Also published on this date: Wednesday, February 10, 2016: Maximum Shelf: Tuesday Nights in 1980

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Crown Publishing Group: American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee

Balzer & Bray/Harperteen: I Love You Like a Pig by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Greg Pizzoli

Grove Press: Afterglow (a Dog Memoir) by Eileen Myles

Flatiron Books: The Kings of Big Spring: God, Oil, and One Family's Search for the American Dream by Bryan Mealer

Andrews McMeel Publishing: Zen Pencils: Inspirational Quotes for Kids by Gavin Aung Than

Little Brown and Company: The Store by James Patterson

News

Lucas Named NBF Executive Director

Lisa Lucas has been appointed executive director of the National Book Foundation, succeeding Harold Augenbraum, who is stepping down at the end of March. She is the third person to hold the position in the foundation's history and will begin her new role March 14. Prior to joining the foundation, she was publisher of Guernica magazine, and before that the director of education at the Tribeca Film Institute.

"We went through an exhaustive search process and we could not be more pleased with the outcome," said David Steinberger, Perseus Books Group CEO and NBF chairman. "Lisa Lucas is a dynamic leader who has served as a passionate advocate for literature and has built an impressive track record of accomplishment in the not-for-profit world across theater, film and literature."

Lucas expressed gratitude for the "opportunity to lead such an important institution in support of books, writers and readers from all walks of life. The foundation has made major strides in recent years, and I am looking forward to building on the great work that has been done by the board of directors, Harold Augenbraum and the foundation's staff."

Calling the appointment "an exciting choice," Augenbraum said, "I look forward to working closely with Lisa and the Board to ensure a smooth and effective leadership transition."


Zondervan: To Wager Her Heart (Belle Meade Plantation) by Tamera Alexander


Adult Coloring Books: The Boom Continues

The theme last night of the Book Industry Guild of New York's panel Color My World: An Exploration of Adult Coloring Books was gratitude--gratitude that the adult coloring book boom has grown so large and is continuing, with huge benefits for the entire book industry. Color us happy, panelists said in so many words.

(l.-r.) Jennifer Feldman of Dover Publications, Meg Leder of Penguin Books and Ed Spade of Ingram

First, the numbers: panel moderator Jim Milliot, editorial director of Publishers Weekly, noted that through November last year, the top 10 coloring books sold 1.5 million copies, as reported by BookScan, which doesn't fully cover the traditional book retailing market and doesn't include the many non-traditional retailers that sell coloring books, such as Michael's. "There's no doubt those number are much, much higher," he said.

Jennifer Feldman, publisher of Dover Publications, said that since the 2012 launch of Dover's Creative Haven brand, which specializes in adult coloring books, the company has sold more than 11 million coloring books.

Ed Spade, senior account manager, content acquisition, of the Ingram Content Group, estimated that last year the company printed between 250,000 and 500,000 coloring books, which he called "a pretty stunning figure."

And at Penguin Books, Meg Leder, executive editor and editor of coloring book star Johanna Basford, said that sales of Basford's Last Ocean, published in October, have "exceeded all expectations."

The panelists said they believe that the adult coloring book boom, which began in earnest a year ago, should continue for some time. Already there are a range of what Feldman called "spinoffs," particularly color by number and connect the dot books. "Adults who color want something new all the time," she said. "So we've tried to come up with all kinds of new things." She held up a copy of Midnight Forest by Lindsey Boylan, an October 2015 title with designs on a striking black background instead of a mostly blank terrain--a twist that has found an enthusiastic audience. She added: "I don't think this is a flash-in-the-pan craze."

Spade said that at Ingram, customized adult coloring book publishing is becoming more and more important. These books tend to be smaller in size and will be another area of coloring book expansion, he said.

The consensus was that the market is being filled with a variety of books from publisher after publisher on a broad range of themes that are making adult coloring books a popular gift item. Leder called it "a pretty big elastic market." Feldman said she was "hardpressed to find a publisher who's not in the game. It's a great thing. There's more variety."

One of the few exceptions to the publish-as-many-titles-as-possible approach is at Penguin Books. Leder said that the publisher is keeping the list "focused on Johanna" despite regularly receiving "tons of proposals."

Among the most popular formats are perforated books with drawings printed only on one side of a page so that colorers can pull out their drawings and hang them. (Perforations are so popular that Ingram had to make changes to its Lightning Source POD printers to allow for perforation printing, Spade said.) The most popular item to use in coloring are colored pencils because they allow shading and more artistry. Leder said that Penguin is "exploring" bundling books and markers.

