Thursday 29 March 2018

Compass Points 255

“The digital world is littered with a baffling array of jargon and acronyms.” Ain’t that the truth. But it doesn’t need to be that way as Digital Darwinism: Survival of the Fittest in the Age of Business Disruption (£14.99, pb, 978 0749482282) demonstrates. Tom Goodwin is a prominent digital expert and a writer for the New York Times, Guardian, Economist, GQ, Wired, TechCrunch, Forbes and many others. He has appeared on TV and radio and was voted a top 10 marketing voice on LinkedIn, a top 30 person to follow on Twitter by Business Insider and a must follow by Fast Company. This title has already won much praise: “Goodwin cuts through the gobbledygook to offer down-to-earth, practical advice for transforming your business. Digital Darwinism reassures you that futurizing your company doesn't mean you need to be the next Uber or Amazon” said Head of Digital Media Adam Najberg; and Rory Sutherland, TED speaker and Vice Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather wrote “This finally answered many questions about innovation which have long haunted me – not least why most large companies are typically so bad at it. It's one of those rare books that is worth reading twice.” Dylan Jones at GQ endorsed this saying it was “A fascinating dip into a disruptive future.” There’s lots more coverage to come, including an article on, a review in Marketing Week, and interviews with Tom in Campaign, Marketing Tech and Raconteur magazines and on NewsTalk Radio. Tom believes every assumption the business world has made about digital is wrong - and he’s starting his own revolution to set things right! This provocative book dispels everything you thought you knew and offers a new guide for a surviving and thriving in a new era. It has just been published by Kogan Page.

Happy 10th Birthday to the London Stereoscopic Company! Queen in 3-D (hb, £50, 978 0957424685) was one of the big success stories of 2017 – and there is loads more exciting publishing to come this year from this exciting and innovative team. Head over to Twitter here  to see a special Happy Birthday message from the great Brian May himself!

The Woman Before Me by Ruth Dugdale (£8.99, pb, 978 1787198586) is getting great feedback from the book bloggers on its current blog tour! “The creepiest opening chapter award goes to Ruth Dugdall” – you can read a review of this gripping and clever thriller on The Book Magnet here. This novel won the CWA Dagger Debut Award with the judges calling it “dark, disturbing and authentic" and Sophie Hannah said “Ruth Dugdall's novels are intelligent and gripping, with a sophisticated psychological sensibility. She is a huge talent.” Rose Wilks' life is shattered when her newborn baby Joel is admitted to intensive care. Emma Hatcher has all that Rose lacks. Beauty. A loving husband. A healthy son. Until tragedy strikes and Rose is the only suspect. Now, having spent nearly five years behind bars, Rose is just weeks away from freedom. Her probation officer Cate must decide whether Rose is remorseful for Luke's death, or whether she remains a threat to society. Ruth Dugdall worked as a prison Probation Officer for almost a decade, working with numerous high-risk criminals and this novel was informed by her experiences, giving her writing authenticity and credibility. It has just been published (in a paperback edition which includes new exclusive content) by Legend.

Caroline Slocock author of People Like Us: Margaret Thatcher and Me (978 1785902246, hb, £20) will be on Radio 4’s Start the Week programme on the 9th April. As a young civil servant, Caroline Slocock went to work at No. 10 Downing Street during the last eighteen months of Margaret Thatcher’s prime ministership. As a left-leaning English Literature graduate, she was against much of what Thatcher stood for, but as she worked for her she became fascinated by the challenges Thatcher faced as a powerful woman, and the way that she was demonised. Based on diaries Slocock kept at the time, this extraordinary book examines how although Margaret Thatcher is considered by many to be the ultimate anti-role model for feminists, she had to fight hard to change the status quo and fulfil her ambitions, a feature common to all successful and aspirational women. There is highly likely to be a serialisation of this book in with the Mail or the Mail on Sunday, around its publication by Biteback on 19 April.

And for those booksellers too young to really remember exactly how Thatcher was demonised – you could do a lot worse that have a watch here  of some of the classic Thatcher Spitting Image sketches!

Feeling sad is, unfortunately, a part of everyone's life, and there's not always an easy fix. Children suffer with mental health issues too, and many struggle to express their emotions – especially when they are very young. Sometimes I Feel Sad (£9.99, hb, 978 1785924934) was published this week by Jessica Kingsley and helps explain to children aged 5+ that they're not alone in feeling this way. It has been much praised, one librarian called it "Simple but elegant. A great way to explain to kids that being sad is okay. This book could be helpful to a kid who has depression or a friend trying to understand." A teacher said "I loved this book for the direct and simple way it tackled a potentially tricky subject matter...The real positive to having illustrations like these is that you could have children replicate them to draw their own emotions, or how they want things to be." Another educator called it “A small gem. Elegant. Accurate. Evocative.” which I think describes it perfectly. You can find out a bit more about it and see some of the spreads on Tom’s own website here.

Deserving winner of multiple awards upon its Catalan and Spanish publication; Brother in Ice by Alicia Kopf (978 1911508205, £10.00, pb) is a richly rewarding journey into the unknown. Published on April 23rd by And Other Stories, its editor describes this genre-defying book as “an astonishing semi-autobiographical novel that uses a history of polar exploration to explore the experience of growing up with an autistic brother in the challenging world of post-crash Catalonia. Kopf is also a visual artist and the book is a culmination of a series of visual work which comes out in the photos and drawings.”

