Also published on this date: Wednesday, August 2, 2017: Maximum Shelf: Wishtree

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, August 2, 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

Macmillan to Relocate, Consolidate NYC Offices

Macmillan's future home

Macmillan Publishers has signed a 20-year lease for 261,000 square feet in a 40-story office tower at 120 Broadway in Lower Manhattan. The company will move in early 2019 from multiple locations, including the Flatiron Building, to occupy floors 22 through 26 in what was the largest office building in the world when it opened in 1915. Known as the Equitable Building, the property features a grand lobby with soaring ceilings and in-building subway access.

"The move will be great for our people and our planned growth, and the architectural heritage of 120 Broadway means we will be moving from one of New York City's great iconic buildings to another," said Macmillan COO Andrew Weber.

Macmillan was represented by Leon Manoff of Colliers International, who called the publisher "a multi-faceted organization whose various publishing units have unique identities within the company. The size and configuration of 120 Broadway's floors allow for operational efficiencies, clustering of these units, and personalization of space for individual groups--something absolutely essential for successful collaboration, creativity and author service."

Roger A. Silverstein of Silverstein Properties commented: "In making the move Downtown, Macmillan joins a growing list of leading publishing, media and creative firms that have been attracted to Lower Manhattan for its vibrant mix of residences, open spaces, shopping, dining, cultural attractions and transit options."

Alliance for Downtown New York president Jessica Lappin noted that "Macmillan's new commitment to Lower Manhattan is not only welcome news, it's yet more evidence that Lower Manhattan is once again the center of the publishing world. In the 19th and early 20th centuries these streets were home to the country's great publishers and writers. It's amazing to see history repeat itself." She added that "we're doubly thrilled by this announcement as we can welcome them to 120 Broadway where the Alliance has made its home for 20 years."

In the past several years, HarperCollins and Abrams have both moved their offices from Midtown to Lower Manhattan--both to 195 Broadway.


AuthorBuzz: Indie Bookstore Readers


Grand Opening for the Little Boho Bookshop in Bayonne, N.J.

Bayonne, N.J., city officials were on hand Monday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of the Little Boho Bookshop as well as the Bake N' Brew Cafe, which are next door to each other at 164 Broadway in the Bergen Point neighborhood, the Jersey Journal reported.

On the Little Boho Bookshop's Facebook page, co-owners Sandra Deer and Roderick Jordan note that the store offers "an outstanding collection of best-selling and most beloved children's books of all time. Our carefully curated selection gives options to please all ages and personalities. Our books will take you from newborn through the 12th grade!

"We believe communities need independent bookstores, now more than ever. We all need places where we can meet, greet, laugh, play, relax, all while sharing the gift of reading with our children, reconnecting with the great authors and stories from our past and discovering new voices. Meaningful memories are made as stories are brought to life! BOOKS ARE MAGIC!!! Thank you for allowing us to be part of your community.....SEE YOU SOON!"


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


For Sale: Ninth Street Book Shop in Wilmington, Del.

Ninth Street Book Shop will close in January if owners Gemma and Jack Buckley, who are retiring, cannot find a buyer, WDEL reported. Four decades ago, the Buckleys were "two teachers who went downtown to buy some furniture. Instead, on a whim, the couple ended up buying a bookstore."

"Gem and I have done this since 1977, and this is our fifth location," said Jack Buckley. "We have had great people working for us and have had super, super customers.... My favorite part was that Gemma and I got to work together.... We would love to find a new owner for this store. The city deserves a bookstore."

"At 67 and 69, the Buckleys decided this holiday season would be their last," the Delaware Business Times wrote. "After 40 years of rarely having more than one day off in common, they are hoping someone else will find the prospect of owning a bookshop as joyful as they did."

"We're getting to the point where they are no guarantees. We want some quality time together," Gemma Buckley said, adding: "I'm going to miss the people. I'm so grateful to all the people who have been so loyal.... The city's in a transitional phase. Just like we took a limited leap of faith, it would take someone else to take a leap of faith. The store has potential. It has a lot going for it. It would take somebody who would definitely have to love what they're doing because it's certainly not going to be a big revenue store. You can survive. Thrive? Coming soon, hopefully."

