Shelf Awareness for Thursday, August 21, 2014

Little Brown and Company: An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma

Random House: The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker

Sourcebooks Jabberwocky: The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America's Test Kitchen Kids

Beacon Press: Receive an extra discount on Man's Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frankl

Shadow Mountain: Squint by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown

Nosy Crow: Sing a Song of Seasons: A Nature Poem for Each Day of the Year, illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon, selected by Fiona Waters

Quirk Books: The Princess and the Fangirl (Once Upon a Con #2) by Ashley Poston

Quotation of the Day

Amazon & the 'Wider Public Conversation About Its Role'

"It's almost enough to make you feel sorry for Amazon, which for all its wealth and power has never bothered to develop the skills to participate in a wider public conversation about its role. The retailer is now up against a whole lot of people whose expertise is exactly that: communicating with the world. The real war between Amazon and Hachette, the economic one, remains up in the air, but the war of words is all over but the shouting."

--Laura Miller in a Salon piece headlined "Amazon's awful war of words: How an iron-fisted PR strategy went off the rails"

KidsBuzz for the Week of 09.24.18


B&N Unveils Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook

Yesterday, Nook Media, a subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, and Samsung Electronics America unveiled the new co-branded Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook, a 7-inch tablet combining Samsung technology with Nook content and reading experience. Described by B&N as "the first-ever full-featured Android tablet optimized for reading," the device is now available in more than 660 bookstores and online at and for $179 after a $20 instant rebate. The deal includes more than $200 in free content from the Nook Store.

"The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is the most advanced Nook ever, delivering the great Nook experience our customers have come to love, with the high-performance tablet features they've asked for," said B&N CEO Michael Huseby.

Tim Baxter, president of Samsung Electronics America, added: "We've taken our bestselling Samsung Galaxy tablet and made it the best tablet available for reading and entertainment. We are excited to bring the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK to customers through Barnes & Noble's bookstores nationwide.”

In announcing the new device, B&N also released findings from recent online study conducted for the company by Harris Poll. Among the highlights:

  • 77% of U.S. adult respondents agree with the statement: "Reading has always been an important part of my life."
  • 67% say reading puts them in a better mood.
  • 76% said their reading habits have increased over the past three years, and 44% attribute access to an e-reader, tablet or smartphone as the reason.
  • Personal e-mail (96%) is now the number-one item read, followed by social media (67%); websites, online articles or blogs (73%); work-related materials (46%); digital magazines or newspapers (40%) and e-books (31%).

Binc Foundation: Carla Gray Memorial Scholarship for Emerging Bookstore-Activists

W.H. Smith Stocking Amazon's Thomas & Mercer Paperbacks

In a merchandising move "thought to be the first time that a bricks and mortar retailer in the U.K. has stocked physical books from Amazon," the W.H. Smith chain is now carrying paperback books from Thomas & Mercer, a crime fiction imprint of Amazon Publishing, the Bookseller reported.

Titles by Mel Sherratt, Mark Edwards and Helen Smith have been spotted on promotional tables and shelves--with a "buy one get one half price" promotion--at W.H. Smith Travel shops in Manchester Piccadilly, London Victoria and London Paddington stations.

An Amazon Publishing spokesperson told the Bookseller: "While we don't have a full list to share because it can vary book-by-book, many physical bookstores carry Amazon Publishing titles." None of those bookshops was named specifically, however, and W.H. Smith "has yet to comment on the stocking decision."

Enlighten Up: Divine Dog Wisdom Cards: A 62 Card Deck and Guidebook by Barb Horn and Randy Crutcher, illustrated by Teresa Shishim

New Children's Bookstore Opening in Boston's Faneuil Hall

In mid-September, the Make Way for Ducklings Store will open in Boston's Faneuil Hall, with a grand opening celebration slated for early October. Created by Adam and Jamie Hirsch, co-owners of the World's Only Curious George Store in Harvard Square, the new shop has an exclusive licensing agreement for books and merchandise connected to Make Way for Ducklings author Robert McCloskey. The location will also feature works by internationally recognized children's authors with ties to Boston like Eric Carle, Richard Scarry, H.A. & Margret Rey and Dr. Seuss.

"We're very excited bring our unique children's book-themed store concept to Faneuil Hall and bring the characters of Make Way for Ducklings to life," said Adam Hirsch. "We look forward to welcoming local families and those visiting the Boston area to experience our fun, interactive, one-of-a kind destination store in Faneuil Hall."

