Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, August 23, 2017


Clarkson Potter Publishers: This Is Me, Period by Philip Cowell, illustrated by Caz Hildebrand

Workman Publishing: Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless: 100 Surprising Vegetarian Meals Straight from the Oven by Raquel Pelzel

Running Press Book Publishers: Life Is Like a Musical: How to Live, Love, and Lead Like a Star by Tim Federle

Scholastic Press: All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

Riverhead Books: My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

Quotation of the Day

'We Are in the Hearts and Minds Business'

"I believe that fiction can change people's hearts and minds. About 90% of the correspondence I received after writing The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry ended with the reader telling me, 'I am now off to visit my independent bookstore.' Surely, these people had noticed that there were fewer bookstores in their communities before reading A.J. Fikry. Surely, they'd come across the ubiquitous think pieces about the end of the American bookstore. And yet, a story can do what a think piece cannot. This is why I write books. And maybe this is why you sell them, too. We aren't in the book business; we are in the hearts and minds business."

--Gabrielle Zevin, whose September Indie Next Pick Young Jane Young was released yesterday by Algonquin, in a letter to booksellers

Running Press Book Publishers: Waltz of the Snowflakes by Elly MacKay


News

Argos Brewhouse & Bookseller to Open in Sweetwater, Tex.

"A new business unlike any other is making its way" to downtown Sweetwater, Tex., KTAB noted in reporting that Argos Brewhouse & Bookseller, located at 209 Oak Street, will host a preview night August 25 and is planning to open September 5.

The business was conceived by Sweetwater residents Jeff Allen, Jared Houze and Rod Wetsel "in hopes that locals will have a casual place to hang out," KTAB reported, adding that "just like the books on the shelves, everything in this new business has a history," including the name. Allen explained: "We pulled it from The Odyssey. It's the name of Ulysses' dog in the book. It was kind of coming from the idea of loyalty of sitting and waiting for him all those years to come back and that's kind of what we want to be for the community is to be there for it and be loyal to it."

Located in the heart of downtown, the building was constructed in 1903 and the Argos co-owners have kept the original hardwood floors, "showcasing the town's history on the walls, and even integrating as much history into the building as possible," KTAB noted. "All of our granite countertops are from the county courthouse," Allen said.

What’s new, however, is a bookstore for the community. "This is a new innovation in Sweetwater. I don't think we've had a bookstore here in half a century," Wetsel observed. "I'm a lifelong resident here, my ancestors came here in the beginning, these fellows have made their homes here and we all have an interest in seeing Sweetwater thrive." 


Conari Press: Swimming with Elephants: My Unexpected Pilgrimage from Physician to Healer by Sarah Bamford Seidelmann


Binc, Macmillan Name Professional Development Scholarship Winners

The Book Industry Charitable Foundation and Macmillan Publishers have announced the winners of the Macmillan Booksellers Professional Development Scholarship, which was created earlier this summer to provide professional development to booksellers from groups traditionally underrepresented in the industry. The nine winners will receive scholarships of up to $500 each to attend a regional booksellers association trade show. The winners are:

The scholarship was open to applicants with regular part-time or full-time employment at a bookstore belonging to a regional booksellers association who fit at least one of the following categories: a person of color, someone who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer, or a person with disabilities. Applicants had to answer three brief essay questions that were then evaluated by a panel of Binc board members, booksellers, bookstore owners and publishers.

"Creating positive changes to increase diversity is a shared responsibility in the bookselling industry," said Pamela French, Binc's executive director. "Partnering to help diverse booksellers participate in the important conversations taking place at regional gatherings is a great way for Binc and Macmillan to leverage their resources."

"The personal testimonies were all very compelling and I had a tough time rating the applications," said Angus Killick, co-chair of the Macmillan Diversity & Inclusion Council and v-p associate publisher of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group. "These booksellers are incredibly committed to what they do, and the difference they know they can make."


Avery Publishing Group: The End of Alzheimer's: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline by Dale Bredesen


Australia Extends Tax to Online Overseas Book Orders

Australia's Parliament has passed legislation imposing a 10% goods and services tax on low-value imports, including books, purchased from online overseas sellers, effective July 1, 2018. Vendors with less than AU$75,000 (about US$59,250) turnover are exempt. Amazon was among the companies opposing the law. Books+Publishing reported that "the government first announced its intention to repeal the AU$1,000 [about US$790] GST-free threshold on online imports in 2015. The Australian Booksellers Association has long campaigned on the issue and advocated a zero threshold on overseas purchases."

