Friday 24 February 2017

Compass Points 203

Elton John’s 70th birthday on 23 March will coincide with the publication date of Captain Fantastic: Elton John’s Stellar Trip Through the 1970s by Tom Doyle (hb, £16.99, 9781846973741). In 1975, at the apex of his fame, Elton John attempted suicide yet, after announcing his retirement in 1977 at the age of thirty as well as coming out as a gay man, he gradually found his way back to music. Captain Fantastic is an intimate look at the rise, fall and rise again of Elton's fame-and-drug fuelled decade, with a final section bringing his life up to the present. It’s being serialised in the Mail on Sunday, will also be reviewed in the Sunday Times and there’s sure to be more! It’s published by Polygon.
So, to start with, let have a look at the Top Ten Elton John songs here!

There have been some amazing pre-publication quotes for Electric Souk by Rose McGinty (978 1911129820, pb, £8.99) published by Urbane at the end of March.  “A powerful debut novel that crackles with energy and shimmers with lyricism, shedding light on a world that is half hidden'” said Sophie Duffy, while The Literary Sofa said “With its unique blend of exuberance and menace, Electric Souk is a journey and an adventure.” Rose has won many short story competitions including the Faber Academy’s Flash Fiction – and this is her debut novel. This haunting, lyrical thriller about trust and treachery is set in a world where the sleazy expat and blood-lusting desert worlds or Arabia collide just as the Arab Spring erupts – you can find out more on Rose McGinty’s own WordPress site here.

An fascinating piece here headed A Business Case for Publishing Diverse Books from Chris McCrudden who says: “So... Publishers! Still think no one wants to read 'diverse' books? I did the math, and think 11.8m people would.” This article is getting a plenty of buzz on Twitter – lots of influential people like the Gutter Bookshop saying “I cannot more seriously encourage you to stop what you're doing & look at this. I had a sneak peak and it's really powerful and compelling.”

Congratulations to Anne Paq whose powerful photographs in ActivesStills: Protest in Palestine/Israel by Vered Maimon and Shiraz Grinbaum have just won her First Prize in the Photographer of the Year competition as Gaza Obliterated Families. Anne Paq is an award-winning freelance photographer and videographer who has lived for more than a decade in Palestine. She writes “Out of the 2,200 Palestinians killed in the assault on the Gaza Strip in 2014, over 70 percent were civilians with some families disappearing entirely. But it means nothing to someone far away, just another statistic. Unless you meet the survivors. The project started as an attempt to tell the stories of those killed, but their story would not be complete without talking about the fate of the survivors. Many of the people I've met still live either in or directly alongside the ruins of their bombed-out homes. How does a person cope with such a loss? In total I have met over 50 families, making this project the most comprehensive visual documentation to have been done on the Palestinian families who were killed—totally or in part.”
You can see some of Anne’s extraordinarily powerful photographs from the book and find out more about the prize here.  ActiveStills: Photography as Protest in Palestine/Israel (£20, pb, 978 0745336695) is 320 pages, contains over 500 photographs and is published by Pluto.

In contemporary warfare, courage and endurance are crucial for overcoming adversity. However, for Caroline Paige, a jet and helicopter navigator in the Royal Air Force, adversity was a common companion both on and off the field of battle. In 1999, Paige became the first ever openly serving transgender officer in the British military. Already a highly-respected aviator, she rose against the extraordinary challenges placed before her to remain on the front line in the war on terror, flying battlefield helicopters in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. Criss-crossing battle lines; True Colours is the unflinchingly honest and inspirational account of one woman's venerable military career and the monumental struggle she overcame while grappling with gender identity on the quest for acceptance. True Colours: My Life as the First Openly Transgender Officer in the British Armed Forces by Caroline Paige (£20, hb, 978 1785901324) will be serialised this weekend in the Mail on Sunday (26th February) and next (5th March) There are also confirmed interviews on Radio 4, Woman’s Hour, ITV, Good Morning Britain, BBC Radio 5 Live, Afternoon Edition and Talk Radio Europe. There is sure to be lots of interest in this title which is published on 5 March by Biteback.

