Friday, 23 June 2017

Compass Points 219


This week was National Breastfeeding Week and ex-midwife, parenting consultant and author Rachel Fitz-Desorgher hosted a Q&A session on the Mother and Baby social media pages to talk about this while ever so subtly promoting her fantastic new book Your Baby Skin to Skin (£12.99, pb, 978 1910336311) which is out from White Ladder Press. If you’re on Facebook, you can watch that session here - there have been over 4,500 views of it already! Your Baby Skin to Skin has had ecstatic reviews from parents, e.g. “After my second baby was born, I got rid of all the parenting books I had ever bought and swore I'd never buy another. The conflicting advice about 'the right way' to parent in the early years had ended up feeling deeply unhelpful. Your Baby Skin to Skin is the first book I've picked up since then that has had the opposite effect. It reminded me that the most helpful advice is simply to trust my instincts and listen to my baby” and really does give parents a fresh, empowering approach by the woman who has been described as “the best mother, doula, midwife and best friend all rolled into one”.

Here's a cool story – a dustbin man in Columbia has built a free community library of thrown away books. Mr Gutierrez, who has gained the nickname The Lord of the Books, began collecting books that had been dumped in the waste bins in wealthier parts of the city – the collection began with discarded copy of Anna Karenina.

The Sunday Herald's Culture Awards, dubbed Scotland's Oscars, have been unveiled and many congratulations to Birlinn who have THREE authors on the Author of the Year shortlist. The awards, now in their second year, are to celebrate, reward and nurture the huge pool of talent across the Scottish arts and cultural scene and the Birlinn three join a starry line up which include Ewan McGregor, Karen Gillan and David Tennant. The authors are: Liz Lochhead (Fugitive Colours, 978 1846973451), Kevin MacNeil (The Brilliant & Forever, 978 1846973376) and Malachy Tallack (The Un-Discovered Islands 978 846973505 and 60 Degrees North 978 1846973420). The Culture Awards will be held on Thursday, July 13, 2017 at Glasgow’s stylish art and music venue, SWG3.

James McAvoy won a Culture award last year – I love this clip of him on The Late Show explaining to a US audience exactly what it means to be Scottish!

Meet Simon Haines. For a decade, he's been chasing his dream: partnership at a law firm. The gruelling hours of his job have come close to breaking him, but he is now within a whisker of his millions and in less than two weeks, he will know the outcome of the partnership vote. He decides to spend the wait in Cuba to clear his mind before the arrival of the news that might change his life forever. But alone in Havana he becomes lost in nostalgia and begins to relive his past… Set against the backdrop of an uncertain world, Being Simon Haines by Tom Vaughan MacAulay (£8.99, pb 978 1910453353) is a searching story about the current generation of young professionals and their aspirations. It asks the most universal of questions: are we strong enough to know who we are? It was published by Red Door yesterday, with a launch at Waterstone’s Leadenhall and Red Door have organised a super Book Blogs Tour for it and reviews have been extremely enthusiastic – have a look and read the opening chapter of the book here.  
There is also an advertising campaign running on the Docklands Light Railway for the next three weeks plus a fun promotion with teaser cards promoting it on tube trains around the city and twenty copies of the book placed around London for readers to discover. This is all backed up with a clever Twitter campaign – have a look at #WhoIsSimonHaines . Being Simon Haines is an assured and intelligent debut: The Times said it “pushes all the seductive buttons in a world tangential to our own” and if you’d like to find out more, you can read a piece where Tom talks about writing it in the Warrington Guardian here.

There was an excellent interview with Alison Murdoch this week, discussing her powerful and poignant book Bed 12 (£9.99, pb, 9780995647800) about how it feels to suddenly plunge into the world of acute medicine, on BBC Radio London: you can listen to that here; (it starts at 2hours 6 minutes in). Dr Phil Hammond said this book was “a love letter to the NHS, and the everyday acts of kindness that keep it afloat ... it needs to be widely read” and Alison will be talking about it on Good Morning Sunday on 25th June and Hikari Press are expecting more coverage for it in the Guardian, Red Magazine and the Evening Standard. Alison will also be reading at The Jamyang Buddhist Centre in London on Saturday 24th June – details are here – and talking at The Royal Medical Society on 7th July.

