Well, you’d expect Biteback to be completely on top of all the latest political shenanigans, and sure enough they have already snapped up what Iain Dale is calling “the definitive biography” of Theresa May. Theresa May: The Path to Power is by journalist Rosa Prince; author of Comrade Corbyn of course. The book promises to tell the story of "one of the most extraordinary people ever to enter No. 10. Twenty days after Britain’s dramatic vote to leave the European Union, a new Prime Minister has captured Downing Street", the synopsis of the book reads. "Few are more surprised than May herself. At the start of this extraordinary summer, the formidable May had been on the cusp of becoming the longest-serving Home Secretary in history. Then the unexpected happened." It continues: "David Cameron’s sudden resignation unleashed a leadership contest like no other – and saw the showier rivals for this crown fall one by one with dizzying speed. Britain’s second-ever female premier is a self-styled unflashy politician, a vicar’s daughter whose commitment to public service was instilled during her Oxfordshire childhood. With one of the strongest marriages in politics, the Vogue-reading, cookbook-devouring, kitten heel-wearing May has overcome personal sadness to forge a reputation as one of the most respected and diligent politicians of her era."
Rosa Prince said: "It is an honour to be writing the life of Britain's second female Prime Minister – particularly when she is as fascinating and impressive a character as Theresa May. The events leading up to her coronation were among the most dramatic in modern British politics and will make for a compelling story." Theresa May: The Path to Power will be published in January 2017 and will naturally be supported by a major publicity campaign – there have already been pieces in The Times Diary and Total Politics. Incidentally, Comrade Corbyn: A Very Unlikely Coup (pb, £9.99, 978 1785901188) also by Rosa Prince is out in paperback in September. The Mirror called it "a real political thriller with a revolutionary ending. This is British politics' most incredible political journey. Ever."
Over on Twitter, absolutely everyone is making the same joke about Theresa and her cabinet. Here’s the first version – but the whole of social media are saying it – possibly time to move on from this particular LOL now I think!
Clarkson@Jeremy Clarkson: Oh for fuck’s sake. May and Hammond. Really? We will end up thick and lost.
And if we’re talking political jokes, we just know you want to see these 23 great pictures of our most senior diplomat!
If you want to find out whether you are more or less diplomatic than the bumptious blond one – then do take this fun quiz on BuzzFeed now!
Interesting news that in the US, the massive craze for Pokémon Go is causing a big increase in footfall into bookshops and libraries; and not just footfall – those crazy Pokémon hunters are actually buying books too! According to Whitney Hu, the manager of the Strand Bookstore in New York, the game is luring in brand new customers: “people who aren’t avid readers or buy their books online. For people visiting the city, you might not have a bookstore listed on your go-to list but if it’s a Pokéstop nearby your hotel, you might go explore it.” Libraries are getting in on the act too, with the likes of Omaha library tweeting “Obsessed with Pokémon Go? All 12 of our library branches are Poke stops – come train with us!” Read the full story here. Could the same thing happen over here? Yep, I think it already has – with Blackwell’s tweeting this week: “I do believe that one of those delightful Pokémon thingumajigs has been snaffled in the Norrington Room #PokemonGo “ and Samuel French Ltd reminding us that actually, who cares about “#PokemonGO? Pfff, independent bookshops have offered chances to run into odd, unexpected creatures that avoid human contact for CENTURIES.” Very true!
As the world gets ready for Rio, cast your mind back to July 2005, when the world held a collective intake of breath as IOC president Jacques Rogge declared: 'The games of the 30th Olympiad in 2012 are awarded to the city of … London.' Despite the images of jubilant crowds in the streets of Britain's capital, there were some, like Lance Forman, for whom those words spelled only dread and uncertainty. His 100-year-old family business, H. Forman & Son, the country's finest purveyor of smoked salmon, was facing eviction to make way for the Olympic Stadium, and teetered on the brink of collapse. Lance Forman's fight to save the firm brought him into open conflict with many powerful figures, including Ken Livingstone, and Sebastian Coe. Forman's Games: The Dark Underside of the London Olympics lifts the lid on the fierce battle that pitched Forman's, against the combined might of the UK authorities and the IOC in the run-up to the 2012 London Olympics. It is a full, unexpurgated account of skulduggery and bullying mounted against 350 local businesses, employing over 12,000 people, who stood in the way not just of the world's most famous sporting event, but of an opportunity to develop the land on which they had successfully run businesses over decades. The Sunday Times called it "an exquisitely score-settling book" and the Financial Times found it “undeniably fascinating” while Nick Ferrari wrote: “Lance Forman's tale of the shady deals, covert negotiations and backroom operators of London 2012 makes the world of Machiavelli appear humdrum and straightforward – a truly gripping read." Foreman’s Games (hb, £20, 978 1785901157) was published this week by Biteback. There’s been lots of press coverage already, with more to come as well as an interview with the author on Radio 4 which you can listen to here.
And here’s a short film about Lance Forman and his extraordinary battle on CNN .
Frank O'Hara (June 27, 1926 – July 25, 1966) was an American writer, poet and art critic. Employed as a curator at the Museum of Modern Art; O’Hara became prominent in New York City's art world and is regarded as a leading figure in the New York School; an informal group of artists, writers and musicians who drew inspiration from jazz, surrealism, and contemporary avant-garde art movements. He was one of the most delightful and radical poets; celebrated for his apparently unpremeditated poems in which he brilliantly captured the pace and rhythms, quandaries and exhilarations, of mid-twentieth-century life.
