Also published on this date: Wednesday, April 12, 2017: Maximum Shelf: Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Random House: White Houses by Amy Bloom

Katherine Tegen Books: The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor

Canterbury Classics: Compact Novel Journals

Katherine Tegen Books: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Soho Crime: The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey

Ecco Press: Tangerine by Christine Mangan

News

ALA's 'Most Challenged Books' List

The American Library Association's annual Top Ten List of Frequently Challenged Books, which is included in the ALA's State of America's Libraries Report 2017, has a notable addition: Bill Cosby’s "Little Bill" series, which was challenged because of sexual assault allegations against the entertainer. This marks the first time in the list's history that a book was challenged solely because of its author. Out of 323 challenges reported to the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, the most challenged books in 2016 were:

  1. This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki, illus. by Jillian Tamaki
  2. Drama by Raina Telgemeier
  3. George by Alex Gino
  4. I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illus. by Shelagh McNicholas
  5. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
  6. Looking for Alaska by John Green
  7. Big Hard Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction, illus. by Chip Zdarsky
  8. Make Something Up: Stories You Can't Unread by Chuck Palahniuk
  9. Little Bill (series) by Bill Cosby, illus. by Varnette P. Honeywood
  10. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Freeform: The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton


Ci5: Fostering an Inclusive Environment for Staff and Customers with Disabilities

At the ABC Children's Institute 5 in Portland, Ore., last week, booksellers Kimberly Cake of Enchanted Passage in Sutton, Mass., Drew Sieplinga of Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis, Minn., and moderator Susan Kusel of [words] Bookstore in Maplewood, N.J., shared their experiences making bookstores more inclusive for both staff and customers with disabilities. Accommodation efforts can include everything from structural changes, such as adding a wheelchair ramp or spacing display tables and shelves further apart, to carrying books with positive examples of characters with disabilities and running programming for those with disabilities.

Cake pointed out that booksellers may be limited based on the age of their building and the manner in which it was originally constructed. She opened Enchanted Passage in December 2016, in a house that was originally built in 1824. The age of the building limited her options, but she still added a wheelchair ramp, paved driveway and handicapped parking. The store's counters are the ADA-regulation 36 inches high. The bathroom door, however, is only 27 inches wide and can't be changed; Cake hopes eventually to build a new adjacent structure with ADA compliant bathrooms. The building also has a second story, which Cake initially planned to use as a young adult reading space. She dropped those plans, however, after learning that because of the way the building's stairs were constructed, she would have to install an elevator to make that second story ADA accessible. Cake also has her POS system installed on a laptop and a portable credit card machine, allowing her to make checkout easier for any shopper with a disability. She also noted that, depending on local ordinances, stores in older buildings may be "grandfathered in" and not have to do as much to be ADA accessible.

Sieplinga pointed out that making a store more accommodating doesn't necessarily have to be expensive to be effective. Several years ago, Wild Rumpus was not accessible at all, and the store's first steps toward being ADA accessible were simple ones. They made sure the store's aisles were all at least 36 inches wide, and though the store was blocked by the city from installing a permanent wheelchair ramp because it would obstruct the sidewalk, Wild Rumpus purchased a portable ramp that can be set up as needed. Employees have also stopped placing baskets of books and sidelines on the floor beside shelves, as those can obstruct wheelchairs. The store's counters are also taller than the required 36 inches; to mitigate this, Wild Rumpus uses the simple solution of clipboards. Recently Wild Rumpus had its staff go through its first sensitivity training with a group that does arts and disability work in Minneapolis. Sieplinga also recommended the website disabilityinkidlit.com as a valuable resource for finding children's books with positive examples of characters with disabilities.

