Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Flatiron Books: The Familiar by Leigh Bardugo

St. Martin's Griffin: One Last Shot by Betty Cayouette

Flatiron Books: Anita de Monte Laughs Last by Xochitl Gonzalez

Page Street YA: The Final Curse of Ophelia Cray by Christine Calella

HarperOne: I Finally Bought Some Jordans: Essays by Michael Arceneaux

Tor Nightfire: Ghost Station by S.A. Barnes


HarperCollins, Ediouro Group Form HarperCollins Brasil

HarperCollins and Ediouro Group have formed HarperCollins Brasil, which combines the operations of Thomas Nelson Brasil and Harlequin Brasil with Ediouro's commercial trade publishing titles and personnel, the companies announced yesterday.

HarperCollins and Ediouro have had a joint venture since 2006. Harlequin has ended its joint venture with Record Publishing Group. Ediouro will continue to publish a literary and Catholic trade list outside the joint venture as well as continue its other non-trade publishing businesses.

HarperCollins Brasil will publish a about 350 titles per year from the HarperCollins trade, children's, Christian and romance imprints from around the world, as well as Brazilian authors. The move follows similar HarperCollins efforts, following its purchase of Harlequin last year, to consolidate and build foreign-language publishing in Germany, Poland, the Nordic countries, the Netherlands, Japan and Spain.

Antonio Araujo will be executive director of HarperCollins Brasil, responsible for operations and finance. Kaike Nane has been named publisher for the HarperCollins and Harlequin lists. Omar Alves de Souza will continue as publisher of the Thomas Nelson Brasil list.

HarperCollins president and CEO Brian Murray commented: "This gives us greater scale in a critical and growing market, and is another step in our plans to publish our diverse list of authors globally, while also publishing local authors."

Peachtree Teen: The Absinthe Underground by Jamie Pacton

HarperCollins Pop-Op to Appear in South Street Seaport

In HarperCollins news closer to home, the company is participating in multimedia pop-up effort in the South Street Seaport district in New York City, near the offices it moved into last year from Midtown.

From mid-September through late October, HarperCollins will operate the HarperCollins BookLab, an event space and reading lounge, that will be located in Seaport Studios at 19 Fulton St., where it will host programs, launch events, readings, panels, talks and receptions. (Seaport Studios will bring together a range of "cultural partners and collaborating organizations, spaces, installations and interactive opportunities." Much of the Seaport area was severely damaged during Hurricane Sandy.)

HarperCollins president and publisher Michael Morrison said, "As a company committed to a literary culture, with a vested interest in the downtown area, we are excited about this Seaport opportunity. We see this not only as a destination for visitors, but also as a cultural hub for the growing number of New Yorkers who live and work in the area."

Josh Marwell, HarperCollins president of sales, emphasized the company's roots, saying, "Playing a part in the rebirth of the Seaport is especially meaningful for us as the Harper Brothers founded our company a few blocks away on Front Street in 1817, and from that location grew to become a major presence in the cultural life of the city and the nation. With this exciting new project we are thrilled to honor our past and have a role in the new chapter of this iconic civic landmark."

Angela Tribelli, HarperCollins chief marketing officer, commented, "Lower Manhattan is the new nexus of publishing, technology and creativity. No other neighborhood in NYC is undergoing such a dynamic transformation, and HarperCollins Publishers is thrilled to be a part of it. We're especially excited to be partnering with the South Street Seaport to develop a pop-up shop and events space just a few blocks from our new offices--and to give our authors a highly visible platform in the heart of it all."

HarperOne: Be a Revolution: How Everyday People Are Fighting Oppression and Changing the World--And How You Can, Too by Ijeoma Oluo

Barnes & Noble Education Matriculates at the NYSE

Barnes & Noble Education officially was spun off from Barnes & Noble yesterday, and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. B&N Education executive chairman Michael Huseby, CEO Max Roberts and several store managers rang the Exchange's opening bell.

B&N Education fell 8.1%, to $13.19 a share, from its Friday closing of $14.35 (when it was trading on a "when-issued" basis), on volume of almost 1.7 million shares. Owners of B&N stock as of a week ago received 0.632 shares of B&N Education stock for every B&N share they owned.

B&N's stock price reflected the jettisoning of a significant part of the company: trading last week at slightly over $26 a share, B&N closed yesterday at $17.22.

Formerly called B&N College, B&N Education operates some 724 stores on campuses across the country.

