Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Algonquin Young Readers: The Ogress and the Orphans by Kelly Barnhill

St. Martin's Press: Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner

Atria Books: The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner

Carolrhoda Books (R): Today Is Different by Doua Moua, illustrated by Kim Holt

Tor Teen: Victories Greater Than Death (Unstoppable #1) by Charlie Jane Anders and Tor Teen: Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak (Unstoppable #2) by Charlie Jane Anders

Sourcebooks Landmark: Her Hidden Genius by Marie Benedict

Tordotcom: Seasonal Fears by Seanan McGuire


New Owners for the Bookman, Grand Haven, Mich.

The Bookman, Grand Haven, Mich., has been sold by John and Judy Waanders, who are retiring, to Sharon and Dick Tanis, Diane Steggerda and Alexa McGuinness, the Grand Haven Tribune reported.

"It's the Bookman," Sharon Tanis told the paper, in discussing how the group came to purchase the Bookman. "It's iconic. We were offered the opportunity to be a part of it and we just couldn't pass it up. We couldn't imagine this town or this area without an independent book store."

Tanis said that the current employees will remain, and there will be very few changes to the store and its operations other than increasing its social media presence, and perhaps introducing musical events and children's story times and connecting with local book clubs. "We're not going to go in and start knocking down walls and ripping things out," Tanis added. "It will still be the Bookman that we all know and love. There are just going to be some extra faces around."

The Bookman, which sells new and used books, was founded in 1974 by Jim Dana, who went on to become the first executive director of the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association.

Atlantic Monthly Press: Beyond Innocence: The Life Sentence of Darryl Hunt by Phoebe Zerwick

Trident's Courtney Flynn Joins NEIBA Board; Kohli Becomes V-P

Courtney Flynn, bookstore manager at Trident Booksellers & Café, Boston, Mass., has joined the board of the New England Independent Booksellers Association. She will serve the remainder of the term of departing director Susan Mercier, who resigned last month as manager of Edgartown Books, Edgartown, Mass.

In addition, board member Gillian Kohli, co-owner of Wellesley Books, Wellesley, Mass., is becoming vice-president of NEIBA.

Ingram Booklove: An Exclusive Rewards Program for Indie Booksellers

Obituary Notes: Yasar Kemal; Thomas J. Stanley

Yasar Kemal, "the master storyteller who repeatedly clashed with the Turkish state while emerging as his country's first novelist of global stature," died Saturday, the New York Times reported. He was 91. The Times noted that his "best-known hero was Slim Memed, who appeared in his most famous book, Memed, My Hawk, and in a sequel, They Burn the Thistles."


Thomas J. Stanley, author of the bestselling "millionaire" series that began with his 1996 book The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy, died Saturday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. He was 71.

AuthorBuzz for the Week of 01.17.22

Little City Books to Open in Hoboken, N.J.

On Independent Bookstore Day, May 2, Kate Jacobs, Donna Garban and Emmanuelle Morgen plan to open Little City Books, a new, general-interest bookstore in Hoboken, N.J. The store will feature a substantial children's section, as well as literary fiction, memoir, history, local interest, cooking and art sections.

The idea to open a bookstore began with Garban and Jacobs, who are both long-time Hoboken residents. They met and became friends through their children, who went to school together in Hoboken, and over the years had "pipe-dreamed" about a new indie bookstore in Hoboken.

"We often lamented the lack of a wonderful, cool literary independent bookshop in town," explained Jacobs, who is the trio's unofficial spokeswoman. For a while, Hoboken had an indie called Blackwater Books, but that closed in 1999, after a Barnes & Noble moved in. When Garban and Jacobs were finally starting to accept B&N, Jacobs added, that store closed as well, in 2010. Although Hoboken does have a small used bookstore called Symposia, Jacobs and Garban felt that "there was room for a new, general-interest shop, and we thought it would be fun."

Emmanuelle Morgen, Donna Garban and Kate Jacobs in the front window of Little City Books.

