Friday 1 September 2017

Compass Points 228

Our thoughts are with everyone at Hay House this week, with the news that Louise Hay, the founder of this inspirational publishing company, has died peacefully in her sleep aged 90. The company wrote that “Louise was an incredible visionary and advocate. Everyone who had the privilege to meet her, either in person or through her words, felt her passion for serving others. Louise entrusted us with the company that she built in order to enrich the lives of others interested in self-healing and empowerment. Her legacy will live on and her spirit will inspire all that we do. Hay House will continue to publish products and online learning courses that align with Louise’s core teachings. We honour her through our memories and will carry out her vision for many years to come. I know that we are divinely guided by her loving hand. Louise Hay’s estate, as well as all future royalties, will be donated to The Hay Foundation, a non-profit organization established by Louise that financially supports diverse organizations supplying food, shelter, counselling, hospice care, and funds to those in need.”

Here we are already in September – month beloved of publishers as when they release their big cats which they hope will leap majestically through the tills up until Christmas! You’ll hear lots more about the top titles from our publishers in the coming weeks, but I enjoyed this round up in the Bookseller of the best of the month’s cover designs – and it’s great to see that Jessica Kingsley’s The Illustrated Guide to Dyslexia and its Amazing People (hb, £13.99, 978 1785923302) with a jacket design created by the book’s authors Kate Power and Kathy Iwanczak Forsyth has made the cut! There’s an Instagram page featuring all of the covers called Perfectbound which you can see here. This beautifully designed book, complete with stunning visuals and gentle humour, shows what dyslexia means, how it feels, what to do about it, and how to learn to embrace it. There are advantages to being dyslexic, including an aptitude for design literacy and innovative thinking; although these can sometimes be obscured by its challenges; but this new title, published on 21 September offers a multitude of learning tools and tips plus a gallery of inspirational dyslexics who have used their particular skills to do something amazing with their lives.

Fab to see that And Other Stories author Yuri Herrera is London Review Bookshop’s Author of the Month. To quote: “Our Author of the Month for September is Yuri Herrera, whose three slim novels, set in unnamed Mexican border towns, ferry a cast of migrants, drifters, kingpins and fixers into the realm of the mythic. With a Chandleresque ear for a sharp turn of phrase and an eye for the resonant image, Herrera is, in the words of Javier Moreno, 'perhaps the master par excellence of creating limbos, spectral spaces in which the characters — real Schrödinger’s cats — reside halfway between the living and the dead'. Any introduction to these books would be incomplete without mention of translator Lisa Dillman, with whom Herrera won the 2016 Best Translated Book Award. As observed in Tony Wood's write-up in the London Review of Books, Dillman richly conveys the 'linguistic hybridity' of the author's prose.” The novels are Kingdom Cons (pb, £8.99, 978 1908276926), The Transmigration of Bodies (pb, £8.99, 978 1908276728) and Signs Preceding The End Of The World (pb, £8.99, 978 1908276421) and they look really great displayed as a set as you can see here!

Those of us in the book industry all have a love of words – which can also (perhaps boringly) include a love of correct grammar, which can then (very sadly) include a love of being extremely pedantic. However, I think we all enjoy a Friday afternoon giggle at other people’s stupidity – so I think you’ll appreciate this trawl through the many misuses of inverted commas, here on Buzzfeed!

More publicity this week for the excellent Working the Phones: Control and Resistance in Call Centres (pb, £17.99, 978 0745399065) when its author Jamie Woodcock was on BBC Radio 2's Jeremy Vine Show — you can listen to that interview here, it’s nine minutes in. Over a million people in the UK work in call centres, and in this brilliant insider account, Jamie (who worked undercover in a call centre) discusses the various methods of resistance that are developing on our office floors, and considers whether there is any hope left for the modern worker today. It’s published by Pluto.

There has been lots of publicity recently for the 70th anniversary of the partition of India in 1947, and of course Salman Rushdie’s Booker Prize-winning second novel Midnight’s Children is based on the turbulent times following this. Here's Radio 4’s rather eclectic mix of what they consider to be the ten must-read novels based on world-changing events.

An interesting piece in the Guardian which you can read here entitled Be Your Own Therapist? Fine – if You’re Up to the Job talking about how self-help therapy (such as books) for mental health issues, compares with therapist-delivered therapy. The article was illustrated with a large picture of Being Happy! A Handbook to Greater Confidence and Security by Andrew Matthews (pb, £8.99, 978 9810006648) which is published by Seashell. This title is an international bestseller which has never been out of print since its publication in 1989 – as one reviewer said, there are hundreds of new self-help books published every year, “some mystical, some esoteric, but this simple down-to-earth book beats them all. This is the one I come back to again and again.”

And talking of simple but effective routes back to happiness, The Recovery Letters is still getting plenty of publicity and will be featured this week in Take A Break magazine. The Recovery Letters: Addressed to People Experiencing Depression (pb, £9.99, 978 1785921834) edited by James Withey and Olivia Sagan and published by Jessica Kingsley, is an inspirational anthology, written by people recovering from depression, providing “a message of hope from the dark side” and testament that recovery is possible. The heartfelt letters are interspersed with motivating quotes and additional resources. As journalist Tim Lott said, “this book has the power to save lives.”

Do you agree with Richard Charkin that the book industry of 2017 is “overcomplicated”? Have a read here to see hear his views!

