Friday 26 April 2019

Compass Points 302

May sees the 20th anniversary of the unprecedented and so-far-unrepeated achievement by a British football club – Manchester United winning the Treble! Arena Sport are publishing a new updated edition of The Promised Land: Manchester United's Historic Treble by Daniel Harris (978 1909715875, £9.99, pb) to mark this occasion. It relives these breathless moments on a month-by-month basis, taking you into the dressing room, onto the pitch and into the minds of those involved, to explain why it all worked and how it all happened – with the perspective afforded by twenty years’ distance. On 26th May, Sir Alex Ferguson will be returning to the Old Trafford dugout to manage a Manchester United XI in a 20th anniversary repeat of their dramatic 2-1 Champions League final win over Bayern Munich which is bound to get loads of coverage – all good for the book.  Daniel Harris writes for the Guardian, does loads of work on football blogs and has over 21k followers on Twitter. This is a tale of astounding football, exceptional competition, staggering determination, ceaseless tension, astonishing plot twists, and a cast of fascinating, iconic characters, which there will undoubtably be a big market for.

Publication date approaches for The Polyglot Lovers (£10, pb, 978 1911508441) and the finished copies are looking absolutely beautiful, with Wibalin end pages and a foiled cover. Ferocious and irreverent, this multiple prize-winning novel burns down the pretensions of a pompous literary establishment and takes no prisoners. The Polyglot Lovers is a fiercely witty and nuanced contribution to feminism in the #metoo era. And Other Stories have some Polyglot Lovers themed bookmarks available which complement the book very well, and if any bookseller would like some then please contact If you’d like to read an extract, then that’s here.  

Congratulations to Carcanet (who have been shortlisted for the Diversity Award for the fifth year in a row) and also to 404Ink, Kogan Page (two nominations), Crown House and Pluto, who are all on the shortlists for this years Independent Publishers Guild Awards which will be announced at a dinner next week! You can see the full shortlists here.  

Talk Radio Europe recently conducted a fascinating interview with ER Hooton about his new book Spain in Arms: A Military History of the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 (£25, hb, 978 1612006376) During the talk, Ted provided information on the complex and confusing background of the Civil War, the 80th anniversary of its end and the intricacies of the Barcelona Campaign, Ernest Hemmingway, the International Brigade and how foreign intervention has tainted and distorted the war. If you would like to listen to the radio broadcast yourself, it can be found here here. The book is based upon nearly 60 years of extensive research to produce a radically different but more accurate account of the battles and the factors and men who shaped them. It’s published next Tuesday by Casemate.

Here’s an update on the upcoming publicity for The Model Manifesto: An A-Z Anti-Exploitation Manual for the Fashion Industry (978 1788600651, pb, £14.99) which is published next week. We’ve just had an interview confirmed with author Leanne Maskell for The Lorraine Show, ITV on 9 May and BBC London TV News have confirmed a piece on it on the 6:30 News on 10th May! The Times will be out between 29th April and 1st May; Grazia are running an online piece on 1st May; The Week, Independent, Healthista, Into View and The Scene (BBC Radio London) will all be out 2nd May and BBC Radio Manchester are running an interview on Friday 3 May. This empowering title includes solid advice on everything from mental health issues to paying tax and covers every aspect of the modelling industry in detail to give an honest and realistic insider view.

Islandeering: Adventures Around the Edge of Britain's Hidden Islands (£16.99, pb, 978 1910636176) is out next week, and there’s what looks like a brilliant event coming up at Stanfords in Bristol to promote it on 13th June where author Lisa Drewe will be talking all about her adventures. With detailed maps and directions (including downloadable GPX files), Islandeering is the essential guide to discovering the best offshore lands for everything from epic tidal crossings  where you can race the tide across vast sands and rocky causeways; idyllic, white-sand beaches; perfect places for contemplation; fantastic flora and fauna; secret swims and the best spots to see basking sharks, orcas, dolphins, sea otters, puffins and whales! There are 50 incredible islands in this inspiring book and as always it features the unbeatable Wild Things blend of engaging travel writing and superb photography.

