Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, July 13, 2016


HarperCollins: On a Magical Do-Nothing Day by Beatrice Alemagna

Johns Hopkins University Ptess: Playboys and Mayfair Men by Angus McLaren / A Year of Writing Dangerously by Keith Gandal

Atlantic Monthly Press: The Prague Sonata by Bradford Morrow

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

News

Posman Books to Open Atlanta Store

Posman Books in Rock Center

Posman Books, which operates bookstores at Rockefeller Center and Chelsea Market in New York City, has filed plans to open a 2,000-square-foot shop in Atlanta, Ga., at Ponce City Market, What Now Atlanta reported. Jamestown Properties, Ponce City Market's developer, also owns Chelsea Market. The new Posman bookshop is slated to debut in September.

"The store will feature our distinctive mix of quality fiction and nonfiction, and a large children’s section," said Posman's v-p and buyer Robert Fader. "We will also carry gifts and stationery for both children and adults."


AuthorBuzz: Indie Bookstore Readers


Werner Books Has New Co-Owner

Gayle Werner (l.) and Sheila Baldwin

Sheila Baldwin is becoming an official partner with Gayle Werner, owner of Werner Books, Erie, Pa. Announcing the change in a post on the bookstore's Facebook page, Werner noted that "Sheila has already brought many incredible ideas to the store, and she is very excited to be investing her time and energy in something she loves--books! This collaboration is the latest chapter of Werner Books moving ahead. We are very excited about things that are happening and look forward to serving the Erie community for years to come. And, as always, thank you to our wonderful customers for helping us come this far!"


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


For Sale: The Bookmark in Fort Madison, Iowa

The Bookmark, Fort Madison, Iowa, has been put up for sale. The Daily Democrat reported that owner Bonnie Howard opened the bookshop in 1994, "striking out on her own after working seven years as a dental assistant as well as other retail jobs." Because the space is leased, only the inventory is for sale, but the store's downtown location at the corner of Eighth Street and Avenue G is part of the draw.

"It's time. It's been fun and I'll miss it, but it's time," said Howard of her decision to sell, adding that when she first opened it "seemed like the right time then too. Like now is the right time to turn it over, hopefully, to someone else."

Tim Gobble, executive director of Fort Madison Partners, said the Bookmark "has been in integral part of the Main Street district since they opened in 1994--taking over the previous bookstore--and have really made it their own. Having worked with the Howards through the years in different capacities, I've been able to see them grow the business, and customer service is always the number one priority. [With] its location on one of the busiest intersections in downtown, the Bookmark has great visibility from both Avenue G and the side street, making it easy to find for both vehicle and foot traffic."

Howard said a strong customer base is also in place: "The people are already coming in. You don't have to go after them.... I'll miss the customers. You grow to know them--whose father is into history, who loves mysteries. You get to know your customers. Pretty soon they're not customers, they're your friends."


The Glossary: B&N College Gets a Beauty Treatment

Barnes & Noble College has launched The Glossary, a distinct store within select B&N College bookstores offering students the opportunity "to explore, sample and purchase a wide variety of mass and prestige beauty products on a growing number of college campuses nationwide," according to the company.

 

Piloted at the B&N Emory University and Southern Methodist University bookstores, The Glossary has since expanded to the campuses of Tulane University and the College of William & Mary, with plans to open a location in August on the campus of the University of California at Riverside.

Joel Friedman, v-p and chief merchandising officer for B&N College told Racked that the addition is not indicative of a move away from its mission as a bookseller: "I don't think we've come across that at all, in terms of how are stores are viewed, whether it's by the clients or what we hear from the students. They think really of us as the village green and the place they want to go and hang out.

"I think years ago, the perception of the bookstore [on campus] was the place I have to go to buy my books which are overpriced. Today... it's not a place they have to go, it's a place they want to go. What we've tried to turn the building is a series of products that they want, not just products that they need."


Obituary Note: Cory Taylor

Australian author Cory Taylor, who, after an award-winning career as a screenwriter, "turned to her long-delayed wish to write fiction following a diagnosis of melanoma a decade ago," died within weeks of the rush-publication of her final book, Dying: A Memoir, the Age reported. She was 61. Taylor's novels are Me and Mr Booker, which won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for the Pacific Region; and My Beautiful Enemy, which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award.

Michael Heyward, her publisher, said Taylor "was a remarkable person, compassionate and wise. She gave so many of us the gift of her kindness. And make no mistake, she is one of the writers who matters, whose work will live."