The panelists noted that a range of retailers are selling enormous amounts of coloring books, from indie bookstores, Barnes & Noble and Amazon to arts and crafts and other retailers. Penguin sales have been also particularly strong at Michael's and Target, and for Dover, at Bed, Bath & Beyond and the warehouse clubs.

Last year, when the adult comic book craze boomed, meeting huge demand was at times a challenge, panelists said. For Basford's books, Leder said, "Availability is a focus of our publishing program with her. It's a constant challenge."

At Dover, soaring demand has been a challenge, too, but because Dover has published coloring books since 1970, "We've been able to turn around quickly," Feldman said. "Because we have so many titles in print, we have lot of sources and a fair amount of flexibility." She emphasized the craziness of the past year, saying, "One minute we're printing a few thousand copies. The next, six figures. It makes your head spin."

Spade emphasized that Ingram's Guaranteed Availability Program has allowed publishers to fulfill orders when demand is high and traditional printers aren't keeping up with demand. "We've been able to help with holes in supply chains, especially with lots of printing overseas," he said, adding that because the company has so much sales data, it's been able to help publishers make decisions about sales and printings.

In many ways, printing coloring books are more demanding than traditional books. Leder said she "loves" production, "But I've never spent more time thinking about production details than with coloring books." Colorers are "hyper aware" of details.

One example: for Lost Ocean, Penguin improved the quality of the paper to 90 lbs. and shifted from cream to white. While many customers have loved the result, some miss the cream color of her previous books and feel the paper is "too smooth." As a result, Penguin is considering changes in her future books and with reprints of Lost Ocean.

In discussing why coloring books have become so popular, panelists pointed to a range of factors, including coloring's aid in increasing mindfulness, calm and stress relief. Noting that Dover's Creative Haven line has been endorsed by the Art Therapy Association, Feldman emphasized that the endorsement was of coloring books as a tool in art therapy, not therapy itself. "Coloring allows you to focus and be mindful, doing what's right in front of you," she said. "Chaos is at bay. You can exhale and focus on what you're doing for a while."

There's also coloring books' social importance. "Coloring books are gaining popularity among buyers in book clubs," Leder said. "It's a social activity." She added: "I love digital books, but I love that coloring books are an analog activity and take people away from screens."

Feldman noted that 45 years ago, when Dover started publishing coloring books--the first was Antique Automobiles--most titles were of historical interest and educational. Now, "They're more relaxation- and design-oriented." She emphasized, too, that Dover's entrée into coloring books in 1970 developed from its "rich history publishing art books. Publishing adult comic books was a natural extension. It was popular then though clearly not as popular now!"

Leder, too, had some personal experience with coloring books well before the current craze. In 2006, as an editor at Perigee, she published Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith, the kind of book that "the author starts and the reader finishes," she said. "I've always loved this kind of book."

Then in 2013, she published Outside the Lines: An Artists' Coloring Book for Giant Imaginations, edited by Souris Hong-Porretta, with illustrations from more the 100 artists, and Color Me Swoon: The Beefcake Activity Book for Good Color-Inners as well as Beginners by Mel Elliott, both of which were well-timed for the coloring book craze.

Last year, the company signed coloring book giant Johanna Basford, who besides Lost Ocean will publish two titles this year and a set postcards this summer. Basford's Secret Garden, first published in 2013, has been the most popular adult coloring book of the current boom.

While Leder noted that there don't seem to be "as many teen buyers as one would have thought," Feldman noted that around finals, many colleges and universities have coloring parties "to calm everyone down and not feel such stress."

One sign that the adult coloring book craze will continue: the second annual National Coloring Book Day: A Day to Relax and Color, sponsored by Dover, will be held August 2. --John Mutter


AuthorBuzz for the Week of 08.15.17


Quercus to Discontinue Heron Books

Quercus will discontinue its Heron Books imprint at the end of 2016, a decision made following a recent restructuring of editorial departments. The Bookseller reported that Heron was "set up by former HarperCollins publishing director Susan Watt in April 2011, with a remit for 'high-quality storytelling' across fiction and nonfiction." She and her son, Jon, will leave in March "for new opportunities."

Jon Butler, managing director of Quercus, said Heron Books "has published a fantastic range of titles from commercial and literary fiction to science and memoir, areas which form the backbone of Quercus' publishing and to which we are completely committed. But it is difficult to reconcile having a bespoke imprint covering such a broad spectrum of interests, with the recent reorganization of our editorial departments into more clearly defined areas of expertise and focus."


Trinity University Press: Self-Portrait with Dogwood by Christopher Merrill


Obituary Note: Henry S.F. Cooper Jr.

