Also published on this date: Tuesday, October 1, 2013: Maximum Shelf: The House Girl

Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Atria Books:  Spirit Crossing (Cork O'Connor Mystery #20) by William Kent Krueger

Ballantine Books: Gather Me: A Memoir in Praise of the Books That Saved Me by Glory Edim

Ace Books: Rewitched by Lucy Jane Wood

Graywolf Press: We're Alone: Essays by Edwidge Danticat

St. Martin's Press: Runaway Train: Or, the Story of My Life So Far by Erin Roberts with Sam Kashner

Other Press (NY): Hotline by Dimitri Nasrallah

Delacorte Press: The Midnight Game by Cynthia Murphy


Tattered Cover LoDo Store to Consolidate to One Floor

The Tattered Cover Book Store location in Lower Downtown Denver, Colo., is consolidating into the first floor and will no longer use the second floor, the Denver Business Journal reported. The first floor has 12,666 square feet of space; the second floor has 15,109.

"Our present two-floor retail configuration will stay intact through the holiday season," owner Joyce Meskis told the Journal. "In January, we will start the demolition of the [store's] grand staircase with the goal of being resettled in our reconfigured first-floor space by mid-March." The reconfigured store will have "approximately the same number of books," with shelves "much more tightly packed."

Meskis added that first-floor space now used for back-office and marketing will be converted to retail, and some back-office space will be moved to Tattered Cover's flagship store on East Colfax Avenue.

Last month, the Journal reported that a real estate agent was advertising the Tattered Cover space in the building while the store was in lease negotiations. The store has been in the location, in the Morey Mercantile Building, since 1994.

Watkins Publishing: Fall Into Folklore! ARCS Available On Request

ABA Helps Explain the Affordable Health Care Act at Regionals

The American Booksellers Association is partnering with the Small Business Majority, a Washington, D.C., research and advocacy nonprofit, to hold health-care reform sessions at each of the fall regional meetings.

At the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association meeting last weekend, Marcia Dávalos, the Small Business Majority's Southern California outreach manager, tried to make complicated issues understandable for booksellers in attendance. The Affordable Health Care Act, aka Obamacare, calls for the establishment of exchange agencies in each state to negotiate with and manage the administrative end of health insurance providers participating in either individual or small business-provided programs. The exchange is called "Covered California" in the Golden State, and Dávalos told booksellers they should think of it as "one big marketplace with two doors": one for individuals who will be required to find insurance under the law and the other for small businesses required by the law to provide coverage if they have more than 50 employees. (The employer part is called SHOP, for Small Business Health Options Program.)

ABA CEO Oren Teicher told Shelf Awareness that 90% of ABA members would not fall into this category because they have fewer than 50 employees. But if rates come down because of competition among providers under the new law, as the Small Business Majority has seen already, Teicher said, a number of stores might be able to provide coverage for booksellers.

Under state exchanges like Covered California, there will be tiered levels of coverage: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. The bronze tier offers the lowest premium and highest out-of-pocket costs, and the platinum carries the highest premiums and lowest out-of-pocket costs; silver and gold offer coverage between the two. Under the employer-provided part of Covered California, Dávalos said, the employer chooses the tier of coverage and the employee selects the provider, from a pool that includes Kaiser, Health Net and others. Employers who provide coverage are eligible for federal tax credits. The Small Business Majority has information about all of this, including a tax credit calculator, at

Even though small businesses with fewer than 50 employees might not be required to provide insurance, Teicher pointed out that, as employers, their workers will look to them for information, even about the individual part of the Affordable Health Care Act. "Our job is to arm our members with information to empower our members to use the law to their benefit," whether they can provide coverage or not, he said.

ABA has state-by-state health care reform fact sheets at and Teicher encourages booksellers to attend the sessions on the topic at their regional association meetings. --Bridget Kinsella

GLOW: Blue Box Press: In the Air Tonight by Marie Force

Amazon: Smaller U.K. Warehouses; Five in Poland, Czech Republic

Amazon is opening a series of small, regional distribution depots under the brand "Amazon Logistics" for faster deliveries to customers in and around the "spokes," the Telegraph reported. Seven 50,000-square-foot fulfillment centers have opened thus far at leased sites near Birmingham, Oxford, Milton Keynes and several locations around London. Four more "mini" centers will launch next year.  

Amazon is teaming up with smaller companies, including City Sprint and Transline, which take the product to customers' doors, and the "name Amazon Logistics first appeared on deliveries earlier this summer, surprising rivals in the distribution business and customers alike," the Telegraph wrote.


Amazon is apparently considering dealing with labor problems at several of its warehouses in Germany by considering opening five warehouses in neighboring Poland and the Czech Republic, where wages are lower than in Germany, the Economic Times reported, citing newspapers in Poland and the Czech Republic.

The new warehouses would be about 1.1 million square feet and cost between 50 and 60 million euros (about US$67.6 million-$81.1 million).

The German union ver.di has campaigned for high pay at Amazon's warehouses in Leipzig and Bad Hersfeld. Last month some workers at the two warehouses stayed home for three days.


