Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, July 11, 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

Quotation of the Day

'We Need Community More than Ever'

Greenlight owners Jessica Stockton Bagnulo and Rebecca Fitting

"As the political climate gets increasingly fraught, we need community more than ever... as technology has advanced, it's edged community out, so now that we need it, we're extra aware of the gap. I think deep down, that's at the crux of the whole indie resurgence. We can't thrive in the technology vacuum... our frontline role in all of this are the interactions with our everyday customers and the books we recommend which contribute to the experience customers have and to that sense of community."

--Rebecca Fitting, co-owner, Greenlight Bookstore, Fort Greene and Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn, N.Y., in a Daily News story "Bookstore, the Amazon resistance."

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


News

Bertelsmann to Own 75% of Penguin Random House

Bertelsmann is buying another 22% of Penguin Random House from Pearson, which will give it a 75% interest in the company, Bertelsmann and Pearson announced today. The sale is expected to close in September, and needs to be reviewed by regulators.

PRH was formed in 2012, and since then, Pearson has had a 47% share of the company while Bertelsmann has owned 53%. Pearson has indicated several times in the past few years that it was considering selling some or all of its stake. In January, the company sent Bertelsmann an official "exit notice."

Under the merger agreement that created PRH, each company had to hold its stake for three years and each had the right of first refusal if the other wanted to sell. Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe has indicated several times that Bertelsmann would be comfortable owning 70%-75% of PRH.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Bertelsmann is paying $780 million for the 22% stake, and recently Bertelsmann issued a €500 million ($569.8 million) bond that allows it to use existing liquidity in the purchase. The purchase price values the full company at $3.545 billion. Pearson, which has had several difficult years, will receive a strong financial boost from the sale.

Bertelsmann's increased ownership means that it will have the right to name the chairman of PRH and will control four seats on the PRH board while Pearson will control two seats instead of three. Since the merger, Bertelsmann has had the right to name the CEO, who has been Markus Dohle, who continues in that role.

The Bookseller quoted Dohle as saying that the deal represents "great continuity and stability" for PRH, "which makes it the best solution for authors, partners, publishers and employees. We can and will continue to focus on our authors' creative works, and with that, on publishing the finest books and stories for our readers."


Trinity University Press: Arte Kids - Bilingual Board Books


Amazon Planning Third NYC Store, Orlando Warehouse

Amazon's store at Columbus Circle

Real estate magazine the Real Deal has reported that, according to anonymous sources, Amazon will likely open its third New York City store at 72 Spring Street, a "7,354-square-foot space between Crosby and Lafayette Streets" in Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood. The location features 5,200 square feet on street level and another 2,154 square feet of basement space, and currently houses a pop-up store for lingerie retailer Aerie. The Real Deal noted that it is not "immediately clear whether a lease has been finalized."

Amazon has opened a store at Columbus Circle and plans to open another at 7 W. 34th St., across from the Empire State Building. The Spring Street location is one block from McNally Jackson and less than two blocks from Housing Works Bookstore Cafe.

In other company news, Amazon plans to open a 850,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Orlando, Fla., in 2018. Located in Lake Nona, close to Orlando International Airport, the facility will pick, pack and ship small items and consumer goods. It will be the first Amazon fulfillment center to open in central Florida; the company opened its first fulfillment center in the state in 2013. Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs said local government has "worked hard to expedite permitting and other County functions" in order to get the new facility up and running.


Thomas Nelson: Perennials by Julie Cantrell


At B&N: Carl Hauch New V-P of Stores; Riggio Honored

Carl Hauch

Carl Hauch has joined Barnes & Noble as v-p, stores, where, the company said, he will be responsible for "the entire retail store organization and profitable growth of the business, driving sales, training, developing talent and recruitment."

He formerly was COO at urgent care company CityMD, and earlier worked at Starbucks for 14 years, beginning as a store manager and rising eventually to CEO, managing director, of Starbucks Switzerland and Austria. He also held senior executive positions at Advance Auto Parts.

B&N CEO Demos Parneros called Hauch "an accomplished leader with a proven track record for driving results, and he is an important appointment as we position the company for future growth."

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Len Riggio

In other B&N news, founder and chairman Len Riggio has been named Grand Marshal of the 73rd Columbus Day Parade, which will be held on Monday, October 9, in New York City and will have the theme "A Celebration of Italian-American Authors," a theme Riggio created. He is inviting Italian-American authors from across the country to march with him in the parade.

"Len Riggio's visionary role in the bookselling industry has made him one of the most respected business minds in America and a pillar of success in the Italian-American community," Columbus Citizens Foundation president Angelo Vivolo said. "But his phenomenal achievements in business are surpassed by his passion for giving back to those in need and his tireless commitment to making our communities and the world better places. It is those qualities that make Len an obvious choice as Grand Marshal of this very special event."

