Shelf Awareness for Monday, June 15, 2015

Atria Books: The Silence in Her Eyes by Armando Lucas Correa

Labyrinth Road: Plan A by Deb Caletti

Harper Muse: Unsinkable by Jenni L. Walsh

Mariner Books: Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect by Benjamin Stevenson

S&s/ Marysue Rucci Books: The Storm We Made by Vanessa Chan

W by Wattpad Books: Night Shift by Annie Crown

Shadow Mountain: Under the Java Moon: A Novel of World War II by Heather B. Moore

Quotation of the Day

BA CEO: 'Monopolies Are Never Good for Consumers'

Tim Godfray

"Monopolies are never good for consumers in the long run. Amazon has unparalleled market power and has become a behemoth.... It has been very difficult for booksellers to compete against Amazon.... In the interests of consumers, we want to see fair competition, an end to any unfair restrictive practices, and a diverse marketplace. We strongly believe that competition investigations like this are in the public interest."

--Tim Godfray, CEO of the Booksellers Association of the U.K. and Ireland, responding to last week's announcement that the European Commission has begun a formal antitrust investigation into certain business practices by Amazon in the distribution of e-books

Flatiron Books: Anita de Monte Laughs Last by Xochitl Gonzalez


Follett Buys Nebraska Book Company's 200 College Stores

Follett Corp. has bought Neebo, Nebraska Book Company's retail store division, which consists of more than 200 campus retail stores, almost all of them leased. The largest college store manager, Follett now operates more than 1,150 campus stores and 1,600 virtual stores. (By comparison, No. 2 B&N College, which will become B&N Education when it is likely spun off later this year, operates 717 college bookstores.) After the sale, Nebraska Book Co. has a wholesale division that rents and sells more than seven million textbooks a year and installs and supports tech platforms and e-commerce sites at more than 1,200 stores.

With the sale, Nebraska Book Company sold off its largest division, which with $184.7 million in revenue, accounted for 68.4% of the company's overall sales in the most recent period for which the company released financial information, the nine months ended December 31. It's also the only part of the company that had a gain in that period, with sales up 2.7%. By contrast, textbook revenue fell 10.7%, to $93.9 million, and "complementary services" fell 11.8%, to $13.2 million.

Nebraska Book Company said that the sale "underscores its full commitment of resources to providing textbooks, strategic services and technology products to independent college retailers nationwide." Ben Riggsby, interim president and CEO of Nebraska Book Company, added: "Independent college retailers are firmly entrenched in their community and deliver the best local retail experience. With strong market experience, access to textbooks nationwide and market leading solutions, Nebraska Book Company is extremely well positioned to champion the success of independent college retailers across North America."

For Follett president and CEO Ray Griffith, the purchase "underscores our belief in the value of the physical campus store and the role it plays in adding to each institution's brand and the local campus community experience. With the widest range of campus-specific course material and merchandizing options available, the local campus store is the cornerstone of Follett's flexible omni-channel retailing approach to meeting the unique needs of each campus community we serve."

Follett said it plans to hire Neebo's "store and retail field workforce and utilize many of the existing Neebo supplier networks." The Journal Star reported that 60 jobs would be lost at Nebraska Book Company headquarters in Lincoln. The company had earlier moved some operations to offices in Naperville, Ill.

Nebraska Book Company filed for "pre-packaged" bankruptcy in 2011 and emerged from bankruptcy the following year. At the time, it operated 251 college stores after shutting down almost all of its off-campus stores. It had signed up more on-campus stores, until about a year ago.

Britannica Books: Britannica's Encyclopedia Infographica: 1,000s of Facts & Figures--About Earth, Space, Animals, the Body, Technology & More--Revealed in Pictures by Valentina D'Efilippo, Andrew Pettie, and Conrad Quilty-Harper

Anderson's Launches Indiegogo Campaign for New Store

As part of its effort to open a store in La Grange, Ill., Anderson's Bookshops, which has stores in Naperville and Downers Grove, has launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise $50,000 by July 10. (Check out the video, in which George the cat and Hope the dog discuss the value of bookstores--and the costs of opening one.) The amount is "just a fraction of what we need to build a new independent bookshop," Anderson's said. "We're putting up the bulk of the funding from our own resources. The $50K we hope to raise with this project will bring us the rest of the funding needed to build the new store, get the shelves built and stocked, and start bringing authors and events to our new community." After six days, the campaign has raised nearly $3,300.

The theme for the campaign is "I Built a Bookshop." For a $10 donation, the giver's name will be printed in the store's I Built a Bookshop book, which will be displayed in the store. For $25, $30 and $40, respectively, the donor receives an "I Built a Bookshop" mug, T-shirt and tote bag--or $80 for all three. Starting at $100 are "golden tickets," which feature a signed copy of a book by an author appearing at the store "and one of the first spots in line to meet the author!!!" With higher donations, givers receive more signed books and can meet more authors .

