Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Viking: The Bookshop: A History of the American Bookstore by Evan Friss

Pixel+ink: Missy and Mason 1: Missy Wants a Mammoth

Bramble: The Stars Are Dying: Special Edition (Nytefall Trilogy #1) by Chloe C Peñaranda

Blue Box Press: A Soul of Ash and Blood: A Blood and Ash Novel by Jennifer L Armentrout

Charlesbridge Publishing: The Perilous Performance at Milkweed Meadow by Elaine Dimopoulos, Illustrated by Doug Salati

Minotaur Books: The Dark Wives: A Vera Stanhope Novel (Vera Stanhope #11) by Ann Cleeves

Quotation of the Day

'If You Want Intelligent Children, Give Them a Book'

"I have never come across any child who cannot learn to read.... And if we fail any single child then we are cutting them off, not just from the heritage of humanity, but from the social life of our world.... Yes, a book can change a child's life, a book can change the world. If you want intelligent children, give them a book. If you want more intelligent children, give them more books."

--Author Jackie French, the national Children's Laureate, who was recently named Senior Australian of the Year. The Canberra Times noted that French "is a passionate advocate for young people with learning difficulties and said the matter gained welcome attention in the past year."

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Kwame Alexander Wins Newbery, Dan Santat Wins Caldecott

"The percentage of books by people of color fails to compare with the rapid shift in the country's demographics," said Courtney Young, president of the American Library Association at the opening of the Youth Media Awards presentation in Chicago yesterday. She framed a conversation that's been heating up since Walter Dean Myers's and Christopher Myers's essays in the New York Times in March and the launch of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign in April to protest the initial announcement of 2014 BookCon events lineup, which at that point consisted overwhelmingly of white authors.

The 2015 ALA awards celebrate a literature rich in diversity and format in nearly every category, from the Newbery and Caldecott Awards to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award and May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture.

The 2015 Newbery team shows their colors: front row (l.-r.): Janet Thompson, Sylvia Tag, Randall Enos (Newbery chair), Shelf Awareness children's editor Jennifer Brown, Shelley Quezada; back row (l.-r.): Stan Steiner, Abby Johnson, Therese Bigelow, Yapha Nussbaum Mason, Patrick Gall, Lolly Gepson, Lucinda Whitehurst, Eti Berland, Armin Arethna, Stephanie Bange.

Kwame Alexander wins the 2015 Newbery Medal for his book The Crossover (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), narrated by a smart, athletic basketball star in a series of poems with a rap-style rhythm that emulates on-court action. In the two Newbery Honor books cited, El Deafo (Amulet/Abrams), Cece Bell's graphic novel memoir is about growing up with a phonic ear strapped to her chest and the universal experiences of navigating a new school and finding a true friend; it's the first time a graphic novel has received a Newbery Honor citation. Jacqueline Woodson's memoir told through elegant poems, Brown Girl Dreaming (Nancy Paulsen/Penguin), about growing up in Ohio, Greenville, S.C., and Brooklyn, N.Y., received a Newbery Honor citation and the Coretta Scott King Author Award; it also received the 2015 National Book Award.

In the 2015 Caldecott Medal winner, The Adventures of Beekle (Little, Brown), author and artist Dan Santat chronicles the journey of an imaginary friend in search of the child to whom he belongs. Caldecott Honorees include Yuyi Morales, for her picture book exploration of Frida Kahlo, Viva Frida (Neal Porter/Macmillan)--which also received the Pura Belpré Illustrator Award--and the graphic novel This One Summer, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki, written by Mariko Tamaki (First Second/Macmillan). Four additional Caldecott Honor books were named.

Donald Crews wins the 2015 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, given for "a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children." He received Caldecott Honors for Freight Train (1979) and Truck (1981), both published by Greenwillow Books.

The 2015 Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults goes to Sharon M. Draper, author of more than 20 books, among them Tears of a Tiger (1994) and Forged by Fire (1997).

