Friday 30 September 2016

Compass Points 186

Antoine Laurain has been everywhere recently promoting the wonderful French Rhapsody (pb, £8.99, 978 1910477304) just published from Gallichere's a great one-minute interview with him in the Independent which tells you everything you need to know . Here he is at the EuroStars event at Waterstone's Piccadilly with publisher Jane Aitken; at Toppings in Bath, outside Belgravia Books and at Mr B's Emporium!

I noticed a super-duper spread on Slim by Design by Brian Wansink (£12.99, 978 1781807415, pb) from Hay House in the current issue of Red magazine this week – entitled Life Hacks for Healthier Eating. This entertaining, eye-opening book shows how you can lose weight not by changing what we eat – but where and how we eat. One of the tips I especially loved was to make tempting foods invisible and inconvenient – basically put the biscuits in a high up cupboard and don’t have treats sitting in full view! People who have a fruit bowl in their kitchen weigh 7 lb less than those who don’t; and apparently every four minutes a person spends in their kitchen, they consume 20 more calories! This expert food psychologist offers a genuinely radical new philosophy for weight loss, and this spread in Red is great publicity for it!

And talking of food, why not take this fun quiz in Buzzfeed which claims that We Know Your Exact Age Based On Your Hipster Food Choices!

How great would it be to learn from other people’s mistakes rather than having to make our own? In WTF Just Happened? Martin Goodyer presents a hilarious compilation of catastrophes to help readers do just this. Drawing on his experience as a psychologist and taking the perspective of a behavioural change coach; Martin offers insights into people s often irrational behaviour and suggests ways to avoid such behaviour ourselves. This collection of cringe-worthy stories includes pretty much every bad situation you can imagine – from how to avoid missing the point; how to avoid your darling children turning into teenage monsters; how to avoid letting yourself go; how to avoid getting scammed; how to avoid being a loser! An ideal book for anyone interested in human behaviour, personal development or avoiding mistakes by learning from others. If you only buy one book to help you handle life’s challenges, then make it this one. WTF Just Happened? How to Make Better Decisions by Asking Yourself Better Questions by Martin Goodyer (978 1785830310 , £12.99, pb) is published by Crown at the end of October.
Watch a short 2-min promo film from Martin Goodyer about WTF Just Happened here.

Harrogate author, Jackie Buxton has recently presented a cheque to Breast Cancer Haven, Yorkshire for £830.62 from the sales of her bestselling book: Tea & Chemo; Fighting Cancer, Living Life (pb, £7.99, 978 1910692394). Thanks very much to all you lovely booksellers who supported it! When Jackie was diagnosed with breast cancer she began to write down her thoughts and feelings, soon developing them into a blog which received an overwhelmingly positive response from the many followers who could relate to what she was writing.
Encouraged that her words could help other people in the same situation, Jackie set about writing Tea & Chemo which was published by Urbane. Go to the blog to see some pics of Jackie at Breast Cancer Haven; which has five UK centres providing free emotional, physical and practical support to anyone affected by breast cancer. 
Jackie’s new title Glass Houses (pb, 978-1910692844, £8.99) a novel about a text sent whilst driving and its enormous ramifications; was published in July – also by Urbane – and has had some absolutely rave reviews from readers on Amazon.

Great publicity for Eat Well, Stay Well: What to Eat to Beat Common Ailments (£12.99. pb, 978 1859063712) by Dr Sarah Brewer with a big spread in the Daily Mirror – and there’s more PR to come! This full colour paperback is packed with nutritional advice based on the latest scientific evidence and features twenty superfoods to make a part of your diet plus great advice on how to combat the fifty most common ailments. It’s organized by ailment for quick and easy reference and covers everything from high blood pressure and osteoporosis to eczema and depression. With tasty recipes to try, Eat Well, Stay Well shows you how to eat your way to staying healthy and happy as you age. It is published by Connections.

An interesting piece in the Guardian this week headed: A Northern Powerhouse Really is Coming – in Publishing. It discusses as length the issue of publishing in the UK being too white, too middle-class and too London-centric, and suggests that if publishers really want to reflect the diversity of modern Britain they should follow the independents and move north. The piece mentions our lovely friends Comma Press and Carcanet among many others – do read the whole article here.

