Shelf Awareness for Thursday, August 1, 2013

Workman Publishing: Ejaculate Responsibly: A Whole New Way to Think about Abortion by Gabrielle Stanley Blair

Simon & Schuster: Defend Banned Books

Simon & Schuster: Defend Banned Books

Blackstone Publishing: River Woman, River Demon by Jennifer Givhan

Sourcebooks Explore: Black Boy, Black Boy by Ali Kamanda and Jorge Redmond, illustrated by Ken Daley

Quotation of the Day

Ann Patchett's Invitation to President Obama

"It's not such a stretch to say that President Obama was greatly aided by bookstores. Bookstores have, after all, been the originators of many grass-roots movements.

"I've seen plenty of pictures of the president shopping in bookstores with his daughters, so I believe that he loves a good bookstore. I have seen no pictures of the family hunched in front of a computer screen, tapping out orders. But the president has done nothing to curb Amazon's looming monopoly.

"The good news is that, as consumers, we are free to do exactly that. We decide the fate of bookstores, and of literature itself, with every book we buy. If you value your bookstore and think it plays an important role in your community, then buy your books there.

"The next time Mr. Obama is in Tennessee, the staff at Parnassus hopes he'll find the time to visit. We've got some books we'd like him to sign."

--Ann Patchett, author and owner of Parnassus Books, Nashville Tenn., in a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece this morning headlined "The Antidote to Algorithms: A Real Bookstore"

G.P. Putnam's Sons: All I Want for Christmas by Maggie Knox


Former Kepler's Booksellers to Launch Yellow Dog Bookshop

A pair of former Kepler's Books staff members are opening Yellow Dog Bookshop, Columbia, Mo., early next month, in the former location of Get Lost! Books. The Columbia Business Times reported that Kelsey Hammond and Joe Chevalier, who moved to the city in 2006, "feel their greatest strength will be both of their love for books and their ability to provide good recommendations for customers." When they take over the store, the first order of business "will be some small renovations, including adding a children's section, and beefing up the store's selection."

As they explained on the home page for their successful Indiegogo campaign, Hammond and Chevalier, who have almost 14 years of bookselling experience between them, believe "a bookstore can be a community center, a rallying point for ideas and exchange of information. Our shop will be on Ninth Street in the heart of the District--this hotbed of independent businesses needs a bookshop to be complete, and we hope to add to the cultural scene with author events, readings, and book groups."

"Everyone--not just college kids--should hang at Yellow Dog because I'm sure it's going to be exactly like its owners: warm, inclusive, eclectic, and delightfully smart," University of Missouri graduate student Darcy Holtgrave advised. "The Yellow Dog is within walking distance of campus. How cool would it be to see students walking to a bookstore instead of a bar?"

Disney-Hyperion: Drizzle, Dreams, and Lovestruck Things by Maya Prasad

Los Gatos Booksellers Set Opening Date

Cheryl and Steve Hare, who were married in June, will open Village House of Books, Los Gatos, Calif., August 14. The San Jose Mercury News reported that the Hares "are now set to embark on a new life altogether" and described their shop "as an eclectic hometown bookstore that will carry everything from the hottest bestsellers to timeless classics."

"We may even have something you didn't even know you wanted," said Cheryl.

"We feel like Los Gatos is the type of community that will support an independent bookstore," Steve added. "When you walk into a bookstore, people often see another book they like, which is something you don't get online."

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Markus Dohle to Be Sole Speaker at Frankfurt's CEO Debate

In an unusual twist that emphasizes that he is arguably the most powerful man in publishing, Markus Dohle, CEO of Penguin Random House, will be the sole guest speaker at this year's CEO Debate at the Frankfurt Book Fair. The event usually features a panel of publishing CEOs.

Moderated by Rüdiger Wischenbart, the one-person debate takes place on Wednesday, October 9, on the fairgrounds. Editors from Livres Hebdo, the Bookseller, buchreport, PublishNews Brazil and Publishers Weekly will interview Dohle.

Calgary Writing a New Story After Flood

Recovery efforts continue in Calgary, Alberta, from major flooding that occurred in late June, prompting Pages on Kensington bookstore to offer assistance to flood victims hoping to replace their book collections. The effort has been supported by several Canadian publishers, including Simon & Schuster and Anansi/Groundwood, that are offering increased discounts to pass on to flood victims.

