Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Algonquin Young Readers: The Ogress and the Orphans by Kelly Barnhill

St. Martin's Press: Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner

Atria Books: The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner

Carolrhoda Books (R): Today Is Different by Doua Moua, illustrated by Kim Holt

Tor Teen: Victories Greater Than Death (Unstoppable #1) by Charlie Jane Anders and Tor Teen: Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak (Unstoppable #2) by Charlie Jane Anders

Sourcebooks Landmark: Her Hidden Genius by Marie Benedict

Tordotcom: Seasonal Fears by Seanan McGuire


B&N's First Quarter: Sales Slip, Loss Narrowed

Sales at Barnes & Noble in the first quarter ended August 2 fell 7%, to $1.2 billion, and the net loss was $28.4 million, compared to a net loss of $87 million in the same period a year ago. The results were in line with Wall Street estimates.

Sales at B&N bookstores and fell 5.3%, to $955 million. Sales at stores open at least a year were down 5.1%; excluding Nook products, comp-store sales slipped 0.4%. The company did not break out online sales, saying only that they were "lower."

Sales in the college division were $226 million, the same as the first quarter a year ago. Sales at college stores open at least a year fell 2%, primarily because of the timing of rush, which came after the quarter ended. The company noted: "College EBITDA losses increased to $32 million, as compared to $19 million in the prior year, due primarily to higher expenses associated with new store growth in the non-rush first quarter and continued investments in digital education. The new store growth is expected to benefit College during the second quarter back-to-school rush period."

Nook sales as a whole fell 54.3%, to $70 million, while Nook device and accessories sales fell 78.6%, to $18 million, because of "lower unit selling volume." Digital content sales fell 24.2%, to $52 million, mainly because of lower device sales.

The company said it continues to expect "both Retail comparable bookstore sales and Retail Core comparable bookstore sales to decline in the low-single digits. College comparable store sales are also expected to decline in the low-single digits. The Company expects full fiscal year EBITDA losses in the NOOK segment to decline versus the prior year."

B&N CEO Michael P. Huseby commented: "We continued to improve our financial performance, while further executing on our strategic initiatives, including work on the proposed separation of the Barnes & Noble Retail and Nook Media businesses." He noted that bookselling comp-store sales "continued to benefit from improving physical book industry trends, merchandising initiatives and store promotions, such as our Get Pop Cultured campaign, which was able to create excitement and incremental traffic and sales into our stores."


In other company news, B&N will close its store in the Oakland Place Shopping Center, DeKalb, Ill., by December 31 when the lease expires, the Daily Chronicle reported. Roger Hopkins, the city's economic development consultant, said the real estate manager confirmed the closing with him about a week ago: "I talked to the developer about it, and we are actively looking for other tenants. It doesn't sound like we have a lot of options in the book business right now." He added that city leaders haven't tried to attract a bookstore to DeKalb in the past, but that doesn't mean he won't look into potential similar businesses.

Atlantic Monthly Press: Beyond Innocence: The Life Sentence of Darryl Hunt by Phoebe Zerwick

New Indie Bookstore to Open in Winter Park, Fla.

Writer's Block Bookstore will open later this month at 124 E. Welbourne Ave., Winter Park, Fla. The Orlando Sentinel reported that owner Lauren Zimmerman "is so convinced of the future of paperbacks and other traditional forms of literature that she's made a significant investment in that trend.... in a shop that she hopes becomes a popular place for those who absolutely love browsing through an old-fashioned bookstore."

"I'm really excited about this," she said. "We need this in the Orlando area.... I'm in the middle of getting everything set up, and ordering books. It's going to be new books and gifts.... It's going to be all genres. It's your community bookstore."

She also noted that the location seems ideal: "I just felt like the only place it was going to be successful was Park Avenue." Zimmerman hopes to be open by September 18, in time for Winter Park Sip & Stroll.

Ingram Booklove: An Exclusive Rewards Program for Indie Booksellers

Forbes's Top-Earning Authors: 'The Kids Are Coming'

Veronica Roth

E.L. James's reign at the top of Forbes magazine's annual "World's Top-Earning Authors" list turned out to be brief, if lucrative. The Fifty Shades author fell from the #1 spot in 2013 ($95 million) to a tie for 14th place this year ($10 million), as newcomers Veronica Roth ($17 million), Gillian Flynn ($9 million) and John Green ($9 million) hit the list for the first time, prompting Forbes to note: "Watch out Danielle Steel and Stephen King--the kids are coming."