A lively launch party this week for the new edition of Managing Cybersecurity Risk: Cases Studies and Solutions by Jonathan Reuvid (£39, 978 1787198913, pb) which is published by Legend Business. Many organisations are still not yet paying sufficient attention to cybersecurity, possibly not appreciating the scale or severity of the potential permanent risk to their businesses. The book is for them; and is a vital wake-up call, offering advice on the resources available to build defences and the selection of tools and services which can achieve enhanced security at an acceptable cost. The first edition of this title was a significant success and this new edition has even more detailed information about the cybersecurity environment and specific threats.

With the news this week that an NHS trust has been fined £2m for the deaths of Connor Sparrowhawk and Teresa Colvin; there may well be renewed interest in Justice for Laughing Boy: Connor Sparrowhawk: A Death by Indifference by Sara Ryan (978 1785923487, £12.99, pb) which was published by Jessica Kingsley last year. On July 4th 2013, Connor Sparrowhawk, also known as Laughing Boy, was found dead in a specialist NHS unit. Connor, who had autism and epilepsy, had a seizure while in the bath and no member of staff was on hand to stop him from drowning. As one academic said, “The heart of this story rises above a narrative of private grief and public failure by offering a powerful eulogy to the sheer force of love, especially the personality and character of Connor Sparrowhawk that helped inspire a social movement for truth, justice and accountability. Everyone committed to accountable public services should read this book and learn from it.” Social workers agreed saying “This account of a parent's experience brings to light the vital need to really listen, understand and work alongside people with learning disabilities and their families to ensure that care and support is right for them.” This title has had very very good reviews – many parents of autistic or disabled children have found it both moving and helpful and is deserves to be as widely read as possible.

There was an absolutely joyous and inspiring appearance by Andy Merriman and his daughter Sarah on Loose Women last week, talking about life with Down's syndrome. This was on World Down Syndrome Day and there were lots of mentions of their book A Major Adjustment: How a Remarkable Child Became a Remarkable Adult (pb, £9.99, 978-0993291142) which is published by Safe Haven. You can watch that here.

“Revealed! The passion-filled love letters that show Look Back In Anger writer John Osborne carried on sleeping with his first wife through his next four marriages fuelled by their mutual obsession with silk bloomers!” Yep, that could only be a headline from the ever-salacious Daily Mail, but hopefully it will provoke lots of interest in the book it’s referencing, which is Dearest Squirrel: The Intimate Letters of John Osborne and Pamela Lane (hb, £20, 978 1786823922) edited by Peter Whitebrook and published by Oberon Books on 1 April. The Mail feature is superb publicity for this title which you can read here – it’s already attracting lots of online comments such as “a bit like sexting back in the day!” and “if respect for feelings matched fascination with knickers, a lot more marriages would work out.” Don’t just comment; go and buy the book people, go and buy the book!

The Football Writers’ Association 2018 Book of the Year longlist is announced – and great to see that The Greatest Comeback: From Genocide To Football Glory (978 1785903717, pb, £9.99) by David Bolchover which was published in paperback by Biteback at the start of the year) is on it! You can read all about it in the Bookseller here. The shortlist will be revealed in April and the Sports Book Awards Ceremony, sponsored by Coutts, will take place at Lord’s on 7th June. This remarkable story spans two visions of twentieth-century Europe: a continent ruptured by barbarism and genocide, yet lit up by exhilarating encounters in magnificent cities, where great players would strive to win football’s holy grail. With dark forces rising once again, the story of Béla Guttmann’s life asks the question: which vision of Europe will triumph in our times?

Plenty of publicity for Queer Sex: A Trans and Non-Binary Guide to Intimacy, Pleasure and Relationships by Juno Roche which is published by Jessica Kingsley on 19th April. Frankly discussing desire, sex and how trans people relate to their bodies and relationships, this collection of intimate interviews with leading figures from the trans and non-binary community is a call to arms for how society views gender and sexuality. Cosmopolitan are running a feature for their sex & relationships section on Juno’s experiences and what she learned about sex while writing the book; Dazed & Confused magazine have also interviewed Juno about the book and there will be extracts and reviews in Huck, Refinery29, Bitch, BUST and Gay Star News. There’s a book launch/panel event at Waterstones Tottenham Court Road on the 19th April, and another launch event together with Waterstones Brighton at Brighton Uni on the 25th.

Michael Arditti is receiving some fantastic reviews for Of Men and Angels (£16.99, hb, 978 1911350262). The Observer said he was “a master storyteller who uses his theological literacy sparingly to deliver a challenging but enthralling read” – that’s here. There was also a great review in the Jewish Chronicle saying that “Michael Arditti is an accomplished and fluent writer, with the sensibility of a philosophical mandarin. In his new novel, education and research combine with well-honed narrative skills to produce an epic excursion through millennia of Judaeo-Christian and Islamic history” which you can see here and he was interviewed in the Church Times here. It’s just been published by Arcadia.

Ten Best Biblical novels – what would you suggest? Michael Arditti has made some interesting choices here for the Arts Desk. And what about the Top Ten Biblical Movies? Have a watch here!

This weekly blog is written for the UK book trade. If you would like to order any of the titles mentioned, then please talk to your Compass Sales Manager, or call the Compass office on 020 8326 5696. Every Friday an e-newsletter containing highlights from the blog is sent out to over 700 booksellers – and if you’d like to receive this then please contact

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