Friday 27 March 2015

Compass Points 120

This is the week that we said goodbye to both Jeremy and Zayn – and whether you are a) gutted b) gleeful or c) totally indifferent; there is no doubt that this has presented us with an excellent book selling opportunity! Stock up then on the Plexus title One Direction: No Limits by Mick O’Shea (pb, 978-0859654937) so that the gazillions of distraught fans can get their fill of the clean-cut cuties. Packed with sumptuous full-colour photographs of Harry, Niall, Zayn, Liam and Louis; One Direction: No Limits tells each member's story in full and chronicles the group's journey to become the hottest boy band in the world.

Now, if I was being really clever I’d say something about Clarkson here – but I just can’t think of a punch line.

Congratulations to the Carcanet author Caoilinn Hughes who has just won the Shine/Strong Award for First Published Collection with Gathering Evidence at the Dun Laoghaire Mountains to Sea Festival. Gathering Evidence is Caoilinn's first collection and was published in 2014. In it she aligns scientific and poetic venturing, from the first controlled nuclear reaction to the shape of an avalanche as witnessed from its catchment area. It has been much praised and poems from the collection have also won the 2012 Patrick Kavanagh Award, the 2013 Cúirt New Writing Prize and the Poetry Ireland Competition. Gathering Evidence (£9.95, pb 978 1 847772 62 6) is available now, and you can find out more on the Carcanet website here

Three new Bluffers Guide titles to look out for are The Bluffer’s Guide to Horse Racing, The Bluffer’s Guide to Cats, and The Bluffer’s Guide to Social Media. Something for everyone you will have to agree as I think these three titles cover pretty much the whole social spectrum; from poshie gamblers to sad middle aged women to geekie nerds. Or am I just reinforcing the stereotypes – well we’d better have a look at the Bluffer’s Guides to find out! Jilly Cooper has said of The Bluffer's Guide to Horse Racing: "David Ashforth writes like an angel. This utterly brilliant, wildly funny guide to racing will be invaluable to any newcomers. Whether its rampant iconoclasm will encourage any of them to dare invest in a racehorse is debatable." David Ashforth was also described by the Racing Post as “one of racing's greatest writers” and his book Hitting the Turf was described by the Guardian as “the funniest book ever about horse racing”.  Find out more about The Bluffer’s Guide to Horse Racing by David Ashforth (pb, £6.99 9781909937369) here

And here’s a very funny clip from an old Graham Norton Show where he discusses the various racehorse names which have NOT been allowed – for all too obvious reasons!

The Bluffer’s Guide to Cats is written by Vicky Halls; the UK's best selling writer on cat behaviour – she has been voted Nation's Favourite Cat Author by the readers of Your Cat Magazine which tells you all you need to know really. The Bluffer’s Guide to Cats (pb, £6.99, 978 1909937444) is out this month and you can find out more about it here

The Bluffer’s Guide to Social Media (pb, £6.99, 978 1909937406) by Susie Boniface is out in April. Susie Boniface, aka Fleet Street Fox, is a regular on Question Time, What the Papers Say and lots of other TV and radio stations - she seems to be the go-to social commentator on many matters as well as being a well known blogger with over 70,000 followers on Twitter. You can find out more here.

Ooh – who loves Poldark – yes, yes, yes me too. And I’m sure all you lovely booksellers are coming up with many inventive ways of your own to promote every book under the sun using the current love-in for all things Cornish.
 Personally I don’t think I’ve seen a better advert this year for Wild Swimming: Hidden Beaches and Wild Swimming Walks than the sight of the lovely Aiden Turner stripping off and plunging into the sea. I’m sure many of you would like to watch that again – never say I don’t give you what you want. 
Wild Swimming Walks by Margaret Dickinson (pb, 978 1910636015 £14.99) is published in May and contains 28 lake, river and seaside days out by train from London. It’s a beautiful retro-styled book with lovely photography, detailed instructions and vintage maps; and is also full of natural history and intriguing anecdotes. Wild Swimming: Hidden Beaches is a spectacular and practical guide by Daniel Start who charting Britain’s most beautiful secret beaches and the best places to swim, walk and explore.  These little slices of peace and paradise welcome the intrepid adventurer and those in the know. So why not set out to discover our shell-white sands and blue lagoons, hidden smugglers’ coves and sea grottoes sparkling with coralline just like the ones in Poldark
Wild Swimming: Hidden Beaches (16.99, pb, 978 0957157378) is available now as is the original bestselling title Wild Swimming: 300 Hidden Dips in the Rivers, Lakes and Waterfalls of Britain (pb, £16.99 978 0957157330)

