Shelf Awareness for Monday, January 11, 2016

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Roxy by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman

Shadow Mountain: Missing Okalee by Laura Ojeda Melchor

Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone: Start your entrepreneurial journey with affordable packages, starting from $1,566

Candlewick Press: Mi Casa Is My Home by Laurenne Sala, illustrated by Zara González Hoang

Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association: We're throwing a bookselling party and you're invited!

Big Picture Press: Art of Protest: Creating, Discovering, and Activating Art for Your Revolution by De Nichols

Callaway Arts & Entertainment: The Beatles: Get Back by The Beatles, photographed by Linda McCartney

St. Martin's Press: The Christie Affair by Nina De Gramont

Quotation of the Day

Helping Booksellers 'Stay in the Business'

"I'd love to create a network of professional bookseller 'guilds' that foster education and professionalism among frontline booksellers, in the hopes that these booksellers stay in the business rather than move on when they need to earn more. This may need to involve not just the store itself but also landlords and local municipalities, with the major goal being competitive wages paid by independent bookstores and career advancement tracks being made possible."

--Jamie Fiocco, owner of Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, N.C. and an American Booksellers Association board member, in a q&a with Bookselling This Week


Berkley Books: Good Rich People by Eliza Jane Brazier


And the Golden Globes Went to: Adapted Books

Book-to-screen adaptations had an excellent showing at last night's Golden Globe Awards, with The Revenant, Steve Jobs and The Martian garnering multiple honors. Winning films and TV series that started as books or have book connections included:

Motion picture, drama: The Revenant, based in part on the novel by Michael Punke
Director, motion picture: Alejandro Iñárritu for The Revenant
Actor in a motion picture, drama: Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant
Motion picture, musical or comedy: The Martian, based on Andy Weir's novel
Actor in a motion picture, musical or comedy: Matt Damon for The Martian
Supporting actress, motion picture: Kate Winslet for Steve Jobs, based on Walter Isaacson's book
Screenplay, motion picture: Aaron Sorkin for Steve Jobs
Actress, motion picture, drama: Brie Larson for Room, based on the novel by Emma Donoghue

Limited series or motion picture made for TV: Wolf Hall, adapted from the novels by Hilary Mantel
Actor in a leading role in a series, limited series or motion picture made for TV: Oscar Isaac for Show Me a Hero, based on the book by Lisa Belkin
TV series, musical or comedy: Mozart in the Jungle, based on the book by Blair Tindall
Actor in a TV series, musical or comedy: Gael García Bernal for Mozart in the Jungle

Paraclete Press: Mr. Nicholas: A Magical Christmas Tale by Christopher de Vinck

Plot Twist Bookstore Opening in Ankeny, Iowa

Mary Rork-Wilson

Mary Rork-Watson is opening Plot Twist Bookstore in Ankeny, Iowa, just north of Des Moines, in April. The 1,400-square-foot store will feature new books for all ages, gifts for readers and community events.

"What I want to offer my customers is connection," Rork-Watson said. "Connection to the right book, to authors, and to other readers. It is important to me to provide expertise and find the right book for each reader."

Rork-Watson has extensive administrative/ office management experience and said she wanted to "use my skills to operate my own business. I have spent the last year researching the business of owning a bookstore and decided I would be able to use my office management skills (and finally, that English major) to operate a successful bookstore. Like most industry professionals I've met during the last year, I am an avid reader and book lover. As I move toward opening day, I am getting more excited about bringing an independent book store to a community that has never had one."

She added that "bookstores are a wonderful place of discovery and reflect the character of a community. I always visit the funky, local stores when I travel and I decided that I wanted to create that kind of space. Ankeny has a strong history of supporting local culture and businesses so it just fits here."

The store is located at 502 N. Ankeny Blvd., Unit 6, Ankeny, Iowa 50023-1755.

Berkley Books: Sadie on a Plate by Amanda Elliot

Black Oak Books, Berkeley, Calif., Closing

Photo: John McMurtrie/The Chronicle

Black Oak Books, Berkeley, Calif., is closing at the end of the month, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. In business for 33 years, Black Oak moved from North Berkeley to its current 6,000-square-foot location in West Berkeley in 2009.

Gary Cornell, who bought the store in 2008, said that foot traffic didn't increase as expected with the move and that last year sales were up just 1%. "Basically," he commented, "it has always been a marginal business." He added that Berkeley's recent increase in the minimum wage to $11 an hour would have meant expenses would increase "50% over the next five years." Emphasizing that he's not against the minimum wage increase, Cornell said, "people have to be aware that it'll probably change the mix of stores that you're going to get. And that's not necessarily a bad thing."

Black Oak Books sells new and used books, with an emphasis on scholarly titles. Cornell indicated that he will continue selling online and would consider reopening a bricks-and-mortar location "if another building opens up."

