Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Aladdin Paperbacks: The First Magnificent Summer by R.L. Toalson

Del Rey Books: Thief Liar Lady by D.L. Soria

Chronicle Books: Is It Hot in Here (or Am I Suffering for All Eternity for the Sins I Committed on Earth)? by Zach Zimmerman

First Second: Family Style: Memories of an American from Vietnam by Thien Pham

Harvest Publications: The Dinner Party Project: A No-Stress Guide to Food with Friends by Natasha Feldman

Wednesday Books: Guardians of Dawn: Zhara (Guardians of Dawn #1) by S. Jae-Jones


Ingram Opens POD/Distribution Facility in California

ingram fresno
(l.-r.) Shawn Morin, COO, Ingram Content Group; Fresno mayor Ashley Swearengin; Congressman David G. Valadao; John Ingram; Jose Avila, representing Congressman Devin Nunes; Gary Stahl, sr. operations manager, Ingram's Lightning Source Fresno facility; Laurel Prysianzny, Fresno County Public Library.
Ingram Content Group has opened its first print and distribution facility in California, in Fresno. It's the second Lightning Source facility to use state-of-the-art, automated POD technology to print and distribute books. The new 50,000-square-foot facility serves the West Coast and can provide next-day service to customers in California and parts of Nevada. Ingram chairman and CEO John Ingram called the facility another example of the company "investing in the future of books," and added, "Having a print and distribution presence on the West Coast is critical to our ongoing growth and expansion of services for clients and customers."

As part of the ribbon-cutting event, Ingram presented the Fresno County Public Library with $2,500 to purchase books and materials and made a $2,500 donation to the United Way of Fresno County to support its local community outreach efforts.

Blackstone Publishing: All Is Not Forgiven by Joe Kenda

Europe Investigating Luxembourg's Amazon Tax Deal

The European Commission is formally investigating a tax-saving deal that Luxembourg gave Amazon in 2003 that may have allowed the company "to reap potentially illegal state subsidies for its European operations," the Financial Times reported.

Like some other U.S. companies with large operations in Europe, Amazon has been widely criticized in the U.K., France and elsewhere for paying little if any corporate tax, mainly because of corporate structures allowing the company to shift income to areas with the lowest rates.

In 2003, in a move that resembles Amazon's pressuring U.S. states and localities for grants and tax breaks in exchange for building facilities and collecting sales tax, Luxembourg issued a "comfort letter" capping Amazon's taxes in the country, effectively limiting them to less than 1% of Amazon's European income. "The ruling was agreed before Amazon set up its main Luxembourg companies, which are the hub for its European operations," the Times wrote.

"The Commission's central allegation is that Luxembourg allowed Amazon to misallocate profit within its corporate structure, in a manner that fell short of standards expected of an arms-length transaction between corporate subsidiaries," the paper continued. The Commission could require Luxembourg to collect taxes Amazon would have paid without the special deal.

Luxembourg is the headquarters of Amazon's European operating company, Amazon EU SARL, which pays hefty licensing fees (€2.1 billion, or $2.65 billion, in 2013) to Amazon Europe Holding Technologies SCS, which the Times described as "a U.S.-owned 'flow through entity' that holds intellectual property rights to the Amazon website. Amazon SCS is not liable for Luxembourg corporate tax."

Incoming European Commission competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said at confirmation hearings last week that tax investigations are a "high priority" and she criticized, as the Times described it, "the injustice of big multinational companies being able to secure favorable terms unavailable to their smaller rivals."

KidsBuzz for the Week of 03.27.23

New Owner for Burton's Bookstore in Greenport, N.Y.

Put up for sale last March, Burton's Bookstore, Greenport, N.Y., has a new owner. Southold Local reported that Scott Raulsome has purchased the contents of the store and will keep the name, but rent the building from former owner George Maaiki, who wants to "move on to the next page of his personal journey" after 26 years in business. Raulsome hopes to open by Thursday.

"Right now, I'm just trying to clean, reorganize, give the store a full makeover and a facelift. The goal is to modernize it a little bit, add a new floor," said Raulsome, adding that he wanted to assure longtime customers the shop "will remain a bookstore--one hundred percent." Regarding his vision for the bookstore, he said, "I want to keep the small-town charm, but also make it unique."

"I think it needs new blood," Maaiki said. "When I came in, I was young, in my 20s. I brought new ideas. I'm 52; I'm done. Now it's a new generation. We need someone young to come in."


In Other Words Seeks Volunteers, Donations to Avoid Closing

In Other Words, the Portland, Ore., feminist bookstore and community center nationally known as the setting for Portlandia's Women & Women First sketches, needs "a major influx of new board members, volunteers and donations" or it will have to close when its lease runs out at the end of February, the Oregonian reported.

