Friday 12 July 2019

Compass Points 313

I love this terrific 15-minute film from Pluto, celebrating their 50th birthday. A good opportunity to remind you that there’s plenty of 50th birthday POS material available so if you want to run a Pluto promo in your shop then see your Compass Area Sales Manager for details! Pluto have a new series called Outspoken launching this September, and if you’d like a sneak preview, then they have some booklets available with twenty pages from the two launch books Behind Closed Doors: Sex Education Transformed (£9.99, pb, 978 0745338736) and Mask Off: Masculinity Redefined (978 0745338743, £9.99, pb). If you’d like them, then please email with Outspoken in the subject line and your name and bookshop address.

We’re very excited to hear that Andy Grant, author of De Coubertin’s You'll Never Walk (pb, £8.99, 978 1909245815) is going to be on the BBC’s Celebrity MasterChef this autumn! This inspirational memoir of the young soldier blown up during a routine foot patrol in Afghanistan is a story of courage, grit, determination and never giving up, and when MasterChef airs there is bound to be lots more interest in it. There’s been loads of coverage in the nationals about this – you can find out all about it here.

How often do you find a leadership book from someone who admits they’re not always that good at it? When asked to describe his own leadership style, teacher and advisor Steve Munby uses the word imperfect. This is not something he apologises for. Too often, he feels we are given examples of leaders who are put on some kind of pedestal, lauded as superheroes who have it all worked out and are so good at what they do that nobody else can come close. Imperfect Leadership: A Book For Leaders Who Know They Don't Know It All (hb, £20, 978 1785834110) is the antidote to that flawed perception. At the heart of the book are edited highlights of the twelve keynote speeches delivered to increasingly large audiences of school leaders between 2005 and 2017. These speeches, delivered at the Seizing Success and Inspiring Leadership conferences, form the structure around which Steve's story and insights are wrapped. Richard Gerver, educator, and author said “Steve’s humility, humanity and intellect – and ability to make the complex simple – shine through in this remarkable and deeply insightful book.” It’s just been published by Crown House, and if you’d like to try before you buy, then we have three copies available for the first booksellers to email with Leadership Please in the subject line, and your name and bookshop address.

Well, we can’t mention imperfect leadership without a masterclass from that expert in the field, David Brent, musing here on his leadership style to a very young Olivia Coleman!

We're over the moon to share the news that Ned Denny has won the Seamus Heaney Prize for his Carcanet debut Unearthly Toys: Poems & Masks (£12.99, pb, 978 1784105389). Professor Nick Laird, chair of the judging panel said: “Ned Denny’s book is a terrific and complex hybrid of the ancient and modern, shot through with flashes of surrealism and wit. It’s also deeply felt, earnest, and concerned with the large questions of being alive, of loving, of trying to exist in a secular world separated from nature. It’s imaginative work – allusive, elusive, dense in its diction and music: Denny is immersed in the canon, and one can see Ezra Pound, Robert Herrick, even Seamus Heaney himself, contribute to his voice.” You can read more about the award here.

Congratulations to all the booksellers scooping up a new bursary from James Patterson, who has awarded twenty of them the Young Bookseller Special Achievement Award in recognition of their "outstanding" work; you can read more about that in the Bookseller here. The bestselling author wants to bring attention to bookshops and to encourage young people into the industry. The winners, all booksellers aged 25 and under, have worked in a bookshop for at least 12 months and were nominated by their managers or colleagues. They will each receive a prize of £500 each. Tom McKnight, one of the recipients of the award from The Haslemere Bookshop, said: "This award means a massive amount to me as it offers a hopeful future for bookshops all over the UK and Ireland. I know reading will continue to inspire young minds as it always has thanks to awards like this." This award is the latest of Patterson's numerous financial donations to support bookshops. In the past five years, Patterson has donated £500,000 to independent bookshops in the UK and Ireland to encourage children to read. This has funded projects ranging from refurbishment and expansion of children's sections to organising a bedtime reading project.

