Also published on this date: Wednesday, January 22, 2014: Maximum Shelf: The Divorce Papers

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Flatiron Books: The Courting of Bristol Keats: [Limited Stenciled Edge Edition] by Mary E Pearson

HarperCollins: The Verts by Ann Patchett, Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser

Running Press Kids: Introducing the HOW TO SPOT series. Get a sneak peek!

Poisoned Pen Press: The Boyfriend by Frieda McFadden

St. Martin's Press: Disney High: The Untold Story of the Rise and Fall of Disney Channel's Tween Empire


Apple Update: Reprieve from E-Book Monitor's Oversight

Yesterday, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York granted Apple a hearing on "whether to stop the monitor, Michael Bromwich, from doing his job while the company pursues a formal appeal, which could last several months," Reuters reported. After granting an "administrative stay," the court said "a three-judge panel would hear Apple's motion for a stay pending appeal as soon as possible."

"The monitorship should never have been imposed in the first place, and the burden and intrusion the monitor is imposing on Apple cannot be remedied after the fact if the company prevails on appeal," Apple had said in a filing on Friday, a day after U.S. District Judge Denise Cote defended appointing an external monitor, writing: "If anything, Apple's reaction to the existence of a monitorship underscores the wisdom of its imposition."

The DOJ did not oppose the brief stay, "but will fight Apple's effort to get rid of the monitor or else disqualify Bromwich. It has until January 24 to file opposition papers," Reuters wrote.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Homeseeking by Karissa Chen

Three Cups of Tea Author: 'I Let a Lot of People Down'

"In maybe a strange, ironic way, I'd like to thank CBS and Jon Krakauer because, had they not brought these issues up, we could have gotten into more serious problems," said Greg Mortenson yesterday on NBC's Today Show in his first interview since 2011, when 60 Minutes aired an exposé alleging he had fabricated parts of his book Three Cups of Tea; spent some of the donations to his Central Asia Institute on personal expenses; and had the institute purchase copies of his book for distribution to others while pocketing royalties. Author and friend Krakauer had accused Mortenson of misusing some of the charity's funds, which were earmarked to help poor children in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In 2012, as part of a settlement with Montana's attorney general, Mortenson agreed to pay the Institute $1 million and resigned as executive director.

As for the book, Mortenson told Tom Brokaw: "I stand by the stories. The stories happened, but... not in the sequence or the timing," Regarding the money, however, he was more evasive: "I always have operated from my heart. I'm not really a head person. And I really didn't factor in the very important things of accountability, transparency."

Mortenson said he has "talked to people who were very adamant that I make changes. I have apologized to them. I'd also like to apologize to everybody. I let a lot of people down.... In Three Cups of Tea, the first chapter, the first word is 'failure.' I failed in many ways, and it's an important lesson. I'm going to try as hard as I can never to make the same mistakes again."

Save Rizzoli Petition Campaign Launched

A Save Rizzoli petition campaign has been launched, requesting that the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission designate 31 West 57th street as an individual and interior landmark. "The Rizzoli Bookstore building is an icon of New York City architecture and one of the most beautiful commercial spaces in America," the petition states. "It is an impressive example of adaptive reuse of a former piano showroom into a retail space and one of the few remaining examples of architecturally significant bookstores in an era where bookstores are increasingly threatened."

The effort comes after last week's reports that owners of the building that houses Rizzoli Bookstore plan to demolish the six-story, 109-year-old structure--as well as two small, adjoining buildings--to potentially make way for a luxury high-rise. Rizzoli responded to the news by insisting that it remains open for business at its current location while it seeks new space.

Jon Michaud wrote a tribute to Rizzoli Bookstore, his employer from 1991 to 1994, on the New Yorker's Page-Turner blog last week, concluding: "Rizzoli's thirty-year run at its Fifty-seventh Street location is a more-than-respectable showing in the convulsive annals of midtown retail. If nothing else, its potential disappearance should remind us to value the many magnificent bookstores that the city still boasts: Three Lives, Book Court, McNally Jackson, Word, Word Up, and Book Culture, to name a representative handful. The migration of bookselling to Brooklyn, uptown and Jersey City follows the flow of the city's literary life. Only the ghosts of bookstores past remain in midtown."

Kennebooks Will Close

Kennebooks, Kennebunk, Maine, plans to close later this winter, reported. Although the summer tourist trade was strong, owner Trish Koch said local customer traffic wasn't enough to sustain the bookstore during the rest of the year.

"I have given the bookstore the best of my ideas, inspiration and time and we still do not sell enough books in three good months to carry us through the nine months of operating in the 'red,' " she noted. "I have worked without pay and have operated on a rotating staff of three part-time employees and two lovely students for the summer, and there is really nothing left to take out of the budget."

