Friday 26 April 2013

Compass Points 39

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

Firstly – Harry Styles. What a great place to start. Not a fan? You do surprise me – but as I’m sure you realise, there are many many, many out there; and this book is the perfect gift for all of them! Harry Styles by Mick O’Shea is a paperback original, with 70 pages full of lovely colour photographs. One Direction’s sell-out tour is running now (23 February – 20 April) and takes in 39 dates across the UK while the feverishly anticipated 1D3D (think about it) opens in cinemas on 30th August. Harry Styles is without doubt the youngest, hottest member of the boy band of the moment: this book comes out in May from Plexus – make sure you have tons of copies – it is going to be mega! This lavish visual biography tells you everything you need to know about One Direction’s Prince Charming: from his cheeky childhood secrets to what he looks for in a girl, and what it means to be a multi-million-selling pop star. Discover what Harry really thinks about Niall, Louis, Liam and Zayn; how he copes with living – and loving – in the public eye. Harry Styles is the band’s most popular member and boasts an astonishing 9 million followers on Twitter. Surpassing even the Beatles, One Direction are the first British band to see their first and second albums debut at Number One on America’s Billboard Top 200 chart. With their new album, Take Me Home, topping charts around the globe and a world tour set to run throughout summer 2013 One Direction will be dominating the charts for some time to come – let's make sure they dominate the bookshop charts too!

And if you’re still saying, “who is Harry Styles, and while we’re on the subject, who are One Direction?” then click below for one of their music vids – Harry’s the one with the biggest hair and cheekiest grin.

OK – who is a parent? Who’s been on Mumsnet? Who likes Mumsnet? Who finds it a rather unattractive combination of smug and mean? Who’re ready for something a little edgier and realistic? Well you may be one of the half a million people who have already discovered – a parenting blog that certainly isn’t coming from the Gina Ford school of how to bring up your children. Published in May is the accompanying book – Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures by Amber Dusick. This is the sort of thing you’re going to either absolutely love or absolutely hate – but there’s no denying that “say it like it is, and make it grim with lots of swear words” blogging is massively on the up. In fact it often seems that if you’re a parent who actually likes to play in the garden with your offspring rather than sit in a darkened room tapping onto your computer while they drown themselves in the fishpond; then must you must be strangely retro and weird.  Or is that just me? Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures celebrates the wonder…and crappiness…of parenting, with crude illustrations and true stories that supposedly will have even the most exhausted parents laughing out loud. Dusick’s blog was named Funniest Mom Blog 2011 by Parents magazine and the Best Parenting Weblog in the 2012 Bloggie Awards. A featured columnist on The Huffington Post, Amber Dusick is well connected in the momosphere and this book is bang on trend with today’s bestselling humour parenting books, like Go the F*** to Sleep and Goodnight iPad. You can order Parenting here  it’s published by Harlequin Non Fiction in June.

Now, the weather is warm, the flabby winter bodies are finally emerging from their layers of clothes –  yes it’s time to put on those tennis whites and bounce down to the local courts to get yourself match fit. But perhaps watching tennis is more for you than playing it? In fact like many of us, perhaps what you really enjoy is just talking about tennis – arguing over whether Andy Murray is a grumpy sod or born again hero, and whether the Williams sisters are amazingly fit or amazingly dull. Then Court Confidential: Inside the World of Tennis by Neil Harman is definitely the book for you. There has never been a period in history where tennis has been so rich in iconic personalities, and recent times have seen more astonishing, history-making stories than ever before. Small wonder, then, that Neil Harman, who this season celebrates a decade at the helm of The Times’ tennis coverage, should want to share the tales he has lived through in a book that drips personality, excitement, drama and intrigue from first page to last. Court Confidential gets right to the heart of what makes the game tick with frank, in-depth interviews with all the leading players, their coaching staff, their agents and managers, with fresh insights and the strong personal views for which Harman is known. Court Confidential will appeal to tennis aficionados everywhere, from the casual observer to the ultra-knowledgeable. Fast-paced, high entertainment, controversial, informative, this is all that a really good sporting book should be. It’s a 20 hardback with 16 colour plates, published to coincide with Wimbledon 2013 in June from Robson Press.

And if you (like me) are inclined to mutter “well none of these so called “tennis personalities are anything like as watchable as the stars used to be way back when,” then you might like to look at this compilation to remind yourselves of past glories – those were the days eh?!

