Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, July 7, 2015


Aladdin Paperbacks: Legacy (Keeper of the Lost Cities #8) by Shannan Messenger

Flatiron Books: American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

Sleeping Bear Press: Back Roads, Country Toads by Devin Scillian, illustrated by Tim Bowers

St. Martin's Griffin: The Truth about Magic: Poems by Atticus

Tor Teen: This Light Between Us: A Novel of World War II by Andrew Fukuda

St. Martin's Press: Been There, Married That by Gigi Levangie Grazer

News

Man Booker Int'l, Independent Foreign Fiction Prizes Merge

The Man Booker International Prize and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize are merging to create one annual award for a work of literary fiction translated into English, the Bookseller reported. The first revamped Man Booker International Prize will make its debut next year: the longlist will be announced in March 2016, the shortlist in April 2016 and the winner in May 2016. The prize will carry a £50,000 (about $79,000) award.

Launched in 2005, the Man Booker International Prize has awarded a £60,000 (about $93,600) prize every other year to a living author for his or her body of work in fiction. (The original Man Booker continues to award a prize annually to a novel written in English, and in 2013 was expanded to include authors from any country, not just those from the U.K., Ireland and the Commonwealth.)

Founded in 1990, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize has been awarded for a single book in translation, and the author and translator share the £10,000 (about $15,800) award shared between the author and translator.

The Bookseller quoted Jonathan Taylor, chair of the Man Booker Foundation, as saying that the Man Booker International Prize loses momentum in the years it's not awarded and is sometimes difficult to understand because it's awarded for a body of work rather than an individual title.


G.P. Putnam's Sons: Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters


Go Set a Watchman: First Chapter Appearing on Friday

The Wall Street Journal will publish the first chapter of Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee online this Friday, July 10, according to Entertainment Weekly. In addition, the Journal will post the first chapter of the audio edition, narrated by Reese Witherspoon. The Journal and the book's U.S. publisher, HarperCollins, are both owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

Go Set a Watchman will be released on Tuesday, July 14, and has been heavily embargoed. Bookstores, libraries and others are planning a range of events next week to celebrate the book's publication. See our listings of many of them here and here.


Andrews McMeel Publishing: Zweihander Grim & Perilous Rpg: Player's Handbook by Daniel D Fox


Amazon's 'Prime Day': Black Friday in July

It's not exactly Christmas in July, but Amazon announced yesterday that on Wednesday, July 15, the company is hosting Prime Day, "a global shopping event, offering more deals than Black Friday." The promotion, which is part of the online retailer's 20th anniversary celebration, will be available to Prime members in the U.S., U.K., Spain, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, Canada and Austria.

"There's another reason Amazon is holding this mid-summer sale: It is facing a new wave of competition," Fast Company noted. "Walmart is expected to launch an Amazon Prime rival this summer, and eBay is set to launch a similar subscription service as well.... Amazon may have gotten the idea for Prime Day from one of its biggest global rivals. E-commerce giant Alibaba created its own sales holiday, called Singles Day, and the initiative generated a staggering $9 billion in sales for the Chinese company."


Chronicle Books: Redwood and Ponytail by KA Holt


Lawrence Hill Honored with Order of Canada

Lawrence Hill

Author Lawrence Hill has been appointed to the Order of Canada "for his writing representing black history in Canada and for his charitable efforts to help girls and women in Africa through the Aminata Fund, named for The Book of Negroes protagonist," Quillblog reported.

Also recognized were The Digital Economy author Don Tapscott and St. Joseph Communications president Douglas Knight, as well as the late Barbara Turnbull, a writer and disabled persons advocate.


New Press: Rap on Trial: Race, Lyrics, and Guilt in America by Erik Nelson and Andrea Dennis, foreword by Killer Mike


Obituary Note: John A. Williams

John A. Williams, "a key figure in the Black Arts movement of the late 1960s," died July 3, Syracuse.com reported. He was 89. His books include Clifford's Blues, Captain Blackman and the 1967 bestseller The Man Who Cried I Am. In 1995, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Syracuse University, his alma mater. Williams retired in 1994 as the Paul Robeson Distinguished Professor of English at Rutgers University.

The New York Times said that Williams "excelled in describing the inner lives of characters struggling to make sense of their experiences, their personal relationships and their place in a hostile society."


G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
The Yellow Bird Sings
by Jennifer Rosner

What happens when a child's love of music must be silenced in exchange for survival? Such is the sacrifice made during World War II by a young Jewish mother who goes into hiding with her bright, inquisitive five-year-old daughter. As their plight becomes increasingly dire, the two find comfort by imagining a yellow bird that sings the songs they dream will once again be theirs. The Yellow Bird Sings "affects people in a rather profound way," said Amy Einhorn, executive vice-president and publisher of Flatiron Books. "It's about the power of a mother’s love, the music of the living and the silence of the dead, and how in order to survive sometimes we need to forget." --Melissa Firman
 

(Flatiron Books, $25.99 hardcover, 9781250179760, March 3, 2020)

CLICK TO ENTER


#ShelfGLOW
Shelf vetted, publisher supported

 


Notes

Boarding House Books: Rooms for Books

Boarding House Books, Claremore, Okla., was founded in a 100-year-old former boarding house as "a kind of side project" when Janice Whittaker and her husband bought the building in 2006 and opened a bicycle shop on the first floor, according to a Tulsa World profile.

