Shelf Awareness for Monday, November 17, 2014

Aladdin Paperbacks: The Islanders by Mary Alice Monroe and Angela May

Tordotcom: The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Just Pretend by Tori Sharp

Mandala Publishing: Big Panda and Tiny Dragon by James Norbury and Insight Editions

Simon & Schuster Fall Preview: Join us for a virtual panel featuring your favorite authors and their editors!

Tor Books: When the Sparrow Falls by Neil Sharpson

Liveright Publishing Corporation: Mrs. March by Virginia Feito

Zest Books: When Dogs Heal: Powerful Stories of People Living with HIV and the Dogs That Saved Them by Jesse Freidin, Robert Garofalo, Zach Stafford, and Christina Garofalo


Florida Bookstore Day Focuses on Local Authors

Local children's authors Sharon Whitehill, Camille Blue Amy, Mickey Gorman, Nancy Buscher and Carlo Tiseo at Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda.
Poet Annemarie Ni Churraein reading at Bookmark It in Orlando.

More than 40 bookstores celebrated the first Florida Bookstore Day on Saturday. At Murder on the Beach, Delray Beach, the store assembled special displays and offered snacks, and people purchased titles by local authors Randy Wayne White and Randy Rawls. Altogether about 30 customers came in for the event, the store reported.

Among other events: a range of authors spoke at Bookmark It in Orlando; Joran Slane Oppelt, Jeremy Gloff and Scott Harrell read at Mojo's Books & Music in Tampa; several local authors, including E. Rose Sabin, read at Wilson's Bookworld in St. Petersburg; and Wild Iris Books in Gainesville had a storewide sale and kids' activities in its courtyard.

Books & Books celebrated Florida Bookstore Day by offering a 20% discount on all books by Florida authors in all its stores and, at its Coral Gables store, had live music in the courtyard and two readings.

Cristina Nosti, director of events & marketing for Books & Books, noted that yesterday was the first day of the Miami Book Fair International, which runs through this coming Sunday, so the events were also an "informal kickoff" to the fair, and "so many Florida authors are involved with the Book Fair that we didn't want to overburden them at this time"--so it didn't have as many formal events with authors as it might have otherwise. In addition, Small Business Saturday and Indies First are coming a week from Saturday, when the store is asking many local authors to volunteer to work in the stores.

Still, Nosti said, "Anything that brings a heightened awareness to Florida-based bookstores and authors--we're there!"

Harper: The Taking of Jemima Boone: The True Story of the Kidnap and Rescue That Shaped America by Matthew Pearl

B&N to Close Store in Norwalk, Conn.

The Barnes & Noble at 360 Connecticut Avenue in Norwalk, Conn., will close when its lease expires January 31, It's Relevant reported. In a statement, B&N v-p of development David Deason said, "We had lengthy conversations with property owner to extend the lease, but they have communicated that they intend to go in an alternate direction. We are disappointed that we will not be able to continue to operate the store in Norwalk, but we look forward to continuing to service our Norwalk-area customers at the nearby Westport location and online at"

Bronzeville Books: Rising and Other Stories by Gale Massey

Australian Booksellers and HarperCollins Test Bundling

Pages & Pages Booksellers and Boomerang Books are partnering with HarperCollins Australia and Kobo for a bundling program that allows customers of the bricks-and-mortar store and online store to buy both print and e-book editions in the same purchase. Titles included in the pilot are The Menzies Era by John Howard, Kerry Stokes: The Boy from Nowhere by Andrew Rule, Cleanskin Cowgirls by Rachael Treasure, Last Woman Hanged by Caroline Overington and Ghost House by Alexandra Adornetto. The bundling deal is available through the end of January.

Jon Page

"Bundling is a great idea when it comes to books," said Jon Page, co-owner and general manager of Pages & Pages Booksellers and managing director of Boomerang Books. "Unlike music and DVD, it is next to impossible to digitise a print book. Given some of the limitations that surround e-books, giving readers the opportunity to buy both formats together adds to readers' convenience and gives them a handy backup for their digital library. It is also great for gift-giving as people can give a bundled book without fear of what device (if any) someone reads on. Being able to offer bundled print books and e-books helps us to keep selling books to our customers in whatever format they prefer."

