Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, November 12, 2014

St. Martin's Press: The Treeline: The Last Forest and the Future of Life on Earth by Ben Rawlence

Berkley Books: This Might Hurt by Stephanie Wrobel

Candlewick Press: The Heartbreak Bakery by A R Capetta

Other Press: Home Reading Service by Fabio Morábito, translated by Curtis Bauer

HarperCollins Publishers: Click to register for the William Morrow & Custom House Winter 2022 Fiction Showcase!

St. Martin's Press: See, Solve, Scale: How Anyone Can Turn an Unsolved Problem Into a Breakthrough Success by Danny Warshay

Quotation of the Day

'Books Are a Symbol of Freedom & Transformation'

"Ensuring that women from different social backgrounds are given opportunities for self-development is critical in tackling social exclusion. For me, books are a symbol of freedom and transformation. They opened my mind and changed my life and I want others to share in that opportunity....

"I have seen the arts change the lives of excluded children at inner London schools and through charities such as Kids Company, offering hope and a vision for a future that is often lacking in young lives. We should strive to ensure that everybody, especially the most marginalized and excluded women in our society, can have access to what Philip Pullman describes as the 'rich, consoling, inspiring, liberating' experience of reading."

--Penguin Random House U.K. chair Gail Rebuck, from her maiden speech (page 1749) in the House of Lords last week. She was appointed to the House of Lords as a Labour peer in August.

Sharjah Book Authority: Publishers Conference, October 31st - November 2nd, 2021


Amazon Now Controls '.book' Domain Name Extension

Amazon has won the right to sell domain names ending in .book. Sky News reported that the online retailer bested competition from eight other companies, including Google, and "is understood to have paid up to $10 million at a private auction, just days after shelling out $4.6 million for .buy." The auctions were a result of a decision last year by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers "to create scores of new domain name suffixes as alternatives to the likes of .com and"

Peachtree Publishing Company: Hey! a Colorful Mystery by Kate Read

Isabel Allende to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

Isabel Allende is one of 19 people named by President Barack Obama to receive the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is presented to "individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."

Also being honored are Tom Brokaw, "one of America’s most trusted and respected journalists" and author of five books, including The Greatest Generation; and Marlo Thomas, "an award-winning actress, producer, bestselling author [Free to Be You and Me] and social activist."

President Obama observed that "these citizens have made extraordinary contributions to our country and the world." This year's recipients will be celebrated at the White House November 24.

Allende was praised as "a highly acclaimed author of 21 books that have sold 65 million copies in 35 languages. She has been recognized with numerous awards internationally. She received the prestigious National Literary Award in Chile, her country of origin, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters."

On Twitter, Allende wrote: "I am honored to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Obama himself will present it!"

KidsBuzz for the Week of 09.27.21

Harbor Books to Open in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

Harbor Books is scheduled to open later this month in a former BookHampton location at 20 Main Street, Sag Harbor, N.Y., the Express reported, noting that Taylor Rose Berry, "who learned to love the book industry working at BookHampton," is the owner.

"I was lucky to learn so much from the folks over there," she said. "As a resident of Sag Harbor, I thought it was time to open a bookstore. I thought it was the right moment.... I want the community to feel like they have a place to hang their hats in the village."

She hopes to open November 22 in time for the holiday season. "But we shall see," she said. "That's my goal."

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Love & Saffron: A Novel of Friendship, Food, and Love by Kim Fay

New Owner for Oneonta's Green Toad Bookstore

green toad bookshop, OneontaMichele Pondolfino, who opened the Green Toad Bookstore, Oneonta, N.Y., six years ago, has sold the business to Jim Havener, owner of the Furniture Doctor in Milford. Pondolfino announced the change on Facebook Monday, writing: "Among the many things I will miss are the daily interactions and camaraderie with our loyal customers and employees."

She added that Havener "has been a customer and friend since the Green Toad opened. He is a natural fit for the store with a background in museum studies and a love for history. He is gregarious, smart, and approachable.... Jim has great vision for the shop and an appreciation for its current practices."

