Friday 24 June 2016

Compass Points 175


Today’s Compass Points is an EU referendum-free zone, but personally, I think the Jaffé & Neale bookshop in Chipping Norton has got the right idea.

Simon Armitage will be reading poems from his beautiful hardback Still: A Poetic Response to Photographs of the Somme Battlefield (£25.00, hb, 978-1911253136) this Sunday at 4:30pm on BBC Radio 4. This sequence of poems is in response to 26 panoramic photographs of Somme battlefields chosen from archives at the Imperial War Museum. The Somme Offensive took place on the Western Front between July and November 1916, and is considered to be one of the bloodiest in British military history. Simon Armitage has written thirty poems of between two and 20 lines that are paired with black-and-white images that are a hundred years old.  The contemporary words meld with the visual devastations of war to haunting effect.  Map-like images of cratered fields and hieroglyphic trench patterns; landscapes of sepia-toned towns and ghostly villages; panoramas of apparently tranquil meadows and country lanes that disguise more macabre details form an atmospheric backdrop to these moving poems. Still is a 74-page large scale landscape publication with introductory texts, contemporary maps, fold-outs and decorated endpapers. The book accompanies an exhibition of the same name that opened at East Gallery in Norwich on 10 May, which is the first venue in a national tour. Still is published by Enitharmon in July – and you can listen to that Radio Four reading via a link to the programme, which is entitled The Echo Chamber here – I would very much recommend it.
Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story by Matti Friedman (hb, £12.99, 978 1785900433) published by Biteback, received a tremendous review in Prospect, this week, with Ben Judah proclaiming that it “will be remembered as a classic.” Part memoir, part reportage and part haunting elegy for lost youth, award-winning writer Matti Friedman's powerful account follows the author and a band of young soldiers in an unnamed war in in Lebanon in the late 1990s.Pumpkinflowers is a lyrical yet devastating insight into the day-to-day realities of war, and a powerful coming-of-age narrative. Raw and beautifully rendered, this essential chronicle casts an unflinching look at the nature of modern warfare, in which there is never a clear victor and innocence is not all that is lost. Prospect magazine said “Pumpkinflowers is a sad, lyrical book – proud and fierce on its own terms. Friedman’s prose is elegant and concise, yet it is studded with gems from the Talmud and Torah that only a writer deeply learned in the Jewish tradition could offer. His memoirs of his time in the mist and the mountains of Lebanon are full of haunting insights into what it means to be a soldier. It will be remembered as a classic.” You can read the full review here.
There was also a great review (which you can read here) for Crossing the Sea: With Syrians on the Exodus to Europe (hb, £15.00, 978 1908276827) by respected migration journalist Daniel Trilling in the Times Literary Supplement. He says the book “exemplifies the best qualities of immersive journalism . . . Bauer’s brave investigation tells us an important truth about the refugee experience.” Award-winning journalist Wolfgang Bauer and photographer Stanislav Krupar were the first undercover reporters to document the journey of Syrian refugees from Egypt to Europe. Posing as English teachers in 2014, they were direct witnesses to the brutality of smuggler gangs, the processes of detainment and deportation, the dangers of sea-crossing on rickety boats, and the final furtive journey through Europe. Combining their own travels with other eyewitness accounts in the first book of reportage of its kind; Crossing the Sea brings to life both the systemic problems and the individual faces behind the crisis, and is a passionate appeal for more humanitarian refugee policies. It’s published by And Other Stories and is out now.
Are you tired and forgetful all the time? We’ve all experienced that foggy feeling – where you suddenly lose track of your train of thought or struggle to find the right word. But while you might shrug it off as a sign of ageing, for many of us, Dr Mike Dow believes these are symptoms of a “new epidemic”. This sense of being “in a slump, a bit detached and disengaged from life” is caused by “the way we eat, sleep, work and live”. The Brain Fog Fix: Reclaim Your Focus, Memory and Joy in Just 3 Weeks (£12.99, pb, 978 1781805923) is published by Hay House and has just had a huge extract and feature in this week’s Mirror – you can read the full piece here. This is really brilliant publicity for the book! The Brain Fog Fix is an easy-to-follow three-week programme designed to help naturally restore three of your brain's most crucial hormones, which Mike Dow believes will enable the rest of your brain's chemistry to reach optimal levels to improve your mood, increase your energy and enhance your spirit. I think we’d all like a bit of that and Mike Dow promises that by the end of his simple programme, you'll be thinking more clearly, remembering more accurately, learning more quickly and unleashing the floodgates of your creativity. The Brian Fog Fix is available now – as a result of the Mirror publicity it is zooming up the charts on Amazon – don’t let them get all the sales!
Love this  – the most bookish episodes in Friends!
Why on earth do we keep pets? Studies have shown that people with pets have more mental health problems. They eat too much.  They spread disease. Every year thousands of people injure themselves tripping over their cats and dogs. So why on earth do we keep pets and love them more than our own children. In The Ups and Downs of being a Pet Owner featuring around 120 brilliant cartoons drawn by Private Eye’s brilliant Tony Husband, all is explained. In these slightly surreal pages, you’ll discover dogs that look exactly like their owners and tortoises that fetch frisbees! This is a cute and light-hearted gift book by one of Britain’s leading cartoonists and it’s published in September by Arcturus.   You can order The Ups and Downs of being a Pet Owner (£7.99, hb, 978 1785997044) now.
And if a cat is your pet of choice, then you are bound to enjoy this  from our chums at Buzzfeed – truths that only couples who live with a cat will truly understand!
Whereas if you are a dog owner, then this may be more your cup of tea – 12 thoughts your pooch has definitely had!
Are you missing out on sales because of "snobbery"? The MD of publisher Choc Lit, Lyn Vernham believes this may well be the case. She feels that many booksellers are "reluctant" to stock and promote "high quality women's fiction and romance" and this is playing into the hands of their online rivals. "Too many booksellers are missing a trick," Vernham said. "A lot of bookshops are very passionate about their product and what they sell – but they sell what they read and they’re probably unlikely to read women’s fiction and that content. Therefore, they’re probably reluctant to sell it. But at the end of the day, they’re giving Amazon such a huge advantage, they’re making it so easy for them because there’s no snobbery, they’ll just sell whatever they want. For our readers, they’re not intimidated in any way [shopping online], but when they go into a bookshop and look for a book that has a pretty pink cover, they feel intimidated so they buy it online because they don’t feel welcome in the stores."
Vernham added: “I think the industry as a whole looks at the romance reader and thinks perhaps that they are a stay-at-home mum, or very young, but the way that we choose our novels is through our tasting panel and over the seven years [we've been operating] we’ve managed to gain lots of information about who our readers are." Choc Lit selects titles to publish through its ‘tasting panel’ which is made up of readers. Speaking of the composition of Choc Lit's readers, Vernham said: "It's fair to say a bookseller wouldn't sniff at such customers walking through the door. As you would expect, most - but not all - of our readers are women, but they are also in the main, professional and with money to spend. Altogether 87% are aged between 26 and 64 - very much in keeping with the profile of today's bookshop customers.”  Vernham said: "The issue that we have is that through the last seven years, our customers know that they can’t get our books in bookshops, so they don’t go there. So we have to work together to try and drive people into those bookshops, and that’s a bit of work that we need to do as well as the bookshops. We need their support in order to do that.  I think that we – as an industry – need to make those shops more welcoming, more diverse and able to offer more choice."
Altogether 18 of Choc Lit's books have generated just under £260,000 since the first was published in 2009 according to Nielsen BookScan. The top three Choc Lit best-selling titles are by Sue Moorcroft and are: Starting Over (978 1906931223, pb, £7.99), All That Mullarkey (978 1906931247, pb, £7.99) and Love & Freedom (978 1906931667, pb, £7.99) Come on – if you don’t stock them already, why not give them a whirl! You can read that story in full here – and of course you can order all the Choc Lit titles from Compass!
Books have generated many memorable quotations – as have films of course. This is fascinating – a look at some of the most memorable lines in films that almost never happened!
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 talk to your Compass Sales Manager, or call the office on 020 8326 5696.


