Shelf Awareness for Monday, November 14, 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

Quotation of the Day

B&N's Riggio: 'We Expect a Bounce-Back'

"We expect a bounce-back. The preoccupation with the election was hurting sales. You won't turn a switch and see the whole retail business coming back, but it hit a bottom and it's starting to turn up. People are going to get on with their lives."

--Barnes & Noble executive chairman Len Riggio, quoted by Bloomberg the day after the election.

AuthorBuzz: Indie Bookstore Readers


News

Nashville's BookManBookWoman to Close

Nashville's BookManBookWoman, which "has been a staple in the neighborhood since 1995 as a store that sold a collection of used and new books and provided free books to children," will close its bricks-and-mortar store at the end of the year, though continue selling books online, NewsChannel5 reported.

Saralee Terry Woods, co-founder of the bookshop with her husband, Larry, said it was time to start a new chapter in their lives: "I would like to spend more time with my family. I missed a lot by owning and running a small business, so it's time for me to do something else.... I'm going to miss being in the heart of Hillsboro Village, my customers, and my co-workers."


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


Plans for Small Business Saturday; Sherman Alexie's Party Bus

With just under two weeks to go until Small Business Saturday and Indies First, independent booksellers around the country are finalizing their plans for the all-day celebration.

In a likely first for the now-annual tradition, author Sherman Alexie, who, in 2013, proposed the idea of turning Small Business Saturday into Indies First, plans to rent a party bus for November 26 and invite Seattle authors, musicians, politicians, filmmakers, activists and journalists to join him as he travels to as many indie bookstores as possible. He called the idea a "celebration road trip!"

Baker & Taylor, meanwhile, is offering a special discount on all trade books between November 20 and December 3 "to help ABA member bookstores in the United States have a successful Small Business Saturday," and various publishers are also offering ABA members special Indies First discounts.

Kona Stories in Honolulu, Hawaii, will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Indies First/Small Business Saturday. Owners Brenda Lea McConnell and Joy Vogelgesang have created a Kona Stories T-shirt for the occasion; the shirt costs $20, and customers who wear it that day will receive 5% off their purchases. The festivities will also include free Grinch photos, free gift wrap, birthday cake and sangria, prize giveaways and live music.

In McMinville, Ore., Third Street Books is partnering with other local, independent businesses to create a Small Business Saturday passport. Shoppers can get a passport from any participating merchant, and anyone who fills a passport and turns it in will be eligible for prizes. Third Street Books has created special tote bags, and for every $50 spent at Third Street Books that day, shoppers will receive a $10 gift certificate. Also there will be a special story time for children, with "some swag designed for the littles in your life."

Jill Hendrix, owner of Fiction Addiction in Greenville, S.C., reported that on Indies First, instead of having authors work in the store, she'll showcase local, self-published authors with signings throughout the day. Said Hendrix: "It's just a celebration of local."

In Salt Lake City, Utah, the King's English Bookshop will continue its tradition of taking 15% off everything in store from Black Friday until the following Saturday. The store is located at 15th and 15th, and the sale is a way of thanking customers for shopping locally. For Indies First itself, the King's English will host a storytime session with the Salt Lake Acting Company, and eight local authors will work as booksellers throughout the day.

Skylight Books in Los Angeles, Calif., will have six authors volunteering as booksellers on Small Business Saturday, and each author will write shelf talkers for the store so that, in effect, they can continue to recommend books even after their two-hour shifts are over. There will be discounts on a small selection of titles, and any customer who spends $100 or more that day will receive a free Skylight Books tote bag. Snacks will be available all day, starting with donuts and juice in the morning. Mary Williams, the store's general manager, said that in the past, Skylight didn't have particularly strong Thanksgiving weekends, but now the holiday shopping season begins with a celebratory bump rather than a slow ramp-up.

On the 26th, WORD Bookstore will host Indies First events at both its Jersey City, N.J., and Brooklyn, N.Y., locations. In Jersey City, local authors will be on hand to sell their books and chat with customers, with meet and greets scheduled throughout the morning, afternoon and evening. The plan is similar for the Brooklyn store, though with the addition of donut holes and mulled cider. --Alex Mutter


University Press Week Kicks Off Today

The theme of University Press Week, which begins today and runs through Saturday, November 19, is "community: from the community of a discipline to a regional home and culture, from the shared discourse of a campus to a bookstore's community of readers."

Using the #ReadUP hashtag, Association of American University Press members are highlighting the best of what university presses are publishing as well as a variety events and webinars this week. They include:

A webinar called Serious Books for the Serious Reader, on Wednesday at 2 p.m. Eastern. Moderated by Fredric Nachbaur, director, Fordham University Press, the panel consists of Jeff Deutsch, director, Seminary Co-op bookstore, Chicago, Ill.; Brady Dyer, manager of marketing and communications, University of Texas Press; Lanora Haradon, Midwest rep, MIT Press, Princeton University Press and Yale University Press; Kurt Hettler, director of Ingram Academic Services. Click here for live-streaming information.

