Shelf Awareness for Monday, May 4, 2015

Delacorte Press: Six of Sorrow by Amanda Linsmeier

Shadow Mountain: To Love the Brooding Baron (Proper Romance Regency) by Jentry Flint

Soho Crime: Exposure (A Rita Todacheene Novel) by Ramona Emerson

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

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

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

Quotation of the Day

'A Sense of Community'

"It's that sense of community--the idea that an individual can find his or her people among aisles of mysteries and biographies.... 'You don't really understand until it's gone. Just like independent record stores, you're not just buying records. You're there to exchange ideas with other people, have conversations. It's those ideas that spark an interest in certain other things and if you don't have a place to exchange those ideas who knows what you've lost.' "

--Trevor Thomas, who with his wife, Natalie Sacco, announced their purchase of Mystery Lovers Bookshop in Oakmont, Pa., on Independent Bookstore Day. (From Are independent booksellers replacing big-box retailers?)

photo: Robin Rombach/Post-Gazette

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!


Independent Bookstore Day: A Splash from Coast to Coast

Cake in honor of IBD, at Malaprop's

On Saturday, more than 400 independent bookstores across the U.S. celebrated the inaugural Independent Bookstore Day with a range of parties, author events, sales, giveaways and much more. In the Golden State, bookstores celebrated the second California Bookstore Day, whose 2014 launch served as inspiration for the national event.

Hut Landon, executive director of the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association, which produced Independent Bookstore Day (Samantha Schoech was program director), said that he had heard positive news from dozens of stores, including some 25 stores reporting that sales during the day had exceeded last year's. Perhaps the record was set by Avid Bookshop, Athens, Ga., which by 11 a.m. had sales surpassing Saturday, May 4, last year. By the end of the day, said owner Janet Geddis, sales on Saturday were up 270% and there were nearly five times as many transactions as on the comparable Saturday a year earlier. Besides the special IBD items, Avid offered a commemorative T-shirt, sidewalk chalking, a special story time, face painting, literary trivia and three bands in the late afternoon.

And at Green Apple Books, sales at the main store were up about 75% over a normal Saturday and at the new store were double a normal Saturday, said co-owner Pete Mulvihill, a driving force in the creation of California Bookstore Day and its expansion nationwide.

At Magers & Quinn Booksellers, Minneapolis, Minn., a crowd descended early on Saturday and devoured coffee and treats from Bogart's Doughnut Co., which included some Butterbeer-inspired doughnuts created especially for the day to celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts. In addition, Brett Elizabeth Jenkins wrote more than 20 "impromptu poems" inspired by secrets customers shared with her, and Eric Lorberer, editor of Rain Taxi Review of Books, handsold some of the store's more obscure titles. During game night, crowds played Scrabble, Boggle and a Goosebumps game.

"The weather was beautiful, and overall we had a very busy Saturday in the best kind of way," said events coordinator Ann Mayhew. "Lots of customers wished us a 'Happy Independent Bookstore Day!' "

Malaprop's Bookstore/Café, Asheville, N.C., featured a sheet cake with the IBD logo on it from the local supermarket chain Ingles, which has been co-sponsoring the store's major author events. (The market supplies large trays of appetizers and sheet cakes decorated with images of the authors' book covers.) Ingles also ran announcements about the celebration and Malaprop's all week in its area stores.

The Poet Is In, Northshire Bookstore. Front row (l. to r.): poets Linda Sonia Miller, Jon Mathewson, Claire North, Lynn McCabe, Will Meyer. Back row: store manager Nancy Scheemaker, assistant manager Jess Hanlon

Mandy Medley, events coordinator at Unabridged Bookstore, joined WGN's Mike Stephen after a 10-hour shift Saturday to discuss Chicago's Independent Bookstore Day. They talked about "what goes into putting on an Independent Bookstore Day event, how indie stores stock up on the right books for their customer base, and staying competitive with the big stores and the Internet."

