Shelf Awareness for Thursday, October 8, 2015

Graphix: Unico: Awakening (Volume 1): An Original Manga Created by Osamu Tezuka, Written by Samuel Sattin, Illustrated by Gurihiru

Shadow Mountain: A Kingdom to Claim by Sian Ann Bessey

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Immortal Dark (Deluxe Limited Edition) by Tigest Girma

Bramble: Swordcrossed by Freya Marske

Soho Teen: Only for the Holidays by Abiola Bello

Berkley Books: Hair-raising horror to sink your teeth into!


Amazon Opening Bookstore in Seattle?

Is Amazon opening a bookstore in Seattle's University Village?

For several years, U-Village, which is home to a huge Apple store and a Microsoft store, has been the rumored location of an Amazon retail operation, particularly since Barnes & Noble closed its 46,000-square-foot store in the upscale shopping mall in the University District at the end of 2011. Some of the strongest speculation came in 2012, after B&N, Books-A-Million and Indigo said they would not carry Amazon Publishing titles. At the time, Good E-Reader called a possible U-Village Amazon store "a test to gauge the market and see if a chain of stores would be profitable. They intend on going with the small boutique route with the main emphasis on books from their growing line of Amazon Exclusives and selling their e-readers and tablets."

amazon storefront university village seattle
Amazon's retail storefront?

Now Shelf Awareness has learned that work is underway on a newly vacant spot in U-Village formerly occupied by Blue C Sushi, a storefront that, according to city work permits, will be occupied by a retailer named "Ann Bookstore." A source who works at U-Village said that the management has been unusually secretive about the new tenant and that it's rumored the site will house a bookstore. A management office employee who was asked when the Amazon bookstore would open said only that she didn't know the date. Also, the most likely local indie candidates to open such a store--University Book Store, Elliott Bay Book Company and Third Place Books--have all said they are not opening a store in U-Village.

In addition, Shelf Awareness has learned that the online retailer has approached booksellers at independent stores in the Seattle area and conducted interviews but didn't tell much about the jobs it was seeking to fill. (All potential hires signed very restrictive nondisclosure agreements.) Amazon has recruited at least one relatively new bookseller for the "new initiative." The job pays $18 an hour, well above the typical pay scale for an entry-level bookseller. Amazon has also interviewed more experienced booksellers.

Despite several years of rumors about opening bricks-and-mortar stores, until now Amazon has done little in this area. One minor exception involved academia: the online bookseller for the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the University of California Davis and Purdue University, Amazon this year opened a "campus facility" at UMass where students can pick up textbooks ordered online.

So the U-Village store is a major departure for Amazon: its first real bricks-and-mortar venture, in a shopping center with other high-tech retailers, featuring its own books and related products. It's also a way to ensure that Amazon Publishing titles finally get onto at least one bookstore's shelves.

Henry Holt & Company: A Banh Mi for Two by Trinity Nguyen

Nobel Literature Prize Goes to Svetlana Alexievich of Belarus

Svetlana Alexievich

The 2015 Nobel Prize for Literature has been awarded to Svetlana Alexievich of Belarus for her "polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time."

An author and journalist, Alexievich has specialized in writing narratives based on interviews with participants in World War II, Chernobyl, the Soviet war in Afghanistan and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Persecuted by the Belarus government, Alexievich left the country for a decade, but returned in 2011.

Her titles translated into English and released in the U.S. are Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster, translated by Keith Gessen, published by the Dalkey Archive Press in 2005 and Picador in 2006, and Zinky Boys: Soviet Voices from the Afghanistan War, translated by Robin Whitby, published by Norton in 1992.

Her other books include War's Unwomanly Face, a novel about women's experiences in World War II; The Last Witnesses: The Book of Unchildlike Stories, memories of children during wartime; and Enchanted with Death, about suicides and attempted suicides by Soviet citizens unnerved by the fall of the Soviet Union.

Among her many honors, Alexievich has won a National Book Critics Circle Award for Voices from Chernobyl; the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade; Swedish PEN's Tucholsky Prize; and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Prize.

GLOW: Sourcebooks Landmark: Remember You Will Die by Eden Robins

The Stacks Art Bookstore Opens in New Orleans

The Stacks, an art bookstore featuring 1,000 international publications, has opened in the ground floor cafe at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans, La. The Times-Picayune reported that proprietor Emilie Lamy, "who transplanted from Marseille in the south of France to New Orleans, said she believes there's a need for a place to peruse and purchase actual paper books and magazines on artistic topics, as well as to meet others who are similarly inclined."