In a thoroughly uncertain world, what you need to set yourself up for the day is a superfood breakfast and Lorenz have just the book. Superfood Breakfasts! 50 Smoothie Bowls, Power Bars & Energy Balls: Smoothie Bowls and Power-Packed Seed Bars and Balls to Start the Day by Sara Lewis (hb, £9.99, 978 0754832379) is bursting with fabulous breakfast ideas packed with essential vitamins, minerals, good fats, good carbs and fibre to help keep our body in tip-top shape and to boost our immunity. Soul and Spirit Magazine is featuring this title in in its July issue – you can see a couple of spreads from it below!


This week is Refugee Week so an ideal opportunity to remind you about Voices from the Jungle (pb, £14.99, 978 0745399683). The refugee camp near Calais epitomises for many the suffering, uncertainty and violence which characterises the situation of refugees in Europe today. But the media soundbites we hear often ignore the voices of the people who lived there; people who are looking for peace and a better future, people with astounding stories. Voices from the Jungle is a collection of these stories told in powerful, vivid language and illustrated with photographs, poems and drawings by the refugees. It paints a picture of a different kind of Jungle; one with a powerful sense of community despite evictions and attacks, and of a solidarity which crosses national and religious boundaries. It should be read by anyone hoping to understand this crisis a little better and you can see some of the pictures and read extracts from it on a blog here introduced by one of the editors, Katrine Møller Hansen. There have been promotional events for it linking in with Refugee Week at UEL, and at Book and Kitchen tomorrow – you can see more info about that one here. Voices from the Jungle: Stories from the Calais Refuge Camp is published by Pluto.

The Threat Level Remains Severe (pb, £8.99, 978 1910709153) published next month by Gallic has been chosen as one of Red Online's top summer reads  - you can see that here and its author Rowena Macdonald will feature in the Telegraph's Stella magazine on 2nd July, writing about her experience of having been stalked at work. Confirmed magazine review coverage also includes Good Housekeeping and Closer.

What’s the difference between a public service organisation and a sailing boat? You can find the answer here in an extract from The Moral Heart of Public Service, where its editor Claire Foster-Gilbert of the Westminster Abbey Institute explores why we so often think that members of the public service lack moral integrity. There was some great publicity this week in the Telegraph for this title which has just been published by Jessica Kingsley; a long interview with one of the contributors, Mary McAleese with two juicy plugs for the book!

On the subject of moral integrity, and as the Brexit talks finally grind into gear, I think it’s a good time to watch this  – Tracey Ullman as Angela Merkel!

Millions of teens around the country are in the throes of exams. Tears, tizzes and tantrums abound – and that's just the parents. Two men hoping to help children and their parents get a handle on the most effective ways of revising, and handling stress have a brilliant book out from Crown House packed with their expert tips – and it’s getting lots of publicity! Bradley Busch and Edward Watson have worked with Premier League footballers and Olympians, and strongly believe that the techniques they’ve used to coach elite athletes can help children achieve their potential. Release Your Inner Drive: Everything You Need to Know about How to Get Good at Stuff (£9.99, pb, 978 1785831997) was featured recently here in the Daily Mail, and here in the Guardian and there will be more to come – these authors are GREAT at self-promotion! “LOVE this book. Perfect for teenagers as has lots of tips based on research. The graphics are fab and really colourful, so grabs attention quickly. The parts on motivation and mindset really stand out. Would definitely recommend other parents get this book” is typical of the Amazon reviews – do NOT let them get all the sales!!

Actually, I think all you need to know about revision and exams is contained in this  classic Mr Bean clip – I can’t actually believe it was first broadcast 27 years ago!! Still comedy gold IMO.

