Shelf Awareness for Monday, August 10, 2015


Yearling Books: Samantha Spinner and the Super-Secret Plans by Russell Ginns

Ballantine Books: Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly

Central Avenue Publishing: Pickle's Progress by Marcia Butler

Bitter Lemon Press: Evil Things by Katja Ivar

Delacorte Press: Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly

Little Simon: Mia Mayhem Is a Superhero! (Mia Mayhem #1) by Kara West, illustrated by Leeza Hernandez

News

Lithic Press's Bookstore & Gallery Opens in Colorado

Lithic Press, which publishes books of local and regional poets and writers, has opened Lithic Bookstore & Gallery in Fruita, Colo., the Grand Junction Free Press reported.

The grand opening celebration takes place this Friday and Saturday, August 14-15, and includes speakers, live music, poetry readings and drinks. Highlights include, on Friday, from 3-5 p.m., a discussion of modernist poetry by Jennifer Hancock, David Rothman and Wendy Videlock, and, at 7 p.m., readings by several contributors to Going Down Grand: Poems from the Canyon, Lithic Press's latest book.

Kyle Harvey and Danny Rosen, owners of Lithic Press

Besides Lithic Press titles, Lithic Bookstore & Gallery will sell other books from regional writers and will host poetry readings, offer discussions on geology, science, writing and more and display local art. The bookstore and gallery will also have printing press.

Kyle Harvey, who owns Lithic Press with Danny Rosen, told the Free Press, "We are wanting this space to continue to morph. We hope to touch on what a museum might do--host educational experiences with workshops. It's going to be as much as it is a bookstore just as much as an art space."


G.P. Putnam's Sons: Fifty Things That Aren't My Fault: Essays from the Grown-Up Years by Cathy Guisewite


Waterstones Hosting Midnight Party for Pratchett Novel

The U.K. cover of Pratchett's final novel. The book goes on sale in the U.S. September 1.

Waterstones Piccadilly in London is throwing a midnight party on August 26-27 to celebrate the publication of Terry Pratchett's final Discworld novel, The Shepherd's Crown, the Bookseller reported.

Fans will be able to receive a copy of the book and hear a reading by Pratchett's friend and business manager Rob Wilkins.

The store is selling 200 tickets to the event, which go on sale today at noon. A £10 (about $15.50) ticket includes a copy of The Shepherd's Crown, and a £35 ($54.20) ticket includes an exclusive Waterstones slipcase edition of the book and a goody bag.

Fans without tickets can line up at 11:30 p.m. and purchase a copy of the book after midnight.

Pratchett, who had been suffering from posterior cortical atrophy (PCA), a type of Alzheimer's, died March 12.


Korero Press: The Home Bar Guide to Tropical Cocktails: A Spirited Journey Through Suburbia's Hidden Tiki Temples by Kelly Reilly and Tom Morgan


New Amazon Warehouses in Conn., Illinois

Amazon plans to open a sorting center on Research Parkway in Wallingford, Conn., the Record-Journal reported, noting that the facility "is across the street from the U.S. Postal Service sorting and distribution facility." The news comes two years after Amazon announced plans to build a $50 million facility in Windsor and agreed to collect state sales tax.

Although unaware of Amazon's plans, State Representative Mary Mushinsky called the news a "pleasant surprise.... They get to do their shipping business and we also get the taxes from their sales, which is very helpful.... I'm glad they picked our town and we've been worried about that industrial park with some of the move outs; it's good to hear about someone moving in."

In related news, Amazon said it plans to open a nearly 500,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Joliet, Ill., the company's first in the state. The warehouse will focus on processing "smaller items, such as books, electronics and consumer goods."


Soho Teen: The Art of Losing by Lizzy Mason - Request It!


Obituary Note: Ann McGovern

Ann McGovern, author of many books for young readers, died on Saturday. She was 85.

She wrote more than 50 books that have sold more than 30 million copies. They included many of the titles in Scholastic's If You Lived series, as well as Stone Soup, Too Much Noise, Mr. Skinner's Skinny House and Zoo Where Are You.

