Shelf Awareness for Thursday, February 8, 2018


Forge: The Devil's Half Mile by Paddy Hirsch

Berkley Books: The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa, translated by Philip Gabriel

Park Row: The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson

Ballantine Books: Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

Atheneum Books: What I Leave Behind by Alison McGhee

Shadow Mountain: The Lemonade Year by Amy Willoughby-Burle

News

ABA Board Candidates Include Estep and Spring

The board of the American Booksellers Association has approved the nominating committee's recommendations for four candidates for the board in this year's election, Bookselling This Week reported. The candidates are:

Kelly Estep of Carmichael's Bookstore in Louisville, Ky.
Bradley Graham of Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, D.C.
Pete Mulvihill of Green Apple Books in San Francisco, Calif.
Angela Maria Spring of Duende District Bookstore, Washington, D.C.

Mulvihill is running for a second three-year term. Estep and Spring would be new board members. Graham, who was appointed to fill Robert Sindelar's term when he became board president, would fill out the rest of that term.

After serving two three-year terms, Jonathon Welch of Talking Leaves Books in Buffalo, N.Y., and Valerie Koehler of Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston, Tex., are leaving the board this year.

Election ballots, which include space for write-in candidates, will be sent to ABA members via e-mail in early April and must be returned by May 1. The ABA annual membership meeting will be held on May 31 during BookExpo.

Under ABA bylaws, any bookstore member may submit petitions to have the names of additional candidates for board officers and/or directors added to the ballot. For more information on how to do this, click here.


University of Minnesota Press: The Right to Be Cold: One Woman's Fight to Protect the Arctic and Save the Planet from Climate Change by Sheila Watt-Cloutier


AAP Sales: September Inches Upward

In September, total net book sales in the U.S. rose 0.4%, to $1.524 billion, compared to the same period in 2016, representing sales of 1,204 publishers and distributed clients as reported to the Association of American Publishers.

Through September last year, total net book sales were down 0.5%, to $11.27 billion. Total trade sales were down 0.9%, adult books were up 0.4%, and children's/YA books were off 3.5%.

Sales by category in September compared to September 2016:


NYU School of Professional Studies: Center for Publishing: MS in Publishing: Digital and Print Media - Apply Now!


Indigo Holiday Quarter: Revenues Up 8.2%

At Indigo Books & Music, revenue in the third quarter ended December 30 rose 8.2%, to C$433.3 million (about US$344.8 million), and net earnings rose 6.5%, to C$42.6 million (about $33.9 million). Total comparable sales, including online sales and stores open at least a year, rose 7.9%.

The company said revenue growth was driven by "double digit growth in all areas of the general merchandise business. The core book business remains healthy, showing growth over last year."

CEO Heather Reisman commented: "We are happy to report a strong third quarter--our biggest holiday to date. Our performance across all channels and categories is a clear reflection of the success of our 'every gift tells a story' seasonal message, the strength of our brand and the passion of our customers for our reimagined cultural department store concept. Our investments in digital, new store development and supply chain infrastructure were critical to our success, as was, of course, the outstanding engagement of our team."

Indigo said it will "accelerate the rollout of its new store concept, as these newly re-imagined stores, which reflect Indigo's transformation from a bookstore to a cultural department store for booklovers, continued to show outstanding growth during the critical holiday season."

Indigo has about 90 superstores under the names Indigo and Chapters, and 125 smaller-format stores under the names Coles, Indigospirit, SmithBooks and the Book Company.

Indigo's first store outside Canada is scheduled to open this summer in the Mall at Short Hills in Millburn, N.J., the first of three to five stores in the U.S.


Mandevilla Press: Assassins by Mike Bond


Denver's Second Star to the Right Relocating, Expanding

Second Star to the Right's current location.

Second Star to the Right children's bookstore, Denver, Colo., will relocate and expand later this year. "We are renovating our new home at 1545 South Broadway in Denver," owners Marc and Dea Lavoie wrote on the store's website. "So--keep an eye out for the announcement date of our Grand Opening Celebration sometime this summer! We are moving to a larger building in a new location! Though we are sad to leave our magical store on Tennyson, we are excited about having more space to offer more to our customers!" They opened Second Star to the Right in 2014.

