Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, December 6, 2017


Little Brown and Company: Circe by Madeline Miller

St. Martin's Press: After Anna by Lisa Scottoline

Little Brown and Company: The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison

Houghton Mifflin: Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein: Based on a True Story by Jennifer Roy with Ali Fadhil

Quotation of the Day

Indie Booksellers Handselling to John Green

"It means so much to me, especially because I have benefited so much as a reader from indie booksellers' recommendations. It was through a bookseller recommendation at Square Books in Oxford that I came to read The Untelling by Tayari Jones. I read Rachel Kushner's The Flamethrowers because it was recommended at Malaprop's in Asheville. And here at home, Kids Ink has recommended so many great books for our kids. While on tour for Turtles All the Way Down, I visited Mitzi's Books in Rapid City, South Dakota, and the Country Bookshelf in Bozeman, Montana. I've loved the books that were recommended to me by booksellers at those stores, including Dear Martin by Nic Stone and The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye. My reading life (and my family's) is enriched so much by thoughtful, human-to-human book recommendations, and so to have my book highlighted by this wonderful community is really gratifying....

"It has been such fun, and also so professionally invigorating. I love being able to talk with people about books and authors we love, and since I've known many of the people who hosted the events for over 10 years, it's also a great opportunity to catch up. Plus, I can always snag a few great book recommendations."

--John Green, author of the #1 Winter Kids' Indie Next List Pick Turtles All the Way Down, in a q&a with Bookselling This Week

Clarion Books: The Stone Girl's Story by Sarah Beth Durst


News

Riffraff Bookstore/Bar Opens in Providence, R.I.

Congratulations: the bookstore/bar Riffraff opened yesterday in Providence, R.I. As the store wrote: "We have books, we have booze, we have hot tea and nitro, and a full coffee menu coming later this week." Riffraff's 1,500 square feet of space is split evenly between books and the bar; it's located in the Plant, a former mill plant, in the Olneyville neighborhood of Providence.

The owners are Tom Roberge and Emma Ramadan. Roberge has worked as a bookseller at McNally Jackson bookstore in New York City, managing editor at A Public Space, editor at Penguin Books, publicist and bookstore liaison at New Directions, and deputy director at Albertine Books in New York City.

Ramadan studied comparative literature at Brown University (in Providence), completed a master's degree in translation at the American University of Paris and was a Fulbright Scholar in Morocco, where she translated the late poet Ahmed Bouanani from French into English. Her translations also include the genderless novel Sphinx by Anne Garréta.

Riffraff is located at 60 Valley St., Suite 107A, Providence, R.I. 02909.


Oxford University Press: Hate: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship by Nadine Strossen


B&N Closing San Jose, Calif., Store

Barnes & Noble will close its location at the Eastridge Mall in San Jose, Calif., on January 11. The Mercury News reported that the 27,700-square-foot store is "the latest casualty of the brick-and-mortar book store chain, joining Barnes & Nobles in Pleasant Hill, West San Jose and Fremont, among other Bay Area cities, in recent years."

B&N Eastridge store spokesman Michael Koller confirmed that the company's decision was related to a new lease. The mall was sold last January to an investment group that is revitalizing it. The new owners, Pacific Retail Capital Partners and Silverpeak Real Estate Partners, issued a statement saying the bookstore closure was "a business decision by Barnes & Noble" and that Eastridge "is actively seeking a new bookstore partner to serve the needs of our shoppers."


GLOW: Grove Atlantic: The Mercy Seat by Elizabeth H. Winthrop


Obituary Note: Doreen Montgomery

Doreen Montgomery, chairman of the literary agency Rupert Crew Ltd., died November 26 "following a seven-decade career in the trade," the Bookseller reported. She was 89. Her clients included Dame Barbara Cartland and Sir Cecil Beaton. Montgomery joined F. Rupert Crew as a teenager in the belief that it "might open other doors."

Mark Carwardine, one of her authors, said she "very kindly signed me up as a young and naïve 24-year-old and, over the years, tirelessly helped to bring dozens of books to fruition. A true force of nature, with a lifelong enthusiasm for books, writers and publishing, with no qualms about telling it how it was, she was the most sensational person to have on your side. She was also scrupulously honest, totally unselfish, unfailingly loyal, and had the biggest, kindest heart imaginable."

