Friday 29 January 2016

Compass Points 156

Top five songs about sugar. Well, yes please to this one, and of course we definitely need a spoonful of this as well this classic Sinatra ditty from 1967 and this cool little number from Rodriguez.  But top of my list would have to be this one from Billie Holiday, recorded in 1939.

However, despite the sweet singing - what is the biggest dietary threat to the modern world? Yep, it’s that same syrupy gloop. Due to refined sugar in so many foods, we are seeing epidemics of obesity and type II diabetes on a global scale. The warnings are stark yet; as many of us know who are a little too fond of our large glass of Sauvignon or the large plate of Krispy Kremes; it's really not as straightforward as just nagging people to cut it out. Sugar consumption is an addiction that begins at birth and it requires a proven method to get you free. So who can help? Step forward Mr Allen Carr of course – whose Easyway method has already helped gazillions to stop smoking and lose weight. Good Sugar, Bad Sugar (like all Allen Carr Easyway books) works by unravelling the brainwashing that leads us to desire the very thing that is destroying us, in this case junk food. Good Sugar Bad Sugar is a simple, logical method to help you cut sugar out of your diet and replace it with your favourite foods. No willpower. No painful withdrawal period. No magic formula. This is the method that works. Good Sugar, Bad Sugar by Allen Carr (pb, 978 1785992131, £8.99) is published by Arcturus in April and you can order it here.

Our animal chums out in the natural world do not seem to suffer from the sugar addiction that we humans do. But what if they did? Have a look here at this at this gently amusing 2 minute cartoon exploring the consequences of wild animals that have eaten WAY too much junk food…

There has been quite a bit of publicity for Guy Burgess: The Spy Who Knew Everyone. The Sunday Times ran an excellent article this week about Guy Burgess and the BBC in yesterday’s paper and ITV News ran a story on the book and the authors’ findings in their 10 o’clock bulletin– you can read an accompanying piece about it in Tom Bradby’s ITV blog  here. This is the first ever full biography of the unhappy life of one of Britain’s most notorious Cold War traitors and contains never-before-published material from recently de-classified secret service files.  This book reveals how, at the heart of Burgess’s network was an inner cell of communist spies and sympathisers, who were influential in the British media in the 1930s and ’40s. The outer layer of his network was made up of contacts, ranging from two prime ministers to celebrities in the arts and show business, who unwittingly gave him the inside track on British life. Fascinating stuff – this book is very absorbing on just how this scruffy, smelly, sexually promiscuous, conspicuous drunk was such a successful Soviet spy that he was never challenged by Britain’s spy-catchers. It culminates in new revelations about his final, lonely days in Moscow as ‘the spy who knew nobody’. There will be more review and feature coverage to come – revelations about Britain’s ruling classes and the Eton/Cambridge mafia are endlessly appealing to the British media – and this hardback is a genuinely startling read. Guy Burgess: The Spy Who knew Everyone by Stewart Purvis and Jeff Hulbert (hb, 978 1849549134, £20.00) has just been published by Biteback. Find out more and order it here.

Here is a short 7 minute Channel 4 film which give you a little more background on Guy Burgess -  including some rare audio soundtrack of him speaking – very evocative.

A new collection from one of Britain’s best loved poets is always an important event, so we’re very much looking forward to Ian McMillan: New and Selected Poems (pb, 9781784101886, £9.99) which is published by Carcanet in April. Carol Ann Duffy has described Ian as “World-class – one of today’s greatest poetry performers” and Andy Kershaw said he was “inching towards the status of a National Treasure”. There’s no doubt that the ‘Bard of Barnsley’ (he’s poet in residence for Barnsley FC) is both well known and popular for his work in schools, radio and television (Radio 3, the Mark Radcliffe Show, The Verb, Poetry Please and Newsnight Review), as well as being a prolific tweeter with a huge online following (25.5k) of poetry fans. There will be plenty of acclaim for this new collection – find out more about it here.

And here is  the superlative Mr McMillan in full flow, with his lyrical rhapsody on the famous Barnsley v Liverpool FA Cup match of 2008….

