Also published on this date: Thursday, October 19, 2017: Maximum Shelf: The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage

Shelf Awareness for Thursday, October 19, 2017


Penguin Press: Winter by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Ecco Press: Varina by Charles Frazier

House of Anansi Press: The Break by Katherena Vermette

Algonquin Books: Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories by Kelly Barnhill

Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books: Small Walt by Elizabeth Verdick and Marc Rosenthal

News

Hearst to Buy Rodale, Inc.

Hearst Communications is buying Rodale, Inc., which primarily publishes health and wellness books and magazines. Rodale will become part of Hearst Magazines.

Hearst owns newspapers, TV and radio stations, cable networks, business information services and publishes an array of magazines, including Cosmopolitan, Elle, Esquire, Car & Driver, Good Housekeeping, O, the Oprah Magazine and Seventeen. Most media reports have emphasized the attraction to Hearst of Rodale's magazines, which include Runner's World, Men's Health, Women's Health, Bicycling and Prevention. Between 1981 and 1999, Hearst owned William Morrow, then sold it to HarperCollins.

Rodale's bestselling books have included An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore, The South Beach Diet by Arthur Agatston, Thug Kitchen and Everything All at Once by Bill Nye. Last year, the company launched Rodale Kids, a children's book imprint.

Hearst and Rodale have been publishing partners in some markets abroad, including the U.K., the Netherlands and Japan. "We've seen first-hand how the content resonates," Hearst Magazines president David Carey said in the companies' announcement of the purchase. "We are pleased to add them and all of Rodale's brands to our vibrant and varied global portfolio, providing readers with dependable information and offering marketers unbeatable scale and a trustworthy environment in the increasingly important health and wellness space."

Rodale CEO Maria Rodale commented: "We have a long-standing respect for Hearst's commitment to connecting consumers with imaginative, engaging content across an ever-diversifying choice of platforms, technologies and experiences around the world. We believe our exceptional brands, businesses and employees will thrive in this culture of innovation and we are confident that Hearst's stewardship will continue to grow the passionate and purpose-driven communities that Rodale has built over the past 70 years."

In June, Rodale said it was exploring the sale of all or part of the company. Hearst and Rodale said the deal should close in early 2018, "following receipt of necessary government approvals."


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


NEIBA Executive Director Steve Fischer to Retire

Steve Fischer

Steve Fischer, executive director of the New England Independent Booksellers Association since 2006, plans to retire. He will stay on until a replacement has been found and a smooth transition has been made.

Fischer called the decision "not an easy one to make," and in a letter to the board he wrote: "My work at NEIBA has been the most gratifying of anything I've done in my 47-year career. I am in awe of the professionalism, smarts and hard work that our independent booksellers do on behalf of their authors and communities. Without them my work here could never have happened."

"While we all wholeheartedly wish Steve well in his upcoming retirement, he leaves very large shoes to fill," said Laura Cummings, president of NEIBA and owner of White Birch Books, North Conway, N.H. "His knowledge, energy and experience have been invaluable to the organization and will be sorely missed."

The board has appointed a search committee to find a new executive director.

Fischer's career in the book world began immediately after college graduation with a job at the Vermont Bookshop in Middlebury, Vt. He also worked as a rep to independent stores in both the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, in international sales, and as national accounts manager for Barnes & Noble at Harper & Row and HarperCollins.

During his tenure at NEIBA, Fischer created the "All About the Books" events, implemented NEIBA's shop local grants and store peer reviews, restructured the association's holiday catalogue and reinvigorated the annual fall show and conference.

The board added that his retirement plans will "certainly include more time on his treasured Martha's Vineyard with his partner Paul and their families, continuing on the advisory panel of the Martha's Vineyard Book Festival, more travel, and, of course, working through the pile of ARCs scattered in every room of his house."

We can add that Steve has been a delight to work with, and we'll miss his enthusiasm, knowledge, friendship--and so many great stories about the book world.


Trinity University Press: Arte Kids - Bilingual Board Books


Bookburgh Books Opens in Plattsburgh, N.Y.

Bookburgh Books opened a week ago in the Champlain Centre Mall in Plattsburgh, N.Y., Bookselling This Week reported. The general-interest store plans a grand opening ceremony on November 8.

