Shelf Awareness for Thursday, July 23, 2015


Flatiron Books: Oliver Loving by Stefan Merrill Block

Scholastic Press: All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

Riverhead Books: My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

Barron's Educational Series: Dear Dinosaur: With Real Letters to Read! by Chae Strathie, illustrated by Nicola O'Byrne

Timber Press: Saving Tarboo Creek: One Family's Quest to Heal the Land by Scott Freeman

News

Jennifer M. Brown Leaving Shelf Awareness for Knopf

Jennifer M. Brown
photo: Michael Lionstar

We're both sad and proud to announce that Jennifer M. Brown, children's editor at Shelf Awareness for the past eight years, is leaving the company to become v-p and publisher of Knopf Books for Young Readers at Random House Children's Books, effective August 24. At Knopf, she will oversee the direction and lead the long-range and daily activities for the Knopf Young Readers publishing program.

Brown said, "It is a once-in-a career opportunity to join this legendary imprint at Random House Children's Books. To have the chance to work with the talented editorial team at Knopf and to build on its unbelievably strong foundation is truly a dream come true. This position allows me to unite all of my lifelong passions and professional experiences, and I greatly look forward to our collaboration."

She joined Shelf Awareness in 2007 and built our children's coverage to six reviews a week in our Pro and Consumer editions, at least one Maximum Shelf special issue each month and occasional dedicated issues, as well as regular author interviews, news stories, conference coverage and much more. She manages some 20 reviewers.

Brown is also director of the Center for Children's Literature at the Bank Street College of Education and has served on a range of industry committees, most recently the 2015 Newbery Committee and the 2014 New York Times Best Illustrated Books jury. In 2009, she founded the website Twenty by Jenny to recommend books to parents, grandparents and others who wish to instill in children a love of reading.

Before joining Shelf Awareness, she was children's reviews editor at Publishers Weekly for 10 years, a children's book editor at HarperCollins and an elementary schoolteacher (grades K-2).

We're very sad to see Jenny leave. She's been a joy to work with, always cheerful and unflappable, even in the face of occasionally ridiculous deadlines. Her love of children's books and her creativity and knowledge infuse her work. We will miss her!

People who believe they can replace the irreplaceable Jenny Brown may send a note and résumé to John Mutter. Please use subject line "children's editor."


Conari Press: Swimming with Elephants: My Unexpected Pilgrimage from Physician to Healer by Sarah Bamford Seidelmann


Legends Bookstore Opens in Cody, Wyo.

Legends Bookstore hosted its grand opening July 9 in downtown Cody, Wyo. Owner Teresa Muhic told the Enterprise she was looking for a new way to allocate her time and assets and thought a bookstore would fill a niche in the city. Legends will also incorporate a coffee bar, which is currently under construction, sometime next month.

"My goal is to provide a place for information and a place for leisure and enjoyment and a place for ideas," she said. "More of a destination, not just a shop. Find a chair and plop yourself and just while away some time.... I retired a couple years ago and part of the reason I retired is so I could do other things I wanted to do. A goal I had was to start a business so I had been looking around for ideas and one day got it in my head that when we lost the [Cody] Newsstand a town our size needs a bookstore. I did research and latched onto that idea and ran with it."

Muhic also noted that Legends is "the only true bookstore within about 60 miles. We had a couple come over from Worland, because Worland doesn't have a bookstore.... They came over specifically because they are readers and they wanted to buy some books. I think we fill a need in the larger Big Horn Basin community."


Avery Publishing Group: The End of Alzheimer's: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline by Dale Bredesen


Cobble Hill Community Bookstore in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Close

John Scioli, owner of the Community Bookstore in Brooklyn's Cobble Hill neighborhood, has agreed to sell the three-story brownstone in which the used bookstore resides to a group of real estate developers for $5.5 million, the New York Times reported. Scioli, who is nearly 70, has a year to clear out the storefront and two years to vacate his apartment in the same building.

Scioli and his former wife, Susan, founded two Community Bookstores in the early 1970s: the first in Park Slope, and the second in Brooklyn Heights. After the couple divorced in 1980, Scioli kept ownership of the store in Brooklyn Heights (later relocating south to its current location in Cobble Hill), while his ex-wife retained the Park Slope store (which is now owned and operated by Ezra Goldstein and Stephanie Valdez). Scioli is estimated to have between 60,000 and 100,000 books in his store and has never implemented any kind of computer inventory system. Over the years the cavernous bookstore, with its ceiling-high stacks of books, became something of a community institution.

"You never know who might want something," Scioli told the Times. "Believe me, I tried to go out of business two or three times. I can't believe people still put up with this place. But no matter what I did, people just kept buying books."


