Shelf Awareness for Thursday, September 5, 2013


HarperCollins: Dear Girl, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Paris Rosenthal, illustrated by Holly Hatam

Little Brown and Company: The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison

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

News

Sherman Alexie Proposes Author Handselling Day

Sherman Alexie: Bookseller-for-a-day at Seattle's Queen Anne Book Company in April.

In a letter to fellow authors, Sherman Alexie is urging all authors to handsell their books at their local independent bookstore on Small Business Saturday (November 30, the Saturday after Thanksgiving), one of the busiest days of the year for all retailers. On that day, which he's calling Indies First, he wrote, "We book nerds will become booksellers. We will make recommendations. We will practice nepotism and urge readers to buy multiple copies of our friends' books. Maybe you'll sign and sell books of your own in the process. I think the collective results could be mind-boggling (maybe even world-changing)."

The American Booksellers Association has enthusiastically embraced the Indies First idea with a website page where both authors and booksellers can sign up. The ABA called Indies First "brand new and moving fast."

Alexie said authors who participate in Indies First will "be helping independent bookstores, and God knows they've helped us over the years." Authors will also help themselves because "your books will get a huge boost, wherever you choose to be."

Alexie urged authors to "pick a bookstore, talk to the owner (or answer the phone when they call you) and reach an agreement about how to spend your time that day. You'd also need to agree to place that store's buy button in a prominent place on your website, above the Amazon button if you have one. After all, this is Indies First, not Indies Only, and it's designed to include Indies in our world but not to exclude anyone else."

Alexie said that Janis Segress, one of the new owners of Queen Anne Book Company in Seattle, "came up with this brilliant idea," when Alexie became "bookseller-for-a-day" after the store reopened in April.


William Morrow & Company: My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie


Bookbound's Grand Opening in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Congratulations to Bookbound, Ann Arbor, Mich., which is holding its grand opening this Saturday, September 7, 11 a.m.-8 p.m., with light refreshments (and "adult libations after 5 p.m."), a free Bookbound tote with purchases of $20 or more; and a 10% discount on purchases if customers bring in canned goods that can be donated to Food Gatherers!, which provides food for people in need.

The 2,400-sq.-ft. store is owned by Peter and Megan Blackshears; he worked at Borders for many years.


Binc Foundation: Helping Booksellers #MoreThanEver Donation Campaign


New Development: B&N @ Catholic University Moving Next Year

Barnes & Noble College will open a 14,000-sq.-ft. store serving Catholic University of America and the neighborhood in Monroe Street Market, a mixed-use development in the Brookland area of Washington, D.C., the developer announced.

Called Barnes & Noble @ Catholic University, the store will include a Starbucks cafe and sections for Catholic University textbooks and school items. Construction is scheduled to begin within two months, and the store is expected to open in the spring.

B&N College has operated Catholic University's bookstore since last year. When the store moves into its new space, its old space will be used for other purposes, the university said.

The development is across the street from the Catholic University campus and next to the Brookland/CUA Metro station. Built on land that previously housed several Catholic University dormitories, the Monroe Street Market will consist of three buildings--Brookland Works, Portland Flats and Cornerstone--and will include 720 residences, 45 townhomes, 83,000 square feet of street-level retail, 15,000 square feet of artist studio space, a 3,000-square-foot community arts center and 850 parking spaces.


Page Street Kids: Beneath the Haunting Sea by Joanna Meyer


Opening Soon: Austin's Malvern Books

Malvern Books, which will open soon in Austin, Tex., plans to "specialize in visionary literature and poetry from independent publishers, with a focus on lesser-known and emerging voices the world needs to hear," the shop's website noted. The bookstore's journey to opening is currently being chronicled on Malvern's blog, Facebook page and Twitter account.

This week Small Press Distribution announced on its own Facebook page that it was shipping "the largest single order to an indy bookstore SPD has EVER done. If you live near Austin, TX you've lucked out: make a date to visit the very new Malvern Books. They have ordered multiples of so, so many of our very best presses. Malvern is going to be the best little SPD in Texas."

