Also published on this date: Wednesday, April 26, 2012: Kids' Maximum Shelf: Code Name Verity

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Sourcebooks Jabberwocky: The Very Very Very Long Dog by Julia Patton

Shadow Mountain: Christmas Jars Collector's Edition by Jason F. Wright

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Malala's Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai, illustrated by Kerascoet

Katherine Tegen Books: The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor

Canterbury Classics: Compact Novel Journals

Katherine Tegen Books: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

News

Tor/Forge to Sell E-Books Without DRM

By early July, all e-books published by Tor, Forge, Orb, Starscape and Tor Teen will be available DRM-free. DRM (digital rights management) is used mainly to combat piracy and makes it difficult to transfer an e-book from one kind of e-reader to another.

Tom Doherty of Tom Doherty Associates, publisher of the imprints, which mainly publish science fiction, fantasy, fiction, mystery and military history, commented: "Our authors and readers have been asking for this for a long time. They're a technically sophisticated bunch, and DRM is a constant annoyance to them. It prevents them from using legitimately-purchased e-books in perfectly legal ways, like moving them from one kind of e-reader to another."

Among interesting points about this change: the imprints are part of Macmillan, which is fighting the Justice Department suit about e-book pricing. In the post-suit e-book era, some have said that publishers can compete better with Amazon by forgoing DRM, and this could be a kind of test at Macmillan. In addition, many of the imprints' competitors already sell e-books without DRM.


Freeform: The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton


Tax Deal for Amazon and Nevada

Nevada has reached an agreement with Amazon to start collecting sales tax on purchases beginning January 1, 2014, "or as of the effective date of federal legislation, whichever is earlier," the Statesman Journal reported.

"The only way to completely resolve this issue is for Congress to enact legislation that, within a simplified nationwide framework, grants states the right to require collection by all sellers," Governor Brian Sandoval said. "We thank Amazon for creating jobs and investment in Nevada and are very grateful the company is working with us on a federal solution."

Paul Misener, Amazon v-p of global public policy, reiterated the company's position on the sales tax issue: "Amazon appreciates Governor Sandoval's focus on Nevada jobs and his efforts to encourage Congress to resolve the sales tax issue this year. We strongly support federal legislation permitting interstate sales tax collection because it is the only way to level the playing field for all sellers, the only way for Nevada to obtain all the sales tax revenue that is already owed, and the only way to fully protect states' rights."

Bryan Wachter, director of public and government affairs for the Retail Association of Nevada, told the Las Vegas Sun: "We're very excited about this. It's important to treat everybody by the same rules."
 


Other Press: Bookselling Without Borders Scholarship


World Book Night: The Afterglow

While social networking sites offered at-the-scene updates during Monday's World Book Night, local media outlets began basking in the WBN afterglow yesterday.

In Frankfort, Ky., Kay Scott's Zeitoun WBN event at the King's Center, where she works as a volunteer, was a "New Orleans-themed party, complete with homemade jambalaya, the spike Lee documentary When the Levees Broke and 20 copies of Dave Eggers' novel," the State Journal reported.

"I knew it would be a book some people wouldn’t be familiar with and I could share it with them, and that's the whole point of World Book Night," Scott said. "Their whole goal is that people who love to read and love books will share that love with someone else. It's person-to-person.... It's people saying, 'Here, I want to give you something because it really meant a lot to me and I think it’ll mean a lot to you.' "

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KPBS in San Diego, Calif., reported that local author Judy Reeves gave away 20 copies of Tim O’Brien's The Things They Carried to several Vietnam vets at Veteran's Village. "People don't necessarily tell their story because not many would understand it," she said. "When you find someone else telling your story, it opens you and makes you feel like a bigger part of the world. The experience was wonderful. I just felt so great doing it."

Mary Lyons of Bluestocking Books, Hillcrest, called WBN "a celebration of the printed word when you share what you love by handing somebody a book. It's a lot harder to do that with a digital file."

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In Iowa, more than 100 people attended a WBN event outside the Clinton Public Library, and library director Amy Birtell told the Herald she "would like to start up book discussions based on the books dispersed."

"We had people waiting for the 6 p.m. time," she added. "The Hunger Games was definitely a hot one."

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Robert D. Farwell, executive director of Otis Library in Norwich, Conn., handed out 20 copies of The Hunger Games at St. Vincent de Paul Place, a soup kitchen and food pantry nearby. "You're never too old to be introduced to the joys of reading," he said. "I know we have a number of constituents who could benefit from having a book that they can get and keep, where they might not be able to afford to buy it."

