Shelf Awareness for Monday, October 26, 2015


Penguin Press: Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith

Graphix: Dog Man and Cat Kid (Dog Man #4) by Dav Pilkey

Ecco Press: Varina by Charles Frazier

Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books: Small Walt by Elizabeth Verdick and Marc Rosenthal

Quotation of the Day

An Unlikely Story: 'A Delightful Surprise'

"I think we're doing four times more than predicted. It's been a strong summer. We've had the benefit of a lot of media attention because of the notoriety of my books. It's hard to disentangle that from the organic, word of mouth of business. It's been really surprising for all of us. It’s been a delightful surprise so far."

--Jeff Kinney, in a Forbes interview talking about his bookstore, An Unlikely Story, Plainville, Mass., which opened this spring.

Shelf Awareness Sign-up Giveaway: The Land Beyond by Leon McCarron


News

Human Rights Awards Added to Carnegie, Greenaway

The Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals and Amnesty International will honor human rights in children's literature for both the Carnegie (children's literature) and Kate Greenaway (illustration) medals. Beginning in 2016, a title from each of the shortlists will receive the Amnesty CILIP Honor, "a commendation for the books that most distinctively illuminate, uphold or celebrate freedoms." Winners will be announced at the medals ceremony next June, and these titles be able to carry an Amnesty CILIP Honor logo.

"Amnesty International and CILIP both oppose censorship and support the right to intellectual freedom, so this is a very natural partnership," said Nick Poole, CILIP's CEO. "The Amnesty CILIP Honor will highlight the fact that so many of the books chosen by expert youth librarians for the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals have human rights at their heart."

Amnesty International U.K.'s head of publishing Nicky Parker commented: "Stories are absolutely central to Amnesty's work and we've got a long and proud history of promoting children's literature. Books have a unique ability to inspire empathy, broaden horizons and empower young readers. We hope this award will make it easy for parents and teachers to identify books which will teach children about truth, freedom and justice and encourage them to feel they can shape a better world."


Trinity University Press: Arte Kids - Bilingual Board Books


Third Third Place Signs on Restaurant/Coffee Bar/Pub

Third Place Books, Seattle, Wash., which is opening its third location, in the Seward Park neighborhood, has signed on Flying Squirrel Pizza Company, which has three locations, including one down the street from the new Third Place, to open a combination restaurant/coffee bar/pub that will be called Raconteur.

According to Seattle Met, "while the bar will be in the basement [of Third Place's 7,200 square foot building], the rest of Raconteur is separated from the bookstore only by low walls, a purposeful design to encourage people to wander the aisles while waiting for a table, or page through a magazine with an Americano in hand."

The coffee bar will be at the entrance and also offer pastries and bagels. The pub will have 20 taps and "slightly Belgian and German overtones" in its beer, pretzel and sausage offerings.

Flying Squirrel founder Bill Coury is still tinkering with the restaurant menu, Seattle Met wrote, "but he's thinking unfussy, comforting food with a variety of influences--a burger, tacos, a falafel sandwich, a take on dan dan noodles--with minimal fried stuff and the same sort of local sourcing you'll find at Squirrel."

For now, the building continues to be renovated, and Raconteur is aiming to open in February.


Thomas Nelson: Perennials by Julie Cantrell


Obituary Notes: Pauline Neville; Diana Abbott

Pauline Neville, who was "one of those novelists who inspired something close to adoration in her regular readers" and "was greatly admired, too, by fellow writers," died October 3, the Guardian reported. She was 91. Beginning with her first work, the memoir In My Father's House (1969), "elements of memoir are strong in all Neville's books, though she tended to camouflage them in fiction," the Guardian wrote. Neville was also instrumental in the founding of English PEN's books to prisoners program.

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On November 1, 4-6 p.m., the Bookworm, Omaha, Neb., will celebrate the life of longtime bookseller Diana Abbott, who died in September. On Facebook, the bookstore noted that Abbott "joined the Bookworm family in 1990 and was employed with us until the time of her death. She leaves behind scores of loyal customers, friends, co-workers and a multitude of four-legged, furry friends and she will be missed by all."


