Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Hanover Square Press: Before the Coffee Gets Cold series by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Del Rey Books: The Book of Elsewhere by Keeanu Reeves and China Miéville

St. Martin's Press: You'll Never Believe Me: A Life of Lies, Second Tries, and Other Stuff I Should Only Tell My Therapist by St. Martin's Press

Watkins Publishing: A Feminist's Guide to ADHD: How Women Can Thrive and Find Focus in a World Built for Men by Janina Maschke

Soho Teen: Only for the Holidays by Abiola Bello

W. W. Norton & Company: Still Life by Katherine Packert Burke

Shadow Mountain: A Kingdom to Claim by Sian Ann Bessey


B&N Shakeup: Lynch Gone, Huseby Promoted, Riggio in Charge


Less than two weeks after another dismal quarterly report at Barnes & Noble--which included the news that the company will no longer manufacture Nook color tablets--William Lynch, CEO for the past three years, has resigned, effective immediately.

At the same time, Michael P. Huseby, who joined B&N as CFO in March 2012, has been named CEO of the Nook Media subsidiary--B&N's digital operations--and president of Barnes & Noble, Inc.


Allen Lindstrom, v-p and corporate controller, has been promoted to CFO of Barnes & Noble, Inc., and Kanuj Malhotra, v-p of corporate development, has been promoted to CFO of Nook Media.

Chairman Len Riggio thanked Lynch for "helping transform Barnes & Noble into a leading digital content provider and for leading in the development of our award-winning line of Nook products," but said that "as the bookselling industry continues to undergo significant transformation," the company will rely on Huseby, B&N Retail Group CEO Mitchell Klipper and B&N College CEO Max J. Roberts as "the right executives to lead us into the future." Roberts will report to Huseby; Huseby and Klipper will report to Riggio. The company told the New York Times that is has no plans to appoint a new CEO for B&N, Inc., making Riggio de facto CEO of the company. (In his first mention in the company's announcement about the changes, Riggio was called executive chairman.)


Riggio also said that B&N is "in the process of reviewing its current strategic plan and will provide an update when appropriate." In February, Riggio, who owns a third of B&N, announced his interest in buying the retail part of the company.

The executives who were promoted yesterday are relative newcomers to B&N. Before joining B&N last year, Huseby held positions at Cablevision, Charter Communications and AT&T Broadband. Before joining B&N in 2007, Lindstrom was CFO at Liberty Travel. Before joining Nook Media in May 2012, Malhotra was a senior v-p and CFO at Affinion International.

Only four months ago, in March, B&N amended and renewed William Lynch's contract, extending it for two years, granting him more stock, giving him an immediate $1.8 million bonus (a reward for Microsoft's and Pearson's investments in Nook Media) and providing a retention bonus in case Nook Media was spun off from B&N. Lynch had been hired in 2010 largely to drive the digital side of the retailer's business.

W. W. Norton & Company: Still Life by Katherine Packert Burke

Fireside Books and Gifts Reopens

Yesterday, Fireside Books and Gifts opened in Shelby, N.C., after moving from Forest City, the Shelby Star reported.

"We just saw a thriving opportunity here in Shelby," said Linda Parks, who owns the store with Mark Milot. "We thought we would be a much better fit here."

For his part, Milot said, "We want to be the kind of store that is very inviting. This is a place that offers coffee, a place to sit and read, and free WiFi to enjoy the atmosphere."

Fireside Books and Gifts will host author events, children's story time with staff members dressed up as story book characters, wine and beer tastings and book clubs.

Amazon Associates Program Debuts in India has unveiled its Amazon Associates program in India, offering an introductory break on commission rates "ranging from 5% for consumer electronics to 10% in all other categories, including books, movies and all Kindle devices," reported.

Amit Agarwal, Amazon India v-p and country manager, called the affiliate program "a win-win proposition, your visitors see contextually relevant products and you have a new source of income. Associates in India will have access to the same tools and the trustworthy tracking and reporting that millions of associates worldwide have enjoyed over the last 17 years." noted that "other leading e-commerce players like Jabong are offering 8% in commission to their affiliates while some offer a fixed amount for each sale. Interestingly, Flipkart has recently hiked its affiliate fee from 6% to 10% for most of its categories (probably because Amazon is offering that much)."