Friday 17 June 2016

Compass Points 174


There’s been some great news for our poetry publishers during this last fortnight! Firstly, let’s talk about The Forward Prizes for Poetry which are in their 25th year and are the most coveted poetry awards in the UK and Ireland. They have played a key role in bringing contemporary poetry to the attention of the wider public for quarter of a century and past Forward Prizes winners include Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes and Carol Ann Duffy. The three prizes – £15,000 for Best Collection, £5,000 for Best First Collection and £1,000 for Best Single Poem – are unique in honouring both the work of established poets and the debuts of brilliant unknowns. The 2016 prizes will be awarded at a ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall on 20 September. Measures of Expatriation by Vahni Capildeo (978 1784101688, £9.99, pb) published by Carcanet is on the Best Collection Shortlist and Disko Bay by Nancy Campbell (978 1910392188, pb, £9.99) from Enitharmon Press and Tonguit by Harry Giles (978 1910449363, £8.99, pb) published by Freight are both on The Best First Collection shortlist. Fantastic news, well done!

Here’s a great video of Carcanet author Vahni Capildeo talking about his writing on Cambridge TV (episode 37 at 4 mins 32 secs).

And Carcanet and Freight also both have titles on the Seamus Heaney Prize for Poetry for First Full Collection. Yaay! The full shortlist is Jim Carruth, Killochries, (978 1908754912, pb, 8.99) from Freight Books); John Dennison, Otherwise, (978 1847774996, pb, £9.99) and Kate Miller, The Observances, (978 1906188153, pb, £9.99) both from Carcanet; Rebecca Perry, Beauty/Beauty from Bloodaxe and Sarah Howe, Loop of Jade from Chatto & Windus. The winner will be announced during the Seamus Heaney Centre Poetry Summer School, 27 June – 1 July and will receive £5,000. In addition, they will be invited to read at Glucksman Ireland House at New York University for the annual Tom Quinlan Lecture in Poetry and is provided with travel, accommodation, and an honorarium.
Ahead of Thursday’s referendum, From Brussels With Love by Dr Radomir Tylecote and Sir William Cash, (£20, hb, 978 0956434661) which is published by Duckworth is getting lots of column inches in the national press – it’s all over the Daily Mail this week and Simon Heffer also champions it in the Sunday Telegraph. Reviewers are going bonkers for it calling it “facts sorted from the fiction”, “scholarly yet very accessible for the intelligent reader”, “essential reading for Europhiles and sceptics alike” and “offers the essential information to voters that politicians on all sides of the debate have deprived them of for far too long.” From Brussels With Love is a devastating and detailed account of how the US has coerced and pushed the UK into the EU, to suit its own interests. Radomir Tylecote, (who is a Special Advisor to No. 10) and Bill Cash MP have unerringly directed this work into the Brexit Referendum space and with its brilliantly argued case based on previously unknown facts of the matter, there’s bound to be more media coverage to come. You can read one of the pieces about it in the Daily Mail here.