In a recent speech at the Booksellers NZ Conference in Auckland, ABA CEO Joel Becker said that from the beginning, the organization's campaign was largely based on two main contentions: "When the GST was introduced in Australia, everyone was fairly clueless about eCommerce. The most radical thing happening was being able to order your pizza online, and had little to do with global commerce. Over the last 15 years or so, billions of dollars have been lost to the economy as people buy cameras and books and bicycles and cosmetics and everything else imaginable online and offshore. Those billions of dollars [didn't go] to paying for schools, hospitals, roads, social services police and essential infrastructure. A great black hole was created.

"The second issue was one of a level playing field. In effect, in the name of free enterprise and a global economy, the free marketeers assisted in the creation of a virtual protection racket; and those being protected were off-shore global entities, who had a 10% (15% in N.Z.) head start. On top of that, because of the International Postal Union Treaty, companies like Amazon's baby brother, BookDepository, could ship to Australia with advantageous postal rates from Royal Mail and ridiculous tax concessions."

Two years ago, Joe Hockey, who was Federal Treasurer at the time, announced the government would legislate to close the loophole. Earlier this year, with legislation proposed to take effect on July 1, 2017, "there were hearings which featured a team of tax lawyers from Google, eBay, Ali Baba, and--guess who--Amazon, telling a parliamentary committee that it was all too complex. They suggested didn't have sophisticated enough systems to deliver," Becker noted.

At the time, Kevin Willis, Amazon's director of global trade services, told the Sydney Morning Herald the collection model was "unworkable" and the bill as it stood might destroy competition and raise prices. He added that he had never seen a tax of this magnitude and complexity.

"Here I'll admit that the 'gag reflex' started to take hold," Becker recalled. "Imagine that--the most sophisticated tech companies in the world didn't have the capacity to do what every business in Australia and New Zealand does every day! And they got their way... for a while. The government decided that they needed to give them 12 months to do what I suspect they could have done in 24 hours. However--and this is the good news, they did move forward!"


B&N College, Target Partner to Garner Student Biz

Target will partner with Barnes & Noble College Booksellers "to promote its college essentials products from Target.com," the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reported. A subsidiary of B&N Education, B&N College Booksellers operates campus bookstores at U.S. colleges and universities. A "handful" of B&N College bookstores are also testing online-order pick-up of products students buy on Target's website, the Journal noted.

In an investors call last week, Mark Tritton, Target executive v-p and chief merchandising officer, said, "For those campuses that aren't lucky enough to have one of the new small-format stores, we're partnering with Barnes & Noble College, which operates nearly 800 college stores around the country, to offer the Target assortment to more than 5 million students."

Lisa Malat, B&N College chief marketing officer, commented: "Our unique access to students and parents from the moment of acceptance to move in day allows us to bring Target's college essentials to our nearly 800 college campuses across the country. We are excited to partner with Target on their back-to-college strategy and together, ensure a smooth transition for our students as we kick off the back-to-college season."


Obituary Note: Richard Gardner

Bookseller Richard Gardner, Tulsa, Oklahoma's "king of books" and the longtime owner of Gardner's Used Books & Music Inc., died August 18, the Tulsa World reported, adding that the city had "lost one of the best friends a book ever had."

In a message to friends posted on Facebook Sunday, Socorro & Monica Gardner wrote: "Richard Gardner founded Gardner's Used Books in 1991. The bookstore grew out of Richard's passion for books and provides a selection as wide-ranging as Richard's interests.... The bookstore that Richard built will continue to operate with Richard's vision and our family's commitment to Tulsa. The bookstore will be closed on Thursday, August 24th, to allow Richard's employees to attend services. We will reopen the store on Friday August 25th. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we work to fill some very big shoes. Thank you."

During an interview with the Tulsa World last year, Gardner said reading "makes us better citizens and makes them better people. If you don't read, it's not good for you."



Notes

Image of the Day: Booze & Vinyl

At the Running Press office in Philadelphia, sibling authors Tenaya and André Darlington practiced for the publication of their book Booze & Vinyl: A Spirited Guide to Great Music and Mixed Drinks, in May 2018.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Al Gore on Late Late Show with James Corden

Tomorrow:
Watch What Happens Live repeat: Fredrik Eklund, co-author of The Sell: The Secrets of Selling Anything to Anyone (Avery, $16, 9781592409525).

Late Late Show with James Corden repeat: Al Gore, author of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (Rodale, $25.99, 9781635651089).