Cornell became a fan of Black Oak when he spent several sabbaticals in Berkeley while a math professor at the University of Connecticut. He now lives in Berkeley and remains more involved in mathematics than in the daily operation of the store.

Patterson Aids Flooded U.K. Bookshops

The James Patterson fund will donate £5,000 (about $7,260) grants to a pair of U.K. bookshops that suffered flood damage during Storm Desmond in early December, the Bookseller reported. The recipients are the Book Case in Hebden Bridge, which experienced significant flooding, and the New Bookshop in Cockermouth, which was "completely wiped out."

The Booksellers Association's Meryl Halls, who helped to facilitate the grants, said the money would be used "to help with their refurbishment, and get their kids sections back up and running and looking better than ever.... I know there has been a lot of support flowing towards the shops, and let's hope it continues--there's not a much worse combination than books and water, and we really admire the resilience of both bookshops, who are planning to refurbish and reopen despite the devastation they've suffered."

In a heartfelt Facebook post, the Book Case expressed gratitude to its many supporters, noting: "Our enormous thanks to Meryl Halls at the Booksellers Association for organizing this for us, and to the grant fund who are arranging this to be paid speedily and with minimal paperwork. And of course to the great man, James Patterson himself!... We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received since Boxing Day from all sections of the book trade."

Obituary Notes: Peter Milne; Florence King

Peter Milne

Sad news from Australia. Peter Milne, longtime bookseller at Abbey's Bookshop in Sydney and a life member of the Australian Booksellers Association, died on December 23. He was 75.

Milne worked for Abbey's for 40 years, from 1971 to 2011, as a bookseller and manager and was part owner until his retirement. He was particularly knowledgeable about crime writing, creating Abbey's Crime Chronicle, a monthly list of new titles, and was a co-founder of the Crime Writers Association of Australia.

Milne served as an officer of the ABA and was deeply involved in the national association and its state branch. During several ABA annual meetings, when questions arose about association rules and procedures, we remember him smiling and noting that his remarks came from the perspective of his status as "the sole surviving member" of the committee that drafted the ABA's bylaws.

He was as friendly and kind as he was brilliant about books. Abbey's owner Eve Abbey called him "our indispensable, seemingly everlasting Peter Milne" and praised his "hard work, suggestions, insight and infallible memory and invigorating, cheerful company. I can't count the hours that Peter devoted to ensuring Abbey's is a great bookshop."


Florence King, a columnist, author and "professional misanthrope who was a constitutional crosspatch about all manner of things--in particular those things that smacked in the slightest of what she decried as touchy-feely late-20th-century liberalism," died January 6, the New York Times reported. She was 80. In addition to her "Misanthrope's Corner" column in the National Review, King "was also renowned for Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady, a well-received, somewhat fictionalized 1985 memoir in which she plumbed the depths, and the shallows, of her genteel upbringing." Her other books included Southern Ladies and Gentlemen and Reflections in a Jaundiced Eye.


Image of the Day: ALA Underway

The exhibit hall of the Boston Convention Center opened its doors to librarians and other industry professionals on Friday evening, January 8, for the 2016 American Library Association Midwinter Meeting. Here, Canadian publisher Groundwood's Fred Horler and 2017 Newbery Award Selection Committee chair Thom Barthelmess, youth services manager of Whatcom County Library System in Bellingham, Wash., bond over Argentine author-illustrator Isol's weird and wonderful picture book The Menino (2015).

Bookmark It 'Caters to Orlando's Literary Community'

In a piece headlined "Indie bookshop Bookmark It caters to Orlando's literary community," WESH's Orlando My Way profiled owner Kim Britt's "locally focused" store, where the "region's authors can sell their books and have a chance at finding an audience."

"We have a tremendous writing community (in Florida)," Britt said, adding that her bookstore is "so community driven."

Turn of the Corkscrew: Small Business 'Success Story'

Congratulations to Carol Hoenig and Peggy Zieran, owners of Turn of the Corkscrew, Books & Wine, which opened in October in Rockville Centre, N.Y.: the pair were cited as a "success story" by the New York State Small Business Development Center. The Center said that its business adviser Walter Reid worked with the two "in assessing the capital they needed," finalizing their business plan and making sure their financial projections were reasonable. He also helped them submit a Small Business Administration loan application: a loan for $210,000 was approved and has helped create 10 jobs.

The Small Business Development Center noted that Hoenig and Zieran "already have regular customers, host several book discussion groups, and have many scheduled events for the New Year."

Cool Idea of the Day: Toronto Library Passport

The Toronto Public Library system, with 100 branches, is the subject of a new guidebook that "sets bibliophiles off on a scavenger hunt to discover each of the outposts," Citylab reported. The 36-page Toronto Library Passport challenges readers to use library resources "to accomplish little tasks, and to record their impressions of each of the spaces." In addition, illustrator and cartographer Daniel Rotsztain has created a coloring book featuring his sketches of the the library branches.  