There have been some great event and books display pictures this week!
Here's Urbane author Simon Wan at the launch of his novel Love and a Dozen Roast Potatoes. (978 1910692905, £8.99, pb) This book has just had a great blog review which begins “A warm, funny autobiographical novel. Hugely romantic. Larger than life and twice as naughty. Simon Wan, half Chinese, half white British is a kind of male Bridget Jones, if Bridget Jones was a skateboarding, wannabee pop star, dressed in outrageous clothes, swearing and taking drugs and drinking at raves.” You can read the whole thing here
And Dame Fiona Kidman read from her enthralling novel The Infinite Air (978 1910709085, pb, £9.99) which delves into the life of Jean Batten – the “Garbo of the Skies”. It is a fascinating exploration of early aviation, of fame, and of secrecy which has just been published by Aardvark.
Here's the marvellous Janice Galloway reading from Jellyfish (hb, £12.99, 978 1908754950) published by Freight at Scottish LitFest.
Waterstone’s Edinburgh has chosen How to Teach (978 1845903930, £16.99, hb) which has just been published by Crown as one of its staff picks, describing it as an “essential manual” – thanks for that shout-out for this controversial, readable, and thoroughly irreverent paperback. This book gets unanimous 5 star reviews on Amazon – so do make sure you are stocking it – it’s by charismatic and, so some would say, inimitable ex-teacher Phil Beadle who has spent half a lifetime working with inner city kids.
And there’s a terrific promo of for 30 Day MBA: Your Fast Track Guide to Business Success by Colin Barrow (£14.99, pb, 978-0749475000) from Kogan Page in the WH Smith airport shops at the moment.
60 Degrees North by Malachy Tallack (978 1846973420) is Book of the Month in Stamford’s Convent Garden, and Hunger Pains: Life Inside Food Bank Britain by Kayleigh Garthwaite (£14.99, pb 978 1447329114) published by Policy Press is looking good in Waterstone’s Glasgow.
Cheers also to Blackwell’s Edinburgh for some cracking displays of the bestselling Provocations series from Biteback and there are also some super Provocations displays in Blackwell’s Oxford!




And talking of tremendous bookshops, as Independent Bookshop Week kicks off in the UK (good luck with that everyone) there’s a great celebration of many remarkable indie bookshops all around the world in the Guardian – with bookshops nominated and photographed by their readers.  Have a look  here at some of those wonderful and weird global booksellers – and you can add your own fabulous bookshop to the list too!



Take this quiz here on Buzz Feed to find out if you prefer e-books or REAL books – as if you didn’t already know!



We had a bit of a footie book round up last week – but we didn’t include The Great Crowd Roars: A Selection of the Best Welsh Football Writing edited by Gareth Williams (978 1908069658, £7.99, pb) and I think Wales will now really need all the support they can get, so please do order it! Whether you're a lifelong 'Jack' or a recent convert to the game, this collection of essays is an introduction to the fascinating history of Welsh football. It remains to be seen if the Welsh team are up to standard on the field, but on the page they are pure class. This anthology brings together heroes, favourite grounds and historic moments from Welsh soccer as Cardiff's Dannie Abse lines up alongside the Rhondda's Ron Berry, John Toshack pens a poem on the immortal John Charles, and the great Trevor Ford writes about himself. The Great Crowd Roars is published by Parthian and is available now.



I LOVE this - 33 Ways to Have a More Bookish Summer; read how here!



The Sunday Times Style magazine are running a national exclusive on Love Your Lady Landscape: Trust Your Gut, Care for 'Down There' and Reclaim Your Fierce and Feminine SHE Power by Lisa Lister (pb, £10.99 978 1781807361) on 10th July. They are doing a trends piece on the womb and Lisa will be the main interviewee and focus of the piece. Style have a print circulation of 800,000 and this absolutely the target audience for the book so this is great news. The book will also feature in Soul & Spirit, the Metro, the Sun, the June issue of The Best You, Woman’s Way in July and in the 28th June issue of Woman’s Own. In Love Your Lady Landscape, Lisa Lister takes us on a revelatory journey through the terrain of what it is to be a woman. She believes there was a time, roughly 5000 years ago, when SHE Power reigned and lady landscapes were revered. A time when the space between a woman's thighs was considered a power portal. But for the last 2000 years, the potent powers of our wombs have been disregarded and in modern times, this disconnect is causing an epidemic of stress, infertility and 'down there' pain and disease. Packed with tools and practices to reconnect women to their feminine wisdom, this book shows women how to move towards a fiercely loving and healing relationship with their bodies, and teach them how to use its cycles and signs to create a life of vitality and fulfilment. Love Your Lady Landscape by Lisa Lister is published by Hay House and is published on 5 July.

If you’d like to see a bit more of this author, who has been described as “the defender of female awesomeness” and a “menstrual maven” then you can watch an interview with Lisa Lister on  YouTube here.



