Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Storey Publishing: The Universe in Verse: 15 Portals to Wonder Through Science & Poetry by Maria Popova

Tommy Nelson: You'll Always Have a Friend: What to Do When the Lonelies Come by Emily Ley, Illustrated by Romina Galotta

Jimmy Patterson: Amir and the Jinn Princess by M T Khan

Peachtree Publishers: Erno Rubik and His Magic Cube by Kerry Aradhya, Illustrated by Kara Kramer

Beacon Press: Kindred by Octavia Butler

Inkshares: Mr. and Mrs. American Pie by Juliet McDaniel

Tundra Books: On a Mushroom Day by Chris Baker, Illustrated by Alexandria Finkeldey

Blue Box Press: A Soul of Ash and Blood: A Blood and Ash Novel by Jennifer L Armentrout


Amazon Bookstore Opens Today in Seattle

As was first reported a month ago by Shelf Awareness, Amazon is opening a bricks-and-mortar bookstore, in the U-Village shopping center, in Seattle, Wash., today. Called Amazon Books, the store will stock 5,000-6,000 titles and has 5,500 square feet of retail space and 2,000 for storage, according to the Seattle Times.

The store is "a physical extension of," Jennifer Cast, v-p, Amazon Books, said in a letter to Amazon customers. "We've applied 20 years of online bookselling experience to build a store that integrates the benefits of offline and online book shopping."

The books, which are all displayed face out, are selected, Cast wrote, "based on customer ratings, pre-orders, sales, popularity on Goodreads, and our curators' assessments." Under each book is a review card with its customer rating and a review. The store also has a staff favorites section that, according to the Seattle Times, offers these faves from founder and CEO Jeff Bezos: The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman and Traps by MacKenzie Bezos. (Concerning the last one, he wrote: "A page-turner written by an award-winning novelist, who also happens to be my wife.")

Prices in the store are the same as online, Cast wrote, and GeekWire noted that prices aren't marked and need to be found at a kiosk or with Amazon's app. (The store did not mention how it will handle Amazon's sometimes frequent price changes on books online and its sometimes deep discounting.)

The store has hired 15 people, "including librarians, retail clerks and even a receptionist from Amazon, who loves reading," the Times said. Amazon had approached booksellers at some area bookstores.

Amazon Books will also display "products across our Kindle, Echo, Fire TV, and Fire Tablet series," and "Amazon device experts" will be available to demonstrate products and answer questions, Cast wrote. GeekWire observed that the hardware is "featured directly in the center of the store." The store also has some chairs and, in the children's section, a table and beanbags.

Although the store's inventory is heavily dependent on online sales and reviews, Cast told the Times that the guiding metrics are "data with a heart. We're taking all the data we have and we're creating physical places with it."

Cast added that while "we're completely focused on this bookstore, we hope this is not our only one. But we'll see."

Weldon Owen: The Gay Icon's Guide to Life by Michael Joosten, Illustrated by Peter Emerich

Early Holiday Gift from Penguin Random House

Westminster distribution center staffer Kris Walker readying PRH shipping cartons containing books and two-day transit info.

For the fourth year in a row, Random House is offering its two-day transit holiday shipping program. But this year, the program is being expanded to include all Penguin adult and children's print new releases, frontlist and backlist--in addition to Crown Publishing Group, Random House, Knopf Doubleday, Random House Children's Books and Penguin Random House Audio titles, across all physical formats. And this year titles from all Penguin Random House Publisher Services clients are part of the program.

The 2015 program kicks off this week and runs through January 31. Orders received in the Penguin Random House order system by 3 p.m. Eastern will ship no later than the following business day, with transit time, barring inclement weather, of no more than two days. Penguin Random House titles ship from the company's Westminster, Md., and Crawfordsville, Ind., distribution centers. Both have added weekend shifts so that orders received on Friday and Saturday throughout the pre-holiday and year-end periods can be fulfilled even more quickly than in previous years.

Jaci Updike, president, Penguin Random House Sales, said: "Thanks to our successful completion of this year's distribution center and systems post-merger integrations, we are thrilled to finally be offering Penguin books, as well as complete frontlist and backlist titles from Random House, to our two-day participants. We believe faster replenishment will continue to be an enormous help to our customers' sell-through in November and December, as our in-demand titles will not only be in stock, but also can be highly visible to consumers through in-store display."

Ruth Liebmann, v-p, account marketing, Penguin Random House, added, "This year's Penguin Random House holiday rallying cry is 'two days from our dock to your door.' Booksellers tell us they love that our initiative enables them to spend less time in the backroom worrying about levels on our titles, and more time on the selling floor, assisting and hand-selling their customers."

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

Greenlight Opening Second Location in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Greenlight to be.

Greenlight Bookstore, which opened in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., in 2009, will open a second store, in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, "within the next year."

