Friday 20 July 2018

Compass Points 269

George Washington Wilson was Victorian Scotland’s leading photographer, particularly in the art of stereo photography. Prince Albert commissioned him to photograph the construction of Balmoral Castle, and he also captured many historic portraits of Queen Victoria who honoured him by appointing him her official photographer. He made a thriving business printing and selling stereo cards of tourist attractions and now a new book, George Washington Wilson: Artist and Photographer (hb, £30, 978 0957424692) presents a glorious gallery of his work in colour. The 3D imagery that had enthralled Wilson, captured the imagination of Brian May a century later and he has written a foreword to the book which includes the OWL 3-D viewer, which May designed. Of course Brian May’s involvement ensures plenty of publicity for this fascinating title, and there have already been pieces in the Mail, the Scotsman, the Herald, and the Independent. It’s by Professor Roger Taylor, who is the world authority on Wilson, and will be published on 15 August by The London Stereoscopic Company. This will appeal to stereo photography enthusiasts, collectors of LSC fine art editions; historians tourists and everyone interested in Scottish culture.

Lots to look forward from And Other Stories in the last of the summer's literary festivals, with highlights including author of Brother In Ice (pb, £10, 978 1911508205) Alicia Kopf in conversation with Philip Hoare in a very special event at West Cork Literary Festival on Garnish Island which includes a special little boat trip and everything! There’s a performance of Yuri Herrera's Signs Preceding the End of the World (£8.99, pb, 978 1908276421) at the Edinburgh International Literature Festival. Herrera will be flying over from the US to take part in this unique event on 25th August. More information here. Also at Edinburgh will be Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel (21st August), Jen Hodgson (talking about Ann Quin's The Unmapped Country) (21st August), and Alicia Kopf (25th August).

More excellent coverage of Leila Aboulela’s Elsewhere, Home (£8.99, pb, 978 1846592119) which was selected as a Guardian Best Summer Read. The Observer called it “A beautiful and desolate collection … Aboulela’s stories distil many of her recurring concerns – immigrant loneliness, complicated romance and a portrayal of the Islamic faith that goes far beyond the cliched narrative – but without ever becoming trite. … There is so much quiet brilliance that it is a surprise for those who have only followed Aboulela’s long-form fiction to discover she has just as much mastery of the short form.” There have also been features in Lithub, and interviews on BBC Radio Scotland, Middle East Eye, and reviews in The National, Bookoxygen, and the Herald who said it was “thoughtful, wry, funny … The deceptively quiet tales in Elsewhere, Home are barbed with tension and conflict. There is the desperate homesickness of immigrants; the complications of love between believers and non-believers … Aboulela’s interest is with ordinary people, with everyday ambitions and desires.”

Who daydreams about being a billionaire? And how would you spend your hard-earned cash? David McCourt shares just that in the Guardian here and this highly successful Irish American telecoms entrepreneur also has plenty to share in his new book which is part business biography, part business blueprint. Total Rethink: Why Entrepreneurs Should Act Like Revolutionaries (£20, hb, 978 1910453537) has just been published by Red Door. David believes that in business, and life, everything is changing fast – apart from how we behave. Our ways of thinking and making decisions have changed little since we lived in agricultural and industrial societies, but the problems we now need to solve are entirely different and require a revolution in thinking and behaviour to meet the challenges that now face us. This book has had good press and is a genuinely new and insightful way of looking at not just business but the whole of life. And if you fancy becoming an entrepreneur yourself? Well, David says that “my new book is about how people can engage in their creative side as well as business, and it’s for anyone – not just business people. If anyone comes up to me (or tweets me @DCMcCourt) and can prove they have read my book, I’ll guarantee to do one of two things: give them a copy or read their business plan.”

During the 1920s and 30s, a British journalist, JMN Jeffries followed the events in Palestine with growing anger, as he saw the effects of the Balfour Declaration of 1917 on the indigenous Arab inhabitants as they faced the loss of their rights and their land to a movement, political Zionism, which wanted to take over Palestine and turn it into a Jewish state. Colin Andersen has written the first ever biography of Jeffries and of how he came to write his monumental book, Palestine: The Reality, which revealed the truth about the injustice being inflicted on the Palestinians. Balfour in the Dock (978 1911072225, £16.99, hb) is published by Skyscraper and has just been shortlisted for the Palestine Book Prize to be awarded in November. Balfour in the Dock is a devastating indictment of British policy in the Middle East and strengthens the growing campaign for an apology for the Balfour Declaration which has caused such havoc in world politics over the last hundred years.