University of Minnesota Press: Laurentian Divide by Sarah Stonich

Ben Wright Named Hachette Group International Sales Director

Ben Wright, director of digital sales and channel development at Penguin Random House, will join Hachette as group international sales director, the Bookseller reported. He will be responsible for international sales of titles published by Hachette U.K., as well as Hachette Book Group and its party agency businesses. Wright will assume his new position in time for the Frankfurt Book Fair in October.

"We have restructured our international sales departments into one group department, reflecting our international reach and our very strong links with our sister company Hachette Book Group," said Richard Kitson, commercial director of Hachette U.K.

Greystone Books: The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate--Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben, translated by Jane Billinghurst

Massachusetts Bookstore Field Trip, Part 6

Earlier this summer, Shelf Awareness editor-in-chief John Mutter went on a whirlwind bookstore tour in Massachusetts with New England Independent Booksellers Association executive director Steve Fischer. (See part one, part two, part three, part four and part five.)

After a fun crossing on the ferry to Martha's Vineyard, we headed to Bunch of Grapes, in Vineyard Haven, a bright, peaceful, welcoming store that gives no hint of its tumultuous recent history. Owner Dawn Braasch had an emergency to deal with and wasn't able to see Steve and me, so we wandered around the store, and Steve, who once worked at Bunch of Grapes and spends much time on the Vineyard (lucky man), recounted the story. On the Fourth of July in 2008--the start of the summer season--Bunch of Grapes was ruined by smoke and water damage from a fire that started in a neighboring cafe. Owner Jon Nelson, son of longtime owner Ann Nelson, was trying to sell Bunch of Grapes, and locals feared the store would simply shut down. But it re-opened in temporary quarters nearby and miraculously, in October, Braasch, who had been Bunch of Grapes' events coordinator, purchased the store. Steve noted that the Vineyard residents made a point of buying as much as possible to support Braasch, who in June 2009, nearly a year after the fire, reopened a full-scale store across the street from its old location.

Bunch of Grapes' "new" building has one large floor (instead of its more tricky two-story configuration) with plenty of space for events as well as a large front deck. It has a crisp but country feel inside, with wood floors and raw wood fixtures, and stocks a range of adult and children's titles as well as some sidelines.

The store is renowned for its events program, which runs year-round, not an easy task on an island whose population contracts deeply in colder months. Last week, for example, it hosted a sold-out signing for Hillary Clinton, which garnered media attention around the world.


Our final stop was Edgartown Books, on Main Street in Edgartown, also on the Vineyard, yet another store we visited that has new owners.

Jeffrey and Joyce Sudikoff bought Edgartown Books in 2012 after previous owners David and Ann LeBreton had announced they intended to close it. (The LeBretons had purchased Bickerton & Ripley 10 years earlier and renamed it Edgartown Books.) The Sudikoffs immediately hired Susan Mercier as manager (until 2010 she had been the manager under the LeBretons).

Set in a downtown area that looks much as it probably did 150 years ago, the store's building has been beautifully renovated. Last year, the store opened a café, called BTB--Behind the Bookstore--in an extension of the building in the back; this year the café moved into another building in the back that the Sudikoffs purchased. BTB now has more space and between it and the store is an outdoor courtyard shaded by two sailcloth awnings--a delightful place to hang out, rain or shine, and sample BTB's excellent coffee, pastries and sandwiches.

Susan Mercier gave me a tour of the store, readily admitting that the picturesque building's two-story layout and many smaller rooms make it a challenge. Recently she has relocated many sections. Martha's Vineyard-themed books are now in the back on the main floor--where they have more space and can be displayed faceout--because customers wanted new books up front, where "noteworthy" and staff favorite sections are prominent. Children's books for youngest readers are downstairs, while chapter, middle readers and teen titles ("a big part of the business," Mercier said) are upstairs. She added that for "maturing" readers, "it's a big deal to go upstairs." Much adult fiction is downstairs, although mysteries are upstairs.

Now finding its optimal layout, the store is elegant and inviting, with many nooks and crannies for discovering and browsing.

