Friday 23 October 2015

Compass Points 145

We like nothing more than a bit of a stooshie (as my Scottish colleagues would say) at Compass – and three subjects pretty much guaranteed to provoke one are: racism; how other people bring up their children and the meaning and message of Islam. How fortunate then that these are the subjects of three of the aptly named Provocations titles coming in November, all published by Biteback.

First up is Blame the Parents by Julia Hartley-Brewer (hb, 978 1849549431 £10.00). In this extraordinary polemic, Julia Hartley-Brewer argues that how people parent shouldn't be a matter of personal choice since we all (as taxpayers) will be the ones picking up the tab when parents fail to do it properly. She demonstrates just how bad the problem is, and how much it is costing us socially and financially as a nation. There is no definitive guidance on what parents should do to get the basics right and whilst we have rules governing most areas of our lives, we have nothing for the single most crucial one – raising children. When parents fail to do their job properly, they often leave a trail of devastation that can stretch through generations, leaving unhappiness and misery in its wake. Julia Hartley-Brewer argues that the parenting of every single child should matter to all of us and suggests ways we can prevent issues before they arise, rather than just throw money at them when the damage has already been done.

If you don’t have any examples of badly behaved children waiting for you at home – then have a look here at this winsome threesome – from the US series of Supernanny! And would you use this tactic to stop your little boy using “bad words” – I think there are several parents here who could do with reading Julia Hartley-Brewer’s book!

The second title in the Provocations series published this month is Racism: The R Word by Kurt Barling (hb, £10.00, 978 1849549424). Kurt Barling is Professor of Journalism at Middlesex University and was a leading broadcaster for the BBC for twenty-five years, making many prime-time documentaries and wining numerous awards for his journalism, filmmaking and writing. He examines the paradox at the heart of anti-racism: whether by adopting the language of the oppressor to liberate the oppressed, we are paralysing ourselves with the language inherited from racism? Many argue the post-racial society is upon us and racism is no longer a block on opportunity. Overt racism is certainly much less present than at the time of the Broadwater Farm riots in 1985. Music, youth culture, sport and the obsession with the body beautiful have all made ‘blackness’ commercial. But is this all just an illusion conveniently masking a culture of denial? Is it yet possible to step out of our skins and leave the colour behind?

Also this month is Islam: Beyond the Mad Max Jihadis by Ziauddin Sardar (hb, £10.00, 978 1849549493). Behind the stories of atrocities, strife and turmoil caused by a particularly virulent strain of Islam, there are a number of different versions and visions of Islam struggling to survive. Writer and critic Ziauddin Sardar tells the stories of different interpretations of Islam and argues for a critical version of a religion that has a long and distinguished history – but which appears to have been swept aside by a fundamentalist interpretation. Along the way, he answers a host of questions uppermost on the minds of most people. Is Islam inherently violent and misogynist? Why do young men and women go to join the Jihadi Caliphate? Does Islam need a reformation? Should we be frightened of Sharia? What part do Muhammad’s teachings play in our own times? This is a remarkable book, in which Ziauddin Sardar (a practising Muslim) urges all to work together to preserve the sanity of our world.

And here’s an interesting article in today’s Guardian about what the word “radical” actually means.

The vogue for vintage etiquette books shows no signs of abating anytime soon. The bestselling Don’ts for Wives and Don’ts for Husbands have been core stock at Waterstones since their publication 8 years ago and Edwardian and Victorian etiquette guides have proven to be very strong sellers in the gift market. Coming in November is Manly Manners for the Impeccable Gent – unusual in that it is one of the very few guides to etiquette for men written in the Sixties. This is a period which (partly thanks to shows such as Mad Men) is having a bit of a moment – and the advice Manly Manners contains is entertainingly very much of its period (1961) but also contains many timeless gems which are still relevant today. Filled with little known secrets to help you get ahead in business, in society and in your romantic affairs, its author Guy Egmont provides invaluable guidance on everything how to pronounce the word ‘scone’ without causing ineffable consternation; how to excuse yourself from work for the day whilst remaining entirely above suspicion; how to conduct business on the golf course rather than in the boardroom and how to dissuade your wife from purchasing those abominably unflattering slacks. Manly Manners for the Impeccable Gent (pb, 978 0859655453, £12.99) truly is a trove of advice for the aspiring gentleman-about town; it’s published in November by Plexus and you can find out more and order it here.

And if we want to remind ourselves how “gentlemen’s” manners really were in the 1960’s – take a look at this hilarious advert for coffee!

