Shelf Awareness for Thursday, August 20, 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

Quotation of the Day

In Creative Economy, Indies Find 'Evolutionary Niche'

Steven Johnson

"This would be even more troubling if independent bookstores--traditional champions of the literary novel and thoughtful nonfiction--were on life support. But contrary to all expectations, these stores have been thriving.... Indie bookstores account for only about 10% of overall book sales, but they have a vastly disproportionate impact on the sale of the creative midlist books that are so vital to the health of the culture.

"How do we explain the evolutionary niche that indie bookstores seem to have found in recent years? It may be as simple as the tactile appeal of books and bookstores themselves.... The trend might also reflect the social dimension of book culture: If you're looking for literary community, you head out to the weekly reading series at the indie bookstore and buy something while you're there."

--Steven Johnson in this Sunday's New York Times Magazine article headlined "The Creative Apocalypse That Wasn't"

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


News

SIBA Board Changes

Stephanie Crowe
Doug Robinson

The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance will add Stephanie Crowe of Page & Palette, Fairhope, Ala., to the board, and Doug Robinson of Eagle Eye Book Shop, Decatur, Ga., will serve a second term. They will be inducted by current board members at the Industry Breakfast September 18 during the SIBA Discovery Show in Raleigh, N.C. Their terms will begin in 2016.

Crowe and Robinson join board members Linda-Marie Barrett, Jill Hendrix and Erica Merrell. Stepping down is Jamie Fiocco of Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, N.C. SIBA also noted that it will offer a bookseller scholarship to #SIBA16 in honor of Fiocco. 


Siglio Press: The Stampographer by Vincent Sardon


HarperCollins Closing Authonomy Site

Authonomy, the online community launched in 2008 by HarperCollins "as a way of discovering new talent by throwing open our doors to unagented, aspiring writers, and asking likeminded writers and readers to help us discover and champion great work," will close as of September 30.

Announcing the closure "with great sadness" in a message on its blog, Authonomy noted that "in recent years publishing of titles from the site has slowed as we have opened other submissions channels, and the community has become smaller," but HarperCollins "remains committed to discovering new writers, and this is reflected in our dynamic, genre-focused, digital-first lists such as HarperImpulse, and our open submissions windows for innovative commercial imprints such as Voyager and the Borough Press."

HarperCollins CEO Charlie Redmayne said that when Authonomy "was created seven years ago there were few opportunities for unagented and aspiring authors to find a publisher. Authonomy enabled us to meet and discover some amazing authors and publish some 47 titles. Now in 2015, and thanks to the pioneering work of the Authonomy community and team, our commitment to the discovery of new writing talent runs through our entire business."


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


Booksellers NZ Backs, with Reservations, GST Proposals

The New Zealand government recently released a discussion paper proposing the Goods & Services Tax be collected by foreign online retailers, like Amazon, that are selling into the country. These proposals "are, for the most part, welcomed" by Booksellers NZ, which represents more than 300 bookshops throughout the country. The organization noted that it "has been lobbying for more than five years to have the government close the GST loophole which allows offshore online retailers a 15% competitive advantage over local retailers."
 
"The proposals, released by government today, are largely in line with what we have been asking for, but there is still some confusion which needs to be clarified within the consultation process," said Lincoln Gould, CEO of Booksellers NZ. He was referring to plans that would require offshore online retailers supplying "services and intangibles" to register for GST, but would not include "goods" like books or other low value goods, which the government intends to address in another discussion paper in October.
 
"We cannot see why the government does not require foreigners to register to collect GST on all online sales into New Zealand," Gould said. "They mention Amazon as one company that would be required to register for GST in relation to sales of digitally supplied services such as films, e-books etc. If online retailers have to collect GST on e-books, why not include printed books, clothing and toys?
 
"Clearly the Government wants more time to sort out the de minimis issue and the cost of border collection because not all foreign retailers, especially small ones, would register to collect GST. But we will be asking them to consider registration for GST purposes to apply to all an online retailer's products and services in the first instance."


Freeform: The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton


P.M. Sukumar Resigns as CEO of HarperCollins India

P.M. Sukumar, CEO of HarperCollins India, is leaving the company to pursue other interests, the company announced. A replacement will be named in the coming weeks. Sukumar will be involved in the transition of the business. In the future, HarperCollins India will report to Charlie Redmayne, CEO of HarperCollins U.K.

"Sukumar has contributed substantially to HarperCollins India, leading a dynamic trade business over the last several years and adding the increasingly important Collins Education publishing program in 2013," said Brian Murray, president and CEO of HarperCollins. "We are grateful for his contributions and wish him well in his future endeavors."

