Friday 10 January 2014

Compass Points 69

Happy New Year! We hope Santa brought you everything you were hoping for, and that you are now ready and refreshed for 2014! What are you looking forward to in the year ahead? There’s plenty of sporting activity ahead that’s for sure – and plenty of companies keen to cash in on the reflected glory and excitement surrounding it! Here’s Coca Cola’s take on the 2014 World Cup for example. 

And here’s Proctor and Gamble’s super cute commercial in praise of sporting and supportive mums looking ahead to the Winter Olympics in Sochi

And how about the Tour de France? I’m loving this little film showing some of Yorkshire's best bits which is a great advert for the beautiful county where it’s all going to kick off – or should that be pedal off!

But never mind all that 2014 sport – what about the books I hear you cry! Well first up this week we have Spring Tide by Cilla and Rolf Börjlind. A woman is buried up to her neck in the sand; the high tide is rapidly approaching. Still screaming in terror, the victim takes her last breath as water fills her nose and mouth – in her stomach, she feels her baby kick. And her waters break. Twenty-four years later, the abhorrent crime remains unsolved; gruesome violence however is still prevalent after all those years and the police have their work cut out trying to keep abreast of the crime wave. Yes, we’re back in the massively popular world of Scandi crime, and this title, by two Swedish script writers is going to be massive! Critically-acclaimed script writers Cilla and Rolf Börjlind’s television credits include 26 Martin Beck films the Swedish adaptation of Wallander and the BBC4 TV series Arne Dahl.The TV rights have been sold, and a Swedish 10-part mini series is already in production – due in 2015. Book rights to Spring Tide have now been sold in 25 countries and the reviews in Sweden and Denmark have been fab! The UK Bookseller has already described it as “involved, complicated and good.” Get ready for another Scandi smash hit! This is a masterpiece by the king and queen of Scandinavian crime; it’s cinematic and powerful – but above all, it’s gripping. The authors are coming to the UK for a bookshop and literary festival tour, and there will be a major publicity campaign. If you would like a bound proof to read so that you can be onto the next big thing before everyone else is – then email with Spring Tide Proof in the subject line. It’s published by Hesperus in March; (978 1843915157) you can find out more and order Spring Tide here

I’m sure your shops are already groaning under the weight of all the new diet books available – but Weeknight Gluten Free by Kristine Kidd should last longer than most. It includes more than 100 enticing recipes and valuable advice for a vibrant gluten-free lifestyle. More and more people are adopting a gluten free diet – whether it’s for health, allergy or weight loss reasons, and this book has lots of clever tips and an extensive how-to section offers ways to customise recipes, and turn leftovers into new suppers later in the week. It even includes a tempting take on macaroni cheese that no one will guess is gluten free! It’s published by Emex in March as a paperback packed with lots of enticing full colour illustrations (978 0992625450) and you can find out more and order Weeknight Gluten Free here

Europe in or Out: Everything You Need to Know by David Charter seeks to address the staggering shortfall in public information about Europe, ahead of the 2014 European Parliament elections. David Charter is Berlin Correspondent of The Times, and Europe: In or Out, is a book that resolutely does what it says on the tin. Here, the lay reader will find the major issues laid out in short, concise chapters that explain the pros and cons of being a part of a union of European nations and the consequences and advantages of withdrawing. He covers the key issues, including jobs, travel, investment and financial services, transport, farming, immigration, fishing, education, security and law and order, and offers the unvarnished, unbiased truth of how they affect us daily and what our lives would be like in the event of Britain going it alone. All issues are explained in concise, bias-free chapters that allow the reader to make up their own mind. It’s published by Biteback in March (B-format paperback 978 1849546843) 

Personally I think you can find out all you need to know about British attitudes to Europe in this street trading scene from ‘Allo ‘Allo.

Whether or not we want to be in or out of Europe, one thing we can surely agree on is that their pop music is usually absolutely chronic. I’m prepared however to make an exception for Abba, and don’t forget that the Abba: The Official Photo book by Petter Karlsson and Bengt Wanselius is published in March. This is the biggest and best ABBA book EVER with more than 600 classic, rare and unseen photographs telling the complete story and has a foreword by all four ABBA members: Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. It tells the complete ABBA story and has the full co-operation from the band themselves, who will be in the UK to launch the book. This is the 40th anniversary of the band’s international break through in winning the Eurovision Song Contest and there will be massive media attention for this fully authorized and official photo book. ABBA has sold a stunning 400 million records and in some markets (the United Kingdom for example!) they have sold more records than the Beatles! This 400-page large format book – in the format of a classic LP – contains more than 600 pictures, many never published before. All the classic images are included but there ate also previously unseen pictures by top professional photographers. It is published by Max Ström in hardback, priced at £35. (9789171262820)

And here they are – never better in my opinion than when singing Mamma Mia in 1975.