Lamy opened a pop-up shop in a Royal Street furniture store in Marigny about a year ago, then moved to a spot in a coffee shop on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, before settling at CAC.

Keen Communications Buys Adventure Publications

Keen Communications, the travel and outdoor guide publisher that includes Menasha Ridge Press, Wilderness Press, Clerisy Press, the Unofficial Guides and Nature Study Guild, has bought Adventure Publications, which publishes a range of titles, including birding books, field guides, children's books, cookbooks, regional histories and nature titles. The newly merged company is called AdventureKEEN.

(l.-r.) Molly Merkle, Richard Hunt, Bob Sehlinger, Gerri Slabaugh, Gordon Slabaugh

Adventure Publications, Cambridge, Minn., was founded in 1988 by Gordon and Gerri Slabaugh. Keen was founded in a 2006 merger of companies owned by Bob Sehlinger and Richard Hunt. The principals have longstanding ties: Sehlinger and Hunt collaborated for years at the Denver Publishing Institute and as part of U.S.I.A. book industry delegations, and Hunt and Gordon Slabaugh worked together at Houghton Mifflin in the late 1980s.

Molly Merkle, COO of Keen, and Gerri Slabaugh, publisher of Adventure, are leading the integration of operations. Gerri will remain in an active consulting role before transitioning into retirement, along with Gordon. Julie Arthur of Adventure will direct the combined AdventureKEEN sales efforts. Keen is represented to the book trade by Publishers Group West.

"Gordon has always been a standout salesman, and he's remarkably astute about what works best for accounts, from product to service," Hunt commented. "Gerri has used her talents and insight to develop clear, concise, and intuitive guides for readers of all ages. The team that Gordon and Gerri have assembled in Cambridge is truly one of the most customer-focused groups I've ever seen."

More About Hachette's Rapid Replenishment Program

More about Hachette's rapid replenishment program, announced on Tuesday, under which all orders received on Mondays by 3 p.m., Eastern time, will be entered, picked, packed and guaranteed to arrive no later than Friday of the same week. Orders placed Tuesday through Friday will be entered, picked and packed within 24 hours and shipped standard method.

The program is for independent retailers "in good standing within the continental 48 states, and normal small pack, stock availability and freight rules apply." Besides all Hachette Book Group divisions, the following Hachette distribution clients are participating in the program: Abrams, Chronicle, Disney, Gildan Media, Marvel, Octopus, Paula Deen Ventures, Peterson's, Phaidon, Quarto, Quercus, Time Inc. (including Liberty Street and Oxmoor House). For now, Hachette U.K., Moleskine U.S. and Moleskine Canada are unable to participate.

Karen Torres, Hachette's v-p, director of field sales and account marketing, said: "At HBG, our primary goal is to help our bookselling partners and that is a major part of our daily focus and at the forefront of every conversation. This rapid replenishment program is a small step toward a major commitment we have made as publishing partners to the independent market place. We look forward to the benefits this program brings and look forward to shared success."


Image of the Day: Furiously Happy in Florida

Jenny Lawson, aka the Bloggess, visited Books & Books in Coral Gables, Fla., where she spoke and signed copies of her new memoir, Furiously Happy (Flatiron Books). She's pictured here with the Dapper Dolls. 

YA Authors at High Speed: Green vs. Stiefvater

Bestselling YA authors John Green and Maggie Stiefvater will "make some noise" tomorrow when they race for charity at Princeton Speedway in Princeton, Minn. On her blog, Stiefvater described the upcoming scenario this way: "[M]any cars! many laps! leading up to Maggie in Mitsubishi vs. John Green in race car... nothing can go wrong." The friendly competition will benefit Driver’s Edge, "an awesome non-profit that runs a free half-day program for drivers ages 21 and younger, teaching driver safety, real life emergency avoidance, and response techniques," Stiefvater wrote.

Consortium Adds Seven Publishers

Consortium Book Sales & Distribution has added seven new client publishers for the spring 2016 season (all begin distribution on January 1, except for Unfiltered Media, which began in August):

2dcloud, Minneapolis, Minn., a comics publisher and "visual purveyor" founded in 2007 as an artists' collective. Forthcoming titles include Turning Japanese by MariNaomi and Gulag Casual, a short story collection by Austin English.

ChiZine Publications, Toronto, Ont., which publishes comics, graphic novels and traditional titles to adults and teens. Its list includes the anthology Fearful Symmetries, edited by Ellen Datlow, which won a 2014 Bram Stoker Award and was nominated for a 2015 World Fantasy Award, as well as the collection Remember Why You Fear Me by Robert Shearman, which won a 2013 British Fantasy Award.