While we’re on the subject of fabulous TV, who loved Breaking Bad? And who, (like me) knows they would love Breaking Bad, but didn’t have the right sort of TV to watch it first time round and then couldn’t be arsed to actually go out and buy the box sets? Well, in that case I have some really good news for you; the cult US drama is soon to be broadcast in full on UK terrestrial television for the first time! Yippee! A new free-to-view channel, Spike, will show the award-winning series in its entirety when it launches on Freeview, Freesat and Sky TV on 15 April. Naturally this will bring a whole new bunch of fans to the show – so make sure you are ready for them by stocking up now with the bestselling Myrmidon title Wanna Cook? The Complete, Unofficial Companion to Breaking Bad by Ensley F. Guffey and K. Dale Koontz (pb, £13.99 978 1905802968). It explores the most critically lauded series on television with analyses of the individual episodes and ongoing storylines. From details like stark settings, intricate camerawork, and jarring music to the larger themes, including the roles of violence, place, self-change, legal ethics, and fan reactions, this companion book is perfect for those diehards who have watched the series multiple times as well as for all the new viewers the UK terrestrial screening is sure to find. Wanna Cook? The Complete, Unofficial Companion to Breaking Bad was enthusiastically received when it first hit the bookshelves last year with one reviewer commenting “there are a lot of books out there that say they are the unofficial companion guides to whatever television series, but let me say up front, Ensley F. Guffey and K. Dale Koontz have found the perfect formula. Wanna Cook? is the primer for how those books should be written.” Another fan enthused “this book is beautiful both inside and out, making it a perfect treat … the writing is funny and really informative … the fact that it doesn't give spoilers is handy …. plenty of surprises.” Breaking Bad concluded in 2013 and won five Primetime Emmys last year.

And if you really don’t know anything whatsoever about Breaking Bad – then here's a 4 min resume from those funny folk at Honest Trailers.

Breaking Bad may just be the coolest TV programme ever – but what are the coolest book jackets ever? Have a look here to see if you agree with this shortlist of 50!

The Blue Horse by Phil Miller has just been published to great acclaim. Scotland on Sunday said “His portrait of George Newhouse, the art historian half-blinded by grief and drink, is well done, and that strange place, the art world, is brought convincingly to life. An impressive debut” while the Herald called it “A sensitive portrait of a man trying to turn his life around.”  This is a highly atmospheric, exciting, unsettling literary noir about pain, loss and recovery by one of Scotland’s leading art correspondents – and if  this sounds like the sort of thing you’d like in your bookshop but you haven’t yet ordered copies you can read the first two chapters here
Janice Forsyth on BBC Radio Scotland said “What swept me along with the book was that it was a terrific description of grief... It’s quite visceral, there’s quite a lot sex, of drunkenness, of people behaving badly, I thought: this is great. There are very funny moments.” 
Look at these fab blue horse biscuits - made for the launch party! I think we all need more book themed biccies in our lives!

Who loves I Capture the Castle, 101 Dalmatians – and even The Twilight Barking? Thousands of readers that’s who. I’m sure you will therefore be very pleased to hear that A Tale of Two Families by Dodie Smith is coming back into print for the first time in 45 years. The Bookseller tipped it as one to watch: “I can’t believe there are many of you out there you aren’t fans of Dodie Smith – all praise to Hesperus, then, for bringing a novel I’d never even heard of by her, back into print.” A Tale of Two Families is a classic tale of complicated sibling relationships, friendship and forbidden love. Set in 1970s England, this is a delightful, funny novel with deftly drawn characters and true heart. When it was originally published in the Observer called it “Well written, vividly imagined, and crammed with interesting and living characters.” Full of Dodie Smith’s imaginative dry wit and great comedic timing, A Tale of Two Families (pb, £8.99, 978 1843915577) is published by Hesperus in May and you can find out more and order it here

And here are two movie examples of classic Dodie Smith humour and romance – firstly in young girls and secondly in dogs!

We know we love it – but now it seems that reading books may be positively beneficial for our brains! Neurological researchers have spent years studying the impact of books us and have identified a compelling link between the act of reading a novel and enhanced cognitive ability. Reading, it transpires, has a profound effect on mental agility, the memory and our aptitude for imagination and compassion. And better still, reading for just six minutes can be enough to reduce stress levels by up to 68%! Find out more good news for all of us publishers and booksellers here!