The aisles were crowded Saturday at the Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., as both locals and tourists took advantage of the beautiful day to stop by. Northshire hosted a variety of events, including improv poetry-on-demand at "The Poet Is In" station. There was a Dr. Seuss Story Time, and the Cat in the Hat was on hand to lead a costume parade and pose with kids for Seussian photo booth pics. Tasty treats were served up by local merchants Healthy Living Market & Cafe and 9 Miles East. "Thanks for an awesome first-ever #IndependentBookstoreDay Saratoga! Hope you had as much fun as we did!" Northshire tweeted.

AuthorBuzz for the Week of 04.22.24

Independent Bookstore Day: #Trending

Cake in honor of IBD, at Malaprop's

That distinctive buzz you may have heard Saturday was real as well as virtual, with Independent Bookstore Day 2015 trending on social media as well as in bookshops. Many booksellers shared the in-store fun on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube (Check out Greenlight Bookstore Presents: Indie Bookstore Day). Here's a virtual sampling from the big day:


Shelf Awareness publisher Jenn Risko shopping at Elliott Bay Book Company.

Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, Colo.: "Independent Bookstore Day is here! BD goodies going fast!"

Community Bookstore, Brooklyn, N.Y.: "A good start to #bookstoreday with stories, balloons, bagels and bubbles!"

Omnivore Books, San Francisco, Calif. "What a kick to host the S.F. Bicycle Coalition in their tour of bookshops for @BookstoreDay!"

Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, N.C., noted: "So far Salty towels is winning over Sweet towels @ 2-1."  And Blue Willow Books, Houston, Tex. confirmed the trend: "Same here."

Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.: "Today's been a DELIGHT. And we can't wait for Laura McBride to start her reading of We Are Called to Rise at 5:00 for Independent Bookstore Day. You won't want to miss it."

Reading Bug, San Carlos, Calif.: "All tuckered out after an awesome @bookstoreday @thereadingbug."

At Green Apple Books: Poets vs. Pirates, with Daniel Handler, Matthew Zapruder and Victoria Chang.

Green Apple Books, San Francisco, Calif.: "Thank you to all the booklovers who dropped by to celebrate #BookstoreDay with at Green Apple.  Let's do it again tomorrow, eh? ... And thanks to the artists and writers and brewers who made it all so lively  and fun.... And thanks to the kick-ass team of booksellers who kept it all smooth and light during a lovely, busy day."


Wild Rumpus, Minneapolis, Minn.: "HAPPY INDIE BOOKSTORE DAY! Come by, dear book loving friends, on this Independent Bookstore Day to celebrate real people (and sheep! Real sheep!) in real places...."

Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, Mich: "To celebrate #BookstoreDay, take a picture with our free photo booth holding up the book that changed your life!"

Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, Wash.: "Discovering our secret rooms on the bookstore tour. We have a few. #SEABookstoreDay."

New Yorker cartoonists at Oblong Books & Music.

Oblong Books & Music, Millerton & Rhinebeck, N.Y.: "Our @NewYorker cartoonists are here to draw for you! #bookstoreday."

Morris Book Shop, Lexington, Ken.: "A special Derby Day MadLib for you. Only at @morrisbookshop & only on #BookstoreDay."

Other voices:

@RedHelldiver: "It's Indie #BookstoreDay. I got a full tank of gas, it's bright and I'm wearing Raybans. I'm on a mission for books."

@lockjawmag: "Happy #bookstoreday!! We recommend @ElliottBayBooks and @magersandquinn; sure they're 1600 miles apart but you should somehow get to both."

@thebookcatapult: "It's #bookstoreday again, kids!! Like Xmas without the ugly sweaters from grandma! Hooray books!!!"

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

Canada's Authors for Indies Day: Awesome & Amazing

Independent booksellers across Canada were also in a celebratory mood Saturday as they held the inaugural Authors for Indies Day, with writers volunteering at their local indies to engage with customers and handsell books. Here's some of the Canadian responses:

Canadian Booksellers (part of the Retail Council of Canada): "Twitter and Facebook are exploding with support for #Authors4Indies day! Get out to your local indie bookstore and join in the fun!" And: "At @AnotherStoryTO with a room full of amazing authors and the place is packed!"

