Shelf Awareness for Monday, May 15, 2017


Penguin Press: Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968 by Ryan H. Walsh

Scribner Book Company: The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson

St. Martin's Press: After Anna by Lisa Scottoline

Little Brown and Company: The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison

Houghton Mifflin: Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein: Based on a True Story by Jennifer Roy with Ali Fadhil

News

New Orleans Celebrates Independent Bookstore Day

Saturday was Independent Bookstore Day in New Orleans, which took place two weeks after the rest of the country in deference to the Big Easy's extremely popular Jazz & Heritage Festival, held April 28-May 7, where local bookstores together operated the book tent.

At Tubby & Coo's: authors Michael "Quess?" Moore, Z.W. Mohr, Andy Reynolds

Local bookstores similarly combined for a scavenger hunt on Saturday: Octavia BooksGarden District Book ShopTubby & Coo's Mid-City Book Shop and Maple Street Book Shop offered the chance to win $100 in gift certificates: book lovers had to visit all four bookstores as part of a citywide scavenger hunt and figure out a secret phrase after finding clues at the stores. The four stores  also gave away a limited number of Blackbird Letter Press New Orleans City Notebooks (printed in Louisiana) to customers who spent $25 or more on Saturday.

"We had a very successful New Orleans Independent Bookstore Day," Tom Lowenburg, co-owner of Octavia Books, said. "In-store sales were the highest since the holidays and more than double a typical Saturday. Most importantly, our customers enjoyed turning out and participating in the activities; and there was much excitement in the air and community spirit."

Roy Blount, Jr. at Octavia Books

Octavia featured Roy Blount Jr., who presented the new paperback edition of Save Room for Pie: Food Songs and Chewy Ruminations. In honor of his book, the store served blueberry crumble pie baked by Bywater Bakery.

At Garden District Book Shop, "IBD Saturday was a great day for us," according to owner Britton Trice. Sales were "about double a usual Saturday. One of the best things was that we saw lots of new faces in the shop."

Garden District Book Shop featured an appearance by Splat the Cat, followed by Sesame the Opossum and his mom signing their book, Opossums Don't Live in Houses and Other Alternative Facts.


GLOW: Grove Atlantic: The Mercy Seat by Elizabeth H. Winthrop


Queens Bookshop Initiative Finds Storefront in Kew Gardens

The Queens Bookshop Initiative, which has been working to open another independent bookstore in Queens, N.Y., has found a storefront in the Kew Gardens neighborhood, a "cozy new place right on Lefferts Boulevard," the store announced. It's located near the Kew Gardens Cinema and Potter's Wheel, and is easily accessible by bus, train and Long Island Rail Road. Renovations begin "very soon."

L.-r.: Vina Castillo, Natalie Noboa, Holly Nikodem

Owners Vina Castillo, Natalie Noboa and Holly Nikodem, who met while working at the now-closed Barnes & Noble in Queens' Forest Hills neighborhood, are looking for someone to design a new logo as well as design a mural for the kids' section. They're also "working on our first huge book order, so if you have always dreamed of being a bookseller for a day and would like to volunteer once we get closer to our opening day, again email us!"

Last year, the initiative's Kickstarter campaign raised more than $70,000 and the trio have been looking in Kew Gardens and Forest Hills for a site. They described the hunt as "extensive, and at times grueling" but said they "have fallen completely in love" with the Lefferts Boulevard location. They've noted repeatedly that after B&N closed its last stores in the area at the beginning of 2016, Queens, a New York City borough with a population of 2.3 million, now has just one bricks-and-mortar bookstore selling new, general interest books, Astoria Bookshop. Earlier this month, Book Culture confirmed plans to open a branch in Long Island City.


Clarion Books: The Stone Girl's Story by Sarah Beth Durst


Moravian Book Shop to Close Allentown Location

The Moravian Book Shop will not renew the lease on its Hamilton Street store in Allentown, Pa., and is going to close the location May 31, the Morning Call reported, adding that Moravian plans to refocus on its original location in Bethlehem and increase its investment in e-commerce activities. The Allentown shop opened in September 2015.

"Over the past year, we have continued to evaluate our options for maintaining our 270-year-old brand in a world where many people prefer to buy their books and gifts online," said Rick Santee, president of the board of directors of the Moravian Book Shop. "Given current retail trends, the Moravian Book Shop will consolidate merchandise from its Allentown site with its original Bethlehem location in Historic Moravian Bethlehem."