Harpervia: Behind You Is the Sea by Susan Muaddi Darraj

Obituary Note: Carol Janeway

Carol Janeway

Carol Janeway, longtime editor, translator and director of foreign rights at Knopf, which she joined in 1970, died yesterday at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. She was 71 and had been diagnosed with late-stage cancer two weeks ago.

In a letter to staff, Knopf Doubleday Group chairman and editor-in-chief Sonny Mehta wrote, in part, "Carol was a dear colleague and friend. We met as students at Cambridge some five decades ago, and from the very first moment what struck me about Carol was her fierce intelligence. She was fluent and well-read in several languages, in possession of impeccable decorum and dazzling wit, and best: she was enormous fun to be around. I did not realize then how fortunate I would be to work with Carol, first as a competitor and later as a colleague.

"She was an esteemed figure here and abroad, and for 45 years central to our publication of great works of international literature. Authors loved her. Agents respected her. And foreign publishers trusted her. I hasten to add--she was a formidable dealmaker. She leaves behind an enduring legacy as an editor and translator.

"All of us will miss her dearly."

Plans for a memorial will be announced.

University of California Press: The Accidental Ecosystem: People and Wildlife in American Cities by Peter S. Alagona


Happy 50th, Webster Groves Bookshop!

Congratulations to Webster Groves Bookshop, Webster Groves, Mo., which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Owner Ann Foy "keeps up pictures of young customers, even though they've long since grown. She started working in the small independent bookstore in 1985, so she has a good sense of the store's history and place in the city," the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote.

"We have a wonderful community that takes pride in having a bookstore," she said. "They support me--I just take care of it for them. It's their store."

The bookstore was founded in 1965 by Natalie Sheetz and Julie Robinson, and was purchased by Foy and her late husband in 1999. She has no plans to retire: "They'll probably take me out of here feet first."

Odyssey Reaches Indiegogo Goal, Sets New Goal

After reaching its initial goal of $10,500 in its Indiegogo campaign, the Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, Mass., has set a new goal of $20,000, which "would allow us to make even more needed improvements," the store said.

The store launched the #2015AFundraisingOdyssey campaign last month to raise funds for a new computer system. The extra funding would go to "unforeseen costs not in our original plan for the campaign" that "weren't a priority until we met our first goal." Those items include: conversion and training for staff while we upgrade to our new point of sale and inventory system; other point of sale equipment we may need like scanners, cash drawers, credit card terminals, receipt printers and displays; and new hardware and software not included in the original upgrade.

The new campaign runs through tomorrow, August 5.

CNN's World's Coolest Bookstores

In addition to spotlighting familiar names such as Powell's City of Books, Foyles, Shakespeare & Company and the Strand, CNN's list of "the world's coolest bookstores" includes Books for Cooks in Melbourne, Australia.

CNN wrote: "Housed in a 150-year-old former sly grog shop (speakeasy) on one of Melbourne's most interesting streets, this small bookstore is the only retail shop in Australia specializing in cookbooks. Every type of cuisine and culinary category imaginable can be found on its floor-to-ceiling shelves. Treasures include several beautiful 18th-century culinary books.

" 'Our customers are chefs, foodies and armchair gourmets,' co-owner Tim White tells CNN. 'We catalog more than 40,000 cookbooks and on any given day have at least 30,000 in stock.'

"The store ships around the world, at cost."

New Events Coordinator at Northshire Bookstore

Tracy Davies

Tracy Davies is the new events coordinator at the Northshire Bookstore, with locations in Manchester Center, Vt., and Saratoga Springs, N.Y. She succeeds Mary Allen. Prior to her new position, Davies worked for J.K. Adams, developing a cookbook series, and at Orvis.  

"Tracy is already a great addition to our family," said Northshire co-owner Chris Morrow. "She understands community and she is excited to develop our events program even further. Visiting authors will be in good hands!"

"I have been a customer of this wonderful business for many years and have always had a strong passion for reading," Davies noted. "I am thrilled and proud to now be a part of this team."

Pennie Picks Circling the Sun

Pennie Clark Ianniciello, Costco's book buyer, has chosen Circling the Sun: A Novel by Paula McLain (Ballantine, $28, 9780345534187) as her pick of the month for August. In Costco Connection, which goes to many of the warehouse club's members, she wrote:

"I'd like to say a big 'thank you' to the writers who have introduced me to so many strong and fascinating historic women I never met in my history classes. I'm especially thankful to Paula McLain for having written this month's book buyer's pick, Circling the Sun.

"Based on the life of Beryl Markham, this novel introduces readers to a woman who was born in England and grew up in Kenya. She became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic from east to west. And, as McLain reveals, flying was but one of Markham's passions.