At the age of thirty-six, Gordon Darroch's wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a devastating blow just as he, and their two children with autism, were preparing to move to her native Holland. Eighteen months later, as their plans seemed to be back on course, came the second blow: Magteld was terminally ill and possibly had only a few months to live. As her health rapidly deteriorated, they became caught up in a race against time to get a dying mother home and give their children a future in a country they hardly knew. All the Time We Thought We Had (pb, £9.99, 978-1846974472) is a story of love and loss and a meditation on grief and memory. It's about how events shape our lives and how we cope with them. And it raises important questions about what we value in life and the legacies we leave behind. The National Autistic Society will be promoting this very special book and will do a social media campaign for their members (600,000 followers) and interview Gordon for their newsletter and magazine (25,000 print edition for members and online edition too). It’s out in September from Birlinn.

As part of their Basque Literature in Translation Carnival project, Parthian are publishing for the first time in English, two Basque novels: Her Mother's Hands by Karmele Jaio and A Glass Eye by Miren Agur Meabe. One of the bestselling books in the Basque literary scene, Her Mother’s Hands (£8.99, pb, 978 1912109555) is an examination of the deepest human bonds and a beautiful and moving tribute to life. The precarious balance in the life of Nerea, a thirty-something journalist, breaks down when her mother, Luisa, is hospitalised with total amnesia. Nerea, who feels guilty for not having recognised the symptoms that afflicted her mother, now finds a person almost unknown to her, but soon she begins to discover that the two women share much more than they believe. A Glass Eye (pb, £8.99, 978 1912109548) begins when a woman flees from Spain to France. She is a writer and she is trying to come to terms with loss after the break-up of a relationship. The new world offers solace and the practice of writing offers hope and understanding as she comes to term with the losses in her life. Karmele Jaio is taking part in the Edinburgh International Bookfair in August and Pen Translates will be releasing information on both titles in their newsletter and on their website.

Guardian journalist Claire Armistead joined the fourth day of the annual Refugee Tales Walk in solidarity with asylum seekers who have suffered under the UK's policy of immigration detention. Read here what she had to say about her experience, and the influence of fairytale and myth on modern narratives

What’s your other half’s most irritating habit? If you’re thinking “blimey, where do I start” then you’ll enjoy this entertaining piece in the Mail by Olivia Fane, the author of Possibly a Love Story (£8.99, pb, 978 1910050965) about the smallest things that our partners do can to upset us. Possibly a Love Story is a viciously funny satire on the middle classes and middle-class values, but with a huge heart, and it’s published by Arcadia. The Mail called it “Surprising, beautifully written ... hilarious, heartbreaking and thought-provoking”.

How do you write a story set in 1904 Morocco about a group of missing women when they do not exist in any public record and when these women are “defined by their relationship to a man.” That was the task facing Saeida Rouass in her novel Assembly Of The Dead (£8.99, pb, 978 1907605772) which is published by Impress. Set in 1904 as Morocco is under threat from the colonial ambitions of France and Spain; the urbane and wise detective Farouk is sent by the Sultan to Marrakesh to solve the mystery of the missing girls. This multi layered novel is grounded in historical truth and detail, and is a captivating journey through colours, scents and sounds of old Marrakesh, peopled by vivid characters who perfectly capture the unsettled sensation of changing times and mingling cultures. Reviewers have compared “this little pearl of a book … to Umberto Eco’s classical novel The Name of the Rose, having clear parallels in describing the struggle between the dark ages’ social and religious control mechanisms and a progressive, scientific approach, deciding over the destiny of individuals, and of women in particular.”

I very much enjoyed reading this month’s And Other Stories blog which chooses the lovely Harbour Books in the seaside town of Whitstable, Kent as its bookshop of the month. Who wouldn’t want to be working beside the sea right now – fancy a job swap anyone there?!

When Gerald Grosvenor, sixth Duke of Westminster, died in August 2016 he was one of the world’s richest men, his fortune estimated at just under £10 billion. Yet he hated his wealth and spent long periods suffering from severe depression, much of it brought on by a feeling that his whole life had been a failure and that his money had destroyed any chance of happiness. The Reluctant Billionaire (hb, £20, 978 1785903168) is by Tom Quinn, who interviewed the sixth Duke on a number of occasions as well as many people who knew him. The book looks at the long and often eccentric history of the Grosvenor family and its wealth and the intriguing means by which that wealth has been shielded from the taxman; as well as the bizarre life of a complex and tortured man. The Daily Mail will be serialising this one from 26th July through to the 7th August and it’s published on 7 August by Biteback.