Here’s the fourth print run of Teach Your Dog Welsh (£7.99, pb, 978 1912631025) coming off the press! An amazing 6,000 copies of this have now been printed! Suitable as a first introduction to Welsh for learners of all ages, this is the perfect gift for dog-lovers and also ideal for tourists who would like a fun way to pick up a few basic words when visiting Wales as many of the words and phrases can also be used in non dog-related situations! It includes a pronunciation guide for every phrase and has beautiful retro-style illustrations throughout. It’s published by Y Lolfa.

I have not one, not two, but THREE bits of podcast news to bring you this week concerning Comma! Firstly publisher Ra Page was recently on the Guardian Books podcast this week discussing the importance of place and region in literature, you can listen to that here. Secondly, there was a very special episode of the YYY Podcast which you can listen to here dedicated to the brilliant sci-fi anthology Iraq + 100 featuring conversations with Ra Page, contributing author Anoud and a Comma reader. Iraq + 100 (£9.99, pb, 978 1905583669) collects stories by Iraqi authors all set a century after the American and British led invasion. The Atlantic said of it, "Dazzling and disorienting, these stories are not just reflections of turmoil, but also yearnings for peace and a connection with Iraq’s past grandeur." And finally, don’t forget to check out Comma’s own podcast which is now available on Spotify, iTunes, Soundcloud, TuneIn and Stitcher – it’s got 5-star ratings on iTunes! Series one focuses on the best-selling collection Protest: Stories of Resistance (£12.99, pb, 978 1910974438) and each podcast episode features an author and historical consultant alongside a third guest who will be connected to the cause or movement, either directly, or in a more contemporary way, You can find out more and listen to all the episodes so far here.

Talking of protest, it was fun to see the author of the foreword to the second edition of Rebel Footprints (£12.99, pb, 978 0745338552) Ash Sarkar on Have I Got News For You last week, you can watch that here. The radical response to conservative heritage tours and banal day-tripper guides, Rebel Footprints brings to life the history of social movements in the capital, transporting readers from well-known landmarks to history-making hidden corners. As Jeremy Corbyn said, “Anyone reading this will walk the streets of our city with a different view of the world, and what people can do when they act together.” It’s just been published by Pluto.

In anticipation of the Man Booker International Prize winner announcement on Tuesday 21st May, Foyles Charing Cross Road are hosting an event with the shortlisted translators for an evening of insight into the art of translation, and of course Sophie Hughes, the translator of The Remainder, will be there! You can see her here with its author Alia Trabucco Zerán. Sophie will also be at Brightfest on Monday 6 May.

The vegan revolution is here to stay and The Vegan Cookbook (£15, hb, 978 0754834441) by Tony and Yvonne Bishop-Weston is a fully updated and expanded new edition of a great classic book, with 140 enticing vegan recipes. It outlines the latest advice on key nutrients and, along with favourite vegan mainstays, offers new exciting recipes to prove that being vegan does not mean excluding comfort food, sweet treats, or wickedly savoury delights. A detailed introduction advises you on ingredients, nutrition, easy-fixes for packed lunches, pitfalls to avoid when eating out, and much more. Yvonne Bishop-Weston ran the pioneering vegetarian catering company Cranks Restaurants and was the vegetarian face of The Food Doctor so both she and Tony really know their stuff. You can flick through the book online here – it’s just been published by Lorenz. 

Those of us in the Western world have near-unlimited information at our fingertips, we are healthy and safe, and we have wealth and possessions beyond what most of the world can dream of. However, we are more stressed than we have ever been and despite the potential of prosperity, our fears are undiminished. The Power of Less by Leo Babuta (978 1848501164, £9.99, pb) is a handbook of simplicity, showing the reader how to know what you want, and what you need, how to choose what is essential, and clear out the rest. It will be featured in Woman’s Own in June and also in a July issue of Psychologies and it’s published on 6 July by Hay House.

