Friday 25 October 2013

Compass Points 60

Brace yourselves for a luvvie-fest darlings, this year the National Theatre is 50.  As part of the celebrations, the BBC will be broadcasting a unique, live 90 minute performance from the NT’s Olivier Theatre on BBC 2 on 2 November, consisting of a montage of theatrical landmarks from the past 50 years. There will also be two BBC 4 Arena documentaries on 19 and 26 Oct and a BBC Radio 4 Extra afternoon of NT delights. All fabulous publicity for our book The National Theatre Story by Daniel Rosenthal which will be serialised in the Sunday Times on 3rd Nov, alongside features and interviews. This definitive, authorized account takes readers from the National Theatre’s 19thcentury origins, through false dawns in the early 1900s and on to its hardfought inauguration in 1963 at the Old Vic. There, Laurence Olivier was for ten years the inspirational leader of the NT Company, before it moved into its concrete, South Bank home, whose three theatres have since 1976 hosted more than 700 productions, premiering some of the 20th and 21st centuries’ most popular and controversial plays, including Amadeus, The Romans in Britain, The History Boys and War Horse. Certain to be essential reading for theatre lovers and students, The National Theatre Story is packed with photographs and draws on Daniel Rosenthal’s unprecedented access to the National Theatre's archives, unpublished correspondence and more than 100 new interviews with directors, playwrights and actors, including Olivier’s four successors as NT Director (Peter Hall, Richard Eyre, Trevor Nunn and Nicholas Hytner), as well as the likes of Edward Albee, Alan Bennett, Judi Dench, Michael Gambon, David Hare, Ian McKellen, Maggie Smith, Stephen Sondheim and Tom Stoppard. This sumptuous 800-page £35 hardback is full of great photos and is published by Oberon Books in November. You can order it here.

Let’s remind ourselves of some of the NT’s most famous moments – here’s Laurence Olivier taking about what makes a great actor from the time when the theatre began back in the 1960’s. And here’s a trailer from one of its most famous recent productions; War Horse – based on the wonderful book by Michael Morpurgo of course. If you haven’t seen this amazing production then I really do urge you to go.

Trains and Lovers by Alexander McCall Smith is coming in paperback in November from Polygon – with an absolutely gorgeous cover, this is the ideal stocking filler present for – well pretty much anyone who loves a good read really! This lovely novel from one of the world’s most popular authors links a group of passengers on an Edinburgh to London train journey. In turns, romantic, charming and poignant this story is delightful and would make the perfect pocket sized companion for any journey, or a beautiful gift. The Times said of it “His writing is as warm as cocoa, as cosy as thermal underwear and just what the doctor ordered for cold winter evenings. Exceedingly good.”       
You can order Trains and Lovers here and remind yourselves of the ultimate Trains and Lovers film clip here!

Now, who wanted Frances to win The Great British Bake Off? Really? Personally my vote would have been for Becca, but I must say, anyone that uses banana flavouring in the semi final – in fact anyone who uses bananas at all – probably wasn’t taking it seriously enough. Sorry if that offends all you banana lovers out there! And who thinks that Paul and Ruby may have been just ever so slightly overdoing it with the coy glances between his piercing blue eyes and her fluttering green ones?! Have a look here and see what you think!  Anyway, if you feel the UK has now had quite enough of girlie British baking; then hurrah, it must be time for This is a Cookbook: Recipes for Real Life by Max and Eli Sussman. This is a cookbook written by two of New York’s hottest young and up-and-coming chefs and will appeal to students and twenty-somethings looking to up their kitchen competence and confidence.  The brothers’ engaging cookbook features more than 60 great recipes, including Grilled Peach Salad, Hot Wings and Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie as well as recipes for pizzas, sandwiches and BBQs. The recipes are written in a simple and engaging manner that demystifies the cooking process for at-home chefs. Equal parts entertainment and culinary know-how, the book is organised into six chapters that target key occasions when young cooks need inspiration, whether cooking for themselves or friends. Six DIY-style projects present easy culinary adventures, from pickling and making cocktails to curing bacon. Max and Eli’s tales and irrepressible humour are woven throughout the book, and with over 80 full-colour lifestyle photographs and over 100 chalk-style line illustrations, this is a very good looking £14.99 paperback (with flaps!). It’s published by Emex Ltd.

