Friday, 31 March 2017

Compass Points 208


There is always demand for and interest in books about the Churchill family, so Winston, Churchill and Me by Jonathan Dudley looks set to sell strongly I feel. With echoes of The Go-Between, this short memoir tells the story of a young boy who is invited to stay with a school friend during the summer holidays and finds himself at Chartwell, the family home of Winston Churchill. Jonathan Dudley was eight years old at the time and was accepted into the Churchill family alongside his school companion, the young Winston, grandson of the former Prime Minister. Over two summers, the young boy observed the comings and goings of various members of the Churchill family and visiting statesmen, and over 60 years later, he recalls what he saw through the eyes of a child. The result is a collection of memories, some funny, some sad, some exuberant, some poignant, which together add up to a highly evocative and original sketch of Winston and Clementine Churchill at that time. Winston, Churchill and Me (978 1 911072195, £7.99, pb) is published in June by Skyscraper and contains black and white photos. This new, first-hand biography with its many vivid and readable extracts will provide good newspaper serialisation and is a touching and fascinating read.
It’s been a while since we had a look at the entertaining Epic Rap Battles of History – so this seems an ideal moment to watch at this one  – Winston Churchill vs Theodore Roosevelt!

From one political giant to another, and as Donald Trump continues to entertain and appal us all in pretty much equal measure – don’t forget to keep a pile of The Wit and Wisdom of Donald Trump (pb, £5.00, 978 1911072157) also from Skyscraper by the till! A book which reveals the true vision and intellect of the US President; this book consists largely of blank pages, divided into sections under headings such as: How I will bring peace to the world; How I will heal the divisions in American society between racial, ethnic and lifestyle groups; How I will protect the rights of women; How I will demonstrate restraint, civilised behavior, and compassion; The major positive achievements of my business career; and The major benefits my presidency will bring to the USA. Great stuff!
And if you feel that actually, the Trumpster can genuinely come up with some witty wisdom for real – than you might enjoy this – a five-minute compilation of some of his best comebacks!

The novelist and short story writer Edward Upward (1903-2009) is the unsung member of the W. H. Auden circle, revered by his peers – Auden, Day Lew­is, Isherwood and Spender – for his intellect, high literary gifts and unswerv­ing political commitment. Edward Upward: Art and Life by Peter Stansky (hb, £20, 978 191039284) is a new biography of this influential member of the Auden circle, which is published in May by Enitharmon. This illuminating, meticulously researched biography tells the fascinating story of Upward’s conflict be­tween art and life and at the same time colourfully provides significant insight into English society during the twentieth century and explores the special na­ture of English radicalism. It was the lead review in this week’s TLS and there will be strong demand for this title as it is the first proper biography of Upward and contains many never before published photographs.
The New York Times published an interesting article about Edward Upward when he died in 2009 aged 105 – which you can read here.
Mum Hacks: Time-saving Tips to Calm the Chaos of Family Life by bestselling parenting author Tanith Carey is getting some great pre publicity – look at this  fab piece in the Telegraph for starters. Using tried-and-tested advice, Tanith offers everyday shortcuts to allow busy mums plenty of quality time with their children, partner and even themselves! This book is for anyone who is trying to spend less time tidying, cleaning and washing and more time enjoying every day. Early reviews for this title on Amazon are extremely positive – this one is typical: “If you’re sinking under the daily struggle of wearing so many hats there’s not enough time to catch your breath let alone take a few minutes out, look no further than this book packed to the rafters with top tips to give you less stress and more time for family fun! I found some real nuggets of ideas to implement which are already working like a dream. Whatever you’re struggling with – from school runs to bedtimes, holidays to housework –  pick up a copy of this book today and there’s every chance your life will be just that little bit calmer and enjoyable as a result!” Mum Hacks (pb, £9.99, 978 1910336229) is published at the end of April by Crimson.
You can listen to a fun podcast from Tanith Carey about taming your inner tiger parent here and you can go to Tanith’s own website at www.tanithcarey.com
Now that Theresa May has finally triggered Article 50, Philip Jones considers what this means for the future of the book trade. You can read his views in The Bookseller here.
And as the negotiations begin in earnest, can I draw your attention to Beyond Brexit? How to Assess the UK’s Future by Janice Morphet (pb, 978 1 4473 3924 3, £ 9.99). This is an excellent short (128 page) paperback on a highly topical subject written by someone with wealth of knowledge on the subject: Dr Morphet is a Professor at the Bartlett School of Planning at UCL and has been chief executive of a local authority, a senior adviser on local and central government and is also an author, consultant and frequent speaker on Europe. Beyond Brexit? offers a new framework with which to assess and discuss the forthcoming talks and would be interesting to both professionals and policy makers as well as the general public – Janice’s clarity of thinking and her accessible writing style make this very readable. It has just been published by Policy Press.
And just to prove that we haven’t totally lost our sense of humour over the whole European issue, I think you will very much enjoy this hilarious compilation of insults from Blackadder – covering pretty much every nation!

