Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Penguin Press: Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith

Graphix: Dog Man and Cat Kid (Dog Man #4) by Dav Pilkey

Ecco Press: Varina by Charles Frazier

Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books: Small Walt by Elizabeth Verdick and Marc Rosenthal

News

Grisham Hitting Road for First Bookstore Tour in 25 years

Grisham hits the road.

Bestselling author John Grisham will celebrate the publication of his 30th novel, Camino Island (Doubleday, June 6), with his first bookstore tour in 25 years. On his website, Grisham shared the schedule and event guidelines for the tour, which will feature a book signing and discussion/q&a at each stop. Yesterday, Grisham tweeted: "Looking forward to visiting bookstores in June. It's been a long while. #OnTheRoadAgain #CaminoIsland".

The 12 stores on Grisham's tour are Barnes & Noble, Paramus, N.J.; R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, Conn.; Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, Vt.; Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, N.C.; Park Road Books, Charlotte, N.C.; Malaprop's Bookstore, Asheville, N.C.; Square Books, Oxford, Miss.; Lemuria Books, Jackson, Miss.; Parnassus Books, Nashville, Tenn.; Scuppernong Books, Greensboro, N.C.; Politics & Prose, Washington, D.C.; and Doylestown Bookshop, Doylestown, Pa.

Camino Island's plot involves a rare books heist and "a beach-resort bookseller who gets more than he bargained for."

"The story came out of nowhere a couple of years ago, and the more I wrote the more I enjoyed it," Grisham told the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. "It's a fun trip through the murky world of stolen rare books, with an ending that everyone has liked so far. I almost got through with the story avoiding all lawyers, but, alas, a couple were needed at the very end."

Square Books owner Richard Howorth said: "I love the literary references and antics. I think all of his fans, and maybe nontraditional fans are going to enjoy this book."

John Evans, owner of Lemuria Books, said tickets for a drawing to attend the event will go on sale May 16 at his bookshop, along with preorders for the novel. "I want people to visit the physical bookstore. That's in keeping with what Grisham is doing in his book." Regarding Camino Island, he observed: "I'm just astonished at how fun it is. It's a love letter to the real analog experience of what books mean, what bookstores mean and what writers mean to bookstores, what bookstores mean to writers and what reading means to a community."

Park Road Books events coordinator Megan Minard told the Charlotte Observer: "We're really excited he wanted to come here. His publicist approached us. I think he wanted to give back to the independent bookstores who have supported him over the years."


Shelf Awareness Sign-up Giveaway: The Land Beyond by Leon McCarron


Horizon Books to Close Petoskey, Mich., Location

Horizon Books will close its bookshop in Petoskey, Mich., on April 30 after 50 years in business, though the company's flagship store in Traverse City, which opened in 1961, as well as a branch location in Cadillac will remain open. The News-Review reported that Horizon Books founder and owner Victor Herman "cited downsizing as the primary reason for closing the Petoskey location, as he looks forward to more leisure hours in retirement. Horizon also noted that declining sales were also a factor, and that a commitment to long hours, customer service, value pricing and diversifying product were not enough to stabilize sales."

"We leave Petoskey's book needs in good hands, though, with Matthew and Jessilynn Norcross of McLean & Eakin," Herman said.


Trinity University Press: Arte Kids - Bilingual Board Books


Kwame Alexander Joins SCBWI Board of Advisors

Kwame Alexander

Bestselling author and Newbery Medal winner Kwame Alexander has joined the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators' Board of Advisors, effective immediately. The board consists of leaders in the children's publishing community including authors, illustrators, editors, art directors and executives from leading publishing houses.

A poet, educator and author of 24 books, Alexander said, "A big part of living the writerly life is surrounding yourself with like-minded creative people who embrace the responsibility that comes with writing books for young people. I'm excited to be a part of an organization that gets that."

SCBWI executive director Lin Oliver commented: "The SCBWI Board of Advisors is comprised of the most prominent, thoughtful, and devoted creators in the field of children's literature, who help define our mission, establish new programs, and serve our membership. Having Kwame come aboard, bringing his commitment to the field and ardor for literature, is a gift to us all."


Thomas Nelson: Perennials by Julie Cantrell


PRH U.K. to Pay 'Work Experience Participants'

Penguin Random House U.K. "will now pay its work experience participants the National Living Wage in a bid to make the publishing industry more accessible and diverse," the Bookseller reported, adding that each year 450 work experience placements will be offered at the publisher "to give people a taste of what it's like to work for the trade publisher as part of a two-week structured learning program."

