Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, June 13, 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

Browse Awhile Books Reopening a Year After Fire

Almost a year to the date after suffering major damage in a fire, Browse Awhile Books, Tipp City, Ohio, will officially reopen Saturday. The Dayton Daily News reported that the store held a ceremonial ribbon-cutting ceremony last week, during which owner Bill Jones expressed his appreciation to the community.

"Everybody has been as supportive as could be," he said.

As the rebuilding was nearing completion, the job of sorting, shelving and discarding 25-30 tons of books began, the Daily News wrote, adding: "The majority of books have been shelved with last minute work such as labeling shelves to be done before the official opening."

"It is sort of like having the family back together again," Jones noted.


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


Tattered Cover's Cathy Langer Reflects on 40 Years in Bookselling

"It's more the day-to-day pleasure of the people I work with and the customers I talk to and my colleagues in publishing and bookselling," said Cathy Langer, director of buying at Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver, Colo., reflecting on some of the highlights of her 40-year career. Earlier this year, Langer announced that she would retire from the store in 2018. "That's what I'm going to miss the most--my colleagues. The people in this business are incredible."

Langer added that while events with former presidents and celebrities like Bruce Springsteen were "always thrilling," she would remember the smaller, everyday things most fondly. "It's not so much just one thing," she explained. "It's waking up and really being excited to go to work every day, over the course of 40 years."

When Langer first joined Tattered Cover in 1977, the store was a little over 1,000 square feet on one story. She heard about job openings there from a friend, who suggested that Langer at least stop by the store and meet owner Joyce Meskis. The pair hit it off, and Meskis offered Langer a job.

"She asked me to commit to a year, which was completely horrifying to me, but I did it," recalled Langer, laughing. "And as you can see, it was the right decision. It was a good fit."

Langer began buying not long after joining Tattered Cover, and she'd only been there a few years when the store expanded across the street. In the years since, she has seen the Tattered Cover change many more times, a result of long-term changes in the book industry and Meskis's own proactive decisions as a businesswoman. Langer recalled that during the 1980s, the store moved into a four-story building that had once housed a department store. This iteration of Tattered Cover had more than 40,000 square feet and carried millions of books. It was also the peak of the store's special-order business: the store had an 800 number of its own and, depending on the time of day, there were as many as six to 10 people answering phones and taking orders.

Today the store has four locations across Denver, and Langer has seen Tattered Cover survive many threats that were all supposed to have meant certain doom for independent bookstores, from discount chains like Crown Books and superstores like Barnes & Noble and Borders to the rise of Amazon and the proliferation of e-books. Langer explained that during those turbulent times, she "never freaked out," believing in the core value of books and looking for opportunities in a changing business.

"To stay in this business you have to be a) a book lover but b) an optimist and a realist," she said. Langer recounted that when people began predicting that print books would soon be entirely replaced by e-books, she was confident that it would not happen. "I said no, they're not. And no, they didn't."

Langer will be succeeded at Tattered Cover by Stephanie Coleman, who has been working with Langer for about two years and is gradually taking on more of her frontlist buying and director of buying responsibilities. When it comes to her plans for retirement, Langer said that she and her husband have a month-long trip to Italy planned for the fall of 2018, and beyond that they plan to travel more while also spending more time with their children and grandchildren. Langer also plans to use the opportunity to catch up on many of the great books that happened to slip by her. She said: "I've been lucky to be reading six to 12 months into the future, but there's a lot I missed. I'm soliciting suggestions."

When asked about any plans for a retirement party, Langer answered that it was still a little bit early for that, and there are plans at Tattered Cover for a big celebration for Joyce Meskis this summer. "One celebration at a time, and I'm very shy," said Langer. "Maybe I'll have some small dinners and a few drinks with publishing friends and booksellers."


Trinity University Press: Arte Kids - Bilingual Board Books


Lauren Child Is New British Children's Laureate

Lauren Child

Lauren Child, author/illustrator of the beloved and award-winning Charlie and Lola books, has been named the new Waterstones children's laureate, succeeding Chris Riddell to the two-year post, the Guardian reported. She is the 10th writer to hold the position. In addition to a medal, the recipient gets a £15,000 (about US$18,985) bursary.

Speaking from Hull, the 2017 U.K. City of Culture where she was presented with her medal by Riddell, Child said she hoped to work with artists as well as writers and illustrators during her time in office. "I would love to talk to other artists whose work I admire. I think it is important for children to know we have our influences and get inspiration from all around us."

Child poverty will also be a focus. "Children can't learn if they are hungry," said Child, who has worked with UNESCO on its Education of Children in Need program. "How can we expect them to take on all this information when they are going without anything to eat?"