More good news for our poetry titles: we’ve just heard that Parallax by Sinéad Morrissey has been shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, which was announced yesterday. Sinéad Morrissey is a vital voice in contemporary Northern Irish poetry and in August 2013 she was appointed Belfast’s inaugural Poet Laureate. The Guardian called her “Excellent... Truly marvellous” while the Independent said she was “The outstanding poet of her generation”. In Parallax, she explores ways of seeing: what is read and misread in the surfaces of the presented world. This is her fourth poetry collection, it was published in paperback by Carcanet in July (978 1 84777 204 6). Her previous collection won the Irish Times Poetry Now Award, was also shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, selected as a Poetry Book Society Choice and featured on Woman’s Hour.

Now, I know some of us really could not give a monkeys about footie titles – but there are many many out there who do buy them – and this one has the potential to be a big bestseller. Spain: The Inside Story of La Roja’s Historic Treble by Graham Hunter published by Back Page Press in November follows in the critical and commercial success of Graham’s 2012 title, Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World which has now sold 25,000 copies (paperback) in 12 months in the UK and was Football Book of the Year at the 2013 British Sports Book Awards. When they won the 2012 European Championships, Spain became the only country ever to win three consecutive major titles, following their successes at Euro 2008 and the World Cup in 2010. The timing is also perfect for this title in the lead-up to the 2014 World Cup in Rio as Spain will be favourites to win their fourth major championship in Brazil. In 2008, after decades of under-achievement, the Spanish national team beat Germany in the European Championships final and went on to enjoy unparalleled dominance in world football. With players such as Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique, David Villa, Andres Iniesta, Iker Casillas, Fernando Torres and Xavi Hernandez at the heart of their team, they became virtually unbeatable. The only journalist trusted with privileged entry to the Spain dressing room, no writer has been closer to the real story of this squad’s achievements than Graham Hunter. He has lived in Spain for 11 years and was correspondent in the camp for all three tournament victories. His unprecedented access has resulted in remarkable eyewitness accounts and in-depth interviews with the star names and key figures. You can order this £19.99 hardback here.  And if you fancy a little burst of the best of Spain - see below! 

This next title will appeal to any of us who has ever sat at work, daydreaming of ways to make their work and their annoying colleagues disappear. That deadline is looming, your diary is full to the brim with mind-numbing meetings, and that pile of paperwork has grown so much that it’s touching the ceiling. It’s no wonder you’re at your wits’ end. Office Genius: An Alternative Guide to Getting By at Work by James Andrews is an amusing catalogue of tricks and shortcuts which has the solution to all your office work problems. Whether it’s subtly letting down a colleague who has had a rubbish idea with a Consolation Cupcake or making other workers jealous of your self-inflated salary with a Fake Payslip, Office Genius is the perfect antidote to dreary days behind a desk. It’s published by Summersdale as a £9.99 Gift and Humour paperback in November.  Order Office Genius here

And talking of being annoying in an office – well – there’s only really one clip we could choose really; have a look below to see Twenty Five of the Office's funniest lines

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

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 or talk to your Compass Sales representative.

Friday 18 October 2013

Compass Points 59

British street artist Banksy has been much in the news this week, with the revelation that a stall in New York's Central Park was selling original signed canvasses by Banksy for just $60 (£38) each. Many of the pieces, estimated to be worth up to £20,000 each, remained unsold at the end of the day. The elusive artist then posted a video on his website accompanied with the words, "Yesterday I set up a stall in the park selling 100% authentic original signed Banksy canvases. For $60 each." So does this mean that no one actually values the work very much – unless they know it’s by Banksy? You can read the whole article on the BBC website here.  

This is all excellent ammunition to help you sell lots of copies of the amusing spoof £9.99 hardback from Summersdale: Wansky: Interpreting a Graffiti Virtuoso. This colour gift book has just been published and is by Marc Blakewill and James Harris who have been a writing partnership for over twelve years, writing for many popular TV and radio comedy shows such as Horrible Histories, Russell Howard’s Good News and The Weakest Link. Wansky combines somewhat juvenile images with high-brow art criticism and will appeal to a wide-ranging audience. Find out why Wanksy is the unheralded genius behind some of the most iconic urban images of our time: the seminal ‘cock and balls’, the timeless ‘Leroy loves Sarah’, the devastating brevity of ‘sod’ and countless other masterpieces. You’ll never look at a crudely drawn penis in the same way again! There will be publicity this week for Wanksy in Time Out and also Zoo magazine.