Pages owner Simone Lee said other recent developments of note include the launch of YYC is Open, a "Rediscover Our City" initiative; and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi's reading at the bookshop of a new children's story, The River Throws a Tantrum, by local author Rona Altrows, who responded to Lee's suggestion that a book should be written for kids.

"We are going back to press for more copies, but hoping the book will have a real publisher soon," Lee said.

Re-covering the Classics

Recently, the digital publishing company DailyLit was making plans to put out new electronic editions of several public domain works of literature. But Jennifer 8. Lee, co-founder of DailyLit's parent company, Plympton, wanted these e-books to stand out from other versions of the same titles--and, she explained, "I didn't want to use auto-generated covers." So she got in touch with the Creative Action Network, and together they worked out the concept behind Recovering the Classics. Artists and designers can submit their covers for any of the 50 books in the initial roster, from Don Quixote to Ulysses; if a reader purchases an e-book or print-on-demand trade paperback featuring their cover, the illustrator gets 40% of the revenue from the sale.

Jennifer 8. Lee and Max Slavkin

"This isn't a contest," Creative Action Network CEO Max Slavkin emphasized during his opening remarks at an exhibit of some of the first wave of artwork held at the Housing Works Used Bookstore Café in lower Manhattan earlier this week. Instead of deciding whose cover was the "coolest," he continued, the program was meant to celebrate the diversity of artistic options. "We want these covers to kick off an esthetic revolution," Lee said, outlining some of the challenges in creating covers for e-books, such as the need for artwork capable of standing out on both color and gray-scale screens. But these covers also have to look good on physical books--the initial POD program in collaboration with the Harvard Book Store is off to a strong start, and there are plans underway to make the "Recovering" editions available from any bookstore with an Espresso Book Machine.

Lee promised that, after working out all the logistical challenges with the initial offerings, more titles will be added to the list. Slavkin was particularly enthusiastic about the educational opportunities presented by attractive editions of literary classics, mentioning a future Kickstarter campaign to fund print runs that could be donated to schools. He also hopes to sponsor programs in which students could create their own covers, perhaps as an alternative to writing book reports--"because," he deadpanned, "book reports are lame." --Ron Hogan

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!

How Am I Doing?
40 Conversations to Have with Yourself

by Dr. Corey Yeager

GLOW: Harper Celebrate: How Am I Doing?: 40 Conversations to Have with Yourself by Dr. Corey YeagerWho is the most important person in your life? What determines your joy? What mistakes have you learned from the most? Corey Yeager--a psychotherapist who works with the Detroit Pistons basketball franchise--poses 40 self-reflective questions to facilitate positive personal change. His inviting, empathetic approach came to prominence via the Apple TV series The Me You Can't See, produced by Oprah and Prince Harry. Dr. Yeager draws from his own life story to dispel mental health stigmas and help others gain greater personal clarity. Danielle Peterson, senior acquisition editor at Harper Celebrate, says, "The format of How Am I Doing? makes it a stand-out in the mental health genre--an excellent choice for someone looking for high-density wisdom in small, bite-sized doses." Yeager's winning insights deliver a slam-dunk of empowered inspiration bound to elicit tremendous personal reward. --Kathleen Gerard

(Harper Celebrate, $22.99 hardcover, 9781400236763, 
October 18, 2022)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported



Image of the Day: Chilly Thrillers

On Friday, Voracious Reader, Larchmont, N.Y., hosted a YA Thriller event featuring (left to right): Barry Lyga (I Hunt Killers; Game), Kate Brian (Shadowlands), Lisa Amowitz (Breaking Glass), Elizabeth Kiem (Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy), and (via Skype) Allen Zadoff (Boy Nobody). To tie in to the "chiller" theme, frosty smoothies were distributed to attendees.

Photo: Amalie Howard

Cool Idea of the Day: Books Through Bars

Describing it as "a charity we believe in strongly," Brooklyn's WORD bookstore is inviting readers to make donations to Books Through Bars directly from the shop's website: "Books Through Bars sends quality reading material to prisoners and encourages creative dialogue on the criminal justice system, thereby educating those living inside and outside of prison walls. Based on their books wanted guidelines, we've created a list of books you can purchase through us to donate."

