Friday 26 May 2017

Compass Points 215

London's Street Trees: A Field Guide to the Urban Forest (£12.99, pb, 978 0993291135) by the appropriately named Paul Wood has just been published by Save Haven. Books about trees are definitely having a bit of a moment at present (The Hidden Life of Trees was a number one bestseller for weeks as I’m sure you know) and last week there was a big piece featuring this title in the Guardian which you can read here . This fascinating, illustrated book features trees in the capital – but is relevant to any city – and as the Guardian piece said: “for someone like me who’s not a natural naturalist, the book reveals a previously unconsidered world situated just outside the front door.” Over 300 different species and cultivars grace the city's magnificently green streets, from fabulous avenues of flowering cherries in Herne Hill and Chiswick to a magnolia in front of the Cheesegrater. There are indeed the well-known plane trees that go back to the nineteenth century, but also new species that reflect this modern world’s multicultural vibrancy. Do you know how there come to be Australian Bottlebrush trees on a street in Pimlico? This guide tells you where to find Giant Redwoods, why you don't see many beeches on our streets, and which London street trees were painted by Monet. It will make everyone who lives in a city look at their own environment in an entirely new way. You can find out more on Paul Wood’s entertaining blog
A great review of Marching on Together this week in the @footyblog blog which you can read in full here. Marching On Together is more than just a novel based on Leeds United fans. The true meaning and following of the story bonds you with their personality and the struggles they all face. As a book titled as Marching on Together, many would believe that Leeds fans would be the primary target audience but they couldn’t be more wrong. The story is so much more than just the football, that is the just the beginning of the tale. That is what links the characters together but each have their own story to tell and the attachment you feel after reading is what the book is all about, the twists and the turns and the unexpected truths revealed down the line.” Marching On Together by PJ Whiteley (pb, £8.99, 978 1911129332) has just been published by Urbane.

Congratulations to both Carcanet and Comma who have been shortlisted for the 2017 Northern Soul Awards in the Northern Publisher of the Year category – hooray! The winner will be announced at a ceremony on 29th June at the Hilton in Manchester. You can find out more about the shortlist here.

In times of war, scientists and inventors experiment with strange and new ideas. Some of these weapons prove to be war winners, like the atomic bomb or the tank. Others, however, are much less successful. The World's Worst Weapons (£9.99, pb, 978 1782743644) by military expert Martin J Dougherty is an entertaining and informative guide to the guns, tanks, ships and aircraft that proved to be utter failures in battle. Examples include the Soviet dog mines, dogs supposedly trained to run under German tanks which would detonate the explosives on their back, or the Douglas X-3 Stiletto, designed to explore the supersonic flight environment but underpowered and incapable of passing the speed of sound. With a thoroughly researched text complemented by photographs, full-colour artworks and first-hand accounts; The World's Worst Weapons is highly entertaining guide to the weapons that went badly wrong. It has just been published by Amber, and together with the World’s Worst Cars (£9.99, pb, 978 1782743651) will be featured this weekend as a reader offer in the Express – great exposure for this terrific twosome.
The World's Worst Cars takes a detailed but light-hearted look at motoring tragedies old and new and asks: Why did they ever reach the showrooms, what went wrong, why were they so unreliable, and what kind of person actually bought them?? From the deadly Ford Pinto to rusty Lancias and plastic Nissans, this book features more than 150 of the cars that we love to hate, illustrated with annotated photography and archive images from the car's heyday. I think these books are brilliant; it’s a fun idea, very well executed and the Express coverage will undoubtedly increase demand.
I haven’t got a Top Ten Worst Weapons or Cars for you, you’ll have to order the books for that – but I have got a Top Ten Movie Guns here and also a Top Ten Movie Cars here!

