Also published on this date: Wednesday, June 27, 2018: Maximum Shelf: Good Rosie!

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, June 27, 2018


St. Martin's Press: In the Blink of an Eye by Jesse Blackadder

Shadow Mountain: Squint by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown

Nosy Crow: Sing a Song of Seasons: A Nature Poem for Each Day of the Year, illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon, selected by Fiona Waters

Quirk Books: The Princess and the Fangirl (Once Upon a Con #2) by Ashley Poston

Greystone Books: The Hidden Life of Trees: The Illustrated Edition by Peter Wohlleben, translated by Jane Billinghurst

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Pearl by Molly Idle

Quotation of the Day

Shopping at an Indie: 'Dinner with the Love of Your Life'

Ottessa Moshfegh

"In L.A., I live several blocks from Skylight Books, which is a great bookstore. When I'm in New York, I tend to go to McNally Jackson or the Strand, and when I'm in Boston, there's a really good bookstore in my hometown, which is a suburb of Boston, called Newtonville Books. And those are the ones I know the best. I think the difference between going into an indie bookstore and going into a Barnes & Noble is like the difference between going out to dinner with the love of your life versus going on a blind date with someone you met on OkCupid. At indie bookstores there's so much more human thought put into the way books are arranged and presented."

--Ottessa Moshfegh, whose novel My Year of Rest and Relaxation (Penguin) is the #1 July Indie Next List pick, in a q&a with Bookselling This Week.

Enlighten Up: Divine Dog Wisdom Cards: A 62 Card Deck and Guidebook by Barb Horn and Randy Crutcher, illustrated by Teresa Shishim


News

Alison Lazarus Joining Hachette as Head of Sales

Alison Lazarus

Effective August 6, Alison Lazarus will join Hachette Book Group as executive v-p, director of sales, reporting to CEO Michael Pietsch and joining the executive management board. She has been president of the sales division at Macmillan for more than 20 years and earlier held executive sales positions at Random House, including v-p of adult trade sales.

Pietsch commented: "Alison Lazarus is one of the most highly respected leaders in our industry, and I'm thrilled to welcome her to Hachette Book Group, where her breadth of experience and strategic vision will be invaluable. I'm excited for Alison to work closely with our outstanding sales team, our publishing divisions, and our executive management board, as we continue to grow our sales, improve our sales operations, and find new physical and digital markets for our authors' books."

Chris Murphy

Also effective August 6, Chris Murphy is becoming senior v-p, retail sales, at Hachette. Since December 2014, he has been senior v-p, group sales director.

Pietsch said that Murphy is "returning to a job that he did superbly in the past, which is wonderful news for HBG. Chris possesses vast experience, is deeply respected by accounts, by colleagues, and by our authors. I appreciate enormously Chris's contributions to HBG, and am very grateful for his decision to step into this important sales leadership position. I am certain that in this role, Chris will continue to play a major part in HBG's future."


University of Minnesota Press: Laurentian Divide by Sarah Stonich


Amazon Books Opens Store in Bethesda, Md.

Yesterday, a new Amazon Books store opened in Bethesda, Md., at 7117 Arlington Road on Bethesda Row. This is the company's second brick-and-mortar bookstore in the D.C. area and 16th nationwide, Bethesda magazine reported. Amazon Books debuted its Georgetown location in March.

"We're always looking for areas with lots of shoppers, and Bethesda Row fits that target really nicely," said Cameron Janes, v-p of Amazon Books.

Earlier this year, Barnes & Noble closed its Bethesda store at the corner of Woodmont and Bethesda avenues.

Janes added that it is up to customers to decide if Amazon Books fills the void left by B&N, noting that "the store was designed with local shoppers in mind" and "will consider offering a story-time program, depending on the community demand," Bethesda magazine wrote.


GLOW: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: We Contain Multitudes by Sarah Henstra


Twenty Stories Bookmobile Moves from L.A. to Providence

Twenty Stories, the bookstore-in-a-van that launched last year, has put Los Angeles "in the rearview" and relocated to Providence, R.I., East Side Monthly reported. The mobile bookstore, owned by Alexa Trembly and Emory Harkins, made its debut at the Hope Street Block Party last month.

"We got a car wash near Julian's, and as we were driving down Broadway some girl came up to our window and was like 'I saw you were coming to town and I'm so excited!' " said Harkins, who grew up in Providence.

The original decision to open a mobile bookstore was a pragmatic one for the "writers-turned-entrepreneurs who wanted to work with books," East Side Monthly noted. Trembly explained: "We both had jobs unrelated to writing and were super dissatisfied. So we brainstormed. Food trucks are so big in LA. Maybe we could do this."