Personnel Changes at Simon & Schuster, Lonely Planet

Gail Gonzales has joined Simon & Schuster in the newly created role of director of integrated marketing. She will direct, the company said, "key initiatives to bring Simon & Schuster authors, brands and content to consumers via non-traditional means, including produced on-air broadcast and streamed audio and video programming; thematic large-scale author events; and web-based live events and series. She will find new ways to connect authors with readers and create new opportunities for branding and revenue growth.  In addition to working closely with and building on the efforts of the publishing imprints, the sales division and digital group, Gonzales will cultivate outside partnerships to create unique programs that will amplify multi-media marketing."

She was formerly director of marketing, new media and publicity, at Hay House, and earlier held marketing positions at corporate, financial and sports marketing firms. 


Patricia Kelly has joined Lonely Planet Americas as director of sales and is responsible for defining and executing the strategy to drive sales growth of Lonely Planet's print publishing across the U.S., Canada and Latin America.

She was formerly v-p of sales, marketing and publicity at Ten Speed Press. Earlier she directed children's and mass-merchandisers' sales at PGW (and launched its Kids division) and managed sales for Macmillan and Simon & Schuster.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Shirley Jones on CBS's the Talk

Tomorrow morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe: Leigh Gallagher, author of The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream Is Moving (Portfolio, $25.95, 9781591845256).


Tomorrow on CBS's the Talk: Shirley Jones, author of Shirley Jones: A Memoir (Gallery, $27, 9781476725956). She will also appear on NBC's Access Hollywood Live.

Movies: Walter Mitty Trailer; Artemis Fowl in Development

A trailer has been released for Ben Stiller's remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, based on a story by James Thurber. Indiewire reported that the trailer "definitely puts a strong emphasis on heart-soaring mood and something with a bit more substance than your average CGI fest. To be sure, this will feature all kinds of effects as hinted at through the trailer, but Mitty also seems to want to underscore that it's a character journey too." The film, starring Stiller, Kristen Wiig and Sean Penn, opens on Christmas Day.


Disney Studios and Harvey Weinstein are teaming up to develop a film adaptation of Artemis Fowl, based on the first and second installments of Eoin Colfer's bestselling children's book series, the Hollywood Reporter wrote. The project features a screenplay by Michael Goldenberg (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), with Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal acting as executive producers.

This Weekend on Book TV: Michael Fullilove

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this week 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, August 3
12 p.m. Book TV visits Carson City, Nev., to interview several of the city's authors and tour its literary sites. (Re-airs Sunday at 9:30 a.m.)

1:30 p.m. Book TV presents coverage of the Eagle Forum Collegians Summit, which was held July 18-19 and featured multiple authors. (Re-airs Sunday at 12 a.m.)

8 p.m. Panel on "Civil Liberties and Security in the Age of Terrorism," featuring Robert Higgs, author of Delusions of Power (Independent Institute, $21.95, 9781598130454), and Anthony Gregory, author of The Power of Habeas Corpus in America (Cambridge University Press, $99, 9781107036437). (Re-airs Monday at 5 a.m.)

10 p.m. After Words. Wired magazine's Andrew Blum interviews Susan Crawford, author of Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age (Yale University Press, $30, 9780300153132). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m., Monday at 3 a.m. and August 11 at 12 p.m.)

11 p.m. Brendon Koerner, author of The Skies Belong to Us: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking (Crown, $26, 9780307886101).

Sunday, August 4
12 p.m. In Depth. Ben Carson, author most recently of America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great (Zondervan, $14.99, 9780310330912), joins Book TV for a live interview. Viewers can participate in the discussion by calling in during the program or submitting questions to or via Twitter (@BookTV). (Re-airs Monday at 12 a.m. and August 10 at 9 a.m.)

4:30 p.m. Michael Fullilove, author of Rendezvous with Destiny: How Franklin D. Roosevelt and Five Extraordinary Men Took America into the War and into the World (Penguin, $29.95, 9781594204357).

10 p.m. Vijay Prashad, author of The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South (Verso, $26.95, 9781844679522).

Books & Authors

Awards: PEN/Pinter Prize

Playwright Tom Stoppard won the 2013 PEN/Pinter Prize, which is awarded awarded annually to a British writer, or a writer resident in Britain, of outstanding literary merit who, in the words of Harold Pinter's Nobel speech, casts an "unflinching, unswerving" gaze upon the world, and shows a "fierce intellectual determination... to define the real truth of our lives and our societies."