Lonely Planet's 40th Anniversary Travel Shoes

In celebration of Lonely Planet's 40th anniversary, TOMS has created a limited-edition shoe that will be available through August 15. Also available is Lonely Planet's Guide to Responsible Travel, a guide booklet that features "tips and ideas for having a more positive impact on the world while traveling."

TOMS was founded in 2006 and is known for its One for One business plan: for every pair of TOMS purchased, a pair is given to a child in need. The limited-edition shoe will be available only through online competitions hosted by TOMS and Lonely Planet, including social media and e-mail drawings. Print versions of Lonely Planet's Guide to Responsible Travel, meanwhile, will be distributed with some TOMS and Lonely Planet orders and available for purchase in some bookstores. Digital versions of the mini-guide will be available through most e-book channels until August 15.

More information about the partnership, including how to enter to win a pair of the Lonely Planet shoes, can be found here.

Obituary Note: Arthur Rosenthal

Arthur Rosenthal, the founder of Basic Books, director of the Harvard University Press and publisher of Hill & Wang, died last Saturday, the New York Times reported. He was 93.


Image of the Day: #YeahYA! Tour!

Oh yeah. Yesterday Harlequin Teen authors (from l.) Amanda Sun, Katie McGarry, Julie Kagawa and Aimee Carter kicked off the #YeahYA Summer Author Fest at the Harlequin office in Toronto. The tour takes them to bookstores and libraries across North America.

Old-Age Study: Read to Remember

Another reason to keep reading and enjoy reading: the Smithsonian magazine reported that a study published in Neurology suggests that "reading books, writing and engaging in other similar brain-stimulating activities slows down cognitive decline in old age, independent of common age-related neurodegenerative diseases. In particular, people who participated in mentally stimulating activities over their lifetimes, both in young, middle and old age, had a slower rate of decline in memory and other mental capacities than those who did not."

The study also found that "any reading and writing is better than none at all. Remaining a bookworm into old age reduced the rate of memory decline by 32% compared to engaging in average mental activity. Those who didn't read or write often later in life did even worse: their memory decline was 48% faster than people who spent an average amount of time on these activities."

Short Film of the Day: The Bookstore

In actor and filmmaker Iris Huey's newest short film, a woman goes to the bookstore and tries to return self-help books that she claims aren't working. It takes place at Changing Hands Bookstore, and features bookseller Jeremy Birks (he appears at the 0:10 mark). 

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Alfredo Corchado on Fresh Air

Today on NPR's Fresh Air: Alfredo Corchado, author of Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter's Journey Through a Country's Descent into Darkness (Penguin Press, $27.95, 9781594204395).


Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Jenni Schaefer and Jennifer Thomas, authors of Almost Anorexic: Is My (or My Loved One's) Relationship with Food a Problem? (Hazelden, $14.95, 9781616494445).


Tomorrow on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: W. Bernard Carlson, author of Tesla: Inventor of the Electric Age (Princeton University Press, $29.95, 9780691057767).


Tomorrow on Laura Ingraham: Brad Thor, author of Hidden Order: A Thriller (Emily Bestler/Atria, $27.99, 9781476717098).

Mortal Instruments: The Fashion Line

"You know that feeling where you want to kill some supernatural demons but have nothing to wear?" Entertainment Weekly asked in reporting that chain fashion store Hot Topic has introduced a tie-in movie fashion line inspired by The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, the movie adaptation of Cassandra Clare's first novel in her bestselling YA series.

The film, which hits theaters August 21, "is getting a big fashion push" from Sony, which partnered with Hot Topic and Tripp NYC "to create a whole Mortal Instruments collection, which includes goth-looking dresses, jackets and patterned leggings," EW wrote.  

"Instead of doing the typical T-shirt, lanyard, socks deal we decided to create a whole collection and that kind of stemmed from working with Sony way in advance," said Cindy Levitt, v-p and general merchandise manager for Hot Topic. "Think like the Mad Men capsule collection at Banana Republic.... I was looking at these stills from Mortal Instruments and just thought, 'That looks like Tripp.' Tripp is a major brand for us, with [their] whole punk-rock [aesthetic]. They had [the same] aesthetic that we were going for for Mortal Instruments."

