Shelf Awareness for Friday, May 17, 2013


Bantam: The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz

DK Publishing: Stock Your Shelves for Easter!

Soho Press: D'Arc (War with No Name #2) by Robert Repino

Workman Publishing: Flow

Center Street: Death Need Not Be Fatal by Malachy McCourt and Brian McDonald

RosettaBooks: Gratitude in Low Voices: A Memoir by Dawit Gebremichael Habte

News

Florida Governor Rejects Amazon Deal

Florida Governor Rick Scott has rejected a proposed deal for Amazon to begin collecting sales tax in exchange for opening several warehouses in the state. The Miami Herald reported that "after months of behind-the-scenes negotiations, Scott ultimately said no to a deal that would have led to the construction of Amazon warehouses in Florida." Amazon wanted to defer collecting the state's 6% sales tax until February or when its warehouses were open and occupied.

"As a major company with the ability to make a significant economic impact in our state, we wanted to understand how Amazon could partner with the state in a way to create more jobs and opportunities," said Melissa Sellers, a spokeswoman for Scott. "Amazon worked with our office, along with other cabinet agency offices, to draft agreements related to possible changes in sales tax collection and the company's presence in our state. We were ultimately not able to reach an agreement."

The Herald speculated that Scott's reluctance might stem from a re-election campaign calculation: that he did not want to be seen as having allowed new taxes on Internet purchases. (Even though this would involve collection of an existing tax, not the creation of a new tax.)


G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo


DIESEL to Open New Store in Larkspur

John Evans and Alison Reid, owners of DIESEL, A Bookstore, are "putting the final touches" on a fourth store. Bookselling this Week reported that the new shop, scheduled for a soft opening next month, is located in the Marin Country Mart complex at 2419 Larkspur Landing Circle in Larkspur, Calif. DIESEL currently operates stores in Oakland, Malibu and Brentwood.

The Marin Country Mart is "an open-air shopping mall of 1970s-style wood construction, which is being renovated and revived by developer James Rosenfield, who also owns DIESEL's Brentwood property," BTW wrote.

Rosenfield "has a particular idea about picking the best things, as he sees them, for the people living there," said Evans. "He likes to create an interesting mix.... People will come there and meet there and shop there and eat there."

Reid and Evans worked with the developer on the design of the 2,800-square-foot bookstore. "The easiest way to describe it is like a library for a private college in Marin from a hundred years ago--very rustic, and yet Ivy League," Evans said.

BTW also noted that the Larkspur DIESEL "will be welcoming some veteran booksellers to its staff, including Herb Bivins, one of the founders of Black Oak Books in Berkeley, and Rod Froke, who comes from San Francisco's Stacey's Bookstore, which closed in 2009. Margaret Simpson, a former employee of A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books and who now works at DIESEL's Oakland location, will be also spending some time in the store."


Disney-Hyperion: Welcome by Mo Willems


Community Bookstore's 'Second Outpost' in Brooklyn

Park Slope's Community Bookstore is adding what it calls a "second outpost," Terrace Books, at 242 Prospect Park West in Windsor Terrace in Brooklyn, N.Y. The new shop, which "will be a (mostly) used bookstore," is replacing Babbo's Books. A grand opening party is being planned for June.

In addition to its used inventory, Terrace Books will offer "quick and easy delivery of new titles from Community Bookstore by bicycle," according to the shop's website, which noted that the change has occurred because Babbo's owner Leonora Stein "was ready to move on to other things and we wanted to make sure a bookstore stayed in Windsor Terrace."

Over the past few months, several bookstores in Brooklyn have opened (Powerhouse) or are about to open (WORD) new branches; Bookcourt is fundraising for a new store.


Counterpoint: Grace by Natashia Deon


BookSmart Books and Toys Adds Second Location

 

The new BookSmart under construction.