General manager Charles Loscalzo told BTW, "We have a community space, we have wifi, we have a seating area. We don't have a café, but we will have a coffee service. We have an art gallery along one wall that showcases work from local artists. We're strong on gift items and sidelines."

He added that the mall, which is 20 miles from the Canadian border, draws from a large area. "On weekends, almost half the trade will be Canadians coming down," he said.


Thomas Nelson: Perennials by Julie Cantrell


Bibliobar in Dallas Launches Indiegogo Campaign

Bibliobar, a bookstore and bar set to open next spring in the north Dallas, Tex., area, has launched a $50,000 Indiegogo campaign to help fund the initial inventory orders, the buildout of the store, furnishings, technology costs, and coffee and tap setup for the bar.

In a statement, owners Jessica Tresp, Chelsea Green and Colin Green said: "We want Bibliobar to be a welcoming place for the families in the community to refine or rediscover their love of reading. By hosting a crowdfunding campaign, we give our future shoppers the chance to contribute to the store before we even open and show their support for an independent bookstore in the north Dallas area."


Changes for Canadian Authors for Indies Day

Major changes are in the works for Canadian Authors for Indies Day, the nationwide celebration that began in 2015 and was inspired by Independent Bookstore Day in the U.S. On the AFI blog, founder Janie Chang wrote: "I've always thought of AFI as a band aid until a better-equipped organization came along. It needs institutional-level support to succeed. It needs staff to run the event and advocate for indie bookstores all year. It needs engagement from booksellers beyond hosting authors for an annual event. It needs way more than what our volunteer setup can provide."

A new organization "is picking up the torch to run the 2018 event," Chang noted. "Sorry I can't say more right now, but the new organization has asked me to hold off announcing who they are until they have a budget and team in place. At that time, they will make the appropriate announcements."

She added that it is likely AFI "will be rebranded since it won't be an author-led initiative anymore. Shelley Macbeth (Blue Heron Books, Ont.) and Mary-Ann Yazedjian (Book Warehouse Main Street, B.C.) are staying on board to work with the new organization on behalf of bookstores. They have some great ideas for author-bookseller engagement that offer more options than bookstores hosting authors."

The AFI website will go offline at the end of October, while AFI's Facebook and Twitter accounts will remain operational until new accounts are set up.

"Authors for Indies has been an unbelievable experience," Chang wrote. "I've met so many great people and learned so much. Thank you everyone for your support over the past three years. Farewell and good luck as a new chapter begins!"


Obituary Note: Elizabeth Alvarez

Elizabeth Alvarez, former owner of Martin's Book Store in El Paso, Tex., died October 7. She was 95.

A native of France, Alvarez met Martin Alvarez in 1945 in Europe when he was in the U.S. Army. He opened Martin's Book Store in 1969, and when he died in 1980, she took it over. In 1999, two of Alvarez's daughters opened up businesses with her under the same roof--a dance school and a vintage clothing and theater costumes shop. Last year, the businesses closed when one of the daughters became terminally ill with cancer.

"One of the nice things about my mother is that people would come in and she could talk to them in four different languages," Lorraine Alvarez Portilla told the El Paso Times. "And she had a really sharp memory. It was so sharp she could say if she had a book or not."


Notes

Image of the Day: The Guv Visits Northshire Bookstore

Vermont Governor Phil Scott made a number of stops in Bennington County last week, including a meet and greet at the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center. Pictured l. to r.: Northshire co-founder Barbara Morrow; Governor Scott; Northshire co-owner Chris Morrow; and co-founder Ed Morrow.


'Best Blind Date at MPIBA 2017'

A "Backlist Blind Book Swap" was held during last week's Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association Fall Discovery Show. Under the subject line "Best Blind Date at MPIBA 2017," Anne Holman, general manager and co-owner of the King's English Bookshop, Salt Lake City, Utah, e-mailed us a pic of her new treasure: "I snapped this photo of my blind date book because it was so lovely. The book is The Stories of Breece D'J Pancake from Back Bay."

The description reads:

Short stories so brilliant
some have compared them
to Hemingway...
Last name is also a delicious
breakfast food...
The author shed his mortal skin
far too soon...
Enjoy the debut story collection
with or without syrup.