The 2,100-square-foot space will be in a mixed-use building with 254 apartments that is under construction at 626 Flatbush Avenue. Besides the general bookstore, the space will house Greenlight's offsite sales business. Owners Rebecca Fitting and Jessica Stockton Bagnulo said the new bookstore, like the Fort Greene store, will be "closely tailored to its neighborhood and will host events and seek to partner with local institutions with the goal of becoming a true community space."

Fitting, who lives in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, added: "Right now neighborhood residents have to travel pretty far afield to buy a book, but our plan is to change that by bringing a bookstore to 626 Flatbush. When an emotional investment and a smart business decision coincide, it's a beautiful thing."

Last month, Greenlight announced it was opening a children's pop-up shop inside Play Kids, a toy store in Prospect Lefferts Gardens.

The store's arrival has been "enthusiastically encouraged" by local organizations, Greenlight said, including the Prospect Lefferts Gardens Neighborhood Association, Flatbush Empire Parkside Merchant's Association and PLG Arts, which hosts a neighborhood reading series.

Harpervia: Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow by Damilare Kuku

Publishing Triangle Launches New LGBT Book Prize

The Publishing Triangle, the association of lesbians and gay men in book publishing, has launched a new literary prize called the Publishing Triangle Award for Trans and Gender-Variant Literature. The prize will honor "distinguished works of poetry, nonfiction or fiction from the trans community." The award carries a cash prize of $1,000, and the winner will be announced in April 2016. The deadline for submissions is December 8.

"In recent years we've seen a marked increase in the number of trans titles being submitted to our awards program, and we realized that the books merited their own category," said Trent Duffy of the Publishing Triangle's Awards Committee.


Image of the Day: Wimpy Kid Abroad

For the launch of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School, the 10th book in the series, Abrams organized a global tour for author (and bookseller) Jeff Kinney, starting in Japan with publisher Poplar, who greeted Jeff at Tokyo's Narita Airport. Next up on this leg of the tour: Beijing, China, and Sydney, Australia.

Big Apple Times Takes Shine to Green Apple

From a New York Times Travel article titled "36 Hours in San Francisco":

"First there was Green Apple Books: Opened in 1967, it's a literary institution. Now there's Green Apple Books on the Park, perfectly situated for a morning browse along the Inner Sunset's Ninth Avenue, just south of Golden Gate Park. Don't be fooled by the narrow storefront--the shop reaches far into the interior space, and is big enough to be anchored by a dedicated children's area. Like its sister store, it also hosts events featuring an impressive lineup of writers, including such recent guests as Karl Ove Knausgaard, Maggie Nelson, Aleksandar Hemon and Molly Antopol."

Pennie Picks The Witches

Pennie Clark Ianniciello, Costco's book buyer, has chosen The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff (Little, Brown, $32, 9780316200608) as her pick of the month for November. In Costco Connection, which goes to many of the warehouse club's members, she wrote:

"I've long said that people are infinitely interesting. It seems like a good catch-all for the range of human behavior--the good, the bad and everything in between. One of the most fascinating examples of human behavior, in my opinion, is the Salem witch trials, which are examined in depth in this month's book buyer's pick, The Witches: Salem, 1692, by Stacy Schiff.

"Schiff--known for her prize-winning biographies, whose subjects include Cleopatra and Vladimir Nabokov's wife, Vera--trains her skills on this dark period and shines a light on it as no one has.

"It's an exhaustive and captivating account of what led to young girls experiencing fits and convulsions one cold Massachusetts winter and all that happened in that behavior's wake."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Tracey Stewart on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Tracey Stewart, author, and Lisel Ashlock, illustrator, of Do Unto Animals: A Friendly Guide to How Animals Live, and How We Can Make Their Lives Better (Artisan, $19.95, 9781579656232).

The Today Show: Drew Barrymore, author of Wildflower (Dutton, $28, 9781101983799)

Diane Rehm: John Irving, author of Avenue of Mysteries (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781451664164).

Jim Bohannon Show: Harlow Giles Unger, author of Henry Clay: America's Greatest Statesman (Da Capo Press, $25.99, 9780306823916).

Watch What Happens Live: Leah Remini, co-author of Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology (Ballantine, $27, 9781101886960). She will also appear on the Wendy Williams Show.

Tavis Smiley: David Maraniss, author of Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story (Simon & Schuster, $32.50, 9781476748382).

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (Riverhead, $24.95, 9781594634710).

The O'Reilly Factor: Jeanine Pirro, author of He Killed Them All: Robert Durst and My Quest for Justice (Gallery, $27, 9781501125003).

TV: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

NBC is developing The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, a half-hour comedy based on Marie Kondo's bestselling The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering & Organizing (Ten Speed Press). reported that the project "centers on a young woman in a moment of crisis who attempts to get her messy life in order." Erica Oyama (Burning Love) is writing the adaptation, with Greg Malins supervising.

Books & Authors

Awards: Bailey's 'Best'; Cundill; Guardian Children's

Half of a Yellow Sun by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was named Bailey's "Best of the Best," chosen from the past decade's winners of the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction, the Bookseller reported.

