Also published on this date: Wednesday, July 26, 2017: Maximum Shelf: The Long Count: A John Q Mystery

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, July 26, 2017


Orchard Books: Groovy Joe: Dance Party Countdown by Eric Litwin, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

Atlantic Monthly Press: The Prague Sonata by Bradford Morrow

Balzer & Bray/Harperteen: I Love You Like a Pig by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Greg Pizzoli

Grove Press: Afterglow (a Dog Memoir) by Eileen Myles

Flatiron Books: The Kings of Big Spring: God, Oil, and One Family's Search for the American Dream by Bryan Mealer

News

Frankfurt CEO Talk to Feature S&S's Carolyn Reidy and French Publisher Guillaume Dervieux

This year's CEO Talk at the Frankfurt Book Fair will feature Carolyn Reidy, CEO and president of Simon & Schuster, and Guillaume Dervieux, v-p of Albin Michel, the French publisher. (France is guest of honor at this year's fair.)

The Talk, which takes place Wednesday, October 11, will, the fair said, "highlight strategic developments in international publishing, in particular the intrinsic relevance of books and publishers in today's global context of media competition, as well as the transformation of audiences and their cultural practices."

Rüdiger Wischenbart, consultant and head of the Global Ranking of the Publishing Industry 2017 report, will moderate the Talk. Book trade reporters from around the world will question Reidy and Dervieux. Book fair director Juergen Boos will open the discussion.

For a time, the CEO event featured a panel of heads of houses, until 2013, when Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle was the sole publisher. Since then, the event has highlighted HarperCollins president and CEO Brian Murray, then Arnaud Nourry, chairman and CEO of Hachette Livre, and last year Jacob Dalborg, CEO of Bonnier Books.


AuthorBuzz: Indie Bookstore Readers


BookSmart Turns to Crowdfunding to Stay Open

BookSmart in Morgan Hill, Calif., has launched an Indiegogo campaign to help pay off past debts and stave off eviction. Co-owners Brad Jones and Cinda Meister have set a goal of $20,000, and the campaign has raised just over $5,000 with 19 days to go. The fundraiser comes a little more than a year after the store was forced to leave its home of 21 years due to a redevelopment project in downtown Morgan Hill.

"Last year we moved to our new digs after a mad scramble to find a new place," Jones and Meister wrote on the Indiegogo page. "We love our new home but the cost of moving and the timeline required didn't allow us time to find proper financing, so we dug deep, using credit cards, personal loans and cash advances. Now we need some help getting caught up and refinancing the expensive debt."

According to the Morgan Hill Times, Jones and Meister were given a 10-day eviction notice on July 11 due to $60,000 of unpaid rent owed to the landlord. After making their plight known to their customers and "reaching at least a temporary detente with the landlord," BookSmart can remain open as long as Jones and Meister meet a "very aggressive" repayment schedule.

Since the move, BookSmart has created a not-for-profit organization called BookSmart Community Advantage, which focuses on community-building and literary education programs separate from the bookselling business. Inspired by Kepler's Books in Menlo Park, Calif., and the Kepler's 2020 business model, the nonprofit has a suite of children's events planned throughout the summer.


Zondervan: To Wager Her Heart (Belle Meade Plantation) by Tamera Alexander


BookPeople Partners with the Texas Book Festival

BookPeople, Austin, Tex., and the Texas Book Festival have launched a partnership through which the indie bookstore will serve as the official and main bookseller for this year's festival weekend (November 4-5). In addition, BookPeople will partner with TBF year-round as the bookseller for literary events, including the Texas Book Festival Gala and TBF events in Austin at which book sales occur. They will also team up for a day of sales at BookPeople where a percentage will benefit a specific TBF outreach program. TBF and BookPeople will be full media partners, aiming to reach more readers through digital content and author events.

"BookPeople is proud to be the new official bookseller for the Texas Book Festival," said BookPeople CEO Steve Bercu. "This partnership between the Texas Book Festival and BookPeople cements that the festival is a wholly Texan celebration of the written word. This year's festival is shaping up to be one of the best yet and we can't wait to be a part of it."