Who’d like to read an intelligent thriller blending Scandinavian noir with traditional British crime? Me, me, me! If you would too, then email nuala@compass-ips.london and ask for a reading copy of Fatal Crossing by Lone Theils (£8.99, pb, 978 1911350033) which is published on 4 May by Arcadia. This is a crime debut novel which has already sold more than 10,000 copies in Denmark, been translated into thirteen languages and featured prominently in the Danish bestseller charts. It has been described as “a fast-paced and skilfully plotted thriller” and “a candidate for the best crime novel of the year”. When a picture of two Danish girls who disappeared on a boat bound for England in 1985 emerges many years later in an old suitcase from a British second-hand dealer, the journalist Nora Sand’s professional curiosity is immediately awakened. But before she knows it, she is mixed up in the case of a serial killer who is serving a life sentence in a notorious prison and the quest to discover the truth about the missing girls may be more dangerous that she had ever imagined… Lone Theils (who is half Danish and half English) will be appearing in the UK around publication for events and Arcadia will be publishing the second title in the Nora Sand series, The Blue Poet’s Wife, in Spring 2018, so this is well worth supporting.
Energy Balls & Power Bites: All-Natural Snacks for Healthy Energy Boosts by Sara Lewis (978 0754833260, £9.99, hb) has just been published by Lorenz – and looks absolutely terrific! The photography is gorgeous; I don’t usually like to link to Amazon, but there are 11 spreads from this title on their website here which is probably the easiest way to view just how enticing the recipes in this book are. Energy Balls – quick, protein based healthy snacks to give you a boost – are a massive foodie trend at the moment, and this is by far the best book on the market.  Snacking on sugary or salty processed foods is not the healthy answer to tiredness or boredom as we all know, and Energy Balls & Power Bites gives you loads of nutrient-dense and tasty fatigue fighting snacks that are good for you too. Many can be made in a matter of minutes; others can be kept ready in the fridge and even freezer to pull out as you need. There are energy balls made with fresh dates, frozen berries and spirulina; wholegrain muesli bars; lime and chia bars; spiced apple bites; and pumpkin seed, almond and sour cherry bars, all packed with taste and goodness.
So, as we do like to finish with some music, let’s have the top ten songs about balls! Miley Cyrus? Jerry Lee Lewis? Have a watch here!
Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. Here are some of our favourite tweets from this week …
Freight Books@FreightBooks Delighted Dilys Rose's Unspeakable is Waterstones Scottish Book of the Month for April, 'richly compelling' @scotsman_arts
Denis MacShane‏@DenisMacShane Just finished @willwainewright's "Reporting on Hitler. Have rarely enjoyed a book on journalists + reporting so much @IainDale @BitebackPub
Edward Peacock‏@brendonbronco Much liked the ingenious #ThePresidentsHat by #AntoineLaurain. Taste the French food, sniff the French perfumes! #Gallic
Matthew at Urbane‏ @urbanepub Congratulations to @GeorgeCostigan - The Single Soldier publishes today!
Lulu Allison‏@LRAllison77 Martin John by @AnakanaSchofield #AndOtherStories. In an age of careful neutrality, such #books make bold explorers of us all
Matthew at Urbane‏@urbanepub A great piece in @CumbriaLifeMag on @ggaffa 's new novel All The Places I've Ever Lived #BookBoost #Cumbria
Gallic & Aardvark‏ @BelgraviaB Love @madhatterbook display for Books of the Month, incl our v own Fiona Kidman's Songs of the Violet Café!
Biteback Publishing‏@BitebackPub“By the end of the book I was shaking with outrage” | Ann Widdecombe on @bbcsimonwarr's #PresumedGuilty
Freight Books‏@FreightBooks Great night at @Waterstones_Edi launch of Dilys Rose Unspeakable - 80 readers big signing queue live early music too!
Matthew at Urbane‏@urbanepub Thanks Bakewell Bookshop: Nothing better than the support of an independent bookshop!
CompassPoint@CompassIPS We couldn’t agree more!!
That’s all for now folks! More next week!
This 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 talk to your Compass Sales Manager, or call the office on 020 8326 5696.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Compass Points 207