Neither Jacobs nor Garban have experience in bookselling--Garban has a background in finance, while Jacobs is a musician. Then the pair met Emmanuelle Morgen, a literary agent at Stonesong and fellow Hoboken resident, through Elena Skye, the owner of Blackwater Books, and Morgen's "wonderful optimism and publishing industry experience" gave Jacobs and Garban the impetus to jump.

"None of us has run a bookstore but we have nicely complementary skills that we hope will serve us well," said Jacobs. They're unsure of how large their initial staff will be, but the trio plans to hire a manager with a great deal of experience in running a bookstore day-to-day. "All the booksellers we've met in our region, and at the ABA Winter Institute, as well as the distribution and publishing reps, have been very helpful and forthcoming with advice," Jacobs said. "We're immensely grateful to them all."

With opening day two months away, the three women are in the midst of renovating their 1,200-square-foot storefront at 100 Bloomfield Street at 1st Street in Hoboken and ordering inventory. According to Jacobs, the space doesn't need much work--they're adding a new bathroom, putting in hardwood floors and, most importantly, installing bookshelves, which they purchased from a bookstore in the Philadelphia area that is consolidating from two locations to one. They expect to stock some 5,000 titles at opening, along with a smattering of sidelines including stationery, cards, journals, reading-related children's toys and reading glasses.

Jacobs, Morgen and Garban are also hard at work lining up partnerships with local schools and other community organizations. They hope to host book fairs, supply teachers with books, bring in authors and develop literacy support programs for Hoboken schools, and collaborate with local businesses for events.

"All three of us are devoted Hoboken residents and want to create a place that is a true asset to the community," remarked Jacobs. "We hope to be a cultural center in Hoboken, with programming that includes readings, live music, poetry, theater, lectures and conversations, and local art on the walls."

The store is just a few blocks away from Hoboken Terminal, through which "tens of thousands" of commuters travel every day. The trio plans to eventually have a mobile book cart parked at the terminal, and they'd like to have similar carts at Hoboken's farmer's markets and parks. Once the store is established and running smoothly, they'd also like to open a store in northern Hoboken. Although there are no immediate plans for any kind of cafe or food service, they are willing to add something like that if the need arises.

According to Jacobs, the Hoboken community's enthusiasm for the bookstore "couldn't be higher. The mayor mentioned us in the first few minutes of her State of the City address last week as an example of great things happening in Hoboken."

If they have a certificate of occupancy by April 23, the store will celebrate Shakespeare's birthday with a group that includes local fifth graders. Beyond that, they've already invited Hoboken's mayor for a ribbon cutting on May 2. Commented Jacobs: "Expect bunting." --Alex Mutter

Atheneum Books for Young Readers: Some Questions about Trees by Toni Yuly


Image of the Day: Cussler's Signature Edition

Clive Cussler getting ready to sign 800 copies of The Assassin (Putnam), the latest in the Isaac Bell series, before today's book launch at The Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, Ariz. The store reports that Champagne was involved....

The Sequel Bookshop: Cultivating a Sense of Community

"You can judge a book by its cover, but not a reader," Lisa Neuheisel, owner of the Sequel Bookshop, Kearney, Neb., told the Kearney Hub, which noted that "after 25 years of working in bookstores, Neuheisel continues to see the changes in the retailing of books. She understands that a brick-and-mortar bookstore offers elements of shopping that websites can't."

"We offer story time, author events, we participate in community events, we pay local taxes, and we employ people from the community. Amazon doesn't," she said, adding: "We've started expanding our kids' and young adult selections. So many adults are reading young adult fiction, too."

Stressing the importance of cultivating a sense of community, Neuheisel observed: "We always want someone to leave our store feeling like we have a good selection for the type of genre they like, and that our booksellers are knowledgeable and can have a conversation with them about books."

Norton to Distribute Overlook Press

Effective in May, the Overlook Press will be sold and distributed by Norton.

Peter Mayer, president and publisher and founder of Overlook, commented: "Norton is a brilliant publisher, and it knows what it means to sell books of quality--both new and classic--and to keep them fresh for generations of readers."

