Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Simon & Schuster: Fall Cooking With Simon Element

Tor Nightfire: Devils Kill Devils by Johnny Compton

Shadow Mountain: Highcliffe House (Proper Romance Regency) by Megan Walker

Simon & Schuster: Register for the Simon & Schuster Fall Preview!

Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster: The Ministry of Time Kaliane Bradley


Page One Bookstore Finds New Location

Page One Bookstore, Albuquerque, N.Mex., which announced recently that it was scrambling to find a new location after 30 years in the Juan Tabo Plaza, has found a home. The bookstore's owners have agreed to a lease in the Mountain Run Shopping Center at Eubank Boulevard NE and Juan Tabo, approximately 1.5 miles from its current location, and will move in December.

On its website, the bookstore said: "We look forward to seeing you at our new home when we've finished the move. Once again, we appreciate all the support and encouragement we've received during this most recent challenge we've faced. Many of our customers have assured us that they will follow us wherever we go. We've tried to make it easier by staying in the Northeast Heights and we're working hard to get everything ready for the unveiling of our new digs."

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

Discovery Friday 'Shines a Light' on B&N Booksellers

Barnes & Noble has created Discovery Friday, to be held November 22, to serve as the launch of its holiday shopping season. Falling a week before Black Friday, Discovery Friday will feature B&N booksellers "on the front lines to provide personalized recommendations," as well as games, activities, giveaways, special guests and deals.  

Mitchell Klipper, CEO of B&N's retail group, said Discovery Friday "shines a light on our 40,000 booksellers, undeniably our greatest asset, and also celebrates our customers by bringing the spirit of fun and discovery to their holiday shopping experience."

The company is also beginning a TV campaign called It All Happens at Barnes & Noble whose ads feature Jack McBrayer (Kenneth Parcell on 30 Rock and a frequent Conan guest) playing a holiday shopper who "with his characteristic enthusiasm and charm, guides viewers through the store as he shops and finds the perfect gifts, even for the more discerning loved ones on his list." Among the items to be spotlighted in the campaign: the new Nook GlowLight.

Graphic Universe (Tm): Hotelitor: Luxury-Class Defense and Hospitality Unit by Josh Hicks

Blackwell's to Open Six Xmas Pop-Up Shops

Blackwell's, the U.K. academic bookselling chain, plans to open as many as six "pop-up sites at Christmas markets across the UK and establish short-term leases in permanent buildings," the Bookseller reported. The locations include Camden Market in London, Bath and Bristol galleries, as well as  spots in Leeds, Manchester and Edinburgh.

"We have looked to open in sites associated with book lovers. All the temporary shops will be located in successful consumer shopping areas which people know well," said Scott Hamilton, Blackwell's head of sales. He added that the openings are expected to boost the company's image and increase its consumer reach during the holiday season.

Noting that the kiosk strategy is an increasingly popular one, Good E-Reader suggested temporary locations "sell e-books and a limited selection of print books to holiday shoppers who are weary of waiting for friends or family members in the holiday rush, although audiobooks and noise-cancelling headphones to block out the endless loops or recorded Christmas carols might prove to be an even bigger sell."

GLOW: Workman Publishing: Atlas Obscura: Wild Life: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Living Wonders by Cara Giaimo, Joshua Foer, and Atlas Obscura

Seminary Co-op Bookstore Seeks Director

The Seminary Co-op Bookstore, Chicago, Ill., which moved into new quarters a year ago, is seeking a director to "lead the business operation of an independent bookstore and nurture the values that animate this particular institution. With the board, she or he will analyze and plan a future for the bookstore. Working with the membership, the university, the Hyde Park community and customers, the new director will seek to extend the Co-op's audience while at the same time making the retail operation cost-effective."

The ideal future director is "an accomplished and resourceful leader and manager with a deep affinity for the bookstore's mission, culture and values. Prior and management experience in a retail environment is desirable. Demonstrated success in strategy, planning, and implementation will be critical to the director's success."

Nominations, inquiries and applications should be addressed electronically to: Nancy Maull, v-p, and Heather Brome, senior associate, at Isaacson, Miller, 263 Summer St., Boston, Mass. 02210; Applications should include a résumé and one- to two-page cover letter.

