Also published on this date: Wednesday, October 17, 2012: Kids' Maximum Shelf: Colin Fischer

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Flatiron Books: The Last One at the Wedding by Jason Rekulak

Ace Books: Servant of Earth (The Shards of Magic) by Sarah Hawley

Ace Books: Toto by AJ Hackwith and The Village Library Demon-Hunting Society by CM Waggoner

Webtoon Unscrolled: Age Matters Volume Two by Enjelicious

St. Martin's Press:  How to Think Like Socrates: Ancient Philosophy as a Way of Life in the Modern World  by Donald J Robertson

Hanover Square Press: The Dallergut Dream Department Store (Original) by Miye Lee, Translated by Sandy Joosun Lee

Nosy Crow: Dungeon Runners: Hero Trial by Joe Todd-Stanton and Kieran Larwood

Andrews McMeel Publishing: A Haunted Road Atlas: Next Stop: More Chilling and Gruesome Tales from and That's Why We Drink by Christine Schiefer and Em Schulz

Quotation of the Day

Author's Marathon Indie Tour: 'Let's All Go There Together'

"I went to bookstores--and regions--that publishers lost sight of long ago. Many had never hosted an author from a major commercial press, nor had they seen a publisher's rep in years. I saw these outposts as friendly anchors. The objective of a bookstore is the same as that of a writer and a publisher. The purpose of reading in a bookstore is to sell your book to readers who turn up, but just as important is the chance to sell the book to the booksellers themselves, to give them a much deeper sense of the experience that is waiting for customers on their shelves. An audience of one gives me someone who will likely read the book and, if they like it, will recommend it. Word of mouth and handselling are the aspects of book marketing that an author's presence can inspire directly.... The digital age is upon us and that has as many advantages as frustrations, but in the end, if readers want to meet a writer, they'll have to go to the bookstore. Let's all go there together."

--Benjamin Busch, author of Dust to Dust, in a feature article for the Authors Guild Bulletin. (Thanks to Pamela Grath, owner of Dog Ears Books, Northport, Mich., for pointing out this piece to us. She hosted the third event on Busch's marathon indie tour.)


Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Intermezzo by Sally Rooney


Amazon Hiring 50,000 Holiday Season Workers

Amazon will hire more than 50,000 seasonal workers for the upcoming holidays. The company also disclosed that it currently employs more than 20,000 people in its 40 fulfillment centers across the U.S.

"Temporary associates play a critical role in meeting increased customer demand during the holiday season, and we expect thousands of temporary associates will stay on in full-time positions," said Dave Clark, v-p, global customer fulfillment.

Although increasing its seasonal workforce is an annual tradition, Amazon "has made its exact hiring rate for temporary employees during the busy period a mystery--until now," the Wall Street Journal noted, adding: "It wasn't immediately clear why Amazon is opting to start disclosing its temporary seasonal hiring at those facilities now. A company spokeswoman said the total disclosed for this year marks an increase from last year, but declined to be more specific."

PM Press: P Is for Palestine: A Palestine Alphabet Book by Golbarg Bashi, Illustrated by Golrokh Nafisi

Agate Publishing, Chicago Tribune in E-Book Partnership

Agate Publishing has partnered with the Chicago Tribune on an initiative called the Chicago Tribune Ebook Collection, a library of standalone e-books created from news and features stories, columns and photographs through the Agate Digital imprint. Approximately two dozen e-books have been published thus far, with 50 expected to be available by the end of the year.

Culture Stock Bookstore Opens in Aurora, Ill.

Culture Stock, a nonprofit used bookstore "modeled after Open Books in Chicago," has opened in Aurora, Ill., the Beacon-News reported, noting that a grand opening of L.I.F.T. Aurora's project is planned for next month.  

"We have books and places for people to sit--that's all we need," said Nicole Mullins, executive director of L.I.F.T. Aurora, calling the bookstore "truly a community effort."

Story Prize Judges Named

The three judges for the 2012 Story Prize, announced today, are Sarah McNally, owner and founder of McNally Jackson Books, New York City; critic and writer Jane Ciabattari; and author Yiyun Li.