Compass is now on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. You’ll get the breaking news on our top titles even faster – and better still, we can find out what all of you lovely booksellers are up to – and re-tweet your news back to all of our publishers, editors and sales people! Happy days!

Here are some of the week’s best Tweets – remember you can see them all first hand by following us @CompassIPS  or click here if you are a Twitter virgin!
Have you seen George's Grand Tour in @hellomag Book of the Week?
Many thanks to @WestHamMagazine for a great review Nearly Reach The Sky
This sweet and charming novel George’s Grand Tour (published by @gallicbooks) has cheered me up no end!
3 new indie bookshops to open, in Manchester, Cheltenham and Cornwall. Hooray! Good luck to all.
See Kelvin Mackenzie, yes that one, defends migrants in @guardian. His book on the subject Provocations @BitebackPub series edited by me.
The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman - one of the best books I've read.
How cool is this? Follow Me Follow You by @Laura_E_James on a central table at @WaterstoneDorch!
Great piece on 'Stanley, I Resume' in The Sun today. Looking forward to PB in April:
IPG @ipghq · 
Happy Indie Book Day! A big pat on the back to independent publishers and our counterparts in bookshops!

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

This blog is taken from a newsletter sent weekly to over 700 booksellers as well as 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 20 March 2015

Compass Points 119

Well, how was the eclipse for you this morning? Many of us in London were distinctly underwhelmed! In fact you probably have many better examples of eclipses right there in your bookshop as their eerie light steals over many a novel, poem and play. But how well do you know the literature of occlusion? Test yourselves in the Guardian Literary Eclipse Quiz here!

Genuine excitement however comes this morning in the form of the announcement from Gallic Books that they will be publishing the next book by Muriel Barbery – author of The Elegance of the Hedgehog. The Life of Elves (translated by Alison Anderson) has just been published in France and will be published in the UK in March 2016.  The Elegance of the Hedgehog has now sold 177,770 copies in the UK – well done all you super supportive booksellers! The Life of Elves follows the fable-like stories of two girls: Maria, who lives on a farm in rural Burgundy, and Clara, a gifted pianist who moves from her village in Abruzzo to Rome in order to nurture her talent. Jane Aitken from Gallic said: “Muriel Barbery has used beautiful prose to create an extraordinary universe that draws the reader in. As in The Elegance of the Hedgehog, time and place are richly evoked, but at the same time both are transcended, opening out into universal themes. I am certain Muriel’s loyal readers will be entranced by her new novel.” You can read the story in the Bookseller here.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog is a terrific title – which the novel also fully justified. Wolf Hall and To Kill a Mockingbird – two more great titles, which also had viable explanations behind them. But how many of your customers picked up Stoner expecting it to be some druggie fantasy? Or Dorothy L Sayers classic The Nine Tailors – something to do with sewing surely – what so you mean it’s about bell ringing??! And isn’t Oranges are Not the Only Fruit the new cookbook from Deliciously Ella? Have a look here for an entertaining trawl through those books which really don’t live up to their names!

We love authors getting out on the road and doing signing sessions – and boy can it help to shift those books. A mention this week to David Rosenberg author of   Rebel Footprints: A Guide to Uncovering London’s Radical History (pb, 978 0745334097, 10.99) and also Nearly Reach the Sky: A Farewell to Upton Park by Brian Williams (pb, 978 1849548052, 12.99). Two very different titles – but both with strong local interest, and both authors have recently been into the Newham Bookshop for successful signing sessions. 
Talk to your Compass account manager if your want to fix up an author signing for your bookshop – or you can email Nuala at Compass Towers  to see if there are any Compass authors local to you!
Rebel Footprints by David Rosenberg is published this month by Pluto Press and you can find out more and order it here.
Nearly Reach the Sky: A Farewell to Upton Park by Brian Williams was published in February by Robson Press and you can find out more and order it here.