There was a great review for The Book of Havana (£9.99, pb, 978 1910974018) this week in Disclaimer Magazine, who said of the collection “This book proves what it set out to prove, that Havana, and more widely its surrounding country, is not simply a remnant of the Cold War, is not a footnote to US history.” There was also an interview with editor Orsola Casagrande on Booktrail and an extract from one of the stories called The Trinity of Havana on

A Perfect Mother (hb, £15, 978 0995647848) is a bracing, hypnotic story of midlife crisis about the complexities of love, relationship and legacy by literary editor Katri Skala. Vesna Goldsworthy, author of Gorsky called it “a wonderfully accomplished novel...complex and compulsively readable at the same time... It tells a story of attraction, parenthood and madness with great psychological subtlety, while also creating an unforgettable sense of place, equally at home in England and in Italy. I haven’t encountered as beautiful a portrait of Trieste and its culture in many years.” It’s published by Hikari Press in September, and there’s quite a bit of publicity lined up; a 1600-word spread in the Times T2 at the end of August, an interview in the Telegraph, and articles in You Magazine and the Sunday Times as well as reviews coming in the Economist, Tatler, Sunday Times, Marie Claire, Nature and The TLS. There’s also going to be a blog tour at the start of September with The Last Word, Books By Women, Love Books Group, Portobello Book Blog, Liz Loves Books, The Book Magnet, Writers & Artists Blog and My Reading Corner all reading it!

What was the first official international association football match England ever played? A nil nil draw with Scotland, which took place at Hamilton Crescent on 30 November 1872! Just one of the fascinating facts you’ll find in England The Complete Record 1872-2018 (£25, hb, 978 1909245686) by Jack Gordon Brown and Philip Ross. Fully updated ahead of the 2018 World Cup, England: The Complete Record is the definitive account of one of the world's most recognisable and historic national teams. You can hear the authors alongside De Coubertin assistant publisher Megan Pollard on BBC Radio Merseyside talking about the book which is published on 30 August here.

And on the subject of the English football team, I don’t think it gets much funnier than this mash-up from the ever hilarious Cassetteboy!

This weekly blog is written for the UK book trade. If you would like to order any of the titles mentioned, then please talk to your Compass Sales Manager, or call the Compass office on 020 8326 5696. Every Friday an e-newsletter containing highlights from the blog is sent out to over 700 booksellers – and if you’d like to receive this then please contact

Friday 13 July 2018

Compass Points 268

England’s Pride of Lions may be coming home without the coveted Jules Rimet trophy, but there is certain to be an outpouring of interest in books on the team, and first out of the tunnel is England: The Quest for Glory (£13.99, pb, 978 1902719733) which is out in three weeks’ time from St David’s Press. Sky Sports and Sun journalist Tom McDermott reveals how Gareth Southgate’s behind-the-scenes efforts have created a new, refreshing football philosophy which has given fans hope for the future and asks whether England’s journey signals the beginning of a glorious new era. Essential reading for all England fans, McDermott investigates how culture, psychology, media pressure and the FA itself have historically hampered the national team and asks if there are lessons to be learnt from English success in other sports such as cricket and rugby. He explains how other football nations have transformed their fortunes and charts the changes that need to be made before England can regularly challenge in the final stages of international competitions and be acknowledged as serious trophy contenders. Packed with revealing insights from former players such as Alan Shearer, John Barnes, Darren Anderton, Michael Owen, Alan Smith, Tony Cottee, Jamie Carragher and Paul Parker, as well as fascinating contributions from Gerard Houllier, Michael Vaughan, Sir Matthew Pinsent and a host of managers, coaches, academy staff, football psychologists and performance specialists; England: The Quest For Glory seeks to provide the answer to the question asked by all England fans: Will football ever come home?

Also from St David’s Press, this next title is up to number 11 already in Amazon’s Premier League Titles bestseller list and is officially published next week! Nuno Had a Dream: Wolves’ Championship Season 2017-18 (pb, £14.99, 978 1902719740) is a celebration of the triumphant 2017-18 season inspired by Portuguese manager Nuno Espírito Santo who has created a team and a football philosophy that has totally revitalised and revolutionised the club. Lovingly written by local journalist and lifelong Wolves supporter David Harrison and illustrated with fabulous photos from official ‘access all areas’ photographer Sam Bagnall; Nuno Had A Dream describes and analyses the emotional journey to the Premier League travelled by the team and its faithful fans.