A memorial service will be held in September; details will be announced.


Quirk Books: William Shakespeare's Much Ado about Mean Girls by Ian Doescher


Notes

Image of the Day: Agnes Martin and Her Art

Nancy Princenthal discussed her new biography Agnes Martin: Her Life and Art (Thames & Hudson) at the FLAG Art Foundation in New York City last week. Pictured in front of the painting Agnes Martin, Peace and Happiness (2001, acrylic and pencil on canvas, 60 x 60 inches) in the Foundation's "Space Between" exhibition are (l.-r.) FLAG Art Foundation founder Glenn Fuhrman, Princenthal and exhibition co-curator Stephanie Roach.

Poem: 'If You Lived in a Bookstore'

"Have you ever walked into a bookstore and thought, 'I never want to leave?' " A B&N Reads blog post wondered "What Life Would Be Like if You Lived in a Bookstore: a Poem." Here's a sampling:

A bookstore is where I'd reside
like a kid in a candy shop
And here's why, I'll confide:
You can read until you drop!

Bookstore life would be oh so fun!
Every morning you would wake
to shelves lit up by the sun
and the café's coffee and cake...


Cool Idea of the Day: 'When Authors Duel'

Phoenix Books, Burlington in Vt., and Geek Mountain State recently co-hosted an event called Author Duel and "hilarity ensued," io9 reported. Four Tor authors who had been touring together--Elizabeth Bear, James L. Cambias, Max Gladstone and Brian Staveley--took part.

Author Duel consisted of three rounds. In the first, "each would read a passage from their own book. In the second, they would switch books with their colleague on their right. For the final one, they would pick a book from around the store and hand it to the author on their left. The audience was involved as well, with five picked to 'judge' each author based on their reading, Olympics style. Each author was encouraged to read as dramatically as possible, and as the evening went on, everything got more and more ridiculous--and not just the authors. Oh, and there were stories of space pirates, human sacrifices and fantasy special ops rescuers, among other things," io9 wrote. "All in all, by the end of the event, just about everyone in the room was laughing."


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Sen. Claire McCaskill and Plenty Ladylike

This morning on NPR's Morning Edition: Ruth Ware, author In a Dark, Dark Wood (Gallery/Scout Press, $26, 9781501112317).

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Today on Diane Rehm: Claire McCaskill, co-author of Plenty Ladylike: A Memoir (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781476756752). She will also appear tomorrow on Morning Joe and CNN's The Lead with Jake Tapper.

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Today on the Talk: Jim Gaffigan, author of Food: A Love Story (Three Rivers Press, $15, 9780804140430).

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Today on Fresh Air: Ari Berman, author of Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $28, 9780374158279).

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Tonight on Late Night with Seth Meyers: Colin Quinn, author of The Coloring Book: A Comedian Solves Race Relations in America (Grand Central, $26, 9781455507597).

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Tomorrow morning on CBS This Morning: Jennifer Weiner, author of Who Do You Love: A Novel (Atria, $27, 9781451617818).

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Tomorrow on NPR's All Things Considered: Annie Liontas, author of Let Me Explain You: A Novel (Scribner, $26, 9781476789088).

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Tomorrow on Diane Rehm: Al Roker, author of The Storm of the Century: Tragedy, Heroism, Survival, and the Epic True Story of America's Deadliest Natural Disaster (Morrow, $27.99, 9780062364654).

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Tomorrow on the Meredith Vieira Show: Tia Mowry, co-author of Twintuition: Double Vision (HarperCollins, $16.99, 9780062372864).

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

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Tomorrow night on Late Late Show with James Corden: Jason Segel, author of Nightmares! The Sleepwalker Tonic (Delacorte, $16.99, 9780385744270).


TV: Gossie & Friends

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has launched a co-production agreement with PBS TV station WGBH for the creation of a television and cross-platform series based on the Gossie & Friends book series, written and illustrated by Olivier Dunrea. The two companies will pursue a domestic broadcasting arrangement for the series, as well as international co-production financing. The new partnership is an expansion of HMH's existing relationship with WGBH, which also produces Curious George and Martha Speaks.

