Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, February 2, 2016


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

News

Quarto Buys Harvard Common Press

Quarto Publishing Group USA has bought the Harvard Common Press, which focuses on cooking and child care and will become an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group, with editorial and production operations in Quarto's office in Beverly, Mass. Dan Rosenberg, editorial director for Harvard Common Press, is joining the Quarto team in the same role. Harvard Common Press's president and publisher Bruce Shaw and associate publisher Adam Salomone will remain in advisory roles with Quarto.

The acquisition adds "hundreds of titles to the Quarto backlist as well as over 25,000 recipes" and, the company said, "furthers Quarto's position as a leading publisher of lifestyle-oriented titles for consumer markets." Quarto president and CEO Ken Fund noted that "the addition of Harvard Common Press's award-winning cookbooks will nicely expand Quarto's footprint in the culinary category."

Harvard Common Press's Bruce Shaw said, "Over the past 35 years, HCP has become widely recognized by both consumers and media as a go-to resource for home cooks. Quarto recognizes HCP's strategic value and the opportunity to further expand the reach of HCP titles and authors both domestically and globally."

Founded in 1976, the Harvard Common Press includes the Not Your Mother's series of cookbooks, Cheryl & Bill Jamison's Smoke & Spice, and the Nursing Mother's Companion.

Quarto Publishing Group USA is the U.S. division of the Quarto Group and includes Book Sales, Cool Springs Press, Creative Publishing international, Fair Winds Press, Moondance Press, Motorbooks, Quarry Books, Race Point Publishing, Rock Point Gift and Stationery, Rockport Publishers, Seagrass Press, Voyageur Press, Walter Foster Publishing, Walter Foster Jr., Wellfleet Press and Zenith Press, as well as the distribution service QDS.


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


Bank of Books Closing Malibu, Calif., Branch

In April, Bank of Books is closing its Malibu, Calif., location, which opened in 2012, the Los Angeles Times reported. The new, used and collectible bookstore has two branches in Ventura--another Bank of Books and Abednego Book Shoppe, dating back to 1999 and 1998, respectively--that will remain open.

Owner Clarey Rudd said in an e-mail that the Malibu store's landlord had been supportive, but "our sales have stagnated, and it has become apparent that it is in the best interest of both Bank of Books and Marquis Properties for this location to close."


Trinity University Press: Arte Kids - Bilingual Board Books


BEA Sets Author Menu for Book & Author Breakfast

BookExpo America's Adult Book & Author Breakfast, to be held Thursday, May 12, will feature comedian and journalist Faith Salie, a regular on NPR's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! and CBS News Sunday Morning, as master of ceremonies. Authors on the panel are:

  • Sebastian Junger, whose upcoming book is Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging (Twelve)
  • Colson Whitehead, author of The Underground Railroad: A Novel (Doubleday)
  • Louise Penny, who will discuss A Great Reckoning (Minotaur), the next Chief Inspector Gamache novel

Salie's own upcoming book is Approval Junkie: Adventures in Caring Too Much (Crown Archetype).


Thomas Nelson: Perennials by Julie Cantrell


#WI11: The New Localism

At Winter Institute last week, the panel on New Localism aimed to build on the discussion about Amazon and its effect on the U.S. economy and municipal, county and state governments. As moderator Oren Teicher, ABA CEO, noted, "I want to be clear. There's nothing wrong with the existing localism movement," which he said was one of reasons for indies' resurgence in the last several years. But he wanted "to move the discussion to a new level and take advantage of the data we've heard about these last few days" and communicate more about it with customers, media and "most importantly, local officials."

Matt Cunningham of Civic Economics described this as "the second phase, the rubber hitting the road," that would focus on "convincing officials to make substantial changes in policies."

Dan Houston, also of Civic Economics, said that efforts must be made to explain to elected officials how and why healthy downtowns work, foster diversity and make a difference in the community. "If you get local officials to get it," he said, "that's huge."

Joe Minicozzi of Urband3 emphasized, too, that "we need to find a way to communicate and get people to see the information." He added that it was important to reach a broader audience, particularly business groups and "not the usual suspects," and to make a connection between Amazon's detrimental impact on downtowns and "a broader debate about online shopping."

He also suggested that booksellers "leverage who you are. You're business people talking about how your business operates at the city level." He urged booksellers to bring the data and information about non-local businesses into the conversation. "If the town is giving Costco a package," he said, booksellers and other local businesses should demand comparable packages.

He also emphasized that the bigger corporations that often receive local government incentives and tax abatements make laughably low contributions to the local economy (while wrecking it). One example: Amazon's warehouse in Chattanooga, Tenn., which does not pay property tax and has a "zero tax value," has only 30 people working in it because of extensive use of robots.

