Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, September 5, 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

New Home for Books Inc.'s Mountain View, Calif., Store

 

After the big move

Books Inc., which has 11 stores in the Bay Area in California, moved quickly from its old location in Mountain View to its new one just two doors away. The former closed last Wednesday, staffers moved everything on Thursday, and the store opened in its new location at 9 a.m. last Friday.

With help from Books Inc.'s main office staff and other store managers, there was a "wagon train of library carts we used to transfer inventory section to section (in alpha order!)," reported president Michael Tucker. "They did an amazing job, starting at 8 a.m. and had it virtually done when I started sending the managers back to their stores at 2 p.m.!"

At 4,000 square feet, the new location, at 317 Castro St., is a larger space at half the rent. It also offers a much larger children's section. (In the old location, a former bank with an awkward configuration, kids' books were in the vault.)

Books Inc. opened in Mountain View in 2001, taking over space that had been occupied by the former Printer's Inc. Bookstore. The store's new site was once the home of BookBuyers, which closed this location in April 2016.


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


Tenn.'s Words of Wisdom Bookstore Seeks Help

 

Ken Pruitt and Rebekah Pruitt

Words of Wisdom Bookstore, Nashville, Tenn., which opened last month, has created a GoFundMe campaign to raise $3,000 because the store has "fallen very short of our projections" its first month in business, owners Ken Pruitt and his daughter Rebekka Pruitt wrote on GoFundMe. "We now find ourselves scrambling to pay bills (electric, etc. and payroll), pay our vendors, and to buy new books to put on the shelves. Our traffic has been fairly good and growing, but we are at a major struggle point."

Ken Pruitt is an author, publishers' rep, minister, consultant and national educational speaker. Rebekka Pruitt, who manages the store, earlier worked at the now-defunct Family Christian Bookstore in Nashville.

The 1,400-square-foot store carries fiction and nonfiction books, as well as a large collection of works by local authors, children's and religious titles, some music and DVDs, professional and curriculum materials for teachers, and greeting cards.

"We started out with a dream, a dream to own a bookstore," the Pruitts also wrote. "We knew the cost would be large, and we planned accordingly. But we also know it takes time to make a business grow and we are working hard every day to do that. We believe the need for a bookstore in this area of Nashville is a calling....

"If our Labor Day Weekend Sale doesn't do extremely well, I will be forced to lay off our last staff person and will be unable to pay the bills and may even have to close the store causing a major personal crisis for myself and my daughter. If the situation wasn't so dire, I wouldn't be doing this, but it is.  And on the advice of our consulting folks, we are making this effort. Please consider helping us out of this crunch."

In an update Sunday, the Pruitts wrote there was "a tremendous rise in sales" on Saturday, and "that has definitely helped us get to the curve in the road."


Trinity University Press: Arte Kids - Bilingual Board Books


Hurricane Harvey Update: Booksellers Fundraise

Marines delivering supplies to families affected by Hurricane Harvey (photo: Lance Cpl. Niles Lee/via)

Hurricane Harvey is gone, but the many millions who were in its path are just beginning to cope with the damage it caused, mostly from the record-breaking flooding that inundated many homes and businesses with a toxic brew of sludge, septic waste and unknown amounts of chemicals and oil. Bookstores in the area fared relatively well, and booksellers across the country continue to send support.

Power returned to Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston last week, but phone service is partially disrupted--the store cannot receive calls from Verizon or AT&T customers. Owner Valerie Koehler reported that "the water in our neighborhood has not receded and will not for at least two more weeks. But my home is fine (several staffers have not fared so well)."

Blue Willow has launched a hurricane relief gift card program under which the store will use gift card purchases to buy books that will be delivered to a shelter or affected library in the greater Houston area.

The store is also offering daily story time and the opportunity to charge devices as well as "conversation--sometimes, you just need someone to talk to. We're always here to lend an ear. Come be with us in community."

---

Many bookstores across the country are donating to Hurricane Harvey relief. Among them:

In Southern California, Vroman's Bookstore, Vroman's Hastings Ranch and Book Soup donated a portion of their proceeds from the long weekend to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. The stores also began a letter drive, which ends tomorrow, collecting letters of support and appreciation for "the thousands of emergency responders on the frontlines in Houston right now working tirelessly to help those in need."

In addition, tomorrow Vroman's is hosting a blood drive, sponsored by Huntington Hospital, in its parking lot. The blood won't be sent to Houston, but "the drive is in solidarity with those affected and will help others in need. Drop by the store to donate blood and receive a coupon for 30% off one transaction."

Both branches of Avid Bookshop, Athens, Ga., were originally going to be closed yesterday for the Labor Day holiday, but the store on Prince opened for "an all-day event to support our colleagues whose lives have been upended by #HurricaneHarvey." A portion of proceeds went to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc), earmarked for booksellers in the Houston area. Anyone who made a purchase in the store yesterday or online also had a chance to win books and gift cards. Owner Janet Geddis praised Binc for its support two years ago, when she had "prohibitively expensive" surgery.