"It has been an exciting and immensely satisfying journey at HarperCollins India and I have enjoyed working with the teams here and abroad," Sukumar said. He joined HarperCollins India in 2005 while it was part of a joint venture with Living Media India, and oversaw its transition to a wholly-owned subsidiary of HarperCollins Publishers in 2012. During his tenure, HarperCollins India established itself as a major English-language publisher in India and a prominent publisher in Hindi. The company has grown steadily and has won the Man Booker Prize for Aravind Adiga's White Tiger, the Hindu Prize for Manu Joseph's Serious Men, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Solo by Rana Dasgupta, the Betty Trask and Desmond Elliott prizes for Saraswati Park by Anjali Joseph, as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Siddhartha Mukherjee's The Emperor of All Maladies.


Notes

Image of the Day: Celebrating Ivan Doig

The Country Bookshelf in Bozeman, Mont., was among the bookstores celebrating Ivan Doig Day on Tuesday--the pub date for the beloved late author's novel Last Bus to Wisdom (Riverhead Books). The event featured guest authors paying tribute to Doig and reading from his books. Pictured: (l.- r.) Craig Lancaster, Malcolm Brooks, Carrie La Seur, Mary Jane DiSanti, Paul Wylie, Russell Rowland and Jamie Ford.


Bookstore Chalkboard of the Day: Prince Books

Prince Books, Norfolk, Va., shared its recent sidewalk chalkboard creation on Facebook: "Real books don't die (or update the NSA on your reading preferences)."

 

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Correction: Wednesday's Bookstore Chalkboard Sign of the Day was mistakenly attributed to Prince Books, but was actually the original creation of the Book Tavern, Augusta, Ga. Our apologies for the mixup.


Cool Idea of the Day: 'Bookseller-at-Large'

London's Heywood Hill bookshop has appointed Charlotte Merritt to the new role of "bookseller-at-large" in Hong Kong. The bookstore, "which offers bespoke bookselling, private library building and monthly book subscriptions, with customers in over 60 countries worldwide, said that Merritt's appointment will allow it to provide 'a new standard of personal service to both long-standing and new customers in Hong Kong,' " the Bookseller reported.

"Our little shop in London is a refuge for English-speaking readers and book-collectors around the world both in person and online," said Nicky Dunne, chairman of Heywood Hill. "We are sure that many more Hong Kong residents--whether expatriates or those born and bred in the city--will enjoy a connection to a literary bookshop. We are no ordinary independent bookshop and we are constantly striving to be useful to our customers around the world and to design literary services that are enjoyable and relevant in the digital age."


Personnel Changes at Cider Mill Press

Alexandra Lewis has been named v-p, publishing director of Cider Mill Press Book Publishers.

Cider Mill Press founder and publisher John Whalen commented: "Alex is the most talented publishing mind I have encountered in over 30 years of working in this industry. I value her opinion and recommendations on all business matters, and I hold her insights and directives in the highest regard. She has earned such praise many times over.

"It gives me great pride to announce that she is now the first officer in Cider Mill Press's 10-year history."



Media and Movies

Media Heat: General Ann Dunwoody on MSNBC

Today on Fresh Air: John Markoff, author of Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots (Ecco, $26.99, 9780062266682).

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Today on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports and MSNBC Live: General Ann Dunwoody, author of A Higher Standard: Leadership Strategies from America's First Female Four-Star General (Da Capo Press, $25.99, 9780738217796). General Dunwoody will also appear tomorrow on CNN with Wolf Blitzer, CNN's the Lead with Jake Tapper and Bloomberg TV.

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Tomorrow on Hardball with Chris Matthews: Gary Rivlin, author of Katrina: After the Flood (Simon & Schuster, $27, 9781451692228).

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Tomorrow night on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher: Claire McCaskill, co-author of Plenty Ladylike: A Memoir (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781476756752).


This Weekend on Book TV: Mississippi Book Festival

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 22
11:30 a.m. Coverage from the 2015 Mississippi Book Festival at the Mississippi State Capitol in Jackson, Miss. (Re-airs Sunday at 12 a.m.)

7 p.m. Dr. David Casarett, author of Stoned: A Doctor's Case for Medical Marijuana (Current, $27.95, 9781591847670). (Re-airs Sunday at 10:15 a.m.)

9:45 p.m. Katie Kieffer, author of Let Me Be Clear: Barack Obama's War on Millennials, and One Woman's Case for Hope (Crown Forum, $24, 9780804139755). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 a.m. and Monday at 2:45 a.m.)

10 p.m. Arthur Brooks, author of The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America (Broadside Books, $27.99, 9780062319753). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Michael Hiltzik, author of Big Science: Ernest Lawrence and the Invention that Launched the Military-Industrial Complex (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781451675757), at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C. (Re-airs Sunday at 5 p.m.)


Sunday, August 23
1 p.m. Lauren A. Rivera, author of Pedigree: How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs (Princeton University Press, $35, 9780691155623). (Re-airs Monday at 1 a.m.)

