Friday 26 June 2015

Compass Points 131

“The entrance to the emergency department soon fills with stretchers and running ambulance crews. The area begins to swarm with civilians, with and without visible injuries, policemen in blue camouflage uniforms pushing journalists and cameramen out of the way, while medical workers flock around the newly arrived patients. The air is a cacophony of shouts, screams and sharp commands from the senior surgeon in charge of sorting the casualties. Loudest and most piercing is the unbearable sound of children shrieking. Two young boys, one aged two or three and the other maybe seven, are lying on a stretcher. They have visible burn injuries and a large number of small, black wounds on their faces and necks, some of them bloody, like traces of shrapnel. Dr Atta al-Mzainy looks at me sharply. “We’ve got to take them to the intensive burn care unit. Straight away,” he shouts. “OK,” I answer; my heart pounding. Everything is collapsing around us now, I think to myself. The bombing throughout the night, the number of casualties; it all feels like a tidal wave of blood and screams. Insurmountable ….The Israeli drones buzz above us. Can nobody stop this nightmare?”
This is an extract from a piece in this week’s Guardian on Night in Gaza by Mads Gilbert. Strong stuff – the book is an eye-witness account by one of the European doctors who flew to Gaza to work at al-Shifa hospital, and help Palestinian medical staff deal with the results of aerial and ground attacks by Israel on Palestinian towns and refugee camps last summer. It has just been published, to coincide with the first anniversary of Israel’s seven-week war on Gaza. While Mads Gilbert was helping the wounded, he kept a camera in the pocket of his green operating scrubs and in this book, he tells the story in words and images of the days of bombing and human suffering that he witnessed. At the same time, this book is a tribute to the courage, endurance and almost inconceivably strong spirit of Palestinian health workers and volunteers, a spirit replicated throughout the severely tested society of Gaza, occupied Palestine. Night in Gaza by Mads Gilbert has colour and black and white photos throughout and is published by Skyscraper (pb, £18.99, 978 0993153365). This important book has been endorsed by Jon Snow, and is sure to get more publicity. You can find out more and order it here.

And you can see a very interesting BBC interview with Dr Mads Gilbert following his return from Gaza  here.

Happy First Birthday to one of our wonderful publishers Urbane – who celebrated in style with a terrific party in London this week. One of the authors there was David Wethey – author of Mote: the Super Meeting: the Radical Way to Work Together for Positive Change. Now this is an interesting book – it shows how by reinventing their concept of what a meeting is, a company can completely transform their business. All of us spend far too long in meetings - even conservative estimates say that we spend more than a quarter of our working lives in one, and that over 50% of that meeting time is wasted. Yet meetings appear central to the way process works in the vast majority of organizations – and no-one seems to want to tell the truth about them. Can you embody leadership through meetings? Can you innovate effectively through meetings? Is creativity evolved in meetings? David Wethey tells us why Mote is a life-changing way forward. When you learn how to mote you open up the pathways to business success, empower people, inspire innovation, promote productivity, and mote your way to your business goals. This really sounds very interesting and its unique model has been tested in global companies like Google and McCann. David Wethey wrote the bestselling Decide and I think this book could do equally well. Moting for all! 

Here's  David explaining the concept to Compass MD Alan Jessop – who I’m afraid doesn’t seem to be quite getting it! Mote: The Super Meeting: The Radical Way to Work Together for Positive Change. (pb, £12.99, 978 1909273207) has just been published by Urbane, and you can  find out more and order Mote here
And if you’d like to find out a bit more about Moting – than go to the website  here!

Welcome aboard to a brand new publisher on the good ship Compass – Omnibus Press  – the world's largest publisher of music related books including artist and band biographies, photo books and collectables. Well, you know how much we at Compass Points love a bit of music on a Friday – so this is truly great news, and I’m looking forward to telling you about lots of groovy new titles coming up this summer and autumn. If you’d like to find out a bit more about their back catalogue then take a look at their website