To formulate its highest-earning authors list, Forbes "looks at print, e-book and audiobook sales from Nielsen BookScan figures, consider TV and movie earnings and talk to authors, agents, publishers and other experts." The top-earning authors, as ranked by earnings between June 2013 and June 2014, are:

  • James Patterson ($90 million)
  • Dan Brown ($28 million)
  • Nora Roberts ($23 million)
  • Danielle Steel ($22 million)
  • Janet Evanovich ($20 million)
  • Jeff Kinney ($17 million)
  • Veronica Roth ($17 million)
  • John Grisham ($17 million)
  • Stephen King ($17 million)
  • Suzanne Collins ($16 million)
  • J.K. Rowling ($14 million)
  • George R.R. Martin ($12 million)
  • David Baldacci ($11 million)
  • Rick Riordan ($10 million)
  • E.L. James ($10 million)
  • Gillian Flynn ($9 million)
  • John Green ($9 million)

AuthorBuzz for the Week of 01.17.22

Former Bookseller Now CEO of 3D Printing Company

Jenny Lawton, former owner of Just Books and Just Books Too, Greenwich, Conn., has been named CEO of MakerBot, the 3D-printing company, according to Greenwich Time. She had been president and joined MakerBot as a strategist in 2011. MakerBot has three stores, in Greenwich, New York City and Boston, Mass.

Lawton told the paper that bookselling and 3D printing are "not dissimilar. It just looks dissimilar. I'm incredibly passionate about giving people access to enable them to reach their passion."

She also has a tech background. Greenwich Time noted that she co-founded an information technology consulting firm in 1991 that she sold in 2000.

Lawton bought Just Books from longtime owner Warren Cassell in 2002 and opened Just Books Too in Old Greenwich shortly thereafter. In 2005, she closed the original Just Books, and in 2008 sold Just Books Too to Marion Boucher Holmes. Holmes closed Just Books Too in 2011

Atheneum Books for Young Readers: Some Questions about Trees by Toni Yuly

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
by Jennifer Ziegler

GLOW: Margaret Ferguson Books: Worser by Jennifer ZieglerSeventh grader Will Orser is exacting and precise with his words, which makes the grammatically incorrect nickname "Worser" especially frustrating. Introverted Worser hides out in a bookstore, where he expands his lexicon and finds new friends. Veteran author Jennifer Ziegler compassionately conveys Will's transformation; her storytelling voice led publisher and editor Margaret Ferguson to acquire the title: "[Will] is a flawed character who comes to understand that many of his perceptions about life and people aren't true and by the end of the book, he is richer for that knowledge." With tenderness and authenticity, Ziegler delivers an emotional gut-punch for language-loving readers. --Kit Ballenger

(Margaret Ferguson Books, $17.99 hardcover, ages 9-12, 9780823449569, March 15, 2022)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported



Image of the Day: Lock In at Borderlands

John Scalzi, winner of the 2013 Hugo Award for Redshirts (Tor), appeared before a crowd of 200 enthusiastic fans at Borderlands Books in San Francisco on Saturday to promote his new book, Lock In (Tor). Pictured here are (l.-r.) Borderlands Books owner Alan Beatts, manager Jude Feldman and Scalzi.

Gibson's Bookstore Wins BPRNE's Independent Spirit Award

Gibson's Bookstore, Concord, N.H., has won the 2014 Independent Spirit Award, sponsored by the Book Publishers Representatives of New England and recognizing excellence in a bookstore member of New England Independent Booksellers Association. The award will be given at the NEIBA fall trade show in Providence, R.I., September 30-October 2.

Ron Koltnow, the sales rep who nominated Gibson's, wrote: "Gibson's has always been great at creative events, community outreach, and just plain old-fashioned bookselling.  Now, in the beautiful new store, they have become a powerhouse in New England bookselling."

As part of the award, Gibson's receives two nights lodging for the trade show and a free ticket to all NEIBA meals for an exceptional bookseller of Gibson's choosing who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend the show. Gibson's owner, Michael Herrmann, chose bookseller Ryan Elizabeth Foley as the recipient of this honor.

Velveteen Rabbit Bookshop Is a 'Treasure in Fort Atkinson'

Noting that there "are many hidden gems tucked into our communities including independent bookstores," the Lake Mills Leader wrote that the Velveteen Rabbit Bookshop & Guest House has been "such a treasure in Fort Atkinson [Wis.] for the past 20 years.... The bookshop is housed inside a cozy, pink Victorian house and has an emphasis on children's literature."

