Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, September 6, 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

Wendy Ceballos Joins Abrams to Work with Indies

Wendy Ceballos

Wendy Ceballos has joined the Abrams sales department in the newly created position of sales manager, indie ambassador. She has worked for more than 20 years at Third Place Books in Seattle, Wash., where she was most recently director of events and marketing at Third Place's three locations.

Her duties at Abrams will include overseeing the commission rep force and coordinating with in-house marketing and publicity staff to make sure the company is maximizing opportunities at every level, as well as working closely with the American Booksellers Association and its member stores.

Elisa Gonzalez, executive director, trade sales, commented: "For the first time, Abrams will have a dedicated person managing all aspects of the independent bookstore channel. With our ever-growing publishing program across adult, children's, gift and stationery--and the newly launched narrative nonfiction imprint Abrams Press--support of this channel is crucial to our business. I'm excited to see Wendy bring her uniquely qualified experience as well as a fresh pair of bookselling eyes to this opportunity."


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


Hakubundo Bookstore Opens Second Location in Hawaii

Hakubundo Bookstore, which specializes in Japanese books, magazines, stationery and toys, has opened its second location in Hawaii, Hawaii News Now reported. Located in the Pearlridge shopping center in Aiea, Hawaii, on O'ahu, the new Hakubundo Bookstore will celebrate its grand opening on September 9 with an afternoon full of origami lessons, J-pop and anime music, and anime and Harajuku-inspired makeovers provided by beauty consultants from the cosmetics chain Sephora. From September 9 until September 30, the store will also be donating the origami art made during the celebration and a portion of its sales to the Aiea Community Association.

Hakubundo first opened in Hawaii in 1910. The store imported Japanese goods such as ceramics and traditional dolls to sell to Japanese plantation workers living in Hawaii, and over the years the focus became Japanese books and magazines. In 2012 Hakubundo moved to its current location in Ward Village in Honolulu. The store is owned by parent company Japan Publications Trading Co.


Trinity University Press: Arte Kids - Bilingual Board Books


Iranian Bookstore Ketab Corp. Closes in L.A.

The Iranian bookstore Ketab Corp. in Los Angeles has closed after 36 years in business. Jacket Copy reported that the shop on Westwood Boulevard "held roughly 85% Persian titles as well as books in English about Iran." Owner Bijan Khalili described his customer base as "Persians and those Americans that are interested in Persian culture."

Khalili noted that his decision to close was based in part on the fact that "the new generation does not speak Farsi, does not read Farsi," as well as other factors familiar to many indie booksellers: "Very simple. I rent. No parking. Amazon." Ketab Corp. will continue selling books online via its website.

Khalili was featured last month on PRI, which reported that he "knows plenty about [the late poet Forugh] Farrokhzad and Iranian censorship. Banned books are a specialty of his.... It started as a simple service to exiles who had fled Iran's revolution, leaving their books behind. But as post-revolutionary censorship took hold in Iran, selling books untouched by Iran's censors became a daily act of defiance."

"Reading books is a human right," he said.


Thomas Nelson: Perennials by Julie Cantrell


Sideline Snapshot: Pins, Wands, Wine and Board Games

Ideal Bookshelf pin

At Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego, Calif., assistant manager and sidelines buyer Kelly Orazi has seen "enormous success" with enamel pins, particularly with pins of a literary theme such as those made by Ideal Bookshelf. Among some of the store's perennial favorite sidelines are T-shirts and socks from Out of Print and tote bags from a wide variety of sellers. Orazi noted that while vendors such as Unemployed Philosopher's Guild and Out of Print are extremely popular at Mysterious Galaxy, she predicts that "we're going to see a huge upswing in local and independent artists in bookstores across the nation. I'm always on the lookout for artists that tie their products to books and popular science-fiction and fantasy culture."

One such example of sidelines from independent, local artists, and one of Mysterious Galaxy's more recent and surprising successes, has been Harry Potter-themed wooden wands made by none other than Orazi's father, who is a woodworker. She first commissioned him to make wands for the store's Harry Potter and the Cursed Child midnight release party last summer. The wands were such a success that the store continues to carry them, since customers have "never really stopped buying" them. Added Orazi: "Customers really do seem interested in things they're not likely to see anywhere else, or items that tie in with their favorite authors or books in a fun and creative way."