Pat Mora, author of more than three dozen books for young people that represent the Mexican American experience, will deliver the 2016 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture.

The complete list of winners is here.

GLOW: Milkweed Editions: Becoming Little Shell: Returning Home to the Landless Indians of Montana by Chris La Tray

Amazon Tuning into RadioShack, May Take Over Some Locations

Amazon has had discussions about buying some RadioShack locations and using them as showcases for the company's hardware as well as pickup and drop-off centers for online customers, Bloomberg reported, citing "two people with knowledge of the matter."

RadioShack, which plans to file for bankruptcy in the near future, has more than 4,000 branches in the U.S. Other companies considering buy some of the RadioShack stores are Sprint and Brookstone.

RadioShack stock has lost 90% of its value over the past year, and yesterday the New York Stock Exchange suspended trading in the stock because it no longer met minimum standards for being listed.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Four Weekends and a Funeral by Ellie Palmer

Rowman & Littlefield Buys Gooseberry Patch, Chase's

Rowman & Littlefield has bought the assets of Gooseberry Patch, best known for its homestyle, family-friendly cookbooks, and will integrate its titles into Globe Pequot.

Since 1992, Gooseberry Patch, Columbus, Ohio, has published more than 200 titles and grown from a kitchen-table operation to a national publisher. Priced below $17, its cookbooks have many recipes from readers that include personal stories. The company also sells calendars, organizers and more.

Liz Plotnick-Snay, chief operating officer of Gooseberry Patch for the past 19 years, will continue to oversee the Gooseberry Patch publishing program from Ohio. Gooseberry Patch is a longtime distribution client of Rowman & Littlefield's National Book Network, which will continue to sell and fulfill orders for Gooseberry Patch.


Rowman & Littlefield's Bernan Press, which distributes publications from hundreds of U.S. government agencies and intergovernmental organizations worldwide as well publishes reference works based on government data, has bought Chase's Calendar of Events, the reference brand for holidays, special events and observances, from McGraw-Hill Education. Holly McGuire, the editor-in-chief of Chase's for the past 12 years, will continue to edit the annual publication.

Jed Lyons, president and CEO of Rowman & Littlefield, said, "Chase's is a perfect tuck-in acquisition to help us build our growing reference business, which is focused on print and electronic products for libraries, educators, students and consumers."

Chase's Calendar of Events 2015 has 12,500 entries that include historical milestones, celebrity birthdays, astronomical phenomena, major festivals, national days from every country on earth, sports events and more. There is also a companion website of exclusive digital content for purchasers.

Obituary Note: Elise Partridge

Poet Elise Partridge, a dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada whose "poetic imagination was vast and wide-ranging," died Saturday, Quillblog reported. She was 57. Her books include "two well-received collections," Chameleon Hours and Fielder's Choice, as well as The Exiles' Gallery, which will be published in April by House of Anansi Press.

WI10 Buzz Books: Independent Presses on Parade

Winter Institute in Asheville, N.C., begins this coming weekend, and we talked to booksellers about the titles and authors they're most looking forward to. (Part one, Fiction, is here; part two, Nonfiction, is here.)

The Daylight Marriage by Heidi Pitlor (Algonquin, May, $24.95, 9781616203689)
This new novel by Heidi Pitlor--editor of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's The Best American Short Stories and author of The Birthdays--has advance praise from Stephen King, Geraldine Brooks and Tom Perrotta. In The Daylight Marriage, the day after a beleaguered couple quarrel, the wife drops their two children at their suburban school, then disappears, leaving the husband to dissect the trajectory of their marriage through his memories and the children's impressions of it. "I could not put it down," said Sarah Bagby of Watermark Books & Café, Wichita, Kan. "In a way, it's a little Gone Girl, except every word is deliberate. It's more literary. I read it in two sittings."

