Friday 24 April 2015

Compass Points 123

Is election fever building in your bookshop – or is election apathy threatening to swamp you? Some would say that from the incoherent riots of a disaffected youth to Russell Brand’s call to reject the ballot box, Britain has never been so jaded. Disempowered, disillusioned with the braying yobbery of Westminster’s ‘elite’, drained by the unpunished rate rigging and tax manoeuvring of banking and big business, we have hit a new low in political engagement. Well, Be Your Own Politician: Why it’s Time for a New Kind of Politics by Paul Twivy (who has worked with the last three Prime Ministers) argues that this can be fixed – and the solution is not to reject voting. Countless articles decry our apathy, our lack of motivation, our disinterest in political affairs. Yet the recent Scottish referendum showed the essential falsehood at the heart of this claim. The truth is that we’re far from apathetic – we’re just frustrated by the failure of our representatives to do their job. 
In this timely and innovative call to arms, Paul Twivy argues that we need a drastic overhaul of our political system at every level, forging a new relationship between the people, the state and the corporate world. Radical, entertaining and thought-provoking, Be Your Own Politician maintains that a newly energised, politically engaged society really is ours for the taking – and shows us how to claim it. This book is getting some good publicity – here’s a great review in the Mirror which calls Paul Twivy’s ideas “thought-provoking” and “brilliant”. Be Your Own Politician: Why its Time for a New Kind of Politics by Paul Twivy  is out now from Biteback (978 1849548861, pb £9.99).

Well if Paul can’t persuade you then who about this gangster rap video from  Gyles Brandreth’s gangster rap video ( yes you read that right) – his attempt to persuade today's youth to get off their backsides on 7 May!

April is National Poetry Month as I’m sure you’re all aware – and the Bookseller ran a nice article on our favourite poetry publisher Carcanet last week, as part of its piece on the shortlist for Independent Publisher of the Year; saying that Carcanet Press fought hard in one of publishing’s most challenging markets: poetry. It added prizes including the Forward to its long tally of awards, published its most diverse list of poets yet and ran creative marketing campaigns on a shoestring.”

Which famous book titles can you name that are based  on lines of poetry – and do you know which poems they’ve come from?? Well here are ten for starters...

A lot of literary anniversaries at the moment; as well as it being National Poetry Month, World Book Night was this week of course – and on Thursday it was Shakespeare’s birthday. What a lot he has given us – here are eight modern novels all inspired by the bard; and here’s a fun visual reminder of all just some of the many sayings and phrases he has contributed to the English language.

Still on the subject of great literary creations, Robson Press have just published this heart-rending true story referencing one of the most famous. The Real Peter Pan by Piers Dudgeon tells the tragic tale of Michael, fourth son of Sylvia and Arthur Llewelyn Davies who was the inspiration for one of literature’s most enduring characters. Ever since J M Barrie struck up an intense friendship with the family after a chance encounter in Kensington Gardens, Michael Llewelyn Davies was never far away from the magical, yet faintly obsessive influence that the author wielded. Far from being just a muse for Barrie, however, Michael was an active participant in the world of Peter Pan, from the mermaid’s pool of Kensington Gardens to the fairies that inhabited Barrie’s native Scotland, allowing the author to re-enter Neverland with all the innocence and unrestrained imagination of a child. As the years went on and Michael grew out of playing pirates and indians, he and Barrie remained as close as ever, corresponding almost daily. Theirs was a relationship founded on make-believe and whimsy, but, in a curious and in many ways eerie instance of life imitating art, laced with barely disguised obsession and punctuated with tragedy. It was D. H. Lawrence who once wrote of Barrie’s “fatal touch for those he loves “, and his relationship with Michael was perhaps the clearest example of this supposed curse. The Real Peter Pan: The Tragic Life of Michael Llewelyn Davies is a captivating true story of childhood, friendship, war, love and regret (hb, 9781849547901, £20.00) and it has a gorgeous evocative cover. There is a new blockbuster film: Pan (starring Hugh Jackman and Amanda Seyfried) coming this summer – so great ready for a whole new wave of interest in this permanently popular story!

Watch the trailer for the new film Pan here – looks like fun!

 All children, except one, grow up is surely one of the greatest first lines of all time. But how well do you booksellers really know your opening lines? It is a truth universally acknowledged that it was the best of times; the clocks were striking thirteen and if you really want to hear about it, call me Ishmael?
Test yourselves here – an excellent way to spend a Friday!

