Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Henry Holt & Company: Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley

Henry Holt & Company: Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley

Little, Brown Ink: The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich (a Graphic Novel) by Deya Muniz

Flatiron Books: Once Upon a Prime: The Wondrous Connections Between Mathematics and Literature by Sarah Hart

Dundurn Press: Chasing the Black Eagle by Bruce Geddes

Amulet Books: Batcat: Volume 1 by Meggie Ramm

Berkley Books: The Comeback Summer by Ali Brady


Two Dozen Let Go at Globe Pequot/Lyons Press

Approximately 25 staff members of Globe Pequot Press and Lyons Press, including many in editorial and sales, were let go yesterday. The move came less than two months after Rowman & Littlefield bought Globe Pequot from Morris Communications.

Rowman & Littlefield president and CEO Jed Lyons said that "the positions eliminated were across all departments, mostly due to duplication in job function with our company. Globe Pequot was vertically integrated with its own warehouse in Tennessee, its own sales organization, etc. With NBN involved now, many jobs were eliminated."

He added that Lyons Press was affected because Rowman & Littlefield is moving away "from being a general interest trade house to a more focused specialty publisher in the old core Lyons categories." Falcon Press remains the same.

Among staff people reportedly let go were Janice Goldklang, executive director of editorial for Globe Pequot/Lyons Press (who can be reached at or at 917-459-6244); Mary Norris, editorial director of Skirt! Books and executive editor of Lyons Press (; editor Lara Asher; James Jayo, editor at Lyons Press; and Jon Sternfeld, editor at Globe Pequot.

Among those spared was Keith Wallman, a Lyons Press editor, and Amy Lyons, editorial director of travel at Globe Pequot Press.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Three of Us by Ore Agbaje-Williams

DIESEL to Close Malibu Location

DIESEL, A Bookstore will close its Malibu, Calif., location this fall. The Malibu Times reported the store has marked down its inventory and the latest co-owner John Evans "believes they'll be open is September 21," though the lease runs through January. Evans and partner Alison Reid had put the business up for sale last December, but there were no serious offers.

"The store will close and it won't be open in the fall. Whether it'll be closed three weeks, six weeks or nine weeks from now, we don't know," Evans said, citing rent at the Country Mart location as a primary reason for the decision: "We've talked with them about reducing rent, about moving, about doing events, and we can talk to them again, but at the end of the day, you're tied into the lease you're tied into."

Country Mart owner Michael Koss took a shot at the viability of bookstores as a retail business in the age of Amazon, but Evans disagreed: "Fortunately, people are starting to realize what Amazon is like, that it's not good. But in a small community [Amazon] probably has a greater effect [on local bookstores]." DIESEL operates three other bookstores, in Brentwood, Oakland and Larkspur.

Blink: Come Home Safe by Brian G. Buckmire

Chicago Independent Bookstore Day Draws a Crowd

Photos from Powell's Bookstores

Despite a "monsoon that started the morning off, avid book readers were not deterred" from enthusiastically participating in the inaugural Chicago Independent Bookstore Day last Saturday, Chicagoist reported, adding that Kevin Elliot of Open Books "said that there were five people waiting outside before it was even time to open the store." Chicagoist's verdict: "All in all, the day was a great success, and every bibliophile's dream come true. Now with a little more traction, there's no doubt that next year's Independent Bookstore Day will be of an equal, if not higher, caliber than the first."

Nine bookstores participated in the daylong event, and several took to social media afterward, expressing their gratitude to everyone who had joined in the CIBD festivities:

Open Books: "We can't stop thanking you for making #chicagobookstoreday a success! We showed a 300%+ increase Saturday and saw all of you best of all!"

Display at Women & Children First

Women & Children First Bookstore: "Yesterday, the first-ever Chicago Independent Bookstore Day, was quite a day! Hundreds of people visited the store, many of them, with bookstore 'passports' in hand, were collecting the puzzle pieces, hoping to complete the puzzle designed by Lilli Carre. The first couple through our door in the morning planned to visit all 9 stores in one day, via public transportation! (We really hope they were successful!) We also had a wonderful time with special guest author Mary Schmich. Thank you, everyone, who participated in this special day for indie bookstores!"

Seminary Co-Op: "Thanks to everyone who came out for #chicagobookstoreday! It was great meeting bk lovers from all over the city. Looking fwd to next year!" And later: "Also, shout-out/props to the ppl whose journey down from the northside involved a bus accident. Didn't stop 'em. Readers are so hardcore."