Congratulations to Anakana Schofield whose novel Martin John (pb, 978 1908276667, £10.00) published by And Other Stories has just been shortlisted for the 2016 Goldsmith’s Prize. Written with all the electrifying humour of her award-winning debut Malarky and exhibiting a startling grasp of the loops and obsessions of a molester’s mind; Martin John stands as a brilliant, Beckettian exploration of a man’s long slide into deviancy. The Guardian called it “Ambiguous; funny; distressing and complicated” while the Sunday Telegraph said “Schofield writes without judgment. Five stars.’ This title is highly topical and explores issues of sexual harassment and abuse with great empathy and dark humour.” If any bookseller would like a reading copy of Martin John, then please email The Goldsmith’s Prize is awarded for “embodying the spirit of invention that characterizes the novel genre at its best” and the winner (who receives £10,000) will be announced at a ceremony at Foyles in central London on 9th November. The judges’ chairman Blake Morrison said: “Innovative novels used to suffer from the stigma of ‘difficulty’ but one thing we’ve learned since the Goldsmiths Prize was launched four years ago is what a large and responsive readership they reach.” You can read about all six shortlisted titles in The Bookseller here.

Lovely launch party this week – thank you very much Urbane – for Serial Damage (pb, £8.99, 978 1911129455) by husband and wife team Liz Cowley and Donough O'Brien. This is a riveting thriller in the best traditions of Barbara Vine, Patricia Highsmith and Val McDermid which has already had some great reviews. Somewhat surprisingly, as well as co-authoring books about serial killers, Liz is also the bestseller author of Outside in My Dressing Gown and Gardening in my Slippers.

In October she has a new poetry collection published by Gibson Square: Pass the Prosecco, Darling: Cooking Disasters and Other Kitchen Dramas (hb, £9.99 978 1783341344) This time, Liz hilariously turns her wicked wit on everything from disastrous supper parties (and people on mobile phones during them), gluten-free demons, diet fads and the clutter of unread cookbooks that collect in our kitchens like tumble weed.
I think this super little hardback could be a very successful Christmas gift title – so do order it! Here are Liz and Donough at the party!

Events are the lifeblood of many a good bookshop we know – and we absolutely LOVE this wall at the entrance to Waterstone's Birmingham!

And talking of great signage – I think you will enjoy this piece from the Independent about the fab punning signs  outside Inversnecky Café in Aberdeen!

There are some great displays for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton titles in many of your shops at the moment – like this fab one in one in The Norrington Room, Oxford – featuring of course Hillary Rising: The Politics, Persona and Policies of a New American Dynasty (£14.99, pb 978 1849549646) by James D. Boys which is published by Biteback, and selling very well indeed!

Off to Foyles in Chelmsford today for the launch of their beautiful brand spanking new bookshop – opened by none other than that ultimate survivor, loveable (?!) rogue and author Lord Jeffrey Archer! Good luck and congratulations to all involved with the new shop! Here you can see Lord Archer and Christopher Foyle opening the shop - and Foyles marketing legend Jasper Sutcliffe looking surprisingly perky after his 5.30am start today!
And finally; on the day the Rosetta Space probe collides with its comet bringing to an end one of the most audacious space missions ever; I adore this little animation made by the European Space Agency team marking the moment. And what I love most, is that in amongst all of that extraordinary technology, the Rosetta Space probe is holding a book! Hurrah!!

Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. Here are some of our favourite tweets from this week...
Waterstones Witney ‏@WstonesWitney I think someone NEEDS to make a picture book out of the wonderful @ESA_Rosetta animations! SO CUTE! #CometLanding
The New European ‏@TheNewEuropean In this issue: Alastair Campbell reveals the moment #TonyBlair nearly quit as PM moment #TonyBlair nearly quit as PM from Vol5 of diaries
Joanne Harris ‏@Joannechocolat Libraries are staffed by trained librarians, experts who give help and advice and organize activities. #TenThingsAboutLibraries
Scottish Book Trust ‏@scottishbktrust 'Through fantasy, children face their fears and become braver', says @CorneliaFunke...
Freight Books ‏@FreightBooks Speaking to @PukaarMagazine, @nicholas_hogg on Tokyo and The Author’s Cricket Club
Comma Press ‏@commapress Our brilliant distributors @nbnibooks have just featured us on their Instagram, thanks guys, follow nbnibooks and give the photo a like!
Matthew at Urbane ‏@urbanepub Rather bizarrely, my fifty seconds of fame talking about pop-ups on @YouTube has over 1,200 views
Kirkdale Bookshop ‏@KirkdaleBooks "Do you sell alarm clocks?" Welcome to Friday evening. This is five minutes after somebody sang a Robbie Burns song in here. Strong night.
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 23 September 2016

