Also published on this date: Wednesday, October 21, 2015: Maximum Shelf: Tenacity

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Mariner Books: Everyone This Christmas Has a Secret: A Festive Mystery by Benjamin Stevenson

Grove Press: Brightly Shining by Ingvild Rishøi, Translated Caroline Waight

Running Press Adult: Scam Goddess: Lessons from a Life of Cons, Grifts, and Schemes by Laci Mosley

Broadleaf Books: Trespass: Portraits of Unhoused Life, Love, and Understanding by Kim Watson

Nancy Paulsen Books: Sync by Ellen Hopkins

Running Press Adult: Cat People by Hannah Hillam

Beaming Books: Must-Have Autumn Reads for Your Shelf!

Dial Press: Like Mother, Like Mother by Susan Rieger


Diana's Books & More Reopens in Elkin, N.C.

Diana's Books and More, Elkin, N.C., officially reopened Monday under new ownership and at a new location--126 West Main St., the Elkin Tribune reported. Carrie and Scotty Vestal purchased the store in August from Cicely McCulloch, who launched the bookshop nearly 23 years ago.

"We're so happy to be able to carry on Cicely's dream of having a bookstore in downtown," Vestal said.

Peachtree Teen: Compound Fracture by Andrew Joseph White

BookHampton to Close After the Holidays

BookHampton plans to close its stores in East Hampton and Southhampton, N.Y., at the end of the year after more than 40 years in business, unless a potential new owner comes forward. Noting the stores were doing well, owner Charline Spektor said it was time to start a new chapter in her life: "Our store is still run by book-lovers and still cherished by book-lovers and you walk down Main Street and people are still buzzing about books. I've loved every moment of operating BookHampton. It's been an honor.

"My decision to move on is strictly personal. I want to focus all my energy on the nation's gun violence crisis, and be able to fully participate in reclaiming our country's sanity and safety. I had to make a choice. And now I think we're all hoping that someone will come along, a white knight who'll step in and rescue BookHampton; that would be a fairy tale ending."

Spektor told Dan's Papers "the booksellers that we have are people who really read books--they don't pretend to read books. They know books. They have a depth of book knowledge. That's an incredible resource and that shouldn't be lost. So my sincere hope is that someone or some group of people will come along and say this is too good to let go of--because it is. It's something irretrievable."

Inner Traditions: Expand your collection with these must-have resource books!

Barnes & Noble to Buy Back Shares

The Barnes & Noble board of directors has authorized a stock repurchase program under which the company may buy as much as $50 million of its common shares. There is no expiration date for the program, which can be suspended or discontinued at any time.

Companies usually institute stock repurchase programs when they believe their stock is undervalued. Fewer  outstanding shares usually increases the value of the existing shares.

Wall Street liked B&N's news. Yesterday, when most stocks fell, B&N shares rose 2.7%, to $13.53.

Sourcebooks Acquires 1-2-3 Magic Parenting Series

Sourcebooks has acquired 1-2-3 Magic, a bestselling parenting and child discipline series by clinical psychologist Thomas W. Phelan. The partnership will officially begin on January 1, 2016, with the publication by Sourcebooks of the sixth edition of 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12. Also in 2016, Sourcebooks will publish new editions of 1-2-3 Magic in the Classroom and Surviving Your Adolescents, and a new edition of All About ADHD will appear in 2017.

Phelan has published his books himself under the Parent Magic Inc. name and is distributed by IPG. 1-2-3 Magic has sold more than 1.6 million copies worldwide.

Obituary Note: Gerald J. Gross

Gerald J. Gross, "a noted American publisher and editor whose stable of authors included former Nazi official Albert Speer, Eudora Welty, Robert Penn Warren, Barbara W. Tuchman and E.E. Cummings," died last Thursday, the Baltimore Sun reported. He was 94. His first job in publishing was with Rynal & Hitchcok in 1945, a company that merged with Harcourt Brace, where he remained for 14 years. He later worked for Pantheon and in 1962, he joined Macmillan, where as senior v-p he was in charge of the company's general book division. Gross left publishing in 1975 and moved to Boston, where he was named v-p for arts, publications and media at Boston University.

Notes from Frankfurt, Part 3

An unsung but crucial group in the book world met at the 37th International Supply Chain Seminar at the Frankfurt Book Fair, marking the seminar's return to a free-standing event rather than being part of other events--Tools of Change, then Contec--over the past four years.

