Also published on this date: Wednesday, April 16, 2014: Maximum Shelf: Wonderland

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, April 16, 2014


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

News

Lee Boudreaux Joining Little, Brown to Launch New Imprint

Lee Boudreaux is joining Little, Brown as v-p and editorial director of an eponymous imprint that will publish eight to 10 titles per year. She will begin her new role September 2. For the past nine years, Boudreaux has been the editorial director of Ecco, and prior to that spent her first nine years in publishing at Random House.
 
"Lee is one of the most respected editors in the business, widely admired not just for her adventurous and discerning eye but also for her sharp editorial skills," said Reagan Arthur, senior v-p and publisher. "I've long wanted to work with her, and I'm absolutely thrilled to welcome her to Little, Brown, where I know she and her new list will be an exciting part of our future."
 
Boudreaux said she has "watched Reagan Arthur publish her books and subsequently take over the reins at Little, Brown with admiration often bordering on awe. I've been exquisitely lucky to have worked with such extraordinary writers and colleagues at Ecco and I know what I've learned from them--about the art of writing and the art of publishing with unstinting passion--will always stand me in good stead. To shape my own list, focused on discovering the kind of electrifying and unexpected voices I've grown to treasure, is truly an honor. And, I suspect, it's also going to be a lot of fun."


Page Street Kids: Beneath the Haunting Sea by Joanna Meyer


One Flight Up: Kinokuniya's Flagship Singapore Store Moving

Later this year, Books Kinokuniya's elegant main store in Singapore will move to new space one floor higher, on the fourth level of the Ngee Ann City Shopping Mall, because of a reconfiguration by the landlord. The move is expected to be completed by October. The new space will be 20% smaller than the store's current 43,000 square feet, but Kenny Chan, Singapore store director and director, merchandising division, said that "the range will be retained (and expanded in some areas), and the configuration, albeit with some change, will feel familiar to our beloved regulars and counterintuitive and natural to the new visitors/converts.... All the hallmarks that make this Grande Dame iconic and loved will be retained and enhanced "

On Orchard Road, the Ngee Ann City Shopping Mall is a high-end mall that features a Takashimaya department store. The Books Kinokuniya store, which opened in 1999, is the company's flagship Singapore store and has been a template for many of the Kinokuniya stores outside Japan and North America. Most its 500,000 titles are in English; it also has smaller selections in Japanese, Chinese, French and German, an array of sidelines, a stationery shop and a café.


Soho Crime: My Name Is Nathan Lucius by Mark Winkler


McNamee Steps Down as EBF President

John McNamee stepped down as president of the European and International Booksellers Federation, the Bookseller reported. His successor will be named at the Frankfurt Book Fair next fall. In the interim, Kyra Dreher, v-p of legal affairs, and Fabian Paagman, v-p in charge of legal affairs, will oversee the organization.

"It has been a great honor and privilege to be able to work since 2005 as president of EBF," said McNamee. "The industry is fortunate to have so many committed, enthusiastic and interesting people.... We have had to deal with many changes during the period, and we have been able to adapt and encourage our Members to position themselves well for their future."

Tim Godfray, CEO of the Booksellers Association of the U.K. & Ireland, said McNamee is "a passionate supporter of the EBF, and has worked tirelessly as EBF's president over the last eight years--representing the interests of booksellers all over the European Union to the Commission, and other key European institutions."


Ecco Press: Tangerine by Christine Mangan


Dymocks Planning Growth in Hong Kong

Australian bookstore chain Dymocks, which "sees room for expansion" in Hong Kong, "is seeking to bring back the number of stores to about 12 after three were closed last year when their rental contracts expired," South China Morning Post reported. Dymocks operates more than 70 stores in Hong Kong and Australia, many of which are franchised.

Jannie Tam, general manager of Dymocks Franchise Systems (China), said changing reading habits, digital competition and soaring rents have created a challenging environment: "It's no longer a purely book business. It has evolved into a cultural business with entertainment elements." Tam added that Dymocks has recorded a "double-digit" rise in sales per square foot so far this year compared with the same period last year. "Hong Kong is small and readers still like visiting bookstores flipping through books."


