Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Random House Worlds: Damsel by Evelyn Skye

St. Martin's Press: The Girls of Summer by Katie Bishop

Soho Crime: The Rope Artist by Fuminori Nakamura, transl. by Sam Bett

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

Grand Central Publishing: Goodbye Earl: A Revenge Novel by Leesa Cross-Smith

Texas Bookman Presents Texas Remainder Expo

Steve Madden Ltd: The Cobbler: How I Disrupted an Industry, Fell from Grace, and Came Back Stronger Than Ever by Steve Madden and Jodi Lipper

St. Martin's Griffin: The Bookshop by the Bay by Pamela M. Kelley


National Readathon Day Debuts January 24

national readathon dayThe National Book Foundation, GoodReads, Mashable and Penguin Random House are creating National Readathon Day, which will take place on Saturday, January 24, 12-4 p.m. (in each respective time zone). Under the program, readers are asked to read a book for four straight hours and to raise funds to support the National Book Foundation, which brings books to needy communities and promotes a lifelong love of reading.

Bookstores and libraries are being invited to host "reading parties" on January 24, so that readers can gather, connect and read silently together. Bookstores and libraries can enroll to host the parties through the end of the year.

Readers can raise money individually or as organized teams (bookstores and libraries, can organize teams under their names). National Readathon Day is partnering with for this effort (more information here), and all money goes directly to the National Book Foundation. National Readathon Day is asking participants to share their experiences using the hashtag #timetoread.

Blackstone Publishing: What Remains by Wendy Walker

B&N, Foyles Holiday Ad Campaigns: Give Books

Barnes & Noble is launching a national holiday ad campaign with the theme "A Book Is a Gift Like No Other." Created by Roberts + Langer DDB and featuring a voiceover by actress Sigourney Weaver, the campaign aims to highlight that "books are like no other gift because they provide inspiration, thrills, laughs, journeys and so much more," the company said. "Books are beautiful, expressive, lasting and impactful, and when given as a present, they can be as meaningful to the giver as to the recipient."

The 30-second spot calls B&N "like no other bookstore in the world" and mentions the new Nook tablet from Samsung.

Glenn Kaplan, B&N v-p & creative director, commented: "This campaign is about going back to our roots to highlight books as meaningful and inspirational gifts that can stay with the recipient forever. Books are an expression of personal interests and passions in a way that other gifts just can't match, and we look forward to welcoming customers to our stores this holiday season to help them discover the perfect gifts."


"Welcome, book giver, you are among friends." British bookstore chain Foyles unveiled its Christmas campaign, which targets "book givers" and "celebrating thoughtfulness." The Bookseller reported that the "adverts draw on last year's message, 'it's the thought that counts,' but with 'the' crossed out, stressing that books require more cognitive investment than other presents. It also celebrates 'the true value of books as presents.' "

Foyles CEO Sam Husain said, "Books are, by their nature, very thoughtful gifts. This campaign reflects how, when you give someone a book, you're giving them something to enjoy over time."

GLOW: Flatiron Books: Bad Summer People by Emma Rosenblum

Binc Foundation Launches eBay Signed Book Auction

BINC logoThe Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation is holding an auction on eBay of books autographed by prominent authors to raise money for the Foundation to continue to provide assistance to bookstore employees who have a financial need arising from severe hardship and/or emergency circumstances. The auction has begun and runs through the end of November, with new offerings added weekly.

The signed books will include Hard Choices by Hillary Clinton, The Magic Tree House Survival Guide by Mary Pope Osborn, Treasure Hunters by James Patterson, Euphoria by Lily King and many more, including cookbooks, children's books and young adult books.

Binc Foundation executive director Pamela French said, "This is a great way to find a special gift for the book lovers on your list while also ensuring the Foundation continues to help out booksellers who face a financial emergency."

William Morrow & Company: The God of Good Looks by Breanne Mc Ivor

Heyday Partnership Program: 'A Better Way to Do Business'

Heyday Books, Berkeley, Calif., has had its consignment program--called the Heyday Partnership Program--in place only for around two years, but according to sales manager Christopher Miya, the results have been phenomenal.

Independent bookstores that have joined the program, Miya said, have seen sales of Heyday titles jump on average 100% compared to the previous years. In some cases, sales of Heyday titles have increased by 300% and even 400%.

"We're looking at this largely as a program for small independent bookstores," said Miya, who was the buyer and manager of Pegasus Books in Oakland, Calif., before joining Heyday. "That's my background--it's what I know and understand. Indie bookstores have more in common with a small indie publisher than a large, conglomerate publisher. We ought to be working together and trying to help each other out."

The terms of the program, Miya explained, are straightforward: whenever a customer joins the program, Heyday asks for a report on any of its titles that the new partner might already have in stock. The publisher then credits the partner for those titles and enters them back in their account as consignment stock. From there, the partners are free to order however much they want. At the end of each month, Heyday asks for a sales report, and partners are invoiced at a 45% discount for whatever stock they sold. "Basically, all we need is a sales report at the end of every month," Miya said.