A new study of literacy levels has revealed that kids who are reading quite challenging books during their primary school years start to regress when they reach senior school, making some commentators question whether it matters what books teenagers are reading.  Novels written by the blogger Zoella have now become more popular than JRR Tolkien – is this a cause for concern? Author Charlie Higson thinks we shouldn’t “get too upset and worthy about kids reading to improve their minds" and he told The World at One yesterday that we should be glad that children are engaging with books rather than looking at a screen – you can hear what he has to say in a short clip from the programme here.

Make sure you stock The Acid Watcher Diet: A 28-Day Reflux Prevention and Healing Programme by Dr Jonathan Aviv (£12.99, pb, 978 1781808566) which is zooming up the Amazon bestseller lists and has just been published by Hay House. There are clearly lots of people out there who suffer from abdominal bloating; a chronic, nagging cough or sore throat; allergies; or shortness of breath all of which can be the symptoms of acid reflux. Dr Jonathan Aviv provides a proven solution for reducing whole body acid damage quickly and easily. His 28-day programme is part of a two-phase eating plan, that works to immediately neutralize acid and relieve the inflammation at the root of acid reflux. Dr Aviv guides readers through healthy dietary choices with targeted recipes, helping them balance their bodies and minds for optimal health and break acid-generating habits for good. You can hear Jonathan explaining a bit more about the diet on YouTube here.

Jessica Kingsley Publishers is to publish Letters From Your Trans Sisters – a collection of letters written by successful trans women for other trans women at the start of their transition; edited by trans activist Charlie Craggs. JKP commissioning editor Andrew James said: “When so many trans women are the subject of daily violence and harassment we need voices like Charlie’s, and the other trans women who feature in this collection, to help breakdown stereotypes and to empower those who are transitioning. These letters are powerful and necessary and we’re honoured to be working with Charlie to support young trans women as they transition.” Letters From Your Trans Sisters will be published in November this year.

Good to see In the Studio from Selected Poems by Nancy Cunard (pb, 978 1 784102364, £12.99) published by Carcanet as the Guardian’s Poem of the Week last week – you can find the whole feature here.  Selected Poems illuminates Cunard’s work in full, from her early years as a coterie poet on the edges of Bloomsbury and avant-garde London, to her frontline activism during the Spanish Civil War and life-long fight against fascism in Europe and America, to her final years documented in poems written from hospitals and sanatoriums. Through her introduction and notes, editor Sandeep Parmar frames Cunard’s complex legacy as a poet, publisher, and activist. A contribution to the wider feminist revision of modernism, this volume draws attention to Cunard’s extraordinary oeuvre, shaped by some of the twentieth century’s most dramatic events. You can find out a little more about Nancy Cunard in this two minute YouTube film.

We love this heart-warming Valentine’s story from Waterstone’s Leeds. If you’re on Twitter you can go to @WstonesLeeds for the illustrated version – but if not, read on.

Today, I have a little story to share with you all. It's full of good feels so listen up! You might have heard of #blinddatewithabook? Well one of our far-flung fans certainly had and so they called us up and they said "Hello, I'd like to buy six #blinddatewithabook." Where is this customer from? I don’t know. Who are they? I haven’t the foggiest but what they did next is quite brilliant. They didn’t ask us to just stick a stamp on them and drop them in the post, they said “Take the six copies and walk round the store. Give them to six people who look like they need cheering up.” And so, we did, one of our booksellers scoured the store, and distributed this stranger’s kindness and, I hope, turned some frowns upside down. And that’s that. Our little tale of book loving Valentines generosity. Well played stranger, I hope you had a lovely Valentine’s Day.