So first up from them is a biog that will have a big review in the Mail on Sunday on 5 July. Who’s a fan of Adam Faith? One of Britain's top three pop stars alongside Cliff Richard and Billy Fury, he had many chart hits including number one singles What Do You Want and Poor Me. He then went into music management during the 70s, managing, among others, Leo Sayer.  Also in the 70s he starred as the chirpy cockney, just out of prison, in the classic television series Budgie. Big Time: The Life of Adam Faith by David and Caroline Stafford includes interviews with Zoe Wanamaker, Laurence Marks, Terry O’Neill and Robert Elms. It follows Faith’s career from massively successful singer and actor, on to financial journalist – and disaster. He was behind the development of digital television's The Money Channel but the venture soon ran into difficulties, the channel closed down and Faith was declared bankrupt, reportedly losing £32m.  He had open heart surgery to treat seriously blocked arteries but died of a heart attack at age 62 in March 2003. A fascinating read, this hardback has eight pages of colour photos.  Big Time: The Life of Adam Faith (hb, 978 1783055524, £19.95) is published by Omnibus Press in July and you can find out more and order it here

And here is Adam from way back in 1960 when he’d already mastered his cute twinkly smile – but my goodness, weren’t pop songs short then – just one and a half minutes!

We do like a bit of Hogwarts trivia on a Friday, and I see from Twitter that Harry Potter is coming to the stage! Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will make its debut in 2016at the Palace Theatre in London’s West End. J.K. Rowling has collaborated with English television writer Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany (a Tony winner for Broadway’s Once) on the project, which Rowling said on Twitter was not a prequel.  “It will tell a new story,” Rowling wrote, but declined to provide more details. “I don’t want to say too much more; because I don’t want to spoil what I know will be a real treat for fans.” Ooh – can’t wait!

What with David Cameron deciding what we will or won’t contribute to Europe – and Greece’s future also hanging in the balance, there has never been a more relevant time to debate what countries can or can’t afford in the way of welfare for their citizens. The Welfare of Nations by James Bartholomew (978 1849548304, hb, £20.00) has just been published by Biteback, and James was on BBC Radio Leeds this week and also writing in the Telegraph promoting it. In this extraordinary sequel to his bestselling The Welfare State We’re In, James travels to eleven countries around the world, from Australia in the east and San Francisco in the west, to look at how “welfare states” are changing it. In America he meets New Yorkers who pay bribes to get social housing in Harlem. In Singapore a welfare official explains the treatment received by single mothers asking for money. He takes a tour of the massive social housing blocks of Marseilles where his guide points out the gang members who control the estates. He discovers why divorce is seen as a positive thing by some in Sweden and visits the hospital in Spain where a new model of healthcare was born. James Bartholomew shows how other countries with welfare states have often gone through similar experiences to Britain, including high unemployment, but with major differences. Some welfare states have done more good and less harm than others. Which ones have got it right and how have they done it? This is an important book for those seeking to understand the changing nature of our liberal nation states.  The Welfare State We’re In had mega good reviews with Milton Friedman calling it “A splendid book … A devastating critique of the welfare state.” and I think this new title will also attract much praise.

The one thing we all need less of in our lives (apart from meetings) is stress. And The De-Stress Effect: Rebalance Your Body's Systems for Vibrant Health and Happiness by Charlotte Watts promises to show us how to achieve just that. The TV and radio presenter Emma Forbes said of it Charlotte's book is my kind of read. I defy anyone to read this book and not relate it to their own life, see where there is room for improvement and, more importantly, use it to help get rid of that dreaded 'stress' that enters all our lives! Great advice, tips and help on how to really de-stress, and keep healthy and balanced in life. More importantly it just makes sense. Good sense. I'm all for it!” and the book and author recently featured in Stella magazine and on (circ. 4.1 million), Mail Online (210 million unique monthly browsers) and in the August issues of Women’s Fitness, Women’s Health and Slimming World – so this is a title that gazillions of readers will have heard of!  The De-Stress Effect is a truly holistic system, offering a wealth of tools such as mindfulness and nutrition to help reduce cravings and stress-related symptoms like mood issues, insomnia, IBS and many more. Charlotte is passionate about helping people find good health and happiness by acknowledging the particular demands of the 21st century and navigating a rewarding path through them to find resilience and grace under pressure. The De-Stress Effect by Charlotte Watts (pb, £12.99, 978 1781804858) is published by Hay House and is available now.