"In the aftermath of fabulous #authors4indies, remember that our great indie bookstores are open all year for us. We matter all year to them," author Guy Gavriel Kay tweeted. Earlier, he reported: "Two readers drove up to Toronto from Michigan for #authors4indies, for booktalk and signatures. Touched by that. The real deal book lovers!"

Andrew Siegwart, senior v-p, membership services, at the Retail Council of Canada, was very active Saturday, visiting numerous bookstores and noting at day's end: "It was a grt #Authors4Indies day--proud 2 support and share members' stories today and all year long!" Earlier he had tweeted: "Amazed by the passion of indie bookstores 2day--congrats 2 the great team @mabelsfables..."

Author Matt Lennox returned to his hometown for the exclusive soft launch of his novel, Knuckle Head, at Manticore Books in Orillia, Ontario. Store owner Michael Fredson said, "Independent stores, not just bookstores, are... part of our communities. I love the idea that we were able to bring a local guy who has become a national author."

At Munro's Books in Victoria, B.C.: authors Lee Henderson, Emily Urquhart, Sara Cassidy, Arleen Pare.

Munro's Books, Victoria, B.C.: "Last batch of #Authors4Indies. What a great day! PS--authors are also some of our best customers!"

Audreys Books, Edmonton, Alberta: "There is not a thank you big enough to express our gratitude to the authors who participated in our first annual #authors4indies!"

Authors for Indies: "So fun to experience the first Canadian #authors4indies day! A day to remember--thank you book lovers, authors and indies! <3"

Books on Beechwood, Ottawa: "What an #amazing day @Authors4indies yesterday! #Ottawa is home to so many great #authors, and we love having you at our store!"

Novel Spot Bookshop, Toronto: "Awesome inaugural @Authors4indies Here's to next year!"

Rediscovered Books, Boise, Idaho, Expanding

Laura and Bruce Delaney discuss Rediscovered Books' expansion

Besides hosting a lineup of local authors, Rediscovered Books, Boise, Idaho, celebrated Independent Bookstore Day by launching an IndieGoGo fundraising campaign to help finance the store's expansion into neighboring space. The new and used bookstore, which was founded in 2006 by Bruce and Laura DeLaney, is removing the wall between the two spaces in July. The larger space will allow the store to bring in new gift items, host more events, and offer "more kids' books, more literature and more of everything you love." The store plans to open in its reconfigured space in early September.

Rediscovered Books hopes to raise $30,000, most of which will be used to buy more inventory, new display fixtures and gift items; new counters; new flooring; reading room furniture upgrades; and some painting and redecorating "to create a warm, homey environment."

At $500, the most expensive perk includes having a plaque with the donor's name on it installed on one of the bookcases in the new space.

Closings: Penn Books, Fireside Books

photo: Vanishing New York

Penn Books, which was founded in 1962 in the original Penn Station in New York City and continued in the station's second iteration, has closed, Vanishing New York reported.

Craig Newman, whose grandfather Arthur Newman founded the store, had said in March that his rent for 1,300 square feet of space had been boosted to $45,000 a month, not including property tax and annual commercial rent tax of $20,000.

Landlord Vornado Realty Trust had no comment, although its CEO, Steven Roth, said recently at a Citigroup meeting, according to the Wall Street Journal, that "there is no reason that we cannot achieve very, very substantial rising rents in Penn Plaza--very substantial, enormous--with a little TLC."



Fireside Books and Gifts, Shelby, N.C., is closing on May 9. On social media, owners Linda Parks and Mark Milot said, "This has been a very difficult decision to make but it has become impossible for us to compete with the many shopping choices online as well as the big box stores pricing."

They added: "The Shelby community of independently owned and operated businesses is a gem to be treasured--and the community as a whole has been amazing to befriend and partner with. We will dearly miss seeing the familiar faces of our patrons, friends and community partners. We give thanks for all the opportunities we have had to work beside you all! We also give special thanks to the many authors who have visited with us through the years. Your support has meant more than we can ever express. We will always be cheering you on. Just keep writing!!"