The 2017 TBF lineup will feature 275 celebrated and emerging writers, with book sales for participating writers available at a main adult book sales tent, a children's book sales tent, and a cooking tent. There will also be book sales at designated indoor venues. For the first time, people who cannot attend the festival will be able to pre-order signed copies of select festival authors' books and pick them up at BookPeople after the Festival Weekend, or have them shipped anywhere in the world. A percentage of book sales from the Festival Weekend will go back to TBF to support its mission and programs.

"We are very excited to work with BookPeople, not only for the annual Festival Weekend, but throughout the year," said TBF executive director Lois Kim. "We've been so impressed by the work BookPeople has done in the community to champion books and support literacy, and we can't wait to join forces to reach even more readers in Austin and beyond."


Trinity University Press: Self-Portrait with Dogwood by Christopher Merrill


Cristóbal Pera is Vintage Español's New Publishing Director

Cristóbal Pera

Cristóbal Pera, a veteran editor, publisher and literary agent with years of experience in Spanish-language publishing, is Vintage Español's new publishing director, effective immediately. Pera will acquire and publish original books in Spanish, along with Spanish translations of English-language titles. He is taking over from Jaime de Pablos, who has resigned in order to concentrate on his family's business. Ingrid Paredes, who recently became publishing manager at Vintage Español, will now report to Pera.

Pera's first job in publishing was at Galaxia Gutenberg in the mid-1990s, where he edited Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, before moving to Random House Mondadori in Barcelona, where he was literary director of the imprint Debate. In 2006, Pera became editorial director of Random House Mondadori Mexico, and in 2015 he became director of the Wylie Agency España. Pera holds a Ph.D. in Latin American Literature from the University of Texas at Austin, has taught at the University of Texas and the University of Barcelona, and has written the novel La bahia suspendida, as well as a book of essays and numerous articles and translations. He is also on the board of directors of international literary magazine Words Without Borders.

Vintage Español was founded in 1994 with an inaugural list of three titles. Among some of Vintage Español's and Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial's major upcoming Spanish-language titles are the latest novels from Dan Brown and Carlos Ruiz Zafón, an illustrated 50th anniversary edition of Gabriel García Márquez’s Cien años de soledad, and new editions of the complete works of Isabel Allende and Roberto Bolaño.


Shelf Awareness Sign-up Giveaway: In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan


Obituary Note: Flo Steinberg

Florence "Flo" Steinberg, "the Marvel Comics fixture who served as Stan Lee's secretary during the Silver Age of the 1960s and helped establish the company as a pop-culture powerhouse," died July 23, Entertainment Weekly reported. She was 78. In the early days of Marvel, Steinberg "was the company's only other staffer alongside editor-in-chief Lee, and she was instrumental in managing day-to-day affairs and responding to fan mail." She left in 1968, published the early independent comic book Big Apple Comix in 1975, then returned to Marvel as a proofreader in the 1990s.

"Flo Steinberg was my 1st secretary @ Marvel. To most others it was just a job, to Flo it was her life's work. Her passing is a great loss," Lee tweeted.

In a statement, Marvel said: "We are incredibly saddened to hear of Flo Steinberg's passing and send our deepest condolences to her friends and family. Flo has always been the heart of Marvel and a legend in her own right. She will be forever missed and always loved by all of us here at Marvel."

Marvel's blog celebrated "the contributions of a key member of the original Marvel bullpen," noting that Steinberg "established a unique and profound connection with every member of the Marvel staff fortunate enough to encounter her, in particular the growing ranks of women working in the industry.

"While the likes of Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and more may have been responsible for the unique sensibilities on display within the pages of the House of Ideas' books, Steinberg helped solidify the community that those comics inspired in its readers. With San Diego Comic-Con unfolding at this moment, it takes little imagination to draw a straight line from her attitude and commitment in those early days to the vast network of comic book fans that gather at conventions and online to talk about their love of the characters and stories of Marvel Comics."