"While it's sometimes pompous to call a book 'important,' it's appropriate to say it of Half of a Yellow Sun," said Muriel Gray, chair of judges in 2007. "For an author, so young at the time of writing, to have been able to tell a tale of such enormous scale in terms of human suffering and the consequences of hatred and division, whilst also gripping the reader with wholly convincing characters and spell binding plot, is an astonishing feat. Chimamanda's achievement makes Half of a Yellow Sun not just a worthy winner of this most special of prizes, but a benchmark for excellence in fiction writing."

Adichie commented: "This is a prize I have a lot of respect and admiration for--over the years it's brought wonderful literature to a wide readership that might not have found many of the books. I have a lot of respect for the books that have won in the past 10 years and also for the books that have been shortlisted--I feel I am in very good company. To be selected as 'Best of the Best' of the past decade is such an honor. I'm very grateful and very happy."


Dr. Susan Pedersen has won the US$75,000 2015 Cundill Prize in Historical Literature at McGill for The Guardians: The League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire (Oxford University Press). Administered by McGill University, the award is given to "an individual who has published a book determined to have had a profound literary, social and academic impact in the area of history."

The judges said that Pedersen's book "enables us to see the League [of Nations] with new eyes, and in doing so, appreciate how complex, multivalent, and consequential this first great experiment in internationalism really was."


A shortlist has been unveiled for the 2015 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. The winner will be announced November 19. This year's shortlisted titles are:  

Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders
A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond
The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
An Island of our Own by Sally Nicholls

Book Review

Review: Dear Mr. You

Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker (Scribner, $25 hardcover, 9781501107832, November 10, 2015)

In her inventive, unconventional memoir, Dear Mr. You, actress Mary-Louise Parker offers glimpses into her life via 34 letters written to and about significant men in her life, showing how masculine presences--fleeting, long-term and imagined--have influenced her, for better or worse.

The letters are wide-ranging in subject, form and tone. Most pay homage to family, as in "Dear Grandpa," which tells the story of Parker's grandfather and a creative act of love he undertook to brighten a son's dark days during World War II. In "Dear Daddy," Parker writes longingly of her father, his war experiences and how an injury sustained in battle changed his life, and Parker's as well.

Other letters are odes to--or denunciations of--lost loves, sexual exploits and long-ago intimacies. Parker comes to terms with a tormenting relationship with an abusive, insecure man and muses on the bittersweet gift of retrospect. In "Dear Blue," a peculiar, loincloth-wearing hippie haunts Parker at the co-op store where they work together. It is only years later that she admits, "I wanted sweetness and someone truthful but I was fussy about the form sweetness might take.... I want to say I'm sorry for hiding from you behind the coffee bins and whatever else I put in front of me, attempting to keep genuine kindness away."

Hostility suffuses "Dear Mr. Cabdriver," in which Parker, during a very bad day, verbally assaults a cabbie with poor navigation skills. A tug-of-war over Parker's newborn baby incites "Dear Orderly." An accountant takes Parker to task about her troubled, mismanaged finances, but then shows her unexpected compassion in one letter. And in another, a personality clash and power-struggle challenge Parker and an early acting instructor.

Tenderness and sensitivity gravitate to the fore in a letter about Parker's short-lived friendship with a man battling cancer. A much-beloved priest encourages Parker--and even her children--to question faith and religion. She writes an affectionate portrait about the two-way street of friendship, and humbly recalls meeting the biological uncle of her adopted, Ethiopian-born daughter. In "Dear Future Man Who Loves My Daughter," Parkers admiringly glances back at the protectiveness of her own brothers when she was growing up.

The men at the center of each letter often serve as mirrors, reflecting much about Parker and those who physically populate her world, as evidenced in one of the most moving letters of the collection, "Dear Oyster Picker," which is directed toward an anonymous worker who harvested the last meal Parker's father would indulge in this side of heaven.

Whether writing to NASA, poets, musicians, a goat facing castration, an ash-covered firefighter on 9/11 or doctors, Parker's prose is infused with a perfect balance of sarcasm, humor and poetic language. Her letters shine with candid, self-aware depth--unabashed in revealing the truth of her own nature and experiences. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

Shelf Talker: Award-winning actress Mary-Louise Parker chronicles her life by writing letters to men who have influenced her.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Kian by Tijan
2. Wrong by Jana Aston
3. The 20/20 Diet by Phil McGraw
4. First 100 Words by Roger Priddy
5. Impossible Series Box Set by Julia Sykes
6. Priceless Treasure (The Lost Andersons, Volume 4) by Melody Anne
7. Lev: A Shot Callers Novel by Belle Aurora
8. The Rocker Who Betrays Me (The Rocker Series, Book 11) by Terri Anne Browning
9. Roped In (An Armed & Dangerous Novel) by L.P. Dover
10. Forever Entangled (Forever Bluegrass #1) by Kathleen Brooks

[Many thanks to!]

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