Among the advantages cited for the new location are a more extensive selection of books and toys; a large events room for parties, author events and more; as well as indoor and outdoor space for storytimes and other events.

While the shop's retail space will grow from about 1,000 square feet to 3,000 square feet, the owners told the BusinessDen they are still finalizing the layout, but it "will likely have 1,500 square feet of event space. Dea also hopes to have room for a coffee shop with cocoa for children."

"While there are a lot of used and antique bookstores on South Broadway, there really seemed to be a need for a children's-only, new bookstore," Marc Lavoie said.

Noting that the Lavoies own the building where they are currently located on Tennyson St., BusinessDen reported that "they also bought the building on South Broadway for $695,000 using profits from Second Star. They estimated the construction will cost around $500,000."


Shelf Awareness Giveaway: The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green


Edmund White, Edna O'Brien to Be Honored by PEN America

In addition to its annual literary awards, PEN America honors "the outstanding careers and lifetime contributions to the world of literature and drama of our era." This year's recipients include Edmund White, who will receive the 2018 PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction "for his honest, beautifully wrought and fiercely defiant books, and his body of work including the autobiographical trilogy: A Boy’s Own Story, The Beautiful Room Is Empty and The Farewell Symphony."

Edna O'Brien is receiving the 2018 PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature for "her powerful voice and the absolute perfection of her prose, and her body of work including The Country Girls Trilogy, The Light of Evening, Byron in Love and The Little Red Chairs."

In addition, poet Kamau Brathwaite will be honored with the 2018 PEN/ Voelcker Award for "his omnivorously synthetic, insistently local, sinuously syncopated, and consistently exciting work, including Elegguas, Born to Slow Horses, and Ancestors"; translator Barbara Harshav with the PEN/Manheim Medal for Translation "for her outstanding commitment to translation, and her body of work including Between Life and Death and Night Train to Lisbon"; and Dave Kindred with the PEN/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sports Writing "for his distinguished work and its significant impact on the field of sports writing, including Heroes, Fools and Other Dreamers: A Sportswriter’s Gallery of Extraordinary People; and Around the World in 18 Holes."

The PEN/Laura Pels Foundation for Theater Awards will be conferred on playwrights Luis Alfaro for Master American Dramatist, Sibyl Kempson for American Dramatist in Mid-Career, and Mike Lew for Emerging American Playwright.

The lifetime/career achievement honorees and the other 2018 award winners will accept their prizes February 20 during the 2018 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony in New York City, hosted by author, social activist and political commentator Sally Kohn.


Memorial Service for Bob Wietrak Set for April 12

A memorial service celebrating the life of Bob Wietrak will be held Thursday, April 12, 8:30-10 a.m., at the Barnes & Noble Union Square, 33 E. 17th St., New York City. Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP with your name in the subject line to Kaylee Davis via e-mail.


Notes

Image of the Day: Historical Fiction Shines in Brooklyn

The Bookmark Shoppe, Brooklyn, N.Y., hosted an event featuring Berkley historical fiction authors Chanel Cleeton (Next Year in Havana) and Susan Meissner (As Bright As Heaven). Guests enjoyed tasty bites and beverages fireside at Cebu Bar & Bistro. The evening kicked off with a moderated q&a, followed by audience questions and finished up with book signings.


Indie Bookstores Offer 'Immersion--and Volumes of Refuge'

"Beneath a surge in interest for books about the Trump administration, booksellers see something more: Readers seeking to connect and make sense of a tumultuous time," the Christian Science Monitor wrote in a piece headlined "In bookstores, immersion--and volumes of refuge."

Noting that she has seen a lot of new faces in the bookstore since the publication of Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, Jan Weismiller, co-owner of Prairie Lights, Iowa City, Iowa, observed that books of all kinds are keys to understanding.