Cannon Beach Book Company for Sale

Cannon Beach Book Company, Cannon Beach, Ore., is for sale. Owner Valerie Ryan said on Facebook: "It is time to turn my wonderful store over to someone who is interested in and capable of doing all the necessary social networking, moving into e-books and all the other things that make bookselling very different from what it was when I began almost 40 years ago." Ryan added that Cannon Beach, on Oregon's Pacific coast, is "a beautiful place to live, the store has been here for 33 years. What's not to like? Oh, also, sales continue to be strong!"


Obituary Note: Gregory White Smith

Gregory White Smith, whose books included a 1990 biography of Jackson Pollock "that won a Pulitzer Prize but also caused controversy for its assertions about his celebrated drip-painting technique, his sexual orientation and other matters," died last Thursday, the New York Times reported. He was 62.


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)

CLICK HERE TO ENTER
#ShelfGLOW
Shelf vetted, publisher supported

Notes

Images of the Day: Preparing for #WBN2014

Bella, the shop cat at Village Square Booksellers, Bellows Falls, Vt., was featured on World Book Night USA's Facebook page: "All those prrrrrty boxes! Bella... is one happy cat!"

Below left, WBN givers picking up their books at Bookshop Santa Cruz, in Santa Cruz, Calif. Below right: the #WBN window display at Kepler's in Menlo Park, Calif.

photo: Karen Pennington

Indie Bookstores: 'Perfect Models for American Small Businesses'

Noting that "the continued survival of many independent bookstores in the face of so much adversity provides unique lessons for anybody who wants to open a business of their own, bookstore or otherwise," Flavorwire's Jason Diamond offered "5 reasons why indie bookstores are perfect models for American small businesses":

  1. Like snowflakes, no two indie bookstores are alike.
  2. The secret ingredient is love.
  3. The focus on community.
  4. Local bookstores understand social media.
  5. Indie booksellers empower their employees.

Snow Goose Bookstore: What 'Local' Means

"What does 'local' mean? And what does it mean to the rest of us who unfold our wallets and hand over our cash?" asked the Stanwood Camano News.

To help answer these questions, the News shared a brief story: "The morning after 9/11, Tom Bird and Kristine Kaufman unlocked the door to Snow Goose Bookstore [Stanwood, Wash.] and expected no customers. They opened shop simply because they did not know what else to do. For the next week, sales were slim. But the store was full."

"There aren't many public places where people can talk," Kaufman said.

Bird explained that the concept of a "third place" means "interacting with people. Hearing their stories. Getting to know their lives and families, and becoming part of the fabric of the community."

Kafman added: "One of the wonderful things about the book business is that it's a small world. It's a community of people who care about books.... A romance is implied (when you own a bookstore). If you own a clothing store, people don't ask if you've worn all the clothes.... What we carry is a reflection of me, but also of the community. It's a curated collection."


Personnel Changes at the Osprey Group

Elyse Turr has been named sales and marketing manager at Shire Publications and Old House Books, part of the Osprey Group. She formerly worked at Oxford University Press.


Book Trailers: Josey Baker Bread, What to Talk About

Two books from Chronicle out this week:

Josey Baker Bread: Get Baking--Make Awesome Bread--Share the Loaves by Josey Baker, who sells bread and toast at the Mill in San Francisco--and is one of the best named bakers we've heard of.

What to Talk About: On a Plane, at a Cocktail Party, in a Tiny Elevator with Your Boss's Boss by Chris Colin and Rob Baedeker, illustrated by Tony Millionaire, which offers conversation tips for modern times with a healthy dose of humor.


Media and Movies

S&S Providing Content to AOL.com's 'Premium Video Experience'

Simon & Schuster is one of the content providers for AOL.com's new "premium video experience," which launched yesterday to combine "the power of scaled online video with a time-centric programming strategy that meets viewers' interests," AOL said. Content will be curated from AOL On Network video providers, including S&S, Conde Nast Entertainment, ESPN, the Wall Street Journal, E!, Glamour, HSN, Self, Vanity Fair, Vogue and WWE.


Media Heat: Katty Kay, Claire Shipman on NPR's Diane Rehm Show

This morning on Fox & Friends: Bill Medley, author of The Time of My Life: A Righteous Brother's Memoir (Da Capo Press, $26.99, 9780306823169). He will also be on CBS This Morning tomorrow.

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Tomorrow on MSNBC's Now With Alex Wagner: Marlo Thomas, author of It Ain't Over... Till It's Over: Reinventing Your Life--and Realizing Your Dreams--Anytime, at Any Age (Atria, $27, 9781476739915).

