Shelf Awareness for Thursday, March 12, 2015

Hanover Square Press: Before the Coffee Gets Cold series by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Del Rey Books: The Book of Elsewhere by Keeanu Reeves and China Miéville

St. Martin's Press: You'll Never Believe Me: A Life of Lies, Second Tries, and Other Stuff I Should Only Tell My Therapist by St. Martin's Press

Watkins Publishing: A Feminist's Guide to ADHD: How Women Can Thrive and Find Focus in a World Built for Men by Janina Maschke

Soho Teen: Only for the Holidays by Abiola Bello

W. W. Norton & Company: Still Life by Katherine Packert Burke

Shadow Mountain: A Kingdom to Claim by Sian Ann Bessey

Quotation of the Day

'Shipping Brown Boxes Across the Universe'

"Amazon was a fabulous company to be at. I learned so much. That's the smartest team I've ever worked with. It grew me as an individual. But, really, what I'm doing is helping ship brown boxes across the universe. Is that useful to the world? I wanted the opportunity to give something back."

--Greg Russell, who is leaving Amazon, where he oversaw corporate applications, enterprise data warehouse and IT, to become chief information officer for the Seattle Police Department, as quoted in the SPD Blotter.

W. W. Norton & Company: Still Life by Katherine Packert Burke


New Owner for Partners Village Store in Massachusetts

Nancy Crosby and Jan Hall, owners of Partners Village Store, Westport, Mass., for 36 years, have sold the combination bookstore, gift shop and cafe to Lydia Sweetser Gollner, South Coast Today reported. Crosby and Hall are retiring, although Hall will stay through the transition.

Hall said, "We believe new ownership will bring new ideas and energy without disrupting what has made Partners so special. We believe that Lydia's commitment to service excellence, quality and a unique experience will result in a positive future for our valued customers, staff and the community. Business is good, and there are many exciting possibilities for continued growth."

"I am thrilled and honored to continue the legacy of Partners into the future," Gollner said. "Nancy and Jan's accomplishments and service to the community are what I look forward to expanding upon. It is my goal to maintain the integrity and warmth of Partners Village Store. I look forward to working with the team to carry on the torch with excellent service, food and product selection."

Gollner joined the staff in 2014 to prepare for this transition. She has more than 20 years of experience in the wholesale fashion industry, having managed brands including Kenneth Cole, DKNY and Sigrid Olsen. Her mother and grandparents were from nearby Fall River, and she's spent every summer of her life in Westport. She and her husband built their home and moved to the town full-time in 2012.

As Shelf Awareness noted in a 2011 profile of Partners, the store started in 1979 "as a beer- and wine-making supply wholesaler and morphed slowly and steadily into its current incarnation as a combination bookstore-gift shop-café that includes a publishing arm (and no trace of the original wholesaling business). As co-owner Jan Hall put it, 'We've been able to evolve slowly, and it's all been customer-driven.'

"The change began when the wholesaling business started carrying wine-making and beekeeping books. (Co-owner Nancy Crosby, who started the supply business in Westport, Conn., before making a somewhat confusing move to Westport, Mass., had worked at the Remarkable Book Shop in Westport, Conn., and was partial to bookselling.)

" 'People kept asking for more books,' including children's books, field guides and more, in part because there were few bookstores in the area, Hall said. 'Every few years we added on and evolved.' The store also added gifts and food, mainly in response to customer requests and suggestions."

GLOW: Sourcebooks Landmark: Remember You Will Die by Eden Robins

AAP: Led by Children's/YA, 2014 Book Sales Up 4.9%

In 2014, total net book sales rose 4.9%, to $15.7 billion, compared to 2013, representing sales of 1,209 publishers and distributed clients as reported to the Association of American Publishers.
Among highlights for the year: children's/YA sales grew 20.8%, to $1.9 billion. The next two strongest categories were K-12 instructional materials, which gained 10.7%, to $3.2 billion, and professional books, up 10.1%, to $798.1 million.
Total trade e-book sales rose 4.7%, to $1.6 billion. Trade paperbacks were up 8.3%, to $2.1 billion. Trade hardcover slipped 0.5%, to $2.5 billion. (Note: trade excludes downloadable audio and children's board books.)
By category for 2014:

College Store Black and White About Fifty Shades of Grey

Painful news from the Boston College Bookstore, according to the Heights, Boston College's student newspaper: after an e-mail request to the store and the administration asking that the store no longer sell the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy by E.L. James, the store has taken copies of the books off the shelves.