"I'm aware that this is a fictionalized account of Markham's life. However, it's also a moving and inspirational introduction for readers who might want to look further into the life of this extraordinary woman."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Susan Casey on Fresh Air

Today on Fresh Air: Susan Casey, author of Voices in the Ocean: A Journey into the Wild and Haunting World of Dolphins (Doubleday, $27.95, 9780385537308).


Tomorrow night on Late Night with Seth Meyers: Jason Segel, author of Nightmares! The Sleepwalker Tonic (Delacorte, $16.99, 9780385744270).

TV: Game of Thrones; Little Women

Describing it as "huge Game of Thrones news," Entertainment Weekly reported that Emmy-winning British actor Ian McShane (Deadwood, Ray Donovan) will be on board for season six in a role that "has a relatively small amount of screen-time during the season, yet his character is of key importance."

EW also said that legendary Swedish actor Max von Sydow, whose credits range from many Ingmar Bergman films to Minority Report and the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, "will play the Three-Eyed Raven, the mystical tutor of Bran Stark, who was briefly seen in the season 4 finale (where the character was portrayed by a different actor)." 

While Game of Thrones would not offer any details regarding McShane's character, "Thrones is preparing to dive headlong into narrative territory not yet revealed in author George R.R. Martin's novels," EW wrote, adding that last week, HBO's programming president Michael Lombardo "revealed that the network plans at least eight seasons of the show, a bump from the oft-reported seven season plan."


The CW network "is taking on a literary classic" by putting in development "a hyper-stylized, gritty adaptation" of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, reported, noting that the drama is from writer Alexis Jolly, NCIS co-star Michael Weatherly and CBS TV Studios.

Written by Jolly, the project features Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy banding together "in order to survive the dystopic streets of Philadelphia and unravel a conspiracy that stretches far beyond anything they have ever imagined--all while trying not to kill each other in the process," wrote.

Books & Authors

Awards: Brooklyn Eagles Literary Prize

The Brooklyn Public Library and borough bookstores have announced fiction and nonfiction longlists for the inaugural Brooklyn Eagles Literary Prize, which recognizes "authors who have lived in Brooklyn, portrayed the borough in their work or addressed themes relevant to its life and culture." Shortlists will be released this month, with the winners named October 23. You can view the complete longlists here.

"Brooklyn has inspired generations of America's finest writers, from Walt Whitman to Gregory Pardlo," said Brooklyn Public Library president and CEO Linda Johnson, adding that the prize, like the library itself, "recognizes established authors and rising stars who express the spirit of Brooklyn in vivid, compelling prose." The award was created by the Brooklyn Eagles, a community of young professionals who volunteer their time and raise funds for the library.

B&N's Discover Great New Writers: The Fall 2015 List

Barnes & Noble's Discover Great New Writers program has announced the 15 titles on its fall 2015 list. The selection committee is comprised of B&N booksellers whom the company described as "voracious readers who meet weekly throughout the year to look for compelling voices, extraordinary writing, and indelible stories from literary talents at the start of their careers."

Each of the titles will receive at least 12 weeks of promotion in stores, online and on Nook devices, beginning with the book's pub date. The 60 or so books chosen for the program during the year are eligible for the annual Discover Awards, which give $35,000 to six winners whose books will receive an additional year of promotion in stores, online and on Nook devices.

The fall 2015 list:

The Admissions by Meg Mitchell Moore (Doubleday). "A wildly entertaining (and sometimes poignant) story that follows an overachieving, perfect-on-the-surface family as it falls apart--and comes back together."

After the Parade by Lori Ostlund (Scribner). "A Midwesterner transplanted to San Francisco, sensitive, self-conscious, searches for freedom and peace, told in achingly beautiful prose and with a gentle touch."

And West Is West by Ron Childress (Algonquin). "A thoughtful and provocative debut novel that questions the human costs of modern life as we move closer and closer to living at the speed of light."

The Art of Grace: On Moving Well Through Life by Sarah L. Kaufman (Norton). "An insightful and fun exploration of the wonder--and science--of grace,that we can't wait to give to friends and family."

Barbara the Slut and Other People by Lauren Holmes (Riverhead). "A fearless, funny debut story collection about the lives of young women and our messy, modern world."

Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine by Damon Tweedy, M.D. (Picador). "Memoir at its finest: beautifully composed, firmly anchored to a larger world, engaging, accessible, and profound."

City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg (Knopf). "Electric storytelling that sizzles and pops--and reminds us exactly why we love to lose ourselves in big books."