TV: Strike--The Cuckoo's Calling

A trailer has been released for Strike--The Cuckoo's Calling, the BBC One series adapted from J.K. Rowling's first novel (writing as Robert Galbraith) in the Cormorant Strike series (The Silkworm, Career of Evil). Indiewire reported that "the series centers around a murder mystery that, as fate would have it, only our intrepid hero can solve. Tom Burke plays Cormoran Strike, with Holliday Grainger as his assistant Robin; as time goes on, her role in cracking the case becomes ever more essential." Strike will begin airing on BBC One August 27.


Books & Authors

Awards: CBCA's Nan Chauncy, Books of the Year

Mem Fox has received the Children's Book Council of Australia's 2017 Nan Chauncy Award, which honors "individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to Australian children's literature," Books+Publishing reported. Fox is the author of numerous picture books, including the 1983 classic Possum Magic (illustrated by Julie Vivas), as well as the nonfiction titles Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever and Radical Reflections on Teaching, Learning and Living.

CBCA national board chair Margot Hillel said Fox's "contribution to children's literature in Australia and around the world is simply remarkable. She has delighted generations of children with her beautiful stories, but beyond her writing, this prestigious award also acknowledges Mem's work as a brilliant and dedicated educator."

The organization also recently announced winners of this year’s CBCA Book of the Year Awards.


Reading with... Daniela Carolina Roger

Miami native Daniela Carolina Roger is the merchandiser for the flagship location of Books & Books in Coral Gables, Fla. She graduated from the University of Miami in 2015 and moved to Boulder, Colo., with plans to pursue a career in psychology. Upon arrival, she began working at the Boulder Bookstore and learned the ins and outs of bookselling. Last August, she attended the Paz & Associates seminar, confirming her deep love for the book industry. Roger then moved back to Miami and began working at Books & Books, the indie store where she grew up buying books, bringing things full circle. She believes no matter where you go, there is a sense of tribe among book people and that's what makes this industry special.

On your nightstand now:

I just finished Difficult Women by Roxane Gay. I had delayed the ending because I never wanted the experience of reading that book for the first time to end! I read the final story, shivered and laid in fetal position on my bed for a good five minutes--que cosa. I got up shortly after to pick up my next read, a galley I recently acquired of The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas. This debut was recommended to me by a colleague and I am falling in love with it. I am also reading Yo Quisiera Ser Paul Auster (I Would Like to Be Paul Auster) by Leonardo Padura, a phenomenal collection of essays about Cuba's literary culture.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. That book tore me up--it was the first time I wanted to cry while reading. I remember my mind being so active for the first time, creating lots of imagery based on Lowry's writing and feeling the ease of reading something you love for the first time--the idea that reading could be spiritual and private. I can definitely trace my love of books back to that experience. Also, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths by Ingri d'Aulaire and Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath are books I still consider favorites and recommend to all children.

Your top five authors:

It's a difficult question to answer only because I feel like I've barely scratched the surface when it comes to books. However, Roxane Gay has taken my heart--her writing breaks me down and builds me up at the same time. It is what I needed, being 24, Cuban American, a millennial and a woman. She gives me comfort in living while I'm coming closer to my quarter-life crisis. Hemingway--needs no explanation. Leonardo Padura is a legend in my eyes--he is the best living Cuban author and one of the most outspoken against the government. When I visited Havana for the first time, it was for the beginning of Cuba's countrywide traveling book fair in February. As I was entering the fair the first day I attended, I saw Padura pulling up in his yellow hatchback and nearly died. Gracias a Dios, I was able to introduce myself and have a conversation. Truly serendipitous. I would say the last two slots are still pending, but I can't wait until I figure out my other favorites.

Book you've faked reading:

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. It was assigned summer reading to enter fifth grade and I remember feeling like it was a painful process to get through. I was completely disinterested, so I skimmed through, highlighted things, but wasn't even taking in the content. I told my Mom I had read it--sorry, Mami.

Daniela Roger with Leonardo Padura

Book you're an evangelist for:

Love & Other Ways of Dying by Michael Paterniti. I handsell this to everyone I possibly can. This book presents the human experience in beautiful essays that read like fiction. When I first read it, I savored it. I took my time because I understood the power of what I was reading. If you haven't read it yet, do yourself the favor. Also, Whatever Happened to Interracial Love? by Kathleen Collins.

Book you've bought for the cover:

There have been quite a few over the years. If you say you don't do this, I don't believe you. The most recent one was Enigma Variations by André Aciman. Total impulse-buy, but now that I really know what it's about, I can't wait to read it.