We are thrilled to announce that The Wolf is Not Invited by Avril McDonald (pb, £9.,99, 978 1785830174) has just won The People's Book Prize Children's Award 2016/17. The Wolf is Not Invited is a picture book for 4-7 year olds, beautifully illustrated by Tatiana Minina which is part of the Feel Brave series published by Crown House. These are little stories about big feelings; designed to help children explore emotional intelligence, positive psychology and some of the real-life issues which they might face in an engaging, creative and non-threatening way. They have had terrific reviews – and are popular with both parents, and teachers as an ideal way to help young children manage tough emotions. You can find out more on the website .
The Threat Level Remains Severe (£8.99, pb 978 1910709153) is a smart, funny, black comedy about working life and the perils of dating in the 21st century. Part thriller and part observation on the worlds of work and dating, The Threat Level Remains Severe is a summer read with a Bridget Jones-esque heroine but also a satirical behind-the-scenes look at Westminster – by an author who really know her stuff because she works at the House of Commons! Rowena Macdonald’s debut short story collection, Smoked Meat, was shortlisted for the 2012 Edge Hill Prize and The Threat Level Remains Severe, her first novel, is published on 10th July by Aardvark Bureau. You can read a piece by Rowena Macdonald on the Gallic/Belgravia website here. Aardvark are currently running a great promotional giveaway for this book on GoodReads blog which you can find here  and early reviews are excellent for this confident and funny novel. Shena Mackay, author of The Orchard on Fire said “The Threat Level Remains Severe, shines a sly light into the mundane backrooms and office romances of the corridors of power and is a stylish, bleakly funny and sad, acutely observed contemporary drama” while Robert Edric commented “Surely one of the most insightful, honest and reassuringly humane tales of the true workings of the Mother of Parliaments in all its shabby, slapdash and vainglorious reality.”
Fancy some #Fridayfun? Take this quiz and see if the BuzzFeed team can guess your favourite classic novel based on the type of bookshelves you like!!

The ever-expanding world of whisky can be a daunting one, with a deluge of new brands, distilleries and literature on the subject making it all but impossible for the amateur whisky drinker to find their feet in the industry. Following on from Nikki Welch's bestselling Pocket Guide to Wine, The Pocket Guide to Whisky (£7.99, pb, 978 1780274324) by Blair Bowman and Nikki provides a compact and accessible, easy-to-use guide to help budding whisky enthusiasts on their way. This little volume will tell you everything you need to know, from what to look for in whisky, to getting the best value for money, to the perfect accompaniments to your dram and the ideal whisky for every occasion. It has just been published by Birlinn and has been featured in the Sunday Post, Whisky Magazine, The Cask, the Great Drams website, the Whisky Boys website and the Scotch and SciFi website. And there were not just one but THREE high profile launches across Edinburgh last week for it, culminating on World Whisky Day on 20 May! The guide features the innovative Whisky Tube Map of which the Sunday Times said “LOVING the idea of the tube map and trying to work out which line I'd like to get stuck on” while the Financial Times called it “A fun and imaginative introduction to the wonderful world of flavour that whisky offers!” You can read more about it in the Scotsman here. Whisky drinking is massively on the up at the moment – and this is easily the most fun, modern informative and entertaining guide on the market!
This BuzzFeed guide features whiskey rather than whisky – but you may enjoy it nonetheless!

Carcanet Managing Director Michael Schmidt was on the Radio 4 programme Front Row on Wednesday, discussing Poetry and Atrocity – poems which have been written in response to major tragedies in the past, in the wake of the terrible attack in Manchester. The Carcanet offices are in the heart of the city, a 10-minute walk from the arena, and their former offices which used to be based in Manchester’s Corn Exchange were destroyed by the IRA bomb of 1996, so the publisher has a historical relationship with such dreadful events. You can listen to that programme here.

And anyone looking for some answers to what happened in Manchester might do worse than read Londonistan (pb, £7.99, 978 1908096272) published by Gibson Square. Journalist Melanie Phillips who has a weekly column, in the Times and who has been published over the years in the Guardian, Observer, Sunday Times and Daily Mail as well as being a regular voice on the BBC; argues forcefully that Britain's establishment is only pretending to be tough on terrorism, as it looks the other way while religious radicalisation continues. She demonstrates that this refusal to act goes back three decades, when a hub for terror throughout Europe and elsewhere was allowed access to British soil – Londonistan. In this book, Melanie Phillips interviews key politicians, moderate Muslims, academics and intelligence experts and uncovers a persistent state of denial by the establishment entrusted with our security, both on the left and right. Hers is an acclaimed and gripping history of the failure of the way in which Britain is handling its terrorist and social crisis.
Here’s an interesting piece from an indie bookseller in Brooklyn about the future of bookshops – have a read here and see if you agree with her concerns.

Fake news, post-truth, bullshit – whatever you want to call it, it’s here to stay – and unsurprisingly there are several books out on the subject at the moment! But the best (of course) is from Biteback, by BuzzFeed and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist James Ball, entitled Post Truth: How Bullshit Conquered the World (pb, £9.99, 978 1785902147). He recently described his book in comparison to the others in the Standard as “the cool young person’s version” and the Times said it was: "A crisp, highly informative introduction to what ails the information industry and what can be done about it” while the Guardian said "Better than anyone I know, Ball explains how the economics of the web is destroying the possibility of financing serious news and raising the question of whether readers want a cautious fact-checked article when it is cheaper and much more profitable to follow whack out clickbait."

You may enjoy this: Ten Fake News Stories from history – or are they??!

