Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, June 18, 2013


One World: We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy Ta-Nehisi Coates

Beach Lane Books: The Antlered Ship by Dashka Slater, illustrated by The Fan Brothers

Houghton Mifflin: Lights, Camera, Cook! (Next Best Junior Chef #1) by Charise Mericle Harper

Soho Press: Solar Bones by Mike McCormack

Greenwillow Books: Calling My Name by Liara Tamani

Quotation of the Day

Philipp Meyer: Indie Bookseller Support 'Means Everything'

"It means everything. I grew up going to bookstores and libraries--places where lots and lots of physical books were stacked. I love going into bookstores and spending hours just wandering around. And so I am happy to hear that things seem to be looking up a bit, and that we even gained a few new indie stores last year."

--Author Philipp Meyer, whose novel The Son is June's #1 Indie Next List Pick, in response to a Bookselling This Week question about what the support of the independent community means to him.



National Science Teachers Association: When the Sun Goes Dark by Andrew Fraknoi and Dennis Schatz


News

Finally Found Books Finds New Location

Finally Found Books, Black Diamond, Wash., is moving to Auburn, about 20 minutes away, owner Todd Hulbert wrote in a store e-mail. The old location will close on July 14; the new one will open on August 20, at 3705 Auburn Way North.

"Although we don't look forward to relocating our 100,000 plus tomes, we are excited at the prospect of a healthy business, continued support of our community, and offering a great space for gathering, socialism, and a love of books," Hulbert wrote. "In return, we hope the community will support us during the next month to help make this very expensive move and in the future at our new home."

Hulbert opened the store last year in the site of the former Baker Street Books. Last month, he told customers, via the store's newsletter, that "without a doubt, we will either move or close this summer. Every month, our sales volume and the number of people coming through the door drops." He asked whether the store should move or close and whether there "is there still a need for locally owned independent bookstores."

He received an outpouring of support, he said. "Although we are saddened to leave our historic building and town, the current issues facing the book industry have mandated that we needed to move or close. With e-readers, the Internet, big box stores, and Amazon's discounting, our customer base has dwindled and the small community here simply can no longer support a larger independent bookseller."


DK: 100 First Words - Download Your Free Activity Kit


Store--and Marriage--on the Way in Los Gatos, Calif.

Cheryl and Steve Hare, who are getting married this Saturday, will open a new bookstore, Village House of Books, in Los Gatos, Calif., later this summer. The 800-square-foot store will carry a broad selection of titles and genres, from children's books to biography and mainstream fiction. The pair has no experience in bookselling, but their past jobs may be useful: Cheryl Hare worked for 10 years as an account supervisor at Nordstrom, while Steve Hare has owned and operated health spas. The Hares plan to have a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the mayor of Los Gatos, among other festivities, when the store opens, which she estimates will be in mid-July.

Cheryl Hare may be reached at 775-742-3485.


Poisoned Pen Press: The Countess of Prague by Stephen Weeks


Writers Garner Queen's Birthday Honors

Authors Kate Mosse, who co-founded the Women's Prize for Fiction, and Jackie Collins received OBEs (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) during the Queen's Birthday Honors, the Bookseller reported. Bookish honorees also included Chocolat author Joanne Harris, who received an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire). All three were recognized for their "services to literature."

"It is always nice for the world of literature when writers get an acknowledgement or an honor," said Harris. "It gets the message to people that writing is important and that it deserves praise."


Soho Press: The Hippopotamus by Stephen Fry - Now a major motion picture


Presto Chango at Pottermore

Later this summer Pottermore will unveil a new design that will enable visitors to cast spells, take part in wizard duels and be sorted into houses before registering on the website and entering "as it seeks to broaden both the user base and its publishing business," the Bookseller reported.

The new version will also feature basic information for the non-Harry Potter fan. "As it stands, if you don't know the books, you won't get much out of it," Pottermore CEO Charlie Redmayne said. "What we want to do is open it out for those people who haven't read the books, or who haven't seen the films, but perhaps come to it via the Lego or the Harry Potter computer games."

