Also published on this date: Wednesday, July 2, 2014: Maximum Shelf: The Fortune Hunter

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, July 2, 2014


Penguin Press: Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith

Graphix: Dog Man and Cat Kid (Dog Man #4) by Dav Pilkey

Ecco Press: Varina by Charles Frazier

Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books: Small Walt by Elizabeth Verdick and Marc Rosenthal

News

World Book Night U.S. Suspending Operations

Citing a lack of funding from outside the book industry, World Book Night U.S. is suspending operations.

Executive director Carl Lennertz said, "This has been a remarkable, passionate undertaking, and it has been a success by all measures, except for one: outside funding. For three years, the publishing industry and book community have very generously footed the bill and contributed enormous time and effort, and my gratitude for all of that is immeasurable. For us here at World Book Night, this experience has been life-changing, as it has been for the givers and recipients of the books."

Lennertz said that WBN U.S. had hoped to raise money through grant requests, "but there are a lot of other worthy causes out there and only so much money available."

World Book Night U.S. board chairman Michael Pietsch of Hachette Group added: "World Book Night's first three years have been a profound experience for everyone involved. The altruistic spirit of the givers and of industry supporters have reminded us all of the transformative impact books have on people's lives and of the power of a book as a gift. The World Book Night board joins me in extending their deep gratitude to all who have taken part and to Carl Lennertz for his inspiring leadership."

Staff members are staying on without pay through September 1 to maintain social media contact with the givers and to announce the winners of the giver essay contest.

In three years, thousands of volunteer givers distributed more than a million and a half specially printed paperbacks across the country on April 23. The brainchild of Jamie Byng, managing director of Canongate, the first World Book Night was held in the U.K. and Ireland in 2011. The event spread the next year to the U.S. and Germany.

After encountering some financial difficulties, World Book Night U.K. was cut back late last year. For this year's World Book Night U.K., the number of copies of books given away was cut to 250,000 from 500,000, requirements for givers were loosened, givers were allowed to give away their own books, and institutions and organizations could give away more than the usual 20-per-giver limit. In addition, the Reading Agency charity began to manage World Book Night U.K. and the original staff left.


Shelf Awareness Sign-up Giveaway: The Land Beyond by Leon McCarron


Amazon vs. Hachette: Customer Justification; California

In comments in the Wall Street Journal on the dispute with Hachette Group, Russ Grandinetti, Amazon's senior vice-president of Kindle content, said that the company is fighting for better prices for its customers. "This discussion is all about e-book pricing," he said. "The terms under which we trade will determine how good the prices are that we can offer consumers."

He also said that Amazon is willing to suffer damage to its reputation "in the long-term interest of our customers." He didn't comment on reports that much of the dispute is over "co-op-like" matters such as paying for pre-order buttons, personalized recommendations and the cost of having a person at Amazon dedicated to Hachette.

Referring to the period in 2010 when Amazon delisted Macmillan titles in the battle over the agency model for e-books, Grandinetti said, "We were fighting for what we thought was right for consumers, and the same is true here." He also knocked the idea that Amazon is a bully, saying most major publishers are "part of much larger media conglomerates."

Last night the New York Public Library hosted a discussion of the Amazon-Hachette dispute and wider issues called "Amazon: Business as Usual?" Panel participants included author James Patterson and Grove/Atlantic president and publisher Morgan Entrekin. To watch, click here.

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Edan Lepucki's upcoming novel California, which has been affected negatively by the Amazon-Hachette dispute and positively by a highly publicized "Colbert bump," has been named one of the "best books of July" by Amazon--although it is currently unavailable for pre-order from the online retailer.

"Given the lengths that Amazon has gone to play hardball with Hachette, it's puzzling why Amazon's editorial team thought it was a good idea to promote the title as a top pick of the month," GeekWire observed, adding that an Amazon spokeswoman said the company's "editorial team chooses their book recommendations independent of other teams."


Trinity University Press: Arte Kids - Bilingual Board Books


New Owners for Frugal Muse in Darien, Ill.

Paul and Robyn Garrison have bought Frugal Muse, Darien, Ill., which sells new and used books, music, movies, videogames and children's merchandise, mysuburbanlife.com reported.