The supply chain specialists celebrated the 50th anniversary of standard numbering, whose origins go back to an announcement in 1965 by British retailer W.H. Smith that it wanted to move to a computerized warehouse within two years. This led to the development of a "Standard" Book Number, which soon spread from the U.K. around the world and became the ISBN.

Jonathan Nowell

In a keynote speech, Jonathan Nowell, president of Nielsen Book, gave an overview of metadata and standards, which besides the ISBN, include other key elements of EDI (electronic data interchange), particularly ONIX, the international standard for providing metadata about books, and the relatively new Thema, which is the international standard for book subject classifications.

Graham Bell, executive director of EDItEUR, which organized the well-attended seminar, had suggested to Nowell that his talk could be "something of a valedictory address" and could be "more hard hitting," since Nowell is leaving Nielsen at the end of the year. Nowell noted that he's still working at the company, so "in regard to being hard hitting," the talk "may just be hitting."

He praised the ISBN as the "best standard in the world," one that "makes sure customers receive the item they want." He added that it is "at the heart of publisher distribution services" and is used in some 150 countries. "ISBN is a force for good."

Another "force for good" is ONIX, which was first published in 2000. The new 3.0 version is supposed to have been adopted by now, but the last version is "so good" that its sunset is like "the extended twilight of a Scandinavian summer." Otherwise, ONIX is "a very clear success story." The standard is "truly internationally consistent and designed for all supply chain partners," Nowell said. ONIX has "driven down costs" and is ever more important in the digital age.

He quoted a 2012 Nielsen white paper that established an important link between the quality of metadata and sales. Both in bricks-and-mortar stores and online, the paper found that the more metadata a book had, the better the book sold, particularly online. For example, a book with "enhanced data"--a book description, an author biography and reviews--sold offline on average 35% better than books with no enhanced data. Online "the difference was nothing short of phenomenal," Nowell said, with sales 178% better for the book with enhanced data. His conclusion: metadata is "absolutely fundamental to online discovery."

As a result, he asked, "Should we give the task of creating that metadata to the intern? I think the answer is no.... We need to continue to preach the manta that metadata drives sales."

Nowell noted, too, that accurate, comprehensive sales data is not possible without metadata and identification standards and "the collaboration of the whole book business." While most members of the book business work together, he singled out Amazon for withholding information about e-book sales. "What bugs me most about this is that in so many ways the early success of Amazon when it was purely a bookselling business was built on standards and systems created from book business collaboration," he said.

He emphasized that "despite the wonders of ONIX," creating accurate detailed metadata is challenging as the number of titles grows dramatically. In 2003, Nielsen Book had four million title records in its database; by comparison, in 2015, there are 26 million title records in its database. --John Mutter


Image of the Day: Burke's 140th Birthday Bash

On Sunday, owners Cheryl and Corey Mesler celebrated the 140th birthday of Burke's Books, Memphis, Tenn., with a party that featured Champagne, prizes and, of course, cake. Check the Burke's Books Facebook page for images from the store's archives.

Happy 25th Birthday, Mystery Lovers Bookshop!

Congratulations to Mystery Lovers Bookshop in Oakmont, Pa., which will celebrate its 25th anniversary on October 31 with a free, all-day event. The festivities will begin at 11 a.m., with author Nancy Martin on hand to read from her new novel, Miss Ruffles Inherits Everything. Next, Mary Alice Gorman and Richard Goldman, the founders of Mystery Lovers Bookshop, will appear for a meet and greet and a "very special announcement." The celebration will wind down with the store's annual 10-Cent Book Sale, with all proceeds from that going to charity. The event is free, and light refreshments will be available throughout the day.

Cool Idea of the Day: 'Travels with Flannery'

Bonnie Jo Campbell with Flannery O'Connor and Joyce Carol Oates

Bonnie Jo Campbell, who is touring for her story collection Mothers, Tell Your Daughters (Norton), made her third appearance recently at Dog Ears Books in Northport, Mich. As owner Pamela Grath described the event on her blog, Campbell "is frank, funny, honest, and engaging, and the audience is enthralled without being intimidated. There are questions and lively conversation. People buy books and have Bonnie sign them. Lots of pictures are taken with big cutout figures of Flannery O’Connor and Joyce Carol Oates, two authors near and dear to Campbell's literary heart. Contagious smiles and laughter fill the air." Campbell has been chronicling her "Travels with Flannery" on Facebook.