Compass Points 185

Compass is now bringing you a selection of the very best children’s books, and one such title is a really gorgeous edition of The Night Before Christmas or A Visit from St. Nicholas. Clement Clarke Moore wrote the poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas in 1822 and it is true to say that its composition redefined our image of Christmas and Santa Claus.
For example, prior to its creation, St. Nicholas, the patron saint of children, had never been associated with a sleigh or reindeers! There are many editions of this famous poem of course, but this new hardback published by Arcturus in October is special on three counts.
Firstly, this edition contains all the original text and is a reproduction of an 1888 edition; reproducing the beautiful colour illustrations by William Roger Snow (1834-1907) in a stunning facsimile edition that's filled with period charm. Secondly, it is a highly appealing, large handsome hardback in its own right with lovely endpapers, ornamental borders, many charming decorative touches, a red fabric binding, and an interesting introduction.
And finally – the price! It’s just £6.99 which is a truly astonishing bargain! I genuinely cannot see why any family would not want to purchase this – it is one of those Christmas books that can become a tradition to read every year – and something that looks so lovely at this price makes it a complete no-brainer for any parent or grandparent to purchase! You can see some of the pictures here – get yourself some copies now – you will definitely sell them all, and I have a feeling this could be a very big seller for Arcturus this year! The Night Before Christmas: A Reproduction of an Antique Christmas Classic (978 1784282998, 24 pages, £6.99, 304 x 248mm, hb) is available to order now.

The shortlist for the BBC National Short Story Award 2016 has now been announced – and it looks like a pretty good year, including tales by Booker Prize-winner Hilary Mantel, poet and author Lavinia Greenlaw, and short story writer K J Orr. All the characters assembled in this year’s shortlist are all looking for a new start, a chance to escape or change the way they are perceived. Young garment workers in a Bangladesh factory seek a better life; a girl on a deep, dark moor is drawn into a different kind of darkness after a stranger gives her a bunch of flowers; a retired plastic surgeon, who once served the great and not-so-good of Buenos Aires, finds a new peace when he disguises his identity; an academic seeks sanctuary in a different rhythm of life and for those who wile away the nights in A&E, unlikely memories and a good sense of the absurd keep the worst at bay. A spokesperson for the award said: "Intimate and yet universal, the 2016 shortlist is a diverse, multi-generational selection that shows how direct and powerful the short story form is in its ability to reflect every facet of human experience. Human connection and the quest for experience are key themes for this year’s stories." The winner of the award will be announced on Radio 4 from 7.15pm on Tuesday 4 October 2016, with £15,000 going to the winner and £3,000 to the runner-up. The BBC National Short Story Award (pb, 9781910974278, £7.99), edited by Jenni Murray and published by Comma Press is available now – previous years’ editions have sold out very fast, so do order it!
Well, Mary’s staying (along with Mel and Sue) Paul’s going – but which GBBO baker has sold the most books? Find out in this piece in The Bookseller here !