Quirk Books: My Lady's Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris


Notes

Image of the Day: Strand Goes to the Dogs

The Strand Bookstore's dog Gizmo (known by her Instagram handle @newyorkdog and her hashtag #littlestbookseller) co-hosted the launch event for The Dogist (Artisan Books) by photographer Elias Weiss Friedman, known to his 1.3 million Instagram followers as @TheDogist. Gizzy and Elias are pictured here with Stacie Grissom of BarkPost and "celebridog" Chloe (@chloetheminifrenchie).


Happy 40th Birthday, Lemuria Bookstore!

Congratulations to Lemuria Bookstore, Jackson, Miss., which was founded 40 years ago by owner John Evans. Last Wednesday, the store posted on Facebook: "We were so busy today that we forgot to celebrate our own 40th Birthday! I guess that's a good thing! Happy Birthday Lemuria!"

To celebrate, it offered "an old picture from Lemuria when it was at the Quarter on Lakeland Drive."


Personnel Changes at Insight Editions, Regan Arts

Joan Lee has joined Insight Editions as the director of marketing. She has previously held marketing positions at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers and the Walt Disney Company.

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At Regan Arts:

Gregory Henry has joined the company as assistant publicity director. He was previously at HarperCollins.

Gwyneth Stansfield has joined the company as publicity manager. She was previously at Scribner.



Media and Movies

On Stage: Harry Potter & the Cursed Child

"It's official," the Pottermore team noted on Friday in posting a synopsis of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, "the eighth story in the Harry Potter series." Written by Jack Thorne and directed by Olivier and Tony award-winner John Tiffany, the play is a new story written in collaboration with J.K. Rowling. The production will be in two parts, due to the "epic nature of the story," and features a cast of more than 30 actors.

"The story only exists because the right group of people came together with a brilliant idea about how to present Harry Potter on stage," Rowling observed. "I'm confident that when audiences see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child they will understand why we chose to tell this story in this way."

Tickets for the play, which comes to London's West End next summer, are for sale online only October 28 "on a first come first served basis to all who have registered for priority booking," and October 30 to the general public.


Media Heat: Carrie Brownstein on Colbert's Late Show

This morning on CBS This Morning: Urban Meyer, co-author of Above the Line: Lessons in Leadership and Life from a Championship Season (Penguin Press, $27.95, 9781101980705).

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This morning on Good Morning America: Jeff Kinney, author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School (Amulet, $13.95, 9781419717017). He will also appear on NBC Sprout's Sunnyside Up Morning Show.

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Today on Fresh Air: Gloria Steinem, author of My Life on the Road (Random House, $28, 9780679456209).

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Today on Diane Rehm: Adam Makos, author of Devotion: An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, and Sacrifice (Ballantine, $28, 9780804176583).

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Today on All Things Considered: Audrey Niffenegger, author of Ghostly: A Collection of Ghost Stories (Scribner, $28, 9781501111198).

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Today on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews: Betty Boyd Caroli, author of Lady Bird and Lyndon: The Hidden Story of a Marriage That Made a President (Simon & Schuster, $29.99, 9781439191224).

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Today on the Steve Harvey Show: Graham Elliot, author of Cooking Like a Master Chef: 100 Recipes to Make the Everyday Extraordinary (Atria, $30, 9781476796512).

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Today on Tavis Smiley: Freeman Hrabowski, author of Holding Fast to Dreams: Empowering Youth from the Civil Rights Crusade to STEM Achievement (Beacon Press, $25.95, 9780807003442).

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Tonight on the Late Late Show with James Corden: Travis Mills, co-author of Tough As They Come (Convergent Books, $25, 9781101904787).

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Tonight on Late Night with Seth Meyers: Bob Woodward, author of The Last of the President's Men (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781501116445).

Also on Late Night: Tim Gunn, author of Tim Gunn: The Natty Professor: A Master Class on Mentoring, Motivating, and Making It Work! (Gallery, $15, 9781476780078).

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Tonight on the Tonight Show: David Spade, author of Almost Interesting: The Memoir (Dey Street, $27.99, 9780062376978). He will also appear tomorrow on Watch What Happens Live and the Today Show.

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Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Ellen DeGeneres, author of Home (Grand Central, $35, 9781455533565).

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Tomorrow morning on Fox & Friends: Willie Robertson and William Doyle, authors of American Hunter: How Legendary Hunters Shaped America (Howard Books, $26.99, 9781501111334). They will also appear on Fox Radio's Kilmeade and Friends and Hannity.

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Tomorrow morning on Morning Joe: Irin Carmon, co-author of Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Dey Street, $19.99, 9780062415837).