The 50th anniversary of his death is next week, so this is a good opportunity to promote Frank O’Hara Selected Poems (pb, £9.95, 978 1857547719) and Why I Am Not A Painter and Other Poems (pb, £8.95, 978 1857546880) both available from Carcanet. Reviewing this selection in the Guardian, Charles Bainbridge wrote: “Frank O'Hara is a wonderful poet – funny, moving, chatty, engaging, enthusiastic, risk-taking, elegiac, supremely urban – and anything that encourages people to read him is a good thing. His poems have a disarming intimacy, a kind spontaneous enthusiasm and his work proves, with tremendous elan and energy, that you don't have to adopt a solemn tone in order to write poetry of seriousness and purpose.”
Here’s a one-minute clip of Frank O’Hara in 1966, reading one of his most well-known poems; Having a Coke With You shortly before his accidental death.
I think the world divides into those who LOVE pictures of animals in clothes – and those who really, really don’t! If you and your customers are in the former camp, then two titles coming in September from Amber Books will be right up your street! Cats in Hats (£6.99, hb, 978 1782744306) is a fun book of more than 40 felines and their headwear, featuring a colour photomontage of a cat in a hat per spread. Each entry has both a jokey caption followed by some informative text on the breed, history, intelligence or characteristic of the cat featured. From Balinese cats in bowler hats to American wirehairs in aviator caps, Cats in Hats is a joyful compendium of some exquisite combinations of felines and headwear. Moody cats in fedoras, fighting cats in Viking helmets, gourmand cats in chef’s hats, gangster cats in trilbies, Siamese cats in sombreros, Burmese cats in bonnets, Manx cats in conical hats: this is an ideal gift for anyone who feels that there just aren’t enough books about cats in hats available.
And Pugs on Rugs (hb, £6.99, 978 1782744313) – yes, you’ve guessed it, bullish pugs, pitiful pugs, porky pugs: this gift hardback is full of more than 40 images of the snuggest pugs on rugs that you’ve ever seen. The dogs might be walking, sitting, sleeping; the rug could be Persian, Aztec, oriental; but rest assured, the image will be cute and funny or funny and cute or probably both. Both titles have 96 pages, with over 40 colour spreads, and measure 153 x 153 mm. You can order them both now.
And if cat and dogs wearing clothes are your thing – then you’ll no doubt enjoy this very clever little film, and maybe this and this too!
Jason Vale, aka the ‘Juice Master’, is the best-selling author of eleven books on health, addiction and juicing. His books have now sold over 3 million copies and have been translated into many languages. His most well-known book; 7lbs In 7 days: The Juice Master Diet; went to number one of all books on Amazon. The Daily Mail said “There’s a huge amount of persuasive power in what Jason says, helped considerably by the fact his delivery is an entertaining mix of the comic styles of Lee Evans, Norman Wisdom and Eddie Izzard.” In October comes Jason’s first ever wholefood recipe book, Super Fast Food: Healthy Meals Made Easy which I think will be hugely popular. It’s packed with over 100 truly inspirational recipes, from incredibly healthy superfood breakfasts to brownies to die for! You’ll find healthy versions of all the classics from pizza to pasta to risotto and even a healthy veggie burger and fries and as you would expect, the book is also bursting with super salads, super soups and amazing fish recipes. This is also the perfect book for anyone who has just finished one of Jason’s Juice Challenges and is looking for some inspiration. Jason believes that the whole business of healthy eating has been overcomplicated so you won’t find any strange ingredients only found in specialised food shops for any of his recipes – anyone can make these simple, delicious, nutrient packed superfood meals. Jason’s fifteen years of experience in writing health books comes into its own in this refreshingly uncomplicated look at healthy meals – and with this author’s massive fan base, this new hardback looks set to be a big seller. Super Fast Food: Healthy Meals Made Easy (hb, £25.00, 978 0954766474) is published by Crown House Publishing.
Here's Jason talking about his new book on YouTube.
Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. And this week we bring you our favourite political tweets from the couple of days...
Orb@rhysbart: The Queen has devoured 12 Prime Ministers during her reign and will devour the 13th today. This will trigger the awakening.
Richard K Herring@Herring 1967: Can't believe they are rebooting the government and replacing all the lead characters with women. Damaging my memories of Cameron franchise.
RickyGervais@RickyGervais: Phew! Just when Britain was starting to become a laughing stock around the world, Boris Johnson is appointed foreign secretary.
HalCruttenden@Halcruttenden: David Cameron said yesterday that he leaves Britain a ‘stronger country’. It’s these little jokes that I’m going to miss the most.
Christopher Hope @christopherhope: Ex-Culture secretary John Whittingdale on his plans for the rest of the day. "We are going to get drunk," he tells me. #CabinetReshuffle
Mehdi Hassan@MehdiHasan: ‘Last time he did a deal with the Germans, he came back with 3 nearly new water cannons.’ May mocking her foreign sec Boris just days ago.
Rebekah Kendrick @RebekahRRK: Heard #Crabb resigned because he was only offered a sideways move.
Oliver Schraylor@oliverschraylor: Can't believe Andrea Leadsom only got Defra considering she used to be President of the USA, a deep sea diver and a Duke
Technically Ron@TechnicallyRon: Looking forward to Boris Johnson's first visit to bongo bongo land.
Trumpton@Trumpton: Any idea what time @Number10gov is announcing @achrisevans replacement on @BBC_TopGear?
Aodh@AodhBC: Since a diplomat is a man sent abroad to lie for his country, Boris Johnson will make a fine Foreign Secretary.
Gullivers Bookshop@gulliversbks: It's been a week of funny comments. 'I want a novel where nothing really happens' & 'do they do adult colouring books for children'?
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 talk to your Compass Sales Manager, or call the office on 020 8326 5696.