What does friluftsliv* mean?? You’ll be able to find out if you order the latest Wild Guide title - now firmly established a bestselling series; popular as much for the spectacular photography as much as the insider knowledge; these books have now sold over 100,000 copies. The Wild Guide to Scandinavia: Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Denmark guides the reader to over 800 adventures and wild experiences. 
The reader can canoe through hidden Norwegian fjords, hike to Sweden’s cosiest lakeside bothies and feast on locally sourced regional specialities as well as swim in the secret hot springs of Iceland and discover the best of Denmark’s golden sand beaches. Travelling from high above the Arctic Circle to the very south of Sweden, the landscapes you will discover are as varied as they are idyllic. 
Scandinavia is very much the trendy destination at present – and this book is ideal for those even thinking about heading north this year – the Wild Guide books are as appealing to have on your coffee table as they are to pack in your suitcase I find! There will be plenty of newspaper and magazine coverage for this gorgeous paperback and features are planned with the Guardian, the Sunday Times and Conde Nast Traveller magazine. 
Also published this spring is the latest addition to the Wild Swimming collection; Wild Swimming Spain. Discover where you can plunge into the crystal clear turquoise waters of the Picos de Europa’s glacial lakes as well as the laid-back reservoir beaches of Andalucia, the magical waterfall grottos of the Pyrenees and the secret pools of the Rio Tajo in Guadalajara
This is perfect for family explorers or romantic adventurers. As always with the Wild Swimming series,  beautiful photography is combined with all the practical information you’ll need to get off the beaten track, including maps, directions, grid references and walk-in times, and recommendations for trips, campsites and tavernas.
Wild Guide Scandinavia by Benjamin Love (pb, 978 1910636053, £16.99) and Wild Swimming Spain by John Weller and Lola Culsan (pb, 978 1910636060, £15.99 are both published by Wild Things Publishing in April. 

* Friluftsliv = free air life; a Norwegian word that encaptures the unique and uplifting Scandinavian outdoor culture.

What a treat, a new title  – Too Close to the Edge – from Pascal Garnier is published by Gallic in April. This is intelligently written noir with a distinct French flavour; the Financial Times described him as “a mixture of Albert Camus and JG Ballard” while John Banville said “think Simenon and Patricia Highsmith mixed, with jokes added to the black brew”
Every new Garnier title that comes out in the UK gains him new fans (the whole series has an eye-catching and distinctive look which you can see here) and this story which begins when a widow’s quiet retirement in the foothills of the Alps is turned upside down by the arrival of a mysterious stranger is sure to do well. The Sunday Telegraph said “A brilliant exercise in grim and gripping irony, it makes you grin as well as wince.” You can find out more about Too Close to the Edge (pb, £7.99, 978 1910477250) here.

We’ve had many publishers vying to prove that their book brings us “the year that changed everything” here at Compass Towers – many have argued for 1914 and Biteback recently put up a spirited case for 1956. Today’s contender however, is 1977.  77 Sulphate Strip: An Eyewitness Account of the Year that Changed Everything by Barry Cain is a brand new edition of this 20,000 plus selling title which (along with England’s Dreaming) has become the acknowledged seminal work on punk. Barry Cain was at every major gig and interviewed all of the acts at the time. He was viewed as an ‘insider’ and his access was unrivalled. This book is a vibrant and fast-paced trip through an extraordinary year. It includes major new interviews with Sex Pistol Johnny Rotten, Strangler Hugh Cornwell and Rat Scabies of The Damned. 
Moving forward a few years; Punks, Posers and Pop Stars: Messy Encounters with 80’s Musicians  is a riotous romp through the music scene of this decade, and contains an exclusive collection of never-seen-before vintage interviews with some of the biggest names in music: The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Jam, Marc Bolan, Bruce Springsteen, The Buzzcocks, Iggy Pop, Paul and Linda McCartney, The Who, Blondie, Bob Marley, The Stranglers, Dr Feelgood, Queen, Ian Dury, AC/DC, Spandau Ballet and many others. This is a brand new title, and there is very likely to be a newspaper serialisation of it, plus lots of promotional and social media support from some of the bands and singers featured. Punks, Posers and Pop Stars is full of scandalous quotes and anecdotes from household names such as Debbie Harry and Jools Holland: read this book and you’ll never see them in quite the same way again!
77 Sulphate Strip (pb, with 16 pages of pictures, 978 0954867492, £12.99) is available here and Punk Posers and Pop Stars (pb, illustrated, 978 1905959877, £12.99) is available here. Both are by Barry Cain and are published by Red Planet in March.

Well, we do like to finish with a bit of music – s0 time to wallow in nostalgia – with this: the top 50 songs of 1977 – complete with pop videos – all in 12 minutes! I’m not sure whether this proves Barry Cain’s argument or not (Mull of Kintyre anyone) but I’ve certainly got the entire top 20 in my iTunes playlist – please tell me that makes me deeply cool!

Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. This week we’re loving these quotations from #ShakespeareSunday...
"There is no more mercy in him than there is milk in male tiger"
Would you have a love song, or a song of good life?
12th Night
POLONIUS: What do you read, my lord? HAMLET: Words, words, words
You must bear with me. Pray you now, forget and forgive. I am old and foolish.
King Lear
What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties.
'Tis time, I think, to trudge, pack and be gone.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool"
As You Like It  
"Love is merely a madness and, I tell you, deserves as well a dark house and a whip as madmen do"
AYLI a3 s2
Say whatever you want about Shakespeare, but someone who writes "methinks" should have flunked out of his grammar school
Why, what's the matter, That you have such a February face, So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?
#Much Ado
“You, minion, are too saucy.”
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
We'll have flesh for holidays, fish for fasting-days & moreo'er puddings & flap-jacks. #Pericles
Also how amazing is "I have drunk, and seen the spider"? VERY AMAZING is right!

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 22 January 2016

Compass Points 155

When you hear that now ubiquitous phrase “I find that offensive”, you know you’re being told to shut up. While the terrible murder of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists demonstrated that those who offend can face the most brutal form of censorship; there’s a broader threatening climate where we all have to walk on eggshells to avoid saying anything offensive – or else. Competitive offence-claiming is ratcheting up well beyond religious sensibilities. So, while Islamists and feminists may seem to have little in common, they are both united in demanding retribution in the form of bans, penalties and censorship of those who hurt their feelings. Undoubtedly, these cris de coeur are genuine. Young Muslims crying out in horror at offensive cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad really do seem to feel the slight personally. And so do young women who seem individually distraught by pictures of scantily clad models in lads’ magazines. But just how did we become so thin-skinned? The latest title in the Provocations series from Biteback, I Find That Offensive is a call to toughen up! This thought-provoking title blames three culprits: official multiculturalism’s relativistic conflation of tolerance with positive ‘recognition’; narcissistic identity politics that proclaims the personal is political; and, finally, therapeutic educational interventions such as anti-bullying campaigns, through which the young are taught that psychological harm is interchangeable with physical violence. Clare Fox argues that it’s high time we become more robust and made a virtue of the right to be offensive.  This is a forthright and provocative essay that will demand attention and add fuel to a controversial debate.  Its author is a high profile writer, broadcaster and commentator on social affairs.  I Find That Offensive by Claire Fox (hb, 978 1849549813, £10.00) is published in the by Biteback in March. You can find out more about it here.

Here’s Stephen Fry’s famous and funny riff on the whole “I find that offensive” debate – and if you’ve got that #Friday Feeling that you’d actually quite like to watch something offensive – then try this ten min set from comedian Frankie Boyle!

The debate on whether certain books are offensive or not is, of course, nothing new – the latest title to raise hackles in the US has been a children’s title which appears to show “happy slaves” baking a cake for George Washington. One commentator blasted “It’s like Anne and Otto Frank baking cookies for Adolf Hitler on Christmas.”
Have a look here to see what all the fuss is about!

Congratulations to Pluto Press and their author David Balzer, whose book Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World Took Over the Art World and Everything Else (978 0745335971, pb, £9.99) has just won the ICA Bookshop’s Book of the Year 2015 prize, on a shortlist spanning art criticism and biography to current affairs and poetry. Curationism explores the cult of curation, where it began, how it came to dominate museums and galleries, and how it has permeated popular culture at the turn of the millennium as the dominant mode of organising and giving value to content. Sheila Heti, author of How Should a Person Be? wrote “Balzer writes with zest, scepticism and sly humour as he tracks the rise of the "star curator" as marking the end of any possible avant-garde. Curationism is a memorable exploration that will change how you see so many daily activities. I loved this brilliant book.”