Under the new initiative, all participants will receive a salary of £262.50 (about $332) per week, compared to previously being compensated for travel and food expenses. PRH is also providing access to subsidized accommodation through a trial partnership with the Book Trade Charity to encourage people based outside of London to apply.

Unlike PRH's paid interns, who undergo an application and interview process similar to applying for a job at the company, "work experience candidates are 'randomly selected,' without any pre-requisite skills or experience necessary, and are referred to as 'students' in so much as they are there to learn rather than to work," the Bookseller noted.

"At Penguin Random House we want to be open to the very best talent, regardless of background," said PRH U.K. CEO Tom Weldon. "We also believe it is vitally important that the publishing industry reflects the society we live in today. But we recognize that only covering expenses for work experience has been a barrier for many young people in the past. Through meaningful and paid work experience, we hope to open the door to the next generation of passionate and creative young people, helping them to establish their careers, and develop a skilled pipeline of future talent."


Quirk Books: My Lady's Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris


Bookshop Santa Cruz Writing Residency Applications Open

Applications are being accepted for the 2017 Bookshop Santa Cruz Writing Residency at the Wellstone Center in the Redwoods. The two-week, sponsored residency was launched last year in honor of the bookstore's 50th anniversary and will be offered annually through 2020. It is open to any author writing a work of fiction. Preference is given to either a California writer or an author working on a book that takes place in California, though any writer is welcome to apply. Preference will also be given to writers with a previously published book or with a literary agent or contract for their book. Applications for this year's residency are due June 1, 2017.

The residency, located at the Wellstone Center in the Santa Cruz Mountains and run by Sarah Ringler and author Steve Kettmann, provides a room and meals for the selected writer for 14 days. The writer can also participate in Wellstone offerings, including yoga and open mic night, and will receive a consultation session with Bookshop Santa Cruz buyers to discuss their project in relation to the marketplace.

Thad Nodine, who was the inaugural resident for the Bookshop Santa Cruz Writer Residency at the Wellstone Center in the Redwoods in 2016, said, "This residency [made] a huge difference in advancing my work on my novel and my career as a writer. Bookshop Santa Cruz and the Wellstone Center in the Redwoods represent the best in supporting literature and writing, not just in Santa Cruz but for California and nationwide."


Notes

Image of the Day: Once in a Blue Moon Lodge

Last night, Minnesota author Lorna Landvik launched her 11th book, Once in a Blue Moon Lodge, at an event hosted by Excelsior Bay Books. There was a sold-out crowd of 250 guests at Trinity Church in Excelsior, Minn., for the big night, which included an hour-long program, themed Norwegian and Minnesota refreshments, and prizes.

Pictured: (l-r): Emily Hamilton, Univ. of Minnesota Press; (back row) Debra Larssen, Lori Free and Pamela Klinger-Horn of Excelsior Bay Books; Matt Smiley, Univ. of Minnesota Press; Ann Woodbeck, Excelsior Bay Books. Front row: Ann Nye and Ellie Temple, co-owners of Excelsior Bay Books, flank author Lorna Landvik.


Happy Birthday, Tribeca GalleryCafe & Books!

Congratulations to Tribeca GalleryCafe & Books, Watertown Wis., which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month. Owner Julie Crnkovich said the business was launched in 2007 with the goal of combining "deep passions of loving books, sipping espresso, having excellent conversation, and sharing the joys of a vibrant community.... Tribeca has become a centralized hub in Historic Downtown Watertown. The atmosphere is relaxed, and a sanctuary from the daily fast paced world. Book selection enhances the atmosphere with nooks of charming vignettes on specific topics."

Tribeca's 1874 historic building has a cozy mezzanine overlooking the main floor. It features children's books, puzzles, stuffed animals and the shop's weekly story time. In addition, a semi-private conference room can be reserved by book clubs, community organizations, and work-at-home businesses.

Crnkovich noted that "Tribeca's foundation is based on the desire to be very community involved, and not just by having author events and coffee tastings. We offer a wide variety of educational classes covering topics such as gardening, adulting, open discussion on children and teen anxiety, knitting, and living a more green and sustainable life. Communities, such as Watertown, are being enhanced incredibly by energetic and thriving small businesses."

Festivities for the anniversary weekend include live music, two author events, an information tea tasting & discussion, as well as promotions and sales.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Kory Stamper on Fresh Air

Today:
All Things Considered: Lauren Greenfield, author of Lauren Greenfield: Generation Wealth (Phaidon, $75, 9780714872124).

Fresh Air: Kory Stamper, author of Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries (Pantheon, $26.95, 9781101870945).

Tomorrow:
NPR's Indivisible: Amy Goldstein, author of Janesville: An American Story (Simon & Schuster, $27, 9781501102233).

