Friday 8 February 2019

Compass Points 292

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump enjoy an extraordinary degree of power. Since taking to the stage in Donald Trump’s 2017 presidential campaign, the glamorous alpha couple of American politics have raised eyebrows with their dizzying ascent, sparking allegations of nepotism and corruption in the Trump empire. Kushner Inc. Greed. Ambition. Corruption. The Extraordinary Story of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump (£14.99, pb, 978 1785905001) was acquired by Biteback this week and will be published on 19th March. In this gripping exposé, bestselling investigative journalist Vicky Ward charts Jared and Ivanka’s journey, exploring the dark secrets that lie behind the ties of family loyalty. From perceived conflicts of interest to misuse of personal email accounts and unexplained meetings with Russian officials, this riveting portrait cuts to the heart of two of the most influential figures in US politics today. Like the President, they are disdainful of rules, laws and ethics. Like him, they are driven by ignorance, arrogance and an insatiable lust for power. And, crucially, like him, they pursue a personal agenda that will have profound consequences for American democracy. The publicity for this one is going to be MEGA, kicking off with a major Channel 4 documentary on 17th March and then Vicky Ward will be on BBC2 Newsnight on 18th March; BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show on 24th March; ITV Good Morning Britain on 19th March; Sky News, All Out Politics on 26th March; LBC with Iain Dale on 19th March; the Moncrieff Show on Newstalk Ireland on 20th March and ABC. There will be features and reviews in the Sunday Times, the Observer, the Spectator, the Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Evening Standard and the Mail on Sunday. This is an author happy to stir up a controversy and a timely publication of a book that should do extremely well!

You may have seen that Alan Turing was named as The Greatest Person of the 20th Century in the live final of BBC Two's Icons series this week. Arcturus have a terrific selection of titles on Turing and Bletchley Park, all of which are listed below and you can also find them on the Arcturus website.  The two titles pictured here are Alan Turing: The Enigma Man (978 1784045357, pb, £4.99) which covers Turing's childhood and school years, his years at Cambridge, the Bombe and its role in defeating the Nazis, the birth of the computer, Turing's conviction for gross indecency, chemical castration and his death. The Alan Turing Codebreakers Puzzle Book (978 1788281911, £10, pb) is published in association with The Turing Trust, and allows readers to test their own codebreaking skills - if you can solve every puzzle in the book you might once have been recruited to join the ranks of Alan Turing's codebreakers! The Trust was set up in 2009 by Alan Turing's closest family and contributes to the future of computer science by supporting people in rural African communities to become computer literate. The full list of Arcturus titles available are: Alan Turing: The Enigma Man (978 1784045357), The Story of Codebreaking (978 1784285449) The Alan Turing Codebreakers Puzzle Book (9781 788281911), The Turing Tests Expert Code Breaker (978 1788887519), The Turing Tests Expert IQ Puzzles (978 1788887526), The Turing Tests Expert Number Puzzles (978 1788887533), The Turing Tests Expert Sudoku (978 1788887502), Bletchley Park Brain Boosting Puzzles (978 1788280389), Bletchley Park Code Breaking Puzzles (978 1788280426), Bletchley Park Codeword Puzzles 2 (978 1788280396), Bletchley Park Cryptic Crosswords (978 1788280433), Bletchley Park IQ Puzzles (978 1788280440), Bletchley Park Logic Puzzles 2 (978 1788280402), Bletchley Park Number and Mathematics (978 1788280457), Bletchley Park One Minute Puzzles (978 1788280419), Bletchley Park Puzzles Braintraining (978 1784044138), Bletchley Park Puzzles Codewords (978 1784044121), Bletchley Park Puzzles Crosswords (978 1784044107), Bletchley Park Puzzles Logic Puzzle (978 1784044114), Bletchley Park Puzzles Sudoku (978 1784044084) and Bletchley Park Puzzles Wordsearch (978 1784044091)

Do Less: A Revolutionary Approach to Time and Energy Management for Busy Mums (978 1401954987, £19.99) gives women the permission and tools to change the way they approach life, and embrace living in tune with the cyclical nature of the feminine. As one reviewer said, Kate Northrup uses her signature, crystal clear wisdom to insist that we stop wearing busyness as a badge of honour and begin to claim our time, our peace, our lives. Then she shows us how” It’s published on 2nd April by Hay House and will be featured in Woman’s Own magazine on March 11th 2019.