The Hungry Ghosts by Shyam Selvadurai is a novel that the BBC described as “Powerful and beautifully written … an incredibly courageous book”. It begins with six year-old Shivan, boarded up in his grandmother’s mansion in Sri Lanka. While civil unrest brews outside, Shivan stands helpless as she sidelines his mother and sister and evicts vulnerable families from their homes. Unwilling to carry the burden of her expectations, Shivan escapes to the West. Yet ghosts will follow you across continents. As the years pass, and his sexuality gradually comes to light, events spiral out of control and threaten to separate Shivan from his family once and for all. The Hungry Ghosts is an exquisite tale of differences and how they can tear apart both a country and the heart – not just once, but many times, until the ghosts are freed. This is a haunting and captivating story set between Sri Lanka and Canada which was longlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, and which Tan Twan Eng called “An unsettling and moving account of a family” and which other reviewers have described as “ravishing” and “haunting”. Shyam Selvadurai was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in 1965, and moved to Canada with his family at the age of nineteen. His other works include Funny Boy, shortlisted for the Giller Prize and winner of the Books in Canada First Novel Award. The Hungry Ghosts (pb, 978 1846592003, £8.99) is published by Telegram in March and you can find out more here.

Now that Alan Rickman has sadly left us, J.K. Rowling has revealed that he was one of the very few people to know in advance just a little more about how the Harry Potter series was going to end! Back in 2011, Rickman wrote “She gave me one left of field piece of information that helped me think that Snape was more complicated and that the story was not going to be as straight down the line as everybody thought. If you remember when I did the first film she’d only written three or four books, so nobody knew where it was really going except her. And it was important for her that I know something, but she only gave me a tiny piece of information which helped me think it was a more ambiguous route.” However, following the late actor’s death, J.K. Rowling finally revealed this week via Twitter that what that “tiny piece of information” actually was! Have a look here on Buzzfeed to see what she said!

Steve Wright in the Afternoon is one of the biggest shows on radio – his Radio 2 slot gets an audience of over 15 million. Good news then that in February a Hay House author, Lynne McTaggart will guest on the show, talking about What Doctors Don’t Tell You: Heart Disease. This title claims that there is no good evidence showing that cholesterol leads to clogged arteries, the standard method of measuring blood pressure is flawed and that bypass surgery can leave patients worse off than before. Steve Wright is a great promoter of books claiming to improve your health – and this title makes more sense than most, so make sure you stock it.
 There is also a new title from Lynne McTaggart coming in May: What Doctors Don’t Tell You: Arthritis; Drug Free Alternatives to Prevent and Relieve the Condition (pb, £9.99, 978 1781803387). Conventional medicine finds it very hard to deal with arthritis; it is one of the most common diseases associated with old age, and one of the biggest causes of disability at any time of life. But other than help suppress the pain and inflammation and replace joints there is little doctors can do. This book supplies a wide array of possibilities that can help to relieve pain, improve movement, and even reverse the problem. What Doctors Don’t Tell You: Heart Disease (pb, £9.99 9781781803363) is available now, and you can find out more about What Doctors Don't tell you: Arthritis here.

Literary Festivals – a great chance for authors to let their hair down, mingle with their appreciative fans and drinks bucketloads of cheap white wine – OR a stressful and taxing day’s work for which they should be handsomely rewarded? The question of whether writers should be paid for attending events rumbles on, with the Oxford Literary Festival and Philip Pullman wading into the debate – you can read all about it in the Guardian here!

"I photographed the moment of my husband's death." So begins Hold Still, a nerve-twisting thriller that promises to be Murder on the Orient Express for the Snapchat generation. Hold Still is a contemporary Hitchcockian thriller about a woman who photographs the moment of her husband’s death, only to suspect that everybody else in the photo is somehow involved in his murder. As she investigates further and begins to uncover the truth the world she thought she knew I completely torn apart. This is a bona-fide page turner, with one action scene and plot twist after another, and features a strong, fearless heroine at its heart. It has an arresting cover, as we’d expect from Urbane and its author Tim Adler is an editor on the Daily Telegraph, who has also written for the Times, so there should be plenty of publicity and reviews. Tim’s two previous thrillers, Slow Bleed and Surrogate, were no1 in the crime kindle charts on Amazon, and his non fiction titles have been bestsellers. His previous book Hollywood and the Mob was Book of the Week in the Mail On Sunday and the Sunday Times called Adler’s most recent nonfiction book The House of Redgrave “compulsively readable”. This new one looks equally gripping!  Hold Still by Tim Adler (pb, 978 1910692691, £7.99) is published by Urbane in March and you can find out more about it here

You can read a really interesting interview with Mathew Smith, the founder and owner of Urbane Publications on the popular blog Never Imitate here. Plenty of food for thought – including his comment “don’t get me wrong, I’d be thrilled to have a title that sells tens of thousands – but we must keep pushing to publish the new, the bold, the different, the challenging, because that is the lifeblood and the future of publishing.” We couldn’t agree more Mathew – and I’m sure all you indie booksellers out there do too!

