Friday 28 September 2018

Compass Points 276

Wowee – what a terrific bit of publicity for the new edition of Queen in 3D (hb, £30, 978 1999667429) here  in the Mail Online – this has already had nearly 8,000 shares – and I am reliably informed that the Mail have also massively promoted it via their Snap Chat account – reaching many thousands more! This second edition of the book features new photos from the making of Bohemian Rhapsody – the early awaited Queen biopic – photographed on set in 3D by Brian May. It is published the same day that the film is released, October 24th. This new hardback edition with its much lower price has the full content of the first edition, plus this new material from the film set which I think makes it pretty sensational value. It also has the high-quality stereo viewer embedded in the backboard of the book, so that readers can enjoy these extraordinary 3D photos captured by Brian from the 1970s to the present day. There’s been publicity for the book in the Daily Express the Sun, the Mirror online and the Times.  The PR momentum will continue up until the release of the book with The Big Issue to run a Q&A with Brian, the Mail on Sunday running a film special including a full page on the book and on pub date, articles and interviews with Brian will feature in Mojo and Classic Rock. If time permits Brian will also hit the radio studios: Magic, Absolute, Planet Rock, Heart, LBC, R2 Chris Evans, R4, 6 Music as well as ITV’s Lorraine. This is going to be BIG!

Frank Foley helped thousands of Jews escape from Germany, described at the Eichman trial as a Scarlet Pimpernel, risking his own life to save those threatened with death by the Nazis. He was a British spy, a fact that made his efforts on behalf of the Jews even more dangerous as he had no diplomatic immunity and was liable to arrest at any time. He not only went into the concentration camps to get Jews out but hid them in his own home, but he remains virtually unknown, largely because his job as Passport Control Officer in Berlin was a cover for his real role as MI6 Head of Station. Sixty years after his death, Prince William has just unveiled a statue of Foley in Stourbridge, which you can read about here,  and Biteback have the definitive book on this remarkable man; Foley The Spy Who saved 10,000 Jews (£10.99, pb, 978 1785900549). Its author Michael Smith was on Sky News this week talking about Foley and this outstanding title deserves to be much more widely read. The Daily Telegraph called it “a fascinating book. Smith writes well: coolly and unexaggeratedly, sensibly and authoritatively.”

Into The Peatlands: A Journey Through the Moorland Year (£12.99, pb, 978 1780275598) “makes you yearn for a sip of golden whisky whose barley malt has been smoked over a rich, peaty fire” according to today's Daily Mail – you can read  here how bookseller Robin Crawford explores the history of peat in his new book. Great publicity for this fascinating study of the wildlife and folklore associated with these lonely, watery places.It's published by Birlinn.

A most entertaining plug for Neville Southall’s autobiography The Binman Chronicles (pb, 8.99, 978 1909245235) in this amusing article in the Mirror – where a journalist just happens to come across Neville by his broken-down car on a Welsh country road.  “There’s too much technical coaching now,” he says. “They coach the sh** out of people. You’re worth £200k a week and you can’t make a decision? If I don’t trust you – why are you playing? Nurses earn £18k a year and they take vital decisions every day.” Have a read here for some other gems from the man considered one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time! Southall's amazing story is the ultimate antidote to the dull stereotype of the modern footballer and it’s published by De Coubertin.

A bit bored? Try these twenty three book jokes to make you smile!

A couple of great reviews for the controversial Pluto title Propaganda Blitz: How the Corporate Media Distort Reality by David Edwards and David Cromwell. There’s a feature in Dissident Voice which you can see here saying “I would place a copy of this book in every journalism school” and also a piece in the Southern Daily Echo here.

A terrific review in the  Times Literary Supplement for Lola Ridge's To the Many: Collected Early Poems edited by Daniel Tobin (£14, pb, 978 0993505645) , which has just been published by Little Island Press, saying “with this handsome edition we are finally able to admire once more the prismatic patterns cast by her hard-headed and beguiling lyrics." Transnational long before the term gained currency, Lola Ridge was one of the most notable poets writing in America from the publication of her first book, The Ghetto, in 1918 until her death in 1941. This new edition of her collected early poems intends to redress the serious neglect her own work has endured over the past seventy-five years and includes the never-before published manuscript, Verses.

More amazing press for Possum, the new film based on the story of the same name which features in the Comma anthology The New Uncanny: Tales of Unease (pb, £9.99, 978 1905583188). The film will be released across the UK on the 26th October and Time Out have included the "icky Brit horror" starring Sean Harris in their 15 Must-See Movies this Autumn, you can read that piece here. The film has already opened to rave reviews in the US; the Hollywood Reporter calling it a “horror-tinged psychological suspenser which has niche genre-audience appeal” and Possum will also be showing at the Hull Horror Film Festival on Oct 26th and at the Manchester Horror Film Festival on the 30th before a Q&A and book signing with its writer and director Matthew Holness. You can see a (very scary!) trailer here. All terrific publicity for the book – a must have for Halloween book tables and window displays!