England's sixty or so Anglican and Roman Catholic cathedrals are among its most iconic buildings and attract thousands of worshippers and visitors every year. Yet though much has been written about their architecture, there is no complete guide to their history and activities. The History of England’s Cathedrals by Nicholas Orme, provides the first rounded account of the whole of their 1700 years from Roman times to the present day. It explains the layout of their buildings, the people who ran them, their worship and music, their links with learning and education, and their outreach to society. It relates their history to the history of England and shows how they adapted to change and weathered disasters to survive as great repositories of our national history. Nicholas Orme is a noted religious historian, and this is his pioneer history of the subject, written in a very accessible manner – which many cathedral guides are not! As Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of the History of the Church, at Oxford University said: “The Cathedrals of England are institutions far older than the realm itself, and are perhaps more cherished than they have ever been, as this richly enjoyable volume makes clear. There can be no-one better qualified than Nicholas Orme to present the full range of their long history.” It is available in both paperback (£20.00, 978 1907605925) and hardback (£30.00, 978 1907605987), published by Impress this month.

It is perhaps indicative of the great fondness we have in Britain for our cathedrals that when Guardian readers were asked to pick Britain’s best building they chose Durham Cathedral – you can see a short film about that here.

You may have seen this sad article in the Guardian this week, about Connor Sparrowhawk, the teenager who suffered a seizure and drowned in a bath at an NHS care unit, with no member of staff on hand to prevent it. What’s more, Connor was not the first person to have died in that bath. His mother, Sara Ryan has called for a total overhaul of medical tribunals, saying she felt “retraumatised” after participating in a two-week hearing into her son’s death. “You’re a grieved mother, you’re stripped of any other identity and you’re fair game for any kicking that comes your way and it must happen all the time,” she said. Her book, Justice for Laughing Boy: Connor Sparrowhawk: A Death by Indifference is out on 19 October from Jessica Kingsley. At turns poignant, funny, heart-breaking and infuriating, Justice for Laughing Boy tells an extremely uncomfortable truth about the experiences of learning disabled people in inpatient settings, and society’s attitude towards them. Can we really claim that we respect the lives of learning disabled people, when such preventable tragedies are still happening today? There is bound to be more publicity to come for this important title.

A big feature this week with loads of full-colour spreads on The Low-Fodmap Diet: An Eating Plan and Cookbook by Penny Doyle (hb, £8.99, 978 0754831518) in Gluten-Free Heaven. There is a growing demand for titles which identify the group of fermentable, poorly-absorbed short-chain carbohydrates, known collectively as FODMAPs and offer guidance which can revolutionise the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). This book clearly explains the theory and offers help and advice on putting it into practice through a diet that eliminates potential problem foods, assesses the results and then re-introduces them. There are plenty of carefully selected recipes, which will make following the diet easy and everyday eating a pleasure and this attractively illustrated book will help IBS sufferers make simple life changes that will make a huge difference. This is a new 2017 edition of this title, published by Lorenz.
Who has the most books in their home? Me? Apparently not, Karl Lagerfeld has 300,000. Marilyn Monroe had 400. Find out about other famous book hoarders here!

If the world today is just getting to much for you, then 67 People I'd Like to Slap by Ian Collins which is published by Biteback may well help relieve some tension! One man's journey through the labyrinthine world of human angst and annoyance, this often brutal but hilarious search into the pit of human idiocy leaves few stones unturned as it mocks that irritating contingent of the human race whose job is to make life just a tad more infuriating than it needs to be. From exotic pet owners to over-35s at music festivals, middle-class protesters, elderly people in small cars and the billion crimes that are committed on social media every day; Collins covers them all, while also musing on such celebrity conundrums as to whether Jeremy Clarkson is part of a completely different gene pool and how a nice guy like Benedict Cumberbatch could annoy anyone. Ian Collins is very well known for his comedy and presenting work on Talk Sport, LBC, Sky, BBC1's This Week and BBC2's Daily Politics. He spent a year documenting everything that could bug the hell out of even the calmest of souls, and judging from the rave reviews online, 67 People I'd Like to Slap (pb, £9.99, 978 1785901355) has struck a chord with many!

Which is better, the book or the film. Surely the book – or is it? Vote here  and see of that in the thousands of votes cast in this entertaining survey; the written word doesn’t always win! (It jolly nearly always does though – hurrah!)

Parenting titles often talk of sibling rivalry as something to be “tackled” and take a very negative line on this most common feature of family life. However, a new book, Siblings by Linda Blair (pb, £12.99, 9781910336250) published by White Ladder in October takes a much more positive, pragmatic and practical approach. Linda is a psychologist with over 25 years’ experience, and this book is based solidly in clinical research, giving parents methods and specific strategies to resolve issues and help form lasting bonds. Linda is also a weekly Telegraph columnist and much in demand as a speaker – she was on BBC Radio 4 this week with Professor Robert Winston talking about how to give your kids the best start in life, which you can listen to here. She will be taking about Siblings at the Cheltenham Literature Festival in October 2017 – this is a super-popular subject and Linda Blair is the expert – so look out for lots more publicity for this title!

Well, we do like to end with some music, so with Linda Blair’s book in mind, let's have a look and a listen to the Top Ten Musical Siblings!

That’s all for now folks! More next week!

This newsletter is sent weekly to over 700 booksellers as well as publishers and publicists. If you would like to order any of the titles mentioned, then please talk to your Compass Sales Manager, or call the office on 020 8326 5696.

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