Friday 2 October 2015

Compass Points 142

There’s a bit of a comforting feel to Compass Points today, with books about loosing that stress, getting that sleep, and eating that steak! First up then is Destressifying by Davidji. Subtitled: The Real-World Guide to Personal Empowerment, Lasting Fulfilment and Peace of Mind this book shows you how you can handle any type of stress using holistic techniques. Davidji is a stress-management guru and internationally recognized meditation expert and the AI for this title tells me that his teachings on stress release, conflict resolution and mindfulness are practised in some of the largest police academies in the USA – golly! 
There has just been a big 6-page interview with Davidji in YOGA magazine which has a 90,000 circulation and is accompanied by loads of inspirational colour pictures from the book – great promotion! Destressifying by Davidji (pb, 978 1781805350, 10.99) has just been published by Hay House and you can find out more and order it here

Here’s one of the Bookseller’s top highlights for humour this season: Don't Mention It: The A-Z of Modern Bullshit by Malcolm Burgess. This is set to do for modern bullshit what Malcolm Burgess's previous paperback I Hate the Office did for office life. From Business Consultant (someone who is paid for a small fortune and gets to wear a Prada suit for saying what you and your colleagues have been saying for years in the office kitchen) to Glamping (sleeping in a wet tent on a Cath Kidston lilo) this contains over 1,000 rapier-sharp killer entries. And just for readers of Compass Points, here’s Malcolm’s guide to those various bullshit publishing phrases that we all know and love so well! (The views here are those of Mr Burgess and not necessarily endorsed by Compass Points – just saying!!)

Enchanted Mandala Mindfulness: Exorbitantly priced colouring books
Healthy eating:  written by someone from West London with half a million Instagram followers
Erotica:  Soft porn
Nordic Noir: Serial killers with frostbite
Fan Fiction:  Written by the kind of people who, in times past, would have been burnt alive at the stake
Misery Memoirs: Bottom of barrel scraped too many times
Contemporary Women's Fiction: Chick-lit
Richard and Judy novel: Books that make you laugh and cry, although possibly not for the reasons the writer intended
Self-Help: Books that show you how to do things for yourself because, let's face it no one else will
Sequel: Author dissuaded from writing anything original
Adored by generations of children: GCSE set text
Satirical: A writer sniffy about being called funny
Set in Britain today: Depressing
Christmas Bestseller: A book you wouldn't dream of reading yourself, but is felt to be suitable for relatives and people you don't like very much
Don't Mention It: The A-Z of Modern Bullshit by Malcolm Burgess (pb, £7.99, 978 0992636456) is published by Oxygen Books on 22 October 2015. Find out more and order it here

Published this month by Carcanet, is a crucial part of the Ezra Pound canon made available for the first time in English. Ezra Pound’s Posthumous Cantos collects unpublished pages of his great poem, drawn from manuscripts held in the archive at Yale’s Beinecke Library and elsewhere. They are assembled by Pound’s Italian translator, the critic and scholar Massimo Bacigalupo.

Marriages between writers often seem to be difficult ones (think Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath), and that between Edna O’Brien and Ernest Gébler was no exception. The Projectionist: The Story of Ernest Gébler by Carlo Gébler is a mesmerizing tale about one of Ireland’s best-known literary families. Carlo Gébler is the son of Edna O’Brien and Ernest Gébler (the Emmy award-winning writer of international bestsellers such as The Plymouth Adventure and Hoffman). This is an affecting literary biography with real European flavour, covering a very tumultuous century. It deals with Ernest’s difficult personality, his strict disciplinary attitude and staunch socialism, as well as his stormy marriage. It also touches on the difficult and emotional relationship that the father and son shared, as well as Ernest suffering from Alzheimer’s later in life. The book begins somewhat ominously "Readers should bear in mind that had the subject been given a choice he would never have allowed the writer to tell his story" – but it is both absorbing and moving. There has been a first-class review in the Irish Independent which you can read here  describing it as “a poignant endnote to a complicated and compelling life”. The Projectionist (pb, 978 1848404571, £17.99) is published by New Island Books and you can find out more and order it here

Are we excited to see the new Harry Potter illustrations by Jim Kay from new edition of Philosopher’s Stone published next week? Get a sneak preview in the Telegraph here. Beautiful!

Comfort, Settle and Sleep by Samantha Quinn was published last year, and its author is an avid blogger, with a big fan base and many followers. Channel Mum has just taken her on as one of their expert partner vloggers. If you’re not familiar with Channel Mum it’s a website for mums, (doh!)  which is run by the founder of NetMums and part owned by ITV. You can find out about it here on their website Its USP is that it sponsors Youtube vloggers – and directly links to their blogs and sites from the Channel Mum site – basically pooling all the many mummy blogs together in one place. Comfort, Settle and Sleep has already got many rave five star reviews on Amazon: “This is an absolute must have book for all mums, first time mums can feel safe and second time round mums have said they have been inspired by new tips and techniques. The book is clear & an enjoyable read. This woman seems to know what she's talking about and I cannot recommend it enough!” is typical. The author Samantha Quinn is an admirable self publicist, and there have been many positive reviews of this title in the parenting magazines. Mummy blogging is of course the most colossally crowded market – but Samantha is possibly unusual in that she already has a book published – rather than hoping to get a deal from her vlogging activities. Comfort, Settle and Sleep by Samantha Quinn is published by Connections (pb, 978 1859063866) and I’d urge you to stock it all ready to sell loads of copies as Samantha Quinn becomes the next Zoella!

