Shelf Awareness for Monday, November 2, 2015

Workman Publishing: Ejaculate Responsibly: A Whole New Way to Think about Abortion by Gabrielle Stanley Blair

Simon & Schuster: Defend Banned Books

Simon & Schuster: Defend Banned Books

Blackstone Publishing: River Woman, River Demon by Jennifer Givhan

Sourcebooks Explore: Black Boy, Black Boy by Ali Kamanda and Jorge Redmond, illustrated by Ken Daley

Editors' Note

'Too Many Books!'

Shelves in our new office, waiting to be filled with books.

"There're too many books!"

--everyone in Shelf Awareness's Seattle office, at some point in the last week.

After much packing and moving, Shelf Awareness is settling in to our new office!

Our Seattle address now is 811 1st Ave., Suite 315, Seattle, WA 98104. Phone and fax numbers remain the same.

Please note that all galleys for review--including children's and YA titles--should be sent to this address.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: All I Want for Christmas by Maggie Knox


Assouline Launching Store in Houston Restaurant

Assouline's boutique at the Plaza Hotel in NYC.

Assouline, the luxury book publisher that has free-standing boutiques and "stores within stores," including "corners" inside three Books & Books stores in Florida, is opening a "stand-alone store" in the renovated Table restaurant near the Galleria in Houston, Tex., according to Culturemap of Houston.

The new space, to be called La Table, will include "a casual restaurant downstairs [La Table Marché], a fine dining restaurant upstairs [La Table Chateau] and private event/catering spaces all under one roof." The downstairs area will have a bakery and the Assouline store, all of which is intended to create "a sense of the market," Alex Gaudelet, CEO of Invest Hospitality, manager of La Table said.

"What we thought about with Assouline was really bringing culture into the space," Gaudelet added. "The downstairs, with the bakery, throughout the day, you'll have a coffee shop atmosphere. It's the perfect place to pick up a book and read it or even purchase a book. If you're going to a house and you're bringing a baked good, you might as well also pick up a book and give it."

Disney-Hyperion: Drizzle, Dreams, and Lovestruck Things by Maya Prasad

Renovations Planned for Lake Placid's Bookstore Plus

Owners Sarah and Marc Galvin joke that their upstate New York shop, the Bookstore Plus, "is like a second child," Lake Placid News noted in reporting that the indie is about to undergo some renovations that will begin with a change of layout and the addition of new adjustable bookshelves.

"We just want to spruce things up," Marc said. "We don't want to change things dramatically."

Sarah added: "We are kind of doing it in a two-step process. We are going to move the front counter area and our office and art supplies, and then in the spring in April will go through and do lighting and painting, and adding fixtures." The store's layout will be rearranged next month and is expected to be finished by Thanksgiving.

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For 'Authenticity,' Amazon Allows Organized Book 'Reviews'

The Seattle Times investigates how "organized groups are using the Amazon review system to push political and social agendas often only tangentially related to the products being sold."

A prime example is an ugly one from the book world: "more than three dozen reviews" on Amazon of Nurturing Healing Love by Scarlett Lewis, the mother of one of the children murdered in Sandy Hook, Conn., on December 14, 2012. The "reviews" call the author "sick," "a fraud," "a traitor," and other slanders.

"The rage in those reviews is fueled by the conspiracy theory that the Sandy Hook shootings were a hoax, perpetuated by the government to push for tougher gun-control laws," the Seattle Times wrote. "Several were posted after a YouTube user who goes by the handle 'RadMc02' uploaded a video on Oct. 18 encouraging viewers to 'Truth Bomb the S@#t Out of Amazon Reviews!' "

"Reviewers" have also targeted a book by a teacher at Sandy Hook, Choosing Hope by Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis.

Last month, Amazon filed a suit against reviewers who take payment to review products favorably. But it defends the attack reviews. Asked about the ad hominem reviews of the two Sandy Hook books, Amazon spokesman Tom Cook wrote to the Times, "All authentic reviews, whether the reviewer bought the product on Amazon or not, are valuable to customers, helping them make informed buying decisions every day."

Cornell University science and technology professor Trevor Pinch, who has studied Amazon's review system, told the paper that Amazon won't run just verified reviews because "most of the content at the site is from free customer reviews, and it would mean it would lose most of its content."