"One of my goals was to get Torontonians to become tourists in their own city and to engage (or re-engage) with the library," said Noah Ortmann, who designed the passport.

Though the projects weren't commissioned by TPL, the system "tries to support the artists who create them," said Brian Francis, manager of communications, programming and customer engagement. "We help showcase some of the work that they've been doing, and give this artwork a home."

Media and Movies

TV: 11.22.63

A new trailer for 11.22.63, Hulu's adaptation of Stephen King's novel 11/22/63, "has everything an early '60s buff could need--fedoras, James Franco in a Mad Men-era suit, romance, a pink Cadillac (or something close to it) and, for some reason perhaps known to the readers of King's novel, a bunch of roaches," Deadline Hollywood reported. The series, which premieres on Presidents Day (February 15), stars James Franco, Chris Cooper, Josh Duhamel, T.R. Knight, Cherry Jones, Sarah Gadon, Lucy Fry, George MacKay and Daniel Webber. Executive producers are J.J. Abrams, Stephen King, Bridget Carpenter and Bryan Burk.

Media Heat: Hoda Kotb on Dr. Oz

Diane Rehm: Carly Simon, author of Boys in the Trees: A Memoir (Flatiron Books, $28.99, 9781250095893).

Dr. Oz: Hoda Kotb, author of Where We Belong: Journeys That Show Us the Way (Simon & Schuster, $24.95, 9781476752426). She will also appear tomorrow on Watch What Happens Live.

The View: Dr. Ian K. Smith, author of The Shred Power Cleanse: Eat Clean. Get Lean. Burn Fat. (St. Martin's Press, $22.99, 9781250061225).

CBS This Morning: Mike Lupica, author of The Extra Yard (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $16.99, 9781481410007).

Live with Kelly and Michael: Dr. Melina Jampolis, co-author of The Doctor on Demand Diet (Ghost Mountain Books, $25.95, 9781939457462).

The Talk: Gillian Anderson, co-author of A Dream of Ice: Book 2 of the EarthEnd Saga (Simon451/Simon & Schuster, $25, 9781476776552).

The Daily Show: Greg Gutfield, author of How to Be Right: The Art of Being Persuasively Correct (Crown Forum, $25, 9781101903629).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Sunil Yapa, author of Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist (Lee Boudreaux Books, $26, 9780316386531).

Books & Authors

Awards: Outstanding International Books for Young People

The United States Board on Books for Young People, the U.S. section of the International Board on Books for Young People, has released the 2016 Outstanding International Books, representing the best of international children's literature. See the full list here.

Book Review

Review: Noah's Wife

Noah's Wife by Lindsay Starck (Putnam, $27 hardcover, 9780399159237, January 2016)

In her first novel, Noah's Wife, Lindsay Starck combines elements of the biblical story of Noah's Ark with her own sense of whimsy for an adventure that explores the boundaries of faith.

Charismatic young minister Noah is completely committed to his belief in the divine. His wife--unnamed in the narrative--has a similar commitment to total belief in Noah. When he accepts a position in an isolated location far from the city she knows and never thought to leave, Noah's wife accedes to his plan without question, cheerily packing up her life to follow her husband. However, no amount of dewy-eyed optimism can prepare them for what lies ahead.

Rain has fallen on the small coastal town for years without stopping. Its residents dig deeper into their stores of resolve and insist on staying. When the minister of their little church went into the river and didn't come out, no one knew if he fell in or jumped. The town gave up on religion long ago, when faith and prayers failed to stop the rain, and Noah quickly finds his personal magnetism no match for the apathy and anger he faces when trying to resurrect a congregation. Noah's wife helps with renovations to the church building and tries to embed herself in the community, but she meets resistance from the town's quirky residents. When Noah addresses a gathering, stubborn town councillor Mrs. McGinn lobs tough questions at him, and his wife watches Noah stumble for the first time since she has known him. As days pass and the rain falls harder, he falls further into indecision and crisis, and Noah's wife wonders where she can place her faith if not in her husband. When the struggling zoo on which the town's economy is based floods, Noah's wife helps the town become an ark, with foxes living in houses and peacocks in storefronts. As the river begins to rise, though, residents must face the fact that they might not be able to save their town.

A testament to the power of believing in yourself, the journey of Noah's wife to define herself on her own terms runs parallel to the internal struggles of the town's citizens: Mauro, the Italian expatriate who fears he will never see Rome again; Mrs. McGinn, the virago who won't let her town die; her daughter, who is desperate to move away; the misanthropic zookeeper who won't leave his animals. While the story does not exactly follow the structure of the biblical Noah tale, the strong narrative voice gives the impression of a modern-day fable. By turns humorous and moving, this mixture of allegory and offbeat characters will delight readers. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Shelf Talker: A minister's wife must find faith in herself when her husband falters as shepherd of a town where rain has fallen steadily for years.

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