Blue Q oven mitt

Suzanna Hermans, co-owner of Oblong Books & Music in Rhinebeck and Millerton, N.Y., reported that the six square feet of Blue Q and Sock It to Me socks that she carries make up the most profitable section per square foot at her store. She began selling the socks about two years ago, and has recently added new oven mitts made by Blue Q. The company has come out with dish towels that Hermans and her staff expect to be popular. Lately Hermans has also expanded the store's selection of adult board games, which are doing very well.

Oblong's bestselling board games are Exploding Kittens, The Settlers of Catan and Pandemic. Hermans explained that she started carrying more board games as her own interest in them has increased, and it helps that "there's really nowhere in our area that carries a good selection of curated games." To decide to what board games to bring in, Hermans does online research to figure out which games are highest rated by board game players. She pointed to the website BoardGameGeek as a helpful resource, and suggested that the games "Catan, Exploding Kittens, Pandemic, Codenames and Mysterium" are good places to start. Her two main distributors are Alliance Games and Everest.

For BookBar in Denver, Colo., the term sidelines doesn't quite fit when describing the store's beer and wine offerings, as they are a pillar of BookBar's business. They are, however, still nonbook items, and this summer owner Nicole Sullivan and her staff have been offering a selection of specialty rosé wines rotated on a close to weekly basis. During the summer, BookBar makes extensive use of its own fruit, vegetable and herb garden in its menu items. Sullivan is getting ready to switch to the bar's winter menu in October, which will focus on heartier dishes and drinks.

Earrings from Yes & Yes

Among more traditional nonbook items, BookBar does very well with literary-themed buttons, novelty pens, erasers, booklights and greeting cards. Sullivan explained that the store is on a very pedestrian-friendly street with plenty of retail but no other shop that sells cards, so "people go straight to the bookstore for cards." Local candies made by Hammond's and caramels by Hellie Mae's are also popular, and some recent sidelines additions include earrings and jewelry produced by Yes & Yes Designs, which are made from parts of books. "All the sidelines we do are very specific as bar items or literary items," Sullivan noted. "Everything we do is either related to wine, beer, coffee and tea, or literature." --Alex Mutter


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


Obituary Note: Louise Hay

Louise Hay, "who from a 1984 bestseller built a self-help publishing empire that has attracted millions of devotees with its messages about the power of thought and attitude," died August 30, the New York Times reported. She was 90. In her many books, including You Can Heal Your Life, The Power Is Within You and Meditations to Heal Your Life, Hay "espoused an upbeat message with a metaphysical underpinning. She wrote that there is a link between thoughts and disease and life's other misfortunes, and she urged people to find a positive way to spin even the worst of them."

Hay House, which she launched in her living room during the mid-1980s, "has grown into a multimillion-dollar company handling a long roster of authors and an extensive line of products, including books, CDs and online courses," the Times noted. The company also stages lectures and workshops featuring its authors.

More than 50 million copies of You Can Heal Your Life have been sold worldwide, according to the Hay House website, which announced her death and observed that "Louise was an incredible visionary and advocate. Everyone who had the privilege to meet her, either in person or through her words, felt her passion for serving others.... Hay House will carry on Louise's legacy and continue to publish products and online learning courses that align with her message of self-improvement and self-love."

Reid Tracy, president and CEO of the company, said, "Meeting Louise changed the direction of my life. Her passion for serving others translated into everything she did. Simply by working alongside her, an analytical accountant like me transformed into someone who became aware of the power of affirmations and self-love. Being able to learn from her has been one of my life's greatest blessings. The beauty of Louise was that you didn't have to work alongside her to learn from her, you felt like you were there with her with every word you read or heard."


Notes

Bookish Wedding: 'What Happened After the Bookstore'

Molly Higgins Fischer married Samuel Chandler MacLaughlin on September 2, according to the Weddings section of last weekend's New York Times. What makes this notable for the book trade is the headline ("Stranger Than Fiction: What Happened After the Bookstore") as well as the story behind the couple's story.

Fischer is the features editor at New York magazine's The Cut, while MacLaughlin "was until recently a marketing associate at the publishing house W.W. Norton and Company in Manhattan. This fall, he will be a partner and the manager of the Williamsburg, Brooklyn, location of McNally Jackson Books," the Times wrote.  

They first met in 2010 while browsing at St. Mark's Bookshop in Manhattan. MacLaughlin said he "saw this very cute girl and was browsing around her, and thought, she seems to be browsing around me. We both spent way too long doing that. Eventually I thought, this is ridiculous, I know I'm not going to say anything, I'll just go. I'll buy a book of Anne Carson poetry and hopefully impress her on the way out."