It’s always good to hear about an exciting bit of publishing coming up in the future, even if you can’t order it quite yet, so we were thrilled to hear that Martin Cathcart Froden’s unpublished debut novel Devil Take the Hindmost has been announced as the winner of the Dundee International Book Prize 2015. Cathcart Froden was awarded the £10,000 prize and Freight Books will be publishing it. Cathcart Froden said: “I am absolutely over the moon! Winning the Dundee International Book Prize is a dream come true. It’s one of those life-changing surprises. I am so, so happy.” Which is exactly the sort of pleased reaction you want from an author – nicely said Cathcart! The winning novel, Devil Take the Hindmost, is set in London in the 1920s and centres on velodrome racing and a "cyclist so fast criminals want him: to win races, to stage losses and to run important messages.” Adrian Searle, publisher at Freight said: “Martin Cathcart Froden has created a unique, compelling noir that combines a literary sensibility with that all-important quality; it’s a real page turner. He brilliantly evokes the seedier side of interwar London.” I’m very much looking forward to reading this – sound like a goodie! Read more about it on the BBC news here

Three big prize shortlistings this week for Carcanet titles, hurrah! Firstly, Waiting for the Past by Les Murray and The World Before Snow by Tim Liardet have both been shortlisted for the major T.S. Eliot Prize. It’s a big coup to have two Carcanet books on the list! The winner will be announced in January and you can read about that here.  An Aviary of Small Birds by Karen McCarthy Woolf has been shortlisted for the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. The winner will be announced in November:  more details on that one here. And finally, Ice Roses by Sarah Kirsch has been shortlisted for the Popescu prize for Translation which you can find out about here.

Our publishers don’t do a huge amount non-book product – but all ready for Christmas (and not of course to cash in on the enthusiasm for all things James Bond) in December comes the Famous Spies of History Spy Pen and Book from Forty-Six. Perfect for the novelty gift market, this is a fun hi-tech gift with a unique retro feel: a spy camera pen with HD photo taking and video shooting capability that comes with a free memory card. The package (in a box) also includes a 45 page mini book on Fifteen Famous Spies of History, which range from Casanova and Mata Hari to Kim Philby. Here are the technical details: the ISBN is 978-988-14105-4-2; the recommended retail price is £24.99, the supply price: is £12.49 (ex-VAT of £2.99). This plug and play package of the camera pen with HD photo taking and video shooting capability includes a free 8GB memory card and a USB charger.

Well, talking of pens and spies – this has got to be a good opportunity to see the moment when the fabulous Ben “Q” Whishaw meets Daniel Craig for the first time – classic!
And here's the original exploding pen scene they’re referencing – which also I note includes the phrase the writing’s on the wall – way back from 1997 – spooky!
And if you’re in the mood for more even spy pen action – then how about this tense little moment from Goldeneye!
But if you want a truly hilarious scene involving spies and pens – then you will need to watch this from Jonny English!
Award winning writer Jackie Buxton began her successful blog to write about life as a mother, wife and author…but it soon had a much more serious purpose. In 2013 Jackie was diagnosed with breast cancer, and the blog became not only a place to share her experiences as she battled the disease, but an inspirational forum for cancer suffers and their families to find advice, support and hope. In collaboration with two leading cancer charities Jackie is now sharing her experiences with others in the hope of providing positive and practical advice and support for all those dealing or facing the trauma of cancer Tea and Chemo by Jackie Buxton is an emotional, honest, warm and humorous account of one woman’s battle with breast cancer – and how her experiences can inspire others. All proceeds from the sale of Tea and Chemo will go to two incredibly important charities, whose compassionate care makes the difference to so many lives: The Haven, and the Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre. There is a full PR campaign planned for this with coverage already secured for Woman’s Hour and in the Daily Mail. Tea and Chemo (pb, 978 1910692394, £7.99) is published by Urbane in November and you can find out more and order it here.

And you can find out more about Jackie on her own website and blog here.

Christmas and stress go together like mince pies and brandy butter – so what your customers are definitely going to need is a little seasonal therapy in the form of Christmas Colouring, published by Arcturus (978 1785990014, pb, £6.99. This fab paperback features over sixty timeless illustrations, including classic holiday scenes, decorated trees, baubles, bows, and other traditional patterns, ornaments, and motifs. The perfect companion for cold winter evenings, it will get you feeling festive – promise! The outlines provide the perfect opportunity to produce your own Christmas artwork which you may even decide to turn into greetings cards, or decorations for your home – assuming you want to look as if you are living in a primary school that is! You can order Christmas Colouring here.

Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. Here are some of our favourite tweets from this week...
Great signing event with @thedecentbrief at @bedsbookshop for The Brief @CompassIPS @WstonesNewSt
Carlton Cole is in 'best team names' section of The Five-a-side Bible - SEX, DRUGS AND CARLTON COLE #Celtic #5aside
Hey, you. What's the most influential academic book of all time? Vote here:  #20ABCWorld
Close of Play looking fabulous in Waterstones - think how good it would look on your shelf!
We are delighted to announce we have an incredible three books shortlisted for the @Saltire_Society awards 2015! #SaltireLiterary
"I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity" - Edgar Allan Poe summing up our #FridayFeeling
 "A lively, well-researched read...” @Telegraph review #CallMeDave

That’s all for now folks! More next week!

This newsletter 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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