A phenomenon in Turkey with more than 120,000 copies sold; Women Who Blow on Knots (pb, £9.99, 978 1910901694) chronicles a voyage reaching from Tunisia to Lebanon, taken by three young women and septuagenarian Madam Lilla. Its author Ece Temelkuran weaves an empowering tale pondering not only the social questions of politics, religion and women in the Middle East, but also the universal bonds of sister- and motherhood. Unique and controversial in its country of origin for its political rhetoric and strong, atypically Muslim female characters, it is Foyle’s Book of the Month for June and there have also been well attended events promoting it at Waterstones Piccadilly and Trafalgar Square; preview launches at Asia House, and appearances at the Hay Festival, the Edinburgh Festival and the Stoke Newington Literature Festival. KulturWest described it as being “like a firework. It is the book where Twitter and the Thousand and One Nights fairytales meet.” Ece Temelkuran is one of Turkey’s best-known novelists and political commentators and this title is a PEN Translates Award Winner – definitely one to watch. As one reviewer said “If you cannot think of a better road story with heroines other than Thelma & Louise, you should read this novel”. It has just been published by Parthian.
Jane Menczer was on BBC Cambridge recently promoting her title An Unlikely Agent (£8.99, pb, 978 1846973802) which was published last month by Birlinn. The book bloggers have gone mad for this title: “I would heartily recommend it if you enjoy spy novels with a twist of romance, elements of danger and plenty of nail-biting suspense”; “an enthralling Edwardian espionage thriller featuring an endearing, independent female lead and lashings of intrigue”; “an engrossing read, with many funny moments, and I rather hope this gifted debut novelist dishes up more detective delights in the very near future”.

When does a riot become a revolution? When does a demonstration of dissent tip over into a moment of unstoppable political change? Protest: Stories of Resistance (pb, £14.99, 978 1905583737) asked fifteen authors to bring crucial moments of British protest to life. Each author is paired with either a historian or a genuine witness to the protest; resulting in the stories being both readable and factually informed; and each tale is then followed by an accessibly written afterword by the witness or historian. By following fictional characters caught up in the momentum of nonfictional moments, the stories offer rare insights into protests from a live, street-level perspective and include the Peasants Revolt, the Suffragettes, the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, Greenham Common, and more. The authors include Frank Cottrell Boyce, David Constantine, Alexei Sayle and Maggie Gee. This is a brilliant and timely idea for a short story anthology – it has a great cover and it is published by Comma Press on 6 July. You can see some of the authors reading their stories on YouTube here.

So, let’s end with the Top Ten Protest Songs! Power to the people! Right now!

That’s all for now folks! More next week!

This blog is taken from a newsletter which is sent weekly to over 700 booksellers as well as publishers and publicists. If you would like to order any of the titles mentioned, then please talk to your Compass Sales Manager, or call the office on 020 8326 5696. And if you'd like to subscribe to the newsletter so that you get it every week in your own inbox then please submit your email at the foot of this page!

Friday, 16 June 2017

Compass Points 218

What a fabulous window this is from Golden Hare Books in Edinburgh  featuring a gorgeous hand painted illustration inspired by Sinéad Morrissey’s new volume of poetry On Balance (pb, £9.99, 978 1784103606) published by Carcanet which has just been nominated for the Forward Prize.
Winner of the 2017 Poetry Book Society Choice Award, and set against a backdrop of ecological and economic instability, this new collection (her sixth) examines some of the great feats of human engineering to reveal the states of balance and imbalance that have shaped our history. The poems also address gender inequality and our inharmonious relationship with the natural world and is a tour de force from the writer who the Independent described as “the outstanding poet of her generation.”

Carcanet also have The Tragic Death of Eleanor Marx by Tara Bergin, (£9.99, pb, 978-1784103804) which is published on 27 July, Raking Light by Eric Langley and Ian Patterson (£9.99, pb, 978 1784103323) and The Plenty of Nothing by Ian Patterson (published in PN Review) shortlisted for these prestigious awards – a title in every category in fact, which is tremendous! The Forward Prizes for Poetry are the most coveted awards for poetry and have played a key role in bringing contemporary poetry to the attention of the wider public for quarter of a century. 
The three prizes – £10,000 for Best Collection, £5,000 for Best First Collection and £1,000 for Best Single Poem – are unique in honouring both the work of established poets and the debuts of brilliant unknowns. The 26th annual Forward Prizes will be awarded on 21 September 2017 at the Royal Festival Hall by jury chairman Andrew Marr You can see the full shortlist of 15 here and a piece in the Guardian here.

Today is Bloomsday –  the annual celebration of Joyce’s masterpiece Ulysses and a fine day to remind yourself of his genius! You may fancy yourself as a bit of a literary genius yourself – but how well do you know your Joyce? Test your knowledge with our 16 questions for 16 June in this fine Guardian quiz here.