In January, Larry Dark, director of the Story Prize, and Julie Lindsey, founder, will select three story collections as finalists from among some 80-plus entries. The judges will read these three books and decide the winner of the $20,000 top prize. Readings by and interviews with the finalists take place next March 13 at the New School in New York City.


Obituary Note: Larry Sloan

Larry Sloan, who co-founded Price/Stern/Sloan Publishers, died Sunday. He was 89.

Sloan partnered with film and television writer Leonard Stern and TV personality Roger Price in the 1960s to establish a publishing house based on the West Coast that became known for its "non-books," including The Elephant Book, The World's Worst Jokes series, The VIP Desk Diary and Droodles. The company's backlist also featured perennial bestsellers like How to Be a Jewish Mother and the Mad Libs party game series, which is still popular after more than 50 years. Putnam bought the company, now called Price Stern Sloan, in 1993.


Image of the Day: Royal Southern READS

"The Pulpwood Queen Presents Authors that are Royal Southern READS!" was one of the panels at last weekend's Southern Festival of the Book in Nashville, Tenn. Kathy Patrick, founder of the Pulpwood Queens Book Club and owner of Beauty and the Book, Jefferson, Tex., said the panel, which featured Amy Hill Hearth (Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women's Literary Society), Robert LeLeux (The Living End: A Memoir of Forgetting and Forgiving), Lynda Rutledge (Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale) and Jenny Wingfield (The Homecoming of Samuel Lake), "really brought out the authors to attend besides many others." Pictured here are Lydia Netzer (Shine, Shine, Shine), Rutledge, Hearth, Julie Perkins Cantrell (Into the Free), Patrick, Amy Franklin-Willis (The Lost Saints of Tennessee), Kimberly Babb Brock (The River Witch) and Jolina Petersheim (The Bishop, coming in June 2013 from Tyndale House).

IPG to Distribute Gryphon House

Effective January 1, Independent Publishers Group will distribute Gryphon House, Lewisville, N.C., which specializes in resource books for parents and teachers of children from birth through age eight and has a backlist of about 200 titles.

"We decided to go with IPG because they are aggressively opening new channels outside the traditional book trade," Gryphon House general manager Jennifer Lewis said. "In addition, we think this partnership will be a good fit for Gryphon House because IPG emphasizes selling books in backlist."

IPG president Mark Suchomel said that Gryphon House's "list fits very well with IPG's specialties and will nicely complement our existing list of teacher and parent resources from Nomad Press, Chicago Review Press and Bright Ring Publishing."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Patricia Cornwell and The Bone Bed

This morning on CBS's This Morning: Patricia Cornwell, author of The Bone Bed (Putnam, $28.95, 9780399157561). She will also appear tomorrow on Imus in the Morning and MSNBC's Morning Joe.


Today on Anderson Live: Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton, authors of Julie Andrews' Treasury for All Seasons: Poems and Songs to Celebrate the Year (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $19.99, 9780316040518).


Tomorrow morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe: Mark Bowden, author of The Finish: The Killing of Osama Bin Laden (Atlantic Monthly Press, $26, 9780802120342).


Today on the Dr. Oz Show: Glynis McCants, author of Love by the Numbers: How to Find Great Love or Reignite the Love You Have Through the Power of Numerology (Sourcebooks, $22, 9781402224492).


Today on the Ricki Lake Show: Lisa Bloom, author of Swagger: 10 Urgent Rules for Raising Boys in an Era of Failing Schools, Mass Joblessness, and Thug Culture (A Think Book/Vantage Point, $26.99, 9781936467693).


Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: Susanna Moore, author of The Life of Objects (Knopf, $25, 9780307268433). As the show put it: "Susanna Moore is interested in the things her characters don't know. Her new novel, The Life of Objects, is a story of innocence and dread set in a tense, pre-World War II Germany where people are beginning to secret away their treasures. But can anything--objects, or even love or the imagination--shield us from the ferocity of experience?"


Tomorrow on NPR's On Point: Chrystia Freeland, author of Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else (Penguin Press, $27.95, 9781594204098). She will also appear on Stand Up With Pete Dominick.