The Book Cellar: "Well, it took you guys just under 4 hours to consume 160 cupcakes. That's around 40 per hour. Impressive!" And later: "Thanks again to everyone who came out for Chicago Independent Bookstore Day. You came in the rain and in the sun, and we had an amazing day with you all."

Powell's Bookstores, Chicago: "Thanks so much to everyone who participated in the first ever Chicago Independent Bookstore Day on Saturday! The enthusiasm and support from our customers was truly heart-warming, and we enjoyed a day full of amazing readings, including the first ever heard from Eula Biss's new book due out in September, and Joe Meno's heartwarming, sincere, and humorous endorsement of bookstores. Cheers to all! Looking forward to next year!"

Treats from The Chicago Diner Cookbook at Unabridged Books.

Unabridged Bookstore: "We want to thank everyone who came out to the store for our first annual Chicago Independent Bookstore Day! It was a smashing success! We met so many wonderful book people from our amazing city. We can not thank you enough for supporting us. We love you all from the bottom of our book selling hearts."

Venturing out in the rain to the Book Cellar, blogger BookJerm said it was "jam-packed with bookish folk when I arrived, which was a lovely sight to see. I’ve never seen so many people in that bookstore all at once. It made browsing for books a challenge with all the extra bodies roaming about; I was nevertheless happy to see all the support for the local store."

Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books: Welcome to the World by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

Amazon Prime Air Seeking FAA Wings

Last week, Amazon submitted a formal request to the Federal Aviation Administration for permission to begin testing drones for its proposed Prime Air package delivery service, which was unveiled in a highly publicized spectacle on CBS 60 Minutes last December. The Wall Street Journal reported that in a petition to the FAA posted Thursday, Amazon "said it is now on its eighth- and ninth-generation drone prototypes, including some that can travel more than 50 miles an hour and carry 5-pound packages, which would cover 86% of products it sells." The online retailer asked the FAA "for an exemption from the agency's effective ban on the commercial use of unmanned aircraft so Amazon can test its drones near its headquarters."

Describing Amazon Prime Air as "one invention we are incredibly passionate about," Paul Misener, v-p of global public policy, said that while Amazon's team of roboticists, scientists, aeronautical engineers and a former astronaut has been testing drones indoors or in other countries, the company "would prefer to keep the focus, jobs, and investment of this important research and development initiative in the United States."

The Journal also noted that Amazon "has at least six jobs posted on its careers website that are focused on developing Prime Air, including a project manager, a spokesman, a software engineer and a patent lawyer. All the jobs are in Seattle, except the software engineer, which is in San Francisco."

The Atlantic's Quartz news site suggested those job listings may be a key clue, citing The Information writer Amir Efrati's contention that "this could be an excellent recruiting technique, as Amazon fiercely competes for engineering and design talent with other tech giants and the allure of fast-growing startups. 'See, we're at least as cool as Google!' " Quartz also noted the publicity about drone deliveries "might even help Amazon in its discussions with its existing shipping providers, which are among its biggest cost centers."

The Twitter account for John Oliver's Last Week Tonight show on HBO took a decidedly more cynical tack: "Amazon is applying for permission to test delivery drones. If they're hoping to deliver a dystopian society, they've already NAILED IT."

Obituary Note: Nadine Gordimer

South African author Nadine Gordimer, a powerful voice against apartheid who was awarded the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature "for novels and short stories that reflected the drama of human life and emotion in a society warped by decades of white-minority rule," died Sunday, the Guardian reported. She was 90.

"Her characters with lofty ideals were often personally flawed; the racists and apolitical businessmen had the same depth and complexity as the freedom fighters," the Washington Post noted, adding that the "prolific, disciplined writer" crafted "more than a dozen novels, hundreds of short stories and essays, and collaborated on screenplays and edited collections of other works."

In her Nobel speech, Gordimer said, "This aesthetic venture of ours becomes subversive when the shameful secrets of our times are explored deeply, with the artist's rebellious integrity to the state of being manifest in life around her or him. Then the writer's themes and characters inevitably are formed by the pressures and distortions of that society as the life of the fisherman is determined by the power of the sea."


Image of the Day: Sniffer Dogs

Nancy Castaldo launched her children's book Sniffer Dogs (HMH) this past weekend at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck, N.Y. Among the attendees were four of the dogs featured in the book: (l.-r.) Ashes, Samson, Braithe and Casey. These dogs each have a specialty: some are Conservation Canines, others are experts in sniffing out accelerants like lighter fluid.