Stacy Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance noted, too, that the localism movement has had "a profound effect over the last 10 years" and said that the "challenge and opportunity now is how to transform the consumer movement into a political movement."

Mitchell outlined trends of the past 30 years that have resulted in stagnant wages for the middle class and a growth in the number of working poor. "Economists are connecting inequality with concentration," she said. "We have to counter the notion that big business is the source of prosperity. If we want to rebuild the economy, small business is very important to that."

Mitchell noted that in some towns, community groups have formed real estate co-ops and land trusts to purchase empty buildings in downtowns, helping to ensure that local entrepreneurs don't get priced out of hot commercial real estate markets.

In Arizona, small businesses were able to change zoning laws. And in Vermont, which has "more small businesses than anywhere in the country," any development must now have an economic impact study.

Mitchell noted a related problem: the difficulty that small businesses, including booksellers, have in getting loans. Research shows, she said, that "we have a banking system that doesn't work very well for small business. We need to focus on this problem, too." --John Mutter


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


Obituary Notes: Raymond Kent Fordyce; Agatha Sadler

Raymond Kent Fordyce, a longtime bookseller, died on December 24. He was 72 and had suffered from emphysema.

Early in his bookselling career, he was assistant trade book manager for the Yale Co-Op and later was manager of the Atticus Bookstore and Café at the Yale British Art Center. In 1983, he moved from New Haven, Conn., to Washington, D.C., where he became book buyer at Lambda Rising bookstore, where he worked for eight years. As the Herald Standard wrote: "At Lambda Rising, he became well known for his ability to anticipate the books that would not only become popular in the LGBTQ Community, but also with the general public. His dedication and retail sense greatly contributed to Lambda Rising's success and stature in the LGBTQ Community, and he did it all behind the scenes and never sought to take credit for its success."

Fordyce later worked for the Parks and History Association, where he was a buyer for all 26 Parks and History Association shops in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., and was a bookseller at Reiter's Scientific Books for several years.

The paper added: "He was an avid reader, and had a great appreciation for science fiction and history and movies of the same genre. He had a very dry sense of humor, was quick witted, and loved telling colorful stories. He created eccentric art sculptures and sent whimsical letters and cards. He was a beloved uncle and great friend to many and will be deeply missed by his family and friends, both old and new."

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Agatha Sadler, who was the proprietor of St George's Gallery Books, "a treasure trove of art books which for three decades traded at the heart of London's art market," died December 13, the Telegraph reported. She was 91. From the mid-1960s, Sadler, "always elegant in strings of pearls, presided over her empire of esoteric volumes. The shop, at 8 Duke Street, St James's, was only a few yards from Christie's main salerooms and was surrounded by a flock of galleries. It became a mecca for art aficionados, offering monographs, biographies, academic studies, sale catalogues and rare editions to a constant stream of dealers, auctioneers, collectors and curators," the Telegraph wrote. The shop closed in the early 1990s.


Notes

Image of the Day: Poisoned Pen's Writer-in-Residence

At the Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale, Ariz., this past weekend, authors Ian Rankin, Diana Gabaldon, Michael Koryta and store owner Barbara Peters celebrated the start of Koryta's tenure this week as the Diana Gabaldon/Poisoned Pen Writer-in-Residence and Rankin's book tour stop there for Even Dogs in the Wild. As part of the program, Koryta is serving as host at a variety of author events at the bookstore and at Mesquite Library. He's also leading two workshops: one for students at Phoenix Country Day School and another for community members at the Poisoned Pen, both of which will explore narrative writing and the use of suspense in fiction and non-fiction.

Peters said she chose Koryta because "despite his youth, he's published 11 books in a variety of genres (thrillers, suspense, supernatural, private eye), and he's garnered great award attention, including an Edgar nomination for Best First Novel and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and other accolades. Every major thriller author writing today is a fan of his and he consistently receives rave reviews from major media, especially the New York Times and Entertainment Weekly. I think he's the perfect author to connect with readers and writers of all ages, from young adults to seniors, as he will be doing during his very busy week in Scottsdale. I love his constant experimentation; nothing grows stale. And he's a wonderful stylist as well as engaging and humorous speaker. All this, and he's only 33."


Indie Bookselling: 'Passion Can Only Take You So Far'

Kenny Leck, co-founder and owner of BooksActually in Singapore, was featured recently in an extensive interview with High Net Worth. Among our favorite exchanges:

Kenny Leck

I know you spent some time at Tower Books and Borders. What did working at these places teach you about running a bookstore?
Tower Books was a small space, but the culture was very liberal. They sold whatever local books were in print at that time and were very supportive of counterculture and small enterprises. They were the only bookstore back then that had shelves dedicated to obscure topics like gender studies. Borders was a very corporate environment, definitely more structured and systematic. I think the mixture of liberalness that I got from Tower Books and the business savvy that I got from Borders resulted in BooksActually.