The title choice was not ironic, Farwell said, noting that he relied on a recommendation from Otis's young adult librarian, who thought the novel "would be a fine selection since it's been so visible, what with the publicity surrounding the books and the film adaptation," the Day reported, adding: "Indeed, The Hunger Games books were happily received at St. Vincent de Paul Place."

Annie Philbrick, co-owner of Bank Square Books, Mystic, "recalled being impressed when she read about last year's World Book Night in the United Kingdom," the Day noted.

"I just thought it was the coolest thing, that everybody could join in together to share their love of reading," she said.
 
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Jill Miner, owner of Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, Mich., and her husband, Dave, were back at the bookstore to replenish their supply after giving away the first 60 books when the Herald Times checked in with them.

"I'm a doctor, and we're hitting every spot at the hospital," said Dave. "We handed out books at the lab, emergency, med surge and McReynolds Hall.".

By the end of the night, Jill said, "Every box of books have been handed out. We will certainly be doing it again."

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The surf and reading were both up in Santa Cruz, Calif., where vice mayor Hilary Bryant paddled out on her surfboard with "20 copies of Octavia Butler's Kindred wrapped in plastic sandwich bags for the two surf school students out in yellow vests, who will soon have something better to do than mope around on waves slower than tree sap," SantaCruz.com reported.

"My husband was saying that is the most ridiculous idea he's ever heard," Bryant said. "That's the worst place to have a book. I actually have people to take the extras to. Have you heard of Operation Surf Santa Cruz? It’s a project where they have army veterans who have been injured, typically amputees, and they do a week-long surfing rehabilitation program. I'm going to go down to the meet and greet with the soldiers with my kids and we're going to give them to the wounded soldiers."

Out on the waves, Santa Cruz Surf School owner Dylan Greiner said, "I think it's great. I’m going to add it to my bookshelf."

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"It's not about the sale of a book. It's about the excitement of reading," Amanda Winchester, co-owner of Main Street Books, Lander, Wyoming, told the Fremont Ranger, which reported that in March, "Winchester tried to get people interested in the idea, but she said there was a lack of support.... But slowly people in Lander and Riverton jumped on board with the idea of giving out free copies of a book at a specific location."

By the time she hosted a reception for book-givers earlier this month, things had changed dramatically. "We set out all the books, and we kind of talked to each other. That part was fun to hear the excitement about why they chose where they were going," Winchester said. "They were all passionate about the book that they chose."
 

photos by Helen Hawes; Sean D. Elliot/The Day; Chip Scheuer
 

Ingram Publisher Services: Celebrating the 45th Anniversary of Dundurn Press


Golden Anniversary for Michael di Capua

 

Celebrating: (l.-r.) Jules Feiffer, Jean Marcellino (widow of Fred Marcellino), Michael di Capua and Tor Seidler.

Last night in the Living Room of Scholastic's SoHo offices, friends, colleagues, authors and artists toasted (and a few roasted) Michael di Capua, celebrating his 50 years in publishing. Jules Feiffer said that when he completed his first children's book, The Man in the Ceiling (1992), he called Maurice Sendak and asked him what to do. Sendak told Feiffer, "There's only one man who can do it: Michael di Capua." When di Capua invited Feiffer into his office, Feiffer said they went through it page by page. "Two and a half hours later, I staggered out," the author recalled. "It took longer to discuss the book than it did to write it." But, he added, "I'd received a tutorial on writing children's books," which he likened to receiving a similar tutorial on screenwriting from Mike Nichols for Carnal Knowledge.

Dick Robinson, CEO and Chariman of Scholastic, whose father founded the company, thanked di Capua for six and a half years of outstanding contributions through the books, authors and artists he's brought into the fold. Roger Straus III, who worked for three decades in his family's business, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, where di Capua began his career, said that what he most closely associates with Michael di Capua is "his passion" for bookmaking.

In his remarks, di Capua quoted poet Randall Jarrell, whom he'd published at FSG: "Words fail me." He expressed his gratitude to both Robinson and Straus, "For in my end is my beginning." Last fall, di Capua won an Eric Carle Honor in the mentor category, and he reiterated last night the promise he made then: "As long as I have my wits about me and my health, I'm sticking around." Here's to another 50 years of Michael di Capua books. --Jennifer M. Brown


Notes

Michele Filgate Joining Community Bookstore

Effective May 3, Michele Filgate is leaving McNally Jackson Books, New York City, where she is events coordinator, and joining the Community Bookstore in Park Slope in Brooklyn as a part-time bookseller, so she can devote more time to her writing. Before joining McNally Jackson last year, she worked as events coordinator at RiverRun Bookstore, Portsmouth, N.H.