But so long as Amazon doesn't police the abusive reviews, which are a minority of the reviews, "it does lead to more distrust" of the company's review system, Pinch added.

Obituary Note: David Cesarani

David Cesarani, "an English historian of 20th-century Jewish life whose work included a biography of Adolf Eichmann that sought to refute Hannah Arendt's famous appraisal of him as a banal functionary," died October 25, the New York Times reported. He was 58.

His 2004 book, Eichmann: His Life and Crimes, was published in the U.S. as Becoming Eichmann: Rethinking the Life, Crimes, and Trial of a "Desk Murderer" and received a National Jewish Book Award from the Jewish Book Council in 2006.

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!

How Am I Doing?
40 Conversations to Have with Yourself

by Dr. Corey Yeager

GLOW: Harper Celebrate: How Am I Doing?: 40 Conversations to Have with Yourself by Dr. Corey YeagerWho is the most important person in your life? What determines your joy? What mistakes have you learned from the most? Corey Yeager--a psychotherapist who works with the Detroit Pistons basketball franchise--poses 40 self-reflective questions to facilitate positive personal change. His inviting, empathetic approach came to prominence via the Apple TV series The Me You Can't See, produced by Oprah and Prince Harry. Dr. Yeager draws from his own life story to dispel mental health stigmas and help others gain greater personal clarity. Danielle Peterson, senior acquisition editor at Harper Celebrate, says, "The format of How Am I Doing? makes it a stand-out in the mental health genre--an excellent choice for someone looking for high-density wisdom in small, bite-sized doses." Yeager's winning insights deliver a slam-dunk of empowered inspiration bound to elicit tremendous personal reward. --Kathleen Gerard

(Harper Celebrate, $22.99 hardcover, 9781400236763, 
October 18, 2022)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported



Image of the Day: Transcending Gravity

Staffers at Weiser Books, an imprint of Red Wheel/Weiser, shared a little levity and put their new book Levitation: What It Is, How It Works, How to Do It by Steve Richards to the test.

'Rules for Working in a Modern Library'

Noting that the University of St. Andrews "is to start issuing parking ticket-style warning notices to users of its library who leave their belongings on desks and then disappear for hours, leaving workspaces unavailable for those who actually want to--uh--work," the Guardian took matters a step further: "Death to noisy typists! And other rules for working in a modern library."

Byrd's Books, Bethel, Conn., and the Arts

In a "Sleepy Bethel Wakes Up to a Cultural Landscape," Connecticut News Sunday Magazine yesterday outlined the growth of "the arts scene" in Bethel, Conn., and quoted Alice Hutchinson, writer, reader and owner of Byrd's Books.

"It's smart business to support the arts," Hutchinson said. "A healthy arts community brings revenue to a location.... My job, the job of Byrd's Books, is to open up the literary arts to the community. I just have to get them downtown."

Hutchinson offers "plenty of reasons to visit her bookstore," the magazine wrote. It "hosts writing workshops, book clubs and book signings. It also partners with local businesses to offer community events."

"Bottom line is I love this town," Hutchinson added. "My job now is to get books into the hands of readers. Why not have some fun doing it? I'm building a business I want to shop at, and connecting to others who want to do the same. It's good for Bethel."

Library of Congress Literacy Prize Recipients

First Book, United Through Reading and Beanstalk have won the Library of Congress Literacy Awards, a program to support organizations working to alleviate the problems of illiteracy and aliteracy in the U.S. and worldwide.

The $150,000 David M. Rubenstein Prize was awarded to First Book, which, through nearly 200,000 schools, libraries, after-school programs, social-service organizations and other groups serving children in need, has provided more than 135 million books for children ages 0-18 in low income families in the U.S. and Canada since its founding 23 years ago.

The $50,000 American Prize went to United Through Reading, which, by promoting reading aloud together, helps military families living apart bond and helps military personnel stay involved in their children's literacy development.

The $50,000 International Prize recipient was Beanstalk, a volunteer literacy organization that provides one-on-one support to children ages 6 to 11.

