Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Bloom Books: Queen of Myth and Monsters (Adrian X Isolde #2) by Scarlett St. Clair

Bloom Books: Queen of Myth and Monsters (Adrian X Isolde #2) by Scarlett St. Clair

Blue Box Press: A Light in the Flame: A Flesh and Fire Novel by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Irh Press: The Unknown Stigma Trilogy by Ryuho Okawa

Other Press (NY): The Rebel and the Thief by Jan-Philipp Sendker, translated by Imogen Taylor

Holiday House: Welcome to Feral (Frights from Feral) by Mark Fearing

Charlesbridge Publishing: Too-Small Tyson (Storytelling Math) by Janay Brown-Wood, illustrated by Anastasia Williams

Berkley Books: Stone Cold Fox by Rachel Koller Croft


Novel Move: James Patterson to Give Indies $1 Million

In a striking part of his campaign to promote reading, books and education, author James Patterson will give $1 million during the next year to independent bookstores. Yesterday on CBS This Morning, he said that his only requirements are that the store is "viable" and that it has a children's section. He gave one example of what might merit a grant: a store that has two people "who haven't had a bonus in seven years." To sign up for announcements, go to Patterson's website.

The first public mention of the program was brief and near the end of a Wall Street Journal article at the beginning of the month. The article noted that earlier this year, the author had taken ads out across the country asking, "Who will save our books?" Patterson called the reaction positive, but lamented that "nothing changed."

Patterson has a history of giving money to help reading, teaching and education, including $1.5 million in scholarships this year to students seeking to become teachers and an essay competition for high school seniors to win money for college book purchases that has given out $170,000 in three years. He also gives books to schools and book stipends to students.

Currently Patterson is doing a promotion with independent booksellers for his new book, Treasure Hunters, written with Chris Grabenstein and illustrated by Juliana Neufeld (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers). He will reimburse indies who hold parties for the book between now and November 15 (required proof: a picture of the party), and he will visit two of the participating stores. For more information and a digital event kit, booksellers should contact their HBG sales rep. The kit, also available on the Treasure Hunters site, includes a poster to promote Treasure Hunters events, info on the offer and trading cards featuring the Kidd characters.

Minotaur Books: A World of Curiosities (Chief Inspector Gamache Novel #18) by Louise Penny

Politics & Prose Considering Second Location

Politics & Prose Bookstore, Washington, D.C., is considering opening a second location, in Georgetown, the Washingtonian reported. Earlier this year, owners Bradley Graham and Lissa Muscatine had said the possibility of a branch store was "tempting," but at the time their focus was on the original Connecticut Avenue location.

"We were approached recently by a group who are very interested in having us open a branch in Georgetown. We're definitely interested," said Graham, adding that one space under consideration is the old Georgetown Theater building on Wisconsin Avenue, between O and Dumbarton Streets. It has been empty for two years and is listed for $4 million.

"We're very mindful of the past history of bookstores in Georgetown," Graham said. "We want to be very sure before opening a branch there that the financial risks would be worth it." Realtors, developers and "other interested parties" have approached P&P about opening a branch. "We looked at locations," he added. "What makes the Georgetown proposal more attractive is the strength of community interest and the suggestion they would be able to raise the necessary funds to purchase the property and renovate."

Graham said the goal would not be to duplicate the original store: "It would be smaller. We do think one of the key elements of success of P&P is its rootedness in the community. Georgetown would also have a big community element."

GLOW: Sourcebooks Landmark: Clytemnestra by Costanza Casati

BookNet Canada: Parents Say Kids Will Read More E-Books

While Canadian e-book readership is already high, with 41% of parents and 27% of teens reading digitally, a new study from BookNet Canada predicts that another surge in e-book reading is on the way. According to Measuring Attitudes and Adoption of Digital Content for Kids and Teens, parents on average have 6.4 devices per household, with teens regularly using 4.8 devices.

Among the 27% of teens who read e-books, 37% prefer print books, 29% prefer e-books and 34% have no format preference. But parents who currently read e-books are significantly more likely to predict their children will be reading "slightly" to "significantly" more e-books in the near future.

"Even parents who don't currently read e-books predicted that they would be e-reading in the future, so we can conclude that this trend is likely to pick up steam," said Pamela Millar, BookNet Canada's director of customer relations.

The study also found that while word of mouth is still important, online discoverability is increasing, with 43% of parents reading a sample chapter online before purchasing a book and 18% reporting they are interested in doing so in the future.

Barefoot Books: Save 10%


Image of the Day: Dancers Among Booksellers

photo: Jordan Matter

Mimi Ringness and Nic Duchnowski of Terpsicore Dance Company, after a book signing for Jordan Matter's Dancers Among Us: A Celebration of Joy in the Everyday (Workman) last week at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Ariz.

