Friday 28 June 2019

Compass Points 312

I’m excited to tell you that The Woman in the White Kimono by Ana Johns has been chosen as a BBC Radio 2 Book Club pick and will be featured on the Jo Whiley Show on 19 August. There will also be a review in the August edition of Cosmopolitan and a confirmed feature in You magazine plus there is a major book blog tour for this title. This is a powerful and heartbreaking literary novel set against the backdrop of post-World War II Japan. Inspired by true stories, The Woman in the White Kimono begins in Japan in 1957. and illuminates a searing portrait of one woman torn between her culture and her heart. It then moves to present day America, and another woman on a journey to discover the secret that has rippled across generations and a cultural divide. The Toronto Star said it “weaves together past and present in wonderful ways … richly-researched, moving and cinematic in feel.” It’s published on 15 July by Legend.

Simon Wren-Lewis believes the last decade in the UK has been shaped by three big lies in which the mainstream media were complicit. The first was austerity, the second was the 2015 election; where the slowest recovery for centuries and falling wages were sold as a strong economy; and the third was Brexit. He explores this in The Lies We were Told (pb, £14.99, 978 1529202137) which has been was a bestseller for Policy Press. Professor Wren-Lewis explored the phenomena behind these lies recently in a special public lecture with around 300 attendees and if you weren’t one of them, then you can watch the lecture online here. And if you think this important and relevant title would do well in your shop, but would like to read it first – well, good news, you can! Policy Press have sixteen proof copies to give away and if you email with your name and bookshop address and The Lies We Were Told in the subject line, then she will send you one!

On Thursday July 7th 2005, four bombs were detonated in London killing 52 people and injuring a further 700. It was the first successful suicide bomb attack on British soil
and the biggest terrorist atrocity since the 1988 Lockerbie bomb. The four suicide bombers were named as Mohammed Sidique Khan, Shehzad Tanweer, Germaine Lindsay and Hasib Hussain, 18, from Leeds. Hasib Hussain was my son.” My Son The 7/7 Suicide Bomber: A Father’s Anguish (£9.95, pb, 978 1909360679) by Mahmood Hussain is published by Empire/Gazelle on 8 July. All proceeds are being donated to Victim Support. Mahmood Hussain was a hardworking Pakistani immigrant who had lived and worked in Leeds for almost thirty years by the time of the bombing. He was as astonished as anyone else that his son had was one of the bombers and reveals that it was his amateur detective work that helped the police to track down the terror cell of which his son had been a part. Here he tells the story of Hasib's upbringing and the facts behind many misreported aspects of his brief life. He has written the book “with a strong belief in peace, justice and caring for humanity”. There has been plenty of press coverage for this one with articles in the Sun, the Metro, the Daily Mail and the Star. And of course, there will be more coverage next week on the anniversary of the bombing.

We've all been there. The happy family dinner that suddenly turns into a full-fledged argument, the difficulty of discussing politics on a first date. Today's divisive climate and the seemingly never-ending circus of Brexit has made discussion of current events uncomfortable and increasingly angry. So, how exactly do we find ways to reach across the aisle to those whose views we find unpalatable? I Love You, But I Hate Your Politics (pb, £8.99, 978 1785905049) by psychotherapist and lifetime liberal Jeanne Safer is part relationship guide, part anthropological study. Above all it is a helpful and entertaining how-to for anyone who has felt they are walking on eggshells in these increasingly uncertain times! It’s published next week by Biteback and if you’d like to bag yourself a reading copy before you place a (large) order for your bookshop, then please email Give him your name and the name of your bookshop, put I Love You in the subject Line and the first two booksellers to email will get one!

On Monday 29th of July at 9pm, BBC 2 will broadcast a documentary called Breaking into the Elite, featuring the authors of The Class Ceiling: Why it Pays to Be Privileged (978 1447336068, £19.99, hb) Sam Friedman and Daniel Laurison as part of a season on class. Friedman and Laurison show that a powerful ‘class pay gap’ exists in Britain’s elite occupations, and that even when those from working-class backgrounds make it into prestigious jobs, they earn less than colleagues from privileged backgrounds. This ambitious and important title has already had quite a bit of publicity, you can see articles in the Guardian here and here, in the Times,  the Mail and the National. And if you want to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem, then have a look at Ten Ways to Break the Class Ceiling on the Policy Press blog here!

