Shelf Awareness for Monday, December 15, 2014


Viking: Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Sourcebooks Fire: Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

Dundurn Group: Deer Life by Ron Sexsmith

Other Press: Infinite Summer by Edoardo Nesi

Park Row Books: Hanna Who Fell from the Sky by Christopher Meades

Aladdin Paperbacks: Little Bigfoot, Big City (Littlest Bigfoot #2) by Jennifer Weiner

Editors' Note

Tidings of Bookselling Joy

Wow. In today's issue, we have stories about three established bookstores with multiple locations, each of which has just announced plans to open yet another store. In the case of Third Place Books and Anderson's Bookshops, the new stores will be their third. HugoBookstores' new store is its fourth. All three communities where the new stores are opening have wanted a bookstore and are welcoming the news. Along with the strong holiday sales that we've been reporting, these expansions are another sign of the continuing strength of indies and the printed book, and show the importance of buy local movements and stores as community centers. Last but not least, they're the result of a lot of hard work by smart booksellers.

Oh, and in other good news, 81 independent bookstores across the country are now receiving $473,000 from James Patterson--the last of the $1 million he promised to give away this year to support indies.

Happy holidays, for sure! --John Mutter, editor-in-chief


Counterpoint: Gangster Nation by Tod Goldberg


News

Our 2014 Best Books of the Year

 

Our 2014 Best Books of the Year list features 10 fiction, 10 nonfiction and 10 children's titles. For more on each book, see the most recent issue of Shelf Awareness for Readers.

Fiction:
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (Scribner)
Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher (Doubleday)
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (The Penguin Press)
Fives and Twenty-Fives by Michael Pitre (Bloomsbury)
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (Atria)
Redeployment by Phil Klay (Penguin Press)
Red Rising by Pierce Brown (Del Rey)
Ruby by Cynthia Bond (Hogarth)
The Secret Place by Tana French (Viking)
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (Knopf)

Nonfiction:
All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid by Matt Bai (Knopf)
Another Great Day at Sea: Life Aboard the USS George H.W. Bush by Geoff Dyer (Pantheon)
Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay (Harper Perennial)
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande (Metropolitan/Holt)
Fire Shut Up in My Bones by Charles M. Blow (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette by Hampton Sides (Doubleday)
Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor (HarperOne)
The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs (Scribner)
A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal by Ben Macintyre (Crown)
Tibetan Peach Pie by Tom Robbins (Ecco Press)

Children's and Young Adult:
Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld (Simon Pulse)
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin (Candlewick)
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (Nancy Paulsen/Penguin)
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee (Beach Lane/S&S)
How I Discovered Poetry by Marilyn Nelson, illus. by Hadley Hooper (Dial)
I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (Dial)
The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry by Peter Sís (Frances Foster/FSG)
Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan)
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (Delacorte)


AuthorBuzz for the Week of 06.20.17


Patterson Grants: Christmas Comes Early for 81 Stores

James Patterson is making the holiday season that much brighter for a large group of independent bookstores--as of today, he is donating $473,000 to 81 indies, the third and final round of the pledge he made to donate this year $1 million to established bookstores with dedicated children's sections. (See the list below.)

"Here's to a joyful holiday season for booksellers everywhere," Patterson said. "Yes, joyful! Here's to more parents and grandparents coming to their senses and giving their kids books--yes, books--for Christmas and other holidays. Here's to local governments waking up to the fact that bookstores and libraries are essential to our way of life. Here's to media coverage of books, booksellers, and publishers, and to a wiser, more literate America. Happy holidays to one and all!"

Among the 81 stores is Book Soup, West Hollywood, Calif., which is using its grant to launch a children's programming initiative entitled "The Soup" that aims "to reach out to young people and help instill in them a love of reading and writing by partnering with local schools to bring students and authors together." As outlined in Book Soup's grant proposal, the money will allow it "to hire a part-time teacher/writer/customer who has strong ties to both the local schools and the local literary community. He could help us develop a program and also use the money to pay author honorariums, provide books for school libraries, and create events.... We know from experience that these types of programs that start from a good place in your heart also generate sales and publicity that help the store. So with your help, we'd like the opportunity to initiate this win-win for all involved."

Kevin Ryan and Pete Mulvihill show off the new floor at Green Apple Books, courtesy of a Patterson grant.

