Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, May 18, 2011

William Morrow & Company: The List by Yomi Adegoke

St. Martin's Press: The Last Outlaws: The Desperate Final Days of the Dalton Gang by Tom Clavin

Page Street Kids: Payden's Pronoun Party by Blue Jaryn, illustrated by Xochitl Cornejo

Annick Press: Dragging Mason County by Curtis Campbell

Flatiron Books: Where There Was Fire by John Manuel Arias

Peachtree Publishers: Buddy and Bea series by Jan Carr, illustrated by Kris Mukai

Tor Teen: The Hunting Moon (The Luminaries #2) by Susan Dennard

Quotation of the Day

Booksellers 'Are Curators as Much as Shopkeepers'

"But the awards for which the room gave the loudest and longest applause were for the nation's booksellers.... And that's because booksellers are seen to be the unsung heroes of the publishing industry. It is their enthusiasm, knowledge and ability to connect with the buying public that keeps everybody else involved in business. And the harder it has become to sell books, the harder the people who are employed (for not a lot) in bookshops across the country have worked. They are curators as much as shopkeepers; some of whom present books with the sort of creativity that stands comparison with the author's books they are selling."

--Will Gompertz, BBC News arts editor, reporting on the Bookseller Industry Awards ceremony in London Monday.


Spiderline: An Ordinary Violence by Adriana Chartrand


Image of the Day: Lucky 13!

Today River's End Bookstore, Oswego, N.Y., celebrates its 13th birthday with refreshments and a 13% discount on paperbacks. The store is also launching its IndieCommerce website. See it here. In early celebration mode: standing on the floor (from l.) are co-owner Mindy Ostrow, booksellers Nikole Bonacorsi and Banna Rubinow and co-owner Bill Reilly. On the ladder (from l.) are booksellers Alex Baer, Joan Kolp and Julie Glover.



G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Hike by Lucy Clarke

Notes: Book Industry Conference Update; Viral Book PDF Impact

ABA CEO Oren Teicher told delegates at the Book Industry Conference in London that "there are opportunities for genuine growth and a renewed vitality in bricks and mortar bookselling if the business model is reinvented," adding that "there would shortly be an announcement from the ABA of a pilot project to 'incubate' new bookshops in markets underserved since the closure of local Borders stores," the Bookseller reported.

Teicher extolled the role of bookstores as showrooms, saying, "Publishers and booksellers must work together to retain the physical spaces where readers can discover books." He cited the consignment model as an example of an option currently being discussed in the U.S.

Also at BIC, Waterstone's bookseller Cathy Rentzenbrink suggested "booksellers need to be treated as a crucial partner in the process of promoting books through the media or risk looking 'irrelevant' " and that "it was vital retailers are informed when books will be featured in newspapers and on television programs because customers will expect them to have the information and the title in stock," the Bookseller wrote.

"At the very least customers expect us to know, and if you don't you look irrelevant," said Rentzenbrink. "In this industry you cannot miss a trick and we must give customers what they want when they want it. We need to lobby broadcasters and newspapers to let us know what they are featuring because we need to reach customers."

One idea certain to generate a measure of controversy was voiced by Nicola Solomon, the Society of Authors' new general secretary, who suggested that "if authors give up a day of their free time to stage a reading, book signing or other event at a bookshop where that establishment is making money, then they should receive around 10% of it."


A popular discussion topic in the media this week is the potential long-term impact of a viral book PDF that has sparked the premature success of Adam Mansbach's Go the F*** to Sleep, the publishing sensation still holding its #1 Amazon ranking on the strength of pre-orders even though its pub date is still a month away (having been moved up from a scheduled fall release).

The Bay Citizen reported that the development "presents a challenge to Akashic Books, the independent publisher who is seeing unbelievable success with this slim, illustrated book--namely how to stop piracy of its intellectual property while not squashing healthy buzz."

Ibrahim Ahmad, senior editor at Akashic, said, "The copies have been proliferating since this craziness started. With a PDF, you can make so many duplicates and people have just been forwarding it.... As the publisher of this book, our responsibilty is to tackle instances of piracy when we become aware of them. That's just doing a service to our authors, ourselves, book sellers, distributors, to everyone involved in the successful making and promotion of a book."

PC Magazine suggested that to "conclude that piracy is good from this story would be dangerously oversimplifying things. But if the publisher had sealed advance electronic copies of the book with deadlocked digital rights management (DRM), it would never have had a chance to go viral, and I doubt it would be #1 at Amazon right now.