Book Trailer of the Day: Red Tide

Red Tide(Diversion Books), Jeff Lindsay's first book since the Dexter series, continues the story of Billy Knight, a former Los Angeles cop who made his debut 20 years ago in Tropical Depression.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling on Morning Edition

Good Morning America: Stephen King, author of The Bazaar of Bad Dreams: Stories (Scribner, $30, 9781501111679).

Also on Good Morning America: Jeanine Pirro, author of He Killed Them All: Robert Durst and My Quest for Justice (Gallery, $27, 9781501125003).

NPR's Morning Edition: Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling), author of Career of Evil (Mulholland Books, $28, 9780316349932).

Fresh Air: Illeana Douglas, author of I Blame Dennis Hopper: And Other Stories from a Life Lived In and Out of the Movies (Flatiron Books, $25.99, 9781250052919).

Diane Rehm: Jesse Eisenberg, author of Bream Gives Me Hiccups (Grove Press, $26, 9780802124043).

Ellen DeGeneres: David Spade, author of Almost Interesting: The Memoir (Dey Street, $27.99, 9780062376978).

PBS Newshour: John Irving, author of Avenue of Mysteries (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781451664164). He's also on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert tomorrow night.

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Jalen Rose, author of Got to Give the People What They Want: True Stories and Flagrant Opinions from Center Court (Crown Archetype, $28, 9780804138901).

The Daily Show: Fareed Zakaria, author of In Defense of a Liberal Education (Norton, $23.95, 9780393247688).

The O'Reilly Factor: Glenn Beck, author of The Immortal Nicholas (Mercury Ink, $26.99, 9781476798844).

CBS This Morning: Jerry Rice, co-author of 50 Years, 50 Moments: The Most Unforgettable Plays in Super Bowl History (Dey Street, $29.99, 9780062302601).

Good Morning America: Donald J. Trump, author of Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again (Threshold Editions, $25, 9781501137969). He will also appear on Fox & Friends.

Also on Fox & Friends: Rachael Ray, author of Everyone Is Italian on Sunday (Atria, $39.99, 9781476766072), and Jeanine Pirro, author of He Killed Them All: Robert Durst and My Quest for Justice (Gallery, $27, 9781501125003).

Today Show: Neil Patrick Harris, author of Choose Your Own Autobiography (Three Rivers Press, $16, 9780385347013); Tom Brokaw, author of A Lucky Life Interrupted: A Memoir of Hope (Random House, $27, 9781400069699); Mike Lupica, author of Fast Break (Philomel Books, $17.99, 9780399256066).

Diane Rehm: Stephen King, author of The Bazaar of Bad Dreams: Stories (Scribner, $30, 9781501111679).

Tavis Smiley: Gloria Steinem, author of My Life on the Road (Random House, $28, 9780679456209). She will also appear on the Daily Show and the View.

Also on the View: Leah Remini, co-author of Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology (Ballantine, $27, 9781101886960).

The Tonight Show: Bill O'Reilly, co-author of Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency (Holt, $30, 9781627792417).

Movies: The Silent Wife

Nicole Kidman will star in The Silent Wife, based on the novel by A.S.A. Harrison and directed by Adrian Lyne from a script by Billy Ray, Variety reported. The film, which will begin shooting next year, is produced by Kidman, Mazur/Kaplan partners Paula Mazur and Mitchell Kaplan (owner of Books & Books), and Per Saari's Blossom Films.

TV: Midnight, Texas; 11.22.63

NBC plans to adapt Charlaine Harris's Midnight, Texas novels into a drama series for the fall 2016 season. Monica Owusu-Breen (Lost) is writing the project and will executive produce with David Janollari (Six Feet Under). The book series includes Midnight Crossroad, Day Shift and the upcoming Night Shift (May 2016).

This is Harris's third series to be adapted for television. Hallmark Movies & Mysteries recently aired two movies based on the author's Aurora Teagarden novels; and last year, HBO ended its seven-season run of True Blood, adapted from her bestselling Sookie Stackhouse books.

The first images, a synopsis and release date are out for the Hulu Original series 11.22.63, adapted from Stephen King's novel and starring James Franco, io9 reported. The nine-hour event series will premiere February 15, 2016, and will follow weekly from there. The cast also includes Chris Cooper, Josh Duhamel, T.R. Knight, Cherry Jones, Sarah Gadon, Lucy Fry, George MacKay and Daniel Webber.