Noting that "many of our dedicated employees--the familiar faces of the Green Toad--will remain on staff," Pondolfino concluded: "I thank you in advance for embracing Jim and making him feel as welcome as you always made me.... On a final note, I wish to extend my sincere thanks to our customers for your unwavering support over the years. You exceeded my expectations. Your staunch support has taught me the value of shopping local and the ripple effect is has in OUR economy. I have loved being a part of your lives."

CNY News, which will interview Pondolfino this morning at 9 a.m., observed: "Congratulations to Michele for all she did to enhance the very heart of Downtown Oneonta. Much credit is to be given to this charming and energetic woman for doing the unthinkable... opening up a 'brick and mortar' bookstore in a time when so many of them are closing. The Green Toad is a first-class bookstore and we appreciate Michele's hard work in bringing such a wonderful establishment to Oneonta."

B&N Launches Nook Press Print Service

nook press logoBarnes & Noble's Nook Media division has launched Nook Press Print Service, a print-on-demand program through which self-published writers can print "customized professional-quality" hardcover or paperback books. In addition, Nook Press Author Services offers a variety of packages and a la carte services for writers needing professional assistance to make their books.
"As the world of self-publishing grows, Nook Press will continue to expand its easy-to-use content creation services in support of all authors, writers and creators," said Doug Carlson, executive v-p of digital content and chief marketing officer at Nook Media. 

Obituary Note: Judith Kitchen

Author, teacher and critic Judith Kitchen, who ran the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash., with her husband and partner Stan Rubin, died last week. She was 73. In a moving tribute, Los Angeles Times book critic David L. Ulin described Kitchen as "a rare spirit, both on the page and in the world.... She was also the author of a novel, a collection of poetry and four books of nonfiction, including the luminous The Circus Train, which came out at the beginning of this year."


Image of the Day: Copperfield's Pairs Book and Prints

The latest event in the Copperfield's Pairings series celebrating literature and art featured Mary Street Alinder, author of Group f.64: Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, and the Community of Artists Who Revolutionized American Photography (Bloomsbury), at Copperfield's Healdsburg, Calif., store. Her book talk took place in the store, then the crowd--more than 80 people--strolled over to Bob Johnson Art Gallery for the reception and book signing. Johnson had secured original prints by some of the photographers from the gallery run by Mary's husband, Jim Alinder, in Gualala, Calif., and the evening also launched the exhibit of the work. Pictured:  Mary Alinder in the middle, flanked by the Copperfield's crew on the left: Ty Cook, Kaitlin Smith and Vicki DeArmon. On the right: Mary's agent Victoria Shoemaker, Jim Alinder and Bob Johnson. Behind them are some of the prints.

BAM's Non-Book Buying Strategy for the Holidays

Kathy Gagliano, who manages the buying of "non-book products" for Books-A-Million's 250 stores in 31 states, spoke with Birmingham magazine in an article exploring how retail buyers "decide what lines and products their stores will carry and how those items will be displayed and promoted" during the holiday season.

"My job is very dynamic," she said. "It is very satisfying to see a project my team developed come to fruition in the stores and to see selling on it, which lets you know the customer likes it too.... For gifts and toys, we visit markets in Atlanta, New York, Dallas and Las Vegas as well as China. Vendors come to visit us here in Birmingham, and we also visit their headquarters."

The customer she is shopping for "might be a fun-loving sophisticate who likes added value with their toys or a big fan of Frozen," Birmingham magazine noted.

"In children's toys, we look for items that represent great 'play value'--those toys that all of the children in the family are going to play with and then keep for the next generation, as well as licensed character toys that resonate today, such as Elsa from Frozen or Pete the Cat," Gagliano said. "Many items tie back to our favorite children's books, and BAM customers love to laugh."

Personnel Changes at Doubleday, Skyhorse, Perseus

Effective immediately, Alison Rich, v-p and executive director of publicity for Doubleday, will take on the additional role of associate publisher for Nan A. Talese Books. Rich joined the company in 1995 as a publicist to work exclusively with the imprint's authors "and has had a hand in our publishing ever since," said Talese, adding: "In her new role, she will provide additional marketing and publicity support for our titles as well as properly position our books in the marketplace." Rich will also be responsible for building the imprint's social media following and for digital promotion.