“Knowing what awaits us should make us grasp at life’s fading light, every single wonderful colourful noisy moment. We have around us all that cant, about living for the moment, you only get one chance and so on, but who hears that stuff? And if they do, it slips their mind in a minute or so, becomes a tiny fillip, a full stop in their book of the day. We have to really believe it, cherish it until we swoon on the beauty of being alive; every single bloody second. For it will soon be gone, soon vanished. It’s the best we can do, the only thing that has a chance of saving us when our eyes close for the last time: well, I gave it my best shot, did what I wanted, made a difference, ate it all up, yum yum.” So writes author and journalist Mark Hodkinson in his new novel That Summer Feeling (pb, £9.99, 978 1904590323) which is published by Pomona on 15 October. This book coalesces genres, among them coming-of-age, campus, northern, realist and comic. It takes a literate, enigmatic and upbeat view of all that truly matters in life – families, love, ambition, writing, disillusionment and hope. The Times said of Mark: “Hodkinson writes quite beautifully, which means that those of us with lesser gifts are given a glimpse into his soul. It is a richly rewarding place to be.” and there is a big marketing campaign for this title, with reviews and features expected in the broadsheet press and glossy magazines.

We mentioned the gorgeous Abandoned Civilisations (£19.99, hb, 978 1782746676) last week, which is published by Amber on 18 August and I’m pleased to say that this has now been featured in the Mail and the Sun so you can have a look at some of the spectacular colour photographs exploring a hundred lost worlds that feature on its pages. These pics really are stunning – if looking at them doesn’t encourage you to order this book then I really don’t know what will! The Telegraph will also be featuring it in the coming weeks.

Have you ever wondered how much time and energy women spend avoiding harassment from men? Dr Fiona Vera-Gray has; and she’s spent the last five years speaking to women about how they change their behaviour through fear of sexual assault. If you're a woman reading this, when is the first time that you remember interruption from an unknown man in public? Being told to cheer up, being stared at, a whistle, a car horn, a comment? What about all the times you've thought… maybe? You think that man might be staring at you but you couldn't say for certain. Don't want to be thought of as paranoid. But maybe, you think, I'll just sit over here, get on the bus, do a quick scan, choose the seat closest to other women, or closest to the driver. Catch the next train, just to be safe. The Right Amount of Panic: How Women Trade Freedom for Safety (£14.99, pb, 978 1447342298) has just been published by Policy Press. With real-life accounts of women's experiences, and based on the author's original research, this book challenges victim-blaming and highlights the need to show women as capable, powerful and skilful in their everyday resistance to harassment and sexual violence. You can read a really interesting article by Dr Vera-Gray about it on the BBC website here and there is more publicity to come for this highly topical title.

For sufferers of hay fever, summer 2018 will not just go down for the long hot days, but also for the quantity of sneezing. As the Met Office has warned this summer is worse than usual due to an unusually high pollen count. How and why we suffer from allergies is one of the 16 fascinating stories in Bodyology: The Curious Science of Our Bodies (pb, £8.99, 978 0995497863) – a compendium of investigations into popular health issues by leading science writers. It asks whether conventional thinking about allergies is completely wrong. Might their rise might be linked to a feature of modern life: man-made chemicals? It’s published by Canbury Press.

Ian Fleming and Operation Golden Eye: Keeping Spain out of World War II (£19.99, hb, 978 1612006857), has been selected as one of the Bookseller’s Highlights of the Season in their Non-Fiction Buyer's Guide this autumn. Casemate have high hopes for this book which they are publishing at the end of September and will be putting a lot of marketing behind it. This fascinating title tells how Ian Fleming and Alan Hillgarth were the architects of Operation Golden Eye, the sabotage and disruption scheme that would be put in place had Germany invaded Spain. Fleming visited the Iberian Peninsula and Tangiers several times during the war, arguably his greatest achievement in WWII and the closest he came to being a real secret agent. It was these visits which supplied much of the background material for his fiction, even calling his home on Jamaica where he created 007 Goldeneye. The scheme included the widespread bribery of high ranking Spanish officials and the duplicity of Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of the Abwehr. Operation Golden Eye was eventually put on standby in 1943 as the risk of the Nazis occupying Spain was much reduced. Author Mark Simmons consulted the Foreign Office as well as SOE and CIA files when writing this book and it is an enthralling read.