Paul Garrison has worked at Frugal Muse for 12 years, 11 of which he has been general manager. Robyn Garrison recently quit her full-time job to work at the store, too.

Founded in 1994, Frugal Muse had two stores in Madison, Wis., but closed one late last year. The four-people who own the company are keeping the remaining Madison store.


Thomas Nelson: Perennials by Julie Cantrell


U.K. & and Ireland Celebrate Independent Booksellers Week

From June 28 to July 5, bookish folk in the U.K. and Ireland are celebrating Independent Booksellers Week, which is part of the Books Are My Bag campaign. The festivities include events, reading groups, storytelling, author signings, literary lunches and even face painting.  

"Independent booksellers have been a vital part of supporting my books and creating that essential word of mouth for all great writing," Kate Atkinson told the Guardian. Her novel Life After Life won the IBW adult fiction award, and is being promoted by almost 400 independent booksellers this week. "They are so knowledgeable and read so much. I am enormously grateful for all the work they continue to do."

Kate DiCamillo, winner of the IBW children's prize for Flora and Ulysses, said her book "is a story about superpowers and poetry and friendship. And booksellers have consistently given all of those things to me."

On social media, IndieBound U.K., the Booksellers Association and many others have been showcasing on-the-scene reports from participating customers, booksellers, authors, publishers and others under the hashtag #IBW2014.

Among our favorites was this tweet from @InMyMargins: "It's #IBW2014. Don't have a local independent bookseller to support? You're on the Internet, doofus--order from one."


Quirk Books: My Lady's Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris


Obituary Note: Ana María Matute

Novelist Ana María Matute, "whose explorations of alienation and the loss of innocence children experienced during and after the Spanish Civil War made her one of Spain’s most popular and acclaimed writers," died last Wednesday, the New York Times reported. She was 88.


Notes

Indies 'Deserve One Giant, Tight-Squeeze Hug'

The Bitter Southerner based its Summer Reading Roundup on interviews "with the owners of five great bookshops around the South" because it "believes the independent bookstores that have survived the last couple of decades deserve one giant, tight-squeeze hug. More importantly, they deserve our loyalty and our business. In a way, they are community heroes. Support them." A q&a sampling from the booksellers interviewed:

Richard Howarth, Square Books, Oxford, Miss.:
Do people still come in and stock up for vacation/summer reading?
Yes, we've had lots of summer vacation purchases as well as some high school summer reading list sales. People associate summer with reading, which is a great thing!

Gladin Scott, Maple Street Book Shop, New Orleans, La.:
How do you prefer to travel with books?
I always travel with fiction, specifically in paperback.

Frank Reiss, A Cappella Books, Atlanta, Ga.:
Looking back at your life of reading, do you have one book in particular associated with a certain summer?
I can remember getting funny looks when I brought Woody Allen's books Without Feathers and Getting Even with me to wrestling camp one summer. I laughed so much I kept waking up my roommate.... Last summer's favorite read was a book that went almost completely unnoticed, which is a shame. It was a great true story, The Skies Belong to Us: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking by Brendan I. Koerner. It's now out in paperback. I hope more readers will discover it.

Karen Hayes, Parnassus Books, Nashville, Tenn.:
Are people still stocking up for vacation?
Yes. Families come in here looking for something for everyone and walk out with multiple copies for each person.

Mary Jane Reed, G.J. Ford Bookshop, Saint Simons Island, Ga.:
Do you read on a device?
Heavens, no. No device.


Kensington and PRH Publisher Services Expand Agreement

Kensington Publishing and Penguin Random House Publisher Services have expanded their sales and distribution agreement so that PRH will now provide a full range of sales and distribution services in all physical and digital formats for Kensington., Kensington had been distributed for many years by Penguin and was a distribution-only client of PRH.

Kensington president and CEO Steven Zacharius commented: "My son, Adam Zacharius, the entire Kensington family, and I are excited to be embarking upon this new and deeper long-term relationship with Penguin Random House Publisher Services. As we celebrate Kensington's 40th anniversary, we especially look forward to working as a team with them to expand our business and achieve a deeper penetration into the marketplace than we ever would have been able to do on our own. Having our global print and digital sales all under one roof will give us greater control of our business, while Kensington will continue to sell the wholesalers, mass merchandisers and book jobbers, as we have in years past. This combination of efforts will take our company to a new level in the industry."