Bank Square Books, Mystic, Conn., and Savoy Bookshop and Café, Westerly, R.I., also donated a portion of all sales over the holiday weekend to Binc. The stores noted: "Bank Square Books was hit hard by Tropical Storm Sandy in 2012, and Binc and our local community rallied behind us to help out. We are so grateful for the assistance we received in a time of need, and now we want to take the opportunity to give back to our bookselling community."

Belmont Books, Belmont Center, Mass., donated all profits from its sales on Saturday to the Houston Food Bank. The store tweeted that it had "excellent sales," which is allowing it to make "a great donation."

At Kramerbooks, Washington, D.C., "all proceeds from the Classic Double Burger and the Texas Tea cocktail special" went toward Texas relief all Labor Day weekend.


Thomas Nelson: Perennials by Julie Cantrell


Obituary Note: John Ashbery

John Ashbery, "a poet whose teasing, delicate, soulful lines made him one of the most influential figures of late-20th and early-21st-century American literature," died Sunday, September 3, the New York Times reported. He was 90. Ashbery's arrival as a major literary figure "was signaled in 1976, when he became the only writer to win the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award in the same year, for his collection Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror."

Ashbery won the Yale Younger Poets prize in 1955 for his first collection, Some Trees. His other books include Commotion of the Birds: New Poems; The Mooring of Starting Out: The First Five Books of Poetry; Quick Question: New Poems; Notes from the Air: Selected Later Poems; Houseboat Days; and the Library of America edition John Ashbery: Collected Poems, 1956-1987. He received the National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama in 2012.

Describing Ashbery as the "greatest American poet of the last fifty years" in a New Yorker tribute, Dan Chiasson wrote: "The idea of greatness clung about him as it does to only a handful of writers alive at any time. His early work was serene and beautiful; he then became rather frantic and trippy. He had a period of majesty unrivalled in recent poetry, stretching from the seventies through the nineties. His last phase was a kind of inventory of his mind, among the most interesting anyone has ever known. His method was to 'snip off a length' of his consciousness, he said. It was, in part, a strike against the solemnities of achieved reputation, which confronted him everywhere in the forms of syllabi and colloquia."

In the Guardian, Mark Ford recalled: "In 2014 I gave a reading with him in New York, at the 92nd St. Y, and was touched almost to tears by the lines of people queuing to pay their respects to him afterwards. 'John, your work has meant so much to me,' was the gist of what they had to say, though one or two went still further: 'John, your poetry has changed my life.' "

From "How to Continue":

And when it became time to go
they none of them would leave without the other
for they said we are all one here
and if one of us goes the other will not go
and the wind whispered it to the stars
the people all got up to go
and looked back on love

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


Notes

Image of the Day: Bookseller Happy Hour

Last week, Roundtree Press, an imprint of Cameron + Company, hosted a bookseller happy hour in Oakland, Calif., at vegan restaurant Millennium in honor of Colleen Patrick-Goudreau and her upcoming book, The 30-Day Vegan Challenge

From bottom l.-r., clockwise: Ann Seaton (Northern California Independent Booksellers Association), Pam Stirling (Diesel Bookstore), Emma Kallok (Cameron + Co. marketing & publicity manager), John Evans (Diesel owner), Brad Johnson (East Bay Booksellers owner), Garrett Omi (Book Passage), Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (author) and Alison Reid (Diesel owner).


Books & Books Waiter Saves Customer's Life

Alvyn Lopez, a waiter at the Café at Books & Books on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, Fla., provided the ultimate in customer service last week: he saved the life of a diner. According to WSVN, a regular customer named Joseph, who eats twice a day at the Café, ordering a variety of food, began to choke on a piece of chicken last Thursday.

Lopez began performing the Heimlich maneuver, and told the station, "You could see he couldn't breathe. First I pat him on the back thinking it was gonna be OK, but that didn't work. Heimlich, in two seconds, it was over."

Joseph said he was alive only because of Lopez.


Pennie Picks Ghosts of War

Pennie Clark Ianniciello, Costco's book buyer, has chosen Ghosts of War by Brad Taylor (Dutton, $9.99, 9780451477200) as her pick of the month for September. In Costco Connection, which goes to many of the warehouse club's members, she wrote:

"I realize that my monthly book picks aren't usually political thrillers. This month's pick, Ghosts of War, by Brad Taylor, is the exception. Taylor has won me over with his insider knowledge and his remarkable skills as a writer.

"While Pike Logan and Jennifer Cahill are in Poland looked for long-hidden artifacts, a Russian incursion into Belarus is trumped by a horrific attack against the United States. On the brink of war, our heroes discover a separate agenda that will force a showdown between NATO and Russia. As always, Taylor excels at writing fast-paced and believable prose."


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Joe Buck on Colbert's Late Show

Today:
Daily Show: Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, co-author of We Rise: The Earth Guardians Guide to Building a Movement that Restores the Planet (Rodale, $22.99, 9781635650679).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Graham Norton, author of Holding: A Novel (Atria, $25, 9781501173264). He will also appear on Rachael Ray.

