Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Roxy by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman

Shadow Mountain: Missing Okalee by Laura Ojeda Melchor

Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone: Start your entrepreneurial journey with affordable packages, starting from $1,566

Candlewick Press: Mi Casa Is My Home by Laurenne Sala, illustrated by Zara González Hoang

Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association: We're throwing a bookselling party and you're invited!

Big Picture Press: Art of Protest: Creating, Discovering, and Activating Art for Your Revolution by De Nichols

Callaway Arts & Entertainment: The Beatles: Get Back by The Beatles, photographed by Linda McCartney

St. Martin's Press: The Christie Affair by Nina De Gramont

News

Crown Publishing Reorganizes

Crown Publishing Group has been reorganized in a way that president and publisher Maya Mavjee said aims to "create an even sharper direction and momentum for each of our publishing areas as we enhance creative collaboration across the Crown Publishing Group while maintaining the diverse category focus that has been a cornerstone of our recent success."

Molly Stern, who has been senior v-p, publisher for Crown Publishers, Hogarth and Archetype, will be responsible for the group's entire narrative-based general-interest nonfiction and fiction publishing program, adding Broadway Books and Three Rivers Press to her purview. Each of the imprints will maintain their separate identities, lists and editorial teams, as well as their own dedicated marketing, publicity and design support teams.

Aaron Wehner has been promoted to senior v-p, publisher, Clarkson Potter, Ten Speed Press and Harmony Books, which comprise the group's culinary, health, lifestyle and four-color illustrated books program. Clarkson Potter, Ten Speed Press and Harmony Books will also maintain their separate identities, publishing lists and editorial teams, as well as their dedicated marketing, publicity and design support teams.

Pam Krauss is stepping down as senior v-p, publisher, Clarkson Potter, and will develop her own line of books within Potter that will reflect her tastes and interests in the culinary and lifestyle areas.

Tina Constable, who has been responsible for Archetype, Harmony Books, Three Rivers Press, Crown Business and Crown Forum, will now be senior v-p, publisher, of Crown Business, Crown Forum and Religious Publishing (which includes WaterBrook Multnomah, Convergent and Image).

Steve Cobb continues as president and publisher of WaterBrook Multnomah, Convergent and Image, and now reports to Constable.


Berkley Books: Good Rich People by Eliza Jane Brazier


OverDrive in 'Strategic Alliance' with Japan's MediaDo

E-book and audiobook distributor OverDrive has formed "a strategic alliance" with Japanese publisher aggregator MediaDo. Called OverDrive Japan, the new initiative will enable distribution of popular and bestselling Japanese content, including manga and adult fiction, through the OverDrive network of libraries and schools worldwide. In addition, the venture extends the OverDrive platform and catalogue of more than one million e-book and audiobook titles to Japanese libraries and schools.

Good E-Reader called the partnership "exciting news not only for patrons who may wish to enjoy Japanese-language titles, but also for OverDrive's academic and K12 library partners. With an increased focus on foreign language instruction in grades as young as elementary school, many institutions currently offer Japanese as a foreign language course. This partnership will make native language titles accessible to teachers and students for a more immersive learning experience. The manga titles can offer students not only the entertainment factor that the genre commands, but also a visual to accompany the Japanese text in order to make it more understandable."


Paraclete Press: Mr. Nicholas: A Magical Christmas Tale by Christopher de Vinck


Amazon Partners with Italian Bookstore Chain

Amazon and Italian bookstore chain Giunti al Punto are partnering to launch what they describe as an "innovative bookstore model, blending digital and physical reading together, and offering Giunti customers access to a wide selection of Amazon products." Under the terms of the agreement, customers will be able to purchase Kindle devices in 170 Giunti al Punto bookstores by the end of the summer and the chain's staff "will help readers find print or digital books they want that are most suitable for their literary tastes."

Later this year, with the support of Amazon, Giunti will open an online shop through which customers have access to the books, physical media products and toys available on Amazon.it.


Berkley Books: Sadie on a Plate by Amanda Elliot


Notes

Image of the Day: Save Room for Cake

Last week, Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, Calif., held the midnight release launch party for Charlaine Harris's Midnight Crossroad. Here, Harris prepares to decapitate cut the cake.