The View: Matthew Dowd, author of A New Way: Embracing the Paradox as We Lead and Serve (Anam Cara, $14.95, 9781544500324).

Harry: Maddie Ziegler, author of The Maddie Diaries: A Memoir (Gallery, $21.99, 9781501150661).

Jimmy Kimmel Live: Gabourey Sidibe, author of This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25, 9780544786769).


TV: Outlander Season 3 Trailer

Starz unveiled a first look teaser for season 3 of Outlander, from developer/executive producer Ronald D. Moore and Sony Pictures TV. Deadline reported that the new season will consist of 13 episodes based on Voyager, the third of eight books in Diana Gabaldon's series. Outlander is slated to premiere in September. 



Books & Authors

Awards: BTBA Finalists; Stella Winner

Finalists in both poetry and fiction categories have been selected for the 2017 Best Translated Book Award, sponsored by Three Percent. The 15 finalists are translated from nine languages and represent 13 countries. A third of the books are written by women, and 14 presses have a book on the list. Two books will be announced as winners May 4 in New York City. Winning authors and translators each receive $5,000. This year's BTBA finalists are:

Fiction
Wicked Weeds by Pedro Cabiya, translated from the Spanish by Jessica Powell (Dominican Republic, Mandel Vilar Press)
Chronicle of the Murdered House by Lúcio Cardoso, translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa & Robin Patterson (Brazil, Open Letter Books)
Eve Out of Her Ruins by Ananda Devi, translated from the French by Jeffrey Zuckerman (Mauritius, Deep Vellum)
Zama by Antonio di Benedetto, translated from the Spanish by Esther Allen (Argentina, New York Review Books)
Doomi Golo by Boubacar Boris Diop, translated from the Wolof by Vera Wülfing-Leckie and El Hadji Moustapha Diop (Senegal, Michigan State University Press)
War and Turpentine by Stefan Hertmans, translated from the Dutch by David McKay (Belgium, Pantheon)
Umami by Laia Jufresa, translated from the Spanish by Sophie Hughes (Mexico, Oneworld)
Oblivion by Sergi Lebedev, translated from the Russian by Antonina W. Bouis (Russia, New Vessel Press)
Ladivine by Marie NDiaye, translated from the French by Jordan Stump (France, Knopf)
Among Strange Victims by Daniel Saldaña Paris, translated from the Spanish by Christina MacSweeney (Mexico, Coffee House Press)

Poetry
Berlin-Hamlet by Szilárd Borbély, translated from the Hungarian by Ottilie Mulzet (Hungary, New York Review Books)
Of Things by Michael Donhauser, translated from the German by Nick Hoff and Andrew Joron (Austria, Burning Deck Press)
Cheer Up, Femme Fatale by Yideum Kim, translated from the Korean by Ji Yoon Lee, Don Mee Choi and Johannes Göransson (South Korea, Action Books)
In Praise of Defeat by Abdellatif Laâbi, translated from the French by Donald Nicholson-Smith (Morocco, Archipelago Books)
Extracting the Stone of Madness by Alejandra Pizarnik, translated from the Spanish by Yvette Siegert (Argentina, New Directions)

---

Heather Rose won the AU$50,000 (about US$37,750) Stella Prize, which celebrates Australian women's contribution to literature, for The Museum of Modern Love. The judges said the winning work "is an exceptional novel that reimagines Marina Abramovic's 2010 performance of 'The Artist is Present,' in which she silently encountered individual members of a larger audience of viewers while seated in the atrium of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.... The novel is grounded in the everyday lives of a rich and compelling cast of characters, but it also transmutes the intensity and significance of Abramovic's work into the medium of literature, where people move, in their thoughts, conversations and memories, between everyday life and art, as the modest confrontation of the artist's gaze in her performance stimulates each character's individual confrontation with questions that lie at the heart of their own lives. This novel is an unusual and remarkable achievement, a meditation on the social, spiritual and artistic importance of seeing and being seen, and listening for voices from the present and past that may or may not be easy to hear."


Reading with... Meg Rosoff

Meg Rosoff was born in Boston, but ran away from home to live in England in 1989. She is the author of nine novels and three picture books (some for adults, some for children, some for no one in particular) and has won or been shortlisted for 20 international book prizes, including the National Book Award (for Picture Me Gone), and received the 2016 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. Her first novel, How I Live Now, won the Michael L. Printz Award, sold more than a million copies worldwide and was made into a feature film in 2013. Her latest novel, Beck, co-authored with Mal Peet (1947-2015), was released by Candlewick Press on April 11, 2017. Rosoff lives in London with her husband, their daughter and their dogs.

