Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Roxy by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman

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

Harper: Free Love by Tessa Hadley

Walker Books Us: Ferryman by Claire McFall

Shadow Mountain: The Slow March of Light by Heather B Moore

Berkley Books: Women who defied the odds. These are their stories. Enter giveaway!

Soho Crime: My Annihilation by Fuminori Nakamura, translated by Sam Bett

Shadow Mountain: Missing Okalee by Laura Ojeda Melchor


Book Frog Leaps to New Location

The Book Frog bookstore, which has been in the Promenade on the Peninsula mall in Rolling Hills Estates, Calif., since opening a little over three years ago, is moving "just a few miles" to a new location in the Torrance Towne Center in Torrance, Calif.

The Book Frog's Rebecca Glenn, who owns the store with her husband, Pete Ledesma--both former Borders booksellers--said that sales have declined in the past year or two as a range of tenants have left the Promenade on the Peninsula mall, including Restoration Hardware, Coldwater Creek, Winston & Co., Claire's, Urban Underground and MacKenzie, and maintenance and security have declined. The pair negotiated with mall management over the lease, but were not able to come to a deal.

The store's new space is 2,930 square feet, slightly larger than its original space, and is, Glenn said, "in a bustling center," which is anchored by Kohl's and across the parking lot from Mimi's, a restaurant, and draws from "a much, much larger and more diverse demographic."

The store should be in the new space as of tomorrow, and will have a soft reopening "in a bare bones way" next week. The Book Frog will have a grand re-opening "after we've saved up for the paint and carpet, probably in late January or early February," Glenn added.

In a missive to customers, the Book Frog suggested customers support the store during the transition by shopping on its website.

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

Harper's Magazine Is Minority Owner of New Book Culture Store

Book Culture, which has opened its third store, on Columbus Avenue on the Upper West Side in New York City, is partnering with John "Rick" MacArthur, publisher of Harper's magazine and an author. While Chris Doeblin, president of Book Culture, is majority owner of the three Book Culture stores, MacArthur is a minority partner in the Columbus Avenue location.

The new branch of Book Culture--in the site that once housed Endicott Booksellers--will be affiliated with Harper's, the oldest general-interest magazine in the U.S. The magazine will cohost readings, discussions and issue launches at the store. "I'm thrilled to be partnering with an institution as esteemed as Harper's," Doeblin said. "The magazine has been driving the national conversation for 164 years. Book Culture will be a place for that conversation to continue."

MacArthur called the partnership "a logical alliance. The Harper's mission is in line with that of independent publishers and bookstores. Our common cause is to protect the integrity and freedom of thought."

The store is hosting a grand opening party tomorrow evening, with wine and light snacks.

Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association: We're throwing a bookselling party and you're invited!

Penguin Hotline: Gift Book Recommendations

To help anyone unsure of finding the right book for someone on their holiday list, Penguin has created the Penguin Hotline, which is being staffed by more than 300 employees from a range of departments at the publisher. On the Hotline's website, consumers fill out a form that asks about the age, reading habits and general interests of the person receiving the gift book. The request will be answered by a Penguin employee who will recommend books from Penguin and a range of publishers.

The inspiration for the Hotline came, Madeline McIntosh, president of the Penguin Publishing Group said, from the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line, which advises consumers on cooking turkeys. "I always thought it was genius in offering a real service to consumers who clearly didn't know what to do," she said.

When the program was mentioned at Penguin, immediately 300 people volunteered. Apparently, said McIntosh, "we're all closet booksellers."

Under the program, one person coordinates the incoming requests and there's an inhouse tracking grid, with slots for employees--including McIntosh herself--on different days. The recommenders use a variety of lists, including some best-of-the-year selections from bookstores and reviewers. Many of the titles are new, but there are also backlist favorites. "For us, this is very much about recommending books, not selling," McIntosh said.

The Penguin recommenders will also suggest local bookstores where gift givers can acquire the recommended titles. They'll also check, if the gift giver wants, on availability of the titles in local stores. "Hopefully we're shuttling consumers to bookstores," McIntosh said, adding that the company is mostly recommending books that stores would have in stock.

Penguin advertised the Hotline for the first time in Sunday's New York Times Book Review, and already people have made requests. Penguin will promote the Hotline several more times in the Times Book Review as well as in a major way through social media, with volunteers putting out the word, and through Penguin and Random House social media sites.

If the program works, McIntosh said, the company may continue it throughout the year with the regular marketing staff handling recommendations.

Chronicle Books: Inside Cat by Brendan Wenzel

'Amazon-Free Challenge' Gains Momentum in U.K.

