Friday 17 August 2018

Compass Points 272

Do you sometime feel that Britain is being run by public school blaggers – the sort who did PPE at Oxford but don’t really know anything about real life or normal people? Well, you’re not alone in this view, Andrew Greenway and James Ball (whose Post-Truth: How Bullshit Conquered the World did super-well last year) think so too; and Bluffocracy (£10, hb, 978 1785904110) has just been published by Biteback. It has got off to a fantastic start being both the cover and leading front page feature in this week’s Spectator. James and Andrew have written a great piece about “how Britain ended up being run by eloquent chancers” which has already aroused much comment on Twitter! Extracts are due to run in The New European, and the authors have written a dedicated piece for the Big Issue, too. This book chronicles how the UK became hooked on bluffing, how it became what we teach, what we promote and why we have to stop it. At the top of our government, our media, the civil service and business, sit men who know a little bit about everything, and an awful lot about nothing. The UK establishment has signed up to the cult of winging it, of pretending to hold all the aces when you actually hold a pair of twos. It prizes ‘transferable skills’, rewarding the general over the specific – and yet across the country we struggle to hire doctors, engineers, coders and more. This is an important new polemic from the Provocations series – sure to attract a lot more attention!

Bestselling thriller writer Lee Child has given Polygon a terrific endorsement for Black Camp 21 (978 1846974601, pb, £8.99) saying it was “Excellent - a story I never heard before, told with pace and power, and no pulled punches. Highly recommended.” Of course, this has gone straight onto the front cover which should increase the saleability of this electrifying tale which is published on 4 October. Inspired by terrifying actual events, this thriller is set during WW11 when all over Britain, POW camps are filling up with defeated German soldiers and the most dangerous are sent to Camp 21; SS diehards who've sworn death before surrender. Nothing will stop their war, unless it's a bullet. Beneath the wintry mountains, suspicion and fear swirl around like the endless snow. As one fanatic plots a mass breakout and glorious march on London, the story takes its readers on a gut-wrenching journey.

Think you’re pretty brainy? Well here are nine riddles that apparently only people with a high IQ can solve?

The ongoing saga with Palestinian author, journalist, and women’s rights campaigner Nayrouz Qarmout's visa continued this week, with her being twice refused a visa to visit the UK for two events to promote her Comma short story collection The Sea Cloak (978 1905583782, pb, £9.99). It is published on 4 October and is a collection of stories drawing from her own experiences growing up in a Syrian refugee camp, as well as her current life in Gaza. These stories stitch together a patchwork of different perspectives into what it means to be a woman in Palestine today and offer rare insights into one of the most talked about, but least understood cities in the Middle East. This was reported in the Bookseller, Reuters, the Guardian, and Channel 4 News.  Happily, the decision has now been overturned and Nayrouz has been granted a visa – watch this space for events!

What’s your favourite punctuation mark? Well, Comma naturally has a place in our hearts here at Compass, but I’m also partial to a semi-colon. Which apparently means that my fictional soulmate is Thor! See what your fondness for inverted commas says about you here.

Some amazing reviews for People in the Room by Norah Lange (978 1911508229, £10, pb) which has just been published by And Other Stories and is Book of the Week in the London Review Bookshop. The Spectator  described it as “hallucinatory and unsettling”; the Irish Times “masterful and deeply mysterious” and the Times Literary Supplement praised its “rhythmic, propulsive prose, powerfully translated by Charlotte Whittle” with its reviewer comparing Lange to Emily Dickinson and Virginia Woolf.  The Guardian ran a considered reassessment of the work of “this ground-breaking poet and novelist” and their review of the book is expected this weekend. Words Without Borders has made People in the Room a highlight of their #WITmonth recommendations to subscribers, you can read that here  and it has also been featured prominently by the Asymptote journal, who call it “unique in content and form”. And finally, translator Charlotte Whittle has written a great piece for the And Other Stories  blog on her experience rediscovering Lange's work; that’s here.

The non-stop news cycle this summer has provided some of Biteback’s Provocations authors with ample opportunity to discuss their older polemics in the context of this week’s political discussions. Claire Fox and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown have both appeared on BBC Newsnight and written columns in The i and Quillette expanding on ideas from I Still Find That Offensive (£10, hb, 978 1785904165) and Refusing the Veil (978 1849547505, £10, hb).

