Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Flatiron Books: The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation by Anna Nti-Asare-Tubbs

Candlewick Press: In the Half Room by Carson Ellis

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Kondo & Kezumi Visit Giant Island by David Goodner, illustrated by Andrea Tsurumi

Candlewick Press: A Polar Bear in the Snow by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Shawn Harris

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

Shadow Mountain: The Paper Daughters of Chinatown by Heather B Moore

Quotation of the Day

Publicist/Author Relationship as Venn Diagram

"A Venn diagram of zookeeper, therapist, travel agent and friend. Publicists have the incredible privilege of being with an author through the most intense part of the publishing process--having this deeply private, solo project launched into the public spotlight--and it's a very emotional and intimate relationship. On a practical level this means, e.g., I've sent an emergency cheese platter after a bad review, given yoga and breathing lessons in TV show green rooms, and fielded a 1 a.m. call about the lack of hot water at a hotel ('Did you try calling the front desk?' 'Oh! No, I just thought I'd call you first')."

--Jynne Martin, director of publicity for Riverhead Books, in response to a key question (What is the publicist/author relationship like?) in an interview on the NPR Books Tumblr.

Sharjah Book Authority: Publishers Conference, November 1st - 3rd 2020


Forbes's Top-Earning Authors: 50 Shades of Greenbacks

Forbes magazine's annual "World's Top-Earning Authors" list includes many writers who have been card-carrying members of the exclusive club for a long time (check out Forbes's lists from 2011 and 2012). This year's list, however, is topped by E.L. James, who "didn't follow any of the rules for getting to the top, but she's there all the same." The top-earning authors, as ranked by earnings between June 2012 and June 2013, are:

  1. E.L. James ($95 million)
  2. James Patterson ($91 million)
  3. Suzanne Collins ($55 million)
  4. Bill O'Reilly ($28 million)
  5. Danielle Steel ($26 million)
  6. Jeff Kinney ($24 million)
  7. Janet Evanovich ($24 million)
  8. Nora Roberts ($23 million)
  9. Dan Brown ($22 million)
  10. Stephen King ($20 million)
  11. Dean Koontz ($20 million)
  12. John Grisham ($18 million)
  13. David Baldacci ($15 million)
  14. Rick Riordan ($14 million)
  15. J.K. Rowling ($13 million)
  16. George R.R. Martin ($12 million)

University of Minnesota Press: My Life in the Purple Kingdom by Brownmark and Cynthia M Uhrich

English-Language Bookstore Opens in Havana

Cuba Libro, an English-language bookstore, has opened in Havana, offering "a selection that would just about stock the lobby of an average Vermont bed and breakfast. Next to what's available in English elsewhere in Havana, it might as well be the Library of Congress," the Associated Press reported.

"I know how hard it is to get English-language sources here. So I started cooking this idea," said New York City native Conner Gorry, an expat journalist who has lived in Cuba since 2002. According to the AP, Cuba Libro "operates on food-service and used-book-sales licenses made possible by the reforms and is run with Gorry's help as a kind of unofficial cooperative, or group-owned private enterprise, by five Cubans."

"I've had to tread extremely carefully, everything above-board and legal, because I'm an American, I'm a North American, I am beholden to U.S. laws. And so I'm not in agreement with those laws, but I abide by them," she said, referring to Washington's economic embargo that bars U.S. citizens from financial transactions with the Cuban government.

She added that Cuba Libro is not in the business of offering anything that could be considered "counterrevolutionary," though her collection "does include views not commonly found on an island where the government controls nearly all media," the AP noted.

Storey Publishing: Wake Up Grateful: The Transformative Practice of Taking Nothing for Granted by Kristi Nelson

Wattpad Adds Crowdfunding Option for Writers

Wattpad, a social networking site for readers and aspiring writers, has launched a Fan Funding platform it describes as "a new experiment... that lets you connect with your favorite writers in an entirely new way."

TechCrunch noted that the option "offers authors on its network the chance to leverage their huge followings for raising capital towards creative works." While that may sound like a familiar path, Wattpad founder and CEO Allen Lau contended "the reason that we're different than Kickstarter is that if you want to start a project on Kickstarter, you basically ask your relatives, neighbors and friends to fund you, and then expect strangers to chip in. In our case, because we're a social network ourselves, the writers that are participating in Fan Funding most likely have fairly sizable fan bases already."