On your nightstand now:

I'm reading The Vegetarian by Han Kang because I wanted to know what a book translated from South Korean was like. (It's excellent.)

Favorite book when you were a child:

I really really hate this question. I have precisely 10,000 favorite childhood books. But right up there at the top are The Secret Garden and A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss and every horse book ever written, particularly Walter Farley's The Black Stallion, Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry and Blaze Finds the Trail by C.W. Anderson. A little bit later, when I was about 14, I read Thor Heyerdahl's Kon-Tiki again and again and again. You could say it was my Harry Potter.

Your top five authors:

Who writes these impossible questions? I'll choose Jane Austen, E.B. White, Ford Madox Ford, Maurice Sendak and Shaun Tan. But tomorrow I might choose five different ones.

Book you've faked reading:

I read War and Peace when I was at college but kind of, shall we say, "glided" through a lot of the war chapters.

Book you're an evangelist for:

A High Wind in Jamaica was written by Richard Hughes in 1929 and for about half a century was read by every single schoolboy in England. If you ask any of them what it's about, they all say the same thing: pirates. But it's not about pirates. It's about so many strange and dark subjects, I can't even begin to list them. It's horribly tragic and also hilariously funny. Whoever you are, if you haven't read it, please stop reading this right now, rush out, and get yourself a copy.

Book you've bought for the cover:

I buy nearly every book for the cover. The adage "don't judge a book by its cover" is one of the dumbest things ever written.

Book you hid from your parents:

The Joy of Sex. Actually they hid it from us kids, but we pored over it endlessly when they weren't around.

Book that changed your life:

Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman. It uses dogs as a metaphor for today's society and is almost as subtle and complex as the best of Jane Austen.

Favorite line from a book:

"This is the saddest story I have ever heard." --from The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford.

Five books you'll never part with:

I'm not precious about books, and would burn them all to keep warm in an emergency. Then I'd get to buy the ones I really loved all over again.

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

In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak. Was the guy on drugs, or what? I like to be reminded of the sort of books that no one in the world would publish these days.


Book Review

YA Review: Words in Deep Blue

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley (Random House, $17.99 hardcover, 288p., ages 14-up, 9781101937648, June 6, 2017)

"I'm thinking about the transmigration of memory... that happens all the time--saving people the only way we can--holding the dead here with their stories, with their marks on the page, with their histories."

At heart, Words in Deep Blue is about connections--and missed connections. Every character is desperately seeking something: love, security, amnesia, a lost book, a second chance. It's also a love letter to the power of words and story.

The novel's plot is complex but the reward for keeping up is tremendous: two families face a newly uncertain future for which they are completely unprepared. Henry, 18, his sister, George, 17, and their parents have owned and occupied a cozy secondhand bookshop called Howling Books in Gracetown, near Melbourne, Australia. After 20 years, though, the parents have now split up, and their mom, reading the digital writing on the wall, wants to sell the shop. Henry is in love with a girl who has just broken up with him--for the nth time: "Amy does love me. She did love me. She wanted to spend an indefinite amount of time with me, and that's basically the same as forever." George, after losing contact with a mystery pen pal, has simply stopped believing in love: "[O]ur family is sh*t at love."

Three years earlier, Henry's best friend, Rachel, her brother, Cal, and their mother moved to the coast from Gracetown to help care for their grandmother. Ten months ago Cal accidentally drowned; Rachel's grief is so overwhelming she's failed her senior year and decided to leave the ocean and move back to Gracetown. But she can't bear to tell her old friends about Cal's death. Meanwhile, although she's tried to squelch it for years, her secret love for Henry is reawakened when she winds up working at the bookstore alongside him. It doesn't help that Howling Books is a surprisingly romantic place. A niche in the shop holds the Letter Library, in which customers can highlight words or write in the margins of their favorite books. Some people even leave entire letters "to the poets, to their thief ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend who stole their copy of High Fidelity" between the pages of the books. "Most people write to strangers who love the same books as them--and some stranger, somewhere, writes back," Henry says.

Alternating between Rachel and Henry's voices, with occasional flashbacks and "found" letters interspersed between chapters (even Australian author Cath Crowley gets in on the action in a fourth-wall-breaking letter she leaves for readers, explaining how she came to write a story "about the things readers leave behind"), the novel unravels the intrigue, mystery and tragic loves in the lives of its protagonists. What happens among the truly lovable Rachel, Cal, Henry, George and various other hangers-on is something geometrically greater than a love triangle--more like a love rhomboid--and readers will hang on every clever, funny, heartbreaking, true word. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor

Shelf Talker: In this gorgeous YA novel, Australian teens face love, death, change and the power of words both spoken and unspoken.

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