Darkness over Germany: A Warning from History by E. Amy Buller was originally published in 1943 and delivers a stark warning from history of how a man with little political experience rose up as a voice of the people, a voice for the disenfranchised who were suffering the injustices of social inequality and unemployment. In this powerful book, a pioneering young woman, Amy Buller, recounts the hopes and fears of Germans engulfed in the rise of fascism during the 1930s. During the years leading up to the outbreak of war, Buller defied her critics and social norms by leading delegations of British intelligentsia to Germany to learn about and confront the appeal of the Nazis. A new edition of this title is published in May by Arcadia which is going to attract a great deal of publicity. Lord Ramsbotham said recently “Many people are comparing the current turmoil in the world with what went on in the 1930s.  In the interest of the future, I hope that influential people will mark and inwardly digest the warning signs that Amy Buller so clearly identified in Darkness over Germany” and Salley Vickers called it “A book for our times. We can learn much needed lessons from Amy Buller's wisdom.” The book is being launched at St. Paul’s Cathedral on May 16th with a panel discussion cathedral floor including Rowan Williams and Baroness Helena Kennedy. The panel will be chaired by Ed Newell, the Principal of Cumberland Lodge and author of the book's afterword, and Kurt Barling, author of the book’s foreword, will also speak. Windsor Festival have confirmed an event in September with Ed Newell and Kurt Barling, and Chalke Valley History Festival and Hay Festival have also expressed strong interest. Liverpool University have confirmed a large event for the 17th May as has the Culture Bite festival in October. Tate Liverpool are also looking to organise an event alongside their exhibition on the 1930s. At Cumberland Lodge itself there is a dedicated Darkness over Germany Conference on 5-6 June and a scheduled Darkness Over Germany panel event with Theodore Zeldin on 14 July. Ed and Kurt will also be appearing on Talk Radio in May to discuss this timely reminder of how a message of hate once fuelled a nation to unite; and there will be additional radio appearances on Radio 4 and others to follow. The Mail on Sunday, The Economist, The Times, The Sunday Times and Guardian are all interested in this title – it’s going to be much talked about. Darkness Over Germany: A Warning from History (pb, £15.00, 978 1911350194) is available as a reading copy for any bookseller interested in hosting an event with Ed Newell and Kurt Barling. Please email Nuala at nuala@compass-ips.london if you’d like one.
Staying with WWII for a moment, there is lots of great publicity for The Single Soldier (pb, £8.99, 978 1911331209) – the emotive debut novel from actor George Costigan – best known for his work in Rita, Sue and Bob Too and Happy Valley. Set in rural France, following the devastation of the war; history, secrets and painful truths collide in what renowned playwright Willy Russell has called “a magnificent, big beast of a book.” You can hear George talking about the book on BBC Radio York (2hrs 17mins into the link) here;  on BBC Radio Scotland here; on BBC West Midland (39 mins into this link) here; on BBC Tees (2hrs 5mins into this link) here; on BBC Radio Leeds (1hr 10mins into this link)  here; on The Business Desk here, and at the Middlesbrough Lit event here. There will also be interviews on BBC Stoke and BBC Berkshire and there have been features in Yorkshire Life magazine and the Halifax CourierThe Single Soldier is published on Thursday by Urbane.
Here's  an interesting article from the TLS that you may enjoy – about how prisoners are escaping from prison  – via the pages of a really good book.
Readers who love the classic, well-crafted detective fiction of Conrad, Buchan, Dickens, Conan Doyle and Dorothy L. Sayers, will absolutely adore An Unlikely Agent (pb, £8.99, 978 1846973802) which is the debut novel of Jane Menczer and is published by Polygon in May. This evocative and intriguing debut historical mystery is set in the foggy backstreets of Edwardian London and begins in 1905 with our hero Margaret Trant who lives with her ailing, irascible mother in a dreary boarding house in St John’s Wood. When a stranger on the tram hands her a newspaper open at the recruitment page, Margaret spots an advertisement that promises to ‘open new horizons beyond your wildest dreams’ and after a gruelling interview, she finds herself in a new position as a secretary in a dingy backstreet shop. But all is not as it seems; she is in fact working for a highly secret branch of the intelligence service, Bureau 8, whose mission is to track down and neutralise a ruthless band of anarchists known as The Scorpions. Margaret’s guilty love of detective fiction scarcely prepares her for the reality of true criminality, and her journey of self-discovery forms the heart of this remarkable novel, as she discovers in herself resourcefulness, courage, independence and the first stirrings of love. Jane Menczer is an excellent performer and has already done readings in performed in Foyles Charing Cross and Waterstone’s Piccadilly. If you’d like a reading copy of this atmospheric page-turning thriller, then please email Nuala at nuala@compass-ips.london.
And talking of Polygon/Birlinn, how excited were we to see Birlinn and Compass director Hugh Andrew featured in the latest edition of Country Life in a feature on small publishers! We love this fetching picture of him taken by the magazine with his dog Millie – and thousands of books!