KidsBuzz for the Week of 09.28.20

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
Do Right by Me
by Valerie I. Harrison and
Kathryn Peach D'Angelo

GLOW: Temple University Press: Do Right by Me: Learning to Raise Black Children in White Spaces by Valerie I. Harrison and Kathryn Peach D'AngeloAn essential guide for non-Black parents and caregivers by authors with authority and first-hand experience, Do Right by Me: Learning to Raise Black Children in White Spaces arrived at a fortuitous time for Ryan Mulligan, editor at Temple University Press: "I couldn't find the book I was looking for: an orientation to raising a Black child in America for someone who hadn't grown up with the experiences, networks and knowledge that most Black parents bring to the task. And then Val and Katie reached out." Mulligan and his publishing team were "blown away by the authors' honesty, friendship and message." Presenting a brutally honest assessment of the ways in which the justice and education systems often work against Black children, Do Right by Me offers bold, uplifting strategies for helping them develop the awareness, resources and resilience to thrive. --Shahina Piyarali

(Temple University Press, $20 paperback, 9781439919958,
November 27, 2020)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported



Image of the Day: Open Book Wedding

Congratulations to Karina and James! The couple chose Open Books as the venue for their wedding this past weekend. Store manager Kevin Elliott said, "The two live in separate states but have shared their life for many years and wanted a meaningful, casual and unique wedding in Chicago. The wedding was incredible and it brought a tear to even the most hardened booksellers' eye. The love was palpable and it was obvious that James and Karina are crazier about each other than even most of us are about books!"

The ceremony was officiated by a friend of the couple--who sang Elvis Presley's "Fools Rush In"--followed by refreshments and toasts in the store's Fireplace Lounge. The store set up an entry display of titles focused on love, romance and marriage, with a slightly saucier display at the back of the store. You can see more photos on Open Books' Facebook page.

California Bookstores: Opt-into CALIBA's Fall Email Marketing Campaign - Free to You!

Cool Idea of the Day: The Morley Walk

Most of us plying the book trade have, at some point in our careers, encountered Christopher Morley's The Haunted Bookshop and Parnassus on Wheels. On August 18, Melville House, which is releasing new editions of the bookselling classics as part of its "Art of the Novella" series, "will be leading publishers, authors and readers on a walking bookstore tour throughout Brooklyn, stopping at five of the area's indie shops" while reading The Haunted Bookshop in its entirety, Bookselling This Week reported.

The goal of the Morley Walk is to both expose readers to Brooklyn's bookstores and celebrate Morley's legacy. Participants will visit Lark Café (with books provided by WORD), Community Bookstore, Terrace Books, powerHouse on 8th, Unnameable Books and Greenlight Bookstore, with an after party being held at Brooklyn's Der Schwarze Kölner Biergarten.

"I'd love to see Morley recognized as the patron saint of bookselling," said Dustin Kurtz, marketing manager at Melville House. "His books are stirring beyond belief.... These two titles stood out to us as some of the best stuff ever written about bookselling. So it made sense for us to celebrate some of the city's great bookstores while we read it."

Noting that she has "a tattered old used copy of The Haunted Bookshop that I read with astonishment and delight long before I had a bookstore in Brooklyn," Greenlight co-owner Jessica Stockton Bagnulo said the Morley Walk "seems like just the kind of philosophical, idealistic (i.e., crazy) literary thing that Morley himself would have loved. I hope people are talking about it for a long while."

Rick Riordan Presents: City of the Plague God by Sarwat Chadda

'Skies Are Not Cloudy' for Tome on the Range

Las Vegas, N.Mex., "is welcoming a new owner to local bookshop Tome on the Range, a 17-year-old fixture in the southwestern community," Bookselling This Week reported. In June, Noemi de Bodisco, proprietor of op.cit. bookstore in Santa Fe, added the 3,200-square-foot space previously owned by founder Nancy Colalillo as her second store.

"It's the only bookstore in a very small town," said de Bodisco. "But what was clear was that the town was very supportive of the bookstore and very proud of it."