Henry S.F. Cooper Jr., "who defended the environmentalist legacy of his forebear, the novelist James Fenimore Cooper, and as a writer himself reached beyond the planet to pioneer reporting on space travel," died January 31, the New York Times reported. He was 82. Cooper, a longtime New Yorker magazine contributor, was the author of eight books, including Thirteen: The Apollo Flight That Failed; Before Lift-off: The Making of a Space Shuttle Crew; and Apollo on the Moon.


Melville House Publishing: Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook by Mark Bray


Notes

Image of the Day: Ink on Ink

A group of Pacific Northwest booksellers and other book enthusiasts gathered at Seattle's Lark restaurant on February 8 to meet Jeff Zentner from Nashville, Tenn., author of the YA novel The Serpent King (Crown, March 8, 2016). Here, Zentner (sporting his tattoo bearing his novel's title!) and Caitlin L. Baker, children's book buyer at University Book Store, proudly present his new book, an Indies Introduce Debut. 


Cool idea of the Day: N.H. Primary Discount

Posted on Facebook yesterday by Gibson's Bookstore, Concord, N.H.:

"You won't see this in the papers, but to help encourage everyone to vote in the N.H. Primary on Tuesday, Gibson's will extend a 25% discount on anything in the store to anyone who comes in, raises his or her right hand, and says, 'Yes, I've done my duty, I've voted!' You can also be on your way to vote--we're on the honor system. We'll be open from 9 to 7 to reward all good citizens."


RIP: Spoonbill & Sugartown's Rainer Spoonbill Bellamy

"Our dear bookstore cat, Rainer Spoonbill Bellamy, son of Myrtle and Felix Bellamy, passed away peacefully last night while reading Stuart Little for the thousandth time," Brooklyn's Spoonbill & Sugartown posted on Facebook Monday, adding: "We'll miss him dearly. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made out to the Democratic National Committee."


Five Indie Booksellers that 'Do More with Less'

"In a time when we have more choice in what we read than ever, independent bookstores are serving their audience by taking that choice away," the Star reported in a piece headlined "Five independent booksellers that do more with less."

"Booksellers are getting better and better at finding their niche and finding their market," said Lesley Fletcher, who specializes in independent bookstores at the Retail Council of Canada. "That's the thing that's really pushing the successful bookstores forward."

The five booksellers showcased were the Toronto area's Type Books ("famous for its artfully crafted window displays"), Archetype Books ("every book has been stocked for a reason"), the Artists' Newsstand ("a reimagining of the newsstand"), Blue Heron Books ("twice named Bookseller of the Year by the Canadian Booksellers Association") and Japanese bookseller Morioka Shoten in Tokyo, which stocks just one title per week.


Book Trailer of the Day: Sudden Death

This is the first of a series of Purépecha Word of the Day videos for Sudden Death by Álvaro Enrigue (Riverhead), a novel that includes some words in Purépecha, a language used by a small group of people in Mexico that is unrelated to any other language. In the videos, staff members attempt to pronounce phrases from the book, which the author eventually pronounces correctly.



Media and Movies

Media Heat: Richard Engel on Today

Tomorrow:
Today Show: Teresa Giudice, co-author of Turning the Tables: From Housewife to Inmate and Back Again (Gallery, $26, 9781501135101). She will also appear on CBS Insider, Access Hollywood and Extra.

Also on Today: Richard Engel, author of And Then All Hell Broke Loose: Two Decades in the Middle East (Simon & Schuster, $27, 9781451635119). He will also appear on Rachel Maddow and NBC Nightly News.

The Talk: Dean Sheremet, author of Eat Your Heart Out: The Look Good, Feel Good, Silver Lining Cookbook (Countryman Press, $25.95, 9781581573299).

Tavis: Carlos Santana, co-author of The Universal Tone: Bringing My Story to Light (Back Bay, $19.99, 9780316244909).

Diane Rehm: Helen Fisher, author of Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray (Norton, $26.95, 9780393285222).

Late Late Show with James Corden: Grace Helbig, author of Grace & Style: The Art of Pretending You Have It (Touchstone, $19.99, 9781501120589).


TV: Will; The Exorcist

Colm Meaney (Hell on Wheels) and Mattias Inwood have joined the cast of Will, TNT's drama pilot that "tells the wild story of young William Shakespeare's (Laurie Davidson) arrival onto the punk rock theater scene that was 16th century London," Deadline reported. Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth) is directing a pilot written by Craig Pearce.

Meaney plays James Burbage, "a carpenter with a vision: to build the first theatre in London since Roman times, a 3,000-seat auditorium that became so famous it was simply called The Theatre." Inwood will play his son Richard Burbage, who "eventually realizes that there is more to being an actor than the crowd's adoration and he and Will go on to form the greatest actor-writer partnership the world has ever seen," Deadline wrote.