Katie R.
<Tattered Cover>

 


Consortium Adds Five Publishers

Consortium Book Sales & Distribution has added five new publishers, all effective January 1, 2018:

Black Inc., Carlton, Victoria, Australia, publishes nonfiction, fiction and poetry, particularly history, politics, biography, criticism and current affairs, as well as novels and poems that "open up new worlds." It also publishes commercial self-help and fiction under the Nero imprint and more academic titles under the La Trobe University Press joint imprint. The press was named Australian Small Publisher of the Year in 2007, 2009 and 2015.

Blair, Durham, N.C., the publishing house formed with the acquisition of John F. Blair Publisher by Carolina Wren Press. Founded in 1974, Carolina Wren Press is a nonprofit organization that publishes fiction, poetry and nonfiction focusing on writers that historically might have been neglected by mainstream publishing. The new Blair will publish the latest Lee Smith Novel Prize winner, Beaut by Donald Morrill, in May 2018. Other titles include Useful Phrases for Immigrants by May-lee Chai, winner of the Bakwin Award, and a book of essays by commentator and essayist Hal Crowther.

Fitzcarraldo Editions, London, England, which was founded in 2014 and has published 13 books of fiction and 12 essays, emphasizing "ambitious, imaginative and innovative writing." Fitzcarraldo also publishes The White Review, an arts and literature quarterly magazine.

Oberon Books, London, England, which publishes drama and performing arts titles, including new playwrights alongside classics, theatre practice, dance and opera. It has a backlist of more than 1,500 titles.

The School of Life, London, England, founded by Alain de Botton (author of How Proust Can Change Your Life and The Consolations of Philosophy), a press devoted to developing emotional intelligence with titles about how to find fulfilling work, how to master the art of relationships, how to understand one's past, how to achieve a calm state and how better to understand and change the world. The house has 10 branches around the world.


Personnel Changes at HarperCollins

Erin Crum has been promoted to senior v-p, corporate communications, at HarperCollins and appointed to the global executive committee. President and CEO Brian Murray said that she will have "an increased global view as we seek to align our businesses around the world, while continuing to oversee internal and external communications, branding, and corporate social responsibility." She was formerly v-p, corporate communications.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: John Green on Fresh Air

Today:
Fresh Air: John Green, author of Turtles All the Way (Dutton Books for Young Readers, $19.99, 9780525555360).

Tomorrow:
NPR's Science Friday: Walter Isaacson, author of Leonardo da Vinci (Simon & Schuster, $35, 9781501139154). He will also appear on Bloomberg's Businessweek.

Dr. Oz: DeVon Franklin, co-author of The Hollywood Commandments: A Spiritual Guide to Secular Success (HarperOne, $25.99, 9780062684257).

Tonight Show repeat: Hillary Clinton, author of What Happened (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781501175565).


This Weekend on Book TV: Clinton-Gore

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this weekend from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, October 21
12 p.m. C-SPAN's Local Content Vehicles visit Portland, Maine, to tour local literary and historical sites.

5:50 p.m. James Costa, author of Darwin's Backyard: How Small Experiments Led to a Big Theory (Norton, $27.95, 9780393239898).

7 p.m. Gerald Horne, author of The Rise and Fall of the Associated Negro Press: Claude Barnett's Pan-African News and the Jim Crow Paradox (University of Illinois Press, $24.99, 9780252082733), at Eso Won Books in Los Angeles, Calif. (Re-airs Sunday at 3 p.m.)

8 p.m. Al Gore, author of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (Rodale Books, $25.99, 9781635651089), at the Southern Festival of Books. (Re-airs Monday at 1 a.m.)

10 p.m. Gretchen Carlson, author of Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back (Center Street, $27, 9781478992172). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Kate Harding and Samhita Mukhopadhyay, co-editors of Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump's America (Picador, $16, 9781250155504). (Re-airs Sunday at 7 p.m.)

Sunday, October 22
1 p.m. Garrison Nelson, author of John William McCormack: A Political Biography (Bloomsbury Academic, $40, 9781628925166).

2:15 p.m. Hillary Clinton, author of What Happened (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781501175565). (Re-airs Sunday at 11:15 p.m.)

4 p.m. Ward Churchill, author of Wielding Words Like Weapons: Selected Essays in Indigenism, 1995–2005 (PM Press, $27.95, 9781629631011), at Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse in Baltimore, Md.

10 p.m. Doug Stanton, author of The Odyssey of Echo Company: The 1968 Tet Offensive and the Epic Battle to Survive the Vietnam War (Scribner, $30, 9781476761916), at Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver, Colo.