With Sepp Blatter now saying that he did NOT resign as FIFA president, there really is never a day that so called “professional” football is out of the headlines. However, in terms of actual participation (rather than sitting on your bottom ranting to Radio Five Live) five-a-side footie is of course a much bigger sport in the UK than professional football is – with 1.5 million people playing regularly. So I am 100% certain that The Five-a-Side Bible: Inside the World of Tasty Tackles and Terrible Touches by Chris Bruce will be a mega hit this autumn and for Christmas. Five-a-side footie is a massive special-interest participation sport which is crying out for books about it and this is a funny, practical and hugely entertaining exploration of the highs and lows of this great game from British Sports Book of the Year winners Back Page Press and Freight Books. This definitive and wry guide is written in a magazine style and is full of the humour, anecdotes and practical information that made Back Page Press’s Football Manager Stole My Life a bestseller. It covers sports science, tactics, nutrition, fitness warm-ups and warm-downs, but with the emphasis on fun; covering everything from the crazy team names – The Neville Wears Prada, Murder on Zidane’s Floor – to wacky stories of ill-discipline and injuries, outlandish excuses for not playing, kit disasters, and tips from pros like former England international Matt Le Tissier and current Everton winger Aiden McGeady. Fully illustrated in colour, The Five-a-side Bible profiles the best five-a-side players in the UK and provide a bucket list – including a pitch on top of a skyscraper in Shanghai and one on Copacabana beach – for those who want to take their fives obsession to the next level. The Five-a-Side Bible (hb, 978 1910449288, £14.99) by Chris Bruce is published in September and you can find out more and order it here

Chris Bruce is a lawyer and proprietor of   – have a look here – it’s the biggest website dedicated to five-a-side in the world with 50,000 monthly users – and it’s already promoting the book!

And here are Princes William and Harry getting in on the five-a-side footie action at a match in Glasgow!

I’m assuming that if you’re reading this, you’re probably not raving away at Glasto. But hey, maybe we can all pretend we are, by just reading books about music instead? I love this piece in the Guardian today where musicians and writers (including Brian Eno, Beck, Lavinia Greenlaw and James Wood) select their favourite reads about rock, pop, jazz and classical! Elvis as a young man, the size of Mick Jagger’s genitalia, Kristin Hersh’s miracle year, Berlioz in love; it’s all here!

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 12 June 2015

Compass Points 130

Excellent news that the superb Chris Riddell is to be the new Children’s Laureate. I love his drawing of all the previous Laureates as superheroes! He’s on a mission to get everyone doodling and drawing as well as reading and writing. 

Some of us may need a little help with that - so a good time for Arcturus to publish Drawing Made Easy by expert Barrington Barber - one of the most successful creators of practical drawing books currently available. His book Fundamentals of Drawing has sold over one million copies worldwide. Drawing Made Easy is a set that includes a full colour 80-page book with step-by-step instruction in techniques and how to tackle a broad range of subject matter. There is also a tear-off sketchpad, to practise the exercises covered in the book and improve skills and a DVD featuring Barrington Barber demonstrating essential drawing techniques and imparting his inspirational artistic philosophy. Drawing Made Easy (978 1784046378, £14.99, pb and DVD) is published in September.

And here’s a brilliant YouTube video of Chris Riddell drawing one of his amazing characters - The Nameless One. Somehow I think even careful perusal of Drawing Made Easy isn’t going to turn me into such a talented artist as Chris.

There is a lot of publicity coming up for World’s Apart: A Muslim Girl in the SAS by Azi Ahmed (hb, £16.99, 978 1849547796) which is published next week by Biteback. The Daily Mail is just about to begin a serialisation of it and there will be an interview with Azi Ahmed in the Times, next week and also a big piece in the Manchester Evening News. The author will be on BBC Breakfast on 15 June and there will be interviews on all the BBC local radio station next week. You will remember this is the remarkable book about a clash between very different worlds: the British Army and Britain’s Muslim community. It follows Azi Ahmed’s extraordinary journey from working in the family kebab shop in Manchester to a London barracks where the Colonel of 21 SAS unit is putting women through selection training with the men. Deep-rooted ethnic and gender prejudices need overcoming and she is 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, Azi 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.

Today is National Kindness Day: one day every year that asks people to perform a random act of kindness – whether that’s to friends, family, school mates or strangers! But who are the kindest literary characters? Have a look here to see if you agree with this Guardian list of the top ten tenderest and sweetest people in literature!