Michael Mosley is everywhere at the moment promoting his Clever Guts Diet so don’t forget about the excellent guide to intestinal health which is already out from Lorenz! The Good Gut Diet Cookbook: With Prebiotics and Probiotics (£8.99, hb, 978 0754832133) is an attractive hardback containing over 80 recipes for a natural, efficient digestion by the highly-experienced food writer Carolyn Humphries. Beautifully illustrated with the 160 pages of informative full-colour spreads that you would expect from this publisher; this book focuses on eating certain foods as part of a normal, healthy diet, to help improve the digestive system. With a helpful and clearly explained introduction setting out what foods should be eaten and how to add quick-fix prebiotic and probiotic foods to your meals, the book also offers a two-week eating plan and over 100 ideas and recipes for dishes that are packed with the right foods to balance your diet.

Over a million people in the UK work in call centres, and the phrase has become synonymous with low-paid and high stress work and dictatorial supervisors. Rarely does the public have access to the true picture of what goes on in these institutions, but for his Pluto title Working the Phones: Control and Resistance in Call Centres, Jamie Woodcock worked undercover in a call centre and was recently interviewed on BBC Radio 2's Jeremy Vine show to talk about his experience – you can listen to that here. Jamie’s interview provoked much interest in the media due to his revelations about the “Squid Forfeits” – punishments where call workers were “motivated” into achieving their targets by having live squids put on their faces! The story was picked up by most of tabloidsincluding the Mirror which you can read here and the Mail here.  You can watch a much less revolting video by Jamie talking about his excellent book here.

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 19 May 2017

Compass Points 214

I don’t know how many of you were listening to the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on Radio 2 this morning, but he had Brian May on as one of his Friday guests, and gave Queen in 3D a MASSIVE and I mean MASSIVE plug. Chris and Brian talked about it for a full 10 minutes, flicking through the book, discussing it picture by picture – and all the stories behind it. Anyone listening (and that show has over NINE MILLION listeners) would have DEFINITELY wanted to buy the book!! Chris said it was “absolutely gorgeous…I just wanna take it home tonight….one of those books you wanna spend time with… it’s stunning …I love it…beautiful.” He fully credited it, and told everyone it was out next Thursday! Excellent stuff! You can listen to a short clip from that interview here. Queen in 3D (978 0957424685, £50, 323 x 245mm) is published by the London Stereoscopic Company.
A great interview with Vickie Cooper and David Whyte this week on BBC Radio Merseyside talking about their new title The Violence of Austerity (pb, £16.99, 978 0745399485). You can listen to it here. The Violence of Austerity brings together the voices of campaigners and academics to show that rather than stimulating economic growth, austerity policies have led to a dismantling of the social systems that operated as a buffer against economic hardship, exposing austerity to be a form of systematic violence. Covering a range of famous cases of institutional violence in Britain, the book argues that police attacks on the homeless, violent evictions in the rented sector, the risks faced by people on workfare schemes, community violence in Northern Ireland and cuts to the regulation of social protection; are all being driven by reductions in public sector funding. The result is a shocking expose of the myriad ways in which austerity policies harm people in Britain. The Violence of Austerity has just been published by Pluto – have a look at some thought-provoking tweets from this terrific radical publisher at the end of this newsletter!
Hopefully no bookshops have suffered from the recent WannaCry computer epidemic that not only infected NHS systems but also many other organisations worldwide. If you’re concerned about your own software security then this is an interesting article from internet security experts Kapersky; it’s very jargon free and easy to understand with lots of practical advice.
On Sunday 11 June, the Mail on Sunday is running an 8-page pull-out special supplement on massage, all based on material from The Illustrated Guide to Massage and Aromatherapy by Catherine Stuart (978 1780190778, pb, £11.99) The book, which is published by Southwater, will be fully credited with a picture so this is super publicity! This 512-page paperback is a practical and extremely comprehensive illustrated step-by-step guide to head, face, body and foot massage and aromatherapy treatments. Over 150 techniques are introduced and there are more than 1500 photographs. It includes self-administered remedies as well as methods of treating partners, friends and family, and offers massage designed specifically for babies, children, expectant mothers, and the elderly as well as providing therapies for common ailments including headaches, stress, insomnia, muscular pain, and digestive disorders. This is the ultimate guide to massage and aromatherapy, for both beginner and experienced practitioner alike and is amazing value as you would expect from this publisher!
I don’t know about you, but I find watching this two-minute video of dogs being massaged is strangely relaxing!

