“Go wild for summer” said India Knight recently in the Sunday Times, and recommended that everyone “read the Wild Guides books for the best secret places in Britain to sleep, swim or roam. Invaluable.” She’s absolutely right! Look at this fab display in Blackwell’s Oxford (thanks very much!) of these titles – don't they look highly tempting all grouped together! The latest compendium of adventures from this best-selling series is Wild Guide Scotland: Hidden Places, Great Adventures & the Good Life (£16.99, pb, 978 1910636121) by Kimberley Grant, Richard Gaston and David Cooper which has just been published and is already a number one bestselling travel book on Amazon – get some of those sales for yourself!!
Scotland is one of Europe's fastest growing adventure holiday destinations and this bumper book with its dazzling photos explores the hidden parts of its better-known tourist areas, as well many more remote regions. Guiding you to over 800 wild swims, ancient forests, lost ruins and hidden beaches the title includes inns, wild camping, local crafts, artisan whisky distilleries and lots of wonderfully romantic places to stay. There is a feature this title on the BBC website here which shows off lots of the stunning pictures. And here's a great piece in the Sunday Post featuring the author of another recent Wild Things bestseller; The Scottish Bothy Bible (£16.99, pb, 978 1910636107). Every single one of these inspiring Wild Things books makes you wants you to set off on an adventure right now – have a look at this really lovely little five-minute film entitled Mermaid about the author of Wild Swimming Ireland (pb, £17.99, 978 1848892804) Maureen McCoy. Now if that doesn’t tempt you into the water this summer nothing will!
Have you discovered the DCI Daley thrillers yet? This atmospheric crime series by Denzil Meyrick has had rave reviews, and the latest one, Well of the Winds (pb, £8.99, 978 1846973727) has just been published by Polygon. The Times said: “Past meets present in Well of the Winds. Two investigations involving thoughtful intuitive coppers are presented in parallel as the tale unfolds across the decades … Fictional Kinloch creates a different atmosphere to conventional "tartan noir" thrillers. This is a crime setting far from smoky pubs and the bookies' shops of the average city. Little fishing boats are more important in this tale than black marias.” and the Wall Street Journal said that Mayrick’s writing revealed “universal truths ... an unbuttoned sense of humour ... engaging and eventful.” Waterstone’s called this author “Scotland's best new crime writer” and Liz Robinson on the LoveReading blog said “I found raised eyebrows, wry smiles, and chuckles followed Meyrick's trademark humour... if you've not yet met Daley and Scott, do sink into the pages and introduce yourself.” Very much for fans of Ian Rankin, MacBride and Oswald, there are now five books in this terrific series, and the first one Whisky From Small Glasses has also been picked for the very first UK Together We Read campaign, which is a library reading promotion running across the whole of the UK from 11 – 25 May. As part of this, Denzil Meyrick will be interviewed for the Book Nerds podcast, and there will be a Google Live event – all of which should give this excellent author even more exposure. I love the evocative brooding covers of these paperbacks; see the whole set above!
If that’s put you in the mood for a bit of Scot lit – then why not listen to the latest podcast from Vikki and Kirstian – the latest episode of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Scottish Literature is now available on the Birlinn website here!
If modern life is starting to grind you down a bit, then what you undoubtedly need in your life is an inspirational quote from literature. But which is your favourite go-to message? Many choose Oscar Wilde’s wise words from Lady Windermere's Fan: “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” Some of you may prefer what L.M. Montgomery said in Anne of Green Gables: "Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” I personally like Cormac McCarthy, who wrote in No Country for Old Men that “You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.” Have a look at lots more here and add your own comments!
Congratulations to And Other Stories, who have not one but TWO titles on the Oxford-Weidenfeld shortlist which has just been announced. The prize is for book-length literary translations into English from any living European language and aims to honour the craft of translation, and to recognise its cultural importance. There were 127 entries to the prize, and And Other Stories are the only publisher to have two titles on the shortlist of 8 – you can find out more about the prize here The two titles are Bret Easton Ellis and Other Dogs by Lina Wolff, translated by Frank Perry (£9.99, pb, 978 1908276643) and The Transmigration of Bodies by Yuri Herrera, translated by Lisa Dillman (£9.99, pb, 978 1908276728) Well done all!
How long do you think it would take to change your life? Well, I have good news for all you busy booksellers; yoga teacher and author Rebekah Borucki reckons it can be done in just four minutes! Yep, peace and clarity can all be achieved with You Have 4 Minutes to Change Your Life: Simple 4-Minute Meditations for Inspiration, Transformation and True Bliss (£12.99, pb, 978 1781806357) which has just published by Hay House. Rebekah has taught hundreds of thousands of people how to create simple yet powerful meditation practices and they're designed so that even the most harried people can fit them in. In this book, she guides you through 27 different meditation practices and provides technical information about props, postures and mantras; together with tools to cope with complex issues such as grief, body acceptance and relationships. The Daily Express newspaper have recently featured this title as their cover feature for their Express Woman section with lots of extracts directly from the book inside – they have a circulation of over half a million readers so this is great publicity for this title, which has been much praised: “Rebekah not only breaks down all the pathways to meditating more, but also shares her busy-mother-of-five-tested practical and doable strategies to actually take the time to connect to yourself in a meaningful and consistent way” said author Alisa Vitti.
