Friday 14 September 2012

Compass Points 14

Compass Points 14
Your weekly round up of publishing news, publicity information and trivia!

The Hundred Year Old Man who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared continues to sell and sell! A contact at Waterstones Head Office this week described it as “One of those rare, magical titles which Waterstones sells by the bucketload for years.” And it’s not just selling in Waterstone’s – this heart-warming and hilarious tale is zooming up the bestseller lists everywhere!

Now – your little darlings may have gone back to school, but that doesn’t mean they’re not driving you bonkers every evening! What you need is The Manic Mum’s Guide to Calm Parenting and Co Operative Kids. If you’ve ever felt like you’re banging your head against a brick wall or wished sometimes that your children would take you more seriously and that you had the time and energy to be the mother that you want to be, then this definitely is the book for you.  It is packed full of jargon free, common sense techniques and tools and ideas that will turn you from manic to calm and in control in just seven weeks. The title is getting lots of publicity; Prima Magazine said “I’d definitely recommend this book to other stressed out mums.” and there have been lots of reviews in the parenting magazines; family pages of the national press and in the ever popular “opinionated mummies on their computers” social media!

Further events this week leave us in no doubt that we are living through a time of great revolution and change in the Middle East. Joumana Haddad is an award winning poet, publisher and journalist, and her new book Superman is an Arab: On God, Marriage, Macho Men and Other Disastrous Inventions examines the patriarchal system that continues to dominate in the Arab world and beyond. Haddad’s earlier book, I Killed Scheherazade: Confessions of an Angry Arab Woman was critically acclaimed and translated into thirteen languages.  This book is not a manifesto against men in general. Nor is it a manifesto against Arab men in particular. It is, however, a howl in the face of a particular species of men: the macho species – Supermen, as they like to envision themselves. From monotheist religions and the concept of marriage to institutionalised machismo and widespread double standards; Haddad reflects upon the vital need for a new masculinity in these times of revolution and change in the Middle East. The Independent called her “The Germaine Greer of Lebanon” and the Guardian have just run a rave review which you can read here saying “The Lebanese writer knows her targets and tracks them with a steady glare….Haddad speaks out for those who cannot” You can watch a very interesting interview with Joanna here.  This title is going to get a lot more publicity – Joanna was on the BBC World Service week, and you can Order Superman is an Arab here.

Yet more amazing publicity this week for Education, Education, Education:  Reforming England’s Schools by Andrew Adonis. The Bookseller included it this week as one of the UK’s most reviewed books, and there was a superb piece in the Guardian yesterday which said “this is an exhilaratingly unapologetic, well-sourced, highly readable and generally persuasive account of why the late-20th century English schools system had to be reinvented, has largely been reinvented, but still needs to be reinvented further. Read it.” You can read the whole article here.

Now who can complete the following line: “My old man’s a dustman, he wears a dustman’s hat…”? If so, you’re obviously as ancient as I am – or maybe even older! If you haven’t got a clue then click here to hear the rest of the song!
Coming in October is The Lonnie Donegan Story by Patrick Humphries. This is the story of the man who arguably kick-started the British pop and rock scene and remains one of the most important and influential figures in British musical history. It is the first full-length biography of the skiffle king and godfather of British rock’n’roll and is sure to be very well reviewed.  The book contains numerous revelations about Lonnie’s extraordinary life and includes exclusive interviews with Mick Jagger, Mark Knopfler, Paul McCartney, Brian May, Tim Rice, Bruce Welch, Richard Thompson, Bill Wyman and the late George Melly and John Peel, plus many, many others. Here's some footage of Lonnie playing live - great stuff!

But despite all of these terrific books coming out – if things carry on the way there are, will there actually be anyone interested in reading them? The latest research shows that children are reading less than ever before – the figures show a scary gradual year-on-year drop in the number of eight- to 16-year-olds choosing to pick up books outside school. Data published by the National Literacy Trust shows that just three-in-10 now read every day in their own time compared with four-in-10 seven years ago. One in six children admitted they were too embarrassed to read in front of their friends for fear of being labelled a geek.  How can this possibly be – surely we all know that bookshops are the coolest places to be in the world and booksellers are the hippest cats in town? You can read the whole article here and have a look here to see what we could maybe do with all of those unread titles.

This newsletter is sent weekly to over 400 booksellers. If you would like to order any of the titles mentioned, then please click here to go to the Compass New Titles Website.

That’s all for now folks, more next week!

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