Also published on this date: Wednesday, July 15, 2015: Maximum Shelf: The Gates of Evangeline

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, July 15, 2015


St. Martin's Press: The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

Houghton Mifflin: Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me by Adrienne Brodeur

DC Comics: Heroes in Crisis by Tom King, art by Clay Mann

John Scognamiglio Books: The Long Flight Home by Alan Hlad

Harper Paperbacks: The Starlet and the Spy by Ji-min Lee

DC Zoom: The Secret Spiral of Swamp Kid by Kirk Scroggs

Beach Lane Books: Fly! by Mark Teague

Sterling Children's Books: Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling

Quotation of the Day

B&N: 'Go Set a Watchman Will Be No. 1 Seller of the Year'

"People want to decide about this book for themselves. We believe it will be our No. 1 seller for the year."

--Mary Amicucci, v-p, adult trade and children's books, at Barnes & Noble, speaking with the Wall Street Journal about Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee. She also said that sales yesterday met expectations and that pre-orders increased after negatives reviews began running on Friday.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (and More Life to Live) by Eve Rodsky


News

B&N Spinning Off College August 2, Reinstating Dividend

Barnes & Noble has set August 2 as the date it will spin off the college division, which will form the new company Barnes & Noble Education. B&N shareholders of record at 5 p.m. on August 2 will receive 0.632 shares of B&N Education for every share of B&N they hold. The company revealed details of the spinoff in early June.

At the same time, B&N has decided to pay dividends of 60 cents a share per year. The first quarterly dividend of 15 cents will be paid to B&N shareholders of record on August 7. The company had suspended paying dividends in 2011 "so it could invest in its ill-fated Nook e-book business," as Bloomberg put it.

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In other bookstore financial news, yesterday shares of Books-A-Million rose 19.4%, to $3.15, after the company announced that it has accepted the offer by Clyde Anderson and his family to buy the 41.8% of the company they don't already own for $3.25 a share. Trading volume was more than 125,000 shares, more than nine times normal trading volume. The deal values the company at $48.6 million.

Several "shareholders rights" law firms announced yesterday that they are investigating the deal and focusing on whether the company sought competing bids and whether the price offered is too low.


Ecco Press: Sontag: Her Life and Work by Benjamin Moser


Finally Found Books to Close

Finally Found Books, Auburn, Wash., which has struggled financially since opening in 2013, was put up for sale last winter and recently sought to become a nonprofit, has announced that it will close.

On Facebook yesterday, owner Todd Hulbert posted: "It is with very sad hearts that we must inform you of the closure of the store. Our revenues over the past three months have fallen by over 30% and we can no longer keep it going, even to wait on the non-profit.... We sincerely thank you all for your patronage and support over the years. We will miss you!"


KidsBuzz for the Week of 06.24.19


Minneapolis's Once Upon a Crime for Sale

Once Upon a Crime, the Minneapolis, Minn., mystery bookstore, is for sale, the Pioneer Press reported. Gary Shulze and Pat Frovarp, who have owned the store for almost 13 years, made the decision because Shulze is undergoing cancer treatments.

"I hate thinking of not being at the store, but we have to make Gary well," Frovarp said. 'It's getting more difficult all the time. We spend most of our time at home ordering, doing bookwork and other things connected to the store."

"The store continues to thrive and we hope there is someone out there who will eagerly take the reins," Shulze said. The store is debt-free and "doing well," the owners said.

Once Upon a Crime was founded 28 years ago and has 800 square feet of space. Frovarp interned for almost four years with previous owner Steve Stilwell. Shulze and Frovarp were married at the store in 2007.

In 2011, Once Upon a Crime won the Raven Award, for outstanding contributions to the genre, from the Mystery Writers of America.


Publishers! Last call for the One California Holiday Catalog Campaign! Learn more>


Alice Munro Honored with Canadian Stamp

Canada Post has honored Nobel Prize–winning author Alice Munro with a new stamp, which was released last week in celebration of her 84th birthday, Quillblog reported. The stamp features a photograph of the author, a sample of her handwriting and images of Wingham, Ontario, her hometown.

"Our stamp program recognizes the achievements of Canadians," said Canada Post president and CEO Deepak Chopra. "As fans of this prolific author know, Ms. Munro's literary talent, wisdom, and humanity reflected in her stories over several decades have earned her recognition that few writers in any language or country attain."


Berkley: Man's 4th Best Hospital by Samuel Shem


Obituary Note: Jean Brace

 

Jean Brace

Jean Brace, founder of Brace Books & More, Ponca City, Okla., died on Saturday. She was 73.