The UK “hummus crisis” made many headlines last week and was reported at length in The Telegraph the Guardian – in fact pretty much everywhere! Now it all seems to be over, it’s the perfect time to display the very excellent The Hummus Cookbook: Deliciously Different Ways with the Versatile Classic (hb, £9.99, 978 0754832836) which was published by Lorenz earlier this year. This beautiful hardback really is superb value, it contains 144 pages of stunning full colour spreads showing you how to make hummus; there are loads of fab new versions and great recipe ideas for different ways to use the dip too.
Lots of you were off to the polling booths yesterday of course, and then in a month another election is coming for all of us. Again. So let’s cheer ourselves up by looking at these 18 Photos Of British Politicians Improved By Game Of Thrones Quotes on Buzzfeed here!
Great to hear Pluto Press author Dave Randall on the Radcliffe and Maconie show on BBC6Music last week, talking about his frankly brilliant title Sound System: The Political Power of Music (978 0745399300, £12.99, pb). Have a listen here - Dave appears at 1 hour 35. It a fascinating listen and an equally impressive book: the story of one musician’s journey to discover what makes music so powerful. Dave discusses remarkable examples of music as a force for social change as well as something that has been used to keep people in their place throughout history. This is a book of raves, riots and revolution, taking the reader from the Glastonbury Festival to the Arab Spring, Pop Idol to Trinidadian Carnival. Dave finds political inspiration across the musical spectrum and poses the question: how can we make music serve the interests of the many, rather than the few?
We love booksellers – and we love a bookshop blog or twitter feed! One entertaining example Compass Points has recently discovered is Secret Bookseller, which you can read here. The latest (very funny) post is on why this particular indie bookseller does NOT want to win a Nibbie – or any other award thank you very much! The Secret Bookseller blog is anonymous – allowing her to be slightly franker and more forthright about our wonderful industry – have a look and see if you agree with her views! On the subject of anonymity, many of you may think that this Compass Points newsletter and blog comes from the Compass sales rep who sent it to you – or maybe from our wonderful office manager Pat Vance. But in fact, this is not the case, and I too am an anonymous writer (cue evil genius laughter) known only as Compass Rose…A child being snatched is something which, thank God, happens extremely rarely in real life – but which often makes a devastating effective storyline in novel form. The latest writer to use this chilling plot device is Darren Young, whose debut Child Taken is published by Red Door later this month on 18 May. This book has a great cover – spot on for the genre – with a super quote from author Peter James calling it “a well told story from a very promising new writer.” Reviews from the blogs have been excellent “This is a stunning debut novel which is not afraid of tackling a difficult subject. It is exceptionally plotted out” says @havebooks and this is definitely a title to put in summer reading tables – a real psychological page-turner. It begins one hot summer's day, when two-year-old Jessica Preston disappears from the beach. The police are convinced she drowned, but Sandra Preston won't give up hope that her daughter is still alive. Twenty years later, another child goes missing, and Sandra is approached by a young journalist who raises questions about what really happened to Jessica Preston all those years ago… Darren is doing a book blog tour at present which you can find out about here and you can watch a trailer for Child Taken (I LOVE it when publishers do this!) on YouTube here.
Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. Here are some of our favourite tweets from this week …
Compass Academic @CompassAcademic Print lives on! *cheers* How eBooks lost their shine: 'Kindles now look clunky and unhip' theguardian.com
And Other Stories @andothertweets Are you a bookseller? Do you know about Yuri Herrera? Would you like to read his new book Kingdom Cons? Email firstname.lastname@example.org!
UrbanePublications @urbanebooks @Felipewh will be signing copies of the brilliant Marching on Together at @LUFC store this Wednesday!
Comma Press @commapress Fans of science & fiction who enjoy a hot drink and a book, our event at Cafe Scientifique in Manchester is the one for you.
Arcadia Books @ArcadiaBooks Donald Trump is 'worse than any horror story I've written', says Stephen King.
Darren Young @darrenyoungbook With #ChildTaken I always said that I wrote a Word Document and it was @RedDoorBooks that turned it into a book. And here's the proof!
Graham Wettone @grahamwettone Shameless plug for my book How to Be a Police Officer due out 8th June published by @BitebackPub. No cute pics of spaniels or family members used in this ad!
Matthew at Urbane @urbanepub Urbane author and actor Steven Berkoff will be the guest of Jonathan Ross on the @BBCRadio2 Arts Show on 15th June at 1.15pm.
Stanfords @StanfordsTravel 5 reasons why Scotland is the best holiday destination this summer by @wildthingsbooks.
Ninja Book Box @NinjaBookBox Favourite publishers to talk to & work with (follow them!) are @SerenBooks @MyriadEditions @BelgraviaB @TiltedAxisPress @LinenPressBooks
Red Lion Books @RedLionBooks “Social progress can be measured by the social position of the female sex.” - Karl Marx, born #onthisday in 1818.
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.