Prom Nightmare: Carrie Teaser Trailer

A teaser trailer has been released for the remake of Carrie, based on Stephen King's novel. Indiewire noted that the "teaser zeroes in on the iconic climax of Brian De Palma's original, with the the high school burning to the ground. But instead of stopping there, the camera cranes up and takes a gods-eye-view, surveying the entire town, as buildings tumble and burn, and townspeople in voiceover speak aloud their disbelief over what's happening. And then just as the goosebumps are being sufficiently raised, a girl in a bloody prom dress enters the frame." Carrie opens March 15, 2013.

Books & Authors

Awards: Man Booker Prize

Hilary Mantel became the first woman and the first British writer to win the £50,000 (US$80,502) Man Booker Prize twice when she was honored last night for her novel Bring Up the Bodies, the second installment of her Thomas Cromwell trilogy. Mantel also won in 2009 for Wolf Hall. Australian Peter Carey and South African J.M. Coetzee are the other double Booker winners.

"Well, I don't know. You wait 20 years for a Booker Prize... two come along at once," said Mantel in her acceptance speech. She is currently working on a third volume, The Mirror and the Light, and called the award "an act of faith and a vote of confidence."

Sir Peter Stothard, chairman of the Booker judges, praised the novel as "a very remarkable piece of English prose that transcends the work already written by a great English prose writer.... This is a bloody story about the death of Anne Boleyn, but Hilary Mantel is a writer who thinks through the blood. She uses her power of prose to create moral ambiguity and the real uncertainty of political life."

Stothard also noted that while he had heard criticism about not including "beach books" in the competition, he "merely wanted novels they would not leave behind at the beach."

Book Brahmin: Nelson DeMille

A native New Yorker, Nelson DeMille attended Hofstra University, then joined the Army and was an infantry platoon leader with the First Cavalry Division in Vietnam. He is the author of many bestsellers, including the John Corey series (Plum Island, The Lion's Game, Night Fall, Wildfire and The Lion). DeMille's latest John Corey novel, The Panther, was published by Grand Central on October 16, 2012.


On your nightstand now:

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. Larson also wrote The Devil in the White City, which was terrific. Beasts is the true story of William E. Dodd, America's first ambassador to Hitler's new Nazi Germany. Dodd is troubled by what he's seeing in Germany and his warnings to the Roosevelt Administration go mostly unheeded. This is a wonderful evocation of time and place. You are in Berlin in the early 1930s.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. What can I say about a book that nearly every boy in America read when I was a kid? Great for girls, too. Make sure the kids in your life have a copy.

Your top five authors:

George Orwell, Arthur Conan Doyle, Ernest Hemingway, Graham Greene and P.D. James. Orwell was not only a great writer, he was a genius and a prophet. Doyle is a superb storyteller and that's the highest compliment I can pay to a fiction writer. Hemingway is male fantasy--war, sex, courage, Paris, Spain--the whole nine yards. Every adolescent male in America should read all of Hemingway for a needed dose of political non-correctness. Greene is a super wordsmith. I don't care what he's writing about; I just want to read his well-crafted sentences. His characters, too, are well drawn and alive on each page. P.D. James makes small stories into great novels. She, too, like so many British writers, understands how to use our wonderful and expressive English language. To this list, I'd add two more Brits--Shakespeare and Chaucer--for the same reason; it's all about the language.

Book you've faked reading:

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. My publisher Warner Books did the paperback of Rose and thus I was given a free copy. I was also invited to meet Signor Eco at a reception at the residence of the Italian ambassador in Washington, so I read a few book reviews in case I needed to speak to him. Turns out he spoke no English, and I was safe.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. This book lifted my political and philosophical thinking beyond and above conservative or liberal. People either love or hate Rand's Objectivist philosophy, but everyone has to agree she was a very original thinker, though, alas, not a great novelist.

Book you've bought for the cover:

V. by Thomas Pynchon. I remember browsing in Brentano's in the early 1960s and seeing this striking cover with a large V on it. It looked intriguing, and I knew Pynchon's name, though I'd never read him, but I bought the book. Kudos to the cover artist. The book was okay.

