Shelf Awareness for Monday, July 21, 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

Quotation of the Day

Appreciating 'Local and Quality'

"My heart is overwhelmed daily by the comments of our returning and new customers who remind us that 'local and quality' are appreciated. It seems to be important not only to us booksellers but also to those who now miss it in their own community and those who still have it since they live here. This is the reward of working hard for what you believe to be good, not only for one's self but the community at large. Enjoy the summer with quiet time and reading books that will delight."

--Emoke B'Racz, owner, in the July newsletter of Malaprop's Bookstore/Café, Asheville, N.C.

Freeform: The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton


News

Turn of the Corkscrew: Site and Third Partner Found

In a short video on the Indiegogo page for Turn of the Corkscrew, the bookstore that Carol Hoenig and Peggy Zieran plan to open in Rockville Centre, N.Y., on Long Island, Hoenig gives an update on the campaign, which has raised nearly $10,000. She also has news: she and Zieran have another partner in the venture, and they've found an "ideal location." A block from the town's Long Island Rail Road station, the space has more than 2,500 square feet, double what they were originally seeking--a reaction to the enthusiastic response from readers in the area to their proposal.

The new partner is Dianne Russell Condon, who has lived in Rockville Centre for more than 18 years and is an active member of the community. She worked in the advertising and marketing departments at Barnes & Noble for more than 10 years, then worked in sales and marketing at Random House. She is the author of Jackie's Treasures and has edited several books from concept to creation. She is also a certified yoga instructor, currently teaching at Adelphi University.

To hear more--and donate--click here.


Other Press: Bookselling Without Borders Scholarship


Fundraising Effort to Buy Aspen's Explore Booksellers

Former Aspen mayor Bill Stirling said the steering committee for a group working to purchase and preserve Explore Booksellers, Aspen, Colo., "aims to engage residents throughout the Roaring Fork Valley in a fundraising effort," the Aspen Times reported. Stirling was married to Explore founder and longtime operator Katherine Thalberg, who died in 2006.

Owners Sam and Cheryl Wyly, who bought the store and its building in 2007, are asking $5.2 million.

The steering committee "believes it's important to make it a grassroots effort that engages people of all means," the Times noted.

"A town like Aspen without a bookstore is like a town without the Aspen Institute, almost," Stirling said, adding that the idea of preserving Explore but moving the bookstore to a different location has been rejected for several reasons, including the fact that it would diminish the Explore legacy. "Katherine Thalberg created something special," he observed.


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


Last French-Language Bookstore in Toronto Closing

Quel dommage. Maison de la Presse Internationale, the last French-language bookstore in Toronto, is closing, according to the Torontoist.

Maison de la Presse
photo: Annie Poulin/ICI Radio

The store, which features French-language books and international magazines and newspapers, is in Yorkville, which longtime manager Cathy Ola said has changed. "I used to love it," she said. "We'd be open until 11, 12 at night. Now, it's not that busy anymore, especially since the Film Festival is gone, and the Four Seasons has moved." She added that "the people who live in condos... don't shop."

There are Maison de la Presse Internationale shops in Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City.


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


Hachette Releasing Summer Reading Samplers

Tomorrow Hachette Book Group is releasing two digital summer reading samplers, one focused on fiction and the other on nonfiction. The samplers are being made available free to consumers through a variety of retailers as well as NetGalley, Scribd and Medium.

The samplers include first chapters of a variety of books, including California by Edan Lepucki and The Girls of August by Anne Rivers Siddons. Hachette is promoting the samplers with giveaways and some social media advertising.

Making their debut this year, the summer samplers have nothing to do with the dispute with Amazon, a Hachette spokesperson said. Instead, they are "just a way to spread the word about great summer reads."


The Limitations of Amazon Unlimited

Amazon Unlimited, the monthly e-book subscription service that Amazon launched on Friday, has a distinctly limited selection. As Tech Crunch commented: "Amazon Unlimited was dubbed the Netflix of books. That is correct as long as you imagine a Netflix consisting of an endless array of low-budget indie releases and some major small-studio films. In truth, Amazon's new $9.99 all-you-can-read service features no books by 'big 5' trade publishers, an issue on which Amazon has remained mum."

Or as the Huffington Post put it: "Amazon Wants You to Pay $120 for a Glorified Library Card."

Amazon Unlimited offers, the company said, more than 600,000 e-book titles and several thousand audiobooks.


Obituary Notes: Liam Davison, James MacGregor Burns

Australian author Liam Davison and his wife, Frankie, were on the Malaysia Airlines plane that was shot down over eastern Ukraine last Thursday. The Age reported that "two of Mr. Davison's books, Soundings and The White Woman, were shortlisted for the Victorian Premier's Award and the Age Book of the Year Award. Soundings won a National Book Council Banjo Award for Fiction in 1993."