Alicia Eaton’s Stop Bedwetting in Seven Days: 10th Anniversary Edition (pb, £12.99, 978 1788601115) is published on 15 August This best-selling book is an easy-to-read guide for parents, using the latest thinking from the fields of positive psychology, NLP and hypnotherapy to help children overcome bedwetting more easily – there’s a six week publicity campaign coming on its launch date and if you’d like to see a copy then Practical Inspiration have some to give away! The first three booksellers to email with their name and bookshop address and Stop Bedwetting in the subject line will get one!

A poem from Zohar Atkins’ Nineveh (pb, £9.99, 978 1784107390) was the Guardian Poem of the Week and you can read it here. Carol Rumens wrote “The poems in Nineveh take ancient clay and sculpt vigorously innovative shapes: how very refreshing to plunge into a collection which re-thinks historical Jewish religion and culture with such subversive, witty originality. 'Revelatory' is not too strong a word.” It has just been published by Carcanet.

The Claim by David Briggs (978 1910453735, £9.99, pb) is a moving and accomplished new novel full of lust and intrigue set in the world of gold panning in remote and beautiful rural New Zealand. Longlisted for the NZ Michael Gifkins Prize, Briggs is an emerging new and unique literary voice and this is a stunning book about love, loss and companionship that will shimmer under the surface of your thoughts for months to come. It’s published by Red Door on 11 July, and to publicise it they have five copies to give away to the first booksellers who email their name and bookshop address with I Claim The Claim in the subject line to

There have been some fab reviews for Lina Wolff’s The Polyglot Lovers (£10, pb, 978 1911508441). The Guardian Review called it “A highly enjoyable absurdist comedy about love and desperation,” the Spectator, coined the phrase “Feminism for the Fleabag generation” and went on to say “The Polyglot Lovers' blithe disregard for social norms and finer feelings is exhilarating; it’s pitiless and scathingly funny” and the TLS commented “The Polyglot Lovers is a quiet rapture unsparing, startling, mesmeric, and told with the soberest of grins.” And this week there was a great piece in the Financial Times’ Summer Books round-up saying "The Swedish author of Bret Easton Ellis and Other Dogs enjoys nothing more than savaging the myths of male authorship. Here she lays into notions of male genius, as her protagonist, Ellinor, finds herself entangled with a literary critic who is fixated on a narcissistic author who is in turn obsessed with real-life enfant terrible of French letters, Michel Houellebecq." You can see the whole piece here.

Zena Cooper was born with Marfan Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder which affects the heart, eyes, and bodily systems. It meant she is nearly completely blind, yet she kept this condition hidden from the world for four decades, until she met Munch. A guide dog with a huge personality, Munch made Zena's invisible disability suddenly plain for all the world to see. This book shares the story of Zena's journey with Munch, who helped find the strength to find her place in the world and see the wonder in living a different kind of life. What You See When You Can't See: How Blindness Helped One Woman Discover the True Beauty of Life (978 1788173193, £10.99, pb) is coming on 24 September from Hay House and they have ten reading copies of this inspiring story to give away. If you would like one then please email with your name, the name of your bookshop and What You See in the subject line.  

Jack Straw (who was Foreign Secretary for five years) was on the Today programme last Monday talking about the developing US/Iran crises. His book, The English Job: Understanding Iran and Why It Distrusts Britain (978 1785903991, hb, £20) could not be more relevant in these turbulent times and is published on 11 July by Biteback. This book seeks to illuminate Britain's difficult relationship with Iran, and in doing so provide a better understanding of this extraordinary country. William Hague wrote “For decades, British Foreign Secretaries have wrestled with the great challenges of dealing successfully with Iranian leaders. Jack Straw has gone beyond that to develop the rich understanding of the country's culture, psychology and history revealed in this book.”

Jonathan Wittenberg’s short story from the excellent Refugee Tales III (£9.99, pb, 978 1912697113) which is published by Comma next week was in the Guardian this week, you can read that here. You can see Alex Preston's piece in the Observer last weekend mentioning Refugee Tales III here.