A recent survey has revealed that almost one in four Americans has not read a single book in the past year. This highly amusing TV programme survey went one better and just asked Americans to name a book. Any book – whether or not they’d read it. It didn’t go well.

Detectives probing murder of the Putin critic Nikolay Glushkov have just released CCTV of a black van spotted near exiled businessman's London home the day before he was found dead. His murder came eight days after the assassination attempt on Sergei Skripal and a post-mortem showed he died before being strung up, suggesting staged suicide. The piece in this week’s Mail (which you can see here) says that “in his book The Putin Corporation, author Yuri Felshtinsky relates a claim that on Putin's instructions if he wanted to obtain Mr Glushkov's release, Mr Berezovsky was told he would have to renounce all political activity and sell all his media holdings, everything, including the newspapers.” The Putin Corporation: How to Poison Elections (978 1908096258 £9.99, pb) is published by Gibson Square and describes in gripping detail Vladimir Putin’s ruthless modus operandi in Russia. The Times called it “required reading” and the Telegraph “explosive.”

Would you describe yourself as a slightly odd book nerd? Well, apparently, if you’ve done 15/20 of these things, then yes, you are!

November sees the 100th year anniversary of the end of WW1, and Arcturus have three excellent poetry collections which commemorate this event. A Collection of Haunting Voices from the Great War (£16.99, 978 1784286880, hb) is a handsome 231x150mm hardback with a slipcase. The Poetry of World War 1 (978 1788287739, pb, £6.99) and In Flanders Fields and Other Poems of the First World War (978 1782123033, hb, £7.99) is a 165x105mm hardback with a slipcase.
Here are six gems about book marketing from Rachel Maund, director of publishing consultancy Marketability reminding us for example of Napoleon Bonaparte’s belief that “There are two motives to action: self-interest and fear.” How does that relate to promoting books? Have a read and find out!

In May it was the 70th anniversary of the Israeli Declaration of Independence. On 9 Dec it will be 40 years since the death of Golda Meir. A good time therefore to remind you about Golda Meir and the Birth of Israel (£12.99, pb, 978 1906142186) by Elinor Burkett published by Gibson Square. This is the first paperback edition of the biography of this important figure and tells the story of Israel through the life of one of 20th century's most iconic politicians. The Mail called it, “excellent,” the Guardian “fair-minded.” Golda Meir was instrumental in the creation of Israel as a sovereign state in 1948 and was one of the signatories of its Declaration of Independence. Mining unpublished archival treasures, this is authoritative biography revises the perception of this towering figure in modern history. As the first Iron Lady, Meir created the precedent for future female political leaders such as Theresa May and Margaret Thatcher (who admired her and borrowed the term 'Iron Lady'). In this riveting new biography, she receives a warts and all look at her life whose approach Burkett believes may offer answers to our own century’s problems.

Obscenity and the Arts (pb, £12.99, 978 0993037863) is a new 50th anniversary edition of a lecture from 1968 on the subject of pornography and censorship by Anthony Burgess published by Pariah Press in September. It has a new introduction by Burgess’ biographer Andrew Biswell, and contributions from Germaine Greer, Marie Said and Adam Griffiths. There’s already been a great piece on this in the TLS and the Guardian and London Review of books are among the others who have said they will review it.

Only one musician we could possibly end with this week – Aretha, we say a little prayer for you.

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 10 August 2018

Compass Points 271

Sadly, I think the lead story this week has to be the violent attack on the London bookshop Bookmarks. As its manager David Gilchrist writes in the Guardian here; when the far right targets books, it should ring alarm bells for us all.  This was a group of so-called alt-right protesters who decided that a socialist bookshop, which stocks radical literature and working-class history titles was a legitimate target for violence. Since the assault, UKIP has suspended three of its members – you can read about that on the BBC here.  Following the attack, messages of encouragement from around the world have poured in, and of course Compass would also like to add our support to this brilliant bookshop. Bookmarks is holding a solidarity event in the shop tomorrow (Saturday 11 August) from 2pm, and throughout the afternoon there will author readings as well as speakers from the trade union and labour movement. Gilchrist said: “This horrific attack on a radical bookshop should send shivers down the spine of anyone who knows their history. The Nazis targeted books because they knew how important radical ideas are for challenging racism and fascism. The same is true today, and that is why we have to show that we won’t be intimidated.” Bookmarks is also calling on supporters to donate funds to help bolster security in the shop and to replace lost stock – go to the shop’s Facebook page to find out more.