And finally, where do you think it Britain’s most literary location? Bath? Edinburgh? Well, hold onto your hats – it might just be… Chiswick! According to an article in the Observer here the west London suburb can count 250 writers as present and former residents, including Betjeman Burgess, Thackeray and Yeats! Among Chiswick’s line-up, now set out for inspection on a literary timeline, are two winners of the Nobel prize in literature, one Booker prize winner, two Oscar winners and a poet laureate. And yours truly must declare a special interest in this erudite boast, as Chiswick is also the home of Compass Points!

That’s all 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

Thursday 11 April 2019

Compass Points 301

We’re so thrilled that The Remainder (£10, pb, 978 1911508328), the debut novel by Chilean author Alia Trabucco Zerån and translated by Sophie Hughes is one of the six titles to be shortlisted this week for the £50,000 Man Booker International Prize. This remarkable debut by one of Latin America’s rising literary stars has already won much praise, with the Spectator calling it “a literary kaleidoscope … lyrical, demotic, bawdy, elegiac” and the TLS “intelligent and immersive … surreal and captivating.” Alia Trabucco Zerån is the only one of the six authors who is resident in the UK and if you’d like to talk about publicity, then please contact Catherine Taylor . The winners will be announced at a dinner in London on the evening of Tuesday 21 May and prior to that there will be a shortlisted translators' panel event at Foyles Charing Cross Road London on Thursday 16 May and readings from authors and translators at the South Bank Centre on 20 May. You can read more about the prize in the Guardian here.

BBC Radio 4 soap The Archers has over 5 million listeners and now the intrepid team of researchers who brought you Custard, Culverts and Cake: Academics on Life in The Archers (£14.99, pb, 978 1787432864) return with a hard-hitting exposé on the lives of Ambridge’s women, with an introduction co-authored by Archers producer Alison Hindell and cast members Charlotte Connor and Tamsin Greig. Gender, Sex and Gossip in Ambridge (£14.99. pb, 978 1787699489) examines portrayals of love, marriage, and motherhood, female education and career expectations, women's mental health and the hard-won right of women to play cricket. Written in an accessible style this title addresses important current issues around women's rights and the representation of women in popular culture. It taps into a lot of hot topics and I think it should do rather well! There was a big half page feature on the Academic Archers in yesterday’s Telegraph, headed Analysing the Archers: My Weekend at the University of Ambridge here which includes a lot about the new book, including mention of a study in it that concluded that the show was more sexist than a James Bond film! The previous title got a LOT of publicity in the national press and lifestyle media, and I think this one will too, there’s a Twitter campaign coming up and the authors will be contributing to various feminist podcasts. The contributors to the book are based all around the UK and are happy to do Archers themed bookshop events; please contact Katherine Lowe at Emerald  if this is something you’d like to explore!

The Yorkshire coastline is one of the most spectacular in Britain and you can walk the length of it! A definitive new walking guide Yorkshire Coast Path (£14.99, pb, 978 0993291180) out next week from Safe Haven and maps the whole route on large-scale OS maps and is packed with colour photos; an essential purchase for the long-distance walker and afternoon stroller alike.  From Redcar all the way south to Bridlington, and then on along Spurn Point on the Humber Estuary, is magnificent clifftop and seaside walking, by turns exhilarating, picturesque and lonely. There is going to be a big feature on this one in the Yorkshire Post this Saturday with the cover and lots of lovely pics featured on the front page! It sells 45,000 copies, so this is a terrific showcase for this indispensable book! Its author Andrew Vine was interviewed by Rob Walker of the BBC in front of a thousand delegates at Welcome to Yorkshire's annual tourism conference in Leeds last week!