And finally; you might want to double check for customers when you lock up your bookshop tonight; Oliver Soskice ended up trapped inside Waterstone’s Cambridge recently for almost two hours after staff closed the shop! He’d been browsing upstairs section when “I half noticed the place was particularly quiet but it didn’t strike me as odd. But then when I came down there was an unearthly silence” and he realised he’d been shut inside! He tried calling his daughter and police for help, but wasn’t freed from the store until the shop manager was alerted to the alarm going off. I can certainly think of far worse places to be incarcerated!
Maybe he should have started reading one of the many books that have been written about being shut up while he was there; here's  a list from the Guardian of the top ten top locked room mysteries!

And watch this only if you’re not claustrophobic – the top ten films about being trapped!
Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. This week we’re reproducing a tweet from author, journalist and ex-bookseller Mahesh Rao entitled A Few Things I Learned Working in a Bookshop.
  1. Generally, you have the best colleagues
  2. Standing all day (apart from during your lunchbreak) is harder than you think.
  3. You imagine that during quiet periods you will immerse yourself in serious tomes. Nope. The only thing I could concentrate on was occasionally a short poem, but, in the main, lists of ingredients in glossy cookbooks.
  4. The above reading means you’re hungry all day long.
  5. There is an unspoken competition to get to the ‘damaged books’ box so that you can raid it first.
  6. The best way to deal with imperious customers who are parked on a double yellow and would like you to wrap ten books in two minutes is to say “if you would like to re-park your car I would be DELIGHTED to have the books ready by the time you get back.”
  7. You can never dust enough.
  8. Lots of people come in to get in from the cold and rain. That’s OK. You’d do the same.
  9. Try and feign a terminal illness the week before Christmas. And make a miraculous recovery by New Year’s.
  10. Shoplifters come in all shapes and sizes. Ideal follow distance: two feet.
  11. There is no joy quite like seeing a child refuse a bag and walk out of the shop reading the new book.
  12. You will never stop selling The Kite Runner
  13. Staff discount notwithstanding, you’ll spend a huge proportion of your salary there.
  14. You’re there to recommend books, but customers will teach you about books too. And life.
  15. When you stop working there, when the memory of the stock taking has faded a little, you’ll probably look back on it as the best job you ever had.
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 February 2017

Compass Points 202

Let’s give a big three cheers to the Big Green Bookshop in Wood Green, London and its co-owner and tweeter Simon Key who has come up with a very amusing way to get involved in the online spat between Piers Morgan and JK Rowling. Simon is tweeting Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone line by line to Piers after he claimed he would “never read” JK’s work The bookshop owner has now been going for days – at the time of writing he was up to tweet number 744 “The lighted dial of Dudley's watch, which was dangling over the edge of the sofa on his fat wrist told Harry he’d be eleven in ten minutes time.”  You can read the whole story in the Metro here and on Sky News here – nice one Simon – we love it!

Well done to Thomas Hocknell author of The Life Assistance Agency (pb, £8.99, 978 1911129035) which has hit the number one slot in the in the WH Smith Fresh Talent Promotion which is running across all W H Smith Travel's key locations until 30th March and is published by Urbane.

Last week I mentioned the very excellent range of acting titles from Oberon – eleven essential books for aspiring thesps, all grouped together as The Actors Toolkit. The link to the Oberon website where you can find the range wasn’t quite right – so here is the correct one: . I particularly like The Improv Book: Improvisation for Theatre, Comedy, Education and Life (pb, £12.99, 978 1783191802) by Alison Goldie. A smart, witty and accessible guide to the rewarding and joyful practice of improvisation; this book contains loads of great games and includes lots of ways to tell stories and create characters as well as tips on using improv to make theatre and comedy, from monologues to full-scale productions. It would be a great asset for both organizations and individual readers who want to discover how improv stimulates creativity and confidence in all areas of life. Comedian Phill Jupitus said of it: “In a world where imagination seems to be fighting a losing battle against technology, Alison Goldie has come up with a brilliant and easy to follow guide to putting people back in touch with this essential part of their creative minds... This book should be on the bloody national curriculum!”
Have a look here  to find out more on Alison Goldie’s own YouTube channel. And if quick-fire witty improv floats your boat, then you’ll enjoy this  – some of the funniest answers to Scenes We’d Like to See from Mock the Week!

