Shelf Awareness for Thursday, January 22, 2015

Little Brown and Company: This Bird Has Flown by Susanna Hoffs

St. Martin's Press: Hello Stranger by Katherine Center

Dundurn Press: Chasing the Black Eagle by Bruce Geddes

W by Wattpad Books: Hazel Fine Sings Along by Katie Wicks

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


La Casa Azul Bookstore Wins $150,000 Grant

La Casa Azul Bookstore in New York City has won $150,000 from JPMorgan Chase's Mission Main Street Grant program, which split $3 million among 20 small businesses nationwide. The East Harlem bookstore was selected by a panel of business experts for its promising growth potential, management strength and positive community influence. Winners will also receive a trip to Google headquarters in California for a marketing workshop, a free Chromebook laptop and a $2,000 coupon for a Google Consumer Surveys market research survey. "The Mission Main Street Grant provides us with the opportunity to expand on the programs and book selection we offer students, families, writers and readers," said Aurora Anaya-Cerda, the bookstore's owner. La Casa Azul specializes in Latino books and cultural programs.

Parallax Press: Radical Love: From Separation to Connection with the Earth, Each Other, and Ourselves by Satish Kumar

Buona Notizia: S.F. Vanni Reopening in New York City

S.F. Vanni, the legendary Italian bookstore that operated in New York City from 1884 to 2004, is reopening this month as "a pop-up bookstore and cultural space" under the auspices of Centro Primo Levi at the store's longtime home at 30 W. 12th Street. "The goal is not to revive the old traditional bookstore, but to re-imagine it for today," Centro Primo Levi said.

At the same time, Centro Primo Levi's CPL Editions, the e-book and POD publisher dedicated to the history of Italian Jews, run in association with OR Books, will operate from the S.F. Vanni space.

The location has been revamped so that one room is "a multifunctional space for book presentations, lectures and film screenings" and the other "with the original books sold and published by S.F. Vanni, many of them rare editions, will be preserved as 'urban archeology.' "

Centro Primo Levi board member Stella Levi imagines the space as "something between a beit midrash [a study hall] and a salon, a living space where a variety of events will take place." Centro Primo Levi director Alessandro Cassin also envisions it as tribute to "a long tradition of Italian and Jewish family-based publishers that strongly impacted the surrounding culture."

CPL Editions' six inaugural titles are:

Primo Levi, The Friend by Bianca Guidetti Serra
Return from Erfurt--Story of a Shattered Childhood: 1935-1945 by Olga Tarcali
'I Am Counting on You, on Everyone…' Eight Letters from Fossoli, 1944 by Gemma Vitale Servadio
Skirmishes on Lake Ladoga--Venice to Rome: In Flight from the Racial Laws by Roberto Bassi
Gather What You Can and Flee: Jewish Intellectual Emigration from Fascist Italy by Annalisa Capristo
A Silver Martian--Normality and Segregation in Primo Levi's Sleeping Beauty in the Fridge by Paola Mieli

S.F. Vanni founded his eponymous bookstore in 1884 on West Broadway. Under longtime owner Andrea Ragusa, the store was on Bleecker Street before moving to W. 12th St. For many years, S.F. Vanni was the main supplier of Italian books and periodicals in New York City and to libraries and universities throughout the U.S. and Canada. After Ragusa's death, his daughters took over the shop. The Centro Primo Levi thanked Olga Ragusa for "her enthusiasm, generosity and love for books."

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

Egmont Shutting Down U.S. Operations

Egmont Publishing, which announced last October that it wanted to sell its U.S. publishing operations, has decided to close its U.S. office, effective January 31. Egmont, which opened its U.S. operations in 2008, said that attempts to sell the business "have not resulted in any final agreements."

Egmont Publishing International CEO Rob McMenemy commented: "The reason for closing the U.S. business is that it does not fit with the strategic position of Egmont Publishing only to invest in countries where we can have a market leading position. Managing director and publisher Andrea Cascardi and her team in Egmont USA have done a great job and we were hoping to succeed with selling the business, unfortunately this has turned out not to be possible."