“There’s Life Before Baby and Life After Baby. Any idiot knows that. I knew that. Except I didn’t know what Life After Baby would really be like…” Crazy Busy Guilty by Lauren Sams (£8.99, pb. 978 1789550108) is a hilarious new novel from Legend exploring the highs and lows of parenting which will be instantly relatable to many: “Lauren Sams is the hilarious best friend you haven’t met yet” said Maggie Alderson, The Chicklit Club called it “The perfect read for a sleep-deprived new mum” while the Better Reading blog said it was “Hilariously funny and wickedly insightful”

Publicity has just begun for Leanne Maskell’s The Model Manifesto (£14.99, pb, 978 1788600651) which includes an exclusive interview (and front cover image) with Leanne in The Times 2 at the end of this month focusing on what needs to change in the industry. There will also be an interview in Grazia on 1 May; a 1,000+ word extract in The Week on what you should know if you are planning to become a model; an article in Into_view magazine from Leanne headlined Instagram Mental Health Crisis: Model Reveals How to Protect Your Mind on Social Media; an interview for BBC Radio London’s The Scene with Jasmine Dotiwala; an article for Healthista on The Dark Side of Fashion: 10 Things This Model Wants You To Know and an interview in the Independent. All of these are on 2 May which is superb publicity for this empowering title which has just been published by Practical Inspiration. With contributions from top industry experts, The Model Manifesto includes solid advice on everything from mental health issues to paying tax and is an honest and realistic insider view.

Bottled Goods (pb, £7.99, 978 1912054305) by Sophie van Llewyn has been getting some stupendous reviews ever since it was longlisted for the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction and it’s now back in stock, so do order it! Dolly Alderton on her popular High Low podcast called it “a lovely, funny, sad and informative book … there is a very surreal twist at the end that weirdly I felt so on board with when it arrived. It almost reads like a Wes Anderson film … the story is told in vignettes, so it’s really quick and enjoyable to read, and about a world that I know very little about, so I was very grateful to be more illuminated.” The Republic of Consciousness Prize 2019 judges said it was “an assured debut which is part-absurdist, part-thriller, part-social realism. If you’re looking for intrigue, psychological depth and the darkly comic in a book that can be read in one hour, this is for you.”  There’s a fab Q&A with Sophie on the Women’s Prize website which you can see here.

A couple of great features for Carcanet poetry collections this week, firstly one on a book from the Classics imprint, George Seferis’ Complete Poems (£25, pb, 978 1784106676) in Poetry Review which you can see here here and secondly a glowing piece about on Thomas McCarthy’s Prophecy (pb, £9.99, 978 1784107277) in the Irish Times; that’s here.  

Sattva is one of the three basic life forces outlined in Ayurvedic teachings. It embodies seven main qualities: unity, harmony, purity, vitality, clarity, gentleness and serenity. In a new book Sattva: The Ayurvedic Way to Live Well (978 1788172240, £12.99, pb) out in June from Hay House, Eminé and Paul Rushton show how the life-changing principles of sattva can be applied to the home, the family, health, relationships and wellbeing. Jasmine Hemsley said “Eminé and Paul live and breathe Ayurveda every day, and I love their gentle, intuitive, conscious approach to life” and there will be lots of publicity for this one. Sattva will be featured across four pages in July’s Psychologies magazine and it will also be featured in July’s Top Sante, in August’s Bloom magazine and July’s issue of Woman’s Way. Kindred Spirit will be taking an extract in their August issue and Eminé will be speaking on Madeline Shaw’s podcast in August and writing an article for Get The Gloss website in July.

The Guardian’s Fiver newsletter is going to be running a competition for a week of signed copies of From Delhi to the Den: The Story of Football’s Most Travelled Coach (£12.99, pb, 978 1909245471 ) over the next few weeks, you can see that here. This newsletter has over 35,000 subscribers, so this is good PR for this title which is for anyone interested in football, travel, or adventure. From the Cypriot fourth division to the Indian national team, Stephen Constantine's career has taken the scenic route and led him into a host of unique situations. He has hugged a pitch-invading prince in Kathmandu. He has been threatened with kidnap in Khartoum. He has seen the Millwall chairman tip £10,000 onto the changing room floor, and he has watched his goalkeeping coach attack a pitch invader in Congo. Many in the game allege to have seen it all, but there is no one with a better claim to such a statement than Constantine, a veteran manager of six different national sides across four continents. And this isn't simply a tale of one man planning his next coaching expedition in another far-flung corner of the world. Constantine explores the pressures of paying the mortgage when most jobs don't last 12 months, and the solitude of life on the road when your wife and children still reside thousands of miles away.