Congrats to Polygon who have three titles nominated for the McIlvanney Prize this year. This is Bloody Scotland’s annual prize which provides Scottish crime writing with recognition and aims to raise the profile and prestige of the genre as a whole. On the shortlist for Best Debut is Black Camp 21 (£8.99, pb, 978 1846974601) which Lee Child called “excellent...highly recommended" and two titles are longlisted for the Scottish Crime Book of the Year: A Breath on Dying Embers (£8.99, pb, 978 1846974755) and Thunder Bay (£8.99, pb, 978 1846974731). The winners are announced in September – and you can find out more about the prize here.

Who wishes they were going to be at Glastonbury this weekend listening to the Killers in the sunshine? Me, me, me. Have fun, any of you lucky booksellers that are there right now! And for the rest of us, who can ace this Mr Brightside lyrics quiz?

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

Friday 21 June 2019

Compass Points 310

The Money Revolution: Easy Ways to Manage Your Finances in a Digital World (£14.99, pb, 978 1789660616) new from Kogan Page has already reprinted following a double page spread in the Times last week, so I’m anticipating even more sales following a big piece in the Sun this Sunday. There's never been a shortage of advice on managing your money, but it can be hard work, and everyone seems to be saying something different. The Money Revolution by banking entrepreneur Anne Boden cuts through all the jargon and rhetoric and makes everything straightforward, shining a spotlight on how we save, spend and invest our money. It breaks through the traditional thinking and covers a range of financial solutions, from savings and investments to pensions, bill payments and travel money. PR for this one includes articles in the Spectator, the Economist, Financial Times and Good Housekeeping, Women and Home, the New Statesman, Forbes and Wall Street Journal and interviews with Anne on Sky News, LBC (Business Hour), BBC Radio 4’s Money Box and Talk Radio.

Happy Birthday to multi award-winning women's fiction publisher, Choc Lit who celebrate their tenth birthday! Choc Lit sees themselves as early adopters; they were one of the first publishers to go down the Digital First route and have added audio to that format in recent years. Choc Lit's MD Lyn Vernham, says. “Ten years ago, we launched ourselves into a marketplace that was pulling back on women’s fiction and romance. We took a gamble on what we could see was happening in the US and believed that as a brand we could achieve our strategy in the UK. We had no clout or big named authors so the brand was critical and remains so today.” From releasing six books a year they now release thirty-six and in the last four years they’ve won nineteen awards, including 2019’s Romantic Fantasy Novel of the Year, 2016’s Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year, 2017’s Epic Romantic Novel of the Year and 2018’s Romantic Novel of the Year Rose Award. Choc Lit has recently announced a partnership with Soundings, the unabridged audiobook publisher to record and co-publish all of their publications, and they are also expanding internationally, firstly by launching Choc Lit NL. Congratulations! And if you’d like to sample the delights of Choc Lit yourself, we have copies of the new book from Victoria Cornwall, The Daughter of River Valley (£7.99, pb, 978 1781893807) to give away! Victoria brings the county of Cornwall beautifully alive with evocative descriptions and strong relatable characters – it’s published on 4 July. Just email with your name and bookshop address and I’d Like a Daughter Please in the subject line.

Following Liverpool Football Club’s historic Champions League victory, De Coubertin are speedily publishing Numero 6 (£14.99, pb, 978 1909245990) which relives an unforgettable and historic year for Liverpool Football Club. It’s out on 25th July 2019 and charts a year of inexorable hope, unprecedented success and European adventure; where domestic disappointment was swiftly followed by incredible, dramatic triumphs on the highest club stage of them all. The book is authored by The Anfield Wrap which since its inception in 2011 has grown from a website and single weekly podcast to a respected media outlet with 11 full-time staff, over 100 contributors, and over 12,000 subscribers. Numero 6 is The Anfield Wrap's second book following Make Us Dream: The Story Of Liverpool's 2013/14 Season of which the BBC said “What leaps off the pages and what all their many esteemed contributors capture so brilliantly, is the feeling of reclamation, the feeling of a city and a football club finding harmony.”

And if you can’t wait until 25 July, then perhaps you’ll enjoy this animated ditty. Yes well.