The bookstore is in more than a dozen rooms on the second floor. "The children's section 'lives' in one room and Westerns in another, with romances next door and mysteries across the hall," the newspaper wrote. "A central living room--which feels much bigger than it really is, thanks to a bright skylight and high ceiling--offers a place for customers to sit and read."

Boarding House Books, which sells mainly used books but also a range of new books, is now "a Route 66 tourist stop, with recent visitors from as far away as Houston and Seattle," the paper added.


Trafalgar Square Adds Five Publishers

Trafalgar Square Publishing, the U.S. distributor of U.K. publishers, has added five new clients:

BackPage Press, Glasgow, Scotland, a publisher founded in 2010 by sports journalists Martin Greig and Neil White. Their first book, In Search of Alan Gilzean, was shortlisted for the European Football Book of the Year at the British Sports Book Awards; their second title, Graham Hunter's Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World, won the award. I Think Therefore I Play by Andrea Pirlo, which sold 70,000 copies in a year, will go on sale in the U.S. October 1. (Effective July 1; print and e-editions in the U.S. and Canada.)

Bonnier Publishing Fiction, a subsidiary of Bonnier Books, the international publisher with headquarters in the Sweden. Bonnier Publishing Fiction includes children's imprints Hot Key Books, founded in 2012, and Piccadilly Press, which has been publishing for more than 30 years; Zaffre, established last year by Quercus founder Mark Smith to publish commercial fiction in all genres; and Twenty7, also founded last year, which focuses on debuts across all fiction categories. (Effective January 1; print books in the U.S. and Canada.)

Blink Publishing, also part of Bonnier Books, which focuses on commercial adult nonfiction, with an emphasis on official, authorized, endorsed authors and subjects. It includes the imprint Blink Reality, which focuses on commercial nonfiction and fiction with the theme of "real life." (Effective July 1; in the U.S. and Canada.)

British Library Publishing, which produces books related to the Library's collections, including maps, medieval manuscripts, literary history, graphic design and typography, the history of books and cultural history as well as classic crime fiction and audio CDs based on the Library's collection of recorded sound. (Effective January 1; in the U.S. and Canada.)

Graffeg Limited, a Welsh publisher of illustrated, non-fiction books, notecards and calendars. Founded in 2003 by designer Peter Gill and photographer Steve Benbow, Graffeg has published more than 100 titles. (Effective July 1.)


Book Trailer of the Day: ZeroZeroZero

ZeroZeroZero by Roberto Saviano, translated by Virginia Jewiss (Penguin Press), a book about the violent cocaine trade and its hidden role in the global economy, from the author of Gomorrah.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Brad Thor Talks About Code of Conduct

Tomorrow on Diane Rehm: Neil Spector, author of Gone in a Heartbeat: A Physician's Search for True Healing (Triton, $14.95, 9781936946426).

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Tomorrow on NBC's All Access Hollywood: Brad Thor, author of Code of Conduct: A Thriller (Emily Bestler/Atria, $27.99, 9781476717159). He will also appear on Fox Radio's Kimeade and Friends.

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Tomorrow on CNN's the Lead with Jake Tapper: Jimmy Carter, author of A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781501115639).

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Tomorrow night on a repeat of the Late Late Show with James Corden: Nick Offerman, author of Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America's Gutsiest Troublemakers (Dutton, $26.95, 9780525954675).


TV: 'Action-Packed and Scary' Agatha Christie

"Forget Poirot's 'little grey cells' and the gently clicking knitting needles of Miss Marple, the future of Agatha Christie on television is action-packed and scary, complete with fistfights, chases, international espionage and realistic violence," the Guardian commented in reporting that the Christie estate has taken back control of TV rights and "aims to create a new era of dynamic mysteries before copyright on one of the U.K.'s most potentially lucrative literary franchises runs out in 32 years." This month the BBC will screen the first of the "rebooted" offerings: Partners in Crime, directed by Edward Hall and featuring Tommy (David Walliams) and Tuppence (Jessica Raine).

"People forget she was a very contemporary writer. She always appealed to young readers, and we wanted to get back to something youthful and fun," said Mathew Prichard, Christie's grandson and chairman of Agatha Christie Ltd. 


Movies: Steve Jobs

Universal Pictures has released the official trailer for Steve Jobs, based on Walter Isaacson's bestselling biography. Deadline.com reported the trailer "shows that Michael Fassbender is all-in on Aaron Sorkin's script, about the sometimes flawed man that was one of the architects of the digital revolution."

Directed by Danny Boyle, the film also stars Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels, Katherine Waterston and Michael Stuhlbarg. It will be released October 9.