Michael Levatino, Norton's v-p and sales manager, affiliate publishers, said: "Overlook's list is characterized by flair and distinction and is situated squarely in the territory we know best: literary fiction and nonfiction. It will be a pleasure to represent these books in the marketplace."

Currently distributed by PenguinPutnam, Overlook Press publishes some 100 new books per year and has more than 1,500 titles in print. Its offerings range from literary and commercial fiction to history, biography, illustrated books and drama, as well as Russian literature in translation via the Ardis imprint, and select children's titles, including the Walter Brooks Freddy the Pig series. Overlook authors include Charles Portis, Joseph Roth, André Schwarz-Bart, Mervyn Peake, Edward Albee, Neil LaBute, Mikhail Bulgakov and P.G. Wodehouse. (Between Overlook and Norton, the entire Wodehouse oeuvre will be available in hardcover and paperback editions.)

Personnel Changes at the Reading Room, Ron Longe PR

At the Reading Room:

Effective March 16, Matt Mullin is joining the company as sales director. He has been senior manager, digital content, at Nook.

Nicole Cunningham is joining the company as sales & publishing coordinator. She has been working at ICM Partners.


Ron Longe has started his own boutique PR firm, Ron Longe Public Relations, specializing in food, lifestyle and illustrated books. He can now be reached at He was previously with Media Masters Publicity for six years.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Adam Carolla on Today

Today on Fresh Air: Kevin Carey, author of The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere (Riverhead, $27.95, 9781594632051).


Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Ella Woodward, author of Deliciously Ella: 100+ Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Plant-Based, Gluten-Free Recipes (Scribner, $19.99, 9781476793283).

Also on Today: Adam Carolla, author of President Me: The America That's in My Head (Dey Street, $15.99, 9780062320414).

Movies: It's What I Do

Jennifer Lawrence will star in and Steven Spielberg will direct a film adaptation of It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War by Lynsey Addario. reported that the memoir "has been the hot title since it was excerpted by the New York Times Magazine, and there were no shortage of bidders for the life of a woman who goes into the most dangerous places in the world in search of truth."

TV: Game of Thrones, Season 5 Clips and Pics

The publicity machine is cranking up to full speed for Game of Thrones, which returns to HBO for its fifth season April 12. Indiewire showcased two new clips, noting that the network is "keeping things secret as long as they can. But you can catch up with Brienne, Podrick, Jon Snow and Mance with the scenes told through the perspective of the Sight...."

Some first-look photos from the new season are also out. wrote that
"following on his escape from King's Landing, Peter Dinklage's Tyrion Lannister is now on the run across the Narrow Seas--as this image shows to some extent. And, of course, there are dragons on the horizon, literally and figuratively.... The dragons make sense as Season 5 is based on elements of author George R.R. Martin's A Feast of Crows and A Dance of Dragons novels from his A Song of Ice and Fire series."

And io9 advised: "Check out an exceedingly detailed featurette on Dornish weaponry, which also just so happens to introduce the first good look at the 'Sand Snakes'--also known as Oberyn Martell's daughters. This is marvelous."

Books & Authors

Awards: RBC Taylor; Oddest Book Title

Plum Johnson won the $25,000 RBC Taylor Prize for literary nonfiction, which is given to an author "whose book best combines a superb command of the English language, an elegance of style and a subtlety of thought and perception," for They Left Us Everything. Later this month, she will announce the winner of the RBC Taylor Emerging Author award, who receives $10,000 and the opportunity to be mentored by Johnson.         

The jury praised They Left Us Everything as "beautifully observed and written with great warmth and wit," calling it a "story of love, loss and legacy, written with compassion and humor."