James Kellow, CEO of HarperCollins Australia, commented: "We're interested to try new things, and we believe there will be some useful learning from the process--especially if it has the potential to realise more value for our authors."

KidsBuzz for the Week of 04.19.21

Futurebook's Digital Census: 10 Key Findings

The Bookseller's Digital Census, which is an "annual tracker of how the book business is managing the digital shift" in the U.K., shared 10 key findings from its latest report:

  1. For the first time, the percentage of respondents who commonly read on an iPad (41.9%) outstrips those who do so on a Kindle (37.9%).
  2. 71% buy e-books regularly from Amazon--more than five times as many as do so frequently from the next most popular e-retailer, Apple's iBookstore (13.4%).
  3. 15.6% say they could envisage a day when there will be no physical bookshops.
  4. 50% of publishers say digital formats now account for more than 10% of their total sales, but nearly a quarter (23.6%) say they account for 3% or less. Less than a third (30.7%) of respondents think digital will generate more than 50% of their sales (in value terms) by the end of 2020--substantially down from nearly half (48.2%) in the 2012 Census.
  5. 66.8% think the U.K. will sell more books in digital formats than in print by 2025.
  6. 28.8% say they now sell subscriptions. Half (50.7%) think it will become a viable model in the future.
  7. 76.5% of publishers now think territorial rights are coming under increasing pressure as the e-book market develops globally.
  8. On a scale of 1 to 10--with 1 very unsatisfied and 10 very satisfied--traditionally published authors rated their publishers at a lukewarm average of 5.7. But self-published authors' levels of satisfaction with what they have achieved to date is, on average, a rosier 7.1.
  9. 48.1% of self-published authors say they have sold fewer than 1,000 e-books. Another quarter (25.9%) have sold between 1,000 and 5,000.
  10. 14.7% think the sector as a whole is prepared for the next stage in the digital revolution.

The survey was completed by more than 1,000 respondents. The full 25-page Digital Census was made available to all Futurebook delegates on Friday.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Turnout by Megan Abbott

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
The Starless Crown
by James Rollins

GLOW: Tor Books: The Starless Crown by James RollinsJames Rollins, known for his international thrillers, returns to fantasy in The Starless Crown, the lush and captivating first book in a planned series that is already garnering early-reader comparisons to J.R.R. Tolkien. In a realm of secret societies, mystic arts, epic beasts and nations on the verge of war, a young woman's apocalyptic premonition sends her and an unlikely band of companions on a dangerous journey to save the world. "[It has] action and suspense, inventive and deeply informed use of science and history, all driven by masterful plotting and a rich cast of characters drawn together in the face of doom," says Will Hinton, executive editor at Tor Books. "It feels original and classic at the same time, a thriller merged with an epic fantasy." Rollins has created an enthralling and complex new world that readers will delight in exploring. --Jennifer Oleinik, freelance writer and editor

(Tor Books, $27.99 hardcover, 9781250816771, January 4, 2022)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported



Image of the Day: The Seasons of Trouble

To celebrate the publication of The Seasons of Trouble, Rohini Mohan's debut work of creative nonfiction set in postwar Sri Lanka, Verso Books teamed up with the New Inquiry and Guernica to present a panel discussion on the ethics and possibilities of subjective, narrative journalism. The panel, at Bluestockings in New York City, featured Mohan, artist and journalist Molly Crabapple, and freelance journalist Adrian Chen, moderated by Vice News' Natasha Lennard. Pictured: (l.-r.) Mohan, Lennard and Crabapple.

University of Minnesota Press: Yang Warriors by Kao Kalia Yang, illustrated by Billy Thao

Megan Mayhew Bergman: 'Love Your Indie' & Pre-Order

On her blog, author Megan Mayhew Bergman featured an interview with Connie Brooks, "the proprietrix extraordinaire at the independent bookstore that handles my pre-orders," Battenkill Books, Cambridge, N.Y.  

connie at battenkill books"I want to show you her store, and how great she is, and let her speak for herself about pre-orders and how indies stay alive," wrote Bergman, whose next book is Almost Famous Women: Stories (Scribner, January 6). "It's so much fun to sit down in her store a week before the books are released, and write personal notes to my friends and all the lovely people supporting not just me, but Connie. I can't even tell you the joy and gratitude I feel when I see your name in the pre-order list."

