Shelf Awareness for Thursday, August 15, 2013

Little Brown and Company: The Snow Hare by Paula Lichtarowicz

Tordotcom: Witch King by Martha Wells

Doubleday Books: American Mermaid by Julia Langbein

Dell: Solomon's Crown by Natasha Siegel

St. Martin's Press: The Collected Regrets of Clover by Mikki Brammer

Quotation of the Day

Shakespeare & Co.: 'Follow White Rabbits'

"When I first took over, some guide books said that the bookstore was 'resting on its laurels.' I think reading that criticism made me charge forward.... We will always be centered around books, but we're already more than a bookstore. It just feels like the natural thing to do: expand, add and try new projects.... The bookstore is also such a stimulating place, where you encounter so many characters, that you seem to follow white rabbits down different holes without realizing it."

--Sylvia Whitman, who inherited the iconic Paris bookshop Shakespeare and Company from her father, in the lab magazine

Blackstone Publishing: Émilienne by Pamela Binnings Ewen


Gibson's Bookstore Schedules Big Move

The imminent relocation of Gibson's Bookstore, Concord, N.H., "is a complicated move--growing to fill a much larger space, ordering new fixtures and computers, repurposing old fixtures, integrating Imagination Village into our children's section--so we can't have the traditional book brigade," owner Michael Herrmann told his customers yesterday in an e-newsletter detailing plans and announcing a book sale this coming weekend. "And in all honesty, we have too many books here for that to work. What you can do to help is buy books now and buy books when we're there."

The Gibson's crew will pack and move the children's sections, including Imagination Village, next week, followed by the rest of the store beginning August 24. Hermann expects to reopen September 3, but added there is a chance the store might open near the end of the week before Labor Day.
Thanking customers for their support, he wrote: "You are the reason we're able to expand and improve so dramatically. We thank you and invite you to celebrate with us when we're in our new store. Wait til you see it. It's really beautiful."

Kingfisher: Macmillan Collector's Library Anthologies

Tune In: Clearstory Radio On-Site for SIBA Show

The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance is partnering with Clearstory Radio to produce a special edition from the site of this year's fall trade show, to be held September 20-22 in New Orleans. Bookstore owners and authors will be interviewed live by host River Jordan, creating a "live presence" on the SIBA trade show floor and highlighting the spirit of independence that is at the heart of every indie.

"This is such a great opportunity for booksellers to share their passion for what they do with readers and listeners across the south and across the Internet," said SIBA executive director Wanda Jewell. "River is such an easy host and shares that passion. Booksellers will not want to miss this. It's like Bookstore Radio!"

Clearstory Radio, which is currently broadcast Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 6 p.m. on 107.1FM Nashville, will be on 103.7FM Nashville as well beginning in September. It is also available as a live stream online.

Obituary Note: Pauline Maier

Pauline Maier, "a distinguished historian of the United States' formative years whose challenges to conventional thinking included the assertion that Thomas Jefferson was 'overrated,' " died Monday, the New York Times reported. She was 75. One of her most influential books was American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence, published in 1997.


N.C. Triangle Region Indies: "Five Faves'

In its latest "Five Faves" installment, WRAL in Raleigh, N.C., "decided to focus solely on independent, locally owned book stores with new book selections" in the Triangle region.

The stops included Quail Ridge Books & Music ("a fixture for Raleigh readers since 1984, and they've kept the momentum"), So & So Books ("a new addition to the Triangle's literary scene"), Flyleaf Books ("what struck me was their overwhelming number of staff recommendations"), McIntyre's Books ("comfy and inviting with a Southern feel") and the Regulator Bookshop ("fits in perfectly with the gritty, 'Keep Durham Dirty' feel of the city").

Berkeley's Dark Carnival of Books

Dark Carnival bookstore, Berkeley, Calif., is "a sci-fi and fantasy lover's dream," KALW's Dora Finklestein noted in her brief tour of the shop and chat with bookseller Pat Lupoff and owner Jack Rems. Best response from the interview:

Finklestein: What's your favorite thing about owning the store?
Rems: Having people give me credit for some book that they loved.

Green Apple Deals with 'E-Book Revolution'

"I am one lucky book lover," Time magazine's Harry McCracken wrote. "My local bookstore is Green Apple Books & Music, a 46-year-old San Francisco institution located in the city's Richmond neighborhood. It's got 8,000 square feet spread across two storefronts, piled high with a wonderfully eclectic array of stuff: new books, used books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, vinyl LPs and more. I could probably spend a week there browsing full-time without getting bored."

