Absolutely tons of really super publicity for Microwave Mug Meals (hb, £9.99, 978 0754832850) out now from Lorenz Books. Have a watch here of him on This Morning with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield yesterday. The good thing about publicity like this (in addition to the massive viewing figures for This Morning!) is that Holly and Phillip both follow through on social media – with great tweets like “Students, if you are watching - this is the stuff of dreams! @hollywills #MealinaMug” and “Wow! We are so impressed by our meals in mugs @TheoCooks @itv.com @thismorning #MealinanMug“ Theo’s Twitter feed has loads more enthusiastic tweets such as “Ok so I just made a brownie...in a mug...in my microwave! IT ACTUALLY WORKS I'm shocked! #foodie #chocolate” .
There has been plenty of print media promo too, you can see the three articles in Reveal, Best Magazine and Theo's local Mercury newspaper by going to his webpage here. And have a look at how to make Microwaved Moussaka in a Mug which is a three minute video from Theo which has been on the massively popular Mirror website – you can see that one here. This book has real potential to be very popular indeed, so do make sure you have it: 90% of households in the UK have a microwave, and this hardback has great recipes, lovely photographs, a very engaging author and is a brilliant price!
Now, you might be rather surprised to hear that the election of President Trump was actually foretold by author Roger Hargreaves in the titles of his Mr Men books! Brydon Coverdale, an Australian journalist, was looking along his shelf of his Mr Men titles when he suddenly noticed a correlation with the list of American presidents and the order of the much-loved paperbacks. So, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, clearly relate to books one and three in the series: Mr Tickle and Mr Happy. Then the all-action Teddy Roosevelt, the 26th president, is like book 26: Mr Strong. The wobbly James Buchanan is Mr Jelly, the cunning Lyndon Johnson is Mr Mischief and so on. Book 43 is Mr Cheerful, a trait shared with George W Bush, while No 44 is Mr Cool aka Barack Obama. And what’s the next book in the series? Well, book 45, as all fans know, is Mr Rude. Yep, that sounds about right for the 45th President of the USA doesn’t it!
Nineveh, the novel by South African author Henrietta Rose-Innes published by Gallic, has received great interest from the media. The TLS has commissioned a review and it will also feature in the Guardian, and the Stylist. Most excitingly, Nineveh will feature in BBC Radio 4’s Open Book with Mariella Frostrup, and her interview with the author will be on 8 December. Early online coverage for Nineveh includes The Book Bag who called it: “A beautiful and precisely written book. Nineveh not only feels relevant but is an insightful exploration of character and place.” You can read the whole review here. This blog has 29.9K followers on Twitter and 3K likes on Facebook.
As Fantastical Beasts and Where to Find Them opens this week – have you ever wondered what the Harry Potter series would be like if JK had written it in 2016? Have a look here on BuzzFeed for some thoughts -maybe Lavender Brown would invent a spell to magically contour your face? Perhaps the Knight Bus would be out of business, and the wizarding version of Uber/Lyft would take its place? Would Chocolate Frogs be made of organic, artisanal chocolate? The sweaters Mrs Weasley made for Christmas would probs be considered cool because they look vintage and are oversized! And they'd certainly all be eating lots of avocado toast!
Don’t miss Nick’s Perry’s marvellous spot on the BBC Radio 2 Non-Fiction Book Club, which you can hear here . Host, Jonathan Ross said about Peaks and Troughs (£14.99, hb, 978 1846973659) “There are characters in it heading towards insanity… I think it is beautifully written, very evocative, very engaging, not judgemental… one character in particular is the Mick Jagger of the boar world… many of us have had his fantasty… I’m enjoying it so much, very warm hearted.” A recent review in The National said it was “A perfect Christmas present, but not a book to read after one too many sherbets, because there’s a deep throb of emotion in it, and it’ll have you running like a tap… This is Bill Bryson with muck under the fingernails.” There will be interviews with Nick on BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Wiltshire next week, and there is also coverage in the People’s Friend and the Christmas Books feature in the Wiltshire and Gloucester Standard. Peaks and Troughs is published by Polygon.