Gender neutrality is a subject much in the news at present and is something that the ever-vocal Piers Morgan has been anything but quiet about this week! Jessica Kingsley illustrator Fox Fisher and his girlfriend Owl went on ITV’s Good Morning Britain this week to talk about being a trans, non-binary couple and hurrah, Piers waved Fox’s book Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl? (hb, £10.99, 978 1785922671, written by Sarah Savage) around aplenty after the interview! You can watch the whole thing here. Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl? is a picture book which was published yesterday, and as reviewers have said; is “a lovely, sensitive, much-needed book that helps all children ask the big questions about identity and gender. When a child selects a book, and sees someone like themselves within its pages, they know they are not alone. It is a seemingly small gesture, to us grownups, that enables a child to feel safe and secure. A must for any library.” Tiny likes to dress up as an animal, or a doctor, or a butterfly. Tiny also prefers not to tell other children whether they are a boy or a girl. Tiny's friends don't mind, but when Tiny starts a new school their new friends can't help asking one question: "Tiny, are you a boy or are you a girl?" Tiny's story will assist parents, family and teachers in giving children the space to express themselves fully, explore different identities and have fun at the same time. Piers rudely referred to gender neutrality as a “fad” – maybe “trend” or “fast growing awareness” would be more accurate – and however you describe it, there is certainly going to be a growing demand for books on the issue – and JKP should be your go-to publisher!

There have been some superb reviews for Hell’s Gate by Laurent Gaudé (£6.99, pb, 978-1910477328) which has just been published by Gallic. When his son is killed by gangsters' crossfire on his way to school, Neapolitan taxi driver Matteo is consumed by despair. But just when he feels life has lost all meaning, he encounters a man who claims the living can find ways into the afterlife. And legend says that there's an entrance to the underworld beneath Naples. What if Matteo had a chance of bringing Pippo back from the dead? This thrilling story of love, loss, revenge and redemption in Naples and beyond has just been featured in the Guardian’s best recent crime novels round up and was described as: “Intense, powerful and thoroughly unnerving, this strange and seamless mixture of crime and mythology is a haunting exploration of guilt, revenge and the power of love.” You can read the whole review here. The Irish Times said “Hell’s Gate is by no means a conventional crime novel, with Gaudé focusing his energies on creating a claustrophobic, intense contemporary myth that brilliantly evokes the madness of grief.” Read that one here. Hell’s Gate has a really eye-catching, mesmerising cover and I guarantee there will be more great reviews to come.

The Irish Times review discusses the other authors who have given us literary depictions of the underworld, but how about the Top Ten Movie Depictions of Hell! Feeling brave?

This week around 750 guests flooded into at St Paul's Cathedral in London for the Open Society under Threat? A Warning from History event, which featured a panel discussion and the official launch of a new edition of Darkness over Germany: A Warning From History (£15.00, pb, 978 1911350194) by Amy Buller. Excerpts from Darkness over Germany were read by actress Tamsin Greig to set the scene, and then Dr Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, spoke about the spread of populism, nationalism and extremism in current times and the lessons we can learn from the experiences of German people in the 1930s, as recounted in the book. He described Buller's work as "a really remarkable book by a very remarkable woman" Speakers also included Dr Rowan Williams, Baroness Butler-Sloss, Professor Maiken Umbach, Lord Stern and Professor Kurt Barling. In this powerful book, first published in 1943, Amy Buller recounts the hopes and fears of Germans engulfed in the rise of fascism during the 1930s. It tells a remarkable and largely forgotten story and speaks resonantly of the need to stay vigilant and maintain dialogue in times of change and discord. You can watch a short video about the book here which is part of a longer documentary out in June. Some pictures from the launch by St Paul’s photographer Graham Lacdao are below. There has also been a sell-out launch for the title in Liverpool and Professor Kurt Barling the writer of the introduction, is due on TalkRadio talking about the book in early June. We’re also hoping that it may be chosen as a future Radio 4’s Book of the Week with Tamsin Greig lined up as a potential reader! Do stock this title – it is so relevant right now – and the publicity is going to ensure that it gets a lot of attention. It’s published by Arcadia.

Now this may well strike a chord with many of you; 21 Things You Only Know If You're Always Reading Several Books At Once. If your Books To Read list numbers 57 but the Books You’ve Actually Read Recently is a big fat zero; then this one is for you!

Last week was National Doughnut Week – a good time to remind you about Easy-To-Make Doughnuts: 50 Delectable Recipes for Plain, Glazed, Sugar-dusted and Filled Delights (hb, £12.99, 978 1908991348) by Mowie Kay which is published by Lorenz. This book shows you in step-by-step photographs how to make delicious doughnuts: from simple glazed rings to decadent filled treats, there is a recipe to suit everyone! You can try classics such as jam, custard, toffee, chocolate and salted caramel, as well as modern twists like red velvet, peanut butter and jelly, and orange ricotta plus tastes from around the world, such as apple fritters, yum-yums and churros. YUM YUM YUM!