We also love this pic of a very dapper Lee Morgan, who had to spend the whole of London Book Fair wearing his prescription sunglasses after misplacing his regular pair!
Hands up if you know what a bothy is? Well if you’re north of the border you certainly will – and The Scottish Bothy Bible (pb, £16.99, 978 1910636107) which has just been published by Wild Things has been selling like hot Forfar bridies! These remote shelters in the wilderness where walkers can spend the night free of charge have long been one of Scotland's best-kept secrets and this first ever guide to the Scottish bothies reveals the evocative, unique and often hidden network of cabins and mountain huts, crofts and farmsteads. This title is packed with stunning photography of some of Scotland’s most beautiful landscapes and is highly engaging travel writing which documents the fascinating history of each bothy and the adventurers who use them. You can see some of the gorgeous photos on the BBC website here and can hear its author Geoff Allan talking on BBC Scotland about the book here.
The Wild Guide to Scotland: a new compendium of adventures, from the best-selling Wild Guide series is out on 1 May. This paperback will guide you to 750 secret places, including wild swims, ancient forests, lost ruins, hidden beaches, secret islands, tiny glens, amazing wildlife, as well as artisanal whisky distilleries, microbreweries, and quirky places to stay. It’s full of mesmerising photography by some of Glasgow’s most young photographers – ideal reading for those seeking the ultimate weekend escape without having to leave the UK! The Wild Guide to Scotland (pb, £16.99, 978 1910636121) is by Kimberley Grant, Richard Gaston and David Cooper who are some of Glasgow’s most trend-setting young photographers and travel bloggers – you can see some of their stunning work here.
There seems to be a bit of an adventurous theme to today’s Compass Points; next up is The Mercury Travel Club which Helen Lederer described as “a joyfully warm and witty read.” After twenty-four years and eleven months of marriage, Angie Shepherd is divorced, dejected and facing a future of cardigans and cats. Best friend Patty is having none of it, and channelling her inner Richard Branson, Angie invests her divorce settlement into The Mercury Travel Club, a travel agency with a twist. But as the club gets going, things don’t quite go according to plan, and in this digital age, a little chaos brings the recognition Angie has been looking for. Witty, entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny, this feel-good novel shows that it’s never too late for a second chance. The Mercury Travel Club (pb, £8.99, 978 1910453285) is by Helen Bridgett and is getting rave reviews on the book blogs as a “light-hearted, entertaining, and a genuinely lovely read.” and “uplifting, amusing chick lit for the mature reader.” It has just been published by Red Door.
So, what do we think are the best ever books and movies about travelling? See if you agree with the top twenty travel books as listed in the Telegraph here, and the Top Ten travel movies here!
Continuing with the exploratory spirit of today, comes Freedom Seeker by Beth Kempton (pb, £10.99 978 1781808054) published in April by Hay House. Beth Kempton went from being a life-loving, risk-taking adventurer to a grown-up, settled-down mother, wife and business owner, before realizing the life she had built was suffocating her. She set out on a journey to find personal freedom, and along the way encountered many others who were also feeling trapped - by their circumstances, relationships, finances, beliefs, doubts and fears. Full of profound lessons, powerful exercises and inspiring tales, this honest and courageous book will help you to live more, worry less and find a way to do what you love, every day. Beth is writing articles for the May issues of Yoga Magazine, Wilding Online, Prima and Your Fitness and lifestyle features on the book will also appear in Soul & Spirit, Your Healthy Living, Kindred Spirit and the Daily Echo.
You can watch a short video from Beth Kempton talking about her book here.
Congratulations to Carcanet poet Lorna Goodison who has just been announced as the new Poet Laureate of Jamaica, succeeding fellow Carcanet poet Mervyn Morris. The news was announced in the Jamaica Observer which you can read here.  Lorna Goodison is a poet alive to places, from Jamaica where she began and started a family, to the United States and Canada where she has made her teaching career, but always re-connecting with her Caribbean roots. She has an ear alert to histories and voice; how differently English sounds in the tropics and in colder lands, at seaside in sunlight and on prairies, mountains and in cities. She covers a wide range of subjects and themes and her instinct is to celebrate being alive in a world that is rich but in peril. “And what is the rare quality that has gone out of poetry that these marvellous poems restore?” asks Derek Walcott. “Joy.” Collected Poems by Lorna Goodison (pb, £14.99, 978 1784104665) is published in April by Carcanet and you can see her performing at the 2014 Manchester Literary Festival here.
Vintage Vegan: Recipes from Inside the World's First Vegan Restaurant by Mrs Vera Richter continues to get some great publicity, it is featured in the latest edition of Vegan Food and Living – a popular vegan magazine that reaches over 120,000 consumers each month. You can see this feature which includes recipes from the book below. There was also recently an article on Vera Richter in LA Weekly, which referred several times to the book which you can read here. Vintage Vegan (£12.99, hb, 978 0859655446) was published in December by Plexus.

What if we meat eaters talked about food the way our vegan chums do? Would it sound like this?!