Egmont USA has published books by former National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Walter Dean Myers, including his novels Riot and Carmen, and the picture book Lookin' Like Me, illustrated by his son, Christopher Myers; and H.O.R.S.E., written and illustrated by Christopher Myers. Among the publisher's other successes are Every Other Day and Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes; The Scar Boys by Len Vlahos; the Jaguar Stones series by J&P Voelkel; and Ilse J. Bick's Ashes Trilogy.

Egmont USA's spring 2015 list will be published and books will continue to be available via Random House.

Shelf Awareness Job Board: Click Here to Post Your Job

Ken White Leaving Books Inc.; Two Others Promoted

ken white, books inc
Ken White

Ken White, manager of the Books Inc. location in the Castro in San Francisco, Calif., is leaving the company. He explained: "I love my job. It's a pleasure to work for a company like Books Inc. with so many talented colleagues. But after some long conversations with my partner, we've decided to make it a priority to travel over 2015, and for me to pursue a micro-publishing idea that I've been considering for the past year." He is a former board member of the American Booksellers Association and recently joined the board of the Book Industry Charitable Foundation. Before starting at Books Inc. in 2012, he was general books manager and buyer at San Francisco State University's bookstore.

Tanya Landsberger, who has been manager of Books Inc. in Palo Alto since 2012, will move to Books Inc. in the Castro.

Nadine Orzechowski has been promoted to manager of Books Inc. in Palo Alto. She has worked for Books Inc. in Mountain View since 2008.

Mark Allin Named Wiley COO

Mark Allin

Effective May 1, Mark Allin will become executive v-p, COO of John Wiley & Sons. He previously served as executive v-p, professional development. Allin joined Wiley with the acquisition of Capstone (where he was co-founder) in 2000, after holding senior positions at Blackwell, Simon & Schuster and Pearson.

Wiley president and CEO Steve Smith said Allin "has quickly and thoughtfully reshaped and reinvigorated the former professional trade business in response to rapidly changing market conditions. He has been the primary architect of Wiley's strategy to refocus the business on the career lifecycle needs of our professional customers. He brought new talent and high-growth businesses to Wiley through important acquisitions, including CrossKnowledge, Profiles International, Inscape, ELS/CPAexcel, and Elan Guides. He divested underperforming consumer publishing assets. Finally, he restructured and reorganized the business, greatly improving segment profitability in the process and re-allocating resources to high-growth areas."

From My Shelf Books & Gifts Moving in March

From My Shelf Books & Gifts, Wellsboro, Pa., whose lease ends March 31, is moving to a new location in Wellsboro in Brooks Plaza, which owners Kasey Cox and Kevin Coolidge described this way: "The store has big windows (the cats will love it!!), good square footage, great off-street parking, lower utility bills, handicap accessibility (finally!), and LESS ambient noise."

From My Shelf opened in 2006 in a basement location, selling used books, then moved into its current spot in 2011. The store soon began selling new books, too, and now stocks some 40,000 titles as well as puzzles, cards, games, audio books and book-related gifts. The store also offers a writer's group led by Kasey Cox.

Digital Book World Debate: 'Should Amazon Be Constrained?'


The debate that concluded last week's Digital Book World--"Should Amazon Be Constrained and Can They Be?"--focused mainly on Amazon's competition with publishers and if in fact it fit the legal definition of a monopoly. Amazon's effects on local and small businesses were hardly mentioned, and independent bookstores were brought up only a few times. In two of those instances, panelist Barry Eisler, author of the John Rain thriller series and the most pro-Amazon representative, pointed to the indie resurgence in an attempt to show that Amazon was not in fact a monopoly.

Ken Auletta, a staff writer for the New Yorker and author of Googled: The End of the World As We Know It, moderated the panel, which besides Eisler, consisted of Annie Lowrey, journalist for New York magazine, and Barry Lynn, director of the Markets, Enterprise and Resiliency Initiative of the New America Foundation.

Eisler, who signed a deal in 2011 with Amazon's Thomas & Mercer imprint to publish his next John Rain novel, took the stance that Amazon is not a monopoly, but even if it is, it is a legally exempt monopoly because its dominance was built through better business acumen and competition. In his view, Amazon "kicked down the door" of a stagnating industry.

"I thought to myself, wouldn't a more interesting question be why won't New York compete, and what can New York do to compete if it wanted to," said Eisler, who also compared traditional publishing houses--which he referred to almost exclusively as just "New York"--with an OPEC-like cartel. "I strongly suspect that Amazon did not become a force in this industry by asking, should New York be constrained, and can they be?"

