Shelf Awareness for Monday, December 8, 2014

Ten Speed Press: Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to Be an Ally by Emily Ladau - An approachable guide to being a thoughtful, informed ally to disabled people!

Etch/Clarion Books: The Heist Age, 2 (Dinomighty!) by Doug Paleo, illustrated by Aaron Blecha

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: The Hawthorne Legacy (The Inheritance Games #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Barb the Last Berzerker, 1 by Dan Abdo and Jason Patterson

Red Lightning Books: Centered: Autism, Basketball, and One Athlete's Dreams by Anthony Ianni and Rob Keast

Atheneum Books: Out of My Heart by Sharon M Draper


Mysterious Galaxy Moves to Larger Space in San Diego

Maryelizabeth Hart moving the e-books at Mysterious Galaxy.

On Saturday, Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, Calif., moved a little more than two miles to a new location that, at 3,200 square feet, is twice the size of its previous store. Maryelizabeth Hart, who owns Mysterious Galaxy with Terry Gilman and Jeff Mariotte, said that the new store has "lots more room for books and author events and a bigger back room for processing inventory for both in-store and off-site events."

On moving day, the store took an unusual break: at 2 p.m., it stopped unpacking and shelving to host science fiction author Gini Koch, whose Universal Alien, the 10th novel in the Alien/Katherine "Kitty" Katt series, has just been published by DAW.

Mysterious Galaxy described the new storefront as "just off Balboa and Genesee in a thriving retail environment." The new space will "accommodate even larger numbers of fans for [the] growing events business" and offers "increased resources for [our] updated business model, which includes an expanding community outreach program. For years, Mysterious Galaxy has partnered with publishers and organizations to connect authors and readers in a variety of outside venues, including schools, libraries and corporations, providing a vital service to the local literary community. These partnerships continue to be a growth area."

Established in 1993, Mysterious Galaxy was in its last location for 14 years. Earlier this year, Mysterious Galaxy closed the retail storefront of its Redondo Beach branch, which it had opened in 2011.

Mysterious Galaxy's new address is: 5943 Balboa Avenue, Suite #100, San Diego, Calif. 92111.

House of Anansi Press: Speed of Mercy by Christy-Ann Conlin

New Location for Buffalo's Rust Belt Books

Rust Belt Books, Buffalo, N.Y., will close its current location December 30 and move to 415 Grant St., where it will reopen in January. The Buffalo News reported that the bookstore and performance space, "which moved from its original location on Lexington Avenue in 2000, has played host to hundreds of poetry readings, theater performances, concerts and other small-scale cultural events in its small back room."

That mission will continue in the new space, according to co-owner Kristi Meal, who recently purchased the business with Erin Verhoef. "It's very beautiful where we're going," Meal said. "We're a block and a half from Forest Avenue, so right around the corner, we're still going to get our international visitors going to the museums who seek out our bookstore. That street is a main vein there between Amherst Street and downtown. So there's a heavy amount of traffic."

An Indiegogo campaign is underway to help Rust Belt Books with its move.

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Barb the Last Berzerker, 1 by Dan Abdo and Jason Patterson

Piccolo's Books, Long Beach, Calif., Closing, Looking for Space

Piccolo's Books, Long Beach, Calif., "which features both new and used books and operates as a nonprofit, will remain open until the 'last few days of December,' " the Press-Telegram reported. Owner Piccolo Lewis said the decision to close was made due to redevelopment plans at its current location in the Pike retail and entertainment center, but he is looking for a new space.

Bloomsbury Continuum: Making Nice by Ferdinand Mount

'Miracle' on 34th St.: N.Y. Gives Amazon $5 Million Tax Credit

Amazon's New York City space (Google Street View)

Through the Empire State Development Corp., New York State has given Amazon $5 million in tax credits for the office space it is opening on W. 34th Street in New York City, according to Bloomberg. The credits are in exchange for Amazon bringing 500 jobs to the city.