A bit of a buzz is building for a cracking bit of travel/nature writing coming in July – Sixty Degrees North: Around the World in Search of Home by Malachy Tallack . It's just been the Editor's Choice for July in the Bookseller and we have received a very strong endorsement from Robert Macfarlane (bestselling author of The Old Ways and Landmarks).  “Thank you very much for sending me Malachy's Sixty Degrees of North. It's a book I've been looking forward to reading for some while - and I wasn't disappointed when I did. The first thirty pages in particular are quite brilliant, I think, as is the last chapter. The whole is held together not just by the line of latitude … but also by a tight weave of images and preoccupations, and of course by the sense of unresolved loss and grief, that flows through the whole. In the fineness of its investigation of the meanings of home, and the needs for travel, it reminded me of William Fiennes's The Snow Geese. It is a brave book in its honesty and self-exposure, I think, and a beautiful book in terms of the subtlety of its thinking and the quality of its descriptive prose, that at times possesses the lucidity of the northern light in which so much of it is set. I wish it very well indeed.” Sixty Degrees North is a deeply personal book and also a book of travel and culture, of history and natural history. The book explores some of the places that share the latitude of sixty degrees north – which include the author’s home in Shetland, but also Norway, Sweden, Finland and Greenland, the southern coast of Alaska and the great spaces of Russia and Canada The sixtieth parallel marks a borderland between the northern and southern worlds and Malachy Tallack focuses on the landscapes and natural environments along the parallel, and the ways that people have interacted with those landscapes. How has human history been influenced by the climate and by natural resources? How have people shaped and changed the land? What is the relationship between culture and place? Within the book, each location is explored through personal observations, interviews and encounters with local people, and references to historical and contemporary texts. These are woven together to create portraits of each place that are both intimate and illuminating. This is the sort of book which BBC Radio 4 listeners are sure to love and we are hoping for it to be a Book of the Week or Book at Bedtime – there is already review coverage lined up in the Guardian and there’s sure to be more. Sixty Degrees North: Around the World in Search of Home by Malachy Tallack (hb, 978 1846973369, £12.99) is published in July by Birlinn and you can order it and find out more here

After three non-fiction titles I think we’re now ready for a good old romantic, thoughtful, funny paperback – like something Jo Jo Moyes would write – and Close of Play by P J Whiteley is just such a story! It’s a tale of missed opportunities and a chance at redemption – and the fear of opening our hearts to another when we think we’ve forgotten how to love. Brian Clarke has an ordered life, a life of weekend cricket and solid principles. He is resolutely fending off advancing middle-age with a straight bat, determined to defend his wicket against life’s occasional fast balls. Then he meets Elizabeth – and as you might have guessed, he must reassess his self-defined role as the lone batsmen and fight to find the courage to fall in love. 
Close of Play (978 1909273528, £7.99, pb) is a funny and gentle story receiving a great deal of interest from women’s magazines and blogging sites, and the author and book are headlining this year’s Ampthill Literary Festival which you can read about here.  Close of Play is published this week by Urbane Publications and you can find out more and order it here.

And if that sounds a bit too light-hearted for you, then how about Fields of Blue Flax (pb, 978 1910449103, £8.99) by Sue Lawrence which is coming in May from Freight.  This is a gripping page-turner, with parallel stories 150 years apart by a leading food writer (and the first ever winner of BBC’s Masterchef) with a huge public following who has now turned her hand to fiction. Fields of Blue Flax is a fabulous evocation of the North East of Scotland in Victorian times and reveals how an innocent interest in genealogy brings a family to the brink of destruction. The two sisters at the centre of the novel find out in different ways that uncovering a family’s past can have unexpected and irrevocable consequences for those living in the present – this is a riveting tale of shocking scandal and buried secrets, and there is going to be a feature in the Sunday Telegraph on it on 3 May – terrific publicity!

Stand by Your Manhood: A Game Changer for Modern Men which was published last year by Biteback is currently being serialised over three days in the Daily Mail. The article begins: “Ridiculed, abused, exploited - the triumph of feminism has made today's men second class citizens” which gives you a pretty good idea of what the book is about! Its author Peter Lloyd goes on to argue that it’s high time the chaps fought back as although men are responsible for many great achievements they are currently getting a very raw deal. He claims men have been unfairly undermined by modern feminism and are currently doing more and  working harder than every before and getting none of the credit. This page has now been shared 8,300 times – and attracts 2,500 comments – typical example – “if you know someone who is male buy them this book now!!” – so this is clearly a subject close to the hearts of many! Don’t let the Daily Mail bookshop, or Amazon get all the sales for this deliciously provocative hardback (978 1849547437, £16.99) order up some copies now!