From Edgartown Books, Steve took me to the ferry, where I headed to Rhode Island and a connection to Amtrak. As ever, he was a wonderful host, setting up the tour, doing all the driving, putting me up (and putting up with me) at home and on the Vineyard. He's a great conversationalist, a fount of information about bookselling and publishing and a champion of bookstores and booksellers. The New England Independent Booksellers Association is lucky to have him as executive director.

Obituary Notes: David St. John Thomas; Candida Lycett Green

David St. John Thomas, founder and majority shareholder of David & Charles Publishers (now known as F&W Media International Limited), died Monday, the Bookseller reported. He was 84. Gareth St. John Thomas, his son, said his father was "renowned for what were considered radical publishing decisions, such as selling to non-bookstore outlets and successfully reprinting historic articles of interest to enthusiasts." St. John Thomas also wrote more than 30 books, including many titles about railways. 

Candida Lycett Green, a prolific writer, broadcaster and journalist who also edited two volumes of letters by her father, the late poet laureate of the U.K. John Betjamin, died August 19. She was 71. The Guardian noted that she "often said that she had never been 'just me,' that the first half of her life was spent as 'John Betjeman's daughter' and the latter part, after her younger son achieved fame as a D.J., being 'John Lycett Green's mum.' "


Image of the Day: Juneteenth for Mazie Exhibition

Capstone held an art exhibition for its employees featuring the paintings from Juneteenth for Mazie (coming in spring 2015) by Coretta Scott King Award winner Floyd Cooper. Pictured here are Heather Kindseth, senior creative director, and Russ Griesmer, senior graphic designer.

Cool Idea of the Day: One Farm, One Read

Hockessin Book Shelf, Hockessin, Del., has teamed up with Coverdale Farm Preserve of the Delaware Nature Society in Greenville to launch the One Farm, One Read program. Throughout the year, they will be hosting special events, with hands-on farm experience, book discussions and food prepared from farm-grown produce. The inaugural title to be read and discussed by the community will be Rochelle Bilow's memoir The Call of the Farm: An Unexpected Year of Getting Dirty, Home Cooking and Finding Myself.  

Rebecca Dowling, owner of Hockessin Book Shelf, said the concept was born when Michele Wales, farm program coordinator at Delaware Nature Society/Coverdale Farm, "asked me to be on the lookout for a book that might work for programming throughout the 50th Anniversary year for Coverdale Farm. We had it in our minds that we use a cookbook, one thing on our wish list was that an author appearance would be part of the event planning. After meeting Rochelle Bilow at BEA, I brought her memoir back to Michele with the exciting news Rochelle might be available for an event. Sitting at a picnic table at Coverdale Farms on a beautiful summer day One Farm, One Read was born."

A kick-off event is set for October 25, with a full day of activities, including a harvest-hike through the fields, barns and gardens of Coverdale's 352 acres; collecting ingredients for Rochelle's afternoon cooking demonstration in the farm kitchen; and a book reading and signing out in the fields.

This is not the first time the two have collaborated on community events "out of a mutual interest," Dowling added. "Cookbook club at Coverdale Farm was one type of book/nature programing that we discussed and planned and it stuck. We have been doing cookbook club for over a year now and have sold out every one."

Wales agreed: "Rebecca sums it up well. Very simple concept, incredibly popular program. It truly is our only program (out of many, many, many per year) that sells out with waitlists every time. I am so proud of this program and love that I have to read and work with cookbooks for my job."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Sheila E. on CBS's Entertainment Tonight

Tomorrow on a repeat of the Talk: Maria Menounos, author of The EveryGirl's Guide to Diet and Fitness: How I Lost 40 Lbs. and Kept It Off--and How You Can Too! (Zinc Ink, $22, 9780804177139).


Tomorrow on CBS's Entertainment Tonight: Sheila E., co-author of The Beat of My Own Drum: A Memoir (Atria, $26, 9781476714943).

Movies: A Good Marriage; Inherent Vice

The first trailer has been released for A Good Marriage, based on a short story by Stephen King and starring Joan Allen, Anthony LaPaglia, Kristen Connolly and Stephen Lang, Indiewire reported. Directed by Peter Askin (Company Man), A Good Marriage opens October 3.


The first official image is out from Paul Thomas Anderson's "hugely anticipated" Inherent Vice, adapted from the novel by Thomas Pynchon, Indiewire reported, noting that we get a brief look at Josh Brolin and Joaquin Phoenix "and apparently it's going to be just as bonkers as expected." Inherent Vice arrives in limited release December 12 and goes wide on January 9.