Lynn, meanwhile, made the argument that Amazon is indeed a monopoly, and in dealing with Amazon the government could follow a path similar to the antitrust suit it brought against Microsoft in the late 1990s. The Department of Justice, Lynn argued, should not work to protect bookstores explicitly but work to "protect an environment in which bookstores can exist."

Despite arguing that Amazon is a monopoly, Lynn was also highly critical of traditional publishers. On the merging of major publishers to just five major players, he said: "We should be ashamed as a people to have allowed that kind of consolidation in the first place."

Lowrey took a position that was something of a middle ground between Eisler and Lynn. In her view, the current pressures on traditional publishers are not so much due to Amazon itself but rather a result of the culture's broader "digital transition." She also doubted that the big five publishers would end up truly challenging Amazon in the digital realm. Amazon might face some real competition, she said, only if "Apple and Google start to take this a little more seriously."

When asked during the panel's q&a portion how booksellers, independent or otherwise, could stay in business selling books for less than their cost, Lowrey answered: "I think the answer is booksellers who sell other things." Booksellers who also open bars or cafes, or who charge for author readings or other events, were much more flexible and in a better position to compete. "That's not an emotionally satisfying answer," she said, "but I think that's it." --Alex Mutter

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
The Wisdom of Morrie:
Living and Aging Creatively and Joyfully
by Morrie Schwartz, edited by Rob Schwartz
GLOW: Blackstone Publishing: The Wisdom of Morrie: Living and Aging Creatively and Joyfully by Morrie Schwartz, edited by Rob Schwartz

Twenty-five years ago, Mitch Albom immortalized his former college professor in Tuesdays with Morrie, the blockbuster memoir that shared Morrie Schwartz's profound insights about life as he was dying of ALS. In The Wisdom of Morrie, Rob Schwartz, Morrie's son, resurrects his father's voice, sharing Morrie's philosophical wisdom and humor about the aging process--what can be an emboldening period filled with meaning and purpose. "This book is invaluable to anyone interested in improving their quality of life," says Rick Bleiweiss, head of new business development at Blackstone Publishing. "Readers who enjoy[ed] The Last Lecture and When Breath Becomes Air will expand their awareness and find new ideas and insights into living more fully." Schwartz's musings are timeless, and inspirational for readers of all ages. --Kathleen Gerard

(Blackstone Publishing, $25.99 hardcover, 9798200813452,
April 18, 2023)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported


Image of the Day: The Author's Pajamas


photo: Katie Frohbose

The Regulator Bookstore, Durham, N.C., celebrated with a pajama party, complete with milk and cookies, for Daniel Wallace (Big Fish) and his new children's book, The Cat's Pajamas (Inkshares).  

Old Firehouse Books Wins Neil Gaiman Indie Bookstore Contest

Congratulations to Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, Colo., which won the contest this past holiday season among independent bookstores to have Neil Gaiman come to the store for a signing for his new collection, Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances (Morrow). To win, the store had to sell the most paperback copies of Gaiman's novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Morrow).

Gaiman will appear at Old Firehouse Books on Friday, February 6, at 4 p.m.

In a similar contest, held during the holidays in 2013, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, Conn., won; Gaiman visited the store in June.

BookPeople of Moscow to Trek to Italy

BookPeople of Moscow, Moscow, Idaho, is launching BookPeople Abroad, a literary and cultural travel program whose first trip will be to Italy this July. The group will have room for 13 people and will take place July 23-30 at Spannocchia Foundation in Tuscany.

Trip leaders for the "literary and historical feast" include staff guest professor Ken Albala from University of the Pacific, who will demonstrate historical Tuscan cooking techniques and teach Tuscan history. Bookpeople co-manager Jamaica Ritcher will offer a writing workshop. Patty Brehm of the Kitchen Counter, who knows a lot about Italian cuisine and culture, will help plan excursions into the surrounding countryside and to the seaside. BookPeople owner and co-manager Carol Spurling will organize a book group focused on Italy. And BookPeople co-manager Jesica DeHart will manage the program.