Canbury Press have just announced a terrific new title for the autumn;  Under the Wig: A Lawyer’s Stories, of Murder, Guilt and Innocence (hb, £16.99, 978 1912454082); you may have seen a piece about it in the Bookseller here.  It will recount William Clegg QC’s rich experiences in the top echelon of the English criminal law over the past forty years. Clegg has fought more than a hundred murder cases, more than anyone else currently practising at the English Bar, and in this vivid memoir, revisits his most notorious and intriguing trials, from the acquittal of Colin Stagg to the murder of Jill Dando, and from Britain’s first Nazi war criminal to the man given life because of an earprint. All the while he lays bare the secrets of his profession, from the rivalry among barristers to the nervous moments before a verdict and how our right to a fair trial is now in great peril. Other cases featured include the murder of Rachel Nickell on Wimbledon Common, the Chillenden murders (Dr Lin and Megan Russell), the serial killer Robert Napper, the trial of paratrooper Lee Clegg, the Rebekah Brooks phone hacking trial and the murder of Joanna Yeates. I think this book is going to be mega and is certain to get tons of publicity. Canbury describe the writing as “a turbo-charged narrative which will intrigue and thrill.” Clegg, 67, has spent three years writing his book, which will be published in hardback on 4th October.

“I had always wondered, when reading Nora Ephron, if Ireland ever had an equivalent. Someone witty and female who would not only call a spade a spade but acknowledge the blade, the handle and the funny way it sticks out of the earth. Recently, I discovered that person in Nuala O’Faolain. Her memoir is equal parts hilarious, tragic and wonderfully gossipy.” Are You Somebody? (£7.99, pb, 978 1848406858) gets a rave review in a recent Guardian feature Ten Lost Women’s Classics which you can read here. Ten years after Nuala’s tragic death, New Island have brought out a lovely anniversary edition of this title which was a New York Times number one bestseller on its publication in 1996 and one of New Island’s biggest successes ever with world-wide sales in excess of 1.3 million. This new edition is aimed at a new generation of readers with an introduction by the current shooting star of Irish writing, June Caldwell. Zoe Heller said “this book has to be read” and Roddy Doyle called it “an extraordinary, powerful memoir. It is beautifully written, with an honesty that is both sensitive and stark.”

An interesting article here in the Bookseller about the rise and possibly fall of “influencer marketing” for books; with five ideas for how to update your approach to stimulating word of mouth promotion.

We’ve all heard of pets who warned their owners of danger just in time, or who protected them from harm and of pets who have somehow brought healing and even displayed psychic powers. If you've ever felt you had a truly special connection with your cat or dog, guess what you probably do! Jenny Smedley has spent her life communicating with animals both live and departed and in this collection of true stories she has collected from across the globe, she will show you that your instincts are correct: pets really do communicate with us and have souls! Dogs and Cats Have Souls Too: Incredible True Stories of Pets Who Heal, Protect and Communicate (978 1788170659, £12.99, pb) has just been published by Hay House, and has recently been extracted in July’s Psychic News and Soul & Spirit magazine.

It’s Women in Translation month, and the Poetry Book Society are promoting Evelyn Schlag’s All Under One Roof (£12.99. pb, 978 1784102241) translated by Karen Leeder and published by Carcanet on their website as one of their five best translated female poets – you can see that here. “Evelyn Schlag's poems have a kind of discreet presence; once spoken they have claimed their permanent place in the lyric cosmos”.

The Little Book of Awe and Wonder: A Cabinet of Curiosities (pb, £12.99, 978 1781353080) by Dr Matthew McFall sold very well for Crown House in hardback and is out in paperback next week. This little gem of a book challenges readers of all ages to extend their thinking processes and has page after page of pictures, proverbs and puzzles to stimulate their imagination, pique their curiosity, encourage their humility and arouse their awe! It is an extraordinary collection of the inspiring, the informative, the weird and the wonderful and would be an excellent bedside book or a marvellous birthday present for the intellectually lively!

