Shelf Awareness for Monday, January 27, 2014

Simon & Schuster: The Lightning Bottles by Marissa Stapley

Minotaur Books: The Dark Wives: A Vera Stanhope Novel (Vera Stanhope #11) by Ann Cleeves

Soho Crime: Exposure (A Rita Todacheene Novel) by Ramona Emerson

Wednesday Books: When Haru Was Here by Dustin Thao

Tommy Nelson: Up Toward the Light by Granger Smith, Illustrated by Laura Watkins

Tor Nightfire: Devils Kill Devils by Johnny Compton


Albuquerque's Page One Reopens After Move

Page One, Albuquerque, N.Mex., reopened last week after moving to the Mountain Run Shopping Center, the Albuquerque Journal reported. Page One, which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year, moved from its longtime neighborhood when a Wal-Mart was slated to go on the site. The store's new location has 7,000 square feet, down from 24,000, which owner Steven Stout called "definitely right-sizing. We're happy now because we can find each other in the store." Page One's inventory is more than 200,000 books, split evenly between new and used.

Stout said that the business is healthy and turned a profit last year. He noted that the store has "faced a lot of hurdles, but I've always had a love of books." He said he never considered closing the store for good.

Page One is now located at 5850 Eubank Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, N.Mex. 87111; 505-294-2026.

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Sages Pages Flood Update: 'Total Loss'

Almost three weeks after Sages Pages, Madison, N.J., suffered a devastating flood due to a water main break, owner Lillian Trujillo told the Madison Patch the bookstore has been deemed a "total loss" by the insurance company and she is not sure whether she will be able to start the business again. Trujillo added that everything "had to be removed so the store could be torn down to the beams and treated for mold." The shop's Facebook page has been documenting the cleanup effort.

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

WI9: Sleepless and Energized in Seattle

Another wild success, the American Booksellers Association's ninth Winter Institute drew more than 500 independent booksellers, including some 30 booksellers from around the world, to downtown Seattle for three days last week. The joy in the city over the Seahawks victory against the 49ers--which takes them to the Super Bowl this coming Sunday--seemed to mirror and magnify the spirit of indies, many of whom reported having the best holiday seasons and years ever. The area also offered a variety of excellent places to eat, drink and sing karaoke, as well as some of the best bookstores in the country to visit. Within range were Elliott Bay Book Company, Queen Anne Book Company, University Book Store, Third Place Books, Eagle Harbor Book Company, Island Books and many others. Even the mild weather was a nice reprieve for the hundreds who recently learned firsthand what a polar vortex is.

During the three days of panels, seminars, roundtables, speeches and intense socializing, booksellers did what many love most: they talked about books and bookselling, exchanging ideas in a way that is unusual for businesses that sometimes compete. The program included nuts-and-bolts topics--Gifts 101, Handselling 101, Managing Cash Flow--as well as advanced-level sessions like Managing the Changing Workplace and a session where senior booksellers pitched new business ideas. As one attendee said, explaining the attraction of Winter Institute over other conferences, shows and meetings: "More content, less BS."

The always busy Galley Room

For his part, ABA president Steve Bercu, owner of BookPeople, Austin, Tex., said the Winter Institute had "a great energy that gets better every year." He noted that the Winter Institute's international guests were impressed--and nearly overwhelmed--by "all the enthusiasm."

ABA CEO Oren Teicher said that the association was "thrilled" with the winter Institute, which he called "as energizing for us as it is for members." Once again, he continued, "Booksellers have come and done what they do best--that is, share what they do every day." He pointed out that the 500 attendees included 200 first-timers, meaning that, as happens at Winter Institutes, "regulars" and booksellers new to WI "all get caught up in the spirit of sharing" and wind up going home and being "better booksellers." Like others, Teicher noted the many younger people in attendance. "We're energized by the younger booksellers, new stores and new owners," he said. (Quite a few attendees remarked that not long ago such gatherings were largely "gray-haired" affairs.)

