Also published on this date: Wednesday, March 19, 2014: Kids' Maximum Shelf: Noggin

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Margaret K. McElderry Books: Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

Henry Holt & Company: Mihi Ever After (Mihi Ever After #1) by Tae Keller, illustrated by Geraldine Rodríguez

Berkley Books: River Sing Me Home by Eleanor Shearer

Oxford University Press, USA: The World According to Proust by Joshua Landy

Chronicle Chroma: Bob Willoughby: A Cinematic Life by Bob Willoughby

Charlesbridge Publishing: Forever Cousins by Laurel Goodluck, illustrated by Jonathan Nelson

Tor Teen: The Luminaries by Susan Dennard


More on Hastings 'Merger': Two Top Execs Will Leave Company

More on the Hastings Entertainment "merger" with subsidiaries of National Entertainment Collectibles Association, according to a Form 8-K filing the company made yesterday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

When the merger takes place, longtime Hastings chairman and CEO John H. Marmaduke and CFO Dan Crow will leave the company and receive payments of, respectively, $1.5 million and $750,000, "net of standard payroll deductions and withholdings." Both executives are waiving parts of their Hastings contracts that relate to severance and "change in control" of the company.

President and COO Alan Van Ongevalle and v-p/divisional merchandise manager Philip McConnell have similarly waived parts of their contracts but are not receiving severance payments--and may not be leaving the company.

If the merger doesn't take place, Hastings may have to pay Draw Another Circle, a company owned by National Entertainment Collectibles Association, $850,000. At the same time, Hastings might be reimbursed for expenses of up to $1.5 million.

Shares owned by chairman and CEO John H. Marmaduke and related groups and people total 30.4% of Hastings stock and are held by Marmaduke, the John H. Marmaduke Family Limited Partnership and Martha A. Marmaduke. John H. Marmaduke's father, Sam Marmaduke, founded Hastings in 1968. John H. Marmaduke was named president of Hastings in 1973.

Scribe Us: Our Members Be Unlimited: A Comic about Workers and Their Unions by Sam Wallman

Roxana Robinson Elected New Authors Guild President

Roxana Robinson and Scott Turow at the 2014 annual meeting. credit: Luis Garcia

Roxana Robinson was elected president of the Authors Guild at the organization's annual meeting, replacing Scott Turow, who had held the position for the past four years. The organization also announced that Judy Blume, Richard Russo and James Shapiro are now co-vice-presidents and C.J. Lyons has joined the executive council.

"American writing is alive and well," said Turow. "There is no question about the vitality of our literary community or the vitality of the literary impulse in the United States. There will always be authors, there will always books. We need to continue the struggle in order to protect writing as a livelihood."

After her election, Robinson observed: "As writers, we are living in very interesting times. The challenges are huge, and I am thrilled to be a part of it all. We're going to move ahead, we're going to extend our membership, we're going to continue to offer practical help and advice and a sense of community to our writers, and we're going to continue to support the craft of writing."

Guild members re-elected Peter Petre treasurer and Pat Cummings secretary, and re-elected council members Peter Gethers, Annette Gordon-Reed, Nicholas Lemann, Douglas Preston, Michelle Richmond, Cathleen Schine and Monique Truong.

Flyaway Books: The Coat by Séverine Vidal, illustrated by Louis Thomas

For Sale: Burton's Bookstore in Greenport, N.Y.

Noting "it might take a village to save one of Greenport's bookstores," the Suffolk Times reported that George Maaiki, who has owned Burton's Bookstore on the North Fork of Long Island, N.Y., since 1988, wants to sell the business to someone "who will preserve its character as a quaint bookstore in a small village by the water," but "finding the right fit could be another story."

"The reason I want to sell is it's time for some young person to come in and, with all the new technology going on in the industry, give it some new blood," said Maaiki, who added he's been "hammered" by offers "from people who have proposed turning the shop into a hybrid record and bookstore and a "bookstore boutique.' "

"I have no idea what that means," he noted, adding that he is determined to keep the shop in the hands of a bookseller. Maaiki also said he is willing to stay on and "shadow anyone who steps up to take Burton's Bookstore over," the Suffolk Times wrote.