What do you think is the biggest lie that gets told about starting your own business?
That passion alone is enough. Passion can only take you so far--it can't carry you through the really dark days. Often when someone wants to start a business, they don't fully interrogate their reasoning behind the decision or ask themselves if they want to do it for the rest of their lives. I know a bunch of people who've started a business with the mindset of just trying it out for a couple of years, and if it doesn't work out they can fall back on their corporate jobs. But that's not gonna work. Time is finite. Life is finite. Why bother if you're just going to give up after awhile?

So you reckon you really need to be in it for the long haul?
Yes. The passion needs to be there, but you also need to be willing to do everything you can to will your company to succeed, like sacrificing leave, holidays, or a work-life balance. The mindset needs to be that once you're doing it, you're doing it forever. And that no matter how bad shit gets, it can't fail.


Happy 10th Birthday, Burlingham Books!

Congratulations to Burlingham Books, Perry, N.Y., which celebrated its 10th anniversary over the weekend. The Daily News reported that owner Ann Burlingham "remembers a time when Perry didn't have a bookstore, and didn't like it. So she opened Burlingham Books and, 10 years later, there is a generation of kids who don't know Perry without a bookstore."

When she was a girl, she daydreamed about having her own bookstore. "At some point it dawned on me that I like being in bookstores a lot," Burlingham said. "My mother used to say that I've been talking about opening a bookstore 20 years before I did."

"We've always been in this location. We've always been this size," she added. "I wanted a bigger store so people couldn't miss it and wouldn't feel like they had seen everything in one shot.... People have home, they have work. Third place is community. You have a place you go hang out, you see other people that you don't see at home or at work and you communicate with them and you have a public forum. [Burlingham Books] should be a comfy place for people to gather and it should be a safe place for people to express their opinions and a safe place to argue with people or just have a quiet cup of coffee."


Personnel Changes at Dynamite, Oni Press

At Oni Press:

Andrew McIntire has been named v-p of marketing and sales. For seven years he worked at retailer Things From Another World as v-p, overseeing marketing, publicity, sales and retail operations. Last year, he was a consultant to many publishers with a focus on sales channel development and championing retailer incentive programs. Prior to his career in comics, he held executive positions in a variety of industries, including private security, printing and aerospace.

Rachel Reed has been named publicity coordinator. She had a marketing internship at the comic book publisher BOOM! Studios; worked at the Pop Culture Company, a comic book retailer in Houston, Tex.; and was the Valkyries point-of-contact for publishers.

---

Alan Payne has joined Dynamite Entertainment as v-p of sales & marketing. With 25 years of experience in the comic book business, Payne began his career at DreamHaven books in Minneapolis before moving to Malibu Comics in 1992 and later serving as the national sales manager for TokyoPop. Most recently, he spent 10 years with IDW Publishing, where he built up the graphic novel sales department.

"Alan's experience in bringing comics and graphic novels to a larger audience is second to none," Dynamite CEO and publisher Nick Barrucci said. "He helped blaze the trail of graphic novels to bookstores beginning with manga and took TokyoPop to the height of their success. After joining IDW, he was instrumental in building and establishing one of the most successful bookstore programs in the industry, bringing licensed and creator driven comics to a larger audience. We are proud to have someone of Alan's reputation and expertise joining the Dynamite team as our v-p of sales & marketing and bringing Dynamite to the next level, taking our diverse library of comics to a larger audience."


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Opening Belle on Closing Bell

Today:
Fresh Air: Peter Bergen, author of United States of Jihad: Investigating America's Homegrown Terrorists (Crown, $28, 9780804139540).

Tomorrow:
CNBC's Closing Bell: Maureen Sherry, author of Opening Belle: A Novel (Simon & Schuster, $25, 9781501110627).

Sirius XM's David Webb Show: Alec Ross, author of The Industries of the Future (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781476753652). He will also appear on Sirius XM's Michelangelo Signorile Show and Bloomberg's Bloomberg Go.

Dr. Oz: Dr. Maya Shetreat-Klein, author of The Dirt Cure: Growing Healthy Kids with Food Straight from Soil (Atria, $26, 9781476796970).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Michael Eric Dyson, author of The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27, 9780544387669).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Alexander Chee, author of The Queen of the Night (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28, 9780618663026).

Last Call with Carson Daly repeat: Ron Perlman, author of Easy Street (the Hard Way): A Memoir (Da Capo, $16.99, 9780306824180).