America’s Dreyfus: The Case Nixon Rigged by Joan Brady is an extraordinary re-investigation of one of America’s most notorious spy trials overturns a verdict that has stood for 60 years and reveals the part it played in Richard Nixon’s rise to prominence. The author of this book, Joan Brady met Alger Hiss, when she was a young dancer of 18, and he had been recently released from jail after a perjury trial which had made headlines for months in the US. Over the following 35 years of friendship she had no basis for questioning the verdict, but her growing knowledge of Hiss himself, and the puzzles raised by his own reactions to his trial and imprisonment led her, after Hiss’s death, to delve back into the transcripts of the hearings and into FBI files about the case. The story Brady tells in this book overturns the received view that Hiss was a spy and a former communist who lied in court. But more surprising still is her analysis of how Richard Nixon’s rise to fame, culminating in the US presidency, was based on the Hiss case, which Nixon instigated and conducted to create anti-communist hysteria and aid him in his election campaigns. Through false accusations, a flaky key witness, rigged paperwork and forged evidence, Nixon and other anticommunist politicians rigged a verdict which destroyed the life of Hiss, and ushered in an era of anticommunist hysteria which included the notorious hearings organised by Senator Joseph McCarthy. Joan Brady was the first woman to win the Whitbread Book of the Year Award, now the Costa, for her novel, Theory of War. She went on to write several more highly successful novels and thrillers and her talent as a prizewinning thriller writer produces a fast-paced story full of twists and turns, with the additional ingredient of her own personal part in the unfolding narrative. She shows how the Hiss case makes it all too clear that the purpose of political bogeymen – Communism then, terrorism now – is not to protect populations but to curb civil liberties and give secret services leave to override constitutions and courts. America’s Dreyfus: The Case Nixon Rigged  by Joan Brady (£20.00, hb, 978 0993153327) is certain to attract much media attention when it is published by Skyscraper in September and you can find out more and order it here.

The Oxford Dictionary announced that the 2014 word of the year was Vape (the 2013 word was Selfie, and the 2012 word was Omnishambles if you’re interested!). But a strong contender must have been the word Mindful – something that many of us struggle daily to be. We often spend so much time looking forward, rushing on to the next thing, or looking backwards, stressing and worrying about our perceived mistakes, that we rarely still ourselves and our minds enough to be truly in the present moment.  One Minute Mindfulness: How to Live in the Moment by Daily Mail columnist Simon Parke has just been published by Hay House. In it, Simon Parke uses stories and simple thoughts to help us see through clear eyes how we can return to the present moment and remain there. Both inspiring and practical, this book is for anyone who wants to come home to themselves. This is a new edition of this title, which features 15 more essays from Simon, as well as an appealing new package that fits closely with the mindfulness trend. The book and author will feature in a future issue of The Best You magazine and the June issue of Om Yoga. The book will also feature in the June issue of Psychic News , Woman and Home, Soul & Spirit as well as Kindred Spirit,, and You can find out more and order One Minute Mindfulness: How to Live in the Moment by Simon Parke (pb, 978 1781804964, £8.99) here.

We are delighted to announce that the Carcanet poet Karen McCarthy Woolf has been shortlisted for the award for Best First Collection in the prestigious Forward Prize for her book An Aviary of Small Birds (978 1906188146, £9.95, pb). The winners will be decided on 28 September. An Aviary of Small Birds is both Karen McCarthy Woolf’s elegy to a stillborn son and testament to the redemptive qualities of poetry as a transformative art. Ultimately, it is a closely felt connection with nature that allows the author to transcend the experience and honour the spirit of her son.  Michael Symmons Roberts said it was “an entrancing and heartbreaking debut. At times she takes your breath away.” The cover is beautiful.

Myrmidon’s lead literary fiction title for 2015 is The Anatomist’s Dream by Clio Gray. This dreamscape novel is a fantastical journey through an imagined 1840s Germany beset both by revolutionary ferment and repression as seen through the eyes of a small boy, Philbert, who has been borne with a ‘taupe’, a disfiguring inflammation of the skull. Abandoned by his parents, Philbert finds refuge and companionship with an assortment of eccentrics in an itinerant band of artists, magicians and entertainers as they journey in a travelling carnival across an increasingly threatening landscape. Myrmidon’s publishing director, Ed Handyside, says that he was drawn to the scale and colour of the novel as well as to its fable-like qualities. “It’s an apt title, to be sure,” he said. “There is a dream-like quality to Philbert’s world that lingers long after reading.” This is something to be savoured by fans of Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast trilogy, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus or Patrick Süskind’s Perfume. The author, Clio Gray was born and grew up North Yorkshire but has lived in Easter Ross in Scotland for the past twenty years, where she works as a librarian. Best known for the ‘Stroop’ series of Napoleonic crime novels published by Headline, she is also a consummate writer of short stories and won the Orange Short Story Award in 2004. The Anatomist’s Dream (978 1910183205, hb, £18.99) is published  in July and you can order it and find out more here