The prize is shared with an international writer of courage--"who has been persecuted for speaking out about their beliefs"--selected by English PEN's Writers at Risk Committee in association with the winner. Stoppard will receive his award October 7 at the British Library.

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, August 6:

Eva's Eye: An Inspector Sejer Mystery by Karin Fossum (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25, 9780547738758) is the first English translation of the original Inspector Sejer novel.

The Beast by Faye Kellerman (Morrow, $26.99, 9780062121752) continues the Decker/Lazarus mystery series.

Heirs and Graces by Rhys Bowen (Berkley, $24.95, 9780425260029) is the seventh Royal Spyness mystery.

These Few Precious Days: The Final Year of Jack with Jackie by Christopher Andersen (Gallery, $27, 9781476732329) chronicles the last year of JFK and Jackie Kennedy.

Collision 2012: Obama vs. Romney and the Future of Elections in America by Dan Balz and James Silberman (Viking, $32.95, 9780670025947) explores the 2012 presidential election.

Now in paperback:

Under a Texas Sky by Dorothy Garlock (Grand Central, $15, 9780446540216).

Book Review

Review: The Childhood of Jesus

The Childhood of Jesus by J.M. Coetzee (Viking, $26.95 hardcover, 9780670014651, September 3, 2013)

Though no one named Jesus ever appears in J.M. Coetzee's The Childhood of Jesus, there are parallels aplenty to the story of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, reworked into a modern context that reads like science fiction, taking place in an unnamed Spanish-speaking country where the people are decent, well-intentioned, strangely satisfied, don't eat meat, don't fight and don't charge for services.

Five-year-old David and his 50ish guardian, Simon, have just arrived by boat in the Relocation Center. David is a slim, pale-faced child without parents, often confused and upset, extremely bright but troubled, who writes words only he understands. He loves numbers but doesn't understand numerical sequence. He lives in terror of falling through a crack in the sidewalk. They've come there to find the boy's mother, whose name has been lost at sea. Simon gets hired as a stevedore to unload vessels at the docks.

Too complicated and realistic to be an allegory, too multi-dimensional and idiosyncratic to be a fable, Coetzee's surreal philosophical discourse on childrearing and education still manages to remain human and frequently touching. Coetzee is known for his pessimism--his Booker Prize-winning Disgrace has one of the most depressing endings in modern fiction--but the world Simon finds himself in is surprisingly warm-hearted. The foreman at the docks not only minds David while his guardian works, he even loans them money.

The novel's intentionally artificial conversations sound like Platonic dialogues, questioning and debating abstractions like beauty and erotic desire, goodwill and love, stealing and parenting, seasoned with enjoyable discussions of Don Quixote. Impulsively, Simon decides that a wealthy young woman playing tennis is the boy's mother. He announces as much to her; more astonishing yet, she agrees to adopt the boy. Coetzee's characters, though recognizably human, don't act like any human beings you know. They seem to exist on a different planet where goodwill has replaced passion.

In this small, baffling riddle of a novel, where people arrive mysteriously by boat, washed clean of memory, to labor in a peaceful agrarian world, David grows more and more out of control. Running away from school, defying his teachers, he begins gathering doctors and hitchhikers like apostles and saying things like, "You must call me by my real name" and "Yo soy la verdad." What exactly Coetzee has in mind is anyone's guess, but just try to stop puzzling over this thought-provoking novel after finishing it. --Nick DiMartino

Shelf Talker: In Nobel Prize-winner Coetzee's mysterious new novel, a five-year-old boy and his guardian go in search of the boy's mother in an unnamed Spanish-speaking utopia.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Life Code by Dr. Phil McGraw
2. Pulse (Collide Volume 2) by Gail McHugh
3. Alpha Bad Boys by Various
4. The Billionaire's Obsession: The Complete Collection Boxed Set by J.S. Scott
5. House of Darkness, House of Light by Andrea Perron
6. Collide by Gail McHugh
7. Shine Not Burn by Elle Casey
8. Surrender Your Love by J.C. Reed
9. Conquer Your Love by J.C. Reed
10. Jane's Melody by Ryan Winfield

[Many thanks to!]

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