Longtime Seminary Co-op general manager Jack Cella retired last month.

Harpervia: Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow by Damilare Kuku


Image of the Day: Ribbon Cutting in San Rafael

Yesterday, at the grand opening of the Copperfield's Books store in San Rafael, Calif., co-owner Paul Jaffe cut the ribbon as store staff and city council members joined in. Copperfield's now has seven stores in Sonoma, Napa and Marin counties.

Welcome to the Neighborhood: Indies Settle In

San Francisco's 24th Street is emerging as a "bookstore corridor," where at least a half-dozen booksellers have located in a neighborhood that extends from Potrero Avenue to Valencia Street from 16th and Valencia streets, the Portrero View reported.

A spokesperson for Christopher's Books, located on Portrero Hill's North Slope, considers the nearby cluster of bookstores as a positive sign: "We think it's great that there are new bookstores cropping up in San Francisco, and we warmly welcome them into the larger community. I wouldn't say that we see them as competitors, but rather as allies against Amazon. In a situation where a customer needs a particular book that we don't have in stock and he or she can't wait the one or two days it takes us to order and receive it, we'd much rather send a customer to a local store than have them buy it online. Hopefully the establishment of this book corridor suggests a modest reemergence of independent bookstores and the values they represent, and if anything the trend on 24th Street is proof that people still appreciate the interaction that only brick-and-mortar establishments can provide."


"When Tracy Thomas opened the Muse Stand in Bloomfield this year, she became the third book dealer in that neighborhood in the past two years--all within four blocks on Liberty Avenue," the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported, noting that the area is now "home to more independent bookstores than any city neighborhood."

"It was an organic development," said Dave Feehan, a consultant for the Bloomfield Development Corp., "but there is clearly a sense that they are in the right place at the right time."

The Big Idea Bookstore and East End Book Exchange "both started as itinerants before settling in Bloomfield," the Post-Gazette noted. "It seems like we are three distinct bookstores," said Lesley Rains, owner of East End Book Exchange. "I am happy to send people to the other two, and they send people to me.... We have had a ton of really good days, and the literary scene is good."

On the Road: Bookseller Photo Ops

The last stop on Weiss's tour: Books & Books, Coral Gables, Fla.

Blogger Morgan Weiss has been chronicling her IndieGoGo-funded, coast-to-coast indie bookseller tour as she worked to create an Independent Bookstores of America coffee-table book. Weiss now has an index to all of her bookstore blog posts, and shared the official tour stats:

Total Miles Driven: 18,821
Indie Bookstores Photographed: 49
States visited: 48
Months on the road: 3+

Personnel Changes at Flatiron Books, Other Press

Effective January 6, Liz Keenan is joining Flatiron Books as associate publisher. (Founded by Bob Miller, Flatiron begins publishing January 2015.) She is executive director of publicity at Penguin Random House's Hudson Street Press and Plume. She joined the Penguin Group in 2005 as publicity manager, and before that was a senior publicist at Simon & Schuster, where she began her career in 2000.


Robert Wicks has been promoted to publicist at Other Press. He was previously an associate publicist.

Also at Other Press, Charlotte Kelly has been promoted to associate publicist. She was previously a publicity assistant.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: John Grisham on Diane Rehm

This morning on Imus in the Morning: James Swanson, author of End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy (Morrow, $29.99, 9780062083487).


Today on Fresh Air: Allie Brosh, author of Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened (Touchstone, $17.99, 9781451666175).


Tomorrow on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: John Grisham, author of Sycamore Row (Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385537131).


Tomorrow on the O'Reilly Factor: Joshua DuBois, author of The President's Devotional: The Daily Readings That Inspired President Obama (HarperOne, $24.99, 9780062265289).


Tomorrow on Anderson Cooper 360: Mark Kelly, author of Mousetronaut Goes to Mars (Paula Wiseman Books/S&S, $16.99, 9781442484269).


Tomorrow night on the Late Show with David Letterman: Chris Matthews, author of Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked (Simon & Schuster, $29.95, 9781451695991).