In two rounds earlier this year, Patterson gave grants of more than $267,000 to 55 stores and more than $268,000 to 43 stores. The grants have been used for a range of projects, from fixing up stores' buildings to replacing computer systems to creating programs like Book Soup's to buying vans. The grants have ranged from $2,000 to $15,000 per store.

In June, Patterson also pledged to give £250,000 (about $393,000) to bookstores in the U.K. and Ireland and gave out the first round of 73 grants totaling £130,000 (about $204,000) in September.

Patterson has spent several million dollars on other initiatives to encourage reading, books, literacy, education, libraries and bookstores, including scholarships to help students become teachers, an essay competition for high school seniors to win money for college book purchases and donations of books to schools and book stipends to students. Just last month, he launched a "Save Our Books" campaign that aims to get the country to take action to "save our books and promote reading and literacy." In particular, he wants to support early childhood education and more funding for public libraries and librarians and emphasize "the critical importance of reading." As part of the campaign he called on President Obama and other elected officials to pledge to go into bookstores and libraries and be seen with a book in their hands.

The new round of Patterson beneficiaries:

57th Street Books

Chicago

IL

Afterwords Books

Edwardsville

IL

Anderson's Bookshop

Naperville

IL

Auntie's Bookstore

Spokane

WA

Avid Reader

Sacramento

CA

Battenkill Books

Cambridge

NY

Bay Book Company

Half Moon Bay

CA

Bay Books

Coronado

CA

Bear Pond Books

Montpelier

VT

Best of Books

Edmond

OK

Blue Manatee Bookstore

Cincinnati

OH

Blue Marble Books

Fort Thomas

KY

Book Cellar

Chicago

IL

Book Ends

Winchester

MA

Books Inc.

San Francisco

CA

The BookMark

Neptune Beach

FL

Books on the Common

Ridgefield

CT

Books on the Square

Providence

RI

BookPeople of Moscow

Moscow

ID

The Bookshelf

Cincinnati

OH

The Bookshelf

Thomasville

GA

Book Soup

Los Angeles

CA

Book Table

Oak Park

IL

Boulder Book Store

Boulder

CO

Bound to Be Read Books

Atlanta

GA

Broadway Books

Portland

OR

Buttonwood Books

Cohasset

MA

Chapter One Bookstore

Hamilton

MT

City Lights Bookstore

San Francisco

CA

Cloud & Leaf Bookstore

Manzanita

OR

Concord Bookshop

Concord

MA

Copperfield's Books

Petaluma

CA

Eagle Eye Book Shop

Decatur

GA

Eagle Harbor Book Co.