Among the WI9 highlights: hundreds of authors meeting booksellers and talking about their books at presentations, meals and receptions; a rousing keynote by Dan Heath, author of Decisive; Indies First founder Sherman Alexie happily accepting an ABA T-shirt; six of the Seattle7 (now a much larger group of area authors), who talked about their activities; former ABA COO (and current Book Industry Study Group executive director) Len Vlahos's multimedia presentation for his YA novel, The Scar Boys, to an overflow audience; booksellers from Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Sweden, Denmark and other countries, who met at several lunches, were the focus of a panel and socialized enthusiastically with the U.S. crowd; Scholastic's much-appreciated party featuring a mix of ice cream and full bar late in the evening on Thursday; early-morning yoga sessions led by Susan Weis-Bohlen of breathe bookstore café, Baltimore, Md.; and, last but not least, the opening reception party at Elliott Bay Book Company, hosted by Shelf Awareness, that drew nearly all of the 500 Winter Institute booksellers for the biggest event in the store's history.

At Friday's breakfast, Oren Teicher announced that the 10th Winter Institute will be held in Asheville, N.C., February 9-11, 2015. The site is the Grove Park Inn, which Teicher described as "beautiful," an assessment Shelf Awareness can confirm. Teicher acknowledged that Asheville is not as easy as some previous Winter Institute locations to get to, but the association wanted, he said, "to do something different for the 10th meeting." The Inn and "the gestalt of Asheville," which will be like a "buy local lab for us," make for a powerful combination.

As always, we want to thank Books & Books owner Mitchell Kaplan for the idea of Winter Institute and the ABA for carrying out so well--yet again.

Shelf Awareness's coverage of WI9 continues this week. --John Mutter

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Image of the Day: Warm Reception for January Thaw

Once Upon a Crime Mystery Bookstore in Minneapolis, Minn., hosted the launch party for Jess Lourey's ninth Murder-by-Month mystery, January Thaw. Perhaps wishing the title predicted actual weather conditions in the Twin Cities right now, here Lourey is flanked by bookstore owners Gary Shulze and Pat Frovarp.

Trailer Blazers' Robin Lopez on Powell's Books

In a team video shot last week, Portland Trail Blazers center Robin Lopez tours one of his favorite hangouts, Powell's Books. Among his lines: "The important thing about books is even if you can't afford to travel, if you don't have the time to travel, they're really portals to other worlds. It sounds a little clichéd, but it's true. They can take you places that you've never been before."

Bethanne Patrick Joins Washingtonian

Bethanne Kelly Patrick has become books editor at Washingtonian magazine, where she will handle reviews and author interviews in the magazine as well as weekly blog posts about book events and items of local literary interest. Patrick, an author and book reviewer, hosted WETA-PBS's Book Studio from 2007 to 2010. She can be reached at

Media and Movies

SAG Card Time: Community Bookstore in Two Movies

A new clip from David Wain's new movie They Came Together features stars Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd playing "an unlikely pair who start off on the wrong foot, but connect at a bookstore," Buzzfeed noted. Although the exterior shot that opens the clip is of the Strand in Manhattan, interiors were shot at Community Bookstore in Brooklyn.

This isn't Community's only moment on the silver screen this season. Skeleton Twins, featuring Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, also shot at Community Bookstore, made its premiere at Sundance and will open in theaters later this year.

Movies: Fifty Shades Poster; The Giver

"Mr. Grey Will See You Now." That is the tagline of the first poster released for the film adaptation of E.L. James's bestselling  novel Fifty Shades of Grey. noted that the "image shows Jamie Dornan as billionaire industrialist Christian Grey, who seduces young Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson)." The movie hits theaters February 14, 2015.


Entertainment Weekly offered an early look at Jeff Bridges and Brenton Thwaites in The Giver, based on Lois Lowry's novel, which Bridges has been trying to make into a film for nearly 20 years. "In that time, his kids became adults, his father Lloyd, who he'd wanted to play the Giver, died, and he got rejection after rejection from everybody in town till Harvey Weinstein came along," EW noted.

"He said, yeah let's go man," said Bridges, who took on the role and is a producer of the film, which is scheduled for an August 2015 release.

Media Heat: Isabel Allende on Diane Rehm

This morning on CBS This Morning: Simon Sinek, author of Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't (Portfolio, $27.95, 9781591845324).


