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.

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