Jeanne Devlin of the RoadRunner Press in Oklahoma City called Brace "a very creative bookseller, and I remember in our first year more than one book salesman telling me that Brace Books was the best indie in the region. It was, and remains, a wonderful 5,000-square-foot store--one with a coffee bar and great gift area, alongside so many great books."

The store, which Brace founded in 1983 and owned with her husband, Jerry, is holding a reception tonight from 6-8 p.m. to honor her life and legacy. Her family will attend. A memorial service will be held on Thursday, July 16, at 1 p.m. at First Christian Church in Ponca City. The store will be closed that day.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Brace Books Christmas Book Angel Program, which provides books to needy children. Donations will be accepted at Brace Books & More, First Christian Church or at bracebooks.com.


G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
The Truants
by Kate Weinberg

In Kate Weinberg's The Truants, set in East Anglian academia, three students, a seductive journalist and a charismatic professor fascinated by Agatha Christie are swept up and battered in a whirlwind of friendship and passion. Helen Richards, associate editor at Putnam, knew from the first page she wanted to introduce Weinberg's incredible debut novel to American readers. Her writing is "so potent--so delicious, so atmospheric and at times so heart-achingly vulnerable--that it creates a world all its own on every page. I found it impossible to drag myself away! It offers the best of two worlds: a seductive mystery wrapped in an unconventional coming-of-age story." She says everyone at Putnam is "obsessed with the dark vibe and the smart, juicy writing." Campus obsession, editor obsession, sales force obsession--all will surely be joined by reader obsession. --Marilyn Dahl

(Putnam, $26 hardcover, 9780525541967, January 28, 2020)

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Notes

Image of the Day: Poems at WORD

Alice B. Fogel, Poet Laureate of New Hampshire and author of Interval: Poems Based on Bach's 'Goldberg Variations' (winner of the Nicholas Schaffner Award for Music in Literature), read Sunday night at WORD, Jersey City, N.J., as part of the Cross Poetry Reading Series.


Happy 25th, Diane's Books of Greenwich!

Congratulations to Diane's Books of Greenwich, Conn., which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The Sentinel reported that Diane Garrett "chose a little space on Grigg Street with lots of charm and neighborhood appeal.... Flash forward 25 years and her formula hasn't changed a bit, the shop is still bursting with books, her customers keep coming back and her competition has died off. She has endured the growing popularity of big box bookstores, e-books and Amazon. She has taken on each challenge with compassion, curiosity and communication--and always class."

"It's about the customer and everything else follows," Garrett said. The Sentinel also cited her judgment free attitude ("I don't care what you read, as long as you're reading.") and highly selective inventory ("Every book we have is there for a reason."), combined with her most important ingredient to create success: "It's focus," she said. "We only do one thing. We don't have sidelines. We don't have coffee. We only focus on getting everybody the right book and caring about them."

Longtime customer Judy Petersen observed: "Diane Garrett is a treasure and her store is a treasure chest."

"We just want every day to be the best we can be and the kindest we can be--to keep dancing and smiling and laughing and having fun," said Garrett.


Bookshop Chalkboard of the Day: Green Apple Books

A tweet from Green Apple Books, San Francisco, Calif., showcasing the sidewalk chalkboard outside its GAB on the Park location: "The quotation of the day @gabsunset is from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie."


'A New Chapter' for Philly Indies

Independent bookstores are "seeing a modest rebound in their fortunes by being hyperlocal, diversifying into new products, and of course selling books online," the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote as it checked in with some indies in the area.

Sheila Avelin opened Big Blue Marble Bookstore in Mount Airy in 2005 "knowing that she was planting stilts in a tsunami," the Inquirer noted. "We opened with a business model that was developed to be functional," Avelin said. "The store is a community center. It's a space where you can hang out and feel comfortable.... The thing is, we're not selling books; we're selling a way people can connect around books."

"The independent bookstore survives because shopping is a cultural activity," said Alan Chelak, manager of Giovanni's Room. "In physical stores, people have the advantage to browse. They walk in not knowing what to get, and sometimes they buy something they didn't expect to find. Whereas with online, people already know what they want."

Richard de Wyngaert, owner of Head House Books in Old City, said, "I always want to eclipse people's expectations. If I stocked all the common titles, people would just get them online. I want someone to walk in and be surprised at what they see and walk out with a book they didn't expect to walk out with."



Media and Movies

Media Heat: Don Winslow on Fresh Air

Today on Fresh Air: Don Winslow, author of The Cartel: A Novel (Knopf, $27.95, 9781101874998).