Riggio said, "I am honored and pleased to carry on this important tradition and join the ranks of distinguished Italian-Americans who have served in this role before me. At the same time, I am thrilled to use this opportunity to recognize the achievements of Italian-American writers and their enormous contributions to the literary fabric of America. This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase their talents and inspire others to follow in their footsteps. My family and I look forward to marching on Fifth Avenue with these great writers."


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


Employee Buys Kansas's Raven Book Store

Effective August 1, Danny Caine is buying the Raven Book Store, Lawrence, Kan., from owner Heidi Raak, the Lawrence Journal-World reported.

Raak, who bought the store 10 years ago from founders Pat Kehde and Mary Lou Wright, told the paper she was ready for a change.

Caine, a local author and an employee of the bookstore for two and a half years, said he is ready to "live out a fairy tale." He recently received a Master of Fine Arts in poetry from the University of Kansas, whose main campus is in Lawrence.

Caine will close the store for two weeks in August for renovations that include some new fixtures and changes in inventory layout. The store will continue to focus on literary fiction, political books and mysteries (as the name hints, the Raven Book Store was founded as a mystery bookshop). The store will also continue to focus on the local literary scene, including readings.

In September, the bookstore will celebrate its 30th anniversary with an event that both Raak and Caine are planning.


Obituary Note: Janice Shannon

Janice Shannon, a bookseller at BookTowne, Manasquan, N.J., almost since its founding 10 years ago, died on Saturday. She was 74. The store said that her "love of reading, especially mysteries, was well known. Staff always turned to Janice when anyone wanted a suggestion for a good mystery. Janice loved reading and loved talking about books. She also loved to talk about another passion--politics, but of course that could only be done in a safe area! Janice brought to BookTowne the insights that came from living abroad for a number of years, a varied work experience, including at a bookstore on the Cape and Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. Her commitment to BookTowne and to the community was beautiful. Her sense of humor was contagious. This very special person has left a tremendous void in our literary community and in the hearts of all of us at BookTowne."


Notes

Image of the Day: Bookmarks Grand Opening

At the grand opening on Saturday of Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, N.C. (l. to r.): Beth Seufer Buss, bookstore manager; Debbie Harllee, founder of Bookmarks; Charlie Lovett, board president; Ginger Hendricks, executive director; and Jamie Rogers Southern, operations director.


Bookselling: 'Do What You Want... People Love You for It'

Catherine Schulz, manager at Fullers Bookshop, Hobart, Tasmania, who was recently honored as Text Publishing Bookseller of the Year at the Australian Booksellers Association's gala dinner, was subsequently interviewed by Text "about what it takes to be a bookseller extraordinaire." Among our favorite exchanges:

Catherine Schulz

How did you first get into bookselling?
Accidentally in the right place at the right time. I was offered a job! Happened to be in Fullers ordering a book at the same time Clive was thinking he needed an extra staff member for the new shop he was opening. I have also recently discovered my mother had pestered him on my behalf, without my knowledge and to my completely embarrassed horror.

Independent booksellers do a wonderful and glorious thing called "handselling." What works best for you?
Do you mean how do I handsell? I don't have the formally learned words for critiquing writing so I talk about feelings--"This is a super sad love story and I cried all the way through. Sometimes you need a good cry" (200+ copies), "Well yes of course it's self-absorbed--it's about herself! And it's fabulous!" Honesty, too. I never ever pretend either way. When in doubt I say, "Look, it's just not written for me... I'm the wrong person for it."

Fullers is a bright and lovely bookshop in the middle of Hobart. What is the best thing about it?
Fullers is smart, knowledgeable, friendly and maintains a sense of humor. We are the result of the mix of staff and customers' and everyone's responses to and contribution to that mix. We are a world of our own making and it's a good world. 

And lastly, why do you love the world of bookselling?
You can do what you want, be your own world, and people love you for it.


Personnel Changes at House of SpeakEasy

Erin L. Cox has been named executive producer of House of SpeakEasy, where she will produce SpeakEasy's flagship show Seriously Entertaining as well as coordinate marketing and publicity strategy for the organization's programs, including the SpeakTogether program in area schools and the soon-to-be-launched Book Truck and House of SpeakEasy podcast.

Cox is also a literary agent at Rob Weisbach Creative Management and business development director of Publishing Perspectives. She has 18 years of experience in publicity, marketing, business development and agenting in book and magazine publishing for such companies as Scribner, HarperCollins, the New Yorker, Conde Nast digital, the Daily Beast and the Frankfurt Book Fair.

SpeakEasy Foundation co-founder Amanda Foreman said that Cox's "arrival comes on the heels of another successful season for us at Joe's Pub [at the Public Theater]. Erin's collaborative style and curatorial vision will be essential components for our further expansion of the Seriously Entertaining show. We look forward to working with her to highlight the literary talents of an all-new line-up of writers this fall and beyond."