Books & Authors

Awards: Caine Prize; Stanford Dolman Travel Book

Zambia's Namwali Serpell has won the £10,000 (about $15,600) 2015 Caine Prize for African Writing for her short story "The Sack" from Africa39, published in the U.K. by Bloomsbury. The organization said the story "explores a world where dreams and reality are both claustrophobic and dark. The relationship between two men and an absent woman are explored though troubled interactions and power relationships which jar with the views held by the characters."

Chair of judges Zoë Wicomb commented: "From a very strong shortlist we have picked an extraordinary story about the aftermath of revolution with its liberatory promises shattered. It makes demands on the reader and challenges conventions of the genre. It yields fresh meaning with every reading. Formally innovative, stylistically stunning, haunting and enigmatic in its effects, 'The Sack' is a truly luminous winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing."

Serpell is an associate professor in the English Department of the University of California, Berkeley. Her first book of literary criticism, Seven Modes of Uncertainty (Harvard University Press), was published last year. Her first published story, "Muzungu," was selected for The Best American Short Stories 2009 and shortlisted for the 2010 Caine Prize for African Writing.

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A shortlist has been chosen for the £5,000 (about $7,800) Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year for travel writing. The winner will be announced September 28. The shortlisted titles are:

The Land Where Lemons Grow by Helena Attlee
Down to the Sea in Ships: Of Ageless Oceans and Modern Men by Horatio Clare
Walking the Woods and the Water: In Patrick Leigh Fermor's Footsteps from the Hook of Holland to the Golden Horn by Nick Hunt
Rising Ground: A Search for the Spirit of Place by Philip Marsden
A Journey Into Russia by Jens Mühling
Indonesia Etc.: Exploring the Improbable Nation by Elizabeth Pisani


Book Review

Review: The Red Collar

The Red Collar by Jean-Christophe Rufin, trans. by Adriana Hunter (Europa Editions, $16 trade paper, 9781609452735, July 21, 2015)

A dog with no collar has been howling for two days outside the jail in a little French village. Jacques Morlac, though considered a hero of the Great War, has been imprisoned for an offense that mysteriously involves the dog, a crime that happened during the Bastille Day parade and for which he could be executed.

The Red Collar is a superbly crafted little gem that does everything a novel can do in less than 150 pages. Thrillingly paced, the story follows a 30-year-old military investigator on his last case before returning to his wife and two children. Formerly an idealist, now hardened by the war, Major Lantier finds himself in a village where everyone loves the imprisoned young man. Morlac was a conscripted country bumpkin who learned to read, found his salvation in books and became a hero who led a decisive charge before committing an outrage to the nation. Now his life depends on the investigator's report.

Lantier tries to stop the 28-year-old defendant from going to his death, but the hopelessly sincere Morlac refuses to lie to defend himself. His honesty and the growing involvement of the investigator build together with the secret of the dog and the complications of a girl raising a fatherless three-year-old in a nearby village into two brilliantly executed plot turns. They are jaw-dropper moments in which the reader learns exactly how Morlac became a hero and exactly what happened on the day of the parade. Jean-Christophe Rufin (The Dream Maker) then concludes his tale with a final stroke of genius.

With the intensity of a tightly wound theater piece, the entire plot is carried on the shoulders of three good people and a dog, Wilhelm. Named after the Kaiser, the dog has stayed with Morlac for the entirety of the war, and yet Morlac shows no emotion toward Wilhelm. Neither does he show feelings toward his former sweetheart, Valentine, daughter of a German Jew, who knows more about Morlac than she tells, and whose house in the woods, with its wall of books, provides a hideout for political runaways.

In an epilogue, the author admits that the germ of this story is true, told to him by a photographer friend stranded with him in Jordan during the Arab Spring. The book's achievement is even more admirable because, besides being a novelist, Rufin is also a doctor and one of the founders of Doctors Without Borders. It's a lucky reader who gets to experience the power of The Red Collar, to become caught in this devilishly tricky moral trap about human beings who try to do the right thing in the time of war. --Nick DiMartino, Nick's Picks, University Book Store, Seattle, Wash.

Shelf Talker: A young hero of the Great War commits an outrage and will soon be executed in this superb and surprising dog story by one of the founders of Doctors Without Borders.


Ooops

Author, Author!

In our mention yesterday of SIBA's Owners Retreat, we inadvertently omitted the name of the author of Strength Finder. He's Tom Rath, not Margaret Lane. Lane, v-p of retail sales at Baker & Taylor, will be speaking on the topic of strength-based leadership. Our apologies!


The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by IndieReader.com:

1. Breakwater (The Elemental Series Book 2) by Shannon Mayer
2. Getting Lucky (Sapphire Falls Book Five) by Erin Nicholas
3. Gentleman Mentor by Kendall Ryan
4. Sloth by Ella James
5. Social (The Social Media Series #1-3) by J.A. Huss
6. Hired Bride (Beaufort Brides Book 1) by Noelle Adams
7. The Substitute by Denise Grover Swank
8. Dark and Damaged by Various
9. Recurve (The Elemental Series Book 1) by Shannon Mayer
10. With Dreams Only of You by Kathryn Le Veque

[Many thanks to IndieReader.com!]


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