Friday 29 May 2015

Compass Points 128

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 here

Have a look at Adam's lovely garden at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show here.

The poetry from those lovely folk at Carcanet continues to sell well, and be well reviewed: The Bookseller recommended New Poetries VI as one of the London Review Bookshop’s top ‘summer tips’. This is the sixth volume in the bestselling series edited by Helen Tookey and Michael Schmidt (pb, £12.99, 978 1784100377) showcasing work from the most exciting new poets from around the globe. As the Guardian said “These editors know their onions when it comes to poetry” and the poets in previous volumes have gone on to achieve notable success: Sophie Hannah (bestselling crime novelist), Kei Miller (winner of the 2014 Forward Prize), Tara Bergin (winner of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry Prize) etc… The poets in this new anthology New Poetries VI vary in style, form and approach and include exceptional performers, experimentalists, traditional formalists, and poets from a myriad of racial and cultural backgrounds.

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 Greece 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 London 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.

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 PublicationsBilly 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 US. 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 London 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.

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 Hollywood 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.

Friday 22 May 2015

Compass Points 127

It’s official – Alexander McCall Smith is an uproariously funny writer! He has just won this year’s Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Fatty O’Leary’s Dinner Party, (£7.99, pb 978-1846973239 ) published by Birlinn imprint Polygon. This is the first time McCall Smith, has appeared on the comic fiction prize shortlist and he beat off competition from Caitlin Moran, Irvine Welsh, Nina Stibbe, Helen Lederer and Joseph O’Neill. Following his win, McCall Smith has been presented with a locally-bred Gloucestershire Old Spot pig, which will be named after his winning novel. He will also receive a jeroboam of Champagne Bollinger Special Cuvee, a case of Bollinger La Grande Année and the complete Everyman Wodehouse Collection. What a great prize! McCall Smith said of his win: “I am greatly honoured to be awarded the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize. I very much enjoyed writing that book and if there are those who are enjoying reading it, then I am content. I am also content with the jeroboam of champagne, the 52 Wodehouse novels, and the pig that go with this award. That is what I would call a very well-balanced prize.” Broadcaster and author James Naughtie, who was one the prize judges, added: “It's right and proper to couple the names of Alexander McCall Smith and P G Wodehouse. No writer in recent times has been a more prolific dispenser of wit. He makes people laugh out loud and, like everyone who understands the absurdities of life, he understands sadness too.” We couldn’t agree more! Congratulations!

Three trade news stories this week on forthcoming titles from Compass publishers: Skyscraper Publications is publishing a controversial new book in September by Joan Brady entitled America’s Dreyfus: The Case Nixon Rigged. The book is the culmination of 10 years of research into the case of Alger Hiss, the American lawyer and government official accused and convicted of being a Soviet spy in 1950. The book claims that Richard Nixon exploited the anti-Communist feeling in the US during his presidency, manipulated the media and invented evidence in order to have Hiss convicted. Using her conversations with Hiss as well as evidence she has unearthed, Brady sets out to prove his innocence while also drawing comparisons with modern global politics. Karl Sabbagh, Skyscraper MD, said: “The book has not yet been published in the US; the thought of Hiss’ innocence is apparently too shocking to contemplate. I am delighted to bring this story to a UK readership, who will see the resonance between US anti-Communism in the 1940s and ‘50s and the hysteria governments try to create in the 21st century against a range of other enemies, from terrorists to immigrants.”

There was a piece in the Bookseller about an exciting new signing for Robson Press – who have acquired a book from veteran advice columnist Bel Mooney. The book will be entitled Lifelines: Words to See You Through. The book will draw on Mooney's years of columns, which have revised and updated to create what the publisher calls an “inspirational" collection. Mooney has been an advice columnist in the Daily Mail for several years, offering help on topics from grief to martial breakdown and says "This book comes as a result of many requests from readers who have asked whether I intend to collect an anthology of my own columns and the quotations I choose carefully each week to provide uplifting thoughts on my page. I hope it will make a comforting book to dip into." The book will be coming in October 2015 – you’ll hear more about both of these titles in the coming months!

