Shelf Awareness for Monday, September 29, 2014

Flatiron Books: White Horse by Erika T. Wurth

Holiday House: Owl and Penguin (I Like to Read Comics) by Vikram Madan; Noodleheads Take it Easy by Tedd Arnold, Martha Hamilton, and Mitch Weiss

Blackstone Publishing: Ezra Exposed by Amy E. Feldman

Clavis: Fall Preview

Amulet Books: Marya Khan and the Incredible Henna Party (Marya Khan #1) by Saadia Faruqi, illustrated by Ani Bushry

Charlesbridge Publishing: Abuelita and I Make Flan by Adriana Hernández Bergstrom; Brand-New Bubbe by Sarah Aronson, illustrated by Ariel Landy

Shadow Mountain: To Capture His Heart (Proper Romance Victorian) by Nancy Campbell Allen

Quotation of the Day

Andrew Wylie: Amazon & the 'End of Literary Culture in America'

"It's very clear to me, and to those I represent, that what Amazon is doing is very detrimental to the publishing industry and the interests of authors. If Amazon is not stopped, we are facing the end of literary culture in America."

--Agent Andrew Wylie, who told the New York Times he was asking all the writers on his extensive list to join Authors United. Thus far, "Every single response without exception has been positive," he said.

University of California Press: Dictee (Second Edition, Reissue, Restored);  Exilee and Temps Morts: Selected Works (First Edition, Reissue) by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha


'Et voilà!': Albertine Books Opens in NYC

Albertine Books in French and English, a project of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, opened over the weekend in New York City. Albertine announced the development with a Facebook post flourish on Friday: "Et voilà! After years in the making, Albertine Books in French and English opens its doors! We can't wait to share the new space with you. Come visit us tomorrow, 9/27."

A Festival Albertine will take place from October 14-19 as part of the opening celebrations, offering a preview of the special events and cross-cultural programming that will take place at the venue year-round.

Antonin Baudry, the embassy's cultural counselor who originally decided to open the bookshop, "envisions Albertine as a gathering spot for book clubs and debates--not unlike iconic Paris outpost Shakespeare and Company," Condé Nast Traveler reported, adding that Baudry chose the store's name because he was drawn to the character in Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time "because of her elusive nature."

"It's a good metaphor for a bookstore, since you never know what's inside," he said. "You're always searching, wandering around."

Visiting just prior to opening day, the Paris Review's Dan Piepenbring noted that "Baudry showed me around its impressive two floors, which had already achieved--though the ladders and drop clothes were still in evidence, and the painters were still painting, the burnishers still burnishing--an enviable blend of new bookstore smell and old building smell. It resembles a magnificent private library of the sort you'd expect to find in a turn-of-the-century estate."

Blair: A Girlhood: Letter to My Transgender Daughter by Carolyn Hays

PNBA: The Pacific Northwest Buzz

The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association kicked off its 2014 trade show in Tacoma, Wash., this past Friday with a range of workshops by booksellers, librarians and publishers, as well as shorter Pick of the Lists presentations by sales reps. For Lisa Reid, the new owner of Lucy's Books in Astoria, Ore., standout workshops included "The Art & Science of Gift Buying" and "Fostering Creativity for Better Store Ambience," two panel discussions that encouraged her to "find out what's not in your community and be the one to offer that," she said. It was her first PNBA, and Reid was very enthusiastic about it.

"There's a good buzz this year," commented Marty Brown, marketing manager at OSU Press, which has just published its second novel, The Brightwood Stillness. The author, Mark Pomeroy, spoke at Friday afternoon's Celebration of Authors, along with many others, including Jessica Hagy with The Art of War Visualized (Workman); Portland, Ore., author Dan Berne with his debut novel, The Gods of Second Chances (Forest Avenue Press); and marine naturalist Sandra Pollard with Puget Sound Whales for Sale (History Press).

The buzz at the book exhibition on Saturday was all about the morning's author breakfast, which featured Azar Nafisi (The Republic of Imagination), Garth Stein (A Sudden Light), Nikki McClure (May the Stars Drip Down) and Marie Lu (The Young Elites). They delivered compelling presentations about their new books, and all were incredible, said Cheryl McKeon of Book Passage in Corte Madera, Calif. Nafisi stood out for how passionately she spoke on the importance of reading and bookselling freely, and she received a standing ovation.