And now we’re all feeling really hungry – let’s watch this – the Top Ten Food Eating Film Scenes! My favourite still has to be the spaghetti moment in Lady and the Tramp!

There’s a bit of a buzz going on over on social media about Room Little Darker by June Caldwell (pb, 978 1848406094); a short story collection from this talented journalist turned award-winning author which is coming from New Island Books in June. Sinéad Gleeson wrote “I swear, no one will talk about Irish writing in the same way after reading @junecaldwell's brilliant, funny, hallucinogenic stories” while Belinda McKeon said: “The roar of fury and clarity that Irish fiction has been needing. You haven’t read anything like this before . . . Just brilliant.”There is a seriously charged imagination at work here . . . Caldwell brings a dangerous new voltage to the Irish short story” wrote Mike McCormack and Nuala O’Connor added “June Caldwell’s writing is audacious, wicked and profoundly funny; her prose cracks and sizzles. These stories are literary electrical storms.” Room Little Darker explores the clandestine aspects of modern life through jagged, visceral tales. An abusive father haunts his daughter and wife from the confines of a nursing home; a couple with an appetite for kink discover their escapades have led them into something unimaginably grim; an addict makes his way around a city centre crackling with menace; an unborn child narrates her own tragic story; a paedophile acquires a sex therapy robot and wonders how they’ll get along. At once hilarious and profoundly moving, June Caldwell’s stories probe raw sexuality and disturbing psychology, the love (and hate) of family and the darkness and light that lives inside us all.
Last week we told you about Sgt Pepper at Fifty (hb, £14.95, 978 1785584442) and another highly evocative music title also out this month from Omnibus, is John Lennon on John Lennon by Jeff Burger (£16.99, pb, 978 1785585715). This is the paperback edition of last year’s well-reviewed hardback: a chronologically arranged anthology of some of Lennon s most illuminating and representative interviews. John Lennon was a highly opinionated and controversial figure with a commanding personality and quick wit. And he made a point of living his adventurous life as openly as possible. Whether he was experimenting with LSD, Transcendental Meditation, primal therapy, macrobiotic diets, or recording techniques, the public was on board every step of the way. He spoke candidly about his intense, sometimes tumultuous relationship with Yoko Ono, his split with the Beatles, his squabbles with Paul McCartney, and just about everything else, baring his emotional ups and downs for all to see. By the time he granted his and this book’s final interview, only hours before his death, he had become one of the most famous people on the planet and an articulate commentator on politics, human relations, and world peace. Also interspersed throughout the book, are key quotes from dozens of additional Q&As. Together, this material paints a revealing picture of the artist in his own words and suggests some of the directions his life might have taken. You can hear an illuminating 5-minute radio interview Jeff did to promote the hardback here and let’s finish with some great live music from the man himself.
First up, here's a very early recording with the Beatles, then here he is recording Jealous Guy in 1971, here he is singing Come Together in Maddison Square Gardens in 1972, here playing Imagine in 1975, and finally here singing Johnny B Goode with Chuck Berry!

Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. This week we’re feeling political, so all of our tweets are from our fabulous and fierce independent radical publisher Pluto Press @plutopress
‘Music can change the world when that's the intention of those who make it.’ Sound System – listen to Dave Randall discussing the politics of music on @BBCRadMac here.
‘Possessing a grip on history allows us to determine our own future.’ Pelz's People’s History of Modern Europe
Alan Firth‏ @diponte: Simply put, if the vote of 18-24 year olds goes up by 30% compared to last GE, Tories will lose on 8 June.
Art Not Oil‏ @ArtNotOil: Museums are places to learn, reflect + debate - not spaces for unethical companies to paint themselves as generous! #InternationalMuseumDay
‘Movements that change the world also change the ways in which we know and understand the world.’ @alfgunvald
‘In overthrowing me, you cut the trunk of the tree of liberty, it will spring back from the roots’ Toussaint Louverture
Raddington Bear‏ @katiecrosson: Corbyn: free school meals! keep the nhs safe! The media: he's so out of touch with the average person May: bring back fox hunting!
Hilda Palmer: ‘Brilliant work #ViolenceofAusterity is essential reading on the effect of Tory war of austerity on working class’
‘The Russian Revolution is a history told in a mix of legends and anecdotes.’ Neil Faulkner explores in A People’s History of the Russian Revolution.
From home, to journey, to the "Jungle". Hear the personal experiences of refugees, the stories the media ignores in Voices from the Jungle: Stories from the Calais Refugee Camp.
Even if class politics is dead, political and social conflicts aren't. In fact, most are fought under social democracy.
ART: the most potent force for good OR a field distinguished by guaranteed unemployment? Gregory Sholette explores in his new book Delirium and Resistance: Activist Art and the Crisis of Capitalism.
‘To tell the truth is revolutionary’ Antonio Gramsci
Pluto are expanding our blog! If you want to write about politics/race/economics/gender/Marx/MiddleEast etc contact:
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 12 May 2017