7 p.m. James Piereson, author of Shattered Consensus: The Rise and Decline of America's Postwar Political Order (Encounter, $27.99, 9781594036712).

7:45 p.m. Erik Loomis, author of Out of Sight: The Long and Disturbing Story of Corporations Outsourcing Catastrophe (The New Press, $25.95, 9781620970089).

11 p.m. Michael Dirda, author of Browsings: A Year of Reading, Collecting, and Living with Books (Pegasus, $24.95, 9781605988443), at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C.


Books & Authors

Awards: St. Francis College Literary Prize

A shortlist has been released for the $50,000 St. Francis College Literary Prize, which is awarded to a mid-career author for their third to fifth published book. The winner will be announced September 19 at the Brooklyn Book Festival gala. The 2015 shortlisted titles are:

The Sellout by Paul Beatty (FSG)
The Man Who Walked Away by Maud Casey (Bloomsbury USA)
Paper Lantern by Stuart Dybek (FSG)
& Sons by David Gilbert (Random House)
A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James (Riverhead)
Friendswood by René Steinke (Riverhead)


Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, August 25:

X by Sue Grafton (Marian Wood Books/Putnam, $28.95, 9780399163845) is the 24th thriller with Kinsey Millhone.

Allegiance: A Novel by Kermit Roosevelt (Regan Arts, $27.95, 9781941393307) is a legal thriller focused on the internment of Japanese-Americans after Pearl Harbor.

The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory (Touchstone, $27.99, 9781476758794) follows Kateryn Parr, the sixth wife of Henry VIII.

The Drowned Boy by Karin Fossum (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $24, 9780544483965) continues the Inspector Sejer mystery series.

Yarrick: Pyres of Armageddon by David Annandale (Games Workshop, $28, 9781849709583) takes place in the Warhammer 40,000 universe.

The Face That Changed It All: A Memoir by Beverly Johnson and Allison Samuels (Atria, $28, 9781476774411) is the memoir of the groundbreaking black supermodel.

Elle & Coach: Diabetes, the Fight for My Daughter's Life, and the Dog Who Changed Everything by Stefany Shaheen and Mark Dagostino (Hachette, $27, 9780316258760) explores the relationship between a girl with type 1 diabetes and a service dog.

Paperbacks:

Spice and Wolf, Vol. 15: The Coin of the Sun I by Isuna Hasekura (Yen On, $13, 9780316339612).

Movies:

Z for Zachariah, based on the novel by Robert C. O'Brien, opens August 28. Margot Robbie, Chris Pine and Chiwetel Ejiofor star as survivors of a nuclear apocalypse. A movie tie-in (Simon Pulse, $10.99, 9781481466646) is available.


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
Dragonfish: A Novel by Vu Tran (Norton, $26.95, 9780393077803). "Tran has written a highly original noir mystery involving Suzy, a Vietnamese immigrant, and her police officer ex-husband, Robert. Suzy goes missing in Las Vegas and her current husband, Sonny, enlists Robert's help to track her down. During his search for Suzy, Robert discovers a packet of letters written by her to Mai, Suzy's long-lost daughter, who is now a professional gambler living in Las Vegas. Suspenseful, cinematic, and haunting, Tran's storytelling is superb, and Dragonfish is an excellent debut." --Sherri Gallentine, Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena, Calif.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley (Bloomsbury, $26, 9781620408339). "It takes a special talent to have a reader truly suspend disbelief, but Pulley succeeds spectacularly well in this debut. In 1880s London, Thaniel Steepleton is a telegraphist whose life is saved by a very timely pocket watch. When he meets its maker, Keita Mori, his entire life is upended and made more beautiful--and dangerous. The clock is ticking on this new friendship, and Thaniel must use his ingenuity and previously untapped bravery to save Keita's life and his own future. Fans of David Mitchell and Erin Morgenstern will be intrigued, and I think it's safe to say that we can expect great things from Pulley." --Amanda Hurley, Inkwood Books, Tampa, Fla.

Paperback
Black Chalk by Christopher J. Yates (Picador, $16, 9781250075550). "In Black Chalk, Yates has taken the traditional novel and tweaked it to create something very special. In Thatcher-era England, six first-year Oxford University students have come together as friends. As they get to know each other, an idea forms and quickly gains traction: they should play a 'game,' with the loser facing a consequence. All six agree, and the dares begin as innocuous fun. As time goes on, however, something shifts within the group and the stakes become much higher--even deadly. Fourteen years later, the remaining players meet in New York City to finish the 'game,' but what has transpired for them in the interim? And is winning worth the price? A gripping, sinister, and suspenseful read." --Peggy Elefteriades, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, Conn.