More prize news – this time it’s the Polari First Book Prize which is for writers whose first book explores the LGBT experience. The longlist of twelve books, the majority published by independent presses, includes Jebel Marra, (pb, £9.99, 978-1905583546) a powerful collection of short stories exploring the ongoing war in Darfur by Michelle Green which is published by Comma Press, so very well done to them. This collection of short stories explores some of the complexities of this awful crisis, and draws upon some of Green's own experiences working for a humanitarian aid agency. Though the stories are fictional, they are all rooted in a particular time and place, and informed by the day-to-day realities of life in a time of chaos and horror. They are stories of local traders, aid workers, soldiers, politicians, parents and children. The other titles on the list are Blood Relatives by Steven Alcock (Fourth Estate) Dead Man’s Hand by Mark Lock (Accent), Slap by Alexis Gregory (Team Angelica), Arc by David Clarke, (Nine Arches Press), Sugar and Snails by Anne Goodwin (Inspired Quill), The Manservant by Michael Harwood (Kensington), Trans by Juliet Jacques (Verso) Different For Girls by Jacquie Lawrence, (Zitebooks), Physical by Andrew McMillan (Cape Poetry), The Good Son by Paul McVeigh (Salt) and Kiss & Make Up by Carl Stanley (Ignite). Paul Burston, the chair of the judges, said: “Overall, the quality of submissions this year was exceptionally high. The judges were impressed by the diversity of voices and the wide range of work submitted. This is probably the strongest long list we’ve ever had. Deciding on the short list will be extremely difficult.” The winner will be revealed at the London Literature Festival on 7th October at the Southbank Centre.

And if you too are trying to write your first book – but just can’t seem to get started – then have a read here of the best fifteen ways to defeat the dreaded writers block.



Shooting parties in great country houses, turbulent scenes in parliament and the luxury life in Budapest provide the backdrop for a gripping, prescient trilogy which is a classic of Hungarian literature. This chilling indictment of upper-class frivolity and political folly in which good manners cloak indifference and brutality, mirrors the decline of the Austro-Hungarian empire itself.  The Writing on the Wall trilogy by Miklós Bánffy was praised by the Telegraph: “This epic Hungarian novel, absorbing both for its exploration of human nature and its study of the decline of the Austro-Hungarian Empire … weaves social and political themes into Bánffy’s powerful tale” and these three Hungarian classics (which won the 2002 Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize) are re-issued by Arcadia this autumn – Waterstone’s Head Office have already said how pleased they are to see these novels in paperback at last.   Patrick Leigh Fermor called Miklós Bánffy “a born storyteller” and the New Statesman declared this trilogy “a masterpiece”.  The TLS said “A genuine case of a rediscovered classic. The force of Bánffy’s enthusiasm produced an effect rather like that of the best Trollope novels but coming from a past world that now seems excitingly exotic”. They Were Counted (pb, £9.99, 978 1910050903), They Were Divided (pb, £9.99 978 1910050927) and They Were Found Wanting (pb, £9.99, 978 1910050910) are all published on 15 September and you can find out more about them here.

There’s been UK-wide coverage for the fabulous Young Soul Rebels: A Personal History of Northern Soul by Stuart Cosgrove (pb, £14.99, 978 1846973338) with exposure in the Manchester Evening News, the Wigan Evening Times, the Herald, an interview on BBC Radio Leeds, and on BBC Radio 6 (that one’s coming up tomorrow on 18 June), and a terrific interview in the Daily Record which you can read here.  There is a London tour for Stuart finalised for last week of June, continued event interest from stores and festivals as well as the Daily Mail and the Jonathan Ross show – we’ll keep you posted! Online, there is a big LoveReading promotion which is running now – it’s their Book of the Month for June. “Every song, person, place and event is richly and significantly described … passionately and emotionally written with a depth of information that is expertly woven into the story, which informs but never gets in the way of the drive of its narrative. You can't but help to want to play Northern Soul music whilst reading Stuart's excellent book… this book really shines a light on a time, people and music that most people know little of.” Find out more about Young Soul Rebels which is published by Birlinn here.

And what could be better than some of that great music to finish with!

Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. And in a week when it’s been all about #BravetheRain we are definitely loving the VeryBritishProblems@SoVeryBritish truths about our lousy summer weather…

·        Spending the entire summer saying "it's meant to be nice next week"

·        Today's weather: Hot grey

·        Burning 50,000 calories in the night transferring legs in and out of the duvet

·        Looking forward to being woken at 4am by the sound of a bird screaming at your window

·        Having to pretend to like hot weather

·        Being unable to help replying to "lovely out there" with "not going to last apparently"

·        Helpful conversation: "Hay fever?" "Yeah" "Have you got tablets?" "I've taken two already" "Oh dear"

·        1am: Too hot 2am: Start to drift off 3am: BIRDS!!! 4am: The sun: "me again!" 5am: Pollen attack 6am: Alarm.

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 click here  or talk to your Compass Sales representative.