BookSmart Books and Toys, Morgan Hill, Calif., opened a second location last weekend at the NewPark Mall in Newark. On its Facebook page, NewPark Mall welcomed the new tenant: "We're happy to announce that BookSmart Books and Toys opened today! They are located on the lower level next to Cinnabon. Stop by and say hi!"


ECW Press: The Dhow House by Jean McNeil


Children's Book Art Online Auction Begins Tomorrow

The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression's Children's Book Art Online Auction begins tomorrow at 9 a.m. and runs through May 24 at 9 p.m. The auction, presented by presented by ABFFE and the ABC Children's Group at the American Booksellers Association, is a component of the annual Children's Books Art Silent Auction at BookExpo America. Proceeds from both auctions support ABFFE's defense of the free speech rights of young readers.


DK Publishing: Out of the Box by Jemma Westing


Notes

Breakfast with Booksellers & Hosseini's New Book

Among the many events happening in conjunction with the upcoming release of Khaled Hosseini's And the Mountains Echoed, here's a particularly creative one: 19 bookstores across the U.S. plan to open early next Tuesday so customers can come in for a breakfast party celebrating the release and to buy copies of the novel.

The participating bookstores coast to coast are Otto's Bookstore, Main Street Books, Hooray for Books, A Likely Story, Maria's Bookshop, Malaprop's, Acorn Books, HearthFire Books, Pages A Bookstore, Bank Square Books, Towne Center Books, Lemuria Books, River's End Bookstore, News Center, Booktowne, Octavia Books, Mysteries on Main Street, Quail Ridge Books and Over the Moon Bookstore.


Shelf Awareness Sign-up Giveaway: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss


Cool Idea of the Day: E-Books at Author Events

At Pomegranate Books, Wilmington, N.C., owner Kathleen Jewell "has been finding ways to incorporate Kobo e-books into many of the store's events," Bookselling This Week reported. For example, a recent event featuring local poet Jean Jones was billed as the store's "first e-book reading." BTW noted that Jones recited poems from his Kobo and passed it around for customers to take turns reading aloud. The computer in the store was set to Pomegranate's website, where customers were encouraged to set up a Kobo account that was linked to the store. Because of Jones' following in the area, there was a great turnout and e-book sales--as well as Jones' other physical books--were good, said Jewell."

She called this and similar efforts "ways to lead people to e-books, and to get them linked to our store.... This is a market we can definitely serve.


Skip Prichard New President and CEO of OCLC

Skip Prichard has been named president and CEO of the Online Computer Library Center, better known as OCLC. He was formerly president and CEO of Ingram Content Group and earlier was president and CEO of ProQuest Information and Learning and v-p of corporate and federal markets at LexisNexis.



Media and Movies

Media Heat: Khaled Hosseini on NPR's Weekend Edition

Today on NPR's Science Friday: Mario Livio, author of Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein--Colossal Mistakes by Great Scientists That Changed Our Understanding of Life and the Universe (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781439192368).

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Tonight on Access Hollywood: Niecy Nash, author of It's Hard to Fight Naked (Gallery, $24, 9781451687729).

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Tomorrow on the Weekend Today Show: Kylie Bisutti, author of I'm No Angel: From Victoria's Secret Model to Role Model (Tyndale House, $19.99, 9781414383095). She will also appear on E! Entertainment and OMG! Insider.

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Sunday on MSNBC's Your Business: Jonah Zimiles, owner of [words] Bookstore, Maplewood, N.J., will talk about the Marketplace Fairness Act.

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Sunday on CBS Sunday Morning: Adam Alter, author of Drunk Tank Pink: And Other Unexpected Forces that Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave (Penguin Press, $25.95, 9781594204548).

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Sunday on NPR's Weekend Edition: Khaled Hosseini, author of And the Mountains Echoed (Riverhead, $28.95, 9781594631764).