What a wonderful launch at Stanfords Bookshop in London for Pieces of Me (£8.99, pb, 978 1787198036) by Natalie Hart, which is published by Legend next week. The event was attended by a host of national press including Costa Judge and Prima Books editor Nina Pottell, who absolutely loves the book, tweeting afterwards “Lovely to be at the first event for the bloody brilliant #PiecesOfMe @NatalieGHart. Great to hear Natalie talk about why she needed to write this book. It will be in my Best of the Year so I highly recommend it. It’s out next Thursday.” The event was covered across social media, including from notable authors such as Ali Land (Richard and Judy Sunday Times best-selling author). As you can tell from her enthusiasm, Nina Pottell is heavily supporting this book, it’s Prima Magazine’s October Book of the Month, and she’s hosting a twitter competition with her followers on launch day. There will be another celebratory party for the book on its publication day 4 October in Barnett’s of Wadhurst Bookshop which is the bookshop Natalie worked in when she was 13! Pieces of Me is a debut novel that explores the ongoing impact of war and how it’s often left to the women to pick up the pieces. As author Tor Udell wrote, “The way Hart has made a mosaic of different women’s experiences, be they British, American or Iraqi, is profoundly moving. This is a love story that will leave you in tatters and yet there is an enduring sense of women making, mending and creating that gives this book a radiance. I will never forget it.”

A big piece here in the Telegraph this week for a Crown House title, headlined My Child's Different: It's Still Too Easy for Kids Like Mine to be Written off as Naughty. The piece features Elaine Halligan author of My Child's Different: The Lessons Learned From One Family's Struggle to Unlock their Son's Potential (£12.99, pb, 978 1785833281) which came out this summer. This title is already a bestseller, and clearly strikes a chord with masses of parents. Richard Branson said of it “it is really important that we provide young people with the support they need to succeed. Alternative thinking can spur creativity and innovation and has the power to change the world. This book shows how with the right support, young people can maximise their potential.” This is a must-read for any parent bringing up a child who is seen as difficult and is a practical and inspirational read. Compelling, engaging and eloquently written, it also brutally honest, as Elaine Halligan takes you inside the chaos of special needs provision and sheds light on the stark realities of social exclusion.

A lovely big four-page feature in the Lady Magazine this week for the fabulous Vegetable Cakes (978 0754833246, hb, £10) by Ysanne Spevack featuring lots of the sumptuous photos from the book! It is also inside and on cover of the October edition of Vegan Living –which is out today. This magazine is sold widely in WH Smith, Waitrose, M&S, Tescos and Sainsburys, so it is great publicity for this book. Vegetable Cakes really is a feast for the eyes; squashes, sweetcorn, carrots, spinach, peas, kale, onions and even fiddlehead ferns take you into a new culinary universe, where the tastes are intriguing but the results are also irresistibly tempting! Online searches for vegetable cakes have soared by 50% in the past six months and what was once seen as the preserve of hippies and health-food fanatics has become firmly entrenched in the mainstream. As the Daily Mail said, these recipes are “mouth-wateringly moreish and surprisingly delicious.” Radish pavlova anyone?

The Labour conference is all over the news, but one story 
you may have missed was the Guardian report that  “Labour has shifted focus from bingo to quinoa” with voters “repeatedly mentioning the fancy grain when asked what food it best represented.” Tom Watson said he was “disappointed” by this focus group research suggesting that Labour under Corbyn was more associated with the grain than with a pie and pint, and retorted that most of his friends didn’t know how to pronounce quinoa. “And it is not on my new diet list, so I was very disappointed when I read that, because I’m definitely a meat and two veg man.” Tom – you need to broaden your horizons mate, and get yourself a copy of Quinoa (hb, £4.99, 978 0754830313). This vibrant little book published by Lorenz has thirty nutritious recipes making the most of this adaptable wonder grain. Rich in protein, cholesterol-free and low in fat, the tasty recipes in this book will help you radically improve your eating habits.

Fred D’Aguiar’s Reformation from Translations from Memory (pb, £9.99, 978 1784106065) is the Poem of the Week in the Guardian; you can read it here. This Guyanese-British poet’s work has been shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and this new book wonderfully recreates moments of his and our wider history, making inclusions where exclusions have occurred before. It was published by Carcanet this summer.

They fought fascism in Spain with the International Brigades and now, seventy years later it’s great to see these Welsh miners and steelworkers in prominent position, still standing in solidarity against fascist thugs in Bookmarks Books. What a fitting place to be on such visible display. ‘You are Legend’: The Welsh Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War (pb, £19.99, 978 1860571305) by Graham Davies has just been published by the Welsh Academic Press. Almost two hundred Welshmen volunteered to fight fascism during the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War. Politically active as trade unionists, members of the Communist or Labour parties, many were unemployed miners and most were working class with the fighting spirit of the coalfield and the impoverished. Unprepared and sometimes incredulous, You Are Legend is the first book to fully document all of the Welsh volunteers and pays tribute to these brave and principled men.
That’s all for now folks, more next week!
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