Reading copies are now available for any bookseller who’d like to sample Mark Hodkinson’s new novel That Summer Feeling (pb, £9.99, 978 1904590323) which is published by Pomona on 15 October. 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 this literate and enigmatic book coalesces genres, among them coming-of-age, northern, and comic. If you’d like a copy then email with your details and That Summer Feeling in the subject line.

A super review for M. John Harrison's You Should Come With Me Now (pb, £9.99, 978-1910974346) this week in Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction“Harrison is a satirist who gives his stories space in which to breathe. His narratives give their readers some purchase to climb but, once they think they have reached the summit, tantalizingly close to a revelation, they re-orient the reader to reveal only more questions and mysteries.” M. John Harrison’s work sits at the boundaries between horror and science fiction, fantasy and travel writing just as his characters occupy the no mans land between the spatial and the spiritual. This is his first collection of short fiction for over fifteen years; weird stories for weird times and it’s published by Comma.

A great feature on George Washington Wilson: Artist and Photographer (hb, £30, 978 0957424692) in the Guardian which you can read here. Entitled Love of My Life: Brian May to Launch Book on Victorian Photographer it has loads of great publicity on Brian’s passion for the royal photographer and this lavishly illustrated biography which will be officially launched by London Stereoscopic at the Edinburgh Lit Fest next week.

Lucy Fisher's Biteback biography of Emily Wilding Davison: The Martyr Suffragette (£12.99, pb, 978 1785904127) has been very favourably received in The Observer, who said it is “a compelling examination of the short but eventful life of the suffragette Emily Wilding Davison. This skilful biography makes a convincing case for Davison having achieved a great deal more than simply being a martyr to the cause.” Another review is expected in the Times shortly and Lucy will be making some broadcast appearances in August.

Comma has always struggled to obtain visas for its Middle Eastern writers to visit the UK, and unfortunately it seems to be getting even more difficult. There have been a recent spate of visa rejections for UK literary festivals; you can read discussions about this issue by Edinburgh Book Festival director Nick Barley here in the Guardian and the Bookseller .

The Story of Computing: From the Abacus to Artificial Intelligence (£9.99, hb, 978 1788280303) by Alan Turing’s nephew Dermot Turing, is a history of computing from its earliest days, when individual mathematicians worked as 'computers' making calculations for their rulers, to the modern day. Subjects range from Babbage's difference engine to the creation of the Colossus in the codebreaking efforts of the Second World War to artificial intelligence and the new risks presented by cybercrime. The book is an entertaining and interesting read with very little techno-babble, and lots of trivia to really bring the story alive. Pretty much anyone with even a passing interest in computers would find it fascinating, and it could also work an ancillary text for a computer science course. It’s just been published by Arcturus and you can watch a short film of Dermot talking about it here.  

There has been quite a bit of press activity around The Man on the Middle Floor by Elisabeth S Moore (978 1910453544, £8.99, pb) which Red Door describe as “Lionel Shriver meets Mark Haddon” and Piers Morgan said was “A page-turning thriller with a twist.” It was included in the Times Summer Read list of only nine books! The author is planning some more advertising around this activity and the Byline festival she is speaking at. Highlights include an interview on Talk Radio, a Staffordshire Living feature on Best Poolside Reads, a piece in Marie Claire and an article on Female First.

Little Gold (978 1787199958, pb, £9.99) by Allie Rogers published by Legend is one of the six titles shortlisted for the The Polari First Book Prize. You can find out more about that here. Established in 2011, this award is for a first book which explores the LGBT experience, in prose or poetry, fiction or non-fiction and the winner will be announced on 20th October 2018 at the London Literature Festival. Little Gold is a moving and atmospheric novel about the importance of friendship and the pain and wonder of leaving behind childhood. Reviewers have praised its vivid depiction of a Brighton summer in the 1980s and its complex and intriguing characters.