Congratulations to Pigeon, by the north Walian author and creative writing lecturer, Alys Conran published by Parthian; which is one of twelve titles which has just been longlisted for the for £30k Dylan Thomas Prize. The prize, in partnership with Swansea University, is awarded for "the best published" literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under, invoking the memory of Swansea-born writer, Dylan Thomas. Launched in 2006, the award credits itself as the largest literary prize in the world for young writers. This year’s longlist comprises six novels, four short story collections, and two volumes of poetry you can find out more here.  The shortlist of six books will be revealed at the end of March and then the winner will be announced on 10th May in the run up to International Dylan Thomas Day on 14th May. Pigeon (pb, £8.99, 978 1910901236) is the tragic, occasionally hilarious and ultimately intense story of a childhood friendship and how it's torn apart, a story of guilt, silence and the loss of innocence, and a story about the kind of love which may survive it all. It has a gorgeous cover, and has had great reviews: “Might have been authored by Faulkner... just as imaginatively capacious... pitch-perfect” New Welsh Review; “An exquisite novel by a great new writer” MJ Hyland; “Heartbreakingly beautiful… I didn’t want it to end.”

This is an interesting 15 minutes of listening; Daniel Hahn, a judge for this year's Man Booker International Prize, talking on Radio Four about what really makes a good book.

And Other Stories are getting some great subscriber reviews for César Aira’s new title, The Proof, which is published in April. “César Aira has "extreme eccentricity.... an aesthetic restlessness and a playful spirit" say @andothertweets and I couldn't agree more” writes Jeff Lyn, while Ian MacMillan tweets: “Very much enjoying this vivid rollercoaster of a book from @andothertweets superbly translated by Nick Caistor” and Kraken Reads posts “When this stunning book arrived from @andothertweets I couldn't resist diving right in. A surreal and dramatic read!” A playful take on youth culture, young love and ultra-violence on the streets of Buenos Aires from the cult contemporary writer who defies classification: The Proof begins with Marcia who is sixteen, overweight and unhappy. One day, as she's walking down a Buenos Aires street, she hears a shout: 'Wannafuck?' Startled, she turns round and is confronted by two punk girls Lenin and Mao. Soon, she's beguiled by them and the possibilities they open up. But the two have little time for a philosophical discussion of love: they need proof, and with their own savage logic the duo, calling themselves the Commando of Love, hold up a supermarket as the novel climaxes in an unforgettable splatter-fest finale.
Up for a bit of #FridayFun and looking to find a #bookboyfriend? Take this quiz on BuzzFeed to find out which literary character you should date! I must say it was a little depressing to find out that in my case that would be Winnie the Pooh; but there you go, that’s quizzes for you.

There’s a fun feature in GQ magazine this month featuring Manly Manners For The Impeccable Gent (£12.99, hb, 978 0859655453) by Guy Egmont – a Sixties style classic which has just been stylishly re-published by Plexus. An indispensable guide to gentlemen's etiquette in the 1960s, Manly Manners is filled with little-known secrets to help you get ahead in business, in society and in love. Whatever your dilemma - whether you're wishing to dissuade your wife from wearing those abominable white slacks or wondering how to excuse yourself from work for the day - you're sure to find the solution here. It provides guidance on everything from cigars to exiting the London Clinic discreetly and is a trove of advice for aspiring gents-about-town. Manly Manners remains as relevant today as ever, proving that good manners never go out of style. Have a look at the GQ piece here - it includes a link to a brilliant photo gallery of the most stylish 1960’s men to give you some inspiration!
And who were the top ten decade-defining movie stars of the 1960’s? Steve McQueen? Michael Caine? Have a watch here  and see if you agree.

