Also published on this date: Wednesday, January 21, 2015: Maximum Shelf: Creatures of a Day: And Other Tales of Psychotherapy

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Harper: Only Killers and Thieves by Paul Howarth

Mira Books: Rosie Colored Glasses by Brianna Wolfson

Little Brown and Company: The Which Way Tree by Elizabeth Crook

Bloomsbury: Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen

Soho Crime: The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey

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

News

Phoenix Books to Open Store in Rutland, Vt.

Michael DeSanto and Renee Reiner, co-owners of Phoenix Books, which has stores in Essex Junction and Burlington, Vt., are looking to open a third location in downtown Rutland, the Eagle reported. "We need to settle on a location and raise capital, but I don't see anything that would prevent us from becoming part of the renaissance of downtown Rutland," said DeSanto. "Our hope is to be open in Rutland by early summer."

They "were quietly considering" opening a third store when they were contacted by Steve Costello, v-p of Green Mountain Power, which "has worked closely with the Downtown Rutland Partnership and other local leaders to recruit the bookseller," the Eagle wrote.

"Phoenix Books would make a tremendous addition to downtown, and... could be a draw that benefits other businesses," Costello said, adding that GMP "has enlisted more than 50 local businesses and residents who have pledged to pre-buy $1,000 worth of books each.... As we started that outreach, it quickly became clear that there was enormous demand for a local bookstore focused on new books, e-books and the like--a real hunger for an alternative to the Internet."

"We have been astounded by the initial reaction from the community, and have fallen in love with downtown," DeSanto added. "From the architecture to the outpouring of support, we have been astonished at what we've seen in Rutland--including a level of collaboration and commitment to the community that's unrivaled in our experience. We can't wait to be a part of that."


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


DiCamillo Named National Summer Reading Champion

Kate DiCamillo

Kate DiCamillo, the two-time Newbery-winning author of Flora & Ulysses and The Tale of Despereaux, who's currently serving as the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, has been named National Summer Reading Champion, a newly created position with the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP).

"We are overjoyed to have Kate join us as our first ever National Summer Reading Champion," said Karen Yother, CSLP president, in a statement yesterday. "Her dedication to lifelong learning through literacy from childhood to adulthood represents everything our organization stands for." DiCamillo will film a series of public service announcements, participate in a national media campaign and appear at events nationwide. Her goal is to encourage families to sign up for and participate in summer reading programs at their local libraries and to stress the importance of summer reading. 

"I am hopeful that in my role as National Summer Reading Champion with CSLP I can encourage young readers to go and find themselves at the library," DiCamillo said. "To find books that capture their imaginations and to spend time with others who love good stories."


Siglio Press: The Stampographer by Vincent Sardon


B&N's Mitchell Klipper to Retire

Klipper

Mitchell Klipper, CEO of the Barnes & Noble Retail Group, will retire May 2, but remain with the company in the role of special advisor on real estate and other matters . He will also assist B&N with the company's search to fill his position and through the transition process.

"Mitchell Klipper's contributions to Barnes & Noble have been nothing short of spectacular,” said B&N chairman Leonard Riggio. "He, more than anyone, has been the architect of our bookstore superstore expansion all across America. I cannot thank him enough for all he has done for our company, and for what he has meant to me as a friend and colleague. Fortunately, he leaves behind an excellent management team, and will stay on as an advisor."

Klipper commented: "I've spent the past 28 years doing what I love and it has been an amazing journey building this great company into what it is today. It has been my honor to work alongside Len Riggio, one of the greatest retailers in America. There's nothing more satisfying than to know that you've been part of creating something that has opened the world of books to the reading public while providing 30,000 plus jobs to people across America."

Before being promoted to his current position in 2010, Klipper was B&N's COO for many years. According to a B&N SEC filing, he will be a special advisor for four years at an annual base salary of $400,000.


PuddleDancer Press: Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, 3rd Edition: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships by Marshall B. Rosenberg


The Fountainhead Bookstore Expanding

Valerie Welbourn, owner of the Fountainhead Bookstore, Hendersonville, N.C., "is expanding her shop to include 700 square feet upstairs to accommodate growth," the Times-News reported. She hopes to complete the renovation by end of February, in time for her semi-annual Bookapalooza, "where book lovers and readers to get together and socialize."