Half term looms and for a healthy activity to get stuck into with your kids, look no further than Easy Peasy: Real Coking for Kids (pb, £12.99, 978 1780275284) There’s a fab event coming up in the Edinburgh Bookshop on 16 February with authors Mary Contini and Pru Irvine as they challenge kids to get into the kitchen and cook! The book has sixty genuinely simple recipes guaranteed to tickle the tastebuds, and this event looks like it will be full of food and fun! It’s published by Birlinn.

Hurrah, the reprint is now on the way for Tentacle by Rita Indiana (£8.99, pb, 978 1911508342), thanks very much to all you booksellers for your support for this electric tale of apocalypse sex and time travel from one of the Caribbean’s most extraordinary figures!   If you’d like to read an extract you can do that on the And Other Stories website here. Rita made her name in the Caribbean as a neo-merengue musician, and you can watch some of her music videos here. Or you can read her piece on rap sensation Cardi B for Granta magazine here.

I enjoyed hearing a rousing debate with Ian Dunt, Canbury Press author of Brexit: What the Hell Happens Now? (978 0995497856, £8.99, pb) on the Jeremy Vine Show on Radio 2 this week – you can also hear him on Radio 4 Any Questions here. Based on expert advice, this revised edition of his pithy bestseller (almost 20,000 copies have now been sold) illuminates the UK’s biggest issue, stripped of the spin of its media cheerleaders. The Spectator called it “Admirably brief and necessarily brutal... Whatever your position, you ought to read Dunt because he is willing to face uncomfortable facts. Highly recommended.”

You may have noticed YouTubers: How YouTube Shook Up TV and Created a New Generation of Stars previewed in the Bookseller this week, which called it "both absorbing and highly illuminating." This title is coming from Canbury Press in May and is based on three years of interviews by the British journalist Chris Stokei-Walker with more than seventy-five people. Chris has travelled around the world, attending YouTube events and speaking to producers, powerbrokers and vloggers; and this fascinating title charts the channel’s meteoric rise and attempts to explain what lies behind its extraordinary success.

Brian May was on the Steve Wright Show on Radio 2 again last week, you can listen to that here  . As one of his fans on social media said “Genius, Best guitarist in the world, living legend, beautiful heart, kindest soul, charismatic, lovely, wonderful, friendly, and somebody everyone wants to hang with, even if it's only for a few minutes!! We all love you Dr May. Very much! xxxooo” to which we would add “Hear hear, and you are also one of the best authors we have ever encountered at promoting your books!” Whenever he talks about Mission Moon 3D (£30, 978 1999667405, hb) or Queen in 3D (£30, hb, 978 1999667429) the sales go up – long may it continue!

Ancient Peoples in their Own Words (hb, £19.99, 978 1782747079) is a fascinating premise for a book. Author Michael Kerrigan has taken ancient writing from tomb hieroglyphs to roman graffiti to provide a highly informative, and innovative look into the classical world. Along with famous cases such as the Egyptian Rosetta Stone and Tutankhamun's Tomb, as well as lesser-known examples, biblical texts and a few mysterious, undeciphered cases, this illuminating volume is full illustrated throughout. It’s just been published by Amber and will be featured in All About History magazine this month. It's a two-page article with the front cover shown as well as images from the book.

If any booksellers are thinking of making the jump from shop floor to desk, then they may well be interested in Is Publishing for Me? which is an open day run by And Other Stories on 2nd March at Sheffield Central Library, offering insights into production, editorial, marketing and sales! The £15 ticket price includes lunch and a book and travel bursaries are available. Have a look here for more info.