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Tomorrow on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, authors of The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance--What Women Should Know (HarperBusiness, $27.99, 9780062230621).

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Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: Dustin Long, author of Bad Teeth: A Novel (New Harvest, $25, 9780544262003). As the show put it: "In Bad Teeth, Dustin Long calls into question our tendency to confuse complexity and complication. Long speaks of the disappointment his generation has grown to expect at having prepared for a life that isn't there. His purported narrator, a translator named Judas, is one of a group of tech-savvy writers searching for the Tibetan David Foster Wallace. He travels between Brooklyn, Bloomington, Berkeley, and Bakersfield, four American cities beginning with the letter 'b,' but such surface similitudes deflect us from deeper meaning (or seeing what's actually going on)."

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Tomorrow on Ellen: Chelsea Handler, author of Uganda Be Kidding Me (Grand Central, $27, 9781455599738).

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Tomorrow on Tavis Smiley: Jackie Collins, author of The Lucky Santangelo Cookbook (St. Martin's Press, $27.99, 9781250014658).

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Tomorrow night on Conan: Judy Greer, author of I Don't Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star (Doubleday, $25.95, 9780385537889).

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Tomorrow night on a repeat of the Colbert Report: Jane Goodall, author of Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder from the World of Plants (Grand Central, $30, 9781455554492).


Movies: Tribeca Film Fest Lit Guide; The Here & Now

The Tribeca Film Festival begins today in New York City and a "literary guide" was offered by Word & Film, which explored some of the book-related movies that will be screened.

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Alcon Entertainment, Alloy Entertainment and Kira Davis's 8:38 Productions, which collaborated to produce two films based on Ann Brashares's bestselling Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants, have reteamed to acquire the film rights to the author's recently published The Here And Now, Deadline.com reported.

"The unforgettable characters in Ann's novel helped us realize the potential for this project to thrill and captivate audiences," said Alloy president Les Morgenstein.



Books & Authors

Awards: Plutarch; BTBA; Arthur Ellis Crime Novel

The 2013 books nominated for this year's Plutarch Award, honoring the best biography of the year and sponsored by BIO, are:

Lawrence in Arabia by Scott Anderson (Doubleday)
Bolivar: American Liberator by Marie Arana (Simon & Schuster)
Wilson by A. Scott Berg (Putnam)
The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams by Ben Bradlee, Jr. (Little, Brown)
Jonathan Swift: His Life and His World by Leo Damrosch (Yale)
Gabriele D'Annunzio: Poet, Seducer, and Preacher of War by Lucy Hughes-Hallet (Knopf)
Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones (Ballantine)
Holding On Upside Down: The Life And Work of Marianne Moore by Linda Leavell (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin by Jill Lepore (Knopf)
Robert Oppenheimer: A Life Inside the Center by Ray Monk (Doubleday)

The winner will be revealed at BIO's annual Compleat Biographer Conference at the University of Massachusetts Boston on May 17.

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The 10 finalists each in both the fiction and poetry categories have been selected for the 2014 Best Translated Book Award, sponsored by Three Percent. See the titles and descriptions here.

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For the first time, a longlist in the best novel category has been released by Crime Writers of Canada for the Arthur Ellis Award for Excellence in Canadian Crime Writing. Quillblog reported that the decision to unveil the 10-book novel longlist in advance of the shortlists in all categories was done to recognize "the increasing number and quality of submissions." The five-title shortlist will be released April 24.


Book Brahmin: Leslie Jamison

photo: Colleen Kinder

Leslie Jamison was born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Los Angeles, Calif. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications including Harper's, the New York Times, the Believer and the Oxford American.The Gin Closet, her debut novel, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times First Fiction Award in 2010. Her essay collection, The Empathy Exams (just published by Graywolf), won the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize. In it, she writes about medical acting, ultra-runners, prison, an ultra-runner in prison, parasites, silver mines, gang tours, and--beyond and beneath all else--the possibilities and limits of compassion.

On your nightstand now:

Hilton Als's White Girls and my own diary. Opening any page of White Girls and quoting from it would be better than my trying to explain it. "I sucked his figurative toe because its sweat acted as a kind of poultice on my tongue." How do you put that down?