Bookstore assistant director Tina Plotegher told the paper: "We don't want to offend anybody. We pull things off the shelves--it's just this happens to be a hot topic." She added that the administration had not said the book should be pulled.

The store had been selling the titles for several months, even before the movie was released on February 13, and had received several e-mails and calls complaining about the books' availability but not demanding their removal. "They didn't believe the University should be promoting a book that goes against Catholic religion," Plotegher said.

Binc Foundation Expands Program

Following an industry survey, the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation has expanded its giving programs to offer grants to booksellers who have lost more than 50% of their scheduled weekly income due to a verified emergency need for child or elder care. The applicant must be the parent or legal guardian of the child or the primary caregiver of the elder. These grants will help cover basic living expenses.

For more information and details on how to apply, visit the financial assistance page at or call Binc at 866-733-9064.


Image of the Day: Bookstore Engagement

Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, N.C., shared this charming story of an engagement that took place at the store recently:

"Sean picked our store because he was looking for a bookstore with a lot of history to it. His plan: He picked Lacy's favorite book, Pride & Prejudice, and highlighted the quote from Mr. Darcy on how he loves Elizabeth. He chose the Penguin DropCaps edition and tied the engagement ring to the ribbon bookmark. 

"He did let us in on the plan, as he was putting the book back on the shelf for Lacy to find. (He also had mom Colleen and sister Katy as backup, keeping an eye an a suddenly much more valuable edition of Austen.) 

"When they came in for the book, Sean proposed 'the old school way.' They plan to make Quail Ridge their bookstore. Lacy thanked us from the bottom of her heart for letting them get engaged in our store. 'It was truly an amazing moment for the two of us.' "

Cool Idea of the Day: Irish Literature Giveaway

On St. Patrick's Day, next Tuesday, March 17, the Irish Arts Center in New York City will "take to the streets to introduce and re-introduce New Yorkers to some of Ireland's most celebrated writers" by giving away thousands of free books to commuters and schoolchildren at transit hubs across the city.

At 7 a.m., volunteers will start handing out the books--hundreds of titles--and keep going until the books run out. This is the fifth year the Irish Arts Center is celebrating St. Patrick's Day in this way.

Consortium Distributing Third Man Books

Effective March 1, Consortium Book Sales & Distribution began distributing Third Man Books in the U.S. and Canada.

Third Man Books is an extension of Third Man Records, founded by musician Jack White in 2001 in Nashville, Tenn. Third Man's mission is to support the creation and distribution of any and every form of expression, from music to poetry, fiction to film. Third Man Books was established last year and is publishing contemporary poetry, literary fiction, photography, biography, and more. All titles will have an audio/video component.

"Third Man Books will continue in the manufacture and sale of beautiful things. Those things being books," co-founders Chet Weise and Ben Swank (also co-founder of Third Man Records) said. "Much like the identity of our multiple Grammy-winning record label, Third Man Books will be based on adventure, bordering on recklessness, yet bound by craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail."

Third Man Books's first book was Language Lessons, published last summer, a 300-page anthology of poetry and prose with two LPs of music and five broadsides.

Upcoming books include Hidden Water: From the Frank Stanford Archive, a selection of unpublished poems and facsimiles of drafts, letters and artwork, plus a download of Stanford reading his poem "The Boathouse." The book is a companion to Copper Canyon Press's poetry collection, What About This. Other planned titles are The Truth Is We Are Perfect by Janaka Stucky and Pain: The Board Game by Sampson Starkweather, which is a book of poetry featuring a board game modeled on the 1970s board game Life.

Julie Schaper, president and COO of Consortium, commented: "We've often thought indie music fans overlap with indie fiction fans, and Third Man Books is proving that notion true."

David Steinberger, president and CEO of the Perseus Books Group, said, "We, and the publishing industry, just got a lot hipper with [Third Man's] foray into the literary world."

Personnel Changes at Grand Central Publishing

Effective March 23, Karen Fink will join Grand Central Publishing as deputy director of publicity. She has worked the last 11 years at Random House, where she is associate director of publicity, handling titles across the Random House, Spiegel & Grau and Dial Press lists. Before joining Random House, Fink was assistant to author Adriana Trigiani.