Improving our gut health is fast becoming one of 2019’s biggest trends, and Fermentation (£15, hb, 978 0754834649) by Asa Simonsson is a new book out next week from Lorenz showing you how by using just cabbage, salt and water you can do exactly that. Ferments are not only very good for you but are great-tasting, and have been used for centuries. This fully illustrated, detailed and practical book shows you how to make not just sauerkraut but also kimchi, brine pickles, kefir, kombucha, vegan dairy, nut cheeses, sourdough and more.

Kay Hutchison had a successful career, a beautiful home, and a loving husband until the day she woke up and said “I'm leaving”. Why on earth did she walk away from it all and turn to a host of weird and wonderful treatments in search of answers to a question she couldn't even articulate? Part memoir, part guide, My Life in 37 Therapies (pb, £9.99,978 1910453773) is one woman’s journey of self-discovery in pursuit of happiness and inner peace. There is lots of confirmed publicity for this one; the Daily Mail are running an interview for the Femail page around publication. BBC Radio Manchester, BBC Radio Newcastle, BBC Radio Guernsey and BBC Radio Northampton will all interview Kay around publication day on 4 July. InBusiness, Business Load, Customer Experience Magazine, New Business, and Irish Tech News are all running articles. Good Housekeeping is running an exclusive double page feature in August, the Scotsman is running a double page feature all about the book around publication, as is Northern Woman; the Sunday Express magazine has a feature on the book on 07 July and Best Magazine will have three pages on it in their Summer Special issue. You can listen to an hour-long interview that Kay has already done on Radio Leeds here, it’s at 2 hrs 8 mins. It’s published on 4 July by Red Door.

Refugee Tales III (£9.99, pb, 978 1912697113) is out from Comma on the 4 July and contributor Monica Ali went on BBC Radio's A Point of View, discussing the UK's use of immigration detention centres and her story in the collection. You can listen that here. Alex Preston, one of the contributors to Volume II has a piece in the Observer Review on refugee literature, look out for that this Sunday! And Refugee Hosts have shared an extract of Lisa Appignanesi's The Dancer's Tale from Volume III which you can read here here. I have a couple of copies of Refugee Tales III to give away so the first bookseller to email Becca Parkinson with their name, bookshop address and Refugees Welcome! in the subject line will nab them!

If Twitter is your social media drug of choice then these funny tweet jokes about books may give you a giggle!

Amber author James Trapp was interviewed this week on Talk Radio Europe about his book Chinese Proverbs (hb, £14.99, 978 1782747239). This is a gorgeously illustrated and designed exploration of Eastern spirituality and culture through more than 80 proverbs drawn from Chinese philosophy. The sayings known as Cheng-yu, represented in four elegantly drawn Chinese characters, are comparable to English proverbs, but each has a depth of meaning, with many rooted in ancient Chinese culture making oblique references to poetry, philosophy or history. Chinese Proverbs features a selection of the most famous and most interesting sayings including "beat grass warn snake" (give the game away, tip someone off) and "sorrowing army must win" (justice will prevail). Alongside each phrase is an accessible and inspiring explanation, its literal translation in English, what the particular calligraphic strokes symbolize, and its various uses. It was published in March by Amber.

A great feature in the Guardian today promoting Tatenda Taibu’ s new autobiography, Keeper of Faith (£12.99, pb, 978 1909245860) which you can read here. There will also be a big feature in the Telegraph coming very soon. It’s just been published by De Coubertin

If you think the Mind Body Spirit section in your bookshop could do with a bit of a glow up, then you could do worse than to look at the chart above,  see what the top ten Hay House bestsellers currently are – and then order them! I will tell you that the top three are Good Vibes, Good Life (£10.99, 978 1788171823) Medical Medium: Liver Rescue (£26.99, 978 1401954406) and Medical Medium: Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How To Finally Heal (£12.99, 978 1781805367) so if you haven’t got those for starters, then you really are missing out!