Malvern Books is located at 613 West 29th Street, Austin, Tex. 78705; 512-322-2097; info@malvernbooks.com.


Sony Unveils PRS-T3 E-Reader

Engadget offered an early peek at Sony's PRS-T3 e-reader, which was "sitting in one lonely corner of Sony's brightly lit booth on the floor" yesterday at IFA (Internationale Funkausstellung) 2013 in Berlin. Among the "pretty cool innovations" were an integrated case and lighter weight. In addition, Sony "claims to have bumped up the resolution and contrast on the display, though we didn't really notice much difference, for the record. We did, however, happily take note of the fact that the E Ink display has bucked those full page refreshes, much like the Kobo before it. No word on pricing, though the German Sony rep we spoke with mentioned that it will be launching tomorrow in this market at least," Engadget wrote.

Although the PRS-T3 is not shown on Sony's U.S. website yet, the German site is now taking advance orders for the new device at €139 (about US$184), and in the U.K. it is listed at £99.


Notes

Image of the Day: Locomotive's First Stop, Brooklyn's BookCourt

Last night at BookCourt in his native Brooklyn, N.Y., author and artist Brian Floca began a criss-cross country tour for his spectacular new picture book, Locomotive. Floca showed the crowd images from a Magic Lantern and 3-D images of the 1,000-Mile Tree (named for its spot 1,000 miles west of Omaha, as the Transcontinental Railroad moved westward), plus a photo of him riding a steam engine. When someone in the crowd called out, "Give us some stats!" Floca hardly paused, "There were 1,776 miles of track from Omaha to Sacramento--people liked that."
photo: Roxie Munro


Skylight's Dan Kusunoki: 'The Graphic Novels Master'

Looking for a "guide into the world of graphic novels?" Los Angeles, I'm Yours heartily recommends Dan Kusunoki, who works at the Skylight Books Arts Annex, "where he's the graphic novels master.... Kusunoki has an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of the medium, as well as a compelling enthusiasm for the art on the page, combined with a deep appreciation for the big ideas that graphic novels grapple with."

"In the late '90s, people started asking for writer's threads not just the next Spiderman--the creators themselves became the focus," said Kusunoki. "At Skylight we have a loyal clientele who drop by regularly, so I get to know what they're into and can suggest what they'd like that's just come in."


Video of the Day: Conversations with Booksellers

Russell Williams was at the Lewisburg Literary Festival last month to introduce and discuss his documentary Looking for a Restroom? Try Amazon or Conversations with Booksellers, which can be seen now on Vimeo.

The movie features "extensive conversations with booksellers representing nine great American bookstores," including Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, Wash.; Powell's City of Books, Portland, Ore.; Square Books, Oxford, Miss.; Politics & Prose, Washington, D.C.; Faulkner House Books, New Orleans, La.; the BookMark, Neptune, Fla.; Tattered Cover, Denver Colo.; and Prairie Lights, Iowa City, Iowa.


On the Road: 'Best Bookstores to Visit in Canada'

For "literary lovers," Travel + Escape featured "a round-up of must-see bookstores across Canada," noting that "whether you're travelling or on home soil this fall, visit an independent bookshop to explore the bookshelves (of course!) and the local neighborhood vibe."


Media and Movies

Media Heat: John Bradshaw Talks Cat Sense on Fresh Air

This morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe: Lee Child, author of Never Go Back: A Jack Reacher Novel (Delacorte Press, $28, 9780385344340).

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Today on NPR's Fresh Air: John Bradshaw, author of Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet (Basic Books, $27.99, 9780465031016).

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Tomorrow morning on Good Morning America: Bethenny Frankel, author of Skinnygirl Solutions: Your Straight-Up Guide to Home, Health, Family, Career, Style, and Sex (Touchstone, $25.99, 9781451667394).