Redmayne also said the business was now in a position to "build out" publishing: "This to me is ultimately a publishing business. We are beginning to see what Pottermore is: it was never just a website." He cited as an example PlayStation3's Wonderbook game Book of Spells, which sold more than one million units last Christmas season. "It is a book, but we didn't publish it as a book. It is a good example of what publishers need to do: think about all the ways of publishing a piece of content." He also noted that the launch of Pottermore's gift service "had bumped sales, and that he was now looking to Russia and China for e-book launches," the Bookseller wrote.



Notes

Image (and Video) of the Day: Neil Gaiman's Dawn Patrol

photo: @BostonComicCon

 

Dawn Patrol: Eager fans queued up outside Porter Square Books in Cambridge, Mass., very early this morning for tickets to see Neil Gaiman and to get their preordered signed copies of his new book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, out today from Morrow.

 

 

Watch Neil Gaiman sign 1,200 copies of The Ocean at the End of the Lane in less than one minute!

 


Mystery to Me's Unveiling

Mystery to Me, the Madison, Wis., mystery store that is descended from Booked for Murder--owner Joanne Berg bought the older store's inventory and shelving--opened this past Saturday. The Isthmus did some investigating and deduced: "Mystery to Me won't be quite as odd and esoteric as Booked, but by sleuthing some of the challenges the old shop faced, Berg may have uncovered the key to independent bookselling in Madison."

Among changes and features of Mystery to Me:

  • Mystery to Me features bright-green paint, which "makes the store feel more sleek and less kooky than the cheerfully messy Booked for Murder," the paper wrote. "Whereas Booked featured a faux-antique radio set playing big-band music, Mystery to Me has a flat-screen TV mounted on a wall. Berg plans to use it to connect with authors over Skype."
  • Mystery to Me will partner with the nearby public library branch, which may hold events at the store.
  • Mystery to Me is adding sections for young and YA readers. For adults, the inventory is now arranged alphabetically, with separate sections only for new arrivals and signed copies.
  • Mystery to Me will order any book, mystery or not, and for a time, each purchase at the store comes with a free "mystery book" wrapped in white paper.

Cool Idea of the Day: Powell's Design Contest

Powell's Books, Portland, Ore., has launched its first design contest, and the three winning designs will be featured on limited edition store tote bags. In addition, the grand prize winner receives a $500 Powell's gift card, first prize winner receives a $300 card and the second prize winner receives $200.

Designs should be inspired by the store and include "Powell's Books" or one of the company's logos. Entries must be submitted by July 17. Powell's will then pick 10 finalists, and a panel will choose the winners from the 10.

"We're so appreciative of the support customers have shown us over the years, and we thought it would be fun to give our community the chance to contribute to the face of Powell's in a unique way," Powell's CEO Miriam Sontz said. "This is an opportunity for customers to show us what Powell's means to them. We're excited to see what they come up with!"

For more information and the contest entry form, go to Powells.com/design-contest-2013.


BookCourt North: Financing Moves Ahead

In an update on plans to buy Bibliobarn in the Catskill Mountains and create BookCourt North: Bookshop, Event Space, & Writers' Retreat, Zack Zook, who is in charge of events and development at BookCourt, Brooklyn, N.Y., reports that while the store is "nowhere close" to its crowdsourcing campaign goal of $300,000, "we can proudly say that we're in the process of securing a loan that will allow us to move forward with our plans to purchase, preserve, and enhance our beloved barn."

Zook noted that the crowdsourcing campaign is a flexible funding campaign, "which means that even if we don't raise our goal amount, we will still be putting every dollar raised toward our project after the campaign has ended. We want you to know that we are committed to seeing this through, and are determined to use all resources possible to secure the barn so we can usher in a new era of literary glory for the place."


Turning Library's Card Catalogue into Art

Displayed on a wall in the corner of Greenfield, Mass., Community College's Nahman-Watson Library are "128 artifacts from the library's card catalogue preserved in a glass case," all of them signed by the authors who wrote the "books to which the cards once led," the Boston Herald reported.

Librarian Hope Schneider has been working on this project for 14 years, first sending cards to local authors and artists for an inscription, and later expanding her effort nationwide to novelists, poets and politicians. Among the respondents was poet Billy Collins, who wrote a poem on three of his cards: "I love card catalogues/ but I only wish/ my cards were more dogeared!"