With a goal of bringing in unique and interesting book-related items spanning a variety of interests and budgets, she wants "to be the Anthropologie of bookstores. We're determined to do what it takes to succeed, but to also make it a really interesting experience for people. Maybe you'll see some great vintage kids' books, some cool toys, or a vintage chair." Regarding any changes, she added: "Pretty much, we're listening to the community."

The two bookstores "complement each other in a really nice way," de Bodisco said. "So many people who live in Las Vegas work in Santa Fe, so they go to that store. If we don't have a book here, we may have it there."

In her farewell newsletter, Colalillo urged customers to welcome her successor: "We have both worked hard to keep an independent bookstore alive here for Las Vegas and our surrounding communities."

Before the Author Tour: The Novelist Video Game

The Novelist, a video game that will be available for PCs by the end of the summer, was "created not to satisfy primal bloodlust, but to tell a story about a single family's struggles," in which players guide an author named Dan Kaplan and decide how he will spend his days. Kotaku reported that there "are no bullets or rocket launchers here: the core conflict revolves around Dan's ability--or inability--to balance his career, his marriage, and his relationship with his son." Check out the developer demo here.

"There's no winning or losing," said designer Kent Hudson. "You play through and get a story that my hope--and this sounds so pretentious--but my hope is that as you're presented with the same fundamental question in nine different ways over the course of the game, that you start to learn about your own values. And by the end... maybe your guy has written the greatest book ever but his wife left him and his kid is getting in trouble at school at the time. Well, I guess when push comes to shove you've decided that career's more important than family. Or vice versa."

Kotaku noted that "your Dan Kaplan could be the writer who published a great book, had an okay relationship with his son, and did just enough to stave off divorce. Or maybe your Dan Kaplan is an amazing father and husband who just lost his book deal because he missed all his deadlines."

'Celebration of Harry Potter' Scheduled for January

The first "Celebration of Harry Potter," featuring "Q&As with the stars and the filmmakers, lessons in wand dueling and other muggle fun," has been scheduled for January 24-26 at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park in Orlando. The Telegraph reported that there "are also rumors that the celebration may involve a soft launch of the park's awaited Diagon Alley attraction, which is reportedly opening next June."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Bethenny Frankel on Good Morning America

Today on MSNBC's All in with Chris Hayes: Laura Gottesdiener, author of A Dream Foreclosed: Black America and the Fight for a Place to Call Home (Zuccotti Park Press, $14.95, 9781884519215).


Tomorrow morning on CBS This Morning: Sara Gilbert, author of The Imperfect Environmentalist: A Practical Guide to Clearing Your Body, Detoxing Your Home, and Saving the Earth (Without Losing Your Mind) (Ballantine, $18, 9780345537584).


Tomorrow morning on Good Morning America: Bethenny Frankel, author of Skinnygirl Solutions: Your Straight-Up Guide to Home, Health, Family, Career, Style, and Sex (Touchstone, $25.99, 9781451667394).


Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Phil Robertson, co-author of Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander (Howard, $24.99, 9781476726090). He will also appear on Live with Kelly and Michael.


Tomorrow on the Takeaway: Senator Rand Paul, author of Government Bullies: How Everyday Americans Are Being Harassed, Abused, and Imprisoned by the Feds (Center Street, $15, 9781455522774).


Tomorrow on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: Catherine Steiner-Adair, co-author of The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age (Harper, $26.99, 9780062082428).

Movies: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Trailer

A new trailer has been released for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, "showing off more of a world that was only briefly glimpsed in all of the original film's 142 minutes.... More of this strange fascistic future (did you see that ship?), less archery and knife action, please," the Film Stage noted.

Books & Authors

Awards: Richard C. Holbrooke; Guardian Children's Fiction

Wendell Berry will receive the 2013 Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award, presented by the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation "in recognition of a lifetime of letters exploring how humans can live more harmoniously with both the land and each other."

"In a career spanning more than half a century, Wendell Berry has used poetry, fiction and essays to offer a consistent, timely, and timeless reminder that we must live in harmony with the earth in order to live in harmony with each other," said Sharon Rab, founder and co-chair of the foundation. "His writing has inspired readers to imagine the lives of people and things other than themselves--enemies, neighbors, plants, and animals--in order to advance the survival of humankind and Earth itself."

