Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, October 6, 2015

St. Martin's Press: The Last Thousand by Jeffrey E. Stern

Algonquin: We Were Brothers by Barry Moser

Greenwillow Books: Amelia Bedelia Dances Off by Herman Parish

Shadow Mountain: The Caretaker's Guide to Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

Harper Collins: Endgame #2 Sky Key by James Frey


Kindles Are Out at Waterstones

U.K. bookstore chain Waterstones is removing Amazon's Kindle devices from many of its stores, the Bookseller reported. Managing director James Daunt said Kindle sales "continue to be pitiful so we are taking the display space back in more and more shops. It feels very much like the life of one of those inexplicable bestsellers; one day piles and piles, selling like fury; the next you count your blessings with every sale because it brings you closer to getting it off your shelves forever to make way for something new. Sometimes, of course, they 'bounce' but no sign yet of this being the case with Kindles."

An Amazon spokesperson said the company was "pleased with the positive momentum and growing distribution of Kindle and Fire tablet sales," adding that Kindle book sales in the U.K. were also growing, the Bookseller wrote.

Blackwell's CEO David Prescott countered that fewer e-reading devices were being sold at his chain, which stocks Barnes & Noble's Nook e-reader: "We're not seeing a great deal of people who are buying an e-reader for the first time now. People are buying e-reader replacements, but that's it."

Calling the Waterstones move "no surprise," Enders analyst Douglas McCabe said, "The e-reader may turn out to be one of the shortest-lived consumer technology categories."

Blue Dot PRess: Beautiful Hands by Kathryn Otoshi and Bret Baumgarten

Bookazine Partners with Aussie Booksellers

The Australian Booksellers Association and U.S. wholesaler Bookazine have partnered to offer a central buying model that will allow ABA member bookshops to take advantage of wholesale discounts for U.S. book purchases. The arrangement will be similar to the Australia Post model, operating with centralized billing from the ABA.

Jonathan Tuseth, Bookazine's director, international sales, said the wholesaler "is very excited to partner with the ABA to offer choice to its member stores. We are a global supplier to leading bookstores and want to extend our support into the Australian market." He also noted that Bookazine team is eager "to help sustain a strong bookshop market throughout Australia."

ABA CEO Joel Becker commented: "We believe this is a great opportunity to extend our range of services to members, and to provide additional options for speedy, efficient service when requiring books that aren't available locally."

Poisoned Pen Press: Brooklyn Secrets by Triss Stein

London Book Fair Moves to March in 2017

In 2017, the London Book Fair exhibition dates are moving from the usual April to March 14-16. The Bookseller reported that LBF and the Bologna Children's Book Fair (BolognaFiere) "liaised to arrive at what is hoped to be a practical solution after concerns emerged over a potential bottleneck of dates between the trade fairs in 2017." BolognaFiere will take place April 3-6.

Jacks Thomas, director of the London Book Fair, said the decision "seemed to be the best solution to a logistical problem of these two important shows otherwise being back-to-back due to the way that Easter and other holidays fall in 2017 with the latter having an effect on venue scheduling."

The organizers also conferred "regarding their respective 2016 shows to ensure that any exhibitors attending both are given early access to leave Bologna and late access into London," the Bookseller noted.

Soho Press: His Right Hand by Mette Ivie Harrison

Gottwals Books/Walls of Books Keeps Growing

Shane Gottwals

Walls of Books, the franchise operation that sells mostly used books and some new books and is run by Shane Gottwals of Gottwals Books, now has 15 stores open or preparing to open and is "in discussions with many other families to open new stores across the country," Gottwals wrote. "In the age of e-books and, we are proving that people still love the printed page."

In the next two months, two Walls of Books stores are opening in Georgia and one in Washington, D.C. In the last two months, two stores opened, in Georgia and South Carolina. The company has also bought a central warehouse for books, its corporate offices and its franchise training center.

Gottwals added the Walls of Books regularly works on revamping current stores, buying out closed bookstore inventory and rebranding existing stores as Walls of Books, as well as its usual complete bookstore installations.