And Scott Pack has announced his latest acquisition for Aardvark Bureau; Self & I which will be published next spring. This is a memoir by Will Self’s former personal assistant, novelist Matthew De Abaitua who spent six months in the early 1990s living and working with author Will Self in his remote Suffolk cottage as his amanuensis. Pack said: “This is a remarkable insight into two fascinating writers: Self as his career was just taking off and De Abaitua before his had really started. Self is aware of the book but will not be endorsing it. It is frequently hilarious, often revelatory and always hugely readable.”  De Abaitua said: “I am delighted that Aardvark Bureau is publishing Self & I and brimful with innovative ideas on how to bring this story to a wide audience. It’s not a gossipy book, it’s not a biography, it’s a true comic story of a great writer and his wide-eyed apprentice.” 

Compass attended an excellent launch party for new publisher Periscope this week at Pushkin House in London. Periscope describe themselves as “fiercely independent” and say they aim to “present bold, distinctive voices in fiction and non-fiction from around the world. We maintain that although the industry is changing, the power of narrative to question, inspire, inform and stir remains constant. Revelling in its size as a small publisher, Periscope will move nimbly in a heavily consolidated publishing environment. Dancing in the path of juggernauts, we can enable stories to be told that might otherwise be lost.” Dennison Smith, Hannah Lowe. Hwang Sok-yong and Neamat Imam all read from their books during the party.

One of Periscope’s first titles is The Moors Account by Laila Lalami (pb, 978 1859644270, £9.99) which comes out in August. This extraordinary novel, which one reviewer described “ringing with thunder”, illuminates the ways in which a story can transmigrate into history. It takes as its starting point the year 1527, when the Spanish conquistador Pánfilo de Narváez arrived on the coast of modern-day Florida with hundreds of settlers, and claimed the region for Spain. Almost immediately, the expedition was decimated by a combination of navigational errors, disease, starvation and fierce resistance from indigenous tribes; and within a year, only four survivors remained. These were three noblemen and a Moroccan slave called “Estebanico”. The official record, set down after a reunion with Spanish forces in 1536, contains only the three noblemen’s accounts, but Laila Lalami’s masterful novel gives us The Moor’s Account – her imagined version from Estebanico’s point of view. Lalami gives us Estebanico as history never did: as a vibrant merchant forced into slavery and a new name, and then reborn as the first black explorer of the Americas, discovering and being discovered by various tribes both hostile and compassionate. In Estebanico’s telling, the survivors’ journey across great swathes of the New World transforms would-be conquerors into humble servants and fearful outcasts into faith healers. He remains ever-observant, resourceful and hopeful that he might one day find his way back to his family, even as he experiences an unexpected (if ambiguous) camaraderie with his masters. The Moor’s Account shows how storytelling can offer a chance for redemption, reinvention and survival. Salman Rushdie called it “An absorbing story … brilliantly imagined … feels very like the truth.”  Laila Lalami has previously been longlisted for the Orange Prize and as the New Yorker said, this novel is “an exciting tale of wild hopes, divided loyalties, and highly precarious fortunes” which I think could do very well.

Now we all know that many of your customers have an ongoing fascination with true life espionage; and in August comes the first complete history of “Special Branch” – or to use its full name – The Special Branch of the Metropolitan Police – right from its formation in 1883 to its demise in 2006, when it was subsumed into the Counter Terrorism Command of the Metropolitan Police Service. The first Special Branch was set up as the ‘Special Irish Branch’ to combat the threat posed by the Irish Republican Brotherhood. From there its early role broadened to include tackling the suffragettes, anarchists and Bolsheviks, as well as more peaceful responsibilities. A unique feature of the Special Branch was its role within the intelligence community, sitting somewhere between the secret service, with whom it maintained close ties, and the police’s anti-terrorism functions. Special Branch would generally be deployed to arrest suspected spies. MI5 having no jurisdiction to do so. The book details some of the most fascinating espionage stories from the Branch’s long history, including how it was used to counter the rise of British fascism before the war. It deals with the rivalry between Special Branch and MI5 which ended with the latter eventually wresting back primacy in the investigation of Irish republican terrorism on mainland Britain from the former.  This is the first complete history of the Special Branch, and its authors Ray Wilson and Ian Adams are both former Special Branch officers who have had have had access to archive documents and interviewed former members. The Special Branch: A History 1883-2006 by Ray Wilson and Ian Adams (hb, 978 1849549103, £20.00) is published by Robson Press and you can order it here.