The Miner is the most daringly experimental and least well-known novel of the great Meiji writer Natsume Sōseki. An absurdist tale about the indeterminate nature of human personality, written in 1908, it was in many ways a precursor to the work of Joyce and Beckett. Translated by Jay Rubin, and with an introduction from Haruki Murakami, this is bound to appeal to fans of Japanese literature. The narrative unfolds within the mind of an unnamed protagonist-narrator, a young man caught in a love triangle who flees Tokyo, is picked up by a procurer of cheap labour for a copper mine, then travels toward and inside the depths of the mine, in search of oblivion. As he delves, the young man reflects at length on nearly every thought and perception he experiences along the way. His conclusion? That there is no such thing as human character. The result is a novel that is both absurd and comical, and a true modernist classic. There has been huge interest in this title from the literary press there are several offers to serialise the introduction. Its translator Jay Rubin will be over in the UK to promote the book and is available for events. The Miner by Natsume Sōseki (pb, 978 1910709023, £9.99) is published by Aardvark Bureau in September and you can find out more and order it here

Well, it’s a challenge, but to finish, can we come up with a top five songs about miners? Yes, I think we can! Firstly, let’s start fairly traditional with The Coal Miners Song by Jimmy Joe Lee, then it probably has to be Big Bad John by Jimmy Dean. And how about this classic; Sixteen Tons from Tenessee Ernie Ford in 1955. A little bit more “out there” is probably Together We Work the Black Seam by Sting – but I think number one, and certainly my top of the pops are these lovable little chaps from Snow White!

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 5 June 2015

Compass Points 129

We at Compass love it when publishers make short trailers for their books on YouTube – it’s a great way of summarising the feel and mood of a title. Here’s an atmospheric 40 seconds promoting Escape to Perdition by James Silvester (pb, £8.99 978 1909273795) which is coming from Urbane Publications in July. This is a contemporary international political thriller in the best traditions of Le Carre and Robert Harris. Set in Prague 2015; love, deception and murder dominate as the city becomes the centre of international intrigue and shadowy organizations battle for power over a nation's future. Escape to Perdition is a timely slice of high quality political intrigue, at a time when Europe is at the centre of constantly evolving debates about its role. This is intelligent thriller writing that will appeal those who like exiting stories with depth, great characterization and a realistic setting. As the novel progresses the body count rises, options fade, and the hero’s path to redemption is clouded in a maelstrom of love, deception and murder – can he confront his past to save the future? Sounds pretty cool to me – and you can find out more and order it here.

Here’s an interesting question – when does your bum become your hip? I only ask, because there’s been a bit of stooshie (as my Scottish colleagues would say) over the redesign of the iconic cover for Jilly Cooper’s Riders! Have a look here to see what you think!

Don’t miss out on all the buzz building for Journeyman: One Man’s Odyssey Through the Lower Leagues of English Football by Ben Smith (978 1849548540, £12.99., pb)  FourFourTwo  (the biggest footie magazine) has just given it a rave review and a five star rating – making it their No.1 book of the month. This is a refreshing enlightening and candid, unvarnished life of a jobbing footballer.  It starts in 1995, when its author Ben Smith, with a dream of playing professional football, arrives at the training ground of one of England's biggest clubs to begin his journey. Aged just sixteen, he shares pre-season sessions with the likes of Dennis Bergkamp and Ian Wright at Arsenal. Surely his career can only go one way from here? The next seventeen years duly see him descend from Highbury to obscurity in a career that involves seasons playing for Reading, Yeovil, Weymouth, Hereford, Shrewsbury, Southend, Crawley, Kettering and Sudbury AFC. Smith candidly describes the contract negotiations, the insecurities, the fear and realities of injury, the impact on his personal life and the wet Saturday afternoons playing in front of 500 people. This is the honest, intelligent memoir of a quintessential journeyman footballer. The Express summed it up nicely by calling it a “fascinating tale, so ditch the latest predictable ghost written life story of a pampered Premier League star for this. This is a title which started building with word of mouth recommendations – its fans on Twitter said “by far the best footballers autobiography I've ever read. Cheers for a great book”, “Absolute gold”, “they should give it to scholars to read. No sugar coating”, “a fantastic read … a great insight into lower league football. Well done.” “Loved the book … read it in a weekend.” The book has consistently done well since its publication in April, and is fast becoming a bestseller – so make sure you have it on display – clearly footie is much in the news at present and I would say this is absolutely ideal as a Father’s Day gift for example.  Ben Smith is still in hot demand from the media and there will be lots more publicity for Journeyman to come. It is published by Biteback and you can find out more and order it here

