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

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