The Bookseller noted that while Child is positive about the state of the children's book market, she is concerned about a lack of diversity in the industry. "It's wonderful to hear that we're selling more children's books, so long as they're not all the same type of children's book. That's in terms of [the] diversity of characters, the kind of art, the kind of subjects they're talking about. Particularly as my [adopted] daughter comes from Mongolia, I'm thinking about it even more now. She's often not seeing herself reflected on television or in books."


Thomas Nelson: Perennials by Julie Cantrell


More Amazon Warehouses Coming to Colo., Conn., Ore.

In a flurry of announcements over the past week, Amazon unveiled plans for several new fulfillment centers, most recently in Thornton, Colo.; North Haven, Conn; and Troutdale, Ore. Akash Chauhan, the company's v-p of North American Operations, said "we are excited" about all three facilities.

Individual state leaders agreed. "We are pleased to continue working with Amazon as it grows and creates jobs in Colorado," said Governor John Hickenlooper. Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy called the development "a significant win for our state’s taxpayers and our economy"; and Oregon Governor Kate Brown said, "Amazon’s expansion in Oregon brings us great jobs with competitive wages and bright futures for its employees and communities."


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


Obituary Note: John McIntyre

John McIntyre

New Zealand "children book's champion" John McIntyre, owner with wife Ruth of the Children's Bookshop in Kilbirnie, died June 10. He was 65. In a Facebook note to friends and patrons, the bookstore said he passed away "after a brave fight with chronic illness. John was at work most days right up until the end and has left us a wonderful legacy which we will carry on in his memory and keep the store open this week."

Tony Moores, Booksellers NZ chief chair, said the board "wishes to acknowledge the colossal contribution John has made to the professionalism and profile of the bookselling community and the importance of reading for all ages. Your support over the years has encouraged and enabled him to exercise and broadcast his passion to the wider community of young readers and together you have created a business with a reputation that far exceeds the sum of its physical parts. Our thoughts are with you as you and your family mourn his passing and celebrate his achievements."

The McIntyres opened the Children's Bookshop in 1992. From 2003 to 2009, he served on the board of Booksellers NZ, "where he established a reputation as a passionate and engaged bookseller," noted the organization's CEO Lincoln Gould, adding: "He continued to be a strong supporter of the book trade following his service on the board, and his advice was especially sought after by new bookshop owners."

Sarah Forster, co-editor of the Sapling, wrote: "It's hard to estimate the impact that John McIntyre has had on the world of children's books in New Zealand. His bookstore is not just another bookstore: it is a haven for all, both children and children-at-heart. His curation of books, and creation of community has made the store a destination visit for booklovers from all over New Zealand."


Notes

Personnel Changes at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Abrams

Katharine McAnarney has joined Little, Brown Books for Young Readers as a senior publicist. She was most recently a publicist at Penguin Young Readers.

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At Abrams:

Hallie Patterson has joined the company as associate director of publicity, children’s trade. She formerly worked at the Hachette Book Group.
 
Alexandra Calamela has been joined the company as publicist, adult trade. She formerly worked at Macmillan Audio.

Nicole Schaefer has been promoted to children's marketing associate from children's marketing & publicity associate.
 
Gretta Hehre has been promoted to sales coordinator from sales assistant and will handle the Scholastic Book Club accounts.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Elin Hilderbrand on CBS This Morning

Tomorrow:
CBS This Morning: Elin Hilderbrand, author of The Identicals: A Novel (Little, Brown, $28, 9780316375191).

MSNBC's For the Record with Greta: Manal al-Sharif, author of Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman's Awakening (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781476793023).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Lizzy Goodman, author of Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001-2011 (Dey Street, $26.99, 9780062233097).


Movies: Boy Erased; The Hippopotamus

"Multiple distributors are bidding" for Boy Erased, directed by Joel Edgerton (The Gift) from a script he will write based on the memoir by Garrard Conley, Deadline reported. Edgerton is starring with Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea) and "is courting Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman for supporting roles."

Edgerton is producing with Anonymous Content's Kerry Roberts and Steve Golin. Tony Lipp, Kim Hodgert Rebecca Yeldham and Ann Ruark are the executive producers. The film starts production in the fall.

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A film adaptation of The Hippopotamus, based on Stephen Fry's bestselling novel about the "disgruntled, cantankerous, semi-famous poet Ted Wallace who is hired to investigate strange doings at Lord and Lady Logan's country manor," will open June 15 in the U.S., according to Lightyear Entertainment. Directed by John Jencks, the movie's cast includes Roger Allam, Matthew Modine, Fiona Shaw and Tim McInnerny. Producers are Jay Taylor and Alexa Seligman. 