This morning on the Today Show: Joyce Maynard, author of After Her: A Novel (Morrow, $25.99, 9780062257390).


Today on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: Isabel Allende, author of Ripper (Harper, $28.99, 9780062291400).


Today on Fresh Air: David I. Kertzer, author of The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe (Random House, $32, 9780812993462).


Today on Dr. Oz: Alejandro Junger, author of Clean Gut: The Breakthrough Plan for Eliminating the Root Cause of Disease and Revolutionizing Your Health (HarperOne, $27.99, 9780062075864).


Tonight on CNN's Piers Morgan: Janet Mock, author of Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More (Atria, $24.99, 9781476709123).


Tonight on the Colbert Report: Nate Silver, author of The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail--but Some Don't (Penguin Press, $27.95, 9781594204111).


Tomorrow on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: Angelique Kidjo, author of Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music (Harper Design, $27.99, 9780062071798).

Books & Authors

Awards: Grammy Spoken Word Winner; Minnesota Book Awards

The Grammy winner last night in the category of Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Story Telling) was America Again: Re-becoming The Greatness We Never Weren't by Stephen Colbert (Hachette Audio)


The finalists in all eight categories of the 26th annual Minnesota Book Awards have been chosen. Winners will be announced at a gala on April 5. Three related awards will also be presented:

  • The Kay Sexton Award, sponsored by Common Good Books and honoring a lifetime contribution to the literary community, whose winner will be announced in late February.
  • The biennial Hognander Minnesota History Award, sponsored by the Hognander Family Foundation, honoring the most outstanding scholarly work by an author on a topic of Minnesota history published in the previous two years.
  • The Minnesota Book Artist Award, sponsored by Lerner Publishing Group and presented with the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, won this year by Fred Hagstrom, a professor of art at Carleton College since 1984, Hagstrom is also a printmaker.


Book Review

Review: The Devil I Know

Devil I Know by Claire Kilroy (Black Cat, $16 paperback, 9780802122377, February 4, 2014)

Tristram St. Lawrence, 13th Earl of Howth, opted to go on a bender rather than attend his mother's funeral. Now, several years later, he is back--and not welcome in the castle. He takes a room at a hotel and runs into an old school bully, Desmond Hickey, who, like most of the other characters in Claire Kilroy's The Devil I Know, insists that Tristram is dead.

Tristram is a world traveler, a linguist who does business for and with many corporations and governments. His only real connection is one M. Deauville, his AA sponsor--and they've never met. Meeting Hickey, a devout drinker, could be his undoing. "If adventure has a smell," Tristram thinks, sitting in a pub with Hickey, "if promise has a smell, if youth has a smell, it is that of beer in the sun." Tempting stuff, but he resists.

Hickey is most interested in Tristram's connections. Ireland is enjoying an unprecedented economic boom; money is there for the taking, and everyone is on the take. Hickey and Tristram, with M. Deauville's blessing, start wheeling and dealing, buying and selling and borrowing--always borrowing.

The Devil I Know is structured as a deposition, and Kilroy gives Tristram many moments of self-deprecation; he understands that what he is doing is not quite cricket, but is powerless to stop. At one point, he thinks: "The recent history of this country has been moulded by those without the vision to perceive the flaws in their plans." He might simply have thought about the incredible greed driving the plans.

One day, M. Deauville calls with the news that a bank has gone under in New York. Suddenly, their assets are worthless: "We paid for them with borrowed money. We paid for them with credit. Which in fact means debt. We owe more money than we can possibly count." It all falls apart and everyone loses. Tristram's affair with Hickey's wife dies aborning when she realizes he has lost everything. And though Tristram thought he was bulletproof because his father owned the assets pledged, his father dies the very night the bank collapses--leaving Tristram the proud owner of all the debt.

In additional to the title, Kilroy makes several references, overt and covert, to the Devil throughout the story--but to say more would be telling. --Valerie Ryan, Cannon Beach Book Company, Ore.

Shelf Talker: A cautionary tale of greed and hubris set in Ireland at the height of the "Celtic Tiger" boom.

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