It's Friday, it’s only a week until the bank holiday weekend – so who doesn’t want to see these  – the hundred funniest pics currently on the internet! Compass Points is now on holiday and will be back in a couple of weeks! Happy Easter everyone!

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 5 April 2019

Compass Points 300

Two Carcanet titles are on the shortlist for the prestigious Ledbury Forte Poetry Prize for Second Collections. James Womack’s On Trust: A Book of Lies (978 1784104160, £9.99, pb) is a book of lying monologues playing with the idea that confession is necessarily truthful. Humorous and accessible, the collection touches on themes of being and belonging, death and fate. The Sunday Times said James is a “bright young poet and has scope, curiosity and a refreshing sense of not having foresuffered everything he encounters.” Rory Waterman’s Sarajevo Roses explores themes of collective, individual and European identity in a time of political uncertainty. The TLS said “Rory Waterman writes poems of the kind there’ll always be a need for.” Find out more

I love the idea of a prize specifically for second collections; this biannual prize is the first of its kind and aims to support and encourage ‘mid-career’ poets, with a £5,000 prize for the winner.  We all know that debuts are fun and exciting – but how much harder is it to keep that energy pumping second time around! Some famous authors’ second works include Pride and Prejudice, Fahrenheit 451, The Magus, Three Men in a Boat, Ulysses, Oliver Twist and Midnight’s Children; you can see more here!

And from second collections right back to debuts, many many congratulations to Sue Rainsford and New Island Press as the greatly ambitious and free-ranging Follow Me to Ground (978 1848406889, hb, £9.99) makes the Desmond Elliott Prize 2019 longlist. Launched in 2007, This prize has quickly become established as the premier prize for new fiction, with the Telegraph calling it “the UK’s most prestigious award for first-time novelists” Worth £10,000 to the winner, the judges look for a book which has a compelling narrative, arresting characters and which is both vividly written and confidently realised. You can see all ten titles on the list here. Follow Me To Ground is an unnerving, beautifully controlled tour-de-force, a sinister tale that questions our preconceptions of predator and prey and the consequences of unchecked desire and it’s available now.

With the arrival of some warm spring sunshine, my thoughts turn to tea in the garden, and whether you are planning an alfresco afternoon or whether you’re supping a warming cuppa back indoors after a freak hailstorm; The Perfect Afternoon Tea Recipe Book (£15, hb, 978 0754834519) is a real collection of delights! Here, in one delicious volume, is the ultimate teatime experience including a history of teatime, the food and the tea service, the traditions and of course how to brew the perfect cup. There are 200 recipes for all the family with all the childhood favourites = as well as more sophisticated and elegant classics, both sweet and savoury. You can have a look through the whole book here and this brand-new edition with gorgeous photographs throughout has just been published by Lorenz. Its author Antony Wild worked as buying director for Taylors of Harrogate, and has written extensively on the subject while Carol Pastor is a well-known writer and stylist with a special interest in patisserie and baking cakes.

And if you’d like to see what happens when you don’t follow the ideas in the book, have a look here  these hilarious cake fails, such as this shocker of an Easter bunny!

Brian May was doing his thing again this week on The One Show, continuing his tireless and engaging promotion for Queen in 3D (£30, hb, 978 1999667429); you can watch that one here, it’s 31 minutes in. Loads of the fab images from the book flashed up on screen – The One Show don’t usually allow books on set due to “BBC policy” but made an exception this time so that Brian could demonstrate how the Owl viewer works. Alex Jones called it a “brilliant new book filled with lovely intimate portraits of yourself and the rest of the band.” This show has 4.2 million viewers so this really was a terrific promotion. Demonstrating the power of One (see what I did there) the book immediately shot on Amazon from position 5267 to No 3 in Overall Books and No 1 in Celebrity Photography, Popular Music and Rock & Pop Biographies – and then sold out! A reprint is due in next Wednesday – I think this one should run and run…

Ruth Devlin’s Men... Let’s Talk Menopause (£9.99, pb, 978 1788600804) is starting to attract media attention, with a big feature due in The National (Scotland) due mid-April in the Sunday Seven Days section; two pieces in the Express; an Everything You Need to Know Guide For Men, as well as one for women to be hopefully printed just before Easter, or straight after and a review in Families magazine – for Father’s Day! There will be lots more to come for this title which is a comprehensive guide to the female menopause, written for men to help them understand this often-perplexing topic. It addresses all the important aspects of the menopause (both physical and psychological) and gives essential information on options available to cope with those symptoms plus good advice for men (and women!) on practical lifestyle choices. Short and easy to dip in and out of, with humorous illustrations and practical tips for what you can do (and what NOT to say), this is an indispensable handbook.