Home Is Burning: A Memoir by Dan Marshall (Flatiron Books). "This hilarious, profane, and heartbreaking story of a madcap family's struggles with catastrophic illness had us laughing out loud and quietly crying on all kinds of public transportation."

The Incarnations by Susan Barker (Touchstone). "A seductive page-turner about reincarnation and soul mates that cuts across China's sweeping history and literary canon."

The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes by Anna McPartlin (St. Martin's Press). "A poignant and ultimately uplifting novel that traces the final decline of a feisty 40-year-old single mom whose seemingly ordinary life is filled with extraordinary people."

The Last Pilot by Benjamin Johncock (Picador). "Spare yet emotionally resonant dialogue drives this haunting story of one man's quest to become an astronaut during America's post-World War II Space Race."

Mãn by Kim Thuy (Random House Canada). "A lush, luminous novella that tells the story of family, exile, and food in chapters no longer than a single paragraph or page."

The Three-Year Swim Club by Julia Checkoway (Grand Central Publishing). "An inspiring and unforgettable true story of underdogs and Olympic dreams set in Hawaii in the late 1930s."

The Unfortunates by Sophie McManus (FSG). "A family's past collides with its present in this ambitious debut novel about secrets and lies, money and power."

Walking with Abel: Journeys with the Nomads of the African Savannah by Anna Badkhen (Riverhead). "We swooned over Anna Badkhen's writing the way we did for Katherine Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers."

Book Review

Review: The State We're In: Maine Stories

The State We're in: Maine Stories by Ann Beattie (Scribner, $25 hardcover, 9781501107818, August 11, 2015)

Ann Beattie's sparkling new collection, The State We're In: Maine Stories, contains a story entitled "Yancey," after the narrator's dog. An IRS man visits, inquiring about the narrator's writing room--is it a valid tax deduction? In their exchange he asks the woman for a poetry recommendation, and she responds by reciting her favorite James Wright poem, "Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy's Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota." In it Wright reflects upon what's around him: a butterfly, the sound of cowbells, the droppings of last year's horses. As the evening comes a chicken hawk floats over, looking for a home. His last line is, "I have wasted my life."

Beattie hasn't wasted her life writing stories. This elegiac story gives us a hint about what's important to her in narratives. The woman explains that the poet "gave us the scene so that we'd be seduced, the way he'd been and then he changed the game on us--on himself--at the last moment." After the man leaves, the woman walks Yancey and unclips her leash "to let her sniff out the day's still dazzling possibilities." The little things, Beattie says--let's enjoy and remember them. Besides being concise and elegantly written, her stories, like Wright's poem, finish with a quiet flourish, throwing a sudden subtle twist at us. She likes endings "to hint at the whole story," to "alter the tone and the mood just a bit," she told the Paris Review.

The 15 stories in this collection primarily feature women and are set in Maine. From story to story, characters are introduced, disappear and then pop up again. Readers start to become familiar with them, comfortable. Take Jocelyn, a frustrated, troubled teenager from the opening story, "What Magical Realism Would Be." (We'll see her again, in a much different light, in the final story, "The Repurposed Barn.") It's summer, and she's in Maine with her Aunt Bettina and Uncle Raleigh, taking classes that require her to write essays, which her uncle kindly helps her with. No matter where Jocelyn goes in town, she feels stifled. What's the source of her angst? And could writing essays assuage it? Beattie's story suggests so, finding as much magical realism in Jocelyn's unlocked imagination as in the girl's idea of the earth being reversed with the sky, with a quiet, reflective ending, simple but with just a dash of Wright.

"The Fledging" is a short, delicate piece about a woman trying to help a baby bird. In "The Little Hutchinsons" a wedding is ruined by the groom falling off a cliff and injuring himself. "The Stroke" is about an elderly couple "who love to bitch at each other" complaining about their kids.

In the end, these carefully drawn, minutely illustrated portraits of women--and men--depict slices of life in all its complexity. --Tom Lavoie, former publisher

Shelf Talker: One of the finest short story writers offers up a group of linked stories all set in Maine and focusing on women.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. The 20/20 Diet by Phil McGraw
2. First 100 Words by Roger Priddy
3. The Common Lawyer by Mark Gimenez
4. Rise: Part One by Deborah Bladon
5. Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers Book 1) by Penny Reid
6. Finding the Right Girl by Violet Duke
7. Sacrifice by Adriana Locke
8. Sinfully Mine by Kendall Ryan
9. Property of the Bad Boy by Vanessa Waltz
10. Paradise Falls by Abigail Graham

[Many thanks to!]

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