Books & Authors

Awards: Saltire Literary Shortlists

Shortlists in seven categories have been announced for the 2017 Saltire Literary Awards, which are given to "books by living authors of Scottish descent or residing in Scotland or the book subject must be the work or life of a Scot or with a Scottish question, event or situation." The winning title from each of the book categories will then compete for the £3,000 (about $3,965) Saltire Scottish Book of the Year Award. The winners of all the awards will be announced at a ceremony in Edinburgh on St. Andrew's Day, November 30.


Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, October 24:

The Rooster Bar by John Grisham (Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385541176) follows three aspiring lawyers whose law school turns out to be a scam.

Strange Weather: Four Short Novels by Joe Hill (Morrow, $27.99, 9780062663115) includes four new spooky speculative fiction stories.

Relentless: A Memoir by Julian Edelman and Tom E. Curran (Hachette Books, $27, 9780316479851) is written by the New England Patriots wide receiver.

Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine by Joe Hagan (Knopf, $29.95, 9781101874370) is a biography about the founder of Rolling Stone magazine.

Hank and Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart by Scott Eyman (Simon & Schuster, $29, 9781501102172) explores a famous Hollywood friendship.

Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life by Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush (Grand Central, $28, 9781538711415) is a memoir by George W. Bush's daughters.

The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months That Changed the World by A.J. Baime (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30, 9780544617346) chronicles Truman's first four months in office.

Golden Days: West's Lakers, Steph's Warriors, and the California Dreamers Who Reinvented Basketball by Jack McCallum (Ballantine, $28, 9780399179075) is a history of two accomplished California basketball teams.

The First Day by Phil Harrison (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $23, 9781328849663) tracks the fallout of an affair over 30 years.

Calling My Name by Liara Tamani (Greenwillow, $17.99, 9780062656865) is a coming-of-age story about a young African-American girl growing up in Texas.

The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano (Balzer + Bray, $17.99, 9780062491282) is the first in a new YA fantasy duology.

The Fearless Baker: Simple Secrets for Baking Like a Pro by Erin Jeanne McDowell (Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30, 9780544791435) is a baking columnist's cookbook.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It!: Simple, Scrumptious Recipes for Crazy Busy Lives by Ree Drummond (Morrow, $29.99, 9780062225269) is a Food Network host's cookbook.

Paperback:
Gender Medicine: The Groundbreaking New Science of Gender and Sex-Related Diagnosis and Treatment by Marek Glezerman (Overlook Press, $17.95, 9781468314977).


IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:

Hardcover
Autonomous: A Novel by Annalee Newitz (Tor Books, $25.99, 9780765392077). "The best science fiction stretches our ingrained concepts of humanity and civilization into a series of questions that entrance and electrify, both by the nature of the questions and by the contextual reality the author has created. Annalee Newitz shows her mastery of the genre with Autonomous, which poses questions relating to artificial intelligence, consciousness, and ownership against the backdrop of Earth in 2144, where patent property law rules social order and indentured people and bots are the new lower class. Autonomous follows Jack, a drug pirate desperately trying to fix a deadly mistake she made while racing against Eliasz, a temperamental military agent, and Paladin, a newly conscious indentured military bot. Newitz forces you to empathize with every character. A true masterpiece." --Charlotte Bruell, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Caroline: Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller (Morrow, $25.99, 9780062685346). "In Caroline, Sarah Miller recreates Little House on the Prairie from Ma's point of view. An oft-overlooked character, in Caroline we find a rich inner life that rarely breaks her smooth surface. She is constantly wrestling with fears and doubts about this journey and everything that it means (she was actually pregnant during it). Although Caroline seems consumed by caregiving, childbearing, and constant tasks for others, we get a glimpse of her true self through her thoughts on her childhood, her relationship with Charles, and her time as a teacher. Miller draws out the quiet richness of Caroline as a character, showing her to be as integral to the story as Pa or Laura." --Jordan Barnes, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, Mass.

Paperback: An Indies Introduce Title
The Glass Eye: A Memoir by Jeannie Vanasco (Tin House Books, $15.95, 9781941040775). "The Glass Eye, at its heart, is a memoir of Jeannie's relationship with her late father and the grief she experienced after his death. But it's also about her half-sister, Jeanne, who died before she was born; it's about mental illness; and it's about family and what that means. This is memoir at its best. The prose is powerful and often breathtaking--it'll make your heart break, it might make you cry, and you'll probably even laugh a few times. This is an elegy fierce and lyrical and raw, like none I've read before." --Sarah Malley, Newtonville Books, Newton Centre, Mass.

