Shelf Awareness for Thursday, May 30, 2013


Little Brown and Company: The Balcony by Jane Delury

Houghton Mifflin: Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein: Based on a True Story by Jennifer Roy with Ali Fadhil

Tarcherperigee: F You Very Much: Understanding the Culture of Rudeness--And What We Can Do about It by Danny Wallace

Katherine Tegen Books: Another Quest for Celeste (Nest for Celeste #2) by Henry Cole

Quotation of the Day

ABA Convention, 1913: Bookseller Is 'Highest Calling in Life'

"You gentlemen represent what is to my mind the highest calling in life. The public must come to you for its reading matter, and I am willing to share the responsibility with you. Publishers are a necessary evil, but by hearty co-operation between you and me I believe we can give the publisher an awful run for his money."

--Author and humorist Irvin S. Cobb, speaking at the American Bookseller's Association convention in 1913 (via the New York Times archives)

Page Street Kids: Beneath the Haunting Sea by Joanna Meyer


News

John Sargent on E-Books, DOJ and the 'Whole Damn Thing'

"It's dangerous for us to live under the pall of the Department of Justice or of legal action," said John Sargent, CEO of Macmillan, during a plenary discussion at the Javits Center yesterday morning. ABA president Becky Anderson, the host of the discussion, had begun by asking why he had finally decided to speak publicly after staying silent for so long. "The Department of Justice is good at intimidating," he continued. "And we [the book industry] need to not be intimidated."

Sargent, who has to testify in court next week, spoke candidly about the protracted legal battle and settlement, calling the actions of the Department of Justice "extraordinarily myopic," and Attorney General Eric Holder "just incompetent." By going after Apple, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette, Penguin and Macmillan, Sargent asserted, the Department of Justice chose to "carry Amazon's water" and discourage new entrants into the e-book market. He also called the move to protect a company with 90% of market share "ludicrous on its face."

Macmillan CEO John Sargeant and ABA president Becky Anderson.

When Anderson asked about the lasting effects of the DOJ case, Sargent said there was no way to tell for sure, but he was much more optimistic about the state of the industry than he was a year ago. And the apparent plateauing of e-book growth contributed to that optimism. "It seems like a relatively stable market," he said. "Independents are having a good run of it. I'm hopeful there will be an open playing field going forward."

Sargent also rejected the idea of spending time and resources attempting to reinvent publishing and bookselling models. "At the end of the day, what people want in any format are good books," Sargent explained. "Most people still want a great book, and that is our area of expertise." --Alex Mutter


Soho Crime: My Name Is Nathan Lucius by Mark Winkler


S&S to Begin Publishing in Canada

Simon & Schuster is being allowed to publish in Canada and not just distribute titles from the U.S. and elsewhere, the Globe and Mail reported.

A spokesperson for Heritage Canada, which aims to protect the country's culture, told the paper that "Simon and Schuster Canada has met its obligations under the Investment Canada Act and may now launch a book publishing business in Canada. Canada has a vibrant book industry. This shows that companies want to invest and publish in Canada's publishing industry."

Kevin Hanson, president of S&S Canada, said in a statement (via the Bookseller): "This will give Canadian authors more opportunities to be published in Canada, discovered by Canadian readers and made known abroad through Simon & Schuster's global publishing platform. We look forward to making our own contribution to Canada's vibrant literary scene."

The Globe and Mail said that the impending merger of Random House and Penguin, "is widely expected to reduce opportunities for Canadian writers to find a market for their work," which influenced the Heritage Canada decision.

S&S Canada has pushed to publish in Canada since it opened more than a decade ago, the Globe and Mail wrote. It has published some Canadian-themed books, and in November will publish a history of hockey by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The National Post noted that last November S&S hired "veteran publisher and editor Phyllis Bruce as a consultant."


Ecco Press: Tangerine by Christine Mangan


Astoria Bookshop Finds Space, Will Open in August

The Astoria Bookshop has moved closer to opening: owners Lexi Beach and Connie Rourke signed a lease this month for a 1,200-square-foot space at 31-29 31st Street in the Astoria section of Queens, N.Y., and plan to open by mid-August, the Astoria Post reported.