"I've always believed that it's possible that when you read fiction it's, in some ways, more helpful in understanding politics than reading political books because it's deeper more fully drawn portraits of people dealing with these kinds of things," she said. "We've all come to understand that a bookstore is not just a place to sell books--it's a community space. And we connect with all sorts of different local communities to keep it thriving."

Karen Hayes, managing owner of Parnassus Books, Nashville, Tenn., said she feels encouraged by the vibrancy of bookstores, contrasting the current indie environment to the 1990s: "You didn't see anybody young, you didn't see anybody opening bookstores, and it's completely different now."

In New York City, Leigh Altshuler, director of marketing and communications for Strand Book Store, observed that books are increasingly offering more varied "mirrors" for readers to see themselves in: "We're seeing a wider representation of people across stories, so whether that's gender, race, and sexuality, it's really becoming easier to find yourself in a book, or find an interesting or a different character."


The Bowie Bookclub on Australia's ABC Radio National

Shelf Awareness's own Kristianne Huntsberger and her bookclub partner, Greg Miller, were interviewed for the Book Hub on ABC Radio National, Australia, about their podcast The Bowie Bookclub and how unpredictable and inspiring David Bowie's book list can be.

Host Claire Nichols chats with the pair following a piece on writing tips from John McPhee and a profile of Western Sydney's diverse literacy collective, Sweatshop.


Blind Date with a Romance Book: Bookshop Santa Cruz

Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Calif., shared a pic on Facebook of one of its Blind Date with Romance selections, adding:

"Love is in the air and Bookshop's #BlindDateWithaBook is going strong. Let us set you up on a blind date... with Romance.

*tattoo artist heroine
*second chance story
*smart dialogue
*diverse characters
*sizzling sexy times had by all


"Find your perfect date in-store or online: http://www.bookshopsantacruz.com/blind-date-2018."


Media and Movies

Media Heat: April Ryan, Johann Hari on Real Time with Bill Maher

Tomorrow:
Real Time with Bill Maher: April Ryan, author of The Presidency in Black and White: My Up-Close View of Four Presidents and Race in America (Rowman & Littlefield, $16.95, 9781538106631).

Also on Real Time: Johann Hari, author of Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression--and the Unexpected Solutions (Bloomsbury USA, $28, 9781632868305).


This Weekend on Book TV: Patrisse Khan-Cullors on When They Call You a Terrorist

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, February 10
7:30 p.m. Laura Wides-Munoz, author of The Making of a Dream: How a Group of Young Undocumented Immigrants Helped Change What It Means to Be American (Harper, $27.99, 9780062560124). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

8:30 p.m. Steve Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, authors of How Democracies Die (Crown, $26, 9781524762933), at Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Mass.

10 p.m. Patrisse Khan-Cullors, co-author of When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir (St. Martin's Press, $24.99, 9781250171085). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Catherine Kerrison, author of Jefferson's Daughters: Three Sisters, White and Black, in a Young America (Ballantine, $28, 9781101886243). (Re-airs Sunday at 1:45 p.m.)

Sunday, February 11
12:45 a.m. Rachel Herz, author of Why You Eat What You Eat: The Science Behind Our Relationship with Food (Norton, $25.95, 9780393243314). (Re-airs Sunday at 8 p.m.)

3 a.m. Michael Nutter, author of Mayor: The Best Job in Politics (University of Pennsylvania Press, $19.95, 9780812250022). (Re-airs Sunday at 7 p.m.)

4:45 p.m. Hendrick Meijer, author of Arthur Vandenberg: The Man in the Middle of the American Century (University of Chicago Press, $35, 9780226433486), at Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C.

11 p.m. Charles Mann, author of The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow's World (Knopf, $28.95, 9780307961693), at Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C.



Books & Authors

Awards: Waterstones Children's Book Shortlist

An 18-title shortlist in three categories (illustrated books, younger fiction and older fiction) has been announced for Waterstones Children's Book Prize, which are "chosen from the many thousands of new titles that pass through our booksellers' hands." Category winners, which will be announced March 22, receive £2,000 (about $2,770) and then vie for the title of £3,000 (about $4,155) Waterstones Children's Book of the Year. See the complete shortlist here.