Plenty of media coverage this week for Prisonomics: Behind Bars in Britain’s Failing Prisons by Vicky Pryce this week – cross letters to the Telegraph saying “who says crime doesn’t pay” and so on – all good stuff to help you sell this book! Vicky Pryce appeared on the Today Programme on Radio 4 and on BBC Breakfast and was on Channel 4 News on Monday evening on and also the ITN News at Ten. The second part of her serialisation in the Mail which you can read here also appeared this week and there will be interviews with her in the Times on October 19th and the Guardian on Monday 21st October. Prisonomics has just been published in hardback by Biteback and is a compelling analysis of the cost to the economy, as well as the human cost, of keeping women in prison. Vicky Price uses her own very challenging experiences and the diary she kept in prison to look at how prison works, and should work, from an economist’s perspective. She has strong views on how the prison system works, especially with regard to how it treats women and this book is a genuinely interesting read. Her previous book, Greekonomics, was highly acclaimed and sold 3,000 copies.

Now, Compass Points doesn’t usually bring you children’s books – but here’s a really terrific title coming from Emex in November. Exploralab: 150+ Ways to Investigate the Amazing Science All Around You is a great book that teaches young readers all about the mind blowing science that right there if they just knew where to look! Exploralab begins the way every day does: with the instant we open our eyes. Readers then embark on a journey through a typical day in the life of most children, engaging many scientific principles along the way. There are tons of activities that explore the forces at work around us – the wavelengths of sunlight that hit our eyelids, or the sound of the alarm clock that so rudely wakes us up. But that’s not all  – most of the book’s “laboratories” contain special gizmos - such as mirrored inserts, spinning discs and polarized filters – that help readers play with optics, physics, chemistry, earth science, astronomy, social behaviour and more. And a removable magnifying glass on the cover empowers kids with a tool of discovery that they can use inside the book and out. Popular science is a subject on a real roll at the moment – and this is the ideal Christmas present for parents wanting to give children something educational – but also a bit zany and fun! It’s a £16.99 hardback with over 500 colour photos and there is an absolutely cracking promotional video for the book on YouTube which you can see below  that does the job of explaining what the book is all about brilliantly, so I urge you to have a look at it! And you can order Exploralab here.

While we’re on the subject of children’s books, take a look at these two lovely titles from brand new Hesperus children’s imprint, Hesperus Minor - bringing forgotten children’s classics back into print for new generations to discover and older generations to revisit. The Blue Fairy Book and The Red Fairy Book are gorgeous and bewitching collections of fairy tales, edited by Andrew Lang. Lang (1844–1912) was a Scottish novelist, journalist, poet and literary critic who collected stories from communities and traditions all over the world for his fairy books: from the Arabian Nights, China and the Brothers Grimm. Many of the tales were translated into English for the first time for these anthologies, from languages as diverse as Russian, Norse and Japanese. There were twelve coloured Fairy Books, originally published in the nineteenth century – and Hesperus Minor will be publishing them all – these first two are coming in November. 
The covers are absolutely stunning, and these are beautiful and stylish classic editions. I adored the Andrew Lang Fairy books when I was a child – his retellings of both popular and more unusual tales capture the imagination and take you to enchanted, far-away lands where anything can happen. The Blue Fairy Book  includes Little Red Riding Hood, Aladdin, Puss in Boots and Rumpelstiltskin as well as little-known stories such as The Yellow Dwarf, The Bronze Ring and The Master-Maid. The Red Fairy Book includes Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel as well as less popular tales such as The Twelve Dancing Princesses and The Marvellous Musician. These are hardbacks at £14.99 – absolutely ideal for the many parents and grandparents looking for Christmas presents. Andrew Lang’s fairy books helped to lay the foundation for our continuing fascination with fairy tales as entertainment and cultural objects, and each is a veritable treasure trove of stories. The books have the original black and white illustrations throughout.

Many parents are looking to read their children the original fairy tales after years of relentless Disneyfication of the stories – however, by all accounts Tangled, the recent Disney retelling of Rapunzel was actually pretty good – and now seems to have attracted a bit of a teenage cult following! Watch the trailer below and see what you think – and then order those Andrew Lang titles!