At [words] Bookstore, Kusel said the store has had a strong commitment to accessibility and disability awareness since opening. A major structural undertaking was installing a wheelchair lift to make the basement events space accessible. [words] also hosts a variety of programming geared for those with disabilities, including a vocational program to help people with autism and disabilities get work experience, and art and music workshops for children with disabilities. Kusel mentioned that school groups are also brought in for tours of the store, to show that [words] is part of the community and an ally. She added that the staff undergoes a significant amount of training about disabilities, with the goal being to be "warm and welcome to everybody" without being patronizing or condescending, to be "helpful but as low key as possible."

As for accommodating staff with disabilities, the panelists noted that the majority of disabilities aren't obvious. Cake said that some accommodations can be as simple as putting a stool behind the counter so that a staff member can sit down if needed, while Sieplinga said that an extremely important first step is simply making sure staff members are comfortable talking to their supervisors about what they need.

"When you make a store accessible, you make it better for everyone," said Sieplinga. A more accessible store is more pleasant for all customers, and there is of course a financial benefit to including more people. "If everyone can come in and get through your aisles, you have a bigger customer base. More people can shop there." --Alex Mutter


Ingram Publisher Services: Celebrating the 45th Anniversary of Dundurn Press


Duende District Bookstore Launches Kickstarter Campaign

Duende District Bookstore, an intersectional, multicultural bookstore premiering as a pop-up shop at the Artomatic arts festival in the Washington, D.C., area this spring, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help build the bookstore. Two days into the campaign, the store has raised just over $1,500 out of a $9,000 goal. Funds will go toward such things as a portable register system, opening inventory orders, display tables and event planning. Backer rewards include personalized book recommendations, prints of a mural designed by bookseller and artist Ashfia Khan, and signed books.

According to store owner and founder Angela Maria Spring, Duende District's mission is to create "an authentic general bookstore space built from the ground up by bookstore professionals who are people of color--but where all people are genuinely welcome." Spring has worked at bookstores around the country, including McNally Jackson Books in New York City and Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C. She plans to build a community presence through the pop-up shop while searching for a permanent, bricks-and-mortar home to move into later this year.


Other Press: Bookselling Without Borders Scholarship


Nolo Bookstore in Berkeley to Close

Nolo Press, which publishes do-it-yourself legal guides, plans to close its bricks-and-mortar bookstore in Berkeley, Calif., on April 28 as part of a transition to online-only sales at Nolo.com. The company is holding a 50% off sale in its store at 950 Parker St. from April 17 until closing day.

"Nolo has enjoyed tremendous support for our Berkeley bookstore from the local community for many years," said marketing manager Leilani Drost. "As a thank-you to the community, we are offering some terrific deals at the store before it closes, and we hope to see many of our neighbors stop by over the next few weeks."

Noting that all the company's books and software are available online and at bookstores, Nolo said it "remains true to the original vision and passion of its founders: to publish reliable, plain-English legal information that anyone can use--in print, and online."


Disney-Hyperion: Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner


Obituary Note: Jeremy Lewis

Writer and former Chatto & Windus publishing director Jeremy Lewis, who worked in the literary world for 40 years and described himself a "Grub Street Irregular," has died, the Bookseller reported. He was 75. During his career, Lewis worked for several publishing houses, including William Collins, Oxford University Press and Chatto, as well as the literary agency A.P. Watt.

After his time as a publisher and agent, he went on to write three autobiographical works: Playing for Time; Kindred Spirits: Adrift in Literary London; and Grub Street Irregular: Scenes from Literary Life. Lewis also published a number of biographies, including Cyril Connolly: A Life; Tobias Smollett; Penguin Special: The Life and Times of Allen Lane; Shades of Greene: One Generation of an English Family; and David Astor: A Life in Print.

"Jeremy Lewis was one of the last old style publishers, a veteran of Deutsch and Chatto in their heyday," said Dan Franklin at Jonathan Cape. "He was a delightful, funny, gentle man, who loved gossip, a good lunch and a literary party.... He was widely loved and is going to be sadly missed."


