Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Sourcebooks Jabberwocky: The Very Very Very Long Dog by Julia Patton

Shadow Mountain: Christmas Jars Collector's Edition by Jason F. Wright

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Malala's Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai, illustrated by Kerascoet

Katherine Tegen Books: The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor

Canterbury Classics: Compact Novel Journals

Katherine Tegen Books: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

News

Bookstore Opening Soon in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Melissa DeMotte plans to open the Well-Read Moose bookstore in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, in late May or early June, the Spokesman-Review reported. "I thought we needed a community bookstore," DeMotte said. "I took the leap and felt that I would be the one to bring that to Coeur d'Alene."

The 2,700-square-foot store will sell books, greeting cards and educational games and have a café that will offer coffee, pastries, beer and wine, the paper said. The 15,000-book inventory will include a large selection of children's and YA and "a wide array of adult books, including Northwest and local authors."

DeMotte, who has a background in finance, attended a Paz & Associates workshop, worked with Paz and spent two years researching and planning for the Well-Read Moose. She also received a Small Business Administration loan to help finance inventory.

She said that she got the idea for selling beer and wine from other indie bookstores, a trend that, the paper wrote, "jibed with DeMotte's vision for her store as a place where friends could meet for a drink or parents could relax for 90 minutes while their teens watched a movie at the nearby Regal Cinemas in Riverstone." She commented: "Our lives are all so hectic. I wanted a place where people could connect."

The Well-Read Moose is located at 2048 N. Main St., Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 81814; 208-771-5810.


Freeform: The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton


Giovanni's Room in Philadelphia Closing

Giovanni's Room, founded in 1973 and one of the oldest LGBT bookstores in the country, is closing on May 17 after longtime owner Ed Hermance was unable to find a buyer, the Philadelphia Gay News reported.

Wanting to retire, Hermance, 73, had put the store and its buildings up for sale last September. He told the paper that a potential deal fell through this week after a buyer couldn't come up with enough money to close. He will hold a press conference tonight at 7 p.m.

Discussing the causes of the store's closing, Hermance said, "The government is allowing Amazon to tighten their fingers around the throats of the publishers and drive their retail competitors out of the business by clearly monopolistic methods."

Hermance had hoped to sell the business for $100,000 and the buildings for up to $750,000. He plans to give proceeds made from the rental or sale of the buildings to the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund upon his death.

"It has been a wonderful life for me and it combines my best skills with my deepest interests, so it certainly is going to be a lifetime's work," he said. "I know that thousands of people have used and cared about this store. It is very emotional for me."


Other Press: Bookselling Without Borders Scholarship


Obituary Note: Maggie Castanon

Editor's note: Random House is mourning the death of one of its legendary sales reps and sent the following tribute:

Maggie Castanon, our beloved friend and former Bay Area Random House sales rep, passed away last week after a brief illness. She had celebrated her 70th birthday last December.
 
Maggie was more than a colleague to many of us in sales, publishing and bookselling. She was a lover of books, people, family, and her community. Her unique brand of vibrant optimism was a source of warmth and joy for all of us--in tough and uncertain times, Maggie was the loving force that brought us together, and lifted us up. Her unfailing passion and generosity was the beating heart of the sales team.
 
Maggie laughed, Maggie danced, Maggie listened, and most of all, Maggie always made everything better. She was entirely unconventional--the first woman sales rep at a company that was, until she arrived in the early 1970s, perhaps a bit buttoned-down. Maggie had a way of making people feel they could change, and become their best, fullest, happiest selves. We will always be grateful for her friendship and support. We will all miss her amazing magic.
 
Maggie was diagnosed recently with liver cancer; she passed quickly and without pain. Her ashes will be scattered in the Pacific Ocean.
 
Condolences can be sent to her daughter:
 
Amalia Castanon-Hill
527 Oakland Avenue
Oakland, Calif. 94611
 
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Maggie's memory can be made to the Charlotte Maxwell Complementary Clinic, a women's health organization, where Maggie volunteered and served on the board.
 
We will be funding a scholarship to send a Northern California Independent Booksellers Association bookseller to Winter Institute.
 
Maggie was fiercely proud of her children, and fiercely proud of her Random House family. We who were privileged to know her will always remain fiercely proud of her.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, May 11, at 1 p.m., at Putah Creek Park on the UC Davis campus.