Book you hid from your parents:

I never did that as a child. Ironically, the first time this happened was in December. I went to Barcelona with my parents and bought as many books as I could fit in an empty hiking backpack. There were a few I was afraid they'd see. The first, a book called Porno Feminista (a Spanish translation of a book called The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure by Tristan Taormino), is bright red with big yellow letters on the cover. It was the furthest thing from subtle, as well as another one called La Ceremonia del Porno (The Porn Ceremony) by Andrés Barba and Javier Montes, an essay collection from Anagrama about how porn affects our lives. When my parents saw them, my mom just looked at me with the most curious face.

Book that changed your life:

I mentioned Number the Stars by Lois Lowry, and I would still say that's the one that got me into reading. No One Here Gets Out Alive by Jerry Hopkins, the first biography about Jim Morrison, blew me away. I was 14 and I practically swallowed that book whole. I saw a greater connection to the music and the artist, so it ended up becoming a symbol for me that books can offer you so much that goes beyond the page.

Favorite line from a book:

If it's not tattooed on my body, I don't think I've found it yet.

Five books you'll never part with:

I'd never part with my copy of Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. I read it my senior year of high school in an English class about dystopian/utopian literature with my favorite teacher, Ms. Smith. The book itself blew me away and the notes I took are invaluable. To be able to read my initial reactions while reading it is awesome. You can throw my copy of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick in there, too, which I also read in that class.

No One Here Gets Out Alive by Jerry Hopkins is tattered and torn. I've been through hell and back with that book, I would never let it go.

My copy of Just Kids by Patti Smith that I ripped through in a few days. She ended up signing it at the Miami Book Fair after I read it--I wanted to die in her arms then and there.

The copy of La Novela de Mi Vida (The Story of My Life) by Leonardo Padura that I purchased at the Havana Book Fair. I fought my way through a wild crowd to get one of a limited amount of copies and had him sign it for me. The dedication he wrote was so beautiful, I can never let it go.

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

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. That collection brought me joy throughout my entire childhood and I'd love to experience it for the first time again, but as an adult.


Book Review

YA Review: Disappeared

Disappeared by Francisco X. Stork (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, $17.99 hardcover, 336p., ages 14-up, 9780545944472, September 26, 2017)

"Maybe in other cities in the world, a young woman can be one hour late and it isn't a cause for worry. In Juárez, that is simply not possible." In Juárez, Mexico, the bodies of girls who don't come home often are found months later. Sara Zapata's best friend, Linda, went missing four months ago. She's now one of the Desaparecidas, the Disappeared. Sara is determined not to give up on Linda and uses her position at a local newspaper, El Sol, to tell Linda's story and the stories of countless other Desaparecidas throughout Juárez. Though Sara has been threatened for her journalism before, she is shaken when the latest threat comes in to her bosses at El Sol: "If you publish anything of Linda Fuentes we will kill your reporter and her family." For the first time, she realizes her journalism may also put her mother and little brother, Emiliano, in danger. Still, Sara hasn't published a story about Linda since her first article after Linda's disappearance. Why would someone threaten her now?

While Sara begins to investigate the threat, Emiliano faces challenges of his own. After a close brush with the law, only Brother Patricio's intervention saved Emiliano from jail. With Brother Patricio, Emiliano founded the Jiparis, "a Mexican version of the Boy Scouts" and found a way to channel his anger into healthier, more productive outlets. Now Emiliano even has his own business: some of the other Jiparis are talented artists who make crafts that Emiliano sells to local business owners to be resold to tourists, splitting the profits with his craftsmen. He hopes the money he earns can help his family, and also help him finally win over Perla Rubi's wealthy family. His friends think he's crazy, but Emiliano knows Perla Rubi cares about him as much as he cares about her. A chance meeting with her father leads to a startling business proposal, but Emiliano isn't sure he wants to be involved. Still, Mr. Esmeralda reasons, "There's no way to be successful in Mexico without getting dirty. The best one can do is control the degree of dirt."

As Emiliano's fortunes take a turn, Sara's persecution becomes more real and both siblings face decisions and consequences that will alter their lives forever. Disappeared by Francisco X. Stork (Marcelo in the Real World; The Memory of Light) is a gripping, ripped-from-the-headlines tale of trafficking and the risks one must take to uncover truth. Juárez, alternately glittering and gritty, is "like a spiderweb. Every thread is connected directly or indirectly to every other thread." Stork makes fantastic use of the tightly-focused perspectives of Emiliano and Sara; as Emiliano tentatively steps into the web and Sara desperately tries to stay out of it, Disappeared will have readers wondering whether either can escape. --Kyla Paterno, former children's and YA book buyer

Discovery: In Juárez, Mexico, a journalist searching for her missing best friend finds her life threatened while her younger brother learns the cost of joining Juárez's upper class.


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