The store's future was the subject of a community meeting on Sunday, where treasurer Madeline Jaross said that the store had faced financial pressures for the past few years and has "kept going due to desperate attempts by a very small handful of people that are trying so hard." But, she continued, "it's not working" and without "extraordinary circumstances, I haven't seen a path that we can continue."

The store has a deficit of about $600 a month, partially because it lost textbook sales that had accounted for about half of the store's income. (Filming fees from Portlandia several times a year are minor.) The store is understaffed, and the board is down to just three members, the minimum for a nonprofit organization.

At the meeting, attendees were encouraged to spread the word about the store's situation and to volunteer for work in the store and on the board. Attendees also discussed ideas for the store.

In Other Words plans a followup meeting on November 8.

Grand Opening: Third Street Books Celebrates New Location

On Friday, Third Street Books, McMinnville, Ore., will host a grand opening celebration at its new location, just two doors down from the former space. "We will have bubbles, giveaways and general good cheer. We are so excited to share this new location with everyone--we think you are going to like it (if you haven't already been in!)," the bookseller announced.

Third Street Books, which moved last month, also expressed gratitude to "all the people who helped us with the Book Brigade! We moved all the books in about two hours--quite a feat. We could not have done it without you."

Obituary Note: Mary Cadogan

Mary Cadogan, a "literary historian, broadcaster and writer with a fascination for children's literature whose 1976 book You're a Brick, Angela! was a big hit and became a standard text," died September 27, the Guardian reported. She was 86.

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
My Name Is Iris
by Brando Skyhorse
GLOW: Avid Reader Press: My Name Is Iris by Brando Skyhorse

My Name Is Iris by Brando Skyhorse (The Madonnas of Echo Park; Take This Man) transports readers into a near-future where Iris Prince (once Inés Soto) aspires to an unremarkable suburban life with her young daughter. A careful rule follower, Iris is caught out by new wrist-wearable technology--"the band"--necessary for identity, utilities and employment; as the child of Mexican immigrants, Iris does not qualify. Plus, there's the wall that has appeared in her front yard literally overnight. In trying to keep her family safe and guard her carefully crafted sense of identity, Iris's values are profoundly disturbed. Writes Jofie Ferrari-Adler, Avid Reader's v-p and publisher, "It's that rare thing: a page-turner that also has purpose. There's a menace to the plot that creeps up on the characters, and the reader, in a way that feels wholly authentic--and all too possible." This chilling dystopia opens big questions for readers following Iris in her quest for the American dream. --Julia Kastner

(Avid Reader Press, $28 hardcover, 9781982177850, August 1, 2023)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported


Image of the Day: 10:04 at Green Apple on the Park

More than 70 people came to the new Green Apple Books on the Park, San Francisco, for an event last week for Ben Lerner's new novel, 10:04 (Faber & Faber). The evening featured Lerner in conversation with Dominic Luxford, the poetry editor at McSweeney's/The Believer. Photo: Chris Ames

Lerner Publisher Services to Distribute Big & Small

Effective in January, Lerner Publisher Services will be the exclusive distributor in the U.S. and Canada for Big & Small. It will distribute 18 new Big & Small titles next spring that draw from three new series, Step Up-Math, Science Storybooks and World Classics, which are all edited by prolific children's book author Joy Cowley and designed for American students in pre-K to 4.

With headquarters in Australia, Big & Small publishes educational, curriculum-driven picture books.

Personnel Changes at Grand Central

In the Grand Central Publishing publicity department:

Bobbilyn Jones has joined the group as publicity manager, Grand Central Life & Style. She was formerly a publicist at Atria and started her publishing career at HarperCollins. She has also been an event manager at City Winery in New York and the Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington, D.C.

Tracy Brickman has been promoted to associate publicist, where she will work on more nonfiction campaigns and continue to assist Jimmy Franco with his projects. She joined the company last year from Portfolio/Penguin's publicity group.

Book Trailer of the Day: The Ploughmen

The Ploughmen by Kim Zupan (Holt), a trailer in which the author discusses why he finds the Montana landscape so vivid and shares harrowing tales and photos from his days as a bareback rodeo rider.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Jonathan Eig on Fresh Air

Today on Fresh Air: Jonathan Eig, author of The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution (Norton, $27.95, 9780393073720).


Tomorrow morning on Imus in the Morning: Joe Perry, co-author of Rocks: My Life in and out of Aerosmith (Simon & Schuster, $27.99, 9781476714547). He will also appear on MSNBC's the Cycle.


Tomorrow morning on the Marketplace Morning Report: Teri Agins, author of Hijacking the Runway: How Celebrities Are Stealing the Spotlight from Fashion Designers (Gotham, $28, 9781592408146).


