Also published on this date: Wednesday, August 27, 2014: Kids' Maximum Shelf: Harlem Hellfighters

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Walker Books: Malamander (Legends of Eerie-On-Sea) by Thomas Taylor, illustrated by Tom Booth

Little Brown and Company: Kingdomtide by Rye Curtis

Sharjah Book Authority Publishers Conference October 27th-29th --Register Now!

Candlewick Press: Judy Moody, Book Quiz Whiz (Judy Moody #15) by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Peter H Reynolds

Bloomsbury Publishing: 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak

Workman Publishing: Guitar: The World's Most Seductive Instrument by David Schiller

News

British Children's Laureate Confronts Racist Abuse

British children's laureate Malorie Blackman declared that "hell will freeze over before I let racists and haters silence me" after facing "an outpouring of racist abuse following her call for more diversity in children's books" over the weekend, the Guardian reported. The attacks on Twitter came after she spoke with Sky News about the topic and the network used "an inaccurate headline claiming that Blackman had said that children's books 'Have Too Many White Faces.' "

Blackman told her Twitter followers that "not once did the phrase in the banner headline pass my lips because I don't think in those terms." Even after the headline was altered to "Call for More Ethnic Diversity in Kids' Books," however, the "hatred, threats and vitriol" continued.

Support was immediately forthcoming from both other writers and from readers, the Guardian noted, including Carnegie medal winner Patrick Ness ("I adore @malorieblackman. I think she's a brilliant Laureate. I'm seething. Why have we agreed we're OK with this? I'm bloody well not."), novelist Matt Haig ("disgusted that the wonderful @malorieblackman, one of the great forces for good, has had to come off Twitter because of racist abuse."), author Joanne Harris ("Don't read below the idiot-line. You are loved and appreciated here...") and author Francesca Simon ("I'm proud to be a children's writer with the marvellous @malorieblackman representing us.")

Yesterday, Blackman returned to Twitter after a brief absence to say she was "so overwhelmed and humbled by the messages of support and love I've received since I posted my last tweet," adding: "I only meant to take a few days' break to write an article about this whole issue. Racists and haters will never make me run away. Ever!"

She added: "In fact, they just proved to me that I was right to speak out. So thanks so much everyone for your support. I can't tell you how much it means to me. I walk hand in hand with you. #WeNeedDiverseBooksUK."


Magination Press: My Singing Nana by Pat Mora, illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez


NPR's Morning Edition to Unveil National Book Award Finalists

On October 15, Books & Books owner Mitchell Kaplan will be a guest on NPR's Morning Edition to announce the 20 finalists for this year's National Book Awards, marking the first time the National Book Foundation is revealing the finalists on a national radio program. Kaplan, co-founder of Miami Book Fair International, received the NBF's 2011 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.

"We are thrilled to be working with NPR's Morning Edition and Mitchell Kaplan, one of America's foremost booksellers," said NBF executive director Harold Augenbraum. "NPR has the country's best on-air audience for books and Mitchell is chair of one of the nation's best book festivals."

Madhulika Sikka, executive editor of NPR News, added: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that NPR listeners are bookworms--our book reviews and author conversations are extremely popular on air, online and in the social space. On behalf of NPR and our listeners, we are proud to collaborate with the National Book Foundation."


University of Pittsburgh Press: The Firebird: The Elusive Fate of Russian Democracy (First Edition, Pitt Russian and Eastern European Studies Series)


Kobo Launches Aura H2O Waterproof E-Reader

kobo aura h20Yesterday, Kobo unveiled its Aura H2O waterproof E Ink e-reader, which will be available for $179.99 beginning October 1 in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain, with more countries to follow. Starting today, select retailers will offer pre-orders and, as of September 1, pre-orders will be available at Kobo.com in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. Kobo said the device is IP67 certified (waterproof for up to 30 minutes in one meter of water with the port cover closed).