A panel on How to Publish with a University Press, on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Book Culture bookstore, 536 W. 112th St. in New York City. Topics will include the role of the university press in book publishing today, the difference between university presses and trade publishers, what writing for a university press means for one's academic career, and everything from how to submit a proposal to what to expect during the publishing process.

A webinar titled Social Media as an Acquisitions Tool, on Friday at noon. Participants include Gregory Britton, editorial director, John Hopkins University Press; Elizabeth Demers, senior editor, Johns Hopkins; Sara Pritchard, associate professor of history, Cornell University; Gita Manaktala, editorial director, MIT Press; Patricia Matthew, associate professor of English, Montclair State University; and Roopika Risam, assistant professor of English, Salem State University. To live stream, click here.


Obituary Note: Yaffa Eliach

Yaffa Eliach, "who as a four-year-old survived the Nazi massacres of Jews in her Lithuanian town, and went on to document their daily life in a kaleidoscopic book and a haunting, three-story canyon of photographs at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington," died November 8, the New York Times reported. She was 79.

Eliach assembled hundreds of the photographs and oral histories into her book There Once Was a World: A 900-Year Chronicle of the Shtetl of Eishyshok, which was published by Little, Brown in 1998 and was a nonfiction finalist for the National Book Award. She also wrote Hasidic Tales of the Holocaust.



Notes

Happy 25th Birthday, Water Street Bookstore!

Congratulations to Water Street Bookstore, which celebrated its 25th anniversary Saturday with discounts, refreshments, giveaways, hourly prizes and a coloring station. An invitation to the festivities on the bookshop's website had announced: "We want to celebrate with you! We're here because you're here. We've said it a thousand times--this bookstore wouldn't exist in any other town. We love being part of this community and we thank you for your continued support and love."

On his personal Facebook page, owner Dan Chartrand noted: "The best work I could possibly have imagined for myself over the past 25 years is the work of building a joyous and vibrant community of readers, booksellers and authors at Water Street Bookstore in Exeter, N.H."

And yesterday on Facebook, Water Street Bookstore added a post-celebration update: "It was wonderful to see and hear from so many of you during our 25th anniversary celebration yesterday! We feel the love, we really do--THANK YOU, FRIENDS! Your local indie loves you back."


Retro Idea of the Day: 'Live Like It's 1993'

Wind City Books, Casper, Wyo., has banned cellphones and laptops, according to KTWO-TV (via Fox News). A sign in the store asks customers to leave electronic devices in their bags and "live like it's 1993. Emails can wait."

Owner Vicki Burger told KTWO-TV, "We want people to be able to come into the store, relax, enjoy a book, find a book that's either going to entertain them or inform them." She added that customers support the approach, which makes the bookstore "an oasis of peace and quiet."


'Who Needs a Mall?' Holiday Shopping, Indie Style

"Holiday shopping, ugh. I want it to be strolling around downtown amid twinkling lights and spontaneous caroling, but the reality is usually way more depressing," Jon Corey wrote in a Boston Globe feature showcasing the many shopping alternatives in Manchester, Vt., beginning with a stop at the Spiral Press Café and Northshire Bookstore.

"The cafe is attached to the rambling Northshire Bookstore. housed in a former inn. I love a bookstore I can get lost in, and Northshire's nooks and crannies didn't disappoint. As I indulged my literary wanderings, I picked up a Jane Austen coffee mug for my wife--the first gift of the day. Upstairs, their enormous kids' floor was perhaps the best I've ever seen in terms of layout, play areas, and overall selection, including toys from Playmobil, Lego, Calico Critters, and more. A giant wall of paperback picture books helped me bulk up my daughter's holiday haul."


Personnel Changes at Diamond Book Distributors, Abrams

Ashley Kronsberg has joined Diamond Book Distributors as the new graphic novel marketing associate, working mainly on marketing to independent bookstores, as well as handling BookShelf outreach marketing to educators and librarians. She will also manage both the diamondbookdistributors.com and diamondbookshelf.com websites and e-newsletters. She has worked as a ghost writer and editor.

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At Abrams:

Rebecca Schmidt has joined the sales department as national accounts manager. She was formerly national accounts manager at Workman.

Kelsey Albertson has joined the sales department as special markets national accounts sales representative. She was formerly corporate and premium sales coordinator at Macmillan.

Kim Sheu has joined the company as associate marketing manager, adult division. She was formerly associate marketing manager at Monacelli Press.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Sen. Bernie Sanders on Fresh Air

Today:
Good Morning America: Erin Stanton, author of Susie's Senior Dogs (Gallery, $24.99, 9781501122477). She will also appear on Good Morning America the rest of this week.

NPR's All Things Considered: Amos Oz, author of Judas (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25, 9780544464049).

Fresh Air: Anna Kendrick, author of Scrappy Little Nobody (Touchstone, $26.99, 9781501117206). She will also appear today on the Today Show and tomorrow on the Today Show, E! Daily News, Extra and the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

NPR's the Takeaway: David Biello, author of The Unnatural World: The Race to Remake Civilization in Earth's Newest Age (Scribner, $26, 9781476743905).