Waterstones children's book buyer Florentyna Martin said, "Children have always been eager to experience worlds beyond our own, whether it's in books, films or technology, but our booksellers' shortlist show that a resurgence of nostalgic fantastical adventures is creating a hunger for new magical stories. The books on this year's lists are the classics of the future and will be inspiring children for generations to come."


Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, February 13:

White Houses: A Novel by Amy Bloom (Random House, $27, 9780812995664) fictionalizes the relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok.

Night Moves by Jonathan Kellerman (Ballantine, $28.99, 9780345541468) is the 33rd thriller with Alex Delaware.

The Kremlin's Candidate: A Novel by Jason Matthews (Scribner, $26.99, 9781501140082) concludes the Red Sparrow espionage trilogy.

Surprise Me: A Novel by Sophie Kinsella (The Dial Press, $28, 9780399592881) is about a married couple attempting to keep their relationship surprising.

The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore by Kim Fu (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $23, 9780544098268) follows five campers lost during a kayaking trip.

Leftover in China: The Women Shaping the World's Next Superpower by Roseann Lake (Norton, $26.95, 9780393254631) looks at the recent history and future of young women in China.

Farewell to the Horse: A Cultural History by Ulrich Raulff, translated by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp (Liveright, $35, 9781631494321) chronicles the impact of horses on human history and culture.

The Kiss: Intimacies from Writers edited by Brian Turner (Norton, $24.95, 9780393635263) is an anthology of essays, stories, poems and graphic memoirs about kissing.

The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives by William Stixrud and Ned Johnson (Viking, $28, 9780735222519) explores ways to make kids self-motivated.

Nexus by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti (Simon Pulse, $19.99, 9781481443425) is the final book in the young adult series Zeroes.

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang (First Second, $16.99, 9781626723634) is a contemporary romance for young readers set in "Paris, at the dawn of the modern age."

Paperbacks:
A Primer for Poets and Readers of Poetry by Gregory Orr (Norton, $15.95, 9780393253924).

From Away by Phoef Sutton (Prospect Park Books, $16, 9781945551109).

Vengeance: A Novel by Zachary Lazar (Catapult, $16.95, 9781936787777).


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
Grist Mill Road: A Novel by Christopher J. Yates (Picador, $26, 9781250150288). "I love finding a new author who writes something so great that I'm compelled to find more of their work. Christopher Yates is my new guy. At the start of Grist Mill Road, the reader witnesses an event that changes the lives of three people, Hannah, Matthew, and Patrick, who each have their moment to narrate their side of the story. Saying there is great character depth here doesn't do Yates justice; they become living, breathing human beings. This gripping story keeps your heart racing at just the right pace and the story concludes right where it should. Be prepared to put yourself in another person's shoes--well, make that three pairs of shoes." --Nichole Cousins, White Birch Books, North Conway, N.H.

Fire Sermon: A Novel by Jamie Quatro (Grove Press, $24, 9780802127044). "I'm presently gobsmacked by and head-over-heels in love with Jamie Quatro's Fire Sermon, a gorgeous, searing first novel that takes on themes of grace, God, desire, truth, and family. Told in an array of tenses and forms that range from poetry to e-mail (and everything in between), Fire Sermon takes great risks stylistically, as well as topically, leaving nothing stable in its wake. It is unsparing and uncompromising, singular, innervating, and strong, and it is a deeply, wonderfully stirring work of art." --Will Walton, Avid Bookshop, Athens, Ga.

Paperback
The Most Dangerous Place on Earth: A Novel by Lindsey Lee Johnson (Random House, $17, 9780812987126). "If only we had had the wisdom back in high school, to see behind the facades of the kids who intimidated us, fascinated us, irritated us, and disgusted us--and to understand how the ways we collided with each other and with life would play out for us. Johnson's literary superpower is to plunge us into such a school and make us feel it all again as if we are there--only this time with all of the wisdom we lacked previously." --Nina Barrett, Bookends & Beginnings, Evanston, Ill.