This week, Jane Hardy discussed Pink Slippers: Mum, Dementia and Me: A Story of Hope (pb, 978 1788600880, £9.99) on Talk Radio Europe and her feature in the Female section of the Daily Mail was published last week, entitled I Reversed Mum’s Dementia Just By Moving Her In With Me, you can read that here. There’s more coverage coming up for this upbeat and informative book in Woman, 50+ magazine and Simply You as well as a spot on Just Women Brooklands Radio. It’s just been published by Practical Inspiration.

Great publicity for Anne Boden and her new Kogan Page title, The Money Revolution (£14.99, pb, 978 1789660616) she’s on the cover of Future Banking magazine and there’s a three-page interview inside. The Money Revolution is a jargon-free guide which will transform the way you think about finance. Busting commonly-held myths and misconceptions on saving, spending, clearing debt and investing, it will help you develop a healthier relationship with money and transform your bank balance in the process. Anne Boden has thirty years of banking experience, and shares many insider tips as well as suggesting solutions to everyday issues such as savings and investments to pensions, bill payments and currency when abroad.

With tensions escalating between Britain and Iran, Jack Straw is much in demand by the media at present, talking about his new Biteback book The English Job: Understanding Iran and Why It Distrusts Britain (978 1785903991, £20, hb). There was a superb review in the Sunday Times last week with Justin Marozzi writing “clear sighted and lucid … this turbulent history is essential reading”  and there’s lots more publicity coming up including a serialisation in The New European, interviews on Channel 4 News, BBC Radio 5Live, The Emma Barnett Show, Sky News Adam Boulton Show, BBC World News and LBC Iain Dale Show as well as features in the Daily Mail, My Haven and the Sunday Telegraph.

Well done to Phoebe Power, who is on the Michael Murphy Memorial Prize longlist with Shrines of Upper Austria (£9.99, pb, 978 1784105341) This is the fifth year for this biennial prize of £1,000 for a distinctive first volume of poetry in English published in Britain or Ireland. The shortlist will be announced on July 9th, and the winner will be announced on National Poetry Day on 4 October. To learn more about the prize and see the full longlist, you can visit the website here.

Loads of publicity for My Life in 37 Therapies (pb, £20, 978 1910453773) the frank, funny, moving and ultimately uplifting story of one woman's pursuit of happiness and inner peace. which was published by Red Door this week. Kay Hutchison has taken part in a lot of BBC radio interviews, with more to come and there will be large features in the Express this Sunday and in the Daily Mail's Femail next week. There has also been coverage in some of the biggest national Scottish media too; the Scotsman, the Sunday Post and BBC Radio Scotland.

I enjoyed the minor kerfuffle in the Commons when the Shadow Chancellor paid tribute to his Tory opponent’s “dry sense of humour” as he handed Mr Hammond a copy of David Rosenberg’s Rebel Footprints (pb, £12.99, 978 0745338552), described by Pluto as a “truly radical response to conservative heritage tours and banal day trips”. The move echoed the 2015 moment when Mr McDonnell handed Mr Hammond’s predecessor George Osborne a copy of the Little Red Book, by Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong. Mr Hammond quipped: “I much prefer this Little Red Book to the one that he gave to my predecessor, although I have to say I haven’t read this one and I have read the other one.” The story was covered in the Mail,  the Express, The New European, and Politics Home,  Rebel Footprints is now published in its second edition and is no longer red but bright and multicoloured! To celebrate, Pluto are offering five copies to the first booksellers to email with Rebel Please in the subject line and their name and bookshop address.

Another great review this week for The Flying Boat That Fell to Earth (pb, £9.99, 978 0993291166) in Flypast magazine, which means that all three of the main newsstand magazines about aviation have given it the thumbs up. This titles has already had much praise from writers as varied as William Boyd: “A fascinating and strangely inspiring story” and Jeremy Clarkson who wrote “The extraordinary story of the Corsair is a good yarn, and yarns are as hard to come by in commercial flying these days as leather upholstery and hulls rubbed with beeswax.” The Evening Standard said “Part history, part travelogue, part essay, it is a hybrid like the machines it celebrates, and like them, it gets triumphantly airborne. . . Some of the best reflective writing about nostalgia that I have ever read. Graham Coster wishes he’d been born in time to catch the last flying boat. When you finish his witty and earnest book you will feel that he has caught it on all our behalves.” It’s published by Safe Haven.