There have been some super displays for our titles round the country this week; below you can see books from Pluto, Gallic, Jessica Kingsley, Biteback, and And Other Stories and in the UK’s leading socialist bookshop Bookmarks; the fabulous Madhatter Bookshop in Burford which celebrated 5 years of trading last Autumn; Foyles; the largest bookshop in Scotland: Waterstone’s Glasgow; Rough Trade in Nottingham; Easons in Ireland; and a lovely spring display at Toppings in Bath! Thanks booksellers!

That’s all for now folks! More next week!
This 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 talk to your Compass Sales Manager, or call the office on 020 8326 5696.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Compass Points 206


The London Book Fair was this week of course – and one of the big books at the fair was the first Queen book ever to have been written by a band member: Queen in 3D by Brian May which is published by the London Stereoscopic Company on 25 May you can see Brian here with Compass MD Alan Jessop! The book will reveal the band through May’s eyes and words over the past forty five years in addition to never-previously-seen photos he took of the band on his stereo (3D) camera. Some of the pictures were taken on stage or behind the scenes, including intimate shots on the road and during leisure time that capture lead singer Freddie Mercury “like he has never been seen before”.
It is the first time May has written a book on Queen and the title will explore the culture, politics and atmosphere of the band and includes loads of stories about May, Mercury and the band’s relationship, which he will talk about on record for the first time. The project has taken three years to create, and as May told the Bookseller: “The whole process of writing this new kind of book was almost subconscious; as I looked at the 3-D photos, memories were evoked and the stories poured out. It’s the 3D element that makes it extra evocative. I’m hoping each image will draw readers in deeper, like me, inviting them to immerse themselves in a scene, to share an unseen Queen moment.” The Sunday Times Magazine has secured an interview with Brian May for a front-cover story on the weekend before the book goes on sale, kicking off what promises to be a massive campaign for the book. May will give a 3D presentation at Hay Literary Festival and hold a book signing Waterstone’s Piccadilly, with further signings across the country planned. Queen in 3D by Brian May (978 0957424685, £50, 32 x 240mm) comes in a slipcase which contains a 256-page deluxe hardback and an easily assembled patent 3D viewer known as the OWL, in its own envelope. It’s full colour with over 150 photographs – and it’s going to be HUGE!!

Watch Brian’s promotional video for the book here on YouTube.


To catch up on all the London Book Fair gossip and news you can go to the excellent LBF blog page on their website The Hub – which you can find here – absolutely loads of little films, podcasts and fun photos summarising the week’s events.

Spanish Crossings (978 1911331681, hb, £12.99) by John Simmons is an epic tale of love, politics and conflict, which is publishing to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the battle of Guernica and will be launched in the Foundling Museum in London on 6 April by Urbane. It opens in Spain 1937, with Lorna as she falls in love with Harry, a member of the International Brigade who had been at Guernica when it was bombed. Harry is then killed in the fighting and Lorna fears she might have lost her best chance of happiness. Coming through the war, then the post-war rebuilding, this is a novel of tragic and emotive and redemptive history which will appeal to fans of Sebastian Faulks, Pat Barker and William Trevor. “From the very first words this is a beautifully written novel” said Vesna Goldsworthy, author of Gorsky and professor of creative writing at UEA. Hear John Simmons talking about the ideas behind his novel here.

Most of us cannot think of Guernica without being reminded of Picasso’s incredibly powerful painting – his reaction to the terrible aerial bombing of this town by the Nazis. For a thought provoking and rather beautiful look at this extraordinary picture, you could watch this short film on Youtube here.

Signpost, who have been recommending the UK’s finest hotels since 1935, have just published their 78th edition of what is the definitive UK hotel directory, listing a hundred of the finest hotels in Great Britain. The guide includes luxury country house hotels set in beautiful grounds, small hotels with log fires and cosy bedrooms and smart townhouse hotels with 21st century facilities. They all have that something special – style, comfort, warmth of welcome, fabulous food and plenty to see and do in the area. Every hotel featured in this guide has that something special, making this the guide a must-have for the stylish independent traveller. Signpost 2017 (£10.99, 9780851016092) is available now – and there’s more info at www.signpost.co.uk

And if you are wondering just what hotels were like back in the 1930’s when Signpost published their first ever guide, then you may wish to spend an entertaining twenty minutes watching this highly amusing film about railway hotels from 1937. Very evocative indeed!

Laura Glass's life seems perfect. She's beautiful, wealthy, her husband loves her and their teenage kids Leo and Jemima are at good schools. Then one day Laura's happiness is shattered when she sees her husband kissing a young woman in a doorway. Some of Laura's friends tell her to divorce him; others say ignore it. Instead Laura goes off on an adventure of her own with the beautiful young Jed. On their return, seeing that her husband is still continuing his affair, she invites his lover to live in their home. And Jed too, just, for good measure. This is Possibly a Love Story by Olivia Fane (pb, £8.99, 978-1910050965) – a viciously funny satire on the middle classes and middle-class values, but with a huge heart. It’s published by Arcadia and has just had a brilliant review in the Daily Mail. ”A surprising, beautifully written satire on conventional middle-class notions of marriage and romance…at once hilarious, heartbreaking and thought-provoking…I was gripped from the start.”