McCracken spoke with co-owner Pete Mulvihill about the bookstore's role in the e-book revolution as a purveyor of Kobo e-readers and e-books, noting that Green Apple "isn't applying hard-sell tactics to Kobo. The e-readers are one more item in a store that, while well-organized, is appealing in part because it's so crowded and diverse that shopping feels like searching for hidden treasure."

Mulvihill observed that when people enter the store, "they probably wanted a print book or wanted to get away from a computer screen." While three or four of the bookshop's staff members are ready to answer customers' Kobo questions, he said "20 staff members who won't go near the thing." Still, he considers the Kobo initiative a necessary aspect of his business now: "I think of it as losing fewer customers."

While e-business may not be spiking, Green Apple's overall sales increased "by a percentage in the low double digits" when San Francisco's last Borders closed in 2011, and the bookstore has held on to most of that gain, Mulvihill said. Social networking continues to play a significant role in reaching out to customers, as does product tweaking ("Vinyl has become a bigger business than new CDs," McCracken wrote.).

Ultimately, the secret to indie success is anything but virtual. "It takes a couple of hundred people coming through the door every day to keep the doors open," Mulvihill said. "They keep coming in. We're grateful."

'Iconic Fictional' Libraries: Check Them Out

Calling the library a "perfect reading spot," Paste featured its choices for the "12 best fictional libraries," noting that while there are "certainly some impressive real-life libraries, few match the ambiance of these incredible and iconic fictional ones."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Penelope A. Lewis on NPR's Fresh Air

Today on NPR's Fresh Air: Penelope A. Lewis, author of The Secret World of Sleep: The Surprising Science of the Mind at Rest (Palgrave Macmillan, $27, 9780230107595).


Tomorrow on the View: Wil Haygood, author of The Butler: A Witness to History (37 Ink, $18, 9781476752990).


Tomorrow on ABC's 20/20: Cade Courtley, author of SEAL Survival Guide: A Navy SEAL's Secrets to Surviving Any Disaster (Gallery, $19.99, 9781451690293).

Movies: How I Live Now Trailer

A trailer has been released for the adaptation of How I Live Now, based on Meg Rosoff's prize-winning novel. The movie "should have all the elements for the typical YA film adaptation: war, dystopia, a great lead actress in Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan (Atonement), and director Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland), who won an Oscar for his 1999 documentary One Day in September, behind the camera," Jacket Copy reported. Rosoff's book won the 2005 Printz Award, 2004 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize. How I Live Now hits U.K. screens in October, with Magnolia releasing the film in the U.S. on a date yet to be announced.

This Weekend on Book TV: The Kennedy Chronicles

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 17
11 a.m. Seth Cropsey, author of Mayday: The Decline of American Naval Supremacy (Overlook, $29.95, 9781590207895). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

7 p.m. Former MTV VJ Kennedy, author of The Kennedy Chronicles: The Golden Age of MTV Through Rose-Colored Glasses (Thomas Dunne, $25.99, 9781250017475). (Re-airs Sunday at 1 p.m. and Monday at 1 a.m.)

8:45 p.m. Maury Klein, author of A Call to Arms: Mobilizing America for World War II (Bloomsbury Press, $40, 9781596916074).

10 p.m. After Words. Josef Sorett interviews Joshua Dubler, author of Down in the Chapel: Religious Life in an American Prison (FSG, $30, 9780374120702). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m., Monday at 12 a.m. & 3 a.m. and August 25 at 12 p.m.)

11 p.m. Cheryl Mullenbach, author of Double Victory: How African American Women Broke Race and Gender Barriers to Help Win World War II (Chicago Review Press, $19.95, 9781569768082).

11:45 p.m. Paul Gregory, author of Women of the Gulag: Portraits of Five Remarkable Lives (Hoover Institution Press, $29, 9780817915742).

Sunday, August 18
7 p.m.  Benjamin Wiker, author of Worshipping the State: How Liberalism Became Our State Religion (Regnery, $27.95, 9781621570295).

7:30 p.m. Jerry DeWitt, author of Hope After Faith: An Ex-Pastor's Journey From Belief to Atheism (Da Capo, $25.99, 9780306822247), at Garden District Bookshop, New Orleans.