As a mega fan of both author Patrick Ness and Dr Who, I am exceedingly excited to discover that they are soon to be combined! Yes, it’s true – Patrick Ness is working with Steven Moffat to create an eight part Doctor Who spin-off series for the BBC! Read more about it in The Guardian here!

Rob Newman was talking on Radio 6 Music at lunchtime today about his new book The Entirely Accurate Encyclopaedia of Evolution which is also a new BBC Radio 4 series starting next week on 5th October. The Entirely Accurate Encyclopaedia of Evolution, (hb, 978 1908885531, £11.99) is published by Freight and Cargo and you can find out more and order it here

How far would you go to get the perfect steak? Well Mark Schatzker’s quest has taken him on an odyssey to four continents, travelling thousands of miles across eight countries and working his way through more than 100 lbs of steak prepared according to dozens of techniques. The result is an impassioned, funny and remarkably enlightening study of steak and its discontents as well as its many delights. Steak begins with begins with a Proustian moment, a lovingly remembered morsel from his past, and Schatzer then goes on to explore beef myths and esoterica. Does marbling matter more than breed? Is a stressed animal less tasty? How does one read cow pies? Can umami be described accurately? Schatzker’s inquisitive mind and comedic sense of timing keep his prose as lively as it is informative. As he aims for a unifying theory of steak, he even begins to raise his own cows for slaughter, leading him to a Zen-like revelation: the secret to great steak is, simply, great steak. This book has already been published in the US where it was very well received: Schatzker has done an ace job of combining interesting historical facts and stories, and amusing accounts of his steak-seeking travels into an entertaining, story-shaped narrative arc” and Steak: One Man’s Search for the World’s Tastiest Piece of Beef by Mark Schatzker (pb, 978 1859649022, £12.99) is published by Periscope this month. You can  find out more and order it here.

Someone who loves a bit of steak is of course Mr Bond, and all things 007 continue to make the news with the arrival of the Sam Smith theme tune this week (what do you think? A bit of a mournful moan imo). I mentioned Ian Fleming: A Personal Memoir by Robert Harling (hb, £20.00 978 1849549356) coming from Robson Press a couple of weeks ago; and don’t forget about The Bluffer’s Guide to Bond (pb, 978 1909365049, £6.99) when you are assembling your 007 display. This is a compendium of all the known facts about Bond; the man, likes, dislikes, tastes in food and drink, the films, which book or short story they came from, as well as the post Fleming authors. Plus, of course, an enormous amount of brilliant Bond trivia! As one critic says: “After reading through this you are going to know a lot more about Bond than anyone you are likely to be discussing him with and, as importantly, this is really quite a fun read.” This essential Bluffer’s title has just been reviewed in Finish (!)  by 007 Travelers which is a hilarious  blog written by Pirita and Mika, who travel around the world searching for 007 filming locations and places from Bond books, 007 hotels and 007 restaurants – and indeed anything Bond related. Now THAT’S the job I want! Find them on Twitter @007travelers and at

We enjoyed this entertaining blog in the Bookseller recently from the manager of Waterstone’s in  Canterbury, Martin Latham; on why bookshops will last forever. “The things I most enjoy doing… talking to customers … putting something like an oak tree in the window, shelving maps, oiling the rocking horses, doing a money-spinning section move, unpacking a breathtaking or mind- bending new book, being given warm saved-up coins by a child who is literally jumping for joy…”  Striking a chord? You can read the whole piece here

Worried that there isn’t a Top Gear annual this year? Well worry no more; Rock Stars Cars by Dave Roberts is here to fill the gap! The title says it all: this is witty, irreverent but informative text accompanying colourful, larger-than-life photographs of 127 rock stars and their cars! The online social media campaign for this title is already attracting car enthusiasts, music fans and petrol-heads alike and this is a great at-the-counter title or gift-table book in the lead-up to Christmas! It’s fantastically browsable, with immediate visual impact! Want to see Chuck Berry in his Thunderbird? Debbie Harry in her Chevrolet? Morrissey in his Fiat 500? Well who wouldn’t! You can see some spreads from the book here. Rock Stars Cars (978 1905959778, hb, 12.99) is published by Red Planet in October and you can order it here.

Let’s finish up with something from a rock star not averse to posing with his limousine (Julio, get the stretch); who doesn’t love a bit of Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson?!   This video truly is the top banana: 100 dance scenes from 100 movies all mashed up to Uptown Funk – how many can you name!

Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. Here are some of our favourite tweets from this week...

Freight Books ‏@FreightBooks
As a small indie publisher it's often all hands on deck when pallets of new books arrive. I like to think of it as a welcome party.
Cargo Publishing‏@cargopublishing
Sebastian Faulks says Nicholas Hogg's Tokyo is a "fine novel."
Dymvue ‏@Dymvue
RETWEET of 2014 @BeeRowlatt Hilary Mantel: is there anything you think you can't do? Fay Weldon: No.
Blackwell's Holborn‏@BlackwellsHH
Thanks to @DanRhodes101 for a great event last night & thanks to all that came. And thanks to @AardvarkBureau We have ltd signed Prof stock!
Guardian Books ‏@GuardianBooks
"Boarding passes are too ostentatious, bus tickets too flimsy. Train tickets are just right" – reader Rob Scorah
Hay House ‏@HayHouseUK
"This day is the future I created yesterday." - @LouiseHay #DailyAffirmation
Carcanet Press ‏@Carcanet
Wonderful night @ForwardPrizes! Congratulations to all the winners and Karen for a brilliant reading.
Freight Books ‏@FreightBooks
Manchester, you're in for a treat. Tonight @mrrobnewman appears at @BadLanguageMcr: …
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.

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