All a lot more exciting than the portrayal of the London Police force as seen in the much loved Dixon of Dock Green; give yourself a 90 second burst of burst of nostalgia here!

Exciting news this week for Skyscraper Publications and their author Anna Starobinets whose collection of short stories, The Icarus Gland, has been shortlisted for the Read Russia Prize, awarded each year for the best translation of a Russian book into English. (The U.K. based translator, Jamie Rann, also translated Starobinets’ dystopian novel The Living.) The Icarus Gland is a collection of short stories set in a time that is almost today, and a place that is almost anywhere, Starobinets stories are neither science fiction nor magical realism but combine elements of both. They remind me a bit of Roald Dahl’s short story collections that became the TV series Tales of the Unexpected – and like Dahl, they will appeal to YA readers as well as adults. Examples of these unsettling tales are:  The effects on family life of a routine surgical operation to make males nicer; Two mysterious movie producers offer a budding screenwriter his first major break, but they are not what they seem; A hospital cleaner whom no one notices witnesses the astonishing result of a doctor’s experiments in metamorphosis; The holiday outing to end all holiday outings, and not everyone can return and The electronic nanny that every child wants, who takes over the family in a sinister way. Last year, Starobinets was awarded the Russian Bestseller Award for a writer under 35 and the winner of this Read Russia award will be announced on May 29th in New York, coinciding with Book Expo America.  Karl Sabbagh, managing director of Skyscraper Publications, said: “Anna is a very unusual writer with an appeal to young adult readers, and James Rann has achieved a fine translation reflecting the popular speech and narrative style which makes the stories compelling to read.  The book is competing with translations of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, as well as other dead Russian writers, so we hope that this nomination helps to focus on the new generation of writing that is coming out of Russia.”  This is Anna’s second collection of stories – her first led to her being dubbed Russia’s Stephen King” . The Icarus Gland (pb, 978 0955181054, £12.99) is available now – it has an eye-catching cover, and as I say I think you could definitely sell this collection to teenagers as well as adults. Find out more here.

If you are too young to have watched the Tales of the Unexpected first time round I can recommend them on YouTube – although the 1970’s adaptations are a little dated, Dahl’s stories still pack quite a punch – have a look at this one here - introduced by Dahl himself and featuring a whole galaxy of British stars!

It’s summer (sort of) so it’s camping season, and Cool Camping Britain is getting a big double page splash in the Guardian tomorrow: Saturday 23rd May. This will also go online. Then Cool Camping Europe is getting the same treatment in the Sunday Telegraph on 31st May, which will also go online. So make sure you have both of these super books on display – they are the definite market leaders in the field (see what I did there). Cool Camping Britain is a fully updated second edition 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. 
Cool Camping Europe is also 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 and covers 100 outstanding European campsites spread across 12 countries explores a stunning range of camping grounds from the tip of Portugal’s Algarve to the shady forests of Slovenia. Cool Camping Britain (978 1906889630, £16.95, pb) and Cool Camping Europe (978 190688964, £18.95, pb) are both published this month by Punk Publishing and you can find out more here and here.

And to give you a taste of some really cool camping, carry on and have a look here!

Faith in Food: Changing the World One Meal at a Time by Susie Weldon and Sue Campbell published last year by Bene Factum Publishing has been shortlisted for this year’s Derek Cooper Award for Campaigning and Investigative Food Writing in The Guild of Food Writers 2015 Awards: the most prestigious awards in food writing and broadcasting. The winners will be announced on Tuesday 9 June at a ceremony in London. The shortlist highlights emerging talent as well as featuring some of our best-known food writers and broadcasters (including Diana Henry, Yotam Ottolenghi, Tom Parker Bowles and Ruby Tandoh) and celebrates the breadth of knowledge and expertise at work in a thriving creative field. As it features some well known food writers and broadcasters, it is sure to get quite a bit of coverage – so fingers crossed for Faith in Food, which has a foreword by Prince Charles and is a gorgeous trade paperback, combining essays, scripture, storytelling, recipes, initiatives and general wisdom in one beautifully produced book, all seeking to change our relationship with what we eat and how we obtain our food. This is a groundbreaking collaboration between Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Sikhism and Hinduism, alongside secular organisations as well, to get people thinking, acting and eating! Faith in Food (pb, 978 1909657410, £14.99, pb) is available now.