Tomorrow on the Queen Latifah Show: Ron Perlman, author of Easy Street (the Hard Way): A Memoir (Da Capo, $26.99, 9780306823442).


Tomorrow on the Diane Rehm Show: Katha Pollitt, author of Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights (Picador, $25, 9780312620547).


Tomorrow on the Talk: Aarti Sequeira, author of Aarti Paarti: An American Kitchen with an Indian Soul (Grand Central Life & Style, $28, 9781455545414).


Tomorrow on Tavis Smiley: Sheila E., co-author of The Beat of My Own Drum: A Memoir (Atria, $26, 9781476714943).


Tomorrow night on the Daily Show: Leon Panetta, co-author of Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace (Penguin Press, $36, 9781594205965).

TV: The Night Manager

Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston will star in BBC's television adaptation of John le Carre's The Night Manager, "with WME fielding multiple offers from U.S. networks for a straight-to-series pickup," according to the Hollywood Reporter. Ink Factory (A Most Wanted Man) is producing, with David Farr (Hanna, Spooks) writing the script.

Movies: American Sniper; The Martian

A "first look at Bradley Cooper as Navy SEAL Chris Kyle" is available in the trailer for American Sniper, based on the book American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History by Kyle, with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice, reported. Directed by Clint Eastwood from Jason Hall's script, the movie stars Sienna Miller, Jake McDorman, Luke Grimes, Navid Negahban and Keir O'Donnell. It opens Christmas day.


Jeff Daniels (Newsroom) is joining the cast of Ridley Scott's "high-profile sci-fi movie" The Martian, based on the novel by Andy Weir, the Hollywood Reporter wrote. Matt Damon stars in the film, with Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig and Kate Mara "circling the project" as potential cast members.

Books & Authors

Awards: German Book Prize; Scotiabank Giller

Lutz Seiler has won the 2014 German Book Prize for his novel, Kruso (Suhrkamp), loosely based on the Robinson Crusoe story. The 25,000 euro ($31,500) prize is given by the German Publishers, Wholesalers and Booksellers Association to "the best German-language title of the year."

The jury commented: "Lutz Seiler employs lyrical, sensual language with a hint of magic to describe the summer of 1989 on the island of Hiddensee--a 'gateway to evanescence.' The island was a gathering place for eccentrics, mavericks, freedom seekers, individuals looking to flee [East Germany]. One can read this compelling Robinsonade involving the eponymous Kruso and the young dishwasher Edgar as an eloquent tale of both a personal and historic shipwreck--and as a poet's coming of age novel. The text develops its own unique sense of urgency and, if nothing else, serves as a requiem for the refugees who lost their lives while attempting to escape across the Baltic Sea. Lutz Seiler's first novel impresses with its thoroughly distinct poetic language, its sensual intensity and its worldliness."

Runners up, each of whom won 2,500 euros ($3,150), were:

Thomas Hettche for Pfaueninsel
Angelika Klüssendorf for April
Gertrud Leutenegger for Panischer Frühling
Thomas Melle for 3000 Euro
Heinrich Steinfest for Der Allesforscher


Six finalists were announced for the $100,000 (US$89,730) Scotiabank Giller Prize, which recognizes the best Canadian novel or short story collection published in English. This year the winner's share has been doubled, and the other finalists will receive $10,000 (US$8,973) each. The winner will be named November 10. This year's shortlisted titles are:

The Betrayers by David Bezmozgis
Tell by Frances Itani
Us Conductors by Sean Michaels
The Girl Who Was Saturday Night by Heather O'Neill
All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews
The Ever After of Ashwin Rao by Padma Viswanathan

Sean Manning: Come Here Often?

On October 15, Black Balloon Publishing will release Come Here Often? 53 Writers Raise a Glass to Their Favorite Bar, an essay anthology edited and compiled by writer Sean Manning. The book features essays from author Ishmael Reed, musician Andrew W.K., novelists Alissa Nutting, Jim Shepard, Laura Lippman and many, many more, all discussing their beloved watering holes.

Manning, who holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the New School and is executive editor of United Airlines' Rhapsody magazine, had the idea for an anthology about bars since 2011. That summer, two iconic New York City bars, Mars Bar in the East Village and Elaine's on the Upper East Side, closed within a few months of each other. Mars Bar was an infamous dive, while Elaine's was a sophisticated joint that had been a frequent gathering place for celebs like George Clinton, Norman Mailer and Woody Allen. Despite going to Mars Bar only once and never setting foot in Elaine's, Manning, at the time in his 10th summer as a New York City resident, was very unhappy about the two closures.

"It struck me that these two bars epitomized two very different New Yorks," Manning said. "They were essential to the fabric of the city."