Future site of Astoria Bookshop.
Photo: AstoriaPost.com

The community bookstore will offer workshops for writers, children's story hours, cookbook tastings and author signings. The pair will get a headstart on the business in June, when they begin selling printed books and e-books online and learn more about the needs of their customers. "We are a general bookstore, and the books you choose will help us decide how to stock our shelves with the things you really want to read," Beach and Rourke wrote on their website.

Beach told the Daily News that she and Rourke are modeling the Astoria Bookshop on some of the stores that opened in neighboring Brooklyn in recent years, including WORD in Greenpoint. "We want the Astoria Bookshop to look and feel like Astoria--eclectic, engaging, and full of characters," they added.

The owners said they had some difficulty finding landlords who wanted to rent to a bookstore, but they were aided in their quest by a poll showing the business Astorians most wanted in the neighborhood was a bookstore.


BEA 2013: Pictures from an Exhibition

Pictures from an exhibition-to-be, more accurately. All day yesterday, publishing folk worked side-by-side with Javits staffers and Teamsters to assemble their booths in the partly renovated Javits Center.

Elsewhere in the bowels of the cavernous convention center a range of seminars and panels took place, including the ABA's Day of Education, the IDPF Digital Book Conference, Publishers Launch, the BEA Bloggers Conference, the Audio Publishers Association Conference, Global Market Forum: Mexico, the New York Library Association Conference and more.

Today the program starts with the Book & Author Breakfast, and the trade show floor opens at 9 a.m. Hope to see you there!

Workman (and -women) getting ready.

The Wimpy Kid arrived safely at BEA, with plenty of giveaways to promote book 8 in the series (we could have used one of those umbrellas...).

The CIROBE Remainders and Sidelines Pavilions, the "show before the show," drew a steady crowd.

A very busy BEA/ABA day of education included the panel "How to Plan for a Second Location," featuring Michael Tucker of Books Inc., Terry Gilman of Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, Christine Onorati of WORD and Alzada Knickerbocker of the Avid Reader.

Yesterday, at Columbia University's Faculty House, a sellout crowd of librarians gathered for the SLJ Day of Dialog (#sljdod13). YA panelists: (l.-r.) Elizabeth Wein (Rose Under Fire, Hyperion), Julie Berry (All the Truth That's in Me, Penguin), Elizabeth Scott (Heartbeat, Harlequin), Matthew Quick (Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, Little, Brown), Adele Griffin (Loud Awake and Lost, Random House), and moderator Karyn Silverman of New York's Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School.

Jack Gantos (r.), Newbery-winning author of Dead End in Norvelt (FSG), could have a second career as an auctioneer. He and Lauren Myracle (The Infinite Moment of Us, Amulet/Abrams, August) co-hosted the 19th Annual Children's Book Art Silent Auction. All of the proceeds benefit ABFFE.


Bookish Allowing Goodreads Users to Import Their Shelves

As of today, Goodreads users can import their shelves onto Bookish via .csv files.

Bookish CEO Ardy Khazaei commented: "This new functionality on the Bookish site is the latest example of our continued commitment to readers. They asked us for a convenient way to import their shelves from Goodreads, and we listened. This new site feature will further enhance book discovery on Bookish, especially as we roll out personalization features later this summer."

Imported ISBNs that are not currently within the Bookish catalogue will not appear on users' shelves immediately, but will be added to "My Shelves" as those titles are brought in to the site catalogue. The ability to export books from Bookish shelves is also in development.


NBCC Adds John Leonard First Book Award

The National Book Critics Circle has created the John Leonard Award, a new prize honoring an author's first book. Named after "one of the most energetic and significant critical voices in American letters," the award is not restricted to one genre, but will recognize work across several categories: fiction, nonfiction, biography, criticism, poetry and autobiography. Critical Mass reported that the recipient of the John Leonard Award will be announced at the NBCC's annual awards ceremony in early 2014. Leonard, who died in 2008, was a founding member of the NBCC.