Why would one of Silicon Valley's most powerful billionaires offer a British ghostwriter a million dollars to write the autobiography of Hollywood's biggest star? What Lies Around Us (hb, £12.99, 978 1910453704) is a gripping thriller, taking the reader into a world of myth-makers and power-brokers. Who is telling the stories and controlling the way we all think with a mixture of old media, social media and fake media? Its author Andrew Crofts is himself a ghostwriter who has published more than eighty books, a dozen of which were Sunday Times number one bestsellers. There’s plenty of publicity coming; Andrew has already been interviewed on BBC Breakfast News and will be on Sky News Sunrise on 26 June, Open Book on BBC Radio 4 on 28 July as well as BBC Radio Manchester and BBC Radio Northampton. There’s a great feature entitled Top 10 things you should know about being a ghostwriter here on The bloggers have absolutely loved it with Bibliophile Chronicles saying “gripping and addictive…I could not put it down… The plot is brilliantly executed and definitely kept me guessing. The characters are really fascinating… an engaging, thought provoking thriller” here; Joyful Antidotes saying “I just can’t seem to express how good this book is. So many important themes plus a great storyline” here; and AlexJBooks calling it “a story rich in American politics mixed in with the celebrity and technology worlds, this book delves into the murky waters of publishing, social media and it’s influencers…absolutely captivating…Fast paced, and thrilling, it’s gripping, superbly written and completely fascinating whilst shocking and very dark in parts. An up to the minute, sign of our times thriller. Not to be missed” here. Too many rave reviews to print them all here – but this is definitely a popular book! It’s just been published by Red Door.

Ooh – this is right up my street – eighteen fictional characters who did actually exist in real life! Ursula from Little Mermaid, Indiana Jones, Miss Piggy, Alice in Wonderland – how many did you know about?!

Women make up the majority of university graduates and enter the workplace in equal numbers with men. But many workplaces still operate with cultures developed over a century ago to reflect a predominantly male workforce and vastly differing social expectations. Anna Meller believes it’s high time we changed this. #Upcycle Your Job: The Smart Way to Balance Family Life and Career (£16.99, pb, 978 1788600743) offers ambitious working mothers new possibilities for progressing their corporate careers through an evidence-based six-step process that enables women to craft a working arrangement that meets their employer’s expectations as well as their own aspirations, There’s a great interview with Anna in The Psychologist here and it’s also been reviewed in Families SE Magazine and The HR Director here. It’s published by Practical Inspiration.

Very pleased that two Carcanet poets have made it onto the Seamus Heaney Prize shortlist; Phoebe Power with Shrines of Upper Austria (£9.99, pb, 978 1784105341) and Ned Denny with Unearthly Toys (pb, £12.99, 978 1784105389)! Phoebe also won a Somerset Maugham Award at the Society of Authors awards this week! You can find out more on the Carcanet website here.

Good publicity coming up for a couple of De Coubertin titles in Fiver, which is a sports newsletter from the Guardian (find out about it here) that goes out daily to 10,000+ subscribers. Firstly there’s a chance to win a signed copy of From Delhi to the Den: The Story of Football’s Most Travelled Coach (£12.99, pb, 978 1909245471) all next week, and then the week after they’re running another competition to win Here We Go: Everton in the 80’s the Players Stories (£9.99, pb, 978 1909245839). Fiver gets plenty of promotion in the Guardian online, so this is very good PR for these two books!

We like to finish with music, and I am SO looking forward to seeing Yesterday, the new Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis film which is out at the end of the month, you can see a trailer here. Author Ken McNab has just done a piece for the Guardian here speculating, along with some others, about what the world would actually be like if the Beatles had never existed – the premise of the film. Ken’s book, And In the End: The Last Days of the Beatles (£16.99, hb, 978 1846974724) which was published in March by Birlinn is selling really well at the moment and if you’re planning a Yesterday/Beatles themed display, then it’s definitely one to include! This is the absorbing story of the last acrimonious days of the Beatles, a final chapter reconstructing the seismic events of 1969, the year that saw the band reach new highs of musical creativity and new lows of internal strife. Two years after Flower Power and the hippie idealism of the Summer of Love, the Sixties dream had perished on the vine with Vietnam and the Cold War supplanting hope and optimism. And just as the decade foundered on the altar of a cold, harsh reality, so too did the Beatles. I have one copy of And In The End to give away – the first bookseller to email their name and bookshop address to with And In the End Please Please Me! in the subject line will get it!