Kensington publishes more than 500 books annually under a variety of imprints, including Kensington, Citadel Press, Dafina Books, Zebra Books, Pinnacle Books, Brava, Aphrodisia, K-Teen, along with digital imprints eKensington and the newly acquired Lyrical Press.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Karl Ove Knausgaard on Bookworm

Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: Karl Ove Knausgaard, author of My Struggle: Book Three (Archipelago, $27, 9781935744863). As the show put it: "We are excited to continue our discussion with Karl Ove Knausgaard this week. The third volume of My Struggle (Archipelago) focuses on childhood. As a child, Knausgaard longed to be an adult. He vacillated between the thwarting terror of the inside (the house) dominated by the presence of his father, and the ecstatic freedom of the outside (the woods). How is it possible to put your childhood behind you? There's very little we actually say to one another, and all that goes unsaid is constantly being restored. Knausgaard's mother first brought him to the library. He says most of what he knows of other people he knows from books. My Struggle continues in this tradition of telling with the written word."

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Tomorrow on MSNBC's the Cycle: Bruce Kraig, author of Man Bites Dog: Hot Dog Culture in America (Taylor Trade, $19.95, 9781589799325).


TV: Zoo

CBS has given a straight-to-series order for 13 episodes of Zoo, a drama based on James Patterson's bestselling novel and set for broadcast next summer. Jeff Pinkner, Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg wrote the script and are executive producers, along with James Mangold, Cathy Konrad, Patterson, Bill Robinson, Leopoldo Gout and Steve Bowen.
 
Nina Tassler, CBS Entertainment chairman said, "With this #1 bestseller coming to television, we're excited to give our viewers a thrill ride with another blockbuster summer event."



Books & Authors

Awards: CWA Daggers

Several Dagger awards were announced Monday at the Crime Writers' Association's annual dinner in London, the Bookseller reported. Longlists for the CWA Gold, Steel and John Creasey Daggers were also released. Shortlists will be revealed later this summer, with eventual winners named as part of the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards in October. This year's CWA Dagger winners to date are:

Diamond Dagger: Simon Brett
Nonfiction Dagger: The Siege by Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark
Historical Dagger: The Devil in Marshalsea by Antonia Hodgson
International Dagger: The Siege by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, translated by Frank Wynne
Short Story Dagger: "Fedora" by John Harvey, published in Deadly Pleasures
Debut Dagger: The Movement by Judy Sabral


Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, July 8:

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands: A Novel by Chris Bohjalian (Doubleday, $25.95, 9780385534833) centers on the daughter of a negligent nuclear plant operator in a dystopian Vermont.

Angels Make Their Hope Here by Breena Clarke (Little, Brown, $26, 9780316254007) takes place in 1849 New Jersey.

Sisters of Treason: A Novel by Elizabeth Fremantle (Simon & Schuster, $25.99, 9781476703091) follows two Tudor sisters.

Chinese Cooking for Diamond Thieves by Dave Lowry (Mariner, $13.95, 9780547973319) is about a college dropout mixed up with Chinese mobsters.

The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose from Defeat to Create the New Majority by Patrick J. Buchanan (Crown Forum, $28, 9780553418637) explores Nixon's career before the presidency.

Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies by Alastair Bonnett (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25, 9780544101579) explore unusual locations.

The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha and Chris Yeh (Harvard Business Review Press, $25, 9781625275776) is a guide for employers.

Getting Life: An Innocent Man's 25-Year Journey from Prison to Peace by Michael Morton (Simon & Schuster, $25, 9781476756820) is the story of a man wrongfully imprisoned for his wife's murder.


Now in paperback:

Rich Kids of Instagram: A Novel by The Creator of Rich Kids of Instagram and Maya Sloan (Gallery, $16, 9781476764061).

Secret Lives of the Tsars: Three Centuries of Autocracy, Debauchery, Betrayal, Murder, and Madness from Romanov Russia by Michael Farquhar (Random House, $16, 9780812979053).