Notes

Image of the Day: Excelsior's Literature Lovers

Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, Minn., hosted authors Frank Bures, Brian Freeman, Kao Kalia Yang and Larry Watson Monday night for a program called Literature Lovers' Night Out. The event attracted 65 customers. Pictured with the authors are store owners Ann Nye and Ellie Temple, and book store staffers Pamela Klinger-Horn, Debra Larsson and Ann Woodbeck.


Happy 15th Birthday, Encore Books!

Congratulations to Encore Books in Yakima, Wash., a used and new bookshop that is celebrating its 15th year under the ownership of Loren and Sharon Lamb throughout the month of July. The Lambs took over as the business' third owners on July 1, 2001, and a year later moved the store to a larger location, where they added new programs and expanded existing ones. Encore Books celebrated with cake and balloons on July 1 and 2, and each week during the month the store is featuring a different sale. There is also a drawing for a $50 gift certificate. Check out the Yakima Herald-Republic's in-store video interview.


Pokémon Go Booksellers: Books & Books, Main St. Books

"Are you playing Pokémon Go? Chances are you answered yes," the Miami New Times noted in featuring its picks for the 10 best places in the city to play the latest hyper-fad, including Books & Books in Coral Gables: "How do you catch Pokémon while supporting local business? Grab some friends and a seat at the Books & Books on Aragon Avenue, buy some food or drinks at the café, and let the Pokémon roll in. There's a PokéStop right inside the store, so you'll constantly be able to refresh, and setting a lure brings the Pokémon right to you. Other shops, very smartly, have begun placing lures as part of deals to draw customers. Best of all, if you're with a group, you can walk to either corner of the block and get any number of stops on the way there (at least three next to the Coral Gables Museum and more on the opposite end). If you get bored, there's a multitude of other spots in the area, especially the long walk down Miracle Mile to raise those eggs."

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From the Facebook page of Main Street Books, St. Charles, Mo.: "We may not be an OFFICIAL Pokestop, but we're going to do everything we can to help out those intrepid future Pokemon Masters down here on Main Street. It'll be hot out there today, Trainers, so stop by and cool of in the AC, grab a bottle of water and catch some new Pokemon! If you show us a screengrab of a Pokemon you catch in Main Street Books, you'll get 10% off your entire purchase! Gotta Catch 'Em All!!!"


Personnel Changes at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Scribner

Cheryl Dickemper has joined Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Trade Publishing as national sales manager, handling the educational channel and replacing Ellen Sugg, who has retired. Dickemper was most recently director of content acquisitions at Booksource.

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At Scribner:

Taylor Noel has been promoted to associate publicist.

Rosie Mahorter has been promoted to associate publicist.



Media and Movies

Media Heat: Gay Talese on Late Night

Today:
Fresh Air: Rachel Starnes, author of The War at Home: A Wife's Search for Peace (and Other Missions Impossible): A Memoir (Penguin Books, $16, 9780143108665).

Jay Leno's Garage: Ben Collins, author of How to Drive: Real World Instruction and Advice from Hollywood's Top Driver (Chronicle Books, $22.95, 9781452145297).

Tomorrow:

CBS This Morning: Ken Burns, author of Grover Cleveland, Again!: A Treasury of American Presidents (Knopf, $25, 9780385392099).

Diane Rehm: Robert P. Jones, author of The End of White Christian America (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781501122293).

The Real repeat: L.A. Reid, author of Sing to Me: My Story of Making Music, Finding Magic, and Searching for Who's Next (Harper, $29.99, 9780062274755).

Meredith Vieira repeat: Tim Gunn, author of Tim Gunn: The Natty Professor: A Master Class on Mentoring, Motivating, and Making It Work! (Gallery, $25, 9781476780061).

Daily Show repeat: Tavis Smiley, co-author of Before You Judge Me: The Triumph and Tragedy of Michael Jackson's Last Days (Little, Brown, $27, 9780316259095).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Gay Talese, author of The Voyeur's Motel (Grove Press, $25, 9780802125811).


Movies: Darkest Minds; The Assistants

Director Jennifer Yuh Nelson (Kung Fu Panda 2) "is set to make her live-action debut with Darkest Minds," based on Alexandra Bracken's trilogy of YA novels (The Darkest Minds, Never Fade and In the Afterlight), Indiewire reported, adding that Fox, which is developing the project, "is likely hoping for a franchise on the level of The Hunger Games."