The Travels of Daniel Ascher by Déborah Lévy-Bertherat, translated by Adriana Hunter (Other Press, May, $22.95, 9781590517079)
The Travels of Daniel Ascher was a sensation in France, and now Other Press brings this debut with YA crossover appeal to the U.S. At the heart of the novel is the question of who wrote a hugely popular (fictional) YA series known as the Black Insignia--was it the person whose name is on the spine or a great-uncle of Hélène, who finds herself searching for the truth that goes deep into the history of the French occupation. "A sweet little gem that we love to handsell," observed Cathy Langer, buyer at the Tattered Cover in Denver.

Rock, Paper, Scissors by Naja Marie Aidt, translated by K.E. Semmel (Open Letter/Consortium, Aug., paper $16.95, 9781940953168)
The long-awaited first novel by the winner of both the Nordic and Danish prizes for literature, Rock, Paper, Scissors opens shortly after the death of Thomas and Jenny's criminal father. While trying to fix a toaster that he left behind, Thomas discovers a wad of cash, setting into motion a series of events that draw him him into a dark underworld of violence and betrayal. Aidt was born in Greenland and raised in Copenhagen.

The Distant Marvels by Chantel Acevedo (Europa Editions, April, paper $16, 9781609452520)
In what might be the first novel published in the U.S. that tells of the Cuban Wars for Independence from a Cuban point of view, The Distant Marvels opens as a hurricane is bearing down on the island in 1963 and a group of women is forced to take refuge in the governor's mansion. One of them, Marie Sirena, quells the others' fears by sharing stories from her childhood during the third war for independence. Told in chapters alternating between 1963 and the 1880s-'90s, The Distant Marvels is a tribute to the brilliance of female storytelling. With the U.S. poised to reopen relations with Cuba, the book is especially timely.

The Wonder Garden by Lauren Acampora (Grove, May, $25, 9780802123558)
The Wonder Garden is a first story collection by a writer whose work has appeared in the Paris Review and other literary journals. Acampora's stories are compared with those of Updike, Cheever, Homes and Ann Beattie, and she is being called the new voice for American suburban fiction. "This is an in-house favorite," said Linda-Marie Barrett at Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville.

Grace by Calvin Baker (Tyrus Books, July, $24.99, 9781440585784)
Grace, by the award-winning author of Dominion--Esquire called him one of the "best young writers in America"--is being described as "The Unbearable Lightness of Being meets This Is How You Lose Her." It's about a weary war correspondent's attempt to return to "normal" life, hoping to find love and the ability to see the beauty again.

Slim and the Beast by Samuel L. Barrantes (Inkshares/Ingram, Feb., paper $18, 9781941758021)
Set in North Carolina, where the author grew up, Slim and the Beast is about two friends--Slim, an Iraq vet, and the Beast, a college basketball star--who take refuge in a local bar from a stalker and a hurricane. It's being described as "David Foster Wallace meets the Coen brothers meets Larry David." Inkshares is a crowd-sourced publishing operation; Slim and the Beast is the first novel on its list.

Forgiveness 4 You by Ann Bauer (Overlook, March, $26.95, 9781468310238)
Forgiveness 4 You has an unusual premise: a former Catholic priest working at a bookstore finds that everyone confesses to him--including an advertising executive named Madeline who thinks they should create a non-religious confessional brand. Bauer is the author of The Forever Marriage.

Whisper Hollow by Chris Cander (Other Press, March, paper $17.95, 9781590517116)
Chris Cander is the author of the critically acclaimed 11 Stories. Her new novel, Whisper Hollow, is set in a West Virginia coal-mining town rife with secrets and evil spirits. An announced 30,000 first printing--huge for an indie press like Other--is helping to fuel the buzz.

The Boatmaker by John Benditt (Tin House, Feb., paper $15.95, 9781935639985)
This debut by a poet who studied with Adrienne Rich is about a "fierce and complicated" man who builds a boat to escape from the isolated island on which he was born, only to be tempted, beaten and betrayed. Pam Cady at University Book Store in Seattle described it as "a tour de force and a strangely mesmerizing parable."