Manning began to ruminate on bars: he considered how important they'd been for him ("bookmarks in my life"); the hand-in-hand nature of writers and watering holes; and how it seemed increasingly that bars were some of the last refuges of real person-to-person interaction and communication in an increasingly digitized time. He started shopping around the idea of an essay anthology about writers and bars at various publishers, but found no suitors until he came to Black Balloon Publishing, an independent literary press in New York.

Sean manning
Sean Manning

"It was sort of serendipitous," said Manning. "Much the same as these bars, they cultivate a community of like-minded people. They embrace the weird and unwieldy. They just want quality. There's no other place I'd rather be."

Manning then began reaching out to would-be contributors. He had worked with several of them on previous projects and brought them in--"I felt like I was Wes Anderson and they were my coterie of actors," he remarked--before reaching out to a wish list of others. He was thrilled by the enthusiastic responses.

"I'm always surprised when people say yes," Manning said, laughing. "Especially when the caliber of writers I'm going after is so high. I think it speaks more to their passion for the topic."

Although Manning was unable to pick a favorite essay in the collection--he likened it to choosing a favorite kid--he did point to a number of highlights: he was particularly drawn to essays that went outside of his own personal experience, such as Ishmael Reed's contribution about the African-American community on the Lower East Side in the 1960s and '70s and Hunter Slaton's essay about working in a bar in Antarctica.

Manning will host a launch party for the book at Union Pool, a "notorious" dive bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, that has been around for more than a decade, on October 14. Scott Raab and Elissa Schappell, two of the book's contributors, will be there as well.

"We went back and forth between a couple of locations," recalled Manning. "Rather than do it in an event space or a bookstore, we decided to do it in a straight-up bar."

At the moment, New York is the only stop on the Come Here Often? tour, but Manning and Black Balloon Publishing have created a micro-site where visitors can post pictures of and stories about their own favorite bars around the world. Manning commented: "Hopefully it turns into a collective that grows and grows and grows." --Alex Mutter

Book Review

Review: Gretel and the Dark

Gretel and the Dark by Eliza Granville (Riverhead, $27.95 hardcover, 9781594632556, October 16, 2014)

As the title Gretel and the Dark leads one to believe, Eliza Granville's debut novel is a grim, spooky fairy tale. But keeping with the nature of any good fairy tale, there is another layer: it is also a meditation on historical good and evil, set both in Nazi Germany and fin de siècle Austria.

In 1899, a shockingly beautiful young woman is rescued off the street and delivered to the home of celebrated Viennese psychoanalyst Josef Breuer. She claims to have no identity, so the besotted Josef calls her Lilie, a name that will come to have greater significance than he originally intended. She is emaciated, bruised and beaten, hair shorn, with numbers inked on her arm. The story she tells is simply not possible: when questioned, Lilie tells Josef that she is not human but a machine, sent to kill a monster, whom she must find before he grows too large. She frightens him with her dreamy fantasies of how she'll do it--"it doesn't take long to kick someone to death"--but she casts an irresistible spell, and Josef (and his equally smitten gardener) is driven to puzzle out the truth of her history and the abuses she has experienced.

In the parallel plot, told in alternate chapters set several decades later, a little girl named Krysta pouts as the world around her changes. Her father works in a "zoo" during the days and can't stop washing his hands at night; she is surrounded by unfriendly people, and retreats into her imagination to avoid the hazards and hatred she can't understand. As her personal situation deteriorates and her circle of trusted acquaintances shrinks, Krysta hopes to save herself using the fairy tales on which she was raised--even, or especially, the nasty ones, with wolves, witches, beheadings and gore.

In precise balance and crafted in lovely, lyrical language, Gretel and the Dark is a masterpiece of fantasy, horror, childhood innocence and the evils of both our innermost imaginings and our shared history. Deliciously chilling and both fantastical and gravely real, with momentum building throughout, Granville's extraordinary debut holds its crucial secrets to the last, adding suspense to its virtues. The connection between the not-entirely-likeable little Krysta and the enigmatic Lilie remains an open question until the final pages, and the power of imagination and storytelling is a prominent theme. This chilling, fantastical tale will simultaneously entertain and provoke serious contemplation on the depths of human depravity. --Julia Jenkins, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: Two historical storylines, great evil, and an abiding mystery combine into one sinister and memorable fairy tale for the stout of heart.

The Bestsellers

Top Book Club Picks in September

The following were the most popular book club books during September based on votes from more than 100,000 book club readers from more than 39,000 book clubs registered at

1. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
2. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
3. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
4. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simison
5. The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
6. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
7. The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
8. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
9. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
10. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Rising Stars:

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (#16)
This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper (#18)

[Many thanks to!]

KidsBuzz: Highwater Press: Heart Berry Bling by Jenny Kay Dupuis, illus. by Eva Campbell
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