She added that people seemed to love the idea of a local bookstore, yet many confessed they still purchased books online or at chain stores like Target or Sam's Club. "I know that we have some great regular customers; there are just not enough of them.... I'm really sad to close the store."

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Injured in Bicycle Accident

Kay Ryan, U.S. poet laureate from 2008 to 2010, is recovering in a Marin County rehabilitation hospital from injuries she suffered when her bicycle collided with a car January 13 near her home, Jacket Copy reported. The accident is still under investigation. Ryan's injuries included a fractured hip socket, broken ribs (one of which punctured a lung), broken clavicle and a head injury.

"She is doing pretty well, under the circumstances, and has all of her wits about her," said San Francisco's City Arts & Lectures series founder Sydney Goldstein, who is acting as her spokesperson.


Image of the day: WI9 Launches at Elliott Bay

Some 500 people--mostly booksellers--gathered at Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle last night to kick off the American Booksellers Association's Winter Institute 9 at a party sponsored by Shelf Awareness. It was the biggest event ever to take place at the bookstore--and, we have to say, a lot of fun. Three days of panels, seminars, parties, socializing and intense shop talk begins this morning.

Wiley Cash: Favorite Booksellers & Career Advice

Author Wiley Cash, whose new novel, This Dark Road to Mercy, will be released next week, was interviewed by Southern Living magazine about his writing, reading and eating habits. Among our favorite responses:

Where did you get your love of reading and writing?
I grew up in a family that valued reading so when I turned 6, I got my own library card. I remember thinking as long as I read, I will never be bored.

What's the best career advice you've ever received?
I studied under [author] Ernest [J.] Gaines in graduate school in Louisiana and he's my greatest literary influence. He stressed two things: Read more than you write and treat writing as work.

Where do go to find your next good read?
Independent bookstores like Malaprop's in Asheville and now Two Sisters Bookery and Pomegranate Books in my new home of Wilmington, North Carolina, drive our collective tastes as readers and tell us what's good.

'The Lucky Tour' Visits Boulder Bookstore

The Lucky Tour, Algonquin Books Blog's ongoing road series featuring the "intrepid former Algonquin intern" David Bradley and Lucky the Leprechaun, stopped in Boulder, Colo., to interview Arsen Kashkashian, head buyer at the Boulder Bookstore. Among the highlights:

Are there any unique talents on the staff that would be fun to highlight?
Well, in August our whole staff [took] part in a rendition of William Shakespeare's Star Wars. We also have a bookseller, Warren, who has an encyclopedic knowledge of historical dates. (I put Warren to the test and discovered that my birthday, April 12th, was the date of the official start of the American Civil War in 1861, The Great Locomotive Chase in 1862 and David Letterman's birthday in 1947.)

What is the strangest thing that's ever happened at Boulder Book Store?
We had a Tibetan monk come and perform a blessing on our store. As part of the blessing the monk threw rice along the floor and you can still find grains every now and then. We've also had plenty of weddings happen in our ballroom. Some of them are planned beforehand and some of them are more like guerrilla weddings where a few people sneak into the ballroom, get married and head out before any of the staff knows what happened.

Cool idea of the Day: 'Book Lovers Bus Trip' to Cleveland

On March 22, Werner Books, Erie, Pa., is hosting a Book Lovers Bus Trip to Cleveland, with visits three different new and used bookstores in the Cleveland area, the Historic Village of Chagrin Falls and the Cleveland West Side Market.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Anjan Sundaram on the Daily Show

On KCRW's Bookworm, editors from publisher the Song Cave read poems from A Dark Dreambox of Another Kind by the late Alfred Starr Hamilton (Song Cave, $18.95, 9780988464308) and talk about editing "this unsung enchanter who only wanted to 'tell the story of our stars.' "


Tomorrow night on the Daily Show: Anjan Sundaram, author of Stringer: A Reporter's Journey in the Congo (Doubleday, $25.95, 9780385537759).


Tomorrow night on the Colbert Report: Patricia S. Churchland, author of Touching a Nerve: The Self as Brain (Norton, $26.95, 9780393058321).

TV: Emerald City

NBC has given a 10-episode order to Emerald City, a Wizard of Oz-themed drama described as "a modern and dark reimagining of the classic tale of Oz in the vein of Game Of Thrones, drawing upon stories from [L. Frank] Baum's original 14 books that include lethal warriors, competing kingdoms, and the infamous wizard as we've never seen him before. A head-strong 20-year-old Dorothy Gale is unwittingly sent on an eye-opening journey that thrusts her into the center of an epic and bloody battle for the control of Oz," reported.