Media and Movies

Media Heat: Jesse Eisinger on Fresh Air

Today:
Fresh Air: Jesse Eisinger, author of The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781501121364).

Tomorrow:
Late Night with Seth Meyers repeat: Andy Cohen, author of Superficial: More Adventures from the Andy Cohen Diaries (St. Martin's Griffin, $16.99, 9781250145710).


TV: Little Women

Principal photography begins in Ireland this month on a three-part series adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women for BBC One and PBS Masterpiece, Deadline reported. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the classic novel. The project is being written by Heidi Thomas (Call the Midwife) and directed by Vanessa Caswill (Thirteen).

The cast includes Angela Lansbury as Aunt March, Emily Watson as Marmee and Michael Gambon as Mr. Laurence. The March sisters will be played "by an ensemble of four young actresses": Maya Hawke (Jo), Willa Fitzgerald (Meg), Annes Elwy (Beth) and Kathryn Newton (Amy), with Jonah Hauer-King as Laurie Laurence. Little Women will air in 2018.


Books & Authors

Awards: Ingeborg Bachmann; National Biography

Playwright Ferdinand Schmalz (Matthias Schweiger) has won the €25,000 (about $28,500) 2017 Ingeborg Bachmann Prize for Mein Lieblingstier heißt Winter (My Pet Is Called Winter), "a text with much drive and feeling for the rhythm of language," Boersenblatt reported.

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The State Library of New South Wales has announced a shortlist for the AU$25,000 (about US$19,020) National Biography Award "for a published work of biographical or autobiographical writing aiming to promote public interest in these genres." The winner will be announced July 31. This year's shortlisted titles are:

The Unknown Judith Wright by Georgina Arnott
Mick: A Life of Randolph Stow by Suzanne Falkiner
Position Doubtful: Mapping Landscapes and Memories by Kim Mahood
Evatt: A Life by John Murphy
The Long Goodbye by P.J. Parker
Before Rupert: Keith Murdoch and the Birth of a Dynasty by Tom D.C. Roberts


Book Review

Review: The Book of Emma Reyes

The Book of Emma Reyes: A Memoir by Emma Reyes, trans. by Daniel Alarcon (Penguin Books, $24 hardcover, 192p., 9780143108689, August 8, 2017)

Emma Reyes was a Colombian painter who worked with Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo and spent most of her adult life in Paris. The Book of Emma Reyes is her childhood memoir, written between 1969 and 1997, in the form of 23 letters to a friend who suggested this method for finally putting down her horrifying and enthralling stories.

Nothing about this memoir is sentimental. Reyes's earliest memories are of extreme poverty in a slum of Bogotá, living with her older sister and a brother who was taken away without explanation. The head of this household was an abusive erratic young woman who Reyes barely realized was her mother, "a woman I remember only as an enormous tangle of black hair; it covered her completely, and when it was down I'd scream with fright and hide under the bed." She would lock the children into their windowless room for days at a time while she went away, she uprooted them repeatedly for mysterious reasons related to men she was seeing, and eventually she abandoned the sisters to a convent when they were five and six years old.

There the girls joined 150 others in working 10-hour days to earn their keep, at first doing heavy cleaning, later fine embroidery for outside customers. The adults they encountered almost all seemed to share the same approach to children: hard work, fear and violence. Reyes had no schooling until she was 10, and not much thereafter. These horrors and deprivations are told with the same open innocent perception as the many wonders she remembers as well: a spectacular neighborhood fire, a general made by her friends out of clay, a pet pig, an adored baby, a player piano. Each time Reyes found someone or something to love, she lost them through some catastrophe. She was a plain, fearful, violently expressive girl, and soon found herself in the shadow of her pretty older sister, separated and slowly alienated from her. This is a memoir of extreme hardships told in a clear restrained style, with an ending that leaves the reader wishing for more. --Sara Catterall

Shelf Talker: This memoir in 23 letters is a perceptive, straightforward account of an impoverished girl's intense sufferings and joys in 1920s and '30s Colombia.


The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

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

1. Easy Nights (The Boudreaux Series Book 6) by Kristen Proby
2. The Knocked Up Plan by Lauren Blakely
3. The Catch by K. Bromberg
4. Billionaires on the Beach: The Anderson Brothers by Various
5. Summer Whodunnits by Various
6. The King by Skye Warren
7. The Beard Made Me Do It (The Dixie Warden Rejects Book 5) by Lani Lynn Vale
8. Triple Chocolate Murder: Books 1, 2, and 3 by Sally Berneathy
9. Lost Love by Kelly Elliott
10. The Broken People from God's Land by Tim I. Gurung

[Many thanks to IndieReader.com!]


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