Favorite book when you were a child:

Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery. The Emily trilogy follows a young orphan writer with "purplish" eyes growing up on Prince Edward Island. I identified with her--or aspired to identify with her--and thought the girl on the cover of my book was so pretty. She wants to be a writer, too, and the prose has this gorgeous and overly dramatic way of talking about what writing feels like: parting a curtain to reveal some other world, something like that. In the end, I think I dodged a bullet by not being Emily. If memory serves, she ends up marrying a much older and fairly cynical hunchbacked priest.

Your top five authors:

William Faulkner, Anne Carson, Janet Malcolm, Cormac McCarthy, David Foster Wallace.

Book you've faked reading:

Cervantes's Don Quixote. I think others have answered this question with this book as well, making me feel like a failure even in what I've failed to read.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee. I cannot stop writing and talking and hurting about this book. It's such a beautiful, messy account of how hard it is to do justice to the suffering of others. It scared me and inspired me and pained me to read this book; I spread the word because I want others to feel the pain, too.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Are You Hungry Tonight? Elvis' Favorite Recipes. If the title's not enough, the cover features a hot dog with a side of apple wedges.

Book that changed your life:

Wallace's Infinite Jest. The hugeness of this book--not just its imagination but its heart, and especially its portrayal of addiction and recovery--made me feel less alone in the world, and made me want to write things that made other people feel less alone. Wallace, of course, has talked about writing in this way as well: "Fiction is one of the few experiences where loneliness can be both confronted and relieved."

Favorite line from a book:

"How promising you are as a Student of the Game is a function of what you can pay attention to without running away." --from Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace. (Like I said, it changed my life.)

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

The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkein. I remember reading it with my dad when I was a little girl. He was a traveler, always going off on the grand adventures of a global health economist, and when he came home we'd go together on these grand adventures through Middle Earth. The sweep and scope and richness of this world are so incredible to encounter for the first time.


Book Review

YA Review: We Are the Goldens

We Are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt (Wendy Lamb/Random House, $16.99 hardcover, 208p., ages 14-up, 9780385742573, May 27, 2014)

Dana Reinhardt's (The Summer I Learned to Fly) gripping, realistic novel tells of two sisters, Nell and Layla Golden--so connected that as a child, Nell thought her name was Nellayla--whose relationship unravels because of a secret.

Nell's first-person narrative addresses Layla directly. A sense of foreboding and a pulsing urgency permeates the book as Nell recalls the signs that pointed to trouble: Layla's charcoal self-portrait with "sorrowful, faraway eyes" and a sculpture that was "a little too generous in the breast department if you'd asked me.... I wondered if that was who you wished you were and how you could ever want to be anything other than who you are." Nell begins at the start of her freshman year at City Day, where Layla is a junior, a star soccer player and is known for having "a good head on her shoulders." Nell makes the team, too, despite the teasing of her best friend, Felix De La Cruz ("So that's what you've decided to be... the jock?... Didn't you get the memo that this is a hipster-urban high school?"). Layla is not acting like herself, and tension simmers between the sisters. Nell keeps mum about her concerns, not even sharing them with Felix. But then rumors begin to fly around the school, as they do every year, that cool Mr. Barr, the Intro to Visual Arts teacher, is involved with a student. Only this time, the rumors point to Layla.

Dana Reinhardt homes in on that transition when a teen begins dabbling in adult matters, before she's ready. The author's choice to tell the story from Nell's point of view places readers in the position of the conscience in this situation. What is your responsibility when you identify a situation that you believe is wrong and potentially harmful to someone you love? Is your responsibility to keep her secret? Or to protect her, perhaps against her wishes? Reinhardt demonstrates the collateral damage, as Nell lives with a burden that creates a divide not only between her and Layla but also between Nell and her parents, and Nell and Felix. Their parents are divorced but not neglectful, present but distracted. Nell, meanwhile, is going through her own adjustments in high school. She has her first crush on the lead in the school play, and also becomes the subject of rumors, and her relationship with Felix begins to shift as he grapples with his own challenges. Reinhart beautifully captures the messy passage from adolescence to adulthood, with part of Nell wanting to stay the child, free of responsibilities, while the other part knows she must follow her own moral compass in order to grow up. Reinhardt gets this delicate balance just right, and will leave readers thinking long after the last page. --Jennifer M. Brown

Shelf Talker: The intimacy between two sisters is threatened when the younger one believes her older sister is in a situation that could harm her.


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