Amazon announced today that it is hiring more than 70,000 full-time seasonal workers in its U.S. warehouses to meet an increase in sales, "a 40% rise over last year." The company said some of the jobs would become year-round, full-time positions, as had happened with 7,000 temporary jobs last year.

The Wall Street Journal noted that Amazon's "seasonal workers earn roughly 6% less on average than full-time workers' starting wages, which typically run about $11 an hour."

Carolrhoda Lab (R): They Thought They Buried Us by Nonieqa Ramos

Executive, Entrepreneurial Appointments at Nook Media

Barnes & Noble's Nook Media has appointed Mahesh Veerina chief operating officer, effective October 7. The company also appointed Doug Carlson executive v-p of digital content and marketing, effective immediately.

"A longtime Silicon Valley entrepreneur and technology executive," Veerina founded several companies, including Azingo, a mobile software technology company that he sold to Motorola in 2010. He then joined Motorola and until 2012 worked at Motorola Mobility. He earlier founded Ramp Networks, which he sold to Nokia, where he became v-p of Nokia Internet Communications.

Carlson was most recently executive chairman and managing director for Zinio, where, among other things, he worked with B&N to help launch B&'s "See Inside" digital book preview feature and help provide back-end support for the Nook Newsstand. Before Zinio, Carlson was co-founder and CEO of Fiji Water and senior v-p of the Aspen Skiing Company.

Michael P. Huseby, president of Barnes & Noble and CEO of Nook Media, called Veerina and Carlson "two highly successful business leaders who together have a wealth of experience in technology, digital content, consumer products, publishing and operations, and have created and grown businesses from the bottom up."

Penguin Random House Begins Audio Merger

Another section of Penguin and Random House has been merged.

The Penguin Random House Audio Group is being headed by Amanda D'Acierno, whose new title is senior v-p, publisher, Penguin Random House Audio, Fodor's and Living Language. She was formerly v-p and publisher of Random House Audio, Fodor's and Living Language.

In related appointments:
Patti Pirooz has become senior executive producer, Penguin Random House Audio. She was formerly publisher of Penguin Audio.
Dan Zitt has become v-p, content production, Penguin Random House Audio. He was formerly v-p, content production, at Random House.

Madeline McIntosh, president and COO of Penguin Random House, added that the company's "frontlist and backlist audio titles will continue to be sold by the respective Penguin and Random House retail sales reps who currently sell them. The dedicated audio marketing, library sales, and publicity teams of the former Random House Audio Group will extend their activities to support Penguin's audio list."

Obituary Note: Robert Barnard

Robert Barnard, award-winning author of 40 British crime novels who was "known for skewering hypocrites, snobs and prigs in his cast of characters as energetically as he dispatched murder victims," died September 19, the New York Times reported. He was 76.


Image of the Day: Tall Order at Quail Ridge

On Thursday, Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, N.C., hosted basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, co-author of the children's book Sasquatch in the Paint (Streetball Crew Book One) (Hyperion). Here: Abdul-Jabbar with Quail Ridge's new owner, Lisa Poole.

Bookstore Window Shopping Around the World

Window by Samantha Schroeder

"For window shopping, just like for regular shopping, bookstores are pretty much the best. But how to window shop at bookstores out of striking range from your favorite reading nook?" Flavorwire addressed this problem by featuring "30 excellent bookstore windows from around the world," noting that some "are magnificently decorated, some are humble, but all of them are interesting. Points for cleverness, beauty, irreverence, and evidence of being on the verge of overflowing with books."

Cool Idea of the Day: Charitable & Colorful Booksellers

Miriam Kaye, Kaya Paynter Smith and Hannah Kaye Willmott

Bermuda Bookstore owner Hannah Willmott "is now sporting fish bowl blue hair and her sister, Miriam Kaye, has hot hot pink hair" after raising more than $600 for the cancer charity PALS last week "by asking customers to place a $1 a vote for which color they wanted their hair to be," the Royal Gazette reported, adding that "some customers voted as many as 50 times for their wacky hair color choice." The Bermuda Bookstore was one of 40 companies in Hamilton participating in PALS Mad Hair Day.

"It has been great," said Willmott, whose husband survived lung cancer last year. "People have been coming in all day to make donations. We are really happy.... PALS was really good to us. We wanted to give back to them.”

Phil Gibson Joins Diamond Book Distributors U.K.

Phil Gibson has joined Diamond Book Distributors U.K. as account executive. He was formerly a planning officer at the Environmental Agency and earlier owned the comic shop Speeding Bullet in Hertfordshire, England. He will call on book market customers in the U.K., Ireland, Europe, Russia, the Middle East, North Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Phil will be based at our office in Runcorn, England.

Book Trailer of the Day: The Bulb Hunter

The Bulb Hunter by Chris Wiesinger and William C. Welch (Texas A&M University Press), about the man who "took his passion for bulbs to vacant lots, abandoned houses, cemeteries and construction sites throughout the South in search of botanical survivors whose descendants had never seen the inside of a big-box chain store."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Chris Matthews on Colbert

Tomorrow morning on Morning Joe: Valerie Plame, co-author of Blowback: A Vanessa Pierson Novel (Blue Rider, $26.95, 9780399158209). She will also appear on CNN's Piers Morgan.