Berry observed that in "a time that spends so many words and dollars upon conflict, it is encouraging to be noticed for having said a few words in favor of peace,"

Finalists for the 2013 Dayton Literary Peace Prize will be announced later this month.

This year's Guardian Children's Fiction Prize shortlist "takes a transatlantic twist as two American authors battle it out with two U.K. authors," the Guardian reported, noting that although the award has existed since 1967, non-U.K. writers were admitted only last year. The winner will be announced in October. The shortlisted titles are:

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead
The Boy Who Swam with Piranhas by David Almond, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell

SIBA's Fall Okra Picks 'Fresh off the Vine'

The Southern Indie Booksellers Alliance has announced its Fall Okra Picks, "a baker's dozen" of new releases that "all have two things in common: they are southern in nature, and there is a southern indie bookseller that wants everyone to read each one!" The Fall Okra Picks titles are:

The Alligator Man by James Sheehan (Center Street, October)
The Funeral Dress by Susan Gregg Gilmore (Broadway Books, September)
Guests on Earth by Lee Smith (Shannon Ravenel Books, October)
Lookaway, Lookaway by Wilton Barnhardt (St. Martin's, August)
Love & Lament by John Milliken Thompson (Other Press, August)
Moonrise by Cassandra King (Maiden Lane Press, September)
Mother of Rain by Karen Spears Zacharias (Mercer University Press, September)
Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain (St. Martin's, September)
Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul Explosion by Robert Gordon (Bloomsbury, November)
Someone Else's Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson (Morrow, November)
The Storied South by William Ferris (University of North Carolina Press, August)
The Tilted World by Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly (Morrow, October)
What I Came to Tell You by Tommy Hays (Egmont USA, September)

Book Review

Review: The Suicide Shop

The Suicide Shop by Jean Teulé, trans. by Sue Dyson (Gallic Books, $13.95 paperback, 9781906040093, September 3, 2013)

For readers feeling overwhelmed by the influx of dystopian- and apocalyptic-themed entertainment, Jean Teulé's The Suicide Shop will hit the spot. Current literary trends make this a perfect time for this short, sweet satire, first published in France in 2006 and translated for British readers two years later, to hop over to our side of the pond.

Environmental and economic chaos have wrecked the Earth. In this sad new world, suicide rates soar, but many attempts fail. For proper equipment and professional advice, many of the would-be dead turn to the Suicide Shop. (Its motto: "Has your life been a failure? Let's make your death a success.") The Tuvache family has run the shop for generations, bemoaning the fact that their commitment to helping others choose and carry out their dream deaths dooms them to living long, depressed lives.

The current generation is no different. Monsieur and Madame Tuvache assist customers in selecting nooses, poisons and seppuku trappings by day and read their children bedtime stories about doomed lovers at night. Their daughter is convinced of her own ugliness and uselessness; their oldest son bandages his head against perpetual migraines while designing a suicide-themed amusement park. They're the ideal purveyors of death, at least until Alan is born.

Alan, the third Tuvache child, exhibits a disturbing tendency toward smiling during infancy. While his parents initially tell themselves it's just gas, as Alan grows up, he continues to show unmistakable signs of happiness and optimism: laughing, joking, singing silly songs and, worst of all, trying to convince customers that life is still worth living.

A little bit Roald Dahl and a little bit Addams Family, Teulé's story nevertheless sports its own irreverent brand of humor. While more sensitive readers may not find some of the jokes appealing, those who like their comedy on the dark and ludicrous side will find much to tickle their funny bones. At heart, Teulé's modern fable celebrates life and the joy that can come simply from living it. Fans of futuristic settings may lament the lack of detail put into the outside world, but the inner world of the Suicide Shop has a detailed structure and logic all its own. This snide, hilarious affirmation of life is to die for. --Jaclyn Fulwood

Shelf Talker: Quirky and hilarious, this dark fable about a future in which a suicide boutique flourishes until the proprietors give birth to an optimistic son affirms the joys of living.

KidsBuzz: Vesuvian Books: 7th Grade Revolution by Liana Gardner
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