This Weekend on Book TV: Ben Carson and Paul Ryan

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this 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, August 23
5:30 p.m. Andrew McCarthy, author of Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment (Encounter Books, $23.99, 9781594037764).

7:30 p.m. Jorja Leap, author of Jumped In: What Gangs Taught Me about Violence, Drugs, Love, and Redemption (Beacon Press, $16, 9780807044810). (Re-airs Sunday at 1 p.m. and Monday at 1 a.m.)

8 p.m. Mark Lee Greenblatt, author of Valor: Unsung Heroes from Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Home Front (Taylor Trade Publishing, $22.95, 9781589799523).

9 p.m. Eric Liu, author of A Chinaman's Chance: One Family's Journey and the Chinese American Dream (PublicAffairs, $25.99, 9781610391948).

10 p.m. Ben Carson, author of One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America's Future (Sentinel, $25.95, 9781595231123). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Sylvia Jukes Morris, author of Price of Fame: The Honorable Clare Boothe Luce (Random House, $35, 9780679457114). (Re-airs Sunday at 4 p.m.)

Sunday, August 24
1:20 p.m. Tim Groseclose, author of Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind (St. Martin's Press, $26.99, 9781250002761). (Re-airs Monday at 1:20 a.m.)

1:40 p.m. Lynn Vavreck, co-author of The Gamble: Choice and Chance in the 2012 Presidential Election (Princeton University Press, $29.95, 9780691156880). (Re-airs Monday at 1:40 a.m.)

5:30 p.m. Stephen Grant, author of Collecting Shakespeare: The Story of Henry and Emily Folger (Johns Hopkins University Press, $29.95, 9781421411873), at Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C.

6:30 p.m. Charles Lewis, author of 935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity (PublicAffairs, $28.99, 9781610391177).

7:45 p.m. Paul Ryan, author of The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea (Grand Central, $27, 9781455557561).

10 p.m. Helen Thorpe, author of Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War (Scribner, $28, 9781451668100). (Re-airs Monday at 6 a.m.)

11 p.m. Lawrence Goldstone, author of Birdmen: The Wright Brothers, Glenn Curtiss, and the Battle to Control the Skies (Ballantine, $28, 9780345538031).

Books & Authors

Awards: SiC Australia's Davitt Shortlist

Finalists have been named for this year's Davitt Awards, presented by Sisters in Crime Australia  for books written by Australian women. The shortlisted books in each of the categories will also be eligible for the Reader's Choice Award. Winners will be announced August 30 in Melbourne. See the complete Davitt shortlists here.

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles out next Tuesday, August 26:

Lisette's List: A Novel by Susan Vreeland (Random House, $27, 9781400068173) follows a Parisian woman in rural France during World War II.

The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks (Orbit, $28, 9780316079921) is book three of the Lightbringer series.

Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy: A Memoir by Andrew Lohse (Thomas Dunne, $25.99, 9781250033673) explores a Dartmouth fraternity.

The One Week Marketing Plan: The Set It & Forget It Approach for Quickly Growing Your Business by Mark Satterfield (BenBella Books, $24.95, 9781939529787) is a marketing guide for small businesses.

Now in paperback:

Private Down Under by James Patterson and Michael White (Grand Central, $16, 9781455529780).

Silver Bay: A Novel by Jojo Moyes (Penguin Books, $16, 9780143126485).


Life of Crime, based on Elmore Leonard's novel The Switch, opens August 29. Tim Robbins plays a real estate developer who refuses to pay the ransom for his kidnapped wife (Jennifer Aniston).

IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

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

The Good Girl: A Novel by Mary Kubica (Harlequin MIRA, $24.95, 9780778316558). "Independent and headstrong, Mia Dennett moves to the beat of her own drum. She has proudly distanced herself from her prominent, wealthy, and uptight Chicago family to teach art at an inner city high school. But, when she is abducted and held captive in a remote cabin in rural Minnesota, she wonders if her estranged family is looking for her or even knows she is missing. With Minnesota's harsh winter bearing down, Mia and Colin, captive and captor, must forge a peace or succumb to the elements. As Colin's motives become clear, an emotional entanglement ensues that is provocative, thrilling, and absolutely page-turning!" --Melanie Green, Bluebird Books, Hutchinson, Kans.

The Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Chances: A Novel by Ellen Cooney (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $24, 9780544236158). "In Cooney's latest, a broken young woman and a sanctuary for broken dogs struggle toward common ground and, in the process, heal one another. Evie is a bright young woman, but often defeated by her demons. Surfing the web one night she spots a school for dog trainers and impetuously enrolls. Determined and inventive, Evie perseveres, learning to love and rehabilitate her tormented canine charges. Cooney's writing style is completely her own, lively, inventive, and fun to read. Do not miss this remarkable novel!" --Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books, Sunriver, Ore.

World of Trouble: The Last Policeman, Book III by Ben H. Winters (Quirk Books, $14.95, 9781594746857). "Winters has masterfully concluded one wild ride of a series following retired Detective Henry Palace. Having found peaceful serenity in a wooded New Hampshire sanctuary, Hank feels unsettled and leaves his refuge in search of his sister and only living relative. As the clock winds down to impact with a deadly asteroid on a collision course with Earth, will Henry have enough time to reunite with Nico before time runs out? Filled with twists and turns and mysteries to solve along the way, World of Trouble is an amazing finale to this trilogy!" --Bess Bleyaert, McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, Mich.

For Teen Readers
Conversion by Katherine Howe (Putnam, $18.99, 9780399167775). "When a mysterious illness begins to afflict senior Colleen Rutherford's classmates at the academically competitive St. Joan's Academy in Danvers, Massachusetts, panicked parents and hungry media swarm, armed with questions, accusations, and wild theories. Refusing to let an unknown illness jeopardize her college prospects, Colleen takes on an extra credit assignment comparing The Crucible to the real Salem witch trials. As tensions rise, she begins to notice the undeniable similarities between the witch trials and the paranoid panic that's taken over Danvers. In her first book for young adults, Howe deftly parallels the infamous Salem witch trials and the overwhelming societal pressures on modern teens." --Sara Grochowski, Blue Phoenix Books, Alpena, Mich.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty (W.W. Norton, $24.95 hardcover, 9780393240238, September 15, 2014)

At 23, Caitlin Doughty had an undergraduate degree in medieval history and a lifelong fascination with death. Interested in turning her preoccupation into a profession after a move to the Bay Area, she found it surprisingly difficult to get a job in the mortuary business without relevant experience, but eventually secured a position as crematory operator at Westwind Cremation & Burial in Oakland, Calif. In just a few months of working with her deadpan boss Mike, socially awkward body-transport driver Chris and jovial embalmer Bruce, Caitlin learned a great deal, as she relates in her debut, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.

She learned how to cremate bodies (do the larger people early in the day, babies at the end), what exactly happens after the oven (bones have to be ground down in a special blender to create the uniform ashes the family expects) and how to pick up a recently deceased body from a family at home (mostly, keep your mouth shut). She learned that dead people aren't really scary, once you get used to them, and came to believe that wired jaws and copious makeup are less attractive and less respectful than simply letting the dead look--and be--well, dead.

In her memoir of "lessons from the crematory," Doughty shares tidbits of research into the death rituals and mythologies of other cultures throughout history: Tibetan sky burial, the dutiful cannibalism of the Wari' people in the jungles of Brazil, ancient Egyptian embalming techniques. She points out a central difference between contemporary Western practices and theirs: the Wari' and others conform to a system of beliefs, where our so-called modern death-disposal techniques arise from a fear of mortality and a need to hide dead things away. In her experience at Westwind, and later in mortuary school, Doughty developed her own value system, emphasizing an honest relationship with our mortality and a frank acceptance of and love for our dead.

Doughty's research, musings and anecdotes about the crematory are charmingly conveyed in an earnest yet playful voice, brimming with surprising humor as well as insight. Her coming-of-age tale encompasses love and life (and death), and her appeal for a new cultural approach to the end of life is refreshingly frank and simple at the same time that it is profound. Despite addressing a subject that will strike some as morbid or unpleasant, Doughty is an engaging and likable narrator,and Smoke Gets in Your Eyes is thoughtful and approachable. --Julia Jenkins, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: A young woman's mortuary career and enthusiasm for death inform an entertaining and thought-provoking memoir.

KidsBuzz: HarperCollins: Henry & Eva and the Castle on the Cliff by Andrea Portes
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