Notes

Image of the Day: Off the Slopes

Dolly's Bookstore in Park City, Utah, hosted Olympic gold medalist and world champion skier Lindsey Vonn, signing her book Strong Is the New Beautiful: Embrace Your Natural Beauty, Eat Clean, and Harness Your Power (Dey Street Books). Pictured: Lindsey Vonn (center) with Dolly's staffers (l.-r.) Gwen Miller, Bailey Tibbitts, Sue Fassett and Michaela Smith. 

'The Ultimate Bookish Vacation': NYC Literary Destinations

"They say that New York City is the city that never sleeps, and that's probably because it's been up all night reading," Bustle noted in showcasing "35 literary destinations in NYC for the ultimate bookish vacation," including several independent bookstores. "This list is long, yet somehow it doesn't even come close to being exhaustive. New York City is filled with so many great treasures for the literary-minded, that it's impossible to list them all.... It's good to be a book nerd in NYC. So go out, and paint the town read. (Sorry.)"


Personnel Changes for HarperCollins Christian Publishing

HarperCollins Christian Publishing has announced three changes within its publishing programs "to expand its reach with faith-based inspirational content." The following transitions are effective immediately, under the guidance of David Moberg, senior v-p and HCCP group publisher:

Daisy Blackwell Hutton is being promoted to v-p & publisher for the W Publishing Group, a nonfiction imprint of Thomas Nelson. Hutton has been the company's fiction publisher for Thomas Nelson and Zondervan books for the past five years.

Amanda Bostic, who has been part of the fiction editorial team for the past 13 years, will become the new publisher for HCCP's fiction program. She began her career as an associate editor for Thomas Nelson Fiction and most recently served as associate publisher for Thomas Nelson and Zondervan Fiction.

Matt Baugher, formerly senior v-p and publisher for the W Publishing Group, will assume the newly created role of senior v-p of author and partnership development, concentrating primarily on discovering and developing new relationships for both Thomas Nelson and Zondervan.

"These changes to our publishing programs allow us to take a proactive lead to drive growth and expansion of our business and partnership with our authors to reach new readers," said Mark Schoenwald, president and CEO of HCCP. 


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Martha Stewart on the View

Tomorrow:
The View: Martha Stewart discusses A New Way to Bake: Classic Recipes Updated with Better-for-You Ingredients from the Modern Pantry by the editors of Martha Stewart Living (Clarkson Potter, $26, 9780307954718).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert repeat: Anderson Cooper, co-author of The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Love, and Loss (Harper Paperbacks, $15.99, 9780062454959).


Harry Potter & the Cursed Child Sets Olivier Awards Record

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child "shattered records at the Olivier Awards for London theater here on Sunday night, picking up nine prizes, including best new play," the New York Times reported. J. K. Rowling wrote the story with playwright Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany. The previous record was seven Oliviers, shared by Matilda the Musical and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is expected to open at the Lyric Theater on Broadway next spring.

The London production took honors for best new play, director (Tiffany), actor (Jamie Parker), supporting actress (Noma Dumezweni), supporting actor (Anthony Boyle), lighting, sound, costumes and set design. The production had tied the record for the most nominations for any show in Oliviers history with 11, the Times noted.


Movies: Hillbilly Elegy

Imagine Entertainment acquired the film rights to J.D. Vance's bestselling book Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, which Ron Howard will direct and produce with his Imagine partner Brian Grazer, Deadline reported.

"Hillbilly Elegy is a powerful, true coming-of-age memoir by J.D. Vance," said Imagine's president Erica Huggins. "Through the lens of a colorful, chaotic family and with remarkable compassion and self-awareness, J.D. has been able to look back on his own upbringing as a 'hillbilly' to illuminate the plight of America's white working class, speaking directly to the turmoil of our current political climate."