Stop Press – we’ve just heard today that the Sunday Telegraph will be running an extract and (in their words) “a good plug for the book” this Sunday (8 June) from I Know I am Rude But It is Fun: The Royals and the Rest of Us as Seen by Prince Philip by Nigel Cawthorne (pb, £8.99, 978 1783340125)This is the affectionate compendium of the Duke of Edinburgh's propensity for putting his foot in his mouth which has just been published by Gibson Square, and coincides nicely with the Duke of Edinburgh’s 94th birthday next Wednesday!

Congratulations to Helen Tookey and Caoilinn Hughes whose Carcanet collections Missel Child and Gathering Evidence have both been shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry Prize
You can find out more about that prize on their website here.

Lots of great press for Janice Galloway's Jellyfish  (hb, £8.99, 978 1908754950): a stunning short story collection by one of the United Kingdom’s best contemporary fiction writers which is out at the end of this month from Freight. It will be featured on BBC Radio 4’s Open Book programme on 18 June, and also reviewed in the Scotsman, The Skinny, Prospect Magazine, the Evening Times and the Guardian. There will be a cover interview in the Herald magazine on Saturday 20th June and a feature interview in Scotland on Sunday on 21st June. Janice Galloway’s stories have already attracted a great deal of praise with the Times Literary Supplement writing “in her best work, nothing is ordinary... she makes the surreal flicker like a blue flame from the edge of the everyday.” The New Statesman called them “stories that walk with steady, nerve-cracking skill down a nightmare edge” while the Independent enthused “the writing can be felt on your pulses…writing has rarely been so visceral.Jellyfish is Blackwell’s Scottish Book of the Month and you can find out more and order Jellyfish here

A warm welcome to BC Books – Bold Books for Curious Kids – a new children’s imprint from Birlinn, designed to provide writing and illustration of the highest quality for young readers throughout the UK and beyond which launched this week in Edinburgh with plenty of accompanying publicity. 
The four launch titles are Sixteen String Jack by Tom Pow (978 1780272269, £9.99), The Secret Dog by Joe Friedman (978 1780272870, £6.99), Silver Skin by Joan Lennon (£6.99, 978 1780272849) and a Peter Pan graphic novel by Stephen White (978 1780272900, £12.99). There were illustrated articles on the whole list this weekend in the Times, the Daily Mail, the Mail on Sunday and Scotland on Sunday.  Author Tom Pow and illustrator Ian Andrew did an interview on Radio BBC Scotland; there was an article about the new list in Scottish Field; Silver Skin, The Secret Dog and Sixteen String Jack all featured on the LoveReading blog; there was a feature on The Secret Dog on BBC Online, and there were reviews of all four new books in Carousel magazine. If you would like some POS (posters, bunting and bookmarks) to support the new list then please email and for more information on BC Books, go to the Birlinn Children's Books website here.

A big piece in the Bookseller today on the Rising Stars of 2015; their annual list of the up-and-comers and leaders of the future in the book trade – the publishing industry’s movers and shakers! Maybe you or someone from your shop is on the list? If so, many congrats from all at Compass Points! We’re very pleased to see one of our publishers – Adrian Searle from Freight has made the grade, and you can see the whole list of the 39 stellar superstars here!

We were all most excited to hear that Sixty Degrees North: Around the World in Search of Home (hb, £12.99, 978 1846973369) by Malachy Tallack will be BBC Book of the Week on BBC Radio 4 from 13 July 2015. There is lots of great publicity coming up for this title too – including a Will Self review in the Guardian. Polygon are submitting this lovely title for all the major book prizes so there may well be more good news to come. It is going to be Scottish Book of the Month for Waterstones – and has a new pub date of 1 July. Sixty Degrees North is a deeply personal book which begins with the author’s loss of his father, and his troubled relationship. It is also a book of travel and culture, of history and natural history and most of all it is a book about home. It will appeal to readers of travel and nature books, as well as to those especially interested in “the North” and Arctic regions – and anyone who loves quality writing. You can order it and find out more here

A great piece in the Weekend Telegraph Travel section by Jonathan Knight, Punk Publishing editor of the Cool Camping series, chooses his favourite campsites in Europe with mountain views which you can read here – even those not remotely keen on camping cannot fail to be enthralled the thought of waking up and unzipping your tent to these jaw-dropping views! Cool Camping Europe (978 190688964, £18.95, pb) has just been published and is available now.