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Tomorrow on the Wendy Williams Show: Colin Quinn, author of The Coloring Book: A Comedian Solves Race Relations in America (Grand Central, $26, 9781455507597).

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Tomorrow on the View: Judd Apatow, author of Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life and Comedy (Random House, $27, 9780812997576).

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Tomorrow on the Talk: Kimberly Schlapman, co-author of Oh Gussie!: Cooking and Visiting in Kimberly's Southern Kitchen (Morrow, $29.99, 9780062323712).


TV: Show Me a Hero

The first trailer is out for the HBO miniseries Show Me a Hero, based on the nonfiction book by Lisa Belkin. From creator David Simon (Treme, The Wire) and director Paul Haggis (Crash), the six-part miniseries, starring Oscar Isaac, "explores notions of home, race and community through the lives of elected officials, bureaucrats, activists and ordinary citizens in Yonkers, N.Y.," Indiewire reported. The cast also includes Catherine Keener, Alfred Molina, Jon Bernthal, Winona Ryder and James Belushi. Show Me a Hero debuts August 16.


Books & Authors

Awards: Hellenic Winners; Guardian Children's Fiction

The Lagoon: How Aristotle Invented Science by Armand Marie Leroi (published in the U.S. by Viking) has won two prizes in the U.K., the Bookseller reported:

The £9,000 (about $14,060) Runciman Prize, sponsored by the Anglo-Hellenic League and given to a work in English about some aspect of Greece or the world of Hellenism.

The £10,000 (about $15,620) London Hellenic Prize, given by the London Hellenic Society to a book in English about Greece or Greek exploits, culture or history.

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The books on this year's longlist for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize are "quite simply some of the best writing for children today," said judge and author Piers Torday. The winner will be named November 19. The longlisted titles are:

Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders
A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond
My Name's Not Friday by Jon Walter
Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan
The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
An Island of Our Own by Sally Nicholls
El Deafo by Cece Bell
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven


Book Brahmin: Mark Bouman

photo: Kirsten Belloni

Mark Bouman grew up near Grand Rapids, Mich. At the age of 20, he joined the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in Montana, where he met and married his wife, Joan. Completing 10 years in the Air Force, Bouman returned to Michigan and earned an engineering degree. Eventually, Mark and Joan volunteered to work in Cambodia. There they became full-time missionaries, served as directors of an orphanage of 140 children and built a K-12 Christian school. In The Tank Man's Son (Tyndale, June 18, 2015), Bouman offers a brutally honest assessment of his childhood years and how God used those early experiences to shape him into the person he is today.

On your nightstand now:

I generally like any book about history, economics and End Time prophecy. On my coffee table, there is a copy of Inside the Revolution by Joel C. Rosenberg. I usually read three or four books at once. I have one book on my nightstand, a different book next to the toilet, another book in the car (which I read while waiting for my wife to shop) and another book on the coffee table.

Favorite book when you were a child:

I don't think I could list five books I read when I was a child. I was too occupied with trying to survive my childhood. I do remember reading a couple of books on trapping since I wanted to learn how to be a trapper. While in college, someone gave me The Frontiersmen by Allan W. Eckert. It was the first outdoors book I really enjoyed. This book captivated me. I valued how it brought out the best and worst of the early days in America during the Indian Wars.

Your top five authors:

Philip Yancey, Robert Kiyosaki, Rick Joyner, John Eldredge and any World War II author.

Book you've faked reading:

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Tons of my friends said this was a must read, but I couldn't get through more than the first few pages.

Book you're an evangelist for:

I Will Bear Witness 1942-1945: A Diary of the Nazi Years by Victor Klemperer. I've recommended this book many times. There is something about its simplicity that makes me go back and read it every couple of years. This book is a great example of human nature in the worst of times. History is a wonderful teacher and I prefer brutally honest history; lessons learned from history are timeless.

Book you've bought for the cover:

I can't remember the last time I ever bought a book for the cover. I generally will stand in a bookstore for 30 minutes and read portions of a book before I'll buy it.

Book that changed your life:

Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul by John Eldredge. This book gave me a better understanding of being a man as well as a further appreciation for how God made men different than women.

Favorite line from a book:

"How can I afford it?" --from Robert T. Kiyosaki's Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money--That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not! I love this line as it made me rethink many things in my life.

Which character you most relate to:

I enjoy any book where the main character is a rebel. I generally will root for the underdog in any situation.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest by Stephen E. Ambrose.