Compass Points 213

Five decades on from its release at the height of the Summer of Love in 1967, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band remains a keystone not just of the Beatles’ career but also of popular music as a whole. Widely regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time, it is a record soaked in, and thrillingly evocative of, the sights, sounds, and mood of the sixties at their most joyously psychedelic. Published by Omnibus Press next week, Sgt Pepper at Fifty: The Looks, the Sound, the Legacy of the Beatles Great Masterpiece by Bill DeMain, Mike McInnerney and Gillian Gaar (hb, £14.95, 978 1785584442) is a distillation of all of these ideas and more: an art-pop masterwork housed in a gatefold pop art masterpiece by collage artists Peter Blake and Jann Haworth. Organized into four clearly defined thematic chapters, Sgt Pepper at Fifty brings a new perspective to the album by looking in depth at the unique cultural circumstances that led to its creation. This brilliant 176-page book examines the rich assemblage of influences that informed its sound; explores the landmark cover art; (which is still the subject of much debate and intrigue today) and assesses the record’s enduring legacy as the pinnacle of British pop. There’s loads of great publicity coming up – a full page spread in Mojo magazine; a feature in Classic Rock; a piece in The 405 which you can see here, a review in Saga magazine and an article in the Record Collector newsletter which you can read  here. On the Team Rock website there some fascinating facts you might not know about the Sgt Pepper cover – have a look at those here!
And you can watch the trailer for the release of the super-duper anniversary edition CD with loads of new versions of the classics here.

This story in the Guardian is music to my ears – read here how the allure of the e-book reader is rapidly losing its shine – less of a kindle and more of a damp squib perhaps?

Last week I mentioned how much I like it when publishers organise promotional videos for their titles on YouTube; and here's a really good one for popular actor and now crime author Robert Daws, talking about his new Sullivan & Broderick murder investigation The Rock (£7.99, pb, 978 1911331193) which has just been published by Urbane. Starting in Gibraltar in 1966; in a fading colonial house the dead body of a beautiful woman lays dripping in blood. Jumping to the present day, Detective Sergeant Tamara Sullivan arrives on a three-month secondment from the London Metropolitan Police Service. Her reasons for being here are not happy ones, and she braces herself for a tedious twelve weeks in the sun. After all, murders are rare on the small, prosperous and sun-kissed Rock of Gibraltar and catching murderers is what Sullivan does best.
It is a talent Sullivan shares with her boss, Chief Inspector Gus Broderick of the Royal Gibraltar Police Force. He's an old-fashioned cop who regards his colleague with mild disdain. But when a young police constable is found hanging from the ceiling of his apartment, Sullivan and Broderick begin to unravel a dark and dangerous secret that will test their skills and working relationship to the limit… The second title in the Sullivan & Broderick series entitled The Poisoned Rock (£8.99, pb, 978 1911331216) is also published this month.

Many thanks to The Bell Book Shop in Henley Upon Thames who have just hosted a launch for Your Baby Skin to Skin by inspirational midwife Rachel Fitz-Desorgher which has just been published by Crimson. Taken from conversations with thousands of parents over thirty years, Your Baby Skin to Skin speaks about the real baby before your eyes and not some mythical creature you have yet to meet! It gives parents a fresh, empowering approach to parenting where they are encouraged to think about their baby remembering the delightful truth that it is a highly-evolved human, pre-set instinctively to survive – so they can step back and let their baby show them to parent by understanding its inbuilt reflexes and instinctive cues. A newborn baby comes ready-primed to feed, sleep and learn perfectly well and cannot get these things wrong, so with Rachel Fitz-Desorgher’s warm and calm advice; parents can turn down the anxiety and learn from their own little expert! There have been some super pieces on the book in Mother and Baby (who said “Expect many 'lightbulb' moments as you turn the pages”), Easy Parenting magazine, the Reading Chronicle, the Henley Herald, and Family Grapevine Oxford – you can read that article here.
Liz Lochhead, one of our most beloved poets and playwrights, will be interviewed on Desert Island Discs this Sunday 14th May, repeated on Friday 19th May. Her Polygon bestsellers are A Choosing: Selected Poems (£9.99, pb, 978 1846972072) a lovely collection, which has sold 3,500 copies so far; and Fugitive Colours (£9.99, pb, 978 1846973451) which is her most recent work. Liz has a large and devoted audience and delights audiences where she goes.
She has said that “when somebody asks me what I do I usually say writer. The most precious thing to me is to be a poet. If I were a playwright, I'd like to be a poet in the theatre.” Desert Island Discs has an audience of 3 million listeners each week and Liz’s interview is sure to be a joy – do make sure you tune in and stock up on her books! She was awarded the Queen’s Medal for Poetry in 2015 and her books have sold over 30,000 copies in the UK.