Her husband agreed: "Ninety-nine percent of this whole thing has been positive. I'd love to pass this on. Leaving the city without a bookstore, I feel bad about that. There's always been one here for a long, long time. This city deserves one."

Random House sales rep Doug Hodges observed that the store "looks great with good fixtures and great displays. They are up-to-date with systems.... The best thing has been Jack's and Gemma's enthusiasm for books. They communicate that enthusiasm and joy to their customers. I am going to miss seeing them."


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


Future Bookstore: The Book Colony in Meriden, Conn.

Bookseller Veronica Brooks has launched a GoFundMe campaign with the goal of eventually opening an indie bookstore in Meriden, Conn., called the Book Colony. Brooks has worked for R.J. Julia in Madison, Conn., as well as Maple Street Books and Octavia Books in New Orleans, La.

"I have worn many hats while working for bookstores, and I understand the long hours it takes to run an indie," she noted on her GoFundMe page, adding: "Ever since Borders closed in Meriden, I have not been able to stop thinking about putting a bookstore back in my hometown. This diverse city is centrally located and now with all the projects around the space I am considering, a bookstore would be a wonderful addition. Bookstores are ultimately places to buy books, but they are also places to meet and share ideas... for everyone."

Brooks told Shelf Awareness: "I have always worked for other people, and I know this is something I could do for my community, myself and my family. Is it wrong I really want a bookstore cat or cats? That's my main goal. No, I'm just kidding. I was at BEA when we talked about bookstores being a 'third place,' and I want that for my hometown, too. I have learned so much over the years from the places I have worked, and I am ready to do this. My mother thinks I'm crazy, but she'll be right in there working with me if I can get the store up and running. It is also important to me, once the store is ready, to have a diverse staff."

Although she has a potential space in mind, nothing has been finalized. Brooks also said that having worked in used, new and combination bookstores, "I think the Book Colony would have to be a combination. It helps balance things out, and who am I fooling--I like to find what people leave in used books."


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


Ken Michaels Honored with BISG Distinguished Service Award

Ken Michaels

Macmillan Learning CEO Ken Michaels will receive the Book Industry Study Group's 2017 Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes a person's "outstanding work on behalf of BISG over the course of a career."

A past chair of BISG's board, "Ken brought his energy, enthusiasm, and insight to every BISG discussion," current board chair Maureen McMahon said. "No one is a more passionate advocate for BISG. And, he has always worked to make sure BISG served all of our industry."

Michaels said, "Our volunteer committees and working groups, coupled with the passion of the BISG board, made the experience so engaging. BISG members want to make a difference in their professional lives. Their work and dedication made it a privilege to play a part in BISG's growth."

Michaels will be recognized at BISG's annual meeting, which takes place in New York City on Monday, September 25.


Obituary Note: Hector Martinez

Hector Martinez

Hector Martinez, Hachette Book Group national accounts manager, died on July 27 after a battle with cancer. He was national accounts manager for the last four years, selling HBG and clients' children's books to Ingram and Baker & Taylor. Before joining Hachette, he worked at Random House, Simon & Schuster, Follett Educational Services and Santillana USA.

"Hector was a dear friend and valued colleague," Sophie Cottrell, senior v-p of corporate communications, said. "His customers and colleagues adored him, and Hector cherished the people who made work so much more than a job. We will all miss Hector's kindness, good humor, and steadfast friendship."


Notes

Image of the Day: Turnabout

At Powell's Books on Hawthorne, in Portland, Ore., last week, author Chuck Palahniuk (l.) got a signed copy of Rob Hart's The Woman from Prague. Hart noted: "It's kinda nuts how many times I've stood in a line to get a book signed by Chuck Palahniuk, and last night he stood in line to get a book signed by me. Granted, it was a much shorter line. But it was still pretty nice."


Indie Bookstore Podcast: Open Stacks

The Seminary Co-op Bookstores in Chicago recently launched Open Stacks, a podcast featuring "conversations with scholars, poets, novelists and activists on subjects as eclectic as the books on our shelves, from under-the-radar debates in the academy to pressing contemporary social issues, and from bestselling works of fiction to avant-garde poetics." The programs are recorded live at the Seminary Co-op Bookstores and partnering spaces. Open Stacks is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Stitcher and wherever podcasts are found.