Books & Authors

Awards: Forward Poetry Shortlist

Finalists have been named for the £10,000 (about $12,660) Forward Prize for Poetry and the £5,000 (about $6,330) Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection, which were established to "celebrate excellence in poetry and increase its audience, and are awarded to published poets for work in print in the last year." Winners will be announced September 21 in London. This year's shortlisted books are:

Best collection
Fourth Person Singular by Nuar Alsadir
The Tragic Death of Eleanor Marx by Tara Bergin
Stranger, Baby by Emily Berry
Angel Hill by Michael Longley
On Balance by Sinéad Morrissey

First collection
Psalmody by Maria Apichella
Make Us All Islands by Richard Georges
Raking Light by Eric Langley
Kingdom Gravity by Nick Makoha
Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong 


Top Library Recommended Titles for July

LibraryReads, the nationwide library staff-picks list, offers the top 10 July titles public library staff across the country love:

Favorite
The Lying Game: A Novel by Ruth Ware (Gallery/Scout Press, $26.99, 9781501156007). "Isa and her friends are boarding school misfits who are notorious for playing 'the lying game.' The more believable your lies, the more points you earn. A suicide at the school results in the girls being expelled under a cloud of suspicion. Fifteen years later, Isa hasn't seen her three closest girlfriends in a decade, but one text will bring them together again to deal with their deadly childhood secrets. I could not put this atmospheric book down. This is definitely going to be a summer hit." --Virginia Grubbs, Darien Library, Darien, Conn.

Watch Me Disappear: A Novel by Janelle Brown (Spiegel & Grau, $27, 9780812989465). "Billie is a beloved and loving wife and mother to Jonathan and Olive--or so they believe. Her disappearance while hiking dredges up secrets about Billie's radical past, doubts about how well either of them knew the woman around whom their lives revolved, and questions about whether Billie is even dead... or simply vanished. Hand this one to fans of domestic thrillers like The Woman in Cabin 10 or The Couple Next Door. They won't be disappointed." --Donna Maturri, Pickerington Public Library, Pickerington, Ohio

The Marriage Pact: A Novel by Michelle Richmond (Bantam, $27, 9780385343299). "Newlyweds Jake and Alice are understandably nervous about starting married life together. So, when given the opportunity to join the exclusive group known as 'The Pact'--whose stated goal is to keep married couples happy and together forever, they jump at the offer. However, things quickly take a sinister turn and readers will be hooked as Jake and Alice struggle to find their way out." --Becky Bowen, Kenton Public Library, Independence, Ky.

Final Girls: A Novel by Riley Sager (Dutton, $26, 9781101985366). "When Quincy Carpenter survived a massacre while the rest of her friends were murdered, the press labeled her a 'Final Girl'--part of a group that consisted of two other women who were the only ones to survive their own tragedies. Quincy has no desire to claim this label and wants to move on. But when one of the final girls dies, and the other confronts Quincy, claiming that a killer might be targeting them, Quincy's new life unravels. Readers will be invested in seeing if Quincy can retain her status as the last one standing." --Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, Huntington, N.Y.

Down a Dark Road: A Kate Burkholder Novel by Linda Castillo (Minotaur, $26.99, 9781250121288). "A once Amish police chief in a rural Pennsylvania town is faced with a dilemma. Her childhood friend has escaped from prison after being convicted of killing his wife. Kate still knows the Amish ways and after talking with the family and the community, thinks there might be something to Joseph's story. Kate is caught in the crossfire between the 'English' and the 'Amish' and needs to solve this so her past won't haunt her. Starts out with a bang and finishes just as rough." --Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, Tex.

When the English Fall: A Novel by David Williams (Algonquin, $24.95, 9781616205225). "When the English Fall offers a new perspective on apocalyptic fiction, written from the point of view of an Amish farmer named Jacob. Part insight into Amish culture, part dystopian novel, the story follows the days leading up to a solar storm and its aftermath. Jacob lives a peaceful life with his family. As events unfold outside of the community, he becomes witness to his English neighbors' unraveling. Jacob and his family, already accustomed to a life without modern conveniences, must decide what course of action they will take, and what assistance they will provide to their English neighbors." --Sara Kennedy, Delaware County District Library, Delaware, Ohio

The Almost Sisters: A Novel by Joshilyn Jackson (Morrow, $26.99, 9780062105714). "Leia finds her life is spiraling out of control. First she discovers she is pregnant from a one night stand, then she receives a phone call that her beloved grandmother is acting erratically. Meanwhile, she finds her stepsister in the middle of a marital crisis. Returning to her grandmother's small hometown in Alabama to figure out the future, Leia is confronted by the past including a dark family secret. This is a compelling story about love and family told with humor and charm. Jackson paints a picture of the South that is filled with affection but is also honest." --Janine Walsh, East Meadow Public Library, East Meadow, N.Y.