"But why are they buying it in the first place, when the whole thing is right there in their inbox? Simple: compelling content is compelling content, and people are basically honest.... The lesson for content creators: Audiences are still there, willing to reward you with their attention (and dollars) if you have compelling content and are willing to acknowledge how people consume media today. The best part is that DRM played no part whatsoever. Maybe it's finally gone the f*** to sleep."


For perspective (and more strategically placed asterisks), CBS just canceled $h*! My Dad Says, a relatively "ancient" twitter-to-book-to-TV creation by Justin Halpern, who broke the news of the cancellation to his father over the phone and shared their conversation online, including his Dad's critical postmortem: "Well, I liked it. It was kind of sh*tty at first, but I thought it got a lot better. You know what show I like? Cheers. That was a good show."


John Irving is leaving Random House, his long-time publisher, for Simon & Schuster, which will publish his next two books in the U.S., starting with In One Person in 2012, the Wall Street Journal reported.


The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, which was held on April 30 and May 1, drew 140,000 people to the campus of the University of Southern California, Jacket Copy reported. "We are thrilled to see our vision for moving the festival to our new home downtown come together in a more robust way than we even imagined when we first started discussing the idea with USC," said Times publisher Eddy Hartenstein.


On the last Wednesday of the month, "a congregation of the literary sort" gathers at Le Carmen cafe and bar "in the Pigalle neighborhood in Paris, beyond the red-light district and Moulin Rouge" for a party known as "the Book Club," the New York Times reported, adding that the "event has one simple rule: bring a book, and make sure to swap it by the end of the night."


In its feature "From McQueen to Matisse: May’s New Art Books," Flavorwire noted that it has been "a hard winter, but the final days of spring bring us vibrant, lush, colorful books to enjoy."


Offering a little bookish counseling, Jacket Copy suggested "10 books for Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver."


In the Guardian, Malcom Burgess, publisher of Oxygen Books' City-lit series, shared his choices for 10 of the best books set in New York"


How would you explain an e-reader to Charles Dickens? Rachel Walsh, a student at Cardiff School of Art and Design, took up this challenge "because I thought it could've been a helpful piece of technology to have. He must've lugged a lot of heavy books around with him in his day!"

The Atlantic reported that Walsh "had to create a metaphor for the device that would resonate with Dickens. Realizing that a Kindle is just a lot of books inside a big book, she created an old-school version consisting of literal little books inside a larger book. She put together 40 tiny versions of classics--a mixture of her childhood favorites and books Dickens supposedly enjoyed--such as Don Quixote and The Catcher in the Rye. Then, she placed them inside a normal-sized hardcover book, and voila: a very portable reader."


"Inspiring Bookshelf Furniture Ideas" were showcased by Modern Residential Design.


Yahoo Sports featured the "best five books on skateboard art" and noted that skateboarding "is a culture ripe with its own language, art, attitude and values that has helped to spawn some of the most creative, artistic creations seen in recent history."


Book trailer of the day: Waltzing with the Enemy by Rasia Kliot and Helen Mitsios (Urim Publications/Penina Press).


E-sign of the times.

Gooseberry Patch
, Columbus, Ohio, whose publishing menu focuses on cookbooks, has joined a handful of companies who are using Perseus's Constellation platform for digital distribution--but continuing to distribute their printed books either on their own or through other companies. Perseus's other Constellation-only clients are Tuttle, Entrepreneur Press, Naval Institute Press and Wharton Digital Press Books, the last of which has no printed books.


BEA Previews: Indie Party; Author Talk; Buzz Panels

On Monday, May 23, 9 p.m.-12 a.m., independent booksellers are invited to mingle with independent presses and their authors on the rooftop the Hotel ABA--the Holiday Inn, 440 W. 57th St. Drinks and light refreshments will be served. Open to ABA members with a BEA badge.

Hosts include Archipelago Books, Beacon Press, Egmont USA, Europa Editions, Graywolf Press, Mark Batty Publisher, New Directions, Other Press, Quirk Books, Seven Stories Press, Steerforth Press and Unbridled Books.


Another author event at a local bookstore during BEA takes place Tuesday, May 24, at Book Culture in Manhattan and features Ellen Meeropol, author of House Arrest (Red Hen).