Ginger Fox: Free Freight and a Free Book Lovers Mug

WBN U.S.: Staff and Board Changes

At World Book Night U.S.:

Carolyn Schwartz has joined the organization as director of development. She spent 15 years in marketing at Bantam Books and Random House, rising to v-p, director of advertising and promotion, for all the Random House Publishing Group imprints. Before that, she worked at HarperCollins and Columbia University Press. She volunteers for the Taproot Foundation and is president of the board for her local public library.

Schwartz replaces Erin Cox, who has joined St. Martin's Press as senior marketing manager.

Theresa Zoro, senior v-p, director of publicity and communications for the Random House Publishing Group, and David Byrnes, v-p of finance and strategic planning at Simon & Schuster, have joined the WBN board, replacing Suzanne Herz of Knopf Doubleday and Dennis Eulau of S&S. Byrnes is also becoming treasure of WBN U.S.

In addition, board member Tracey Guest of Penguin is joining the steering committee.

On October 23, WBN U.S. will announce the choice of books, authors, honorary chairs and the beginning of the online giver application process for the next World Book Night U.S., which will take place on April 23, 2014.

Pop-Up Bookshops: The Strand at Sloan-Kettering

For its first pop-up shop, New York City's Strand Book Store "has unloaded an array of rare vintage tomes on the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Thrift Shop" at 1440 Third Ave., New York magazine reported. The pop-up store will be open September 19 to 22, with the collectible books showcased beside antiques. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Sloan-Kettering.

Cool Idea of the Day: Commuter Book Club

The recently launched Commuter Book Club hopes "to bring passenger reviews and book recommendations to commuters via digital screens" in railway stations throughout the U.K. by inviting passengers "to tweet their recommendations to @RailBookClub, which is running a selection of the best book suggestions across its national network of station screens," the Telegraph reported.

"This new book club community is part of our strategy to bring content to our screens that enhances the passenger journey, building communities though people's passions and providing a daily source of inspiration for the rail audience," said Paul Carolan, commercial director of JCDecaux, the outdoor advertising company behind the campaign. "We'd like to become the go-to book club for commuters with the potential to publish daily extracts of books on our screens in the future."

Rainy Day Books Sponsoring 'Social Story Writing' App

Rainy Day Books, Fairway, Kan., is the exclusive sponsor of Spine: The Social Story Writing App from RareWire that encourages writers to publish and share their "tiny stories. Compose a five-sentence masterpiece and publish it in one of our many categories. Spine is the first social network for writers of all styles. It's is a simple and fun way to find the author inside of you."

In his Apple App Store review, Rainy Day Books co-owner Roger Doeren noted that Spine "is a creative writer's and reader's dream come true. The challenge and the reward are to creatively write and read a short story within a maximum of five 100 character sentences.... Spine is excellent for character development and improving creative storytelling skills. Spine is an incubator to hatch a story idea, a series and can lead to writing an article or a book.  Spine is ideal for authors to sample their storytelling style to attract new readers as well as stimulate faithful loyal readers and fans."

S&S to Distribute Wisdom Publications

Effective January 1, Simon & Schuster will handle sales and fulfillment of all frontlist and backlist titles of Wisdom Publications worldwide except for the U.K. and Australia.

Wisdom Publications, Somerville, Mass., founded in 1978 by Tibetan Lama Thubten Yeshe, publishes contemporary and classic Buddhist books and practical works on mindfulness. Publishing works from all major Buddhist traditions, Wisdom is dedicated to cultivating Buddhist voices the world over, advancing critical scholarship and preserving and sharing Buddhist literary culture. The company's popular works include meditation manuals such as Mindfulness in Plain English, more than a dozen titles by the Dalai Lama and translations of core reference texts. All are distributed worldwide and have been translated into more than 30 foreign languages.

CEO and publisher Tim McNeill said S&S "from its very beginnings demonstrated a commitment to helping people by publishing personal improvement and philosophy books by legendary authors Dale Carnegie and Will Durant. We look forward to working with Simon and Schuster to better fulfill our mission of nurturing communities of readers and authors by being a source of high quality, polished and carefully chosen works."

Stephen Black, S&S v-p, client publisher services, commented: "There is clearly a large and dedicated audience for works of Buddhist interest, and they have been well-served by Wisdom Publications for many years. Their singular catalog is a great complement to our portfolio of distributed titles."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Nicholson Baker on the Colbert Report

This morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe: Mike Lupica, author of QB 1 (Philomel, $17.99, 9780399252280).


Tomorrow morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe: Jim Ziolkowski, co-author of Walk in Their Shoes: Can One Person Change the World? (Simon & Schuster, $25, 9781451683554).


Tomorrow on NPR's Diane Rehm Show, readers review Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo (Random House, $27, 9781400067558).