The Wildling Sisters by Eve Chase (Putnam, $27, 9780399174131). "In 1959, the Wilde sisters spend the summer at Applecote, a country manor, with their aunt and uncle who are still reeling after the disappearance of their daughter Audrey. The spirit of Audrey is everywhere and the sisters' close bonds are tested with secrets and jealousies revealed. Fifty years later, Jesse and her family move back to Applecote, hoping for a fresh start. Their transition is not smooth and they are swept up into the old mystery. A page turning, suspenseful novel with richly created characters, a twisting plot, and a gothic setting. A delicious, shivery tale!" --Judy Sebastian, Eastham Public Library, Eastham, Mass.

Wired by Julie Garwood (Berkley, $27, 9780525954460). "When Agent Liam Scott recruits a beautiful hacker, Allison Trent, to find a leak within the FBI, he uses her cousin's criminal record as leverage. As they try to deny their growing attraction, the computer program Allison developed is stolen. Liam helps track down the thief while protecting her from continual harassment and attempts on her life. I genuinely enjoyed reading this novel. The whole book was tightly plotted and well written. This is a story I would highly recommend to romance readers, especially those new to the genre." --Maria Gruener, Watertown Regional Library, Watertown, S.D.

Hello, Sunshine! by Laura Dave (Simon & Schuster, $25, 9781476789323). "Sunshine's entire world comes crashing down on, of all days, her birthday. What I love about Sunshine is that she exudes confidence even when she shows up at her estranged sister's home with only the things that fit in her car. Sunshine formulates a plan and sees it through. She completely embraces the only job available in her new path to greatness. I found myself rooting for her from the very beginning and I couldn't wait to read what she was up to next. I loved this novel. I'm a big fan of this author!" --Melissa Barber, Lubbock Public Library, Lubbock, Tex.


Book Review

Review: Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India

Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India by Sujatha Gidla (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $28 hardcover, 320p., 9780865478114, July 18, 2017)

Sujatha Gidla was born into the lowest level of India's caste system, the untouchables. She compares it to anti-black racism in the United States, and then goes on to explain, "Each caste has its own special role and its own place to live. The brahmins (who perform priestly functions), the potters, the blacksmiths... and so on--they each have their own separate place to live within the village. The untouchables, whose special role--whose hereditary duty--is to labor in the fields of others or to do other work that Hindu society considers filthy, are not allowed to live in the village at all.... Every day in an Indian newspaper you can read of an untouchable beaten or killed for wearing sandals, for riding a bicycle." She goes on to list several of the thousands of restrictions placed upon this unit of society that, if violated, are often dealt with by violence or death.

In Ants Among Elephants, Gidla tells her family's history, of her great-grandparents, grandparents and parents who came of age when the caste system was still in full force--when India was becoming an independent nation, shaking off the mantle of British rule. Most of the story is dominated by Gidla's uncle Satyamurthy, who became a famous poet and leader of a Maoist guerilla group in the early 1970s, a position that forced him to go into hiding for most of his life. Revolving around Satyamurthy's stories are those of his extended family, Gidla's grandparents and parents, who lived in poverty yet managed to obtain educations and do a bit better for themselves.

Throughout, Gidla does not hide the atrocities of the caste system. She discusses how untouchable women are forced to clean public toilets using their hands, a broom and a tin plate to fill baskets to carry away the waste on their heads; how they are forced to become mistresses to those higher on the social ladder; and how they are not allowed to marry above their class. Gidla's family history is intertwined with the evolution of an India in which society severely restricts people's lives based on beliefs and long-held principles. Ants Among Elephants is a fascinating and moving portrayal of one family's struggle to live. --Lee E. Cart, freelance writer and book reviewer

Shelf Talker: A woman from the untouchable level of India's caste system tells her family's history as it relates to their country gaining its independence from British rule.


The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by IndieReader.com:

1. I'm Only Here for the Beard (The Dixie Wardens Rejects Book 4) by Helena Hunting
2. Destroyer (The Elemental Series Book 7) by Shannon Mayer
3. Duke of Manhattan by Louise Bay
4. Hidden Agenda by David Archer
5. Easy Fortune by Kristen Proby
6. The Foxe & the Hound by R.S. Grey
7. Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata
8. Restrained by Tia Lewis
9. Caveman by Jo Raven
10. Split Second by Douglas E. Richards

[Many thanks to IndieReader.com!]


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