I absolutely LOVE this – some fabulous pictures showing what happens when bookstore employees have too much free time on their hands and start posing for book jacket selfies! From the Librairie Mollat, a bookshop in France which has over 30,000 followers for this fun and games on their Instagram account – great stuff!



I am certainly looking forward to the fuss and furore which is certain to surround Katie Hopkins book Rude when it is published by Biteback in October! Part memoir, part handbook for modern women; it’s sure to be many things but dull won’t be one of them! Iain Dale, Biteback MD said: "I’m really pleased to be publishing Katie. I realise she is a marmite character for some, with her robust opinions about a broad range of issues, but this book takes us behind the controversy to see the real Katie. I think a lot of people will be surprised!" You can find out a bit more about this memoir from the controversial columnist and broadcaster in the Bookseller here.

And I think we can all enjoy eight minutes of Katie Hopkins’ bitchiest moments here!

From bitch to witch – there’s no doubt that that books dealing with the whole issue of female empowerment are big at the moment – but Lisa Lister has a slightly different angle! Witch: Unleashed. Untamed. Unapologetic. (£10.99, pb, 978 1781807545) comes from Hay House in May. A witch is a traditionally a wise woman and a healer, but for many years the word has had very negative connotations. In this book, third generation hereditary witch Lisa Lister explains the history behind witchcraft and why the witch is reawakening in women across the world today. This is ancient wisdom made relevant for modern witches: and includes tools to enhance your intuition, including oracle cards and dowsing, as well as ideas on how to work with herbs, crystals, power animals and the elements so that you have both support in your work, and a deep connection with the world around you. In addition, Lisa teaches personal, hands-on rituals and spells from her family lineage of gypsy witch magic to help you heal, manifest and rediscover your powers. Crowned “the defender of female awesomeness” by Cooler magazine, Lisa Lister is all about being fierce and feminine – and there will be a double page feature on Witch in Soul and Spirit as well as an article in Kindred Spirit magazine.

Top Ten movie sorceresses anyone? You just know you want to watch the witches!

To finish, a bit of music news. Firstly, congratulations to Young Soul Rebels: A Personal History of Northern Soul by Stuart Cosgrove (pb, £14.99, 978 1846973338) from Polygon which has just been shortlisted for the Penderyn Music Prize. You can find out more about the titles vying for the £1,000 award in the Guardian here. Young Soul Rebels sweeps across fifty years of British life and places the northern soul scene in a social context: the rise of amphetamine culture, the policing of youth culture, the north-south divide, the decline of coastal Britain, the Yorkshire Ripper inquiry, the rise of Thatcherism, the miners’ strike, the rave scene and music in the era of the internet. Books have been written about northern soul before but never with the same erudition and passion. Young Soul Rebels nails a scene that is as popular today as it was in its heyday in the 1970s. As SoulSource.co.uk said; “it’s sheer poetry . . . truly a personal history, but it weaves its way through our own history as well. Buy the book, you won't regret it.”

And secondly, I’ve really enjoyed hearing listening to Dave Randall talking about his new book from Pluto Press which is out next week; Sound System: The Political Power of Music (£12.99, pb, 978 0745399300). Tom Robinson said on BBC 6 MusicThis engaging, hugely readable book should be compulsory reading for anyone interested in the state of the world – and in the essential, life-affirming role music can play in changing it for the better” and Mark Radcliffe of Radio 2 called it “Fascinating… A deeply intelligent look at music and society and in particular pop’s tempestuous relationship with commerce. Thought provoking, readable and clever stuff.” Musicians have often wanted to change the world and from underground grime artists to pop icons, many have believed in the political power of music. Rulers recognise it too. Music has been used to unsettle the most fundamental political and social conventions – and to prop up the status-quo. Sound System is the story of one musician’s journey to discover what makes music so powerful. Years of touring, playing guitar with Faithless, Dido, Sinead O’Connor and many others, have given activist and musician Dave Randall a unique insider’s view of the music industry, enabling him to shed light on the secrets of celebrity, commodification and culture. He finds remarkable examples of music as a force of social change as well as something that has been used to keep people in their place throughout history. You can hear Dave talking about this inventive and thrilling title on a SoundCloud podcast on Rough Trade Radio here and I would really urge you to order this title; it is published next week and there are sure to be more great reviews to come.

Dave Randall is at the terrific Book and Kitchen in London talking about the book next Wednesday – you can find out more about that event here.

And if we’re talking politics and music, let’s finish with the Top Ten Protest songs on YouTube here!

Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. Here are some of our favourite tweets from the London Book Fair this week …

Jon Slack‏ @JonSlack Exciting times ahead as the Baltic states officially become the next market focus for @LondonBookFair. Let the fun begin...

Isobel Doster‏ @IsobelDoster Listening to #MichaelMorpurgo read from his new book today at #LBF17 was wonderful, magical and made me feel 10 years old again.

Angela Mills Wade‏ @epc_angela Long live authors, their publishers, books in all shapes and formats and the joy of reading!

Alastair Horne‏ @pressfuturist I’ve just come out of a chat feeling enormously inspired and optimistic about the future of this industry.

The London Book Fair‏ @LondonBookFair "People disengaged with reading will engage if they see it as a social norm" - the role of libraries extends well outside their buildings.

Matthew at Urbane‏ @urbanepub Best pitch this week at #LBF17 ? 'You're the soon-to-be grateful publisher I've selected to invest in my mega-selling self-published book'

Rosina Robson‏ @RosinaRobson Great to be part of #LBF17 in panel debate about #Brexit & supporting #creative industries.

Choc Lit‏ @ChocLituk Amazing time at #LBF17 this year! Thank you to everyone who stopped by the stand :) x

Matthew at Urbane‏ @urbanepub Over 300 FREE Urbane books given to new readers this week...

Kara Rennie‏ @karajrennie How to stop time: - Go to the pub - Sit in a fancy chair - Read a book. #LBF17.

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

This 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 talk to your Compass Sales Manager, or call the office on 020 8326 5696.


Friday, 10 March 2017

Compass Points 205


2016 marked the dawn of the post-truth era. The year’s two shock election results, highlighted many of the same issues; but, more than anything they heralded an unprecedented rise of bullshit. Of course, sophistry and spin have been part of politics forever, but the modern era has taken it to a whole new level. Millions were fed false reports that Hillary Clinton ordered 30,000 guillotines to use on her opponents following her victory, while Trump claimed he “never said that” about speeches recorded on video. In the UK, the Leave campaign's divisive claims about £350 million extra funding for the NHS and “swarms” of new EU immigrants from Turkey proved pivotal to the referendum result. Post-truth is bigger than fake news and bigger than social media. It's about the slow rise of a political, media and online infrastructure that has devalued truth. Post Truth: How Bullshit Took Over the World (pb, £9.99, 978 1785902147) is published by Biteback in May and delves into the reality of exactly why this nonsense gets you noticed and makes you rich. It’s by James Ball, an author who really knows his shit – he’s currently special correspondent at BuzzFeed UK and was previously special projects editor at the Guardian, playing a key role in the Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the NSA leaks by Edward Snowden, as well as well as also working in investigative journalism at the Washington Post.
Well, I think what we need is  this  –  Karl Pilkington’s Bullshit Superman – that would put a stop to it!


Literary historical fiction based on true stories is definitely having a bit of a “moment” – and those readers who loved titles such as Burial Rites will probably enjoy Unspeakable – the brilliant third novel by acclaimed author, Dilys Rose which has just been published by Freight. This is a fictional account of the true story of Thomas Aikenhead, the last man in the British Isles to be tried for blasphemy, who was executed in Edinburgh in 1697. You can read an interview with Dilys Rose about this fascinating historical novel here . This is a beautifully written and thought provoking evocation of Edinburgh in the late 17th century; a centre of religious authoritarianism, intolerance and fear where the flames of the city's famous Enlightenment are yet to burn.

We mentioned the fun new podcast A Hitchhikers Guide to Scottish Literature last week, and the February edition discusses Nan Shepherd’s The Living Mountain – her reflection on her experiences walking in the Cairngorm mountains. you can listen to it here.  It feels like Nan Shepherd has been a bit of a cult classic for too long, and with her addition to the Royal Bank of Scotland five-pound note, as well as several beautiful new editions of her three novels now making their way into bookshops, she is having a much-deserved resurgence. Hill-walking was her great love; and her single collection of poetry In the Cairngorms (978 1903385333, £9.99, pb), which she wrote in 1934 is published by Galileo.  They are poems written with the perception of one who has climbed the mountains, truly knows them and express an intensity of deep kinship with nature.  As Robert Macfarlane wrote: “most works of mountain literature are written by men, and most of them focus on the goal of the summit. Nan Shepherd's aimless, sensual exploration of the Cairngorms is bracingly different." In this atmospheric collection, rocks, burns, wildlife and plants are given real presence and by allowing herself to be absorbed into the totality of the mountain Shepherd discovers her true essence. In addition to the hill poetry, In the Cairngorms includes some intensely felt love poems and is illustrated by some lovely line drawings. It has a foreword by Robert Macfarlane.
This is  fun –  Harry Potter as if written by other authors. “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a young wizard in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wand.” From those merry funsters over at Buzzfeed!