Quite a bit of publicity over the last week for The European Game: The Secrets of European Football Success (£14.99, 978 1909715486) which has just been published in paperback by Arena Sport. Over three months Daniel Fieldsend travelled the continent discovering the methods for success used at some of the biggest clubs in Europe; from Ajax, Juventus, Bayern Munich, AC Milan and many more. At every stop on his journey, Fieldsend delved to the very heart of what made the club tick, speaking to members of staff all the way up the hierarchical ladder, from scouts and academy coaches to first team managers, analysts and board members, pulling back the curtain to reveal their day to day workings. Insightful and compelling, The European Game comprises leadership, tactics, coaching and scouting as well as politics, finance, fandom and culture. It is a broad investigation into Europe's relationship with football and what nations can learn from one another. Daniel has done some radio interviews for it, including Radio City, which you can listen to as a podcast here, and TalkSport Radio. The Economist said it “shows how globalisation, and the professionalisation of all facets of football, have transformed the sport on the continent…and how important regional and national differences between teams still linger” and there will be articles in the Morning Star, Goal magazine and others to come.

Many women want children – long for them in fact; but have to come to terms with the fact that it is not to be. Dear You: A Letter to my Unborn Children (pb, £9.99, 978 1910453407) is a breathtakingly candid and moving memoir, in which Tessa Broad writes to the children that never were. She writes to them as their adult selves with openness and honesty and tells them of the childhood she envisaged for them and the mother she believed she would be. She describes her reluctant transformation from the woebegone, wannabe mummy that she once was, to the woman she is now; childless but sailing through Mother's Day with a smile on her face. From the 'trying for a family' stage to the relentless treadmill of infertility treatment, Tess recounts her story with humour, warmth and pathos, taking the reader on her journey with her, sharing her experiences, the roller-coaster ride of IVF, the sudden departure of the husband whose children she wanted to have and ultimately to her acceptance that the life she wanted was not hers for the taking. Dear You: A Letter to my Unborn Children by Tessa Broad which is published by Red Door is being serialised in the Daily Mail between 15-24th June and there will also be an interview, extract and photos to run in Bella magazine on the week of publication which is 29 June.

The dreadful events in the UK recently have certainly focussed our attention on the gallant boys in blue – so a very timely publication date for How to be a Police Officer by Graham Wettone (pb, £12.99, 978 1785902192) which was launched last night at Daunts. Published by Biteback this is a must-read for anyone curious about the reality of life on the front-line and takes you from those first thoughts about joining through to the training itself and to the real work involved in policing. A thirty-year veteran of the police service in London and across the UK, Graham Wettone now trains prospective police recruits and is the policing expert for Sky News. This book offers fascinating insights into the job taking in the upheavals that have shaped the landscape of British policing and explaining what it really takes to make it in the force.

Well, there are plenty to choose from, and Graham Wettone may not approve – but what are your most hilarious cop moments from the world of film? Here's a top ten to get you thinking…definitely more How NOT to be a Police Officer!

The Portrait (pb, £8.99, 9781910477434) – a new novella by Antoine Laurain – is out in a fortnight from Gallic and will be reviewed in the Saturday Express this weekend and the Observer very shortly. This author has so many fans, and as one blogger put it, this is “a delightful literary soufflé that fans of his other charming books will savour… distinctive for its energetic prose and plot and for his skill in rendering simple what is otherwise complex… pure entertainment.” As always with Laurain, the premise of this book hooks you in straight away. An art collector, Pierre-François Chaumont is stunned to discover an eighteenth-century portrait of an unknown man who looks just like him and much to his delight, his bid for the work is successful. However, his jaded wife and circle of friends are unable to see the resemblance, but Chaumont remains convinced of it, and as he researches into the painting’s history, he is presented with the opportunity to abandon his tedious existence and walk into a brand-new life…

Bring your lover to live with you and your husband. What could go wrong? Possibly a Love Story by Olivia Fane is a viciously funny satire on the middle classes and middle-class values, but with a huge heart, and it’s getting some fab reviews! “Hugely entertaining, I read it in two sittings” said Isabel Wolff and the Telegraph wrote “Her work ... has an almost dreamlike clarity.” It’s ideal for summer reading book tables, and is perfect subtle and clever holiday escapism. Possibly a Love Story (pb, £8.99, 978 1910050965) is published by Arcadia.