Media and Movies

Movies: The Infiltrator; The Shack

Principal photography has just begun in London on The Infiltrator, based Robert Mazur's 2009 autobiography, The Infiltrator: My Secret Life Inside the Dirty Banks Behind Pablo Escobar's Medellín Cartel, reported. Directed by Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer), the film stars Bryan Cranston, Diane Kruger and Benjamin Bratt, Amy Ryan, John Leguizamo, Olympia Dukakis, Elena Anaya (The Skin I Live In) and Juliet Aubrey (The White Queen).


Octavia Spencer "is in final negotiations to play God in Lionsgate's adaptation of the bestselling novel The Shack," Variety reported. The movie, adapted from the bestselling 2007 novel by William P. Young, is directed by Stuart Hazeldine. Production is set to start this spring.

This Weekend on Book TV: The Tucson Festival of Books

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, March 14
1 p.m. Live coverage of the 2015 Tucson Festival of Books at the University of Arizona campus.

8:30 p.m. Sean McFate, author of The Modern Mercenary: Private Armies and What They Mean for World Order (Oxford University Press, $29.95, 9780199360109).

10 p.m. William J. Bennett, co-author of Going to Pot: Why the Rush to Legalize Marijuana Is Harming America (Center Street, $26, 9781455560738). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m.)

Sunday, March 15
1 p.m. Continuing live coverage of the 2015 Tucson Festival of Books at the University of Arizona campus.

10 p.m. Jennifer Jacquet, author of Is Shame Necessary?: New Uses for an Old Tool (Pantheon, $24, 9780307907578).

Books & Authors

Awards: Independent Foreign Fiction Longlist

The longlist for the 2015 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, which honors "the best work of fiction by a living author that has been translated into English from any other language and published in the U.K. in 2014," has been released.

Among the works listed are titles by Haruki Murakami, Karl Ove Knausgaard and five German authors. The award recognizes both authors and translators of the books.

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:

I Am Radar: A Novel by Reif Larsen (Penguin Press, $29.95, 9781594206160). "I Am Radar revolves around questions of art, creation, love, heartbreak, performance, war, and regeneration. Sounds like heady stuff, and it is, but on an immensely readable level that culminates in a puzzling yet delightful climax. As Radar navigates his way through life as a black child, a white man, and a white/black man, he discovers that art can be perception and science can be art. The language used is delightfully beautiful, even in the war scenes. I Am Radar may also be the best book about personal definitions of art in our time, as well as how art can affect and change a person. I cannot recommend it highly enough!" --Bill Carl, The Booksellers on Fountain Square, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Aquarium by David Vann (Atlantic Monthly Press, $24, 9780802123527). "The world of the aquarium becomes a microcosm of a young girl's longings--some she can name, some she cannot--as her splintered family makes jagged efforts to reform itself. How kinship is expressed, both in the fish world and within 12-year-old Caitlin's difficult family, is at the heart of Vann's piercing and ultimately redemptive novel--one that remains vivid long after the last page." --Sheryl Cotleur, Copperfield's Books, Sebastopol, Calif.

The Room: A Novel by Jonas Karlsson (Hogarth, $14, 9780804139984). "An employee at a mundane office in Sweden, Bjorn knows that he is better than his contemporaries and does whatever it takes to get the recognition he feels he deserves. He finds that recognition in 'the room,' an otherwise unremarkable space between the elevators and the toilets, except for the fact that it seems to exist only for him. In 'the room,' Bjorn feels more powerful, more attractive, and able to take control of the work environment he finds upsettingly sloppy. Unfortunately for Bjorn, his coworkers only see him as a man staring at a wall for inordinate periods and try to keep him from this unsettling behavior. Brilliantly crafted and sharply funny." --Kelsey Myers, Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, Colo.

Young Adult
Stone Cove Island by Suzanne Myers (Soho Teen, $17.99, 9781616954376). "A catastrophic hurricane devastates Stone Cove Island, located off the coast of New England. As the islanders pull together to rebuild, 17-year-old Eliza discovers a typewritten letter when she volunteers to clean out the island lighthouse. Eliza soon learns her mother's best friend drowned 25 years ago and was apparently murdered. No one was arrested and the islanders decided to bury the secret. But why? Eliza, with the help of Charlie, a school mate, is determined to solve the murder, but no islander answers her questions. This is a stunning debut mystery that will attract young adult and adult readers alike." --Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books & Hobbies, Oscoda, Mich.