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 our favourite Tweets from last week...
Buy books Read books Give away books Stroke books Sniff books Lick books Eat books You know, whatever makes you happy #WBN15
I recommend every man especially in the UK to read this book, Stand By Your Manhood, by Peter Lloyd
Behind the scenes at our #Poemoftheday selection process! Teetering piles of Carcanet poetry #bestjobintheworld
WOW - love this: "@prospect_uk: What would things be like if Steven Berkoff ruled the world? @urbanepub
It may not be English but some of it is set here and it is about a George! Perfect #StGeorgesDay reading George’s Grand Tour @gallicbooks
Get this book, Journeyman: better than the generic football autobiographies that u see #properinsight and top guy @bsmudger7

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

This blog is taken from a weekly newsletter sent 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 17 April 2015

Compass Points 122

Yesterday it was the birthday of not one but TWO of our great literary giants. Kingsley Amis, who was born in 1922 in Clapham and Spike Milligan who was born in 1918 in India. But who was better? Who was funnier?
 Have a look here at twenty hilarious Spike Milligan quotes – with some terrific photos too – and then go here for some very amusing lines from the man who once said “If you can’t annoy someone, there is little point in writing.” How true Kingsley, how very true.

The London Book Fair was this week of course – lots of opportunities for those attending to meet their pals, eat horrible overpriced food and drink endless warm fizz in plastic glasses. Naturally of course Compass Points was there on your behalf – sniffing out the genuinely interesting publishing stories for you as well as glugging the free plonk. 
Scott Pack made his first acquisition for his new Compass list Aardvark Bureau – look out for When the Professor Got Stuck in the Snow by Dan Rhodes coming in October. This is the title which Rhodes self-published 400 hardback copies of in February last year, attracting mainstream media coverage and critical acclaim. It’s a satire starring atheist Richard Dawkins, who is forced to stay with a vicar and his wife after getting caught in a blizzard. Sounds pretty good to me, but what on earth does Richard Dawkins make of it?! Pack said Dawkins has a “great sense of humour” and was a “champion of free speech” before adding that he thought other publishers were too afraid to publish the title for fear of being sued! Read a bit more about it in the Bookseller here. 
Max Ström Publishing have what I think will be a brilliant book coming up in October. Called Journey of Change: Women Pushing Boundaries it is the diary from an all woman team in the Round the World Yacht Race – it will be packed with inspiring photos as well as insights from the sailors. 
And Myrmidon has acquired Investigating Sherlock by Nikki Stafford   – an unofficial guide to the award-winning BBC TV series, which they will publish in paperback in September. The book examines each episode through in-depth and fun analysis, exploring the character development and cataloguing every subtle reference to the original stories. “This is a real, ultimate fans' guide,” said Kate Nash, from Myrmidon. “Investigating Sherlock is more than just trivia. There's no other book on the market that considers Sherlock as a phenomenon and puts the BBC TV series into context. Included are biographies of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as well as Arthur Conan Doyle, and interviews with Sherlockian experts.” 
Comma Press has sold the German and American rights for Atef Abu Saif’s The Drone Eats With Me. The book documents the siege that took place in Gaza in July and August 2014 through the diary entries of Palestinian writer Atef Abu Saif. His account of life on the Gaza strip has already received media coverage in publications as the New York Times, the Guardian and the Sunday Times and Comma will publish The Drone Eats with Me (pb, 9781905583713, 9.99) with a foreword by Noam Chomsky in May. You can find out more about that one here.

Well, I don’t know about you – but I’m greatly looking forward to all of these forthcoming titles. Hang on though, according to the French intern currently working at Gallic, who has been at Olympia this week; the London Book Fair is mostly a chance to “shake hands and say “You’re the best” and reply “No, you’re the best”” You can read his entertaining comparison between the Salon du Livre (the Paris equivalent) and the London Book Fair here – as he puts it: the chauvinists versus the capitalists!