And to finish, just for fun, let’s hear a bit of There’s A Wocket in my Pocket from @DrSeussRapper 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 3 August 2018

Compass Points 270

On 1 July 2018, Andrés Manuel López Obrador was elected as the next President of Mexico. A progressive politician, AMLO’s campaign galvanised people across Mexico and his decisive victory speaks volumes about the corrupt state of the Mexican political elite, the temperament of the country’s people, and the election of Trump, who publicly derides the Mexican people as drug dealers, criminals and rapists. Pluto are thrilled to have won a major bidding war to publish A New Hope for Mexico: Saying No to Corruption, Violence, and Trump’s Wall (pb, £12.99, 978 0745339535) which in AMLO’s own words, paints a picture of a country plagued by cronyism and neoliberalism, and declares the dawn of a new era, vowing to uplift poor, indigenous communities and provide jobs and welfare for all. This is a vital book – AMLO’s election has huge implications for the Mexican people and the United States, and there will be loads of publicity! It will be extracted in the Guardian, and there will be author interviews on BBC Radio 4 Today, BBC 2 Newsnight, and the ITV News as well as big features in the FT and Economist and reviews in all the major broadsheets. There is a launch event partnership with Guardian Live and endorsements from Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders, Yanis Varoufakis. Pluto are mounting a social media campaign around the theme of Who is AMLO? and there will be special promotional merchandise available for booksellers: campaign tote bags, hats, postcards available as well as proof copies; contact for more info. It will be published in October, on the eve of AMLO’s inauguration, capturing a political moment that will be game-changing in the fight against Trump’s America.

Vegetable Cakes: The Most Fun Way to Five a Day (£10, hb, 978 0754833246) by Ysanne Spevac  is out on 7 September from Lorenz. This gorgeously illustrated hardback has just been featured in Waitrose magazine with some fabulous photographs which is fantastic publicity! This baking book with a difference brings you a kale and coconut gateau, asparagus and sesame cake, a carrot and coriander traybake, cheesecakes made with fennel and pumpkin ... delicious baking with major health benefits, what’s not to love! From beetroot cheesecake to radish-topped pavlova, smuggling veg into meals has never been easier or more enticing; the photos of the vibrant veggie creations in this book are truly fabulous.

What do you think about internet celebrities? Well, whatever your views, chances are that most of your assumptions are wrong says digital anthropologist and Emerald author Crystal Abidin! Here are five common misconceptions about internet celebrities from Female First that you can find in her new book, Internet Celebrity: Understanding Fame Online (£16.99, pb, 978 1787560796, which is part of Emerald’s Society Now series. This book presents a framework for thinking about the different forms of internet celebrity that have emerged over the last decade, to consolidate key ideas about cultures of online fame. Have a read of her article to find out about things you didn’t even know you wanted to know about like the plane bae romance and the Bad Luck Brian meme!

There's some great publicity on the way for the publication of Norah Lange’s People in the Room (£10, pb, 978 1911508229) which is out next week from And Other Stories. There will be reviews in the Guardian, TLS, Spectator and Literary Review and a profile of Norah in the Guardian Online. Lange's imaginative excesses and almost hallucinatory images make this uncanny exploration of desire, domestic space, voyeurism and female isolation a twentieth-century masterpiece. Too long viewed as Borges's muse, Lange is today recognised in the Spanish-speaking world as a great writer and is here translated into English for the first time, to be read alongside Virginia Woolf, Clarice Lispector and Marguerite Duras.

Lots of buzz around Refugee Tales this week – the Guardian Books Podcast features journalist Claire Armistead's time on the most recent Refugee Tales walk, calling it “ a visionary project amplifying the voices of refugees” and you can listen to that  here.  And you also may have seen that the Comma crowdfunder campaign with Refugee Tales has already hit its target! The campaign featured a statement read by actress and Comma patron Maxine Peake, calling for a 28-day time limit for detainees. Comma have since published two further videos, with actresses Zoe Wanamaker here and Sheila Hancock here reading the same statement. Refugee Tales 1 (pb, £9.99, 978-1910974230) and 2 (pb, £9.99, 978-1910974308) are both available now.

Alan Wilkins will be chatting today with the legendary Aggers at Edgbaston on the BBC during the cricket tea interval about his book Easier Said Than Done: A Life in Sport (£20, hb, 978 1902719610). From boy racer in Cardiff, to first-class cricket, to life as a sports broadcaster, this is sure to be extremely entertaining – as is the book itself which is out from St David’s Press now! Alan’s has been out and about at cricket matches chatting (you can hear him on BBC Radio Gloucestershire here ) and signing copies of his memoirs all over the place this summer: Cardiff, Bristol, Headingly, Trent Bridge, Old Trafford  and Lords to name just a few! This absorbing hardback should sell well right through to Christmas!

