Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Perfectly Pegasus by Jessie Sima

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Perfectly Pegasus by Jessie Sima

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Perfectly Pegasus by Jessie Sima

Take a Storytime Adventure into the World of Jessie Sima


Bryn Mawr Taking Back Management of Campus Bookstore

In a reversal of the usual college bookstore trend, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pa., is taking over management of its own bookstore, effective in May, the school announced. The bookstore has been managed for the past four years by Follett Higher Education Group.

Bryn Mawr chief administrative officer Jerry Berenson said that a major reason for the change was the school's belief that "an independent store will provide better service to meet the academic program needs of the community and offer merchandise more attractive to all of its customers."

The college had contracted with Follett, he said, because it thought Follett would compete better with online booksellers. "But new technologies are now available to assist independent bookstores to price books competitively with on-line sellers," Berenson continued. "Also, excellent used book and book rental programs can now be more easily managed by an independent store."

Berenson added that the college hopes an independent bookstore will offer "the sort of customer service and community connection some felt has been lost in recent years" and will draw back former customers. "We want to be a partner and resource for all campus departments, alumnae/i, visitors, and hopefully the local community."

The College is searching for a store manager. The store will offer internships allowing students "to work in all facets of store operations, such as merchandise selection, marketing, website maintenance, and social media."

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Perfectly Pegasus by Jessie Sima

NYC's Rizzoli Bookstore to Reopen in June

Rizzoli Bookstore in Manhattan, which had to leave its elegant space on W. 57th Street last April, will reopen for business in its new home at 1133 Broadway between 25th and 26th Streets in June, DNAInfo New York reported. Richard Falk, a spokesman for Kew Management, which manages the St. James Building, an 1896 Beaux-Arts structure, confirmed the news.

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima

HarperCollins Supports New Library for P.S. 81

The 10-year wait for a library in Brooklyn's Public School 81 is over, thanks to HarperCollins. Through education nonprofit Change for Kids, the publisher paid for furniture, paint and supplies, including in-kind donations of more than 1,600 children's books, 35 computers and a printer.

"We have been waiting for this library for 10 years and are so grateful to have it at last," said Cheryl Ault-Baker, principal of P.S. 81. "It is beyond all our expectations and will be the engine of our literacy initiatives. Our children will now read to lead and be able to find their futures on the shelves in this room."

Forty HarperCollins employees spent February 27 and 28 painting the bookshelves royal blue and decorating the library with a nature theme. "We are proud of our employees for their incredible teamwork, creativity, and generosity in giving back to their community and inspiring a new generation of readers," said Erin Crum, HarperCollins v-p of corporate communications. "Our work with Change for Kids and P.S. 81 aligns with HarperCollins's philanthropic goals of supporting learning, reading and writing--as well as the community."

Change for Kids executive director Colin Smith, principal of P.S. 81 Cheryl Ault-Barker, Change for Kids staff, HarperCollins volunteers and P.S. 81 honor roll students.

Change for Kids assembles "Change Teams" to provide financial support and volunteers for needy New York City schools. As a member of the Change Team for P.S. 81, HarperCollins has helped support an especially troubled school: a majority P.S. 81's students live in temporary housing in a neighborhood with 59% unemployment and five public shelters; and 93% of students are eligible for reduced-cost or free school lunches. The P.S. 81 Change Team also supports Story Pirates Creative Writing and Literacy Tutoring programs.

Heyday to L.A.: Publisher Opens Southern California Branch

Heyday Books, which for more than 40 years has had its headquarters in Berkeley, Calif., has opened Heyday South, a branch in Los Angeles. The new office aims, the publisher said, to "bring some of Heyday's spirit to Southern California, and take some of the dynamism and creativity of the south back to Berkeley."

Eve Bachrach is project manager of Heyday South. A Southern California native, she is managing editor of Boom: A Journal of California and a former assistant editor at Oxford University Press.

Heyday is an independent, nonprofit publisher and cultural institution that promotes awareness and celebration of California's many cultures, landscapes and ideas.   


BookWorks Is 'Best of Monterey County'

BookWorks bookstore, Pacific Grove, Calif., was named "Best Bookstore--New" in the Monterey County Weekly's Readers' Poll, which noted that there "are more than 4,200 titles packed into the cozy space, as well as puppets, scarves, stationery and cards. As one satisfied customer put it, the store is like the tent in Harry Potter's Goblet of Fire--bigger than expected and chock full of goodies."