Compass is now on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. And below here are some of our favourite book and film mash-ups from #BookFilmCrossovers!
#bookfilmcrossovers Paradise Lost in Translation
#bookfilmcrossovers The Unbearable Lightness of Being John Malkovic.
Gone With The Wind in The Willows #bookfilmcrossovers
We Need to Talk About Kevin and Perry #bookfilmcrossovers
@Waterstones Nineteen Eighty-Four Weddings and a Funeral #bookfilmcrossovers
#bookfilmcrossovers Catch-22 Jump Street
#bookfilmcrossovers The Loneliness of the Long Distance Blade Runner
Cape Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas #bookfilmcrossovers

And finally – what must it be like when your own literary creation grows up and decides to do a saucy photo shoot? Read JK Rowling’s entertaining twitter banter with Mathew “Neville Longbottom” Lewis on Buzzfeed here!

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 15 May 2015

Compass Points 126

Well, this week we at Compass Towers have all temporarily been holed up in a hotel in Ealing (oh the glamour) hearing from our lovely publishers about the goodies they have in store for us this autumn! And what a cornucopia of delights it has tuned out to be! Here is a sneak preview to get you salivating!

From Scott Pack and his new imprint Aardvark Bureau we have two thought provoking novels – When the Professor Got Stuck in the Snow by Dan Rhodes, (which you may recall we have previously mentioned – it’s the somewhat controversial title starring Richard Dawkins – the Guardian called it a “zippy little farce”) and also The Miner  by Natsume Sōseki, one of the greats of Japanese literature (translated by Jay Rubin) which tells the story of a young man who leaves Tokyo on foot following a disastrous love affair and is recruited to work in a copper mine. Comma Press told us all about an intriguing collection entitled Forty Five Years: Selected Stories by David Constantine – one story has been made into a new film starring Charlotte Rampling which comes out in September. Gallic were very excited (as are we) about the new Muriel Barbery (author of the Elegance of the Hedgehog) novel: Life of Elves
How's this for a contentious bit of publishing – Red Planet is are bringing out a title entitled God Save the Queen – to tie-in with the date in Autumn when the Queen (God willing) will become the longest serving monarch in history. However, the Red Planet title is not a reverential tribute to our magnificent monarch – but a totally irreverent look at the history of the iconic Sex Pistols single! This is going to be huge – there is a lot to say about this extraordinary song and the impression it made on the public when it was first released in 1977 (which of course was the year of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee). Here’s the video to remind you! One and a half million people in the UK are involved in five-a-side footie every week – and in celebration of them, Freight are bringing out the Five-a-Side Bible – a miscellany of fact, figures and entertaining info about this massively popular game – which may well be the must-have dads and lads gift book for this Christmas! 
Which small town in Wales has given us over fifty great actors? Richard Burton, Anthony Hopkins, Michael Sheen and Rob Brydon:  all came from Port Talbot! The Actor’s Crucible is a hardback coming from Parthian which explores this extraordinary phenomenon. If you like gothic thrillers – and the novels of Mervyn Peake, then you’ll definitely be looking forward to The Unusual Possession of Alastair Stubb – a novel coming from Urbane. And if that sounds far too frightening for you then you might prefer Angels Whisper in my Ear – by the UK’s youngest “Angel Communicator” – Kyle Gray – published (who else!) by Hay House. Post election, everyone’s favourite political commentators Biteback bring us Call Me Dave – an unofficial biography of our leader – written by Lord Ashcroft, together with sassy journo Isabel Oakeshott. Btw, if you haven’t yet seen the brilliant Cassetteboy’s most recent David Cameron rap then you really should! Carcanet are bringing us the Collected Poems of Muriel Spark, and Enitharmon have a marvellous collection of poems by the dissident Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky. If this name is unfamiliar to you – then here’s a couple of minutes of archive footage which gives you a fascinating update. 
Talking of dissidents; Forty Six have a new title from Murong entitled Through the Red Dust. His writing deals mostly with social issues in contemporary China, exploring themes such as corruption, censorship, business-government relations, and general disillusionment over modern life; and his literature is known for its nihilistic, realist, racy, and fatalist style. Gibson Square have a cracking title which will appeal those many readers who love those collections of letters to the Times and Telegraph. But this is a book of letters with a twist – entitled Make Do and Send, it is an assortment of letters of protest written to the authorities about the rationing after WWII. They are very funny – and give you a real feel about the frustrations of the ordinary men and women who still had to do without many of life’s basics even though we had won the war! 
Lots of you are doing extremely well with Wanna Cook – the companion to Breaking Bad from Myrmidon; and the same publisher is bringing you Investigating Sherlock – an entertaining trawl through all the episodes in Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of the renowned detective.  As you may know, Benedict’s fans (the self-titled Cumberbitches) are both enthusiastic and plentiful – and this book is most definitely for them! 
Birlinn are bringing us a lovely compilation of love stories from the ever popular Alexander McCall Smith – similar in feel to the very successful Trains and Lovers, this is a charming collection. McCall Smith has used as his starting point some old sepia photos of unknown couples – and imagined the stories behind them. Two very different historical titles – Arcturus have a lavish hardback History of Maps and Plexus have Manly Manners – which is a republished Etiquette guide from the 1960’s – very odd and very funny! And finally, Periscope’s lead title is The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami which comes with a glowing endorsement from Salaman Rushdie – and was one of Wall Street Journal Top Ten Books of the Year. Phew – plenty to look forward to this Autumn I think!

