Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, April 19, 2016


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

News

Follett to Buy Baker & Taylor and Bookmasters

In a move that marks another major change this year in book wholesaling and distribution--less than three weeks ago, Ingram bought Perseus's distribution business--Follett Corporation is buying Baker & Taylor, which primarily offers wholesaling services for books, video, music, digital products and more to libraries, schools and bookstores, and Bookmasters, the printer, distributor and wholesaler, from private equity company Castle Harlan. Castle Harlan bought B&T in 2006 and Bookmasters in 2013; the two have had a "strategic partnership" since 2013. Follett operates more than 1,250 college bookstores and 1,700 virtual stores, and provides education technology, services, print and digital content to schools and colleges.

Follett said the purchase "creates the world's largest source for books, entertainment, digital content and multi-media, and gives retailers, libraries and schools the tools and insight to access, manage and deliver physical and digital content wherever learning and reading take place." The combined companies have revenues of $3.6 billion; Follett has sales of $2.6 billion.

"The capabilities, expertise, and technologies of Follett and Baker & Taylor are very complementary, making this a natural partnership of two trusted industry leaders," said Follett president and CEO Ray A. Griffith. Griffith told the Chicago Tribune that the deal will raise the company's profile outside of North America, where Follett has almost all of its business, because a third of B&T's business is international.

George Coe

B&T president and CEO George F. Coe continues to head B&T and will now be Follett Group president, Baker & Taylor and Follett School Solutions. Coe, who joined B&T in 2000, commented: "With Follett's commitment to education and strong financial ability to invest in Baker & Taylor, we expect to build on our long-term vision for content distribution and expand the flow of innovative products, programs and services for all of our customers worldwide."

Privately-owned Follett said that B&T and Bookmasters will operate independently, with headquarters, service center and warehouses remaining unchanged. In a letter to publishers, B&T president of retail and executive v-p of merchandising David Cully wrote that "even as the two companies operate in adjacent markets (college bookstore & school for Follett and public library & global retail for B&T), we envision numerous opportunities to leverage each organization's core competencies to both grow revenue and enhance supply chain efficiencies." He, too, emphasized that at this time there are no plans to integrate operations and that "existing partner relationships and processes" remain unchanged.

Bookmasters said that being owned by Follett allows it to be "an even stronger provider of premier integrated book publishing services, including book manufacturing, distribution, fulfillment, and other publisher services that have been Bookmasters' hallmark for more than 40 years."

For B&T, Follett is its third owner since 2003, when private equity group Willis Stein bought it from the Carlyle Group. This is B&T's first owner in 24 years that's not a private equity company and that has roots in the business.

In a related change, Nader Qaimari has been promoted to president of Follett School Solutions, reporting to Coe. Qaimari was named general manager of Follett's PreK-12 business last year.


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


Debut Novel Among 2016 Pulitzer Prize Winners

Viet Thanh Nguyen's debut novel, The Sympathizer, is among the 2016 Pulitzer Prize winners, each of whom receives $10,000. Finalists in the books category include:

Fiction: The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press), "a layered immigrant tale told in the wry, confessional voice of a 'man of two minds'--and two countries, Vietnam and the United States." Also nominated in this category were Get in Trouble: Stories by Kelly Link (Random House) and Maud's Line by Margaret Verble (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).

General nonfiction: Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS by Joby Warrick (Doubleday), "a deeply reported book of remarkable clarity showing how the flawed rationale for the Iraq War led to the explosive growth of the Islamic State." Also nominated were Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Spiegel & Grau) and If the Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran by Carla Power (Holt).

History: Custer's Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America by T.J. Stiles (Knopf), "a rich and surprising new telling of the journey of the iconic American soldier whose death turns out not to have been the main point of his life. (Moved by the Board from the Biography category.)" Also nominated were Marching Home: Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil War by Brian Matthew Jordan (Liveright/Norton), Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid That Avenged Pearl Harbor by James M. Scott (Norton), and The Pentagon's Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America's Top-Secret Military Research Agency by Annie Jacobsen (Little, Brown).

Biography or autobiography: Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan (Penguin), "a finely crafted memoir of a youthful obsession that has propelled the author through a distinguished writing career." Also nominated were Custer's Trials by T.J. Stiles and The Light of the World: A Memoir by Elizabeth Alexander (Grand Central).