"We've been squished and packed too much just using downstairs, and the events are only getting bigger," Welbourn said.


Freeform: The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton


An Open Book's Third Location Is 'Just Right'

An Open Book, Wadena, Minn., has re-opened in a new, smaller location at 209 Jefferson Street South, after moving over the holidays. This location, owner Gillette Kempf reported, is the store's third.

"We're kind of like the Goldilocks of bookstores," said Kempf. "Our first space was too small, and the space we've been in for the last four and a half years was a little too big. So we moved to a smaller, more manageable space."

Kempf had been looking to relocate her store for a while, and when her lease was up in April of 2014, she decided not to renegotiate. Under Minnesota state law, she was able to continue renting that space on a month-by-month basis. She spent most of the summer and the early fall looking at available retail spaces, and eventually settled on one that was just about half the size.

Her old space, Kempf explained, was essentially a hallway between other businesses, and though she had about 4,000 square feet of selling space, there was no room for any backroom storage or office space. Her current location has closer to 2,000 square feet of retail space, but also allows for backroom storage.

"I'm very excited; I love my new space," said Kempf. "I think I'll be able to serve the community more effectively and efficiently."

An Open Book's last day at its old location was Christmas Eve, and by January 2 the store was open for business in its new space. She was able to set up shop so rapidly, Kempf said, due to the help of friends, family and volunteers. In addition, Kempf had been scaling things back since the beginning of 2014 with a move to a smaller location in mind.

Among events scheduled this year, Jess Lourey, the author of the Murder by the Month mysteries, will come to An Open Book in early February and be the focus of the store's first author event. And in early March, Kempf plans to host the store's re-opening celebration.

"My birthday is March 6," said Kempf. "I've decided my birthday present this year is going to be a grand reopening open house." --Alex Mutter

An Open Book is now located at 209 Jefferson St. South, Wadena, Minn. 56482; 218-632-2665.


Independent Bookstore Day Catalogue Goes Live

The Independent Bookstore Day catalogue has gone live, featuring 16 exclusive books and gifts that will be for sale on May 2 at indie bookshops nationwide. Stores have until February 1 to place orders.

The items include an original Chris Ware print; books about books box set; a limited-edition, signed infographic print from David McCandless; Stripey F*@K Throx socks; a Roxane Gay chapbook; a Stephen King Finders Keepers broadside; an Allie Brosh Hyperbole & a Half broadside; a Guess How Much I Love to Read "Bunsie"; a Captain Underpants print from Dav Pilkey; a Huck Finn literary map from Plotted: A Literary Atlas; Margaret Atwood's The Bad Citizen stencil; Funny Ha Ha joke book for kids; Days Like This essay collection; "sweet" as well as "salty" literary tea towel sets; and a literary map of the seas.

More information about Independent Bookstore Day can be found here.


Obituary Notes: Simon Master; Tadeusz Konwicki

Simon Master, who was deputy group chairman for Random House from 1989 to 2004, died January 16, the Bookseller reported. He was 70. Master twice served as president of the Publishers Association and was the inaugural chairman of the London Book Fair advisory board, a role he stepped down from in 2014.

"We are all in shock at the sad news of Simon's death and still cannot quite believe it; we all held him in great affection," said LBF director Jacks Thomas. "His contribution to the London Book Fair was immense and he continued to take a great interest after standing down as non-executive chairman of our advisory board. Our thoughts are with [his wife] Georgie and his family."

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Polish novelist and filmmaker Tadeusz Konwicki, "whose alternately grim, surreal and acidly ironic novels and films made him one of Poland's most important cultural figures," died January 7, the New York Times reported. He was 88. His books include A Minor Apocalypse and The Polish Complex.


Notes

Image of the Day: Pulpwood Queens Girlfriend Weekend

Last weekend, members of Pulpwood Queens Book Club chapters nationwide and more than 40 authors gathered in Nacogdoches, Tex., for the 15th annual Girlfriend Weekend. The event was co-hosted by bookseller and club founder Kathy Murphy (who wrote The Pulpwood Queen's Tiara-Wearing, Book-Sharing Guide to Life) and author Jamie Ford (Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Songs of Willow Frost). Pictured above: book club members and authors who competed in this year's Tiara Making Contest.