"We are most interested in those people who put books at the center of their lives--what they want to see next, what gets them excited. When we asked our customers what held them back from reading more e-books, many told us they love to read in the bath, by the pool, or on the beach, but believed that devices and water didn't mix," said Michael Tamblyn, Kobo's president and chief content officer. "As we dug deeper, we found that more than 60% of customers surveyed said they would love to be able read near water without worry. We designed the Kobo Aura H2O, our latest premium e-reader, so that e-books could be just as common at the beach or in the bath as they are on the bus or in bed."


H1: Ignited: Triggered by Mark Waid and Kwanza Osajyefo, illustrated by Phil Briones


ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Book World Update

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has raised more than $70 million thus far and, as we noted last week, the book world has also fully embraced the viral momentum of charitable self-drenching. Here are just a few more bookish variations (among dozens) on an ice bucket challenge theme:

At Perseus Distribution, staff members have been challenging each other to take the ice bucket challenge and donate to ALS in honor of former colleague Sarah Coglianese, who was diagnosed with the disease about two years ago and chronicles her journey on her blog at Speed4Sarah to raise awareness about ALS.

John Grisham met Stephen King's challenge, and George R.R. Martin accepted the one issued to him by "Neil Gaiman, that bastard." Sandra Boynton imagined a Hippo Ice Bucket Challenge. Roddy Doyle opted for a classic dialogue between two lads sipping Guinness in a pub. And George Saunders shared an Ice Bucket Challenge story with a funny twist.

Baylor Bookstore, Waco, Tex., participated. You can even choose to follow a bookstore challenge through-line (an ALS Ice Bucket Challenge version of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon). For example, you can go from the Strand Book Store, New York City, to Powell's Books, Portland, Ore., to Politics & Prose Bookstore, Washington, D.C., to Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe & Grill, Washington, D.C., to Harvard Bookstore, Cambridge, Mass., to Brazos Bookstore, Houston, Tex.--and beyond.


Berkley Books: Tom Brown's Guide to Healing the Earth by Tom Brown and Randy Walker


Deadline Approaching for WI10 Design Contest

The design contest celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the American Booksellers Association's Winter Institute will continue to accept entries from ABA member booksellers until this Friday, August 29. Bookselling This Week noted that the winning design will be featured on T-shirts for volunteers and select guests, with a limited number also being sold at the event. The rules and guidelines for the contest can be found here. Four finalists will be chosen by the ABA, and one grand prize-winning design will be chosen by the membership. Voting will take place September 2-30, and the $150 grand prize winner will be announced on or around October 1. WI10 will be held in Asheville, N.C., February 8-11.


Notes

Image of the Day: Hillary in the Hamptons

Hillary Clinton at Books & Books
The staff of Books & Books Westhampton Beach with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (photo: Neil M. Salvaggio)

Last Sunday, Books & Books Westhampton Beach, N.Y., drew a crowd of well over 1,000 to meet former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as she autographed more than 900 copies of her new book, Hard Choices. The atmosphere was festive and celebratory as Clinton chatted with everyone in line as they passed by her autograph station. Many local residents could not recall the last time a public personality of this stature appeared in Westhampton Beach. Clinton was welcomed by the town's newly elected mayor, Maria Moore, and by store co-owners Denise Berthiaume (in black, to Clinton's right) and Jack McKeown (far left, in orange). McKeown said, "This is the biggest day for the store, by far, since we opened in 2010. For Denise and me, this represents a highlight in our careers as booksellers and publishing people."


'11 Things You Learn Your First Month as a Bookseller'

"Every title and author's name sounds like 'Ssdflkjx Dkfsldkflkjs' over the phone" is just one of "11 things you learn your first month as a bookseller" that the staff at Porter Square Books, Cambridge, Mass., shared in its most recent PSBuzzfeed list.

"Every new job has a learning curve, but not every job also expects you to instantly absorb the entire scope of the history of literature along with all the hot new releases and hidden gems, but bookselling does," Porter Square noted.


Personnel Changes at Image Comics

Corey Murphy is now the director of retail sales at Image Comics. Previously she was general manager at Laughing Ogre Comics.