Longtime client, historian and astrologer Nicholas Campion described her as "ever-charming, unflappable and supremely competent" and someone he thought would be "immortal." He said: "I think she still is, for everyone who benefited from the example she set of honesty and high principle. Doreen became, as I am sure she was to many of her clients, a 'mother', who I could rely on at every turn for every aspect of my writing career."


William Morrow & Company: My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie


Notes

Image of the Day: Hillary at Gibson's

Yesterday, Hillary Clinton signed copies of What Happened (Simon & Schuster) and the kids' version of It Takes a Village (S&S/Paula Wiseman Books) for more than a thousand people at Gibson's Bookstore, Concord, N.H., and had touching conversations with many of them. The enthusiastic, awed crowd included some families with three generations of fans, who lined up down the block and around the corner. Here Gibson's booksellers, including owner Michael Herrmann (in white shirt and tie), posed with Clinton.


Happy Birthday, Crystal Books and Gifts!

Congratulations to Crystal Books and Gifts, Grand Junction, Colo., which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary in conjunction with Shop Local Saturday by thanking its many customers with numerous free drawings and giveaways throughout the weekend.

Owner Cheryl Lucas noted that she and her late husband, Jim, "had a desire to bring something new to downtown and began the opening ceremony of their store in 1987 with a quote from Illusions by Richard Bach: 'To bring anything into your life--Imagine that it's already there.' Believe."


Emmett Otter's 57th Street Bookstore Jug Band

"In the midst of grim news from every direction," Alex Houston, marketing director at Seminary Co-op Bookstores in Chicago, Ill., "wanted to share these 73 seconds of joy, brought to you by a few booksellers, some stringed instruments, a couple of sock puppets, and a shared fondness for Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas, which was just brought back into print by Doubleday this October." The booksellers shared their enthusiasm and song with the community last weekend during an Emmet Otter-themed party at 57th Street Books.

On banjo is Jeff Deutsch, with Colin McDonald on mandolin and Ryan Boylan on guitar. Puppeteers are Alex Houston, Conor Bean and Josh Edwards.



Media and Movies

Media Heat: Denis Leary on the Talk

Tomorrow:
Good Morning America: Tiffany Haddish, author of The Last Black Unicorn (Gallery, $26, 9781501181825). She will also appear today on the View and the Daily Show.

The Talk: Denis Leary, author of Why We Don't Suck: And How All of Us Need to Stop Being Such Partisan Little Bitches (Crown Archetype, $27, 9781524762735).

Comedy Central's the Opposition with Jordan Klepper: Scott Kelly, author of Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery (Knopf, $29.95, 9781524731595).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: John Hodgman, author of Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches (Viking, $25, 9780735224803).


Movie: Red Platoon

Daniel Espinosa (Safe House) will direct an adaptation of Medal of Honor winner Clinton Romesha's book Red Platoon: A True Story of American Valor, Sony Pictures announced. Deadline reported that George Clooney and Grant Heslov's Smokehouse Pictures are on board as producer. Sony optioned the book last year. Adam Cozad (Suicide Squad 2) wrote the script, and Josh Bratman is also producing.

The project "potentially falls right into the filmmaker's wheelhouse, and could follow in the footsteps of great war films like Black Hawk Down and We Were Soldiers," Deadline added.


Books & Authors

Awards: Geoffrey Faber Memorial; Charlotte Huck, Orbis Pictus

Cumbrian poet Kim Moore won the £1,500 (about $2,015) Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, which was established in memory of the founder and first chairman of Faber & Faber and is awarded to poetry and prose in alternate years, for her debut poetry collection, The Art of Falling, the Guardian reported.

The judges said that Moore's poems "accrue force and vigor as they speak to each other across the pages, delivering a thrilling encounter with language at its most irresistible and essential.... There is admirable ambition and a generosity that takes in the whole of the world, affirming it all to be worthy of poetry's invigorating attention. Rarer still, perhaps, is Moore's command of a poem's closing moments--she knows when to leave quietly and when to jolt the heart. Few write as well as Moore of the limitations and transformations of the body."