He hopes to have the business sold prior to the beginning of summer so a new proprietor can benefit from the busy season. "When I came to Greenport early, there was nothing," he recalled. "Now, it's amazing how they are trying to extend the season, with Tall Ships, the Maritime Festival and other events. It really is getting better and better."

PNBA Holiday Catalog 2022

Free Speech Organizations Protest S.C. Defunding Tactic

A joint letter has been sent by the National Coalition Against Censorship, ACLU of South Carolina and other free speech organizations to members of the state's Senatorial Finance Committee urging them to reinstate funding for two colleges that was cut because members of the House disapproved of specific reading material in the curriculum. The letter was signed by several NCAC participating members, including the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the American Library Association and the Association of American Publishers.

The budget cuts of $52,000 for the College of Charleston and $17,142 for the University of South Carolina Upstate represent the amounts spent on reading programs for incoming students, and were imposed because some legislators object to several books that contain lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender themes.

The letter states that "penalizing state educational institutions financially simply because members of the legislature disapprove of specific elements of the educational program is educationally unsound and constitutionally suspect and... threatens academic freedom and the quality of education in the state."

NCAC executive director Joan Bertin said the proposed budget cuts "are designed to punish the schools solely because some members of the legislature don't approve of certain books being taught. The Supreme Court has sent a clear message over decades: lawmakers may not prohibit the expression of ideas simply because they find them to be offensive."

Amazon to Open Fourth Warehouse in Washington

Amazon plans to open a nearly one million-sq.-ft. fulfillment center in Kent, Wash. This will be the online retailer's fourth fulfillment center in the state where its corporate headquarters is located.

Mike Roth, Amazon's v-p of North America operations, said the company is "grateful to local and state elected officials who have supported Amazon in bringing a new fulfillment center to the state of Washington."

Governor Jay Inslee called Amazon "a marquee company for how Washington innovation can change the world."

Busman's Holiday: Cusumano Is Bookseller-in-Residence at Square Books

For the next two weeks, Bill Cusumano, book buyer at Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor, Mich., will be visiting and working at Square Books in Oxford, Miss.

"He said he was just ready to get away from the snow and ice for a bit, and he decided to take his vacation here," explained Lyn Roberts, general manager of Square Books. "He really just can't be away from books, so he asked if he could work in the store. He's so knowledgeable and so well read and has tons of experience. How can you turn down that kind of offer?"

"It's probably been a year in the works, really," Cusumano said of the arrangement. While at Square Books, he plans to cover all bases, from handselling to running events and everything in between. "I've been known to visit Oxford in the past and I've known the owners for a good many years," he said. "We sort of batted around the idea for a while, and then said, let's try it."

Roberts and other staff members at Square Books have considered bringing in guest booksellers in the past and even doing a bookseller exchange, but bringing in someone who was up to speed with the store's POS system was always a sticking point. Fortunately, though, Nicola's Books also uses IBID, and Cusumano reported that he was able to jump right in. The timing of Cusumano's residency/working vacation is also fortuitous: next week is the 2014 Oxford Conference for the Book, and Square Books will need all hands on deck.

Although he's only a few days into his stay, Cusumano would consider doing another residency or even a bookseller exchange in the future. "There's certainly some merit to it," he mused. "You know how our business is--you go to conferences and find some kindred stores and you go from there. When we're all attending trade shows and Winter Institute, we learn so much from each other. This is also a great way to learn." --Alex Mutter


Image of the Day: 'Literary Lady' Visits Concord Bookshop

It was standing room only at Concord Bookshop, Concord, Mass., when Terry Golson visited for The Farmstead Egg Guide & Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). She brought along her hen Beatrix--as in Beatrix Potter--one of her flock of "Literary Ladies" named after female authors and characters.

Golson discussed the pros and cons of raising backyard chickens, the difference between various types of eggs, and more. Her book also includes 100 egg-based recipes, from breakfast basics to desserts, and she shared treats with the audience.

Empowering Booksellers to 'Take Ownership of Their Work'

"Sean Curran had a crazy idea. Come up with a series of video podcasts that would spread the word via social media about the Doylestown Bookshop," the Bucks County Courier Times reported, adding that the bookstore's owner, Glenda Childs, "encouraged and trusted Curran and her other employees to take ownership of their work."