Books & Authors

Awards: Griffin Poetry; Penderyn Music Book

This year's international and Canadian shortlists have been announced for the Griffin Poetry Prize. The seven finalists are invited to read in Toronto on June 7 and will each be awarded C$10,000 (about US$7,495) for their participation in the Shortlist Readings. The two winners, who will be named June 8, each receive C$65,000 (about US$48,730). The shortlisted Griffin titles are:

International
World of Made and Unmade by Jane Mead
In Praise of Defeat by Abdellatif Laâbi, translated from the French by Donald Nicholson-Smith
Falling Awake by Alice Oswald
Say Something Back by Denise Riley

Canadian
Injun by Jordan Abel
Violet Energy Ingots by Hoa Nguyen
Silvija by Sandra Ridley

---

Daniel Rachel won 2017 Penderyn Music Book Prize, which is given "specifically for music titles (history, theory, biography, autobiography)" published in the U.K., for Walls Come Tumbling Down: The Music and Politics of Rock Against Racism, 2 Tone and Red Wedge. The winner receives a check for £1,000 (about $1,245) and a bottle of Penderyn Single Cask Whiskey.

Rachel said, "This award is a tribute to the 100 or more contributors to the book whose actions and songs changed our country's cultural landscape and a remainder to tomorrow's heroes that pop music can change the world."


Reading with... John Waters

photo: Stephen Maturen

John Waters is a filmmaker, writer, actor and visual artist best known for the films Pink Flamingos, Serial Mom and Hairspray, which was adapted into a long-running Broadway musical. The author of seven books, including Carsick and Role Models, he performs his one-man, spoken-word shows regularly in the United States and abroad. Waters lives in Baltimore, Md. Make Trouble, his gleefully subversive advice to graduates of the Rhode Island School of Design, is published by Algonquin (April 11, 2017).

On your nightstand now:

After the Blue Hour by John Rechy. I absolutely love the whole idea of this author's career: hustler, narcissist, imperious "trade" and now senior citizen sinner. Re-read Numbers (1967); it's even better than City of Night, the book that made him famous. Somehow I missed The Madame Realism Complex by Lynne Tillman, so I better keep up; her fiction and essays are always smart, funny and unpredictable. I never miss a mean biography of Susan Sontag (and Sempre Susan by Sigrid Nunez is the best) so I'll give the new German one, Susan Sontag by David Dollenmayer, a try to see if it measures up to the rest of this ever-expanding genre.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Slovenly Peter by Heinrich Hoffmann, that illustrated German children's classic that taught valuable lessons: suck your thumb and a scary man will charge into your house and cut it off with a giant pair of scissors. Play with matches? You'll catch on fire just like the little girl did in the drawing. See the flames? See her screaming in pain?

Your top five authors:

Well, I've already written about Tennessee Williams, Jean Rhys, Denton Welch and Ivy Compton-Burnett in some of my older books, so how about Baron Corvo? So grand, so nuts--I wish he had been Pope! I love Patrick White's writing, too, and actually own the wastepaper basket he used while alive so my bad ideas end up in the same place as his. J.M.G. Le Clézio, just because of his novel The Flood, which made me so crazy and happy when I was a young man. James Purdy for his perversity alone; one of his characters could hear gossip blowing in the wind. Oh yeah, Elena Ferrante. Why is it that no heterosexual men ever admit to loving her novels? Gay men want to know!

Books you've faked reading:

Almost every book in school, none in real life.

Books you bought for the cover:

The children's book Dad's in Prison by Sandra Cain and Margaret Speed, with heartbreaking photos of both prisoners and their kids in jail visiting rooms. Is Killing Wrong? by Mark Cooney (there's a philosophical question!). Obese Humans and Rats (I knew there was a connection). Teenage Smokers (the title is politically incorrect enough but the front photograph is even better) paired with Teens and the Death Penalty--together these covers perk up even the most jaded person's coffee table.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Lesbians for Men, a hilarious and serious study of the most sexually incorrect subject ever--vintage porn photos of gay women made to turn on heterosexual men. Only Dian Hanson, the Barney Rosset of smut at Taschen Books, could get away with this collection, and she does by framing this never-mentioned-before genre in the full historical context of filth. No, guys, lesbians don't really scissor f@#&!