Movies: Colette; The Marriott Cell

Keira Knightley is in talks to star in Colette, a biopic about the French novelist that will be directed by Wash Westmoreland, who co-wrote the script with his late Still Alice collaborator Richard Glatzer, Deadline reported. The film will re-unite Number 9 Films and Killer Films, the producing team behind Carol. Filming starts in May in Budapest. Deadline noted that the "character is a juicy leading role for Knightley, who co-starred most recently in Working Title's Everest and opposite Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game."

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Michael Bronner, who co-produced Paul Greengrass' United 93, Green Zone and Captain Phillips, will adapt The Marriott Cell from the memoir by Mohamed Fahmy about "three innocent Al Jazeera journalists who were imprisoned for 400 days in Egypt's Scorpion prison," Deadline reported. The Development Partnership optioned the book, which will be published by Penguin Random House Canada in October, to develop as a film along with Egyptian actor and producer Amr Waked.

"This feature is going to allow us to relive and dramatically portray what no newsreel grasped: one's inner voice caught in an emotional struggle between lawlessness, failed corporate decisions and bureaucratic red tape that left us in a vicious Kafkaesqe black hole fighting for our lives and for the bigger cause of press freedom," said Fahmy, who was pardoned by Egyptian president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in September last year.



Books & Authors

Awards: André Simon Food & Drink Book

Winners have been announced for the André Simon Food and Drink book awards for 2015. Each receives £2,000 (about $2,885), while the Special Commendation and the John Avery awards are worth £1,500 ($2,165). This year's winning titles are:

Food: Five Quarters: Recipes and Notes from a Kitchen in Rome by Rachel Roddy
Drink: Thirsty Dragon by Suzanne Mustacich
Special Commendation: First Bite by Bee Wilson
John Avery Award: Everyday Super Food by Jamie Oliver


Book Review

Review: Hide

Hide by Matthew Griffin (Bloomsbury, $26 hardcover, 9781632863386, February 16, 2016)

In sleepy, rural North Carolina, Wendell Wilson is working as a taxidermist when Frank Clifton, a veteran of the recent World War II, starts frequenting his shop, to get to know Wendell better. Frank is always sure to take a different route, "so nobody can establish a pattern." Quickly the two develop a deep, intimate bond, but their relationship is at odds with the time and place. They buy a house outside of town, careful to arrive and depart separately; on the few occasions they are seen together, they claim to be brothers.

Over the course of several decades, culture evolves slowly while the two men live in secret in Matthew Griffin's sumptuous and quiet first novel, Hide. Griffin strikes Wendell's narrative tone immediately--his Southern languor belies his growing anxiety when he discovers Frank, now well into his 80s, lying facedown in his beloved garden after a stroke. Not without snide remarks does the taxidermist call an ambulance ("I'm fairly sure [the operator's] eating doughnuts. Makes all her words sound fat."), despite the couple's shared fear of being discovered. But if Wendell has cultivated a cool aura of irony to cope with their exile from so-called polite society, Frank's good humor remains unchanged: "Just needed to lie down for a second," he says, slurring his speech.

Though Hide is dramatic in its depiction of the struggle to care for an aging partner alone, the repartee between the two men elevates the otherwise melancholy novel. Readers at times may be reminded of beloved Muppets Statler and Waldorf. Frank's sunny disposition manages to break through even the gathering clouds of dementia. Wendell's quips, though, are frequently barbed with hurt he's nursed since he was 16, when he learned "I wasn't any of the things my parents wanted me to be," and he took off on his own. For decades, Wendell and Frank have had only each other to rely on, and as their secret idyll threatens to crumble, their shared loneliness becomes a foreboding presence.

Matthew Griffin has crafted his characters through the eyes of a long-enduring love, one that encompasses joy and bitterness, hope and heartache. His setting is beautifully detailed, a landscape painted with attractive vistas and homey delights. In an effort to ensure Frank eats, after his sense of taste dissolves into metallic blandness, Wendell cooks up every hearty dish and dessert he knows. With much the same fervor, Griffin delivers a novel robust with flavor and brimming with passion. --Dave Wheeler, associate editor, Shelf Awareness

Shelf Talker: An aging gay couple negotiates their isolation in rural North Carolina as the health of one of them begins to falter.


The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by IndieReader.com:

1. The Baller by Vi Keeland
2. Pucked Over (The Pucked Series Book 3) by Helena Hunting
3. Rapturous (Quantum Series Book 4) by M.S. Force
4. Big Rock by Lauren Blakely
5. The Story of Us Trilogy Boxed Set by Sydney Jamesson
6. Pucked Up (The Pucked Series Book 2) by Helena Hunting
7. The Score (Off-Campus Book 3) by Elle Kennedy
8. Xavier Cold by Michelle A. Valentine
9. Cunning (Infidelity Book 2) by Aleatha Romig
10. Dirty Sexy Saint by Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde

[Many thanks to IndieReader.com!]


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