Friday 10 June 2016

Compass Points 173


My goodness there seems to be a lot of shouting around these days! Whether it’s the politicians arguing about the pros and cons of Brexit or Chris Evans on Top Gear; everyone seems to be TALKING IN CAPITALS! However, perhaps voicing our opinions vociferously is a good thing – certainly two very opinionated titles just published in the Provocations series from Biteback are doing rather well at present! In I Find That Offensive (£10, pb, 978 1849549813) Claire Fox argues persuasively that “we train our kids to be censorious cry-babies” and “if today’s students believe that hearing a dissenting opinion can kill them, it’s because we taught them to think like that”. She had a massive author piece promoting her book in The Spectator last week, which you can read here. You can also listen to Claire talking on the Spectator podcast on that page and find out why she believes that because “parents go to ludicrous lengths to eliminate all risk from their children’s lives; this narrows their horizons and teaches them to be less daring.” And here's  a cracking piece in the Daily Mail entitled “Why today’s young women are just so FEEBLE: They can’t cope with ANY ideas that challenge their right-on view of the world”. There was a similarly robust piece in The Sun!  Claire has also been interviewed about her book on the Daily Politics show and by Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2.
Meanwhile, James Bloodworth’s The Myth of Meritocracy: Why Working-class Kids Still Get Working-class Jobs ( pb, £10, 978 1785900532) is also getting plenty of coverage – in an article in The Big Issue here James argues that meritocracy actually legitimises inequality, and “as Boris Johnson put it in 2013: “The harder you shake the pack, the easier it will be for some cornflakes [the clever ones] to get to the top”. Yet if the distribution of merit boils down to the lottery of IQ, why not draw the opposite conclusion – how can it be fair to punish those who simply missed out in the random shaking of the pack? Ought Britain really to condemn people to poorly paid drudgery based on what is, in essence, mere chance?” There have also been pieces on this title in the New Statesman and Progress magazine and James Bloodworth has been interviewed on The Big Questions and the Daily Politics show.
And hands up anyone who thinks this  sketch on British social class from the 1960’s still rings surprisingly true!


As another summer of sport gets underway this entertaining list will amuse those of us who prefer to read about it rather than partaking in anything too energetic – a Top Ten of the Best Cricket Scenes in Fiction: everything from Wodehouse and Douglas Adams to Dickens and even Joyce!

Fugitive Colours by Liz Lochhead (978 1846973451, hb, £9.99) is a new collection from one of Scotland’s most loved writers which is published by Birlinn to celebrate the end of her term as Makar (Scotland’s Poet Laureate). Whether or not you’re in Scotland there is a very large market for Liz’s work – she has a large and devoted audience and delights listeners wherever she goes. As the Sunday Herald said: “The most striking aspect of Fugitive Colours, as with all her work, is its directness. She could be talking to the reader over a tearoom table, so conversational and confiding is its tone. Her eagerness to tell a story fills the pages”. There has also been coverage in the Scotsman: “An eclectic mix of the poignant, the quirky and the playful. …Delighting in language and rhythm, and free with her allusions, she always makes her meaning clear”; on the Janice Forsyth Show BBC Radio Scotland; in the I Love This feature in Homes and Interiors; on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row and it will be a Scottish Book of the Month in Waterstone’s. There is also a MAJOR publicity coup for Liz coming up in July – which is so top secret that I can’t write about it yet – ask your Compass Account Manager for details! You can find out more about Fugitive Colours here.

If you love books (obvs) and you also love shopping for accessories – then you’ll probably love this great quiz from our pals over at Buzzfeed on which book related jewellery item you should buy!

Well, you know what starts today, so don’t forget to stock Euro 2016: The Ultimate Fan Guide by Lloyd Pettiford and Ronan Fitzsimons (pb, £7.99, 978 1910692097) published by Urbane.  Irreverent and funny, this highly entertaining guide is a must for any fan, combining detailed and accurate knowledge of the beautiful game with a witty and insightful commentary on the history of the tournament, and the key players, teams and nations. It tells you everything you need to know about the forthcoming championships, and will have you laughing out loud at the weird facts, stories, and anecdotes surrounding the players and teams taking part in the finals. Euro 2016 includes all the fixtures and kick-off dates and times, an essential overview of the grounds, notes on the players to watch, and the all-important match and group predictions. 

A totally different take on being a footie enthusiast is Fan by Danny Rhodes (pb, £8.99, 978 1910050538) which was published by Arcadia in March. This gritty coming-of-age novel is based on the author’s own experiences as a Nottingham Forest fan at Hillsborough on 15 April 1989. As Match of the Day commentator Steve Wilson said “If you watched football in the 1980s, you’ll want to read it. If you started watching the game post-Hillsborough, you MUST read it” while LizLovesBook.com commented “Without a doubt one of the best books I have ever read for impassioned impact, beauty of writing, absolute authenticity and pure emotional resonance”. Football, the 80s, relationships, growing up – it’s all here. Scott Pack called this “an important book. It is dark and grim and severe but it is a remarkable thing to read. It has immense power and is utterly compelling”.