Congratulations to Edinburgh's fantastic radical and independent bookshop Word Power Books which this week was “reborn” as the Lighthouse Bookshop with a fabulous drink and Tunnock-filled (ooh who doesn’t love a Tunnock) launch party!

This is a most interesting article in the Guardian –  voices from within the publishing industry – which is overwhelmingly staffed by women –  speak out about senior management that appears increasingly dominated by men. Hmm, food for thought methinks.

The Wild Guide to Scotland: Hidden Places, Great Adventures and the Good Life (£16.99, pb, 978 1910636121) by Kimberley Grant, Richard Gaston and David Cooper is Waterstone’s Scotland’s Book of the Month for June, which is certain to give this inspiring title yet more exposure and sales!

Interesting to see in the Bookseller, that Orion is predicting the next lifestyle trend after "hygge" will be kindness, saying “In times like these, we all need some kindness in our lives" after acquiring two books on the topic – you can read the full article here. Well sorry Orion, but we’re way ahead of you here: Practical Kindness: Discover the Power of Compassion for Health and Happiness by Raje Airey (hb, £8.99, 978 0754833130) has just been published by Lorenz! There is plenty of scientific evidence that kindness improves your life – better mental health, improved life satisfaction and stronger relationships have all been linked to it. This active expression of care, compassion, empathy and sympathy, gives you space to breathe and to connect with ourselves as well as others. Practical Kindness explains and inspires your own pathway to kind living. This insightful book is divided into three sections, each forming part of a 'tree of kindness' that can grow from small beginnings and shelter us from the storms of life. Throughout the book there are plenty of practical ideas and compassion-based mindfulness exercises, for bringing more kindness into your everyday life. This is a lovely and unique book – it contains with over 150 gorgeous photos and has a beautiful cover – it’s bang on trend and would make a lovely gift.
Talking of kindness; a bookshop that was involved in a spat with Piers Morgan as reported here in Compass Points; has been "overwhelmed" with support after announcing it had six days "to pay the bills". Last Sunday, the Big Green Bookshop asked its Twitter followers for help to raise £10,000 to pay suppliers and orders have been "pouring in" since the tweet, co-owner Simon Key said. You can read all about it on the BBC here.
A massive feature in the Mirror this week on Transitioning Together (pb, £12.99, 978 1785921032) by Wenn and Beatrice Lawson, which was published earlier this year by Jessica Kingsley. This is the extraordinary story of Wenn and Beatrice Lawson, born twelve years apart in different countries with different cultures, who were both assigned female at birth. After nineteen years of marriage and four children, Wenn entered a same-sex relationship with Beatrice. Little did Beatrice know that twenty-two years later, Wenn would transition from female to male. This unique and honest memoir tells the story of Wenn's transition and Beatrice's journey alongside him. You can read the article here. This is a very honest book which should be read by anyone who is in this position and by others, to gain some understanding and insight in the transitioning process. This Morning are shortly going to be doing a TV interview with Wenn and Beatrice so there is plenty more publicity to come!
As part of the ongoing celebration for their 25th anniversary, Birlinn have a great competition open to any independent bookseller who’d like to create an eye-catching table or window display representing 25 years of the Best of Birlinn. You can find all the details, an order form, plus info on how to get hold of the special posters and other POS material here, and the bookshop who creates the most original display will win a signed limited edition of Alexander McCall Smith’s No.1 Ladies Detective Agency! Wow – that’s a great prize! To order the books and POS material, please contact Vikki Reilly, and the photos need to be submitted to Vikki by 1st August 2017.
Last week we told you about two And Other Stories titles which have been shortlisted for the prestigious Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize which you can find out more about  here. To add to that, we send many congratulations to Gallic whose graphic novel edition of Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time: Swann’s Way (hb, £19.99, 978 1908313904) translated by Arthur Goldhammer has also been shortlisted for the award! The winner will be announced at the prizegiving and dinner at St Anne’s College, Oxford on Saturday 3 June. Bonne chance!
It was the Nibbies this week and you can read all about the winners in the Bookseller here. Compass were there – and here is the full low-down on the evening from our roving reporter Sophie - seen here with Foyles education buyer, Daniella! 