Notes

Image of the Day: Two for One

Last week Concord Bookshop, Concord, Mass., hosted novelists Edward Kelsey Moore (The Supremes Sing the Happy Heartache Blues) and Julia Glass (A House Among the Trees). The Concord Bookshop was the fifth of five venues where the authors appeared together; they--and their novels--dovetailed for a great conversation with the audience, reported owner Dawn Rennert.


Vroman's Bookstore Enjoying a 'Resurgence in Sales'

Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena, Calif., was cited as one of many "small, independent book and record sellers that populate downtowns in areas like Pasadena and Whittier... reporting a resurgence of interest," the Star-News reported.

Noting that the last four years have seen the bookshop's best sales performance ever, Vroman's president and CEO Allison Hill said the boom reflects a "renaissance for indie bookstores.... I think our world is just spinning so fast now because of globalization and digital and the Internet and people are looking for ways to ground themselves."

Whether the draw is print books that readers can touch or the lifting of a needle on a record player and reading liner notes from an album, Hill said, "All of these moments, I think, allow people to pause and be present and connect with our world in a deeper, more meaningful way than a click-click algorithm."


Cool Idea of the Day: #livresdanslemétro

YouTuber and book lover Audrée Archambault has been leaving free books in Montreal's Metro stations for the past eight months," CBC News reported, noting that her only request is that finders return them to the subway system once they're done reading. The books, which are primarily French-language titles, feature a Livres dans le Metro sticker "explaining it's been left there on purpose and that its finder is welcome to bring it home and read it." Her efforts are highlighted on social media under the hashtag #livresdanslemétro.

"I dream of the day where I will be taking the subway and I will find a book that I didn't leave there before," said Archambault, who was inspired by actor Emma Watson's initiative to leave books from her feminist book club Our Shared Shelf on the London Underground last fall.

"It's so funny, because I find people are shy," she said. "When they see the book, they sit down next to it and then they look at it, and they're not sure if they can take it. And then when no one's looking they take it." The city's transit agency, Société de transport de Montréal, has partnered with her to create videos of her hiding books with their authors. 


Personnel Changes at Scholastic Trade

At Scholastic Trade:

Rachel Coun has been promoted to v-p, marketing & global franchise management. She was previously executive director, marketing & global franchise management.

Mara Lander has joined the company as senior marketing director, licensed publishing & brand management. She was previously executive director, licensing and brand management, at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.



Media and Movies

Media Heat: Henry Fountain on Fresh Air

Today:
Fresh Air: Henry Fountain, author of The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet (Crown, $28, 9781101904060).

Tomorrow:
The View: Thomas Jackson, author of Policing Ferguson, Policing America: What Really Happened... and What the Country Can Learn from It (Skyhorse Publishing, $24.99, 9781510719767).

Daily Show: Masha Gessen, author of The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin (Riverhead, $17, 9781594486517).


Movies: Disobedience; Tolkien

A first look was unveiled for Sebastián Lelio's Disobedience, a film adaptation of the 2006 novel by Naomi Alderman, starring Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz. Deadline reported that the film will have its world premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival in September, and "given the involvement of McAdams and Weisz, Disobedience is bound to be the most high profile release of Lelio's career thus far." There is no U.S. distributor at this point.

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J.R.R. Tolkien "is getting his movie moment." Deadline reported that Dome Karukoski (The Home of Dark Butterflies) will direct Tolkien, and casting is underway. Chernin Entertainment is producing for Fox Searchlight. The script, by David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford, "explores the formative years of the orphaned author as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a fellow group of outcasts at school. This takes him into the outbreak of World War I, which threatens to tear the 'fellowship' apart. All of these experiences would inspire Tolkien to write his famous Middle-Earth novels," Deadline noted.  