Book that changed your life:

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. See above. And I'll also add that 50 years after reading all of Rand, including The Fountainhead, I'm still impressed that such bad novels could spark a cult following that exists to this day.

Favorite line from a book:

"A man lives not only his personal life, as an individual, but also, consciously or unconsciously, the life of his epoch and his contemporaries." --from The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann
We are formed and shaped by our environment and culture to an extent that we don't always understand. We are unique, we have free will, and we are partially a product of our genes, but if we were born 100 or 1,000 years ago, our lives would be heavily influenced by time and place. Even if you believe in reincarnation.

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

The Magus by John Fowles. Fowles makes sure the reader doesn't fully understand what's happening in this book. So you have to re-read it. But it's so well written and constructed that you also want to re-read it, and it feels new again. That's the genius of a great writer.

Who has most influenced your style:

Ernest Hemingway for brevity, though I haven't mastered that yet. Tom Wolfe for his almost informal writing style which you realize is actually the writing of a smart man who knows how to play with the language. Graham Greene, as I said, because he paints wonderful word pictures and he looks into the heart and souls of his characters.

Books you'll probably never read:

The entire Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson, or anything else in the weird Nordic thriller/crime genre. Maybe the ones I've read had bad translations.


Book Review

Children's Review: Unspoken

Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole (Scholastic Press, $16.99 hardcover, 40p., ages 7-up, 9780545399975, November 1, 2012)

Even if children are unfamiliar with the Underground Railroad, they will be intrigued by the silent events unfolding in Henry Cole's images, and caught up in reading the expressions on the faces of his characters.

In the opening scenes, a girl walks a cow through a pasture, accompanied by her cat, as a pack of five soldiers on horseback carrying a Confederate flag pass by. Cole's gently swirling graphite pencil markings against peach-toned pages of bare trees suggest an autumn wind. A woman hands the girl a basket, and she begins to collect root vegetables from the larder in the barn. Her cat stays close. The girl looks over her shoulder, to where the corn husks are drying. Someone is hiding there; a single eye is visible through an opening in the stalks.

Cole's next images indicate the girl's surprise. She runs to the house and drops her basket. After dinner, as if she's had time to think it through, the girl takes a roll, wraps it in her checkered napkin and steals away to the barn in the dark of night. She unwraps the napkin and leaves the food for the unseen guest. Smaller vignettes show that the girl brings other leftovers--a slice of pie, a chicken leg, always in a checkered napkin. The soldiers return, showing the man of the house a poster of an escaped slave, promising a reward. In an image that echoes the one of the visitor among the cornstalks, the girl spies on the soldiers from a cabinet beneath the staircase: only her eye is visible through a knothole. Cole visually ties the fates of the girl and the fugitive; her aid to the runaway puts her at risk, too.

Cole underscores this theme in other ways. After the soldiers depart, the girl returns to the barn to discover her guest has gone, but has left a thank-you gift in the form of a cornhusk doll, dressed in the checkered napkin. The Big Dipper hovers over the girl's shoulder as she sneaks food to the barn, and it's also the last full-page image in the book, viewed through her window, as if connecting her to the fugitive who follows the North Star to freedom.

The questions that arise from the engrossing events of the wordless story lead smoothly into a discussion of the Underground Railroad. Its travelers also had to be conducted silently, for protection. The large pages re-create the feeling of the vast expanses of territory that escaping captives needed to cover. The black-and-white graphite images suggest a time long ago, but also a world that perceived humanity divided into black and white. Cole beautifully portrays the bravery of both child and fugitive as they enter the gray area together. --Jennifer M. Brown, children's editor, Shelf Awareness

Shelf Talker: This engrossing wordless tale makes an ideal entry point for a discussion of the Underground Railroad.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Down to You by M. Leighton
2. The America's Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook by America's Test Kitchen
3. On Dublin Street by Samantha Young
4. Guinness World Records 2013
5. Wool Omnibus Edition by Hugh Howey
6. White Trash Beautiful by Teresa Mummert
7. Death on a High Floor by Charles Rosenberg
8. 77 Days in September by Ray Gorham
9. Love Left Behind by S.H. Kolee
10. Love, Laughter and a Little Murder by Christie Craig

[Many thanks to!]

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