From pigeons to parakeets, it’s impossible not to notice birds in London. But how many more would you see if you knew where to look? Can you really see a striking black-and-white wader like the Avocet, or a graceful bird of prey like a Marsh Harrier or a shy reedbed-dwelling Bittern all within the city? Did you know Peregrine Falcons nest at Battersea Power Station, or that over a hundred species have been logged at Hampstead Heath in one year? A new book Birdwatching London (pb, £12.99, 978 0993291159, published in association with the London Wildlife Trust) reveals the amazing variety of birdlife in the capital and offers wonderful ideas for a day out among nature from woodlands to wetlands, parks to post-industrial backwaters. Illustrated throughout with stunning colour photographs this has just been published by Safe Haven. Author David Darrell-Lambert has recently been on BBC Radio London talking about this lovely guidebook (you can hear that interview here ),there’s also been an extract BBC Wildlife magazine, a feature on the Londonist website and a review in British Birds magazine. There are events at Ink@84 bookshop in Highbury, the RSPB on Rainham Marshes, Stanfords in Covent Garden and the Broadway Bookshop in Hackney.

Great to see And Other Stories titles featuring in some of the Summer Reads lists; not least in the Guardian, the Guardian Podcast and on Front Row. In the Guardian's Summer Reads, Kamila Shamsie tells us she's reading all our Year of Publishing Women titles this summer: “The publishing house And Other Stories has committed to making 2018 a Year of Publishing Women – I’m planning to work my way through their entire list for the year over the summer. First up: Fleur Jaeggy’s Sweet Days of Discipline, translated by Tim Parks. It is set in a boarding school in postwar Switzerland, the opening pages are spare and beautiful, with an intriguing darkness.” On BBC Radio 4 Front Row last Tuesday, journalist Sarah Ditum had lots of nice things to say;  including Clemens Meyer's All the Lights “a collection of stories . . . they really build up a – quite gritty at times – picture of the whole country” and Nicola Pugliese's Malacqua “an amazing, fascinating book . . . full of the texture of the 1970s.” On The Guardian Podcast, editor Richard Lea calls Yuri Herrera's Signs Preceding the End of the World “a terrific slim novel about a young woman who makes the border crossing and finds her life has changed.”

Talking of Summer Reading, the Second Part of the Guardian feature included Sunny Singh’s recommendation of (with illustration!) “South Atlantic Requiem (hb, £15.99, 978 1911350316)

by Edward Wilson, one of my favourite spy novelists” It’s published by Arcadia You can read the full article here.

Possum, the new film based on the story of the same name in the just published anthology The New Uncanny (pb, £9.99, 9781905583188 ) has been picking up rave reviews this week, including one on The Hollywood Reporter, which called it a “horror-tinged psychological suspenser which has niche genre-audience appeal” and The Hollywood News, Culture Fix and Sci-Fi Now both gave it excellent reviews and four stars apiece after its premiere in Edinburgh. The film screens at the Galway Film Fest this week and FrightFest in London next month. Early reviews from fans are also good, with one saying on the IMDb website   “A genuinely scary film. Excellent sets, acting and soundtrack. I don't want to give anything away but it's the first film I have watched in ages that has had me terrified!” There could soon be a lot of people out there keen to buy the Comma book which Time Out called “a masterclass in understated creepiness”.

There’s nothing more satisfying than growing your own produce, and then using it to make a delicious homecooked meal and Grow Happy, Cook Happy, Be Happy by Bryony Hill (£20, hb, 978 1910453582) is full of practical gardening advice, cookery tips and mouth-wateringly easy-to-make recipes that will make you happy inside and out. Alan Titchmarsh said of it “Bryony's talents as both cook and photographer are clearly evident in this book. Her joie de vivre is infectious and her recipes mouth-watering” This colour illustrated book is packed with Bryony’s own stunning photographs of flowers, vegetables and the wonderful wildlife found in her garden and this title is perfect for readers of Good Housekeeping and fans of Mary Berry and Kirstie Allsopp “Here is a book which can really make you feel both healthy and happy” said Josceline Dimbleby and there are likely to be more great reviews to come – this is Bryony’s seventh book, she has lots of excellent media contacts and was the wife of ex-professional footballer and television pundit Jimmy Hill! It’s just been published by Red Door.