Books & Authors

Awards: Theakston Crime Novel; Taste Canada

Chris Brookmyre won the 2017 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award for Black Widow, the Guardian reported. During the opening night festivities at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Brookmyre received a £3,000 (about $3,905) cash prize, as well as a handmade, engraved oak beer cask made by Theakston Old Peculier.

Elly Griffiths, one of the judges, said, "I think it's a tour de force. It's such an important book, with fantastic characters--a really strong novel... It keeps us guessing not just who did it, but why they did it, and cements Chris's place in the pantheon of great crime writers."

Lee Child was honored with the Theakston Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award.

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Finalists have been unveiled for the 20th annual Taste Canada Awards, honoring the country's best food writing in seven English and five French categories, Quillblog reported. Winners will be announced at a gala in Toronto on October 30. You can see the English language shortlists here.


Reading with... Ellen Adler

Ellen Adler is the publisher of the New Press, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2017. She was the editor of Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Hochschild, published just before the 2016 election. The New Press is the publisher of The New Jim Crow, which has just reached a million copies in print.

On your nightstand now:

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard--for my book group. I love that I read books I wouldn't otherwise, thanks to my 20-year-old book group.

Richard Nixon: The Life by John Farrell--it's hard not to think about Nixon these days.

Al Franken, Giant of the Senate--I could use a good laugh right now, and I hope Franken delivers!

Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? by Alyssa Mastromonaco--sounds like a great read by a smart and witty Obama administration veteran.

Normally there would be fiction in the mix. But these are not normal times.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little by E.B. White. Unparalleled. I still remember the very moment I read the last page of Charlotte's Web for the first time. And I still think of Charlotte whenever I see a spider web.

Your top five authors:

There are way more than five. But top of the list is Toni Morrison. The best is to listen to her reading. Once you've done that it's hard to return to the page.

Book you've faked reading:

Ulysses. Pathetic, I know. A seditious professor in college told me to try reading only the left-hand pages, or the right-hand pages, but even that didn't help. It may be time to try again. I do love Joyce's stories--no problem getting through them and I have returned to them many times.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Becoming Ms. Burton: From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women by Susan Burton and Cari Lynn. We don't usually publish memoirs, but when I read the proposal, I knew we had to take it on. It changed the way I see the world. We've described it as telling the human story behind mass incarceration. Women like Susan are usually dead, or in prison, or otherwise silenced, so it's a great gift to hear her voice and know her story. We're working on creating a special paperback edition that will be distributed free in prisons to incarcerated men and women across the country.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Multiple books published by Europa! They are so beautiful.

Book you hid from your parents:

I remember two. My parents were friends with Paul Eriksson, whose small publishing company in Vermont brought out Christine Jorgensen's autobiography in 1967. Jorgensen was the first American to announce publicly that she'd undergone surgery to change her sexual identity--to "correct," as she put it, "a misjudgment of nature." I didn't know it at the time, but her book was my introduction to the brave world of independent publishing--and also to issues of gender identity, which was decidedly not something I wished to discuss with my parents at the time! The second was Down These Mean Streets by Piri Thomas, published the same year, which must have been my year of sneaking away with books as I was trying to make sense of the world. Thomas introduced me not only to life in the Puerto Rican community in Spanish Harlem but also to the art of memoir--a form I still read voraciously.

Book that changed your life:

My Home, My Land by Abu Iyad and Eric Rouleau. Reading this now long out-of-print book was a political awakening for me. Much fell into place for me in terms of my understanding not only of the Middle East, but also of the world.

Favorite line from a book:

"You were positutely right!... Philadelphia is the capital of Belgium." From William Steig's Spinky Sulks. No home is complete without a collection of William Steig's so-called picture books.

Five books you'll never part with:

I've gotten less attached to books than I once was. Living in New York City helps and when I get rid of books I always tell myself that they will be waiting for me at the Strand if I ever need them. Nevertheless, there are a few books that have stayed with me over the years:

A battered used paperback copy of the edited collection of Sisterhood Is Powerful edited by Robin Morgan--every page was a revelation when I was a teenager.