Jude Jennison started to coach business leaders eight years ago, and early on had a lightbulb moment when she was challenging a group of directors to overcome their fears.  "I thought, 'What am I frightened of? — horses.' So, I decided to go and overcome my fear of horses. In five minutes, I overcame my fear, and in two hours, I learned so much about my leadership." Recognising the potential benefit for others, she trained formally in equine guided leadership and bought her first horse. Now she’s published a book. Leading Through Uncertainty £17.99, pb, 978 1788600194) which is a call to return to the core of humanity to find the natural human characteristics of communication, connection, compassion and community. Jude has drawn on the experience of working with horses to understand the impact of non-verbal communication on leadership. You can read a fascinating article about this on the Financial Management website. It’s published by Practical Inspiration.

Into the River by Mark Brandi won the CWA Debut Dagger and multiple other awards. It’s out in paperback on 1st March and will be the Harrogate Festival’s Book of the Month. Brimming with tension and menace, this is an unforgettable story which was published to great acclaim in Australia. You can find out more on the Legend Press website here.  

We were chuffed that Martina Evans has been shortlisted for the Irish Times Poetry Now Award for Now We Can Talk Openly About Men (pb, £9.99, 978 1784105785). The €2,000 award will be presented as part of the Mountains-to-Sea Book Festival in Dún Laoghaire in late March which has been an annual event since 2005. You can find out more about the award here. Now We Can Talk Openly About Men is a collection in two parts, dramatic monologues touching on the Irish War of Independence and the Civil War (two voices: a dressmaker on laudanum and a stenographer in love with a young revolutionary). It is a book of vivid contrasts: age and youth, women and men, the Irish and the English.

All three of the main newsstand magazines about planes (The Flypast, Pilot and Aeroplane Monthly) have now reviewed The Flying Boat That Fell to Earth: A Lost World of Air Travel and Africa (pb, £9.99, 978-0993291166). Half boat, half aeroplane, taking off in a thrilling tumult of spray, the flying boat was the journey of a lifetime, with legendary Empire boats flying up the Nile in nightly hops and alighting on lakes and in harbours all the way down to South Africa. But in 1939 the Empire boat Corsair came down in fog on a tiny river in the Belgian Congo and, through an epic salvage operation, gave its name to a new village in an obscure backwater of Central Africa.

In May comes a major BBC series about Margaret Thatcher, screened on the fortieth anniversary of her becoming Prime Minister. A good opportunity then to tell you about the paperback edition of People Like Us (978 1785904608, pb £9.99) which has just been published by Biteback. There was a price in this in last week’s Mail on Sunday, and its author, Caroline Slocock was interviewed on Newsnight last week. This book should have a long life in the trade, Caroline comes across well in the media and has been extensively interviewed about working for Margaret Thatcher. There will be more publicity to come!

And Other Stories are enjoying widespread coverage for Australian master Gerald Murnane self-claimed 'final' novel Border Districts and his first novel Tamarisk Row (originally published in 1974.) Both have appeared in the UK for the first time. The Guardian Review commented “Strange and luminous. His books are really about the mind behind their characters: the singular, fascinating consciousness that gives them life.” The Sunday Times said: Border Districts excavates a fascinating subject: the experience of encountering fiction, and what our minds unconsciously conjure for us as we read” while the Spectator enthused: Tamarisk Row is a remarkably acute portrayal of what it is to be a bullied, confused boy, while Border Districts is dazzling for its austerity, its cruel purity. Their sentences ring in the ear, and the novels stay with you.” In the New Statesman, Chris Power wrote a wide-ranging piece on Murnane's life and works, concluding that: “From a boy following Bassett Creek to an old man patrolling the borderlands, Murnane’s books are expeditions that encompass a territory unlike any other.” We expect further reviews in the FT, Observer, Irish Times and the London Review of Books.

And finally, if you love memes then you’ll enjoy these fifteen literature-based ones from Buzzfeed!

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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