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Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer and political scientist James MacGregor Burns, "who wrote voluminously about the nature of leadership in general and the presidency in particular," died last week, the New York Times reported. He was 95. Burns wrote more than 20 books, including Roosevelt: The Soldier of Freedom (1970), which was awarded both the Pulitzer and the National Book Award.


Notes

Image of the Day: Ultimate Bookstore Sign

Last week, Pioneer Book in Provo, Utah, unveiled its stunning new façade. Artist Alicyn White and her team took less than a week to transform the storefront into this giant bookshelf, based on an idea from bookstore owner Rick Horsley and manager Travis Patten. Patten selected the titles to be featured on the façade: "They are books I've read that have a broad appeal, or should have," he told the Daily Herald. "I saw this idea on a library in Kansas City. The idea is also on a bookstore in the Ukraine." Pioneer Book reopened last November after a three-year absence and sells both new and used books.


Coffee Beans & Books: 'A Book Readers Haven'

Melanie Hicks opened Coffee Beans & Books, Beaver, West Va., four years ago, "partly because of her love for books, but also because there was no bookstore in the Beckley area," the Register-Herald reported in its profile of the indie bookshop located at the School of Harmony.

"I've always had a passion for reading," said Hicks. "I moved my paralegal office downstairs (in the building before opening the bookstore) and the shelves were here, and it just kind of kept calling to me. At that time, we didn't have any bookstores, so it was just something I felt necessary for our community and something I had a passion for."

She described her shop as "a book readers haven, to escape from the world. Because we're not on the beaten path, we can come in here and kind of leave the world out beyond the walls, and I think its a place that you can discuss books and ideas and enjoy family time, enjoy friendships, meet people just to visit.... The people that find us love us. We have a very loyal customer base and some very staunch local supporters, and I hear time and again how inviting and cozy the atmosphere is, so that makes me feel good."


Bookseller to Do Library Residency

Hans Weyandt
Hans Weyandt

As part of Coffee House Press's new In the Stacks program, which has placed writers and artists into library residencies at Twin Cities cultural institutions, and the Hennepin County Library's Writers in the Library series, Hans Weyandt, writer, editor and former co-owner of Micawber's Books in St. Paul, is doing a month-long residency in the library's special collections area, focusing on the History of Books and Printing Collection. Weyandt will collaborate with the curator to survey the collection, which includes historic fine press books as well as work from current local and national book artists.

"I strongly believe that the public library system, along with our public parks and lands, are one of the few remaining places where all of us have an equal standing and level of ownership," Weyandt said. "I don't know what this residency will bring, but I am excited for it." Weyandt currently works at Sea Salt Eatery, Moon Palace Books and Big Bell Ice Cream. He also is handling publicity for Ben Weaver's fall record release (I Would Rather Be a Buffalo) and bike tour from Minnesota to Louisiana.

A presentation and author talk will take place on Thursday, September 18, at the central library in Minneapolis. Dispatches from this and other library residencies are available at chpinthestacks.tumblr.com and #chpinthestacks.


Personnel Changes at Minnesota Historical Society Press, HarperCollins

Effective August 1, Jerry Bilek is joining the Minnesota Historical Society Press as sales manager. He is the owner of the Monkey See, Monkey Read bookstore in Northfield, Minn., which he founded in 2006 and put up for sale in June. A bookseller for 22 years, he was a buyer at the St. Olaf bookstore and a bookseller at Borders before opening Monkey See, Monkey Read, which has been profitable every year.

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Effective today, Penny Makras is joining Harper as a senior marketing manager. She formerly worked in the marketing department at Wiley and earlier held positions in special sales at Amacom and in publicity at St. Martin's Press.


Influence Publishing Signs with Midpoint

Effective immediately, Midpoint Trade Books is now distributing in the U.S. Influence Publishing, a hybrid publisher with headquarters in North Vancouver, B.C., that focuses on "inspiring books that influence change." Titles include What Patients Don't Say if Doctors Don't Ask by Dr. Manon Bolliger and Lost Decency by Atta Arghandiwal. Forthcoming titles include Conversations with a Rattlesnake by former NHL hockey player Theo Fleury and therapist Kim Barthel and Baby Comes Home by Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, an expert in childhood health.



Media and Movies

Media Heat: Chris Tomlinson on Fresh Air

Today on Fresh Air: Chris Tomlinson, author of Tomlinson Hill: The Remarkable Story of Two Families Who Share the Tomlinson Name--One White, One Black (Thomas Dunne Books, $26.99, 9781250005472).