Late one night, Thomas Ruder receives a strange package: a small blue box. Another such item is delivered to his friend Liselotte Hauptmann. These 'gifts' will change their lives forever. In the far-off border town of Grenze, a play is to be performed and Reynard the impresario expects a very special audience. Thomas and Liselotte, together with their friend Johann, are drawn into Reynard's seductive web, as Daumen, the gift maker, must decide who his master really is. This is the strange and extraordinary world of Gift Maker by Mark Mayes (pb, £8.99, 978 1911331773) which is attracting 5-star reviews and a lot of positive buzz on the GoodReads website, with one reviewer saying “The Gift Maker is a magical fantasy novel like no other, and I loved it. To try and define the genre that this book fits into is incredibly difficult. It is a fantasy novel, but it is also a magical fairy tale alongside a story of good and evil and of creation. It's an exceptionally clever novel, that uses poetic language, in a world so unlike our own. And just look at the cover. It is so beautiful.” You can read more reviews here  – and btw the reviewers are right – it does have a gorgeous cover! It’s published at the end of this month by Urbane.
Great review in the Mail for Leaving is My Colour by Amy Burns: “Very funny, fizzing with one-liners and sparkling with a febrile wit.” Set in the southern US, this is a funny, smart, sassy and deeply moving account of a young woman’s disintegration and redemption. After her family becomes unexpectedly wealthy, Rachel, a witty, intelligent young woman, succumbs to drink, drugs and OCD, falling in and out of rehab and dysfunctional relationships. Leaving is My Colour follows her often hilarious, always bittersweet, attempts to make it back from the brink and reconnect with those she loves. “There’s nothing romantic about this darkly witty road trip through the bumpy highway of a young woman’s mind. Instead, it’s about the anti-romance of reconciling life and love, finding your place in an imperfect family, and the way our flaws are exposed and exploited by the people closest to us… if you want a book that is as honest, fractured and occasionally as hilarious as life itself; Leaving is My Colour will look good on you” wrote The List. Leaving is My Colour (pb, £9.99, 978 1911332237) has just been published by Freight.
The last word this week comes from Groucho Marx – brought to us as seen above, from the No Alibis Bookstore in Belfast.
Compass is on Twitter and you can follow us @CompassIPS. I think this week’s tweet selection has really got to come from the Twitter feeds of the Big Green Bookshop and Piers Morgan…
Big Green Bookshop‏@Biggreenbooks @piersmorgan Suddenly, Hagrid let out a howl like a wounded dog. "Shhh!" hissed Professor McGonagall, "you'll wake the Muggles! 246/32567
Piers Morgan ‏@piersmorgan Jesus Christ, people LIKE this crap????
Big Green Bookshop‏ @Biggreenbooks.@piersmorgan Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall bent forward over the bundle of blankets. 237/32567
Piers Morgan ‏@piersmorgan Seriously mate, spare me any more of this homo-erotic garbage.
K8‏ @effeingK8 @piersmorgan you do realise you've given @Biggreenbooks lots of publicity-thought u were supposed 2 b smart? Nope not that either…my bad!
Piers Morgan @piersmorgan I hope he does well from this rather clever PR stunt. I love local bookshops & they need all the help they can get.
Piers Morgan ‏@piersmorgan Trump's not the new Hitler & nor is he trying to ban all Muslims. So stop lying, snowflakes.
Harry Murphy ‏@smurfo980 Splendid from @piersmorgan Shows just how blinded Anti-Trump buffoons are by their own childlike agendas.
Piers Morgan ‏@piersmorgan JK Rowling has a magic for losing at politics. More she screams abuse, less we listen.
Piers Morgan ‏@piersmorgan So @jk_rowling loudly backed Ed Miliband, Remain & Hillary. Takes some wizardry to be so wrong so often.
Piers Morgan ‏@piersmorgan Meryl Streep abusing President Trump again? She, JK Rowling & all the other smug 'we know best!' luvvie shriekers will get him re-elected.
Piers Morgan ‏@piersmorgan Apparently, I was 'destroyed', 'ruined' & 'silenced' over the weekend. Fake News!
The Gaf 1of65mm‏@thegaf @piersmorgan why are you such a joyless prick?
Piers Morgan ‏@piersmorgan Actually, I'm a very joyful prick.
Piers Morgan ‏@piersmorgan I'm only 'globally despised' by silly shrieking snowflakes like you. Everyone else loves me.
Piers Morgan ‏@piersmorgan Bruno Mars is so much better than anyone else, it's ridiculous. #GRAMMYs.
Piers Morgan ‏@piersmorgan Didn't really 'feel' that Beyoncé performance. Seemed heavier on the narcissism than the music. #GRAMMYs
Piers Morgan ‏@piersmorgan Twitter lemmings now exploding with fury that I expressed an opinion about Beyoncé’s performance they all secretly agree with... #GRAMMYs
Ian Clarke ‏@IanClar14474451 @piersmorgan Keep it up Piers. As usual you are only saying what most of us think but don't have the balls to especially in public.
Piers Morgan ‏@piersmorgan Hi @E_L_James any chance you could start tweeting me one of your books? I need some relief from this Harry Potter crap
Alan dooney ‏@alandooney  Well this is gold. Morgan asks @E_L_James for a break from Harry Potter. She responds with an apt quote. From Harry Potter.
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 10 February 2017