An interesting piece in the Guardian came to my attention this week, discussing what the French Government are doing to help independent booksellers – they’ve just passed a bill stopping the  online giants (no names mentioned!) from offering discounts along with free post and packing. Could the same idea work in the UK do we think?

As knowledgeable booksellers, you will of course be familiar with the work of Philip K Dick – and also know how many major Hollywood blockbusters are based on his work. He is probably not however, a household name despite the huge popularity of his ideas. A Life of Philip K Dick: The Man who Remembered the Future by Anthony Peake is a fascinating book written with the co-operation of numerous close acquaintances of Dick.  He was a writer who drew upon his own life to address the nature of drug abuse, paranoia, schizophrenia and transcendental experiences of all kinds and more than ten major movies are based on his work, including Blade Runner, A Scanner Darkly, Total Recall, Minority Report and The Adjustment Bureau. Dick lived through a hugely eventful period in American and world history from the upheavals of WW2 through the Cold War through to Flower Power and the ‘Summer of Love’ as well as the traumas of the Vietnam War and the Watergate Scandal. He was born in 1929 just before the Great Crash, his twin sister died when she was a month old and his parents were divorced by the time he was three. In his teens, he began to show the first signs of mental instability, but by then he was already producing fiction writing of a visionary nature. A Life of Philip K Dick is published by Arcturus (£9.99 with 8 pages of photographs) in November.

And let’s remind ourselves of a couple of examples of the Philip K Dick genius – below is  the trailer for Blade Runner – the original short story on which it’s based was called Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – which I personally think is a much funkier title!

And how about this trailer for Total Recall  which was based on We Can Remember it for You Wholesale – again – a cooler and cleverer title I feel, but maybe lacking that Hollywood zing!

Looking for the ideal Christmas present for the hard to please women in your life? Well, I think Hunks in Trunks by Alex Knight should probably fit the bill nicely. This £7.99 paperback from Summersdale is the ideal gift for anybody who appreciates the male form, especially in a state of undress. It features retro photography and has a 60s California feel, which gives it a certain degree of street cred and will tap in to the huge popularity of Instagram and vintage-chic. But basically it’s lots of full-colour photographs of hunks. In trunks. Big trunks, small trunks, trunks so teeny you can barely tell they’re there...
Order up some Hunks in Trunks here – ooooh yes please.

Never mind the trunks – what about what’s inside the trunks? Oooh er missus – and if you enjoy this type of remark then you will almost certainly share Compass Points’ hysterical amusement at this saucy spoof advert for deck sealant! 

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

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 or talk to your Compass Sales representative.

Friday 11 October 2013

Compass Points 58

Good news for two of our poetry titles this week! Firstly, the 2013 Michael Murphy Memorial Prize has been awarded to Oli Hazzard for his collection Between Two Windows which was published in paperback by Carcanet last year. The prize will be presented at the Cheltenham Literary Festival’s Poetry Café this afternoon and Oli will read from his winning collection. Find out more about the Between Two Windows paperback here.

And also this week, the shortlist for the £30,000 Dylan Thomas Prize has been announced, with all of the selected titles coming from independent publishers and we are pleased to say that The Shape of a Forest by Jemma L King published in paperback by Parthian is on it! These poems of desire, loss and revenge explore lives caught in the gravity of their own orbit. Haunting, distinctive and sensual, The Shape of a Forest is a powerful survey of life and of human experience that spans centuries and the continents. The complete shortlist is:  Novel Category: The Last King of Lydia by Tim Leach and Call it Dog by Marli Roode (both published by Atlantic) and Beneath the Darkening Sky by Majok Tulba (Oneworld). In the short story category: Battleborn by Claire Vaye Watkins (Granta) and The Ghurkha’s Daughter by Prajwal Parajuly (Quercus) have been chosen and in the Poetry Section:  Sins of the Leopard by James Brookes (Salt Publishing) and The Shape of a Forest by Jemma L King. The prize is now in its seventh year, rewarding the debuts of any writer working in English under the age of 30.  You can find out more about Jemma L King and The Shape of a Forest on the Parthian Books website here.