Tomorrow on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: Jhumpa Lahiri, author of The Lowland (Knopf, $27.95, 9780307265746).


Tomorrow on NPR's Faith Middleton Show: Peter Berley, author of Fresh Food Fast: Delicious, Seasonal Vegetarian Meals in Under an Hour (Morrow, $19.99, 9780060515157).


Tomorrow night on the Colbert Report: Chris Matthews, author of Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked (Simon & Schuster, $29.95, 9781451695991). He will also appear on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports and CNBC's Squawk Box.

Movies: 12 Years a Slave; Philomena

The first clip and several photos are now available from Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave, the film adaptation of Solomon Northrup's 1853 memoir that won the Toronto International Film Festival People's Choice Award, Indiewire reported. The movie, which stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as Northrup, opens October 18 in limited release.


A new trailer has been has been released for TIFF People's Choice Award runner-up Philomena. Indiewire reported that the movie, starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, opens in New York and Los Angeles first on Christmas Day, and goes wide January 10.

TV: Sisterland

Fake Empire's Josh Schwartz & Stephanie Savage and Rina Mimoun have teamed at ABC Studios to collaborate on an adaptation of Curtis Sittenfeld's novel Sisterland, which will be developed for ABC, reported. Mimoun is writing the script and is executive producing with Schwartz, Savage and Fake Empire president of television Len Goldstein.

Books & Authors

Awards: Thurber; Samuel Johnson; Rogers Writers' Trust

Dan Zevin won the $5,000 Thurber Prize for American Humor for his essay collection Dan Gets a Minivan: Life at the Intersection of Dude and Dad (Scribner). The book has been optioned for a TV series by Adam Sandler, the Washington Post reported.


The shortlist for the £20,000 (about US$32,300) Samuel Johnson Prize for Nonfiction is:

Empires of the Dead: How One Man's Vision Led to the Creation of WWI's War Graves by David Crane
Return of a King by William Dalrymple
A Sting in the Tale by Dave Goulson
Under Another Sky by Charlotte Higgins
The Pike by Lucy Hughes-Hallett
Margaret Thatcher: The Authorized Biography, Volume One: Not for Turning by Charles Moore

Winners will be announced November 4.


Five finalists have been announced for the $25,000 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, which "recognizes Canadian writers of exceptional talent." The winner will be revealed November 20 in Toronto. This year's finalists are:

The Eliot Girls by Krista Bridge
Hellgoing by Lynn Coady
A Bird's Eye by Cary Fagan
A Beautiful Truth by Colin McAdam
Caught by Lisa Moore

Book Review

Review: The Family: Three Journeys into the Heart of the Twentieth Century

Family: Three Journeys Into the Heart of the Twentieth Century by David Laskin (Viking, $32 hardcover, 9780670025473, October 15, 2013)

From the destruction of Jewish life in Eastern Europe to the establishment of the state of Israel and the extraordinary prosperity and influence of American Jews, the past century has been one of the most eventful, for both good and ill, in the history of the Jewish people. In The Family, journalist and popular historian David Laskin deftly employs the story of his own maternal ancestors as a proxy for the millions who experienced those momentous events, in the process offering some hints at the reasons for Jewish survival.

The most gripping portion of Laskin's book is his excruciating account of the extermination in early 1940s of the family line in Europe, the majority victims of Nazi Aktions against the Jews preceding the establishment of the death camps. Yet, even as his European relatives were being wiped out, two family businesses--a housewares company and his great-aunt Itel's Maiden Form (later Maidenform) Bra Company--flourished. The story of the family's Israel branch, established in 1924 by Chaim Kaganovich, reveals the harsh life that greeted Jewish pioneers in Palestine and illuminates some of the early struggles between Jews and Arabs that have become only more bitter and intractable today. Blending historical materials, family documents and the accounts of surviving relatives, Laskin creates a story as absorbing as any multigenerational family novel.

Merely noting that his mother's family name has morphed from HaKohen to Kaganovich to Cohen hints at the sea change that has occurred in Jewish life over this period. Laskin begins his account in the late 19th century, with Shimon Dov HaKohen, entrusted with the sacred task of creating Torah scrolls. Many of his descendants, in Israel and the United States (Laskin included), have abandoned religious practice, while at least clinging to some form of Jewish cultural identity. Though Laskin doesn't confront it, the question of whether that identity will be enough to sustain the Jewish people for another century lingers over this work.

Despite that omission, The Family succeeds in transforming the intensely personal account of how "[h]istory made and broke my family in the twentieth century" into a powerful rendition of the tragic and triumphant history of the Jewish people. --Harvey Freedenberg

Shelf Talker: Using his mother's family as a proxy, Laskin (The Children's Blizzard) narrates the history of the Jewish people in 20th-century Europe, Israel and America.

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