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Today on the Queen Latifah Show: Annabelle Gurwitch, author of I See You Made an Effort: Compliments, Indignities, and Survival Stories from the Edge of 50 (Blue Rider, $25.95, 9780399166181).

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Today on Dr. Oz: Pam Oslie, author of Life Colors: What the Colors in Your Aura Reveal (New World Library, $17.95, 9781577311690).

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Today on the Talk: Chris Colfer, author of The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns (Little, Brown, $8, 9780316201551).

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Tomorrow on Katie: Wendy Sue Swanson, author of Mama Doc Medicine: Finding Calm and Confidence in Parenting, Child Health, and Work-Life Balance (American Academy of Pediatrics, $16.95, 9781581108378).

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Tomorrow on Tavis Smiley: Max Brooks, author of Max Brooks' The Extinction Parade Volume 1 (Avatar Press, $19.99, 9781592912346).

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Tomorrow on Jimmy Kimmel Live: Todd Glass, co-author of The Todd Glass Situation: A Bunch of Lies About My Personal Life and a Bunch of True Stories About My 30-Year Career in Stand-Up Comedy (Simon & Schuster, $25, 9781476714417).


Movies: Paddington Bear's New Voice; Tupperware Unsealed

Ben Whishaw (The Hour) will replace Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear in a live action/CG movie about the popular, "furry London-dwelling protagonist" from Michael Bond's beloved children's book series, Deadline.com reported. The voice cast also includes Nicole Kidman, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi and Sally Hawkins. Firth had been "set to play the CG bear for producer David Heyman and helmer Paul King before his voice was deemed not quite right for the character," Deadline.com wrote.  

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Sony Pictures has acquired the book Tupperware Unsealed: Brownie Wise, Earl Tupper and the Home Party Pioneers for Sandra Bullock to star in and for Tate Taylor to adapt, produce and direct, Deadline.com reported. 


Books & Authors

Book Review

Review: In a Rocket Made of Ice: Among the Children of Wat Opot

In a Rocket Made of Ice: Among the Children of Wat Opot by Gail Gutradt (Knopf, $25.95 hardcover, 9780385353472, August 12, 2014)

Gail Gutradt was in her late 50s when she first traveled to Cambodia in 2005 to help out at Wat Opot, a community founded by former Vietnam War medic Wayne Dale Matthysse to shelter and care for HIV/AIDS-afflicted and orphaned children. A photographer and freelance writer living in Bar Harbor, Maine, Gutradt had just attended to her mother during her year-long losing fight with cancer. She was adrift and depressed with "a sense of uselessness... fresh out of ideas" when a colleague from a pilgrimage to an ashram in India suggested that she ask Matthysse to accept her as a Wat Opot volunteer. In a Rocket Made of Ice is Gutradt's story of how this orphanage saves and nurtures young lives--and how it saved and nurtured hers. It is part memoir, part biography of the Wat Opot children, part photo journal and part how-to for philanthropists seeking to make a difference--"to walk into the chaos of a post-apocalyptic country and wrest from the devastation a small island of compassion and comity."

It would be easy for vignettes about helpless young victims of Cambodia's AIDS epidemic to read like maudlin door-to-door missionary handouts, especially when they're accompanied by photos of smiling young faces and orderly schoolrooms. Gutradt's memoir, however, is neither sentimental nor solicitous. In the early years before economical antiretroviral drugs were brought to the country by Doctors Without Borders, more children wound up in the Wat Opot crematorium than survived to be educated and independent. Matthysse lost funding from a United States church because his community was insufficiently evangelical and allowed children to attend the Buddhist monastery next door. Surrounded by competing "orphanages" operating as scam businesses, Wat Opot had to show donors that their support was efficiently going to treat, feed and educate these children.

In a digression to recount Matthysse's own troubled personal journey through post-war wandering, she admits that the Cambodian community he founded works well partly because he is not only a stern and compassionate father to the children but also something of a benevolent despot. Yet Gutradt also admires his simple philosophy of success: "Just start where you are, and do what you can, and don't let yourself be paralyzed by the naysayers."

During the time between her four extended visits to Wat Opot, Gutradt was diagnosed with breast cancer. Suffering through her treatments, she came to appreciate even more the strength of the children she cared for. When feeling self-doubt and asking herself what someone who traveled between two very different worlds could offer, she finally concludes "it is the mere act of returning here that has made a difference, that has let them know that I care." Sometimes true philanthropy consists of just being there--again and again. --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.

Shelf Talker: Neither sentimental nor solicitous, Gutradt's memoir of her work in a small Cambodian community for orphans afflicted with AIDS is a compassionate window into both their lives and hers.


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