And a final footie essential for any bookshop is Bobby Moore: Sporting Legend by Jeff Powell (978 1849547390, £9.99, pb). This is a new edition of the bestselling biography of the England football legend which is available now from Robson Press. In this definitive and authorised biography, award-winning sports writer Jeff Powell – for many years a close family friend to Moore and his family – has created a powerful and fitting tribute to the legend, recreating the golden era of English football and the man at its helm. Powell delivered the eulogy at Bobby Moore’s funeral, describing it as “one of the saddest yet one of the most moving days of my life.” The Telegraph said of this book “it is Powell's lucid picture of Moore the footballer...which makes the most indelible impression...an admirable portrait” and apart from the passionate accounts of Moore’s greatest moments in football, Powell’s unique access to Moore and his family enables him to reveal the very private side of this supremely gentle man. Bobby Moore: Sporting Legend has 16 pages of photos, and is available now. 
But during this footie mad weekend, it’s good to remember that far more people visit historic houses every year (three quarters of all adults in 2015) than ever go anywhere near a football match! So don’t forget to stock Hudson’s Historical House and Gardens 2016 (£16.99, pb, 978 0851015699). This gorgeous paperback has 450 pages packed full of nearly 1,000 stately homes, countless heritage gardens and many smaller hidden gems tucked away in every corner of the country; and Hudson’s are mounting some terrific summer promotions for it. There’s a chance to win a Fortnum and Mason's Hamper if you can nominate the  UK's best Heritage Picnic Spot  and also a chance to win  tickets to the Chalke Valley History Festival as well as tons of fab ideas for Fathers’ Day!  Hudson’s Historical House and Gardens 2016 gets 5-star reviews on Amazon: “This is a boon for families like us who thrive on good old British holidays”,” always good value and full of up to the minute news”, “informative book, beautifully set out, will make a gorgeous gift!!” so don’t let them get all the sales – stock it now!

Refugee Tales (9.99, pb, 978 1910974230) edited by David Herd and Anna Pincus and published by Comma Press is going to be featured on Woman's Hour this Wednesday (15 June) which will definitely attract attention – and there is more press coverage to come. This is a modern day counterpart to the pilgrims’ stories in The Canterbury Tales and brings together the stories of fourteen real-life refugees whose voyage to the UK has not been a journey of spiritual salvation but rather one of sheer, physical survival. Told by leading novelists and poets (including Ali Smith, Chris Cleave, Marina Lewycka, Patience Agbabi, and Avaes Mohammed), these Tales have been developed in collaboration with refugees, former immigration detainees, and those who work with them. With titles like ‘The Detainee’s Tale’, ‘The Appellant’s Tale’ and ‘The Unaccompanied Minor’s Tale’, each is based on close conversations with the people behind the stories (whose anonymity is preserved for reasons of security) and offers a compelling, shocking and truthful account of what it means to seek asylum in the UK. Refugee Tales already has the backing of the Guardian, who have run the story written by Ali Smith – and as I say, there is certain to be even more media interest in this topical and timely book; Shami Chakrabarti said “Refugee Tales is a wonderful way of re-humanising some of the most vulnerable and demonised people on the planet. This collection is both challenging and poignant. Readers will surely be moved to move their leaders to action” Refugee Tales is published this month; there’s a piece about it in today’s Bookseller here and you can find out more here
Did you know the cycles of the moon have a huge effect on our health, our mood, our relationships and our work? World-renowned astrologist Yasmin Boland believes that by understanding these phases, we can work with them to improve and empower every aspect of our lives Moonology: Working with the Magic of Lunar Cycles explains how connecting with the moon can change your life for the better  and contains powerful rituals and ceremonies for each moon phase. This is a book for all those wishing to deepen their connection with nature and take their spiritual practice to a new level. Moonology by Yasmin Boland (£10.99 978 1781807422, pb) will be extracted in the Daily Mail on Monday 13th June which is great publicity for this title just published by Hay House.  The book and author will also feature in the September/October issue of Kindred Spirit and future issues of Spirit & Destiny, Soul & Spirit, Chat It’s Fate, Fate and Fortune and Woman’s Way. The book will also feature on Red Online. Find out more about it here.

Always good to finish with some music – so how about the top five Moonology songs!
Well, first up probably has to be this version of the classic Rogers and Hart ditty from The Marcels! Then it’s a marvellous night for this from Van Morrison followed by this classic 1985 performance from The Waterboys. Number two is this  from REM but my number one Moonology song is going to have to be this 1979 classic from The Police!

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 click here  or talk to your Compass Sales representative.

Friday 3 June 2016

Compass Points 172


Children’s schoolbooks left open in a classroom, trees entangled in a rusting Ferris wheel, hulks of ships high and dry, miles from any water – seeing images like these we’re bound to wonder: what happened here?  Ranging from the urban aquarium of a flooded shopping mall to majestic shipwrecks, from aircraft graveyards to forgotten railway stations, from leper colonies to radiation zones, Abandoned Places is a beautiful pictorial examination of worlds that we’ve left behind, containing more than 150 outstanding colour photographs.
Arranged thematically from industrial to military sites, from ghost towns to recreational sites, the book explains through extended captions the story of how each place came to be abandoned, whether it be natural or chemical disaster, war, economic collapse, or changing attitudes and tastes. Abandoned Places gives us a fascinating a glimpse into the past and a chance to explore sixty-five hauntingly beautiful lost worlds from all around the globe.
Abandoned Places by Kieron Connolly (hb, 9781782743941, £19.99) is published by Amber Books in August and finished copies of this hardback have just arrived in the office – it really is a gorgeous and evocative book and you can find out more about it here.