"This cross-media co-production arrangement--a first for HMH--underscores the company's expansion into children's media production," said C.J. Kettler, executive v-p and chief of consumer brands and strategy for the publisher. "Our position in the marketplace as an award-winning provider of acclaimed children's books, as well as our early learning educational expertise, provides us with a unique advantage in children's media and entertainment."
 
Brigid Sullivan, WGBH v-p for children's and educational media, commented: "Bringing books to life through video and new media is a unique talent of our award-winning creators and children's producers at WGBH. We are delighted to bring the gentle and timeless world of Gossie and her friends to a broad audience of preschoolers, who, like these goslings, are experiencing first lessons in the art of friendship and thriving within a community."



Books & Authors

Awards: Arab American Book

The winners of the 2015 Arab American Book Awards, sponsored by the Arab American National Museum, are:

Fiction (tie): An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine (Grove); and The Moor's Account by Laila Lalami (Pantheon)
Nonfiction: Old Islam in Detroit: Rediscovering the Muslim American Past by Sally Howell (Oxford University Press)
Poetry: Tahrir Suite: Poems by Matthew Shenoda (TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press)
Children/YA: The Turtle of Oman by Naomi Shihab Nye (Greenwillow Press)


Book Review

Review: The Fall of Princes

The Fall of Princes by Robert Goolrick (Algonquin , $25.95 hardcover, 9781616204204, August 25, 2015)

Robert Goolrick's novel The Fall of Princes has its roots more in his family memoir, The End of the World as We Know It, about his wealthy parents' life of ostentation, addiction and abuse, than in his first novel, A Reliable Wife, set in the early 20th century. The Fall of Princes is the story of Rooney, a high-flying Wall Street trader caught in the swirl of 1980s New York excess, with what he calls its "megawatts of greed and glory and rapaciousness... like a giant testosterone flambé." If Jay McInerney's 1984 novel Bright Lights, Big City and Oliver Stone's 1987 movie Wall Street define the '80s zeitgeist, Goolrick's Rooney gives his account from the bottom of the well, after the money, drugs, high-end hookers, Brioni suits, Bryn Mawr alumni wives and chauffeured Lincoln Town Cars have been replaced by his rat-infested West 35th Street "Hovel Hall" apartment and a retail clerk's job in short sleeves and khakis at Barnes & Noble. Looking back on his brief run as what Tom Wolfe tagged a "Master of the Universe," Rooney concludes, "When you lose everything, you don't die. You just continue in ordinary pants with nothing in your pockets."

Goolrick spent 20 years in the fast and loose New York advertising world before being summarily fired at age 53. He turned to longer-form writing, but his adman's flair for a clever turn of phrase and sharp, quick-shifting graphic scenes are at the heart of Princes. After bumming in Europe in a failed search for his inner artist, Rooney gets his first taste of the money world in his successful interview with The Man at The Firm for a trading job on The Street. After that, he is at the center of "the great tailgate party" where "the money was fantastic and the roll, the flow of it, was like mainlining every day." One of his trading buddies springs for a decadent last fling in Las Vegas before he has to "move to Greenwich and have children who would have two middle names in that English way and he just wouldn't be available on the let's-go-to-William's-on-Carmine-Street-and-pick-up-an-eight-ball circuit anymore."

Goolrick's New York City in the '80s reflects a twinge of nostalgia, but the ravages of all that sex, drugs and money took their toll--AIDS, divorce and, in Rooney's case, "the slammer... four times, twice in rehab for various addictions, and twice to the loony bin." It finally takes the plaintive singing of an inexperienced young call girl, the unquestioning love of a transvestite streetwalker, a full reading of Proust's Á La Recherche du Temps Perdu and a bookstore job to cushion his dizzying descent. Given the height from which he fell, only a big cushion would do. --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.

Shelf Talker: Goolrick's depiction of a Wall Street trader's rise to riches and fall to bookselling blends exuberant reminiscences of 1980s excess with a sober desperation for redemption.


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