Bainbridge Island 

WA

Elephant's Trunk

Lexington

MA

Elliott Bay Book Company

Seattle

WA

Excelsior Bay Books

Excelsior

MN

Fiction Addiction

Greenville

SC

Fireside Books

Palmer

AK

Flintridge Bookstore

La Cañada

CA

Flyleaf Books

Chapel Hill

NC

Green Bean Books

Portland

OR

Greenlight Bookstore

Brooklyn

NY

Golden Notebook

Woodstock

NY

Hub City Bookshop

Spartanburg

SC

Ivy Bookshop

Baltimore

MD

Kramerbooks

Washington

DC

Left Bank Books

St. Louis

MO

Lift Bridge Book Shop

Brockport

NY

Linda's Story Time

Monroe

CT

Linden Tree

Los Altos

CA

Litchfield Books

Pawleys Island

SC

McLean & Eakin

Petoskey

MI

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Clarence

NY

Mountain Bookshop

Sonora

CA

Mrs. Dalloway's Bookstore

Berkeley

CA

Northtown Books

Arcata

CA

Once Upon a Time

Montrose

CA

One More Page Books

Arlington

VA

Pages: A Bookstore

Manhattan Beach  

CA

Palm Beach Book Store

Palm Beach

FL

Powell's Books

Portland

OR

Reading Bug

San Carlos

CA

Regulator Bookshop

Durham

NC

River's End Bookstore

Oswego

NY

RiverRun Bookstore

Portsmouth

NH

Sherman's Books

Bar Harbor

ME

Skylight Books

Los Angeles

CA

Square Books

Oxford

MS

St. Mark's Bookshop

New York

NY

Strand Book Store

New York

NY

Third Place Books

Lake Forest Park  

WA

Toadstool Bookshop

Keene

NH

Towne Center Books

Pleasanton

CA

Twig Book Shop

San Antonio

TX

Voracious Reader

Larchmont

NY

Water Street Bookstore

Exeter

NH

Watermark Books

Wichita

KS

Women & Children First

Chicago

IL

WORD

Brooklyn

NY

WordsWorth Books

Little Rock

AR


Portable Press: Enter to win a copy of Strange Science


Third Third Place Store to Open Next Year in Seattle

Third Place Books, which has stores in Lake Forest Park, Wash., and in the Ravenna neighborhood of Seattle, is opening a third store, in the Seward Park neighborhood of Seattle, in late 2015. The new store will be in a 7,200-square-foot building that currently houses PCC Natural Markets, the natural foods retail cooperative that is moving next year to much larger space in the nearby Columbia City neighborhood.

Third Place owner Ron Sher is purchasing the building, which will be used for the store, a restaurant and possibly a pub. Managing partner Robert Sindelar said about 3,500 square feet of the building would be devoted to the bookstore but the layout plans are still tentative because Third Place is looking for a restaurant partner. Third Place doesn't intend to make additions to the building, but will raise the basement ceiling, i.e., the main floor, to make public access to the basement legal--enabling the restaurant to operate on two levels.

The project will be similar to the Ravenna store, which is about 10 miles north. (The Lake Forest Park store is 17 miles away.) "We hope to have the restaurant elements and bookstore coexist on some level, but our experience with our Ravenna store has shown us that each business needs to be really good at what it does without sacrificing its service or identity to the other businesses," Sindelar said. "They are there to enhance and complement one another."

Eric McDaniel, an assistant manager in the Lake Forest Park store who has worked for Third Place more than eight years and who lives in Seward Park, will manage the new store.

Many in the community have welcomed the news. Shelf Awareness publisher Jenn Risko, who lives in the neighborhood, said she's "thrilled," adding, "This vital, growing area has been immeasurably underserved in books and a 'third place,' and I know it will embrace the store with open arms."


William Morrow & Company: Caroline: Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller


HugoBooks Adding Fourth Store in Beverly, Mass.

HugoBooks Inc., which operates bookstores in Marblehead, Andover and Newburyport, Mass., will open a fourth location, Cabot Street Books & Cards, in a 1,200-square-foot space at 272 Cabot St. in Beverly, Mass., Wicked Local Beverly reported. Renovations to the interior of the building are currently underway, and a June 2015 opening is planned.

Earlier this year, the board of directors for Beverly Main Streets "established the Retail Incentives Grant Program, designed to attract specialty retailers to downtown Beverly.... The program helps with first year start-up costs, such as rent, legal fees, logo design, computer support and printing services," Wicked Local Beverly wrote. HugoBooks has been awarded a retail incentives grant to launch the new store.

"Everybody loves an indie bookstore," said John Hugo. "Our new Cabot Street location, next to Atomic Café and in the heart of the Beverly Arts District, is perfect for us. Lots of our customers love having the option of browsing and buying books and then getting a cup of coffee next door and diving right into their new book. We're excited to be coming to downtown Beverly and we're thrilled that Beverly Main Streets is helping to make it happen."

Gin Wallace, executive director of Beverly Main Streets, observed: "Bookstores bring communities together. Especially when you have a family-owned and operated business like HugoBooks, they become gathering spaces. We need more quality retail stores downtown, and Cabot Street Books & Cards fills a big void. The connected bookstore and café works really nicely in Newburyport and we look forward to having similar success here."


New Anderson's Bookshop Coming to La Grange, Ill.

"La Grange area book lovers just got their Christmas wish granted with the news that Anderson's Bookshop is coming to town," the Chicago Tribune reported. The store has signed a lease for the 6,500-square-foot space at La Grange Road and Calendar Avenue and plans to open in April. Anderson's operates bookstores in Naperville and Downers Grove.

Co-owner Becky Anderson said she and her brothers had been seeking the right location in the city for a while: "It's the perfect place with a vibrant, established downtown area with lots of independent businesses and a wonderful business alliance that does all sorts of great events."

The La Grange store will be similar to Anderson's other two retail locations, but adjust for customers' preferences. "We cater our selection to readers in each area," Anderson noted. "Each store has its own character.... We love to build bridges in the community by reaching out to not-for-profits and charitable organizations. Books are incredible for building bridges."