---

Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) will direct Fox's drama pilot The Exorcist, "a modern reinvention inspired by William Blatty's 1971 book," Deadline reported. Written by Jeremy Slater, the project is described as a "propulsive, serialized psychological thriller following two very different men tackling one family's case of horrifying demonic possession and confronting the face of true evil."


Movies: High-Rise; Across the River and into the Trees

StudioCanalUK "has unleashed a high-octane official trailer" for Ben Wheatley's High-Rise, based on J.G. Ballard's 1975 novel, "that seduces with all the film's transfixing luxuries and violent dangers," Indiewire reported. The movie, which will be released next year, stars Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans and Elisabeth Moss. It will will be released March 18 in the U.K., though no U.S. release date has been set.

---

Pierce Brosnan and Martin Campbell (Goldeneye) "are reteaming to tackle the adaptation of an Ernest Hemingway novel," according to the Hollywood Reporter. Brosnan will star in and Campbell will direct Across the River and into the Trees, which "was published in 1950 and was the legendary author's last full-length novel to hit shelves in his lifetime." Peter Flannery and Michael Radford wrote the script for the project, which is expected to begin filming in Italy this October.


Books & Authors

Awards: Audie Finalists; BSFA Shortlists

The Audio Publishers Association has selected finalists in 25 categories for the Audie Awards. Three new awards have been added: design, marketing and production. Winners in all categories will be announced at the Audies Gala on May 11 at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago during BookExpo America. See the nominees here.

---

Finalists have been announced for the British Science Fiction Association awards. Winners will be revealed March 26 in Manchester during Mancunicon, the 67th British National Science Fiction convention otherwise known as Eastercon. The complete BSFA awards shortlist can be found here.


Book Brahmin: Suzanne Joinson

photo: Simon Webb

Suzanne Joinson's debut novel, A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar, was long-listed for the 2014 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Her travel and nonfiction work has appeared in, among other places, the New York Times, Aeon, Vogue UK and the Independent on Sunday. She lives in Sussex, U.K. Joinson's second novel, The Photographer's Wife, was just published by Bloomsbury USA.

On your nightstand now:

On my nightstand now is a book called The Birds by Tarjei Vesaas. It's a tightly written, mesmerizing Norwegian novel. I've just discovered Vesaas and am obsessively working through his translated works, as he is a writer of great beauty and skill.

Also: Towards Another Summer by Janet Frame, Carthage by Joyce Carol Oates, The Art of Flight by Sergio Pitol and a book called The Gang, a biography (though it blurs the genre) taking one year--1802--in the life of Coleridge, William and Dorothy Wordsworth and Mary Hutchinson. I dip between novels and nonfiction.

Favorite book when you were a child:

When I was a young reader, my favorite books were Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh and a book about a toy Noah's Ark in which the animals come alive. I can't remember the author or find it by Googling, but I loved it.

Age 10-ish I read female heroines: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë and Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. By early teens I was all about Henry Miller, Ernest Hemingway and Anaïs Nin (living the wild life in Paris, in other words).

Your top five authors:

I'm cheating because five is impossible:

Tie between Stevie Smith and Elizabeth Bishop
Tie between Elizabeth Bowen and Virginia Woolf
Tie between Vladimir Nabokov and Graham Greene
Tie between Janet Frame and Michael Ondaatje
Tie between Rebecca West and Marguerite Duras

Book you've faked reading:

In the past I have definitely faked reading Ulysses and Beowulf, but in the past few years I've read them so I no longer need to pretend! Well, actually, with Beowulf I listened to the wonderful Seamus Heaney audio, and the original I've read in tiny patches, so that counts as a bit of a fake.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Drifting Cities: A Trilogy by Stratis Tsirkas. It's fascinating to read alongside, or before or after Lawrence Durrell's Alexandria Quartet, too. Even if you're not sure of Durrell, I really recommend Drifting Cities for a Greek perspective on life in the Mediterranean before and during World War II.

Book you've bought for the cover:

The first time I understood that a book could be a thing of beauty in itself was when I saw a copy of Alice in Wonderland with a tiny drawstring curtain on the front cover that pulled apart to reveal the white rabbit. I wanted it so bad. I didn't buy it (or wasn't allowed to) as it was out of my price range, but I have been covetous for it ever since.

Book you hid from your parents:

My parents were freewheelin' hippies so there wasn't much need to hide books from them. That said, I had a phase of engaging with Protestant Christianity between the ages of 10 and 12, and asked for a Bible one year, which raised eyebrows. I then let go of religion and progressed to troubled/angsty women of various sorts--Simone Weil, Anne Sexton and Leonora Carrington. I kept them under wraps, I guess out of a natural secretiveness.