Fischer said she was interested in "continuing to check this guy out... but I wasn't sure that I was going to do anything about it. I was not thinking through a plan of action, I was just sort of bumbling along on instinct."

Reader, they married each other. 


Personnel Changes at National Book Foundation; Crown; Forever/Grand Central

Courtney Gillette has been promoted to awards and relationships manager at the National Book Foundation. She was formerly awards coordinator.

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Effective September 11, Gwyneth Stansfield is joining the Crown Publishing Group as assistant director of publicity, Crown, Hogarth, Tim Duggan Books and Broadway Books. Previously she was publicity manager at Blue Rider Press and Plume.

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Estelle Hallick has joined the Forever team at Grand Central Publishing as senior marketing & publicity associate. She was previously at Workman.


Longleaf Services to Fulfill University of Notre Dame Press

Effective January 1, Longleaf Services will provide full-service fulfillment, marketing and publishing services for the University of Notre Dame Press.

University of Notre Dame Press director Steve Wrinn said Longleaf allows the press "an economy of scale and back office support that allows us to focus on what we do best--publish scholarship of the highest quality and disseminate it to the broadest possible audience. We are confident that our partnership with Longleaf will enhance UNDP's reputation as a scholarly publisher while simultaneously providing advantages to ensure our future financial sustainability."

Robbie Dircks, president of Longleaf Services, added, "The addition of new publishers under the Longleaf umbrella increases our economies and efficiencies, and allows Longleaf to fulfill our mission of providing fulfillment and publishing solutions so that our client publishers can focus on their core mission of content acquisition and dissemination."


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Bernie Sanders on Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Tomorrow:
Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Senator Bernie Sanders, author of Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In (Thomas Dunne, $27, 9781250132925).


Movies: Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool

The first trailer has been released for Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, based on Peter Turner's 1987 memoir, which was republished by Picador last May. The film will open in limited release December 8 for Oscar qualification and go wide in January.

Directed by Paul McGuigan, Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool features Annette Bening as American movie star Gloria Grahame, "who meets and falls in love with a much younger actor (Jamie Bell) while performing in theatre in Liverpool. It is there that she is told that her breast cancer, which she successfully fought several years earlier, has returned," the Telegraph noted, adding that Oscar predictors should "prepare to add another major Best Actress contender to your lists." The cast also includes Vanessa Redgrave, Stephen Graham and Julie Walters.



Books & Authors

Awards: McIlvanney Scottish Crime

A shortlist has been released for Bloody Scotland's £1,000 (about $1,303) McIlvanney Prize for Scottish crime book of the year. The winner, who also receives nationwide promotion in Waterstones bookshops, will be announced September 8. The 2017 shortlisted titles are:

Out of Bounds by Val McDermid
The Long Drop by Denise Mina
The Quiet Death of Thomas Quaid by Craig Russell
Murderabilia by Craig Robertson
How to Kill Friends and Implicate People by Jay Stringer 


Reading with... Eva Woods

photo: Jamie Drew

Eva Woods was inspired to write her new novel, Something Like Happy (Graydon House, September 5, 2017), after a brush with cancer and the breakdown of her marriage. Raised in a small village in Northern Ireland, Woods now lives in London, where she teaches creative writing and regularly contributes to Marie Claire UK, xoJane and other publications.

On your nightstand now:

I usually have a book going on my e-reader and also one in paper. At the moment, my e-book is Who's That Girl by Mhairi McFarlane. I'm also reading a paperback called The Truth About Lorin Jones by Alison Lurie, which my mom gave me on a recent trip home. It's brilliantly funny and wise.

Favorite book when you were a child:

I was deeply obsessed with the Anne of Green Gables books; I also loved L.M. Montgomery's other series, the Emily books. Emily was a writer, too, so perhaps that's why I liked those.

Your top five authors:

It's so hard to choose, but I will read anything that comes out by Tana French, Liane Moriarty, Marian Keyes or Kate Atkinson. I better say Lionel Shriver, too, as she wrote two of my all-time favorites, We Need to Talk about Kevin and The Post-Birthday World, which I just love.

Book you've faked reading:

An ex used to say that although I claimed I'd read War and Peace, I'd only really read Peace, as I skipped over all the dull military bits. I have no regrets.