Falling Rock Cafe & Bookstore: 'Munising's Living Room'

When Falling Rock Cafe & Bookstore, Munising, Mich., opened in 2003, owners Jeff and Nancy Dwyer "were interested in the idea of a bookstore, but with the changing economy of book sales, they knew they would need an additional element," ABC-10 reported.

"Originally, we rented out space to someone else who provided food, and then after a while they chose not to do that, and we decided to make that a part of our operation," Jeff said. "And really now the concept is, the food, the ice cream, the coffee, is what brings people in the door, and then the books and the local art and the other things we have available are something they can enjoy while they're here."

"The people that come in regularly are like family," Nancy added.

Jeff agreed: "We've had people refer to it as Munising's living room.... We had a young man tell his grandmother he wanted to go for ice cream at the place where the chairs don't match, and so we really feel like this has become the kind of place and really fulfilling Nancy's vision that people are comfortable here, people are family here, and once they come in and become a part of it then they're friends for life."

Cool Idea of the Day: MTA Zine Residency

Last month, Barnard Zine Library and Archives announced an alternative to the "promise and betrayal of the #AmtrakResidency and its heinous terms of service" in the form of  "an alternative residency--on the F-Train and the Staten Island Ferry. We won't pay for your Metrocard, but we also won't demand to own your stuff! We will provide a goody bag to the first ten participants and encourage others to get snacks, materials and pee breaks sponsored. Mailing copies of your zines to the MTA & the DoT after is optional, but encouraged."

photo: Eric Goldhagen

On Friday, the New York Times rode along with MTA Zine Residency participants on the F train: "One woman drew cartoons in an artist's notebook. Another snipped off pieces from a subway map, then pasted them onto a white paper. Yellow fliers that read 'Service Changes' along with 'Zine Residency!' were taped to subway car walls. And a black banner with the words 'Zinesters in Residence' hung from a railing."

"There really is a pleasure to writing while you're in motion," said Jenna Freedman, the zine librarian at Barnard. "I've always felt that time is most my own."

Yesterday, the mobile zine salon was planning to reconvene on the Staten Island Ferry "to put the finishing touches on their creations," the Times wrote.

Larry McMurtry: Author, Reader, Bookseller

In the latest New York Times Book Review "Off the Shelf" interview, Larry McMurtry talked about his life as author, reader and bookseller. Two of our favorite exchanges:

In 2012, you sold off much of the inventory of your bookstore, Booked Up, in Archer City, Tex. How did you decide which books should go? Were there books in particular you wanted to hold onto for yourself?
I sold off half of my inventory, two buildings gone, two buildings stayed. Both buildings sold needed major repairs, which we could ill afford. So we sacrificed a lot of literature in translation, a lot of drama, some general travel, odds and ends. It was a normal downsizing. And we still have 290,000 excellent books. My personal library contains over 28,000 volumes, so I have plenty of books at home to keep me company.

What's been the best thing about being in the bookselling business? The worst?
The best: excitement of finding the unexpected treasure. The worst: crazies, meth-heads. Anyone can walk into our bookstore in the age of meth--it's a constant worry.

Personnel Changes at Cambridge University Press

Effective in September, Mandy Hill is joining Cambridge University Press as managing director of academic publishing. She was formerly publishing director of the global academic publishing group at Oxford University Press. She joined Oxford in 1998 as a publisher for medical journals, then became editorial director for Oxford journals and editorial director for science and medicine (books and journals). Earlier she worked at Elsevier and a medical communications agency.

She replaces Richard Fisher, who will leave in December after 30 years at the press.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Angela Ricketts on Fresh Air

Today on Fresh Air: Angela Ricketts, author of No Man's War: Irreverent Confessions of an Infantry Wife (Counterpoint, $26, 9781619023260).


Tomorrow morning on CBS This Morning: Daniel Silva, author of The Heist: A Novel (Harper, $27.99, 9780062320056).


Tomorrow on the View: Troy Dunn, author of Family: The Good "F" Word: The Life-Changing Action Plan for Building Your Best Family (Bird Street Books, $25.95, 9781939457028).


Tomorrow on the Talk: Alison Sweeney, author of Scared Scriptless (Hyperion, $15, 9781401311056).


Tomorrow night on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: Marcia Clark, author of Killer Ambition (Mulholland Books, $8, 9780316220934).

On Stage: American Psycho, the Musical; Adrian Mole

Second Stage Theatre will present the U.S. premiere "of the much praised (and much debated) American Psycho," the musical adaptation of the 1991 novel by Bret Easton Ellis and 2000 film starring Christian Bale. reported that the show, with music by Duncan Sheik, book by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, staging by Rupert Goold and starring Matt Smith (Dr. Who), "opened last December at London's Almeida Theatre and was considered a shoo-in for Broadway next season. It still may be." But American Psycho will begin Off Broadway, with preview performances next February and an opening in March. No casting has been announced yet.


