Friday 16 August 2019

Compass Points 317

Do you pull out your phone at every idle moment? Do hours slip away as you mindlessly scroll? Allen Carr's Easyway offers a brilliant method of tackling this reliance, applying tried and tested addiction strategies to the digital world. Smart Phone Dumb Phone: Free Yourself from Digital Addiction (978 1788280860, pb, £9.99) unravels the brainwashing process behind this addictive behaviour and is a unique method that does not require willpower and removes the addiction to constantly look at your mobile easily, painlessly and permanently. There is a nationwide publicity campaign for this one, kicking off with some terrific publicity in the Daily Express who said "The Allen Carr method has helped millions quit smoking. Now its experts are determined to tackle the UK's obsession with digital devices" and the Mirror who wrote "You'll be aware of how your devices affect you and most of all, you will enjoy the feeling of regaining control." It’s just been published by Arcturus.

Here is the article in the Metro we mentioned last week by Mike Wendling author of Pluto’s Alt-Right: From 4chan to the White House (£12.99, pb, 978 0745337456). Both this article and the book are a vital guide to understanding the serious threats posed by this white nationalist, anti-feminist, far-right movement.

“If we would learn what the human race really is at bottom,” wrote Mark Twain in 1885, “we need only observe it at election time.” Sex, Lies and Politics (£9.99, pb, 978 1785905063) which is new in September from Biteback, shows that the more we learn about voters, the more we realise how right he was. Written by leading political experts, it draws on surveys, studies and polls to reveal what makes voters tick. It covers the things that really matter, like how attractive the candidates are, what letters their surnames begin with, when they lie to pollsters, why men in particular make things up and how Remainers think they have a better sex life. At once funny, revealing and shocking, this is a witty examination of what really stimulates the voting public. Cowley and Ford are the authors of Sex, Lies and the Ballot Box (978 1849547550), which has sold over 4,500 copies to date. Channel 4 News said “This is the perfect navigation kit for the inevitable general election coming towards us. Buy it, read it and assume the brace position,” while Sky commented that “This book answers everything you want to know about UK politics but were afraid to ask.” Daniel Finkelstein in the Times said “I am really excited about this book. Politics is like anything: you can’t know something, really know it, unless you have used proper scientific methods to find it out. Read it, or remain a ‘Don’t know’ – those are your alternatives.”

Recent scandals at Save the Children and Oxfam have raised questions about the scale, power and role of international non-governmental organisations (INGOs). Drawing on his experience working with large and small, international and local INGOs in over 40 countries, and also on his own academic research, Terry Gibson addresses these questions head on. Making Aid Agencies Work (pb, £24.99, 978 1787695122) has just been published by Emerald, and there was a big piece on it in the August issue of the Big Issue entitled The Aid Industry Isn’t Working and This is Why which you can read here. Development Entrepreneur Dr Simon Batchelor said "Never afraid to ask the difficult questions and to come up with challenging answers, Gibson digs under the surface of recent problems in the aid industry and provides disruptive and innovative solutions."

Here's a very interesting article about James Daunt in the New York Times entitled Can Britain’s Top Bookseller Save Barnes & Noble? Loads of fascinating titbits of intriguing info, lots of good press for some of our favourite Waterstone’s shops including the fabulous Waterstones in Horsham, and it even mentions a Biteback book, Bloody Southerners: Clough and Taylor's Brighton & Hove Odyssey by Spencer Vignes (pb, £12.99, 978 1785904363). Enjoy!

The celebrations for Carcanet’s 50th birthday begin this autumn, and run through until summer 2020. If any bookseller wants to talk about hosting a poetry event in their shop, then please get in touch with or It would be useful to know which authors you ideally would like to invite; whether there are any poets local to you who might like to get involved; which Carcanet books sell best for you and also whether you have a shop budget for authors’ travel expenses! The first Carcanet Jubilee event is Poetry Ireland in Dublin on Friday 25 Oct. This promises to be a wonderful day of presentations, discussions and readings exploring the relationships between publisher and poet over the years and Irish poetry beyond Ireland. You can find out more on the Carcanet website here.