Have you got a degree? Do you think you need a degree to be a bookseller? Or work in publishing in any capacity? Well, the MD of Compass hasn’t got one – and now Penguin are ditching their degree requirement too; you can read more on that story here.

Its film awards season and 45 Years has been nominated for lots; including one for Charlotte Rampling who has been nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for in the Academy Awards on 28th Feb –   there are also plenty of BAFTA nominations. As you will know, 45 Years is based on a fantastic short story entitled In Another Country by David Constantine, which is published by Comma Press in an anthology of stories. The book has a great film tie-in cover – please make sure you’ve got plenty of stock as it is a terrific book in its own right, and will definitely sell on the back of all the film publicity. Here's a full list of all the awards the film has won so far – and all the nominations. 45 Years, and Other Stories (pb, £9.99, 978 1905583768) by David Constantine is available now.

The Scottish Book Trust wrote this week that “reading a great book is like watching a film in your own head. Watching an actual movie based on the book you enjoyed watching in your own head can be a mixed bag. The images on screen often fail to live up to the ones our imaginations painted on the walls of our minds. Regardless, 95% of us still get wildly excited when we hear that one of our favourite books is to become a movie. It's a strange paradox.” 
They have given us this great list of (with lots of links to the trailers) of twenty one book-to-film adaptation to watch out for in 2016 – lots to look forward to – and hopefully lots more books to sell!

While we’re on the subject of films – let’s end with a bit of music. Here is MOJO’s Top Ten movie soundtracks – and here are their Top Ten iconic film scores. And if you want to immerse yourself in an hour or so of some of the best film music ever then have a listen here!

 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 15 January 2016

Compass Points 154

The enquiry into the death of Alexander Litvenenko will be published next week on Thursday 21 January. This is expected to be dynamite, and Gibson Square is releasing an updated edition of their paperback Blowing Up Russia to coincide with this event. It has a new foreward, and this is the book that in effect condemned Alexander to death. The co-author Yuri Felshtinsky was one of the last people to speak to Litvenenko on his death bed hours before he succumbed to radioactive poisoning by Polonium 210. The first edition of this book was a big bestseller – with extraordinary reviews: “A book that should contain a very serious health warning on the cover” Andrew Marr; “Crucially important” The Sunday Times; “Frightening” Sunday Telegraph; “A pull-no-punches exposé” The Independent and “For clues as to who wanted Alexander Litvenenko, you need look no farther” The Times – so I think there will be big demand for this new edition.  Blowing Up Russia: The Secret Plot to Bring Back KGB Power by Alexander Litvenenko and Yuri Felshtinsky (pb, £9.99, 978 1908096234) is available now.

While we’re on the subject of Russia, burning books you don’t agree with is now apparently “a thing” - read the story on Buzzfeed here

How’s the January diet going? No too good? Well how’s this for a radical idea – you don’t actually go on a diet – you just believe you are on one – and the power of your mind will make you slim! The placebo effect occurs when we have an absolute belief that something will work, which generates a feeling so powerful that it changes our physiology, often spontaneously and a new book, The Placebo Diet incorporates a range of psychological techniques that it claims can change the structure of your thoughts towards food, generating brand new beliefs and habits. Its author, life coach and nutritionist Janet Thomson explains that the key to losing weight is not calorie-counting but identifying and re-shaping your attitudes towards your body – yes, you really can think yourself slim! This book is getting a lot of publicity: it featured in the February issue of Woman’s Own and will also be in Bella, The Sun, OK! and there will be an article in the Daily Telegraph on 29 February. The Placebo Diet by Janet Thomson is published by Hay House in February (pb, £12.99 978 1781806654)

Fancy being an author? Think you might get paid more than you would as a bookseller? Not necessarily – read this article  from today’s Bookseller blog which compares the disparity between rich and poor authors as being like something out of Tsarist Russia!

Last week we had a graphic novelisation of Proust – and as if to prove that the comic strip format can be used for anything; this week we have a graphic novel based on the seminal indie band The Smiths! This comic book retelling by Con Chrisoulis covers the band members’ teenage years, before the group was famous, and includes fascinating digressions about their influences (Sex Pistols, NY punk, Patti Smith, etc) and the times in which they were growing up. The story reaches its climax with the meeting of Morrissey and Marr, the formation of the band in 1982 and their first gig as The Smiths. Here’s a little two minute film of Con chatting about the film, and showing some of the spreads from the book. The Smiths have a massive fan base – and this book is genuinely interesting – and fun! Tales of the Smiths: A Graphic Biography by Con Chrisoulis (pb, 978 1783055876, £24.95) is published by Omnibus Press in February and you can order it here!