Twenty Stories features a rotating 20-title selection. On Twitter recently the owners explained their selection process: "The #1 question we get is how we choose our books. Because we have a small selection, 20 books every month, each book is a gem to us. We search high and low through debuts, reviews, awards, and indie presses to bring a new selection every month."

The van "will spend most of the week roaming the city, with weekends reserved for events and markets," East Side Monthly wrote. "Unlike in L.A., where they utilize 'guerilla parking' tactics to show up unannounced in front of coffee shops and along the beach, they're hoping to develop partnerships with local businesses to plan out appearances."

"We'd like them to know who we are and not just show up," said Harkins. They are also offering a subscription service and will host a monthly book club. Trembly said she is "excited by how community focused everyone is here. They really want to support things like this, and you could feel that."


Greystone Books: The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate--Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben, translated by Jane Billinghurst


Grand Central Reads Arrives at GCT

Penguin Random House and MTA Metro-North Railroad are partnering on a program called Grand Central Reads that will bring literature celebrating New York authors, New York City and Grand Central Terminal to commuters and visitors using recently improved free wi-fi and wireless service by AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. Readers can download free book excerpts from inside Grand Central Terminal, on platforms and in the Park Avenue Tunnel. The program began yesterday and runs through August 31.

Grand Central Reads titles include thrillers and romance, children's and young adult, and a variety of political, self-help and cookbooks. Titles include Reading Jackie by William Kuhn; The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis; Shake Shack: Recipes & Stories by Randy Garutti, Mark Rosati and Dorothy Kalins; DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Top 10 New York City; and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. Readers can make selections tailored to the length of their commute with a "read time" feature. They can also purchase the full e-books.

"Penguin Random House is pleased to partner with the MTA to offer book selections tailored and timed to the length of individual commutes," said Madeline McIntosh, CEO, Penguin Random House U.S. "Books are fantastic companions that add inspiration and entertainment to the commuting experience, and we're delighted that Grand Central Reads puts our books together with visitors to this wonderful historic landmark."

Metro-North President Catherine Rinaldi added: "We create partnerships and experiences like Grand Central Reads to help us consistently evolve and improve how Grand Central Terminal serves the 750,000 people who pass through and visit daily. We're excited to give people an opportunity to ignite their passion for reading, connect with each other, and experience the heart of New York City in new ways."

The program is well-timed: participants noted that yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision that saved Grand Central Terminal from destruction.

In 2016, Penguin Random House offered a similar program called Subway Reads in partnership with Transit Wireless, an eight-week-long promotion that allowed commuters to sample e-shorts and excerpts in New York City subway stations that had wireless service.


Dutton Books: The Woman Inside by E.G. Scott


Kids' Next List E-Newsletter Delivered

On Thursday, the second part of the American Booksellers Association's Summer 2018 Kids' Next List was delivered to more than a third of a million of the country's best book readers, going to 405,064 customers of 121 participating bookstores. The next Kids' Next List issue will be the first volume of the fall catalog, scheduled for Thursday, August 16.

The e-newsletter, powered by Shelf Awareness, features summer Kids' Next List titles, with bookseller quotes and "buy now" buttons that lead directly to the purchase page for the title on the sending store's website. The newsletter, which is branded with each store's logo, also includes an interview (from Bookselling This Week) with the author whose book was chosen by booksellers as the number-one Kids' Next List pick, in this case Claire Legrand, author of Furyborn: The Empirium Trilogy, Book I (Sourcebooks Fire).

For a sample of the newsletter, see this one from Read With Me Children's Books & Art, Raleigh, N.C.


Ci6: What Bookstore Owners Wish They'd Known

On the last day of Children's Institute 6 in New Orleans, La., Ariana Paliobagis, owner of Country Bookshelf in Bozeman, Mont., and John Cavalier, co-owner of Cavalier House Books in Denham Springs, La., shared what they wished they'd known when they bought and opened bookstores of their own. Shoshana Smith, owner of Flashlight Books, planned to open in Walnut Grove, Calif., moderated the discussion.

On the subject of navigating an opening order, Cavalier said that he and his wife were lucky in that they had already been operating a book fair business for several years before opening a store of their own, so they already had accounts with major publishers and distributors. He reported using Baker & Taylor's STEPS program and advised prospective owners to not be too afraid of making a mistake. Not everything you order is going to sell right away, and part of any bookstore's growth is figuring out how to better cater their inventory to suit their customers. Said Cavalier: "You're gonna have to get creative with it."