G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
The Mercy Seat
by Elizabeth H. Winthrop 

In Jim Crow-era Louisiana, a handful of townspeople contemplate the impending execution of 18-year-old Willie Jones. As they consider their own roles in the young black man's fate, some with regret, others with a certain sort of vicious pride, author Elizabeth H. Winthrop builds a taut, yet tender portrait of racism, justice and our legal system in The Mercy Seat. Winthrop’s skillful plaiting of multiple viewpoints into an aching, quietly powerful tale is both impressive and effective--you will see yourself in one or more of the characters, and it will make you uncomfortable. But you'll thank Winthrop for the opportunity, which might be the most wondrous work of The Mercy Seat in the end. This is Winthrop's break-out book. --Stefanie Hargreaves, editor, Shelf Awareness for Readers 

(Grove Press, $26.00 hardcover, 9780802128188, May 8, 2018)

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Notes

Porter Square Books Sells 4,500 Copies of New Gaiman Novel

Porter Square Books, Cambridge, Mass., has taken orders for 4,500 signed copies of The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, which Morrow publishes June 18, according to the Boston Herald.

Co-owner Dale Szczeblowski commented: "It's better than Christmas. We've never handled anything on this scale. We've never sold that many copies of any book in any place I've ever worked, and I've been in the business 30 years."

Porter Square was one of only two bookstores (the other is barnesandnoble.com) allowed to pre-sell signed copies. Gaiman, who lives in Cambridge, has tweeted about the exclusive.


Perseus to Distribute Jim Carrey's Some Kind of Garden

Some Kind of Garden, a new entertainment and media company founded by actor Jim Carrey, will be distributed in the U.S. and Canada by Perseus Distribution.

Some Kind of Garden's first book will be How Roland Rolls, a children's book by Carrey about "a wave named Roland who's afraid that one day, when he hits the beach, his life will be over. But when he gets deep, he's struck by the notion that he’s not just a wave--he's the whole big, wide ocean." The book is illustrated by Rob Nason, an author and illustrator who won a Golden Reel award for his work as art director on Anastasia; his work on Thumbelina won the Hans Christian Andersen award.


Ingram to Distribute Bird Street Books, Launch IngramSpark

Bird Street Books, Los Angeles, Calif., will be sold and distributed in the U.S. and Canada by Ingram Publisher Services. The deal encompasses the publisher's printed books, e-books and audiobooks.

Launched a year ago by Jay McGraw, an author and executive producer of The Doctors series, Bird Street Books emphasizes popular health, fitness and lifestyle books and has sold to consumers through TheBookNook.com, where it also offers thousands of other mainstream titles. Ingram also handles consumer direct fulfillment for TheBookNook.com.

"The idea for Bird Street Books is to champion authors whose messages resonate with audiences, whether with tangible self-improvement results or simply providing compelling storytelling," McGraw said. "As content creation and distribution become more complex, Ingram's strong relationships within the bookselling community and their comprehensive distribution services are what we need to ultimately reach the most avid readers possible."

Bird Street's first book for the retail book market was Life Code: The New Rules for Winning in the Real World by Dr. Phil McGraw, which is the bestselling e-book title via Ingram's CoreSource Plus platform. Upcoming Bird Street titles include Facing the Music, an autobiography by Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter, and S.O.S., the story of an American family's near-death experience on the Costa Concordia cruise ship that ran aground off the coast of Italy last year.

"Bird Street Books is an innovative and well-connected independent publisher who publishes timely, high-profile books," said Mark Ouimet, v-p and general manager of IPS. "Getting content to market quickly is critical, and Ingram's full service physical and digital distribution, website fulfillment, and sales and marketing tools are helping Jay McGraw and his team position their books for success."

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In other Ingram news, the company announced that in July it will launch IngramSpark, a publish on demand service that "provides independent publishers with simple, cost-effective access to Ingram's global distribution network for print titles and e-book content."