In 2007, Shane Gottwals founded the first Gottwals Books, in Warner Robins, Ga., a 1,500-square-foot store carrying 10,000 used books.

New World Library: The Book of She by Sara Stover

Obituary Note: Henning Mankell

Henning Mankell

Swedish novelist and playwright Henning Mankell, best known for his popular mystery novels featuring Inspector Kurt Wallander "that were translated into a score of languages and sold by the millions throughout the world," died yesterday, the New York Times reported.  He was 67. Mankell was "considered the dean of the so-called Scandinavian noir writers who gained global prominence for novels that blended edge-of-your-seat suspense with flawed, compelling protagonists and strong social themes," the Times wrote.

"Beloved by readers across the world, especially for his Kurt Wallander series, it was a privilege to have worked with a man of such talent and passion, and to have been his U.K. publisher for so many years," a spokesperson for Harvill Secker told the Guardian. "He was an inspiration not just as a writer, but as someone who always stood up for the rights of others. He will be so very sorely missed. The world is a sadder place for having lost such a charismatic and honorable man."

Kenneth Branagh, who portrayed Wallander in a series of U.K. TV adaptations, said of Mankell: "I will miss his provocative intelligence and his great personal generosity."


Image of the Day: Chatting About Books at PNBA

photo: Laura Stanfill, Forest Avenue Press

At the Pacific Northwest Independent Booksellers Association trade show this past weekend in Portland, Ore., Rosanne Parry, a bookseller at Annie Bloom's Books, Portland, chatted with William Ritter, author of Jackaby (one of last year's PNBA award winners) and Beastly Bones (both from Algonquin).

Cool Idea of the Day: 21 Artists Celebrate Reading

Reading Frenzy, Portland, Ore., which focuses on independent, small press and self-published titles, is also home to Show & Tell Press and Minikin Gallery, celebrated its 21st anniversary last month by inviting 21 artists to create work celebrating reading. See their efforts here.

Personnel Changes at Perseus

Jaimee Callaway has been promoted to director of digital strategy & marketing for Perseus Books Group. She joined Perseus in 2008 as digital marketing assistant, then became director of digital marketing in 2012. In January 2015, she added digital strategy to her responsibilities.

Perseus to Distribute Humanix Books

Perseus Distribution will distribute Humanix Books, a subsidiary of Newsmax Media, in the U.S. and Canada for print sales and distribution and e-book distribution globally.

Newsmax is an online and multimedia company that includes Newsmax TV, the Newsmax Feed Network, a magazine and 16 monthly online/print newsletters focusing on current news, finance, health, politics, and lifestyle content.

Publisher of The ObamaCare Survival Guide, Humanix Books will release nine titles this spring, including Lessons My Father Taught Me by Michael Reagan, 30-Minute Millionaire by Peter Tanous and Jeff Cox and Cancer Survival Guide by Charlotte Libov.

Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy said that Perseus's "expertise in the book distribution business, combined with our commitment to use Newsmax's TV, online and other assets will ensure that Humanix books and authors reach the broadest audience possible."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Michael Solomonov on Fresh Air

Today on Fresh Air: Michael Solomonov, author with Steven Cook of Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $35, 9780544373280).


Today on the Rachael Ray Show: Jacques Pepin, author of Jacques Pepin Heart & Soul in the Kitchen (Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $35, 9780544301986).


Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Sara Bareilles, author of Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) in Song (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781476727776). She will also appear on Late Night with Seth Meyers.


Tomorrow morning on Fox & Friends: Joel Osteen, author of The Power of I Am: Two Words That Will Change Your Life Today (FaithWords, $26, 9780892969968).


Tomorrow on the Talk: Tyler Oakley, author of Binge (Gallery, $24, 9781501117695).


Tomorrow on Tavis Smiley: Slavoj Zizek, author of Trouble in Paradise: From the End of History to the End of Capitalism (Melville House, $24.95, 9781612194448).


Tomorrow on NPR's On Point: Vicki Abeles, author of Beyond Measure: Rescuing an Overscheduled, Overtested, Underestimated Generation (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781451699234).