With the resignations of David Davis and Boris plus all the other Cabinet and Brexit shenanigans, it’s a good time to promote Biteback’s Fighters And Quitters: Great Political Resignations by Theo Barclay (hb, £20, 978 1785901041) which reveals the tales of the politicians who fell on their swords and explores the reasons why they did. Who jumped and who was pushed? Who battled to stay in post and who collapsed at the first hint of pressure? Who came back, Lazarus-like, after their resignation for a second act? The book also examines the swathe of sex and spy scandals that have killed dreams of high office, from peers busted in bed with prostitutes to MPs caught cavorting in public parks, and, of course, the Profumo affair.

Poet Caroline Bird whose fifth collection In These Days of Prohibition (978 1784104788, £9.99, pb) has just been published by Carcanet, was brilliant on BBC Radio 4's Poetry Please with Lemn Sissay. You can listen to the whole show here – just skip to 20 minutes in to hear Caroline – but the whole thing is great!

A quiz to finish! Answer seven questions and Buzzfeed will tell you which fictional bookworm you are. Do you see yourself as a Matilda or more or Lisa Simpson? Find out here.  

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

This weekly blog is written for the UK book trade. If you would like to order any of the titles mentioned, then please talk to your Compass Sales Manager, or call the Compass office on 020 8326 5696. Every Friday an e-newsletter containing highlights from the blog is sent out to over 700 booksellers – and if you’d like to receive this then please contact

Friday 6 July 2018

Compass Points 267

That's it, the whole of the UK is now officially totally football loco – all great news for publishers of footie books! Step forward De Coubertin with World in Motion by Simon Hart (£16.99, hb, 978 1909245655) which is the inside story of Italia 90, the tournament which changed football. It was the World Cup of Gazza's tears and Nessun Dorma, a grand spectacle of colour and drama that made football suddenly fashionable again – at least among the wider English public (and salivating television executives). Yet it was also a World Cup low on goals and high on fouls which led to the rewriting of football's rulebook. This book is getting loads of coverage, and has already been serialised in the Guardian which you can read here. “It’s a highly recommended read.”  said ToffeeWeb you can read that here, the Football Book Club podcast chatted to Simon and that’s here, “I found World in Motion to be a superb engrossing read, well researched and put together, with the interviews giving this book a big heart, and a strong sense of nostalgia.” said Ben Cross on his popular blog here, and the second part of the interview with Newstalk was aired this week and that’s here . The Blizzard ran an extract which you can read here, and Richard Jolly looked back to England v Belgium in Italia 90 in the run up to the 2018 England v Belgium game – that’s here. 

In other footie book news, The Away Game: The Epic Search for Football’s Next Superstars (hb, £14.99, hb) which has just been published by Arena Sport and features on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme next Tuesday. Over the past decade, an audacious scheme called Football Dreams has held trials for millions of 13-year-old boys across Africa looking for football’s next superstars. The programme has chosen a handful of boys each year to train to become professionals – a process over a thousand times more selective than getting into Harvard. In The Away Game, reporter Sebastian Abbot follows a small group of the boys as they are discovered on dirt fields across Africa, join the glittering academy in Doha where they train, and compete for the chance to gain fame and fortune at Europe’s top clubs. Abbot masterfully weaves together the dramatic story of the boys’ journey with an exploration of the art and science of trying to spot talent at such a young age. Today will feature a boy from the Football Dreams programme as well as the author; this book was described by International Soccer Network as the “royalty of football literature … easily our favourite read of the year” and I think the Today feature will attract a lot of interest in this gripping story.

In all the excitement of the footie, let’s not forget the other summer sports, and perhaps the most popular in terms of book sales is cricket. 31st August is the 50th anniversary of legendary batsman Garry Sobers world-record six sixes in one over. The bowler was Malcolm Nash who thus achieved sporting immortality but, as he himself notes, although this single over made his name well-known, it should not define his long and distinguished cricketing career. Not Only, But Also: My Life in Cricket (978 1902719719, £19.99, pb) by Malcolm Nash with Richard Bentley is published by St David’s Press fifty years after the historic day in Swansea, and of course looks back at that famous moment but also explores and celebrates Nash’s wider achievements with ball and bat, painting an intriguing and nostalgic picture of county cricket, and the life of a county cricketer, in the 1960s and 1970s. As Peter Walker writes: “People should remember that Malcolm was a wonderful opening many of his peers' minds the best new ball bowler in county.” This story is of a cricketing life full of excitement and incident and there is already confirmed publicity for this book coming in the Guardian and the Mirror with lots more expected.

And if you’d like to see those historic six sixes from 1968 – you can do that here!