I hope today finds all of you in excellent health! And if by any chance you aren’t, you’ll pop into hospital, and our superb NHS will make you better right? Well, after reading Life Blood by Gill Fyffe (pb, 978 1910449165, 12.99) published this month by Freight you might want to think again on that one. This is the heart-breaking true story of one woman’s fight for justice in the wake of one of the biggest medical scandals in the last 30 years. It is a shocking story of the consequences of medical malpractice and a remarkable example of one woman fighting against the odds. In 1983 Gill Fyffe experienced a traumatic birth and a medical blunder resulted in severe blood loss, requiring transfusion. Aware of the spread of HIV, Gill was reluctant, but, with her life in danger, changed her mind. Weeks later, Gill’s moods became irrational and she started to experience blackouts. Many years later and she received word from the authorities they she may have contracted hepatitis C during the transfusion. Treatment was prescribed and after several years she is pronounced cured. However, the drug left Gill with crippling side-effects. Her short-term memory is permanently damaged, making her unfit for work, her eyes are now highly photosensitive and her skin blisters in sunlight. Legal enquiries reveal that due to the delay in being told of her infection through contaminated US blood products, she is no longer able to sue for compensation. Life Blood is the extraordinary, heart-breaking story of a woman’s treatment during one the UK’s biggest medical scandals. Despite huge physical challenges, Gill Fyffe has painstakingly recounted the shocking story in her own words, as she and others continue to fight for justice. Unsurprisingly, a major enquiry is due to report on this, and there will be major media coverage of this title. The Today Programme on Radio 4 is covering it on Wednesday; there will be a big interview in the Evening Standard and it will be a front page story in the Weekend Telegraph. Gill’s story is a timely and explosive reminder of the human cost of placing profit before ethics and the establishment’s unwillingness to compensate for its mistakes.

Book Festivals. Are they a) a right old jolly for authors (who, let’s face it, don’t get out much) where they can meet their fans, and eat and drink a lot at their publisher’s expense – and generally have a grand old time or b) a professional and time-consuming engagements for which writers should be paid accordingly. An interesting question methinks – and one that is debated today in the Bookseller here.

The serialisation of Backstairs Billy: The Royal Life of William Tallon by Tom Quinn (hb, £20, 978 1849547802) starts this Sunday in the Daily Mail – sure to attract attention among royal watchers!  You will remember this is the highly entertaining new royal biography showing us the royal family in a whole new light, through the eyes of one of its most extrovert characters. William Tallon, who died in 2007, was a shopkeeper’s son from the Midlands who worked for the Queen Mother for more than fifty years and became her most trusted servant. Known as’ Backstairs Billy’, he was charming, bitchy— and extremely promiscuous. Outrageously funny, scandalous, sometimes shocking, but always fascinating, this is the life story of one of the most original characters ever to have graced the royal household. It is out this week from Robson Press and you can find out more and order it here

The Last Pier by Roma Tearne continues to garner terrific pre- publicity quotes. Jo Brand recently wrote “The Last Pier is an intriguing book which absorbed me right up to the final page. Beautifully written and difficult to stop thinking about." And the quote on the front cover from Fay Weldon is equally glowing.  “Exquisitely written… Once read, not easily forgotten”. The story behind this novel coming from Hesperus Press in April is fascinating – there was a big piece last week in the Independent on Sunday's Review all about the inspiration for it and Roma’s current residency at the Imperial War Museum Archives which you can read here. This focuses on a collection of long forgotten historical photographs lying in the Imperial War Museum archives. Back in 1942 the Ministry of Defence requested members of the public share their continental holiday snaps – and over 3,471 cardboard boxes of photos and postcards are still kept there.  They were originally examined by Intelligent Service experts and formed a part in the logistical planning of the British offensive into Europe
Roma is currently looking at them, and she will take inspirations from her findings to create an on-line project called Wish You Were Here ( and ultimately an exhibition which will be hosted at the museum. The link here with The Last Pier is that it was inspired by her finding two bundles of photographs of the same family in different second-hand shops. The photographs had names and dates scribbled on the back which helped her conceive of her fictional family. And of course her book is set just before the outbreak of the Second World War. Roma Tearne will be up and down the country promoting The Last Pier – her first event is this Saturday at the Essex Literary Festival and she’ll also be doing events at the University of Winchester on 24th March, Blackwell's Oxford on 23rd April, Chipping Campden Literary Festival on 6th May, Winchester Writers' Festival on 20th June and The Aldeburgh Beach Lookout Gallery on 24th October. The book will be on BBC Radio 4 Open Book on 9th April and there will also be reviews and features in the Independent, the Times and the Telegraph.
The Last Pier is published by Hesperus on 10 April, and you can find out more and order it here.