The fallout from Brexit rumbles on; and for those still interested, Biteback are bringing your customers everything they could possibly need to know – and possibly quite a lot they don’t! Well, You Did Ask: Why the UK Voted to Leave the EU (pb, £10.00, 978 178590168) by Michael Ashcroft and Kevin Culwick was published earlier this month and draws on more than two years of intensive research by Lord Ashcroft, explaining how voters came to make the most momentous political decision of our time – how they saw the choice before them, what they made of the campaign, its personalities, claims and counterclaims – and why they ultimately chose to take the UK out of the EU. It also offers a colourful and revealing look at what our continental neighbours think about Britain and the British!
Two Brexit titles published in October are The Bad Boys of Brexit: Tales of Mischief, Mayhem & Guerrilla Warfare in the EU Referendum Campaign (hb, £18.99, 978 1785901829) which is an unexpurgated and highly entertaining diary of the referendum campaign by Arron Banks. In the year preceding Brexit, Arron Banks tore up the political rule book, sinking £8 million of his personal fortune into a madcap campaign targeting ordinary voters up and down the country. His anti-establishment crusade upset everyone from Posh Spice to NASA and left MPs open-mouthed. When his rabble-rousing antics landed him in hot water, he simply redoubled his efforts to wind up the targets. Lurching from comedy to crisis (often several times a day), he found himself in the glare of the media spotlight fending off daily bollockings from Nigel Farage and po-faced MPs. Sound good!
There’s also The Brexit Club: The Inside Story of the Leave Campaign’s Shock Victory by Owen Bennett (£12.99, pb, 978 1785900983) which brings you the inside story of the battle for Brexit. With unprecedented access to the key figures in the Leave groups, The Brexit Club reveals the truth behind the campaign that divided friends, families and the country.
And finally; Summer Madness How Brexit Split the Tories, Destroyed Labour and Divided the Country by Harry Mount (pb, £12.99, 978 1785901799) which describes in entertaining detail how in less than three weeks Brexit became a mass murderer!  Hello?! Shortly after Boris Johnson was knifed in the back by Michael Gove, a close friend of Boris’s apparently said to Harry Mount, “Brexit is like some horrible curse. It kills everything it touches.” The Bullingdon boys, Cameron and Osborne had been 'whacked’, Mafia style, the Cabinet was drained of blue blood and the Notting Hill set – who had holidayed, worked and lived together for thirty years since their Oxford days – were torn asunder by the Brexit serial killer. Michael Gove and Boris Johnson, who had fought the Brexit campaign together, broken bread and plotted with their wives, were ripped apart by Gove’s sudden desertion. Jeremy Corbyn, who remained in post before and after the referendum, joined the ranks of the living dead. Shortly after the Brexit result, Labour MPs voted against him in a no-confidence vote. And Nigel Farage, arguably the only real victor of the referendum, resigned his UKIP leadership within days of the result being announced. According to Harry Mount, this sad and sorry spectacle appears to resemble nothing less than a scene from The Godfather and in a day-by-day account, he gives us his insider’s version of those three chilling weeks of mass blood-letting. Summer Madness is also published at the end of October.

The Ryder cup is about to begins in Minnesota the end of this month, so don’t forget to display Behind the Ryder Cup: The Players’ Stories by Peter Burns with Ed Hodge (hb, 978 1909715318, £20.00) which was published by Arena Sport in July. From the origin matches that preceded the first official trans-Atlantic encounter between Britain and America at Worcester Country Club in 1927, all the way through to the fortieth instalment at Gleneagles in 2014, this is the complete history of the Ryder Cup – told by the men who have been there and done it. With exhaustive research and exclusive new material garnered from interviews with players and captains from across the decades, Behind the Ryder Cup unveils the compelling truth of what it means to play in golf’s biggest match-play event. This title joins the best-selling series of behind-the-scenes histories from Arena Sport and is packed full of exclusive and previously untold stories. Arena’s Behind the Jersey series has sold over 30,000 copies and Behind the Ryder Cup looks set to do equally well.

And let’s hope this year’s Ryder Cup brings us something as amusing as this highly entertaining golfing moment from earlier this year!

Talking of America, Interstate: Hitch Hiking Through the State of a Nation is a fascinating journey across that vast and complex country. Recruited to work on a documentary project, Julian Sayarer went to New York convinced he had hit big time at last. Finding the project cancelled, he wandered the city streets and, with nowhere else to go, decided to set out hitchhiking for San Francisco. Revisiting this timeless American journey, he finds an unseen nation in rough shape. Along the road are homeless people and anarchists who have dropped out of society altogether, and blue-collar Americans who seem to have lost all meaning in forgotten towns and food deserts. Helped along by roadside communities and encounters that somehow keep a sense of optimism alive, Interstate grapples with the fault lines in US society. It tells a tale of Steinbeck and Kerouac, set against the indifference of the vast US landscape and the frustrated energy of American culture and politics at the start of a new century. Julian Sayarer has cycled six times across Europe, and in 2009 broke the 18,000-mile world record for a circumnavigation by bicycle. A politics graduate, his writing has appeared in the London Review of Books, New Statesman, Aeon Magazine, and many others. Interstate: Hitch Hiking Through the State of a Nation (£8.99, pb, 978 1910050934) has been described as “On The Road for the Occupy generation” and it’s published in October by Arcadia.
It's fashion week time around the globe – and I love this  – 16 Books That Perfectly Match New York Fashion Week Looks!

