Friday 10 July 2015

Compass Points 133

Ah the warm sun, the long lunches and the boozy evenings – truly when we’re not slogging away at a hot computer or in a steamy bookshop, summer 2015 is definitely shaping up to be La Vie en Rose or possibly La Vie en Rosé.  Which brings me neatly to the subject of our first book – and here's an aural clue...

Edith Piaf was one of 20th-century France’s brightest stars, an international sensation, and since her death in 1963 has become a legendary figure. Her life story is so compelling that it has become difficult to separate the truth from the hearsay, thanks to a wealth of stories, plays, films and biographies about her life: that she was born on the pavement of Rue de Belleville 72 on a pile of coats; raised in a brothel; a hero of the French resistance; losing the love of her life in a plane crash, and her untimely death from liver cancer. Shrouded by fantastical stories, the ‘real’ Edith Piaf is often indistinguishable from the legend. December 2015 will see Edith Piaf’s centenary, and in November, Oberon Books are publishing a shocking new Piaf title Find Me A New Way To Die: Edith Piaf The Untold Story by David Bret who is a prolific and bestselling author of revelatory – and often controversial – celebrity biographies. This new book centres around exclusive interviews with Piaf’s friends, lovers, colleagues and songwriters, as well as Bret’s close friend Marlene Dietrich and for the first time, David Bret is in a position to reveal some sensational material that was much too controversial to publish whilst the interviewees were alive. This new book will mean a significant revision to the Piaf myth and Find Me A New Way to Die will be compelling reading for all of Edith Piaf’s legions of fans plus all those who love celebrity biographies. Find Me A New Way To Die: Edith Piaf The Untold Story (pb, 978 1783199297, £8.99) will be serialised in a national newspaper. It is published in November, and you can find out lots more about it and order it here.

Let’s hear a bit more from the little sparrow shall we?

 Now we’ll move from one raddled iconic musician to another – Keith Richards. Rock’s seemingly indestructible hero has been photographed by many people over the past half a century: from the early days of The Rolling Stones, with a relatively baby-faced ‘Keef’ sporting a hounds-tooth jacket, to his heroic piratical look of the present day.  Keith Richards: A Life in Pictures by Dave Brolan is a beautifully produced comprehensive collection of portraits and candid shots collected to match the passing moments. Police busts, global superstardom, a legendary Glastonbury set, a satisfying appearance in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise and an unlikely 2008 advertising stint as a lifestyle icon for Louis Vuitton, as photographed by Annie Leibowitz – they’re all here. Among the other legendary photographers who took the pictures in this book are Jim Marshall, Terry O’Neill, Deborah Feingold and Neil Preston. Keith Richards: A Life in Pictures by Dave Brolan (pb, 978 1780384399, £24.95) features more than 250 photographs in colour and black-and-white and is published in September by Omnibus Press. Find out more and order it here

And here is the mighty Keith as Captain Teague in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End – a brilliant cameo in an otherwise shockingly awful film!

Being Someone is a debut novel from Adrian Harvey which is prominently displayed in the WHS Fresh Talent promotion at the moment, with their Travel Fiction buyer Matt Bates saying: “Our Fresh Talent promotion is going from strength to strength, showcasing the very best in new and emerging writing talent… this is undoubtedly a very strong selection.”  Being Someone is also getting great coverage on social media – and if you have are wondering what all this has to do with you, then let me quote you a review from Amazon, which starts “I came across this book because there was a spike of considerable hype on social media, highlighting the author’s use of location and quality of his writing”. There is no doubt that the combination of a chain bookstore promotion plus enthusiasm online can definitely equal increased sales for all of you independent bookshops – so I would urge you not to let Amazon scoop up all the sales for this book – order it now!  One reviewer describes it thus; this is “a novel about making a life and an identity for yourself among the infinite possibilities and ancient traps of a global city. Protagonist James is carving a career for himself in the London arts scene. Meanwhile, a parallel story follows the tragic, epic tale of an elephant and its mahout (handler) in Southern India. The two stories circle each other, converging and separating, and more and more connected. Adrian Harvey writes very well about everyday life, including the apparently small mistakes that become life-defining disasters. The struggle we all face to define our identities and live lives that match the stories we tell ourselves is acted out, step-by-step. The result is moving, harsh and surprising in equal measure.” Another said Being Someone is a beautiful lyrical book that brought me back to reading after a long reading drought. It begins intriguingly with the tale of an elephant in India - so far so good I thought. Then it moves back to a contemporary London setting with the start of a romance between James, who does PR in the art world and Lainey, a beautiful American lawyer. In the hands of a lesser writer, many readers would have lost interest at this point – after all the affairs of the heart of privileged North London types can be hard to care about. But I was hooked, wanted to find out more and especially how this all tied back to the elephant we were introduced to at the start. The story moves along with a good pace, which combined with a strong sense of place and an accurate ear for dialogue, drew me in and I raced through the book in two sittings.”  Being Someone by Adrian Harvey (pb, £7.99) 978 1909273092) is out now from Urbane Publications and you can find out more and order it here.