In addition, Grath noted that "a couple married just last Saturday and honeymooning on Spider Lake near Traverse City found their way into the bookstore. She works at Literati in Ann Arbor. They were touring M-22 and could not pass by Dog Ears Books. A bookstore honeymoon! Plus, for the bride, a fortuitous meeting with author Bonnie Jo Campbell, who will be at Literati Bookstore on October 20."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Steve Knopper on Diane Rehm

Tomorrow morning on Morning Joe: Kevin Costner and Jon Baird, co-authors of The Explorers Guild: Volume One: A Passage to Shambhala (Atria, $29.99, 9781476727394).


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


Tomorrow on the View: David Zinczenko, author of Zero Belly Cookbook (Ballantine, $28, 9781101964804).


Tomorrow on Dr. Oz: Ray Lewis, co-author of I Feel Like Going On: Life, Game, and Glory (Touchstone, $26.99, 9781501112355).


Tomorrow on MSNBC's Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell: Joe Klein, author of Charlie Mike: A True Story of Heroes Who Brought Their Mission Home (Simon & Schuster, $27, 9781451677300). He will also appear on CNN's Fareed Zakaria.


Tomorrow on Diane Rehm: Steve Knopper, author of MJ: The Genius of Michael Jackson (Scribner, $27, 9781476730370).


Tomorrow on Watch What Happens Live: Whoopi Goldberg, author of If Someone Says "You Complete Me," RUN!: Whoopi's Big Book of Relationships (Hachette Books, $26, 9780316302012).


Tomorrow night on the Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore: Judah Friedlander, author of If the Raindrops United: Drawings and Cartoons (Hachette Books, $16.99, 9780316306959).

Movies: Lives of Lee Miller; Molly Shannon as Emily Dickinson

Kate Winslet will portray the iconic war photographer, artist, model and muse Lee Miller in a film adaptation of The Lives of Lee Miller by Antony Penrose, the Bookseller reported. Troy Lum, managing director of Hopscotch Features, and Andrew Mason will produce the film and have been granted "exclusive access to the Lee Miller Archives."


Molly Shannon (Saturday Night Live) is starring in a "low-budget indie feature" for writer-director Madeleine Olnek (The Foxy Merkins), reported, noting that the "comedy-period piece about famed poet Dickinson has been described as kind of an 'experimental' piece with Shannon taking the title role as an adult Emily and relative newcomer Dana Melanie playing Young Emily." Also in the cast are Susan Ziegler, Amy Seimetz (The Killing), Brett Gelman (Jobs) and Sasha Frolova. The title and plot are "being kept under wraps, but filming is all but wrapped" on the project that is currently seeking distribution, wrote.

Books & Authors

Awards: DSC for South Asian Literature Longlist

An 11-book longlist has been released for the $50,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, which recognizes authors who "represent the best works of fiction related to the South Asian region." A shortlist will be announced November 26 and the winner named January 16 at the Galle Literary Festival in Sri Lanka. This year's longlisted titles are:

The Way Things Were by Aatish Taseer
Family Life by Akhil Sharma
Odysseus Abroad by Amit Chaudhuri
Sleeping on Jupiter by Anuradha Roy
Hang Woman by K.R. Meera, translated by J. Devika
A Little Dust on the Eyes by Minoli Salgado 
The Book of Gold Leaves by Mirza Waheed 
The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne
The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee
She Will Build Him a City by Raj Kamal Jha
Don't Let Him Know by Sandip Roy

Book Brahmin: Gavin McCrea

photo: Eugene Langan

Gavin McCrea was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1978, and holds a BA and MA from University College Dublin and an MA and a PhD from the University of East Anglia. He divides his time between the U.K. and Spain. His debut novel, Mrs. Engels (Catapult, October 13, 2015), focuses on Lizzie Burns, an illiterate Irishwoman who was the longtime lover of Friedrich Engels.

On your nightstand now:

It feels like a long time since I have read disinterestedly. I choose books (both fiction and nonfiction) that I think will enrich my own writing practice, and I enjoy them all the more for this. Since my second novel will be set in the mid-20th century, I've put myself on a strict diet of literature from the 1930s to the 1960s. The current pile on my nightstand includes the following, stacked in chronological order: Virginia Woolf's Between the Acts (1941), Patrick Hamilton's Hangover Square (1941), Lynne Reid Bank's The L-Shaped Room (1960), Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook (1962) and Muriel Spark's The Girls of Slender Means (1963). I see now that a decade is missing. I won't sleep tonight.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Roald Dahl's Matilda. When I was 10 or 11 years old,I was lucky enough to meet Dahl at a signing in Dublin. He scribbled on my copy of Matilda: "Gavin, Love Roald Dahl." It is the only book that I still possess from my childhood, and I cherish it.