Books & Authors

Awards: Orwell; Wolfson History; Commonwealth Writers

A.T. Williams won the £3,000 (about US$4,590) Orwell Prize, which recognizes work that comes closest to George Orwell's ambition "to make political writing into an art," for his book A Very British Killing: The Death of Baha Mousa. The judges said Williams "dissects and analyses with a clear-eyed determination to unpick the lies from the truths of this case, yet, for all its forensic detail, the book grips us emotionally, and has as keen a sense of storytelling as a horror story or courtroom drama."

On the Front Line: The Collected Journalism of Marie Colvin was awarded the Orwell Special Prize. Colvin was killed Feb. 22, 2012, on assignment in Homs, Syria.

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The winners of this year's Wolfson History Prizes are Susan Brigden for Thomas Wyatt: The Heart's Forest and Christopher Duggan for Fascist Voices: An Intimate History of Mussolini's Italy. Each author receives £25,000.

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Commonwealth Writers announced regional winners of the Commonwealth Book Prize and Commonwealth Short Story Prize. The overall honorees will be named May 31 at the Hay Festival. Regional book winners:

Africa: The Sterile Sky by E.E. Sule (Nigeria)
Asia: Island of a Thousand Mirrors by Nayomi Munaweera (Sri Lanka)
Canada and Europe: The Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell (U.K.)
Caribbean: Disposable People by Ezekel Alan (Jamaica)
Pacific: The Last Thread by Michael Sala (Australia)


Book Brahmin: Ethan Rutherford

photo: Heather Kraft

Ethan Rutherford's fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, One Story, American Short Fiction and The Best American Short Stories, and he has received grants from the McKnight Foundation, the Jerome Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Board. He received his MFA in fiction from the University of Minnesota, and has taught creative writing at Macalester, the University of Minnesota and the Loft Literary Center. A former bookseller at Three Lives & Co. and at Magers & Quinn, Rutherford lives in Minneapolis, where he is the guitarist for the band Pennyroyal. His book The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories was published May 7, 2013 by Ecco.

On your nightstand now:

I am a nightstand book-piler: books I'm rereading or am looking forward to reading. On there now: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson; a galley copy of Snow Hunters by Paul Yoon (which will be published in August and is stunning); The Search for the Giant Squid by Richard Ellis; Fat City by Leonard Gardner; and Child of Mine by Ellyn Satter (I have a one-year-old son, it's a book about eating). There's a lamp on there too, but it's been gently suggested I start using a book-light, or else. Sleep is precious around here these days.

Favorite book when you were a child:

The Twelve Labors of Hercules--I could not tell you the edition nor the author/translator, but if I could draw with any skill, I'm sure I could replicate the cover exactly. For a year, this was the only book I checked out from my school's library, and I checked it out every week (the librarian raising her eyebrows--again?--as she stamped the due-date on the card). I've looked everywhere for this book, the remembered edition of this book, but with no luck.

Your top five authors:

Impossible! But right now, and most recently: Joan Didion, Richard Hughes, Daphne du Maurier, Stanislaw Lem and Keith Richards.

Book you've faked reading:

I've never read an Updike novel. And I do feel bad about that. I've tried, but can never seem to get around to it. Has that stopped me from nodding my head in agreement when at a party someone says Rabbit at Rest is so vastly superior to Rabbit, Run? It has not. I don't even know if that's something to nod at.

Book you're an evangelist for:

One of my favorite parts of working in a bookstore (Three Lives & Co, in New York) was this exact thing: you could be an evangelist for any book you'd ever read. There was no pressure to sell a particular title, you had your taste, and that was that. People would come in, and if, say, Carol, wasn't there, they wouldn't ask for your recommendations, because they wanted to hear only from her. So for me, at that time: Collected Works of Billy the Kid by Michael Ondaatje; Love & Hydrogen by Jim Shepard; Oman Ra by Victor Pelevin; Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald; Birds of America by Lorrie Moore; At the Gates of the Animal Kingdom by Amy Hempel; anything by Charles Portis. Right now, it's A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes, which was a recommendation from my friend Paul Yoon, and, along with a line from Ghostbusters, was the book that gave me the epigraph for my collection.

What were the lines from A High Wind in Jamaica?