Bill Wolfsthal has been promoted to v-p, executive director of sales and marketing, of Skyhorse Publishing and will expand his role as chief sales liaison with Perseus as well as continue to acquire books in categories such as history, cooking, children's, photography, reference, sports and more. He has been with the company since its founding in 2006 and earlier worked at Abrams, Lyons Press and Sterling Publishing.
Abigail Gehring has been promoted to associate publisher of Skyhorse and editorial director of Good Books, which was recently acquired by Skyhorse. She has also been with the company since its founding and has edited or written more than 20 books.


In the Perseus Sales Organization:

Effective January 1, Keith Arsenault has been promoted to director, Canadian sales, for Perseus imprints and Perseus Distribution clients. He will sell to Indigo, Costco Canada, Walmart Canada, Target Canada, Amazon Canada and CMMI and will oversee the company's relationship with PGC for the rest of accounts.
Effective January 1, Peter D'Erasmo has been promoted to director, airport and club sales, for all of Perseus and will sell to Costco, BJs, BTMS and the airport retailers.
Jeanne Emanuel has been named v-p, special markets and custom publishing, and will continue to oversee special and gift.
Eric Green has been promoted to senior director, specialty retail.
Sonya Harris has been promoted to assistant director, specialty wholesale & mail order.
YunWa Chan, sales coordinator, is leaving the company. 

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Richard Ford on Fresh Air

Today on Fresh Air: Richard Ford, author of Let Me Be Frank With You: A Frank Bascombe Book (Ecco, $27.99, 9780061692062).


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


Tomorrow on On Point: James Carroll, author of Christ Actually: The Son of God for the Secular Age (Viking, $30, 9780670786039).


Tomorrow on MSNBC's the Cycle: Daniel J. Levitin, author of The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload (Dutton, $27.95, 9780525954187).


Tomorrow on the Diane Rehm Show: Boris Johnson, author of The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History (Riverhead, $27.95, 9781594633027).


Tomorrow on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live: Anjelica Huston, author of Watch Me: A Memoir (Scribner, $27.99, 9781476760346).


Tomorrow night on the Daily Show: Maziar Bahari, co-author of Rosewater: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival (Random House, $16, 9780812981803).


Tomorrow night on Conan: Chuck Todd, author of The Stranger: Barack Obama in the White House (Little, Brown, $29, 9780316079570).

Movies: Mortdecai; Room

A full-length trailer and new poster have been released for Mortdecai, based on the books by Kyril Bonfiglioli and directed by David Koepp. The film stars Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Olivia Munn, Jeff Goldblum and Paul Bettany.


Joan Allen, William H. Macy and Jacob Tremblay have been added to the cast of Room, the film adaptation of Emma Donoghue's 2010 bestselling novel. Directed by Lenny Abrahamson and starring Brie Larson, the project is currently shooting at Pinewood Studios and on location in Toronto.

Books & Authors

Awards: Scotiabank Giller; FT-McKinsey Biz Book; Waterstones

Sean Michaels won the $100,000 (US$87,885) Scotiabank Giller Prize, presented annually "to the author of the best Canadian novel or short story collection published in English," for Us Conductors. The other five finalists received $10,000 ($8,788) each.

The judges said Michaels's novel "is based on the life of Lev Thermen, the Russian-born inventor of the Theremin, the most ethereal of musical instruments. As the narrative shifts countries and climates, from the glittery brightness of New York in the 1920s to the leaden cold of the Soviet Union under Stalin, the grace of Michaels's style makes these times and places seem entirely new. He succeeds at one of the hardest things a writer can do: he makes music seem to sing from the pages of a novel."


Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty (Belknap Press/Harvard University Press) has won the 2014 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award, which honors the book that provides "the most compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues" and has a £30,000 (about $47,740) prize.

Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times and chair of the panel of judges, said, "Capital in the Twenty-First Century emerged after vigorous debate from an incredibly strong field. While not everyone agreed on the policy prescription, we recognised the quality of the scholarship. It's a challenging but ultimately important book."