Steve Harvey Show: Taraji P. Henson, co-author of Around the Way Girl: A Memoir (Atria/37 INK, $26, 9781501125997).

CBS's Talk of the Town: Karen Kingsbury, author of A Baxter Family Christmas (Howard, $19.99, 9781451687569).

Tonight Show: Andy Cohen, author of Superficial: More Adventures from the Andy Cohen Diaries (Holt, $27, 9781250116482). He will also guest co-host tomorrow's episode of Live with Kelly.

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Senator Bernie Sanders, author of Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In (Thomas Dunne, $27, 9781250132925). He will also appear on the View.

Also on the Late Show: Alton Brown, author of EveryDayCook (Ballantine, $35, 9781101885710).

Tomorrow:
Fox Sports 1's the Herd with Colin Cowherd: Charles Haley, co-author of Fear No Evil: Tackling Quarterbacks and Demons on My Way to the Hall of Fame (Triumph Books, $26.95, 9781629372594). He will also appear on Fox Sports Radio.

Conan: Anthony Bourdain, co-author of Appetites: A Cookbook (Ecco, $37.50, 9780062409959).


TV: Midnight, Texas Trailer

At Comic-Con last month, NBC unveiled the first look at its upcoming supernatural/horror series Midnight, Texas, based on the bestselling trilogy by Charlaine Harris. Signature reported that the trailer "is delightfully creepy and it looks like NBC is going all-in for this one."

This is Harris's third series to be adapted for television. Hallmark Movies & Mysteries aired two movies based on the author's Aurora Teagarden novels, and HBO had a seven-season run with True Blood, adapted from her Sookie Stackhouse books.


Books & Authors

Awards: PNBA Shortlist; J.M. Barrie Winner

The shortlist for the 2017 Pacific Northwest Book Awards, sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association, has been selected and can be seen here. Winners will be announced in January.

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Michael Morpurgo received the J.M. Barrie Award, which "is given every year by Action for Children's Arts to a 'children's arts practitioner' whose lifetime's work has delighted children and will stand the test of time," the Bookseller reported. He is the author of more than 140 books, served as children's laureate between 2003 and 2005, and was given an OBE in 2006.

Describing this year's honoree as "one of our greatest storytellers," ACA chair David Wood said: "Michael Morpurgo has thrilled and delighted huge numbers of young readers since becoming a children's author in the early 1970s.... His work will undoubtedly, like Peter Pan, stand the test of time, making him a truly worthy recipient of this award."

Morpurgo commented: "Storymakers and storytellers like Barrie, and like all the previous winners of this award, have given us the hope and faith children need, we need, to keep flying, have sustained us through dark and troubled times, have banished doubt. To touch the lives of children, to witness their listening and reading silence, is reward enough in itself. This is simply the icing on the cake."


Book Review

Review: Books for Living

Books for Living by Will Schwalbe (Knopf, $25.95 hardcover, 288p., 9780385353540, December 27, 2016)

In his first memoir, The End of Your Life Book Club, Will Schwalbe took readers on a tour through what he read and discussed with his mother, Mary Anne, as she was dying of pancreatic cancer. Both mother and son were voracious, casual readers, as likely to pick up a book on a whim as to seek one out for a specific or profound purpose. Their shared joy in reading, and Schwalbe's account of it, resonated with thousands of fellow readers.

In his second memoir, Books for Living, Schwalbe presents a collection of brief, insightful essays on the titles that have transformed his life: classic novels and children's stories, esoteric volumes of Chinese philosophy and practical writing advice. He begins with an unusual but aptly titled choice: The Importance of Living by Lin Yutang, a text of idiosyncratic philosophy and advice for living, published in the 1930s by a Chinese man who later lived in the U.S. and Europe. Lin's work reappears several times throughout Schwalbe's narrative, as he describes his library and the memories associated with each book in loving detail.

Schwalbe considers them through the lens of a particular topic: Searching (Stuart Little), Remembering (David Copperfield), Being Sensitive (Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird). Along the way, he shares memories both amusing and poignant, and celebrates the ability of books to provoke, delight, inform and raise questions (or answer them) at the right time. For example, he finds nourishment in Edna Lewis's The Taste of Country Cooking, both in her recipes and in the food culture she describes. Reading The Gifts of the Body, Rebecca Brown's novel of a home health-care worker tending to AIDS patients, sparks Schwalbe's own painful memories of the AIDS epidemic as a young gay man living in Manhattan and volunteering for Gay Men's Health Crisis. Not every title prompts such difficult reflections, but all of them give Schwalbe a way to make meaning of what has happened to him, or to appreciate profound truths expressed well in a handful of words.

"Has any book saved my life?" Schwalbe wonders during his chapter on Azar Nafisi's Reading Lolita in Tehran. "I think it would be more accurate to say that books... helped me choose my life.... Books saved the life I have." For readers who understand this sentiment, Books for Living is a field guide to a handful of titles that might entertain, stir up trouble, or--yes--even save the life a reader already has. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams

Shelf Talker: Will Schwalbe, editor and voracious reader, shares witty, warm, insightful essays on books that have resonated throughout his life.


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