She added: "Independent stores are on the rise, and we're part of that movement. We're thrilled to be in downtown La Grange."

Village president Tom Livingston said he had "heard from the community over the years that La Grange needs a bookstore. They had a lot of places to choose from. We're thrilled they chose us."


Amazon Pulls Ads; Kindle Unlimited; Canadian Pickup Points

Although not directly related to the book trade, the highly publicized actions of the New Republic's owner Chris Hughes--which prompted the resignations of two-thirds of the people on the magazine's editorial masthead last week--do have an intriguing Amazon connection. In a detailed article for the New Yorker headlined "Inside the Collapse of the New Republic," Ryan Lizza chronicled the forced departure of longtime editor Franklin Foer, which sparked the mass staff exodus.

Foer

Two weeks after Foer's October 9 piece, "Amazon Must Be Stopped," was published, "Amazon's ad agency sent T.N.R. an e-mail concerning a campaign for its new political TV show, Alpha House. 'In light of the cover article about Amazon, Amazon has decided to terminate the Alpha House campaign currently running on the New Republic,' the e-mail said. 'Please confirm receipt of this email and that the campaign has been terminated.' It was signed 'Team Amazon,' " Lizza wrote.

Hughes forwarded the note to Foer, who sent it to agent Andrew Wylie and to Douglas Preston, head of Authors United. Foer "wanted to make Amazon's suspension of advertising public, but Hughes insisted that he not."

Editors at two news operations with direct connections to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told Buzzfeed News they weren't concerned about outside meddling. Washington Post editor-in-chief Marty Baron said new owner Bezos "has not been involved in any decisions involving our coverage, and I have no concerns at all that he will be."

At Business Insider, where Bezos is one of several investors, editor-in-chief Henry Blodget said, "Our investors have no involvement in editorial. Including Jeff. I actually don't think I've ever even discussed anything we've written with him. And we write about Amazon constantly, good and bad. I've never heard of Amazon pulling ads over a story, but if they have, they certainly wouldn't be the first. Any publisher worth its salt occasionally gets tossed in the penalty box."

---

Kindle Unlimited has launched in France and Brazil, bringing to seven the number of countries (including the U.S., U.K., Germany, Italy & Spain) where the e-book subscription service is available. The Bookseller reported that the "big names in French publishing--Hachette Livre, Editis and La Martinière--do not have their titles enrolled in the service for its launch, because no agreement has been reached on the terms." Currently the lineup includes Eyrolles, Media Participations subsidiary Fleurus, Bragelonne, Midady, Le Manuscrit, Encyclopaedia Universalis, Jouvance and Musardine. Also available are the Harry Potter titles by J.K. Rowling in French and English, and a number of self-published titles.

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Amazon has added "a slew of new physical pickup points across Canada," VentureBeat reported, noting that the "aptly titled Amazon Pickup Points are operational at more than 6,000 Canada Post locations."


Obituary Note: Shirley Hew

Shirley Hew, a veteran publisher who was executive director of Straits Times Press and "who gave many Singapore writers their big break," died December 12, the Straits Times reported. She was 65. Book distributor Ian Pringle of APD Singapore said many people called her "the doyenne of Singapore publishers."



Notes

Image of the Day: The Seasons of Trouble

Photo: Tayarisha Poe

To celebrate the publication of The Seasons of Trouble: Life Amid the Ruins of Sri Lanka's Civil War by Rohini Mohan (Verso), the Center for Fiction in New York City hosted a panel discussion between Mohan (front left) and (l.-r.) Siddhartha Deb, James Miller and Rachel Rosenfelt. The event was co-sponsored by the MA in Creative Publishing & Critical Journalism at the New School for Social Research.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Let's Go Crazy on Morning Joe

This morning on Good Morning America: Si Robertson, co-author of Uncle Si the Christmas Elf: Work Hard, Nap Hard (Simon & Schuster, $29.99, 9781481418218).

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This morning on Morning Joe: Alan Light, author of Let's Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain (Atria, $26, 9781476776729).

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Tomorrow on APM's Marketplace Tech Report: Erez Aiden, co-author of Uncharted: Big Data as a Lens on Human Culture (Riverhead, $16, 9781594632907).