After its launch, Ingram plans to expand IngramSpark service to include Ingram's MyiLibrary academic library platform, wholesale and full-service Ingram Publisher Services options, file conversion services, and sales and marketing programs.



Media and Movies

Media Heat: Jonathan Alter Talks About The Center Holds

Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Jonathan Alter, author of The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781451646078).

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Tomorrow morning on CBS This Morning: Craig Carton, author of Loudmouth: Tales (and Fantasies) of Sports, Sex, and Salvation from Behind the Microphone (Simon & Schuster, $24.99, 9781451645705).

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Tomorrow on MSNBC's the Cycle: Emily Matchar, author of Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781451665444). She will also appear on Good Morning America.


This Weekend on Book TV: BEA Book & Author Breakfast

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this week from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, June 1
8 a.m. Book TV offers live coverage of the BookExpo America Book & Author Breakfast from the Javits Center in New York City, featuring Helen Fielding, Diana Gabaldon, John Lewis and Chris Matthews.

12 p.m. Book TV visits Palm Springs, Calif., to interview several of the city's authors and tour its literary sites. (Re-airs Sunday at 10 a.m.)

7 p.m. Richard Beeman talks about his book Our Lives, Our Fortunes & Our Sacred Honor: The Forging of American Independence, 1774-1776 (Basic Books, $29.99, 9780465026296).

8:15 p.m. At an event hosted by Kepler's Books, Menlo Park, Calif., Jaron Lanier presents his book Who Owns the Future? (S&S, $28, 9781451654967). (Re-airs Monday at 5 a.m.)

10 p.m. After Words. Toby Harnden, Washington bureau chief of the Sunday Times of London, interviews Charles Moore, author of Margaret Thatcher: From Grantham to the Falklands (Knopf, $35, 9780307958945). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 3 a.m.)  

11 p.m. Eduardo Galeano discusses his book Children of the Days: A Calendar of Human History (Nation Books, $26.99, 9781568587479).

Sunday, June 2
12 p.m. In Depth. Rick Atkinson, whose most recent book is The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944–1945 (Holt, $40, 9780805062908), joins Book TV for a live interview. Viewers can participate in the discussion by calling in during the program or submitting questions to booktv@c-span.org or via Twitter (@BookTV). (Re-airs Monday at 12 a.m.)

7:45 p.m. Rudolph Herzog talks about his book A Short History of Nuclear Folly: Mad Scientists, Dithering Nazis, Lost Nukes, and Catastrophic Cover-Ups (Melville House, $26, 9781612191737).

10 p.m. Greg Bellow discusses his book Saul Bellow's Heart: A Son's Memoir (Bloomsbury USA, $26, 9781608199952).

11 p.m. Cathryn Prince presents her book Death in the Baltic: The World War II Sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff (Palgrave Macmillan, $27, 9780230341562).


Books & Authors

Awards: Natan Book Winner

My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel by Ari Shavit (to be published in November by Spiegel & Grau) has won the inaugural Natan Book Award, sponsored by the Natan Foundation, which supports "Jewish and Israeli social innovation." The prize honors "an exceptional, not-yet-published, non-fiction book on Jewish themes that has the potential to catalyze new conversations about Jewish life."

The Award has two stages. A cash award of $15,000 is given to the author to use during the writing or final editing of the book. The second stage includes up to $35,000 to be used to promote and distribute the book. Toward that end, Natan is working with Spiegel & Grau to create a publicity, marketing, distribution and programmatic plan for My Promised Land that will make use of Natan's networks within the Jewish community and ensure that the book reaches "broad, new and diverse audiences."

The Natan Fund called My Promised Land "an authoritative, deeply personal and long-awaited narrative history of the State of Israel by … one of the most influential Israeli journalists writing about the Middle East today."


Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, June 4:

Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence by Joseph J. Ellis (Knopf, $26.95, 9780307701220) chronicles the pivotal summer of 1776.

The Kill Room by Jeffery Deaver (Grand Central, $28, 9781455517060) is the latest Lincoln Rhyme thriller.

American Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms by Chris Kyle and William Doyle (Morrow, $29.99, 9780062242716) profiles American history through gun technology.

Tell My Sons: A Father's Last Letters by Lt. Col. Mark Weber and Robin Williams (Ballantine, $25, 9780345549440) collects stories from a soldier dying of cancer.

The House of Impossible Loves by Cristina Lopez Barrio (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25, 9780547661193) follows a cursed Castilian family.

Cinnamon and Gunpowder: A Novel by Eli Brown (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $26, 9780374123666) follows a chef forced to serve on a pirate ship.

Ladies' Night by Mary Kay Andrews (St. Martin's Press, $26.99, 9781250019677) connects a group of divorced women at a beachside bar.

The Possibility Dogs: What a Handful of "Unadoptables" Taught Me About Service, Hope, and Healing by Susannah Charleson (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27, 9780547734934) explores therapeutic canine companionship.

Close Knit Killer by Maggie Sefton (Berkley, $25.95, 9780425258392) continues the Knitting Mystery series.


Book Review

Review: Tampa

Tampa by Alissa Nutting (Ecco, $25.99 hardcover, 9780062280541, July 2, 2013)

Alissa Nutting's mind-blowing debut, Tampa, is, like Nabokov's Lolita, a story of illicit sexual obsession and corrupted innocence; its narrator a highly literate adult who preys on early adolescents. But Tampa is a slimy, sticky inversion of the classic old-man-meets-young-girl scenario--and Celeste Price, the novel's unrepentant narrator, has more in common with American Psycho than Humbert Humbert.

Celeste is a monster disguised as a fantasy. A self-admitted "soulless pervert," she's 26, smoking hot and married to a rich, handsome idiot. Her marriage, like her new job teaching eighth-grade English, is a brutally calculated cover for her sole passion: a voracious lust for 14-year-old boys.

Tampa is not a confession--the word implies contrition--but rather an unadulterated account of Celeste's seduction (and inevitable destruction) of one of her students. Jack Patrick, "a stretch-limbed version of a younger boy," is the perfect mark: sweet, wholesome and absently parented by a single father. Celeste easily lures him into a furtive, doomed affair, which they conduct in the backseat of her red Corvette and at Jack's empty house after school.

The contrast between Jack's innocence and Celeste's predatory, salacious manipulation is both repulsive and mesmerizing. In less skilled hands, Tampa would be laughably gratuitous at best and downright offensive at worst. But it's a testament to Nutting's stunning talent that the sex--and there's a lot of it--is extremely explicit and yet undeniably artful, as in Celeste's description of her first encounter with Jack: "Every action of my adult life," she recalls, "had been engaged in setting up a situation that would allow me to feel exactly this: the slim, curious pressure of a teenage boy pushing into the center of my being."

The story takes on the swampy, close heat of the Tampa suburbs as Celeste recounts her increasingly depraved transgressions and the collateral victims pile up. She cares for nothing but her own pleasure, and she eliminates obstacles to it with masterful and shameless determination. She isn't interested in gaining the reader's sympathy, so--unlike Humbert--there is no reason to think she's anything less than chillingly honest, even though she deceives everyone else.

Celeste keeps getting away with it for the same reason that you'll keep reading about her: she's abhorrent, but she's fascinating--and Nutting has announced herself as a writer who is as gifted as she is bold. --Hannah Calkins

Shelf Talker: In this sure-to-be-controversial debut, a sexy 26-year-old female teacher with a ravenous lust for 14-year-old boys recounts the seduction of one of her students.


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. Surrender by Melody Anne
5. Promise Me Darkness by Paige Weaver
6. Rock with Me by Kristen Proby
7. UnBeautifully by Madeline Sheehan
8. The Last Boyfriend (Forever Love) by J.S. Cooper
9. Lost & Found by Nicole Williams
10. Pieces of You (Shattered Hearts) by Cassia Leo

[Many thanks to IndieReader.com!]


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