Daylight Books, Hillsborough, N.C., which was founded in 2003 and evolved from a quarterly magazine to a publisher of high-quality art and photography books as well as digital and multimedia work. Forthcoming titles include Ground: A Reprise of Photographs from the Farm Security Administration by William McDowell with text by Rosanne Cash and Wendell Berry and Tiger Legacy: Stories of Massillon Football by Gary Harwood and David Foster.

Fabled Films Press, New York City, which begins publishing books in the spring. The first of a 15-book middle grade series, The Nocturnals: The Mysterious Abductions is by Tracey Hecht and illustrated by Kate Liebman. Books will be supported with animated web series and social media as well as websites featuring activities for children, parents, bookstores, educators and librarians.

Garnet Publishing, Reading, England, which publishes novels and trade nonfiction as well as fine art, travel and cookery books, with an emphasis on Middle Eastern subject matter by Arab, Iranian and Western authors. It includes the Ithaca Press imprint, which publishes academic books in Middle Eastern studies, and Periscope, launched this year to publish fiction and nonfiction from around the world.

NubeOcho, Madrid, Spain, which specializes in children's picture books that promote values, equality and diversity. Its U.S. titles will have both English and Spanish editions.

Unfiltered Media, Fort Collins, Colo., founded by John Bolton, offers everything from print and digital magazines and books to online learning courses and videos, as well as apps, retreats, festivals and more. Its first book, published in September, was The Craft Beer Kitchen by Cooper Brunk. Next August it will publish The Illustrated Guide to Homebrewing.

Personnel Changes at Open Road

At Open Road Integrated Media:

Philip Rappaport has been promoted to v-p, director of publishing partnerships.
Jennifer Jackson has been promoted to editorial director, community sites.
Matthew Thompson has been promoted to editor of the Lineup.
Jack Palmer has been promoted to senior analytics manager.

Book Trailer of the Day: Write Back Soon!

Write Back Soon! Adventures in Letter Writing by Karen Benke (Roost Books/Shambhala), a book about the joys and power of handwritten notes, cards, letters and postcards, with contributions from Neil Gaiman, Ruth Ozeki, Jane Hirshfield, Natalie Goldberg, Gary Snyder, Wendy Mass and others.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Andy Goldsworthy on Fresh Air

This morning on the Today Show: Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton, authors of A Spooky, Sparkly Halloween (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $18, 9780316283045), the latest in the Very Fairy Princess series.


Today on Fresh Air: Andy Goldsworthy, author of Andy Goldsworthy: Ephemeral Works: 2004-2014 (Abrams, $85, 9781419717796).


Tomorrow morning on CBS This Morning: Grace Jones, co-author of I'll Never Write My Memoirs (Gallery, $26.99, 9781476765075). She will also appear on Entertainment Tonight.


Tomorrow on NPR's On Point: James Shapiro, author of The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606 (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781416541646).


Tomorrow on PBS's Theater Talk: Michael Riedel, author of Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway (Simon & Schuster, $27, 9781451672169).


Tomorrow on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher: Patrick Kennedy, author with Stephen Fried of A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey Through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction (Blue Rider Press, $28.95, 9780399173325).

TV: Sherlock Trailer

A new PBS trailer "provides some clues about Sherlock's long-anticipated and well-guarded one-off special set in Victorian times," reported. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman "trade in their modern trappings for a ghostly trip in the wayback machine to the 19th century, complete with deerstalker cap (for Holmes) and handlebar mustache (for Watson). The Sherlock special will also be released in theaters, but no PBS premiere date has been announced.

This Weekend on Book TV: Brooklyn Book Festival Panels

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this weekend from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, October 10
1 p.m. Panel discussions from the Brooklyn Book Festival, held on September 20 in Brooklyn, N.Y. (Re-airs Sunday at 1 a.m.)

7 p.m. Edward Hudgins, author of The Republican Party's Civil War: Will Freedom Win? (The Atlas Society, $9.99, 9781941307021). (Re-airs Sunday at 1 p.m. and Monday at 1 a.m.)

7:15 p.m. Ben Mezrich, author of Once Upon a Time in Russia: The Rise of the Oligarchs (Atria, $28, 9781476771892), at Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, Mass. (Re-airs Sunday at 11:15 p.m.)

8 p.m. Dale Russakoff, author of The Prize: Who's in Charge of America's Schools? (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27, 9780547840055). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 a.m. and Monday at 4 a.m.)

11 p.m. Annie Jacobsen, author of The Pentagon's Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America's Top-Secret Military Research Agency (Little, Brown, $30, 9780316371766). (Re-airs Sunday at 7 p.m.