Smith, Paliobagis and Cavalier

While Paliobagis did not have to start from scratch in terms of inventory, she did suddenly have a lot of what she deemed "stale inventory" on her hands when she bought Country Bookshelf. She found that while she had to create brand-new accounts with publishers and distributors, the store's credit reputation did transfer, and at the time it wasn't very good. With many of these new accounts she had to initially pay up-front, and she had to pay fees on many returns because they were technically on a different account. In order to revitalize the store, she did bite the bullet and pay the fees, but she suggested that anyone buying a currently existing store make sure they do returns before the ownership transition. She also warned against clearing out too much old inventory at once, as customers will see the empty shelves and get nervous.

A significant topic of discussion was maintaining a healthy work-life balance as a new bookstore owner. Paliobagis recalled working 12- to 14-hour days, six or seven days per week for a long time, and was frank in saying it eventually led to a serious breakdown that "almost ended a lot of things for me and my store." She decided to tell her staff what was going on and that she needed their help, and advised anyone in a similar situation to not be afraid to ask for help or to delegate.

"I think our culture celebrates overwork, and I think we really need to acknowledge that, and acknowledge that that's not a good thing," said Paliobagis. "Yes, you're dedicated and you love what you do, and, yes, the business is hard and it requires a lot of work, but if you're going to keep doing it, you have to take care of yourself."

Cavalier reported that he now makes a point of scheduling free time and time away from the store, even if it's only a couple of hours. He and his wife, with whom he co-owns the store, also specifically schedule time off together. Cavalier also noted that he and his wife make a big effort to "separate work arguments from life arguments and work-happiness from life happiness," because the former could especially "compound so quickly."

Both Paliobagis and Cavalier suggested creating guidelines in advance for things like working with independent authors and how to respond when people or organizations ask the store for charitable organizations. Cavalier said he tries to create a "cheat sheet" for doing any specialized or technical store task so that anyone can refer back to it later. His store also utilizes an "end of day" form, which is a GoogleForm filled out by whoever closes out the store each day. It includes data about sales, but also "lets us relay information to whoever is going to be at the store on the next day," such as a heads up about a receipt printer acting up or the need to follow up with a customer about a special order.

Cavalier and Paliobagis each discussed having to deal with sudden, unexpected crises. Paliobagis explained that Country Bookshelf is on the ground floor of an old, historic building with terrible plumbing that has 18 apartments in it. She has had to deal with significant water damage issues at various times and since the storefront is not owned by the same person who owns the building's apartments, it can be difficult to "make sure that the people who are responsible live up to their responsibilities, but they're not going to do that without you pestering them." She stressed having your insurance on speed-dial, making sure "you know who is responsible," and when you need answers or accountability keep at it and "be noisy."

Cavalier, meanwhile, described an incident about six months after his store opened when an entire wheel sheared off of a passing truck, rolled down the street and crashed through the window of their children's section--thankfully, in the middle of the night when no one was present. And in 2016, about 90% of Cavalier's community suffered severe flooding, which caused not only a huge amount of direct damage but nearly a year's worth of "economic fallout." Cavalier emphasized the importance of being familiar with any and all emergency operations procedures, knowing your emergency and disaster plans, and said he's a "big proponent of preparing for the worst and hoping for the best." --Alex Mutter


Notes

Jimmy Fallon's 'Tonight Show Summer Reads' Book Club Debuts

NBC's Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon has launched a book club, called the Tonight Show Summer Reads. Viewers are helping to select the first pick from a list of five titles. Results will be revealed on the June 29 show.

"Summer's here and I don't really have books to read. I don't have a good summer book to read," Fallon said following his opening monologue recently. "But I want to be there. I want to be walking around with that book that everyone's got, like, 'Oh, you?' 'Yeah, me.' "

The eligible books are: Providence by Caroline Kepnes (Lenny), Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Holt), The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin (Putnam), The Good Son by You-Jeong Jeong (Penguin) and IQ by Joe Ide (Mulholland Books).


Idlewild Books 'Is a Destination for Globetrotters'

photo: Matt Baldacci

Idlewild Books in New York City's West Village is "a destination for globetrotters," according to the headline for amNewYork's profile of the bookshop it described as "your passport to another place."

"The goal when we opened 10 years ago was to open a bookstore for people curious about exploring the world through travel and literature," said owner David Del Vecchio. "That's still the goal today."

In addition to supplementing guidebooks with literature that "transports readers into the culture and community of any given location," Idelwild Books offers language classes, including French, Spanish, Italian and German.