Book that changed your life:

I can only answer this in decades as it's too difficult to choose one. Before 10: My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. I have always either been in the process of running away or very much wanting to, and this book showed me that it is possible, but has consequences.

Before 20: Slow Train to Milan by Lisa St Aubin de Terán. This is the first time I understood a novel could be a blur of travel writing and autobiography, yet still a novel.

Before 30: Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson--funny, clever, full of rage, full of heartache. It broke open the novel form for me.

Before 40: Virginia Woolf. Anything by her, but for grief and love in particular, To the Lighthouse and Mrs. Dalloway. They made me see the world differently.

Favorite line from a book:

"A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead." -- from The End of the Affair by Graham Greene.

Five books you'll never part with:

A hardback copy of T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land bought from Camilla's secondhand bookshop in Eastbourne, Sussex. A bashed-up paperback of My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell. E.M. Forster's A Room with a View. Patrick White's Voss. A hardback of Carson McCullers's The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, and Pale Fire by Nabokov, bought in Moscow. That's six, I know.

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

The Holiday by Stevie Smith or Excellent Women by Barbara Pym. I am drawn to melancholy spinsters. Or B.S. Johnson's Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry, which reads as though it was written yesterday, rather than in the '70s.


Book Review

Children's Review: Forest of Wonders

Forest of Wonders (Wing & Claw: Book 1) by Linda Sue Park, illus. by James Madsen (HarperCollins, $16.99 hardcover, 352p., ages 8-12, 9780062327383, March 1, 2016)

Newbery Medalist Linda Sue Park (A Single Shard, A Long Walk to Water) moves from historical fiction into the fantasy genre in this trilogy debut filled with stalwart friends, ethical quandaries and touches of magic.

Twelve-year-old Raffa Santana has more talent for making healing potions with herbs and plants than any of his family members, all of them apothecaries living on the edge of the Forest of Wonders in the land of Obsidia. When Raffa mixes botanicals, he experiences a kind of synesthesia that tells him whether his formula is perfect, a little off, or downright dangerous. Garith, his cousin and best friend, calls him a "baby genius," but Raffa's overprotective, ever-critical father, Mohan, cautions that "Talent... [is] no substitute for experience."

After Raffa finds an injured bat and makes an impressive first effort at healing it, Mohan gains enough confidence in his son to allow him and Garith to go into the nearby forest alone to search for an elusive red vine that could help the bat fully recover. Although Raffa finds the plant, his red-vine concoction has an unintended side effect: not only does it heal the bat, it gives the tiny, bright-eyed creature the power of human speech. "SKEETO!"--short for mosquito--is the endearing, hungry little bat's first raspy word. Raffa won't let himself believe what he's hearing until the bat says, quite clearly, "Beetle." Raffa is stunned, and calls his father: "DA, COME QUICKLY!" The boy names his new friend Echo.

Meanwhile, to Raffa's dismay, Garith and Uncle Ansel have moved from the family's home to the capitol city of Gilden. So when Raffa discovers Garith has swiped a cutting of the potent red vine on his way out of town, he knows he has to warn his cousin of both its power and its dangers. Raffa, with Echo, sneaks out in the night and heads for Gilden. The gentle story takes a more suspenseful turn when Raffa, a "country lumpkin" in the bustling city, randomly meets up with two girls and battles unforeseen obstacles on his way to find Garith. (Kids will relate easily to Raffa, but they will love Kuma Oriole, a brave and wily girl from the forest who keeps company with a huge bear called Roo.) When Raffa and his new friends do find Garith, they learn about the Chancellor's cruel and ambitious plan to use the red vine to turn innocent animals into tools of ill purpose.

Young fantasy enthusiasts should find plenty here to satisfy their need for both wonder and drama. While the adorable talking animals will win hearts, the complex ethical dilemmas Raffa faces about how to use (or not use) his talents lend a maturity to the narrative. Still, Park's choice of simple diction always keeps the story accessible. True hearts and true friends temporarily prevail in Forest of Wonders, but readers will wait on tenterhooks to see what new troubles the trilogy's next installment brings. --Jaclyn Fulwood, youth services librarian, Latah County Library District (Idaho)

Shelf Talker: In Newbery Medalist Linda Sue Park's first foray into fantasy, Raffa's gift for the healing arts leads him--and his talking bat--into a conspiracy in his realm's capital city.


Wednesday Books: The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko by Scott Stambach
Powered by: Xtenit