Movies: Child of God Trailer

Calling it a "bloody, gun toting new trailer," Indiewire offered a peek at James Franco's Child of God, based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy. The movie, starring Scott Haze, "certainly looks primal as all hell, which makes sense given the source material," Indiewire noted. There is no U.S. distributor for the project yet.

Books & Authors

Awards: Costa Short Story Finalists

Six finalists were named for the £3,000 (about US$4,930) Costa Short Story Award "and two in particular are reeling, after being picked out of thousands of anonymous entries for the second year running," the Guardian reported. The winner and two runners-up will be announced at the Costa Book Awards ceremony on January 28. You can check out the complete list of finalists here.

Book Brahmin: Adam Sternbergh

photo: Marvin Orellana

Adam Sternbergh is the culture editor of the New York Times Magazine. He was formerly an editor-at-large for New York magazine, and his writing has been featured in GQ, the Times of London and on the NPR radio program This American Life. His first book is the future-noir thriller Shovel Ready (Crown, January 14, 2014). Sternbergh lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., and is at work on a second Spademan novel. 

On your nightstand now:

Christine Falls by Benjamin Black. I've been circling this book for a very long time, and now that I'm 50 pages in, I'm wondering what took me so long. A Booker-winning author (John Banville, writing as Benjamin Black) writes a lyrical crime series (set in moody mid-century Ireland), with a delightfully named protagonist (Quirke). Seriously, what was I thinking?

Favorite book when you were a child:

I had many, but the one that comes most quickly to mind is the Canadian children's classic by Mordecai Richler, Jacob Two-Two and the Hooded Fang. (WARNING: They made this book into an animated series about 10 years ago, which I've never seen, but which is maybe not so good.) Richler was a celebrated literary author, of course--best known for The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz--and this was the kid's book he wrote as a gift to his own son, Jacob. (Who, weirdly, I met and worked with later in life.) Full of fantastic baddies and the swashbuckling duo of Fearless O'Toole and the Intrepid Shapiro. If and when I start a punk band, the Intrepid Shapiro is the name I'm using.

Your top five authors

Raymond Chandler. Because he launched 10,000 imitators and hasn't been bested yet.

Michael Chabon. Sometimes I wish I had written The Yiddish Policeman's Union so badly that I can actually trick myself, for just a moment, into thinking I did. But, of course, I didn't, and couldn't, and no one else could have written it either, except for Chabon, which is about the highest praise I have to offer any writer. And even after all that, Yiddish might not even be my favorite Chabon novel.

Joan Didion. The best nonfiction writer of the century and, honestly, it's not that close.

Mark Leyner: Opened my eyes at an impressionable age to just what can happen when you pull the pin, say "f*** it," and toss a live hand-grenade into your prose.

Graham Greene. No one's written page-turners that were more literary, and no one's written literary novels with more narrative propulsion. Both thrilling and suffused with sadness, Greene's books may not offer every strain of novelistic pleasure, but for me, they come closer than anything else.

Book you've faked reading:

I've been reading Moby Dick for at least 10 years, and it might be 10 years before I finish. (As I like to say, it is my white whale.) The irony is, the book is really, really good! It's not that I'm not enjoying it. It's that it's so damn heavy, and awkward to read on a crowded subway commute, which, sadly, is where I do most of my reading these days.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Well, since I was just tweeting about it like a raving madman, I'll choose Dare Me by Megan Abbott. Abbott started her novel-writing career with pitch-perfect period noirs like Die a Little and Queenpin. Then she pulled off an incredibly deft and difficult trick: transposing all the chill and jolt of classic noir to modern-day narrative scenarios. Dare Me is set among a cutthroat team of high school cheerleaders--and Abbott expertly adapts the rhythms of noir to the task of exploring that most exotic and elusive and treacherous world: the friendships between teenage girls. Plus, the sentences sing. In a just world, this book would have won the Pulitzer Prize, and a few other prizes besides.

Book you've bought for the cover:

As a former bookstore clerk, I fetishize book covers to an unhealthy degree, and I have seen many a seaworthy book capsized by a terrible cover. I've also bought many, many books just for the cover alone. I worked for years in a bookstore in Toronto, and we got a lot of U.K. editions of books, which often had beautiful covers you wouldn't see in the States. For example, recently I specifically waited until a trip to Toronto to buy The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt, precisely because the Canadian paperback was available with the beautiful skull/moon illustration cover, which I love. Bonus book: J.M. Coetzee's Disgrace, available in the U.K. Vintage paperback edition with a snarling dog cover that's beautiful and chilling and haunting, just like the book.