In 2013, Fireside opened in Shelby after moving from Forest City. Parks purchased the store in 2007 with her sister, novelist Kay Hooper.

Obituary Note: Ruth Rendell

Ruth Rendell, who wrote more than 60 thriller and mysteries, many featuring Chief Inspector Reginald Wexford, died on Saturday. She was 85 and had suffered a stroke in January. The New York Times called her "a prolific and hugely popular writer of intricately plotted mystery novels that combined psychological insight, social conscience and, not infrequently, teeth-chattering terror."

Rendell, who also wrote under the pen name Barbara Vine, won three Edgar awards from the Mystery Writers of America, which named her a grandmaster, and won four Gold Daggers and a Silver Dagger from the Crime Writers' Association in the U.K.

Besides the Wexford novels, she wrote some stand-alone novels that, the Times said, typically featured "protagonists on the edges of society. From her earliest writing days, Ms. Rendell wanted to do more than create puzzles revolving around who killed whom and why. So, as she recalled for Simon & Schuster, she laced her mysteries with such themes as racism in the English countryside, damage to the environment, domestic violence and arranged marriages among immigrants." Her last novel, Dark Corners, is scheduled to be published in the U.S. on December 1 by Scribner.

Rendell was made a Labour Party peer in 1997--she sat in the House of Lords and was formally Baroness Rendell of Babergh.

One of our favorite parts of her Times obit noted that she "began her writing career as a reporter on an Essex newspaper. She did not last long, as she made the mistake of writing about a local sports club dinner without attending the event. Thus, her article failed to note that the after-dinner speaker dropped dead midway through his speech."


Personnel Changes at Algonquin, Tor/Forge

Effective May 26, Michael McKenzie is joining Algonquin as executive director of publicity and will work in Algonquin's New York office. He was formerly senior director of publicity at Ecco.


At Tor/Forge:

  • Desirae Friesen has been promoted to associate publicist from publicity assistant.
  • Laura Etzkorn has joined the company as publicity assistant.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Anthony Doerr on On Point

This morning on the Today Show: Brad Garrett, author of When the Balls Drop (Gallery, $25, 9781476772905). He will appear tomorrow on the View, Dr. Oz, Entertainment Tonight and CNBC's Closing Bell.


This morning on Fox & Friends: Ann Dunwoody, author of A Higher Standard: Leadership Strategies from America's First Female Four-Star General (Da Capo, $25.99, 9780738217796).


Today on Fresh Air: Mike Matheny, co-author of The Matheny Manifesto: A Young Manager's Old-School Views on Success in Sports and Life (Crown Archetype, $24, 9780553446692).


Today on Diane Rehm: Richard Flanagan, author of The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Vintage, $15.95, 9780804171472).


Today on Ellen: Melissa Rivers, author of The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief, and Manipulation (Crown Archetype, $26, 9781101903827). She will also appear on the Tonight Show.


Today on the View: Taya Kyle, co-author of American Wife: A Memoir of Love, War, Faith, and Renewal (Morrow, $27.99, 9780062398086).


Today on the Rachael Ray Show: Pauley Perrette, author of Donna Bell's Bake Shop: Recipes and Stories of Family, Friends, and Food (Simon & Schuster, $24.99, 9781476771120).


Today on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live: Candice Bergen, author of A Fine Romance (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9780684808277).


Today on Tavis Smiley: Dana Perino, author of And the Good News Is...: Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side (Twelve, $26, 9781455584901).


Tonight on the Daily Show: Brian Grazer, co-author of A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life (Simon & Schuster, $25.99, 9781476730752).


Tomorrow morning on CBS This Morning: Mark Schatzker, author of The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor (Simon & Schuster, $27, 9781476724218). He will also appear on Dr. Oz and NPR's Marketplace.


Tomorrow on NPR's On Point: Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See (Scribner, $27, 9781476746586).