Seite Books: The Bookshop East L.A. 'Didn't Know It Needed'

"When Adam Bernales and Denice Diaz started Seite Books in a little storefront in East Los Angeles, a lot of people thought their taste in books was too highbrow," Jacket Copy noted in showcasing the bookshop that opened in 2010 and "seemed incongruous for a small Rowan Avenue storefront next to a transit station, where the booksellers shared space with the dresses being sold by Diaz's mom."

Bernales and Diaz persisted, however, and Seite Books has become "the bookstore East Los Angeles didn't know it needed: an oasis of literary culture in a book-starved corner of L.A. that's never had a Dutton's or a Borders or a Barnes & Noble," Jacket Copy wrote.

Diaz said Seite's annual sales have grown steadily, and it was able to resist suggestions by a few customers insisting they sell books for a dollar or less "because it seems to us you should pay more for a book than for a candy bar." Eventually, it began selling new books as well.

"Every customer who's come here has shaped the flavor of the store," Bernales said.


ARC Promotion Idea of the Day: Scatter Steve!

Some of the advance reader's copies of Good Grief! by Ellen Stimson (Countryman Press, October) have been sent out packaged with an item that may catch even the most jaded bookseller by surprise--a small corked vial of ash with a tag that reads "Contents: Author's dead ex-husband. Please scatter somewhere. Details inside...."

A letter from Stimson accompanying the ARC explains that when her beloved ex-husband--to whom she "was married for about fifteen minutes"--died unexpectedly and left her in charge of his estate and, eventually, his ashes, she had to decide what to do next. As an author, she could write a book--and did. As Ellen Stimson, she took all this a step further and invited booksellers to "join in the fun and scatter the ashes," even offering an interactive map online where they can mark where they have helped her "Scatter Steve."

"This is what happens when a bookseller becomes a writer. I love partnering with booksellers in innovative ways and this goofy package reminds them that something fun is going to happen here," Stimson observed, adding: "It's too bad Steve had to die to get this, because he sure would have loved it."


BEA Video: 'Happy (to Read)'

BookExpo America staff members preparing for this year's show created a video titled "Happy (to Read)," featuring Pharrell Williams's hit song and a lot of dancing, as a fun way for people to get to know some of the folks behind the show and promote reading at the same time. 


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Dr. Barron Lerner on Fresh Air

This morning on CBS This Morning: Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, authors of Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain (Morrow, $28.99, 9780062218339).

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This morning on Imus in the Morning: Tom Manion, co-author of Brothers Forever: The Enduring Bond between a Marine and a Navy SEAL that Transcended Their Ultimate Sacrifice (Da Capo, $25.99, 9780306822377).

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Today on Fresh Air: Dr. Barron Lerner, author of The Good Doctor: A Father, A Son, and the Evolution of Medical Ethics (Beacon Press, $25.95, 9780807033401).

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Tomorrow on Chelsea Lately: Jason Priestley, author of Jason Priestley: A Memoir (HarperOne, $26.99, 9780062247582). He will also appear on Access Hollywood.


TV: The Red Tent

Lifetime has greenlighted The Red Tent, a two-night miniseries based on the bestselling 1997 novel by Anita Diamant, Deadline.com reported. The project, starring Rebecca Ferguson (The White Queen), Minnie Driver (About a Boy) and Morena Baccari (Homeland), Iain Glen (Game of Thrones), Will Tudor and Debra Winger, begins production this month in Morocco.

"The Red Tent brings premium and popular elements to a unique and timeless story," said Lifetime executive v-p Rob Sharenow. "It perfectly articulates our vision for Lifetime as the destination for epic movie events."


Lauren Kate's 'Top 5 Surprises from the Fallen Set'

Lauren Kate, author of the Fallen series, shared her take on "the five most surprising moments for an author on a movie set" with Word & Film. The movie, directed by Scott Hicks (Shine), stars Addison Timlin, Jeremy Irvine, Joely Richardson, Harrison Gilbertson, Lola Kirke, Sianoa Smit-McPhee, Daisy Head and Juliet Aubrey.