KTRE-TV noted that "soon a Hollywood star will portray this fun loving East Texan in a movie." Executive producer Lauren Taylor and screenwriter Clare Sera, who have "cut a film deal with DreamWorks Entertainment," were on hand to observe Kathy Murphy's reading extravaganza.

"It's not really about a book group, but really about the stories that are shared not only in the books that they read, but the stories of their own personal lives that they share with one another," said Taylor.

Added Sera: "We're here to absolutely capture the details and the spirit of Pulpwood Queens that's absolutely blowing me away."  

"You do the thing you believe in, good things will come, and that's what happened," Murphy said. "Our dreams came true."


Engaged Readers: Marriage Proposal at the Strand

"Any proposal had to involve books, and books in New York entail the Strand," Daniel O'Duffy told Buzzfeed, which featured photos from his marriage proposal to Britt Burgeson, whom he first met when they were both students at the University of Notre Dame.

"I made sure that the day was the pinnacle of a normal Sunday," O'Duffy said. "We went to our favorite bar, our favorite summer day outing at Governor's Island, which coincidentally fell on the last day it was open in 2014. We were surrounded by our friends at our favorite bar, then we wandered through the best bookstore.... Growing up an only child, I spent a lot of time reading. Books provided adventure, friendship, and a lens into another's reality. New to New York, the Strand was my oasis in the city."
 
A friend had dropped off a specially prepared, engagement ring-bearing copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales with a Strand bookseller before the couple arrived.


PRH Publisher Services to Distribute America's Test Kitchen

Effective September 2015, America's Test Kitchen's cookbooks will be sold and distributed worldwide by Penguin Random House Publisher Services. America's Test Kitchen, which specializes in recipe development, kitchen tips and equipment reviews, is best known for its eponymous public television show and for Cook's Illustrated and Cook's Country magazines.

America's Test Kitchen publishes six to eight titles a year and has a backlist of 60 titles. Bestsellers in 2014 included The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook, The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook, The Science of Good Cooking and Slow Cooker Revolution.

America's Test Kitchen CEO and publisher Christopher Kimball commented: "When we reached one million cookbooks sold per year, we reached out to Penguin Random House to provide both the retail distribution expertise they can provide and a platform on which we could continue to build our book business well into the future. From our perspective, print cookbooks are a growth industry, not a legacy business."

Jeff Abraham, president, Penguin Random House Publisher Services, said: "We couldn't agree more with Christopher's belief that print cookbooks will continue to thrive at physical and online retail. We have long followed the incredible trajectory America's Test Kitchen has had with their cookbook program, rising to the forefront of the category with their truly accessible, beautifully illustrated list."


Personnel Changes at Perseus

Effective January 26, Steve Quinn is joining the Perseus sales team in the newly formed position of assistant director, specialty retail sales. He was formerly specialty sales manager at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and earlier worked at Phaidon Press, Adams Media and Abrams.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Brian Krebs on the Diane Rehm Show

Tomorrow on the Diane Rehm Show: Brian Krebs, author of Spam Nation: The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime-from Global Epidemic to Your Front Door (Sourcebooks, $24.99, 9781402295614).

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Tomorrow on the View: Mike Huckabee, author of God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy (St. Martin's Press, $26.99, 9781250060990).

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Tomorrow on Tavis Smiley: Jorge Ramos, author of Dying to Cross: The Worst Immigrant Tragedy in American History (HarperCollins, $12.99, 9780060789459).


Movies: Anarchy; Bandits; Poe Must Die

A trailer has been released for Michael Almereyda's Anarchy, a modern-day adaptation of William Shakespeare's Cymbeline starring Milla Jovovich, Ed Harris, Dakota Johnson, Penn Badgley, Anton Yelchin, Ethan Hawke, John Leguizamo and Bill Pullman, Word & Film reported, noting that "the story follows an epic battle between dirty cops and a drug dealing biker gang, set in a corruption-riddled contemporary America." Anarchy is set for a March release.