"Good morning," said Emily politely.
"Smells like an earthquake," said Margaret, and dressed.

Book you've bought for the cover:

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt. Bought it for the cover and stayed for the story, which was simply amazing (another book I've become an evangelist for).

Book that changed your life:

You mean in addition to The Twelve Labors of Hercules? Here's the thing: the act of reading changes your life, sometimes in large ways, sometimes in small ways, but every book you read asks you to move outside of yourself and your own experience to consider the lives of others. So I can't identify a particular book that altered my life, but I do know that the act of reading has pushed me to engage more deeply with the world (real and imagined), and I'm grateful for that.

Favorite line from a book:

"Don't look now," John said to his wife, "but there are a couple of old girls two tables away who are trying to hypnotize me." --from the opening of "Don't Look Now" by Daphne du Maurier.

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

I've found that re-reading a favorite book is, for me, often similar to reading it for the first time--you just notice different things, and are surprised and submerged by different threads. We just had our first kid, though, and I will say that there is one book I cannot wait to read together: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. Followed closely by The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis and The Twelve Labors of Hercules, wherever that book may be.


Book Review

Review: Bad Monkey

Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen (Knopf, $26.95 hardcover, 9780307272591, June 11, 2013)

Carl Hiaasen returns to his native element in Bad Monkey, a mystery filled with dark comedy, morbid clues, corrupt land despoilers--er, developers--a dash of romance and, of course, a foul-tempered monkey who may or may not have starred alongside Johnny Depp in a certain famous film franchise involving pirates.

To say Andrew Yancey's life has gone awry would be an understatement. Having already lost his position with the Miami Police, he's now about to lose his new job with the Monroe County sheriff's office thanks to an ill-considered and widely witnessed act of violence involving his soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend's husband and a cordless vacuum cleaner. Demoted to health inspector, Yancey can barely eat after counting cockroaches all day. Oh, and let's not forget the disembodied arm in his freezer.

Allegedly, said arm became estranged from its owner due to a boat accident followed by a shark feeding frenzy, but Yancey's not buying it, especially not after the arm-owner's daughter tells him she thinks her stepmother murdered her father for his money. If he can solve a murder and bring the killer to justice, Yancey believes his commander will undo his demotion. His investigation will take him from Florida to the Bahamas, where he'll meet a Bahamian struggling to save his beach from land developers, a toothless sex-crazed voodoo woman called the Dragon Queen and the eponymous bad monkey, a mostly bald little terror with a ready bite and no house training.

Assisting Yancey is the beautiful medical examiner Rosa Campesino, who feels the inclusion of a morgue table can only heighten the enjoyment of a romantic rendezvous. Using brave, foolish and borderline illegal methods, the couple come face to face with the truth in a plot twist only Hiaasen could make convincing.

Calling a Hiaasen novel funny is like calling the ocean damp. Hiaasen continues to show off a twisted sense of humor unlike any other, leaving the reader helpless with laughter at macabre situations that would seem purely distasteful in the hands of a lesser writer. Characters who choose to exploit nature receive their just deserts in ways straight out of an environmentalist's fantasies as Hiaasen's passion for wild Florida shines through once again, this time with an added note of empathy for the Bahamas. Whether you're a long-standing fan or new to Hiaasen's riotous style, get in line for this roller coaster of sheer, wicked fun. --Jaclyn Fulwood

Shelf Talker: Hiaasen's wicked sense of humor is on display once again as Andrew Yancey investigates a murder involving a severed arm, a voodoo woman and a very bad monkey.


Deeper Understanding

Robert Gray: BEA Etiquette--What Would Edith Do?

How well did you behave at BookExpo America last year? You have the right to remain silent. Some of you were nice, I'm sure; others were naughty. You know who you are. Or maybe you don't recall.

photo: yahighway.com

National Etiquette Week seems an appropriate time to offer a little advice as you prepare for total immersion in the crowded aisles of the Javits Center, not to mention a crowded city filled with crowded restaurants/bars. The streets of Midtown Manhattan are tough, but BEA can be tougher, especially during the opening hours of the first day, with all the pushing and shoving; the shouting and grabbing; the toe-stomping and elbow-crashing. Oh, the humanity!

