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 Music “This 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!
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