Participants in the program may pick and choose from the offerings and for an extra fee take some of the activities offered by Spannocchia staff, including cooking classes or beginning Italian lessons. The program schedule for the week will be finalized once registration is complete and all registrants have indicated what they want to participate in.

The Tour of the Terrible Two

In early December, Jason Wells of Abrams Children's Publishing called me with a crazy idea: Could I put together 22 school visits over one week in January to launch The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John? Our biggest concerns at Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, Tex., were whether or not we could pull off the logistics and whether that many school visits would provide meaningful experiences for all involved. In short, we could and they did.

Mac and Jory met in 2004. Mac was an intern for McSweeney's and Jory was an intern for 826 Valencia, the nonprofit organization founded by Dave Eggers dedicated to supporting students with their writing skills. Both Mac and Jory ended up working full time for 826; Jory at 826 Valencia and Mac at 826LA. The 826 programs have shops that serve as the front of each organization. At 826 Valencia, it's a pirate supply shop, complete with peg legs and a variety of eye patches. At 826LA, it's a time travel mart with everything from canned mammoth chunks to ray guns. The storefronts create a clever, whimsical entrance to the writing program. That spirit can be found in all of Mac and Jory's books--and in their school visits.

Blue Willow's Valerie Koehler with the Terrible Two, Jory John (l.) and Mac Barnett (r.)

Since The Terrible Two is the story of a prank war, Mac and Jory opened each presentation with a prank on the students. As we arrived at each campus, they asked an administrator to pretend that the author visit was cancelled due to the book's content. But since an assembly had been promised, the administration would provide two doctors to discuss healthy eating. Mac and Jory entered in lab coats and moustaches and began the presentation, speaking seriously (and boringly) about "cool foods" and "stop sign foods." Some kids never bought into the prank, but most did, and their looks of shocked surprise when Mac and Jory removed their disguises and began the real presentation brought extra energy to the assembly.

Mac and Jory's presentation describes their own prank war (rats in a bathtub, pumpkins in a car), how to develop a prank notebook and pranking terminology. Each slide allowed them the flexibility to discuss the image on the screen but also to play on the mood of the room and their synergy. Every presentation was an improv performance that differed slightly from the one before.

Barnett takes a break

The kids and teachers ate it up. From the first moments of dismay over a cancelled author visit to the rousing Prankster's Oath ("I will do my best... to prove that the world looks better upside down"), the audience hung on every word. In each presentation, Mac and Jory connected with their audience and were as responsive to the audience as the audience was to them. They were mobbed at the end of each assembly, wading into the crowd to give the special prankster handshake or to consult on prank ideas. Because of that connection mixed with humor, they turned kids on to their book, and--I suspect--on to reading. At one of the Title I schools we visited, more than 20 students wrote a letter to the librarian asking if they could each pay $1 per week in order to get their own copy of The Terrible Two. If that doesn't speak to the impression these two pranksters made, what does?

It was a crazy, hilarious week. Blue Willow Bookshop sold cases and cases of The Terrible Two. Mac and Jory presented to more than 4,000 students. And I saw two children's authors connect with children and teachers of every demographic. Did I enjoy myself? You bet. Because I am a Prankster. So be it. --Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop

Personnel Changes at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Stephanie Kim has been promoted to publicity manager at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. She was formerly senior publicist.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Al Michaels on Fresh Air

Today on Fresh Air: Al Michaels, author of You Can't Make This Up: Miracles, Memories, and the Perfect Marriage of Sports and Television (Morrow, $28.99, 9780062314963).


Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Alexandra Jamieson, author of Women, Food, and Desire: Embrace Your Cravings, Make Peace with Food, Reclaim Your Body (Gallery, $26,9781476765044).

TV: Mr. Mercedes

Sonar Entertainment is developing Stephen King's novel Mr. Mercedes "as a limited series for television," with David E. Kelley (Boston Legal, Ally McBeal, The Practice) attached to write the script and Jack Bender (Lost) directing, reported.

"This is an amazing opportunity to adapt a script from material penned by one of the world's most acclaimed and accomplished authors," said Kelley. "Mr. Mercedes is a great story that will translate beautifully to the screen if I don't mess it up."

This Weekend on Book TV: Mike Huckabee

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this weekend from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, January 24
6 p.m. Blaine Harden, author of Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West (Penguin, $15, 9780143122913).