Part murder ballad, part ghost story, part true crime, All The Places I've Ever Lived takes you on a gripping journey from the small-town murder of a teenage girl in the 1970s to the recent real-life shootings in Whitehaven, West Cumbria. Are the crimes linked? Fifteen-year-old Barry Dyer may have the answers, but when events impact so horrifically on a town and its people, it always pays to tread carefully when revealing the truth... Quirky, disturbing, and haunting, All The Places I've Ever Lived is a moving and tender exploration of a teenage outsider in a small community, as well as being a finely wrought portrayal of neglected industrial settlements, where nuclear plants, thermometer factories and chemical works contrast vividly with the desolate beauty of the Lake District. David Peace meets Murakami in award-winning writer David Gaffney's compelling mash up of Twin Peaks weirdness and peri-urban noir.
You can see it here nestling up against Michelle Tea’s fabulous Black Wave (from And Other Stories) in a Captivating Reads Promotion in Blackwell’s Oxford. David Gaffney has been praised by the Observer for his “ruthless eye and pitch-black humour” and All The Places I've Ever Lived (pb, £8.99, 978 1911331063) has just been published by Urbane.

Snapchat has been much in the news recently – but can we publishers and booksellers harness its power to help us promote books? Have a look here at this thought-provoking report from The Book Machine which suggests that maybe we can…

Born in Paris in 1919, Michel Déon, the author of more than 50 works of fiction and non-fiction which offered a witty, panoramic view of French society and history; died at the end of last year in Ireland aged 97. You can read a piece about him in the New York Times here. I am very much looking forward to the publication of his fictionalised memoir, Your Father’s Room (pb, £8.99, 978 1910477342) which is coming from Gallic in June.  A vivid recreation of the interwar period, this is a touching and very true depiction of boyhood and how our early experiences affect us as Édouard (Michel Déon's real name) looks back on his 1920’s childhood spent in Paris and Monte Carlo. Within a bourgeois yet unconventional upbringing, 'Teddy', an observant and sensitive boy, must deal with not just the universal trials of growing up, but also the sudden tragedy that strikes at the heart of his family.
If 1920’s Paris is something that appeals to you, then you’ll probably enjoy this five-minute collection of highly evocative film clips from the period!

International Women’s Day this week – and I love this idea – Loganberry Books Cleveland in the USA has turned all the books written by men page side-out to illustrate the colossal gender gap in male and female authors. Have a look here at what that looks like – a veritable white-out on the shelves, which delivers a real wallop for anyone shopping at the store!

And if you’re one of our many friends out there running an independent bookshop, do you feel threatened by small, unbranded Waterstones stores “pretending” to be indies? The bookselling giant has opened three unmarked outposts in small towns and while some retailers say anything that puts books on the high street is a good move, others are not convinced. The chain has come under fire for opening three unbranded branches in the past three years – Southwold Books in Suffolk, Harpenden Books in Hertfordshire and The Rye Bookshop in East Sussex where the handwritten signs in the windows are the only overt indication that the three belong to the bookselling behemoth. Southwold shopkeepers told the Telegraph that Waterstones had “crept in” on the quiet, accusing the company of dishonesty. One said that if the shop had a large Waterstones sign on the front, “the whole town would have been up in arms.” You can read more about that story in the Guardian here.
She Means Business: Turn Your Ideas into Reality and Become a Wildly Successful Entrepreneur (£10.99, pb, 978-1781807408) by Carrie Green is zooming up the bestseller charts on Amazon – don’t let them get all the sales for this inspirational title which has just been published by Hay House. With a computer and an internet connection you can get your ideas, messages and business out there like never before and Carrie Green knows what it's like to be an ambitious and creative woman with big dreams and huge determination but she also knows the challenges, the fears and blocks that entrepreneurs face. Based on her personal, tried-and-tested experience, she offers valuable guidance and powerful exercises to help readers achieve a clear business vision, understand their audience, create your brand, maintain focus and achieve success! She Means Business provides the honest, realistic and practical tools to bring your vision to life. Carrie Green was named an entrepreneurial rising star by HRH The Duke of York after winning The Change Makers Award and in 2014 won Entrepreneurs’ Champion of the Year Award. She’s been featured on BBC News, and in Glamour and Stylist magazines and her TED Talk, Programming Your Mind For Success, has had nearly three million views! You can watch that here on Youtube. This author has a LOT of fans and She Means Business gets uniformly 5-star reviews on Amazon – comments such as “Having read many books in this genre I can honestly say that this is the greatest business book of our time” are typical – so I would certainly urge you to stock it!!
Never mind the greatest business book of our time – what would you say is the greatest business movie of our time? Have a look here  at the Top Ten films about business – from Jerry Maguire to Wall Street!

That’s all for now folks! More next week!
This 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 talk to your Compass Sales Manager, or call the office on 020 8326 5696.