Next year, the Curve Theatre in Leicester will premiere The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4--The Musical, with the intention of taking it to London's West End. The Guardian reported that the late Sue Townsend, who created one of the most popular characters in British fiction in Mole, "advised and encouraged the musical on its near three-year journey."

"Sue was an absolute dream, she was so supportive and went through everything with us," said Pippa Cleary, half of the writing team with Jake Brunger. "She gave us all the time in the world to get it right."

Movies: Horns

The first teaser trailer and poster have been released for Alexandre Aja's Horns, based on the novel by Joe Hill, the Film Stage reported. The project stars Daniel Radcliffe, "who is clearly looking to break away from the blockbuster world after Harry Potter." The cast also includes Juno Temple, Max Minghella, Joe Anderson, James Remar and Kelli Garner.

Books & Authors

Awards: Wales Book of the Year; Queen of Teen

Poet Owen Sheers won the Wales Book of the Year for his collection Pink Mist, a "verse-drama about three young soldiers from Bristol who are deployed to Afghanistan" that also took the Roland Mathias poetry award. Other category winners were Francesca Rhydderch for The Rice Paper Diaries (fiction) and Meic Stephens (creative nonfiction) for Rhys Davies: A Writer's Life. The overall winner of the Welsh-language Wales Book of the Year Award was Ioan Kidd for his novel Dewis, while the People's Choice Award went to Tyler Keevil for The Drive. Each category winner was awarded £2,000 (about US$3,425), and the main overall winner in each language received an additional £6,000.


James Dawson, author of the YA novels Cruel Summer, Hollow Pike and Say Her Name, became the first male writer to win the Queen of Teen Award, which was established in 2008 to celebrate authors from the world of teen fiction. The Telegraph reported that Dawson's novels "have been praised for their sensitive, down-to-earth portrayal of gay characters." Also on this year's shortlist were John Green, Veronica Roth, Natasha Farrant, Cathy Cassidy, Sue Ransom, Beth Reekles, Holly Smale, Tonya Hurley and Cassandra Clare.

Book Review

Review: The Grace in Aging: Awaken as You Grow Older

The Grace in Aging: Awaken as You Grow Older by Kathleen Dowling Singh (Wisdom Publications, $17.95 paperback, 9781614291268, August 5, 2014)

As the generation of baby boomers reaches retirement and beyond, many people wonder what their remaining years will hold for them. From a Buddhist perspective, Kathleen Singh (The Grace in Dying) approaches the question of aging with insight and wisdom, opening the doorway to a relaxed acceptance of the inevitable. "Aging can offer us the time to deliberately reorient ourselves toward the inner life, an infinitely more reliable refuge than anything the world can offer," Singh writes. "To open these inner vistas is to enter a time of awakening, to lighten our attachment to self, the cause of all of our unease. We have the opportunity to, first, recognize that living attached to our own sense of self is a small, confined, and stressed way to live and, then, to wholeheartedly engage in practices that will free that myopic attachment."

Singh encourages readers to step onto the "noble path," to let go of their egos and to release habits that restrain them and prevent the progression from a constricted point of view toward one that embraces love, forgiveness and compassion toward everyone. By being mindful of our actions and words, Singh suggests we can recognize old patterns that hold us captive--that make us fearful, judgmental and ignorant--to find the bigger, brighter picture of the universe that awaits us. Meditation is the first and essential step on this path. Once the beneficial habit of meditation is in place, Singh reminds us that we may encounter silence and solitude, aspects of an aging life that cultivate "holy aloneness" and "allow deeper insight into the true nature of appearances."

Singh also delves into the ideas of forgiveness, humility, being present in the here and now, and making a commitment to continue along this "noble path" until the end--death is the constant, albeit unseen, companion to those in the later stages of life. Excerpts from a variety of poems help emphasize the complexity of Singh's views on the art of aging gracefully.

Using Singh's advice, readers of all ages can gain an awareness of the joy inherent in everyday moments large and small. Her calming and illuminating prose aims to bring a sense of liberation to readers' lives and open their minds to a world full of love, laughter and peace, so they can live with compassion and wisdom, surrounded by truth. --Lee E. Cart, freelance writer and book reviewer

Shelf Talker: The author of The Grace in Dying: How We Are Transformed Spiritually As We Die here presents an engaging, illuminating discussion on aging.

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