TV: Downton Abbey Renewed

PBS has renewed Downton Abbey for a fifth season and will again appear under the Masterpiece Classic banner, Buzzfeed reported.

"As American audiences ready themselves for the January 5th premiere of Season 4, our devoted Downton fans will rest easy knowing that a fifth season is on the way," said Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton.

The Guardian explored Downton Abbey's literary lineage, tracing it back to Isabel Colegate's 1980 novel The Shooting Party, an acknowledged influence for Julian Fellowes's creation: "For those starting to wonder if Downton is in danger of going on so long that it catches up with the 21st century, there is one book that reveals Fellowes's motivations, intentions and predilections: The Shooting Party by Isabel Colegate."

Hunger Games: The Theme Park?

"Katniss Everdeen may be coming to a theme park," according to Variety, which reported that Lionsgate is exploring the possibility of getting into the theme-park business. In a conference call Friday, CEO Jon Feltheimer said Lionsgate had been approached about theme parks in two territories and was considering the possibilities.

His disclosure came in response to an analyst's question about which areas of Hunger Games merchandising had performed well. Variety also noted that Motion Picture Group co-chairman Rob Friedman said Lionsgate was "very excited" by sales of the "Capitol Couture" line of attire.

Books & Authors

Awards: Sami Rohr Winner

Matti Friedman won the $100,000 2014 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature for The Aleppo Codex: A True Story of Obsession, Faith and the Pursuit of an Ancient Bible (Algonquin). The award, which honors emerging writers who explore the Jewish experience in a specific work of nonfiction, is presented annually by the Jewish Book Council.

Sarah Bunin Benor, author of Becoming Frum: How Newcomers Learn the Language and Culture of Orthodox Judaism (Rutgers University Press), was named runner-up and will be awarded $25,000. The winner and finalists will be celebrated at a ceremony in Jerusalem on January 21, 2014.

Book Review

Review: Brown Dog: Novellas

Brown Dog: Novellas by Jim Harrison (Grove Press, $27 hardcover, 9780802120113, December 3, 2013)

Jim Harrison is a grand old man of American letters--the literary equivalent of Keith Richards, a man of large appetites and the lines on his face to prove it. The wise but profligate Brown Dog is a signature Harrison character in much the same way that Richards's open-tuned chords define the Stones. Brown Dog, a new collection of novellas featuring the eponymous "B.D.," is the perfect antidote to a Twitter feed of global violence, natural disaster and political posturing.

A mixed-race orphan loner, Brown Dog lives in various handmade shacks amid the forests and rivers below the shores of Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, a place where "if you don't like pan fishing, ice fishing, snowmobiling or applying mosquito dope you're out of luck." Add drinking beer and schnapps, raising dogs, cooking from scratch and chasing women, and you pretty much have Brown Dog's indolent days nailed down. He is one of the great characters in American literature--as American as Twain's Huck Finn or Hemingway's Nick Adams. Raised by his Grandpa with backwoods wisdom, the adult B.D. always seems to be "just getting along... doing ok but nothing special. He is known far and wide for doing a good day's work if you can find him."

Among the six novellas in Brown Dog, only "He Dog" appears for the first time and neatly balances 1990's "Brown Dog," which opens the collection as the rakish character discovers a dead Indian rumored to be his father while illegally diving for shipwreck loot in Lake Superior. Although B.D. most often searches for sex or an untrammeled trout stream, he also constantly speculates on the history of his unknown parents. In "He Dog," he finally discovers something of their story from the only family he has left: Gretchen, the lesbian mother of his daughter. He is mystified by Gretchen's lack of sexual interest in him despite his continuing mid-50s priapic lust, but accepts that her love and their daughter are all he's going to get--that, a place to build a shack on her land and an amateur painting of his parents given to him by his 88-year-old uncle Delmore.

If age hasn't diminished his appetites, at least the restless Brown Dog finds some peace. "The love of a woman and your own cabin sounded dandy," he realizes--or, as Jagger and Richards put it: "You can't always get what you want... you get what you need." --Bruce Jacobs

Shelf Talker: In this omnibus collection of Brown Dog novellas, Harrison's bawdy character pursues women, booze, shelter, trout streams--and the truth.

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