OK, so it might not exactly be poetry, but I do feel the Wit and Wisdom of Only Fools and Horses has much to offer the modern reader. This stocking filler from Splendid Books features more hilarious ‘crème de la menthe’ one-liners from Britain’s favourite sitcom. Now we can all remind ourselves of all the funniest and most memorable lines from Del, Rodney, Grandad, Uncle Albert, Boycie, Trigger and the rest of the gang in this pukka official book. Only Fools and Horses is still hugely popular with more than 850,000 fans on Facebook alone. More Wit and Wisdom of Only Fools and Horses is compiled by Dan Sullivan, son of Only Fools and Horses creator John Sullivan and is published in paperback this month, £4.99.

And what a perfect opportunity to watch the five top moments from this classic series! 

Now if there is one beauty trend which has gone stratospheric recently, it’s nail art. And just this week I read that for the first time in history, sales of nail varnish have overtaken sales of lipstick. Nail Candy: Fifty Plus Ideas for Totally Cool Nails is the super-fun guide to out-of-this-world DIY manicures. It’s by Californian sisters Donne and Ginny Geer, who have turned their passion for nail art into a way of life, and have been featured in many magazines and are raved about in the nail art blogosphere. You can watch a short promo video from the sisters on YouTube here From Batman-inspired nails to pretty polka dots, from cute panda polish to sexy metal studs, the truly creative manicures currently taking the world by storm can all be yours and without a single trip to the salon. Nail Candy is a breath of fresh air in the cosmetology book market; it’s sassy, fun, and full of DIY nail art tutorials that anyone can do. It contains more than 50 ideas, all presented in full-colour photographs and cute line-art illustrations that show readers exactly how to achieve a certain style, ranging from arty to girlish  to hardcore and more. Readers learn how to mask their nails off to make simple patterns (argyle to match your socks, anyone!), add studs and beads for textural flare (try “caviar” a beading technique that looks too good to eat), and create more ambitious mini paintings that rival works of actual art (fingertip pointillism is especially cool).There’s also lots of great info on nail-care basics, such as shaping techniques and cuticle treatments, and a tool gallery to help you stock essentials. It’s published in hardback (£12.99) this month by Emex and you can order Nail Candy here

 And for everyone who has felt their day has ended because they broke a nail – or smudged their newly applied varnish; maybe you need a copy of First World Problems: 63 Things that Totally Suck. This is a humorous look at those terrible troubles that plague the modern world, from losing your Wi-Fi connection to getting a bad sandwich. Have you ever felt like screaming because your file took over a minute to download? Wanted to cry because Starbucks only had the cranberry-lemon scone, not the one with orange zest? Been shocked and horrified at the lack of 3G in a public restroom? Then this book is for you. Say goodbye to feigned sympathy and rolled eyes; this is the one title that bravely acknowledges the horror of your hardrive crashing after tying up your desktop for hours, your sweater being totally the wrong shade of yellow, and your smart phone just not being smart enough. Here’s The Telegraph's list of the top fifty "First World Problems" – and yes, chipping your nail varnish is indeed right up there! This paperback published by Emex is filled with quirky and some of the most ridiculous problems ever to plague the modern world. It’s perfect for anyone who needs to regain their sense of perspective...or totally lose it. I can think of quite a few people who will be getting a copy of this title from me for Christmas – you can order First World Problems here.

“Bawdy romp one minute, a gruesome tragedy the next. The writing is beautiful, witty, grisly and moving.” said the Sunday Telegraph. This sounds like my sort of novel – it’s The Hurlyburly’s Husband by Jean Teulé – which spent a whopping 100 weeks on the French bestseller lists. From the publisher who brought you the huge bestseller – The Elegance of the Hedgehog, this is another fabulous paperback from Gallic Books, published in October. The Marquis de Monte and his new wife Athenais are a true love-match – a rarity amongst the nobility of seventeenth-century France. But love is not enough to maintain their hedonistic lifestyle. When Madame de Montespan is offered the chance to become lady-in-waiting to the Queen at Versailles, she seizes this opportunity to turn their fortunes round. Too late, Montespan discovers that his ravishing wife has caught the eye of King Louis XIV. As everyone congratulates him on his new status of cuckold by royal appointment, the Marquis is broken-hearted. He vows to wreak revenge on the monarch and win back his adored Marquise. This warts-and-all picture of Versailles life is based on a true story and will appeal to all of those readers out there who are fans of historical fiction – if you like Sarah Waters and Hilary Mantel you’ll love this!