The Editors Buzz Panel will be held Monday, May 23, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Room 1E13. Six editors present titles they believe will be big this fall:

Michael Pietsch of Little, Brown on Chad Harbach's The Art of Fielding
Alison Callahan of Doubleday on Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus
Denise Roy of Dutton on Sere Prince Halverson's The Underside of Joy
Alane Salierno Mason of Norton on Diana Abu-Jaber's Birds of Paradise
Jenna Johnson of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on Justin Torres's We the Animals
Kathy Pories of Algonquin Books on Naomi Benaron's Running the Rift


The YA Editors Buzz Panel takes place Tuesday, May 24, 2-3:15 p.m. in Room 1E15. Five editors present big fall YA titles:

Courtney Bongiolatti of S&S on Michelle Hodkin's Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Margret Raymo of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on Joe Schreiber's Au Revoir Crazy European Chick
Alvina Ling of Little, Brown on Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Susan Chang of Starscape Tor/Macmillan on Bill Willingham's Down the Mysterly River
Erica Sussman of Harpercollins on Leigh Fallon's The Carrier of the Mark


The Middle Grade Editors Buzz Panel is on Wednesday, May 25, 2-3:15 p.m. in Room 1E15. Five editors talk about big middle school titles for the fall:

Liesa Abrams of S&S on Lisa McMann's The Unwanteds
Donna Bray of Balzer & Bray on Colin Meloy's Wildwood
Lisa A. Sandell of Scholastic Press on Matthew Kirby's Icefall
Jennifer Besser of Putnam on Maile Meloy's Apothecary
Jim Thomas of Random House on N.D. Wilson's The Ashtown Burials #1: The Dragons Tooth


At the Librarians Book Buzz panel on Tuesday, May 24, 2-3:30 p.m. in Room 1A21-A122, more than a dozen publishers will speak about titles they're excited about, and in round robin format librarians will discuss their patrons' views.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Joyce Carol Oates on KCRW's Bookworm

Tomorrow on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: Jorge G. Castaneda, author of Manana Forever?: Mexico and the Mexicans (Knopf, $27.95, 9780375404245).


Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: Joyce Carol Oates, author of A Widow's Story (Ecco, $27.99, 9780062015532). As the show put it: "When her husband, Ray Smith, died three years ago, Joyce Carol Oates experienced both intense emotional pain and physical exhaustion. She describes herself as 'a raw stump of bleeding flesh.' Unable to sleep, she spent the night keeping a journal of her day to day thoughts and experiences. A Widow's Story is an assemblage of those journal entries. In this conversation, as we explore the memoir, she describes how she 'impersonated herself' and how she eventually became a person she never imagined she would be."


Tomorrow on Jimmy Kimmel Live: Chaz Bono, author of Transition: The Story of How I Became a Man (Dutton, $25.95, 9780525952145).


The Adventures of Tintin Trailer

The new trailer has been released for The Adventures of Tintin, directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by Peter Jackson. Entertainment Weekly reported that the "first in a proposed trilogy, Adventures of Tintin looks gorgeous in this preview. I'm a bit worried that we don't see too many faces, but the brief shot of Tintin's face at the trailer's end gives me hope that Tintin will fall on the fun side of the Uncanny Valley.

"Interested viewers can also check out the international teaser trailer, which appears essentially identical except for some dialogue at the end. Also, apparently the film's full international title will actually be The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, which if nothing else is a much cooler post-colon subtitle than Ghost Protocol." The movie is scheduled for a December 23 release.


Movies: The Great Gatsby Cast

Joel Edgerton will play the role of Tom Buchanan in director Baz Luhrmann film version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, reported. He joins a cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio (Gatsby), Tobey Maguire (Nick Carraway), Carey Mulligan (Daisy Buchanan), Isla Fisher (Myrtle) and Elizabeth Debicki (Jordan Baker). Luhrmann's update of the classic novel "will be made for Warner Bros, which will release it in 3D."  

"In casting Tom one had to find an actor who could credibly be (as Fitzgerald describes him) 'one of the most powerful ends that ever played football at New Haven,' had five-star acting chops and in the big dramatic showdown scenes between Gatsby and Tom, hold the screen against Leonardo DiCaprio, in the appropriate age group," said Luhrmann. "Any wonder, it has been a long and thorough journey. The simple truth is that Joel came into our rehearsal space in New York and fulfilled all of the above criteria, and then some."


Books & Authors

Awards: Man Booker International; Bisto Children’s

Philip Roth won the £60,000 (US$97,134) Man Booker International Prize, which is presented once every two years to a living author for a body of work published either originally in English or widely available in translation in the English language. Previous winners were Ismail Kadaré, Chinua Achebe and Alice Munro. Roth will be honored at a formal dinner in London June 28.