Kate Lebo prepares her delicious pies.

Excitement quickly overflowed into the exhibition hall. At the Penguin Random House booth, rep Colleen Conway gushed over Jandy Nelson's latest novel, I'll Give You the Sun, to which Sarah Hutton of Village Books in Bellingham, Wash., offered her hearty agreement. At Sasquatch Books, much of the hubbub focused on Seattle restaurateur Renee Erickson's A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus--which Karen Maeda Allman of Seattle's Elliott Bay Book Company recommended as her favorite new cookbook of the season--and poet and pie aficionado Kate Lebo's Pie School. Lebo signed books Saturday afternoon, offering slices of apple brie, plum thyme and maple blueberry pies. Food is, after all, an important element to the PNBA experience: King's Books hosted the first night buffet dinner; every meal featured authors of every stripe; Friday's Nightcapper dessert event was co-sponsored by Ingram and PNBA; and the trade show sponsored its first Saturday night Sweet & Greet.

Jory John (left) and Mac Barnett (right) induct Caitlin Luce Baker from University Book Store.

At the Abrams booth, jokesters Mac Barnett and Jory John inducted attendees into the International Order of Disorder to promote their forthcoming middle grade book, The Terrible Two, leaving each new member of the order in stitches, much the same way they had everyone at Sunday's author breakfast. Bonnie Becker also spoke Sunday morning about the fifth in her picture book series, A Library Book for Bear (Candlewick), asking, "What fresh hell can I create for Bear?"

From heartening and impassioned speeches about the freedoms of readers to aching bellies from food and laughter, the PNBA trade show and its authors yet again filled each attendee's tote to the seams with new books and fresh hope for the coming fall season. --Dave Wheeler

Graphic Mundi - Psu Press: Hakim's Odyssey by Fabien Toulme and Hanna Chute

Amazon: Tax Breaks in Mass.; Warehouse Map

Amazon is in line to receive nearly $3.5 million in tax incentives from Massachusetts and a tax exemption from the town of Stoughton, which the online retailer is considering as the location for a warehouse. The Boston Herald reported that Amazon would invest $20 million to upgrade the 328,000-square-foot package-handling facility, and the town would grant the company a 10-year personal property tax exemption worth $2.89 million. In addition, Amazon would receive $600,000 in state tax credits.


Where in the world are Amazon's warehouses? A new map compiled by Channel Advisor's CEO Scott Wingo "reveals exactly where they are--and how quickly they're springing up," Gizmodo reported, adding that "the biggest areas of growth for Amazon this year were in Eastern Europe, where several new fulfillment centers were built, and India, where there are rumored plans to build four new FCs."

Bloomberg Businessweek noted that in the wake of UPS's delayed-deliveries mess during last year's holiday rush, Amazon "seems determined not to let the same thing happen again." It has taken steps to avoid it by building "38 new fulfillment centers in North America over the past year and a half and an additional 15 'sortation centers.' "

"UPS was a single point of failure," said Wingo. "Amazon was so married to them. Now if they get into a situation where five days into the holidays and UPS says 'no mas,' sortation gives them a lot more flexibility than they had last holiday to work around congestion."

Ebony Magazine Publishing: Black Hollywood: Reimagining Iconic Movie Moments by Carell Augustus

Frankfurt Book Fair's 2017 Guest of Honor Is France

France will be guest of honor at the 2017 Frankfurt Book Fair. Prime Minister Manuel Valls officially accepted the invitation last week. The last time France was guest of honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair was 1989.

According to a joint statement by Laurent Fabius, minister of foreign affairs, and Fleur Pellerin, minister delegate for small and medium-sized enterprises, innovation and the digital economy, the invitation "represents an outstanding opportunity for the French book industry to increase its international visibility and standing. Exporting our culture presents many challenges, from changes in the French-speaking community which now has 230 million members to the priority that should be given to the assignment of copyrights for works in the literary and humanities fields in emerging countries."