Ooh, we do love a love triangle! From Romeo and Juliet, to Gatsby, Daisy and Tom to Twilight, this has been an enduring literary theme – have a look at this list of some of the most famous book love triangles here! And what are the Top Ten film Love Triangles? Thought you’d never ask – they’re right here!

Here’s an interesting question – does the curse of the 'difficult second album' affect poets as well as musicians? The Telegraph ponders this question here , and comes to the conclusion that in fact, some of the most famous poets, such as Sylvia Plath and Philip Larkin, only found their voice in their second books. The reason behind this musing was the launch this week of the Ledbury Forte Prize; a biannual award for follow-ups, with a £5,000 prize. This is the first award of its kind, and the shortlist features Carcanet's Holy Toledo! (pb, £9.99, 978 1784102609) by John Clegg. This startling new collection is a bestiary of the American Southwest; a history of English literary criticism in the twentieth century and an unreliable guide to the desert! Generous, humorous, oddly askew, the poems in this book have their own highly individual rangy energy. The winner of the Ledbury Forte Poetry Prize will be announced at this year’s Ledbury Poetry Festival, on Friday June 30.

An interesting story on the BBC news today about a bell from SS Mendi which has just been recovered in Swanage. You can read the whole piece here. SS Mendi sank off the Isle of Wight during WW1, killing more than 600 black South African labourers. Historic England's book We Die Like Brothers: The Sinking of the SS Mendi (hb, £17.99, 978 1848023697) by John Gribble was published earlier this year and is an important book, demonstrating that SS Mendi is one of a very select group of historic shipwrecks from which contemporary political and social meaning can be drawn. The wreck of the SS Mendi is now recognised as one of England's most significant WW1 heritage assets and in this book, John Gribble uses the loss of the Mendi to highlight the story of the SANLC and other labour corps as well as the wider treatment of British imperial subjects in wartime.

BuzzFeed Books recently asked subscribers to their newsletter to tell them about a book they couldn't get out of their head. Have a look here at the 31 novels that their fans say will stick with you long after you've finished reading.

Last week I told you how much I am enjoying Joanna Walsh’s short stories Words from World End which are coming in September, and this week I am very pleased to tell you that her spellbinding second collection Vertigo, (£8.99, pb, 978 1908276803) published by And Other Stories is one of five titles nominated on an all-female shortlist for the £10,000 Edge Hill Short Story Prize. The winner will be announced at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on the 26th August. Prize organiser Ailsa Cox, described it as an “amazing line-up”. She said: "All five writers are rising stars, and you're going to hear a lot more of them in the future. In each of these collections, you'll find passion, wit and intelligence, and above all a way of working with language that is unique to the short story form.” The prize is the only UK-based award that recognises excellence in published short story collections and will also include a £1,000 Reader’s Choice Award to an author from the shortlist. Find out more in the Bookseller here.

The Bureau of Second Chances by Sheena Kalayil (978 1846973925, pb, £8.99) was published yesterday by Polygon and this beautifully written book set in India, explores how life can change unexpectedly while restoring the readers faith in human kindness with its warm-hearted hero Thomas. It has had some fab reviews from the blogs and press: “There is plenty of light, with passages that will make you smile, but it has its share of darkness, touching on caste and social expectations in India, as well as reflections on marriage, illness and parenting ... I raced through the last third of the book on the edge of my seat, desperate to know how it turned out” said The Bookbag, giving it five stars; while Scotland on Sunday wrote “A bittersweet, uplifting tone makes it impossible to put down. Kalayil writes beautifully, painting colourful portraits of her characters and managing her story's unexpected twists with aplomb.” There’s an author interview, coming up at the start of July in the Sunday Post, and an extract in the Scotsman and an interview with Sheena Kalayil on BBC Radio Manchester, plus some railway station advertising in Edinburgh.

Here’s an interesting e-book idea; a new book app is challenging the notion that reading “well” necessarily means falling back on the same old classics, from Trollope to Tolstoy. Each week, Alexi, a “digital book club”, turns to writers for inspiration, asking them to rout out hidden gems which are then offered to members to read on their phone or tablet. The result is an ever-changing library that features a selection of books you are less likely to know. You can read about it and see the suggestions here –  interesting, but still not a patch on a human bookseller’s recommendation in my opinion!