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Bruce Willis "is the driving force behind" the movie adaptation of Elmore Leonard's novel Bandits. Deadline.com reported that this is the second time Willis is associated with an attempt to film the book--he'll "play the lead role in an ensemble drama that will be scripted by Mitch Glazer, and Bandits, which he optioned when it was published in 1987.... After Willis let the rights lapse, Bandits was one of the four Leonard titles that were once acquired by Quentin Tarantino, who let the others go after he turned Leonard's Rum Punch into Jackie Brown."

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Actor Idris Elba (The Wire, Luther) is developing Marc Olden's novel Poe Must Die as a trilogy through his Green Door Production Co., Variety reported.



Books & Authors

Awards: Costa Short Story Finalists; Sydney Taylor Winners

Six finalists were named for the £3,500 (about $5,270) Costa Short Story Award, which honors "a single, previously unpublished short story of up to 4,000 words by an author aged 18 years or over and written in English." The writer's primary residence must have been the U.K. or Ireland for the past three years. A winner and two runners-up will be announced at the Costa Book Awards ceremony on January 27. You can check out the complete list of finalists here.

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Winners of the 2015 Sydney Taylor Book Awards, sponsored by the Association of Jewish Libraries and honoring "new books for children and teens that exemplify the highest literary standards while authentically portraying the Jewish experience," are:

Younger Reader winner: My Grandfather's Coat by Jim Aylesworth, illustrated by Barbara McClintock (Scholastic Press)
Younger Reader Honor books:
Goldie Takes a Stand by Barbara Krasner, illustrated by Kelsey Garrity-Riley (Kar-Ben)
Never Say a Mean Word Again: A Tale from Medieval Spain by Jacqueline Jules, illustrated by Durga Yael Bernhard (Wisdom Tales)

Older Reader winner: Hidden: A Child's Story of the Holocaust by Loic Dauvillier and Greg Salsedo, illustrated by Marc Lizano (First Second/Roaring Brook Press).
Older Reader Honor books:
Death by Toilet Paper by Donna Gephart (Delacorte Press)
Whispering Town by Jennifer Elvgren, illustrated by Fabio Santomauro (Kar-Ben)

Teen winner: Storm by Donna Jo Napoli (Paula Wiseman/S&SBYR).
Teen Honor books:
Isabel's War by Lila Perl (Lizzie Skurnick Books/Ig Publishing)
Like No Other by Una LaMarche (Razor Bill/Penguin)


Book Brahmin: Scott Blackwood

photo: Brian Cox

Scott Blackwood's We Agreed to Meet Just Here won a Whiting Writers' Award and the AWP Prize for the Novel. His new novel, See How Small (Little, Brown, January 20, 2015), chronicles the lives of those left behind after an inexplicable tragedy--the brutal murder of three teenage girls in an ice cream shop. A longtime resident of Austin, Tex., Blackwood now lives in Chicago, Ill.

On your nightstand now:

Rereading Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, Tim O'Brien's Going After Cacciato, Laird Hunt's Neverhome and George Saunders's Tenth of December.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Claire Huchet Bishop's The Five Chinese Brothers and Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. Odd pair, but they both deal with being lost at sea--Crusoe on the island and the greedy kid in Seven Chinese Brothers who wouldn't come back despite being warned and finally the brother holding the sea in his mouth had to let it go and so the kid was washed out to sea and drowned. I think I loved the idea of being lost at sea but was scared of it, too. Also, I get seasick easily.

Your top five authors:

William Faulkner, Gabriel García Márquez, Alice Munro, Toni Morrison, Anton Chekhov. Old school: truth, beauty and vision.

A writer--living or dead--for whom you'd take a bullet:

Two writers. The recently dead Márquez: the image of him smoking furiously behind the wheel while driving his family to Acapulco for vacation and suddenly knowing he has One Hundred Years of Solitude figured out is one I love. Luckily the car didn't go off the road. The long-ago dead Chekhov: a lovely man, physician and consummate artist, the father of the modern short story. I'd take a bullet and he'd remove it with a steady, calming hand.

Book you've faked reading:

David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Denis Johnson's Angels.

Book you've bought for the cover:

2666, the cover of which is strange and lovely. At the time, I'd never read anything from Roberto Bolaño, and I was just blown away by it.

