Shelf Awareness for Thursday, August 29, 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

Indie Bookstores 'Nurtured My Private Life as a Reader'

"But even before my first novel was released, independent booksellers were making a huge difference in my life, and I imagine that many folks feel the same way.... Stores like these can diagnose your reading life and prescribe just the book (or books!) to keep it thriving. Over the past several years, the best books I've read can be traced directly back to a hand-sell at an independent bookstore.

"Indie bookstores have done more for me than sell my novel; they've given me a community. For the past year, indies have aided in my professional life as a writer, but they have always nurtured my private life as a reader. For that I am endlessly grateful."

--Author Wiley Cash, who is encouraging his readers "to find the same joy and sense of community in their local independent bookstores" with a special offer. Readers who pre-order This Dark Road to Mercy (Morrow, January 28, 2014) from an indie will receive an exclusive excerpt of the novel as well as an unpublished scene from A Land More Kind Than Home.

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


Judge 'Plans to Narrow the Scope' of Apple Injunction

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote "plans to narrow the scope" of the government's proposed oversight of Apple and "doesn't intend to give the government broad oversight of all content distribution deals negotiated by Apple," the Wall Street Journal reported. At a hearing Tuesday, the judge said she would limit the focus of her ruling to e-books--the subject of the DOJ's lawsuit--and hoped to issue a ruling on potential remedies next week.

"I want this injunction to rest as lightly as possible on how Apple runs its business," she observed. "I want Apple to have the flexibility to innovate."

Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., a lawyer for Apple, said the company still intends to appeal her findings.

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

Amazon Seeks Connecticut Tax Breaks

On Tuesday, Amazon officials met with the Economic Development Commission in Windsor, Conn., to present more details about a proposed 1.5-million-square-foot distribution center and to request a property tax abatement as well as a 50% reduction in building permit fees, the Hartford Courant reported. Amazon has requested a 70% tax abatement, "combined with an additional 5% tax abatement to offset the higher wages the company pays and another 5% for architectural and sustainable energy upgrades planned for facility," the Courant wrote.

The commission unanimously recommended an overall 70% abatement over five years as well as the 50% percent reduction in building permit fees. This would cost the town about $500,000 in revenues, according to town manager Peter Souza. The abatement must be approved by the town council, the town's planning & zoning and inland wetlands commissions. The Courant noted that Windsor "is one of a few finalists for the facility, but developers have called it the preferred site. Amazon officials at the meeting Tuesday declined to comment on the project or the desire to build in Windsor."

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E.L. James: Top-Earning Author and 'Celebrity'

The $95 million E.L. James earned between June 2012 and June 2013 from her Fifty Shades trilogy not only earned her top billing on Forbes's World's Top-Earning Authors list, but has also tied her for third place, with Simon Cowell and Howard Stern, on the magazine's Highest Earning Celebrities list, which was released this week. The list is topped by Madonna ($125 million) and Steven Spielberg ($100 million), with James Patterson in sixth place at $91 million. For the record, everybody mentioned in this note has either written books or had books written about them... or both.

NYPL 'Rethinks' Renovation Plan: Atrium Out, Books In

Atriums are out and books are back in at the New York Public Library, which responded to public criticism of its $300-million renovation plans that would have demolished century-old book stacks. This fall, the library will "unveil a new design that preserves a significant portion of them," the Wall Street Journal reported.

The proposed atrium design

While the NYPL still intends to build a new circulating library under the Rose Main Reading Room, the "vast atrium" that was originally planned for the space has been abandoned in favor of a new design that incorporates the book stacks as "a prominent feature," library president Anthony Marx said, adding that reading rooms will be emphasized "rather than atriums."

The original plans "sparked two lawsuits brought by scholars and preservationists, including a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, aiming to block the stacks' destruction," the Journal noted.

Kobo: Enhanced Reading Life Platform

Kobo has unveiled an enhanced Reading Life platform, enabling the collection, curation and discovery of content in what it describes as "delivering on the company's promise to put reading first." With its new line of tablets and E Ink eReaders, Kobo offers Collections, which opens the devices to more reading material from the Web. In partnership with Pocket, the Read It Later feature allows readers to save articles and other online content for access later in their Kobo libraries.

A new dedicated Kobo Kids Store will soon be available, offering parents the ability to set up dedicated accounts for their children, set spending allowances and reading goals, pre-select e-books and adjust search settings to keep their kids reading safely. The company has also expanded its children's selections to almost 100,000 titles.