Book you're an evangelist for:

He Said/She Said, the latest by Erin Kelly, is completely brilliant and rich enough to be re-read several times. It's so clever and nuanced.

Book you've bought for the cover:

I once bought a beautiful copy of Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse with pebbles on the cover, though I'd read the book already and found it a little too highbrow for my tastes.

Book you hid from your parents:

I had a strange situation where I was allowed to read most (and even sometimes inappropriate) things, but wasn't allowed to watch anything remotely unsuitable on TV. I remember my mom laughing hysterically at Sue Townsend's The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole and sneaking looks at it later. I must have been pretty young then, as I was only a year old when it was first published!

Book that changed your life:

I read Gloria Steinem's Revolution from Within--about how we must treat ourselves well before we can change anything else about the world--and didn't stop talking about it for months. It totally changed how I thought about feminism and activism.

Favorite line from a book:

The end of The Great Gatsby: "And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne ceaselessly back into the past." So sad and beautiful.

Five books you'll never part with:

I never want to part with any of my books (although my apartment is about to collapse with them!). Let's say The Secret History by Donna Tartt, an old childhood copy of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild, my signed copy of Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam (she was so nice) and a really fascinating nonfiction book called Why Is Sex Fun? by Jared Diamond. That's just amusing to have around the place.

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

Recently I got my boyfriend to read The Secret History (I've read it about 10 times), and I kept sneaking looks over his shoulder and going, "Oh, that's a great part," until he got annoyed with me.

Most over-rated book:

So much of Dickens is really overrated and sentimental--The Old Curiosity Shop being the worst. Wilkie Collins was so much better--The Moonstone is a brilliant book and so is the lesser-known No Name.


Book Review

YA Review: Long Way Down

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, $17.99 hardcover, 320p., ages 13-up, 9781481438254, October 24, 2017)

The newest work for teens by Jason Reynolds (author of As Brave As You and Ghost, and 2017 Indies First spokesperson) begins with 15-year-old William speaking directly to the reader: "I haven't/ told nobody the story/ I'm about to tell you./ And truth is, you probably ain't/ gon' believe it either/ gon' think I'm lying/ or I'm losing it,/ but I'm telling you,/ this story is true."

The day before yesterday, Will's older brother, Shawn, went to the other side of their largely black neighborhood--purportedly crossing rival lines--to get their mother special soap for her eczema. Shortly after Shawn left, Will and his friend, who were talking outside, heard shots. They immediately did what they had been trained to do: "Pressed our lips to the/ pavement and prayed/ the boom, followed by/ the buzz of a bullet,/ ain't meet us."

Afterward, Will says, "me and Tony/ waited like we always do,/ for the rumble to stop,/ before picking our heads up/ and poking our heads out/ to count the bodies./ This time/ there was only one": Shawn. "[I]f the blood/ inside you," Will tells the reader, "is on the inside/ of someone else/ you never want to/ see it on the outside of/ them."

Now, two days later, Will is heartbroken and desperate as he abides by "The Rules" he's been taught all of his life; he won't cry and he won't snitch. And, most importantly, he plans to follow through with the third rule: "if someone you love/ gets killed,/ find the person/ who killed/ them and/ kill them." He finds a gun in Shawn's dresser--one bullet under a full clip--and sets off to kill the person who killed his brother.

With the gun tucked into the waistband of his pants, Will gets on the elevator at 9:08:02 a.m. The next 200-plus pages of action take place between the time Will enters the elevator and when it reaches the lobby a moment later, at 9:09:09 a.m. As Will takes the long trip down, a new person boards at every floor. Each new person is a friend or loved one from Will's past; each new person is dead, a victim of gun violence.

As the ghosts of those killed congregate in the elevator to tell Will their stories, their interconnected tales are untangled and Will begins to see how the things he thinks he knows may not be true at all, and that The Rules just perpetuate the cycle of violence and keep everyone down.

Will's trip between floors and through time is powerful and painful. Reynolds's work is rich with symbolism, the verse lending a feeling of immediacy to the 300-page, 60-second journey. Long Way Down is an intense read with a beautifully ambiguous ending that highlights the humanity of those who are regularly touched by and contribute to gun violence. --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness

Shelf Talker: Will is visited by the ghosts of victims of gun violence as he prepares to kill someone himself in Jason Reynolds's thoughtful and captivating Long Way Down.


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