Book that changed your life:

Raymond Carver's early short-story collection Would You Please Be Quiet, Please? because it taught me so much about writing and how it could knot your stomach and set you free all at once.

Favorite line from a book:

About a mother's grief: "A trickle of blood came out under the door, crossed the living room, went out into the street, continued on in a straight line across the uneven terraces, went down steps and climbed over curbs, passed along the Street of the Turks, turned a corner to the right and another to the left, made a right angle at the Buendía house, went in under the closed door, crossed through the parlor, hugging the walls so as not to stain the rugs, went on to the other living room, made a wide curve to avoid the dining-room table, went along the porch with the begonias, and passed without being seen under Amaranta's chair as she gave an arithmetic lesson to Aureliano José, and went through the pantry and came out in the kitchen, where Úrsula was getting ready to crack thirty-six eggs to make bread.

" 'Holy Mother of God!' Úrsula shouted." --Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

Which character you most relate to:

Úrsula in One Hundred Years of Solitude because she's the source of everything that ultimately matters: sanity, endurance and compassion.

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

Marilynne Robinson's novel Housekeeping for the sentences and dreamlike atmosphere.

Favorite bit of advice for readers or aspiring writers:

Keep in mind that the best writers are trying to do something entirely new, to invent a new way of saying something, and it may even look strange on the page. It's saying so much that it has to ask you--politely--to read it again, with more patient eyes.

This isn't to push books that just don't do anything for you, books in which nothing "happens," [rather] to say that sometimes--as in music or painting or with people--a book's charms can only affect you if you slow down, take them on their own terms.


Book Review

YA Review: Fairest

Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles: Levana's Story by Marissa Meyer (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan, $17.99 hardcover, 230p., ages 12-up, 9781250060556, January 27, 2015)

This addition to Marissa Meyer's outstanding Lunar Chronicles stands alone, as the author relates the background of the villainous Queen Levana, ruler of Luna.

Meyer lays some groundwork for the relationships that come to light in the course of the series that began with Cinder. The author also explores the complexities of Levana's character--not that she could be characterized as "good," but rather depicting a child born into a loveless family where cruelty reigned. When one of the royal guards, Sir Evret Hayle, shows kindness to 15-year-old Levana at her parents' funeral (after their assassination), he unwittingly sets in motion a series of events that lead to tragic consequences. "I know you bear the weight more than anyone," he tells Levana. Sir Evret and his wife, Solstice, a talented seamstress, give the princess her only present at her 16th birthday. A recurring nightmare and haunting refrain ("Come here, baby sister. I want to show you something") reveal a horrifying incident when Levana was six, at the hands of her older sister, Channary, who inherited the throne upon the death of their parents.

While the newly crowned Queen Channary takes more interest in trysts, dresses and parties than in the inner workings of the planet she rules, Levana proves a quick study in more strategic matters. Readers learn of plans hatched by Levana and Channary's parents for a half-human, half-beast army and the laboratory invention of a pandemic (letumosis, which overtakes the Earth in Cinder) that could sweep the earth but have no effect on Lunars, as well as an antidote that could be the peace offering needed to resume trade with the Earthens. Levana eagerly supports them all. She also seizes the opportunity to use her powers of glamour and manipulation to influence Evret Hayle, after Solstice dies giving birth to their daughter, Winter. And after Channary gives birth to a baby she names Selene, then dies of a disease known to plague only the poor, queen regent Levana becomes determined to keep the throne--at any cost.

Meyer builds layers on the Snow White story, as Levana becomes obsessed with appearing to be "the fairest queen that Luna had ever known." Her envy and greed drive her to take drastic measures to win Evret Hayle's love and the love of her subjects. The more she gets, the more she needs to satisfy her. Meyer reveals some details that could detract from the suspense of her previous novels, so read the first three entries before diving into this one. (As a bonus, this volume includes the first three chapters of Winter, the series' conclusion, due in fall 2015.) Her meticulous construction reconfirms Meyer as a master architect. --Jennifer M. Brown, children's editor, Shelf Awareness

Shelf Talker: In this stand-alone entry in her superlative Lunar Chronicles, Marissa Meyer relates the back story for the villainous Queen Levana, ruler of Luna.


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