Now that spring is definitely in the air, don’t forget about Still in Slippers: New Poems for Garden Lovers by Liz Cowley (hb, £9.99 978 1783340750) published in May (to-coincide with the Chelsea Flower Show) by Gibson Square. This is a lovely collection – funny, touching, beautifully observant, a warm and wonderful journey into a gardener’s heart. Liz Cowley’s first published collection: Outside in My Dressing Gown reached the top of the humorous verse chart on Amazon and this new assortment of poems is set to be equally successful. Still in Slippers: New Poems for Garden Lovers by Liz Cowley: you can find out more and order it here

Congratulations to both Carcanet and Biteback who are shortlisted as Independent Publisher of the Year in the forthcoming Bookseller Industry Awards – which will be announced at a ceremony on 11 May. You can see all the award shortlists if you visit the awards website here.

Heat Magazine is not a publication that features often in Compass Points – but, today we see that George’s Grand Tour is a new entry in Heatworld’s Top Five books! Hurrah!  George's Grand Tour by Caroline Vermalle (£8.99, pb, 978 1908313737) has just been published by Gallic Books and is a poignant yet joyful tale of how life can surprise us, at any age. 
If you haven’t got copies yet, have a look here to read the first chapter – this is the story of retired butcher George Nicoleau who sets on the greatest adventure of his life when he and his neighbour Charles go on their long dreamed of road trip, driving the 3500 kilometres that make up the Tour de France. Will the journey prove to be everything he had hoped for? Wimbledon Books says it is “perfect for fans of The Hundred-Year-Old Man who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared” and we couldn’t agree more!

And here are some of the week’s best Tweets – remember you can see them all first hand by following us @CompassIPS  or click here if you are a Twitter virgin!

'Is poetry a revolutionary act? I will let you know the answer…'
*exciting news fanfare* Third Voice, the chilling sequel to @WorldBookNight title Spring Tide, is published today!  Pluto Press @PlutoPress · 
REBEL FOOTPRINTS is published today. Very pleased to see it at #3 on the @Guardian_Bkshop bestseller list!
Thanks to everyone who has helped to promote The Wedding Cake Tree as @ChocLituk book club read of the month. It is very much appreciated xx
Thanks @NewhamBookshop 1 great shop + 2 great authors: @BrianWill26 and David Rosenberg @PlutoPress = lots sold!
"You must stay drunk on #writing so reality cannot destroy you." Ray Bradbury
Is today's #Budget2015 one of the 101 Ways to Win an Election @BitebackPub? Great display - thanks @BlackwellEdin
Getting very engrossed by proof of For Those Who Come After by @GaryRaymond_ from @parthianbooks in Oct - intriguing!
finished the peculiar life of a lonely postman and wow. I have never read more beautiful 90 page book.

To finish, a Friday riddle for you…

Question: What does an urbane, punk, Gallic aardvark (who bites back) from a red planet with a periscope on the freight deck of a cargo ship; need?
Answer: A Compass!

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

This blog is taken from a newsletter which is sent weekly to over 700 booksellers as well as 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 13 March 2015

Compass Points 118

Compass is now on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. You’ll get the breaking news on our top titles even faster – and better still, we can find out what all of you lovely booksellers are up to – and re-tweet your news back to all of our publishers, editors and sales people! Happy days!

Very sad indeed to hear about the death of Terry Pratchett – he will be very much missed both in the book world and everywhere else in the galaxy. Here are some of our favourite Terry Pratchett quotes:
“Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.”
“I’d rather be a rising ape than a falling angel.”
“Fantasy is an exercise bicycle for the mind. It might not take you anywhere, but it tones up the muscles that can.”
“It’s still magic even if you know how it’s done.”
“I have no use for people who have learned the limits of the possible.”
“So much universe and so little time.”
RIP Sir Terry Pratchett.

Now, talking of rising apes; The Independent has just given a cracking review to Nigel Farage: In His Own Words which you can read in full here. Entitled “A fair picture of the man who may yet have the last word” it calls the book “clever” and says that it “offers good insights into why Farage is so effective at what he does”. You will remember that Nigel Farage: In His Own Words by Andrew Liddle (pb, 978 1849548175) is a collection of the dazzling array of politically incorrect, tell-it-like-it-is bon mots and public utterances of Nigel Farage, all collected together in one £6.99 paperback from Biteback.  As the Independent remarked, it is a “surprisingly effective way of distilling the essential person”, and is often laugh-out-loud funny offering a tonic to those who are sick to death of the usual round of sound bite politicians. Like him or loathe him, Farage has reinvigorated political debate in Britain in recent years and his growing popularity is sure to be reflected among book buyers. You can order it and find out more here.