Among her observations: "There's a moment in the movie that would be wonderful in the book. Readers beg me not to let the movie stray from the book. I assure them that everyone working on the film agrees. But there is one new moment in the film that is so economical and so moving, it would have worked beautifully if it were in the novel. I hope my fans will think of this added scene like one of the 'extra' chapters that accompany the Fallen books. I can't wait for you to experience all of it on the big screen."


Movies: Wild

Wild, the film adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's bestselling book Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, will be released December 5. On her Facebook author page, Strayed wrote: "Finally, I can shout it from the rooftops: Wild the movie by Jean-Marc Vallée, will be released by Fox Searchlight Pictures on December 5th of this year! I am so excited for you all to see it. Here's a shot from the Wild set of the two beautiful actresses who play me in the film: Reese Witherspoon and my dear beloved daughter, Bobbi (as the child Cheryl). Yes, it's true! How amazing is that? They're standing near the Bridge of the Gods, where I ended my hike."



Books & Authors

Awards: SIBA Finalists; Bread and Roses; Little Rebels

The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance has determined finalists for the 2014 SIBA Book Awards, "representing booksellers' favorite handsells of the year." Winners will be announced July 4, "Independents Day." Finalists and winners will be honored during SIBA's Trade Show in New Orleans in September. Check out the SIBA Book Award shortlist here.

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The Alliance of Radical Booksellers announced that Joe Glenton's Soldier Box: Why I Won't Return to the War on Terror won the Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing. Guest judge Nina Power called the book a "gripping story of his political self-transformation, of everyday life in the army and of his trial is moving, honest and deeply passionate."

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Gillian Cross won the Little Rebels Children's Book Award for her book After Tomorrow. Little Rebels judge Wendy Cooling praised it as "a frighteningly believable story, a real page-turner with a strong sense of danger always present, and many big issues of a possible future just below the surface."


Book Review

Review: Summer House with Swimming Pool

Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch, trans. by Sam Garrett (Hogarth, $24 hardcover, 9780804138819, June 3, 2014)

Dutch writer and actor Herman Koch earned almost universal acclaim for The Dinner, a novel that takes place over a long, multi-course meal in an Amsterdam restaurant at which two brothers and their wives proceed to alienate each other, the staff, the other diners and even the reader as they try to manage an incident of unprovoked violence by their sons. Koch's new novel, Summer House with Swimming Pool, is equally rife with dissension and condescension, as an upper-middle-class Dutch family deals with personal tragedy and vengeance after a summer vacation goes amok.

Narrator Marc Schlosser is a successful general medicine physician with a solid core of patients, many of them neurotic, high-strung eccentrics from the arts. In a highly regulated national medical system, Marc provides his often hypochondriac patients with 20 minutes of nonjudgmental listening and easy access to prescription comfort, including a suicide cocktail when the time comes. A misanthropic but well-paid cynic, he puts up with his patients' obesity, addictions and appetites--rationalizing his professional look-the-other-way approach by advising them that "people who can enjoy life last longer than the sourpusses who eat only plants and slurp down organic yogurt." He tells himself that he's really just "a simple family doctor who happens to value quality of life more than a one-hundred-percent healthy body."

When he, his wife, and their two early-teen daughters are invited to the Mediterranean summer rental house of a patient, the well-known actor Ralph Meier, Marc finds himself in a world of hedonism and excess that scars his older daughter and nearly topples his marriage. Fat, vulgar, womanizing Ralph spends the vacation days barbecuing fresh fish, drinking nonstop, ogling Marc's daughters and wife and leading beach swimming expeditions in uninhibited nakedness. In the freewheeling chaos of liquor and sunshine, Marc drunkenly and persistently pursues Ralph's wife while his hormonal young daughters bask in the attention of Ralph's teen sons and Ralph himself. Marc's wife sees the dangers circling around her family and begs him to leave before bacchanalian temptations lead to tragedy--too late, it turns out.

With an almost Nicholson Baker-ish flair for the details of our modern Western world of sex-obsession and fragile families, Koch builds his story from the cynical musings of a successful doctor into an addictive mystery about just what happened at that idyllic vacation villa. His smart-talking characters and deceptive plot make Summer House with Swimming Pool a solid follow-up to The Dinner. --Bruce Jacobs

Shelf Talker: Herman Koch (The Dinner) dishes up another rich stew of language, character and cynicism--this time a summer vacation mystery.


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