Compass Points 201

It was as if time had folded in on itself. Had American history entered an alternate universe? In this eerily familiar new world, Hillary Clinton had not won the election after all. Donald Trump had. What did it mean? How had the historic Clinton machine sputtered and failed at the last minute? What had the pollsters and pundits and corporate television executives got so totally wrong? Game of Thorns: The Inside Story of Hillary Clinton's Failed Campaign and Donald Trump's Winning Strategy by Doug Wead (978 1785902260, £12.99, pb) published by Biteback is the first authoritative account of the momentous 2016 US Presidential election campaign. It describes how the scandals of a lifetime finally reached critical mass for both candidates, though with differing results. It shows how, during the last few days of the campaign, some on Clinton’s staff saw the ghostly fog of defeat creeping up on them but were helpless to act, frozen by the self-denial. This is the story of how, despite reportedly spending more money on her campaign than any presidential candidate in history, Hillary Clinton fell at the last hurdle. And it is the story of how, against all odds, Donald Trump won the presidency. There are bound to be plenty of books published on this topic – but this is the first one, and it’s by an author who is a former White House staffer and commentator with unprecedented knowledge of US elections. It’s out on 28 February – there are sure to be mega reviews and mucho publicity for it and I strongly suggest you order it now!

If watching La La Land has put you and your customers in the mood to try the life of an aspiring actor then you will certainly need this excellent range of titles from Oberon – all neatly grouped together as The Actors Toolkit. From How to Do Accents (pb, £128.99, 9781840029574)  to Acting: Cut the Crap, Cue the Truth; Living the Life and Doing the Job (pb, £14.99, 9781849434799) to Shakespeare’s Advice to the Players by Sir Peter Hall (pb, £14.99, 9781783190096); you can find all eleven of these essential titles on their website at website at .Oberon have some of the very best books for actors in training or continuing to develop, and these titles they should be everywhere that has a good drama section. Oberon have advertised The Actors Toolkit in Drama Teaching magazine and are attending drama teaching and uni events to promote the range. As Dustin Hoffman said “You can’t improvise this shit!”
Congratulations to Bibliocloud who pipped Compass to the post in last night’s IPG Book Awards for the Services to Publishers prize. And well done to all the winners – you can see the full list here. IPG chief executive Bridget Shine said: “It is testament to the strength of independent publishing in the UK that this has been the most competitive year in the history of our Awards. Our judges had to work long and hard to select the winners, who represent the very best of the independent sector.”