Jill Wheeler, v-p of sales & marketing for City Center Investment Corp., said, "Moravian Book Shop was an early supporter of downtown Allentown's revitalization, and they've been a great partner. They have a wonderful brand with a deep history, and we wish them the best as they reinvent their business model for the future."

Santee commented: "We have enjoyed our time in downtown Allentown and hope that we can continue to count on our loyal customers' support as we look to adjust and reinvent our operation for the future."

Moravian Book Shop, which was founded in 1745, is the oldest bookstore in the U.S.


Oxford University Press: Hate: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship by Nadine Strossen


Cleveland's Visible Voice Books Plans August Reopening

Visible Voice Books, Cleveland, Ohio, which closed in 2014 and had announced last year a reopening was in the works, will launch this August, Cleveland Scene reported. Since purchasing the Komorowski Funeral Home building (2258 Professor Ave.) in the heart of Tremont, owner Dave Ferrante and his team have "been hard at work transforming the three-level structure into a comfortable multi-purpose space."

The main level will be devoted to Crust, an "artisan pizza/sub/pasta/salad" restaurant and bar, owned by Mike Griffin. The upper level, which "has been completely transformed thanks to newly vaulted ceilings, windows and skylights," will accommodate Visible Voice Books, Cleveland Scene wrote.

"Even when I closed I said that I would potentially be willing to reopen if I found the right opportunity--and I still believe the business model works if you keep your overhead low," Ferrante said. "I always felt I didn't have enough room there. This would double the space I had and would allow me to explore a lot more different price points."


William Morrow & Company: My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie


Margarita Engle Is New Young People's Poet Laureate

Margarita Engle
(photo: Marshall W. Johnson)

Margarita Engle has been named the Young People's Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation, succeeding Jacqueline Woodson. Awarded every two years, the $25,000 laureate title is given to a living writer in recognition of a career devoted to writing exceptional poetry for young readers. The laureate advises the Poetry Foundation on matters relating to young people's literature and "may engage in a variety of projects to help instill a lifelong love of poetry among the nation's developing readers."

"Margarita Engle's passion, knowledge of nature, and curiosity about the world make her work fascinating to children and adults alike," said foundation president Henry Bienen. "We are delighted that Ms. Engle has accepted the position of Young People's Poet Laureate and will now be a greater part of the Poetry Foundation community."

A poet, novelist and journalist, Engle has written numerous children's books, including Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music; The Sky Painter: Louis Fuertes, Bird Artist; Mountain Dog; When You Wander; and Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian. She is also the author of novels Singing to Cuba and Skywriting: A Novel of Cuba, as well as several YA novels in verse like Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal; The Lightning Dreamer: Cuba's Greatest Abolitionist; The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom (Newbery Honor book); Tropical Secret (winner of a Sydney Taylor Award for Teen Readers and a Paterson Prize); and Hurricane Dancers. She won the Pura Belpré Author Award for her memoir Enchanted Air.


Notes

Image of the Day: Once a Bookseller, Now a Novelist

On Saturday, Marina Antropow Cramer, author of Roads: A Novel, just published by the Academy Chicago imprint of Chicago Review Press, talked about and read from the book and signed copies at Watchung Booksellers, Montclair, N.J. It was a nice homecoming for Cramer, who worked as a bookseller in the store for 12 years and earlier owned Cup & Chaucer Bookstore, also in Montclair. (Read our March interview with Cramer here.)


Happy 25th Birthday, Broadway Books!

Congratulations to Broadway Books, Portland, Ore., which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this coming Saturday, May 20, 2-5 p.m. Events will include a photo booth, an anniversary cake and cupcakes, a 25% discount on any one item in the store, a 25th anniversary book plate for free with a purchase and a free 25th anniversary book bag with a purchase of $100 or more.

Co-owner Kim Bissell told the Oregonian, "I'm proud of 25 years. We should be proud of 25 years."