"We saw this place when it first went on the market," said owner Marie Nelson. "We knew we wanted to be in Fort Atkinson. I knew I wanted something different. My husband, Jim, and I loved old homes. We went, 'This is it.' "

Nelson added that she "always wanted to open a bookshop. After I got my Master's degree I was going to teach a few more years but we opened the bookshop. I love books. My background has always been reading and language arts. Reading has always been a passion. I can't imagine getting tired of books."

On December 6, the Velveteen Rabbit will celebrate two decades in business. "It's hard to believe it's been twenty years," said Nelson. "I'm not sure where the time has gone. I would like to thank the community for all their support. I so appreciate that and it means a lot. A bookstore is so important to have in the community and we wouldn't be here without them. Books take you anywhere."

Maria Russo, New New York Times Children's Book Editor

Last week, we caught up with Maria Russo, the newly named children's book editor at the New York Times, who started in the full-time position on August 3. A native New Yorker, Russo received her Ph.D. in 19th-century American Literature from Columbia University, and quickly realized she wasn't cut out for the tenure track. Instead, she started on a path to cultural journalism.

Russo worked for the New York Times 10 years ago, in 2001, for six months reviewing adult books. "I loved it, and have reviewed ever since for the New York Times, except for the four years I worked at the Los Angeles Times," she said. One of her more recent reviews for the New York Times was a rave for R.J. Palacio's Wonder. As books editor at Salon, Russo was mentored by Laura Miller, whom she called "one of the earliest champions of YA books for adults." Russo has worked in Los Angeles for the past 10 years, most recently as editor-in-chief of Pasadena magazine.

In addition to editing and publishing children's reviews once a month in the Review, Russo will write the Bookshelf column, plus a weekly online picture book review. "There are more books published than we can possibly do justice to in the pages of the Book Review," said Russo. Her children--ages four, eight and 11--keep Russo attuned to books in every age category. 

'Experience the Power of a Bookbook'

Although a new promotional video for IKEA's 2015 product catalogue is about furniture and accessories, the spot-on parody of computer promos also applies to the book trade, especially when the "pitchman goes on to detail the feature of IKEA's annual printed product showcase with a level of gravity--and spartan aesthetic--seen in Apple's product dispatches," the Financial Post noted.

"The 2015 IKEA catalogue comes fully charged and the battery life is eternal," an IKEA rep enthuses. "It's not a digital book, or an e-book. Its a bookbook.... The navigation is tactile touch technology... content comes pre-installed, via 328 high-definition pages of inspiring home furnishing ideas."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Keith Richards Riffs on Gus & Me

This morning on the Today Show and tonight on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Keith Richards, author of the picture book Gus & Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $18, 9780316320658), illustrated by his daughter Theodora Richards.


Today on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow: Wendy Davis, author of Forgetting to Be Afraid: A Memoir (Blue Rider Press, $27.95, 9780399170577). She will be on Morning Joe tomorrow.


Tomorrow morning on Morning Joe: Henry Kissinger, author of World Order (Penguin Press, $36, 9781594206146). He will also appear on the Colbert Report.


Tomorrow on CNN's New Day: Liza Long, author of The Price of Silence: A Mom's Perspective on Mental Illness (Hudson Street Press, $25.95, 9781594632570). She will also appear on Al Jazeera's Consider This.


Tomorrow on NPR's On Point: H.D.S. Greenway, author of Foreign Correspondent: A Memoir (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781476761329).


Tomorrow on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, author of Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World (Ballantine, $26, 9780804179072).


Tomorrow night on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: Lawrence Block, author of A Walk Among the Tombstones (Hard Case Crime, $7.99, 9781783295623).

TV: Mary Karr's Liars' Club, Cherry, Lit

Showtime has put in development a series based on Mary Karr's memoirs Liars' Club, Cherry and Lit. reported that the project, from executive producers Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly (Masters of Sex), could star Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds), who would also exec produce. Karr will adapt her books and co-executive produce, with Frank Konigsberg (William & Kate) attached as a producer.

Books & Authors

Awards: Man Booker Shortlist; Bellow; FIL Literary; Ned Kelly

The shortlist for the 2014 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, which this year is open to writers in English around the world, is:

Joshua Ferris (U.S.) for To Rise Again at a Decent Hour (Viking)
Richard Flanagan (Australian) for The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Chatto & Windus)
Karen Joy Fowler (U.S.) for We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (Serpent's Tail)
Howard Jacobson (British) for J (Jonathan Cape)
Neel Mukherjee (British) for The Lives of Others (Chatto & Windus)
Ali Smith (British) for How to Be Both (Hamish Hamilton)

The winner will be announced October 14.

