Friday 13 March 2020

Compass Points 341

Eco gardening can lessen our overconsumption of natural resources, reduce waste, cut energy use, and make a positive contribution to reducing our carbon footprint. I’m pleased to tell you that on 16 March, Lorenz are publishing a new updated edition of How to Create an Eco Garden (£15, hb, 978 0754834717), which is bursting with practical advice and great ideas for creating your own eco garden on any scale from a small courtyard to a large garden or allotment. Simple projects include saving energy by harvesting rainwater, improving biodiversity, attract pest-eating insects, making a pond and a wildlife hotel, turning a lawn into a wildflower meadow, and planting a ‘fedge’. There are over 500 gorgeous photographs. This is for everyone who wants a beautiful, productive garden that won’t cost the earth. John Walker writes about greener gardening for national newspapers and magazines in the UK, including the Telegraph, and has won the British Garden Media Guild Environmental Award three times. You can find more about him at

Congratulations to Michael Gill, whose book Edmund Hillary: A Biography (£24, hb, 978 1911342960) has just won first place in the literary prose about mountains category in The Best Publications on Mountains International Competition. In this affectionate, but scrupulously fair biography, Michael profiles a man whose life was shaped by both triumph and tragedy, building on a wealth of unpublished material, as well as his extensive personal experience. The Glasgow Evening Times said it ‘gives the reader a great insight into both the physical and emotional aspects of mountaineering and polar adventures. A brilliant read which will be enjoyed by anyone who loves the great outdoors and explorations.' It’s published by Vertebrate.

Three years ago, the idea of a whole book about London's street trees seemed somewhat esoteric. But Paul Wood's brilliant and acclaimed book went on to sell out three printings, and its revelations that London's streets are actually an amazing 'urban arboretum' have even led local tree groups to plant the rare species featured in it to beautify their own streets. Now, to take account of all the new species planted on the capital's streets Safe Haven is publishing a new, expanded, fully revised edition of London’s Street Trees (978 1916045330, pb, £14.99) that includes not only more trees and new features, but also more of its hugely popular tree-walk routes. There’s publicity and events lined up for it, and in early May, Paul will be on BBC Radio 4 Gardeners' Question Time, talking about the book in a feature on street trees in Shoreditch. Before then, Paul will be at a guided tree walk and book signing at Daunts, Marylebone on 20 March, the Herne Hill cherry trees festival on 29 March, Brokedown Palace outdoor shop, Shoreditch on 5 April, Daunts, Hampstead Heath on 26 April and at London’s Urban Tree Festival between 16-24 May. The new edition is published on 28 March.

Rebecca Willis is writing a 4,000-word article for the Guardian Long Read to be published around the publication date (25 March) of Too Hot to Handle? (£12.99, pb, 978 1529206029). Based on interviews with leading politicians and activists, and the author’s twenty years on the frontline of climate politics, this book explores why climate is such a challenge for political systems, and asks if is it possible to hope for a democratic solution to climate change? It argues that more democracy, not less, is needed to tackle the climate crisis, and suggests practical ways forward. Juliet Davenport form Good Energy said ‘The political process that is central to our democracy is faltering just as we need it most to lead on the climate crisis. Rebecca Willis articulates the problem elegantly and outlines options with great insight’ It’s published by Bristol University Press.

Last weekend the Guardian Review ran a feature on ground-breaking European writers. It included award-winning Iraqi author Hassan Blasim, who was forced to flee Iraq as a refugee and is now based in Finland. His second short story collection The Iraqi Christ won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2014, and his debut novel, God 99 (pb, £9.99, 978 1905583775) is out from Comma on 16 July. You can check out the full interview here.

Walk into any European museum today and you will see the curated spoils of Empire. They sit behind plate glass: dignified, tastefully lit. Accompanying pieces of card offer a name, date and place of origin. They do not mention that the objects are all stolen. There was a great piece by Dan Hicks in the Guardian last weekend which you can read here which fully credited his forthcoming book, The Brutish Museums: The Benin Bronzes, Colonial Violence and Cultural Restitution (£20, hb, 978 0745341767) It’s published by Pluto on 20 August.

Hype Yourself (£14.99, pb, 978 1788601238) continues to gather coverage, and it’s still the number one seller in the PR category for Amazon! You can hear Lucy Werner talking on The Future is Female podcast here and read a great review on the Book Therapy blog here. Everything that’s going on now is listed below!
Podcast slot on Love It or Leave It
Feature in Thrive Global
Column in April edition Absolutely Mama magazine
Influencer Victoria Emes (112k followers) has just done 9 stories on the book and a swipe up for Amazon!
 Selected as a Top 100 Female Entrepreneur
Just Entrepreneurs 'Top 4 Reads for Startups'
Review in The Homeworker, freelance / self-employed magazine
Double page feature in Startups Magazine, and on front cover
Review in GoWrite magazine
Piece in Support Local magazine
Woman in Work interview with Lucy Werner in Absolutely Mama
 Slot on Home Business podcast
Life Like You Mean It podcast
Podcast interview on The Inspiration Space
Interview blog with The Marshmallowist
 How to Promote a Business Book for Found Flourish
Podcast slot for Women on Top 'WotPod' with Frankie Cotton
Project Anywhere 'Choose Your Own Career Adventures With Lucy Werner'
Review by Everywoman SelfMade Entrepreneurs Hub
 Slot on Tobacco & Lemonade podcast
Webinar with Sam Missingham for The Empowered Author, March 20

Europa28 (£12.99, pb, 978 1912697298) was published yesterday and a review is forthcoming in the Guardian. You see it here looking mighty fine at Foyles Charing Cross Road – thanks guys! The Literary Addict said ‘If you are interested in exceptional women writers, immersive, thought-provoking writing, for hope and inspiration, then do pick Europa28 up.' You can read that review here and one of the contributors, Saara Turunen was interviewed for the new episode of The Europeans podcast which you can hear here.

The UK’s love for David Hockney’s work shows no sign of abating, with the opening of a new Hockney exhibition display at the National Portrait Gallery week, to great acclaim by the Guardian here. You can see The Hockneys: Never Worry What the Neighbours Think by John Hockney (£25, hb, 978 1789550733) featured here in their bookshop; this rare and spirited look into the lives of an ordinary family with extraordinary stories poignantly illustrated by both famous and private pictures and paintings from David Hockney is still selling very well.

A terrific review from review from Trek and Mountain for Crack Climbing (£25, pb,.978 1911342762), saying it was ‘a masterpiece, we can’t recommend this book highly enough, and essential reading for anyone serious about improving their crack skills.’ You can read that here and The Training Beta podcast interviewed its author Pete Whittaker which you can listen to here. It’s just been published by Vertebrate

And in this week’s Hot Topics, here's a very interesting piece in the Guardian about how the coronavirus might bring changes to our everyday lives that last forever – and they’re not necessarily bad ones. Here is the trailer for the new Pixar film Soul, and here's an old favourite to cheer everyone up from Peter Kay!

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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