Sunday, October 11
12 a.m. Irwin Gellman, author of The President and the Apprentice: Eisenhower and Nixon, 1952-1961 (Yale University Press, $40, 9780300181050). (Re-airs Sunday at 5 p.m.)

9 a.m. Jeff Smith, author of Mr. Smith Goes to Prison: What My Year Behind Bars Taught Me About America's Prison Crisis (St. Martin's Press, $25.99, 9781250058409). (Re-airs Sunday at 8 p.m.)

10 p.m. Kenneth Walsh, author of Celebrity in Chief: A History of the Presidents and the Culture of Stardom (Routledge, $27.95, 9781612057064).

Books & Authors

IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:

The Gilded Life of Matilda Duplaine by Alex Brunkhorst (MIRA, $26.99, 9780778317531). "As Thomas walked into Lily Goldman's antiques shop, he had no idea that his life was about to change completely. Assigned to write about Lily's deceased father, a famous film industry mogul, Thomas meets a host of fabulously wealthy and eccentric people, and quickly becomes a part of their privileged lives. Things get complicated when he meets Matilda, daughter of the most powerful man in L.A., who has kept her confined to their estate her whole life. Thomas's journalistic instincts kick in as he is falling for Matilda and soon he uncovers many secrets the powerful people would rather not be revealed." --Lori-Jo Scott, Island Bookstore, Kitty Hawk, N.C.

Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins (Riverhead, $27.95, 9781594634239). "Watkins' depiction of a sun-scorched, drought-plagued West is a hypnotic and terrifying vision of an otherworldly and perhaps most frightening of all, not too distant future. Part J.G. Ballard, part Joan Didion, Gold Fame Citrus explores the complexities of human relationships in the face of environmental catastrophe. Loneliness, jealousy, heartbreak, love, loyalty--even in a post-apocalyptic wasteland people are still people, though just what sort of people is another thing altogether. Haunting, hallucinatory, the world crafted by Watkins is a dream of the future that will not be soon forgotten." --Emily Ballaine, Green Apple Books on the Park, San Francisco, Calif.

Night Blindness by Susan Strecker (St. Martin's Griffin, $15.99, 9781250042842). "Family tragedy and guilt are too much for 16-year-old Jensen Reilly to handle by herself, but that is what she tries to do for 13 years. She abandons everything that defines her and starts a new life as an artist and model, eventually eloping with her art professor. Jensen is finally forced to face her past, her old friends, her family, and her first true love when her father is diagnosed with a brain tumor and she returns home to help care for him. Night Blindness is a story of first love, family, grief, guilt, forgiveness, and how the truth can truly set one free." --Nancy MacFarlane, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, S.C.

For Ages 4 to 8
Even Monsters Say Good Night by Doreen Mulryan Marts (Capstone Young Readers, $14.95, 9781623702564). "It's bedtime and Avery is afraid to go to sleep. She knows that there are monsters in her closet, under her bed, and hiding in her room. When she asks her mother about them, the answers surprise her. After all, even monsters need their sleep. With brightly colored pictures and a gentle text, this book will reassure little ones who worry about monsters at night." --Janice Hunsche, Kaleidosaurus Books, Metamora, Ind.

For Ages 9 to 12
The Doldrums by Nicholas Gannon (Greenwillow Books, $17.99, 9780062320940). "Archer Benjamin Helmsley yearns for adventure. After all, his grandparents are famous for their worldly expeditions and Archer knows that 'being a Helmsley means something.' Archer's mother has different plans for him and keeps him confined to their house, but Archer has his creatures, his books, and his imagination and is very skilled at escaping his mother's watch. Archer plans his own expedition to find his lost grandparents and convinces his friends, Oliver and Adelaide, to join him in some rollicking adventures of their own. Gannon has readers laughing at Archer's antics, and his fantastic illustrations throughout enhance the amusement in this amazing debut." --Arna Lewis, Buttonwood Books & Toys, Cohasset, Mass.

For Teen Readers
Dumplin' by Julie Murphy (Balzer + Bray, $17.99, 9780062327185). "Willowdean Davis is fat. And you can either back her up or back off. She is self-confident, fearless, funny, and comfortable in her own skin. Life in Clover City, Texas, has been just fine. She's got her best friend, Ellen, and she survives the Miss Blue Bonnet Clover City pageant each year. Willowdean's mother is a former Miss Blue Bonnet and chairs the pageant. It's only when she meets Bo, a cute co-worker who seems to like her as much as she likes him, that she begins to doubt herself. To find her self-confidence again, Willowdean enters the pageant to prove that she deserves the spotlight as much as anyone else. Murphy tells Willowdean's story with wit, sass, and kindness."--Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop, Books, Houston, Texas

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, October 13:

The Last of the President's Men by Bob Woodward (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781501116445) tells the story of Alexander Butterfield, the Nixon aide who revealed the President's taping system.