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Cold Iron Pictures' (Swiss Army Man) is developing a movie based on Camille Perri's debut novel, The Assistants. Variety reported that Miranda Bailey acquired the feature film rights for the production company, and Perri, who "wrote the original draft of The Assistants while working as the assistant to the editor-in-chief of Esquire," will write the screenplay.


Books & Authors

Awards: Ingeborg Bachmann

Sharon Dodua Otoo won the €25,000 (about $27,665) Ingeborg Bachmann Prize for her short story "Herr Gröttrup setzt sich hin" ("Herr Gröttrup Sits Down"). The Guardian reported that Dodua Otoo moved from England to Germany to work as an au pair in 1992, and 24 years later she "has just won arguably the most prestigious award in the German language, the Ingeborg Bachmann prize--for the first and only short story she has ever written in the language of her adopted homeland."

The jury "hailed Dodua Otoo's story as a surrealist parable grappling with fundamental philosophical issues around identity and otherness, drawing comparison with the work of Austrian absurdist Thomas Bernhard and the German comedian Loriot," the Guardian wrote, adding that the "accolade is likely to provide a major career break for a writer who has until now only published two short novellas with Edition Assemblage, a small left-wing German publishing house that specializes in nonfiction."


Reading with... Rikki Ducornet

photo: Jean-Yves Ducornet

The author of nine novels, three collections of short fiction, two books of essays and five books of poetry, Rikki Ducornet has received both a Lannan Literary Fellowship and the Lannan Literary Award for Fiction. She has illustrated books by Robert Coover, Jorge Luis Borges, Forrest Gander and Joanna Howard. Her paintings have been exhibited widely, including, most recently, at the Pierre Menard Gallery in Cambridge, Mass., and the Salvador Allende Museum in Santiago, Chile.

In Brightfellow (Coffee House Press, July 5, 2016), a feral boy comes of age on a college campus decadent with starched sheets, sweating cocktails and homemade jams. Brightfellow is a fragrant, voluptuous novel of imposture, misplaced affection and the many ways we are both visible and invisible to one another.

On your nightstand now:

The Battle for Home by Marwa Al-Sabouni. This is a magnificent book! And a necessary one. With passionate grace, Marwa Al-Sabouni reveals the profound connection that exists between place, memory, architecture, identity, culture and politics. With exemplary clarity, she reveals how a country--in this case Syria--and a city--her city, the city of Homs--collapses as secular and sacred traditions are brought down, building by building, neighborhood by neighborhood. One reads this book holding one's breath, weeping.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Alice in Wonderland ties with Hendrik Van Loon's Ancient Man--a book that very much informs my new novel. Alice taught me all I needed to know about abusive authority, and Ancient Man (packed with information and a worldview that is now outdated) convinced me at the age of six that our species is capable of dreaming a vast and important dream.

Your top five authors:

Lewis Carroll leaps into my mind at once as Alice gave me the courage to think my own thoughts! As does William Gass. His novel Omensetter's Luck--one of THE great American novels--is one of the reasons I became a writer. Gaston Bachelard, whose many beautiful books, above all The Poetics of Space, has provided an ongoing conversation from the beginning. If my first four novels are sparked by the four elements, Bachelard is to blame. Franz Kafka! The one, above all others, who dared look tyranny in the face and laugh. And lastly (but, you know, the list sprawls and the top actually swarms with writers!) Murasaki Shikibu approaches, in very small, precise steps I imagine, with eyes on fire! I have spent many long months of my life reading and rereading her Tale of Genji--the world's first novel--written over a thousand years ago!

Book you've faked reading:

I have never faked reading a book. But I have, from time to time, FAKED a book, always written by the great, if long dead, Von Feffertits, who has written about everything from Michelangelo to crop circles.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, and even before I come to its final pages, Marwa Al-Sabouni's The Battle for Home.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Sándor Márai's Embers.

Book you hid from your parents:

There is a little book of obscene photographs from Pompeii that my father hid in his sock drawer. I had nothing to hide, but that book was hidden, unsuccessfully, from me.

Book that changed your life:

For Your Own Good by Alice Miller.