And while we’re talking politics; My Political Race: An Outsider’s Journey to the Heart of British Politics by Parmjit Dhanda (hb, 978 1849548069 £16.99) was serialised last weekend in the Sunday Times. This is an extraordinary and unique biography that reveals how Britain fails to address issues of race within its own Parliament and out in the constituencies. Parmjit Dhanda held three ministerial posts in his time as Member of Parliament for Gloucester. He was rolled out at party conferences and for TV appearances as a poster boy for his party, a shining example of a new Britain, where white constituencies chose ethnic minorities as their candidates and elected them. He was a feel-good story, and telling the other side of the story was not on the agenda. He was defeated at the 2010 general election and it was then that a decapitated pig’s head was left in the middle of Parmjit Dhanda’s house’s drive. After nine years’ service people didn’t even realise Parmjit was actually a Sikh and not a Muslim. But prejudice doesn’t make these distinctions. In what promises to be one of the most important political memoirs of recent years, Parmjit Dhanda speaks out for the first time about some of the uncomfortable issues in politics, in the hope it helps present a smoother path for others in the future and makes it easier for those in the game now to speak out too. As David Lammy MP says; “This story is about triumph, but also about the uncomfortable truths ethnic minority politicians are faced with, but rarely talk about.” You can find out more and order it here!

The vogue for all things vintage and retro shows absolutely no sign of going away – and Pinterest and Instagram are still awash with suggestions as to how to achieve the look. 
Don’t forget about Vintage Secrets: Hollywood Diet and Fitness by Laura Slater (978 0859655026, hb, £14.99) and Vintage Secrets: Hollywood Beauty (978 0859655088) both of which were published at the end of last year by Plexus; and also Vintage Fashion: Classic 20th Century Styles and Designs (978 1848589773) available from Arcturus
The Vintage Colouring Book (pb, 9781784047634, £8.99) is a new title coming in April from Arcturus, which contains a gorgeous selection of designs, ranging from Victoriana to Art Deco and Op Art, all ready for you to colour in. 
Arcturus tell us that by taking part in this gentle activity, you will de-stress your mind and body, using colouring as a relaxation technique, calming the mind and occupying the hands. Whether or not you buy into this theory, the fact is that these colouring books for adults are currently extremely popular – this one contains over 120 images and will certainly bring out the artistic and creative side of your customers! 

Oh my goodness, Joanna Trollope has certainly put the cat among the pigeons with her remark that you will be a better author after the age of 35, because you have seen a bit more of life. Loads of media commentators have weighed in to agree – or (more often) totally disagree, with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein seeming to be the most often quoted example of a work of towering genius produced by a bright young slip of a thing. Here is another list of 12 extremely good authors who managed to produces brilliant work while they were still (almost) in their cradles!

Plenty of publicity to look out for on the biography of Nicola Sturgeon by David Torrance (978 1780272962, pb, £8.99) which has just been published by Birlinn. There will be a big serial of it in the Sunday Post this weekend and the one after as well; and it will also be also featured in The List, the Financial Times and the Scottish Review. You can order Nicola Sturgeon: A Biography and find out more here.

I think you will all enjoy these – Tom Gauld’s cartoons from the Guardian Review– many of which have a bookish theme!

Lots of us in the Compass office are reading The Last Pier (which is out next month) at present, and thoroughly enjoying it. Its author Roma Tearne has been previously shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards, and the Orange Prize and this is beautiful literary fiction, perfect for book clubs. The book begins in the summer of 1939 when Cecily Maudsley is only thirteen years-old and desperate to grow up; desperate to be as beautiful and desired and reckless as her older sister Rose. Returning to the deserted family farm as an adult, Cecily recalls the light before the storm, before the war came and before a terrible family tragedy. It was a summer of laughter promises and first love. She remembers her father’s unrequited love for her, her melancholy mother and her brittle and argumentative aunt Kitty, and how everyone, somehow, was guarding a secret. None more so than the impossibly beautiful Rose… The Last Pier is a highly atmospheric novel about family, love, loss and regret and you can watch an evocative trailer for the Last Pier here on YouTube, which gives you a good feel for the book. The Last Pier by Roma Tearne (pb, £8.99, 9781843915645) is published in April by Hesperus and you can order it and find out more here