And now onto books you can order now – as we said above, new novels from Alexander McCall Smith are always a treat and a couple are coming up this summer! The Revolving Door of Life is the tenth titles in the hugely successful 44 Scotland Street series and in fact its publication makes Scotland Street the longest running serial novel (they are published in the Scotsman) in the world! Over 120,000 copies have been sold of this fantastic series and once more, in The Revolving Door of Life we catch up with the delightful goings-on in the fictitious street. 
With customary charm and deftness, Alexander McCall Smith gives us another instalment where anything could happen to Bertie and the gang!  I absolutely love the whimsical and witty style of the jackets for this series. The Revolving Door of Life by Alexander McCall Smith (hb, £16.99, 978 1846973284) is published by Polygon in August and you can find out more and order it here.

And don’t forget about the new children’s book from McCall Smith; Precious and the Zebra Necklace (hb, £9.99 978 1780273273) which is out from Birlinn in July. Precious Ramotswe’s early years (long before she founded her Number One Ladies’ Detective Agency) as a precocious detective continues in the fourth book in this delightful series. When 8 year old Precious finds out that all her school friend Nancy has of her missing parents is a photograph and a necklace; she offers to help. The two intrepid girls quickly find themselves on an exciting adventure that takes them into the remotest parts of Botswana in their search for Nancy's family. You have now sold over 16,000 copies of Precious and the Monkeys in its hardback editions, and again these covers for this series are terrific! The previous three titles are now all available in paperback: Precious and the Monkeys (pb, £6.99, 978 1846973208), Precious and the Mystery of Meerkat Hill (pb, £6.99, 978 1846972546), Precious and the Missing Lion (pb, £6.99 978 1846973185) and you can order the new hardback of Precious and the Zebra Necklace here!

Long Time No See by Hannah Lowe is a poignant memoir, which speaks eloquently of love and its absence, regret and compassion, and the struggle to know oneself. Subtitled, A Memoir of Fathers, Daughters and Games of Chance; this title takes us into the vivid world of Hannah Lowe’s father “Chick”, a half-Chinese, half Jamaican immigrant, who worked long hours at night to support his family – except Chick was no ordinary working man. A legendary gambler, he would vanish into the shadows of East London to win at cards or dice, returning in daylight to greet the daughter whose love and respect he courted. Lowe calls forth the unstable world of card sharps, confidence men and small-time criminals, mixed with scenes of racially charged and often plain intolerant Essex life in the 80s, with flashbacks to a Jamaica that itself was a curry of social tensions. Yet this memoir is quiet, gently paced, redolent with insight and questioning and told with an impressive generosity of spirit. This hugely satisfying read is as good for the soul as it is soulful. Long Time No See by Hannah Lowe (pb, 978 1859643969, £9.99) is published by Periscope in July and you can find out more and order it here.