“All dolled up with somewhere to go? Yes, that was us on Monday night as we attended the British Book Awards, aka the Nibbies, hosted this year by broadcaster and all-round glamorous goddess Lauren Laverne. A vast improvement on the average Monday evening of post weekend blues and EastEnders that's for sure! Compass were invited to attend with Jessica Kingsley Publishing, a Compass Academic client and shortlisted nominee for Academic/ Educational Publisher of the Year. Being a slightly less glamorous cousin of trade publishing this category had to wait until the second, post-dinner act to find out who had won, meaning the crowd was well lubed up to cheer the whoever publisher took home the prize. Unfortunately, the nib of gold was not destined to be JKP's this year, goings to Collins Education instead. However as last year's winners for the same category perhaps the judges just didn't want to let too much excitement go to their heads with a back to back win? Either ways it didn't dampen our spirits as a great night was had by all, drinks were imbibed, Lauren Laverne's dating advice was lauded, high-heel injuries compared and the bar bill was gulped over, all in very fine company, and we even made it into Foyles to do a 10.30am sub the next morning! Us Compass crowd, we're dedicated to the cause, and only partially fuelled by caffeine and mid-morning pastries.”
I am thoroughly enjoying this article in the Telegraph which finds that people who read books tend to be nicer than those who don't. It quotes a recent study which found that people who read works of fiction tend to be kinder and more empathetic. Hear hear!
We started with a music book and we’ll end with one too – I have just seen a finished copy of Queen in 3-D. Wowsers – what a treat. The first thing I would say is that this handsome hardback genuinely looks extremely high quality and easily worth its £50 price tag. The next thing to say is that I was gobsmacked with the number of fantastic photos there are in the book. The 3D ones are lots of fun – but I hadn’t appreciated until I saw a copy just how much other photography there is too – loads of full page spreads and other very intimate close up snaps too which really make you feel you are getting a huge amount of inside knowledge about the band, together with Brian May’s very revealing text. You absolutely don’t need the 3D viewer to flick through and enjoy it – it works perfectly well as a luxury coffee table book too – making the 3D element (for me at least) a brilliant “extra” to the package rather than its main selling point. I truly think anyone who has even a passing interest in Queen, the 70’s and 80’s, or photography would think this book was the best gift ever! Here is what our Sales Manager Dave wrote to the publishers on first seeing the book.
“Today I received my sample copy of Queen in 3-D to show round to my accounts, thank you very much. It arrived in the post about an hour ago and I haven’t done any work since!!! I do like the Freddie Yellow Jacket Owl Viewer, nice touch. I would just like to take the opportunity to congratulate you both, and Brian on such a wonderful book. Queen meant so much to me growing up, Freddie, John, Roger and Brian were absolute heroes of mine. So, speaking from a fan point of view, this book is an absolute treasure which I guarantee will be adored worldwide.”
Queen in 3-D (978 0957424685, £50, 323 x 245mm) is published on 25 May, as a slipcase containing the 256-page full colour deluxe hardback and the patent 3D OWL viewer. If you go to the special website you will see Brian May showing off the book – although tantalisingly he doesn’t open it up… yet!
Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. Here are some of our favourite tweets from this week …
Biteback Publishing‏ @BitebackPub The man behind the manifesto. Make the most of great books on #Corbyn #LabourLeak #LabourManifesto
Topping & Company‏ @ToppingsEly Book trivia: John Steinbeck's puppy ate the original manuscript of 'Of Mice & Men'. Dogs are favourites here, but that'd be a ban even here!
The Bookseller‏ @thebookseller CommaPress and the University of Central Lancashire launch a prize to find the best voices in short fiction.
Polygon Books‏ @PolygonBooks Liz Lochhead talks to Kirsty Young this Sunday on @BBCRadio4 #DesertIslandDiscs. Tune in to find out about her music favourites!
Plexus Publishing‏ @plexusbooks ‘Try not to hate people. It is too exhausting’ #ManlyMannersfortheImpeccableGent #PlexusBooks #tipsforgents
Carcanet Press‏ @Carcanet Jamaican Poet Laureate Mervyn Morris discusses rural life & Jamaican poetry @R3TheVerb
RedDoor Publishing‏ @RedDoorBooks “Child Taken is a stunning debut novel which is not afraid of tackling a difficult subject. It is exceptionally plotted out” Thanks @havebooksblog!
Anness Publishing‏ @Anness_Books #NationalDoughnutWeek - see Mowie Kay's gorgeous book Easy to Make Doughnuts! Jam, lemon, coffee, salted caramel...
Polygon Books‏ @PolygonBooks Congratulations to our wonderful Alexander McCallSmith who has been honoured by the National Arts Club in New York!
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.