GLOW: Carolrhoda Books: Pangu's Shadow by Karen Bao

Downtown St. Paul: SubText and Addendum Settling in

Subtext's new space.

SubText bookstore and Addendum Books for Children and Young Adults, which had shared space in the Cathedral Hill section of St. Paul, Minn., continue to settle into their separate shops in downtown St. Paul.

According to the Pioneer Press, Addendum, which sells YA and children's titles, has found a 500-square-foot space at 478 S. Cleveland Ave. and will hold a grand opening in July. Marcus Mayer, who owns the store with Katherine Warde, noted that the store's focus is YA. "Teens have gotten pushed out between little kids and adult readers," he said. "We want to host a teen-friendly creative space where they can meet authors and other teens in an interactive community."

Last week, SubText brought its furniture out of storage and has begun shelving the more than 20,000 books from its old location. Owner Sue Zumberge said that customers are already shopping at Subtext's new site, which is 1,700 square feet in a former bank office at 6 W. Fifth St.

Zumberge has also promoted Matt Keliher to store manager. Keliher developed the store's website and social media and supervised the successful $15,000 Indiegogo campaign.

Soho Crime: My Favorite Scar by Nicolás Ferraro, translated by Mallory Craig-Kuhn

Gottwals Books/Walls of Books Opening 10th Store

Gottwals Books, which sells mostly used books and some new books, is opening its 10th store, in Washington, D.C., by September. The store will be a Walls of Books franchise.

In 2007, Shane Gottwals founded the first Gottwals Books, in Warner Robins, Ga., a 1,500-square-foot store carrying 10,000 used books. The Walls of Books model includes "reasonably-priced used and new book options, low overhead, consistent customer experiences, and a strong store credit trade-in system."

There are Gottwals Books and Walls of Books locations in New Orleans, La.; Zanesville, Ohio; Spring Hill, Fla.; and six stores in Georgia.

Book Industry Figures Earn Queen's Birthday Honors

Paddington Bear creator Michael Bond and Bloomsbury's Bill Swainson were among the book world figures recognized during the 2015 Queen's Birthday Honors, the Bookseller reported. Bond was made a CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) "for services to children's literature." Swainson--who will leave his role as senior commissioning editor at the end of this month as part of a restructure at Bloomsbury--was made an OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) "for services to literary translation."

Bookish honorees also included Souvenir Press managing director Ernest Hecht (OBE "for services to publishing and to charity"), author Karen Armstrong (OBE "for services to literature and interfaith dialogue"), author/illustrator Francis Paterson (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire "for services to children's literature") and Philippa Langley (MBE), "who discovered King Richard III's remains in Leicester in 2012 and who co-authored The King's Grave: The Search for Richard III with Michael Jones," the Bookseller wrote.


Image of the Day: Powell's Potluck

Last Friday, at one of its twice-yearly potluck parties (using recipes from new and forthcoming cookbooks), the buying and marketing departments at Powell's Books, Portland, Ore., hosted two booksellers from University Book Store, Seattle, Wash.--Pam Cady, manager, general books, and Anna Micklin, trade book buyer. Powell's new book purchasing supervisor Shawn Donley had taken the buying team to Seattle for a bookstore tour last October and extended an open invitation to the stores to visit Portland. Potluckers (from l.) on the top row: Tracey Trudeau, Mary Jo Schimelpfenig, Shawn Donley, Aubrey Winkler, Richard Corbett. Middle row: Doug Chase, Tom Luce, Pam Cady, Jen Cotner, Rhianna Walton, Jennifer Hill, Jeremy Garber. Front row: Mark Ingraham, Kim Tano, Kathi Kirby, Anna Micklin, Gigi Little, Corie Kessler-Bennett.

Booking a Summer Trip: 'Passports to Vt. Libraries'

The Vermont Library Association "wants you to get out and explore some different libraries this summer, so they're giving out passports to be stamped at public and academic libraries around the state," Vermont Public Radio reported. The VLA has signed up 99 libraries, which are issuing library passports to encourage patrons to visit other Vermont libraries until Labor Day, when the three patrons (one child, one young adult and one adult) who collected the most stamps will receive Vermont Library Ambassador Awards and a copy of Where the Books Are by Pat Belding, which explores the history and architecture of the state's public libraries.

"One of my favorite things about Vermont is the huge number of different libraries all over the state. Nearly every town has a cool library somewhere in it. We want to share our love of libraries with all Vermonters," said VLA president Virgil Fuller. Participants are encouraged to share their library adventures on Facebook.