Book that changed your life:

Depends on what you mean by change, and what you mean by life. Different books arrived at different moments and sent me careening in new directions where I'd collide with other new books, and be sent off careening again. But I'll go with The Grapes of Wrath, encountered as a freshman in college, which was simultaneously heartfelt, lyrical, generous and angry--and which redirected my affections permanently from movies (my teenage crush and still an ongoing illicit affair) to novels.

Favorite line from a book:

I immediately think of Chandler--the American king of the quotable line--but then, how to choose just one line from Chandler? To be truthful, this DeLillo line is probably the one I've read aloud to the most people, so let's go with it: from End Zone, right after we meet Taft Robinson, the first black player to join the Logos College football team in Texas.

"Taft Robinson and I were the setbacks. Taft caught a flare pass, evaded two men and went racing down the sideline, Bobby Iselin, a cornerback, gave up the chase at the 25. Bobby used to be the team's fastest man."

That last sentence is such a jewel of perfect restraint, using so few words to say everything about an entire world being completely upended.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

Back to Chandler, and here I'm going to cheat a little bit: I'd love to be able to travel back in time and not only read Chandler for the first time, but read him before he begat a million bad imitators and tin-eared parodies. Chandler's prose is still just as fresh and crystalline on the page--but imagine reading it with no lesser precedents to cloud your reception? Imagine just picking it up from the book table and thinking, Hmmm, what's this?, then flipping to page one. The same goes for Ernest Hemingway: imagine picking up The Sun Also Rises, unbidden in a bookstore, without a century of attendant critical noise. Feeling that rude slap of an entirely new voice. How wonderful would that be?

Book Review

YA Review: Cress

Cress by Marissa Meyer (Feiwel & Friends//Macmillan, $18.99 hardcover, 560p., ages 12-up, 9780312642976, February 4, 2014)

Marissa Meyer continues her brilliant bending of classic fairytales in her Lunar Chronicles with this riff on Rapunzel.

Cress lives imprisoned in a satellite, rather than in a tower. She is a shell--with none of the powers of most Lunars--but is also a skilled hacker and tech wiz. In Cinder, Cress warned the cyborg mechanic of the intent of Levana, Queen of Luna, to marry Emperor Kai, kill him and, from her seat as heir to the Commonwealth, take over Earth. Thanks to Cress, the lunars have a complete surveillance system to track the emperor's comings and goings. But that also means Cress knows how to dismantle the system.

As she did in Scarlet, Meyer crafts a self-contained story in this third volume, while building on the overarching tale of Cinder, whose impossible love for Emperor Kai and devotion to her adopted homeland, Earth, drives her to halt Queen Levana's plan. If it is possible to ramp up the suspense, Meyer does so here, beginning with a failed attempt by Cinder and Captain Thorne to rescue Cress from her satellite. As with Rapunzel, the witch (here Levana's chief thaumaturge, Sybil) lies in wait. The rescue turns into a part kidnapping (Sybil kidnaps Scarlet; Sybil's pilot winds up on Cinder's ship), part fortuitous mishap: Captain Thorne and Cress are thrown together, and both Cinder's and Cress's conveyances wind up on Earth.

Meyer takes the discussion of earth's inhabitants, cyborgs and lunars, to a new level, drawing parallels to modern society's fears of immigration and of "the other," and the perils of information-gathering, eerily akin to the N.S.A. debate (Cress "knew intimately how much access Queen Levana had to Earth's net and all those comms that Earthens mistakenly believed were private"). Meyer once again creates nuanced characters that grow in complexity--as Captain Thorne develops a moral backbone, Cinder discovers a dark side to her potential power ("More than anything, I'm afraid that... the more I fight [Levana] and the stronger I become, the more I'm turning into her").

Meanwhile, Levana and Kai's wedding date edges closer. Cinder discovers unexpected allies--and foes. Dr. Erland returns, paying a key role in revelations about the rampant letumosis plague, for which Levana possesses the antidote. Events unfold at a breakneck pace, and we won't know for sure if Cinder's audacious plan to halt Levana will work until the fourth and final installment, slated for February 2015. Readers will be anxiously orbiting until then. --Jennifer M. Brown

Shelf Talker: In Marissa Meyer's third installment of the Lunar Chronicles, Cress, trapped in a satellite, holds the key to thwarting Queen Levana's diabolical plot to rule Earth.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Bodies of Evidence by Gregg Olsen and Rebecca Morris
2. Secrets: The Complete Series by H.M. Ward
3. Ethan (Alluring Indulgence) by Nicole Edwards
4. Lucky Number Four by Amanda Jason
5. Rose Gardner Mystery Box Set by Denise Grover Swank
6. House of Bathory by Linda Lafferty
7. A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest
8. The Ex Games by J.S. Cooper
9. Tame a Wild Bride by Cynthia Woolf
10. Ex Games 2 by J.S. Cooper

[Many thanks to!]

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