"It was a matter of Glenda trusting in me, and me trusting in myself," Curran said.

Childs purchased the Doylestown Bookshop in 2012. Yesterday, she spoke during a leadership seminar at the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce in Doylestown Township and said that taking over an established business with long-term dedicated staff had been a challenge, but she discovered she had to trust them and give them the tools to succeed.

"Having to trust them has taught me so much," she said. "(The store is) bigger than me, and it's not just me. I would never have taken the store to where it is. It's not just me. It's everybody."

Cool Idea of the Day: 'Bottled Poetry' at Parnassus

"Here in Nashville, the Wine Shoppe is to wine what Parnassus is to books: a comfortable neighborhood spot where you can walk in, chat with knowledgeable folks, browse to your heart's content, and walk out with something selected especially for your taste," noted Musing, the store blog for Parnassus Books, in a post headlined "Bottled Poetry: How to Pair Wine with Books."

Last year, the bookseller began partnering with the local wine shop for monthly "Wine with the Author" events, calling it "a natural decision--one of those lightning-strikes-and-angels-sing kind of moments."

"If experience in wine retail has taught me anything, it's that book clubs might just be an excuse to get together with friends and have a glass or two with some conversation in between," said Dan Hutchinson, general manager of the Wine Shoppe at Green Hills. He explained how he selects wines to go with books: "My first rule of thumb is to stay away from the obvious, such as the name of a wine or how it is marketed. It would be fine to pour a California wine with a book that was set in California, and, of course, that would make sense. But it's more fun if you can go deeper than that and say, 'Well, this book is set in the late 1800s in California, and the wine we are pouring is from a winery whose founders moved to this same town at around that time. So it is possible to imagine that these characters may have known the founders or at least would have shared life experience. I think that gives the wine a story as opposed to just a cursory thought.... If everything works the way it should, the book tells you what to pour and the adventure of finding it can be the most fun."

Consortium Adds Three Publishers

Consortium Book Sales & Distribution has added three publishers:

Open Letter, Rochester, N.Y., which launched in 2007 at the University of Rochester with the mission of expanding the readership for international literature in the United States and includes the blog and review site Three Percent. Each season Open Letter selects a mix of established authors (Marguerite Duras and Juan José Saer, for example) with authors new to English readers (Carlos Labbé and Kristín Ómarsdóttir). (Effective June 1.)
Founded in 2012, New Vessel Press, New York, N.Y., specializes in the translation of foreign literature into English in editions with high production values. (Effective April 1.)
High Conflict Institute Press, Scottsdale, Ariz., publishes books for business, legal, mental health, human resource and other professionals who deal with high-conflict clients and need solutions to get them through difficult legal, workplace and other battles. (Effective June 1.)

Media and Movies

Media Heat: T.C. Boyle on Bookworm

This morning on Imus in the Morning: David Berg, author of Run, Brother, Run: A Memoir of a Murder in My Family (Scribner, $26, 9781476715636).

Also on Imus: Greg Gutfeld, author of Not Cool: The Hipster Elite and Their War on You (Crown Forum, $26, 9780804138536).


Tomorrow morning on Good Morning America: Jenny Bowen, author of Wish You Happy Forever: What China's Orphans Taught Me About Moving Mountains (HarperOne, $25.99, 9780062192004).


Tomorrow morning on Morning Joe: Allison Pataki, author of The Traitor's Wife: A Novel (Howard, $14.99, 9781476738604).

Also on Morning Joe: Adam Braun, author of The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change (Scribner, $25, 9781476730622). He will also appear on Bloomberg's Taking Stock with Pimm Fox.


Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: T.C. Boyle, author of Stories II (Viking, $45, 9780670026258). As the show put: "T.C. Boyle's round-up of short stories, Stories II, demonstrates the breadth of his prolific years as a story-teller. Boyle does not consider himself a man of letters; it is his interest in the 'human' that drives him to write, and writing, for him, is an act of discovery. His stories address our conflicting animal and intellectual selves left to grapple with the chaos of the universe. Now in his 60s (and sporting the same brightly colored sports-coats of his youth) he is turning towards the uncertainties of age and our planet's destiny."


Tomorrow on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: John Demos, author of The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic (Knopf, $30, 9780679455103).