Tis now the season of suddenly being asked to rustle up some cakes for a school fete or other summer shindig; so thank heaven for Traybakes: 40 Brilliant One-Tin Bakes for Enjoying, Giving and Selling by Hannah Miles (hb, £9.99, 978 0754832843) which was published in March by Lorenz. This tasty title is featured in the June/July issue of Baking Heaven and there was also a piece about it on the BBC Three Counties Radio programme. Traybakes are one of the simplest forms of cakes and oh joy, they can be prepared in very little time and cut into easy squares to serve, sell and eat! They transport easily in their tin and are just right for offering up at a summer event! Every recipe fits the same standard tin size and they each make 24 slices. Chocolate brownies and blondies, lemon meringue, red velvet and more this is genuinely a really good collection of tried-and-tested irresistible bakes. Its author Hannah Miles was a finalist in the 2007 BBC MasterChef programme, in which she gained the hearts of the nation and the adulation of the judges: John Torode said of her: “I think Hannah is one of the most naturally gifted cooks I have seen in a long time.” Hannah’s food career has since taken off, and she writes for various magazines, including Delicious, and continues to make television and MasterChef Live appearances. As always from Lorenz, this book has step by step recipes and full colour spreads on every page, a couple of which you can see below– the photography is mouth-watering and the price fantastic!

Thanks very much to Waterstone’s in ScotlandWild Guide Scotland: Hidden Places, Great Adventures and the Good Life (£16.99, pb 978 1910636121) published by Wild Things is currently their Book of the Month for June, and it’s selling like the Flying Scotsman! Look at this absolutely stonking window display from Waterstone’s Aberdeen!

So, let’s end here today with Wild Thing from the Trogs to celebrate! Wild Things Publishing – you do make our hearts sing and yes, we think we love you!

That’s all for now folks! More next week!
This blog is taken from a newsletter which is sent weekly to over 700 booksellers as well as publishers and publicists. If you would like to order any of the titles mentioned, then please talk to your Compass Sales Manager, or call the office on 020 8326 5696.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Compass Points 217

What a night! All I will say is that you may well want to get these two titles from Biteback on display at the front of your bookshop pronto! Prime Minister Corbyn And Other Things That Never Happened (hb, £14.99, 978 1785900457) brings you a century of political history turned on its head with twenty-three expert examinations of things that never happened –  oh wait…?? Prime Minister Boris And Other Things That Never Happened (pb, £9.99, 978 1849543620) also gives the reader an expert take on the different roads that history might have taken in twenty-two different scenarios.
 These collections are easy reading and the different writing styles and approaches to each situation provide as pleasing a contrast as the actual subjects in consideration. Whether written straight as essays, mock history from within the context of the 'what if', fictional thrillers or correspondence between academics; these essays keep the reader enthralled both at the possibilities of what might have been. A running joke in those pieces of dismissing things that really did happen as implausible; makes them a highly topical read right now! Both titles are edited by Duncan Brack and Iain Dale.

The Bookseller has just published its Rising Stars of 2017 – which you can see here.  Congratulations to all of the stellar alumni, but a special well done to Sarah Plows – Marketing Manager of Jessica Kingsley who I spy on the list. Very well-deserved IMO as the creativity of the PR and publicity campaigns for this fab publisher have been absolutely tip top recently!

And talking of Jessica Kingsley, they have just boosted their group turnover by 13% to £6.1m for the year ending December 2016, delivering an astonishing thirtieth consecutive year of growth. Founder Jessica Kingsley said “It feels very good to have completed this milestone year with an unbroken record of profit and growth. It may in some ways have felt like 30 years’ hard labour, but it is enormously satisfying to know that the books we publish make a real difference to people’s lives. We have a fantastic team at the moment, and the sense of shared values and vision for the future makes me very optimistic about what JKP can do in the future.” You can read the whole story in the Bookseller here.