There will undoubtedly be lots of media coverage for the VE Day anniversary celebrations on the 8th May – and a new British rom-com, A Royal Night Out, is released at the start of May to coincide with them. And hurrah – it is based on a chapter from the Birlinn book The Final Curtsey by the Queen’s cousin, Margaret Rhodes (B-format pb, 978 1780270852, £7.99).  It’s a fictionalised account of the night when the princesses Elizabeth and Margaret slipped out of the palace on VE Day and mingled with the crowds. And according to the movie, got into a bit of trouble and enjoyed the first hints of romance! The movie stars Rupert Everett and Emily Watson as the king and queen, and has already seen big preview features in the Daily Telegraph and there was an interview with Margaret Rhodes in the Daily Mail who called the book “one of the most remarkable books ever written about life at the heart of the Royal Family” which you can read here. There will be an extract of The Final Curtsey in the Radio Times on 8 May and Margaret Rhodes has been interviewed by The One Show, which will be broadcast around the release of the film. Channel 4 News have also interviewed her and there will definitely be more publicity to come – this film looks great fun and you will remember that The Final Curtsey was already a bestseller in hardback, so this is all good news! The stock will be reprinted with a sticker mentioning the film – order it now!

Here’s a trailer from the film – looks fab!

Amidst all the ranting from UKIP et al about immigration, there are some genuinely fascinating stories to be told about the clash of different cultures that occur in modern Britain. World’s Apart: A Muslim Girl in the SAS by Alisha Khan is one such story. This remarkable book highlights two very different worlds: the British Army and Britain’s Muslim community. It follows a young girl’s extraordinary journey from working in the family kebab shop in Manchester to a London barracks where the SAS is putting women through selection training with the men. Lacking military experience, physically slight and, as a Muslim, socially isolated, Alisha was plunged into the ordeal with eleven other girls and 200 men. Deep-rooted ethnic and gender prejudices need overcoming and she was faced with trying to defend her religion and culture within a regimented and hostile environment, a situation that is not helped by the events of 9/11. At home, Alisha hears her community’s anger over the British intervention in the Middle East. Back at the barracks she supports her soldier comrades preparing for the War on Terror. On the one hand, she describes having to deal with the squaddie drinking culture and deeply engrained stereotypes; on the other, her parents are still trying to find her a suitable boy to marry. This is an extraordinary true story about the most violent of culture clashes and there will be plenty of press coverage for it.  After leaving the army, Alisha Khan went on to work for the Ministry of Defence on campaigns for British soldiers in Afghanistan. Worlds Apart: A Muslim Girl in the SAS (hb, 9781849547796, £16.99) by Alisha Khan is published in May by Robson Press and you can find out more and order it here.

Coming at the end of May is the hotly anticipated new collection from bestselling crime writer and author of The Monogram Murders: Sophie Hannah. Marrying the Ugly Millionaire: New and Collected Poems features both previously published and new and unseen work from the author whom the Telegraph called “a real star” and who is both the winner of the Crime Thriller of the Year Award and has been shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize – no mean feat to be one of the UK’s best-loved poets, AND an internationally-acclaimed and bestselling psychological crime writer! Marrying the Ugly Millionaire: New and Collected Poems (pb, 978 1784100254, £12.99) by Sophie Hannah is published by Carcanet on 28 May, and you can find out more and order it here

Make sure you capitalise on the publicity surrounding Lifeblood: Gill Fyffe’s outstanding story of contracting hepatitis C from a contaminated NHS blood transfusion and its life-altering consequences, which has received wall to wall coverage in the national media during and after the publication of the final report from the Penrose Inquiry, the UK’s only public inquiry into the worst medical scandal in the history of the NHS.  Gill appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, BBC Breakfast News, Network News, BBC Scotland’s Scotland 2015 programme, Radio Europe, and there were features in the Daily Telegraph, London Evening Standard, Herald, Daily Record, Daily Express and others. The Evening Standard said Lifeblood is “beautifully written and deserves to win a prize”, while Sarah Maitland, said “This is a story of medical incompetence, political malfeasance, financial hardship and real long-term horrible suffering. It is also one of the funniest, most buoyant, triumphant books I’ve read in ages; tragi-comedy at a very high level, delightful and admirable.” Lifeblood (pb, 978 1910449165, 12.99) has just been published by Freight and you can order it and find out more here

This week’s Compass Points seems to feature an extraordinary number of strong and admirable women – so to celebrate that, let’s just imagine what it would have been like if Hermione had been the main character In the Harry Potter books. Have a read of Hermione Granger and the Goddamn Patriarchy here on Buzz Feed!