Poetry: Ozone Journal by Peter Balakian (University of Chicago Press), "poems that bear witness to the old losses and tragedies that undergird a global age of danger and uncertainty." Also nominated were Alive: New and Selected Poems by Elizabeth Willis (NYRB) and Four-Legged Girl by Diane Seuss (Graywolf Press).


Siglio Press: The Stampographer by Vincent Sardon


New Owners for Viewpoint Books in Columbus, Ind.

Terry and Susan Whittaker, who have run Viewpoint Books, Columbus, Ind., since 1979, are selling their business, the Republic reported, noting that the new owners will be introduced to the community at the store April 30, Independent Bookstore Day. Viewpoint Books opened with the Commons Mall in 1973, and since 2007 has been located at 548 Washington St. The ownership change is expected to occur effective July 1.

On Facebook, the new owners were described as a "well-known couple with deep roots in the community who are committed to carrying on and improving the legacy of Viewpoint Books."


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


Obituary Note: Jay Dantry

Jay Dantry
(photo: Pittsburgh City Paper)

Jay Dantry, who opened Jay's Book Stall in 1959 and saw it become "one of the premier bookstores in the country, a mandatory stop in Pittsburgh for touring writers," died April 17, Trib Live reported. He was 87. The bookstore closed in 2008. Dantry's "love of books was outpaced only by his affection for his literary family," Trib Live noted.

Artist Harry Schwalb, Dantry's longtime partner, said, "He was the spirit of literary Pittsburgh. Writers would come into the shop not just to buy books, but to consult with him on what they were working on."

Stephanie Flom, executive director of Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, said Dantry "held a singular place in Pittsburgh's literary history. He loved Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures and attended the Monday Night Lecture Series regularly, sitting front and center. He is remembered beaming at the authors he admired and who he befriended."

In a tribute to Dantry, author Michael Chabon wrote: "I'll always be grateful to him for the year I spent working at the Book Stall. With Joe Emanuele managing, his mother, 'Mrs. E,' ruling the basement workroom and 'Uncle Joe' passing through every month to look over the accounts, the staff wasn't like a family, it was a family. Birthdays and holidays, births and deaths and marriages were observed with cakes and cards, flowers and parties and a little taste of something bubbly in a plastic flute, right in the middle of a work day....

"And most importantly, to me, looking back: if you were part of the Jay's Book Stall family then you were part of a family that included--that revolved around--the comings and goings, the illnesses and accomplishments, the gallery openings and publications and professional milestones, the soirées, sartorial habits, literary tastes and New York jaunts of two openly gay men, Jay and Harry; a family built on the solid rock of their enduring love for each other. In those first AIDS years, during a time of secrecy and concealment and shame, there was something powerful, even radical, in the sight of those two small, round middle-aged men strolling off down Fifth Avenue after the store closed for the day, with portly dignity, toward their place in the King Edward Apartments. Cracking each other up, side by side in their respective floppy hats, loving each other for all the world to see."


Freeform: The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton


Notes

Image of the Day: Stephen King Line-up

In Sewickly, Pa., the Penguin Bookshop's in-store ticket sales for "An Evening with Stephen King" turned into a bonding session among fans, some of whom camped overnight to be first in line and came from as far away as Ottawa. The 600-seat event sold out in less than four hours.


Once Upon a Time 'Small Business of the Year'

California State Senator Carol Liu has chosen Once Upon a Time bookstore in Montrose as the Small Business of the Year in her district. The store will be recognized during the California Small Business Association's annual ceremony in Sacramento on May 25.

The store was cited this way:

"Once Upon a Time was founded in 1966, and has been run by the Palacios family since 2003 when the original owner retired. Hearing that her beloved bookstore was about to close, then-nine-year-old Jessica Palacios wrote a letter to the editor, which ultimately persuaded her parents to buy the bookstore and keep it open. Known for its charming ambiance and curated selection of books for the entire family, Once Upon a Time is a mainstay in the picturesque Montrose small business community.

"In addition to providing quality service, Once Upon a Time also hosts community events such as a speaker series, and a portion of sales are donated to community organizations, charities, and educational institutions. Once Upon a Time also previously won the 2015 Women's National Book Association's Pannell Award for best children's bookstore."

Senator Liu added: "I am pleased to honor Maureen Palacios and the Palacios family for their hard work in preserving this treasured asset and promoting literacy throughout the community."


AIA/ALA Library Building Awards

The American Institute of Architects and the American Library Association selected seven recipients for the 2016 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards, which were developed "to encourage and recognize excellence in the architectural design of libraries. As the traditional role of libraries evolves, the designs of these community spaces have changed to reflect the needs of the surrounding residence, as represented by the recipients."