"Customers traveling to Italy or Spain or France would ask me where they could go to practice or strengthen their language skills," Del Vecchio said. "The addition of language classes tied in perfectly with the concept of Idlewild."

This fall, Idlewild "hopes to expand its reach beyond the city and host a pop-up at a farmhouse in the Catskills, with long-weekend classes immersing visitors in a different language," amNewYork wrote.



Media and Movies

Media Heat: Darnell L. Moore on the Daily Show

Tomorrow:
Live with Kelly and Ryan: Ali Wentworth, author of Go Ask Ali: Half-Baked Advice (and Free Lemonade) (Harper, $25.99, 9780062466013).

The View: Harris Faulkner, author of 9 Rules of Engagement: A Military Brat's Guide to Life and Success (Harper, $27.99, 9780062697516).

Daily Show: Darnell L. Moore, author of No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America (Nation Books, $26, 9781568589480).


TV: The Loudest Voice in the Room

Russell Crowe will play Fox News Channel founder Roger Ailes in Showtime's upcoming eight-episode limited series based on Gabriel Sherman's book The Loudest Voice in the Room as well as his additional reporting about Ailes and Fox News for New York magazine, IndieWire reported.

Sherman co-wrote the premiere episode with Tom McCarthy (Spotlight), who is the executive producer with Blumhouse's Jason Blum. Showtime and Blumhouse Television (Sharp Objects) are producing. Although the series doesn't have a title yet, it had previously been developed as Secure and Hold: The Last Days of Roger Ailes.

"In many ways, the collision between the media and politics has come to define the world we live in today," said Showtime president/CEO David Nevins. "We've seen this phenomenon depicted on screen as far back as the story of Charles Foster Kane, and it finds contemporary embodiment in the rise and fall of Roger Ailes. With Russell Crowe in the lead role, this limited series promises to be a defining story for this era."

Noting that Ailes and Fox News "irrevocably changed the conversation about the highest levels of government," Showtime said: "To understand the events that led to the rise of Donald Trump, one must understand Ailes. The upcoming limited series takes on that challenge, focusing primarily on the past decade in which Ailes arguably became the Republican Party's de facto leader, while flashing back to defining events in Ailes' life, including an initial meeting with Richard Nixon on the set of the Mike Douglas Show that gave birth to Ailes's political career and the sexual harassment accusations and settlements that brought his Fox News reign to an end."


Books & Authors

Man Martin Wins Third Ga. Author of the Year Award

Man Martin

Author Man Martin won his third Georgia Author of the Year Award (literary fiction category) for his third novel, The Lemon Jell-O Syndrome (Unbridled Books). His previous winning titles were Days of the Endless Corvette (2008) and Paradise Dogs (2012).

Describing Martin as "a seasoned author in full-command of his craft," judge Gray Stewart said the comic novel's story "involves the descent and rebirth of its hapless cuckold protagonist, Bone King, a grammarian and English professor who has 'unwisely given his heart to words.' Bone eventually learns to prioritize human connection over book-learning and to follow his heart in a wiser direction, regardless of the obstacles before him. The storyline is cleverly presented through 26 chapters which represent the letters of the alphabet and also correspond to entries in his doctoral dissertation.... More broadly, it explores themes of language, self-awareness, perception, ego, and the narcissism with which we all contend."

You can find a complete list of the Georgia Author of the Year Award category winners and finalists here.


Awards: Society of Authors Shortlists

The Society of Authors announced this year's shortlists for the Betty Trask, McKitterick, Tom-Gallon and Somerset Maugham awards. The winners will be honored July 19 at the Authors' Awards event, presented by Stephen Fry at Royal Institute of British Architects in London. More than £98,000 (about $129,860) will be given to established and emerging writers of fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Check out the complete Authors' Awards shortlists here.


Reading with... Suzanne Rafer

Until her retirement earlier this year, Suzanne Rafer was, for many years, the executive editor and director of cookbook publishing at Workman Publishing. Editor of dozens of bestselling cookbooks (including The Silver Palate and The New Basics, Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible cookbooks, Anne Byrn's Cake Mix Doctor books, Patricia Wells's The Food Lover's Guide to Paris and Bistro Cookbook), Rafer also edited all the What to Expect pregnancy and parenting books and a series of popular children's board and music books by Sandra Boynton.
 
On your nightstand now:
 
My nightstand is made up of a stack of books. On top is Kate Atkinson's Life After Life, which I'm almost finished reading. Right below is D-Day by Stephen E. Ambrose. Underneath that is Hollywood by Gore Vidal. Lots to look forward to.
 