Co-owner Sally McPherson said, "People are more excited about books now than I think they've been in the whole time I've been here [since 2005]. I think part of that is the whole retro analog resurgence. I think part of it is the election. I think people are like, 'I need to read more, I need to learn about other people, I need to learn about other cultures, I need to read about politics, I need to understand.' For some people it's, 'I just need an escape.' "

Broadway Books was founded in 1992 by Roberta Dyer and Gloria Borg Olds.


Personnel Changes at Twelve; Chronicle; Post Hill Press

Sean Desmond has been appointed v-p and publisher of Twelve. He has been editorial director since 2013 and earlier held editorial positions at Crown, St. Martin's Press, ICM and Norton.

Paul Samuelson has been promoted to publicity director, Twelve. He has been in the Twelve publicity group for four years, and joined the imprint from Random House.

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Effective June 6, Christina Loff is joining Chronicle Books as marketing director, adult trade. Most recently, she was the senior artist relations manager at Minted, and prior to that was a senior content marketing manager at CreativeLive.

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Gavin Caruthers has left Post Hill Press, where he was associate publisher, to continue his consulting work. He can be reached via e-mail.


DK Eyewitness Travel Guide to BookExpo 2017: 7 of New York's Most Iconic Movie Locations

Bright lights, big city. New York is the backdrop for many Hollywood classics, from King Kong to When Harry Met Sally. Here are six iconic movie locations you should definitely visit on your trip to New York.

Chrysler Building
In the 1998 film Godzilla, the gleaming Chrysler Building is destroyed during the beast's rampage through the city.

Empire State Building
The Empire State Building makes cameos in many films throughout the years, from King Kong to Elf. One of the most romantic scenes is when Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan finally get together at the top of the Empire State Building in Sleepless in Seattle, made in 1993.
In Breakfast at Tiffany's, Holly Golightly (played by Audrey Hepburn) washes away the blues by gazing in Tiffany's windows on Fifth Avenue.
photo: Dorling Kindersley Ltd/Angus Osborn
Pretty much every incarnation of superhero Spiderman has scaled the iconic Flatiron Building.
Katz's Deli featured in When Harry Met Sally as the setting of the world's most famous fake orgasm, courtesy of Meg Ryan.
photo: Dorling Kindersley Ltd/Rough Guides/Nelson Hancock
Central Park has been pivotal to New York movies, featured in everything from Vanilla Sky (Tom Cruise kicks autumn leaves), Woody Allen's Hannah and Her Sisters (scenes of clandestine romance) and Hair (police horses doing dance routines).

Rockefeller Center
Separated from his family in Home Alone 2, Macaulay Culkin finally sees his Christmas dreams come true when he finds his mother at Rockefeller Center. While it may be too warm to ice skate right now, it is still a great place to come, shop and people watch.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: David Ortiz Leads Off on Good Morning America

Today:
Good Morning America: David Ortiz, co-author of Papi: My Story (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28, 9780544814615). He will also appear tomorrow on Fox & Friends.

CBS This Morning: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, author of Coach Wooden and Me: Our 50-Year Friendship On and Off the Court (Grand Central, $29, 9781455542277).

Fresh Air: Noah Hawley, author of Before the Fall (Grand Central, $15.99, 9781455561797).

Rachael Ray: Richard Blais, author of So Good: 100 Recipes from My Kitchen to Yours (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30, 9780544663312).

Daily Show: Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century (Tim Duggan, $7.99, 9780804190114).

Last Call with Carson Daly: Charlamagne Tha God, author of Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It (Touchstone, $25.99, 9781501145308).

Also on Carson Daly: A.J. Mendez Brooks, author of Crazy Is My Superpower: How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules (Crown Archetype, $25, 9780451496669).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Senator Ben Sasse, author of The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis--and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance (St. Martin's Press, $27.99, 9781250114402). He'll also be on CBS This Morning this morning.

Tonight Show: Jeffrey Tambor, author of Are You Anybody?: A Memoir (Crown Archetype, $27, 9780451496355). He will also appear tomorrow on Live with Kelly and Ryan and the Today Show.

Tomorrow:
Live with Kelly and Ryan: Ben Falcone, author of Being a Dad Is Weird: Lessons in Fatherhood from My Family to Yours (Dey Street, $25.99, 9780062473622). He will also appear on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

CBS This Morning: Scott Turow, author of Testimony (Grand Central, $28, 9781455553549).