From Syrian asylum seekers to super-rich foreign investors, immigration is without doubt one of the most controversial issues facing Britain today. Newspaper editors plaster it across front pages while politicians kick the subject from one election or referendum to the next. But few know the truth behind the headlines; indeed, the almost daily changes to our complex immigration laws pile up so quickly that even the officials in charge struggle to keep up.  In a new clear and concise guide, Becoming British; Thom Brooks, one of the UK’s leading experts on British citizenship, deftly navigates the perennially thorny path, exploding myths and exposing absurdities along the way. Ranging from how to test for ‘Britishness’ to how to tackle EU ‘free movement’, this paperback explores how UK immigration really works, and sparks a long-overdue debate about how it should work. There have been lots of pieces on this title in local media and the author was interviewed on BBC Radio 4’ s The World Tonight a couple of days ago. Why not test yourself on how British you really are on this entertaining test complied by Thom here! Becoming British: UK Citizenship Examined by Thom Brooks (pb, £14.99, 978 1849549769) is published by Biteback and you can order this title with its superbly bright and eye catching cover here!
Tara Stiles is a world-famous yoga teacher and her new title Strala Yoga (pb, 9781401948122, £12.99) promises to teach you how to Be Strong, Focused & Ridiculously Happy from the Inside Out. I think many of us would like some of that, and sure enough she has a massive online following of over half a million across her many social media platforms. In Strala Yoga, Tara explains the origin and philosophy of this feelings-based style of yoga, which is spreading like wildfire around the world – from New York City to Barcelona to Singapore. Focusing on the power of combining movement with intuition, Tara walks readers through the importance of moving with ease and creating space in their lives. Strala isn't about strict poses (hurrah!) it's about your body and your abilities. By moving how it feels good to move, readers will not only get a great workout but also release stress, free up space in their minds, and open themselves up to creativity. Tara lays out simple, step-by-step information on everything from how to use the breath in movement, to how to create ease, to how to set up a home practice. With more than ten routines – each illustrated with clear, instructional photos – this will be appealing to beginners and seasoned yogis alike, and aims to help readers dissolve stress, get better sleep, gain energy, or even wind down after a tough day. All sounds good to me; Strala Yoga is published in August by Hay House and you can find out more here.
Time to watch this again I feel – just to remind us what those yoga poses are really designed for!


Carcanet poet Gillian Clarke was awarded the Hay Festival Medal for Poetry at the landmark literary festival. Appearing in an event to discuss Shakespeare’s Lyr and her upcoming collection Zoology (£8.99, pb 978 1784102166) Clarke was presented with her Medal by Hay Festival Director Peter Florence in front of a packed Hay crowd. Created by Christopher Hamilton, a silversmith local to the festival site in Hay-on-Wye, the medals have been awarded annually since Britain’s Olympic year (2012), drawing inspiration from the original Olympic medal given for poetry. Director of Hay Festival, Peter Florence, said: “Gillian Clarke has redefined poetry, not just in Wales, but around the world. The growth of her work and the spread of her voice has mirrored our own festival’s development and this Welsh field filled with lovers of written and spoken word seems like the perfect setting to celebrate her work. We are honoured to do so.” Congrats Gillian Clarke and Carcanet!

Which colour would you say is the most popular for book covers at present? Some of us are old enough to remember the 80’s when every second paperback was white and gold, and there’ s always been an adage that green hued books don’t sell; but apparently the latest thing is…yellow. Who knew, but apparently it’s officially “a thing” and you can read why here!

I’m pleased to tell you that No Borders: Playing Rugby for Ireland by BBC reporter Tom English has just won the Cross Sports Rugby Book of the Year. Winners across all ten categories were announced at a ceremony at Lord’s on 1 June and now each of the winning titles is put to an online public vote to determine the overall Cross Sports Book of the Year in association with The Times. The public vote is open until midnight on June 16 with the winner announced shortly after and you can find a complete list of all the category winders on the Cross Sports Book Award website here. Arena Sport are publishing the paperback (pb, 978 1909715462, £14.99) of this title in September which will feature the award badge on the cover.  From Jack Kyle’s immortals to Brian O’Driscoll’s golden generation, this is the story of Irish rugby told in the players’ words. Tom English embarks on a pilgrimage through the four provinces to reveal the fascinating and illuminating story of playing Test rugby in the green of Ireland – all the glory of victory, all the pain of defeat, and all the camaraderie behind the scenes. But more than a nostalgic look back through the years, this is a searing portrait of the effects of politics and religion on Irish sport, a story of great schisms and volatile divisions, but also a story of the profound unity, passionate friendships and bonds of a brotherhood. With exclusive material garnered from interviews with players and coaches from across the decades, No Borders unveils the compelling truth of what it means to play for Ireland. This is the ultimate history of Irish rugby – told, definitively, by the men who have been there and done it. It’s packed full of exclusive, previously untold stories and over 5,000 hardback copies have been sold since the hardback publication in October 2015, so the paperback (pb, 978 1909715462, £14.99) is definitely something to look forward to! You can  find out more and order it here.
Who watched Top Gear? What did you think? And were you one of the many who took to Twitter to express your feelings? Well, if you did – let’s hope you voiced your opinions to @aChrisEvans and not @ChrisEvans as the Captain America star has been inundated with views that he’s probably not all that interested in… come on people – one of these chaps is cute with muscles and one really isn’t – read that story here!