Ingram Publisher Services: Celebrating the 45th Anniversary of Dundurn Press


Bookseller/Author: Chrysler Szarlan's Publishing Odyssey

"I've been writing for pretty much all of my life," said Chrysler Szarlan, a bookseller at Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, Mass., and author of The Hawley Book of the Dead, a fantasy novel that will be published by Ballantine in September. She's quick to point out that although The Hawley Book of the Dead is the first book of hers to be published, it's not the first book Szarlan has written, saying, "It's been about 12 years that I've actually been working on novels and trying to sell them."

The Hawley Book of the Dead is the first in a planned, "finite" series that Szarlan has named the Revelation Chronicles, after the book's heroine. It's a story about a family of women with special powers. Revelation is a stage magician, who lives in Las Vegas with her family and performs a regular stage show with her husband. After a terrible accident, she's forced to flee with her daughters to a small town called Hawley, where Revelation's ancestors came from. The book blends stage magic with "real" magic, reality with fantasy.

"You could call it contemporary fantasy," Szarlan said. "But I'm not good at pigeonholing books. I just love a good story."

Szarlan is likewise hesitant to use terms like "target audience," but said that the book's ideal readership would likely be "women in their 40s and 50s who are looking for a heroine, and trying to be heroines themselves in their own families. That is what Revelation is: in addition to all her magical powers and skills, she's a mom."

Szarlan has worked part time at Odyssey Bookshop for close to five years. Long before becoming a bookseller, she went to law school and then practiced as a disability lawyer in Connecticut. She loved the job, until she fell "tremendously sick"; she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a disorder of the central nervous system characterized by chronic pain and fatigue, among other symptoms, and subsequently stopped practicing.

"I couldn't do the 12-hour days anymore," Szarlan reflected. Leaving her legal career, however, gave her more time to focus on writing. "I have to say that getting sick was probably the best thing that ever happened to me, but it didn't feel like that at the time."

Although she'd been a lifelong book lover and frequenter of bookstores, Szarlan had never worked as a bookseller before coming to Odyssey Bookshop. Handselling, she recalled, was at first a challenge.

"It's just a different job," Szarlan said. "You think you can talk about books all day long, but when it comes down to it, to putting a book in a customer's hand, it's an art you have to learn."

Although working at a bookstore hasn't exposed Szarlan to more authors ("I was a tremendous reader to begin with," she explained), it has been invaluable to her progression as a writer. From her co-workers at Odyssey Bookshop as well as the frequent visiting authors, she's learned a great deal about the publishing industry. And her follow booksellers as well as her employers have been enormously supportive of her writing.

"Odyssey has a tremendous number of author events every year," explained Szarlan. "I've learned from the masters how to present myself and my book. And of course everybody here is very supportive. People have read it on staff, given me comments. I consider the readers here to be some of the best and most discerning readers in America."

Szarlan will launch The Hawley Book of the Dead on September 23 with a party at Odyssey Bookshop. So far, that launch party is the only event that she has lined up, but Szarlan has told her publicist, "I'll go anywhere anybody wants me." --Alex Mutter


Disney-Hyperion: Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner


Notes

Image of the Day: If You Could Make a More Dramatic Entrance

photo: Seth J. Bookey

At this year's Triangle Awards, winner Sara Farizan made a dramatic entrance when her plane was delayed, arriving just as a representative from her publisher was accepting on her behalf the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction for her YA novel If You Could Be Mine (Algonquin Young Readers). Here, she takes to the stage accepting the award from presenter Charles Rice-Gonzalez. Later in the evening, her novel became the first two-time winner in the awards' 26-year history--it won the Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction as well.


Shelf Awareness Sign-up Giveaway: Lilac Lane by Sheryl Woods


Happy 25th Birthday, McIntyre's Books!

Congratulations to McIntyre's Books, Pittsboro, N.C., which celebrated its 25th anniversary on Sunday. Located in Fearrington Village Center, the indie bookstore has "expanded, contracted and adapted with the times," said manager Keebe Fitch. "Our readers, who have an appetite for turning the page of a book rather than tapping a screen, and our knowledgeable and congenial staff who provide their expert opinions from mysteries to children's books, make McIntyre's so unique."

ABA President Oren Teicher surprises McIntyre's manager Keebe Fitch with a personalized banner.

