Friday 26 April 2019

Compass Points 302

May sees the 20th anniversary of the unprecedented and so-far-unrepeated achievement by a British football club – Manchester United winning the Treble! Arena Sport are publishing a new updated edition of The Promised Land: Manchester United's Historic Treble by Daniel Harris (978 1909715875, £9.99, pb) to mark this occasion. It relives these breathless moments on a month-by-month basis, taking you into the dressing room, onto the pitch and into the minds of those involved, to explain why it all worked and how it all happened – with the perspective afforded by twenty years’ distance. On 26th May, Sir Alex Ferguson will be returning to the Old Trafford dugout to manage a Manchester United XI in a 20th anniversary repeat of their dramatic 2-1 Champions League final win over Bayern Munich which is bound to get loads of coverage – all good for the book.  Daniel Harris writes for the Guardian, does loads of work on football blogs and has over 21k followers on Twitter. This is a tale of astounding football, exceptional competition, staggering determination, ceaseless tension, astonishing plot twists, and a cast of fascinating, iconic characters, which there will undoubtably be a big market for.

Publication date approaches for The Polyglot Lovers (£10, pb, 978 1911508441) and the finished copies are looking absolutely beautiful, with Wibalin end pages and a foiled cover. Ferocious and irreverent, this multiple prize-winning novel burns down the pretensions of a pompous literary establishment and takes no prisoners. The Polyglot Lovers is a fiercely witty and nuanced contribution to feminism in the #metoo era. And Other Stories have some Polyglot Lovers themed bookmarks available which complement the book very well, and if any bookseller would like some then please contact If you’d like to read an extract, then that’s here.  

Congratulations to Carcanet (who have been shortlisted for the Diversity Award for the fifth year in a row) and also to 404Ink, Kogan Page (two nominations), Crown House and Pluto, who are all on the shortlists for this years Independent Publishers Guild Awards which will be announced at a dinner next week! You can see the full shortlists here.  

Talk Radio Europe recently conducted a fascinating interview with ER Hooton about his new book Spain in Arms: A Military History of the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 (£25, hb, 978 1612006376) During the talk, Ted provided information on the complex and confusing background of the Civil War, the 80th anniversary of its end and the intricacies of the Barcelona Campaign, Ernest Hemmingway, the International Brigade and how foreign intervention has tainted and distorted the war. If you would like to listen to the radio broadcast yourself, it can be found here here. The book is based upon nearly 60 years of extensive research to produce a radically different but more accurate account of the battles and the factors and men who shaped them. It’s published next Tuesday by Casemate.

Here’s an update on the upcoming publicity for The Model Manifesto: An A-Z Anti-Exploitation Manual for the Fashion Industry (978 1788600651, pb, £14.99) which is published next week. We’ve just had an interview confirmed with author Leanne Maskell for The Lorraine Show, ITV on 9 May and BBC London TV News have confirmed a piece on it on the 6:30 News on 10th May! The Times will be out between 29th April and 1st May; Grazia are running an online piece on 1st May; The Week, Independent, Healthista, Into View and The Scene (BBC Radio London) will all be out 2nd May and BBC Radio Manchester are running an interview on Friday 3 May. This empowering title includes solid advice on everything from mental health issues to paying tax and covers every aspect of the modelling industry in detail to give an honest and realistic insider view.

Islandeering: Adventures Around the Edge of Britain's Hidden Islands (£16.99, pb, 978 1910636176) is out next week, and there’s what looks like a brilliant event coming up at Stanfords in Bristol to promote it on 13th June where author Lisa Drewe will be talking all about her adventures. With detailed maps and directions (including downloadable GPX files), Islandeering is the essential guide to discovering the best offshore lands for everything from epic tidal crossings  where you can race the tide across vast sands and rocky causeways; idyllic, white-sand beaches; perfect places for contemplation; fantastic flora and fauna; secret swims and the best spots to see basking sharks, orcas, dolphins, sea otters, puffins and whales! There are 50 incredible islands in this inspiring book and as always it features the unbeatable Wild Things blend of engaging travel writing and superb photography.