---

The National Council of Teachers of English announced that Dan Santat won the 2018 Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction for Children for his novel After the Fall (Roaring Brook Press), and Jason Chin was named winner of the Orbis Pictus for Nonfiction for Children for his book Grand Canyon (Roaring Brook Press). The winning authors were honored during NCTE's Annual Convention. Honor and recommended books in each category were also announced. 


Reading with... Darryl W. Bullock

Darryl W. Bullock is a writer and publisher in Bristol, England. He has spent more than 20 years writing for local, national and international newspapers and magazines--and a decade indulging in his love of obscure music via his blog. In 2016, Overlook Press published his biography Florence Foster Jenkins: the Life of the World's Worst Opera Singer. On November 21, Overlook released his latest book, David Bowie Made Me Gay: 100 Years of LGBT Music.

On your nightstand now:

I'm currently reading Jheronimus Bosch: the Road to Heaven and Hell by Gary Schwartz. I've always been fascinated by Bosch's incredibly surreal paintings and for many years had a poster of his Extraction of the Stone of Madness, which I bought at the Prado in Madrid, framed on my wall. It's a fascinating book that offers an interesting take on the artist's life and work, but it's huge and a little cumbersome for bedtime!

Favorite book when you were a child:

I was always far more interested in fact than fiction, and didn't really enjoy the books which were mandatory reading at school: The Hobbit, the Narnia Chronicles and so on. My father loved books and he had purchased, secondhand, a 1950s edition of the Children's Encyclopedia by Arthur Mee. I would dip in and out of those constantly.

Your top five authors:

Armistead Maupin: the Tales of the City series is essential reading; funny and touching, but also brutally honest. I've been lucky enough to meet him a couple of times and he is just as engaging in real life. I've always loved Ernest Hemingway's succinctness, and I have a soft spot for J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books, a passion I share with my husband. Mark Lewisohn's tomes on the Beatles, especially his ongoing All These Years series, have kept this particular Beatles obsessive entertained for years. Although I didn't read them as a child, in my 20s I discovered Tove Jansson's wonderful Moomin books, and have them all.

Book you've faked reading:

I don't think I've ever read Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, which, especially with my living in Bristol, is a bit of a faux pas!

Book you're an evangelist for:

Chicago Whispers by St. Sukie de la Croix. He uncovers the fascinating history of LGBT people in the city in the years before Stonewall, and his writing style is both respectful and gossipy. It's a really engaging book.

Book you've bought for the cover:

There have been loads. I read biographies voraciously, and am always picking something up in a bookshop because I'm attracted to the image on the front. Probably Chris Albertson's Bessie Smith biography, Bessie: you can't help but be pulled in by the joyous look on her face.

Book you hid from your parents:

I don't recall consciously hiding anything from my parents, although they would have been furious if they knew how much of my, and their, money I was spending on books about the Beatles.

Book that changed your life:

Tales of the City. In fact, all nine volumes in Maupin's Tales series; they're simply essential reading, and it maddens me when I talk to young LGBT people who have never heard of him. Although I grew up in the U.K., I can still identify with many of his characters, and they feel like part of my family now. I became ridiculously upset when reading The Days of Anna Madrigal, worrying that she would die before the end and that I would lose my "logical" grandmother.

Favorite line from a book:

"In a parallel world [Andy] Partridge would be considered a national institution, but he didn't have the thirst or the stamina for the fame." Dylan Jones writing about the wonderful XTC in The Biographical Dictionary of Popular Music.

Five books you'll never part with:

Tales of the City, More Tales of the City, Further Tales of the City, Babycakes (the fourth volume of Maupin's Tales of the City series), and Shaun Considine's Bette & Joan: The Divine Feud, the hysterical volume that inspired the recent U.S. TV series Feud.

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

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge and Other Stories by Ambrose Bierce. I went through a stage in my 20s when I was obsessed with short stories, especially those of Bierce, O. Henry, Hemingway and Joseph Conrad. They made me want to write fiction, although I soon discovered that I was better off trying to write fact!