Books you hid from your parents:

All those Bob Mizer male beefcake mags. My parents never found those, but my mom did pitch out Henry Miller's Sexus, Plexus and Nexus. I'm sure a few years later she wished she could have put them back on my shelf to nudge me towards a more conventional sexual orientation.

Book that changed your life:

Our Lady of the Flowers by Jean Genet. Finally I had a writer to look up to.

Favorite line in a book:

"Just an inch, Miss Rona, just let me put it in an inch." The first line of gossip columnist Rona Barrett's autobiography.

Five books you'll never part with:

The Philosophy of Andy Warhol because Andy autographed it to me personally and then drew a Campbell's soup can beneath his signature. Next would be the first edition of my favorite novel, Jane Bowles's Two Serious Ladies, because it is so rare. Then Marguerite Duras's Cookbook would have to be included--yes, there really is such a thing. New York: The New Art Scene, one of the first art books I ever wanted and it's worth a fortune today. P.P.P. Drawings and Paintings because a cute guy stole this Pier Paolo Pasolini book for me at the Berlin Film Festival in 1981, and today I own one of the paintings inside.

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

Peyton Place, because Grace Metalious's potboiler was the first "dirty" book I ever read and that experience can never be repeated.


Book Review

YA Review: Thick as Thieves

Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner (Greenwillow/HarperCollins, $17.99 hardcover, 352p., ages 14-up, 9780062568243, May 16, 2017)

Megan Whalen Turner's world of the Queen's Thief comes alive once again in Thick as Thieves. Some characters will be delightfully familiar to fans of the previous books. However, the plot of Thick as Thieves stands alone, allowing newcomers to just as easily pick it up and tumble heart over head into the fantastical, magical realm of kings and slaves, soldiers and spies, thieves and gods.

Kamet is a slave, but one with significant position. He is the personal secretary to the prince Nahuseresh, nephew of the Mede emperor and brother to the emperor's chosen heir. Literate and educated, Kamet handles his master's accounting, correspondence and other tasks concerning the overall management of Nahuseresh's estate. His position has encouraged Kamet to envision lofty goals, "Someday [my master] meant to make a gift of me to his brother, and then, as the next emperor's personal slave, I would be one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in all the empire." But when a friend and fellow slave whispers a warning to Kamet, he realizes his life is in grave danger, bringing his aspirations of greatness crashing down around him. Left with no choice, Kamet runs. 

Through Kamet's amazing and arduous adventures toward potential freedom, Turner navigates the geographical and political terrain of her fictional empire. The meticulously developed setting takes on dimension as Kamet travels through the skeletons of mines and mills, over mountains and earthquake-ravaged lands, down a dry well and a sacred flowing stepwell, into a city confronting the plague and out over the sea, all the while eating whatever's available, including rodents and the raw liver of a goat. He encounters friend and foe, always determined to outsmart his enemies and overcome each obstacle. But as each obstacle grows in significance, Kamet's luck wears thinner and thinner.

The complexity of Turner's world combined with the suspense of her layered plot creates a story that will appeal to readers of all ages. The thrill of the chase is magnetic--as is Kamet's budding and unlikely friendship with an Attolian soldier. This enemy of his master is offering to save Kamet, but is he really just leading the slave to his death? The stakes are high, and Turner keeps the intensity elevated throughout the novel, making it a challenge to tear oneself away from the exploits of this diminutive slave with his larger-than-life personality. 

Thick as Thieves offers Turner's fans an eagerly anticipated return to the Queen's Thief world, but it also extends to a new generation an introduction to a spectacularly enchanted empire imagined by a master storyteller. Neither group will be disappointed. --Jen Forbus, freelancer

Shelf Talker: Continuing in the realm of her Newbery Award-winning YA fantasy series, Megan Whalen Turner takes a Mede slave on a harrowing life-or-death journey across the empire.


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