Amazon Anonymous, which has protested Amazon's treatment of workers in the U.K. and the amount of taxes it pays, said that more than 11,000 people have signed a pledge to "enjoy an 'Amazon-Free' Christmas." The pledge was the key part of the campaign launched last month urging people not to shop with the online retailer December 1-25. Campaigners told the Guardian that due to the boycott, Amazon "is now set to miss out on sales worth more than £2.5 million [$3.9 million]."

"We are staggered by the response and support we've received from the public and soon-to-be ex-Amazon customers, as well as smaller retailers who are often undercut by Amazon's aggressive business model," said Bex Hay, co-founder of Amazon Anonymous. "I didn't expect it would be this big after just two weeks. I think we can double the current figure over the next few weeks as we get closer to Christmas.... We are sending a strong message to Amazon, during their busiest time of the year, that if they don't make a proper contribution to our society, we won't give them our money."

Berkley Books: Good Rich People by Eliza Jane Brazier

Obituary Note: Mary Stuart Kellogg

Mary Stuart Kellogg, who founded the Maple Street Book Shop in New Orleans, La., with her sister 50 years ago, died November 11 of complications of Alzheimer's disease, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported. She was 89.

Kellogg and her sister Rhoda Kellogg Norman founded the bookstore in a former house, where, the paper wrote, "towering shelves of books dominate room after room after room." The store's "best-known bit of advertising is a bumper sticker with this inscription: 'Fight the Stupids.' " The store is now owned by Gladin Scott.

In the 1970s, Kellogg moved to Eugene, Ore., earned a master's degree in library science and founded the Book and Tea Shop.


Image of the Day: Alone in a Barnes & Noble?

dancers among us calendar, Barnes & Noble"If you were alone in Barnes & Noble, what would you grab first?" Photographer Jordan Matter hopes the answer is his 2015 Dancers Among Us Calendar (Workman). He arranged to get access to the B&N Union Square store one early morning recently, and brought along rhythmic gymnast Evgeniya Chernukhina to help. The result was a very entertaining video, which you can watch here.  

Eslite Bookstore: Taiwan's 'Nightclubs for Literature'

"It's midnight in the capital of Taiwan. While some people are slowly walking home through the neon-lit streets, or getting ready to hit the club scene, others are on their way to a more unusual nocturnal hangout--a bookstore." Although this sounds like the first lines of a mystery novel, it was actually the opening to a CNN report headlined "Nightclubs for literature? Why book selling is booming in Taiwan."

CNN visited Eslite's 24-hour bookstore in central Taipei, where "the mix of literature and design has made the store a hangout for hipsters as well as bookworms, allowing the company to shrug off the challenges of the digital age." Customer Huang Yu Han described the bookstore as "a cool place, a bit like Soho in New York. Many cool people hang out here. Some come here to read, others just to kill time and meet friends. It's like a place for modern culture and it's close to some of the best nightclubs and bars."

Cool Idea of the Day: Momo's Giving Tuesday

To celebrate Giving Tuesday today, Quirk Books is partnering with in the U.S. to donate $1 per sale of Andrew Knapp's Find Momo to Farm Sanctuary. In Canada, Quirk is working with to support the Alberta Spay Neuter Task Force. Find Momo was inspired by Knapp's hide-and-seek photographs of his border collie that became an Instagram sensation.

Noting that he "was thrilled" when he learned about the promotion, Knapp said he has "always tried to find ways to leverage my projects for good causes.... And I will be matching Quirk Books' donation by contributing my royalties for these sales on December 2, 2014."

Quirk said that it appreciates Knapp's "commitment to supporting local businesses and his dedication to promoting charities that use their funds to directly influence the lives and welfare of animals."

Brett Cohen, president of Quirk Books, added that "it's important to Quirk that we give something back to the communities that support us. Both Powell's and McNally Robinson are incredible bookstores with a wide community reach, and Farm Sanctuary and ASNTF do wonderful work with animal rights activism, a focus we know Andrew is passionate about."

Quirk Books will publish Find Momo Coast to Coast in May.

Personnel Changes at PublicAffairs, Grand Central, Knopf

At PublicAffairs:

Jaime Leifer has been promoted to v-p, associate publisher and publicity director. She has run the publicity department since 2010.
Lindsay Fradkoff has been named marketing director. She was formerly in charge of marketing at Nation Books and has headed digital marketing initiatives and strategic partnerships. She joined PublicAffairs in 2006.


Nick Small has returned to Grand Central Publishing as publicity manager for the Grand Central Life & Style imprint. He has spent the last two years in publicity at St. Martin's Press.


At Knopf:

Brittany Morrongiello has been promoted to publicist. She joined the company in 2012 as associate publicist after an internship at Columbia University Press.
Helen Tobin has joined the company as publicist. She was formerly an associate publicist at Little, Brown, where she started as an assistant.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Nick Offerman on Tonight

Today on Fresh Air: Louise Greenspan and Julianna Deardorff, authors of The New Puberty: How to Navigate Early Development in Today's Girls (Rodale Books, $26.99, 9781623363420).