So we need some rules. We need to talk about your behavior. I could rain a little Emily Post down on your parade, but let's try historical perspective instead. I refer you to chapter 7 ("Behavior in Public") of my new favorite book, The Etiquette of To-day by Edith Bertha Ordway, which was published in 1913. The guide is probably an appropriate symbol of our industry-in-flux times, since a century after its publication, this digitized version exists in Google Books while bearing a stamp from the University of Michigan Libraries.

"The test of the depth of one's courtesy is found in one's attitude to strangers and the public at large," our new etiquette guru advises, raising a key question:

What would Edith do at BEA?

Getting there: "The dress for traveling should be plain and simple, suited to the need rather than elaborate. The effect of crumpled finery is so very unpleasant that no person of taste will make a display of it in a public conveyance."

Checking in: "The usual good manners of cultivated people, emphasized by the additional restraint which the presence of the public imposes, is a safe standard of etiquette in a hotel."

BEA/ABA conference sessions: "The loud-voiced, aggressive person, whose opinions are alone of vital moment in his estimation, and who will not yield a point in an argument, is much to be dreaded in any company, and effectually brings to an end any general conversation into which he intrudes."

Opening day on the floor: "Pushing, shoving and all like methods of getting people to move out of your way, or of getting ahead of others, are marks of great rudeness, and have a tendency to retard rather than aid one's progress through a crowd...."

Everyday behavior at BEA: "Never show hostility, nor permit people to quarrel with you. The irritability which crowded conditions aggravate makes it necessary to adhere, from principle, to the rule of strict good-will toward all."

Night life: "The considerate person will not enter even a public hotel late at night.... Those who are asleep deserve as great consideration as if they were awake, and more also."

Partying, a cautionary note: "It is not necessary to recognize in society a strictly business acquaintance unless you wish to do so."

Taxis: "In entering a carriage or automobile, one should step promptly, without either loitering or haste."

Paying attention all day long: "Straightforward attentiveness is the attitude of most profit and enjoyment in society.... The habit of a vacant or absent mind in company is a grave fault, and works greatly to the detriment of one's reputation for intelligence, in spite of all else that one may do to establish it."

Dining out, sexist edition: "In business life it is not good form to dine with your employer. This does not include a ban upon those business dinners, where there is a group of people, the majority of them men, with one or two unmarried business women of equal or superior business standing, who meet over the dinner table to talk of business problems."

BEA as an unusual circumstance: "The exchange of visiting cards with strangers, unless under unusual circumstances, is unwise and bad form."

Cell phone etiquette: "To converse in loud tones or talk of personal matters anywhere in public shows great lack of fine feeling and good breeding."

Final hours of the trade show: "It is a mark of good breeding to control or at least conceal one's moods, so that in company one always appears to be content, if not happy. It adds much to the happiness of others to give this impression, and is therefore generous as well as wise."

Etiquette "is the necessary colleague of intellectual ability in winning the farthest heights of success, and makes the plains of mediocre attainment habitable and pleasant," our guru advises. Behave yourself this year at BEA. Don't mess with Edith. --Robert Gray, contributing editor (column archives available at Fresh Eyes Now).


The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by IndieReader.com:

1. Life Code by Dr. Phil McGraw
2. Real by Katy Evans
3. Suddenly Royal by Nichole Chase
4. Two Old Fools on a Camel by Victoria Twead
5. Promise Me Darkness by Paige Weaver
6. Rock with Me by Kristen Proby
7. The Sisterhood by Helen Bryan
8. Falling into You by Jasinda Wilder
9. Breathe into Me by Amanda Stone
10. The Last Boyfriend (Forever Love) by J.S. Cooper

[Many thanks to IndieReader.com!]


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