Who would have thought that both David Bowie and Alan Rickman would both have been referenced in the very same Simpsons episode! Have a watch here - The scene originally aired in February 2013 during the episode 'Love is a Many-Splintered Thing'.

Like it or loathe it, 2016 is going to be another footie filled year. There will be lots of lavish glossy guides to Euro 2016; but at the end of the day, never mind the sponsors and the money men – football is really for those who truly love it. Euro 2016: the Ultimate Fan’s Guide by Lloyd Pettiford and Ronan Fitzsimons is written by fans for the fans. As well as a guide to the sixteen teams and superstars on display, there are features on the mascots, the stadiums and the draw, city guides and cultural advice, as well as mad facts, quizzes, a tournament guide and predictions. Irreverent yet knowledgeable this is a true fans guide to the tournament, and the perfect companion, whether travelling to the matches or watching from your armchair. This paperback is both knowledgeable and highly entertaining.  Euro 2016: the Ultimate Fan’s Guide (pb, £7.99 978 1910692097) is published by Urbane in April and you can find out more here.

Who has heard of Jean Batten? Nope, me neither. But back in the in the 1930s she was an international icon, breaking records as one of the world's greatest aviators; glamorous, daring and mysterious. There’s a bit of a vogue for fiction based on early 20th century real-life characters (e.g. The Paris Wife) and The Infinite Air by Fiona Kidman is an enthralling novel which tells the story of ‘the Garbo of the skies’ giving a fascinating insight into the early days of flying, of mothers and daughters, fame and secrecy. Its author, Fiona Kidman is well known in her native New Zealand, where she has been made a Dame and awarded an OBE for services to literature, and I think this inspirational true-life story of an adventurous, trailblazing woman should do very well when it is published in the UK by Aardvark Bureau in March. You can order The Infinite Air by Fiona Kidman (pb, 978 1910709085 £9.99) here.

Here’s a very evocative five minute film all about Jean Batten which gives you a real feel for the times in which she flew!

“Nothing will ever compare to the amphetamine rush of my young life and the night I was nearly buggered by my girlfriend’s uncle in the Potteries.” Now that’s what I call a good opening line! Young Soul Rebels is a personal and compelling history of Northern Soul, by Stuart Cosgrove, an award-winning broadcaster with Channel 4 who also hosts Scotland’s most popular radio show, Off the Ball. Young Soul Rebels draws on his personal experience and those of many northern soul diehards and immerses the reader in an atmospheric world of amphetamine-fuelled all-nighters, heaving dance floors and obsessive collecting. The book sweeps across fifty years of British life and places the northern soul scene in a social context – the rise of amphetamine culture, the policing of youth culture, the north–south divide, the decline of coastal Britain, the Yorkshire Ripper inquiry, the rise of Thatcherism, the miners’ strike, the rave scene and music in the era of the world wide web. Books have been written about northern soul before but never with the same erudition and passion. Northern Soul is now Britain’s longest lasting subculture, and Cosgrove’s most recent book, Detroit ’67, is a cult bestseller. Young Soul Rebels by Stuart Cosgrove is published by Polygon in March (pb, 978 1846973338, £14.99)

To finish as usual with a bit of music, here is one fan's choices of the top ten Northern Soul classics! Keep the faith as Paul O’Grady would say!

And if that’s not your cup of tea – then how about James Corden and Adele – with their brilliant versions of the Spice Girls and Nicki Minaj! A-May-Zing!

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 8 January 2016

Compass Points 153 - Happy New Year!

As you box up the returns of all those celeb biogs, you might well be wondering what WERE the top sellers of Christmas 2015? If your shop is in line with national trends, then you’ve probably done pretty well with anything by David Walliams, Harper Lee, Jeff Kinney, Ella Woodward, David Nicholls and Millie Marotta. However, which were the books that YOU sold – but their recipients then sold on to someone else?! According to a top re-selling website for unwanted books – the top five titles that were given but immediately put in the pile to pass on to some other mug; were Recipes For a Healthier Happier You by Jamie Oliver, My Story by Steven Gerrard, The Girl On The Train, The Ladybird Guide to How it Works: The Husband and Elizabeth is Missing. I really don’t know what that tells us about customers’ true preferences, since all of these are currently deemed by the marketers to be highly popular trends! Perhaps someone had better tell all of our publishers pronto to immediately stop publishing healthy cook books, footie biogs, dark psychological thrillers, spoof ironic parodies or anything to do with Alzheimer’s as the great British public clearly don’t want to read them whatever the bestseller lists tell us!!