For Ages 8 to 12
Murder Is Bad Manners: A Wells and Wong Mystery by Robin Stevens (Simon & Schuster, $16.99, 9781481422123). "Hong Kong transplant Hazel Wong serves as Watson to Daisy Wells' Sherlock Holmes in this debut middle-grade mystery series set in 1934 at Deepdean School for Girls. After Hazel finds the body of Miss Bell, the science teacher, it suddenly disappears, setting the Wells and Wong Detective Society on the case. Hazel narrates the story through her casebook, revealing that she is the more analytical of the pair. There are plenty of red herrings and wrong turns, but in the end Wells and Wong solve the case and leave readers eager to read more of their appealing tales." --Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, Tex.

For Ages 4 to 8
Out of the Woods: A True Story of an Unforgettable Event by Rebecca Bond (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $17.99, 9780374380779). "In 1914, when Antonio was a little boy, he lived with his mother, who ran a three-story hotel in the woods of Ontario for lumberjacks, hunters, miners, and other people passing through. One summer day, a fire broke out in the surrounding woods, forcing everyone--people and the forest-dwelling animals alike--into the nearby lake for safety. As the fire raged on in the forest around them, everyone stood side by side, bonded by their shared catastrophe. Out of the Woods is a true story about the author's grandfather and his retelling of what happened in the woods on that summer day." --Jen Steele, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wis.

For Teen Readers
More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera (Soho Teen, $18.99, 9781616955601). "In this tale set in the near future, when a procedure allows people to have specific memories removed for their own good, Aaron is dealing with the suicide of his father and the dawning realization that he might not be straight. He has a perfect girlfriend and a loving mother, but growing up in the Bronx is a struggle. When Aaron starts developing feelings for his new best friend, Thomas, he thinks about getting the procedure to make him forget that he likes boys. Silvera's debut is a beautifully different and heartfelt novel about family, class, sexuality, and self-acceptance." --Paige Mushaw, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, Vt.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]


Book Review

Review: The Double Life of Liliane

The Double Life of Liliane by Lily Tuck (Atlantic Monthly Press, $26 hardcover, 9780802124029, September 8, 2015)

Winner of the National Book Award for The News from Paraguay, Lily Tuck exhibits her trademark brevity and clean prose in her sixth novel, The Double Life of Liliane. A former student of the notoriously exacting editor Gordon Lish, she embraces the succinct over the embellished, commenting in a New York Times interview: "I don't write a whole lot.... For the most part, I avoid adjectives and I definitely avoid adverbs.... I hope my readers will read my work with imagination." The Double Life of Liliane does indeed eschew extraneous modifiers, but it also includes scattered snapshot illustrations and detailed historical and genealogical digressions as it portrays the rich but disorienting young life of Liliane, the only child of her gregarious, multilingual Italian film producer father, Rudy, and her beautiful, artistic mother, Irène, who lives by her belief that "it is always easier to say yes." Readers who bring plenty of imagination to this metafictional, autobiographical narrative will be rewarded with the keen exploration of a young girl's mind, a complex family legacy and a world churning through war and migration.

Liliane's father, a German Jew, and half-Jewish mother leave for Paris in 1933, when Hitler's ambitious race cleansing program began to bloom. In Paris, "they lived more or less--often less--happily," until Germany invades Poland in 1939, and France declares war, detaining all male German immigrants in prison camps. Seven-month-old Liliane is raised speaking French with Irène in Paris while Rudy is first held in the camps and then inducted into the French Foreign Legion to earn his release. When the war comes to Paris, Irène, now divorced, and Liliane escape to Lima, Peru, where Rudy has family, and then to New York City's Upper East Side, where Irène remarries the kind-hearted, heavy-drinking banker Gaby.

Determined to become fluent in English along with her French and rudimentary Spanish, Liliane retreats into language, books, horseback riding and fantasies of romantic lovers. She visits her father annually in Italy, reluctantly attends a New Hampshire camp ("Liliane canoes... plays tennis, takes archery... weaves potholders, roasts marshmallows.... She hates Camp Bueno"), visits relatives to learn about the family legacy of professors, writers and iconoclasts (some of whose roots go back to Mary Queen of Scots and Moses Mendelssohn), discovers family ties to Josephine Baker, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, studies literature at Radcliffe and, as the novel closes, follows a boyfriend to Bangkok. Hers is not only a "double life" of French and English fluency, but also one of balancing intellectual discipline and sensual curiosity, privilege and persecution, and the contrasting social circles of her divorced parents.

If the fictional Liliane is a stand-in for the very real writer Lily, The Double Life of Liliane is Tuck's ambitious attempt to exemplify Liliane's professor Paul de Man's definition of autobiography: "an act of self-restoration in which the author recovers the fragments of his or her life into a coherent narrative." In this, Tuck has achieved remarkable success. --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.

Shelf Talker: The Double Life of Liliane is a triumph of autobiographical metafiction, with photos, genealogical digressions and historical allusions as background to a young woman's complex path toward maturity.


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