Favorite line from a book:

"A creature that hides... in its shell... is preparing temporal explosions, not to say whirlwinds of being." --The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard

"You're nothing but a pack of cards!" --Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Five books you'll never part with:

The Poetics of Space and Water and Dreams by Gaston Bachelard
Les Jardins d'Adonis by Marcel Detienne
Ka by Roberto Calasso
Homo Ludens by Johan Huizinga

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

Ka by Roberto Calasso

Best book to receive from a lover:

Ka by Roberto Calasso


Children's Books: No One Is Too Cool for School

The first day of school is often traumatic, even if kids are excited to go. Shelf Awareness rounds up a handful of 2016 picture books that may allay some fears, build anticipation for the big day, or at least spark a few conversations. (A shiny red apple of appreciation also goes to Rosemary McCarney's perspective-expanding The Way to School, on Shelf's 2015 Best Books of the Year list.)

School's First Day of School by Adam Rex, illus. by Christian Robinson (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook/Macmillan, $17.99 hardcover, 9781596439641, 40p., ages 4-8, June 28, 2016)
Children will be intrigued by the notion that the looming "first day of school" might also be nerve-wracking for the school building itself. This is the fresh premise for the delightful School's First Day of School by Adam Rex (Cold Cereal; The True Meaning of Smekday), illustrated with appealingly textured acrylic paint and collage artwork by Caldecott Honor artist Christian Robinson (Leo: A Ghost Story; Last Stop on Market Street).

Make Way for Readers by Judy Sierra, illus. by G. Brian Karas (Paula Wiseman/S&S, $17.99 hardcover, 9781481418515, 32p., ages 4-8, July 5, 2016)
The simple rhythms of nursery rhymes are an excellent way to introduce kids to the music of language, and here, a bespectacled flamingo named Miss Bingo makes storytime fun: "She tells them of kittens,/ and mittens, and mice,/ Miss Muffet, her tuffet,/ and sugar, and spice." Judy Sierra (Wild About Books) captures a boisterous read-aloud session where a Mother Goose rhyme even has the power to soothe Annabelle Mousey-kin's trampled toes. G. Brian Karas's (Tap Tap Boom Boom; More-igami) softly sketched colored-pencil illustrations are just right.

Bear's Big Day by Salina Yoon (Bloomsbury, $14.99 hardcover, 9780802738325, 40p., ages 3-6, June 21, 2016)
At breakfast, Bear proves he is up to the challenge of his first day of school by cutting his own pancakes solo. He bids adieu to his cute stuffed bunny named Floppy and sets off confidently with his "big-bear backpack." Once at school, he finds that he can't color, eat or nap without Floppy by his side. Does that mean he can't be a "big bear" after all? Of course not. He'll just bring Floppy along tomorrow. Salina Yoon (Be a Friend; Duck, Duck Porcupine; Penguin and Pinecone) makes school look like an enticing place indeed with bright colors and thick black lines, and her compassionate message (Floppy love ≠ weakness) may reassure kids and parents alike.

Steamboat School: Inspired by a True Story by Deborah Hopkinson, illus. by Ron Husband (Jump at the Sun/Disney-Hyperion, $17.99, hardcover, 9781423121961, 40p., ages 7-up, June 7, 2016)
In St. Louis, Mo, in 1847, Baptist Reverend John Berry Meachum (1789-1854) created a steamboat school on the Mississippi River (which was considered federal property) to work around a state law banning education for African Americans, free or enslaved. Deborah Hopkinson (Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt; Apples to Oregon) tells the inspiring story of the Steamboat School from the point of view of a boy named James who helps the reverend fix up the boat until the day he can joyfully announce to the class: "The law against learning can't reach us here." Illustrator Ron Husband, the first African American animator at Walt Disney Studios, makes this poignant, uplifting story of courage and determination leap to life with his gorgeous, meticulously etched artwork.

The Class by Boni Ashburn, illus. by Kimberly Gee (Beach Lane/S&S, $17.99, hardcover, 9781442422483, 40p., ages 3-6, July 5, 2016)
Getting ready for school is the most challenging part of first-day blues in The Class by Boni Ashburn (I Had a Favorite Dress; Over at the Castle). How do all the different kids decide what to wear? "Six/ have clothes/ laid on/ a chair./ Three don't have/ a thing to wear!/ Five/ pull on their/ favorite/ jeans./ Two are/ fashionista/ queens./ Four wear shirts their mothers chose./ One inspects/ her freckled nose." Showing myriad kids painstakingly preparing for the same dreaded day--from waking up to breakfast, dressing, packing up and getting there--will remind readers that they are not alone on that very big day. Kimberly Gee's (Today with Meg and Ted) sweet pencil illustrations, full of comical details, suit the jaunty text to a T. --Karin Snelson, children's & YA editor, Shelf Awareness


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