Soho Teen: No Saints in Kansas by Amy Brashear


Books & Mead: Moravian Book Shop Adds 'Colony Meadery'

The Colony Meadery, an Allentown, Pa., brewer of honey-based alcoholic beverages, is opening its first off-site retail location next month at the Moravian Book Shop in Bethlehem. Lehigh Valley Business reported that the "meadery will take over the space that had been home to a number of different delis over the years. The space will continue to serve light fare along with mead."

Richard Santee, president of the board of directors of the Moravian Book Shop, said bringing in the meadery is an exciting way to attract a new crowd, as well as an appropriate addition to the historic landmark's offerings. "Mead was very likely produced and served in many homes of Colonial Bethlehem and the greater Lehigh Valley during the 18th and 19th centuries," he noted.

The Colony Meadery CEO Greg Heller-LaBelle "said his goal is to get the shop up and running in time for Musikfest next month, which will help the company get exposure for their mead--not only to local shoppers and residents in Bethlehem but to the international audience that floods the city for the festival," Lehigh Valley Business wrote.


She Writes Press: Things Unsaid by Diana Y. Paul


San Marcos, Tex., Approves Amazon Tax Incentive

On Tuesday, the San Marcos, Tex., City Council voted unanimously to approve a tax incentive deal that could bring a new Amazon warehouse to the city. Under the agreement, Amazon would build an 855,000-square foot facility along McCarty Lane and near Interstate 35. The Austin American-Statesman reported that the tax package includes an amendment "that clarified that the jobs promised by Amazon will include benefits" after one of the members researched Amazon's employment website "and found job postings that advertised wages well below what was promised on the application."

Lee Higgins, a consultant representing Amazon, told the council the company "posts the starting wages for positions on its website but often ends up paying more for employees who have higher qualifications or work their way up. The information in the application was based on average salaries for certain positions.... Higgins said Amazon opposes including more detailed salary information in the tax deal, a public record, because it does not want its competitors to see it," the American-Statesman noted.


Shelf Awareness Sign-up Giveaway: Without Merit by Colleen Hoover


Mitzi Angel Named Faber's Adult Publisher

Mitzi Angel

Faber has appointed Mitzi Angel to the new role of publisher for all of the company's adult publishing, the Bookseller reported. Currently v-p and executive editor at Farrar, Straus & Giroux, she ran U.S. subsidiary Faber & Faber as an FSG imprint before the ending of that 17-year partnership last year. Faber has a new U.S. publishing partnership with the Perseus Books Group, and will publish in the U.S. directly beginning in the spring of 2016.

Angel will join the Faber board and reports to Stephen Page, who has been CEO and publisher until now. "Publishing as a business has absolutely got editorial taste at its center, but it is also pretty complex," Page said. "A chief executive cannot do both of these roles. I wanted a singular effort on the adult side [of our publishing], as [children's publisher] Leah Thaxton is for children's--someone who is really on that agenda, because nothing matters more than that. My role will still be very close to the authors and publishers."


Notes

Image of the Day: Greenlight Repays Community Lenders

Jessica Stockton Bagnulo and Rebecca Fitting, owners of Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn, N.Y., proudly display their final Community Lender repayments, lovingly gift wrapped. In a leap of faith, friends, family members, industry colleagues and community residents loaned them money so they could open the bookstore nearly six years ago. Last week they paid back the last of the Community Lender loans--a week ahead of schedule!


NEIBA Awards Two Rusty Drugan Scholarships

Citing support from Book Publishers Representatives of New England and member donations, the New England Independent Booksellers Association has named two winners instead of one of this year's Rusty Drugan Scholarship for Emerging Leaders, which is given in memory of Wayne "Rusty" Drugan, executive director of NEIBA from 1992 to 2006. The scholarship helps pay expenses to attend NEIBA's fall conference October 6-8 in Providence, R.I. This year's recipients are:

Ryan Elizabeth Clark, who has worked as a bookseller at Gibson's Bookstore, Concord, N.H., for three years. She has been a bibliophile for as long as she can remember, tearing through books since before she could walk. The Harry Potter Series was her first real love, which explains why she still enjoys escaping into a Fantasy or YA novel. Her favorite books (aside from her beloved Potter) include Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and The Night Circus (her wedding theme included both of these books), as well as everything John Green and Rainbow Rowell have ever written. When she's not recommending the latest YA novels at Gibson's, Ryan can often be found in Walt Disney World (usually recommending novels to the cast members and characters that she meets).