8 p.m. J.D. Dickey, author of Empire of Mud: The Secret History of Washington, D.C. (Lyons Press, $26.95, 9780762787012), at Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe in Washington, D.C.

10 p.m. Mike Huckabee, author of God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy (St. Martin's Press, $26.99, 9781250060990). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

Sunday, January 25
10:30 a.m. Jeremy Greene, author of Generic: The Unbranding of Modern Medicine (Johns Hopkins University Press, $29.95, 9781421414935). (Re-airs Sunday at 1 p.m. and Monday at 1 a.m.)

1:35 p.m. Bernadette Wegenstein, author of The Cosmetic Gaze: Body Modification and the Construction of Beauty (MIT Press, $32, 9780262232678). (Re-airs Monday at 1:35 a.m.)

1:45 p.m. Wayne Biddle, author of A Field Guide to Radiation (Penguin, $16, 9780143121275). (Re-airs Monday at 1:45 a.m.)

10 p.m. Julian Zelizer, author of The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society (Penguin Press, $29.95, 9781594204340). (Re-airs Monday at 7 a.m.)

Books & Authors

IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:

The Bishop's Wife: A Novel by by Mette Ivie Harrison (Soho Crime, $26.95, 9781616954765). "Linda Wallheim is the local bishop's wife and the mother of five sons, all but one out of the house and on their own. As a Mormon, Linda has been increasingly frustrated with some of the Church's doctrine. While her life is busy fulfilling her duties with many community services and being the hostess for the ward at all hours, she chafes under the patriarchal beliefs and practices. When she is called to care for a five-year-old girl whose mother has mysteriously disappeared, Linda begins to question the circumstances of the young wife's absence. This is a beautifully written story about a woman who supports her husband as the bishop while recognizing that her inner convictions might go against his will. A compelling read!" --Patricia Worth, River Reader, Lexington, Mo.

Almost Famous Women: Stories by Megan Mayhew Bergman (Scribner, $25, 9781476786568). "Bergman's latest collection of short stories is simply spectacular. In the tradition of her award-winning first collection, Birds of a Lesser Paradise, Bergman has given readers tales filled with achingly real, exquisitely crafted characters who seem to leap off the page. Beautifully told, the stories provide intimate snapshots of unique, lesser-known women in history, each facing life's challenges head on--poverty and prejudice, hardship and sacrifice--bravely charging forward without looking back." --Anderson McKean, Page & Palette, Fairhope, Ala.

If Only You People Could Follow Directions: A Memoir by Jessica Hendry Nelson (Counterpoint, $15.95, 9781619024670). "Memory doesn't move in a straight line. It is chaotic, digressive, and imperfect. While most memoirs force life into the restrictions of straight lines, Nelson embraces the chaos by moving back and forth in time, free-associating among memories and organizing her life into a series of essays. What could be just another memoir of a family disintegrated by substance abuse becomes a vibrant and challenging exploration of abuse, obsession, coping, family, friendship, and self-discovery." --Josh Cook, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, Mass.

For Ages 9 to 12
Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky (Disney-Hyperion, $16.99, 9781423185277). "This is the story of a brave child who goes through a transformational journey of self-discovery with the help of theatre and some caring people. Sixth-grader Grayson who lost his parents at a young age and now lives with his aunt and uncle has never felt like he belonged anywhere. When a new girl joins his class, Grayson thinks he's finally found a friend. He decides to try out for the upcoming play, The Myth of Persephone. But when Grayson decides at the last minute to audition for the role of Persephone, he is unprepared for what lies ahead, both at home and at school. This courageous book is Wonder for the LGBT community." --Amber Midgett, Main Point Books, Bryn Mawr, Pa.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles, most of which appear next Tuesday, January 27:

Private Vegas by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro (Little, Brown, $28, 9780316211154) continues the Private series. (Pub date: January 26.)

Munich Airport: A Novel by Greg Baxter (Twelve, $25, 9781455557950) takes place in the airport in Munich, where three people wait for a body to be released.

Searching for Grace Kelly by Michael Callahan (Mariner, $15.95, 9780544313545) follows three young women living in 1955 New York.

Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekbäck (Weinstein, $26, 9781602862524) takes place in 1717 Sweden, where Finnish immigrants struggle during a harsh winter.