Children's Illustrated
A Bed for Bear by Clive McFarland (HarperCollins, $17.99, 9780062237057). "After concluding that his cave is too noisy, too big, and too crowded, Bernard the bear is on a search for the perfect bed. But every bed he encounters is perfect for its own inhabitant and not perfect for a bear. Bernard may find that his perfect bed is a little closer to home. With collages reminiscent of the work of Eric Carle and a lovely storyline, A Bed for Bear is sure to delight." --Tia Heywood, The Babbling Book, Haines, Ark.

Ages 4 to 8
The Mouse Mansion by Karina Schaapman (Dial Books for Young Readers, $18.99, 9780803740495). "This book is amazing and absolutely enchanting! I spent so much time poring over the pages, marveling at the tiniest details in the miniatures shown in each spread. This simply lovely and completely unique collection of short stories is sure to be enjoyed by everyone who opens it up!" --Kaley Degoursey, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, Conn.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Monday and Tuesday, March 16 and 17:

NYPD Red 3 by James Patterson and Marshall Karp (Little, Brown, $28, 9780316406994) continues the NYPD Red thriller series.

Eye of the Beholder: Johannes Vermeer, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, and the Reinvention of Seeing by Laura J. Snyder (Norton, $27.95, 9780393077469) explores an artist and early scientist in 17th-century Holland.

The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose (Atria, $25, 9781476778068) is a gothic novel set in 1890s Belle Epoque Paris.

Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter by Nina MacLaughlin (Norton, $24.95, 9780393239133) is the memoir of a woman who changed careers from journalism to carpentry.

Prudence by Gail Carriger (Orbit, $20, 9780316212243) begins the Custard Protocol fantasy series.

Now in paperback:

The Fires of Autumn by Irene Nemirovsky, translated by Sandra Smith (Vintage, $15, 9781101872277).

Love Fed: Purely Decadent, Simply Raw, Plant-Based Desserts by Christina Ross (BenBella Books, $19.95, 9781940363325).


Insurgent, based on book two of Veronica Roth's Divergent series, opens March 20. A movie tie-in (Katherine Tegen Books, $12.99, 9780062372857) is available.

The Gunman, based on The Prone Gunman by Jean-Patrick Manchette, opens March 20 (and premieres in Los Angeles tonight). Pierre Morel (Taken) directs Sean Penn as a former soldier and hitman trying to escape his old life. A tie-in (City Lights, $13.95, 9780872866645) is available.

Book Review

Review: Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World

Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World by Jane Hirshfield (Knopf, $24.95 hardcover, 9780385351058, March 17, 2015)

With the 10 insightful essays in Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World, poet Jane Hirshfield continues the investigation she began in Nine Gates, into the ways poetry carries meaning and emotional truth. As one of poetry's most respected practitioners, she mounts a passionate argument for its importance and transformational power.

Poetry offers "new ways of perceiving" in complex and interconnected ways, she argues. The poet sees or hears or feels something and, in an act of the imagination, uses the tools of craft--words, images and form--to turn it into something previously unsaid and unknown. Each reader in turn re-creates the poet's imaginative experience. A poem changes us because experience changes us, and so poetry provokes new reactions to the familiar objects and concerns of life, connecting writer and reader and showing both how to see or hear or feel.

Hirshfield establishes this argument in her first essay and elaborates on it in the chapters that follow. By expressing something new, a good poem moves both poet and reader toward emotional enlargement and an increase in awareness. She explores the role of the hidden and unspoken and a poem's ability to reveal them with its "knife-twist moment," when things are suddenly not what they seem and everything changes. She traces the use of imagery in poetry to haiku. She shows how the element of surprise is essential to a poem's endurance over time because it allows the reader to see something new over and over. She celebrates the music of poetry, discussing how its sound and rhythm hold the key to its ability to carry meaning. Her essay "What Is American in Modern American Poetry--A Brief Primer with Poems" earns its title as a wonderful analysis of American poetry and is itself worth the price of admission.

Hirshfield uses examples drawn from poetry and literature, including Horace, Basho and Raymond Carver, and from the natural world and evolutionary science. Additionally, photos and other reproductions of visual art--like that of contemporary Times Square and Maya Lin's original submission for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial competition--ground her argument and contribute to the wonder of this collection. But Hirshfield is a poet first, and she anchors Ten Windows with her deep appreciation for poetry's ability to inquire of us how to live and create in a world that will ultimately go on without us. --Jeanette Zwart, freelance writer and reviewer

Shelf Talker: In 10 essays, poet, essayist and translator Jane Hirshfield passionately defends the transformational power of poetry and creative expression.

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