Tomorrow on Watch What Happens Live: David Gregory, author of How's Your Faith?: An Unlikely Spiritual Journey (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781451651607).


Tomorrow night on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Ben Bernanke, author of The Courage to Act: A Memoir of a Crisis and Its Aftermath (Norton, $35, 9780393247213).

TV: Nicholas Sparks's The Next Chapter

Nicholas Sparks has sold a half-hour comedy project "loosely based" on the bestselling novelist's "new life as a single man." reported that The Next Chapter, written by Austin Winsberg (Gossip Girl, The Sound of Music Live!), "centers on top-selling romance novelist Ben Diamond who goes through a divorce and not only begins to question his belief in love, but he also must learn to date again and live on his own--all while dealing with the pressures of his public persona as the world's most foremost 'expert' on love." In, January Sparks announced a separation from his wife of 25 years. The author also has an adaptation of The Notebook in the works at the CW.

Movies: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

Channing Tatum and the Weinstein Co. have hired Mike Vukadinovich to write Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, a film adaptation of Matthew Quick’s YA book. Tatum, who will co-produce and make his directorial debut in the project alongside Reid Carolin, would also potentially star. reported that there "is no set date for start of production yet but the project is believed to be a priority for both Tatum."

Books & Authors

Awards: Scotiabank Giller Shortlist

The shortlist was announced for the C$100,000 (about US$75,930) Scotiabank Giller Prize, which recognizes "the author of the best Canadian novel or short story collection published in English." The winner will be named November 10 in Toronto. This year's shortlisted titles are:

Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis
Arvida by Samuel Archibald, translated by Donald Winkler
Outline by Rachel Cusk
Daydreams of Angels by Heather O'Neill
Martin John by Anakana Schofield

Book Review

Review: We Were Brothers

We Were Brothers by Barry Moser (Algonquin, $22 hardcover, 9781616204136, October 20, 2015)

Book designer and illustrator Barry Moser and his brother, Tommy, grew up in the Tennessee country surrounding Chattanooga in the Jim Crow era. As boys, they were never close, and shared more physical conflict than anything else. As men, they grew further apart, disagreeing about everything from food to politics, as Barry renounced the racism they were raised with and Tommy did not. Only near the very end of Tommy's life did they begin to communicate meaningfully and build the beginning of a relationship that would be cut short. We Were Brothers is Barry's memoir of regret and remembrance.

The story of these two young men, and the times in which they lived, is plainly depicted. Moser's narrative tone is straightforward in its observations from the perspective of small children, but the wisdom of the older man shines quietly through. For example, he wonders at his mother's friendship with a black neighbor, who was accepted in many ways almost as family, but still expected to act differently in front of certain company; the family's ingrained racism is inexplicable in this context, but never questioned. The young boys have a playmate who is black: he is mistreated in ways that do not resonate with the childhood Barry, but in adulthood he cannot remember that boy without tears.

After many disagreements and fistfights, the brothers go their separate ways, with Tommy joining the military while Barry went to college. Barry came to view the anti-Vietnam War movement with sympathy, reassessed his family's racist views and left the South, while Tommy stayed. In his late 50s, Barry takes a phone call from his estranged brother that ends in racial epithets. Barry hangs up on Tommy, and their discord appears permanent. But then they begin writing letters, in which each man shares his hurts and disappointments. The first few letters, reproduced in the book, seem promising of a new era of openness, understanding and allowance for past mistakes. And then Tommy dies.

Moser's deceptively simple story is accompanied by his own extraordinarily lovely drawings of the characters and places in question, so that the reader gains a visual glimpse into the people he evokes. We Were Brothers skillfully displays an introspective quality as the older man looks back with regret over a relationship he never had, and with appreciation for one briefly shared. Moser's understated style only reinforces that musing tone. In the end, even as the painful brotherhood he recalls echoes the evils of a racist time and place, Moser's calmly gentle, elegiac storytelling voice paints a picture that is loving as well as remorseful. --Julia Jenkins, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: This reflective memoir of brotherhood, the evils of racism and sibling spats is as finely illustrated as it is well told, and will please diverse readers.

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