The Jaguar's Children by John Vaillant (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26, 9780544315495) follows an illegal immigrant trapped in a broken down water truck during a border crossing.

Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe by George Friedman (Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385536332) explores future conflict in Europe.

Now in paperback:

Viper Game by Christine Feehan (Jove, $7.99, 9780515155549).

Across a Green Ocean by Wendy Lee (Kensington House, $15, 9781617734878).

Book Review

Review: S O S: Poems, 1961-2013

S O S: Poems 1961-2013 by Amiri Baraka, edited by Paul Vangelisti (Grove Press, $30 hardcover, 9780802123350, February 3, 2015)

With his controversial 1964 play Dutchman (written under his given name, LeRoi Jones), Amiri Baraka made a defiant entry into the rapidly shifting mid-century United States literary scene. At the time, this racially charged drama--about a young black man badgered and cajoled into rage by a flirtatious, violent white woman sharing his subway car--announced a new and fearless African-American voice. Shortly after the play won an Obie Award, Baraka shed his "slave name" and embraced the highly charged politics of Black Nationalism, provoking the ire of moderate blacks and whites alike. However, Baraka's writing career began with poetry, and up until his death in 2014, he never stopped writing verse.

S O S: Poems, 1965-2013 provides a comprehensive compendium of the best of Baraka's 50 years of poetry. Selected by Los Angeles poet, broadcaster and anthologist Paul Vangelisti, these poems cover the ebbs and flows of the modern African-American struggle for freedom and identity--but always in the lively, street-savvy, music-centric, angry voice that Baraka shouted on the doorsteps of academic critics, Harlem organizers and Upper West Side intellectuals.

Forerunners of rap and hip-hop, his poems toasted the earthy heart of the black man's experience. Listen to these lines in "To a Publisher... Cut-out," published in the early '60s:

"But who am I to love anybody? I ride the 14th St. bus
every day... reading Hui neng/ Raymond Chandler/ Olson…
I have slept with almost every mediocre colored woman
On 23rd St... At any rate talked a good match. [And]
I addressed several perfumed notes to Uncle Don
& stuffed them into the radio. In the notes,
Of course, crude assignations, off color suggestions,
Diagrams of new methods for pederasts, lewd poems
That rime."

Or these concluding lines to "Monk's World" from the more recent 1995 collection Funk Lore, where Baraka was still singing of the power and beauty of black culture:

"Oh, man! Monk was digging Trane now
w/o a chaser he drank himself
in. & Trane reported from 
the 6th or 7th planet deep in
the Theloniuscape.

Where fire engines screamed the blues
& night had a shiny mouth
& scatted flying things." 

There may be no better time than now to experience the lyrical, funny, dynamic, and provocative poetry of Amiri Baraka--a black man who even in his mellowing old age could brandish his political voice in the recent poem "Mississippi Goddamn!" (referencing Nina Simone's 1964 song of the same name) to challenge black support of Hillary Clinton:

"I saw Hillary Clinton in Mississippi with two giant coons
One on each side, like Mandrake the Magician
With her own two Lothars...
Is this the meaning of integration or the effects of segregation?
That we would rather guard capitalism's whore than struggle
For ourselves and with ourselves to achieve something more." 

S O S: Poems, 1965-2013 is the perfect place to hear the voice that influenced, if not defined, decades of black political struggle when few were listening--and even fewer were doing anything. Baraka did something. Man, he did plenty. --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.

Shelf Talker: This well-selected compendium of 50 years of Amiri Baraka's poetry captures the consistently provocative but lyrical voice of an unflinching advocate of black independence and culture.                                                                                                                                          

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. The 20/20 Diet by Phil McGraw
2. One Night Stand by J.S. and Helen Cooper
3. The Pact by Karina Halle
4. Altitude Adjustment by Mary Beth Baptiste
5. Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher
6. Accused (Scott Fenney Series Book 2) by Mark Gimenez
7. Fractured (Lucian & Lia Trilogy Book 2) by Sydney Landon
8. The Game Plan: A Neighbor From Hell by R.L. Mathewson
9. Raze by Tillie Cole
10. Wolf's Capture (Kodiak Point Book 4) by Eve Langlais

[Many thanks to!]

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