Bergman also noted that she is "lucky to have two home stores--Northshire Bookstore and Battenkill Books, and I consider Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh [N.C.] a close third!"

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Blush by Jamie Brenner

Neal Coonerty Wins Lifetime Achievement Award

Neal Coonerty
Neal Coonerty

Congratulations to Neal Coonerty, former ABA president and former owner of Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Calif., who was honored on Friday with a lifetime achievement award from the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce, which said, in part:

"Neal Coonerty would, no doubt, groan at being described as a 'city father.' More comfortable with the persona of the modest and bespectacled book shop owner that he also is, city 'parenthood' was thrust upon him, largely by the Loma Prieta earthquake [in 1989]. To his credit he has been neither an unwilling steward of our collective well-being nor unprepared for the rigors of management in an often-contentious political environment.

"Neal had built strong relationships before the earthquake--in the business community, with the progressive leadership of the City, and, especially, with his Bookshop customers. But the day that defined both the City's resilience and Neal's role as a city leader was a few weeks after the earthquake. He was finally given permission to enter his badly damaged Bookshop Santa Cruz premises for two days to remove its inventory and fixtures prior to its demolition. He reached out, asking for help with this monumental and hazardous task, not knowing what to expect. But on that drizzly Saturday morning more than 400 people showed up to save the Bookshop. It was a cathartic moment for downtown and the City. And, with it, Neal became a symbol of the will, collaboration, and wisdom that would cut across political creeds and propel the recovery of the downtown and of Santa Cruz....

"In 1990, a year after the earthquake, Neal was elected to the Santa Cruz City Council where he served as a council member for what were probably the four most eventful years in the history of local government. During that time the city administered millions of dollars in earthquake funds, services and support and adopted plans and initiatives to guide the city's rehabilitation, particularly including the Downtown Recovery Plan. Elected Mayor by the Council in 1992, he presided over the reopening celebration of downtown…

"Neal's calm demeanor and political savvy have been instrumental in key decisions from earthquake reconstruction to the large-scale development of affordable housing and from the settlement agreement with UCSC resolving dozens of inter-institutional squabbles to the successful management of the County budget, decimated by the 2008 Great Recession. His presence--forthright, both willful and willing to compromise, and pragmatic--has blended economic realism with the community's progressive values to guide Santa Cruz for two generations through both difficult times and great opportunities."

He has been on the County Board of Supervisors since 2006 and steps down in January, when his son Ryan will take the seat. Daughter Casey Coonerty Protti is owner of the Bookshop Santa Cruz.

Odd Idea of the Day: A Booksigning Without a Book

Chelsea Peretti "did a book signing despite not having a book," Buzzfeed reported, noting that the comedian, actress and writer tweeted the following Monday before her live comedy show, One of the Greats: "IM PROB GONNA DO A BOOK SIGNING AFTER THE SHOW. BRING ANY BOOK THAT'S IMPORTANT TO U I HAVENT WRITTEN ONE." And she did.

Lisa Kaufman Stepping Down at PublicAffairs

As of November 28, Lisa Kaufman is stepping down as marketing director and senior editor of PublicAffairs, where she was worked for 17 years and was one of the first members of the staff. She has edited books by Paul Farmer, Lynn Povich, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Scott McClellan and many others. Her books have won the Overseas Press Club, California, Harry Chapin, Action Against Hunger and Lysander Spooner awards. They've also been finalists for the Helen Bernstein, Christopher, Ralph Gleason, and Books for a Better Life awards. She will continue to work with some of her authors; she may be contacted at 917-991-1068 or at

Media and Movies

Movies: Fifty Shades of Grey; The Imitation Game

A new trailer has been released for Fifty Shades of Grey, the movie adaptation of E.L. James's novel. Word & Film noted that although director Sam Taylor-Johnson's casting of Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson "proved divisive at times, the bits and pieces we're seeing from on set and now via the trailers... are proof positive that these two up and comers are perfect as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.... Waiting for the February 2015 release date is proving torturous for Fifty Shades of Grey fans everywhere. One can only hope, though, that after this long, teasing, wait, the pleasures that follow will have made it all worth it."