The Romantic Novel Awards have just announced its 2017 shortlists and hurrah – titles by Choc Lit are very well represented on them. The awards comprise seven categories and The Velvet Cloak of Moonlight by Christina Courtenay has been shortlisted in the Paranormal or Speculative Romance Novel category while Girl Having a Ball by Rhoda Baxter is up for The Romantic Comedy Novel which is for a “consistently humorous or amusing” book. Little Girl Lost by Janet Gover is up for The Epic Romantic Novel category - which “contains serious issues or themes, including gritty, multi-generational stories.”
You can find the full shortlist on the RNA website here. RNA chairman Eileen Ramsay said: “Romantic fiction appears in many guises and continues to dominate the best-seller lists. Our awards celebrate the many shades of romantic fiction, highlighting the wide appeal of the genre and some of the best examples from the last year.” The 2017 RNA Awards will be announced and presented by Prue Leith on 13th March when the winners of the seven categories will be announced and will then go forward to compete for the overall prize of the £5,000 Romantic Novel of the Year Award.
Talking of romance, what do you make of the news that researchers have concluded that Mr Darcy, the romantic hero of Pride and Prejudice would not have been dark and handsome, but would have likely had powdered mid-length white hair, a long oval face and a small mouth, a long nose, a pointy chin and a pale complexion. Whaaat??? Read the whole piece on the Sky News website here!
Oh, go on then, here  you go – you know you want to watch it! Yes, I’m sure that’s much more what Jane Austen had in mind!

A great mention in GQ this week for Paradise City saying “Great crime fiction hinges on a sense of place, and after returning to London after ten years living in the world in which he’s set his sophisticated debut, Thomas proves an adroit guide to a city that has developed at dizzying speed."  Paradise City (£14.99, hb, 978 1910050972) is a fast-paced and darkly atmospheric novel which introduces Joe Thomas as a new and distinct voice in crime fiction and its published this week by Arcadia. Joe has a feature for The Guardian travel section which is due to run this Saturday and The Big Issue and Latino Life have both run features written by Joe, with the former taking a full page. Joe also wrote a 500 word feature for Male Xtra / Female First which you can read here  about seeing Brazil through the eyes of an ex-pat and where he got some of the ideas for this gripping novel. On digital media; Shiny New Books have confirmed a review will run next week, alongside a piece written by Joe and other literary and crime sites that are due to run in the coming weeks include Crime ReviewRaven Crime Reads and Crime Squad.

Six Leeds United supporters set off for a short break in Bruges. Two brothers Allan and Johnny Collins, the former a successful businessman, the latter just out of prison, are visiting great-grandad’s grave on the Western Front. They’re joined by Johnny’s bandmates, Craig and Terry; the tomboy Petra and the out-of-sorts Yvonne. For all the political events, historic and current, that surround them, they find it difficult to avoid discussion of their beloved football club as it languishes in the second tier of English football. And as their trip progresses they find it is more than just the club that binds them together. Very much in the style of Nick Hornby, Marching On Together by PJ Whiteley will also appeal to fans of Jon Rance, Graham Swift and Jonathan Harvey. Bestselling author Louis de Bernières said “I very much enjoyed Marching on Together and was happily carried along by the wonderfully realised characters” and PJ Whiteley’s first book Close of Play was shortlisted for the People’s Book Award and selected for a WHS Recommends promotion. Marching on Together is published at the end of the month by Urbane.
We do love a footie novel – what are your favourites? Have a look here at this top ten of football fiction in the Guardian to see if you agree with their choices! Football films are famously even more difficult to pull off than football novels – but here's  one fan’s suggestion for the top ten best and here's  another’s. I’m sorry, but exactly WHY is Gregory’s Girl on neither of these lists??

A big thumbs-up to Comma Press, who have announced that in 2018 they have decided to translate only writers from the countries affected by Trumps’ proposed travel ban – Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Sudan. Comma specialises in short-form writing and has a number of writers directly affected by the ban, including all 20 contributors to two prose collections. Hassan Blasim, the Iraqi-born writer is now unable to travel to the US, despite huge success there with his 2014 novel The Iraqi Christ. CEO and publisher Ra Page said “If the only narrative America wants to export right now is the narrative of hate, then we need to look elsewhere. We need to consciously turn our backs on the circus that America is descending into. We need to fight this. And make no mistake it will be a fight.” Have a look here at this piece in the Guardian talking about this and how other publishers and authors including Malorie Blackman and Matt Haig have responded to Trump’s decision.