Congratulations to Comma and And Other Stories whose titles have been awarded PEN Translated Awards. Books are selected for these awards on the basis of outstanding literary quality, strength of the publishing project, and contribution to literary diversity in the UK. The Comma titles are the forthcoming anthology The Book of Cairo edited by Raph Cormack and a debut collection by Sudanese author Rania Mamoun entitled Thirteen Months of Sunrise which is translated from Arabic by Lissie Jacquette. And Other Stories have The Remainder by Alia Trabucco Zerán, translated from Spanish by Sophie Hughes which is out in November 2018 and To Leave with the Reindeer by Olivia Rosenthal, translated from French by Sophie Lewis which is published in March 2019. You can see the full list of all the titles to win awards here.

Does this annoy you?! Obsessive compulsions are so common that four in every five people display them. Magic numbers, unusual superstitions and intrusive thoughts are all examples of OCs. But why do we have them? Obsessive Compulsions: The OCD of Everyday Life (pb, £13.99, 978 1785928178) looks at their recent increase in human behaviour, and how they are formed in the brain. Showing that these traits are more common in highly educated, intelligent and successful people, it highlights the positive sides of what have previously been seen as negative quirks. “In a time when representations of OCD feature heavily in the media and it has almost become fashionable to claim 'I am a little bit OCD', Dr C. Thomas Gualtieris book offers a frank and illuminating alternative perspective. Through clever use of personal anecdotes and reflection on theory and practice, he seamlessly juxtaposes science with satire to illustrate the trait whilst clearly differentiating it from the often disabling disorder. As a professional working with OCD and anxiety disorders, as well as an individual who can definitely identify with the 'OC trait', I found this to be a thoroughly enjoyable read offering equal measure of edification and amusement” says Dr Sasha Walters.

Abandoned Civilisations (£19.99, hb, 978 1782746676) is the Coffee Table Book of the Week in The Lady next week! From the 9th century temples at Khajuraho in India which were lost in the date palm trees until stumbled across by European engineers in the 19th century to Mayan pyramids in the Guatemalan jungle; to Roman cities semi-buried – but consequently preserved – in the North African desert; this beautiful book explores why societies fall and what, once abandoned, they leave behind to history. With 150 striking colour photographs exploring 100 worlds, Abandoned Civilisations is a fascinating visual history of the mysteries of lost societies. It’s published by Amber on 18 August.

Well done to Andrew James, Senior Commissioning Editor at Jessica Kingsley who has made it onto this year’s Rising Stars list in the Bookseller. JKP have form on this one – their Marketing Manager Sarah Plows was on the list last year! Many congrats Andrew! You can find the list in full here.

There’s plenty of appetite out there still for cracking psychological thrillers – and a new title She Chose Me (pb, £8.99, 978 1787198739) coming in October from Legend looks like a proper page-turner! Grace has returned to London after twenty years abroad to manage her dying mother’s affairs. When she receives a blank Mother’s Day card in the post, she is confused and unsettled. Another card arrives. Then come the silent phone calls. Haunted by disturbing flashbacks, Grace starts to unravel. Someone is out to get her. Someone who knows what she has done. Someone who will make her face the past she has run from for so long. Tracey Emmerson creates an intricate web in this intense psychological thriller whose high energy and fast-pace will have you racing towards the climactic conclusion. Legend are putting a lot of marketing behind this one – you will be seeing full page adverts and side banners for this gripping title in the Bookseller Autumn Buyers Notes very shortly.

Right, we’re half way through the year. But how much of it have you actually remembered? Test yourselves with this 2018-trivia-so-far quiz here!

From transvestite parties to exploding cigars: Ex-nuclear submarine officer lays bare the startling truth about life aboard... and how a sudden disaster plunged them into DEEP trouble reads a cracking headline in the Daily Mail for the extract from On Her Majesty’s Nuclear Service (£19.99, hb, 978 1612005713) which ran last week. You can read the whole article here. This revealing account has had lots of coverage and is already selling rather well – and the Daily Mail piece should give it another big boost. It’s published by Casemate.

Ultimate Folly: The Rises and Falls of Whitaker Wright, the World’s Most Shameless Swindler by Henry Macrory (hb, £20, 978 1785903786) continues to attract attention. The Sunday Times has named it one of their “must reads”, calling it “an unstoppably entertaining account of one of the greatest tycoons and swindlers. Macrory’s colourful biography is racily entertaining, sometimes astonishing, and with global debt now running at $237 trillion, not entirely irrelevant to the way we live now”. Reviews are expected in the Daily Express, Mail on Sunday and Literary Review, and a brilliant two-page feature spread penned by Henry has appeared in this week’s Daily Mirror. Drawing on family papers, private memoirs and archives around the world, this compelling account reads like a thriller and offers an insight into the mind of the ultimate gambler and conman. It’s published by Biteback.