There’s been lots of great publicity for Takeover: Explaining the Extraordinary Rise of the SNP by Rob Johns and James Mitchell (pb, 978 1785900327, £14.99) with lots of blog pieces and reviews as well as articles in the Sunday Post and the Times and author interviews on BBC Radio Scotland, Good Morning Scotland , BBC2, Scotland 2016 and STV. This is an important and accessible history of the party that apparently came from nowhere to change Scottish, and British, politics forever. For a decade now, the Scottish National Party has dominated the political narrative in Scotland and now the party has become one of the big stories in politics throughout the UK. In this book, two established SNP-watchers explain how the party achieved power. Examining the backgrounds and motivations of the party's leaders, activists and voters; Johns and Mitchell draw a detailed portrait of the SNP today, debunking several myths along the way, explaining the party’s appeal and examining the personalities and politics involved. You can find out more about Takeover, which has just been published by Biteback here.
Talking of things political, I urge you to watch this absolutely hilarious video made by the Green Party (who would have thought they had such a good sense of humour) lampooning ALL the main political players in the style of The Secret Life of Four Year Olds - watch it here!

Fans of Lynda La Plante and Martina Cole will love Tara Moore – a bestselling author who has previously had titles published by Poolbeg and Orion and who is now published by Urbane. Fade to Dead is the first in a series of seven fast-paced, gritty, crime novels, featuring ballsy, newly promoted DI, Jessica Wideacre. It has an eye-catching cover (go to the blog) and there’ s a great promo trailer for it on YouTube here. When a serial killer, The Director, starts snatching young women off the street to ‘act’ in his movies, Jessica is tasked with apprehending him. It’s her first major case and the opportunity to prove that she’s not just the token woman promoted to satisfy the PC brigade. The Director’s victims are all of a type, barely legal, blonde and beautiful. As the body count rises, Jessica is fast losing confidence. With no clues to go on and a boss who’s just willing her to screw up, she’s also losing sleep and possibly her husband too. Who can blame her if she starts to find a little too much comfort at the bottom of a bottle? But, Jessica Wideacre is no push over; she doesn’t do bullshit or suffer fools gladly. She will earn respect. And she will get her man. Meanwhile, The Director has another victim in his sights and this one, a famous movie star, is real special… Fade to Dead by Tara Moore (pb, £8.99, 978 1910692776) has just been published by Urbane and you can order it here.

And if you want an example of how much the role of women in novels has changed over the centuries – have a look here at this highly entertaining list of all the things that women in literature have died from – drawing room anguish and clergyman’s dropsy being among the amusing culprits!

Interesting news in the Bookseller that the Labour politician Peter Hain’s memoir Ad and Wal: Values, Duty, Sacrifice in Apartheid South Africa which was published by Biteback in 2014, has just been optioned for a feature film. Iain Dale, Biteback MD, said: “We were extremely proud to have published Peter Hain’s inspiring account of his extraordinary parents, Ad and Wal, and we are thrilled that their story will be brought to a wider audience.” Peter Hain said: “My parents were an ordinary couple who found themselves doing extraordinary things because of their values and sense of duty. At the beginning they reacted to the immorality of apartheid then found themselves targets of a police state, eventually forced to sacrifice everything for their principles. I'm proud their story will appear on screen.” 
And finally; it's the third of June and therefore #OdeToBillieJoeDay. What’s not to love about that?

Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. Here are some of our favourite tweets from this week...
The Last Word Review ‏@Thelastword1962 @EvaJordanWriter 183 Times a Year sounds terrific. Love the cover. Brilliant.
And Other Stories ‏@andothertweets Great review of Wolfgang Bauer's Crossing the Sea from Hsiao-Hung Pai on @openDemocracy
Lovereading ‏@lovereadinguk Book of the Month -  My Italian Bulldozer by Lovereading favourite @McCallSmith @BirlinnBooks
James Kinsley ‏@mrjameskinsley Just starting Juan Pablo Villalobos' #IllSellYouADog from @andothertweets. A couple of chapters and the quality's evident. V funny.
Birlinn@BirlinnBooks The FULL story of betrayal in British India - Walter Reid's KEEPING THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN will keep all you #IndianSummers fans hooked!
St. David's Press ‏@StDavidsPress @CompassIPS -  Looks like you'll do ok with our #TogetherStronger Out now & doing better than England's footy book ;-)
Nicholas Herrmann ‏@NickPSH Fascinating & inspiring @mrbsemporium event last night with @yuri_herrera & @andothertweets. Can't wait to read this
Peter Hain ‏@PeterHain Delighted my book Ad&Wal @BitebackPub being made into film
Heidi Murphy ‏@HeidiNiMhurchu This beauty: The Sun King from @gallicbooks looks perfect for fans of #Versailles Going on my wish list immediately!
Mel Wells ‏@IAmMelWells  4 days to go until The Goddess Revolution is released, might just be a LITTLE BIT EXCITED!
Urbane Publications ‏@urbanepub Summer in Tintagel, Fade to Dead and The Rwandan Hostage will be in WHSmith Travel stores during August - yay!
Gallic Books ‏@gallicbooks Muriel Barbery and how Japan influenced The Life of Elves www.waterstones.com/blog/the-life-of-elves @Waterstones blog
OurStories ‏@ourstoriesbooks Been reading a lot recently, but this book has by far been the best. Check out Yuri Herrera #Mexico @andothertweets
Chaucer Doth Tweet ‏@LeVostreGC Yf ther ys evir a typo on thys twytter plese blame scribal error.
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 click here  or talk to your Compass Sales representative.