Finland is this year's guest of honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair, and will be followed by Indonesia in 2015, Netherlands and Flanders in 2016, France in 2017 and Georgia in 2018.

Distribution Milestone: 40 Years of Shambhala, Random House

In what is one of the longest-running relationships of its kind that we know about, Shambhala Publications is marking its 40th anniversary of being distributed by Random House (now Penguin Random House Publisher Services)--almost for as long as Shambhala has been in existence.

Nikko Odiseos, president of Shambhala, said PRHPS "has been great" with the publisher's established list, helping as it recently expanded its lifestyle list, particularly with the launch of Roost Books three years ago, and after its purchase of Snow Lion Publications, whose focus is on Tibetan Buddhist practice.

Nikko Odiseos
Nikko Odiseos

When Shambhala bought Snow Lion two years ago, "the operating group and warehouse group at Random House jumped in and figured out how to do everything," Odiseos said. "They moved in almost 300 titles, which didn't have the best metadata, and helped turn it into a sizable business for us."

With Roost Books, PRHPS helped as Shambhala made "a big leap" to publishing more high-end lifestyle, cooking and crafts books. "The whole sales force was so good at selling the books to bookstores and getting us into new markets," he said.

Jeff Abraham, president of Penguin Random House Publisher Services, called his company's relationship with Shambhala "the epitome of partnership." Shambhala can "maintain a unique independent publishing program" while taking advantage of the strengths of PRHPS in sales and distribution, he emphasized.

Odiseos also praised PRHPS for "the resources it provides such as its online ideas exchanges and client summits, where all distributed publishers gather with PRHPS and discuss a range of topics. "Even though we're small," he said, "we feel well cared for."

Abraham added that one of the benefits of a 40-year collaboration between the two companies is that "a lot of institutional knowledge exists that allows both teams to finish each other's sentences. It smoothes what is ultimately the complicated process of bringing authors' creations to market."

Founded in 1969 and first distributed by Random House in 1974 (and the sole publisher that Random House distributed during a short period when it moved out of the distribution business), Shambhala continues to be a family-owned business and specializes in nonfiction books about Buddhism, mindful living, yoga, philosophy, religion, health, psychology, art and creativity. It publishes some 80 new titles a year and has a backlist of 1,500 titles with authors who include Pema Chodron, Thich Nhat Hahn, the Dalai Lama, Russ Harris, Natalie Goldberg, Ken Wilber and Amanda Soule.

PRHPS has 37 distributed publishers, including Beacon Press, Kensington, Candlewick, Egmont USA, National Geographic, Soho Press, Other Press, Melville House, Quirk Books, Rizzoli, powerhouse, Overlook, Europa Editions and Dark Horse.


Image of the Day: This Is Not a Test

Teaching for Change Bookstore, located at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C., co-sponsored an event at the American Federation of Teachers with author Jose Luis Vilson for his new book, This Is Not a Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education (Haymarket Books). He was interviewed by Elizabeth Davis, president of the Washington Teachers Union. Pictured: Vilson (r.) with James Loewen, author of the classic Lies My Teacher Told Me. 

The Wild Detectives: 'Best New Thing' in Dallas

The Wild Detectives bookstore, Dallas, Tex., was named "Best New Thing in Town" by readers of the Observer, which noted: "If someone pitched you the idea for a bookstore, wine bar and coffee shop, would you buy in? What if it was the first to the neighborhood? Better yet, to the city? We could assign the Wild Detectives countless awards this year, but instead we're just going to give this thriving Oak Cliff business the expansive superlative: Best New Thing in Town. Because, if we're being honest, there's nothing greater that's opened in the past 12 months, if not long before that as well. It satisfies both our gastronomy and literary cravings, which is saying quite a lot. Thus far, there have been book readings inside, concerts outside and a great deal of wine and local beer split between the two."

IPG/Trafalgar Square Add Publishers

IPG will distribute the following publishers:

Wild Iris Publishing, Butler, Ohio, which publishes children's picture books on animals and nature, including the Curious Critters series. Effective October 1.
Garlic Press, an educational publisher in the fields of math, English, literature, sign language, braille and substitute teaching. Effective November 1.