The latest edition of The Good Food Guide 2017 (978 0953798346, pb £17.99) has just been published and this stunning clothbound trade paperback with foil and ribbon looks extremely handsome this year; running to 624 pages including 30 pages of maps. This is the UK’s bestselling restaurant guide, and with over 1,200 reviews, it’s the UK’s most comprehensive guide too! There will be a significant PR campaign for it through Waitrose Weekend and Waitrose Food which have a combined circulation of 2.4 million readers a month. The Good Food Guide 2017 contains £50 worth of restaurant vouchers as well as its in-depth, impartial, entertaining reviews. It predicts the major culinary trends for 2017 plus of course those hotly anticipated listings: the Top 50 Restaurants and Top 50 Pubs. There are also many other foodie features and chef interviews.

When Ben and Juliette's young daughter dies in a tragic accident on a school trip, they begin searching for answers. But will they ever know the truth? What was the role of the teacher on the trip - and are the rumours about his past true? As Ben and Juliette search for the truth and the pressure rises, their own secrets and motivations are revealed. An Honest Deceit (pb, £8.99, 978 1911129974) by Guy Mankowski is an extremely gripping contemporary psychological thriller that questions not just the motives of others, but the real reasons for discovering the truth. Guy Mankowski’s first novel, The Intimates was a Must Read Title for New Writing North's 2011 Read Regional campaign. His second, Letters from Yelena, was adapted for the stage and his third, How I Left the National Grid, was a bestseller for Roundfire. An Honest Deceit was recently described by The Huffington Post as “a contemporary, socially aware artwork, a bubble of semi-fictional reality, a fantastic world” and “a novel of outstanding quality.” It is published by Urbane on 20 Oct 2016 and you can see Guy (who lives in Newcastle) talking about one of his previous novels on the North East Arts and Culture Show here and find out a bit more about him on his blog here.

Last week I wrote about the award-winning South African author Henrietta Rose-Innes whose title Nineveh, is out from Aardvark and Gallic in November. Her fourth novel, Green Lion is published in 2017 and Henrietta has just put a short presentation about this novel onto YouTube. Lovely stuff – it is great when authors do this I think – and you can watch this two-minute preview of Green Lion here.

Nick Perry spent his childhood in Dorset, out in the countryside. He was educated at Parkstone Sea Training School before leaving for London where he worked for ATV Television and then travelled around Europe moving from job to job until he came into money, whereupon he bought a hill farm in North Wales. Like you do. His experiences are entertainingly related in Peaks and Troughs, Hill Farming for Absolute Beginners (£14.99, hb, 978 1846973659) which is published in October by Polygon. This is a warm-hearted, humorous and ultimately inspirational tale of a young man’s attempt to run an organic farm in the unforgiving Welsh hills. Despite the hardships, he never loses his belief that there is an alternative way to farm that is sympathetic to the earth and the animals in his care. His neighbours never take him seriously and try to undermine his efforts as he struggles against the elements and nagging self-doubt, but he carries on, no matter how close to the edge he and his family get. This illustrated, funny nostalgic memoir will appeal to readers of Peter Mayle, James Herriot and shepherd James Rebanks and is described by Polygon as “The Good Life meets Withnail and I”.
And just to remind our younger readers what exactly those two things are: here’s ten minutes of Felicity Kendall milking a goat and also the top ten moments from one of my all-time favourite films!

Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. Here are some of our favourite tweets from this week...
The Bookseller ‏@thebookseller Jeremy Robson is to leave Biteback Publishing after five years to focus on his own writing.
Comma Press ‏@commapress Listen live at 3:35pm, catch up on @BBCiPlayer, or even better, read the whole anthology BBC Short Story Award.
Oberon Books ‏@OberonBooks Hear @glynofwelwyn chatting about Drinks With Dead Poets, the follow up to bestseller On Poetry, on TheVerb on BBCRadio3 at 10pm tonight!
The Bookseller ‏@thebookseller Wayne Winstone buys @HuntingRavenBks as he looks to establish a mini-chain in the south-west of England.
Gardners ‏@Gardners Congratulations Wayne @winstonebooks! Wishing you all the best with your new shop! #indiebookshops
Choc Lit ‏@ChocLituk Very excited about @PiaCCourtenay's new book The Velvet Cloak of Moonlight.
Biteback Publishing @Biteback Jeremy Corbyn's ex-wife says she voted for Owen Smith @JuliaRampenMM shares other insights from #ComradeCorbyn. 
Ken Hom ‏@ChefKenHom Meet me at @dauntsbooks on thurs 6 Oct, Marylebone High St 1.30 to 2.30 pm for a chat and book signing. KH
Gallic & Aardvark ‏@BelgraviaB You still got time to book tkts to see #AntoineLaurain at @ToppingsBath on 29 Sep talking about his new novel French Rhapsody.
Bookshop Windows ‏@BookshopWindows @BelgraviaB @hartsbooks gorgeous! Something about a bookshop window in the sun is really warming of the soul.
St. David's Press ‏@StDavidsPress Thanks @WaterstonesCardiff for a great display of our rugby books!
Pam Ayres ‏@PamAyres No Sue, no Mel, no Mary, 4's Bake Off will be scary, Could they not heed the nation's moan, And leave the bloody thing alone?
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 16 September 2016

Compass Points 184

Who saw Alistair Campbell on BBC’s Question Time last night trading insults with John McDonnell? You can see a clip of it in a Guardian piece here  and of course Twitter are all over this like a rash: @campbellclaret and #bbcqt!  The show descended into a heated row as the former New Labour spin doctor traded insults with Jeremy Corbyn’s right-hand man and the men each accused the other of damaging the Labour party. They clashed when Campbell suggested support for Corbyn was “a disaster for the Labour party”. Interrupting him, McDonnell called the comments “nauseating”, adding: “You are the one, above all else, who actually created the environment where no one believed a word a politician said. You lost us 5m votes in that process and set us up to fail. The reason Jeremy was elected is because people wanted some honesty back in politics again.” After being attacked by McDonnell, Campbell went on the offensive, saying he cared about the Labour party and worried that “you and yours are destroying it. And what’s more, I actually worry you don’t even care.” All great publicity for Volume Five of Alistair Campbell’s diaries. which are out from Biteback on 6 October. Outside, Inside 2003-2005 (9781785900617, £25.00, hb) begins where the previous instalment (The Burden of Power) ended, with Campbell's departure from Downing Street. The diaries open as Lord Hutton prepares to publish his report, sparking a huge crisis for the BBC. But any joy in No. 10 is dwarfed by continuing difficulties in Iraq. Meanwhile the Blair-Brown relationship is fracturing almost beyond repair and Campbell is tasked by both with devising a plan that will enable the two men to come together to fight a united election campaign. Away from politics, the diaries talk frankly about Campbell's continued struggles with mental health issues, as well as his work in sport and his return to journalism as he tries to find a new purpose in life. Outside, Inside is a vivid and essential record of an important period in modern political history. The Sunday Times called Campbell’s diaries “hugely gripping” and there is certain to be plenty of media coverage for this volume when it is published next month.

Lost in Static (pb, £8.99 978 1910692707) from debut author Christina Philippou is out from Urbane this week. If you want to share the emotions of being a brand new author with a first book just published – then have a look at Christina’s blog here! Lost In Static follows the four main characters, Callum, Ruby, Juliette and Yasmine, through their first year at university. Each has their own secrets, and each of the chapters is told from the perspective of one of the four characters. As new relationships are forged and confidences are broken, each person's version of events is coloured by their background, beliefs and prejudices. And so the ingredients are in place for a year shaped by lust, betrayal, and violence... This paperback has had great reviews on Amazon: “a cracking debut novel” “I really enjoyed her fast-paced writing style” “a real page turner” and it has a stylish and atmospheric cover.

And in celebration of that “first year at uni” theme, here is a list of some of the best novels  featuring universities (although personally I’m outraged that Starter for 10 is not included) and here is a really fun film selection of the top ten university-themed films!

Huge congratulations to Deborah Levy, whose novel Hot Milk has just been shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize! Her three terrific backlist tiles are all available so make sure you have them displayed – this is the writer of whom the Independent wrote: “Deborah Levy’s storytelling is allusive, elliptical and disturbing. Her touch is gentle, often funny and always acute… This is a prize-winner.” Swimming Home (pb, £10, 978 1908276025) was also shortlisted for the Booker in 2012; her short story collection Black Vodka (£12.00, 978 1908276162) and her hilarious and thought-provoking romance between an accountant and an angel, An Amorous Discourse in the Suburbs of Hell (hb, £7.99, 978 1908276476) are all published by And Other Stories.