Tomorrow on Ellen: Lauren Graham, author of Someday, Someday, Maybe: A Novel (Ballantine, $15, 9780345532763).


Tomorrow on Tavis Smiley: Peniel E. Joseph, author of Stokely: A Life (Basic Civitas, $29.99, 9780465013630).

Movie trailers: The Maze Runner; The Boxtrolls

The first trailer has dropped for The Mazerunner, adapted from the first novel in James Dasher's bestselling YA series, Indiewire reported. The film, which stars Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario , Will Poulter, Kaya Scodelario and Patricia Clarkson, opens September 19.


A new trailer is out for The Boxtrolls, based on Here Be Monsters by Alan Snow and featuring an all-star line-up of voices, including Elle Fanning, Toni Collette, Jared Harris, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, Tracy Morgan and Ben Kingsley. Indiewire noted that "the animation forces behind Coraline and ParaNorman put their creative hands on this one.... and yes, this looks like it could be a great ball of fun." The Boxtrolls hits theaters September 26.

Books & Authors

Awards: Guggenheim-Lehrman; Carnegie/Kate Greenaway

Allen C. Guelzo has won the inaugural Guggenheim-Lehrman Prize in Military History, honoring "the best book in the field of military history published in English during the previous calendar year," for Gettysburg: The Last Invasion (Knopf). The award, which carries a prize of $50,000, was announced Monday night in a ceremony at the New-York Historical Society.

Chairman of the judging committee Dr. Andrew Roberts commented: "Gettysburg will stand out as a lasting and important work in the military history genre."


The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals has released shortlists for the 2014 Carnegie Medal (author of a book for children and young people) and the Kate Greenaway Medal (illustrator of a book for children and young people). The winners, who will be announced June 23 in London, each receive £500 (about US$832) worth of books to donate to their local library and the coveted golden Medal. Since 2000, the winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal has also been awarded the £5,000 Colin Mears Award cash prize.

CILIP Carnegie Medal
All the Truth That's in Me by Julie Berry
The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks
The Child's Elephant by Rachel Campbell-Johnston
Ghost Hawk by Susan Cooper
Blood Family by Anne Fine
Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell
Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead
The Wall by William Sutcliffe

The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal
Rebecca Cobb for The Paper Dolls by Julia Donaldson
Olivia Gill for Where My Wellies Take Me by Michael Morpurgo & Clare Morpurgo
Oliver Jeffers for The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
Jon Klassen for his book This Is Not My Hat
Jon Klassen for The Dark by Lemony Snicket
Dave McKean for Mouse, Bird, Snake, Wolf by David Almond
Birgitta Sif for her book Oliver

Book Brahmin: Robert Reed

photo: Carrie Knapp

Robert Reed is the author of a dozen novels, including The Memory of Sky: A Great Ship Trilogy (Prime Books, March 5, 2014). His shorter science fiction--the bulk of his work--can be found in Asimov's SF, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Clarkesworld and other magazines. He has been nominated for many awards, and his novella, A Billion Eves, won the Hugo in 2007. Reed lives in Lincoln, Neb., with his wife and daughter.

On your nightstand now:

Five Billion Years of Solitude: The Search for Life Among the Stars by Lee Billings. Aliens are not an interest of mine--they are an obsession. The Fermi Paradox--the striking absence of ETs in a universe full of worlds and life-making ingredients--remains one of the great puzzles of science.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Any of 10 or 12 books about dinosaurs--the big, slow, feeble-witted dinosaurs that have recently gone extinct. I read the books as a boy, again and again, and I studied every intricate, outdated illustration. To this day my brain is wallpapered with images of brontosaurs wading through deep marshes and the Appalachians standing taller than the Himalayas.

Your top five authors:

Robert Silverberg: I admire him for his output and the breadth of his work, for a professional spirit that has no equal, and his capacity to walk away from the SF field when it doesn't pay enough attention to his devotions. William Faulkner: I couldn't read the genius, and then I could. I was in college, between my junior and senior years, lying on the table where prefabricated windows were fabricated. I was reading a Faulkner story about a Native man named Doom using poison to acquire power, and that voice has never left me. Gene Wolfe: a brilliant practitioner of a genre that has only one citizen--Gene Wolfe.