Six finalists have been named for this year's Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year, the Bookseller reported. The winner will be named March 27. Prize coordinator Tom Tivnan said: "Britain's, arguably the world's, premier literary prize once again delivers the goods, with seven magnificent titles that are unparalleled in their oddity." The shortlisted books are:      

Divorcing a Real Witch: For Pagans and the People that Used to Love Them by Diana Rajchel
Nature's Nether Regions by Menno Schilthuizen
The Ugly Wife Is Treasured at Home by Melissa Margaret Schneider
Strangers Have the Best Candy by Margaret Meps Schulte
Where Do Camels Belong? by Ken Thompson
Advanced Pavement Research: Selected, Peer Reviewed Papers from the 3rd International Conference on Concrete Pavements Design, Construction & Rehabilitation, December 2-3, 2013, Shanghai, China, edited by Bo Tian
The Madwoman in the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormones by Sandra Tsing-Loh

Book Review

Review: A Little Life

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (Doubleday, $30 hardcover, 9780385539258, March 10, 2015)

A promising law clerk and a fine aspiring actor, friends fresh out of college, lease a meager apartment on Manhattan's unassuming Lispenard St. The friendship forged there between Jude St. Francis and Willem Ragnarsson lays the foundation for their many years together in Hanya Yanagihara's (The People in the Trees) astonishing second novel, A Little Life. Interwoven with the two are frenetic artist JB and stalwart architect Malcolm, with whom they have also been close friends since school. The foursome's great love for each other, petty jealousies, lavish successes, egregious betrayals and resilient confidence in one another comprise a lush backdrop for the greater drama gradually unfolding in the decades of Jude's adulthood.

While Yanagihara lashes A Little Life to more realistic foundations than the ethically fraught immortality fantasia played out in The People in the Trees, her style and attention to detail are no less addictive and mesmerizing here. In a story with many moving pieces, she fleshes out each character with an empathy that fully embraces their desires and revulsions, so that every break of trust, every tender moment, every secret revealed reverberates across the novel's dazzling panorama. Still, she never loses sight of its enigmatic hub: Jude St. Francis, a man of indeterminate race, with no relatives to speak of, a suspect lack of sexual expression, an excruciating disability he insists not be mentioned, and an entirely inscrutable childhood.

To his friends, Jude is conspicuous in his desire to blend in, to go unnoticed in the modern era of identity politics--indeed, to claim no identity at all!--but how long can they maintain the charade of overlooking his vacillating health and psychological distress before Jude becomes a danger to himself? As ferociously as he fights it, the truth of Jude's past creeps to the surface of an opulent livelihood in New York City, full of delectable cuisines, luxurious flats, breathtaking artwork and powerful business connections. Even as his law career launches him to the top of his field, his relationships with globetrotting megastar Willem, renowned painter JB, and architectural marvel Malcolm run a torturous gauntlet crafted by old demons borne of the wanton cruelty of others.

The power of Yanagihara's prose levitates even the heaviest of sorrows. Anyone who has tangled with the magnificently treacherous People in the Trees will know she does not shy away from intensity. She is a master observer of the human psyche, in all of its fits and starts. But where her first novel travels the lengths of human corruption, A Little Life vibrates with the hope of personal redemption, delivering something far greater than its humble title presumes. -- Dave Wheeler, associate editor, Shelf Awareness

Shelf Talker: Hanya Yanagihara's potent second novel unearths secrets one man has kept meticulously since childhood as he gradually ventures to trust a special few lifelong friends.

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. Forbidden Nights by Lauren Blakely
3. The Arrangement 18 by H.M. Ward
4. Unexpected Fate by Harper Sloan
5. The Way We Fall by Cassia Leo
6. Beneath This Ink by Meghan March
7. You Only Love Twice (Masters and Mercenaries Book 8) by Lexi Blake
8. Ristèard Unwilling Empress (Lords of Kassis Book 4) by S.E. Smith
9. One Night Stand by J.S. and Helen Cooper
10. Sourdough Wars (The Rebecca Schwartz Series Book 2) by Julie Smith

[Many thanks to!]

AuthorBuzz: Morgan James Publishing: Racing with Aloha: An Inspiring Journey from Humble Barefoot Maui Boy to Champion in the Water by Fred Haywood
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