A trailer, clip, TV spot and 15-minute Google Talk are out for The Imitation Game, based on the book Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges, Indiewire noted. The project, which is directed by Morten Tyldum and stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, opens in the U.S. November 21.

Media Heat: Brooke Shields, Norman Lear, Mary Higgins Clark

This morning on Good Morning America: Brooke Shields, author of There Was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me (Dutton, $26.95, 9780525954842). She will also appear today on the View and tomorrow on the Chew and the Tonight Show.


Today on Fresh Air: Shane Harris, author of @War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex (Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27, 9780544251793).

Today on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live: Dominique Ansel, author of Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes (Simon & Schuster, $35, 9781476764191).


Today on MSNBC's the Cycle: Norman Lear, author of Even This I Get to Experience (Penguin Press, $32.95, 9781594205729).


Today on the Meredith Vieira Show: Andy Cohen, author of The Andy Cohen Diaries: A Deep Look at a Shallow Year (Holt, $26, 9781627792288).


Today on the View: Steve Harvey, author of Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success: Discovering Your Gift and the Way to Life's Riches (Amistad, $25.99, 9780062220325). He will also appear tonight on Late Night with Seth Meyers.


Today on Tavis Smiley: Cristina Saralegui, author of Rise Up & Shine!: My Secrets For Success in Career, Relationships, and Life (Celebra, $18, 9780451470966).


Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Tony Robbins, author of Money Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781476757803). He will also appear on Morning Joe.


Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Mary Higgins Clark, co-author of The Cinderella Murder: An Under Suspicion Novel (Simon & Schuster, $26.99, 9781476763125).


Tomorrow on Fresh Air: Brian Krebs, author of Spam Nation: The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime-from Global Epidemic to Your Front Door (Sourcebooks, $24.99, 9781402295614). He will also appear on CBS This Morning.


Tomorrow on Dr. Oz: Robin Quivers, author of The Vegucation of Robin: How Real Food Saved My Life (Avery, $20, 9781583335413).


Tomorrow on the Queen Latifah Show: Kris Jenner, author of In the Kitchen with Kris: A Kollection of Kardashian-Jenner Family Favorites (Karen Hunter/Gallery Books, $25.99, 9781476728889).


Tomorrow on the View: Evangeline Lilly, author of The Squickerwonkers (Titan Books, $16.99, 9781783295456).


Tomorrow on Tavis Smiley: Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey, co-authors of Peter, Paul and Mary: 50 Years in Music and Life (Imagine Publishing, $29.95, 9781936140329).


Tomorrow night on the Tonight Show: Russell Brand, author of The Pied Piper of Hamelin: Russell Brand's Trickster Tales (Atria, $19.99, 9781476791890).


Tomorrow night on CNN Tonight: Christy Kidd and Mark Kidd, authors of A Modern Marriage: A Memoir (Gallery, $24.99, 9781476753461).

Books & Authors

Awards: Singapore Literature; Guardian Children's Fiction

The biennial Singapore Literature Prize, honoring the country's best in fiction, nonfiction and poetry, has been given in 12 categories. Sponsored by the National Book Development Council of Singapore with the support of the National Arts Council, the awards are given in the country's four official languages--English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil.

Incidentally, Amanda Lee Koe, winner in the English Fiction category for Ministry of Moral Panic (Epigram Books), is currently living in New York City and attending Columbia University.

In addition, prolific playwright Haresh Sharma has won the South East Asian Write Award, honoring "leading poets and writers in the 10 countries" of the ASEAN region.

Piers Torday won the £1,500 (US$2,350) Guardian Children's Fiction Prize for The Dark Wild, "along with the respect of his fellow writers, as this is the only children's book prize judged by authors."