'Beautiful Libraries with the Best Reading Rooms'

"To celebrate literary oases," Read It Forward showcased "9 beautiful libraries with the best reading rooms," noting that "libraries and bookshops are a Book Geek's favorites places on earth. (Librarians and booksellers are our favorite people on earth--but we'll save that for another discussion.)... We want to bring our favorite book to these reading rooms and spend the afternoon."

Personnel Changes at Palgrave

Gabrielle Gantz has joined Palgrave as associate director of publicity.  She was previously director of publicity at McSweeney's.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Tavis Smiley on the Daily Show

This morning on the Today Show: Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World's Healthiest People (National Geographic, $26, 9781426211928). He will also appear on Fox & Friends and NBC Nightly News.


Today on Fresh Air: Masha Gessen, author of The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy (Riverhead Books, $27.95, 9781594632648).


Tomorrow morning on Fox & Friends: Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, author of Gummi Bears Should Not Be Organic: And Other Opinions I Can't Back Up with Facts (Gallery, $15, 9781476787305).


Tomorrow morning on Morning Joe: Candice Bergen, author of A Fine Romance (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9780684808277). She will also appear on Charlie Rose.

Also on Morning Joe: Brian Grazer and Charles Fishman, authors of A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life (Simon & Schuster, $25.99, 9781476730752). They will also appear on CNBC's Closing Bell and NPR's Marketplace.


Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Joseph Bastianich, co-author of Healthy Pasta: The Sexy, Skinny, and Smart Way to Eat Your Favorite Food (Knopf, $26.95, 9780385352246).


Tomorrow on Hannity: Judith Miller, author of The Story: A Reporter's Journey (Simon & Schuster, $27, 9781476716015).


Tomorrow on Diane Rehm: Sarah Helm, author of Ravensbrück: Life and Death in Hitler's Concentration Camp for Women (Nan A. Talese, $37.50, 9780385520591).


Tomorrow on the Meredith Vieira Show: Giuliana Rancic, author of Going Off Script: How I Survived a Crazy Childhood, Cancer, and Clooney's 32 On-Screen Rejections (Crown Archetype, $26, 9780553446654).


Tomorrow night on the Daily Show: Tavis Smiley, co-author of My Journey with Maya (Little, Brown, $24, 9780316341752).

TV: New George R.R. Martin Series for HBO

George R.R. Martin "is looking to expand his TV reach" by developing Captain Cosmos, a new series with HBO that "centers on a young science fiction writer living in 1949 at the dawn of the age of TV," the Hollywood Reporter wrote.

Michael Cassutt, a writer and co-executive producer on SyFy's Z Nation, is writing the pilot episode. THR noted that the "proposed series is not expected to be a big time commitment for Martin, who announced last month that he was dialing back on appearances in order to focus on writing The Winds of Winter, the long-awaited sixth installment of his Song of Ice and Fire series."

Books & Authors

Awards: Astrid Lindgren Winner; Thwaites Wainwright Shortlist

The Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa, with headquarters in Cape Town, won the five million Swedish kronor (about $587,732) Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, which is given annually to one or more author, illustrator, story teller or reading promoter, regardless of language or nationality, in recognition of lifelong work or artistry.

In praising this year's winner, which has worked to promote reading and literature for children and young people in South Africa since 1992, the jury's citation noted: "Through innovative reading and storytelling projects, PRAESA brings people together and brings literature in multiple languages alive. PRAESA's outstanding work shows the crucial role of books and stories in creating rich lives for children and young people."


Finalists have been named for the £5,000 (about $7,480) Thwaites Wainwright Prize, which showcases the best books in U.K. nature and travel writing. The winner will be named April 22 in London. The shortlisted titles are:

Running Free: A Runner's Journey Back to Nature by Richard Askwith
The Moor by William Atkins
Claxton: Field Notes from a Small Planet by Mark Cocker
Meadowland by John Lewis-Stempel
H Is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
Rising Ground: A Search for the Spirit of Place by Philip Marsden

World Literature: New Kids on the Block

The larger trade publishers are very selective about international authors, often missing out on some of the world's most interesting writers. It's as if March Madness were Kentucky playing Duke every year, over and over and over. However, this creates opportunities for brave souls who have the vision and resources to bring those authors to the marketplace.

Enter three new publishers.