The program has given out about $480 million in credits to businesses with about 107,000 employees. The companies can claim the credits over 10 years and must meet their employment commitments.

Last month, Amazon signed a 17-year lease for a 470,000-square-foot space at 7 W. 34th St. While there had been speculation that the space was for a store, it's primarily for offices.

U.K. Prison Book Ban Ruled Unlawful

The British government's controversial ban on sending books to prisoners has been declared unlawful by the High Court, the Bookseller reported. The Ministry of Justice's rule had generated widespread criticism and protest since being instituted last year.

In his ruling, Justice Collins said, "I see no good reason in the light of the importance of books for prisoners to restrict beyond what is required by volumetric control and reasonable measures relating to frequency of parcels and security considerations."

Calling the decision "surprising," a prison service spokesman said, "We are considering how best to fulfill the ruling of the court. However, we are clear that we will not do anything that would create a new conduit for smuggling drugs and extremist materials into our prisons."

Reaction in the book world was enthusiastic. Publishers Association chief executive Richard Mollet called the ruling "a victory for common sense, dignity and decency.... Reading can play a huge part in rehabilitation and to deny this most basic of rights and enjoyments to prisoners always appeared daft and unnecessarily vindictive. Let us hope that the Ministry of Justice follows the Court's ruling without further quibble and allow prisoners to receive and engage with books."

Authors also reacted to the news. Ian McEwan said, "The imagination triumphs over small-mindedness. This is great news for prisoners, great news for the book." J.K. Rowling tweeted that she was "delighted to hear this," while Carol Ann Duffy, who led the protest campaign, told the Guardian: "This is a wise, just and irrefutably correct ruling."


Image of the Day: Peter Yarrow's Gig at Magers & Quinn

Yesterday, Peter Yarrow of legendary folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary performed and signed copies of Peter, Paul and Mary: 50 Years in Music and Life at Magers & Quinn Booksellers in Minneapolis. Pictured: (from left) bookseller Elizabeth Karges, Peter Yarrow and events coordinator Ann Mayhew.

Book End in the Phoenix Café 'Going Against the Grain'

The Book End, which is "just around the bend from the dining area" at the Phoenix Café, Tulsa, Okla., is "a business within a business and it's most certainly going against the grain," the World reported.

"I went to college to be an English teacher," said owner Blake Ewing. "The Phoenix was kind of an interesting manifestation of a part of my life that I didn't get to live, I guess, according to plan. I have been kind of a wannabe writer and a wannabe teacher for a long time and my life just turned out to go a different way.... But I have kind of been a book junkie for a long time so I always thought it would be great to have a cafe that had the book element infused into it."

He added: "It really took finding people who were passionate about that, giving them the power to create this interesting space. I couldn't be happier with the job they have done."

Book End manager Kris Rose "wanted to populate shelves with a blend of used and new books (especially those from small publishers and distributors) and she is an advocate of indie graphic novels," the World wrote.

Holiday Book Video of the Day

This chipper holiday book video comes from Bloomsbury Publishing: "We wanted to make a video that reminded people of the power of reading and the importance of great writing. We realised that the authors we publish--from Shakespeare to Roland Barthes, from Neil Gaiman to Elizabeth Gilbert, from Khaled Hosseini to J.K. Rowling--summarised that message better than we ever could. So here's to our authors and here's to that feeling that only reading a great book can give."

Bookshop's Sidewalk Chalkboard Advice: Give Books or Nothing

From the Facebook page of Kaleido Books & Gifts, Perth, Western Australia: "If they don't want a book for Christmas, do they really deserve a gift at all?"

Norton to Distribute Tin House Books

Effective July 1, 2015, W.W. Norton & Company will distribute Tin House Books, Portland, Ore., to wholesale, retail and library accounts, both bricks-and-mortar and online, as well as to special sales venues, and will also distribute the quarterly literary journal Tin House to bookstores.