We’re always keen to spread the word about our wonderful indie publishers in any way – so we’re pleased to tell you about a new platform called Readers and Publishers which you can find out more about here.  The Carcanet page is here. I do hope this takes off and we see even more publishers on the site – could be a great way to find new readers!

There’s a terrific interview here with director Eamon Bourke talking to writer Robert Minhinnick about his Wales Book of the Year winning Carcanet collection, Diary of the Last Man (£9.99, pb, 978 1784103484 ) and the new documentary film it has inspired. The judges commented on the importance and relevance of these “vital and visionary” poems as reactions to and against the times we find ourselves and the film will be screened at various festivals in the coming months (including the Swansea Fringe Festival, 5-7 October) alongside readings from Robert. You can watch a trailer for it here.  

A lovely review in the TLS for The Heart’s Granary (£30, hb, 978 1911253280) which marks the fiftieth anniversary of Enitharmon Press. Compiled by Lawrence Sail, it is a personal selection that conveys the Press’s striking range and coherence – international in reach, while true to its Blakean vision. Including prose as well as poems, with more than 120 contributors, and with full-colour illustrations by some of the many well-known artists who represent another facet of Enitharmon’s achievements; the anthology creates new contexts for writers, translators and artists, and is a touchstone of the journeys undertaken by writers in a world that has changed radically since the publisher’s beginnings in 1967. The TLS called it “Not only a commemoration of a remarkable publishing venture but a rich and rewarding demonstration of poetry’s variety.”

Some terrific reviews coming in for The First Bridge Too Far (£22.50, hb, 978 1612006895) which has just been published by Casemate. The Recollections of WW11 blog said “The Battle of Primosole Bridge is brought to life in a well-researched narrative solely dedicated to one of the bloodiest and hardest fought battles for British airborne troops of World War Two.” You can read the whole piece here. This absorbing story of courage and determination is at times breathlessly exciting, but the author does not shy away from the grim horrors, appalling waste of the lives and shocking list of missed lessons. There are useful parallels drawn with modern operations.

Fantastic to see Carcanet, Saqi and Comma all taking part in the BookBlast Tour this September! This nationwide festival of indie publishing will be travelling to major cities across England, showcasing some of the finest independent-spirited literature and poetry being published today. The tour is in association with Waterstones, and will visit nine regions of England, celebrating risk-taking publishers who fill a unique niche in discovering extraordinary writing. Writing that surprises, amazes and intrigues. Writing that challenges, disrupts and demands. Writing that is from the margins of culture portraying areas of life that the traditionalist mainstream often ignores. The tour will inspire readers, existing and new, to explore what’s happening in different parts of the world now, and to immerse themselves in the unfamiliar. BookBlast runs from 11 September – 15 November 2018 and you can find out more about it here.  

Those of us who are fans of William Makepeace Thackeray’s classic 1848 novel Vanity Fair are already getting rather overexcited about the ITV and Amazon seven-part adaptation that features Olivia Cooke playing Becky Sharp, as she attempts to claw her way out of poverty and scale the heights of English society. Her story of villainy, crime, merriment, lovemaking, jilting, laughing, cheating, fighting and dancing, takes her all the way to the court of King George IV, via the Battle of Waterloo, breaking hearts and losing fortunes along the way – and it looks brilliant – you can watch a trailer here.  Lots of editions available – but let me draw your attention to this one (978 1788881876, pb, £6.99) which is out next week from Arcturus, and is beautifully presented with a striking cover, easy-to-read type and an excellent price point without compromising on style or content. The series starts in September – I can’t wait!

Inequality is the key political issue of our time. The gap between the very rich and the rest is wider in Britain than in any other large country in Europe. In Peak Inequality: Britain’s Ticking Time Bomb (pb, £12.99, 978 1447349075) which has just been published by Policy Press, Danny Dorling brings together brand new material alongside a selection of his most recent writing on inequality from publications as wide ranging as the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, New Statesman, Financial Times and the China People's Daily. Covering key inequality issues including politics, housing, education and health, he explores whether we have now reached peak inequality. There’s a great piece on this title here in the New Statesman, and I am loving this picture of it lording it over Mrs Thatcher in Foyles this week!