Cool Idea (Again): NAIBA's Bookstore Visit Challenge

For the second year in a row, the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association is encouraging member booksellers to visit other bookstores. The bookseller who visits the most stores wins two free nights at the hotel where the Fall Conference will be held, October 15-17, in Baltimore, Md.

The contest runs through September 18. Among other requirements, booksellers need to send NAIBA proof of the visit with a photo, along with "a description of an idea shared or something you admire in that store." Last year's winner, Donna Fell, owner of Sparta Books, Sparta, N.J., visited 14 stores.

The bookstore visit challenge was inspired by Politics & Prose's practice of encouraging staff visits to other bookstores, as written about by P&P's Mark LaFramboise, and an idea from S&S rep Tim Hepp.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: David Duchovny on Fresh Air

Today:
Fresh Air: David Duchovny, author of Bucky F*cking Dent: A Novel (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $26, 9780374110420).

Tomorrow:
Today Show: Lisa Nichols, author of Abundance Now: Amplify Your Life & Achieve Prosperity Today (Dey Street, $25.99, 9780062412201).

Diane Rehm: Peggy Orenstein, author of Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape (Harper, $26.99, 9780062209726).


TV: Good Omens

Neil Gaiman will be writing the TV adaptation of Good Omens, the novel he co-authored with his longtime friend, the late Sir Terry Pratchett. The Guardian reported that Gaiman, "who flew into London on Thursday night for a memorial event for Pratchett at the Barbican, announced to whistles and cheers that he would be personally adapting the book for television. He said he had been spurred to change his mind when he was presented with a letter from Pratchett, intended to be read after his death."

Gaiman had earlier declined to be involved in an adaptation, saying, "Terry and I had a deal that we would only work on Good Omens things together. Everything that was ever written--bookmarks and tiny little things--we would always collaborate, everything was a collaboration. So, obviously, no." His change of heart was the result of the letter Pratchett left posthumously for Gaiman, requesting that the author write an adaptation by himself, with Pratchett's blessing. "At that point, I think I said, 'You bastard, yes,' " Gaiman recalled.


Movies: Wetware

Wetware, a film adaptation of Craig Nova's 2002 novel, will be directed by Jay Craven (Where the Rivers Flow North, A Stranger in the Kingdom, Northern Borders, Peter & John). The cast includes Jerry O'Connell, Aurelia Thierree, Cameron Scoggins, Morgan Wolk, Nicole Shalhoub, John Rothman, Bret Lada, Matt Salinger and Jessica Blank. It is scheduled for release in July 2017.

The movie is being produced in tandem with the Movies from Marlboro program in Marlboro College's Film & Video Studies department; and Kingdom County Productions, a 501-C3 nonprofit media arts education organization and independent film production company also based in Vermont. The hands-on film practicum is a major component of the college's film intensive program, in which 25 professionals mentor and collaborate with 31 students from a dozen colleges. Wetware will be released internationally and use professional actors, students from MFM and industry professionals.

"This is my eighth feature film and our third production through the Movies from Marlboro program. We spent eight weeks in classes, workshops, script critiques, film screenings, and pre-production before starting to shoot. Everyone is psyched to get started shooting," said Craven, who noted that students in the MFM program launched a Kickstarter campaign with a goal to raise a minimum for $48,000 by April 28 toward the $757,000 budget. 

"As with every movie I've made, this tightly budgeted non-profit production will be financed by donated funds," he added. "The film's vivid characters are originals. flawed, dimensional, and, sometimes, absurd. The film will dig into fertile themes of love, work, and freedom, genetic engineering, social costs of living in a wired age, the power of music and what it is to be human in trying times. We also promise a few good laughs."



Books & Authors

Awards: Anisfield-Wolf; Books for a Better Life; Deborah Rogers; Theakstons

The winners of the 81st Annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, sponsored by the Cleveland Foundation and honoring "literature that confronts racism and examines diversity," are:

Fiction: The Jazz Palace by Mary Morris (Nan A. Talese)
Nonfiction: The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle by Lillian Faderman (Simon & Schuster)
Nonfiction: What the Eye Hears: A History of Tap Dancing by Brian Seibert (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Poetry: Heaven by Rowan Ricardo Phillips (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Lifetime Achievement: Orlando Patterson

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Winners of the Books for a Better Life Awards, sponsored by the Southern New York Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, are:

Childcare: Girl in Glass by Deanna Fei (Bloomsbury)
Cookbook: Cook for Your Life by Ann Ogden Gaffney (Avery)
First Book: Blackout by Sarah Hepola (Grand Central Publishing)
Green: Living the Farm Sanctuary Life by Gene Baur and Gene Stone (Rodale Books)
Inspirational Memoir: My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem (Random House)
Motivational: A Curious Mind by Brian Grazer with Charles Fishman (Simon & Schuster)
Psychology: NeuroTribes by Steve Silberman (Avery)
Relationships: Becoming Nicole by Amy Ellis Nutt (Random House)
Spiritual: Triumph of the Heart by Megan Feldman Bettencourt (Hudson Street Press)
Wellness: The Blue Zones Solution by Dan Buettner (National Geographic)

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A shortlist of three has been announced for the inaugural £10,000 (about $14,185) Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers' Award, which honors the memory of "one of the most influential literary agents of her generation," who "was renowned for her taste, her loyalty and her immense generosity in the support she gave to authors." The prize was created to "seek out and nurture new talent" and "to enable writer to complete their first book." A winner will be named May 5. The shortlisted authors and their works in progress are:

Imogen Hermes Gowar for The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock
Guy Stagg for The Crossway
Sharlene Wen-Ning Teo for Ponti

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This year's 18-title longlist has been unveiled for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award, which celebrates the best in British and Irish crime writing. A shortlist will be announced May 31, and the overall winner named July 21. The winner receives a £3,000 (about $4,285) cash prize, as well as a handmade, engraved beer barrel provided by Theakstons Old Peculier.


Book Review

Review: The Chimes

The Chimes by Anna Smaill (Quercus, $26.99 hardcover, 9781681445342, May 3, 2016)

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Anna Smaill's first novel, The Chimes, infuses the well-used dystopian trope with a twist. In her take, the ruling class delivers oppression through music.

In an alternate London torn apart by civil war, a monastic society called the Order lives in seclusion, writing music to be played on the Carillon, a giant organ crafted from pure palladium. The population outside the Order's walls hears two melodies: Onestory, in the morning, which tells of the war in which a mighty weapon destroyed the world as it was, and Chimes, in the evening, which erases each person's memories of the day. Citizens are left with only "bodymemory," the muscle memory and second-nature actions required to fulfill their occupations, and "objectmemories," possessions connected with important experiences now forgotten that yet inspire traces of emotion in their owners. Attempts to recover the past are considered crimes of "blasphony," and the Order claims that its status quo prevents another war. Ordinary people have no choice but to repeat the same bodymemory activities and each day becomes the same as the day before it.

Simon's mother has the gift of reading the memories attached to objects. Before she dies of "chimesickness," a condition the Order denies as an urban legend, she urges Simon to go to London. Once there, Simon takes up with the Five Rover "pact"--a band of youths following the Dickensian vocation of mudlarking, with the aim of collecting bits of the legendary palladium weapon to sell. Lucien, their golden-haired, blind leader, conducts them in observing Onestory and Chimes each day like a model citizen. Privately, Lucien has his own opinions about the Carillon and thinks Simon may hold the key to stopping it forever, but the Order threatens both their mission and their budding romance.

Smaill, a classical violinist, creates an artistic and cerebral vision of a people without past or future. Readers of popular action-based dystopia will want to approach this with patience as the intricacies of Smaill's world take time to fall into place, and her clever use of musical terms in her characters' speech (e.g., sounds going "tacet" instead of silent) requires some acclimation. However, the effort adds to the immersive quality of the work, and Smaill's melodious prose lures the reader like a pied piper. With literary trappings, but a solidly speculative heart, The Chimes is a cantata of pure delight. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Shelf Talker: After a disastrous civil war, the people of Great Britain are oppressed by the Order, a monastic society that uses music to suppress memory.


The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

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

1. Right by Jana Aston
2. Blood Silence (The McRyan Mystery Series) by Roger Stelljes
3. Heartbreaker by Melody Grace
4. Dirty Sexy Inked (Dirty Sexy Series Book 2) by Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde
5. Tender Is the Night by Barbara Freethy
6. Shock Advised by Lani Lynn Vale
7. Paper Princess by Erin Watt
8. Logan Kade by Tijan
9. One Second (Seven Series Book 7) by Dannika Dark
10. Stuck-Up Suit by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward

[Many thanks to IndieReader.com!]


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