Oren Teicher, CEO of the American Booksellers Association, noted the "good news is that what's happening here is happening in other parts of the country, too. We are in the middle of an amazing emergence of independent bookstores because stores like McIntyre's have embraced their community. We are fighting back in Fearrington Village and throughout the country."

Book buyer Pete Mock observed: "McIntyre's epitomizes what a book store should be. We emphasize quality over quantity and offer a well-rounded inventory. We are neither liberal, nor conservative. We are a bookstore where ideas come to proliferate and be shared."

Party guests Kimberly Daniels, owner of The Country Bookshop, and author Alan Gurganus.

Fitch added that the bookstore she opened in 1989 has "tried to reflect what surrounds us at Fearrington Village with cooking and escapism. The cookbook selection speaks to our events built around authors that love the experience of food and the escapism provided by our small English-style village eight miles outside of Chapel Hill. The literature and mystery novels speak to any person who's lost themselves in a fantastic read."

Algonquin Books co-founder Shannon Ravenel summed up the occasion well: "McIntyre's and Algonquin grew up together, which makes us like blood kin. No wonder I go out of my way to go shopping for books at Fearrington. It's a truly great book store."


Bookstore Video of the Day: 'Talk Nerdy to Me'

A group of teen girls had a slumber party at BookPeople of Moscow, Moscow, Idaho, last Friday night, and got up to some musical mischief. Check out the resulting video, with their rendition of "Talk Nerdy to Me," filmed by store co-owner Steffen Werner's daughter Lena.

 


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Marlo Thomas on Katie

Tomorrow on Katie: 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 Dr. Oz: Vicky Vlachonis, co-author of The Body Doesn't Lie: A 3-Step Program to End Chronic Pain and Become Positively Radiant (HarperOne, $26.99, 9780062243645).

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Tomorrow on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: Linn Ullman, author of The Cold Song (Other Press, $15.95, 9781590516676).

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Tomorrow on Tavis Smiley: Robin Roberts, co-author of Everybody's Got Something (Grand Central, $27, 9781455578450).

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Tomorrow night on the Late Show with David Letterman: Adam Resnick, author of Will Not Attend: Lively Stories of Detachment and Isolation (Blue Rider, $25.95, 9780399160387).

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Tomorrow night on the Daily Show: Martin Gilens, author of Affluence and Influence: Economic Inequality and Political Power in America (Princeton University Press, $24.95, 9780691162423).

Also on the Daily Show: Benjamin Page, co-author of Class War?: What Americans Really Think about Economic Inequality (University of Chicago Press, $15, 9780226644554).

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Tomorrow night on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: Jim Gaffigan, author of Dad Is Fat (Three Rivers Press, $15.99, 9780385349079).


Movie Trailers: The Fault in Our Stars; A Long Way Down

An extended trailer has been released for The Fault in Our Stars, adapted from the bestselling novel by John Green. Deadline.com reported that the trailer "includes scenes of Mike Birbiglia's character playing cheesy songs in the teen cancer support group where Hazel (Shailene Woodley) and Augustus (Ansel Elgort) meet, and we get a quick glimpse of Hazel's parents (Laura Dern and Sam Trammell)." Josh Boone directs the romantic drama, which opens June 6.

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"Nick Hornby is the reigning king of taking potentially cloying stories and making them simultaneously prickly and moving," Indiewire noted in featuring the trailer for A Long Way Down, based on Hornby's 2005 novel. The film, which stars Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Aaron Paul and Imogen Poots, will be released by Magnolia Pictures on iTunes on June 5 and in theaters July 11.


TV: The Leftovers

"There's simply nothing to dislike in the first full trailer for Damon Lindelof's new Rapture drama The Leftovers," io9 reported. The HBO series, based on Tom Perrotta's novel and starring Justin Theroux, Liv Tyler, Christopher Eccleston, Amy Brenneman, Michael Gaston and Ann Dowd, premieres June 29.



Books & Authors

Awards: CrimeFest Shortlists; BTBA Winners

Finalists have been named for this year's CrimeFest Awards, which are presented in three categories: best crime audiobook, best crime fiction e-book published in both physical and digital format, and best humorous crime novel. Winners will be announced May 17 at a gala dinner during CrimeFest in Bristol, U.K.