In Madrid, Gregorio Doval and Ana Perez Galvan started Hispabooks with the mission to publish contemporary Spanish literature in English-language translation. It would be difficult to find two smarter, nicer people in publishing. The Hotel Life and The Faint-Hearted Bolshevik, published as print-on-demand editions, have met with critical acclaim. Paris by Marcos Giralt Torrente (translated by Margaret Jull Costa) leads Hispabooks' most recent list. The upcoming Unpaid Debts, a thriller by Antonio Jimenez Barca (translated by Benjamin Rowdon), won the Silverio Canada prize for best first noir novel in Spanish. In June, Hispabooks will move its distribution to Consortium, which keeps signing more and more innovative publishers of world literature.

If harnessing media coverage is the key to success, Will Evans is destined for fame and fortune. The launch of Deep Vellum was heralded for months in the publisher's home base: from the Dallas Morning News to Dallas Culture Map, Lakewood/East Dallas Advocate and the Texas Observer--everything it seems but the Dallas Triple Nickel want ads. Asymptote, Three Percent, Publishing Perspectives, Brooklyn Quarterly and Publishing the World all discussed publishing philosophy with Evans well in advance of the release of his first book. That first book immediately established Deep Vellum. Texas: The Great Theft by Carmen Boullosa (translated by Samantha Schnee) has been long-listed for the 2015 PEN Translation Prize and won the Typographical Era Best Translation Award. Boullosa, a wonderful storyteller, reinforced her fandom in a recent author tour. Upcoming titles from Deep Vellum include The Indian by the Jon Gnarr, the comedian turned mayor of Reykjavik, Iceland; and Calligraphy Lesson, a collection of stories by Mikhail Shishkin, author of the must-read Maidenhair.

New Vessel Press is about to announce its third season. Complementing their ubiquitous virtual postings on social media with the concrete world, Michael Wise and Russ Ufberg created a pop-up store/table on the street in Manhattan last fall--the literary equivalent of farm-to-table. The curiously named I Called Him Necktie by Milen Michiko Flasar (translated by Sheila Dickie), a novel about a hikikomori--a 20-something shut-in who never leaves his room--is a great entry point to New Vessel's publishing program. Its most recent release, Guys Like Me by Dominic Fabre (translated by Howard Curtis), was well reviewed in the New York Times and Le Monde.

All three publishers are new, but you sense they're in for the long haul because they all possess a big intangible: boundless energy. --George Carroll

Book Review

Review: The Dream Lover

The Dream Lover by Elizabeth Berg (Random House, $28 hardcover, 9780812993158, April 14, 2015)

Elizabeth Berg (Tapestry of Fortunes) has a gift for creating characters who reflect the emotional lives of ordinary contemporary women. In The Dream Lover, George Sand, the first female bestselling writer in France, is in her 70s. Aware she is beginning to fail, she recalls her astonishing life, full of enviable literary accomplishments and famous friends and lovers, to find "the beating heart of what I most truly was." That vital thing is the need to love and be loved, "for the rest," she says, "is dust."

What comprises "the rest" in Sand's case is, of course, a very great deal. Born Aurore Dupin and raised by her grandmother on the family estate in Nohant, Sand marries young but eventually leaves her philandering husband for Paris, intent on becoming a writer. She finds work as a theater critic for Le Figaro, dressing as a man so that she can buy the inexpensive tickets forbidden to women. Her novels, which she writes at night, are lavishly praised for their eloquence and unsparing depiction of the realities of domestic life, especially for women. Her circle of lovers and friends widens to include Chopin, Liszt, Hugo and Flaubert. She lives for the passion of each new affair before it, too, runs its course.

It is the actress Marie Dorval, Sand's dearest friend and one of a very few women in her close circle, who most breaks Sand's heart. Marie knows Sand best. "You have an expectation of something that cannot occur," she says, of Sand's unhappiness in the face of love's inevitable disappointments.

Berg's prose is lovely, recalling the rhythms of 19th-century speech. The story proceeds episodically, much as a life might be remembered. Her Paris and Nohant are flawlessly rendered, rich with the textures of daily life. She avoids loading her narrative with extraneous details, keeping the focus on her protagonist, through whose distinct sensibility we experience the fictional present. The tension that fuels The Dream Lover comes from making the larger-than-life experiences of its extraordinary historical protagonist secondary to her emotional core and her consuming need for love. A less ambitious writer might have used Sand's glittering and unconventional life to affirm the attainability of everyday fantasies, but Berg, with her trademark sensitivity and compassion, has instead imagined a more human George Sand, one who is ultimately defined by the universal need to be true to oneself, and to an abiding love. --Jeanette Zwart, freelance writer and reviewer

Shelf Talker: This wonderful novel, inspired by the life of George Sand, captures Sand's fierce need for love and self-expression as she looks back on her friendships, love affairs and literary accomplishments.

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