"For more than 50 years Philip Roth's books have stimulated, provoked and amused an enormous, and still expanding, audience," said Rick Gekoski, chair of the judging panel. "His imagination has not only recast our idea of Jewish identity, it has also reanimated fiction, and not just American fiction, generally. His career is remarkable in that he starts at such a high level, and keeps getting better. In his 50s and 60s, when most novelists are in decline, he wrote a string of novels of the highest, enduring quality. Indeed, his most recent, Nemesis (2010), is as fresh, memorable, and alive with feeling as anything he has written. His is an astonishing achievement."

In thanking the judges, Roth observed: "One of the particular pleasures I've had as a writer is to have my work read internationally despite all the heartaches of translation that that entails. I hope the prize will bring me to the attention of readers around the world who are not familiar with my work. This is a great honor and I'm delighted to receive it." You can watch his acceptance message here.


Chris Haughton, author and illustrator of A Bit Lost, won the €10,000 (US$14,148) Bisto Children's Book of the Year Award, presented by Children's Books Ireland. The judges said "the work's brilliantly simple verbal text, complemented by a quirkily psychedelic and surreal visual text, captures both the anxiety and thrill of being lost."

Haughton also was named winner of the €3,000 Eilís Dillon award to a first time author or illustrator, marking the first time that the same person won both prizes. The €1,500 Children's Choice Award went to Taking Flight by Sheena Wilkinson.


Megan McDonald and the NOT Bummer Summer

This is NOT a Bummer Summer for Megan McDonald. The star of her Judy Moody series is hitting the big screen, and McDonald got to write the script. Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer will open in theaters nationwide on June 10 and, for McDonald, it's a dream come true.

We talked with her by phone just after she'd returned from the L.A. Book Festival and just before she left on a 10-city tour. She'd spent the last few days with actors Jordana Beatty (Judy Moody) and Parris Mosteller (Stink). "I started feeling like they really were brother and sister because they were together all weekend at the L.A. Book Festival," she said.

How did McDonald get to write the screenplay? The producer, Sarah Siegel-Magness, had read the Judy Moody books with her then eight-year-old daughter at the recommendation of her daughter's school librarian. Siegel-Magness secured the film rights from Candlewick but couldn't find the right writer. "One day Sarah called me, and said, 'Nobody's funny. I want you to write the script.' I almost fell out of my chair," McDonald recalled. The author asked if she could bring in her longtime friend from college days, Kathy Waugh, who's worked for PBS on series such as Arthur and The Time Warp Trio.

McDonald wanted to write an original story for the film, but anchor it in classic Judy Moody elements, "everything from her cat to the magic 8 ball, to Mr. Todd and her neighborhood," she said. "We wanted readers to feel they'd come to the theater and recognize all the pieces and parts of her world, yet give them a brand-new story." The attention to the set details by the film crew delighted McDonald; fans will recognize Judy's "ME Collage" and ABC gum collection displayed prominently in her room.

In her Hollywood caper, Judy invents a summer quest for her friends: who can accrue the most Thrill Points. The only problem is, Rocky's off to circus camp and Amy Namey's going to Borneo. Plus, Judy's parents are headed to the Midwest to help her grandparents move. So she's stuck at home with Frank Pearl and Stink as her fellow Thrill-Seekers. McDonald introduces a new character, Aunt Opal, played by Heather Graham. (We got to see an early screening, and her comic timing is exquisite--think more Austin Powers than Drugstore Cowboy or Boogie Nights). Thrill-seeking moments include an unsettling roller-coaster ride, a trip to a terrifying horror movie and, best of all, Stink's search for Bigfoot, including a car chase! But there are also some emotional moments, as when Frank Pearl accuses Judy of being a "fun sponge," and Judy seeks out her aunt. McDonald based Aunt Opal on her own "kooky older sister" who arrived for a visit with suitcases too heavy to be carried upstairs, brimming with beads, art supplies and, yes, a soldering iron.

After she completed the script, McDonald approached Candlewick about translating the screenplay into a movie tie-in novel, Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer (Candlewick, $5.99 paper, 9780763653514, May 24, 2011). In addition, Candlewick will release a trade hardcover in keeping with the rest of the original books, with illustrations by longtime series artist Peter H. Reynolds.

"I'm excited for the movie because I know it will bring kids who haven't read the books to Judy Moody," McDonald said, "but mostly I want my readers to feel thrilled and happy with Judy in live action as well."--Jennifer M. Brown

BEA Events:
Wednesday, May 25

10-11 a.m.: Megan McDonald will sign the movie tie-in edition of Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer at Table 28 in the autographing area.

2-2:15 p.m. At the Midtown Stage, there will be a showing of the movie trailer and film clips, plus a q&a with Megan McDonald, Jordana Beatty (Judy Moody) and Parris Mosteller (Stink Moody), followed by a party at the Candlewick Booth, #2452

Photo: Suzanne Tenner©Judy Moody Productions, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
©2009 by Peter H. Reynolds. Judy Moody is a registered trademark of Candlewick Press.