Pascal Garnier was a leading figure in contemporary French literature who died in March 2010. He lived in a small village in the Ardèche, painting and writing for adults and children and Gallic publish his noir novels in the UK – if you haven’t discovered these paperbacks with their beautiful, pared-back prose and striking covers for your bookshop yet, you really should! Though his writing is often very dark in tone, it sparkles with quirkily beautiful imagery and dry wit. The Financial Times called him “A mixture of Albert Camus and JG Ballard” while the Observer says his writing is “bleak, often funny and never predictable”
Boxes (pb, 978 1910477045, £7.99) is the new paperback coming in May – those readers who love Patricia Highsmith, and Georges Simenon will love Pascal Garnier too – John Banville and Ian Rankin are fans – what more endorsement do you need! Find out more and order Boxes 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!
This week we bring you our favourite tweets from #makeabooknerdy...
Eat Pray Lovecraft
iMac beth
Pi and Prejudice
The Fault in Our Statistics
The Secret Life of Spelling Bees
Zen and the Art of Ham Radio Maintenance
Angles and Demons
The Lord of the Ringtones
Alright, last one for me: There’s a Fault in Our Star Trek into Darkness

And to finish, you know we love a bit of music on a Friday afternoon – so how about this great list of 25 pop songs that reference books. Come on now, without looking, how many of (these sometimes rather obscure) ditties can you think of? You’ve got to love Yertle the Turtle by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, but I think my favourite is still the one that references that book by Nabakov!

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

This blog is taken from a newsletter 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 3 April 2015

Compass Points 121

Happy Easter! Hope everyone finds some time to enjoy the bank holiday weekend whether you are spending it bookselling or just scoffing tons of chocolate!

And talking of chocolate, don’t forget about this new one from Choc LitThe Soft Whisper of Dreams by Christina Courtenay is a contemporary romance set in Devon. Maddie Browne thought she’d grown out of the recurring nightmare that plagued her as a child, but after a shocking family secret is revealed, it comes back to haunt her – the same swing in the same garden, and the swarthy arms which grab her from behind and try to take her away. In an attempt to forget her troubles, Maddie travels to Devon to spend time with her friends, Kayla and Wes. However, it becomes clear that relaxation will not be on the agenda after a disturbing encounter with a gypsy fortune teller. Not to mention the presence of Wes’s dangerously handsome brother, Alex… There is no doubt that swarthy West Country romance is very definitely in vogue at present, and any of you on Twitter will know that there are masses of very keen Choc Lit fans out there just waiting for the books. Christina Courtenay is Chairman of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and previous novels have won the Big Red Reads Best Historical Fiction Award, the Best Historical Romantic Novel of the Year and the Best Historical Read Award from the Festival of Romance – so this author knows her stuff. Here is a selection of the reviews for The Soft Whisper of Dreams which have been posted on Twitter in the last week… “This has definitely been my favourite book of 2015 so far. I am a big fan of Christina Courtenay, and all of her books have been pretty fab.”  “Mystery and romance… intriguing…Christina Courtenay has a way with describing settings you want to visit for real!” “A real treat… a real page turner and well put together. The characters are well drawn and there's an element of thriller as well as romance. I shall certainly be reading more.” The Soft Whisper of Dreams (£7.99, pb, 978 1781892237) has just been published and you can find out more and order it here

However, if that sort of book is just too soppy and sappy for a gritty urban bookseller like you, then how about Fishnet (pb, 978 1910449066 £8.99) by Kirstin Innes which is published next week by Freight? This is a shocking, utterly compelling novel about one young woman’s journey into the world of escorts, sex, and prostitution as she searches for her missing sister. This gripping story with its empowering, feminist storyline has been meticulously researched by Kirstin Innes within the sex industry – it has a shocking dénouement and is sure to attract attention. Kirstin Innes is a freelance journalist and this is her debut novel.  She won the Allen Wright Award for Excellence in Arts Journalism and writes for the Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday, the Herald, the List and the Independent and her work has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4. She will be on Women's Hour on BBC Radio 4 on April 13th discussing Fishnet and prostitution – great PR for this title. Bittersweet, sensual and rich, Fishnet takes a clear-eyed, meticulously researched, controversial look at the sex industry and the lives of sex workers, questioning our perception of contemporary femininity.
Find out more about Fishnet and order it here