A recent UK survey found that one in four women would choose depression, alcoholism and herpes over being overweight. A US study found that one in six women would rather be blind than obese. The Ministry of Thin: How Our Obsession with Weight Loss Got Out of Control by Emma Woolf takes a controversial, unflinching look at how our desire to lose weight is out of control; at the widespread depression that results, the tyranny of celebrity culture and the dangerous extremes – including drip-diets and cosmetic surgery – to which we will go to be skinny. From those who would like to be a few pounds lighter to those who starve or binge in secret, we are all affected. How did we get to the point where we hate our own bodies, and is it futile to hope that we might one day be able to like ourselves again, just as we are?  Emma Woolf will be an investigative presenter on the new series of Supersize vs Superskinny in 2013 and her growing media profile makes her the ideal spokesperson for this highly topical subject. She has received thousands of messages from “normal” readers who say, “I feel this way too.” The Ministry of Thin is published by Summersdale in June and you can order it here.

 Translated European fiction is gaining more fans every week and is one of the fastest growing sections of the market at present. I don’t need to remind you how well titles like The Hundred Year Old Man who Jumped out of the Window and Disappeared, and The Elegance of the Hedgehog have sold – and continue to sell. Now new from Hesperus in May comes Hotel Savoy by Joseph Roth. This is an elegantly crafted second novel set in the ramshackle Polish Hotel Savoy at the end of the First World War; which has been given a new lease of life in this stylish translation by Jonathan Katz. Joseph Roth ranks among the most important of early-twentieth-century European raconteurs and this is a fascinating short novel of the post-WWI era, symbolically depicting the lost identity on both an individual and national level. After the end of the First World War, Gabriel Dan is released from a POW camp in Russia and begins making his way home to Austria. He comes to an industrial town in Poland, and checks in the ramshackle Hotel Savoy while awaiting financial aid from his family. Here he meets a kaleidoscope of characters, a microcosm of society in which rich and poor, itinerants, dissidents and malcontents live lives of hope, expectancy and despair in an atmosphere pregnant with revolutionary fervour. The Independent called Joseph RothA self-destructive genius, the majestic chronicler of the anguish of exile” while the New York Times said “Roth's swift style makes things happen naturally; we see, hear, smell and believe. A joyous storyteller's gift remains precariously alive within the pessimism of decay and loss.” You can order Hotel Savoy here

Yesterday was World Penguin Day! You’ve gotta love that. To celebrate here are two of my favourite penguin films – firstly the BBC‘s April Fool Day spoof of a few years back – yep if fooled me too.

and secondly… well it really needs no introduction.

This blog is read weekly by over 600 booksellers, publishers and publicists. 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!

Friday 19 April 2013

Compass Points 38

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

Well now that the weather finally seems to have taken a turn for the better, don’t forget about two great camping books published next month. Firstly, say hello to the first ever edition of Cool Camping Britain! Following on from the success of guides to England, Wales and Scotland; Punk – the publishers of the UK’s best-selling campsite guides have created one definitive British volume. Featuring 150 stunning campsites, from the wilds of the Scilly Isles to the sandy shores of Scotland’s coastline, this book showcases the very best of British camping. New finds include a secret campsite in Sussex only accessible via a disused railway bridge, a Suffolk eco-escape by the banks of a glorious river and beach camping on the Isle of Eigg, where a rare geological phenomenon causes the sands to sing along to the sound of the waves. This hand-picked selection of campsites is brought to life with humorous reviews and hundreds of colour photographs, plus handy practical info on what you can expect to find on site, things to do in the locality, and the best food and drink options around. And only the Cool Camping guides illustrate every single campsite with photographs, allowing campers to use the book for inspiration as well as information. Britain already loves this series (over 250,000 copies sold) – but this is set to be the biggest-seller yet!

And secondly, what will you eat while you’re on your cool campsite? Why something from Guy Rope Gourmet of course! This second title from Punk says it’s time to bin the tins and fill up on delicious, freshly made meals on your camping trip. Guy Rope Gourmet is packed with inspirational recipes bursting with freshness and flavour – from hearty soups and stews to easy salads and stir-fries. Author Josh Sutton offers new ideas for camping recipes, plus tips and advice on cooking at camp. Josh – aka the Guy Rope Gourmet – has already gained a loyal following with his website, but he’s sure to have even more fans with the delicious recipes in his first ever cookbook.