There was a much trailed documentary about the murder of Jill Dando on this week, and of course this was one of the high-profile cases included in Canbury’s bestselling Under the Wig (hb, 978 1912454082, £16.99) Its author William Clegg who represented the cleared Jill Dando murder suspect Barry George has said “the case reflects a desperation on the part of police that after a year they didn’t have the faintest idea who had done it.” You can read more on that in the Mirror here.

Love this cover for the new novel by Denzil Meyrick which is out on 11 July from Polygon. Beginning with Whisky from Small Glasses, the DCI Daley series have all become Scottish crime bestsellers, and if you haven’t discovered them yet then you really should! They’ve all been number one audiobooks on Audible, and the most recently title The Relentless Tide was one of the Scotsman newspaper's books of 2018. There will be plenty of fans waiting for number seven in the series; A Breath on Dying Embers, (£8.99, pb,. 978 1846974755) which all who have read it think is his best yet. In it we find Jim Daley at his most vulnerable, with problems, both personal and professional, attacking him from every angle.

A fantastic review by Emily Rhodes in the Spectator for the extraordinary Proleterka by Fleur Jaeggy. She tweeted “the best thing I’ve read for a while. I loved the ferocity of her pared back prose. Thank you And Other Stories for publishing such astonishing writing.” You can read the review here.  Compressed, delicate and brutally precise, Proleterka is a fierce coming-of-age story, a ferocious study of distance, diffidence and ‘insomniac resentment’. The review ends “Jaeggy’s highly unusual work, originally written in Italian is finally gaining recognition in the English-speaking world. Joseph Brodsky said of her novel Sweet Days of Discipline: “Reading time … four hours. Remembering time… rest of one’s life.” For Proleterka, I say exactly the same.”

Significant Other (978 1784107116, £8.99, pb) is the Poetry Book of the Month in the Telegraph for March, hurrah! You can see that here. In this, her first book of poems, Isabel Galleymore takes a sustained look at the “eight million differently constructed hearts” of species currently said to inhabit earth. Drawing at times from her residency in the Amazon rainforest, Galleymore delves into a world of pink-toed tarantulas, the erotic lives of barnacles, and caged owls that behave like their keepers. The poems explore ecology, extinction and climate change and it has just been published by Carcanet.

I like the look of Poster Boy by N.J. Crosskey (£7.99, pb, 978 1789550146) which has just been published by Legend. It combines the social commentary of classic dystopian works such as 1984 or The Handmaid's Tale with the contemporary style of unreliable narration found in recent hits Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train. Christina Dalcher, author of VOX said “Read this too-close-to-home book, but keep it far from anyone who might be tempted to turn its fiction into reality.” while Liz Lawler, author of Don't Wake Up said it was “Completely gripping. Intensely disturbing. Terrifyingly real!” It’s just embarking on a book blog tour – so there are certain to be more good reviews to come!

Compass were off to the Royal Institute this week for the launch of the fabulous PR for Humans: How Business Leaders Tell Powerful Stories (£15.99, pb, 978 1788600552) by Mike Sergeant which is officially published on 15 April by Practical Inspiration. Plenty of publicity for this one – you can read a neat little summary from Mike about using the four Cs of storytelling in order to engage the media in PR Moment here.  

Mike Sergeant’s dad John was also at the launch – but rather than see a rather boring pic of him holding the book and the obligatory publishing-launch-party-standard-warm-white-wine; I’m sure we’d all much rather revisit this seminal moment from 2008! 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