Book Review

Children's Review: Lilliput

Lilliput by Sam Gayton, illus. by Alice Ratterree (Peachtree Publishers, $16.95 hardcover, 264p., ages 8-12, 9781561458066, August 1, 2015)

In a funny, bittersweet follow-up to the classic Gulliver's Travels, Sam Gayton imagines a return to Lilliput from the point of view of one of its citizens.

Gayton begins with a bang: the heroine, Lily, is out crabbing with two friends when one of them screams. She turns to see a giant rising from the sea, "climbing out of all the stories Nana told her at bedtime." The giant introduces himself as Lemuel Gulliver, kidnaps Lily and takes her back with him to London to live in a bird cage in the attic of a clockmaker's shop. Readers meet her in the midst of "Escape Plan Thirty-three." Each time Gulliver catches her in her efforts to flee, he places her in a smelly, flea-ridden sock. Then one day, due to an earlier escape attempt (a note fastened by a thread to a mouse's tail), Finn the clockmaker's apprentice comes to her rescue.

The author makes the most of the contrast in size between the diminutive Lily and the "Yahoos" (her name for the human giants, borrowed from Jonathan Swift's 18th-century novel) who run the world around her. Gayton imagines a Gulliver alone in the world, forced to return to Lilliput and bring back a Lilliputian in order to prove the tales in his Book of Travels. Gayton adds an original spin with his concept of time as the true enemy. For Lily, "one moon," or month, is equivalent to a year for a giant. She feels the pressure of the ever-ticking clock, and longs to see her Nana once more. Villainous Mr. Plinker's clock creations embody these ideas. In the orphanage where Finn grew up, Plinker's clock would "run fast when we ate our dinner, and slow when we sewed."  The man's pièce de resistance is the "Waste-Not Watch," affixed to Finn's wrist; for every second Finn "wasted," the watch tightened. Lily "learned that the world was full of cages, and not all were built of iron."

Suspense mounts when Lily and Finn plot to steal the pages of Gulliver's book that describe Lilliput's location, and to free the Swift trapped inside Plinker's clock to fly her home. Readers get a rare view of London from the gutter up, with all its sights, smells and sounds, and artist Alice Ratterree captures the characters and their surroundings in impressive detail. An image of Lily inside Plinker's Astronomical Budgerigar, attempting to free Swift, is one of the book's highlights. Readers will hope for more from Sam Gayton and may well seek out Swift's classic after reading Lily's suspenseful, moving story. --Jennifer M. Brown, children's editor, Shelf Awareness

Shelf Talker: British author Sam Gayton imagines a sequel to Gulliver's Travels in which Gulliver returns to Lilliput and kidnaps Lily, whose suspenseful story of attempting to escape fills these pages.


Deeper Understanding

ALA Through the Lens of a Single Day

Sunday, June 28, 2015.
San Francisco, California.
The day dawns in the afterglow
of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision
to make gay marriage a constitutional right in all states.
It's not yet 7 a.m.: People line up on Market Street
awaiting the start of the Gay Pride Parade.
Hundreds of librarians, publishers, authors and artists
make their way to the Marriott Marquis for
the Coretta Scott King Awards Breakfast.
Hundreds lift ev'ry voice and sing James Weldon Johnson's anthem.
Jason Reynolds leads us in a second anthem:
"You can't see it/ It's electric!
You gotta feel it/ It's electric!"
Says the winner of the John Steptoe Award for New Talent
for When I Was the Greatest.
"It's like a Bat signal," Reynolds says of "The Electric Slide,"
"It frees you.
Everyone has their own flavor; that's what we're doing up here."
His mother worked her way up
from a 15-year-old in the mailroom in 1963
to the executive office, "first woman, first black, first everything,"
says Reynolds.
Christian Robinson, CSK Illustrator Honor winner for Josephine
brings author Patricia Hruby Powell, a ballet dancer,
onto the floor with him.
They start making Josephine Baker's moves.
"If I'd known, I'd've brought my band with me," says Frank Morrison,
CSK illustrator Honor winner for Little Melba and Her Big Trombone.

An impressive huddle at the Newbery-Caldecott banquet (l-r.): Donald Crews, Christopher Myers, Nina Crews, Kwame Alexander, Nikki Giovanni and Edwidge Danticat.