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 13 June 2019

Compass Points 309

Well, I think we can agree that the publicity story of the week has been the Tory leadership race, and in particular what Michael Gove has up his nostrils. Michael Gove: Man in A Hurry (978 1785904400, £20, hb) by journalist of the moment Owen Bennett has had widespread review coverage in all the national papers and is published on 18 July by Biteback. From an Edinburgh orphanage to standing for the leadership of the Conservatives, his story could have come straight from the pages of a Charles Dickens novel. A charming man to his friends, and a cold-blooded zealot to his enemies, Gove is set to play a crucial role in the future of the UK. It’s all been serialised in the Daily Mail; here's the first part of this explosive biography, the second episode is here  – that’s the “heart-warming tale of how he rose from the very humblest of origins”, and here is the “five in a bed romp” which is worth clicking on just for the hilarious pictures of the young Gove I’d say! Owen has been interviewed this week on Daily Politics, Good Morning Britain, Newsnight, Sky and LBC and the book has been featured pretty much everywhere!

On the subject of books about repellent politicians, here's a thought-provoking piece in the Bookseller entitled “Why we must publish books we hate.” It asks whether we should “be willing to assist in the promotion of the sort of people and policies we abhor? Political books have exploded because politics has morphed into entertainment.” It points out that “the players all want to write books. Even Donald Trump, who has almost certainly never read a complete book in his adult life, understands that being a published author can lead to real power and real change. If Trump hadn’t put his name to The Art of the Deal, he would probably not have been chosen to front the US version of The Apprentice, a show which convinced enough people to vote him President.” So, should a publisher refuse to publish a manuscript on the grounds that it might result in an unwanted success for the author? Should a ghostwriter turn down a client because they might one day turn out to be a ruthless dictator? Interesting stuff!

Widespread coverage for Gerald Murnane continues, which hasn't let up since the UK publication of Border Districts (978 1911508380, £8.99, pb) and Tamarisk Row (978 1911508366, £10.99, pb) were published by And Other Stories in January and February this year. Last Sunday, Murnane's work was featured on BBC Radio 4's Open Book, with initially sceptical host Mariella Frostrup declaring herself “seduced” by Munane's writing, also described during the programme as “addictive” and “exciting and gripping.”
There really has been some superb coverage for these two titles over the last six months, so if you haven’t discovered Gerald Murnane for your bookshop yet – you’re really missing out! 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.”, the New Statesman said “Murnane’s books are expeditions that encompass a territory unlike any other”, the Guardian called them “strange and luminous” and the Spectator wrote 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.” with the Irish Times saying “his books are so good and so important. They are strange, unique and uncategorisable.”

Many congratulations to Glen James Brown and Ironopolis (£9.99, pb, 978 1912681099) which has made the shortlist for the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction. The Orwell Prizes are the UK’s most prestigious prizes for political writing an every year, the Foundation awards prizes for the work which comes closest to George Orwell’s ambition “to make political writing into an art”; you can see the shortlists in full here.  Published by Parthian, this is, as Northern Soul wrote, “an unflinching tale about narratives at the heart of working-class communities and the struggle to keep them alive.” The Morning Star called it “the most accomplished working-class novel of the last few years” and the Bookseller, an “edgy and arresting debut.”

E. Sylvia Pankhurst: A Suffragette in America Reflections on Prisoners, Pickets and Political Change (£16.99, pb, 978 0745339368) is an important and fascinating collection of Sylvia Pankhurst's writing on her visits to America in 1911. Unlike the standard suffragette tours which focused on courting progressive members of America's social elite for money, Pankhurst got her hands dirty, meeting striking laundry workers in New York, visiting female prisoners in Philadelphia and Chicago and grappling with horrific racism in Nashville, Tennessee. These never-before-published writings mark a significant stage in the development of the suffragette's thought, and bringing her own experiences of imprisonment and misogyny from her political work in Britain; she found many parallels between the two countries. There’s an interesting interview with its editor Katherine Connelly in the Morning Star here and a review in Counterfire here. It’s just been published by Pluto.