Congratulations to Urbane and Oberon whose novel and play script respectively have just been announced on a longlist of twelve titles for the Polari First Book Prize which is dominated by independent publishers and brings together an “exceptional” collection of drama, poetry, memoir and fiction, according to the judges. The chair of judges said the list “demonstrated the wealth of literary talent our community continues to produce and reflects the many challenges LGBT people still face in today’s society.” The shortlist of up to six titles will be announced on 31st July 2017 at a special Polari Literary Salon hosted at the Southbank Centre which will coincide with a series of events as it celebrates 10 years of championing LGBT voices in literature, with the largest ever LGBT literary tour undertaken in the UK. The 16-date tour will start at Bradford Literature Festival on 7th July and will move on to a special event at Hull Pride/City of Culture on 27th July, marking the 50th anniversary of The Sexual Offences Act 1967. A Monster by Violet (pb, £8.99, 978 1911129271) by Laura Wake from Urbane is a thoroughly gripping account of what happens when Violet wakes up after a three-day drug and alcohol binge to the sound of her friend's baby Maria crying with hunger, and decides to steals her, heading on a journey to a new land, and seeing in the child a chance of a new future, and salvation. 
The Chemsex Monologues by Patrick Cash (pb, £6.99, 978 1786820051) is an explicit, funny and touching exploration of the sexual, high world of the chillouts through six different characters, published as a play script by Oberon. It displays a realm that is sometimes dark, but populated by very real, loveable human beings. You can see the whole Polari First Book Prize longlist here.  
A new film: Detroit directed by Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow, is out on 4 August to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the deadly 1967 riots of the Motor City. You can watch a gripping trailer for it here. Polygon have the perfect tie-in title for this film: Detroit 67: The Year That Changed Soul by Stuart Cosgrove (pb, £9.99, 978 1846973666) which was published last autumn. The book takes the reader on a journey through the drama and chaos that ripped through the city in 1967, tearing it apart in personal, political and interracial violence. It is the story of Motown, and the damaging disputes at the heart of the most successful African-American music label ever, set against a backdrop of urban riots, escalating war in Vietnam and police corruption. There will undoubtedly be a LOT of publicity both for the new film and the 50-year anniversary of this turbulent year; so do make sure you have Detroit 67: The Year That Changed Soul on order!

Carcanet poets Adam Crothers and Rebecca Watts have both been on BBC Radio Cambridge this week talking about their shortlisting for the Seamus Heaney Prize. Their titles are Several Deer (pb, £9.99, 978 1784102449) and The Met Office Advises Caution (pb, £9.99, 978 1784102722). Another Carcanet poet Alex Wong is also on the shortlist of five for Poems Without Irony (pb, £9.99, 978 1784103040) and the £5,000 poetry prize for the Best First Full Collection will be awarded on June 29th. Best of luck to all of them!


How lovely to meet many of our marvellous publishers this week in sunny Slough where they told us all about the books they will be releasing between August and the end of the year. Lots of treats in store for you, which I’ll be telling you more about in the coming months! It’s always exciting to get some reading copies of forthcoming titles – and I was thrilled to pick up Words from the World’s End by Joanna Walsh – the much-anticipated short story collection follow-up to Vertigo which is published in September by And Other Stories. The Guardian chose Joanna for one of its Best Books of 2016 calling her writing “profoundly moving” and I am LOVING this new collection which certainly cements her reputation as one of the sharpest, most perceptive writers of this century. Wearing her learning lightly, the stories make us see the world afresh while showing us she has read the world.  
Like a Fish Needs a ... is perhaps the funniest, most freewheeling story ever written about cycling and in Worlds from the Word's End, Walsh conjures up a country in which words themselves fall out of fashion, something that will never happen wherever Walsh is read! Joanna Walsh’s playful and iconoclastic style brings a real sharpness to the fiction of ideas and in an oblique way this collection is a timely take on the contemporary political situation. If any bookseller would like a reading copy or to talk about booking Joanna for a literary event – then please get in touch with Nicky at nichola@andotherstories.org. What a brilliant and bold cover from New Yorker illustrator Roman Muradov.


Here are some of the Compass Team with Carcanet's Michael and Katie taking a quick breather from the books outside the conference hotel!

This is a lot of fun! The legendary Fleet Street editor Harold Evans has written a very amusing article in the Guardian on the 35 words you’re (probably) getting wrong! Do you know how to correctly use affect and effect? Compose and comprise? Are you sure?!