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Seiobo There Below by László Krasznahorkai, translated from the Hungarian by Ottilie Mulzet (New Directions) has won the 2014 Best Translated Book Award in the fiction category. The author is the first repeat BTBA winner: his novel Satantango, translated by Georges Szirtes and also published by New Directions, won last spring.

The jury commented: "Out of a shortlist of ten contenders that did not lack for ambition, Seiobo There Below truly overwhelmed us with its range--this is a book that discusses in minute detail locations from all around the globe, including Japan, Spain, Italy, and Greece, as well as delving into the consciousnesses and practices of individuals from across 2,000 years of human history."

The two fiction runners up were: The African Shore by Rodrigo Rey Rosa, translated from the Spanish by Jeffrey Gray (Yale University Press) and A True Novel by Minae Mizumura, translated from the Japanese by Juliet Winters Carpenter (Other Press).

The Guest in the Wood by Elisa Biagini, translated from the Italian by Diana Thow, Sarah Stickney and Eugene Ostashevsky (Chelsea Editions) has won the 2014 TBTA in poetry. The jury wrote: "From the first, these surreal, understated poems create an uncanny physical space that is equally domestic, disturbing, and luminous, their airy structure leaving room for the reader-guest to receive their hospitality and offer something in return (the Italian ospite meaning both 'guest' and 'host'). The poet's and translators' forceful language presses us to 'attend and rediscover' the quotidian and overdetermined realities of, as Angelina Oberdan explains in her introduction, 'the self, the other, the body, and the private rituals of our lives.' "

The two poetry runners up are: Four Elemental Bodies by Claude Royet-Journoud, translated from the French by Keith Waldrop (Burning Deck) and The Oasis of Now by Sohrab Sepehri, translated from the Persian by Kazim Ali and Mohammad Jafar Mahallati (BOA Editions).

All supporters of international literature are invited to a BTBA celebration 6-9 p.m., on Friday, May 2, at the Brooklyneer, 220 West Houston St. in New York City.


Book Review

Review: American Innovations: Stories

American Innovations: Stories by Rivka Galchen (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $24 hardcover, 9780374280475, May 6, 2014)

American Innovations, novelist Rivka Galchen's first collection of short stories, defies categorization. These 10 stories vary in tone from coolly surreal to nakedly emotional and play off the work of impressive literary antecedents like Jorge Luis Borges, Nikolai Gogol and James Thurber. And while not every story will appeal to every reader's taste--owing simply to the collection's sheer variety--Galchen (Atmospheric Disturbances) has a knack for delivering consistently interesting work.

The title piece reimagines Gogol's short story "The Nose," in which the protagonist loses his olfactory appendage. Here, the narrator is a graduate student who discovers one day that she has become "sideways pregnant," with a third breast growing out of her lower back. Galchen's protagonist treats her "supernumeraryness" with the sharp wit that's shared by many of her characters. Trish, the narrator of "The Entire Northern Side Was Covered by Fire," is a writer who observes that "the nicest reader letters I've received--also the only reader letters I've received--have come from prisoners." "Once an Empire" is another fantastic tale in which "a pretty normal woman, maybe even an extremely normal one," watches her furniture and other belongings--"a parade of my things"--spontaneously make their way out of her apartment one night.

For those more inclined toward realistic fiction, a highlight may be "Wild Berry Blue." In it, the narrator, the nine-year-old daughter of "secular Israelis living in the wilds of Oklahoma," develops a secret crush on a recovering heroin addict who works at the McDonald's where she and her father spend their Saturday mornings. Galchen best reconciles the tension between her fabulist and realist strains in "Real Estate." That narrator takes up residence in a nearly empty five-story town house owned by her aunt. One day, she encounters her father--who has been dead for more than a decade--and wonders whether she has "slipped through a wormhole of time." Even after he disappears, she resolves to remain in the building because she has the "sense that ghosts like to return to the same place."

Though occasionally perplexing, stories like "The Region of Unlikeness" and "Dean of the Arts," evoking Borges and Roberto Bolaño in turn, are grounded in a keen grasp of detail and crisp, lively prose. The bracing originality of Galchen's work merits favorable comparison to adventurous contemporaries like Aimee Bender, Karen Russell and Kevin Brockmeier and assures she'll continue to be a writer who deserves our attention. --Harvey Freedenberg

Shelf Talker: Novelist Rivka Galchen's first  story collection ranges from the fantastic to the grounded stuff of daily life.


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