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Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Amanda Lindhout, co-author of A House in the Sky: A Memoir (Scribner, $27, 9781451645606). She will also appear on Nightly News with Brian Williams and Dateline.

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Tomorrow on NPR's On Point: Emily Oster, author of Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong-and What You Really Need to Know (Penguin Press, $26.95, 9781594204753).

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Tomorrow on Tavis Smiley: Laura Gottesdiener, author of A Dream Foreclosed: Black America and the Fight for a Place to Call Home (Zuccotti Park Press, $14.95, 9781884519215).

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Tomorrow on PBS's Moyers & Company: Dave Zirin, author of Game Over: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down (New Press, $18.95, 9781595588159).


TV: Hoke

FX has given a pilot order to Hoke, a "darkly comedic drama" starring Paul Giamatti and based on Charles Willeford's novels Sideswipe, New Hope for the Dead and The Way We Die Now. Deadline.com reported that the project was written by Scott Frank (Out of Sight, Get Shorty), who will direct the pilot and be showrunner if Hoke goes to series. Filming is scheduled to begin later this year in Miami.

"Like Elmore Leonard, Charles Willeford is one of the most deeply respected writers of crime fiction and he created a wholly original and colorful lead character in Detective Hoke Mosely," said Eric Schrier, FX president of original programming. "Scott Frank delivered a magnificent script and we are honored that Paul Giamatti will bring Hoke to life."


This Weekend on Book TV: Paul Sabin

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this holiday weekend 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, September 7
12 p.m. Book TV visits Annapolis, Md., to interview several of the city's authors and tour its literary sites, including Back Creek Books. (Re-airs Sunday at 9:30 a.m.)

7:30 p.m. Laura Gottesdiener, author of A Dream Foreclosed: Black America and the Fight for a Place to Call Home (Zuccotti Park Press, $14.95, 9781884519215), at Busboys and Poets, Washington, D.C. (Re-airs Sunday at 1:45 p.m.)

8:30 p.m. Samuel Tadros, author of Motherland Lost: The Egyptian and Coptic Quest for Modernity (Hoover Institution Press, $19.95, 9780817916442). (Re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m.)

10 p.m. After Words. Dina Cappiello, Associated Press energy and environment reporter, interviews Paul Sabin, author of The Bet: Paul Ehrlich, Julian Simon and Our Gamble over Earth's Future (Yale University Press, $28.50, 9780300176483). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. & 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Rebecca Sive, author of Every Day Is Election Day: A Woman's Guide to Winning Any Office, from the PTA to the White House (Chicago Review Press, $17.95, 9781613746622), at Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C.  

Sunday, September 8
8:15 a.m. Alison Stewart, author of First Class: The Legacy of Dunbar, America's First Black Public High School (Chicago Review Press, $26.95, 9781613740095), at Politics & Prose Bookstore, Washington, D.C. (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.

1 p.m. Stephen Meyer, author of Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design (HarperOne, $28.99, 9780062071477). (Re-airs Monday at 1 a.m.)

7:30 p.m. Matthew Levitt, author of Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon's Party of God (Georgetown University Press, $32.95, 9781626160132).



Books & Authors

Awards: Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize Short List

The short list for the annual $10,000 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, sponsored by the Center for Fiction, which used to be known as the Mercantile Library, is:

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra (Hogarth)
Eleven Days by Lea Carpenter (Knopf)
Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi (Penguin Press)
The Morels by Christopher Hacker (Soho Press)
Motherlunge by Kirstin Scott (New Issues Poetry & Prose)
The Residue Years by Mitchell Jackson (Bloomsbury)
Wash by Margaret Wrinkle (Atlantic Monthly Press)
Y by Marjorie Celona (Free Press)

The short-listed writers will read from their books on December 10 at the Center for Fiction. The 2013 winner will be announced on December 11 at the Center's annual benefit and awards dinner in New York City.