Comics Squad: Recess! by Jennifer Holm, Matthew Holm, Jarrett J. Krosoczka and Dan Santat (Random House, $7.99, 9780385370035).


IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:

Hardcovers
The Late Starters Orchestra by Ari L. Goldman (Algonquin Books, $22.95, 9781565129924). "This is a lovely and humorous memoir from Goldman, a journalist in New York City, who decides to take up his cello again after 25 years. After playing successfully in his eleven-year-old son's youth orchestra, Ari decides it is time to join the Late Starters Orchestra, a group of adults who gather once a week to work on orchestral music. As adults, it can be overwhelming to push ourselves to try something new, from joining a local soccer league or training for a marathon, to writing a book or taking a computer course. Goldman proves it is truly never too late." --Kelly Evert, Village Books, Bellingham, Wash.

The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street: A Novel by Susan Jane Gilman (Grand Central, $26, 9780446578936). "In her first foray into fiction, Gilman offers a narrator who is by turns heartbreakingly sympathetic, stubborn, passionate, ruthless, ingratiating, exasperating, clever, and insufferable in an immigrant success story with many unexpected twists. Soon after young Lillian arrives from Russia with her family, her unreliable father disappears. When an accident cripples Lillian, she is abandoned by her unstable mother. Readers follow Lillian through her joining and losing a family, a marriage to an Errol Flynn look-alike, the creation of a wildly successful business, some highly questionable decisions, a visit to the White House, and an assault charge--at age 74! What a character! What a book!" --Banna Rubinow, the river's end bookstore, Oswego, N.Y.

Paperback
Goodnight June: A Novel by Sarah Jio (Plume, $16, 9780142180211). "June Anderson is a high-powered New York City banker specializing in business foreclosures when she learns that the aunt who raised her has died and left her iconic children's bookstore in Seattle to her. Through an epistolary scavenger hunt, June discovers the answers to many secrets, not the least of which is how Aunt Ruby was the inspiration for Margaret Wise Brown's classic bedtime story, Goodnight Moon. This is a charming story of love, friendship, family, reconciliation, and finding your true place in this world. Delightful 'comfort food' for readers!" --Jennifer Gwydir, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, Texas

For Ages 4 to 8
I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison (Bloomsbury, $16.99, 9781619631786). "Nothing captures joyous noise like this new picture book about a little girl in the park with her mom. Every one of her senses speaks to the rhythm that she hears from the neighborhood drummers and a nearby boom box. Her infectious happiness leads to a diverse group of neighborhood kids, and even adults, breaking out in dance. This is a great book for read-aloud, both because of its songlike cadence, and because kids can chime along with the young heroine as she blinks, sniffs, claps, and shakes to the music. Oh, and the illustrations are just as happy!" --Daniel Goldin, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wis.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]


Book Brahmin: Sebastien de Castell

Sebastien de Castell had just finished a degree in archeology when he started work on his first dig. Four hours later, he realized he hated archeology and left. He then worked variously as a musician, ombudsman, interaction designer, fight choreographer, teacher, project manager, actor and product strategist. He genuinely liked doing these things and, in one way or another, each of them plays a role in his writing. De Castell lives in Vancouver, Canada, with his wife and two belligerent cats. His debut, Traitor's Blade (Jo Fletcher Books, July 15, 2014), is the first in the four-book Greatcoats series of swashbuckling fantasy novels.

On your nightstand now:

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. The main character, Flavia de Luce, takes precociousness to a whole new level--it's a bit like taking Lyra Belacqua from Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass and tossing her into an Agatha Christie mystery. Flavia's odd set of moral values (she quite happily considers murder a terrible thing and poisoning an absolutely fascinating endeavour) makes her an endearing heroine.

Favorite book when you were a child:

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. It is, to me, one of the most enchanting books ever written, because you come away from it seeing every large rock as a possible stone table and every house cat as a potential Aslan. I probably spend a good deal of my adult life trying to recapture the feeling I got from experiencing that book for the first time.