Ex-bookseller, now publisher and the man once described as “the most powerful man in the book trade” Scott Pack said of this next title “Buy it, borrow it, steal it but just make sure you read it.” All My Friends Are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman was published in 2003 and quickly attained the sort of cult following that no amount of marketing can buy. The first edition has now sold over 42,000 copies in the UK. It is absolutely the sort of book that its fans want to give to others – and now this new 10th anniversary highly collectible gift edition is published so that all of its many devotees can do just that! If you haven’t read it yet, here’s a quick synopsis of the plot. All Tom’s friends really are superheroes. Tom even married a superhero, the Perfectionist. But at their wedding the Perfectionist is hypnotised by her ex, Hypno, to believe that Tom is invisible. Nothing he does can make her see him. Six months later the Perfectionist is sure that Tom has abandoned her, so she’s moving to Vancouver. She’ll use her superpowers to leave all the heartbreak behind. With no idea that Tom is beside her, she boards the plane. Tom has until they touch down to convince her he’s there, or he loses her forever … This B-format hardback gift edition (£10) is published by Telegram, and includes a  new chapter profiling 28 superheroes and lists of superhero facts, including: Stress-bunny’s League of Losers, Hypno’s Short-term Relationships and Former Room Mates of the Perfectionist.

Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington was the greatest jazz composer of the twentieth century—and an impenetrably enigmatic personality whom no one, not even his closest friends, claimed to understand. The grandson of a slave, he dropped out of high school to become one of the world’s most famous musicians, a showman of incomparable suavity who was as comfortable in Carnegie Hall as in the nightclubs where he honed his style. He wrote some fifteen hundred compositions, many of which, like Mood Indigo and Sophisticated Lady, remain beloved standards, and he sought inspiration in an endless string of transient lovers, concealing his inner self behind a smiling mask of flowery language and ironic charm. As the biographer of Louis Armstrong, Terry Teachout is uniquely qualified to tell the story of the public and private lives of Duke Ellington. Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington peels away countless layers of Ellington’s evasion and public deception to tell the unvarnished truth about the creative genius who inspired Miles Davis to say, “All the musicians should get together one certain day and get down on their knees and thank Duke.” This major new biography of Duke Ellington is a £20 hardback with 18 pages of photos, published by Robson Press in October.

I personally can’t really think of a better way to spend Friday afternoon than watching a bit of Duke Ellington – so about this clip of him playing his own composition Take the A Train from 1943.

 Or if that’s just a little too retro for your tastes, what about Stevie Wonder’s brilliant tribute song, Sir Duke? This great video celebrates a whole host of African-American musicians from the 1940’s right up to the present day – very appropriate since October is Black History Month - how many of them can you name?

I think we can all agree that this sort of cool music is best left to the professionals – or is it? Check out this clip of Barack Obama singing Carly Rae Jepson’s Call Me Maybe – enjoy!

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

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 or talk to your Compass Sales representative.

Friday 4 October 2013

Compass Points 57

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

Loads and loads of publicity coming up for Weirwolf: My Story, which is of course the autobiography of David Weir. The Daily Mail have done a big serial on it with an entirely typical Mail headline How the record-breaking Paralympian nearly gave up on his sporting dreams because he wanted to join his friends at drug – fuelled raves. You can  read the whole piece here This autobiography of one of the greatest paralympians of all time has a foreword by Sebastian Coe, and there will be a massive press campaign with author appearances to support publication - it is published next week. David Weir was born without the use of his legs, and not only learned from an early age to cope with his disability, but defied his limitations to become a great wheelchair racer and national hero. Here he sheds light on his journey from frustrated schoolboy to Paralympic athlete and champion, and reveals how instrumental the 2012 Paralympics were in transforming attitudes towards disability – not only in Britain but around the world. Weirwolf is the extraordinary inside story of the man who won a total of six gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games, and who is six-time winner of the London Marathon. It is an inspirational tale of the fight against discrimination and the desire to change the face of sport. It’s published by Robson Press.

And why not, to celebrate its publication, let’s have a little watch of the late great Warren Zevon singing the original Werewolves of London back in 1978.

Hell yes – I’m in a bit of a mood for werewolves now (well it’s not long until Halloween after all) – so let’s watch the transformation scene from American Werewolf in London – pretty impressive stuff for 1981  – way before the wizardry of  CGI!