For Ages 4 to 8
Come With Me by Holly M. McGhee, illustrated by Pascal Lemaître (Putnam, $17.99, 9781524739058). "Come With Me is simple and inspiring. We all have those days, when we're afraid and sad because of the news; this book shows us how to step outside the fear 'to make the world a better place.' Hand in hand, kindness by kindness, we can make a difference and win 'a tiny battle over fear for [ourselves] and for the people of the world.' " --Tegan Tigani, Queen Anne Book Company, Seattle, Wash.

For Ages 9 to 12
The Wonderling by Mira Bartók (Candlewick, $21.99, 9780763691219). "Imaginative and lyrically written, The Wonderling is a fabulous fantasy adventure full of memorable characters, surprising twists, and gorgeous illustrative flourishes. The best fantasies have hearts of truth, and the truths of The Wonderling--that kindness is never wasted, that friends are always nearby if we know where to look, and that hope is never truly lost--feel both revelatory and timeless." --Stephanie Appell, Parnassus Books, Nashville, Tenn.

For Teen Readers
Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu (Roaring Brook Press, $17.99, 9781626726352). "I adored this book. Vivian's many struggles are so beautifully portrayed: negotiating between an old friendship and a new one; navigating a new crush; worrying about her grandparents' reaction to behavior that's out of character; raging silently (at first) against the quotidian misogyny of a small town high school. And, of course, her Moxie zine is everything you would want from a cool, smart, strong teen heroine." --Lexi Beach, Astoria Bookshop, Astoria, N.Y.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]


Book Review

Review: Sometimes I Think About It

Sometimes I Think about It: Essays by Stephen Elliott (Graywolf Press, $16 paperback, 256p., 9781555977757, November 7, 2017)

Personal essays are only as good as the author's voice. In his collection Sometimes I Think About It, Stephen Elliott grounds each entry in an authentic, down-to-earth voice that conveys the pain of being human and moribund.

Elliott is known for his gritty memoir, The Adderall Diaries, which became a film starring James Franco. Like that memoir, these essays, written over the course of 15 years, explore the author's dark side. With spare, matter-of-fact diction, Elliott writes of his abusive father, of living on the streets as a teen, of drug addiction and suicidal ideation. He moves between difficult topics with ease. One way he achieves this is by using apophasis indirectly to approach disturbing incidences. "But this isn't about school (I was in eighth grade). And it's not about my father handcuffing me to a pipe and leaving me there in the basement of his old house," Elliott reveals in "Where I Slept." "All of that is true, but this is just a list of different places I slept."

Elliott has a nonchalant way of weaving dark subjects into greater narratives. His masochistic tendencies and morbid fascination with violent films are woven into sober examinations of his love life. In "Hate to Be Alone," he connects sadomasochism to his childhood trauma--"She liked to hurt people, and I liked to be hurt"--as if restaging that trauma in the bedroom could mitigate its long-lasting effects. Although his personal revelations are often unsettling, Elliott locates a tender vulnerability at the center of his struggles, and from there charts a course toward hope, if not redemption. "The difference between a happy ending and an unhappy ending is simply the place you decide to stop telling your story," he writes in "Sometimes I Think About Suicide."

The second half of the collection is more journalistic in scope as Elliott takes his world-weary voice on assignment, writing about a deadly landslide in Southern California, constant fighting and inhumanity in the Gaza Strip, juvenile criminal justice, and the music of Britney Spears, among other subjects. In these later essays, Elliott's prose becomes more descriptive and less introspective. He showcases his talent for describing chaos and natural disaster. Writing of the landslide in La Conchita, for example, he sets up a pleasant surfing idyll with "sunsets like lipstick on cotton," only to see it quickly devastated: "The mud fills houses, and the houses pop like water balloons."

Sometimes I Think About It is dark, ruminative and piercing. At his best, Elliott depicts how tragedy and pain can actually bring people together. --Scott Neuffer, writer, poet, editor of trampset

Shelf Talker: In this far-reaching collection of essays, Stephen Elliott shares the painful experiences of his own life while examining greater struggles in the world.


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