Books & Authors

Awards: Ivy for Canadian Publishing

David Kent, former president and CEO of HarperCollins Canada, received the 2015 International Visitors Programme's Ivy Award, presented annually to "a person who has made a substantial contribution to Canadian publishing." He was honored last week during the International Festival of Authors in Toronto.

The jury said Kent "has devoted his life to being a champion of talented writers, both established and new--even those gifted writers who were working their way toward publication but had not yet arrived. He was endlessly generous with his time and resources to see to it that good literature was published and read."

Before leading HarperCollins Canada from 2001 until 2014, Kent was president and publisher of Random House of Canada, president and publisher of Doubleday Canada, as well as president and CEO of William Collins & Sons, Canada (now HarperCollins). He began his career in the U.S. with Simon & Schuster in 1975.

Book Review

Review: Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll

Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll by Peter Guralnick (Little, Brown, $32 hardcover, 9780316042741, November 10, 2015)

Much like Sam Phillips himself, author Peter Guralnick is nothing if not "obsessed" and "meticulous" when it comes to chronicling the lives of the founding giants of rock 'n' roll and R&B. He took 1,400 pages to tell the story of Elvis (Last Train to Memphis and Careless Love) and 700 pages for a biography of Sam Cooke (Dream Boogie)--and he's been working on the 750-page Sam Phillips since 1979, when he first met the genius behind Sun Records. The good news is that Guralnick uses those pages to present some of the best history of a musical era that provided the soundtrack for the Baby Boomer generation. Sun Studio was not the only place recording the largely unheralded rhythm and blues musicians in the 1950s but, as Guralnick suggests, Phillips's Sun was the label that spearheaded the migration of that music into what became rock 'n' roll.

Methodically tracing Phillips's life, from his father's tenant farm near the Alabama-Tennessee border to "big city" Memphis, Guralnick focuses on Phillips's relentless drive to bring the sounds of the "poor blacks and poor whites that had been overlooked for so long" to the mainstream. He cut his music teeth in radio and was particularly enamored of Dewey Phillips, who rambunctiously DJ'd Memphis WHBQ's Red Hot and Blue show. With Dewey willing to air anything Sam recorded, Phillips partnered with another radio personality, Marion Keisker, and opened Sun. Although the label gradually achieved success, one employee described the Sun studio as "a shotgun hole-in-the-wall wedged between a greasy spoon and a used-car lot... surrounded by Cadillacs."

The remarkable list of "walk-ins" that launched Sun reads like a who's who of rock 'n' roll, and Guralnick takes his time to describe the studio sessions, the songs and the personalities of each one. Including Howlin' Wolf, B.B. King, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and the big dog of them all, Elvis Presley, Phillips had no sooner recorded his "stars" and put them on the charts when other, bigger labels lured them away. While it might seem that for $35,000 Col. Parker "stole" Phillips's contract with Elvis, in order to sign him with the mighty RCA, that cash allowed Sun to pay its overdue bills and ultimately make significantly more money with big hits like Lewis's Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On and Cash's I Walk the Line.

Sam Phillips's life was not all rock 'n' roll. Divorce, business failures, mental illness, lawsuits and disappointment came his way. Through extensive interviews with Phillips, his sons and his long-time lover and companion, Sally Wilburn, Guralnick captures it all, right up to Phillips's death at age 80. At his funeral, "Sam looked good in his coffin... as more than a thousand people stood in line... [while] a succession of Sun hits played loudly over the funeral home's PA system." Not a bad way to go. --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.

Shelf Talker: Guralnick's biography of "the man who invented rock 'n' roll" is a cornerstone addition to his unmatched backlist of rock music history and biography.

Deeper Understanding

Stand Up Comics: Myths, Legends, and Folktales

Stand Up Comics is a regular column by Adan Jimenez. These titles need no introduction: just read the column, then read some good comics!

The Wicked + The Divine Vol. 1: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie (Image Comics, $9.99, 9781632150196)
The gods return to Earth every 90 years or so, becoming avatars of the latest pop culture trend. In the Roaring Twenties, they were swingers and flappers. Today, the Pantheon are pop stars, selling out concerts, raves and underground sessions. The gods used to be regular teenagers before their powers manifested, and they get to live only for another two years before they must leave this plane of existence again.