But if you’re not really in the mood for that sort of cooking – how about a nice Soufflé – something that even the Guy Rope Gourmet would be pushed to rustle up on your average campsite! Soufflé by Asli Perker is already a huge bestseller in Turkey, and is an uplifting novel about the healing power of cooking from Telegram. It would definitely appeal to fans of Eat, Pray, Love (and that’s a lot of readers!)  It is begins in New York where Lilia wakes up one morning to discover her loveless marriage is founded on nothing but deep mistrust and contempt. Meanwhile Marc in Paris is mourning the death of his beloved wife and can’t bear to face the empty kitchen. And in Istanbul, Ferda waits hand and foot on her demanding mother while trying to make time for her true passion: cooking for her loved ones. In this heart-warming and tender tale, Lilia, Marc and Ferda will find healing and joy in the simple art of cooking. There is a great piece about this book on the snazzy website which you can go to here which describes Asli Perker as “one of the new name drop novelists” and also calls her as “the new Joanne Harris”. You can also read an extract from Soufflé there.

Now as we all know, readers do seem to have an enduring fascination with Adolf Hitler and Nazi history. Hitler: Military Commander by Rupert Matthews is a new paperback from Arcturus out in June which examines Hitler’s key military decisions during the Second World War, and assesses how far these decisions were militarily justified in light of the intelligence available at the time. It gives fascinating insights into Hitler’s relationships with his generals, and how opinion of the Fuhrer’s grasp of military strategy was shaped by the effect of his personality. You can order Hitler Military Commander here but if that seems a bit heavy for you, then why not have a little watch of this amusing Hitler (now those are two words not usually seen in the same sentence) film below here!

Congratulations (again) to Tan Twan Eng as The Garden of Evening Mists has just been shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. The other books on the shortlist are: Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel, The Daughters of Mars by Thomas Keneally, Toby’s Room by Pat Barker, Merivel by Rose Tremain and The Streets by Anthony Quinn. The judges said of the shortlist: “This year's shortlist is rich and complex contains breathtaking writing and gloriously unexpected stories which refresh understandings of history in a way in which Sir Walter Scott would have approved.” The judges will meet in early June and the winner will be announced at a ceremony on the 14th June.

Back to good weather activities now – every week seems to bring yet more bikes onto our streets. No doubt many have been inspired in some way to don the lycra by the remarkable rise of one man – Chris Froome.  Va Va Froome by David Sharpe is a fascinating portrait of an honest, intelligent, thoughtful, bookish 27-year-old – with a hidden steely determination. Chris Froome has ploughed his own esoteric furrow from his childhood in Africa to his current home in the glamorous tax-haven of Monaco and in 2013 he aims to usurp Wiggins as Tour champion. But will the fearless Brit let him take his title? This is a C-format paperback, published in June by Arena Sport which has 16 full colour pages. It takes us along Froome’s path to professional cycling, from mountain biking on dusty roads in the nature reserves of Kenya’s Great Rift Valley to the giddy heights of the Tour de France and the Olympics, which has been unlike any other in the history of the sport.

And if you’re a fan, have a little watch of this five minute tribute film to Chris below.

 “Cocaine’s not addictive, darling. I should know, I’ve been taking for years.” That airy disclaimer uttered by Tallulah Bankhead echoes ironically today. No longer the taste only of a fashionable elite; the White Lady has a presence – discreet or not so – at many, perhaps most, social gatherings. Welcome or not, she’s a guest at the party. The coca plant was named the Tree of Life. Cocaine, first extracted in 1860, was greeted by the world as a wonder drug. Sigmund Freud embraced it as a remedy for almost every ailment and by 1900 cocaine formed the basis to several hundred brands of patent medicines Coke: An Anecdotal History by Jeremy Scott and Natalia Naish is a history of the drug since its first appearance but it is also the personality-led stories of its more notorious users and its antagonists in government and the law. Rich in anecdote, often tragic, but sometimes grotesque and even hilarious, Coke is neither judgemental nor condoning. Along with informing, the book’s prime intention is to be an amusing and entertaining fast-paced read. This light, entertaining and slightly irreverent romp through the history of the drug is the first in a dazzling new series reflecting on the subculture of drugs. It explores the chemical composition of cocaine and includes statistics and key facts about its make-up and use, alongside lively and entertaining character profiles of some of its more celebrated and notorious users. Coke is published in hardback in June by Robson Press. And a quiz question to end with – who wrote: “Some get a kick from cocaine. I’m sure that if I took even one sniff that would bore me terrifically too”? Cole Porter of course – back in the 1930’s – in his song I Get a Kick Out Of You. Would you like to here it? Of course you would – just listen to this cool version by Louis Armstrong and Oscar Peterson.

This blog is read is weekly by over 600 booksellers, publishers and publicists. 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!

Friday 12 April 2013

Compass Points 37

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

Today’s quiz question: who said “If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman" and “Where there is despair, may we bring hope” and also “Just rejoice”? No prizes for knowing that it was of course the inimitable Maggie.  I daresay you are all sorting out your Thatcher window displays as I write – and are either festooning your shop windows with blue rosettes and handbags – or maybe you’re adding some sinking battleships, miners’ helmets and riot shields; but however you are commemorating this historic event, you will certainly need the following titles:

The Margaret Thatcher Book of Quotations by Iain Dale & Grant Tucker
As well as Margaret Thatcher’s own words, the book contains many quotes from her political allies and opponents, as well as from the foreign leaders to whom she invariable gave a good handbagging. On the day of her resignation as Prime Minister, Kenneth Baker said we would never see her like again. So far he has been proved right.

A Journey with Margaret Thatcher by Robin Renwick is published next week and is an extraordinary insider’s account of British foreign policy under Margaret Thatcher by one of her key advisers. Robin Renwick examines her diplomatic successes – including the defeat of aggression in the Falklands, what the Americans felt to be the excessive influence she exerted on Ronald Reagan, her special relationship with Mikhail Gorbachev and contribution to the ending of the Cold War, the Anglo-Irish agreement, her influence with de Klerk in South Africa and her relationship with Nelson Mandela – and what she herself acknowledged as her spectacular failure in resisting German reunification. He describes at first hand her often turbulent relationship with other European leaders and her arguments with her Cabinet colleagues about European monetary union. Finally, the book tells of the run up to the Gulf War, her calls for intervention in Bosnia and the difficulties she created for her successor.

And finally, don’t forget about The Real Iron Lady by Gillian Shephard which I mentioned in last week’s Compass Points. Again, this is a brand new hardback title – a collection of contributions from those who have experience of experience of working with Margaret Thatcher at all sorts of levels: members of her Cabinets, such as Douglas Hurd and Tom King; other MPs and peers; and people who had worked for her at Conservative Central Office, or in her constituency, or behind the scenes at 10 Downing Street. The result is a revealing record and a unique insight into the working life of the real Iron Lady.

Phew – let’s move onto a rather less controversial institution – Kew Gardens. The Story of Kew Gardens in Photographs by Lynn Parker and Kiri Ross-Jones is the tale of Kew Gardens told through 250 photos from the archives of the historic botanic gardens. This is a highly accessible, attractive, illustrated history aimed at the general reader as well as the historian and the gardening enthusiast. It certainly isn't just a title for London bookshops – the recent BBC series on Kew attracted extremely high viewing figures, and the gardens are visited by over two million visitors a year – from all over the world. Lots of newspapers and magazines are featuring photos from this lovely book – including this month’s British Airways High Life magazine. This is a full colour hardback with a jacket which is just published and would make a great gift book – it would be especially good for bookshops in touristy areas.

For a little glimpse of Kew Gardens you can watch this ten minute film on you tube here.

Mira Ink is an imprint of Mills and Boon. It publishes fresh, authentic teen fiction featuring extraordinary characters and extraordinary stories set in contemporary, paranormal, fantasy, science fiction and historical worlds. These high-concept stories capture the teen experience and speak to readers with power and authenticity, resonating long after the book's covers are closed. The young adult genre is definitely having a major moment at present as I’m sure I don’t need to tell you. Recent Mira Ink titles include With all my Soul (April) and The Eternity Cure (May). There is a newsletter called Spilled Ink which will give you more info about Mira Ink which you can read here and also a Mira Ink blog at

Invisible is a chilling exposé of the scandal of Britain’s migrant sex workers.  Investigative journalist Hsiao Hung Pai worked undercover as a housekeeper in a brothel in order to unveil the terrible reality of the British sex trade.  Workers are trapped and controlled – the lack of freedoms this invisible strait of society suffers is both shocking and scandalous and at odds with the idea of a modern Britain in the twenty-first century. This is a major news story – and there is a feature-length documentary based on Invisible (directed by Nick Broomfield) which will be screened on Channel 4 in May. The book and documentary are the result of two years’ worth of undercover work at several brothels in Burnley, Bedford and Finchley, and are certain to fuel a public debate on the issues raised. There is a serialisation of Invisible in the Guardian on Monday 15th April, in their G2 section and it is being reviewed in the Sunday Times Culture section on Sunday 14th April. The author will be interviewed on Radio Four’s Woman’s Hour on the 15th April – all great publicity.

Congratulations to From the Mouth of the Whale by Sjón translated by Victoria Cribb (Telegram Books) which has just been shortlisted for this year's International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, worth €100,000 (£85,000). This prize is awarded annually to promote excellence in world literature, and titles are nominated by public libraries around the world. From the Mouth of the Whale was originally published in Iceland, and in fact half of the novels shortlisted for are works in translation. From Japan comes 1Q84 by Haruki Marukami; from NorwayThe Faster I Walk, The Smaller I Am by Kjersti; from the NetherlandsCaesarion by Tommy Wieringa; and from France The Map and the Territory by Michel Houellebecq. Pure by Andrew Miller is the only British novel to make the shortlist. Also in the running is Irish debut City of Bohane by Kevin Barry as well as three American novels: The Tragedy of Arthur by Arthur PhillipsThe Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka and Swamplandia! by Karen Russell. Dublin City librarian Margaret Hayes said: "This is the highest number of books in translation on the shortlist since the award began and it is wonderful to have novels from Japan and Iceland as well as France, the Netherlands and Norway . . . There is something here on everyone and I urge readers to get stuck in and enjoy the humour and sadness, history and fantasy, teenage and elderly angst on this year's shortlist." The winner will be announced on 6th June 2013. If the winning work is in English translation, one quarter of the prize money is awarded to the translator.

This week’s newsletter seems to feature a plethora of strong women – so let’s finish with one more. Public Woman by Joan Smith is published in May, and is certain to become a key feminist text about the position of women today.  This high profile author and journalist is in constant demand as guest on Newsnight and BBC Radio and this book is certain to be widely reviewed and much discussed.  A quarter of a century after the publication of her seminal text, Misogynies, Joan Smith looks at what women have achieved – and the price they’ve paid for it. From spiteful media campaigns and a justice system that allows rapists to go free, to domestic violence, ‘honour crimes’ and sex-trafficking, Smith shows that woman hating has assumed new and sinister forms. Smith celebrates the fact that the female eunuch has become the public woman, but argues that we’re living in an increasingly hostile world. A call to arms, The Public Woman Includes chapters on Rebekah Brooks, Amy WinehouseKate Middleton, Julian Assange, Pussy Riot, domestic violence, the veil, abortion and sex trafficking.

This blog is read weekly by over 600 booksellers, publishers and publicists. 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!

Compass Points 36

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

The Beauty Detox Solution by Kimberly Snyder really is the diet that’s taking Hollywood by storm. “I don’t like to diet, I like to eat right and that’s what Kim’s philosophy is all about. She’s brilliant” says Drew Barrymore; and Owen Wilson reckons that “Kimberly is a real expert. After reading this book there isn’t an excuse not to be healthy.” And it doesn’t get any starrier than an endorsement from Fergie who tells us that “this diet really is so amazing! It gives me so much energy and makes me feel better about myself, and my skin.” Nutritionist and beauty expert Kimberly Snyder helps dozens of A-list celebrities get red-carpet ready – and now this book means that you’re getting the same star treatment. She’s developed a powerful programme that rids the body of toxins so you can look and feel your very best. With just a few simple diet changes, you will get a youthful, radiant glow; get rid of the bloat, melt away fat and never count calories again! There is going to be a ton of publicity for this book – it’s already started with a big three page spread in Health and Fitness magazine – so there will be loads of women out there eager to find out how you can eat your way to radiant skin, renewed energy and the body you’ve always wanted. There will also be a feature in the Sunday Times Style Magazine (circ. 875,434) on 28th April, a feature in YOU Magazine in the Mail on Sunday (circ. 1,697,087) in May, and a major article in the Daily Mail; also at the start of May. If you’d like a bit of that celebrity radiance for yourself then go to Kimberley’s own website or you can click here to order the book and find out more! It’s published in May by Hay House.

Here’s the start of a really heated discussion – or possibly argument – what would you say are the hundred most essential books? A study commissioned to try and encourage people back into libraries has come up with the hundred titles they feel are the really essential reads for today. Researchers trawled literary websites and forums to come with the list of the best loved books in the country. So what does it include? Harry Potters galore – Lord of the Rings natch,  Game of Thrones – good because I’ve got that lined up to read over the holidays – ditto Gone Girl, lots of classics, plenty of children’s books, 50 Shades of Mummy Porn of course – and WTF?!  Being Jordan??! You can see the whole list published here in the Metro newspaper so that you can make your own minds up! We were all very pleased indeed to see The Hundred Year Old Man who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson and published by Hesperus is on the essential list!

And while we’re on the subject of Hesperus (the publisher who brings you the best translated fiction from all over the world); The Mad Toy is the first novel by one of the greatest writers of Latin American literature; Roberto Arlt.  This is a semi-autobiographical story reflecting the energy and chaos of the early twentieth century in Buenos Aires. The Mad Toy is equal parts pulp fiction, realism, detective story, expressionist drama, and creative memoir. Roberto Arlt is widely considered to be one of the founders of the modern Argentine novel and inspired a generation of writers such as Gabriel García Márquez and Isabel Allende. His poetically animated language keeps this novel fresh and surprising; contrasting sharply with the street-level slang of The Mad Toy’s many colourful characters. Although astronomically famous in South America, Roberto Arlt’s name is still relatively unknown in Anglophone circles, but the rising wave of appreciation of South American literature is bringing him to the fore. Those who have read this short novel in the Compass office have thoroughly enjoyed it – find out more and order it here.

You may well have been aware that this week marks the 50th anniversary of the Beeching report – the findings of one Dr Beeching, who forensically analysed the railways of Britain and expertly delivered an expert’s diagnosis – which was that a third of the nation’s railways must go. This was the point at which the reality of modernisation dawned and rural England fell victim to the road and car – at least that is how Dr Beeching is remembered today. Last Trains: Dr Beeching and the Death of Rural England by Charles Loft has just been published by Biteback – to a great deal of positive publicity. Charles Loft will be appearing on The One Show shortly with Gyles Brandreth for a feature on Beeching and this week he has done many interviews on BBC radio. The book has been featured in the Daily Express, the Financial Times and The Oldie – and of course the various railway magazines for enthusiasts have devoted many column inches to it! This is a really interesting book; Ian Hislop called it “A first-class journey through this defining moment in our history.” Last Trains examines why and how the railway system contracted, exposing the political failures that bankrupted the railways and examining officials’ attempts to understand a transport revolution beyond their control. It is a story of the increasing alienation of bureaucrats from the public they thought they were serving, but also of a nation that thinks it lives in the countryside trying to come to terms with modernity.

And if nostalgia for the age of steam is your things, then do have a look at these lovely pictures of old railways stations which were closed following the Beeching report.

Who watched that Top Gear episode recently where Jeremy Clarkson et al endeavoured, in their usual madcap style, to find the source of the Nile? Boys Own style real life adventure is definitely having a moment at present – and Canoeing the Congo from Summersdale is one such tale. It tells of the first source-to-sea descent of the Congo river by Phil Harwood, a Royal Marine Commando, expedition leader and outdoor instructor. This epic solo journey took him from the river’s true source in the highlands of Zambia through war-torn Central Africa. With no outside help whatsoever, he faced swamps, waterfalls, man-eating crocodiles, hippos, aggressive snakes and spiders’ webs the size of houses. He collapsed from malaria, and was arrested, intimidated and chased. On one stretch, known as ‘The Abattoir’ for its history of cannibalism and reputation for criminal activity, the four brothers he hired as bodyguards were asked by locals, “Why haven’t you cut his throat yet?” But he also received tremendous hospitality from proud and brave people long forgotten by the Western world, especially friendly riverside fishermen who helped wherever they could. This exciting adventure will also appeal as a travel book for real and armchair traveller’ alike, as well as for budding canoeists. It comes complete with hand drawn maps of each section of the river, including the wild and remote uncharted Luvua River. Find out more, and order it here. Phil Harwood’s documentary film of his journey won ‘Best Feature’ at Llanberis Mountain Film and was runner up at Sheeld Adventure Film Festival. You can watch a really inspiring five minute version of it below.

Now this is what I call a really cool ad for a bookshop and indeed books in general. Click below to watch The Joy of Books from Type Books in Canada.

Compass Points hopes that all booksellers all round the UK had a very happy Easter, and that the Easter bunny brought them everything they desired!

This newsletter is sent weekly to over 600 booksellers, publishers and publicists. 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!