A nice review of There to Be Shot At (£20, hb, 978 1909245617) by Tony Coton in When Saturday Comes, which you can read here.  “Throughout this lively autobiography, former Birmingham City, Watford and Manchester City goalkeeper Tony Coton comes across as a straightforward, likeable character with a strong work ethic and sense of loyalty to family and friends – albeit a man you wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of. An engaging book.” Tony Coton is considered as one of the best goalkeepers never to play for England and in this "riveting new autobiography." (The Telegraph) he deals with the minutiæ of goalkeeping: what it takes to succeed, how to improve and whether, as commentators say, you really need to be mad to be one. It’s just been published by De Coubertin

Has kindness become the new cool? David R Hamilton certainly thinks so, and in this entertaining article in Grazia magazine he argues that kind has become the buzz word of summer 2018 and culturally, we’re at the heart of a revolution. The waistcoated one may be the personification of cool kindness, but he isn’t the only one leading the charge. Queer Eye is 2018’s breakout TV success, and is a show centred on kind men; we’ve also unexpectedly fallen under the spell of kind comedy Gone Fishing, and podcasts such as Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place top the charts. David’s Hay House book I Heart Me: The Science of Self-Love (978 1781801840, £10.99, pb) has had so many positive reviews, and is, as the Sun wrote “is packed with powerful exercises designed to increase your level of self-worth, which will make you stronger and happier. Interesting and thought-provoking stuff.”

It was the world premiere of Daphne Oram’s major orchestral work Still Point lovingly pieced together from archive material at a special Proms tribute to the godmothers of electronica, earlier this month, and the concert got a lot of coverage – you can watch it again here.  Oram's only book An Individual Note of Music Sound and Electronics (£20, hb, 978 1910221112) which was first published in 1972 and was out of print for many years, is now available in a new edition from Anomie. This playful yet compelling manifesto from the dawn of electronic music is a unique perspective from one of Britain's greatest (if woefully under recognised) composers. It’s a handsome hardback edition, and includes a number of beautiful archival images that the original did not, and with its striking design it comes highly recommended for anyone with an interest in music of any type.

A busy week for Biteback’s The Briefing (hb, £20, 978 1785903809), with Sean Spicer attracting a lot of attention on both sides of the Atlantic. The book has amassed many column inches this week from  The GuardianMail OnlineDaily TelegraphDaily MirrorThe Independent, and on the other side of the pond pieces in the Wall Street JournalThe Washington PostNewsweek, and Vanity Fair. Spicer's broadcast appearances have prompted much discussion, especially his interview with Emily Maitlis on  Newsnight which has been much commented on on social media this week, and which Emily Maitlis analyses in an article in yesterday's The Times, T2. Spicer also appeared on Good Morning Britain and had another fiery exchange, on LBC, where he discussed the book with Iain Dale. You can watch that interview here.

Dark Chapter (£8.99, pb, 978 1785079061) by Winnie M Li has had some truly astonishing endorsements from other novelists recently. Sara Pascoe wrote “The novel is as disturbing and entertaining as any crime thriller is. But Li is writing from experience, fictionalising her attack as a way to explore how the legal system treats rape victims, and the real effects of such an experience. Most interestingly, Li fleshes out the mind of the rapist: the experiences that have shaped him and which legitimise his behaviour to himself. I really want lots of people to find it and read it.” Joyce Carol Oates said “I highly recommend Dark numbness, stifled rage, female victim alternating with rapist - how circumstances and accident come together tragically” and A.L. Kennedy called it “extraordinarily courageous... humbling... A remarkable book to read in this time.” Now its author Winnie M Li has done a TEDx London talk on reframing the way we think about sexual violence which you can watch  here, there was a big piece on it in Metro and it has been nominated for the Edgar Award for Best First Novel 2018.

If you’re a book blogger keen on gender diversity issues, then maybe you’d like to review a new trans teen guide from Jessica Kingsley? The Trans Teen Survival Guide (pb, £12.99, 978 1785923418) by Owl and Fox Fisher is out at the end of September and is a frank, friendly and funny, manual which will leave transgender and non-binary teens informed, empowered and armed with all the tips, confidence and practical advice they need to navigate life. Direct mesage JKP on Twitter to get your hands on a copy!

Any booksellers looking for window or instore display inspo, could do worse than to look at these fab pics on Buzzfeed one book lover turned Bookstagrammer who has very successfully turned his book collection into art with a real wow factor !

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

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