IPG's Trafalgar Square is distributing in the U.S. and Canada, effective January 1:
Far Far Away Books, London, which publishes children's picture books and digital content.
Pimpernel Press, a publisher of books on gardens, gardening, art, architecture, design and interiors.
Legend Times, which publishes mainstream literary and commercial fiction and includes Legend Press, Legend Business and PaperBooks.
Spineless Wonders, an Australian publisher devoted to the short Australian story--from microfiction to novellas.
Urbane Publications, a new U.K. publisher of crime, sci-fi/fantasy, trade business, self-improvement and general reference.

IPG's Trafalgar Square is adding distribution in Canada, effective January 1, for U.S. distribution clients Canongate U.K., Atlantic Books and Head of Zeus.

IPG's River North Editions is adding the following publishers, effective January 1:
Otago University Press, Dunedin, New Zealand, which publishes a range of titles on New Zealand and the Pacific, with special emphasis on history, literature and the arts, and natural and social sciences.
Enitharmon Press, London, publisher of literary fiction, literary criticism, poetry and memoirs by authors such as Simon Armitage, Seamus Heaney, Geoffrey Hill, Michael Longley and Paul Muldoon.
Wolask and Wynn Publishers, Hamilton, Ont., which publishes Canadian authors in poetry, nonfiction, and general fiction.
Gomer Press, Wales, which specializes in Welsh history, literature, poetry and other regional topics.

IPG's Spanish Language distribution arm has added four publishers:
Linkgua, Barcelona, Spain, a Hispanic Library with a collection of 1,600 Spanish and Latin American classics from the 18th-20th century.
Titiris, Barcelona, Spain, which specializes in the development of educational content for children ages up to age 4. Effective immediately.
Cute Ediciones, Buenos Aires, Argentina, which publishes on a variety of topics, including pastries, desserts, knitting and crafts. Effective January 1.
Páginas Libros de Magia, Madrid, Spain, which publishes books on magic and related arts for professionals and amateurs of all ages. Effective January 1.

Personnel Changes at Picador and Chronicle

At Picador:

Andrea Rogoff has been promoted to senior publicist. She joined the company as a publicist last year.
Cassie Mandel is joining the company as a publicist. She was formerly an associate publicist at Hachette Books.
Shannon M. Donnelly has joined the company as marketing manager. She formerly worked in marketing at Dey Street Books and Knopf/Doubleday Publishing Group.
Andrew Cataniajoins has been hired as marketing assistant.


Tim Wright has joined the Chronicle Books special markets sales team. For more than 10 years, he has created and sold his own line of greeting cards to national and independent retailers. He has also worked for Anthem Home, McGuire Furniture and as a buyer at Williams-Sonoma.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Lena Dunham on Fresh Air

Today on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: Martin Wolf, author of The Shifts and the Shocks: What We've Learned--and Have Still to Learn--from the Financial Crisis (Penguin Press, $35, 9781594205446).


Today on Fresh Air: Lena Dunham, author of Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned" (Random House, $28, 9780812994995). She will also appear tomorrow on the View.


Today on Dr. Oz: Theresa Caputo, author of There's More to Life Than This: Healing Messages, Remarkable Stories, and Insight About the Other Side from the Long Island Medium (Atria, $16, 9781476727080).


Today on Tavis Smiley: Alex Tizon, author of Big Little Man: In Search of My Asian Self (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27, 9780547450483).


Tonight on the Daily Show: Matt Bai, author of All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid (Knopf, $26.95, 9780307273383).


Tonight on the Colbert Report: Jamie Oliver, author of Jamie Oliver's Comfort Food: The Ultimate Weekend Cookbook (Ecco, $34.99, 9780062305619). He will also appear on the Late Show with David Letterman.


Tomorrow morning on Morning Joe: Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly, authors of Enough: Our Fight to Keep America Safe from Gun Violence (Scribner, $25, 9781476750071). They will also appear on CNN's the Lead with Jake Tapper.

Also on Morning Joe: Ben Pollinger, author of School of Fish (Gallery, $35, 9781451665130). He will also appear on Dr. Oz.