After a year scanning the globe for the finest international talent, the BBC National Short Story Award returns for 2013 to celebrate the best in home grown short fiction. This award is one of the most prestigious for a single short story and the winning author will be announced at a ceremony next week on Tuesday 8 October. The winner receives £15,000, the runner-up £3,000 and three further shortlisted authors £500 each. The shortlist was announced on BBC Radio 4's Front Row on 20 September and for the second time in the eight-year history of the award, the five stories on the shortlist are all written by women, a great example of how female writers are leading the field with innovative and compelling work. From 9/11 New York and meteorites falling from Mars to family holidays in Barmouth, a haunted Cornish house and the eerie quiet of an English wood, this year's list spans a breadth of contemporary landscapes, styles and themes. The shortlist features well-established writers including: Lionel Shriver, Orange Prize-winning author of We Need to Talk About KevinSarah Hall, one of Granta's Best Young British Novelists 2013 and an acclaimed short story writer; and Lavina Greenlaw, poet, novelist and Professor of Poetry at the University of East Anglia. There are also two newer names on the list: Lucy Wood, debut author of short story collection Diving Belles and Lisa Blower, winner of The Guardian's National Short Story Competition in 2009. The stories are currently receiving extensive coverage on BBC Radio Four everyday with readings in the afternoon and interviews with the authors.  You can find out more about the award on the Book Trust website here. The BBC National Short Story Award 2013 introduced by Mariella Frostrup is a £7.99 paperback from Comma Press which contains all the short-listed stories. Each story sparks into life instantly and, like a struck match, leaves a vivid impression of its characters burning on the retina, long after the story has concluded. This year’s shortlist was drawn up by a panel of judges that included novelists Deborah Moggach, Mohsin Hamid and Peter Hobbs, as well as BBC Editor of Readings, Di Speirs, and the broadcaster Mariella Frostrup, who chaired the panel and who also introduces the collection. There will be lots and lots of people who will want to read all of the stories (I’ve read some of them and they are amazing!) – so make sure you have this title on display – just to remind you the winner is announced on Tuesday, and you can order the BBC Short Story Award here

What is your favourite animal noise? Your own cat purring perhaps? A blackbird trilling on a spring morning? And what are your least favourite animal noises? Have a listen to the top most terrifying animal noises below on YouTube! Sounds of the Wild by Jan Pedersen is a unique book which will give your customers the opportunity to sample all of these – and many more! Following his success with his previous hardback Birdsong Jan Pedersen this time turns his attention to the sounds of wild animals. Because animals do make a lot of sounds! Mammals, birds, frogs, and insects they all sing or make sounds to entice, warn or find a mate. Some sound beautiful, others are noisy and a few have completely extraordinary calls but they all want to make themselves heard. In this unique book a high quality sound module gives you the varying sounds and calls of a hundred fantastic animals; from bears, wolves, and deer to tigers, chimpanzees, elephants, whales and birds of paradise. The book is unusually rich in photographs with over 250. The author and explorer Jan Pedersen has recorded many of the sounds himself, while the remainder come from scientists from around the world. The combination of images, text, and sounds makes this a very unique animal book that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Jan Pedersen is a photographer, author, writer, and adventurer. A naturalist since his teenage years, he has led tours all over the world for more than 27 years. He has written several books including the bestselling Birdsong as well as writing articles for numerous newspapers and magazines. Sounds of the Wild is a £30 hardback, 264 pages with over 250 colour photos published by Max Ström in October.

Very sadly, ever since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, there have been many more mass shootings at schools in the US. One of the most well known is probably the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, in Newtown, last December 2012. Scarlett Lewis's son Jesse is one of the 26 people who were killed that day, and Nurturing, Healing Love: A Mother’s Journey of Hope and Forgiveness by Scarlett Lewis is an incredible true story of hope, born from that brutal massacre. Scarlett writes: "Several weeks after Jesse's physical body died, I found his handwriting on our chalkboard in the kitchen. It is clearly his six-year-old printing, at just the height he could reach on the board. In carefully formed letters, and phonetically spelled, it reads, 'Norurting helin love' (Nurturing, healing love). Jesse's babysitter, who was staying with us at the time, had been with him every afternoon and evening. Neither of us, including his brother, had seen him write this prophetic statement. When you read this, you know it was written by the spirit within Jesse, one that was determined to leave a message for his mom, his brother, his extended family, and the world that would comfort and inspire us. I made a conscious decision to face this personal tragedy with love and forgiveness. The outpouring of love and support of our town, the nation and the world has shown that we can unite as one in love, and have victory in the face of evil.” This is an extremely moving story and the author Scarlett Lewis is being interviewed for You Magazine in the Mail On Sunday where the book will be serialised (circulation 4 million). There will also be a feature interview in Woman magazine (circ. 255,865) Royalties on this book go to 'Choose Love Foundation', a non-profit organisation. It is published in October by Hay House.