In addition, Saadia Zahidi won the inaugural Bracken Bower Prize, designed to encourage young authors to tackle emerging business themes, with a focus on the challenges and opportunities of growth. Her book proposal, Womenomics in the Muslim World, about a new movement in which economics trumps culture, combining data and anecdotal stories to illustrate the power of the new female Muslim economy, was awarded £15,000 ($23,870).


Finalists for the Waterstones Book of the Year award have been named. The chain's booksellers across the U.K. were invited to nominate a book they thought "stood out in its field, and that would speak to the company's core customers--those people who love reading and that love books." The winning title will be chosen by a Waterstones panel headed by managing director James Daunt and announced December 2. The shortlisted titles for Waterstones Book of the Year are:

Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan
Persiana: Recipes from the Middle East & Beyond by Sabrina Ghayour
Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers
The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays & Stories by Marina Keegan
H Is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty

Book Brahmin: Miriam Toews

photo: Carol Loewen

Raised as a Mennonite in Manitoba, Canada, Miriam Toews is the author of A Complicated Kindness (winner of the Governor General's Award for Fiction), Summer of My Amazing Luck, A Boy of Good Breeding, The Flying Troutmans and Irma Voth, and one work of nonfiction, Swing Low: A Life (a memoir about her father). All My Puny Sorrows (McSweeney's), is her sixth novel. Toews lives in Toronto.

On your nightstand now:

Our Man in Iraq by Croatian author Robert Perisic. It's a completely original, strangely compelling book about the absurdity of war, funny and understated. I'm also reading Elena Ferrante's trilogy set in Naples.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Cue for Treason by Geoffrey Trease. I loved the setting: Elizabethan England. Two runaways join an acting troupe and actually meet William Shakespeare and thwart an assassination attempt on the Queen of England. It's an incredibly exciting read. I also loved Harriet the Spy, like a lot of other girls. She is an early role model for feminism and creativity.

Your top five authors:

Elena Ferrante, Marilynne Robinson, Laura van den Berg, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc and Alison Bechdel. These women all posses powerful voices and bottomless humanity. Fearless truth-seekers of what it means to be alive. Brilliant writers.

Book you've faked reading:

Vector Geometry and Linear Algebra (for Engineers and Scientists) by M. Jeger and B. Eckmann. I got an arts degree in film at university, but we all had to take one mandatory math or science class. It really brought my GPA down. I didn't have a clue.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Random Family by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc is one of my favourite books ever. It's nonfiction but reads like the most beautifully written novel. LeBlanc spent at least 10 years with a couple of families in the Bronx and documented their lives during that time. I hear she has a new book about stand-up comedians, and I can't wait to read it.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Sleep It Off, Lady by Jean Rhys. It's a great book, and she's a marvellous writer, but the cover is the thing that initially drew me to it. Well, really the title: Sleep It Off, Lady. That's hilarious--a good book to read on the subway.

Book that changed your life:

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. It was assigned to us in a grade-eleven English class. There's a stunning scene in it that will always stand out in my mind: Rose of Sharon, one of the young migrants on her way from Oklahoma to California, is pregnant and loses her baby. In an act of incredible compassion and empathy, she gives her breast milk to an old starving man who is travelling with them. Essentially she "nurses" the man and gives him life even in her deepest hour of grief and misery. That scene blew my mind. I hadn't known something like that could happen in life and could be written about so tenderly and fiercely and poetically and realistically all at the same time.

Favorite line from a book:

"One night, in a phosphorescent sea, he marveled at the sight of some whales spouting luminous water; and later, lying on the deck of his boat, gazing at the immense, starry sky, the tiny mouse Amos, a little speck of a living thing in the vast living universe, felt thoroughly akin to it all." --William Steig, Amos & Boris

Which character you most relate to:

See above. The mouse, Amos. I love all of Steig's writing, but this book is so heartbreaking and life-affirming simultaneously and so gorgeously written. It's a kids' book about friendship and the meaning of life. I read it to my kids when they were little, and now I have to have it on my bookshelf at all times. Sometimes I just glance over at it, sitting there on the shelf, and I feel whole again.