Favorite books when you were a child:
 
Definitely all the Mary Poppins books. The Borrowers books by Mary Norton. The Book of Live Dolls. The Nancy Drew books--I inherited my cousin's originals, when Nancy was still driving a roadster! Anne of Green Gables. And I have to mention two comic books--Katy Keene and Little Lulu. I adored both.
 
Your top five authors:
 
This sounds clichéd but it's true: Charles Dickens and Jane Austen. Less clichéd: Edward Gorey. These authors never disappoint me. Ray Bradbury and Shirley Jackson also make the list.
 
Book you've faked reading:
 
La Vida Es Sueño by Pedro Calderón for a high school Spanish class. I wound up reading it in English and sat through the class discussion with my "please don't call on me" face on.
 
Books you're an evangelist for:
 
Year of Wonder by Geraldine Brooks and The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. I got so wrapped up in Year, I had to read as much as I could on the plague and its history from the 1300s to 1665. And as for Devil, I actually bought Dover's photo book of all buildings of the 1893 Columbian Exposition and walked around the Exposition site on my last Chicago visit. Only one original building remains. Too bad.
 
Book you've bought for the cover:
 
Covers are such great ads for their books, but I can't think of one that grabbed me in the way the title and flap copy (or first page) do.
 
Book you hid from your parents:
 
Happily I never had to hide any books from my parents. Except maybe for the occasional horror comic book. Hiding them probably wasn't necessary--but I didn't want to chance it.
 
Book that changed your life:
 
Reading is so much a part of my life and certainly helps influence all aspects of it, but I can't pick out one that changed it.
 
Five books you'll never part with:
 
Winnie the Pooh signed by A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard. My Edward Gorey collection.
 
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
 
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. I'd never read anything like it before and hope I make the time to revisit it.
 
Favorite literary hero:
 
Does Little Lulu count?
 
Favorite fictional boyfriend:
 
Possibly Pride and Prejudice's Mr. Darcy. Helped along by the fact that Laurence Olivier played him in the early movie version.
 

Book Review

Children's Review: Finding Langston

Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransome (Holiday House, $16.99 hardcover, 112p., ages 8-12, 9780823439607, August 14, 2018)

After 11-year-old Langston's mother died, he and his father packed up their few belongings and headed north, hoping, as his daddy said, for a "chance for something better." Langston's new home in post-World War II Chicago's "Black Belt" is nothing like his old home in rural Alabama: instead of walking slowly along the red-dirt roads, hot sun on the back of his neck, he now has to leap over puddles of dirty water and piles of trash. Apartment living in Chicago means everyone knows "what time you get up in the morning and what you're cooking for breakfast" and everyone is "too busy to say a decent 'Mornin' ' when you see them on the street." Langston's junior high is filled with kids who call him "country boy" and laugh at the overalls and "run-over" shoes he wears. But, like it or not, even though Alabama still feels like home, Chicago is home now. Langston aches for his mama and feels that he barely even knows his now-quiet father.
 
It's not until Langston stumbles upon the neighborhood library when trying to get away from bullying boys that he finds a refuge--both in the cool, airy building ("as quiet as Alabama") and in the poems of a poet he discovers. Not only does the poet share his first name--Langston Hughes--but when Langston reads Hughes's poems, it "[f]eels like reading words from [his own] heart." Always told by his parents that "they don't let colored folks in libraries," Langston is, at first, nervous about being there and, after some time, about telling his gruff, sad father where he's been spending his afternoons. But as he devours Hughes's poems, he begins to find his own voice, finally opening up to his daddy about why he loves reading, and this poet in particular: "[H]e writes poems about being a Negro and living up north but missing the South and feeling lonely."
 
Lesa Cline-Ransome has written many picture books (Before She Was Harriet; Freedom's School; Just a Lucky So and So: The Story of Louis Armstrong) but the winsome Finding Langston is her first novel. As with many of her other works, she focuses on a time and place that really existed, bringing it to life. Here, she explores the midpoint of what is known as the Great Migration, a 50-year period when more than seven million black people left the South "in search of a better life in the North," expanding Chicago's black population from 2% to 33%. In her author's note, Cline-Ransome describes the cultural scene that grew in Chicago along with the black population, forming the Chicago Black Renaissance. Finding Langston is about cultural heritage and personal growth and, at its heart, about finding home wherever you land. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor
 
Shelf Talker: After losing his mother and moving from rural Alabama to Chicago's "Bronzeville" community in 1946, an 11-year-old boy seeks poetic solace in a library where all are welcome, even black people.

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