A terrific extract of 20 photographs and captions from Amber’s Abandoned Sacred Places (£19.99, hb, 978 1782747697 ) has just gone live on MailOnline which you can see here.  It contains haunting, yet fascinating, images of once-holy sites left to crumble, and tells their intriguing stories; from a crumbling church in Indiana, Mayan pyramids in Mexico, to forgotten Hindu temples in India, a Gothic abbey in Yorkshire and more. Author Lawrence Joffe writes “images like these are bound to make us wonder. Who built these places? What were their beliefs? And how did such beautiful edifices fall into ruin?”

Great review of Empty Words by Mario Levrero (pb, £8.99, 978 1911508502) in the Observer last week, which you can read here, saying it “reveals an eccentric talent with a penchant for the absurd … relishing the mundane comedy of household dynamics as much as more cosmic jokes of existence. As a calling card for Levrero’s talent, it’s certainly enticing.” It’s just been published by And Other Stories and you can read a fascinating piece by Levrero’s translator Annie McDermott here on the And Other Stories blog, about her trip to Uruguay, where she learned more about Mario Levrero’s lasting impact, including a school of writing and socks.

For four decades, Dr Linda Lancaster's healing knowledge has been available only to her star-studded client list, including Amanda Seyfried. In Harmonic Healing, her first book, she shares her lifetime of knowledge and introduces readers to what she likes to call 'The Invisible Within the Visible', the energetic roots of ill health caused by toxins, radiations, shock and stress. Dr Lancaster's six-week programme is based on natural ingredients and non-chemical processes, requiring no expensive supplements. Readers will learn how to remove energetic interferences and reclaim their health through positive lifestyle changes, including cleansing foods, detoxifying baths and homeopathic remedies. Harmonic Healing (978 1788172011, £11.99, pb) is out now from Hay House and if you’d like to see a copy then we have five to give away! Please email with Harmonic Healing in the subject line and your name and bookshop address.

Palestine +100 poses a question to twelve Palestinian writers: what might your country look like in the year 2048 a century after the tragedies and trauma of what has come to be called the Nakba? This is the first anthology of contemporary SF from Palestine, and is a bold, brilliant and inspiring sign of boundless imagination and fierce creation even in circumstances of oppression, denial, silencing and constriction. It’s out on 25 July from Comma, and if you’d like a preview copy, there are two freebies for the first booksellers to email Becca Parkinson  with Palestine +100 in the subject line and your name and bookshop address.

Sandra Ireland is fast becoming an exciting new voice in the psychological thriller genre. Her third novel, The Unmaking of Ellie Rook is a darkly gothic tale in which folklore and legend play an important part as in Ireland’s previous book, Bone Deep. LoveReading said “Sandra Ireland's novels speak to me, darkly mesmerising with throbbing attitude and heart, they are also just that little bit different”. It’s just been published by Birlinn, and if you’d like to read it before you order lots for your shop then there are proofs available – just email with Unmaking Ellie in the subject line and your name and bookshop address.

As a former Ambassador to the United States, Robin Renwick has been in much demand by the media, and this week was interviewed by the Guardian, CNN, ITV and Channel 5 News. He also of course found opportunities to talk about his Biteback book Not Quite a Diplomat (£20, hb, 978 1785904592)

Well, I haven’t got any book-related music stories to finish with this week, so let’s have a quick round-up of three completely irrelevant but nonetheless vitally important hot topics of the week instead. This is the new Billie Eilish/Justin Bieber song; this  is six minutes of highlights from the England vs Australia cricket World Cup match and this is what Curtis’s family think of Maura. 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

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