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! belgraviabooks.com/french-rhapsody
Erica @bookshopblogger Sometimes, the appeal of a bookshop is simply the fact it's a bookshop @guisboroughbook www.thebookshoparoundthecorner.co.uk
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.