Cool Idea of the Day: Bookshop Awning Creates 'Imprint Buzz'

British independent bookstore the Book Hive in Norwich "has teamed up with seven independent publishers to create a bookshop awning that also doubles up as an advertisement for the imprints," the Bookseller reported. Participating publishers include Phaidon, Faber & Faber, Pushkin Press, Granta, Salt, Melville House U.K. and Peirene Press, which "have all paid to have their logos featured on bookshop's new awning." Also featured is the Book Hive's mini-press, Propolis, and a UNESCO City of Literature logo.

"We needed awnings to protect the books from sunlight but we couldn't afford them, so I hit on the idea that other types of shops--electrical retailers, for example--often put the brands they stock on their shop fronts, so why not bookshops?" said owner Henry Layte. "It seemed like a good idea, especially as our relationship with small presses and indie publishers is what we, as an indie, can really focus on and benefit from.... I approached the independent publishers that we stock regularly in the shop and suggested that for a small fee, sponsoring the awning would give them the chance to have a big advert on the front of a well-known bookshop--and it surprisingly proved to be very popular."

He added that readers "don't necessarily always know the names of publishers and this is a way of trying to remedy that, but it is also good to show that support of independent bookshops from independent publishers is a two-way thing. We support them by stocking many of their titles, and they have now supported us."

Personnel Changes at Princeton Architectural Press, Perseus

At Princeton Architectural Press:

  • Sara McKay joined the press as program director of Paper+Goods, the press's gift and stationery line. McKay has worked for the New York Times Sunday Magazine, the Times T Magazine, Newsweek and Martha Stewart Onmimedia.
  • Lia Hunt joined the press as sales & marketing director. Most recently she was v-p at the Folio Society.
  • Diane Levinson has been promoted to publicity director.
  • Stephanie Leke has joined the press as a publicist. She has worked for publicity firms the Eighth Floor and the Musmanno Group.


At Perseus sales:

  • Adam Schnitzer has been promoted to the newly created position of v-p, Perseus imprint sales director, working with Basic Books, PublicAffairs, DaCapo and Weinstein. He will also maintain sales management of Amazon for the in-house imprints and Perseus Distribution clients. He joined the company in 2007 as West Coast field rep. (His Bay Area accounts will be handled for now by Elise Cannon, v-p, field sales, and his Pacific Northwest account will be handled by Ty Wilson.)
  • Effective July 6, Maha Khalil is returning to Perseus as v-p, national accounts for Perseus Books Group and Perseus Distribution and will also be sales director for Running Press. She began her career at Perseus in 2003 as national accounts manager for Borders, Ingram, Hastings and AWBC. She then moved to Hyperion, where she eventually became director of sales. In 2013, she joined Crown as director of marketing, Crown Illustrated. Most recently, she was director of sales and marketing at Skyhorse. 
  • Andrea Gochnauer has been promoted to assistant manager, Amazon. She joined the company in 2013 as sales assistant working with B&N, B&T and Ingram. Before that, she worked at a Barnes & Noble store for seven years while in high school and college.
  • James Chan is assuming sales responsibilities of Perseus Distribution titles to B&N College. He will continue to sell Perseus Book Group and Perseus Distribution titles to Books-A-Million and Hastings.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Tim Weiner on Fresh Air

Today on Fresh Air: Tim Weiner, author of One Man Against the World: The Tragedy of Richard Nixon (Holt, $30, 9781627790833).


Today on Diane Rehm: Matthieu Ricard, author of Altruism: The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and the World (Little, Brown, $30, 9780316208246).


Tonight on the Daily Show: Judd Apatow, author of Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life and Comedy (Random House, $27, 9780812997576). He will also appear tomorrow night on Late Night with Seth Meyers.


Tonight on the Tonight Show: Aziz Ansari, author of Modern Romance (Penguin Press, $28.95, 9781594206276). He will also appear tomorrow on the View and the Daily Show.


Tomorrow on the View: Carly Fiorina, author of Rising to the Challenge: My Leadership Journey (Sentinel, $26.95, 9781591848035).


Tomorrow on Watch What Happens Live: Jackie Collins, author of The Santangelos: A Novel (St. Martin's Press, $27.99, 9781250048233).

TV: Hello, It's Me; The Breaks

Hallmark Movies & Mysteries has begun production of Hello, It's Me, an original movie based on the novel by Wendy Markham (pen name of Wendy Corsi Staub). The project, which will premiere in the fall, stars Kellie Martin (ER, Life Goes On), Kavan Smith (Rogue, When Calls The Heart), Erin Pitt (Against the Wild), Jack Fulton (The Christmas Parade) and Chad Connell (Gone Tomorrow). Mark Jean directs from a script by Julie Sherman Wolfe.