Ursula K. LeGuin: she is the adult in a room full of bright, unruly children. More than most SF, her work manages to involve genuine shadow-casting people. Alice Munro: my wife and the New Yorker introduced me to Alice's short fiction. While on vacation, my wife insisted that we drive through the author's home town. Presumably we saw her house, or at least were within shouting distance. It has been a long while since a Nobel announcement has earned unabashed approval from me. I'm not pretentious as much as I am ignorant of the world's fiction.

Book you've faked reading:

The Bible.

Book you're an evangelist for:

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. But with an important caveat: the edition translated by Pevear and Volokhonsky. I read a review several years ago--in the Atlantic, I think--and the reviewer used two versions of the same paragraph. The first was competent, complete with copy editing. The second was lyrical and seamless. I had tried the great book before, more than once. But this one proved to be a marvel.

Book you've bought for the cover:

The Unreasoning Mask by Phillip Jose Farmer. Decades later and I can still see the hooded figure with a face of stars, one hand speculatively holding an egg. About the book itself, I have no memories.

Book that changed your life:

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway. I was 14 or 15, expecting a war story with a happy ending. But something else happened, and I was left sad, with the sense that the author had thrown his bearish arm over my shoulder, confiding to me, "Yeah, this is writing when it is true."

Favorite line from a book:

"There are a bunch of whores in the back, playing edible chess." --from The Hormone Jungle by R. Reed.

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

War and Peace by Tolstoy, Pevear and Volokhonsky.

Book Review

YA Review: We Were Liars

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (Delacorte, $17.99 hardcover, 240p., ages 12-up, 9780385741262, May 13, 2014)

E. Lockhart's (The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks) latest novel will blow readers away. Spectacular plotting and character delineation build to an ending that will hit readers like a tidal wave.

Every word matters. "It is true I suffer migraines since my accident," says nearly 18-year-old narrator Cadence Sinclair Eastman. "It is true I do not suffer fools. I like a twist of meaning. You see? Suffer migraines. Do not suffer fools. The word means almost the same as it did in the previous sentence. But not quite."

Lockhart's book examines where one has come from, who one wishes to be, and where these two collide. As Granddad explains, "We Sinclairs are a grand, old family.... Our traditions and values form the bedrock on which future generations stand." Granddad went to Harvard, inherited wealth and multiplied it. He married Tipper and had three beautiful blonde daughters. His "precious" Cadence is the first grandchild.

As the novel opens, Cadence recalls the June of what she calls "summer fifteen," when her father drove away in the Mercedes "to some woman he loved more than us." She describes the emotional impact in stark metaphor: "Then he pulled out a handgun and shot me in the chest.... The bullet hole opened wide and my heart rolled out of my rib cage and down into a flower bed." Her mother snapped, "Be normal, now, she said. Right now, she said." Cadence's perfect life is in ruins. Her mother trashes jewelry, books, tosses out the furniture, erases all trace of her father.

Cadence takes refuge on Granddad's island off the coast of Massachusetts, with her cousins Mirren and Johnny and his best friend, Gat. They are the Liars of the title. Gat sees the disparity between rich and poor, the injustice in the world. That summer, the summer Cadence is 15, she and Gat fall in love. Where she is pale and blonde and accepting, Gat is dark and exotic and questioning. Granddad does not approve. No one speaks of Granny Tipper, who died of heart failure eight months before. "Silence is a protective coating over pain," Cadence's mother tells her. That summer, Cadence has an accident. Something terrible has happened, but she cannot remember what.

Lockhart weaves in Shakespeare plots and fairy tales, Cadence's constructions to puzzle out what occurred and why she has no memory of it: Granddad Sinclair as Lear; Beauty sees the glory in the Beast, but her father "sees a jungle animal." Did the overwhelming loss of her father and Granny Tipper and her forbidden love for Gat lead to Cadence's accident and amnesia?

This is a love story as much as it is a psychological mystery. The true genius of Lockhart's plotting comes with the second reading, when we see that the clues were there, just below the surface of the placid island waters. The Liars must face the truth in order to heal. Astonishing. --Jennifer M. Brown

Shelf Talker: On her family's private island off the coast of Massachusetts, narrator Candace Sinclair Eastman tries to piece together the cause of an accident that has left her with no memory of it.

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