Rachel McCrum is one of Scotland's highest profile poets and performers and The First Blast to Awaken Women Degenerate (£9.99, pb, 978 1911332428) is her eagerly-awaited debut poetry collection which is published by Freight in July.  Rachel McCrum will be doing loads of publicity for it: she’s at the British Council International Literature Showcase in Norwich in June, then the West Cork Literary Festival on 17th July, then up to Scotland for a performance with National Gallery Scotland on 21 July; workshops at the Scottish Storytelling Centre and Edinburgh International Summer School and bookshop readings too. She’ll be at the Edinburgh Book Festival in August, then the Stowed Out Festival in the Scottish Borders followed by Wordlife in Sheffield, a reading at Hebden Bridge; London’s  Roundhouse on 7 September, Bristol on 9 September, and a reading at Mr B's Emporium, Bath on 14 September followed by possible dates in Cardiff and Southampton then the Aspects Festival in Northern Ireland, the Literary Dundee festival and the Wigtown Book Festival. Phew, that’s making me feel exhausted just writing it all down! You can see Rachel McCrum performing a poem that she wrote to mark the Scottish Refugee Council's 30th anniversary in supporting refugees in Scotland here.

Hooray! Frank Perry has just won the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize for Bret Easton Ellis and the Other Dogs (pb, £9.99, 978 1908276643). Published by And Other Stories, this debut novel by Swedish sensation Lina Wolff is a black and Bolano-esque take on the limitations of love in a dog-eat-dog world, set a run-down brothel in Spain. Mordantly funny, dryly sensual, written and translated with a staggering lightness of touch; this is a very worthy winner of this prestigious prize. It has a super vibrant and witty cover as you’d expect from this exciting publisher.

I don’t know if you caught the ever-startling Steven Berkoff talking with Jonathan Ross about his debut novel Sod the Bitches about his debut novel on his BBC Radio 2 Arts Show last week? If not you can listen again to that here -  it’s 24 mins in – but tbh the whole programme is worth a listen! Sod the Bitches (pb, £9.99, 978 1911129219) has just come out in paperback from Urbane and includes many of the challenging themes that haunt the Steven Berkoff canon: his luxurious verbosity; his counterpoint of crude street patter and elegiac proclamation; sex wars; class wars; dislocation and abandonment of love in a thankless and unyielding world. This is a powerful, divisive and brutally honest novel that will inspire, enrage and provoke. As one reviewer put it: “You may read one or two paragraphs through squinted eyes while grinding your teeth, but that is what a truly great book does - forces you to pay attention to every word on every page, making you react physically as well as emotionally. Steven Berkoff waited a long time to give us his first novel; give it a try yourself and you'll see why it was very much worth the wait.”

Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. Here are some of our favourite tweets from today. I particularly like the #DailyAffirmation from Hay House, leading the way on how to stay positive whatever your politics!

Hay House‏ @HayHouseUK “I rejoice in others’ successes, knowing there is plenty for us all.”@LouiseHay #DailyAffirmation
Haslemere Bookshop‏ @HaslemereBooks Retweeted West End Lane Books: Cheery, bleary booksellers here too!
Chris Mann‏ @chrismannbbc Loving being read poetry by Rebecca Watts and @adamcrothers @carcanet @BBCCambs
Laurie Macfarlane‏ @L__Macfarlane Lessons #GE2017: #1 Social democratic policies are popular #2 The tabloids have lost their grip on politics #3 Mass door knocking works
Books & Ink Bookshop‏ @booksinkbanbury Whatever your views on the result, an increase in voter turnout is a win for Democracy & an increase in women MPs is a win for Equality.
Kirkdale Bookshop‏ @KirkdaleBooks Hung means hung. Oh, wait a minute that's rude.
Ulysses Reader‏ @UlyssesReader and a randy ro! and my galloping tearing tandy, O! Bow to the inevitable. Grin and bear it.
Matt Haig‏ @matthaig1 72% of the under 25's voted. The media idea of the selfish selfie generation is way off.
WHSmith‏ @WHSmith “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. On this day in 1870, Charles Dickens died after suffering a stroke.
Rebecca Fincham‏ @beckyfincham Woman at door of polling station: Are you here to vote or for the exercise class? Me: I'm here to exercise my right to vote
That’s all for now folks! More next week!

This newsletter is sent weekly to over 700 booksellers as well as publishers and publicists. If you would like to order any of the titles mentioned, then please talk to your Compass Sales Manager, or call the office on 020 8326 5696.