Ingram Publisher Services Adds Two Publishers

Ingram Publisher Services has added two new client publishers, for which it is handling sales and distribution in the U.S. and Canada:

In the Sports Zone offers more than 20 college and 32 National Football League activity books that are licensed and approved by each collegiate team or the NFL. The company earmarks a percentage of profits from all books sold and donates books to children in local hospitals across the country.
Magnet & Steel has more than 30 years of experience developing pet-related products, including books, calendars, greetings cards, signage and seasonal gift stationery. Ingram is also providing the company with POD and e-book content distribution services.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Todd Glass on the Daily Show

Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: part two of a two-part interview with Kevin Birmingham, author of The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce's Ulysses (Penguin Press, $29.95, 9781594203367). As the show put it: "Ulysses upended all expectations of what literature should be, both in its inclusion of sexually explicit, intimate language, and in James Joyce's refusal to use a consistent narrative form. Like an eye into the future, this difficult, all-consuming book still seems radical a century later. We continue our discussion with Kevin Birmingham, author of The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce's Ulysses, to ask: what exactly made Ulysses so dangerous?"

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Tomorrow on a repeat of Tavis Smiley: Joan Rivers, author of Diary of a Mad Diva (Berkley, $26.95, 9780425269022).

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Tomorrow night on the Daily Show: Todd Glass, co-author of The Todd Glass Situation: A Bunch of Lies About My Personal Life and a Bunch of True Stories About My 30-Year Career in Stand-Up Comedy (Simon & Schuster, $25, 9781476714417).


TV: Shutter Island

HBO and Paramount Television "are making deals to turn the 2010 hit film Shutter Island into a TV series," Deadline.com reported. Tentatively titled Ashecliffe, the pilot will be directed by Martin Scorsese from a script by Dennis Lehane, who wrote the novel originally adapted by the director and Laeta Kalogridis into a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

The project "was an idea by Paramount TV head Amy Powell, who brought it to Scorsese and LBI's Yorn and Chris Donnelly and Brad Fischer... They enlisted Lehane, the Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone author who loved the idea," Deadline.com wrote.


Movies: TIFF's Lit-Inspired Films; Gone Girl

The Toronto International Film Festival takes place September 4-14 this year, and "from author biopics to adaptations of novels, this year’s festival is full of lit-inspired films," Quillblog reported in highlighting "14 lit-inspired films to watch for at TIFF 2014."

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A new TV spot for David Fincher's adaptation of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn "features some new footage and more clues about the disappearance of Amy Dunne. Did Nick do it? What is he hiding? What was she hiding?" The film hits theaters October 3.



Books & Authors

Awards: Academy of American Poets; Toronto Book

The Academy of American Poets announced this year's winners of its annual poetry prizes. The recipients will be honored at the American Poets Prizes ceremony on October 17 at 7 p.m. at the New School in New York City. This year's winners are:

Robert Hass won $100,000 Wallace Stevens Award, which recognizes "outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry."
Tracy K. Smith received the $25,000 Academy of American poets fellowship, which honors "distinguished poetic achievement."
Rigoberto González's Unpeopled Eden (Four Way Books) won the $25,000 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for "the most outstanding book of poetry published in the United States in the previous year."
Brian Blanchfield's A Several World (Nightboat Books) won the $5,000 James Laughlin Award, which is given for a second book of poetry by an American poet.
W.S. Merwin's Selected Translations (Copper Canyon Press) won the $1,000 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award, which recognizes a published translation of poetry from any language into English that demonstrates literary excellence.  
Chris Hosea's Put Your Hands In (forthcoming from LSU Press) won the $5,000 Walt Whitman Award for an American who has not yet published a book of poetry.
Luigi Bonaffini's The Bedroom (Chelsea Editions), a translation of Attilio Bertolucci's La Camera da Letto, won the $10,000 Raiziss/de Palchi Book Prize, which recognizes outstanding translations of modern Italian poetry into English.
Wendy Chen's poem "They Sail Across the Mirrored Sea" won the inaugural $1,000 Aliki Perroti & Seth Frank Most Promising Young Poet Award, which recognizes a student poet.
As was previously announced, Hannah Sanghee Park's manuscript, The Same-Different, was selected by Rae Armantrout for the Walt Whitman Award, established in 1975 to encourage the work of emerging poets. She receives $5,000 and publication by LSU Press in 2015.