Laura is our character of entry, and she couldn't be a better one. She's a teenager in Britain who is wholly in love with all the gods, and guides readers through their various incarnations in a way only a teenage fan could. Gillen and McKelvie have a long history of mixing music and magic (check out their Phonogram), and adding myths to the mix is an excellent way to keep their proto-genre fresh.

I wrote about this title for my Best of 2014 column back in February, but a second volume has recently been released and a third volume will be out early next year, so this is a great time for everybody to start on this excellent series.

Handselling Opportunities: Fans of music and myth, especially a Bowie-inspired Lucifer, and the phenomena of musicians as objects of worship.

Fables Vol. 22: Farewell by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham and Steve Leialoha (Vertigo, $17.99, 9781401252335)
The final collection of the long-running Fables comic features the conclusion of the Snow White/Rose Red war that had been brewing in the previous Happily Ever After collection. The Final Battle is both epic and intimate, and happens the only way it really could.

It also includes many more "Last Stories," which also ran in the previous collection. These stories feature the last stories of many Fables characters, both borrowed and original, including Stinky the Badger, the Lady of the Lake, Clara the Dragon, Santa Claus, Death (sort of), and Bigby and Snow's seven cubs. These are all drawn by some of the greatest artists in comics today, anchored by the amazing Mark Buckingham and Steve Leialoha.

It was not a perfect series (and some of Willingham's recent public comments concerning women in comics can throw cold water on your enjoyment), but I am sad to see it end. I can't say I'll miss the characters, though, because as Bigby put it in the final line of the main story: "I'm going to stay by you until the sun and the moon and the stars spin down into darkness and dust." Fairy tales never really go away, after all.

Handselling Opportunities: Anyone interested in European folktales and new interpretations of the same (though you really should start at the beginning).

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D: 1952 by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi and Alex Maleev (Dark Horse, $19.99, 9781616556600)
For most of his published history, we have seen Hellboy as either the seasoned BPRD veteran or the innocent child who loves pancakes and circuses. But, beyond a few shorts, we have rarely seen Hellboy as a young adult rookie in the BPRD. This volume finally gives readers a much bigger view of that.

Hellboy's first mission as a member of the BPRD is full of everything Hellboy should have: demons, creepy castles, Nazis, mythological creatures, the undead, apes and huge monsters for Hellboy to punch in the face. We also get the beginnings of the restless, impatient and impulsive man Hellboy will grow up to become.

This volume serves as both a reminder of what the original Hellboy comics felt like (before they became all doom and gloom, and were mostly about the boom), with Alex Maleev providing both atmospheric and exciting art, as well as a welcome reprieve from waiting for Mignola to finish drawing the next installment of Hellboy in Hell.

Handselling Opportunities: Fans of the original Hellboy comics who might be champing at the bit for Mignola to finish the art on current Hellboy tales.

ODY-C Vol. 1: Off to Far Ithicaa by Matt Fraction and Christian Ward (Image Comics, $9.99, 9781632153760)
Sing, O Muse, of the cunning of Odyssia, daughter of far and fair Ithicaa, that broke and sacked the siegeworld Troiia, all for the face that launched a thousand swiftships: the beautiful He. It is time to return home, but the goddesses Zeus and Poseidon do not wish their entertainment to end, and so conspire to keep Odyssia as far as possible from fair Ithicaa.

This is a sci-fi retelling of Homer's Odyssey with nearly every major character cast as a female or a Promethene-manufactured intersex gender called sebex. In Fraction's version, the goddesses are just as petty and venial as the gods of the original, and the mortals are just as bloodthirsty and unforgiving. Fraction covers the stories of the Lotus-Eaters, the Cyclops, and Aeolus, the Keeper of the Winds, in just five issues, which  probably makes this the least verbose Odyssey of all time.

Ward's art is mesmerizing, with intense use of line and color making his style very different from pretty much everything else available. I'm sad that the amazing gatefold from the first single issue is missing from the trade. It had the history of Fraction's updated cosmology on one side and possibly Ward's most amazing piece of art on the other, featuring Odyssia and her warriors as they walk through the destroyed Troiia.

Handselling Opportunities: Fans of classical mythology retold.

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