Maybe you think you could write something better than anything that came out in 2015? Is your New Year’s resolution to make 2016 the year you write a book? Here’s a fun article from the Huff Post from a somewhat cynical ghostwriter who’s heard it all before….

One trend that I genuinely do think is on the up, is the decision to finally get round to reading that enormous literary novel – kicked off by the sumptuous new BBC adaptation of War and Peace. Another title also on many readers “to-do list” is Marcel Proust’s À la Recherche du Temps Perdu, which many of us have fancied having a bash at, but have been put off by the sheer magnitude of the undertaking. How fortunate then that the greatest French literary masterpiece of all time is now available as a gorgeous hardback graphic novel from those Francophiles at Gallic – this is a genuinely literary adaptation which reveals the fundamental architecture of Proust’s work while displaying a remarkable fidelity to his language as well as the novel's themes of time, art and the elusiveness of memory.
 This is a truly stunning hardback – we have just had finished copies in the office, and it is beautifully illustrated by renowned comics artist Stéphane Heuet with an evocative new translation by renowned translator Arthur Goldhammer. An online review sums it up perfectly: “A brilliant version of Swann's Way with the addition of a gallery of characters and family tree as well as an excellent illustrated glossary. The illustrations are truly authentic; meaning they follow the text to the letter as well as reproducing the atmosphere of fin de siècle France. Read it and you will come to understand all the famous incidents such as the tasting of the madeleine, Marcel's long waits for his mother's goodnight kiss, and Swann's heartfelt cry of despair on realising that he'd given the best years of his life to the wrong woman.” 
I really would urge you to have a look at this title;  it would be enjoyed equally by brainy bookish types as well as newcomers to the challenging literary narrative. What about a “Make 2016 the Year You Finally Read…” window display?! You can order In Search of Lost Time: Swann’s Way (hb, 978 1908313904, £19.99) here, and find out more.

If someone were to say “Marcel Proust” to you – you could probably summon up a few words – even if you’d never read him But how many modern authors truly have “brand recognition” Read this thought provoking article in the Bookseller on whether or not authors have a brand – and whether indeed they need one!

Fingers crossed for the two Carcanet poetry collections up for the TS Elliot Prize, which is awarded on Monday. Tim Liardet’s The World Before Snow and Les Murray’s Waiting for the Past are both on the shortlist of ten titles, which was chosen from a record 142 poetry titles submitted this year. The winning poet will be presented with a cheque for £20,000, and the shortlisted poets will each receive £1,500.Good luck to both of them.

If you are a fan of the literary uncanny, not-nice sorts of fairy tale, the work of Neil Gaiman or Shirley Jackson and books that are strange and unsettling; then this next title will be for you. The Children’s Home by Charles Lambert is a beguiling and disarming novel about a mysterious group of children who appear to a disfigured recluse and his country doctor—and the startling revelations their behaviour evokes. Beryl Bainbridge described Lambert as “a seriously good writer” and his memoir With a Zero at its Heart was named one of The Guardian’s Ten Best Books of the Year in 2014. The Children’s Home by Charles Lambert (pb, 978 1910709009, £9.99) is published in February by Aardvark Bureau, and you can find out a bit more in an excellent review of it here and you can order it here.

Two Biteback titles are out at the end of this month both on subjects very much in the news at present. Firstly Europe in or Out: Everything You Need to Know by David Charter (pb, 9781785900419 £8.99).  This is an essential layman’s guide to the forthcoming UK referendum on membership of the European Union – the previous editions of this title have sold very well indeed, and this is a fully updated and revised edition of this definitive and unbiased book .The Economist called it “extremely useful” and this clear, comprehensive and compelling guide to the impact of the EU and the implications of a British exit really does need to be in every bookshop to help us all make a sensible, informed decision. Comrade Corbyn by Rosa Prince (hb, 978 1849549967 £20.00) is about to be serialised in a national newspaper and the Telegraph described it as “Fascinating and forensic – a real insight …essential reading for anyone who follows politics” while the Mirror called it “a real political thriller with a revolutionary ending.”