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

Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa. It shimmers in my mind, when I think about it--Pessoa's relentless quest for meaning, for connection and beauty, coupled with this pervasive sense of futility and melancholy. That's a fascinating combination, for me. When I first read it, I was in exactly the right frame of mind to relate to his words and thoughts. Maybe it wouldn't have the same effect on me if I read it now so maybe I should store that memory of the way I felt when I first read it and just let it be. It's called Disquiet, but for me it was very consoling.

Book Review

YA Review: Adrian and the Tree of Secrets

Adrian and the Tree of Secrets by Hubert, trans. by David Homel, illus. by Marie Caillou (Arsenal Pulp Press, dist. by Consortium, $18.95 trade paper, 128p., ages 12-18, 9781551525563, November 25, 2014)

A Parisian author-artist team follows Adrian as he makes his first attempts to claim who he is and whom he loves, in this emotionally resonant graphic novel.

Marie Caillou's (Fear of the Dark) flat colors in a palette of salmon, cornflower blue and beige telegraph the claustrophobic French town in which Adrian lives. As Hubert (Miss Don't Touch Me) chronicles a "beautiful" boy trapped by his strict mother and Catholic school, readers sense his limited options. When Jeremy, a strong athlete, knocks down Adrian in gym, Adrian lets him (verbally) have it, and the two discover they have similar views--and a mutual attraction blossoms. A daydream in English class, in which Adrian imagines himself cheek to cheek with Jeremy, foreshadows their later encounter, when Jeremy offers him a ride on his scooter. Jeremy attempts to bring Adrian into his popular crowd, and Caillou ramps up the dark tones inside the bar, with Laura, Jeremy's "cool" girlfriend, matching the seductive backdrop. Jeremy's friends soon depart, leaving Adrian and Jeremy to bond on their scooter ride.

The next day, the two arrange a clandestine meeting spot, and Jeremy takes Adrian to the title's "tree of secrets." The light-filled, sky-blue backdrop acts as a polar opposite to the bar scene, and Jeremy's offer of a cigarette soon segues into a kiss--Adrian's first. They bare their souls and kiss some more, and then Jeremy ventures too far down (handled discreetly by Caillou as an expression of surprise on Adrian's face, then Jeremy's hand on the boy's stomach in the next panel). Jeremy is the first to express affection ("I'll miss you") and the one to take a risk of being seen (despite Adrian's words of caution), by taking Adrian to the scooter parking area and kissing him. Laura, her dark turtleneck blending with the shadows, witnesses the kiss and manages to turn her crowd against Adrian without implicating Jeremy. The fight that follows gains Adrian no sympathy from his principal, his mother or Jeremy. (The principal tells Adrian, "You have an illness, and we don't cast stones at those who are ill.")

Author and artist expertly balance naïveté and worldliness, from both Jeremy and Adrian, allowing readers to empathize with both. The ambiguous ending could serve as a conversation starter that gets teens talking about society's and religion's rules and how challenging it can be as individuals to carve one's own path. --Jennifer M. Brown, children's editor, Shelf Awareness

Shelf Talker: A French team's graphic novel explores the challenges facing a gay teen in a small town.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Tall, Dark, and Deadly by Lisa Renee Jones
2. Ruin (Ruin Series Book 3) by Deborah Bladon
3. Ruin (Ruin Series Book 1) by Deborah Bladon
4. Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward
5. Ruin (Ruin Series Book 2) by Deborah Bladon
6. The Hart Family Series Box Set by Ella Fox
7. Rose Gardner Mystery Box Set by Denise Grover Swank
8. His Secretary: Undone by Melanie Marchande
9. Hardwired (the Hacker Series) by Meredith Wild
10. Reign (An Unfortunate Fairy Tale Book 4) by Chanda Hahn

[Many thanks to!]

KidsBuzz: HarperCollins: Rubylicious by Victoria Kann
KidsBuzz: DK Children: Verity Fairy and Cinderella by Caroline Wakeman
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