Tomorrow:
Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Joe Buck, author of Lucky Bastard: My Life, My Dad, and the Things I'm Not Allowed to Say on TV (Dutton, $16, 9781101984581).


Movies: Midwinter Break

John Crowley will direct a movie version of Bernard MacLaverty's new novel, Midwinter Break, for Film4, which recently acquired the rights. MacLaverty will write the adaptation, with Guy Heeley producing under his Shoebox Films banner. Deadline reported that the project "is on Crowley's dance card after he finishes work on The Goldfinch, the Peter Straughan adaptation of Donna Tartt's Pulitzer Prize-winning book."

Film4 chief Daniel Battsek said Crowley "is one of those filmmakers who I've intersected with, but haven't worked with, for a while. I admire him hugely and feel like this is a tremendous addition to our slate."



Books & Authors

Awards: Ned Kelly Winners

The winners of the Ned Kelly Prizes, awarded by the Australian Crime Writers Association, are:

Best novel: Police at the Station and They Don't Look Friendly by Adrian McKinty
Best first novel: The Dry by Jane Harper
True Crime: Getting Away with Murder by Duncan McNab and The Drowned Man by Brendan James Murray

S.D. Harvey Short Story: "Rules to Live By"

Lifetime Achievement: Peter Corris


Book Review

Review: A First-Class Catastrophe: The Road to Black Monday, the Worst Day in Wall Street History

A First-Class Catastrophe: The Road to Black Monday, the Worst Day in Wall Street History by Diana B. Henriques (Holt, $32 hardcover, 416p., 9781627791649, September 19, 2017)

Reading Diana B. Henriques's A First-Class Catastrophe: The Road to Black Monday, the Worst Day in Wall Street History could be a revelation to younger readers used to thinking of the 2008 financial crisis as the signature market crash of modern times. Henriques brings readers' attention back to October 19, 1987--dubbed "Black Monday"--when the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell a shocking 22.6%, "still the largest one-day decline in Wall Street history. That was the equivalent of an urgent midafternoon news flash today screaming, 'DOW FALLS NEARLY 5,000 POINTS!'" The book is a reminder that the 2008 meltdown was not unprecedented, and that the disaster might have been avoided altogether if market leaders and government officials had learned the right lessons from the 1987 crash.

Similarly, Black Monday followed on the heels of numerous smaller crises that should have set off warning bells with traders and regulators. Financial journalist Henriques (The Wizard of Lies) tracks these mini-crises, showing, for example, that in 1980 a couple of silver-hoarding billionaire brothers very nearly set off "a series of domino defaults," and that in 1982 an overextended lender in Oklahoma almost cratered the banking industry. The tally of crises might become wearying were it not for Henriques's patient guidance, enlivening the story with entertaining anecdotes and sketches of the various characters involved in the unfolding financial drama.

Behind the scenes, these crises were caused or exacerbated by a confluence of market and regulatory failures. Theories about "rational markets" prompted deregulation in the Reagan era, leading in turn to rapid financial innovations with unforeseen consequences. Meanwhile, stock exchanges upgraded to the digital era, relying more and more on lightning-fast computer trading as giant institutional investors started to dominate the markets. In an increasingly volatile market, newly created "portfolio insurance" offered by a couple of Berkeley academics seemed like a perfect opportunity for companies to hedge their bets. This, too, would have consequences, but regulators were often too busy managing their meager budgets or fighting time-consuming turf wars between agencies to provide proper oversight.

Henriques has a low-key style, favoring patient explanation over moral outrage. Still, her account subtly undermines the concept of rational markets--"human beings do not cope well in a crisis when speed, complexity, secrecy, and fear all batter our emotions at the same time"--while also making the case for pragmatic responses to financial crises. Referring to the controversial question of whether to bail out big banks while letting smaller ones fail, Henriques writes: "If a bunch of small retention ponds are leaking and there is a rapidly growing crack in the Hoover Dam, you shore up the Hoover Dam." Her account is not hopeful, as might be expected from a book about a major crisis that "if it was remembered at all, was recalled as the crash without consequences." A First-Class Catastrophe capably punctures that myth, along with many more dangerous truisms that continue to proliferate in political and financial circles. --Hank Stephenson, bookseller, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Shelf Talker: A First-Class Catastrophe provides a cogent history of the events leading up to and following the 1987 Black Monday stock market crash, reflecting on its connections to the 2008 financial crisis and continued relevance.


The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

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

1. Drunk Dial by Penelope Ward
2. What Do You Do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada
3. Love Another Day (Masters and Mercenaries Book 14) by Lexi Blake
4. Myths & Magic by Various
5. Royally Mine by Various
6. For the Love of Beard (The Dixie Warden Rejects MC Book 7) by Lani Lynn Vale
7. Fallen Heir (The Royals Book 4) by Erin Watt
8. Hollywood Scandal by Louise Bay
9. The Scotch Royals by Penelope Sky
10. Jewell (The Kings of Guardian Book 8) by Kris Michaels

[Many thanks to IndieReader.com!]


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