"We are delighted to premiere Hello, It's Me on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, where both longtime fans of Wendy Markham's work and brand new audiences will enjoy seeing this beloved novel brought to television,” said Michelle Vicary, executive v-p, programming and publicity, Crown Media Family Networks.


Evan Handler (Californication) and Russell Hornsby (Grimm) have joined the cast of VH1's hip-hop movie, The Breaks, which is based on the book The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop by Dan Charnas. noted that the project stars Afton Williamson, David Call and Mack Tristan Wilds as "three friends united by their love of hip-hop as they work to make their big mark in the music industry." Seith Mann (The Wire) writes, directs and executive produces. Production is underway in New York for a late fall premiere.

Books & Authors

Awards: Walter Scott for Historical Fiction

John Spurling won the £25,000 (about $38,900) Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction for The Ten Thousand Things (Overlook Press), which the judges described as "subtle and rewarding. Through John Spurling's writing you feel as though you are reading Wang Meng's paintings as he created them. It is a mesmerising, elegantly drawn picture of old imperial China, which feels remarkably modern."

Spurling, whose novel was rejected 44 times before being published, commented: "I am worried for very young writers who win prizes and are told they are geniuses, and can never write anything again. I always thought that I would like success to be in my seventies, and I'm seventy-nine this year, so have just made it!" Spurling also thanked his agent for his persistence.

Book Review

Review: The Cost of Courage

The Cost of Courage by Charles Kaiser (Other Press, $26.95 hardcover, 9781590516140, June 16, 2015)

When the Nazis invaded France and took over Paris on June 14, 1940, thousands of Parisians fled the city. Of those who remained, many joined the French Resistance, including André Boulloche and his two sisters, Christiane and Jacqueline. Charles Kaiser has written a highly detailed account of their acts of espionage during the four years of the occupation in The Cost of Courage, a story that has not been told in full until now.

Christiane had "a visceral reaction to what she [saw] in the new occupied capital." Kaiser writes about Christiane's impressions of Paris:

"The French tricolore has been banned. In its place there are huge swastikas swaying in the wind, freshly painted street signs in German--'black on yellow,' she remembers clearly--and German drummer boys in front of Wehrmacht soldiers goose-stepping down the Champs-Élysées.... She sees it as 'the visible proof of our defeat. Seeing the Germans in Paris is ghastly. You feel like you are no longer home. We were touching the reality of the Occupation with our fingers. It was a succession of shocks.'"

The girls gave wrong directions to the Nazis to mislead them, carried weapons to Resistance fighters in their bicycle baskets, transmitted coded messages and narrowly escaped capture. André was even more daring and managed to avoid capture on more than one occasion, ending up in Britain in 1943. He became the personal military delegate for Charles de Gaulle and returned to France to continue his underground fight against the Germans. Unfortunately, he was betrayed by a fellow Resistance fighter who had been tortured and was seized by the Gestapo.

Kaiser has expertly interwoven historical facts about World War II--particularly what the British, Americans and French were doing to fight the Germans--with the personal narratives of the Boulloche family and of some of their closest friends to create a well-rounded, behind-the-scenes portrayal of their wartime lives. The tension and stress the Resistance fighters endured are palpable as they tried to evade capture or exposure while carrying out their subversive plots. Some background knowledge of major events and key players during the war, like the invasion of Normandy, the assassination attempts on Hitler or the roles of de Gaulle, Marshal Philippe Pétain and the Vichy government, would be useful to understand the rapid sequence of Boulloche family timelines. Overall, though, Kaiser does an excellent job of bringing readers right into the depths of anxiety and despair felt by all the oppressed as they did what they felt they had to do: fight for France's freedom. --Lee E. Cart, freelance writer and book reviewer

Shelf Talker: The suspenseful true story of three members of the French Resistance who did everything possible to obstruct the Germans while they occupied Paris.

The Bestsellers

Top Book Club Picks in May

The following were the most popular book club books during May based on votes from more than 120,000 book club readers from more than 39,000 book clubs registered at

1. The Girl on the Train: A Novel by Paula Hawkins
2. All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel by Anthony Doerr
3. The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry: A Novel by Gabrielle Zevin
4. The Rosie Project: A Novel by Graeme Simison
5. Orphan Train: A Novel by Christina Baker Kline
6. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
7. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
8. The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
9. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown
10. Ordinary Grace: A Novel by William Kent Krueger

Rising Stars:

At the Water's Edge: A Novel by Sara Gruen
Go Set a Watchman: A Novel by Harper Lee

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