As highly skilled booksellers, would you say that you “curate” the contents of your bookshop – i.e. select only those titles which you feel truly deserve to be there? “Curate’” has certainly become a bit of a buzzword, applied to everything from music festivals to artisanal cheese. Businesses are now adopting curation as a means of adding value to content, and everyone, it seems, is now a curator. But what is a curator, exactly? And what does the explosive popularity of curating say about our culture’s relationship with taste, labour and the avant-garde? In Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World and Everything Else,  David Balzer travels through art history and around the globe to explore the cult of curation, where it began, how it came to dominate museums and galleries, and how it emerged at the turn of the millennium as a dominant mode of thinking and being. This is a vibrant and original book which makes the connection between what's happening with curators in the art world and what's happening in popular culture. It is a fascinating study that will appeal to art critics, scholars and historians as well general readers. There will be a big press campaign for this title: David Balzer will be writing a big piece on it in the Guardian Review and we’re also expecting reviews in the Sunday Times, New Statesman, London Review of Books, Economist, Literary Review and the Spectator.  David Balzer will also be in the UK (he is Canadian) for publication, doing a series of events, as well as interviews with BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service, Monocle 24 and VICE UK. Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World and Everything Else by David Balzer (978 0745335971, 8.99, pb) is published by Pluto Press in April. You can find out more and order it here

Queen of the Desert; a  biographical drama film written and directed by Werner Herzog based on the life of British traveller, writer, and explorer, Gertrude Bell has juts been released in the UK. You can watch a short fan trailer here. The film stars Nicole Kidman, James Franco, Damian Lewis and Robert Pattinson, and the Times has just given an excellent review to the Hesperus paperback Tales from Queen of the Desert by Gertrude Bell (on which the film is based) calling it “a classic read” and saying “hear her stories from her own pen before you see it.”

The weather is definitely improving every day – hurrah! And what is the fastest growing holiday sector in the UK? Yes, it’s carry on camping! Make sure therefore that you have plenty of copies ordered of Cool Camping Britain and Cool Camping Europe – which are both published in May by Punk Publishing. Cool Camping Britain by Jonathan Knight (978 1906889630, £16.95, pb) is a brand new fully updated second edition for 2015, which has been expanded to feature 160 stunning campsites – many of which are new finds and have never featured in a Cool Camping book before. This book showcases the very best of British camping, from the wilds of the Scilly Isles to the sandy shores of Scotland’s coastline. New finds include a woodland site in the grounds of a World War II training area, a hillside eco-escape on the slopes of the Teifi Valley and an Eden-like camping safari. This hand-picked selection of campsites is brought to life with colourful reviews and hundreds of 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. 
Over 250,000 Cool Camping guides have been sold in the UK and this is Britain’s best-selling camping guide series. Cool Camping Europe (pb, 978 1906889647, £18.95) is a fully revised second edition. The original 2009 edition was the best-selling camping guide to Europe and since the book has been out of print, has been selling on Amazon for up to £100! As with the original book, the new edition will feature a selection of the best campsites and glamping sites in Europe, as chosen by the Cool Camping team. Covering over a hundred outstanding European campsites spread across twelve countries, this bumper guide explores a stunning range of camping grounds from the tip of Portugal’s Algarve to the shady forests of Slovenia.

And to finish, here are some of the week’s best Tweets – remember you can see them all first hand by following us @CompassIPS or click here if you are a Twitter virgin!

As overheard on the streets of Wimborne "It's good this year isn't it, Mother's Day falls on a Sunday"
"Good laugh and a novel way of experimenting with language" Thanks @SocialShelves for great @glitzch review.
Thrilled that Blackwell's will run a compact & bijou promotion for Berkoff's Sod the Bitches! in 4 key locations.
Email from author: 'Baking and swearing are two of my favourite things in the whole world. That’s why we’re signing with Aardvark.'
Spotted - in the fab Review, #Peckham. Emmeline Pankhurst's original, inspiring, autobiography. #feminism #wimmin
150 copies later & we've actually sold out of Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman, fear not Bilodo will be back in on Monday
Just found out Cilla and Rolf Borjlind have a new book coming out. Their last was stunning

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

This blog is taken from a newsletter which is sent weekly to over 700 booksellers as well as 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.