Ira Silverberg Leaving NEA for NYC

Effective July 11, Ira Silverberg is leaving the National Endowment for the Arts, where he has been director of literature programs, since 2011, and returning to New York City. Amy Stolls, literature program officer, will be the acting director of literature until a new director is found.

Silverberg said that his decision was determined by "the demands of family" and called it "a bittersweet time for me as I have truly loved the work I do here--and have been aided by a stellar staff." He also said, "Having had a chance to see, first hand, the various transitions our field is going through--podcasts, e-books, changes in the retail landscape--has been humbling. Helping to guide our field through those transitions has been empowering and has provided me with an education I could find nowhere else."

NEA acting chairman Joan Shigekawa praised Silverberg for bringing "a wealth and variety of expertise that were of great value to the literature office and to the agency. The NEA benefitted his experience and connections to both the national and international literary communities. He was instrumental in expanding the NEA's Big Read program to include four new titles and in maintaining the quality of the literature panel process."


Personnel Changes at Rodale, Vintage Anchor

Effective July 1, Kristin Kiser is joining Rodale as v-p, deputy publisher, trade books and director of author programs. She has been v-p, associate publisher, at Hyperion and editorial director at Crown.

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Effective tomorrow, Beth Lamb is becoming v-p, associate publisher, Vintage Anchor, a new position. She was formerly associate publisher for trade books at Rodale. She earlier worked at Simon & Schuster and began her career at Random House as a publicist.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Niall Ferguson About The Great Degeneration

This morning on Marketplace Morning Report: Gar Alperovitz, author of What Then Must We Do?: Straight Talk about the Next American Revolution (Chelsea Green, $17.95, 9781603585040).

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Today on Katie: Elisabeth Rohm, author of Baby Steps: Having the Child I Always Wanted (Just Not as I Expected) (Da Capo Lifelong Books, $24.99, 9780738216638).

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Tomorrow morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe: Niall Ferguson, author of The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die (Penguin Press, $26.95, 9781594205453). He will also appear on MSNBC's Martin Bashir.

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Tomorrow on NPR's On Point: Ken Robinson, co-author of Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life (Viking, $27.95, 9780670022380).

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Tomorrow on CNBC's Closing Bell: Glen Hubbard and Tim Kane, authors of Balance: The Economics of Great Powers from Ancient Rome to Modern America (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781476700250).


TV: Masters of Sex Promo

Showtime's Masters of Sex, which premiere September 29, now has a promo video. The series, based on Thomas Maier's book Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love, stars Lizzy Caplan and Michael Sheen. Buzzfeed's Erin La Rosa noted: "If I've learned anything from Mad Men, it's that repressed sexuality and pretty people go very well together."


Movies: The Wolf of Wall Street; Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

"Welcome to the Year of Leonardo DiCaprio as the American Dream," Entertainment Weekly said concerning a trailer for The Wolf of Wall Street, which is based on Jordan Belfort's book, directed by Martin Scorsese and features DiCaprio playing "the nonfictional man James Gatz--aka Jay Gatsby--may have become had he been born in the '60s rather than 1890.... Could this be the film that finally gets DiCaprio that elusive Best Actor Oscar? Who knows--but either way, it looks mighty entertaining."

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A new trailer is out for Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, adapted from Cassandra Clare's book series, Indiewire reported. The movie hits theaters August 21.


Books & Authors

Awards: Bram Stoker; Jack D. Rittenhouse Winners

The Bram Stoker Awards, which recognize superior achievement in horror writing and are sponsored by the Horror Writers Association, have gone to:

Novel: The Drowning Girl by Caitlín R. Kiernan (Roc)
First novel: Life Rage by L.L. Soares (Nightscape Press)
YA novel: Flesh & Bone by Jonathan Maberry (S&S)
Graphic novel: Witch Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times by Rocky Wood and Lisa Morton (McFarland and Co.)
Long Fiction: The Blue Heron by Gene O'Neill (Dark Regions Press)
Short Fiction: "Magdala Amygdala" by Lucy Snyder (Dark Faith: Invocations, Apex Book Company)
Anthology: Shadow Show, edited by Mort Castle and Sam Weller (HarperCollins)
Collection (tie): New Moon on the Water by Mort Castle (Dark Regions Press);
Black Dahlia and White Rose: Stories by Joyce Carol Oates (Ecco)
Nonfiction: Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween by Lisa Morton (Reaktion Books)
Poetry: Vampires, Zombies & Wanton Souls by Marge Simon (Elektrik Milk Bath Press)
Screenplay: The Cabin in the Woods by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard (Mutant Enemy Productions, Lionsgate)

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Jack Shoemaker, co-founder, editorial director and v-p of Counterpoint Press, has won PubWest's Jack D. Rittenhouse Award "in recognition of his extraordinary career and how his lifetime of work has shaped and inspired the book publishing community."

Shoemaker began his book career in 1963 as a bookseller in Santa Barbara, Calif. He owned or managed the Unicorn Bookshop, Serendipity Books, and Sand Dollar Booksellers & Publishers; was the publisher at Unicorn, Maya Editions and Sand Dollar Books; helped found Small Press Distribution; co-founded North Point Press and Shoemaker & Hoard; and was West Coast editor for Pantheon Books.

PubWest said in part that Shoemaker's "editorial work is exemplary of what caring editorial direction can achieve over time. His work is no less than visionary and will be remembered for bringing some of the most enduring literature of the twentieth century into print."

Shoemaker will receive the Rittenhouse Award during PubWest 2013, November 7-9, in Santa Fe, N.Mex.


Book Review

Review: No Regrets, Coyote

No Regrets, Coyote by John Dufresne (W.W. Norton, $25.95 hardcover, 9780393070538, July 15, 2013)

A grandson of French-Canadian immigrants, John Dufresne (Love Warps the Mind a Little) grew up in blue-collar Worcester, Mass. His life and his fiction took a decided turn south, though, when he earned an MFA from the University of Arkansas and began teaching in Louisiana and Florida. His fiction is filled with story-telling misfits in the tradition of Faulkner, O'Connor and Toole. In No Regrets, Coyote, he extends his reach into Carl Hiaasen and Tim Dorsey turf with a Florida crime novel swarming with crooked cops, Russian thugs, Mafia lawyers and a naïve but dogged therapist who untangles the messy corruption... and more or less rights the wrongs.

In Melancholy, Fla., Wylie "Coyote" Melville runs a one-man therapy practice with a Sigmund Freud bobblehead on his desk and a short list of very troubled clients. His almost clairvoyant ability to see behind appearances leads to his occasional retention by the local police to take a second look at particularly befuddling crime scenes. Called in on what seems a simple family murder-suicide, his instincts tell him there is more to the story, and he's proven right--but first, Dufresne takes us deeply into Wylie's own family story.

Wylie is a mess: divorced and living alone in an eerily empty house after the death of his beloved cat Satchel. Things get better when his former girlfriend gets him a new cat and his widowed, Alzheimer's-afflicted father settles into a retirement community. Meanwhile, his friend Bay, a gambler and magician, helps him sort out the puzzling crime.

Dufresne's cast of villains and weirdoes is both funny and frightening. The mobbed up cops are "heavy set guys in Dockers with buzz cuts and brushy mustaches, wearing their polo shirts a size too small, trash-talking about the Dolphins, and arm wrestling." A dead victim's wallet tells a life story: "He shops at Winn-Dixie, flies Delta, has just one more hot dog to buy at 'Wiener Takes All' before he gets a free one." Wylie meets an informant near a landscaper's van lettered "Weed 'em and Reap!"

The resolution of all this mayhem includes a side trip to Anchorage and an Everglades wildfire. If No Regrets, Coyote sometimes gets a little overwhelming, it may be because Dufresne has so thoroughly shed his reticent "Yankee" past and embraced the eccentric exuberance of the South. --Bruce Jacobs

Shelf Talker: Southern raconteur John Dufresne's fifth novel is a fresh Florida crime story of edgy villains and an endearingly persistent detective/therapist.


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