Norman Bettison has been all over the media, talking about his book Hillsborough Untold (£18.99, hb, 978 1785900891) which was published by Biteback yesterday. You can watch the author interviews on BBC Newsnight and the ITN News and Norman was interviewed on BBC News, Sky News, Channel 4 News, LBC, BBC Radio Merseyside and ITV Yorkshire. There were news pieces in the Yorkshire Post, ITV News, the Telegraph, the Huffington Post, The Guardian, the Liverpool Echo the Daily Mirror and the Sunday Times. Norman Bettison, a Chief Inspector in the South Yorkshire Police at the time of the Hillsborough disaster, witnessed the tragedy as a spectator at the match and since then, he has found himself one of the focal points of outrage over the actions of the police. This personal account describes how the Hillsborough disaster unfolded, provides an insight into what was happening at South Yorkshire Police headquarters in the aftermath, and gives an objective and compassionate account of the bereaved families' long struggle for justice. Norman Bettison is donating his proceeds from the sales of this book to charity.
Congratulations! For the second year running, editor Sinéad Gleeson and New Island have won the Best Irish Published Book of the Year Award, this time with The Glass Shore, an anthology of Short Stories from Women Writers from the North of Ireland (hb, £15.99, 9781848405578). The Glass Shore follows the huge success of The Long Gaze Back, a previous anthology from Sinéad and New Island which was published last year.
Spanning three centuries, The Glass Shore features both writers that are emerging and established, alongside deceased luminaries and forerunners including stories by Linda Anderson, Margaret Barrington, Mary Beckett, Lucy Caldwell, Ethna Carbery, Jan Carson, Evelyn Conlon, Anne Devlin, Martina Devlin, Polly Devlin, Sheila Llewelyn, Bernie McGill, Rosa Mulholland, Anne-Marie Neary, Mary O Donnell, Helen Waddell, Roisín O Donnell and many more. The Sunday Independent said of last year’s stories: “this collection represents the richness of women's lives, past and present. The joy, the compassion, the anger, the sadness. It’s all there” and this new anthology is just as substantial, vibrant and profound.
Lovely reviews for the gorgeous The Un-Discovered Islands by Malachy Tallack (978 1846973505) published by Polygon. There is an author article in the December issue of Conde Nast Traveller, while the review in the November issue of the National Geographic, said “It's a joy to island-hop through the book. After wowing the world with Sixty Degrees North last year, Tallack's second book is shaped by the same, clear, sharp prose and keen curiosity. Packed full of intelligent musings on everything from religion to astronomy, alchemy to the occult.” The Spectator called it “a splendid and wistful book” and the Big Issue wrote: “It’s a fascinating premise and the execution is stunning. Tallack’s prose is knowledgeable and resonant, deeply thoughtful yet also entertaining, and it dovetails beautifully with Scott’s finely wrought and idiosyncratic drawings. A book as thought-provoking as it is engaging, as smart as it is funny, created with real devotion and writerly skill.” There are reviews still to come in Simple Things magazine, Outdoor Enthusiast magazine, Sirene magazine, Scotland Outdoors, the Island Studies Journal and the Glasgow Review of Books.
It’s the end of the week, so no better time to consider that first glass this evening of that amber liquid with its brass-bright-depths, luminous as an autumn sunset, refreshing like truth itself... Beer: according to Jack Nicholson the best damn drink in the world. The world is discovering beer again with craft beer and micro-brews in every combination of malt and hops; and with new breweries and brewpubs opening every week there has never been a more exciting time to drink it. The splendour and above all the sheer deliciousness of a glass of ale have over the years been celebrated by our finest writers in both prose and poetry, but surprisingly, the best words written on beer have never been collected together in book form – until now! Beer, in So Many Words: The Best Writing on the Greatest Drink is a handsome volume, as rich and surprising as a freshly-pulled pint of best, containing everyone from Ernest Hemingway extolling a cold bottle of Ballantine ale after a spot of hard marlin fishing, to Inspector Morse partaking of a few pints in an Oxford tavern to set his deductive juices going, and Ian Rankin in the Edinburgh bar frequented by Rebus. All the finest beer writers of today are here, from Pete Brown to Roger Protz and Boak & Bailey, as well as doyens of the profession and brewers. It is the perfect present for any beer lover. Beer, in So Many Words: The Best Writing on the Greatest Drink (hb, £14.99, 978 0993291111) by award winning journalist Adrian Tierney-Jones will shortly be featured in the Telegraph and Henry Jeffreys in The Guardian will include it in his Christmas Drinks Book round-up. There are also reviews planned in The Yorkshire Post, in CAMRA 's magazine and in Original Gravity magazine, which has free distribution in London pubs. Pete Brown (Twitter following 16k), one of the contributors and a bestselling author, will be featuring it on his blog, as will several other blogging contributors. Beer, in So Many Words has just been published by Safe Haven Books and is available now.