Compass Points like it a lot when authors or their publishers make little videos to promote their books – and here’s a very cute little film on YouTube below to promote The Allotment Diaries: A Year of Potting, Plotting and Feasting by Kay Sexton Anyone who’s ever spent their weekends, evenings and even lunchtimes at the allotment will delight in these stories of life at the Voodoo Plot and the entertaining characters that keep Kay Sexton amused throughout the year. As the plot thickens and the growers thrive or struggle to flourish, there’s an abundance of year-round horticultural advice for any kitchen gardener, with monthly- month sections on sowing and growing, crop care and allotment tasks, what to harvest and tried and tested seasonal recipes. Along with numerous helpful tip boxes, Kay’s diary takes you through a year in the life of an allotment site, from mulching to munching and everything in between. This book has a really lovely autumnal cover – so now would be a very good time to get it on display. It is published by Summersdale (9781849533553, paperback £8.99) and you can find out a bit more on their website here.

The Merman is the latest work by award-winning Swedish author Carl-Johan Vallgren; it’s published this month and already a buzz is building about this intense little tale of sibling love, betrayal and torment. Nella and her brother Robert live a difficult life with their mother and father in a small town on the west coast of Sweden. Robert is bullied at school, and Nella has to resort to debt and petty crime to pay off his tormentors. When she turns to her friend Tommy for help, her suspicions are aroused by the mysterious comings and goings of his brothers at their dilapidated boat house. But when she uncovers the reason behind their enigmatic behaviour, her life is opened to the realities of a mindboggling secret. The Merman is an exhilarating and beautiful book about what happens when the mundane collides with the strange and wonderful, but it’s no fairytale – set in an impoverished neighbourhood with gritty characters, it reads like an urban legend, and is a curious and unique piece of fiction. One reviewer has said “Vallgren’s characters are so complete, so carefully revealed, so beautifully flawed that your heart is constantly beating out of your chest and onto the page.” It is featured in The Stylist (a free magazine distributed to commuters in London, Brighton, Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham) as one of their essential reads for October, you can see the piece here and is also proving highly popular with the bloggers – here’s an especially enthusiastic rave headed “Merman – effing good” which gives you the general idea! Read it to give you an excellent flavour of the book here. It’s out this month, hardback £13.99 from Hesperus and you can order it here

Publicity is building for Twelve Years A Slave. The european premier will be at the London Film Festival on 18th October. The book is already reprinting, and the new stock will be delivered into the warehouse next week. The Daily Mail featured it this week as one of their “Must Read” titles saying “glowing reviews of the forthcoming film of this book have reawakened interest in the original source material, and justifiably so…What makes his story so gripping is its articulate evocation not just of the horrific violence and cruelty, but of the contradictions and hypocrisy of humans.” You can read the entire piece here and order more copies here.

Lots and lots of media coverage for the new James Bond book Solo from William Boyd so this is a good time to remind you abut our own Bluffer’s Guide to Bond (1909365041 paperback £6.99) which had great reviews: “Everything you wanted to know about Bond but were afraid to ask… I thought I knew quite a lot about Bond, but this little book really does approach the subject from all directions and gives the sort of briefing that will make any bluffer seem knowledgeable…a compendium of all the known facts about Bond… a lot on the background to the films, which book or short story they came from, as well as the post Fleming authors and the subsequent films…plus, of course, an enormous amount of Bond trivia… this is a fun read.” You can find out more on the Bluffer's Guide website. I love a James Bond book or film, and some of the best things about them are the baddies! Which booksellers out there can remember who said “No Mr Bond, I expect you to die” or “This time Mr Bond the pleasure is all mine”? You’ll find quite a few of them in this great Friday afternoon time-waster; The Fifty Greatest Movie Villians of all time. Enjoy!

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

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 or talk to your Compass Sales representative.