Books & Authors

Awards: PEN Literary

The PEN American Center announced the winners and runners up for the 2013 PEN Literary Awards. Winners and runners-up will be honored at the PEN Literary Awards Ceremony on October 21 in New York City. See a complete list of winners and runners-up here. Highlights include:

PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize ($25,000): A Naked Singularity by Sergio De La Pava (University of Chicago Press)
PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction ($10,000): Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo (Random House)
PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay ($10,000): What Light Can Do by Robert Hass (Ecco)
PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award ($10,000): Subliminal by Leonard Mlodinow (Pantheon)
PEN/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000): Frank Deford
PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000): Like Any Normal Day by Mark Kram, Jr. (St. Martin's)
PEN Open Book Award ($5,000, co-winners): Gun Dealers' Daughter by Gina Apostol (Norton); and The Grey Album by Kevin Young (Graywolf)
PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography ($5,000): The Black Count by Tom Reiss (Broadway)
PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry ($5,000): Rowan Ricardo Phillips
PEN/Steven Kroll Award for Picture Book Writing ($5,000): The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau by Michelle Markel (Eerdmans)
PEN Award for Poetry in Translation ($3,000): Molly Weigel, The Shock of the Lenders and Other Poems by Jorge Santiago Perednik (Action Books)
PEN Translation Prize ($3,000): Donald O. White, The Island of Second Sight by Albert Vigoleis Thelen (Overlook Press)

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, August 20:

The Third Kingdom by Terry Goodkind (Tor, $29.99, 9780765335999) continues the Sword of Truth fantasy series.

Serve to Win: The 14-Day Gluten-Free Plan for Physical and Mental Excellence by Novak Djokovic (Zinc Ink, $25, 9780345548986) gives diet tips from a tennis champion.

Exposed: The Secret Life of Jodi Arias by Jane Velez-Mitchell (Morrow, $25.99, 9780062303998) explores the Jodi Arias murder trial.

Lookaway, Lookaway: A Novel by Wilton Barnhardt (St. Martin's Press, $25.99, 9781250020833) follows a dysfunctional wealthy Southern family.

Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong--and What You Really Need to Know by Emily Oster (Penguin Press, $26.95, 9781594204753) brings an economist's view to pregnancy.

Now in paperback:

The World Almanac for Kids 2014 (World Almanac, $13.99, 9781600571770).

Book Review

Review: The Mystery of Rio

The Mystery of Rio by Alberto Mussa, trans. by Alex Ladd (Europa Editions, $16 paperback, 9781609451363, September 3, 2013)

"What defines a city is the history of its crimes," Alberto Mussa writes in The Mystery of Rio, and for every city there is a defining crime that could happen only there.

On a Friday the 13th in 1913, the personal secretary to the president of the Brazilian republic is found dead in the House of Swaps. This legendary mansion in Rio de Janeiro is the sex clinic of Miroslav Zmuda, a researcher into the physiology of coitus, and secretly also houses a magnificent brothel where the nurses double as prostitutes. The victim has been discovered tied to the iron bedposts and strangled, gagged and blindfolded. Last seen with him was Fortunata, a beautiful young woman who came to the brothel a virgin and has now vanished, leaving her gold earrings with a 100-year-old sorcerer who haunts the cemetery and never lies.

The police department's dashing fingerprint expert, the attractive and  ambitious Sebastiao Baeta, is determined to solve the mystery. He is an internationally renowned forensic investigator--and a regular patron of the House of Swaps, where he and his wife attend couples night. Baeta is a ladies' man fiercely jealous of Fortunata's brother, Aniceto, who casts an almost supernatural spell over any woman he desires, even Baeta's devoted wife.

Compacting Brazilian lore into heavily loaded sentences, Mussa's prose mimics the earnest thoroughness of police report evidence. The roots of the murder reach hundreds of years back to the birth of Rio out of a desecrated cemetery. Baeta's search for the murderer leads him through dozens of curios and horrors, including a witch walled alive into the Imperial Palace, a mass grave of sailors disturbed in the cemetery, women given in marriage to the best shark hunters, the jealous competition between police districts, macumba rites, secret passageways, a pirate with 5,000 men and the lost treasure map of Lourenco Cao.

Mussa knows every Rio street--and savors them by name. His characters wade through a celebration of his beautiful, dangerous city of glorious extremes. One story leads into another, with several more embedded along the way, told by an endearing historian who can't resist any temptation to tell you his own opinions on the art of the mystery novel. Brace yourself for a jawdropper ending you have never, ever, ever read before, in a concoction that could only happen in Rio. --Nick DiMartino

Shelf Talker: In a delightful, history-crowded celebration of Rio, a political figure is mysteriously murdered in a secret brothel behind a notorious sex clinic.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Jane's Melody by Ryan Winfield
2. Life Code by Dr. Phil McGraw
3. House of Darkness, House of Light by Andrea Perron
4. Pulse (Collide Volume 2) by Gail McHugh
5. 3 Bodies and a Biscotti by Leighann Dobbs
6. Loving the CEO by Various
7. Breathless (Jesse) by Eve Carter
8. The Billionaire's Obsession by J.S. Scott
9. Travis (Alluring Indulgence #3) by Nicole Edwards
10. Collide by Gail McHugh

[Many thanks to!]

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