Have a look at this interesting piece here in The Bookseller about the cover conventions for what they describe as “grip lit” – e.g. Girl on the Train etc – fascinating stuff!

I’m really looking forward to reading Nineveh by South African author Henrietta Rose-Innes, (currently living in Norwich, where she is completing a PhD in Creative Writing) which is out from Aardvark and Gallic in November.  It was shortlisted for South Africa's most prestigious prize, the Sunday Times Fiction Award, and in French translation: 'Ninive' won the François Sommer Literary Prize.  JM Coetzee said “Henrietta Rose-Innes writes an admirably taut, clean prose. … A welcome addition to the new South African literature.” and Patrick Gale said “I love Henrietta Rose-Innes’ work. With plotlines that are wittily subversive and language that is whippet-lean, it is long overdue for discovery by a wider readership.” Henrietta is interested in the idea of urban wilderness, how we live in our natural environments and how the human and non-human worlds interact and Ninevah is an elegant and evocative novel about people, place – and pests!  Katya Grubbs, like her father before her, deals in 'the unlovely and unloved'. Yet in contrast to her father, she is not in the business of pest extermination, but pest relocation. Katya's unconventional approach brings her to the attention of a property developer whose luxury estate on the fringes of Cape Town, Nineveh, remains uninhabited thanks to an infestation of mysterious insects. As Katya is drawn ever deeper into the chaotic urban wilderness of Nineveh, she must confront unwelcome intrusions from her own past. I love the clever, eye-catching cover! Henrietta Rose-Innes’ fourth novel, Green Lion will be out from Aardvark and Gallic in 2017. 

Does what we enjoy reading depend on which part of the country we live in? Have a look here  at this interesting piece discussing UK regions and their reading habits!

Who’s looking forward to the weekend? Sadly, our Indian summer weather now seems to have gone well and truly tits-up – but many of us are getting that #fridayfeeling nonetheless! But what if your entire life changed in the space of a weekend? As Weekends Go is a romantic novel from Jan Brigden who was the winner of Choc Lit & Whole Story Audiobooks Search for a Star 2014/15. Bestselling author Lisa Jewell said of it “I loved this gorgeous love story, written with a sure touch and a big heart.” When Rebecca’s friend Abi convinces her to get away from it all at the fabulous Hawksley Manor hotel in York, it seems too good to be true. Pampering and relaxation is just what Rebecca needs to distract herself from the creeping suspicion that her husband, Greg, is hiding something from her. She never imagined that by the end of the weekend she would have dined with celebrities or danced the night away in exclusive clubs. Nor could she have predicted she would meet famous footballer, Alex Heath, or that he would be the one to show her that she deserved so much more …. As Weekends Go (pb, £8,99, 978 1781893050) has just been published by Choc Lit and has had masses of five star reviews on Amazon – don’t let them get all the sales, this writer has a lot of fans!

I LOVE the new series of Agatha Christie stamps packed with wacky hidden secrets to mark what would have been the queen of crime’s 126th birthday on Thursday. The six stamps are devoted to classic Christie mysteries and each design includes micro text, UV ink and thermochroic ink! These concealed clues can be revealed using either a magnifying glass, UV light or body heat and provide pointers to the mysteries’ solutions. “With more than two billion book sales worldwide, crime writer and playwright Agatha Christie has been outsold only by Shakespeare and the Bible,” said the Royal Mail. “So it’s fitting that we mark not just the centenary of her writing her first crime novel, but also the 40th anniversary of her death with a stamp issue that’s full of intrigue.” You can find out more – and do an Agatha Christie quiz here.

Alexander McCall Smith has three new titles from Birlinn out at present: The Bertie Project (978 1846973598, hb, £16.99.99), My Italian Bulldozer (hb, £12.99, 978 1846973550) and his newest children’s title The Sands of Shark Island (978 1780273945) illustrated by Iain McIntosh.
He will be embarking on his autumn UK tour in September, taking in the Kew Book Festival and Daunts Marylebone in London; Brendon Books in Taunton; The Appledore Festival; The Booka bookshop in Oswestry; Linghams in Heswall and Borderlines Book Festival in Carlisle.
There will be publicity on BBC Radio 4’ s Meet the Author, on 25 September and on the Today Programme, on 23 September. Alexander McCall Smith will also be featured on Radio 4’s week of Christmas stories.