The early episodes included philosophers Jonathan Lear and Martha Nussbaum discussing the role irrational minds play in the pursuit of happiness; Michael Eric Dyson discussing identity politics, the myth of whiteness, and the 2016 election; China Mieville reflecting on the continued importance of the Russian Revolution; and more. On the most recent Open Stacks episode, activist Dr. David Ansell discussed his book The Death Gap: How Inequality Kills; and New York Times health journalist Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal talked about her work An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back.

Current plans call for Open Stacks to expand its segments. While primarily highlighting visiting authors, the podcast "is adding light touches of the store and our surrounding community," the Seminary Co-op noted. "We'll also be going Off-Topic, inviting authors to talk about unexpectedly beloved reads."


Personnel Changes at Viking/Penguin; Harvard Book Store

Brianna Linden has been promoted to associate publicist at Viking/Penguin. She joined the company last year as a publicity assistant after working for two years at a lifestyle PR agency.

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Ben Paul has taken over as print on demand manager at Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, Mass.



Media and Movies

TV: Sweetbitter

Starz has put the half-hour drama Sweetbitter, based on Stephanie Danler's bestselling 2016 book, on fast-track development, Deadline reported. The project was written by Danler and is based on a pilot script developed by her and Stu Zicherman (The Americans) and Plan B Entertainment. 

"It's a book that several of the women at Starz had read and were excited about," said Chris Albrecht, president and CEO. "When we heard it may be a project, I literally had some of my colleagues come and say this is one we've got to get; it plays into young female demographic but as we know women of all ages will certainly be attracted to great stories.... I read the material and thought 'OK, this one feels like something worth chasing'. Luckily (head of programming) Carmi Zlotnik and the team had a great creative meeting and convinced them that Starz was the home because there certainly were other places that would've been happy to finance and make this show."


Books & Authors

Awards: Polari First Book Shortlist

A shortlist has been announced for the Polari First Book Prize, which celebrates "a writer whose first book explores the LGBT experience, whether in poetry, prose, fiction or nonfiction." The overall winner will be revealed October 13 at the London Literature Festival. This year's shortlisted titles are:

Expecting by Chitra Ramaswamy
Guapa by Saleem Haddad
We Go Around in the Night and Are Consumed by Fire by Jules Grant
Straight Jacket by Matthew Todd
The Vegetarian Tigers of Paradise by Crystal Jeans
Jerusalem Ablaze by Orlando Ortega-Medina


Reading with... Rachel Wilkerson Miller

photo: Katherine O Brien

Rachel Wilkerson Miller is a senior lifestyle editor at BuzzFeed and author of the how-to book on a new creative trend: Dot Journaling--A Practical Guide (The Experiment, July 25, 2017). After graduating from Michigan State University with a degree in journalism, she worked at Elle magazine. Her writing has appeared on the Hairpin, Huffington Post, the Knot and A Practical Wedding, and she has been a guest on the Today show and Good Morning America. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.

On your nightstand now:

The book that's literally on my nightstand is Leslie Jamison's The Empathy Exams. I started it a year ago--after reading her "Grand Unified Theory on Female Pain"--but still haven't finished the book. The book figuratively on my nightstand (because it's on my e-reader) is Raven Rock: The Story of the U.S. Government's Secret Plan to Save Itself--While the Rest of Us Die by Garrett M. Graff. You know, just a nice light summer beach read!

Favorite book when you were a child:

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr., John Archambault and Lois Ehlert is probably my earliest favorite book.

Your top five authors:

Mary Roach, whose voice and approach to nonfiction is truly one of a kind. David Sedaris, for the same reason. Elena Ferrante, who writes women's lives in such a brutally honest and raw way. Stephanie Coontz--I was assigned one of her books (The Way We Never Were) for a class in college and then went and read some of her others for fun. I get a really excited whenever I see that she's written a new article for a major media outlet. And Christopher Moore--his novels are just fun and smart and irreverent.

Book you've faked reading:

In high school, I wrote an in-class book report on The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas and somehow got an A on it, despite the fact that I only read the Cliffs Notes.