Who’s enjoying the Tour de France? Much better than all that dreadful grunting tennis in my opinion – and if you agree with me, then you might also like this list from the Guardian  of the top ten books about cycling!

You did extremely well with the Popmaster Quiz Book last year, so I’m sure you’ll be very pleased to hear that the Popmaster Quiz Book 2 is coming in September! Popmaster Quiz Book 2: Hundreds of Official Questions and Answers by Phil Swern and Neil Myners). More than 20,000 of the first Popmaster book were sold pre-Christmas last year- and once again this title will get on air promotion on BBC Radio 2. More than 8 million people listen to the to Popmaster quiz on BBC Radio 2’s Ken Bruce show every day; Ken has a massively loyal fan-base and 66,500 Twitter followers. The book can be used solo, to test your pop trivia knowledge, or as a fun game with friends and this is the ideal Christmas book for any age – for anyone who loves music, quizzes or both! Popmaster Quiz Book 2 (pb, 978 19059 59792, £9.99) is published by Red Planet and you can find out more and order it here

Well, talking about quiz books always puts me in the mood for a bit of BuzzFeed timewasting – so it’s time to find out which To Kill a Mockingbird Character you are!

And while we’re on the subject, what do you think of the dramatic revelations in the first chapter which has been published today of the eagerly anticipated Go Set A Watchman? Have a look here if you want to find out more – and don’t mind spoilers!

The ongoing question of what on earth is going to happen Greece's finances rumbles on and on – and two people who might know the answer are the outgoing Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and the new incoming Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakolotos. How fortunate that they both have books out at the moment so the rest of us can find out what their thoughts on the crisis are! Global Minotaur and Crucible of Resistance are zooming up the Amazon charts – and are currently at 2 and 3 in their International Economics section – so I strongly recommend that get them on display, in order to improve the finances of your own bookshop - never mind Greece!

Yanis Varoufakis was elected as Greek Finance Minister and Member of Parliament following Syriza’s electoral victory, and has been called “The emerging rock-star of Europe’s anti-austerity uprising” by the Telegraph. This new edition of The Global Minotaur: America, Europe and the Future of the Global Economy features a foreword from Channel 4’s Paul Mason and is a remarkable and provocative book. Yanis Varoufakis explodes the myth that financialisation and ineffectual regulation of banks were the root causes of both the Eurozone crisis and the global economic crisis and instead traces the current disastrous situation back to a much deeper malaise which can be traced all the way back to the Great Crash of 1929, then on through to the 1970s: the time when a 'Global Minotaur' was born. Varoufakis reveals how we might reintroduce a modicum of reason into what has become a perniciously irrational economic order. The Global Minotaur by Yanis Varoufakis (pb, £8.99, 978 783606108) is published by Zed Books and you can find out more and order it here.

Crucible of Resistance: Greece, the Eurozone and the World Economic Crisis argues that Greece’s exceptionalism is largely a myth. The blame game that has been played by the EU powers is an ideological tool used to shift attention from the realities of both European and global capitalist economic order. Euclid Tsakalotos and economist Christos Laskos suggest that there is very little that differentiates Greece from other countries struggling under austerity, and that parties such as Syriza could usher in a new, democratic and socialist era across the continent. Crucible of Resistance: Greece, the Eurozone and the World Economic Crisis by Christos Laskos and Euclid Tsakolotos (pb, £12.99, 978 0745333809) is published by Pluto Press. You can find out more and order it here.

As we all know, food trends come and food trends go (kale and quinoa smoothie anyone?) but something that genuinely does look here to stay is the trend for eating more raw (and therefore less processed) food. The Uncook Book: The Essential Guide to a Raw Food Lifestyle by Tanya Maher (hb, 978 1781805640 £16.99) is the perfect book for anyone who wants to celebrate life through food. Offering easy-to-follow, accessible recipes with a modern edge, Tanya draws on her years of experience as a raw food nutritionist and guides you through brilliant basics, fun family favourites and elegant entertaining. Tanya Maher has been hailed as the UK's top wellness coach in numerous publications, including Vogue magazine and the Evening Standard. She opened London's first 100% organic raw food restaurant, Tanya's Café, just under 6 months ago, and has been in the media spotlight ever since - her blog receives over 100,000 views per month. The Uncook Book will be excerpted in the September issue of Women’s Health and featured in a future issue of Health & Fitness and (4.3 million unique monthly browsers). The book will also be excerpted in the October and December issues of Red magazine; a future issue of Fabulous magazine and the September/October issue of Kindred Spirit. With beautiful photography plus easy-to-source, familiar ingredients; these recipes are tasty and easy to achieve – there’s even a section on delicious superfood cocktails; ah now that’s more like it! The Uncook Book: The Essential Guide to a Raw Food Lifestyle by Tanya Maher (hb, 978 1781805640 £16.99 is published by Hay House in September and you can find out more and order it here.

If you’d like to find out more about Tanya’s recipes and ideas, then have a look at her inspirational blog: - today's post is The Ice Cream That Broke the Internet - yum!

Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. Here is my favourite Happy Friday picture tweet from today – from the lovely BooksAreMyBag!

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.

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