Alex W. Meriwether, who is the marketing and events manager for Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, Mass. Alex started as a bookseller in 2004, and has served various roles at the store over the years, including social media coordinator, store photographer, graphic designer, shift supervisor and event supervisor. His go-to book recommendations are The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (the book he read every evening on his front porch the first summer he lived in Boston) and Tom McCarthy's Remainder (his most memorably fortuitous discovery going through the break room galley table as a bookseller).


Tokyo Hotel 'Lets You Sleep in a Bookstore'

Book and Bed, a new Tokyo hotel set to open in September, "invites bibliophiles to sleep in the stacks," Rocket News 24 reported, adding that the project is a cooperation between Suppose Design Office, Shibuya Publishing Booksellers and R-Store.

Suppose Design Office's bookshelves "are built complete with bunks you can crawl into, capsule hotel-style. And like a capsule hotel, these are not exactly private rooms, but I suppose if you are dreaming of dozing off in a bookstore, you are OK with that communality," Rocket News 24 wrote.


Personnel Changes at Ampersand

At Ampersand Inc.:

Dot Middlemass is retiring as a rep and moving with her husband, Graham, to Mexico, and plans "to read all those books that she has stacked up by her bed," the company said. She has won the Canadian Booksellers Association's Rep of the Year award twice. Her last day is August 12.

Dani Farmer has joined the company as a rep and will cover Dot Middlemass's terriroty. She formerly worked in customer service and marketing at Orca Book Publishers and earlier held positions at Drawn and Quarterly and Dundurn Press.



Media and Movies

Media Heat: Congressman John Lewis on CBS This Morning

Tomorrow morning on CBS This Morning: Congressman John Lewis, co-author of March: Book One (Top Shelf, $14.95, 9781603093002) and March: Book Two (Top Shelf, $19.95, 9781603094009), including a segment about his trip to Comic-Con.


Movies: Paper Towns

The last moment promotional push is on for tomorrow's nationwide release of Paper Towns, the highly-anticipated movie based on John Green's novel. Indiewire gathered several clips, featurettes and new images from the film that stars Nat Wolff and Cara Delevigne, who "are being positioned as the future faces of Hollywood."

Earlier this week, the Hollywood Reporter wrote that Green "is expanding his role to producer" after signing "a first-look producing deal with Fox 2000. The bestselling author will work with Temple Hill principals Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen, who produced both Fault and the upcoming Paper Towns, on several projects."

"We are elated to expand upon our already extraordinary relationship with John and feel honored to be able to enhance our creative horizons together," said Fox 2000 president Elizabeth Gabler. "He is truly a force of nature and we are proud to be part of his world."

Green and Wolff spoke with Variety about Paper Towns. Among our favorite exchanges:

A lot of people from Fault in our Stars came back for this project. Are we witnessing the formation of a Wes Anderson-type family?
Green: I would love that.
Wolff: That would be so cool.
Green: I love Nat as a person and I love working with Nat and I just have so much respect for him as a person and as an actor.
Wolff: So any time he has a book that's made into a movie I'm going to find a way to insert myself. And then any time I do a movie that's not a John Green adaptation, I'm going to bring him along.
Green: I love that idea. You'll have to call the director and be like "Listen. This is a little a little weird. But I have a friend..."


This Weekend on Book TV: Ralph Nader

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, July 25
7 p.m. Marco Rubio, author of American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone (Sentinel, $27.95, 9781595231130). (Re-airs Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and Monday at 1:30 a.m.)

7:30 p.m. Jessica Jackley, author of Clay Water Brick: Finding Inspiration from Entrepreneurs Who Do the Most with the Least (Spiegel & Grau, $28, 9780679643760). (Re-airs Monday at 5 a.m.)

8:30 p.m. Thomas J. Christensen, author of The China Challenge: Shaping the Choices of a Rising Power (Norton, $27.95, 9780393081138). (Re-airs Sunday at 5:30 a.m.)

10 p.m. Ralph Nader, author of Return to Sender: Unanswered Letters to the President, 2001-2015 (Seven Stories Press, $26.95, 9781609806262). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Roberta Brandes Gratz, author of We're Still Here Ya Bastards: How the People of New Orleans Rebuilt Their City (Nation Books, $27.99, 9781568587448). (Re-airs Sunday at 3:30 p.m.)


Sunday, July 26
12:30 a.m. Joseph Loconte, author of A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War: How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-1918 (Thomas Nelson, $24.99, 9780718021764).

1 p.m. Wendy Pearlman, author of Violence, Nonviolence, and the Palestinian National Movement (Cambridge University Press, $29.99, 9781107632493). (Re-airs Monday at 1 a.m.)