The judges offered enthusiastic praise for The Dark Wild, with Frank Cottrell Boyce calling it "wildly inventive, moving and gripping"; Katherine Rundell finding it "an adventure boldly imagined and brilliantly executed: full of suspense without ever sacrificing warmth"; and Gillian Cross saying it was "a fantastic example of how a book for children can be serious without preaching... a sobering parable about our attitude to the natural world."

Book Review

Review: The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness

The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness by Rebecca Solnit (Trinity University Press, $25.95 hardcover, 9781595341983, November 2014)

solnit encyclopediaThere are journalists and essayists writing today in the fields of politics, economics, nature or history whose work is the equal of Rebecca Solnit's, but it would be difficult to find a single one who matches her combined facility for cross-disciplinary explorations and exquisite prose. The proof of that assertion lies in the 30 striking pieces in The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness, a wide-ranging collection of her work from 2006 to 2013.

Solnit (The Faraway Nearby), a winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism, leaves no doubts about her political perspective, which infuses many of these pieces: "I come from the left, and my task is clearly telling the other, overlooked histories of hope, popular power, subversion, and possibility." From that vantage point, she reserves some of her strongest scorn for "neoliberals," inveighing against their "tendency to create elite private solutions and let the public sphere go to hell," citing the buses that transport Google employees from San Francisco to the company's Mountain View campus as but one example. Proudly describing herself as a "public citizen" who mourns Americans' retreat from that arena, she's a fierce advocate for direct democracy and communitarianism, exemplified for her in movements like Occupy Wall Street or the patient revolution of Mexico's Zapatistas.

Reflecting that philosophy, Solnit is a connoisseur of stories about communities attempting to recover from disaster--manmade or natural--such as Detroit, Haiti, New Orleans and Japan. Without ignoring the suffering residents of those places have endured, she prefers to focus on the hope they've managed to salvage from the wreckage. "Even when the losses were terrible," she writes, "the ways that people came together to meet the occasion were almost always inspiring."

Some of the strongest pieces in this collection focus on environmental issues. "Winged Mercury and the Golden Calf," an account of the depredations of the California Gold Rush, finds an unsettling echo in today's Marcellus Shale boom in the Northeast United States. In "Oil and Water," she rejects the benign term "spill," opting instead to refer to the "blowout" at BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that poured millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

In its best moments, Solnit's writing is every bit as strong as the work of Joan Didion and Annie Dillard, as when she describes Iceland as a "harsh, beautiful rock dangling like a jewel on a pendant from the Arctic Circle," or seamlessly weaves Martha Stewart, James Joyce and the Odyssey into a meditation on shelter and materialism. Often startling and always original, this book showcases the work of an impressive intellect and a brilliant writer. --Harvey Freedenberg, attorney and freelance reviewer

Shelf Talker: Rebecca Solnit's 30 beautifully written and fiercely argued pieces range over subjects as varied as the 2011 Japanese earthquake/tsunami, the BP oil disaster and the ills of global capitalism.

The Bestsellers

Top Library Recommended Titles for 2014

LibraryReads, the nationwide library staff-picks list, has released its inaugural annual "Favorite of Favorites" list--the top 10 titles that public library staff most enjoyed recommending in 2014, in order of voting.

Stephanie Anderson, head of reader services at the Darien Library (Conn.), commented on behalf of the LibraryReads Steering Committee: "A wide range of library staff has signed on with LibraryReads, from all over the country, and from public libraries of all sizes. Library staff are tastemakers in their communities, and this list showcases the broad and brio-filled scope of their reading enthusiasm."

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (Algonquin Books)
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (Simon & Schuster)
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (Scribner)
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (St. Martin's Griffin)
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (Little, Brown)
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, (Delacorte Press)
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (Knopf)
One Plus One by Jojo Moyes (Pamela Dorman Books)
Landline by Rainbow Rowell (St. Martin's Press)
Longbourn by Jo Baker (Knopf)

KidsBuzz: FSG BYR: The Adventure Is Now by Jess Redman
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