Here’s the fourth print run of Teach Your Dog Welsh (£7.99, pb, 978 1912631025) coming off the press! An amazing 6,000 copies of this have now been printed! Suitable as a first introduction to Welsh for learners of all ages, this is the perfect gift for dog-lovers and also ideal for tourists who would like a fun way to pick up a few basic words when visiting Wales as many of the words and phrases can also be used in non dog-related situations! It includes a pronunciation guide for every phrase and has beautiful retro-style illustrations throughout. It’s published by Y Lolfa.

I have not one, not two, but THREE bits of podcast news to bring you this week concerning Comma! Firstly publisher Ra Page was recently on the Guardian Books podcast this week discussing the importance of place and region in literature, you can listen to that here. Secondly, there was a very special episode of the YYY Podcast which you can listen to here dedicated to the brilliant sci-fi anthology Iraq + 100 featuring conversations with Ra Page, contributing author Anoud and a Comma reader. Iraq + 100 (£9.99, pb, 978 1905583669) collects stories by Iraqi authors all set a century after the American and British led invasion. The Atlantic said of it, "Dazzling and disorienting, these stories are not just reflections of turmoil, but also yearnings for peace and a connection with Iraq’s past grandeur." And finally, don’t forget to check out Comma’s own podcast which is now available on Spotify, iTunes, Soundcloud, TuneIn and Stitcher – it’s got 5-star ratings on iTunes! Series one focuses on the best-selling collection Protest: Stories of Resistance (£12.99, pb, 978 1910974438) and each podcast episode features an author and historical consultant alongside a third guest who will be connected to the cause or movement, either directly, or in a more contemporary way, You can find out more and listen to all the episodes so far here.

Talking of protest, it was fun to see the author of the foreword to the second edition of Rebel Footprints (£12.99, pb, 978 0745338552) Ash Sarkar on Have I Got News For You last week, you can watch that here. The radical response to conservative heritage tours and banal day-tripper guides, Rebel Footprints brings to life the history of social movements in the capital, transporting readers from well-known landmarks to history-making hidden corners. As Jeremy Corbyn said, “Anyone reading this will walk the streets of our city with a different view of the world, and what people can do when they act together.” It’s just been published by Pluto.

In anticipation of the Man Booker International Prize winner announcement on Tuesday 21st May, Foyles Charing Cross Road are hosting an event with the shortlisted translators for an evening of insight into the art of translation, and of course Sophie Hughes, the translator of The Remainder, will be there! You can see her here with its author Alia Trabucco Zerán. Sophie will also be at Brightfest on Monday 6 May.

The vegan revolution is here to stay and The Vegan Cookbook (£15, hb, 978 0754834441) by Tony and Yvonne Bishop-Weston is a fully updated and expanded new edition of a great classic book, with 140 enticing vegan recipes. It outlines the latest advice on key nutrients and, along with favourite vegan mainstays, offers new exciting recipes to prove that being vegan does not mean excluding comfort food, sweet treats, or wickedly savoury delights. A detailed introduction advises you on ingredients, nutrition, easy-fixes for packed lunches, pitfalls to avoid when eating out, and much more. Yvonne Bishop-Weston ran the pioneering vegetarian catering company Cranks Restaurants and was the vegetarian face of The Food Doctor so both she and Tony really know their stuff. You can flick through the book online here – it’s just been published by Lorenz. 

Those of us in the Western world have near-unlimited information at our fingertips, we are healthy and safe, and we have wealth and possessions beyond what most of the world can dream of. However, we are more stressed than we have ever been and despite the potential of prosperity, our fears are undiminished. The Power of Less by Leo Babuta (978 1848501164, £9.99, pb) is a handbook of simplicity, showing the reader how to know what you want, and what you need, how to choose what is essential, and clear out the rest. It will be featured in Woman’s Own in June and also in a July issue of Psychologies and it’s published on 6 July by Hay House.

And finally, where do you think it Britain’s most literary location? Bath? Edinburgh? Well, hold onto your hats – it might just be… Chiswick! According to an article in the Observer here the west London suburb can count 250 writers as present and former residents, including Betjeman Burgess, Thackeray and Yeats! Among Chiswick’s line-up, now set out for inspection on a literary timeline, are two winners of the Nobel prize in literature, one Booker prize winner, two Oscar winners and a poet laureate. And yours truly must declare a special interest in this erudite boast, as Chiswick is also the home of Compass Points!

That’s all folks, more next week!

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

1 comment: