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!

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