Tomorrow on Diane Rehm: Isabel Sawhill, author of Generation Unbound: Drifting into Sex and Parenthood without Marriage (Brookings Institution Press, $25, 9780815726357).


Tomorrow on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live: B.J. Novak, author of The Book with No Pictures (Dial, $17.99, 9780803741713).


Tomorrow on Tavis Smiley: George Benson, co-author of Benson: The Autobiography (Da Capo Press, $25.99, 9780306822292).

On Stage: Wolf Hall in NYC

Wolf Hall: Parts 1 & 2, the Royal Shakespeare Company's adaptations of Hilary Mantel's award-winning novels, will open on Broadway next spring at the Winter Garden Theater. The New York Times reported that Jeremy Herrin will make his New York directing debut, with a cast that includes several actors reprising their critically-acclaimed performances from the London production, including Ben Miles as Cromwell, Lydia Leonard as Anne Boleyn and Nathaniel Parker as King Henry VIII. The production will begin previews March 20 and open April 9.

New York Film Festival: 'Seven Literary Highlights'

The New York Film Festival kicked off its 52nd year over the weekend with "a host of literary-minded films--book adaptations, biopics about writers and films written by celebrated authors (think Bruce Wagner and Marguerite Duras). Here are the selections that pique our interest most," Word & Film wrote in showcasing seven literary highlights to look forward to.

Books & Authors

The Bookseller YA Book Prize Launched

In response to a perceived absence of awards for British and Irish YA authors, the Bookseller is launching a new prize that will be judged by a group of teenage readers and leading industry experts. In December, a shortlist for the £2,000 (about US$3,250) Bookseller YA Book Prize will be released, with the winner honored during a ceremony at Foyles on March 19, 2015.

"From the very first meetings with publishers and retailers it has been crystal clear that the prize is much needed and that the Bookseller is ideally placed to deliver it," said Nigel Roby, publisher and CEO of the Bookseller Group. "We have one simple desire that underpins everything we do: we want more readers reading more books. The YA Book Prize gives us a wonderful opportunity to put that desire into practice."

Book Review

Review: Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande (Metropolitan Books, $26 hardcover, 9780805095159, October 7, 2014)

Being Mortal, the fourth book from Boston surgeon and New Yorker writer Atul Gawande (The Checklist Manifesto), displays the precision of his surgical craft and the compassion of a humanist in a frank and often emotionally powerful examination of the burden of mortality.

In this multifaceted study, Gawande aims to help both doctors and patients "figure out how to face mortality and preserve the fiber of a meaningful life." What most troubles him is that medical training and rapidly improving technologies often frustrate those goals, resulting in care that "fails the people it is supposed to help." Most crucially, he points out, physicians treating the elderly and terminally ill need to do more to equip patients to make difficult decisions. Rather than recommend frequently painful and often-hopeless treatments or merely provide objective data, he argues that doctors should engage those patients and their families in "hard conversations," earnestly seeking answers that will guide the course of treatment, tailored to each individual's hopes, fears and desires.

Gawande also enthusiastically promotes some encouraging experiments in the field of elder care, citing the example of Bill Thomas, an upstate New York physician who persuaded a nursing home to bring in plants and animals (specifically, 100 parakeets) to combat what he called the "Three Plagues of nursing home existence: boredom, loneliness and helplessness." He's also eager to revive true assisted living, something he believes has morphed from a "radical alternative to nursing homes into a menagerie of watered-down versions with fewer services."

Though Being Mortal is a persuasive work of medical journalism, it takes an intensely personal turn when Gawande describes in painstaking detail the final illness and death of his father from a spinal-cord tumor. In a narrative that often attains the force and beauty of a novel, he explains the myriad choices that helped the family shape his father's path, not to a "good death," but instead to the end of a well-lived life, as in each of his father's last days he "found moments worth living for."

Only a precious few books have the power to open our eyes while they move us to tears. Atul Gawande has produced such a work. If the right people absorb its message, it can be the spark that ignites some revolutionary changes in a field of medicine that ultimately touches each of us. --Harvey Freedenberg, attorney and freelance reviewer

Shelf Talker: A surgeon offers a passionate argument for rethinking the medical profession's approach to the treatment of the elderly and terminally ill.

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