A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley (Sourcebooks Landmark, April, paper $16.99, 9781492602026)
A time-slipping romance from the bestselling author of The Winter Sea and The Rose Garden. In A Desperate Fortune, a codebreaker comes to Paris to unlock a 300-year-old mystery in the journal of a Jacobite exile. "I hadn't read anything by her before," said Kate Schlademan, owner of the Learned Owl in Hudson, Ohio. "It's a really fun read. I liked how the character is a high-functioning autistic and it shows how she deals with it in her life."

The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli (Coffee House, Sept., $15.95, 9781566894098)
Named by the National Book Foundation in its "5 Under 35" list last year, Valeria Luiselli is the author of Faces in the Crowd and the essay collection Sidewalks, both published by Coffee House. The Story of My Teeth is about a late-in-life world traveller, yarn-spinner, collector and legendary auctioneer, whose most precious possessions are the teeth of the "notorious infamous" like Plato, Petrarch and Virginia Woolf. The Story of My Teeth is an elegant, witty romp through the industrial suburbs of Mexico City and Luiselli's own literary influences. 

On Hurricane Island by Ellen Meeropol (Red Hen Press, March, $16.95, 9781597093002)
Ellen Meeropol is a former nurse practitioner who works part-time at the Odyssey Book Shop in South Hadley, Mass. In her third novel, On Hurricane Island, a math professor is hooded and cuffed by federal agents at JFK airport on her way to a conference in New England. Interrogated for things she knows nothing about, the professor is put into the hands of a rookie guard who becomes horrified by secret things he is asked to do. On Hurricane Island will have readers questioning the real cost of the war on terrorism.

Orhan's Inheritance by Aline Ohanesian (Algonquin, April, $25.95, 9781616203740)
This debut, inspired by the author's family's experience of the Armenian genocide, is told from the point of view of a young man who is ignorant of his family's past and the grandmother who cannot escape memories of it. "I'm always compelled by the Armenian genocide--it's such a horrific period of history" that is not written about much, said Langer at Tattered Cover.

The Loved Ones by Mary-Beth Hughes (Atlantic Monthly, June, $26, 9780802122490)
In her editor's note, Elizabeth Schmitz celebrates that Mary-Beth Hughes has moved from stories and a "slim and potent" debut novel, Wavemaker II, to write a "seismic novel--a darkly seductive drama of family secrets and professional lies set in the early '70s of the booming cosmetics industry in New York and London. Comp titles for The Loved Ones include Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections, Penelope Fitgerald's The Gate of Angels and James Salter's Light Years.

Will Starling by Ian Weir (Steerforth, Feb., paperback $17, 9781586422301)
Set in London after the Napoleonic War, the title character, Will Starling, is a 19-year-old who has just returned to the continent with Alec Comrie, the military surgeon he served. Starling helps Comrie build a medical practice in London's rough Cripplegate area, where one of Comrie's old school friends is suspected of operating on not quite dead corpses. An investigation twists through brothels, charnel houses and the mansions of Mayfair. Weir is originally from North Carolina, and now lives in Canada.

Wishful Thinking by Kamy Wicoff (She Writes/PGW, April, $16.95 paper, 9781631529764)
Written by the co-founder of She Writes Press, Wishful Thinking is about what happens when an overworked mom comes across an app on her phone that lets her be in more than one place at one time--becoming super mom and über worker, but at what cost? Langer is among the booksellers who are watching She Writes Press build its hybrid publishing company, which acts as a gatekeeper for work that might otherwise be self-published. --Bridget Kinsella


Image of the Day: New Voices in Vermont

Despite frigid temperatures and threats of blizzard, Misty Valley Books' 21st annual New Voices series drew a capacity crowd in Chester, Vt., this past weekend. 