How well do you know your James Bond? Test your Bond knowledge with this fiendish little quiz from those folk at Bluffer’s Guides here and then swot up with The Bluffer’s Guide to Bond (£6.99, pb, 978 1909365049)!

A couple of books to lift your spirits from Birlinn; firstly MacLean's Whiskypedia: A Gazetteer of Scotch Whisky (978 1780272535, pb, £14.88) by Charles MacLean. This is the author who the Sunday Times called “Whisky’s finest guru” and of whom the Independent said “Charles MacLean writes like no other expert on the subject, his prose is informed and highly entertaining”. Whiskypedia explores the influences of history, craft, tradition and science on Scottish whisky. Each entry provides a brief account of the distillery’s history and curiosities, details how the whisky is made, and explores the flavour and character of each make. Charles MacLean has spent thirty years researching; writing and lecturing about Scotch whisky and Whiskypedia guides, entertains and informs novices and experts alike. The Telegraph is giving this one quite a bit of promotion on the back of their Whiskey Tasting Experience Event which they are running with Charles MacLean on 8 and 9 June. 
And secondly don’t forget 101 Gins to Try Before you Die (hb, 978 1780272993 £12.99) by Ian Buxton This new book from another best-selling drinks writer is out in August and is the authoritative guide to the world of gin, and the first book to explore the explosion of innovative gin brands and the artisanal distillers that are reinventing this highly popular drink.

And on a related subject, here’s a great podcast of Alexander McCall Smith talking whiskey and writing in a bar in Dublin with the Irish Times.

A major serialisation is coming up in the Mail on Sunday of Black Horse Ride: The Inside Story of Lloyds and the Banking Crisis over the 7th June and 14th June. Black Horse Ride is the first account from the perspective of senior figures at Lloyds TSB of the doomed takeover of HBOS at the height of the economic crash and provides key insights from high-ranking officials at the Bank of England and civil servants on Whitehall. It tells the inside story of what really occurred in the aftermath of the worst single day in banking history, a day in which two of the world’s banking giants, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, either filed for bankruptcy or had to be bailed out by the US government. Through a compelling cast of high-profile bankers, politicians and investors, Ivan Fallon brings together the accounts of all the power players involved in this dramatic saga for the first time – including the key roles played by the Governor of the Bank of England and the Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The Mail on Sunday serialisation will make sure that this is picked up as a story by all the other newspapers – so make sure you’ve got copies on display. Black Horse Ride: The Inside Story of Lloyds and the Banking Crisis (hb, £20.00, 978 1849546423) by Ivan Fallon is published on 18 June by Robson Press You can find out more about Black Horse Ride here

We love a bit of music on a Friday, so let's think of our top five songs involving horses – or even more specifically black horses?  Well, crazy horses by one of my favourite bands probably describes the behaviour of some of those bankers quite well – as does Mick singing about those wild horses. With hindsight, I think we all feel that many of those highly paid individuals were just one trick ponies leaving Lloyds TSB as a bit of a horse with no name. And what a great song is this one by KT Tunstall! (However, I’m not a fan of this one from Katy Perry- great video though!)

Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. Here are some of our favourite Tweets from last week...
A thousand thank yous for last night's TOKYO launch on the river, including @cargopublishing @NikkaWhiskyEU, Tengu Sake and Choya Wine...
So proud to have taken a punt on @bsmudger7's autobiog of a lower league footballer. It's become a bestseller!
Up for the Challenge of reading Sod the Bitches. Thanks @urbanepub
'ambitious, playful poems' - Great review in the TLS for @CaoilinnHughes' Gathering Evidence today!
So excited for @malachytallack Sixty Degrees North as #BookOfTheWeek @bbcradio4 @agentjenny roll on July!
Congrats to Adam @frostatwork on another Chelsea Gold! Book @RedPlanetZone in July
Please place your vote for More Life, Please! in the People's Book Prize @PeoplesBkPrize
Wild weather gone now so we can appreciate the fab @wildthingsbooks display at @blackwelloxford Sunny #FridayFeeling!

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

This blog is taken form 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.