I rather like this list of 100 Most Corbyn Things Jeremy Corbyn Did in His First 100 Days as Leader – from those jolly jesters at Buzzfeed!

Those kindly folk at Goodreads have let BuzzFeed Books know which books its users were most excited about in this coming year. Have a look here at this list of 15 titles getting the most buzz, based on amount of people adding them to their “to-read” shelves, in order of when they’ll be released.

The Munich air disaster occurred on 6 February 1958, when British European Airways Flight 609 crashed on its third attempt to take off from a slush-covered runway at Munich-Riem Airport in Munich, West Germany. On board the plane was the Manchester United football team, nicknamed the "Busby Babes", along with a number of supporters and journalists. It remains one of the most compelling, emotional and discussed events in sporting history, and a new book The Busby Babes by Richard Skinner throws new light on this enduring tale of courage and individual and team spirit. This book is a tale of spirit, courage and the eternal bonds of friendship. It is about a group of men whose passion for football led them to unparalleled success and unprecedented glory. But it also cost many of them their lives. Matt Busby, the patriarchal Manager of Manchester United, revolutionised English football. At Manchester United, he created a team of ‘boy wonders’, a group of players who became the game’s first superstars, heroes to millions of people. 
With an estimated global fan base of approximately 40 million, Manchester United is now the richest and one of the most successful football clubs in the world, and this new book will be an essential purchase for every football fan. It includes never seen before material from those involved, with the author given unique access and full cooperation and contribution of survivors including Harry Gregg, Ken Morgans and Albert Scanlon.  The Busby Babes by Richard Skinner (978 1910692578, £8.99) is published in February by Urbane and you can find out more and order it here.

You can watch a short highly evocative newsreel clip from 1958 on how the US news reported the air disaster here.

Had your fill of brandy butter, mince pies and stilton? About to start juicing or tucking into the protein shakes in an attempt to detox your poor old bod? Well, according to Julie Montagu, all we need to do is Eat Real Food. This bestselling UK author and top nutritionist reckons that getting healthy doesn't have to be complicated or confusing. Eat Real Food takes things back to basics, and guides you to make simple but positive dietary choices that will increase your intake of the five healthy food groups that are most important for keeping your brain and body balanced and happy. Julie introduces readers to the superheroes in each of these different food groups, shares the best ways to prepare them, explains their nutritional benefits, and then provides a variety of imaginative and delicious ways to include these foods in your diet every day. The book and author will feature in the February issue of Psychologies (circ. 63,000) and YOU Magazine on 28th February (circ. 4 million). The author is also in the current issue of Veggie magazine, OM Yoga magazine and Spirit & Destiny. The book will also be extracted on Red Online and feature in the March issue of Woman & Home. Eat Real Food is published by Hay House (pb, £10.99, 978 1781805633) and you can order it here.

Well, if you had a little TOO much fun over the festive season, then the title of this new music biog may well strike a chord. Had Me a Real Good Time is the definitive account of one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most engagingly shambolic acts as well as an evocative portrait of the era in which they raised hell and recorded some timeless tracks. We are talking of course of The Faces; who typified the glamorous English rock 'n' roll band that toured relentlessly through America in the 1970s leaving a trail of sell-out concerts, gold albums and wrecked hotel rooms in their wake. They still exert an influence over today's rock 'n' roll bands; as Record Collector magazine said: “Overgrown adolescent ruffians riffing away through a fog of booze, bed-hopping and fisticuffs are well represented here by author Andy Neill, but the author also rightly praises the music that established The Faces as the quintessential touring rock ‘n’ roll band.”  Had Me a Real Good Time: The Faces Before, During and After by Andy Neill (pb, 978 1783059959, £18.99) has eight pages of black and white pics, comes highly recommended by the music press and is published by Omnibus Press this month - order it here!

And to finish today,  here are The Faces, at their boisterous boozy best!

Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. This week we’re very much enjoying #LoseAFriendIn3Words…
"Borrowed your car..."
"But they're fictional"
Lose me as a friend in 3 words? Easy: #refugeesnotwelcome
Actually, it's "they're"
Gave Away Cat
Retweet this please?
Sorry, no room.
Your book's long
I support Trump
"Who's Harry Potter?"
"You hate flowers??
"We're going vegan!"
Going through menopause
Be my wife.

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.