Compass Points did not unfortunately get to go to the Chelsea Flower Show – but maybe some of you booksellers were lucky enough to attend, and maybe some of you saw Adam Frost’s garden win his 6th Gold Medal. However, even if you didn’t see it you can re-create Adam’s design ideas and planting schemes to create your own beautiful outdoor space with Real
Gardens: Adam Frost’s Chelsea Gold
Medal Designs . Adam Frost appears on BBC radio and
television as a contributor and his a regular contributor to garden magazines He
has won an astonishing six gold medals at Chelsea Flower Show from his first
self-financed garden in 2007 to his Show Gardens for Homebase over the past few
years and is recognized as the designers designer creating a mixture of great
design and brilliant planting. In this beautiful full-colour book bursting with
gorgeous photographs, he tells the story of the creation of each garden and
reveals tips and information to allow readers to create their own great spaces.
The book also contains constructional details for to build garden features from
paths and ponds through to walling and fences and has a palette of thirty basic
plants to ensure gardening success. Real
Gardens: Adam Frost’s Chelsea Gold
Medal Designs (pb, 978 1905959488, £16.99) is published in July by
Red Planet and you can order Real Gardens and find out more
Have a look at Adam's lovely garden at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show here.
We love all of you lovely booksellers out there and your inspirational shops and we also love browsing in bookshops when we leave these shores for foreign climes – have a look here for a great selection of 17 extraordinary bookshops from all over the world!
Really good news this week about a title I mentioned a couple of weeks ago: Long Time No See by Hannah Lowe is going to be a Book of the Week on Radio 4 – to be broadcast w/c 27th July. You will recall this moving and revealing memoir moves between the vivid world of Hannah’s father “Chick”, a half-Chinese, half Jamaican immigrant and a legendary East London gambler, and scenes of racially charged and often plain intolerant Essex life in the 80s, with flashbacks to Jamaica. This hugely satisfying read is told with an impressive generosity of spirit and it is really great news that it is going to get such brilliant publicity bringing it to a very large audience – and all around its pub date in July too! Long Time No See by Hannah Lowe (pb, 978 1859643969, £9.99) is published by Periscope and you can find out more and order it here.
There has been quite a bit of publicity for Extradited! The European Arrest Warrant and my Fight for Justice from a Greek Prison Cell by Andrew Symeou which has been published this month by Robson Press (hb, 978 1849548458, £16.99). Andrew Symeou was a university student when he was extradited to
on a European Arrest Warrant
in 2008 on a charge of murder. Private Eye described the Greeks’
investigation as "flawed, contradictory and in places ludicrous" and a
British Coroner slammed the investigation as being “a misguided effort to
solve the crime”. Regardless, a British court was unable to prevent Andrew’s
extradition and he was dragged away and thrown into a Greek prison where he
spent almost a year pre-trial in truly horrific conditions. Following his acquittal in 2011 he returned
to Greece and
his family, to complete his studies and campaign for a change in the law.
Extradited! is a highly disturbing story
of an ordinary man and his family’s fight against his wrongful imprisonment in a
foreign state and a devastating examination of the system that allowed it to
happen. You can see Andrew Symeou’s
interview with BBC World News here which went out last week, and he has also recently
been a guest on ITV This Morning, (13 May) ITV London’s evening news show, Talk Radio Europe (18th May) BBC
Wales (19th May), and Radio 5 Live. London
We literary types all know the answers to those quizzes where they ask us to name the first line of famous books – It was a bright cold day in April; It was the best of times; If you really want to hear about it etc. etc. But how about remembering who said the first spoken line in any given novel! Not as easy as you think – test yourself here!
In 2002, Dean Lilleyman left his warehouse job drunk and went home. He stayed at home for six months and got sober. Then he went to college to get some qualifications (at the age of 35) where he read Raymond Carver and started writing short stories. By 2013, he’d won several awards for his writing, been awarded an MA scholarship, written a novel, and lectured in creative writing at a university. He now writes full time and Billy and the Devil is his startling debut novel published by Urbane Publications. Billy and the Devil presents the emotive story of Billy and his battle with alcoholism – it is a shocking and intimate portrayal of isolation, sexual misadventure, and addiction. Told in a series of unflinching episodes from Billy’s life either first-hand or through the eyes of others, it charts his experiences as child and adult growing up and living in 70s, 80s and 90s
Sheffield. There’s quite a buzz building for
this challenging novel; one reviewer said "Put it this way, a great novel
doesn't end after you have read the last page. It reaches out after publication
and plants its own mythology in the world. This is the highest achievement of
Lilleyman's debut. I recommend you read
this book." while another enthused "This is wild stuff, very dark and
very brilliant." Billy and the Devil
(pb, 978 1910692332, £8.99) is published in August and you can find out more and order it here.
Talking of addiction, alcoholics and sexual misadventure brings us neatly to a couple of biographies of fast living individuals – some who sadly did die before they got old, and some who (perhaps rather surprisingly) didn’t. Before I Get Old: The Story of the Who by Dave Marsh is the original and best biography of The Who re-issued to mark the 50th anniversary of the band and their Hits 50! tour which runs from 15 April to 4 November 2015, comprising 54 shows across the
UK, Europe and the .
Commissioned by Pete Townshend and fully endorsed by everyone in the band, this
is the definitive account of the seventies legend – essential reading for fans
of every generation. Before I Get Old
(containing 85 photos) tells the story of not one but six personalities –
guitarist Pete Townshend, bassist John Entwistle, drummer Keith Moon and singer
Roger Daltrey plus their original managers Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp. It
describes the group’s origins in the steamy nightlife of US and charts their
meteoric rise to fame. Here is the pathos, the laughter, the crazy world they
worked in, the drugs, the destruction, the vandalism, the debts, the
multi-million-dollar tours, and of course the music. London
Another anniversary this year: September 2015 marks the 60th year since James Dean’s death. A lavish new biopic Life directed by Anton Corbijn, and starring Robert Pattinson, Dane DeHaan and Ben Kingsley will be released in cinemas worldwide this autumn - - you can see DeHaan talking about it here. James Dean: Rebel Life by John Howlett is a new biography, containing 100 b/w photos, which brings to light graphic details of James Dean’s private life, reassessing the legacy of one of the greatest icons of the twentieth century. Dean’s public image was carefully constructed and maintained by the Warner Brothers studio through much publicized dates with
Hollywood actresses. Recently however, revelations about
Dean’s sex life – that he was a promiscuous homosexual who slept with many other
actors and casting directors – have flown in the face of his traditional image,
and revealed another side of Dean. The opening of the Warner Brothers archive
containing letters and other documents surrounding Dean’s original casting and
the making of his films have also provided an insight into his behaviour and
revealed the real opinions of those who worked with him. John Howlett has interviewed many actors, lovers
and girlfriends who knew Dean in New York and
has incorporated significant new material in this new book.
Before I Get Old: The Story of the Who (pb, £14.99 978 0859655248) by Dave Marsh which you can order here and James Dean: Rebel Life (978 0859655347, pb, 14.99) by John Howlett which you can see here, are both published by Plexus in August.
And let’s remind ourselves of what real rebellious geniuses look like shall we? Here’s Who Are You? and here’s a five min tribute to the extraordinary James Dean.
That’s all for now folks, more next week!
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.