Personal Politics by Sara Evans--the first time I was acknowledged for my editorial contributions, however small, by an author.

Economics for the Rest of Us by Moshe Adler. Economics for non-economists like me by an author who happens to be my husband.

Umbrella by Taro Yashima--a marvelous bittersweet picture book that I loved reading with my daughter.

The five-volume Collected Papers of Sigmund Freud that belonged to my father. The beautiful spines--gold lettering on dark green leather--were always in sight on the bookcase when I was a child.

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

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman--dazzling in every way.

Poets in Their Youth by Eileen Simpson--a heartbreaker, achingly sad and beautifully written.

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka--laugh out loud funny.

Of course, there are dozens more. That's the thing about books.


Book Review

Children's Review: Wicked Bugs: The Meanest, Deadliest, Grossest Bugs on Earth

Wicked Bugs (Young Readers Edition): The Meanest, Deadliest, Grossest Bugs on Earth by Amy Stewart, illus. by Briony Morrow-Cribbs (Algonquin Young Readers, $19.95 hardcover, 192p., ages 8-12, 9781616207557, August 8, 2017)

Wicked Bugs is not for the faint of heart. Author/bookseller Amy Stewart's (Lady Cop Makes Trouble) young readers edition of her adult nonfiction title featuring insects, spiders, worms and other creepy-crawlies is sure to thrill budding entomologists, but may leave others feeling mysterious prickles on their skin. Briony Morrow-Cribbs's supplemental illustrations throughout enhance the sinister nature of these creatures, giving the book a powerful gross factor--perfect for the middle grade target audience.

Wicked Bugs is divided into six categories of vicious vermin: Deadly Creatures, Everyday Dangers, Unwelcome Invaders, Destructive Pests, Serious Pains and Terrible Threats. Within each category readers will discover specific species discussed with spine-tingling details and amazing facts: e.g., cockroaches will consume a wide variety of human waste ("they will even chew on bookbindings and the paste on stamps") and there are well-documented cases of cockroaches "crawling into people's ears and getting stuck there." Stewart manages to slip in history lessons with tidbits about sand fleas torturing Christopher Columbus's crew and termites exacerbating Hurricane Katrina's destruction of New Orleans. Wicked Bugs is the entomophobe's version of a car wreck: Stewart has compiled such interesting information on otherwise repellent critters that readers can't help but keep turning the pages in anticipation of what will come next.

The end of each category is a themed chapter rather than a highlight of one specific bug. Stewart covers parasitic worms that invade the human body, insects that feed on corpses and even zombies. "The insect world has its own version of The Walking Dead. These bugs don't just eat other bugs--they actually inhabit them and force them to do harm on their behalf."

Marching across the pages of each chapter are Morrow-Cribbs's realistic illustrations, complete with texture and depth. The lifelike appearances evoke double takes to ensure they're drawings and not unexpected guests settling in to read along; Cribbs's illustrations paired with Stewart's text will certainly elicit delighted squeals of "ewww" and "yuck."

Middle grade readers will be mesmerized by the terrors and disturbing behaviors of Stewart's collection of wicked bugs. Who needs frogs and snakes when there are so many fascinating (read: disgusting) insects? However, another side effect may result from reading this book: cleanliness. Neglecting to properly wash food, leaving trash around and other unsanitary behaviors are held up as causes of terrifying problems, like that of the Arizona woman doctors wheeled into brain surgery. "With her skull open and her brain exposed, the surgeon started laughing. He was relieved to find out that, rather than an intractable tumor, the woman had been suffering from tapeworms."  

This accessible, middle-grade version of Wicked Bugs combines science, anthropology and history with a powerful yuck-factor. It's sure to be a hit with even the most reluctant readers--just be prepared for some serious goose bumps and skin tingles along the way. --Jen Forbus, freelancer

Shelf Talker: In a young readers' edition of the bestselling adult book, creepy crawlies from around the world show off their meanest, deadliest, grossest characteristics and behaviors.


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