The Bookseller noted that with the exception of Karen Joy Fowler, all the shortlisted authors are published by various Penguin Random House imprints.


Louise Erdrich has won the 2014 PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction. Sponsored by PEN American Center, the $25,000 award is presented biannually to a living American author whose "scale of achievement in fiction, over a sustained career, places him or her in the highest rank of American literature."

Judges Edwidge Danticat, Zadie Smith and E.L. Doctorow, commented: "Some writers work a small piece of land: Louise Erdrich is not one of those writers. Her work has an awesome capaciousness‹each person is a world. For Erdrich, the tale of the individual necessarily leads to the tale of the family, and families lead to nations, while the wound of a national injustice is passed down through the generations, expressing itself in intimate deformations, a heady intertwining of the national and the personal. Yet despite the often depressingly familiar, repetitive nature of so much human business, Erdrich's eye is always fresh, her sentences never less than lyrical."


Italian writer Claudio Magris won the $150,000 FIL Literary Award in Romance Languages. He will be honored November 29 at the Guadalajara International Book Fair. In its statement, the jury panel said the winner is "universally known as one of the most important writers in contemporary European literature. His writing, erudite and poetic, interweaves rigorous reflection on literature, history, arts and cultures with autobiographical and fictional narratives." Magris is the author of an extensive and diverse body of work that has been translated into more than 20 languages.


In the Morning I'll Be Gone by Adrian McKinty won the Australian Crime Writers Association's Ned Kelly Award for best fiction. The other Ned Kelly category winners were:

First Fiction: Hades by Candice Fox
True Crime: Murder in Mississippi by John Safran
S.D. Harvey Short Story: "Web Design" by Emma Viskic

Book Review

Review: How to Build a Girl

How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran (Harper, $26.99 hardcover, 9780062335975, September 23, 2014)

how to build a girl book cover The wise and hilarious Caitlin Moran (How to Be a Woman; Moranthology) makes her first foray into fiction with How to Build a Girl, and this novel is everything her fans will expect it to be.

It is the early 1990s. Johanna Morrigan is 14 years old and lives in Wolverhampton, England, with her parents and four siblings: an older brother, a younger brother and two babies without names (known long-term as the Unexpected Twins). They are all on government assistance or benefits. Her mother is depressed and her father is still distributing the demo tapes of his youth, sure that one day he'll be a rock star. Johanna is desperate to leave behind Wolverhampton, benefits and her virginity.

Her big chance comes when she scores a television appearance during which she will read aloud her prize-winning poem on the theme of "Friendship." However, she fails to make her family proud, instead surprising even herself with a shameful impromptu Scooby-Doo impression. Deciding that being Johanna Morrigan is a losing proposition, she sets about methodically building the girl she wants to be: she christens herself Dolly Wilde (after Oscar's niece), and decides to become a music critic. With no money to acquire the latest albums, however, she is resigned to ordering them through the local library.

Dolly Wilde is constructed on the music of Hole, Bikini Kill, David Bowie and Kate Bush; the writing of Dorothy Parker, Orwell and Kerouac; and a blind ambition to reach London. She sends in one album review per day for 27 days until, amazingly, she is hired to review albums and performances for Disc and Music Echo. From Dolly's very first encounter with live music, this gig ushers in an era of drink, sex and eventually drugs; she happily pursues the lifestyle of the rock stars she admires, but is challenged to reconcile this new life with her household of seven back at home in Wolverhampton.

In order to fall in love with the clumsily charming and often heartbreaking Johanna, readers will want to check their inhibitions regarding four-letter words and copious masturbation. Puzzles as stale as the difference between love and a casual hookup become fresh in this young woman's vigorous, enthusiastic and ever-misguided perspective. Moran is cheeky, intelligent, thought-provoking and laugh-out-loud funny, and reminds us that we are always learning and rebuilding, no matter our origins. --Julia Jenkins, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: The self-made girl of Caitlin Moran's debut novel is irreverent, painfully self-conscious, triumphant and very funny.


AuthorBuzz: Morgan James Publishing: Racing with Aloha: An Inspiring Journey from Humble Barefoot Maui Boy to Champion in the Water by Fred Haywood
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