Tin House magazine was founded in 1999, and Tin House Books followed in 2002 as a joint venture with Bloomsbury. Tin House Books, which became independent in 2005, publishes about a dozen fiction, nonfiction and poetry titles per year and is expanding; it has almost 100 titles in print. Tin House books and magazines are currently distributed by PGW.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Norman Lear on the Daily Show

Today on Fox Business Channel's Varney & Company: Peter Zeihan, author of The Accidental Superpower: The Next Generation of American Preeminence and the Coming Global Disorder (Twelve, $28, 9781455583669).


Today on the Diane Rehm Show: Marina Warner, author of Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale (Oxford University Press, $18.95, 9780198718659).


Today on the Ellen DeGeneres Show: Amy Poehler, author of Yes Please (Dey Street Books, $28.99, 9780062268341).


Today on Tavis Smiley: Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption (Spiegel & Grau, $28, 9780812994520).

Also on Tavis Smiley: Claudia Rankine, author of Citizen: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press, $20, 9781555976903).


Tonight on the Daily Show: Norman Lear, author of Even This I Get to Experience (Penguin Press, $32.95, 9781594205729).


Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Austin Mahone, author of Austin Mahone: Just How It Happened: My Official Story (Little, Brown, $21, 9780316286800).

Also on Today tomorrow: Grace Helbig, author of Grace's Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown-up (Touchstone, $17.99, 9781476788005).


Tomorrow on Diane Rehm: Jim Hindman, author of Was Blind, But Now I See (Hindman Foundation, $29.95, 9780692267417).


Tomorrow on the Wendy Williams Show: Melissa Joan Hart, author of Melissa Explains It All: Tales from My Abnormally Normal Life (St. Martin's Griffin, $15.99, 9781250054982).

Movies: It

"After a very long development process," the film adaptation of Stephen King's novel It "is finally going to happen," Vulture reported, noting that producer Dan Lin has confirmed that Cary Fukunaga will direct. "The idea is to start official prep in March for a summer shoot," said Lin. "Cary likes to develop things for a while, and we've been with this for about three or four years, so we're super excited that he stayed with it. You guys are gonna be really excited."

Lin said he plans to split the novel into two movies: "The book is so epic that we couldn't tell it all in one movie and service the characters with enough depth.... The most important thing is that Stephen King gave us his blessing. We didn't want to make this unless he felt it was the right way to go, and when we sent him the script, the response that Cary got back was, 'Go with God, please! This is the version the studio should make.' So that was really gratifying."

Radio: BBC's Good Omens; War and Peace

BBC Radio 4's "much anticipated first ever dramatization" of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens will begin December 22 and "culminate in an apocalyptic hour-long episode" on December 27.

A clip from the six-part adventure has been released, starring Gaiman and Pratchett. As the BBC describes it, the "charismatic demon Crowley (played by comedian and actor Peter Serafinowicz is late for an appointment to meet the Duke of Hell and the police, played by Neil and Terry, are on his tail and about to get more than they bargained for...." The audio drama's cast also includes Mark Heap, Colin Morgan, Josie Lawrence, Clive Russell, Julia Deakin, Louise Brealey, Charlotte Ritchie, Simon Jones, Arsher Ali and Phil Davis.

Gaiman marked the announcement by tweeting: "I have borrowed Aziraphale's flaming sword to let you know that Good Omens starts on Dec. 22nd on BBC Radio 4. Look!"


Radio 4 will broadcast a marathon 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on New Year's Day. The Independent reported that the production "will pause only for the news and an episode of The Archers when it colonizes Radio 4." Gwyneth Williams, controller of Radio 4, said she hoped the "epic" broadcast would allow listeners to absorb "arguably the greatest book ever written" during one sitting. "I imagine Radio 4 listeners will be get set up with their vodka," she said.

Books & Authors

Awards: Grammy Nominations; Irish Book; Bookseller YA

Among the nominations for the Grammy Awards, which will be held February 8, are some book-related ones.