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Five finalists have been named for the 40th annual $10,000 Toronto Book Awards, Quillblog reported. The winner will be announced October 16. This year's shortlisted titles are:

Kicking the Sky by Anthony Da Sa  
The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master and the Trial that Shocked a Country by Charlotte Gray
The Wondrous Woo by Carianne K.Y. Leung
The Stop: How the Fight for Good Food Transformed a Community and Inspired a Movement by Nick Saul & Andrea Curtis
The Hungry Ghosts by Shyam Selvadurai


Book Brahmin: Anjanette Delgado

photo: Javier Romero

Anjanette Delgado is a Puerto Rican novelist, journalist and TV producer who  lives in Miami, Fla., with her husband, Daniel, and her mini dachshund, Chloe. She writes about heartbreak; her first novel was The Heartbreak Pill; her second, The Clairvoyant of Calle Ocho was just published by Kensington and is also available in Spanish (from Penguin Random House) in the U.S. and Mexico. She drinks a café con leche made with almond coconut milk every morning at precisely 7:45 a.m. and travels to places just to visit independent bookstores. 

On your nightstand now:

No Regrets, Coyote by John Dufresne. As my favorite independent bookseller, Mitchell Kaplan, would say, "It's a novel with a murder in it." It's fun and literary and has amaaaazing dialogue.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Books were everything when I was a child: Encyclopedia Brown books by Donald J. Sobol, Seven Days to a Brand New Me by Ellen Conford, Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great by Judy Blume and The Borrowers by Mary Norton.

Your top five authors:

It's impossible to pick just five. (I've been trying to narrow things down for weeks.) I will pick the top five on my mind the last few weeks, and they are all women, telling women's stories: Lynne Barrett, Lydia Davis, Patricia Engel, Chinelo Okparanta and Ann Hood.

Book you've faked reading:

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. I loved the first half, and couldn't stomach the second; I stopped 100 pages away from the end, as well written as it was.

Book you're an evangelist for:

We the Animals by Justin Torres. Torres says it's a novel, but what I love about it is that it could also be called a long prose poem, a memoir or a collection of short stories, and it would work. It will break your heart and make you feel alive at the same time and you won't care about genre one bit. Also, The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. It's a contemporary, hip ode to art wrapped in a beautifully unorthodox love story with an older woman at its center. And then there's Little Stalker by Jennifer Belle. This book is the best-kept secret in contemporary fiction. It's about New York, celebrity obsession and human flaws and identity, all woven together with delicious insights and the wittiest prose.

Book you've bought for the cover:

The Turkish Lover by Esmeralda Santiago. The girl on the cover spoke to me. Once I'd read it, it became my favorite Esmeralda Santiago book.

Book that changed your life:

The Stories of Eva Luna by Isabel Allende. It was the book that told me that books could see into your heart even if you'd never held them before--that authors were these people who worked at knowing you before you knew yourself. Her short story "Dos Palabras"--"Two Words"--was seared into my mind and heart, and I've never forgotten it since. Recently, I had the chance to interview her, and I completely fell in love with her. She is a force of love and knowing, a forward-moving storm of positive energy and wit. On top of it all, she's funny. Come to think of it, I really hate her.

Favorite line from a book:

"But there were times, quiet moments, when our mother was sleeping, when she hadn't slept in two days, and any noise, any stair creak, any shut door, any stifled laugh, any voice at all, might wake her, those still, crystal mornings, when we wanted to protect her, this confused goose of a woman, this stumbler, this gusher, with her backaches and headaches and her tired, tired ways, this uprooted Brooklyn creature, this tough talker, always with tears when she told us she loved us, her mixed-up love, her needy love, her warmth, those mornings, when sunlight found the cracks in our blinds and laid itself down in crisp strips on our carpet, those quiet mornings when we'd fix ourselves oatmeal, and sprawl onto our stomachs with crayons and paper, with glass marbles that we were careful not to rattle...." --Justin Torres, We the Animals (emphasis mine)