The new Beatles film Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years is out today and the digitally re-mastered footage looks absolutely amazing! They’ve also done some incredibly technical and clever things to the sound – which means for the first time ever you can actually hear some of those famous songs which were previous obliterated by hysterical screaming! Don’t forget to stock Looking Through You: Rare & Unseen Photographs from The Beatles Monthly Archive by Tom Adams which has just been published by Omnibus – it’s the perfect companion book to the film! Looking Through You (hb, £30.00, 978 1785580062) features over 300 rare and unseen photographs taken from the archives of The Beatles Book which was a monthly magazine devoted to the Fab Four. A unique publication, the stunning images captured by photographer Leslie Bryce are collected in this limited numbered slipcase edition. When publisher Sean Mahoney launched The Beatles Book, he negotiated unprecedented access to the band at their performances, backstage, in the recording studio and at home. In Looking Through You the most beautiful photographs from the magazine's six-year life have been taken from the original negatives, resulting in a portrait of a band that's at once historically significant and still exciting even half a century later. From small gigs in British theatres to TV appearances and foreign tours, their meteoric rise to fame is captured here through a wonderful lens, making this book a visual treat. Featuring a foreword from Jo Adams (daughter of Sean O'Mahony) an insightful introduction by Andy Neill and some fascinating information to accompany the photographs; Looking Through You is an important visual record of a musical phenomenon. This individually numbered limited edition of 3,000 copies also includes a facsimile of The Beatles Fan Club calendar of 1964. Looking Through You is the ideal book to capitalise on all the interest surrounding the new film – and there are two other great Beatles titles also available from Omnibus.
With The Beatles: The Historic Photographs of Dezo Hoffman (£14.99, 9780711901117) is a record of the Fab Four at the height of Beatlemania, as seen through the lens of this master photographer. The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics by Alan Aldridge (978 1780388250, pb, £24.95) which was originally published in 1969; is the only major collection of illustrated Beatles lyrics available and has become a symbol of an era, a must-have for Beatles fans and a brilliant tribute to the band that changed a generation.
Quotes from John, Paul, George and Ringo provide candid, witty, insightful commentary on the songs and their origins and clarification of controversial lyrics is offered by the only true authorities, the Beatles themselves. All the famous songs are included and lavish full colour illustrations by internationally famous artists and specially commissioned photographs reflect the psychedelic world the Beatles lived in and the whole generation and pop culture they influenced.

And here's a fab trailer for that new film!

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

Johann Hari ‏@johannhari101 I am SO GLAD the great novelist Deborah Levy is up for the Booker. I was really haunted by 'Swimming Home'
Colleen Mondor ‏@chasingray Delighted to see a new book by Antoine Laurain from @gallicbooks. This writer never disappoints!
Erica ‏@bookshopblogger Sometimes, the appeal of a bookshop is simply the fact it's a bookshop @guisboroughbook
Kirkdale Bookshop ‏@KirkdaleBooks Clearing up after a book launch. Apocalyptic.
West End Lane Books ‏@WELBooks #Fact: it is entirely possible to change one's mood via the reading of a book, so this Friday we implore you to #ReadResponsibly. Whatever
Roma Tearne ‏@RomaTearne 'The stench of Premonition filled his nose' The Last Pier @JaneAitken27 @estuaryfestival this Sunday
Katie Brown ‏@KatieBrown161 Just finished I'll Sell You A Dog, another darkly funny, surprising read from @VillalobosJPe via @andothertweets

Gallic & Aardvark ‏@BelgraviaB Irish Times Books: 'A truly enchanting story, beautifully told and rich in meaning' #LifeofElves #Gallic

Jo Green ‏@JolyonGreen Thank god for @campbellclaret - Labour to his core, defending our proud record in govt. Paul Mason and the rest not fit to lick his boots.
Waterstones ‏@Waterstones 'Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards.' ― Vladimir Nabokov

And finally… we love this great window display for Antoine Laurain’s French Rhapsody at Harts Books in Saffron Walden – thanks very much!

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 talk to your Compass Sales Manager, or call the office on 020 8326 5696.