The event invites six debut authors to spend a weekend in Vermont that included readings, cross-country skiing, an author reception and dinner at the home of booksellers Bill and Lynne Reed. This year's participating authors: (l.-r.) Tim Johnston (Descent, Algonquin), Christopher Scotton (The Secret Wisdom of the Earth, Grand Central), Amy Rowland (The Transcriptionist, Algonquin), John Allen (Marmite Cowboy, BBB) and Allegra Jordan (The End of Innocence, Sourcebooks). Missing from photo: David McCullough, Jr. (You Are Not Special, Ecco). Photo taken at the Fullerton Inn.

Warehouse Updates: 'Where We Put All Those Books!'

From the Random House Insider Facebook page: "A huge thank you to our wonderful colleagues in our distribution facilities who make sure that our books get out to our booksellers, and into the hands of readers everywhere. Today is the first official day with our integrated, unified Penguin and Random House distribution and fulfillment centers, so these colleagues are responsible for even more wonderful books heading your way. And booksellers will start seeing delivery cartons with our new logo."

"Where we put all those books!" was the headline for a recent post by Perseus/PGW rep Jon Mayes on his advance reading copy blog. Mayes noted that "the last time I did my New Orleans to Memphis road trip, I stopped in at our offices and shipping warehouses in Jackson, Tenn. Along with the wonderful Perseus customer service reps and other essential folk that make the Perseus Books Group work, this is where we pack and ship the books from the almost 400 publishers that we either own or distribute.... We have just finished a HUGE expansion of the warehouse, so I thought it would be interesting to show you what it looks like (in this case, after hours)."

Ex-Car Park/Bomb Shelter: China's 'Most Beautiful' Bookstore

The Librairie Avant-Garde bookstore in Nanjing "was named as China's most beautiful bookshop by CNN in 2013 and also included in 'Ten of the world's most beautiful bookshops' by BBC in 2014. It was built inside a former government car park that had also been a bomb shelter," China News Service reported.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: David J. Linden Talks About Touch

Today on Fresh Air: David J. Linden, author of Touch: The Science of Hand, Heart, and Mind (Viking, $28.95, 9780670014873).


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).


Tomorrow morning on Morning Joe: Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler, authors of Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781476709567).

Also on Morning Joe: Reggie Love, author of Power Forward: My Presidential Education (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781476763347). He will also appear on CNBC's Squawk Box, CNN's the Lead with Jake Tapper, CNN's Tonight with Don Lemmon and Comedy Central's Nightly Show.


Tomorrow on the Diane Rehm Show: Deborah Voigt, author of Call Me Debbie: True Confessions of a Down-to-Earth Diva (Harper, $27.99, 9780062118271).


Tomorrow on Tavis Smiley: Joyce Carol Oates, author of The Sacrifice: A Novel (Ecco, $26.99, 9780062332974).


Tomorrow night on the Daily Show: Wes Moore, author of The Work: My Search for a Life That Matters (Spiegel & Grau, $25, 9780812993578).


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

Movies: Madame Bovary; Born to Run

The first trailer has been released for Madame Bovary, a film adaptation of Gustave Flaubert's classic novel, Film & Stage reported. Directed by Sophie Barthes (Cold Souls), the movie stars Mia Wasikowska, Rhys Ifans, Paul Giamatti, Ezra Miller, Logan Marshall-Green, Henry Lloyd-Hughes and Laura Carmichael.


Matthew McConaughey will star in Born to Run, adapted by Matthew Michael Carnahan from Christopher McDougall's bestselling book, Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Super Athletes and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, reported.

TV: Queen Sugar; For Justice

Ava DuVernay will write, direct and executive produce Queen Sugar, a new series for OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network based on the novel by Natalie Baszile. Indiewire reported that the project will be DuVernay's first television drama series, and she will also appear in multiple episodes, in a recurring role. Production is scheduled to begin later this year.

"I loved this book and immediately saw it as a series for OWN," said Winfrey, who will executive produce. "The story's themes of reinventing your life, parenting alone, family connections and conflicts, and building new relationships are what I believe will connect our viewers to this show."