Which character you most relate to:

Princess Cimorene from Patricia C. Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles (Dealing with Dragons, etc.). She informs my writing to this day. In my novels, regular women teach themselves something in order to be happy. It stems from my immigrant heart, I think. You come here [to the mainland U.S.] to pursue your destiny, to act on your dreams. What wonder to know you can do that, sometimes for the price of a $15 trade paperback. Can you imagine how lucky we all are to have that access? Cimorene did whatever needed to be done to help others, to be happy with her own life, and she loved for the sake of loving, even moving in with a dragon when it made sense. I mean, who hasn't lived with a dragon at one point or another?

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

A Far Cry from Kensington by Muriel Spark.

Book you love even though it broke your heart:

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. The prose on that thing! It's knee-weakening to read, knowing all those beautifully arranged words, being able to create that incredible story, weren't enough to save her.


Book Review

YA Review: Egg & Spoon

Egg & Spoon by Gregory Maguire (Candlewick, $17.99 hardcover, 496p., ages 12-up, 9780763672201, September 9, 2014)

Set in Tsarist Russia, Gregory Maguire's (Wicked) suspenseful story conjures the folkloric figure Baba Yaga--a hilariously acerbic old witch--and incorporates fantastic creatures such as the Firebird, an ice-dragon and a talking cat, to create a fairytale saga that will delight and challenge its readers. Two girls--one a peasant, the other from privilege--accidentally switch places and get swept up in a world of magic and adventure.

Thirteen-year-old Elena struggles to keep her dying mother alive in the poverty-stricken village of Miersk. With no food or medicine, and with one brother working abroad and the other conscripted into the Tsar's army, she resolves to ask the Tsar for help.  Meanwhile, Ekaterina, or "Cat," finds her private train stuck in Miersk, delaying her arrival in St. Petersburg for the Tsar's ball.  When the train takes off unexpectedly, Elena is trapped aboard and Cat is sent tumbling out the door, with a priceless Fabergé egg (her gift to the Tsar) clutched to her chest, and into the path of Baba Yaga. Observing the strangeness of her circumstance, Cat states, " 'I've stepped sideways out of life.' 'I am life,' Baba Yaga corrected her."

There are larger problems at hand than the two girls' swapped fates, however. " 'Something is wrong with the world,' said the witch, almost to herself.  'It appears to be broken.' " Indeed, as seasons grow erratic and the Firebird--the "Spirit of All the Russias"--goes missing, Cat and Baba Yaga head to St. Petersburg (and Elena) in the witch's ambulatory house to alert the Tsar.  Troubles lurk there, as well, and all three characters must band together to restore the world's natural order and magic.

Egg & Spoon's phrasing and vocabulary give it a classic feel that reflects its folktale roots, as does its storyteller-style narration.  The lack of romance and edgy content make this an excellent choice for younger readers who are reading at more advanced levels.  Alternating and ultimately interweaving story lines add complexity to the plot, which is driven by an enticing mix of mystery, danger and magic--a combination sure to appeal to fans of Tom McNeal's Far, Far Away

Themes of friendship, family and self-discovery underpin the girls' fantastic adventures, creating a new take on this classic Russian tale. In the words of Baba Yaga, "Fasten your seat belts, honeybuckets--it's going to be a bumpy walk." --Julia Smith, blogger and former children's bookseller

Shelf Talker: A funny and adventurous story of mistaken identity in Tsarist Russia, in which two girls team up with the witch Baba Yaga to save Russia, magic and to take control of their own fates.


The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by IndieReader.com:

1. 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse by J.J. Smith
2. Indestructible by Angela Graham
3. Collin by Sandi Lynn
4. Vain--Part Two by Deborah Bladon
5. Realer Than Real by Ryan Wilkins
6. Michael Jackson Conspiracy by Aphrodite Jones
7. Draw by Cora Brent
8. Incandescent by River Savage
9. Tempted by His Touch by Various
10. Nikolai 2 by Roxie Rivera

[Many thanks to IndieReader.com!]


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