Book Brahmin: Lydia Millet

Winner of the 2003 PEN-USA Award for Fiction for her novel My Happy Life and a 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist for her story collection Love in Infant Monkeys, Lydia Millet launches a series for young people this month, starting with The Fires Beneath the Sea (Big Mouth House/Consortium, $17.99, 9781931520713, 256p., ages 9-up, May 2011), a combination of ecological mystery and fantasy.

On your nightstand now:

The Unseen by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, The Giant All-Color Book of Fairy Tales, retold by Jane Carruth, The Novel: An Alternative History by Steven Moore, Pym by Mat Johnson and Song of the Swallows by Leo Politi.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Too many to recount, practically one for every hour. Tintin and Asterix had staying power throughout, even when I couldn't fathom the ancient Rome references.

Your top five authors:

In young- and middle-reader books, I'd pick Philip Pullman for His Dark Materials; C.S. Lewis; Madeleine L'Engle; Edward Eager; and Garth Nix for the Abhorsen Chronicles. I also loved M.T. Anderson's Feed, the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins and Allegra Goodman's apocalyptic The Other Side of the Island.

Books you've faked reading:

Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.

Book you are an evangelist for:

In out-of-print kids' book gems, Beverly Nichols's The Tree That Sat Down.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Most of Chris Ware.

Book that changed your life:

The Lorax.

Favorite line from a book:

"It is a far, far better thing I do than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest I go to than I have ever known."--A Tale of Two Cities.

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

All of them.


Book Review

Children's Review: Stupid Fast

Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach (Sourcebooks Fire, $9.99 paperback, 320p., ages 12-up, 9781402256301, June 2011)

In his first book for young adults, Geoff Herbach (The Miracle Letters of T. Rimberg) gets to the heart of what happens in puberty--when the physical changes happening to your body take you to places you'd never dreamed you would go. The author explores, with insight, humor and unexpected moments of poignancy, the transformation that occurs during the summer in Bluffton, Wisc., when Felton Reinstein turns 16. Felton's first clue was when he sprinted the entire 600-yard dash in a spring gym class, outpacing even the best runners by 150 yards ("stupid fast"). His mother, Jerri, witnesses his accomplishment, and at first she encourages him. Then, as he shoots up to 6'11" and 168 pounds, and coaches line up to talk to him, Jerri begins to withdraw.

Herbach perfectly captures the unexpected tradeoffs that come with gaining acceptance in one arena while losing one's foundation. At the same time that Felton starts to get positive attention from the jocks who had ostracized him (they called him "Squirrel Nuts"), his main source of emotional support begins to falter. Felton's geeky best friend, Gus, goes to visit his ailing grandmother in Venezuela for the summer, and Felton's mother retreats further from Felton and his 13-year-old brother, Andrew, a talented pianist. Just when Felton finds that all he can do is sleep, eat and lift weights, his mother stops going to the grocery store. He is a gentle giant who, on one hand, cares about his family and, on the other, wants to embrace his new calling and go for speed and strength, and let his wacky family fend for themselves.

Felton begins his story by explaining that he found his father hanging in the garage when he was five ("This could be a dark tale!" he says. "It's not"). Jerri wouldn't talk about their father to him or Andrew except to say, "Your father was a sweet, fat American Jew." But now Andrew has questions, and Jerri is shutting down rather than opening up. Luckily, as Felton bemoans having to take over Gus's paper route, his new job puts him in the path of Aleah Jennings, whose father is renting Gus's house for the summer. Andrew informs Felton that she is "probably the best 16-year-old piano player in the universe." Still, Felton is barraged by thoughts of his mother and keeps her sudden changes in behavior secret: "Am I driving Jerri crazy by eating everything? Maybe Jerri really needs my paper route money?" he wonders. His questions feed a larger mystery at the center of the novel, which echoes the universal question of what happens to parents when their children are closer to adulthood than childhood. If the narrative rambles at times, you will forgive Herbach because it's all so true to Felton's stream-of-consciousness meanderings. It's rare to gain access to a male teen's thoughts at his most vulnerable, as he builds tenuous friendships with his weight-lifting companions, and takes Aleah's hand, "which made me totally dizzy and sort of sweaty." Felton is a hero for all readers--male and female. And Herbach (who admits to growing up in Wisconsin as "both a dork and a jock") is a writer to watch.--Jennifer M. Brown


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