CBS has ordered a pilot of For Justice, based on James Patterson's novel The Thomas Berryman Number, from Rene Balcer and Robert De Niro. The Hollywood Reporter wrote that if the project goes forward, "it will be the second Patterson-inspired series on the network. An adaptation of his novel Zoo nabbed a straight-to-series order in 2014, and will debut this summer. He signed a first-look deal with CBS Studios shortly after the Zoo pact." For Justice is being written by Balcer, with Patterson serving as executive producer alongside De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, Bill Robinson and Leopoldo Gout.

Books & Authors

Awards: Sunday Times EFG Short Story Longlist

Some 19 authors have been included in the longlist for the £30,000 ($45,070) 2015 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, which can be seen here. The shortlist will be announced in the Sunday Times on March 1.

Book Review

Review: Jam on the Vine

Jam on the Vine by Lashonda Barnett (Grove Press, $24 hardcover, 9780802123343, February 10, 2015)

LaShonda Katrice Barnett's debut novel, Jam on the Vine, is filled with color, suffering and feeling. Barnett's protagonist Ivoe Williams is inspired by the life of Ida B. Wells-Barnett, newspaperwoman, suffragette and civil rights leader, and she sparkles from the first page, when she steals newspapers from her mother's white employer to revel in the smell of the ink and the magic of print. Her mother, a Muslim and a former slave, is a talented gardener and cook, her father a masterful storyteller, so she is surrounded by art and encouraged in her education. The plucky Ivoe, a native of rural Texas born just after Emancipation, receives an unlikely scholarship to attend college in Austin, where she studies printing and journalism. She returns home overqualified for the kind of work available to young black women. Under the forces of power and prejudice, the Williams family will ultimately fracture and be forced to migrate to the city, where new challenges await. Ivoe finds love and purpose in work, eventually founding a Kansas City newspaper called Jam! on the Vine, which pursues the rights of African-Americans and women.

The connections to Wells-Barnett's life are vague; the vibrancy of Ivoe's trials and loves are a credit to Barnett the author. Sensual evocations are among Jam!'s greatest triumphs: the Texas dirt and the tomato vines it sprouts, the savory jam crafted by Ivoe's mother from their fruit, the family's music and laughter, blood and pain and pleasure. Ivoe is stimulated by her study at the university, the tactile challenge of setting type and the intellectual exertions of politics and social justice. She grows from a gutsy child to become a famished student, then a frustrated young woman and, finally, finds love and joy and danger, in the Red Summer of race riots in 1919.

It is no exaggeration that the beautifully written Jam! on the Vine recalls Alice Walker and Zora Neale Hurston. Sensuality, pleasure and pain, as well as the righteous difficulties of the early civil rights movement, yield a story that is passionate, inspired and lively. Barnett's (editor of I Got Thunder and Off the Record) prose flows with rhythm and feeling, and her characters both major and minor are intriguing. While Ivoe's hard, important work and her love of written words will endear her especially to readers interested in the history of journalism and the civil rights movement, this literary novel has broad appeal. --Julia Jenkins, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: The vivid life of an African American newspaperwoman, civil rights activist and lover both entertains and inspires.

The Bestsellers

Bookfinder's 100 Most Searched-For OP Books's annual report of the top 100 most searched-for out-of-print books in the U.S. can be found here. The top 10 titles were:

On the Psychology of Military Incompetence by Norman F. Dixon
Lovely Reed: An Enthusiast's Guide to Building Bamboo Fly Rods by Jack Howell
Sex by Madonna
The Body by Stephen King
Rage by Stephen King (as Richard Bachman)
The Colorado Kid by Stephen King
The Road We Are Traveling: 1914-1942 by Stuart Chase
On the Nature and Existence of God by Richard M. Gale
365 Bedtime Stories by Nan Gilbert
Collector's Guide to Colt .45 Service Pistols by Charles W. Clawson

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