Industry insiders have reacted angrily to analysis from the Guardian (that’s here) covering the “highly concerning” story that the top 100 illustrated children’s books published last year showed a growing marginalisation of female and minority ethnic characters. However, the analysis did not take into account 66% of the picture book market, by only focusing on the top 100 books, and did not look at the number of titles that do not feature any human characters. You can read more on this in the Bookseller here.

Sometimes poetry can shine new light on difficult subjects, and in the light of all the discussion over the UK’s attempt to become carbon neutral by 2050, it is rewarding to read Isabel Galleymore’s debut collection of poems Significant Other (£9.99, pb, 978 1784107116) which explore ecology, extinction and climate change. These are, as poet Jessica Traynor wrote, “jewel-like poems which approach the natural through the eyes of a miniaturist”, and Isabel’s influences are poets such as Jen Hadfield, Jorie Graham and Les Murray. She has just been shortlisted for the prestigious Gladstone's Library Residency next year, and is also currently shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. You can find out more on the Carcanet website here.

I am loving this terrific till-side display at Foyles for Pluto’s 50th Birthday! Remember, Bertrams are offering special terms throughout June on Pluto titles, and there is POS material available on request to support in store promotions – see your Compass rep for details! If you want to find out more about fifty years of independent radical publishing, the Pluto website is very informative!

If you and your customers are fed up with the crap UK weather, then you’re probably planning a summer getaway to warmer climes – and where better than Italy! This week the Mail Online featured twenty gorgeous images from Amber’s new Visual Explorer Guide: Italy (£9.99, pb, 978 1782748700 ) by Claudia Martin which is a stunning collection of pictures ranging from the natural beauty of lakes to the vineyards in Tuscany to the glory of Venice's canals and palaces, the magnificence of classical antiquity in Rome, the Arab-Norman architecture of Palermo and Renaissance Florence. And as well as the famous highlights, the book also features lesser known unexplored sides to the country, be it the abandoned cave towns of Puglia and the 16th century star-shaped town of Palmanova; there’s plenty of information about each gorgeous photograph too.  You can salivate over them here.

Great to see Jane Yeh’s Discipline (£9.99, pb, 978 1784107079) featured in the Guardian’s Best Books of 2019 So Far, that’s here. They said “Yeh can evoke a feeling or concept with alarming exactitude, and, like the paintings of Kirsten Glass that inspire the title poem, she shows that the elegant and the macabre are never far apart.”

Quite a lot of nice publicity for The Perfect Afternoon Tea (£15, hb, 978 0754834519)  – it’s heavily featured in the latest issue of Baking Heaven and also  in The Lady. This delightful recipe book presents 200 delicious dishes to serve for afternoon tea, together with a brief history of afternoon tea traditions, a guide to specialty teas of the world and of course information on how to choose, blend and make the perfect cuppa. It is sumptuously illustrated throughout – and there really are some mouth-watering recipes! This edition is new from Lorenz.

Nice to finish with some music, so let’s have a little bit  of Jack Buchanan from 1935; Everything Stops for Tea!

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

Friday 7 June 2019

Compass Points 308

From Russia to India, Mongolia to Germany, Saudi Arabia to Turkey, and America, Canis lupus – the grey wolf – is widely distributed around the globe. Social animals, wolves hunt in packs and travel in families. They are territorial, and, as supreme predators, only humans and tigers pose a serious threat to them, although in folk memory it is we humans who fear the wolves. Endangered and protected, their numbers are now increasing as they are gradually reintroduced, or finding their own way into more locations. Wolves (£9.99, hb, 978 1782747673) is a brilliant examination of these intelligent, adaptable, playful and fierce creatures. With around two hundred outstanding colour photographs including some stunning close ups and amazing action shots; it has just been published by Amber. Zoology graduate and leading natural history writer Tom Jackson has worked on more than sixty books and was on Talk Radio Europe last week talking about it this stunning title, and an image from it was also included in the Mail online's Picture This feature.

There is no doubt that wolves exert a powerful grip on our imagination. Here are the ten best wolves in literature and here are the top ten wolves in film!