Kobo has also signed a number of magazine publishers and will showcase their titles using the Guided Reading experience, which replaces panning and zooming around a page with a one-tap interface.  

"With magazines joining our e-bookstore, a new kids experience and the best e-reading devices possible, we will help readers find more of what they love--taking them beyond the book," said Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis.

Digital Book World noted that the "sweeping upgrade for the e-book retailer and device-maker across its business is part of an effort to help it build market-share in the U.S. and to continue to expand globally."

Chief content officer Michael Tamblyn said Kobo has "the advantage of being a company that focuses only on one thing, which is how to sell e-books and sell them well--on devices, through apps and on the Web. It's a clarity of purpose that none of our competitors really have. We don't have to worry about a legacy retail business, or selling e-books in the context in many things, or as one small adjunct of a great, big hardware business. We succeed if we make readers happy and that's where we compete."

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: The Returned Flash Mob

Tuesday, to celebrate the publication of Jason Mott's debut novel, The Returned (Harlequin Mira), 150 people gathered at lunchtime in front of the New York Public Library to read the book. The readers, clad in black and wearing matching Returned T-shirts, then traveled around the city distributing bookmarks and copies of the book. 

#NewAtPSB: Twitter Q&A with Porter Square's New Owners

David Sandberg and Dina Mardell, who recently purchased Porter Square Books, Cambridge, Mass., are making use of social networking to enhance their introduction to the community. The store's Facebook page yesterday told customers that the couple has "been learning all they can about running a bookstore, from using the register, to shelving books, to making recommendations, to all the processes, procedures, and decisions that keep the lights on. Here's a chance to learn a little more about them. David and Dina will answer your questions on Twitter from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, September 3. Tweet a question to @PorterSqBooks with the hashtag #NewAtPSB at 1 p.m. and they will answer as many questions as they can...."

Cool Idea of the Day: 'Cli-Fi' Book Display

During this "sweltering British summer," Foyles bookstore in London "did something that was a long time coming: It set up a dedicated 'cli-fi' table with a simple yet eye-catching sign promoting fiction and nonfiction books with climate themes," TeleRead reported.

Among the books displayed were Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, James Lovelock's The Revenge of Gaia, Stephen Emmott's 10 Billion, J.G. Ballard's The Drowned World, John Christopher's The Death of Grass, Joe Dunthorne's Wild Abandon, Liz Jensen's The Rapture, Barbara Kingsolver's Flight Behavior and Ian McEwan's Solar.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Emily Oster on MSNBC's the Cycle

Tomorrow on NPR's Morning Edition: Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff, co-authors of Mission in a Bottle: The Honest Guide to Doing Business Differently--and Succeeding (Crown Business, $23, 9780770437497).


Tomorrow on MSNBC's the Cycle: Emily Oster, author of Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong-and What You Really Need to Know (Penguin Press, $26.95, 9781594204753).


Tomorrow on Tavis Smiley: Laura Gottesdiener, author of A Dream Foreclosed: Black America and the Fight for a Place to Call Home (Zuccotti Park Press, $14.95, 9781884519215).

Movie Trailers: Carrie; Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 showcased two new trailers for upcoming movies:

The second trailer for MGM/Screen Gems' Carrie remake "may spoil all the iconic scenes from the 1976 original. But Sissy Spacek's telekinetic heroine never had to deal with mean girls in the cell phone age." The movie, starring Chloe Moretz and Julianne Moore and directed by Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don't Cry), opens October 18.


In a new clip from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, it's not "gigantic foodstuffs but living 'foodimals' that plague the heroes." Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Neil Patrick Harris, Terry Crews, Will Forte, Andy Samberg, Kristen Schaal and James Caan voice the animated characters in the movie that has a September 27 release date.

This Weekend on Book TV: Craig Steven Wilder

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this holiday weekend, from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Tuesday, 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 31
7:45 p.m. Graham Rayman, author of The NYPD Tapes: A Shocking Story of Cops, Cover-ups, and Courage (Palgrave Macmillan, $27, 9780230342279).

8:30 p.m. Michael Novak, author of Writing from Left to Right: My Journey from Liberal to Conservative (Image, $24, 9780385347464). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 a.m.)

10 p.m. After Words. Radio host and political activist Joe Madison interviews Craig Steven Wilder, author of Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America's Universities (Bloomsbury Press, $30, 9781596916814). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 3 a.m.)