Kwame Alexander, CSK Author Honor winner for The Crossover,
speaks of the close community and family,
the invisible current
pulsing among the community on the stage.
Sometimes you "just need a break," says Alexander,
"from writing windows and painting mirrors."
He recalls a fish fry at Jacqueline Woodson's home
with Reynolds and Christopher Myers and Rita Williams-Garcia.
"I want to create a world that knows better
and does better," says Alexander.
Marilyn Nelson, CSK Author Honor winner for How I Discovered Poetry,
also speaks of "firsts":
her mother in 1954
teaching all white children as a black woman,
her father a Tuskegee Airman.
She wrote her book of poetry as
"an invitation to enter the family I grew up in."
Kekla Magoon wrote her CSK Author Honor book
How It Went Down
in response to the murder of Trayvon Martin.

"I'd just about given up on the world,"
says Christopher Myers
in his CSK Illustrator Award Acceptance speech
for his artwork in Misty Copeland's Firebird.
He speaks of a boy who delivered bread
by bicycle across a bridge over the river Nile
where a car bomb exploded;
a 10-year-old girl who sews tags into uniforms
for Western children and longs to go to school.
And then he speaks of Misty Copeland,
how her body tells stories of
"not only the lithe little girl from Los Angeles
discovering dance in a Boys & Girls Club
but the mythical Firebird and Stravinsky
and the Ballets Russes."
At this first Coretta Scott King Award Breakfast
"without Pops,"
Christopher Myers spoke of Walter Dean Myers
and his belief in "the magic" of the rewrite.
Not just the words on the page
but "rewriting the world."
And Copeland's next milestone was to come two days later:
First African American dancer to reach
principal status in the American Ballet Theatre.

"We are almost there," says Jacqueline Woodson
in her Coretta Scott King Author Award acceptance speech
for Brown Girl Dreaming,
remembering what it was like on tour in Vancouver
to be the only African American
in an "otherwise incredibly diverse room."
She speaks of what the Coretta Scott King Honor Award
had meant to her in 1995 for I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This,
and in 1996 for From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun,
the CSK Committee letting her know they "had my back."
And the committee's refusal to cross a picket line in 2001
instead choosing an alternate place to hold a tea,
let Woodson know "I had found my people.
In the way of our people always
finding a way to make a way out of no way."
She threads together the people on the stage,
Rudine Sims Bishop and Deb Taylor,
winner of the CSK Virginia Hamilton Award,
Dr. Henrietta Smith in absentia but always present,
and the spirits gone on: Walter Dean Myers,
Virginia Hamilton, Tom Feelings, John Steptoe,
each of whom "forever changed my life."
And after the singing and dancing and embracing
and celebrating and applause,
we walk into the streets
where there is more embracing and parading
and celebrating and applause.

The CSK celebrants mix it up (l-r, back row): Kwame Alexander, Kekla Magoon, Jason Reynolds, Christian Robinson, Jacqueline Woodson, Christopher Myers; Marilyn Nelson (second from l., hiding) and Frank Morrison (4th from l.) Photo: Justin Chanda

It lasts long into the night
when Dan Santat, in his Caldecott Award Acceptance speech
for The Adventures of Beekle,
admits, "It is perhaps a curse that I want far more
than what I am capable of"
and conceived of his speech as a "love letter"
to his two sons, "witnessed proof that I am capable
of creating something perfect in the world."

Kwame Alexander began the day
with themes of family and community and
the work to be done
and closes the day
with themes of family and community and
describing his calling in his Newbery Award Acceptance speech
for The Crossover, a novel in verse:
"Poetry swooped down, grabbed me by the arms,
lifted me up. It was definitely a calling....
You have to answer the call."
And Donald Crews in his acceptance speech
for the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award
takes us down the road, to a fork
and we take the fork with him,
the journey.
With his wife, Ann Jonas, whose loss is still fresh,
with his daughters, Nina and Amy,
We Read: A to Z,
we count Ten Black Dots
we take a Freight Train
we visit Bigmama's.
We spend the day and night in celebration.

And afterward there is silence.
"Even the silence has a story to tell you,"
writes Jacqueline Woodson
in Brown Girl Dreaming,
"Just listen. Listen."

In the growing silence, we know
there is work to be done.
And we also know that we in these rooms
on these streets
in this city
are reading and writing and illustrating and recommending
and passing along these books, hand to hand,
bringing our hands together in applause
raising our hands to say "yes"
We want to answer the call
We want to do the work
We want children
to want to read
to want to write
to want to draw
to see themselves
to share themselves
to be a part of
rather than apart from
to feel the electricity here. Now.
From San Francisco to New York City
from sea to shining sea.
--Jennifer M. Brown


KidsBuzz: Viking BFYR: The Art of Breaking Things by Laura Sibson
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