Heyday Books, a nonprofit that celebrated its 40th anniversary this year, publishes predominantly art, photography and nonfiction with a Californian focus. Some of Heyday's more popular titles, Miya said, are its field guides and history books. Miya and his colleagues are well aware that they fill a very particular niche, and the consignment program, Miya believes, is instrumental in getting the company's books into bookstores.

"Sometimes our books are not the easiest books to sell, and we understand that," said Miya. "As more publishers combine into larger and larger conglomerates, it's harder for indies to juggle invoices and buy responsibly. As a small regional publisher, sometimes we get left out." Indies are happy about consignment, Miya said, "because they feel there's no risk, and we're confident that once our books are on shelves, they can find an audience."

Currently, 25 stores are enrolled in the Heyday Partnership Program. By the end of next year, Miya hopes to double that number. One of the keys to the program's expansion, Miya judged, is its simplicity.

"As a buyer, I would hear 'consignment' and just flinch," he recalled. "It seemed to be that you mentioned consignment to buyers and you'd get this sort of fright, as though the whole thing is very complicated. It really isn't. Part of the battle for me has been getting buyers to understand that this is not complicated--all I really need to have is what you sold from us in a month."

From his days as a buyer for an indie bookstore, Miya remembers the great deal of pressure to order conservatively. Consignment, he said, can help buyers break out of that habit. "You don't have to order just one or two copies. You can order seven or 10," he said. Miya doesn't see large publishers widely adopting the consignment model, but he does think it can be a game changer for independent bookstores and independent publishers. "I've always felt there must be a better way to do business," he said. "I think this is a way we can do business in the future. I hope a lot of other publishers get on board. Indies are really benefiting from this--it's incredibly important." --Alex Mutter

G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Celebrants by Steven Rowley


Image of the Day: Amanda Palmer's Night Parade

amanda palmer porter square paradeLate last night, to celebrate the midnight release of her book, The Art of Asking (Grand Central)--and the birthday yesterday of her husband, Neil Gaiman--musician Amanda Palmer Twitter-organized a march/parade/performance to their local bookstore, Porter Square Books in Cambridge, Mass., where she signed books till nearly 4 a.m.

'His and Hers Bookstores' Bookend Downtown Montpelier, Vt.

Noting that downtown Montpelier, Vt., has "two well-established bookstores" owned by the "husband and wife team of Rob Kasow and Claire Benedict," the Bridge profiled their dual business ventures in a piece headlined "His and Hers Bookstores: Rivendell and Bear Pond Make a Nice Pair in Montpelier."

Kasow said the couple purchased Rivendell Books (est. 1992) "12 years ago after seeing it for sale on the Internet," and in 2006 added Bear Pond Books (est. 1973) to their holdings when long-time owners Michael Katzenberg and Linda Prescott put it up for sale. Now, "each store has its own niche and Rob runs Rivendell while Claire runs Bear Pond," the Bridge noted. Rivendell is 70% used and 30% new books, while Bear Pond features new books and "also has a healthy inventory of non-book items."

Asked what he likes about running a bookstore, Kasow said, "What I like is that it is selling a product that makes people happy."

GBO Picks The End of Days

As its November Book of the Month, the German Book Office New York has selected The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated by Susan Bernofsky (New Directions, $22.95, 9780811221924).

The GBO described The End of Days as consisting "essentially of five 'books,' each leading to a different death of the same unnamed woman protagonist. How could it all have gone differently? the narrator asks in the intermezzos. The first chapter begins with the death of a baby in the early 20th-century Hapsburg Empire. In the next chapter, the same girl grows up in Vienna, but her strange relationship with a boy leads to death. In the next scenario, she survives adolescence and moves to Russia with her husband. Both are dedicated Communists, yet our heroine ends up in a labor camp. But her fate does not end there."

Jenny Erpenbeck is the author of several works of fiction, including The Book of Words and Visitation, both translated by Susan Bernofsky and published by New Directions. The End of Days won the Hans Fallada Prize this year.

Susan Bernofsky has also translated works by Robert Walser, Hermann Hesse, Gregor von Rezzori, Yoko Tawada and others. She won the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize in 2006.

Bookmasters to Distribute I.B. Tauris in U.S. and Canada

Effective February 1, Bookmasters will handle sales, distribution, and fulfillment in the U.S. and Canada of I.B. Tauris. Marketing and publicity in the U.S. will be managed from I.B. Tauris headquarters in London.

Established in 1983, I.B. Tauris publishes more than 300 titles a year, mainly of nonfiction trade and academic titles, particularly in the humanities, current affairs, popular history and travel. It has a backlist of more than 2,700 titles.

Noting that I.B. Tauris has been distributed by Palgrave Macmillan in North America, Jonathan McDonnell, managing director at I.B. Tauris, said, "The next step for a company our size has traditionally been to open offices on the East Coast, but this really makes less sense in this day and age. We can now facilitate more direct relationships with our North American authors and partners from the U.K., just as we do in other parts of the world."