Tomorrow on CNN's Anderson 360: M. Night Shyamalan, author of I Got Schooled: The Unlikely Story of How a Moonlighting Movie Maker Learned the Five Keys to Closing America's Education Gap (Simon & Schuster, $25, 9781476716459).


Tomorrow night on the Colbert Report: Nicholson Baker, author of Traveling Sprinkler: A Novel (Blue Rider, $26.95, 9780399160967).


Tomorrow on Charlie Rose: Richard Wolffe, author of The Message: The Reselling of President Obama (Twelve, $27, 9781455581566).

TV: The Leftovers

Damon Lindelof (Lost) has received a 10-episode series pickup by HBO for his drama pilot The Leftovers, adapted from Tom Perrotta's novel, reported. The project, directed by Peter Berg and co-written by Lindelof and Perrotta, stars Justin Theroux.

Movies: Anomaly; The Hunger Games: Mockingjay

Relativity Media will finance, produce and distribute a live-action feature based on the interactive comic book Anomaly, created and written by Skip Brittenham and Brian Haberlin, reported. Ed Ricourt is writing the script for the project which will be produced by Joe Roth with Relativity's Ryan Kavanaugh and Tucker Tooley.

"The comic book, Anomaly, is a groundbreaking concept that bridges the gap between 2D and 3D using multi-media components," said Robbie Brenner, president of production for Relativity.

Haberlin noted that he and Brittenham "designed Anomaly to be as much of a cinematic experience as possible, using cutting-edge technology to create a dimension of interactivity that's never been done before, and the response from comics fans has been fantastic."

Brittenham and Haberlin launched Anomaly Productions with the goal of creating "cutting-edge graphic novels, apps and other multi-platform media," wrote, adding that their next graphic novel, Shifter, will be published in November.

In addition to Julianne Moore, who recently signed on to play Alma Coin, Entertainment Weekly offered a chance to "match more faces to book characters" with a slide show featuring the cast of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay.

Books & Authors

National Book Award Longlist: Young People's Literature

The National Book Foundation is unveiling the longlists for the National Book Award this week, beginning yesterday with the Young People's Literature category. This year's longlisted titles are:

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/S&S)
Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick)
A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff (Philomel/Penguin)
The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic)
The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/S&S)
Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan (Knopf)
Far Far Away by Tom McNeal (Knopf)
Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff (Putnam)
The Real Boy by Anne Ursu (Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins)
Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang (First Second/Macmillan)

Book Review

Review: Firefly

Firefly by Janette Jenkins (Europa Editions, $15 paperback, 9781609451400, October 1, 2013)

In prose alternately tart, cranky, nostalgic and poignant, Janette Jenkins brings the last days of Sir Noël Coward to life in Firefly. The playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyant homosexuality and poise in any circumstance, defined quintessential Englishness--and his cosmopolitan sophistication, erudition, wit and naughty sense of humor shine on every page.

The novel takes its name from Firefly, Coward's reclusive retreat high on a hill in Jamaica, so small that it could not accommodate an overnight guest--unless he slept with Noël. Farther down the hill was Blue Harbour, Coward's "real" Jamaican home, but he loved Firefly best because he could rest, swim, talk to no one, work if he felt like it, entertain a few people and send them home.

Jenkins fills out Coward's last years, focusing on a few weeks in the early 1970s. He was ill much of the time. He had a "weak chest" all his life; smoking incessantly didn't help. He drank too much, ate nothing or all the wrong things, refused to walk even a little and was, sadly, losing his mental acuity.

His manservant, Patrice, a cheery Jamaican 22-year-old, longs to go to London and become a waiter at the Ritz. He is temporarily replacing Miguel, who keeps everything running smoothly, but has taken a week's vacation. Patrice asks Coward for a letter of recommendation to the manager of the Ritz dining room. In two funny vignettes, Coward invites his former lover, Graham Payn, and Coley, another friend, to dinner so that Patrice can "practice silver service." Alas, a great deal of practice is needed.

Miguel returns and the world is set right again. As preparations are underway for the annual trip to Switzerland, it is all Noël can do to get out of bed and wander around, making the rigors of a long trip seem quite beyond him. Instead, he reminisces in a waking dream about past glories, friends, events, play openings, his knighthood, lovers and friendships.

Jenkins recounts the golden days when Coward and the other celebrities of his time showcased their talents in theaters, on concert stages and at court. Firefly is a brilliant portrait of a man who lived a full life, in every sense of the word. Even in old age, facing diminished powers, he was still a compelling personality. --Valerie Ryan

Shelf Talker: In her American debut, British novelist Janette Jenkins re-creates the final act of Noël Coward's life as he reminisces about his loves, his work and his friends from his Jamaican retreat.

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