5 p.m. Matthew J. Davenport, author of First Over There: The Attack on Cantigny, America's First Battle of World War I (Thomas Dunne Books, $28.99, 9781250056443).

6:30 p.m. Lucha Castro, author of La Lucha: The Story of Lucha Castro and Human Rights in Mexico (Verso, $16.95, 9781781688014).

7:30 p.m. Mark Moyar, author of Strategic Failure: How President Obama's Drone Warfare, Defense Cuts, and Military Amateurism Have Imperiled America (Threshold Editions, $28, 9781476713243).

10 p.m. Jamie Bartlett, author of The Dark Net: Inside the Digital Underworld (Melville House, $27.95, 9781612194899).

11 p.m. Garland Tucker III, author of Conservative Heroes: Fourteen Leaders Who Shaped America, from Jefferson to Reagan (Intercollegiate Studies Institute, $27.95, 9781610171366).


Books & Authors

Awards: Polari First Book

The longlist has been released for the Polari First Book Prize, which is awarded annually to a writer whose first book explores the LGBT experience, whether in poetry, prose, fiction or nonfiction. A shortlist of five books will be released September 15, with the overall winner revealed at the London Literature Festival in October. This year's longlisted titles are:

Straight Expectations by Julie Bindel
The Gift of Looking Closely by Al Brookes
Shot Through the Heart by Matt Cain
Everything Must Go by LaJohn Joseph
The Rental Heart by Kirsty Logan
Alaska by Cheryl Martin
The Other Ida by Amy Mason
Self-portrait with the Happiness by David Tait
The Informant by Susan Wilkins
Grit by Carey Wood-Duffy


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:

Hardcover
The Star Side of Bird Hill: A Novel by Naomi Jackson (Penguin Press, $25.95, 9781594205958). "In the summer of 1989, sisters Dionne and Phaedra--aged 16 and 10, respectively--are shuttled from their Brooklyn life to their grandmother Hyacinth's home in Barbados. Dionne is filled with palpable teenage angst and the desire for romance, while Phaedra prefers to experience the mysteries of Bird Hill with her grandmother. Both girls have a tentative curiosity about their mother's early life on the island, but it is not until their father shows up unexpectedly that they question their very identities and what it means to be 'home.' Reminiscent of Jamaica Kincaid, Jackson's coming-of-age tale makes Barbados spring from the page with humor, beauty, and heartbreak." --Amanda Hurley, Inkwood Books, Tampa, Fla.

Bell Weather: A Novel by Dennis Mahoney (Holt, $28, 9781627792677). "Set in a fantastical 18th century world where rain falls up and color storms wash the land with bright hues, Bell Weather is, at its core, the story of a spirited young woman fighting for the freedom to choose her own path. Although Molly tells the townsfolk of Root almost nothing of her past, readers learn about her childhood with an overbearing governess, a cold father, and a brilliant, cunning brother who will stop at nothing to ensure that he and Molly are together and unbridled. Mahoney has created a marvelous world that readers will want to visit again and again." --Amelia Stymacks, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, Vt.

Paperback
Far As the Eye Can See: A Novel by Robert Bausch (Bloomsbury, $16, 9781620402603). "It is a delight to experience the Montana and Wyoming territories circa 1870-1876 through the adventures of Civil War veteran Bobby Hale. His original plan to travel to California fades as he rides west with settlers, scouts for the army, and cares for an injured woman who is running from her Indian husband. The dialect of the narrator and the language of the characters are accurate for the period, allowing the reader to be completely immersed in the setting of this rip-roaring tale." --Paula Steige, MacDonald Bookshop, Estes Park, Colo.

For Ages 4 to 8
Mad Scientist Academy: The Dinosaur Disaster by Matthew McElligott (Crown, $17.99, 9780553523744). "When a group of students--including a werewolf, a swamp monster, and a robot--arrive at Mad Scientist Academy for their first day of class, they find their professor, Dr. Cosmic, in a tangled heap. Dr. Cosmic explains that their class pet--a dinosaur!--has escaped. The students set off on a scavenger hunt through the virtual dinosaur exhibit to track down Oscar, collecting clues along the way. Plenty of engaging facts within a fun, adventure-filled context make this graphic novel a worthwhile addition to any collection." --Sara Grochowski, Brilliant Books, Traverse City, Mich.

Children's Illustrated
I Yam a Donkey! by Cece Bell (Clarion Books, $16.99, 9780544087200). "Imagine retelling 'Who's on First?' but using a donkey and a yam instead of baseball players! These two have a difficult time communicating with one another and, frankly, the donkey just doesn't get it. Kids will love the humor, and the fact that they understand something the donkey doesn't is very clever. There are lots of laughs to be had here!" --Jessilynn Norcross, McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, Mich.