Sunday, September 1
12 p.m. In Depth. Ben Shapiro, author most recently of Bullies: How the Left's Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences Americans (Threshold, $25, 9781476709994), 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.)

7:45 p.m. George Packer, author of The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America (FSG, $27, 9780374102418).

10 p.m. Meredith Whitney, author of Fate of the States: The New Geography of American Prosperity (Portfolio, $27.95, 9781591845706).

11 p.m. Cris Beam, author To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26, 9780151014125), at the Strand Bookstore in New York City.

Books & Authors

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing Tuesday, September 3:

MaddAddam: A Novel by Margaret Atwood (Nan A. Talese, $27.95, 9780385528788) concludes the trilogy consisting of Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood.

The Ludwig Conspiracy by Oliver Pötzsch, translated by Anthea Bell (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26, 9780547740102) is an historical fiction mystery surrounding King Ludwig II of Bavaria and his famous castles.

Never Go Back: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child (Delacorte, $28, 9780385344340) is the 18th Jack Reacher thriller.

Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon (St. Martin's Press, $27.99, 9781250029881) continues the Dark-Hunter fantasy series.

Si-cology 1: Tales and Wisdom from Duck Dynasty's Favorite Uncle by Si Robertson (Howard, $22.99, 9781476745374) is based on A&E's Duck Dynasty.

Under Fire: The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi by Fred Burton and Samuel M. Katz (St. Martin's Press, $26.99, 9781250041104) explores the Benghazi embassy attack.

The 5 Essentials: Using Your Inborn Resources to Create a Fulfilling Life by Bob Deutsch and Lou Aronica (Hudson Street Press, $25.95, 9781594631221) discusses ambition and achievement.

Book Review

Review: Local Souls

Local Souls by Allan Gurganus (Liveright, $25.95 hardcover, 9780871403797, September 23, 2013)

When Captain Marsden dies in Allan Gurganus's hugely popular first novel, Oldest Confederate Widow Tells All, he's "calling for maps." The first thing you see when you begin Local Souls is a rough, hand-drawn map of Falls, N.C., home to Marsden--and the characters of this thoroughly enjoyable collection of three novellas.

Start top left, at Falls High. In "Fear Not," our narrator is sitting in the audience to watch his godson play a pie customer in the school's production of Sweeney Todd when a very un-Falls-like couple sits next to him--handsome, confident, "lion-kingly." He must find out all about them. A year later, the resulting tale includes a decapitated head and a 14-year old girl who gets pregnant by the owner of the motorboat that killed her father and gives up the baby. It's all very Amelie-like: the pace, tone, the amazing coincidences, the innocence, the humor mixed with sorrow and the "inexorable, arbitrary natural force" of fate. Our narrator has tried to "breathe life into these local souls," he says, but "we can only choose to bless them."

For "Saints Have Mothers," we move to the bottom of the map to read about the Mulray family, especially Caitlin. Her loving, proud mom tells us she's "one amazing little girl" who gives her mother's shoes to the poor and her school lunches to hungry kids. As a teenager, she goes to Africa to help people. Then her mother receives a call: Caitlin is missing, believed dead. What Gurganus does with this very twisting tale about a mother's love echoes the great interior monologue poets of the past whose work reveals the teller not the tale.

Next, we go to the map's top right-hand corner, Riverside, the best neighborhood, to Doc Roper's house. "Decoy" is narrated by his friend Bill Mabry, who lives on the other side of  the Lithium River. Old Doc is kind and reliable, the "last physician who forgot to send you your annual bill." Doc's retiring, but something much bigger is coming to Falls--the "smaller the town, the bigger the event looms." This last novella is a powerful inquiry into fathers and carved ducks.

Here are finely rendered portraits--and, behind the faces, fascinating stories. Listen to the voices, so pitch perfect, the words, oh so readable. And Falls, home to the fallen; it's on the map. Come visit. --Tom Lavoie

Shelf Talker: Another outstanding glimpse of Falls, N.C.--Gurganus's own Winesburg, Ohio--and its souls, beautifully rendered in a sweet Southern evening's prose.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Dust (Silo Saga) by Hugh Howey
2. Life Code by Dr. Phil McGraw
3. Rock Chick Revolution by Kristen Ashley
4. Stripped by Jasinda Wilder
5. Loving the CEO by Various
6. Into the Deep by Samantha Young
7. Freefall by Tess Oliver
8. The Billionaire's Obsession by J.S. Scott
9. Ruin by Rachel van Dyken
10. Wicked Firsts by Various

[Many thanks to!]

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