 


Barney Rosset Memorial Service Set

A memorial service for Barney Rosset, the longtime Grove Press publisher who passed away on February 21, will be held on Wednesday, May 9, in New York City at the Great Hall at Cooper Union (on 7th Street between Third and Fourth Avenues.) The ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. RSVP to rsvp@evergreenreview.com.

photo by James Hamilton

 


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Paul French on NPR's Diane Rehm Show

Tomorrow morning on Good Morning America: Olivia Newton-John, author of Livwise: Easy Recipes for a Healthy, Happy Life (Lyons Press, $27.50, 9780762780099). 

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Tomorrow on ABC's the Chew: Tori Spelling, author of celebraTORI: Unleashing Your Inner Party Planner to Entertain Friends and Family (Gallery, $25.99, 9781451627909).

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Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: Heidi Julavits, author of The Vanishers (Doubleday, $26.95, 9780385523813). As the show put it: "A breakthrough conversation on the subject of using comedy as armor to conceal, protect and reveal a novel's traumatic inner subject matter. Heidi Julavits speaks about how she would like to write a heart-wrenching novel--but she needs the concealment provided by comic style--her trapdoor to the depths of painful revelation."

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Tomorrow on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: Paul French, author of Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China (Penguin, $26, 9780143121008).

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Tomorrow on CNN's Starting Point: Rodney King, co-author of The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption (HarperOne, $25.99, 9780062194435).

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Tomorrow night on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight: Zach Wahls, author of My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family (Gotham, $26, 9781592407132).

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Tomorrow night on the Daily Show: Robert Draper, author of Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives (Free Press, $28, 9781451642087).


Movies: The Raven and The Pirates! Band of Misfits

The Raven, starring John Cusack, Brendan Gleeson and Luke Evans, opens this Friday, April 27. Cusack plays Edgar Allan Poe, whose stories have inspired a deranged serial killer.

The Pirates! Band of Misfits, based on two books by Gideon Defoe, also opens April 27. Hugh Grant, Brendan Gleeson, Jeremy Piven and Salma Hayek lend their voices to this animated tale. The movie tie-in is available from Vintage ($14.95, 9780345802484).

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HBO's Girls: The Publishing Intern Scene

In the pilot episode of her new HBO series Girls, Lena Dunham's character Hannah gets herself fired from her internship at an indie publisher in New York City after requesting that she be upgraded to a paid position.

Although the funny, if excruciating, scene was filmed in the Brooklyn offices of Melville House Publishing, Jacket Copy reported that Dunham (who also directed and starred in the film Tiny Furniture) actually interned at publisher Soft Skull Press during the summer of 2006--though she was never fired.

"She was making the story work in a fictional context," said Richard Nash, who was Soft Skull's publisher at the time. "It was autobiographical in the vaguest way."

Nash added that as an intern, Dunham "was great as expected. The stuff she was doing on the side was all film." He also praised the show's publishing house scene: "It got the atmosphere, the broad strokes of things perfectly right.... You always want to feel like your interns are going to go on and do great things. I don't think Soft Skull can take the slightest credit for Lena's success, but it's always fun when interns become writers and publishers and things like that."
 



Books & Authors

Awards: Whitman Winner; Desmond Elliott Longlist; Anisfield-Wolf

Matt Rasmussen has won the 2012 Walt Whitman Award, given by the Academy of American Poets and selected by poet Jane Hirshfield. The award is for a first collection by an American poet who has never published a book of poetry and includes a $5,000 cash prize and a one-month residency at the Vermont Studio Center.

Rasmussen's collection, Black Aperture, will be published next spring by Louisiana State University Press.

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The longlist has been announced for the £10,000 (US$16,121) Desmond Elliott Prize, which honors a first novel published in the U.K. A shortlist of three books will be named in May and the winner on June 28 June in London. This year's Desmond Elliott longlist:
 
Absolution by Patrick Flanery
Bed by David Whitehouse
Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
The Bellwether Revivals by Benjamin Wood
Care of Wooden Floors by Will Wiles
The Land of Decoration by Grace McCleen
The Last Hundred Days by Patrick McGuinness
The Missing Shade of Blue by Jennie Erdal
The Spider King's Daughter by Chibundu Onuzo
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

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David Livingstone Smith won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Nonfiction, which recognizes works "that have made important contributions to the understanding of racism and the appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures," for his book Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave, and Exterminate.
 


IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:

Hardcover

Angelmaker: A Novel by Nick Harkaway (Knopf, $26.95, 9780307595959). "Joe Spork actively resists becoming a gangster like his dad. He knows he's missing something in his life as a law-abiding clockmaker, but can't quite put his finger on it. Reluctantly, he agrees to do a job for a friend from the shadier spots of his past and unknowingly turns on a machine that just might end the world as we know it. What follows is an escalating escapade into a world of mad scientists, a religious cult, secret agents, a death czar, covert government bureaucrats, swarms of golden bees, and gangsters galore. Angelmaker is an imaginative romp, another delightful story from the curious mind of Nick Harkaway." --Hannah Johnson-Breimeier, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, Wis.

The Book of Madness and Cures: A Novel by Regina O'Melveny (Little, Brown, $25.99, 9780316195836). "Gabriella lived in Venice, where women in the 16th century had roles strictly limited by the church and custom. Gabriella was her father's protégé, however, and he taught her to follow in his footsteps as a physician, a role usually not allowed women. Then her father disappeared. After awaiting his return and forbidden to practice in his absence, Gabriella follows in her father's footsteps once again, this time on an epic adventure across Europe and into Africa to bring him home. An unforgettable debut!" --Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books, Sunriver, Ore.

Paperback

Grace: A Novel by T. Greenwood (Kensington, $15, 9780758250926). "I dare you to read the first chapter of this book and then try to set it aside. It's impossible not to devour the mystery of why Kurt aims his rifle at the back of his only son's head. As their story unfolds you will understand and sympathize with each character. Grace is a thriller, a heartbreaking account of bullying, and a beautiful story about an imperfect family and the love that must save them all." --Cathy Allard, BayShore Books, Oconto, Wis.

For Ages 9 to 12

Dreamsleeves by Coleen Murtagh Paratore (Scholastic Press, $16.99, 9780545310208). "Aislinn has a lot of responsibility, including taking care of her younger siblings instead of enjoying the summer before eighth grade and spending time with friends. She also has a dad whose drinking problem is getting worse. The best thing about Aislinn, though, is that she knows how to dream and she knows what she wants. She decides to put her dreams on her sleeve for all to see and for all to help her achieve. A touching story full of inspiration and hope." --Lisa Fabiano, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, Mass.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]


Book Brahmin: Wiley Cash

Wiley Cash is the author of A Land More Kind Than Home (Morrow, April 17, 2012). The novel tells the story of the bond between two young brothers and the evil they face in a small North Carolina town. A native of North Carolina, Wiley and his wife live in Morgantown, W.Va. This is his first novel.

 

On your nightstand now:

I have advance copies of both Shine, Shine, Shine by Lydia Netzer and Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain. I'm really enjoying them, and I think they'll both be big books by two very talented writers. Because they're advance copies, I feel like I know a secret that a lot of other folks don't know yet.

Favorite book when you were a child:

The earliest book I remember reading and having read to me was a Star Wars book for young readers. It was accompanied by an audio tape that included a narration and sound effects taken from the film. I listened to that tape and flipped through that book relentlessly. One evening, as my mom began to read it to me, I asked her if I could read it. I picked it up and read the entire thing. She was shocked because I was only four and I hadn't yet learned to read. Turns out that I hadn't learned; I'd just memorized the audio tape. I even made a ding sound when it was time to turn the page. My rise from "normal" to "exceptional" lasted about three minutes, but they were glorious.

Your top five authors:

This is pretty tough; I'll give it a shot by listing the top five Southern authors whose work has affected me the most: Ernest J. Gaines, Thomas Wolfe, Jean Toomer, Flannery O'Connor and William Faulkner.

Book you've faked reading:

I'm glad you only asked for one book because there are actually several dozen.... The summer of 2011 was supposed to be my summer of "Books I Haven't Read or Books I've Lied About Reading," but I managed only to read a couple before moving on to books I found more interesting. But that summer I actually read Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson, which I loved. But the book I've faked the most is probably Herman Melville's Moby Dick. Here I'll attempt to quote Jerry Seinfeld: "It's like the sun. I look long enough to get a sense of it, and then I look away." I bet I just offended a lot of literary folks out there.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Over the past year, I've been an evangelist for two books: Chad Harbach's The Art of Fielding and Karl Marlantes's Matterhorn. As a reader, I'm someone who reads for a sense of place and I'm interested in how that place affects characters. While these books are very different--The Art of Fielding takes place on a small college campus and Matterhorn in the jungles of Vietnam--their settings were both very real to me, and as a result, the characters were very real as well. I missed them when the books were over.