And now let’s move from a novel with an empowering feminist storyline, to one which actually celebrates misogyny – one journalist describing it as “a sustained rant against women”. And you won’t be reading anything from its author on Twitter as his account has been suspended. He’s also excoriated the BBC for broadcasting garbage; suggested Benedict Cumberbatch is more Hello! than Hamlet, hates critics, has sued Julie Burchill for implying he was “hideously ugly” and apparently threatened to kill theatre critic Nicholas de Jongh. Cripes! Sod the Bitches by Steven Berkoff is out from Urbane Publications on 13 April and it’s safe to say it will undoubtedly cause a bit of a stooshie as my Scottish colleagues would say! You can read a major double page spread all about it which came out this week in the Standard here. Sod the Bitches (978 1909273825, £12.99, hb) contains many of the familiar Steven Berkoff themes, from his use of crude street patter to discussion of sex wars; class wars; dislocation and abandonment of love in a thankless and unyielding world. This is a challenging, brutally honest novel that will inspire, enrage and divide and you can find out more and order it here

Well! Which of these three very different novels would you actually want to live in? A world of “swarthy romance”, one that is “dangerous and complex” or one that is “thankless and unyielding”? Tough choice? Do you sometimes get confused between the world outside your cosy bookshop and the one inside the books on the shelves? Are you in fact living in a dystopian novel? Here’s a fun article by Waterstone’s bookseller Andrew Drennan who argues that it can be very hard to tell the difference nowadays between the dystopian future of an author’s imagination and the world we currently live in!

One of the best things about reading a really great book is the way you can completely lose yourself in its pages as I’m sure you’ll agree. But what if you kept up a running commentary on the book as you read it – maybe on Twitter, or Facebook? Have a look here at how some classic novels would look if they came with internet comments next to them!

Did you watch the election debate last night? What did you think? I think I agree with the Telegraph’s point that it was all somewhat exhausting to watch: "Shout, shout, interruption, shout. The stress of it. It was like sitting through a two-hour penalty shoot-out - between seven different teams." The general view seem to be that it was the fringe parties who made their views felt most strongly – all good news for Nigel Farage and his Biteback book The Purple Revolution: The Year that Changed Everything (pb, £8.99, 978 1849548632) which I think it has been reviewed pretty much in every newspaper in the last week! This never-before-told inside story of UKIP and its charismatic leader told by Nigel Farage himself is not an autobiography, but rather the untold story of the journey UKIP has travelled under his leadership, from the icy fringes of British politics all the way to Westminster.

The debate was also good publicity for Nicola Sturgeon: A Biography by David Torrance (pb, £8.99 9781780272962) just published by Birlinn. This is the first and only biography of the leader of the SNP and Scotland’s first female First Minister. Who could well hold the balance of power in Westminster, and become one of the most powerful and influential people in the country. This biography investigates how a ‘nippie sweetie’ from the West of Scotland has become one of the most prominent politicians of her age; and David Torrance has uncovered people from Nicola Sturgeon’s past who will help shed light on this driven, divisive and dedicated woman’s character and motivation.
You can find out more and order Nicola Sturgeon: A Biography here

Well after all that political argy bargy I think we need something a bit more relaxing, so what could be better than a bit of ol' blue eyes himself. Red Planet are publishing The Dead Straight Guide to Frank Sinatra by Chris Ingham (pb, 978 1905959563, £14.99) this month. 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Sinatra, and The Dead Straight Guide to Frank Sinatra is packed with an extraordinary amount of information on this iconic singer. Every one of his films and albums is reviewed from a fresh new perspective and its 400 pages are packed with interesting titbits of info, and great pictures. There is plenty here in this chunky little paperback (228x 152mm) for both the Sinatra novice and the committed fan.

And here’s the man himself back in 1962 . Nice huh – or how about this recording of Come Fly with Me – ahh now that’s what you need to give you that Friday feeling!

 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!
Great window for alluring clever period mystery The Man Who Bought London thanks @WaterstonesPicc @HesperusPress
Just listening to the entertaining Shann Nix Jones talking on Steve Wright show about her book: nice one @HayHouseUK
Looky here @CompassIPS 4.30pm today @BBCRadio4 @HarriettSG  discussing Pascal Garnier The Islanders
Wanna Cook? #BreakingBad is going to be on UK TV on 15 April. OMG #bestnewsallday. Get the guide @myrmidonbooks
Who else thinks #Poldark2015 and #wildswimming go together like cream and jam on a scone? @wildthingsbooks
Congrats @CaoilinnHughes winning Shine/Strong Award for Gathering Evidence - science and poems - love it! @Carcanet

That’s all for now folks, Compass Points is now on holiday - back on 17 April!

This newsletter 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.