Here's a very thought-provoking article about what happens when children realise that their entire life is already up there for all to see, online. The article focusses on group of 11-year-olds who discover that their mothers have been posting photos of them (without prior approval, obviously since babies can’t give consent!)  for much of their life. A pertinent discussion, which leads us to the launch of The Mummy Bloggers by Holly Wainwright (pb, £8.99, 978 1789550535) which is published by Legend this week. The book includes a cover endorsement from YOU Magazine who called it “Hilarious, warm, witty and oh so real” and there will be a major blog tour for the books with 29 key bloggers and Instagrammers - you can see the deatils here. There was an interview with Holly in last weekend’s Mail on Sunday.

Lots of controversy surrounding the new film about Ted Bundy, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile starring Zac Efron and Lily Collins, which is out now. You can see a trailer here. With excellent timing, Ted Bundy: America’s Most Evil Serial Killer (978 1789501773, pb, £9.99) has just been published by Arcturus. Much was made in the media of whether Zac Efron was too good looking to play Bundy, but as the book explains, Ted Bundy was indeed handsome, fun and very charming and many women found him irresistible. But deep inside he was an evil monster, using his insider knowledge of law enforcement to evade detection and escaping from imprisonment twice before his eventual capture. While he confessed to thirty killings, the real figure was probably much higher and many of the bodies have never been found. Crime writer and journalist Al Cimino delves into this astonishing and tragic tale, providing a detailed account of Bundy's crimes.

We love a picturesque books table – and they don’t come much more scenic than this selection at Waterstone’s in Kendall – featuring loads of the fabulous Wild Things titles. Thanks guys!

A double spread in the Express for D-Day: The First 24 Hours by Will Fowler (hb, £19.99, 978 1782747550) and a big feature in the Mail Online which you can see here.  Beginning with an overview of the immense preparations for this historic event, it looks at the airborne and glider landings that preceded the main assault, and each of the individual beach landings, from west to east, bringing the turning point of World War II vividly to life. It’s published by Amber

A very well attended and interesting panel discussion at Waterstone’s High Street Kensington this week with Leanne Maskell author of The Model Manifesto discussing exploitation in the fashion industry. This followed a big spread in the Mirror entitled Bullies, body-Shaming and weekly Weighs-ins: Model reveals dark side of fashion which you can see here.  

Have you ever felt stuck or unmotivated about life? Are there things you want to do or dreams you want to achieve, but you don't know how to get started or how to reach your goals? In Cut the Crap and Feel Amazing (£10.99, pb, 978 1781809228) experienced hypnotherapist Ailsa Frank provides you with the knowledge and tools you need to take control of your life and ensure that it follows a more positive direction - the direction in which you want it to go. It’s published on 4th July by Hay House and was recently featured in Woman’s Way magazine, which has a circulation of 50,000.

“She weaves a deliciously dark, completely riveting story around Jane, a young woman accused of witchcraft who escapes execution in the first book. The book is a simmering cauldron of ancient lore superstitions and forbidden love.” So writes blogger @Beadyjan about Sunwise (pb, £8.99, 978 1911293255) the second novel from Helen Stedman which has just been published by Impress. There are nothing but five-star reviews for this title from readers (and the first book Widdershins (£8.99, pb, 978 1911293040) was the same) with bloggers saying that even those who didn’t usually like historical fiction were “immersed in the world of rural 17th Century northeast England. I can only put this down the beauty of Steadman’s writing and the precision of her plotting. Sunwise is by turns heartbreaking, hilarious, thrilling, spilling, and endearing. Whatever you do, dear reader, don’t miss this one. Five stars.”

“In an abandoned place, anyone with any imagination lets their mind roam over what it was like in its heyday," says author Lawrence Joffe, whose new book Abandoned Sacred Places (£19.99, hb, 978 1782747697) examines tombs, cathedrals, churches, mosques, synagogues and burial places across the world, which time has marauded and nature reclaimed. There’s a great article about it on CNN Travel here which shows that the appeal is not just that the images in his book are not just aesthetically striking; they also give an extraordinary insight into the history of the world.It's published by Amber.

And finally, as we say farewell to Theresa, here's her political legacy summed up in funny tweets on Buzzfeed; and let’s just enjoy a final watch of the hilarious Cassetteboy!

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