Humans of New York: Stories by Brandon Stanton (St. Martin's Press, $29.99, 9781250058904) is based on a popular blog that catalogues residents of New York City.

All the Stars in the Heavens: A Novel by Adriana Trigiani (Harper, $26.99, 9780062319197) follows a young actress in 1930s Hollywood.

The Art of The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $40, 9780544636347) includes Tolkien's drawings, from sketches to full illustrations and maps, many previously unpublished.

Duplicity: A Novel by Newt Gingrich and Pete Earley (Center Street, $26, 9781455530427) is a thriller about an attack on an American embassy.

Hell's Foundations Quiver by David Weber (Tor, $27.99, 9780765321879) is book eight in the sci-fi Safehold series.

We That Are Left by Clare Clark (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28, 9780544129993) follows two privileged British sisters in the early 20th-century.

Goosebumps, starring Jack Black as R.L. Stine, opens October 16. The imaginary monsters of Stine's Goosebumps series come to life in a small Maryland town.

Truth, based on the book by Mary Mapes, explores the 2004 report critical of George W. Bush's military service that cost anchor Dan Rather (Robert Redford) and producer Mary Mapes (Cate Blanchett) their jobs. Opens October 16. A movie tie-in (St. Martin's Griffin, $16.99, 9781250098450) is available October 13.

Room, based on the novel by Emma Donoghue, opens October 16. A movie tie-in (Harper Perennial, $9.99, 9781443449625) is available.

Book Review

Review: The Uncollected David Rakoff

The Uncollected David Rakoff by David Rakoff, edited by Timothy G. Young (Anchor, $15.95 trade paper, 9780307946478, October 27, 2015)

Essayist, actor, humorist and frequent contributor to This American Life, David Rakoff (Half Empty) passed away in 2012 from a public, on-again, off-again diagnosis with lymphatic cancer. But "what a fabulous accessory," he thinks after coaxing a beautiful man at a party to feel the pea-sized lump in his neck. In "My Sister of Perpetual Mercy," which opens The Uncollected David Rakoff, he is just over 20 years old, working for a publisher in Tokyo, and must return home to Canada, where there await family, doctors, chemo treatment and the long journey toward recovery--none of it tolerable without the patience and care from his sister Ruth.

Ever the frank observer, Rakoff dares as often to expose his insecurities as critique the suppositions of others. "When I found out that it was not AIDS but a highly curable form of cancer... I could not justify for myself a place within the hierarchy of suffering that belonged to either the gay community or those who had had to live through, or die of, truly serious cancer." He later adds that acquaintances still "thought that Hodgkin's was merely a cover-up" for AIDS. His analysis of assumptions and stereotypes pervades his body of work--as the nature-phobic writer for Outside, as the aspiring actor given roles that he describes to Fresh Air's Terry Gross as "Jewy McHebrew" and "Fudgy McPacker"--but his incisive wit reliably steers away from angst and self-pity. His tone is sober until it is sardonic, never maudlin.

Which is not to say that curator Timothy G. Young has collected a cold, distant Rakoff into this volume. Quite the contrary! These pieces are open, playful, friendly and touching. In "The Love That Dare Not Squeak Its Name," written for Salon, Rakoff drolly queers the text of Stuart Little by suggesting that the boy who looked like a mouse seemed "somewhat like myself, pretty gay"--what with his tiny costumes and props, feeble and ill-fated love affairs, and iconic work as a sailor. Amidst the heaping irreverence, the catharsis of the essay offers a tender look at what it can be like to grow up different.

Some pieces are purely for laughs, like his immersive study of young adult pop culture ("Tweenage Wasteland"), his guide to being a pedestrian in New York City ("Walk This Way"), and his declaration to pet owners everywhere ("I Like My Dog. Yours? Not So Much."), but the strength of Rakoff's work has always been his sincere blend of humor and pathos, on brilliant display in Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish. The rhyming novella, his final work, is reproduced in its entirety here--lacking the original artwork by Chip Kidd and Seth that it was initially published with.

A heterogeneous collection of essays, journal entries, blog posts, radio transcripts and fiction, The Uncollected David Rakoff presents a full, shining complement from a jack of many trades. It's just hard to accept that it will be the last. --Dave Wheeler, associate editor, Shelf Awareness

Shelf Talker: Humorist David Rakoff's miscellaneous pieces and interviews are finally corralled into one fine, posthumous volume.

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