Your top five authors:

I'd like to wander hand-in-hand with Marcel Proust. I'd like to smoke opium with Oscar Wilde. I'd like to do drag with Ernest Hemingway. I'd like to go clubbing with Michel Foucault. I'd like to kiss Samuel Beckett's eyes. I'd like to get still with Herman Hesse. I'd like to be neighbors with Ali Smith. I'd like to share an office with Elizabeth Strout. I'd like to marry Sebastian Barry. And I'd like Carol Shields to be my mother-in-law. (How many is that--10? Five is a life half lived.)

Book you've faked reading:

I once taught a university seminar on George Gissing's New Grub Street without having read it. It was--hands down--the best seminar I ever ran. Student-led teaching, I believe it's called.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Primo Levi's The Periodic Table. Amen.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Helen Macdonald's H Is for Hawk. That turned out well. I should do it more often.

Book that changed your life:

John McGahern's Memoir. When I finished it, I wept for an entire day. It felt like I'd never properly cried before in my life--which I probably hadn't. Nothing was the same afterwards.

Favorite line from a book:

I admire the opening line of Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea: "They say when trouble comes close ranks, and so the white people did." They don't get much better than that.

Which character you most relate to:

The one who craves what s/he fears most: vulnerability.

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

I don't think I've ever re-read a book in its entirety. If one day I were to take up this weird practice, I'd probably give James Joyce's Ulysses another whirl.

Watch Out, Picasso: Kids' Books About Art

Children's books that are meant to look like they are drawn (at least partially) by children are popping up all over this fall. It's as if there were a big sale on crayons and colored pencils! Here are three of our favorites, plus The School of Art, an illuminating book of 40 art lessons in case any budding artists are inspired by this creative explosion.

Written and Drawn by Henrietta by Liniers (Toon Books, $12.95, hardcover, 9781935179900, 64p., ages 6-11, September 29, 2015)
"A box of colored pencils is as close as you can get to owning a piece of the rainbow," says a girl to her cat, Fellini. She proceeds, frame by frame, to illustrate an excellent book called The Monster with Three Heads and Two Hats, and Fellini approves. A charming exploration of the creative process--also released in Spanish--by the Argentine comic artist Liniers.

Lily and Bear by Lisa Stubbs (Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster, $17.99, hardcover, 9781481444163, 32p., ages 4-8, September 29, 2015)
Lily loves to draw with crayons, and she draws everything from teapots to pirates. One day, she draws Bear, and they have fantastic adventures together, including tea parties and sailing the "carpet seas" of her home in an imagined pirate ship. Of course, as is only fair in a friendship, sometimes they do Bear things, like picking huckleberries. A sweet picture-book debut about art and imagination, bears and banjos.

The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt, illus. by Oliver Jeffers (Philomel/Penguin, $18.99, hardcover, 9780399172755, 48p., ages 6-8, August 18, 2015)
In this clever companion to The Day the Crayons Quit, Duncan's cast-off crayons send him desperate postcards from around the world, pleading to be rescued from various indignities such as being abandoned poolside on a family vacation (that is Neon Red Crayon, used to draw Dad's sunburn) or melted to Duncan's sock in the dryer, like poor Turquoise Crayon. P.S. Glow in the Dark Crayon is still in the basement from last Halloween.

The School of Art: Learn How to Make Great Art with 40 Simple Lessons by Teal Triggs, illus. by Daniel Frost (Wide Eyed Editions, $19.99, hardcover, 9781847807007, 96p., ages 8-14, August 15, 2015)
Lesson 1: How does a line begin? Lesson 22: How do we draw realistic human proportions? Lesson 27: What is "asymmetry?" Basic design principles for young artists from sculptors to animators are introduced in this lively, instructive, stylishly illustrated primer written by Teal Triggs of London's Royal College of Art. The book is beautiful, and very cleanly designed, which is a good sign. --Karin Snelson, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness

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. Wicked After Dark by Various
3. Until Jax (Until Him) by Aurora Rose Reynolds
4. Firestorm (The Elemental Series: Volume 3) by Shannon Mayer
5. First 100 Words by Roger Priddy
6. Kill Shot (Code 11--KPD SWAT Book 6) by Lani Lynn Vale
7. Beautiful Storm by Barbara Freethy
8. Shopping for a CEO (Shopping for a Billionaire series Book 7, Volume 7) by Julia Kent
9. Sweet Christmas Kisses 2 by Various
10. Sunset Point (Shelter Bay: Volume 10) by JoAnn Ross

[Many thanks to!]

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