Tomorrow on Tavis Smiley: Kelly Smith, author of Everyday Grain-Free Baking: Over 100 Recipes for Deliciously Easy Grain-Free and Gluten-Free Baking (Adams Media, $19.99, 9781440574368)

Also on Tavis Smiley: Greg Iles, author of The Bone Tree: A Novel (Morrow, $27.99, 9780062311115).


Tomorrow night on the Daily Show: Willie Nelson, author of It's a Long Story: My Life (Little, Brown, $30, 9780316403559).


Tomorrow night on Late Night with Seth Meyers: Pedro Martinez, co-author of Pedro (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28, 9780544279339). He will also appear on NPR's All Things Considered.

Books & Authors

Awards: Ondaatje Prize

Finalists have been named for the £10,000 (about $15,140) Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, which honors "a book of the highest literary merit--fiction, nonfiction or poetry--evoking the spirit of a place." The winner will be announced on May 18. This year's shortlisted titles are:

Capital by Rana Dasgupta
The Lie by Helen Dunmore
What Was Promised by Tobias Hill
Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood by Justin Marozzi
Everything Is Wonderful by Sigrid Rausing
The Architect's Apprentice by Elif Shafak

Book Review

Review: Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs

Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs by Sally Mann (Little, Brown, $32 hardcover, 9780316247764, May 12, 2015)

In gallery shows, museum exhibitions, newspaper interviews, magazine features, film documentaries and photography books (Immediate Family; Deep South), artist Sally Mann hasn't shied from revealing pieces of her personal life and aesthetic motivation. In her illustrated memoir, Hold Still, she goes further toward exposing the woman behind the photographs and her family roots. With a remarkably candid voice--sometimes sassy, sometimes pensive--she pulls us along on a journey into her past, precipitated by a careful dig into cartons of old family correspondence, snapshots, diaries and bric-a-brac long stored untouched in her farmhouse in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley.

From her days as an "impertinent scalawag"--who in 1967 went off to prep school in Putney, Vt., as a self-described "dumb peckerwood cracker, with a trunkful of very uncool reversible wrap-around skirts my mother had sewn herself"--to a renowned artist delivering the 2011 Massey Lecture Series at Harvard, Mann recalls her life and her background. She writes of her father's self-made wealthy Dallas family, her mother's Boston Brahmin origins with an adulterous manipulating mother, and her husband Larry's uptight Connecticut family, which abruptly died off with his parents' shadowy murder-suicide. It is a past that subconsciously (and sometimes consciously) finds its way into the many old family snapshots and carefully crafted Mann photos aptly displayed throughout the memoir. But it is her immediate family that is the focus of much of her work--including the controversial early photos of her children (often naked) growing up on the farm and the disturbing later pictures of Larry's body (also naked) wasting away from late-onset muscular dystrophy.

In between these family studies, Mann's work also tackled her unambiguous but conflicted attachment to the land (particularly of the South) and to death. Once she packed up her GMC Suburban and drove alone to photograph the rural landscapes of Mississippi carrying combustible, noxious cylinders of ether for her preferred wet-plate colloidal photography ("praying that my rolling darkroom cum bomb didn't get rear-ended by some meth-head who'd unknowingly met his chemical match"). Another time, with special access to a restricted University of Tennessee Anthropology Research Facility popularly called the "Body Farm," Mann spent several days alone photographing cadavers decomposing in open fields because "ultimate beauty requires that edge of sweet decay, just as our casually possessed lives are made more precious by a whiff of the abyss."

With an almost nonchalant narrative flow, Hold Still is Sally Mann's take not just on her life, but also on the underlying complexities of love, family, home and art. It abounds with the drama of newly uncovered family history, meditations on death, adoration of her husband and children and conversations with her artist neighbor Cy Twombly. Mann writes of her life the way she photographs others: "The camera was always set up off to the side and when something interesting happened, I would ask for everyone to hold still." --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.

Shelf Talker: In her brilliant illustrated memoir, Sally Mann digs deep into her family's past, scrutinizes the mysteries of art and tells of her often amusing, sometimes sad, well-lived life.

AuthorBuzz: St. Martin's Press: The Rom-Commers by Katherine Center
Powered by: Xtenit