Your top five authors:

Since Traitor's Blade is a swashbuckling fantasy, I'm going to focus primarily on authors from similar genres: Steven Brust, author of Jhereg--he was the first fantasy author I ever read who told stories without faux-medieval dialogue; Neil Gaiman--not only for Neverwhere and American Gods but because he's the only author I've seen who looks like he genuinely enjoys life! Philip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, a fantastic series of books; C.S. Forester, author of the excellent Horatio Hornblower adventure stories; and Raymond Chandler, author of The Big Sleep (okay, he isn't a fantasy author, but the way he can set a scene or a mood with a single line inspires me).

Book you've faked reading:

Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe. As was the case with most books in my university English lit course, I found the act of being assigned what to read somehow removed all the pleasure from the experience.

Book you're an evangelist for:

City of Thieves by David Benioff for the simple fact that I think almost anyone, regardless of their preferred genre, will enjoy it.

Book you've bought for the cover:

I've never bought books for the cover but I have bought them for the title. I picked up a copy of Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny from a local library for 25 cents because the title grabbed me. It's still one of my favourite books of all time.

Book that changed your life:

Bard by Keith Taylor. I was 16 and had no clue what I wanted to be in life. I read Bard and decided that was the career for me. I went on to become a musician, novelist and occasional sword choreographer as a result.

Favorite line from a book:

"She had asked: What is he? A friend or an enemy? The alethiometer answered: He is a murderer. When she saw the answer, she relaxed at once. He could find food, and show her how to reach Oxford, and those were powers that were useful, but he might still have been untrustworthy or cowardly. A murderer was a worthy companion." --Philip Pullman, The Subtle Knife

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

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Funniest thing I ever read. 


Book Review

Children's Review: The Right Word

The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant, illus. by Melissa Sweet (Eerdmans, $17.50 hardcover, 42p., ages 7-up, 9780802853851, September 15, 2014)

The team behind A River of Words offers a fascinating picture-book biography of Peter Mark Roget (1779–1869), who collected words from the age of eight and published his famous Thesaurus at age 73. Everything about the book's elegant design reinforces Roget's passion for list-making and his search for the mot juste: "Words, Peter learned, were powerful things. And when he put them in long, neat rows, he felt as if the world itself clicked into order."

Melissa Sweet hand-letters much of the text, echoing young Peter's handwritten lists, and Jen Bryant's spare, poetic narrative similarly winds down the page in one-word lines. For instance, a vertical textual timeline traces Roget's life from infancy to "maturity," and appears to the right of a quintet of portraits of Peter as a baby through to a bespectacled elder. Author and artist similarly chart Peter's 24-day journey in 1783 with his mother, sister and uncle from Switzerland to London as a kind of calendar in horizontal list form. Jet-black backdrops and forested landscapes foreshadow Peter's realization that "Father wasn't coming back."

By age eight, "Instead of writing stories, he wrote lists." In one standout spread that includes "The Four Elements," Sweet's vertical-panel representation will jumpstart children with any inclination toward recording their thoughts in words or pictures. The levels of "earth," in varying shades of brown, and the volcano that symbolizes "fire" sandwich the deep blue of the ocean ("water") and the sky-blue of "air." This collage of discrete lists integrates colors ("things that are green"), motion ("things that fly") and an inset image of Peter's mother confiding to a friend her concern about her son's constant "scribbling." But readers quickly observe how Peter's lists help him make sense of his world.

Bryant and Sweet place his life in a larger context. While Peter makes his lists, Linnaeus creates a system of classification (kingdom, phylum, class, etc.), and Napoleon's soldiers "marched lockstep in long, orderly rows, just like the lists in Peter's book." Like their earlier subject, William Carlos Williams, Peter Roget was a doctor by day and devoted wordsmith by night. A final spread, presented in a kind of shadow box, serves as the pièce de résistance, with visual and textual ideas linking like gears in Roget's brain--making manifest his belief that "everyone should be able to find the right word whenever they needed it." The story of this passionate man's life will inspire budding artists and writers. --Jennifer M. Brown

Shelf Talker: This picture-book biography from the creators of A River of Words is a feat of esthetic excellence that conveys Peter Roget's love of words and ideas.


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