The mental health of the nation’s children could not be a more relevant topic with a new study this week uncovering how heavy social media use disrupts girls’ mental health in particular, that research is here. There has also been plenty of coverage of the fact that the mental health services available to young people are something of a postcode lottery as this article on the BBC website confirms. A good opportunity therefore to suggest you stock these four excellent titles from Critical, which have been praised by the academic community as “very valuable,”accessible” and “absolutely excellent.”. Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Children 4-11 Years (978 1912508082), Positive Mental Health: A Whole School Approach (978 1912096084), Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Learners 11-18 Years (978 1912508129) and perhaps most relevantly Social Media and Mental Health in Schools (978 1912508167) are all by Jonathan Glazzard and Colin Mitchell and are paperbacks, £15.99. Jonathan is an experienced teacher educator and the professor attached to the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools. Colin is passionate about empowering students and academics to harness technology to enhance teaching and learning and a firm believer that technology is not always the answer and sometimes the best approach can be a simple one.

Next Tuesday (20th August) there will be an interview on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Afternoon Edition with Nial Giacomelli talking about his mesmerising debut novella The Therapist (£7.99, pb, 978 1912054909) which is currently Book of the Month for August for Foyles Royal Festival Hall.  This bittersweet and hauntingly surreal tale has just been published by Fairlight Moderns. Everyone who have read this one is absolutely raving about it, for example: “Read the synopsis of this book and then dismiss any assumptions you may have about it. It’s a dystopian-horror-sci-fi-fantasy novella all wrapped up in a stunning 118-page bundle. I don’t say this easily – this is, without doubt, one of my favourite books so far this year. It took me about two hours to read, devour, demolish and it was flipping amazing.”

Part memoir, part social history and a call to action, Constitution Street (£12.99, 978 1912489206) by Jemma Neville is getting plenty of publicity. Her event at Edinburgh International Book Festival next week has sold out, with its director Nick Barley, saying “I love this book. It's a gorgeously written, authentic and genuinely hopeful text which manages to be local and universal.” There was a full spread in the Scotsman last weekend, talking all about the book and the street. You can read the piece here. David Robinson also reviewed Constitution Street in Books from Scotland saying “Constitution Street is informative, empathetic, and almost certainly the best on the market. It will probably remain so for a long time" You can read the full review here. It’s published by 404Ink.

Comma’s The Sea Cloak by Nayrouz Qarmout (£9.99, pb 978 1905583782) has gathered some of its first coverage in the wake of EIBF events. There’s a review here, a piece in the Scotsman here, and a feature here. Whether following the daily struggles of orphaned children fighting to survive in the rubble of recent bombardments, or mapping the complex, cultural tensions between different generations of refugees in wider Gazan society, these stories offer rare insights into one of the most talked about, but least understood cities in the Middle East. Taken together, the collection affords us a local perspective on a global story.

Don’t forget to listen out for The Woman in the White Kimono (£8.99, pb, 978 1789550696) by Ana Johns which will be featured on the Radio 2 Book Club this coming Monday 19th August. Ana will be interviewed on the Jo Whiley Show at 7pm; this show is terrific publicity for any title as there is always a lengthy discussion of the book, and then listeners call in to say how much they love it! The Woman in the White Kimono is a heartfelt portrait of one woman torn between her culture and her heart, and another woman on a quest for truth. It’s published by Legend and is inspired by the true story of Ana John’s father, who as an American US Navy soldier in the 1950s fell in love with a Japanese girl. Their relationship was ultimately stopped by cultural pressures and Ana has done extensive research into the thousands of love stories that were thwarted and babies abandoned.

When Valerie Pirie interviewed for her first secretarial job after college, she did not expect to end up working for Stirling Moss. Regarded as the greatest driver who was never crowned world champion, he would become not only her new boss, but a lifelong friend. Now she opens up about the man behind the steering wheel in a playful and moving memoir recounting anecdotes from the track, the office and nights out with one of the best-known names in motor racing. Whether at Goodwood, Le Mans or the Nürburgring, Pirie was there beside Moss to witness the wins and losses and of course, his career-ending crash in 1962. Never just colleagues, the pair were true companions, and this book brings to light the story of their enduring friendship from the classic post-war era of motor racing through to today. Ciao Stirling (978 1785904639, £20, hb) is out on 3 September and there will be an extract from this title in Motorsport magazine, an interview with Val in People’s Friend and a review in Classic and Sports Car.

If you’d like to see a bit of the great Stirling Moss in action, then have a look at this highly nostalgic four minutes of old footage.

And in this week’s Hot Topics, here's Quentin Tarantino talking about his favourite music, here's Nessa from Gavin and Stacey telling fans to stay quiet while they film the 2019 Christmas special, and following the UEFA Super Cup, here are some other disastrous penalty kicks – or brilliant saves, depending on your point of view!

Compass Points is now on holiday. More in a fortnight!

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

No comments:

Post a Comment