Media and Movies

TV: Asimov's Foundation Trilogy

HBO and Warner Bros. TV are teaming up to produce a series based on Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy, the Wrap reported. The project will be written and produced by Interstellar writer and Person of Interest showrunner Jonathan Nolan (brother of director Christopher Nolan), who "has been quietly developing the project for the last several months." HBO "spent big bucks to acquire the property when it became available earlier this summer," the Wrap noted.

Movies: Testament of Youth; Hunger Games, Mockingjay

A new trailer has been released for Testament of Youth, based on Vera Brittain's autobiography. Indiewire reported that the project, which features "a sprawling ensemble cast" and "a juicy WWI setting," is directed by James Kent (Margaret and The Thirteenth Tale). The cast includes Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington, Taron Egerton, Colin Morgan, Dominic West, Emily Watson, Joanna Scanlan, Hayley Atwell, Jonathan Bailey, Alexandra Roach and Anna Chancellor. It opens January 16 in the U.K.; no U.S. release date has been set.


The countdown continues--and so do the trailers, pics and clips--for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 and "Lionsgate is racing into the district" with a new clip from the film, which opens November 21, Indiewire noted.

Media Heat: Adam 'F***ing' Mansbach on Today

Tomorrow morning on Good Morning America: Sophia Loren, author of Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My Life (Atria, $28, 9781476797427).


Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Adam Mansbach, author of You Have to F***ing Eat (Akashic Books, $14.95, 9781617753787).


Tomorrow on the Diane Rehm Show: Anjelica Huston, author of Watch Me: A Memoir (Scribner, $27.99, 9781476760346). She will also appear on Live with Kelly and Michael.


Tomorrow on the View: Andrew Dice Clay, co-author of The Filthy Truth (Touchstone, $26.99, 9781476734712).


Tomorrow night on the Late Show with David Letterman: Boris Johnson, author of The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History (Riverhead, $27.95, 9781594633027).

Books & Authors

Awards: Patrick White Literary

Author and playwright Brian Castro won the $24,000 (US$20,705) Patrick White Literary Award, which recognizes authors who "have made a significant but inadequately recognized contribution to Australian literature." White established the prize in 1974 using proceeds from his 1973 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Castro is the author of 10 novels as well as radio plays, stage plays, short stories and a collection of essays on writing and culture. His works include Shanghai Dancing and The Garden Book. The judges praised Castro's "continued willingness to take imaginative risks and be 'blackly playful,' and his evident potential to produce more significant work."

Book Review

Review: Lives in Ruins

Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble by Marilyn Johnson (Harper, $25.99 hardcover, 9780062127181, November 11, 2014)

Marilyn Johnson, who celebrated librarians in This Book Is Overdue! and obituary writers in The Dead Beat, here turns her attention to another underappreciated profession. She had long been captivated by the idea of digging in the dirt and bringing up treasure in the form of human history, and was awed by the men and women who do that work. Archeologists are plagued by low pay, scant job security and the pressures of a world that values many things--real estate, the pace of progress or simply the future over the past--more than it values potsherds and human remains. With Lives in Ruins, Johnson pays homage to and learns about these individuals and their often-dirty, often-uncomfortable, always-intriguing work.

In pursuit of archeology's magic, romance, filth and smells, Johnson enrolls in several different field schools, working as an archeologist-in-training (with varying degrees of success). She attends conferences and travels to notable sites ranging from Peru's famous Machu Picchu to the almost unknown, but historically indispensable, Fishkill Supply Depot in New York. She learns techniques and technologies, views artifacts and absorbs history, but her most important work comes when she meets archeologists. They are tough, intelligent, deeply committed people; they are "cultural chameleons" who work in dust and grit and heat and are also capable of attending formal affairs to advocate passionately for preservation. (One is a woman who cleans houses for the wealthy to support her nonprofit organization, and appears at fancy balls in the same upper-crust circles.) When archeologists and the U.S. military team up to defend cultural heritage from the violence of war, Johnson comments on the intersection of two "cautious, even paranoid professions." She meets a young woman who sifted through New York City's topsoil and sewage in the years after 9/11, and another who teaches forensic archeology using the carcasses of farm animals as stand-ins for human murder victims. She also investigates classical and prehistoric digs around the world.

Lives in Ruins will captivate a variety of readers: those who, like Johnson, dreamed of being archeologists; fans of history, anthropology or odd jobs; and people who respect the past and have an interest in preserving it. Johnson is merrily self-deprecating and funny in her anecdotes of the personalities she encounters, but also absolutely serious about the importance of their work. We are all the richer for Johnson's eloquent ode to this dirty job. --Julia Jenkins, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: This charming, accessible tribute to archeologists and their work will both entertain and educate a wide range of readers.

The Bestsellers

Top Book Club Picks in October

The following were the most popular book club books during October based on votes from more than 120,000 book club readers from more than 39,000 book clubs registered at

1. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
2. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
3. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
4. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
5. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simison
6. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
7. The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
8. The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
9. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
10. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

Rising Stars:

Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain
Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan

[Many thanks to!]

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