What you're working on now:

I'm working on another musical biography. I can't say too much at the moment, but it will be closer in style to my Florence Foster Jenkins book than to David Bowie Made Me Gay. It's a story with a lot of humour but also a great deal of heartache, and one that hasn't really been told in depth before. If things go to plan, it should be out around the end of 2018.


Book Review

Children's Review: Love

Love by Matt de la Peña, illus. by Loren Long (Putnam, $17.99 hardcover, 40p., ages 4-8, 9781524740917, January 9, 2018)

Matt de la Peña started writing Love as an uplifting poem for children, but he soon felt that something was missing. He had, in his words, failed to "acknowledge the other side." What he decided he wanted was to share with children an honest picture of love: even those who are well loved will eventually learn that the world holds sadness and loss in addition to comfort and sweetness. And there are stories behind every love. So Love became the moving book that it is today, in which a different child on each spread, in all colors of the human rainbow, learns about love in its multifarious forms. "In the beginning there is light/ and two wide-eyed figures standing/ near the foot of your bed,/ and the sound of their voices is love."

After the tender, quiet beginning in which a "cabdriver plays love softy on his radio/ while you bounce in back with the bumps of the city" and "you" (de la Peña uses second person throughout) play in summer sprinklers with the big kids and "the echo of your laughter is love," things turn a bit darker. On one spread, smoke pours from an apartment building's windows and "you're pulled from sleep and whisked/ into the street, where a quiet old/ lady is pointing to the sky./ 'Stars shine long after they've flamed/ out,' she tells you, 'and the shine they/ shine with is love.'" In subsequent pages, you discover--gently, always gently--that "it's not only stars that flame out..../ It's summers, too./ And friendships./ And people."

Kindness and warmth suffuse every page, so readers never doubt that love is ever-present, even in sorrow and confusion. Ample positive examples pack the pages, whether it's uncles goofing around and telling stories or an awakening recognition that parents do difficult things because they love you: "A love that wakes at dawn and/ rides to work on the bus./ A slice of burned toast that tastes like love." The poignant illustration accompanying these lines shows a small boy watching out the window as an adult (presumably his dad) slogs through the snow on his way to catch the bus while an older brother offers the boy juice and toast.

Beautiful illustrations by Loren Long (Good Day, Good Night; Nightsong; the Otis series) are made using an unusual process of collaged monotypes overlaid with acrylic paint. With its textures and irregularities, the artwork is, as Long says, "a bit raw, a bit vulnerable, a bit messy. It's unfinished in some places, overworked in others, flawed here and beautiful there. Kind of like love itself." True words.

Long and Matt de la Peña, whose Last Stop on Market Street (illustrated by Christian Robinson) garnered a Newbery Medal and a Caldecott Honor, hit the mark with Love, eschewing sentimentality and banalities for a portrait of love framed in honesty. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor

Shelf Talker: Matt de la Peña and Loren Long offer the world Love, a gentle, poetic picture book about love in all circumstances, even the tough ones.


The Bestsellers

Top Libro.fm Audiobooks in November

The bestselling Libro.fm audiobooks at independent bookstore locations during November:

Fiction:

1. Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks (Penguin Random House Audio)
2. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (Penguin Random House Audio)
3. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (Dreamscape Media)
4. Sourdough by Robin Sloan (Macmillan Audio)
5. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (Penguin Random House Audio)
6. The History of Bees by Maja Lunde (Simon & Schuster Audio)
7. The Dry by Jane Harper (Macmillan Audio)
8. Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan (Simon & Schuster Audio)
9. Before the Fall by Noah Hawley (Hachette Audio)
10. IQ by Joe Ide

Nonfiction:

1. American Wolf by Nate Blakeslee (Penguin Random House Audio)
2. Tribe by Sebastian Junger (Hachette Audio)
3. Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris (Hachette Audio)
4. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (Hachette Audio)
5. Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson (Simon & Schuster Audio)
6. Hamilton by Jeremy McCarter and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hachette Audio)
7. Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace (Hachette Audio)
8. Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris (Hachette Audio)
9. Shrill by Lindy West (Hachette Audio)
10. Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari (HarperCollins)


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