Book you're an evangelist for:

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. I had such visceral reactions when I was reading it, I often found myself shouting and/or wanting to throw it across the room. But I feel like it should be required reading for everyone in the United States.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum. I actually don't read a ton of fiction, but the original cover was so stunning, I couldn't resist. Funnily enough, they've actually since changed the cover several times (a friend said she heard from a friend in publishing that the cover I loved didn't sell very well) and I probably would not have read it if it had had one of the new covers when I first came across it.

Book that changed your life:

The American Girl historical books (particularly Samantha's, Addy's and Molly's) were a really formative and significant part of my childhood, and genuinely shaped the course of my life. They sparked a lifelong love of history, inspired me to be brave and bold, taught me that girls' stories matter, and made me want to go to summer camp (which turned out to be a pretty important life experience).

Favorite line from a book:

I have two, and both are from Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. "This is my soul and the world unwinding, this is my heart in the still winter air" and "He had never felt so alive or so sad."

Five books you'll never part with:

The Time-Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger; I've read it probably a dozen times and it always moves me. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, which I used to re-read every summer, though it's been a few years. Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann; it's just so iconic and perfect, and it's another one I re-read regularly--I'm actually kind of overdue for another reading. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold; I've had it since I was in high school and it's moved across the country with me several times. It's not one I really re-read regularly, but I just have an attachment to it. And a copy of Little, Big by John Crowley. It was one of my dad's favorite books, and my grandmother tracked down a copy and sent it to me after he died. (This was pre-Amazon, when it wasn't very easy to obtain an out-of-print book.)

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

Either Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides or Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. Both take you on such a journey, and I remember just being completely immersed in each of them the first time I read them.


Book Review

Children's Review: The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding: A Fiendish Arrangement

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken (Disney, $16.99 hardcover, 368p., ages 8-12, 9781484778173, September 5, 2017)

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding, begins with "A Word from the Malefactor." "Light a candle and step close to the looking glass," he says, "Time is short, and we cannot delay." It is of the utmost importance that you remember three lessons: "The first is that you can never trust a Redding."

Seventh-grader Prosper Redding is a descendant of Honor Redding, the founder of the small town of Redhood, Mass. While all of the members of his family--including his twin sister, Prudence (Prue)--are award-winners or at the top of their field, Prosper "was the first to set the record for the most times... dozing off during class in a single year." He knows that every generation of his family has been more successful than the last and that his family is, in fact, quite famous for being rich, but Prosper thinks "you might be interested to know that there is nothing interesting about the Reddings."

It's Founder's Day, an October celebration of the Redding family's founding of Redhood. Prosper's parents are out of the country and so are not around when Prue and Prosper arrive home to find Grandmother Redding ("the Devil in a dress suit") has prepared a surprise family reunion of sorts. As Grandmother (who "would skin a puppy if she thought it would make a good hat") begins shepherding everyone down to the always-locked basement, Prosper receives a panicked call from his father: "you have to get your sister and get out of the Cottage right now." The line goes dead and an extremely angry Grandmother ushers Prue and Prosper into the dungeon, er, basement.

Here, something weird happens involving a big, old book, bloody handwriting and a knife--a knife Grandmother uses on Prosper. Before she can hurt him further, Prosper is rescued by a stranger who smuggles him off to Salem. The stranger introduces himself as Prosper's long-lost uncle Barnabas and settles the frightened preteen into a room with his daughter, Nell, a young witch around Prosper's age. He tells Prosper that to establish his family and make his line successful, Honor Redding made a pretty standard deal with a fiend: the fiend would make the family prosperous and, upon their deaths, the souls of every family member would writhe in eternal agony as slaves to the fiend. Liking the success but not the "eternal servitude" thing, Honor went back on the deal and tried to kill the fiend... who is now inside Prosper and demanding revenge.

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding somehow balances family drama, humor and chilling otherworldliness. Prosper is an extremely likable protagonist who can't help but be the family black sheep--he does have a demon inside him, after all. The fiend, Alastor, is a constant malevolent presence who adds a significant amount of humor as he tries, repeatedly, to convince kindhearted Prosper to make an evil deal. Imaginative, exhilarating and outstandingly funny, Alexandra Bracken's newest work is devious and delightful. --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness

Shelf Talker: Black sheep seventh-grader Prosper Redding must overcome a sarcastic demon inside of him to save himself and his family from eternal servitude.


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