For Ages 4 to 8
Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen: The Story of Six Novels, Three Notebooks, a Writing Box, and One Clever Girl by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Qin Leng (Balzer + Bray, $17.99, 9780062373304). "This whimsically illustrated wonder is the perfect introduction to Jane Austen, as it focuses on her intelligence, her family, and her love of storytelling. Fans will love introducing their little ones to the great authoress." --Sami Thomason, Square Books, Oxford, Miss.

For Ages 9 to 12
Hope in the Holler by Lisa Lewis Tyre (Nancy Paulsen Books, $16.99, 9780399546310). "A big-hearted, warm, inspiring story about the importance of believing in yourself and the people around you--and having the confidence to fight for your best life. Both funny and genuine, it's a little bit of a mystery, a lot of well-developed social commentary on life in impoverished rural Appalachia, and an emotional, enjoyable read." --Aja Martin, Indigo Bridge Books, Lincoln, Neb.

For Teen Readers
Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke (Clarion Books, $17.99, 9780544867857). "Jane Sinner is smart, cynical, funny--and adrift. When she realizes that, unlike her devout parents and friends, she has never believed in God, she is thrown into a pit of despair from which she can barely escape. As she navigates her new reality with snarky asides and an imaginary shrink who should have gone into stand-up instead of psychology, she decides to seek redemption by joining a Big Brother-style reality show. A clever commentary on the gods we really worship, and a reminder that faith and love can be found in the oddest places." --Nancy Banks, City Stacks Books and Coffee, Denver, Colo.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]


Book Review

Review: The Cloister

The Cloister by James Carroll (Nan A. Talese, $27.95 hardcover, 384p., 9780385541275, March 6, 2018)

Former priest James Carroll (Warburg in Rome) explores the Catholic Church's troubled history with interwoven stories of a choice made in the past and its catastrophic effects eight centuries later.

In Cluny, France, in the year 1142, Mother Heloise of the Prelate comes to collect the corpse of theologian Peter Abelard, a recently excommunicated priest and, secretly, her husband of many years. She also takes his writings, planning to hold them in trust at her abbey against the day when the views that brought about his damnation find their place as the true interpretation of God's love.

In 1950 Manhattan, Father Michael Kavanagh ducks into the Cloisters, reconstructed buildings from French abbeys that house the Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection of medieval art. Seeking solace after a startling encounter, he instead finds Rachel Vedette, a museum docent who engages testily with him over the book he carries, a collection of writings by Simone Weil. Surprised to find a Jewish woman leading tours of the sacred art of the Catholic Church, Kavanagh intends to keep their conversation brief but finds himself drawn to the cynical, thoughtful woman whose gaunt face and closed demeanor hint at a painful past.

As their acquaintance deepens, Rachel shares with Kavanagh her copy of Historia Calamitatum, Abelard's memoir of his affair with Heloise and eventual downfall, taken from the very same papers Heloise received in 1142. In it, Kavanagh sees a turning point in the history of the Church that led, centuries later, to the prejudices that brought on both the Holocaust and a personal tragedy perpetrated against his best friend in seminary. As Kavanagh's faith trembles, Rachel grapples with her guilt over her father's fate in a concentration camp and her own trauma. Alternating with their stories, the tragic love story of Abelard and Heloise--the greatest thinker of his age and the brilliant woman who challenged and inspired him--plays out against a backdrop of political machination, intolerance and greed.

Carroll sets the bar high in a novel that shifts seamlessly between epic love story, the anatomy of a crisis of faith, family tragedy and trauma survival saga. While the separate parts initially seem tenuously connected, as the novel progresses they interlock to show the far-reaching impact of choosing one path over another as the moral right for a huge portion of the world population. Riffing on themes from his nonfiction titles, most notably Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews, Carroll uses his thorough mastery of the philosophical underpinnings of Church history to buttress his portrayal of the deeply wounded souls linked to it. Both moving and enlightening, The Cloister will engross readers of any--or no--faith. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Shelf Talker: Former Catholic priest James Carroll tells twin stories of legendary lovers Peter Abelard and Heloise, and a mid-20th century priest and the Jewish woman who befriends him.


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