Talking of the amber nectar, are these the top five funniest beer ads of all time? See what you think!
Well done to the Huntingfield Paintress (£8.99, pb, 978 1910692660) by Pamela Holmes published by Urbane, which was picked by AN Wilson as his Novel of the Year in the Spectator – he called it “a genuinely original, utterly enchanting story” and you can read that piece here. This book has already had much praise from Esther Freud who called it “a slice of Suffolk history brought beautifully to life” and Deborah Moggach: “an atmospheric and enjoyable story of a singular and free-thinking woman”. Congrats also to The Transmigration of Bodies by Yuri Herrera (pb, £8.99, 978 1908276728) from And Other Stories which was picked a Book of the Year by Anna Aslanyan who praised its “inventive language, skilfully rendered by the translator Lisa Dillman, which makes for unique reading.”
And while we’re on the subject of painting – let me tell you about The Angels of Paul Klee by Boris Friedewald (hb, £14.99, 978 1910050996) which is published by Arcadia at the end of this month. Paul Klee painted angels for his entire life and here the author Boris Friedewald describes their creation and their meaning: from the Christ Child he painted at the age of five, through cheerful and witty angels such as the Forgetful Angel up to the famous Angelus Novus and the Doubting Angel Klee drew the year he died. Boris Friedewald's stimulating and easy to read text introduces us to the meaning of angels in Paul Klee's work and also to the artist's biography. This is a wonderful book to give away or read on your own – there has been quite a bit of interest in Klee following a recent retrospective exhibition in Paris and The Angels of Paul Klee contains nearly 50 beautiful colour illustrations – see some below - which obviously have strong seasonal appeal!
If you are in the mood for a bit of a Friday chillout – have a watch here for five minutes to immerse yourself in Klee’s magical world.
Who’s excited about The Grand Tour? Who hasn’t got Amazon Prime and wishes everyone would stop going on about it? Well, why don’t you enjoy some of Top Gear Funniest Moments here to console yourself!
Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. Here are some of our favourite tweets from this week...
RedDoor Publishing @RedDoorBooks Great to see that our #CliveJames book, Loose Cannon: The Extraordinary Songs of Clive James and Pete Atkin, is still top of the #opera chart. Wait, what?! Still, a No.1 is a No.1!
Paul M.M. Cooper @PaulMMCooper Go get a copy of IRAQ+100, out today from @commapress! Iraqi sci-fi shorts edited by the brilliant Hassan Blasim
Birlinn Books @BirlinnBooks Fantastic event for 'Oxford: Mapping the City' held for the retired tutor and historian John Stoye. Thank you @magdalenoxford for hosting!
Hugh Fraser @realhughfraser Thanks to all at Waterstones Tenterden for a most enjoyable signing. @WstoneTenterden
St. David's Press @StDavidsPress Delighted to support today's @spiritof58wales bash @FullMoonCardiff with a copy of #ZombieNationAwakes by DJ @BrynLaw for the charity raffle
Woodstock Bookshop @WoodstockBooks If you didn't catch #VahniCapildeo at #WoodstockPoetryFestival you must go to this @Carcanet @PoetrySociety - she's extraordinary & lovely
Birlinn Books @BirlinnBooks Yikes, 2016. If there's one book you need to get you through the rest of this yearit’s 101 Gins to Try Before You Die. #BottomsUp #FridayFeeling
Oberon Books @OberonBooks What a nice surprise to open up the latest copy of @SardinesMag and see a piece about Oberon's 30th Birthday inside!! #Oberon30 #theatre
Red Lion Books @RedLionBooks 'Any fool can write a novel but it takes real genius to sell it.' - said the great J G Ballard, born on this day in 1930.
Very true JG – we at Compass couldn’t agree more! 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 talk to your Compass Sales Manager, or call the office on 020 8326 5696.