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Tomorrow on the Talk: Dick Van Dyke, author of Keep Moving: And Other Tips and Truths About Aging (Weinstein Books, $25.99, 9781602862968).

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Tomorrow on Diane Rehm: Margaret Atwood, author of The Heart Goes Last: A Novel (Nan A. Talese, $26.95, 9780385540353).

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Tomorrow on Tavis Smiley: Kevin Costner and Jon Baird, co-authors of The Explorers Guild: Volume One: A Passage to Shambhala (Atria, $29.99, 9781476727394).

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Tomorrow night on Last Call with Carson Daly: Terry Gilliam, author of Gilliamesque: A Pre-posthumous Memoir (Harper Design, $40, 9780062380746).

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Tomorrow night on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Carrie Brownstein, author of Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir (Riverhead, $27.95, 9781594486630).

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Tomorrow night on the Tonight Show: Drew Barrymore, author of Wildflower (Dutton, $28, 9781101983799).


Books & Authors

Awards: Neustadt Winner

The winner of the $50,000 2015 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, which recognizes living authors in any genre for "distinguished and continuing literary achievement," is Dubravka Ugrešić of Croatia and the Netherlands.

World Literature Today wrote that Ugrešić is "one of Europe's most distinctive novelists and essayists. Marked by a combination of irony and compassion, her books have been translated into more than 20 languages, and she is the winner of several other major literary prizes, including the Austrian State Prize for European Literature (1998) and Jean Améry Essay Prize (2012). She was also a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize in 2009, and her work Karaoke Culture (2011) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism."


Book Review

Review: All the Houses

All the Houses by Karen Olsson (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $27 hardcover, 9780374281328, November 3, 2015)

In fictional Washington, D.C., George Pelacanos has planted his flag in the crime and street life of its Northeast, while Ward Just has mastered the ways of the rich and powerful in Georgetown. Now comes Karen Olsson to stake out her turf in a beefy novel about the Atherton family in the Northwest suburb of Tenleytown ("a well-off white blister attached to a black city"). Narrated by 34-year-old middle daughter Helen, All the Houses is really two stories. Just a teen in the 1980s, Helen watched her father, Tim, a mid-level White House adviser in the Reagan administration, lose his job in the frenzy of the Iran-Contra scandal. The resulting stress led to her parents' divorce and her eventual drift to Los Angeles to write and sell an Iran-Contra screenplay. Her mother moved to Philadelphia to do nonprofit fundraising, her hip younger sister became an adjunct professor in New York City, and her older sister, Courtney, worked and married her way into the suburban Washington wealthy. When Tim has a heart attack in 2005, Helen comes back to Washington to help with his recovery--a return that drops her into the same taxing, frustrating relationship with her sisters and parents that she fled 20 years earlier.

Olsson (a Washington, D.C., native living in Austin, Tex., and writing for Texas Monthly, the Texas Observer, Slate and others) had her way with Austin in her first novel, Waterloo--a clever take on the musicians, politicians and journalists prowling the Texas Capitol. Much of All the Houses tellingly describes the back rooms and secrets that characterized the now mostly forgotten covert efforts of "a few bureaucrats and a gang of freelance old hands drawn to the rush of counterrevolution and back-channel deals" to supply arms to Iran in order to raise unauthorized funds to support the Contra rebels against the "Communist-leaning" Nicaraguan government. But the heart of Olsson's novel is Helen's gradual acceptance of her sisters' comparatively greater successes, understanding of her father's weaknesses and recognition of her own professional writing flair.

Helen is especially frustrated by Courtney, who arrives to take her shopping for a more sophisticated city look "in her clean white car, wearing unnecessary sunglasses, impatient for me to put on my seat belt... she was the older sister with her s**t together and I was the incompetent, self-absorbed lost one." Only after Helen successfully coaxes her father to tell the details of his downfall and turns her screenplay into a biographical record of her family is she able to set aside self-flagellation and return to Los Angeles with renewed confidence. Politics and family may make strange bedfellows, but in the knowing and amusing novel All the Houses, Olsson makes them inseparable. Add another name alongside those writers who have so effectively made Washington a literary landscape. --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.

Shelf Talker: In her second novel, journalist Karen Olsson tells of a Washington family fragmented forever by the 1980s Iran-Contra political scandal.


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