Book you've bought for the cover:

One book was The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen. I bought it for the front cover, the back cover, and all the pages in between; it's beautiful. Another book was The Book of Basketball by Bill Simmons. The cover said "basketball" and "Bill Simmons," so I bought it. It's fascinating.

Book that changed your life:

Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon really changed my life. I read this book the summer after my freshman year of college when I was going through a particularly difficult time. I read it in just a couple of days, and when I finished I immediately read it again. In that novel, Morrison creates a palpable world and peoples it with characters you come to know and believe in as if they exist outside the book. I was so thankful that she gave me refuge where I could hide from my own world during that time. It made me want to be a writer so I could offer people the same thing.

Favorite line from a book:

The final line of Thomas Wolfe's Look Homeward, Angel:
"Yet, as he stood for the last time by the angels of his father's porch, it seemed as if the Square already were far and lost; or, I should say, he was like a man who stands upon a hill above the town he has left, yet does not say 'The town is near,' but turns his eyes upon the distant soaring ranges."
That line changes my life every time I read it.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

One is Bobbie Ann Mason's In Country. I'm a child of the 1980s, but at the time I wasn't quite old enough to be aware of the societal and cultural repercussions of the Vietnam War. This book made both of those very clear to me. And the final scene? While reading that I was sitting by a pool with my mother-in-law in Las Vegas. I was weeping uncontrollably, but I kept trying to hide it. She was like, "What's wrong with you?" I think I told her I had sunscreen in my eyes. And then I kept weeping.

Your feelings on your book jacket:

I absolutely love my book jacket, and if I ever have the chance to meet Mary Schuck, the designer, I'm going to buy her a beer or some flowers or a big cake that says, Thank You! I've heard horror stories about authors hating their covers, and I was nervous that one day I'd be telling a similar story. After my editor called and said he was e-mailing the jacket to me, I got off the phone and went into the kitchen and knocked back a beer before checking my e-mail with shaking hands and a pounding heart. Turns out I should've saved that beer to celebrate. A friend of mine said, "Your book jacket makes me feel homesick and scared at the same time." That's exactly how I want readers to feel after they've finished A Land More Kind Than Home, so I suppose William Morrow got the design just right.

 


Book Review

YA Review: When You Were Mine

When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle (Simon Pulse, $16.99 hardcover, 352p., ages 14-up, 9781442433137, May 1, 2012)

Inspired by Romeo and Juliet and narrated by high school senior Rosaline Caplet, this emotionally authentic debut novel about a fragile first love keeps the pages turning.

Cousins Rose and Juliet Caplet, along with neighbor Rob Monteg, were inseparable as children. But 10 years ago, a rift developed between Rose's father, who aspired to be a senator, and Juliet's father, who did become a senator. Rose recalls a Christmas visit that ended in a horrifying-to-a-seven-year-old scene in which Juliet snapped off the head of Rose's brand-new Barbie doll. Now Juliet is back in town for Rose's senior year, and ups the stakes: she sets her sights on Rose's newly minted romance with Rob.

Serle gets the nuances just right. The optimism of new love, the concerned friends after Rose's heartbreak and the dynamics of a triangle--not just the love triangle between Rose, Rob and Juliet, but also the triangle of female best friends Charlie the leader, Olivia the stunning beauty and Rose. Rob's quick turnabout calls to mind Friar Laurence's lines in Shakespeare: "Is Rosaline, that thou didst love so dear,/ So soon forsaken? Young men's love then lies/ Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes." All teens can appreciate the awkwardness and anxiety of risking a best friendship to try out romance. So when Rosie finally takes the plunge, only to have Juliet show up and quash it, it feels doubly cruel. Readers will also sense a more than platonic interest in Rose from offbeat Len, who delivers some of the novel's pearls of wisdom: "Sometimes the hardest part about letting someone go is realizing you were never meant to have them," he tells Rose.

With Serle's credible dialogue and snappy pace, no previous experience with the classic is required to thoroughly enjoy this contemporary novel. Readers may know the outcome from Shakespeare, but the real drama here plays out as the evolution of Rosaline's thinking.  --Jennifer M. Brown

Shelf Talker: In this modern take on Romeo and Juliet, Rose weighs a dear friendship against the possibility of romance.

 


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