The Foundling Boy by Michel Déon (pb 9781908313560) is a literary novel, lightly told – the story of young Jean Arnaud. It is a classic of modern French fiction, and was published in the UK in December by Gallic. It is a fantastic portrait of inter-war France and would appeal to readers who enjoy Evelyn Waugh, The Great Gatsby, The Forsyte Saga and The Go-Between. It has just had an absolutely rave review in this week’s Spectator, which you can read which you can read here. Headlined “This year, discover Michel Déon” it goes on to say “there’s an infectious, near-magical sense that anything might happen in this novel” and “this novel leaves you feeling better about life, not worse” …this is a  “big hearted, lovely book.”

Tonight the Summer’s Over is the début poetry collection from Rory Waterman. Rory is a well-known figure in the poetry world, as a reviewer, editor and scholar of poetry and his poems in popular forms explore the poles of belonging and estrangement; looking back on a childhood torn between two countries, two cultures, and two parents. We have just heard that one of the poems from this collection has been chosen as the Saturday Poem in the Guardian this weekend. Navigating, the opening poem in the collection, was published in the Financial Times on 4 January. Tonight the Summer’s Over is new from Carcanet (pb 978 1 84777 207 7) and you can order find out more about it and order it here.

And now for a round up of our current Compass bestsellers…

Power Trip: A Decade of Policy Plots and Spin by Damien McBride – the Biteback book (hb 978-1849545969) where “Gordon Brown’s spin doctor reveals all about his dark and dirty deeds.” was chosen by Hilary Mantel in the Guardian  (20/12/13) as her Book of the Year

F in Exams by Richard Benson (978 1840247008) is currently number 8 in the Sunday Times bestseller lists and Commando Dad by Neil Sinclair (978 18495 32617) is still enjoying a major sales surge thanks to the endorsement from our king-to-be and new Royal Dad! Both are from Summersdale.

Stephen Ward Was Innocent, Ok by Geoffrey Robertson (Biteback 978-1849546904) has obviously benefitted the publicity surrounding the launch of Stephen Ward, the new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical in London, and has been reviewed by all the nationals. The Times said “Robertson concentrates with clarity and vigour on the legal shortcomings of the case…” while the Sunday Times said “His book makes a passionate case for posthumous pardon.” The Guardian review called it “A tremendous and thrilling book. I could not sleep for excitement after reading it at one sitting… written with punchiness, gusto, incisive forensic analysis and deadly gallows humour befitting is subject… a thumping, indignant read.” And it has also been favourably reviewed in the Independent, the Herald and the Yorkshire Post.

The publicity for 12 Years A Slave has gone stratospheric – it has had multiple BAFTA nominations and most of the coverage of the book has chosen the Hesperus Press edition of 12 Years A Slave by Solomon Northup (pb 978-1843914716) over the Penguin film tie-in edition. Hurrah! On Friday, our book jacket will be featured on a Sky Movies Special about upcoming releases and on Saturday on BBC Radio 4 presenter Antonia Quirke will be talking about the film on Saturday Review and linking it to the Hesperus edition of the book. It is also likely that The One Show on the BBC who are due to be discussing films today, will show the Hesperus edition of the book! The Oscar nominations are announced on 16th January and there is a great deal of anticipation that actor Chiwetel Ejiofer will be nominated for, and may well win, the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in this extraordinary film. 

Still on the subject of films, The Radio Times Guide to Films 2014 Edition (pb, 978-0956752369) is selling extremely well at the moment. What would be your favourite film of 2013? Personally, I really enjoyed Gravity – and you can watch the trailer for it here. If you do go and see it, I would definitely recommend the 3D version for that real lost in space experience!

The Sunday Times Style section will be featuring quotes and photos for at least the next six weeks from The Totes Ridictionary by Balthazar Cohen (978-0859655118) from Plexus.

And finally ­– a film of The Hundred Year Old Man who Jumped Out of a Window and Disappeared is in the making – and should be out before Easter! Yay – that can only mean yet more sales for this colossal bestseller!

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

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