginning to expect from Herrera” while Ray Mattinson from Blackwell’s in Oxford said that “reading The Transmigration of Bodies was akin to being enveloped in a dream state, yet one that upon waking somehow makes profound sense. Another truly magnificent novel from one of the most exciting authors to emerge on the world stage for aeons.” Yuri Herrera speaks great English and will be touring the UK in May and June including appearances at the Hay Festival. Find out more and order it here.
Love this from BuzzFeed – 18 Faces Every Book Lover Will Recognise!

Aardvark Bureau have what looks like a very entertaining title coming in June. Max Gate by Damien Wilkins tells the story of Thomas Hardy’s death as narrated with wit and brutal honesty by his housemaid Nellie Titterington. In the vein of Longbourn, this will appeal both to Hardy fans and readers of biographical fiction. As Thomas Hardy lies on his deathbed at his Dorset home, Max Gate, a tug-of-war is taking place over his legacy and the eventual fate of his mortal remains. What counts for more: the wishes of his family and dutiful second wife; the opinion of his literary friends; Hardy’s own express desires or ‘the will of the nation’? Wilkins’ writing has been much praised, the Guardian saying: “Wilkins’s characters are individual, unpredictable and real” and the Independent on Sunday writing that “Wilkins has an eye for telling detail, a great ear for dialogue and a dark sense of humour.” You can find out more about Max Gate by Damien Wilkins (pb, 978 1910709139, £8.99) and order it here.

Wow – there so many great novels to catch up with this week! And best of all – by reading them you can also become a more interesting, charming person. What?! Yes, it’s absolutely true, a recent study has shown that reading fiction may well enhance your social skills! Read all about it here!

Several decades after the band ceased, the Beatles remain a phenomenon, selling millions and constantly updating reissues of their back-catalogue; and the recent sad death of George Martin appears to have prompted even more airplay for the Fab Four. Coming in July from Red Planet, I Was There: Beatles Live is the ideal gift-book for the fans – by the fans! This is not just a fantastic book about the Beatles. It is also a unique document of the 60s – a great big slice of rock music heritage. It documents the Beatles when they were at their peak: at their world-conquering best. And it does so through the eyes of 500 of their fans, all telling their personal tales of when they saw the Beatles live in concert – both in the UK and the US. Packed with vintage 60s memorabilia and never-before-seen photos of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, I Was There: The Beatles Live is a lovingly designed time-capsule, a portrait of an era. It is as close to actually being at a 60s Beatles gig you will ever get! Although thrillingly, the MD of Compass did actually go to a 60’s Beatles gig – so that’s not strictly true for everyone! The high-quality souvenir format of this hardback makes this a great title, and you can find out more about I Was There: Beatles Live (hb, 978 1905959945, £15.99) and order it here.
Have a look at those crazy 60’s Beatles fans here and here – great footage! And here's an 8 minute sample what all the fuss was really about!

Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. This week we’re loving #BookGeek…

Novelicious ‏@Novelicious  Confession: We totally dog-ear books. A book should look 'read'. Like it's lived a little, seen some shit, you know?
Book Geek Problems ‏@BookGeekProbs When people say that you read too much #bookgeekproblems
Kirsty Greenwood ‏@KirstyBooks A group of authors is called a Procrastination.
Joanna Barnard ‏@JoannaBarnard76 Retweeted Kirsty Greenwood "Writing a first draft is tough and the likelihood is that it’s going to be a bit shit at first"
Rhiannon Hall ‏@RhiannonHall47  What level of nerd am I? I have my library card number memorized... #bookgeek
Ellie Ireland ‏@elzieboppp   Falling asleep but only 3 chapters left of my book. Must.stay.awake #bookgeek
Asa Butterfield ‏@rhicksaid   I love books more than my friends. Hahahaha. Sorry but this is kinda true. #WorldBookDay
Vicky Beeching@vickybeeching Reading some poetry when I wake up and before I go to sleep always feels like a lovely bookend to any day. #inspiration #bookgeek
That’s all for now folks! More next week!

This blog is taken from an e-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.

No comments:

Post a Comment