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Tomorrow night on Conan: Jenny Slate, co-author of Marcel the Shell: The Most Surprised I've Ever Been (Razorbill, $18.99, 9781595144560).


Movies: Insurgent; The Hobbit

The first full trailer has been released for Insurgent, the second movie in the Divergent Series, based on Veronica Roth's YA novels. Deadline.com reported that "Shailene Woodley returns as Tris, and this time she and Four (Theo James) are fugitives hunted by Erudite leader Jeanine (Kate Winslet)." The cast also includes Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, Naomi Watts, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoë Kravitz, Maggie Q, Mekhi Phifer, Daniel Dae Kim and Octavia Spencer. The film, directed by Robert Schwentke, opens March 20.

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The final trailer is out for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, which opens Wednesday.


Books & Authors

Awards: MWA's Grand Master, Raven, Ellery Queen

The Mystery Writers of America have chosen Lois Duncan and James Ellroy to be honored with Grand Master Awards, which acknowledge important contributions to the genre, as well as a "body of work that is both significant and of consistent high quality."

Winners of the 2015 Raven Award, which recognizes "outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing," are Jon and Ruth Jordan, co-founders of Crimespree Magazine, and Kathryn Kennison, founder of Magna cum Murder, a Midwestern mystery conference.

The 2015 Ellery Queen Award, given to editors or publishers who have "distinguished themselves by their generous and wide-ranging support of the genre," goes to Charles Ardai, co-founder of Hard Case Crime.
 
The awards will be presented at the Edgar Awards Banquet, to be held in New York City on April 29.


Book Review

Review: The Brewer of Preston

The Brewer of Preston by Andrea Camilleri, trans. by Stephen Sartarelli (Penguin Books, $15 trade paper, 9780143121497, December 30, 2014)

Published in Italian in the 1990s just as Andrea Camilleri was creating the first of his popular Inspector Montalbano mysteries, The Brewer of Preston is another of Camilleri's darkly comic Sicilian historical novels (Hunting Season) that take place a century earlier in the Inspector's fictional city of Vigàta. Translated for the first time into English, the book centers on the gala opening of the port city's new theater on December 12, 1874, shortly after the unification of Italy. The disastrous production of a Florentine opera--Il Birraio di Preston, about identical twins in an English brewery--forced on unsympathetic Sicilian townsfolk by corrupt Italian officials results in verbal abuse from the audience that becomes a riot, a fire that destroys not only the theater but the neighboring apartment house, the intervention of the militia and three deaths.

Sophisticated, carnal and wildly funny, Camilleri's depiction of that night is a farce on a grand scale. In a tight 233 pages, there are 160 named characters, a Dickensian plethora of colorful, hot-headed Sicilians loaded with eccentricities, loving, cheating, making money and killing with zest. Camilleri is a writer's writer: he playfully begins each of the 23 chapters with a parody of a famous novel's first sentence (represented here are García Márquez, Molière, Sterne's Tristram Shandy, Mann's The Magic Mountain, Melville, Conrad, Chekhov, Calvino, Durrell, Bradbury, Huxley and even Karl Marx); all the original lines are in translator Stephen Sartarelli's footnotes.

The tempestuous politics and convoluted scheming surrounding the doomed production are just as byzantine as any opera. Sicilian justice is only a poetic concept and seldom dispensed by those authorized to do so. Executions (at the hands of the police, or others) are not uncommon. The bringers of violence tend to reap what they sow, if not always for the right reasons. Camilleri delights in double-talk, innuendo, blatant lies and double-crosses. In the final 40 pages, the surprises go off like a string of firecrackers, as the veneer of respectability is shattered. Nothing is what it seems, and for good measure Camilleri concludes his theater-in-flames disaster with a whitewashed official account "rewritten" 40 years later by one of the characters.

Ferociously cynical, Camilleri juggles more plot threads in this slim volume than could be found in a bulky trilogy, all of which converge at a gallop in a finale full of Sicilian laughter, horror and tears. --Nick DiMartino, Nick's Picks, University Book Store, Seattle, Wash.

Shelf Talker: A new theater's opening night goes up in flames in this Sicilian historical novel from the creator of the Inspector Montalbano mystery series.


Disney-Hyperion: Serafina and the Splintered Heart (Serafina # 3) by Robert Beatty
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