We're delighted to announce that Adam Crothers' Several Deer (£9.99, pb, 978 1 784102 44 9) has been shortlisted for the Shine/Strong Award. This award is presented annually to the author of the best first collection of poems published in English or Irish by an Irish poet and is made possible by the generous support of Shine which is the national organisation dedicated to upholding the rights and addressing the needs of all those affected by mental ill health. Several Deer is much indebted to Bob Dylan and Lana Del Rey as to Emily Dickinson and George Herbert; and Crothers writes about destruction, consumption, misogyny, gods, sex, failure, and rock ’n’ roll. But he does so with rhythmic subtlety and verbal craftsmanship, and for all their craft, the poems remain empathic and sincere, “Now send in the clowns”, ends the collection’s opening poem – and so they follow: happy and sad, wise and tragic, a touch melodramatic, wilfully misunderstood. Easily side-tracked and keen to be sound tracked, the collection doesn’t take its sadness seriously. It listens to the hits. Several Deer has been described as a “pun-tastic prick-tease” – come on all you edgy booksellers, that quote is crying out to be quoted on a Pick of the Week card! It’s published by Carcanet – and you can read a review in the London Magazine here.
Is the internet changing the power dynamic between the sexes? For example, while eighty per cent of those interviewed in polls say that affairs are wrong, the percentage who admit to having had an affair has doubled every ten years. Ooo er missus. Looking at the latest data, social scientist Catherine Hakim traces new faultlines between men and women in our increasingly sexualized culture in the paperback of The New Rules (£8.99, pb, 978 1908096609). The hardback edition of this first ever study on the effects of the internet on marriage and relationships had a massive amount of global publicity. The paperback which is published by Gibson Square next week has a great cover – and as the Times said is “too juicy to ignore.“ The Telegraph called it “the recipe for happiness?” and the Daily Mail speculated whether “having an affair could save your marriage.” The Times are running an interview with Catherine Hakim on Monday 13 Feb and the Today programme also wants to interview her – this book is certain to be talked about so do make sure you have it!
So to finish, what are your fave the top ten “caught cheating” scenes in books and movies? Gone Girl? Bridget Jones? They’re all here!
Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. Here are some of our favourite tweets from this week...
Compass Academic ‏@CompassAcademic Spotted in the window @Foyles - only @ClaireyLove's We're All Mad Here! You know it's a winner when you make a window display!
Sophington Towers ‏@s0phie When you get a fresh batch of reading materials in from @BirlinnBooks #happybookface
And Other Stories ‏@andothertweets In Oxford? Head to @blackwelloxford to find out why their Senior Bookseller Ray is such a fan of Arno Geiger's The Old King in His Exile!
Booksaremybag ‏@booksaremybag Book sales the week before Christmas were highest in 10 years
Jonathan Coe ‏@jonathancoe So Trump is tagging his daughter on twitter but gets some random stranger by mistake. Funny! Gets the nuclear codes on Friday, did you say?
Polygon Books ‏@PolygonBooks Ahoy-hoy, we spy a certain @malachytallack's new book taking Amazon's number 1 bestseller spot! Brilliant
Red Lion Books ‏@RedLionBooks 'My idea of a writer: someone interested in everything.' - Susan Sontag,
Gutter Bookshop ‏@gutterbookshop Suffering from a Night Nurse hangover this morning - I expect to semi-awake by mid-afternoon... #BobsCold
Pluto Press ‏@PlutoPress 'You've got to be taught to hate and fear'. The appointment of Jeff Sessions suggests Trump intends to do just that:
Cecilia Bennett ‏@CeciliaEBennett A town without a bookshop buys fewer books. To support the book industry, support independents - inspirational talk by Andy Rossiter at the IPG conference.#ipgsc
Matthew at Urbane ‏@urbanepub Waterstones is not in the risk business when making buying decisions says James Daunt - but some publishers are in their commissioning :-)
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.