Books & Authors

Awards: Midwest Winners; Forward Prizes for Poetry Shortlist

The winners of the 2013 Midwest Booksellers Choice Awards, nominated and voted on by members of the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association, are:

Adult fiction: William Kent Krueger, for Ordinary Grace
Adult nonfiction: Michael Perry, for Visiting Tom
Poetry: Mary Oliver, for A Thousand Mornings
Children's literature (YA and middle grade): Sheila O'Connor, for Keeping Safe the Stars
Children's picture books: Loren Long, for Otis and the Puppy

Winners will be celebrated at MIBA's book awards luncheon at the Heartland Fall Forum in October.


Finalists have been named for the £10,000 (about US$14,965) Forward Prize for Poetry and the £5,000 Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection. Winners will be announced October 1. This year's shortlisted books are:

Best Collection
Her Birth by Rebecca Goss
Pluto by Glyn Maxwell
Parallax by Sinéad Morrissey
The Havocs by Jacob Polley
Drysalter by Michael Symmons Roberts

First Collection
Dear Boy by Emily Berry
She Inserts the Key by Marianne Burton
Oswald's Book of Hours by Steve Ely
Chick by Hannah Lowe
War Reporter by Dan O'Brien
Accurate Measurements by Adam White

Book Review

Review: Hothouse

Hothouse: The Art of Survival and the Survival of Art at America's Most Celebrated Publishing House, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux by Boris Kachka (Simon & Schuster, $28 hardcover, 9781451691894, August 6, 2013)

It's hard to imagine any regular reader of Shelf Awareness won't be captivated by Hothouse, New York magazine contributing editor Boris Kachka's spirited and well-informed history of one of the country's most distinguished publishing houses: Farrar, Straus & Giroux. For future students of the publishing business in the second half of the 20th century, this smart, unsentimental portrait will be essential reading.

The figure that towers over the story is that of Roger W. Straus, Jr., the scion of two prominent German-Jewish families, who "could be cheap, vulgar, classist, and sexist all in one gratuitously cruel remark," all while holding himself out as an "aristocrat of taste in a mercenary meritocracy." From T.S. Eliot to Flannery O'Connor to Isaac Bashevis Singer, FSG attracted a roster of literary superstars (including 25 Nobel laureates), nurturing them both creatively and financially. For all his character flaws, recounted in exquisite detail, Straus was the force of nature who kept these writers in the FSG fold and made it the home of choice for contemporary authors like Jonathan Franzen and Jeffrey Eugenides.

Much of Hothouse chronicles the stark financial challenges that faced the house over the 58 years between its founding and Straus's death in 2004 and beyond, into the era of current publisher Jonathan Galassi. Straus's willingness to borrow against his inheritance to keep the house afloat is a recurrent theme, as was his determination not to cede control to a corporate buyer, a fate he delayed until 1994, when he finally orchestrated a sale to Germany's Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck (known as Macmillan Publishers in the English-speaking world).

Kachka dishes plenty of gossipy fare about the illicit couplings at 19 Union Square West, a cramped warren of offices Straus's wife, Dorothea, dismissed as a "sexual sewer," alongside stories of Straus's feuds and friendships with industry insiders. But the book is equally perceptive in describing the fraught relationship between the patriarch and his son, Roger III, or "Rog," as the latter grappled with the challenge of establishing himself in the family business.

Somehow, as Kachka describes it, over the nearly six decades Roger Straus was the dominant player at FSG, he created a culture that was "high-minded and scrappy, aggressive and refined, quintessentially American but thoroughly international." How he balanced on that high wire for so long makes a lively and entertaining story any book lover will devour with relish. --Harvey Freedenberg

Shelf Talker: Boris Kachka's lively history of publisher Farrar, Straus & Giroux will delight any book lover.

The Bestsellers

Top Book Club Picks in June

The following were the most popular book club books during June based on votes from more than 80,000 book club readers from more than 35,000 book clubs registered at

1. The Light Between Oceans: A Novel by M.L. Stedman
2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
4. The Kitchen House: A Novel by Kathleen Grissom
5. Defending Jacob: A Novel by William Landay
6. The Language of Flowers: A Novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
7. Beautiful Ruins: A Novel (P.S.) by Jess Walter
8. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
9. Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
10. And the Mountains Echoed: A Novel by Khaled Hosseini

Rising Stars:

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

[Many thanks to!]

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