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


TV: Suite Française; Nightflyers

Suite Française, adapted from the bestselling book by Irene Nemirovsky and starring Michelle Williams and Matthias Schoenaerts, will premiere on the Lifetime network May 22 after a circuitous route to the small screen, Deadline reported.

The Weinstein Company acquired U.S. and other rights to Saul Dibb's film four years ago at the Cannes Film Festival. Suite Française "opened theatrically in the U.K. and France in 2015, but a TWC spokesman said the movie didn't perform well enough to mount a theatrical release in the U.S., so the company sold the rights to Lifetime that year. The network has held onto the film since then, and is finally debuting it this month. A Lifetime spokesperson said the company felt airing the film this year situated it best for award consideration," Deadline wrote.

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George R.R. Martin is teaming with the Syfy network to adapt his 1980 novella Nightflyers for television. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Martin "is not involved, given his overall deal with HBO, where he's currently co-writing two of the four potential Game of Thrones follow-ups that are in the works." Jeff Buhler (Jacob's Ladder) will write the script and serve as one of the exec producers. Robert Jaffe, who wrote a 1987 feature film based on Martin's novel, is set as a producer. 



Books & Authors

Awards: Thomas Wolfe

Virginia Ewing Hudson has won the 2017 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize for her short story "Mother." She will receive $1,000 and possible publication in the Thomas Wolfe Review.

Final judge Wiley Cash commented: "This atmospheric, haunting story is a portrait of childhood grief and the ways in which children wade through it. Rooster, a young boy who cares for his dying mother while yearning for the mysteries of the world outside their home, is sensitive and beautifully drawn. The writing reminded me of the best of Elizabeth Spencer and Donald Ray Pollock."

Jane Shlensky recieved an honorable mention for her story "Clean Burn." Cash said about it: "Waitsel fancies himself a fire-conjuring Robin Hood, and the reader doesn't know whether to respect him or fear him. This story was as brief as a match strike, but its portrait of small-town life and the lives that go unnoticed is seared into my memory."


Book Review

Review: You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir by Sherman Alexie (Little, Brown, $28 hardcover, 464p., 9780316270755, June 13, 2017)

National Book Award-winner Sherman Alexie (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian) is one of the most prominent literary voices of the Native American community. And You Don't Have to Say You Love Me, his powerful, if unconventional, memoir of life growing up on an Indian reservation, is another important work from the author. Seamlessly blending prose and poetry, Alexie captures with unsparing clarity how the harsh reality of his early life both scarred him and shaped his way through the world.

Alexie grew up on a Spokane Indian reservation in rural Eastern Washington. Born hydrocephalic, he underwent surgery at five months to relieve pressure on his brain, and experienced the symptoms of bipolar disorder (undiagnosed until 2010) for most of his 50 years. He spent his first seven years in a 19th-century one-bedroom house with no electricity or indoor plumbing. "Poverty was our spirit animal" on the "rez," one of what Alexie describes as the "rural concentration camps" where substance abuse (including his father's alcoholism), sexual violence and child abuse were endemic.

At the heart of Alexie's story is his relationship with his mother, Lillian, a "wildly intelligent, arrogant, opinionated, intimidating" woman who, alone, was an "entire tribe of contradictions." He describes her as an "undiagnosed bipolar grandiose fabulist," and it's fair to conclude that Alexie--who characterizes himself as an unreliable narrator with an excellent memory--inherited at least some of his prodigious storytelling talent from her.

That talent is vivid in a memoir that's blunt, profane at times, but never lacking in insight. It swings from pathos to humor, the episodic chapters of prose spiced by poems with titles like "How to Be an Atheist at a Spokane Indian Christian Funeral." This is no facile, up-by-the-bootstraps tale of how Alexie made the precarious transition to life in the white world, beginning with his decision at age 13 to enroll in a school that was 99% white. Near the conclusion, an extended, moving story of his experience with adolescent bullying and its echo in his life today sums up the formidable challenges he's overcome. Readers looking for a memoir that expertly entwines regret for the damage inflicted by one's heritage with pride in that same culture will find what they need in You Don't Have to Say You Love Me. --Harvey Freedenberg, attorney and freelance reviewer

Shelf Talker: Sherman Alexie's memoir is an intense account, in both prose and poetry, of growing up as a Native American on a rural Washington reservation.


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