Will Long Time No See be added to the list of all time great novels with a gambling theme do we think? And what would be our top ten? Well, I’d start with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Casino Royale, The Dice Man and Dostoyevsky’s The Gambler perhaps – any more suggestions?

Who fancies an intelligent and compelling historical novel with a cast that includes Julius Caesar, Octavian, Mark Antony, Horace, Cassius Longinus, Cleopatra and Herod the Great? Definitely me, and so will all those readers who enjoy Robert Harris, Robert Graves, James Clavell and Hilary Mantel. The Horse Changer by Craig Smith (978 1910183137, pb, £8.99) is a new novel from Myrmidon coming in July. Set in Rome, 46 BC a young Tuscan knight, Quintus Dellius, secures the patronage of the youngest of his generals, the dissolute Cornelius Dolabella. But when his hero is assassinated the Roman republic is plunged into chaos as both his heirs and enemies jostle for power. In the civil wars that follow, Dellius is soon caught up in a maelstrom of shifting allegiances and the young soldier will need to discover reserves of both tenacity and ruthlessness if he is to survive. As he journeys from the orgiastic salons of Rome’s Palatine Hill to the Palaces of Alexandria, the rocky fortresses of Judea and the bloody field of Philippi, he manages to incur the enmity both of Egypt’s queen and Rome’s future emperor, but also to snare the affections of a beautiful and cunning young senator’s wife, Livia Drusilla…. Well, I don’t know about you, but this is strongly reminding me of one of my all time favourite films, from which you can see a clip below! Author Craig Smith has previously been shortlisted for the CWA Steel Dagger award for Best Thriller for his title Cold Rain – and this is more gripping stuff!

Who out there was Born in the 70’s? Well whether you are claiming to be far too old or far too young – you and your customers will certainly enjoy this a stroll down memory lane: a fabulous collection of photographs of Britain in the 1970s;  that fast-changing decade which saw a steady rise in living standards, the introduction of package tours abroad, far too many oranges and browns in home furnishings, bottles of Blue Nun, spacehoppers, Bagpuss and Curlie-Wurlies, prawn cocktails and avocados, colour TV, Kevin Keegan's perm, the Nolan Sisters, Abba, Edward Heath & Harold Wilson, Arthur Scargill and Maggie Thatcher! Born in the 70’s by Tim Glynne-Jones (hb, 978 1784047450, £6.99) contains over 90 photographs accompanied by a witty and moving commentary describing a fascinating decade which saw a whole nation taking to faded denim as miners manned the barricades and inflation topped 30%. The Seventies marked the beginning of Women's Liberation, and topics covered in this nostalgia fest also include punk, popular perms of the time, Bay City Rollers fans and the introduction of decimal currency. This is the latest in a great little series of gift hardback titles – you can see Born in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s on the blog - guaranteed to produce a golden glow in every reader! Born in the 70’s is coming from Arcturus in August and you can find out more and order it here.

And just to put you in the right frame of mind to place an order – here’s a brilliant 16 mins which takes you through the top 100 selling singles of the whole of the 1970’s – love it!

Compass is now on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. Here are some of our favourite Tweets from last week...
“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” ― Groucho Marx
Thanks @CompassIPS - always get such positive feedback on the books. Here's to a great second half to the year!!
Our 'Independent Book of the Month' for May is Boxes by Pascal Garnier from @gallicbooks Have you read it?
What do we wante? Latyn! Whanne do we wante yt? Nunc!
Well done Sue Lawrence - Fields of Blue Flax @FreightBooks is Scottish Book of the Month of the month at @BlackwellEdin! @scottishbooks
Today #biketoworkday Check out our fab Cycling related range here @BluffersGuide

And finally; never let it be said that Compass gives you booksellers titles you don’t actually want … but this Facebook post on the day following the election from our friends at the Five Leaves Bookshop in Nottingham made us laugh. A lot.
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.