In the Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling) category:

Actors Anonymous by James Franco (Brilliance Audio)
A Call to Action by Jimmy Carter (Simon & Schuster Audio)
Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America by John Waters (Macmillan Audio)
Diary of a Mad Diva by Joan Rivers (Penguin Audio)
A Fighting Chance by Elizabeth Warren (Macmillan Audio)
We Will Survive: True Stories of Encouragement, Inspiration, and the Power of Song by Gloria Gaynor (Brilliance Audio)

In the children's album category:

I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World (Malala Yousafzai), narrated by Neela Vaswani (Hachette Audio)

Mary Costello's debut novel Academy Street won the Bord Gáis Energy Book of the Year award, which was chosen by public vote from the list of category winners announced last week. The Board of the Irish Book Awards praised Academy Street as "a worthy winner," adding that her earlier story collection, The China Factory, "signaled the arrival of a major new Irish literary talent and her first novel has been lauded by illustrious luminaries such as J.M. Coetzee and Ron Rash, proof positive that Mary Costello is the real deal."  


Finalists have been announced for the inaugural a £2,000 ($3,115) Bookseller YA Book Prize. A team of 10 teen and industry judges will now decide the winning author, who will be honored March 19 during a ceremony at Foyles. The shortlisted titles are:

A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond
Salvage by Keren David
Say Her Name by James Dawson
Lobsters by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison
Half Bad by Sally Green
Finding a Voice by Kim Hood
Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill
Goose by Dawn O'Porter
Trouble by Non Pratt
The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick

Book Review

Review: Blue-Collar Broadway: The Craft and Industry of American Theater

Blue-Collar Broadway: The Craft and Industry of American Theater by Timothy R. White (University of Pennsylvania Press, $45 hardcover, 9780812246629, December 5, 2014)

blue collar broadwayHistorian Timothy R. White considers an unexamined intersection of urban history and theater history in Blue-Collar Broadway: The Craft and Industry of American Theater. Broadway as his subject is both a geographical area in New York City and a representation of theater in the United States; his focus is the crafts and trades that have supported Broadway in both its meanings over the years. He writes, "This de facto 'factory,' churning out shows for national consumption, has yet to be given its due in history books and is little understood as the mighty industrial district it truly was [in its heyday]."

Just as a magician never reveals his tricks, actors and producers have never been eager to divulge to audiences what goes on behind the scenes. But as White shows, for every singing, dancing actor who treads the boards, myriad supporting players are necessary. Stagecraft covers the craftspeople (carpenters, painters, seamstresses, milliners, costumers and designers) who produce the backdrops, painted scenery, furniture, drapes, props, costumes, wigs and makeup, working with a variety of raw materials, such as lumber, paint, fabric. Later in history, lighting and sound riggers and technicians joined this list (in fact, the arrival of electric lighting prompted improvements in costumes and scenery, since they could now be seen clearly). These craftspeople were then challenged by the ascension of alternate media (radio and, to a lesser extent, film and television) to find new roles.

Blue-Collar Broadway details these trades, their history and their products, and the industrialization and unionization that came with the concentration of theater in New York City's Broadway district. White shows how stagecraft industries played crucial roles in history, from early American theater's geographic dispersal to the Broadway heyday, and through a growth of regional theaters that decreased Broadway's dominance. He also offers new explanations for patterns of crime and prostitution in Times Square's recent past, using the context of theater craft.

White's voice is academic and no-nonsense, and a reader purely interested in the most entertaining angles of his entertainment subject may find his writing a bit dry. But examinations of specific plays (Evita, Oklahoma!) brighten the mood, and White is not without a certain subdued humor. Certainly any fan of theater history, economics, the patterns of urban New York City or general urban history will find his meticulous research stimulating. Blue-Collar Broadway is appealing for its sincere and thorough attention to a key, little-known industry. --Julia Jenkins, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: This is a comprehensive academic study of the industries behind theatrical Broadway.

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