This is the second year the Center for Fiction has partnered with the American Booksellers Association to promote the eight shortlisted novels. Nearly 50 independent booksellers selected a long list, from which the judges for this year's Prize made the short list selection.


Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, September 10:

Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys? by Billy Crystal (Holt, $28, 9780805098204) takes a comic look at aging.

Second Watch by J. A. Jance (Morrow, $26.99, 9780062134677) continues the J. P. Beaumont mystery series.

Forgotten Ally: China's World War II, 1937-1945 by Rana Mitter (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30, 9780618894253) chronicles China's war with Japan.

The Firm: The Story of McKinsey and Its Secret Influence on American Business by Duff McDonald (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781439190975) looks at one of the most secretive and powerful companies in the world, management consultant McKinsey & Co.

Nine Inches by Tom Perrotta (St. Martin's Press, $25.99, 9781250034700) is a collection of 10 short stories.

The Bones of Paris by Laurie R. King (Bantam, $26, 9780345531766) follows a private investigator in 1920s Paris.

The River and Enoch O'Reilly by Peter Murphy (Mariner, $14.95, 9780547904771) takes place in an '80s Irish town beset by a fatal flood.

Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell Jr. (Ballantine, $28, 9780345534521) explores the life and finances of an eccentric heiress.

Guinness World Records 2014 (Guinness World Records, $28.95, 9781908843357) features new records and digital media.


Book Review

Review: Levels of Life

Levels of Life by Julian Barnes (Knopf, $22.95 hardcover, 9780385350778, September 23, 2013)

A scant year and a half after winning the Man Booker Prize for The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes is back with the elegantly constructed Levels of Life, a deeply affecting meditation on grief at his wife's death. He abhors the word "passing," so we shall call it what it is: death.

"You put together two things that have not been put together before," Barnes writes in "The Sin of Height," the first of three separate but connected sections. "And the world is changed. People may not notice at the time, but that doesn't matter. The world has been changed nonetheless." There follows a brief history of 19th-century Anglo-French ballooning, and a pioneer of aerial photography, Gaspard-Félix Tournachon. These two pursuits, ballooning and aerial photography, are metaphors for a new freedom, one as heady as first love--and as subject to a precipitate crash.

Two other balloon enthusiasts, Colonel Fred Burnaby of the Royal Horse Guards and the actress Sarah Bernhardt, are featured in "On the Level," which brings us back to earth. Barnes's fictionalized account of a putative affair between the two has us believing that Sarah was not quite on the level with Burnaby; she broke his heart. Poor Burnaby concludes that love does not come with a guarantee.

In the final section, "The Loss of Depth," we go into the deep recesses of Barnes's grief. He and his wife had been traveling; they came home; she saw her doctor and was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Thirty-seven days later, she was dead. The deep grief Barnes felt--and still feels--is meticulously rendered. "Grief is the negative image of love," he writes, "and if there can be an accumulation of love over the years, then why not of grief? When might you expect to be 'over it'?"

He contemplates suicide, but decides against it--what is left of her lives within him; to kill himself would mean that she would die again. "We did not make the clouds come in the first place, and have no power to disperse them," he concludes. "All that has happened is that from somewhere--or nowhere--an unexpected breeze has sprung up and we are in movement again." He will go on, diminished, saddened immensely by loss, but knowing that some good things remain. Chief among them must be his ability to render the most profound feelings in exquisite prose. --Valerie Ryan

Shelf Talker: Barnes blends fact and fiction in a deeply moving three-part meditation on the grief he felt following the death of his wife.


The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

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

1. Wicked Firsts by Various
2. Unlocked (Alpha Group Trilogy #3) by Maya Cross
3. Ruin by Rachel van Dyken
4. Dust (Silo Saga) by Hugh Howey
5. Freefall by Tess Oliver
6. Loving the CEO by Various
7. Locked (Alpha Group Trilogy #1) by Maya Cross
8. Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
9. Stripped by Jasinda Wilder
10. Into the Deep by Samantha Young

[Many thanks to IndieReader.com!]


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