The total antithesis to the world’s Most Shameless Swindler, is possibly Gareth Southgate, and as the internet almost literally explodes in an outpouring of love, I am very much enjoying #GarethSouthgateWould on Twitter with examples of what the adored one would do in any given situation. Have a look here at the twenty best so far!

“This story of life on the run-down Burn council state on the outskirts of Ironopolis, aka Middlesbrough, is as tough and brutal as an unexpected punch in the face could be … you may have to steel yourself to carry on, but it's worth the journey.” A great review of Ironopolis (£8.99, pb, 978 1912109142) in the Northern Echo last week – you can read the whole thing here. It’s published by Parthian.

Following two serialisation extracts in the Mail on Sunday, Geoffrey Robertson QC’s memoir Rather His Own Man (hb, £25, 978 1785903977) has garnered some excellent reviews, with The Times calling it “a rare exception” to the rarely memorable genre of legal autobiography, this is a book “that entertains, informs and inspires”. Hailed as “riveting” in this week’s edition of The Spectator, and “thoroughly entertaining” in the Sunday Times, it’s “a book that might persuade a young person that the law need not be a dull profession”. Additionally, the Sunday Times News Review featured a big interview with Geoffrey discussing his eminent and often glitzy career in last weekend’s paper. More to come shortly in the Daily Telegraph and Times Literary Supplement; it’s published by Biteback.

Ailsa Frank is a leading hypnotherapist with a compassionate yet no-nonsense approach Through one-to-one therapy and her range of successful hypnotherapy recordings, Ailsa has already helped thousands of people to identify what they need to change in order to improve their lives and undoubtably will help many more people with her first self-help book Cut the Crap and Feel Amazing (978 1781809228, £10.99, pb). She says “This is the book I have wanted to give clients for the past ten years. But, until now, it didn’t exist. I know it will help the people who read it.” Her work as a hypnotherapist has been featured in numerous articles in national newspapers and magazines to enthusiastic reviews – a journalist writing in the Express raved "in the month following my first session with Ailsa I have earned an extra £1,000." It has just been featured in the Mail on Sunday’s You Magazine, which has a circulation of over a million readers – so definitely one to stock.  It was published this week by Hay House.

Penguin Random House are currently running a promo where they are giving one lucky winner America's 100 most-loved books. But what are they? And how many of them have you read? Test yourself here and also enter the contest to win the books!

Today is the second anniversary of the publication of the Chilcot Report into the 2003 Iraq War  and, more specifically, Tony Blair’s handling of Iraq’s supposed WMD and its threat to Britain. As Islamic terrorism has increased since the invasion, and with debate periodically breaking out on whether the west should intervene in Syria, The Chilcot Report, which took seven years and cost the taxpayer £10 million to produce, remains an invaluable guide to one of the biggest foreign policy blunders of recent decades. Canbury Press has all 60,000 words of the executive summary in an easy to read 220-page paperback (978 0995497801, pb, £7.99).

The Golden Orphans by Gary Raymond (£8.99, pb, 978 1912109135) has just had a superb review in the Spectator describing it as “intense, unnerving and brilliant” – you can read the whole thing here. This title is, as Patrick Mcguiness said “a sharp, pacy novel that has all the best hallmarks of the literary thriller” and it’s doing really well at the moment, it’s currently the Welsh Book's Council's Book of the Month for July and has spent the last four weeks in the WH Smith top 40 fiction chart as well! It’s published by Parthian.

Who doesn’t love a book with orphans in – as this fun article in the Guardian says, they “exert a gravitational pull on the world: they attract trouble and luck and magic. Without parents, orphans are free to run wild and live large and daring lives.”  Here's  a very definitive list of the top orphan reads, here's  a fascinating article form Literary Hub about why authors love to write about orphans and here's  a Top Ten Awesome Orphans from the movies!

That’s all for now folks! More next week!
This weekly blog is written for the UK book trade. If you would like to order any of the titles mentioned, then please talk to your Compass Sales Manager, or call the Compass office on 020 8326 5696. Every Friday an e-newsletter containing highlights from the blog is sent out to over 700 booksellers – and if you’d like to receive this then please contact