Tomorrow on the Ellen DeGeneres Show: Tony Robbins, author of Money Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781476757803).


Tomorrow on Tavis Smiley: Nicholas Kristof, co-author of A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity (Knopf, $27.95, 9780385349918).


Tomorrow night on the Tonight Show: Nick Offerman, author of Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living (NAL, $15, 9780451467096).

'Hollywood's 25 Most Powerful Authors'

Are they the "real superheroes of the industry right now?" asked the Hollywood Reporter in featuring its list of Hollywood's 25 most powerful authors. "These writers--ranked in order of influence--whose books are source material for more than 300 movie and TV projects, have helped rake in billions in box office and revenue, and prove every day that originality, above all else, still matters," THR wrote.

Books & Authors

Awards: Waterstones; Guardian; NYT 100 Notable; Goodreads

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton was named the Waterstones Book of the Year. The U.K. bookstore chain said this debut novel "quickly became a favorite among our booksellers and their customers to become an astonishing word of mouth bestseller of the summer."

The shortlist was selected by Waterstones booksellers, with the winner chosen by a panel headed by managing director James Daunt, who praised The Miniaturist as a "novel of vivid excitement and a thrilling discovery. From the moment of its publication in the summer it has fired the imagination of our booksellers and their customers. In a year of such exceptionally strong publishing, The Miniaturist has richly deserved its stunning success."


Colin Barrett's Young Skins won the £10,000 ($15,600) Guardian First Book Award, which recognizes "the finest new authors who have had their first book published in English in the last year, seeking excellence, promise and originality in both fiction and nonfiction." The collection also won this year's Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and Rooney Prize for Irish Literature.

Lisa Allardice, editor of Guardian Review and chair of the judging panel, said the award was given "to the book that, in the words of one of the judges, was 'simply the best written' of all the titles under discussion--and it is true that Colin Barrett barely hits a false note in the entire collection. We are all confident that we shall be hearing more from him for many years to come."


The New York Times has named its 100 Notable Books of the Year; all were chosen by the editors of the New York Times Book Review.


The Goodread Choice Awards have been voted on by Goodread members in 20 categories. See the winners here.

Book Review

Review: The World of Raymond Chandler: In His Own Words

World of Raymond Chandler: In His Own Words by Raymond Chandler, edited by Barry Day (Knopf, $27.95 hardcover, 9780385352369, December 2, 2014)

Though born in Chicago in 1888, Raymond Chandler was raised in England, so when he returned to the United States at age 24 he felt rather foreign. He had to study and learn what he called the "American" language, but conquered it in writing The Big Sleep, Farewell, My Lovely, The Long Goodbye and many short stories in the noir style--a style he helped perfect. He created the famous Philip Marlowe (an archetypal hard-boiled private investigator who has trouble with the ladies) and wrote screenplays for Double Indemnity, The Blue Dahlia and Strangers on a Train. When he died in 1959, he left a variety of written works behind, and many are respected as classics today. In The World of Raymond Chandler, editor Barry Day (The Noël Coward Reader) compiles Chandler's published and epistolary writing to form a picture of the man behind Marlowe.

The voice of this book is as much Day's as his subject's. Rather than a memoir by Chandler or, as the subtitle might suggest, a narrative told in his words, this is a collection of quotations. Beginning with an excellent brief introduction, Day sketches the major events and publications in Chandler's life, largely avoiding a standard biography. Selecting from letters and articles, but more often from Chandler's fiction, Day patches these fragments together with commentary into chapters on themes or common topics of Chandler's work: cops, dames, Los Angeles, Hollywood. We see Chandler invent the strong sense of place that helps define such writers as Michael Connelly and James Lee Burke today. Day makes the argument fairly successfully that Marlowe's voice represents Chandler's, particularly in their later years, as both softened (but not, Chandler insists, mellowed) until Marlowe in The Long Goodbye was "as hollow as the spaces between the stars."

Chandler fans will be tickled by a great many pithy aphorisms that both describe and exemplify his distinctive style. "To justify... certain experiments in dramatic dialogue... I have to have plot and situation; but fundamentally I care almost nothing about either." About his preference for small casts, he wrote, "If more than two people were on scene I couldn't keep one of them alive. A crowded canvas just bewilders me." And what Day calls the master's "ground rules" (Chandler labeled them "Casual Notes on the Mystery Novel") are treasures, including "The mystery must elude a reasonably intelligent reader" and (sadly) "The perfect mystery cannot be written." At the end of this admiring collection, Day's reader is left wondering if Chandler came closest. --Julia Jenkins, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Discover: This collection of Raymond Chandler's reflections and witticisms, edited into themed chapters, will equally satisfy his fans and readers unfamiliar with the noir master.

Powered by: Xtenit