For Teen Readers
We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen (Wendy Lamb Books, $16.99, 9780553496864). "If, as 13-year-old Stewart knows, we are all in constant exchange of molecular matter, then author Nielsen has unleashed trillions of atoms with her writing and can expect them to arrive back to her--and to the readers of this amazing story of family blended, friends bended, and the science of what it means to be human proven. Fans of Wonder, hold tight. This could be the young adult book of the year." --Joanna Parzakonis, Bookbug, Kalamazoo, Mich.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]


Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, July 28:

What Pet Should I Get? by Dr. Seuss (Random House, $17.99, 9780553524260) is a newly discovered manuscript by the master about siblings visiting a pet store.

Brush Back by Sara Paretsky (Putnam, $27.95, 9780399160578) is the 17th V.I. Warshawski thriller.

Undocumented: A Dominican Boy's Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League by Dan-el Padilla Peralta (Penguin Press, $27.95, 9781594206528) is an autobiography of the successful son of undocumented immigrants.

Silent Creed by Alex Kava (Putnam, $26.95, 9780399170775) is the second thriller featuring Ryder Creed and his search-and-rescue dogs.

Badlands: A Novel by C.J. Box (Minotaur, $26.99, 9780312583217) follows the deputy sheriff of a North Dakota oil town.

Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference by William MacAskill (Gotham, $26.95, 9781592409105) explores how best to harness the impulse to make a positive impact.

Life on the Ramona Coaster by Ramona Singer (Post Hill Press, $25, 9781618688767) is the memoir of a cast member from The Real Housewives of New York City.

The Two-State Delusion: Israel and Palestine--A Tale of Two Narratives by Padraig O'Malley (Viking, $30, 9780670025053) argues against the two-state solution.

Paperbacks:

All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews (McSweeney's, $16, 9781940450711).

Movies:

The End of the Tour, based on Although of Course You End up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace by David Lipsky, opens July 31. Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segel star in this account of a five-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky and David Foster Wallace in 1996, just after the publication of Infinite Jest.


Book Review

Review: Coming of Age at the End of Days

Coming of Age at the End of Days by Alice LaPlante (Atlantic Monthly Press, $25 hardcover, 9780802121653, August 4, 2015)

The title of Alice LaPlante's third novel, Coming of Age at the End of Days, succinctly describes its plot. At the beginning, Anna Franklin is 16 and terribly depressed, fixated on death. Therapy and medication do nothing to bring her out of it. Her anti-religious mother begins reading to her from the Bible, just to give them some time together and to introduce Anna to literary references; this does not lighten Anna's world, but instead gives its darkness meaning, as Revelations resonates with her mood. What finally causes her depression to break is a new family in the neighborhood. Lars and his parents introduce Anna to their church, where it is preached that the Tribulation at the End of Days is coming. There will be blood, violence and suffering. Her heart sings at the news.

Anna begins having a recurrent dream of a central image in her church's system of beliefs; she has visions and becomes convinced she has an important role to play. Joyfully, she plans for the coming End of Days. Her parents are relieved that she no longer appears suicidal, but disturbed anew at this fresh challenge. Anna and Lars, a compelling, alternately magnetic and frightening young man, are socially isolated and bullied at school. On the other hand, Anna's parents are loving, wise and committed to her well-being. Additionally, there is Anna's neighbor Jim--back in his parents' basement, in his mid-20s, suffering his own breakdown--and a chemistry teacher, the youthful, no-nonsense Ms. Thadeous. When Anna experiences a tragedy that "more than satiate[s] her hunger for death," these few but remarkable friends represent a chance to reconsider the End she is working toward.

At the center of Anna's story--and of all these characters' stories--are obsessions. "Images. Sounds. The Red Heifer. Bosch's depiction of hell. A rock hitting a tree." Anna's mother is a deeply devoted pianist; her father is an earthquake nut, eagerly awaiting The Big One, in a secular obsession otherwise not unlike his daughter's. LaPlante (Turn of Mind) masterfully weaves a distressing plot in which complex, sympathetic characters, each with a complete and absorbing past, are brought to the brink of destruction and then seemingly asked: What kind of life, and death, will you choose? The reader's imagination will be won by this brilliant, thought-provoking and memorable novel. Coming of Age at the End of Days perfectly captures the dynamics of family relationships and friendships, loyalties and priorities, and the nuanced workings of an unusual mind. --Julia Jenkins, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: In this expert psychological thriller, a disturbed teenaged girl meets a doomsday cult and struggles for survival and identity.


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