Also published on this date: Wednesday, January 27, 2016: Max Shelf Issue: Ron Fournier

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Grove Press: Brother Alive by Zain Khalid

Bantam: All Good People Here by Ashley Flowers

Union Square & Co.: A Broken Blade (The Halfling Saga) by Melissa Blair

Sourcebooks Landmark: The Ways We Hide by Kristina McMorris

Simon & Schuster: Recording for the Simon & Schuster and Simon Kids Fall Preview 2022

Soho Crime: Lady Joker, Volume 2 by Kaoru Takamura, translated by Allison Markin Powell and Marie Iida

Berkley Books: Once Upon a December by Amy E. Reichert; Lucy on the Wild Side by Kerry Rea; Where We End & Begin by Jane Igharo

Quotation of the Day

PRH's Makinson on Being a Bookseller and Publisher

"I [own a bookshop] with my brother, who runs it. It's in the county of Norfolk in England. It is a relatively small bookshop, but people in the company always worry that I regard this bookshop as the bellwether of the entire global book economy. We have a bad weekend in Norfolk and I come into the office and say, it's terrible, we are all doomed--or the opposite. But I do actually find owning a bookshop quite interesting in understanding at a very local level what is going on. The danger of somebody doing the sort of job that I do is that you look at this big picture where you're publishing 15,000 books a year around the world, and you have a macro view. But you also need to have the opportunity to drill down quite deeply. So I do actually follow quite carefully what happens to my little bookshop in Norfolk.

"One of the things I was talking about yesterday is the importance of community and how essential it is that publishers actively support bookshops. And one of the ways is by encouraging them to be centers of cultural and commercial activities."

--John Makinson, chairman of Penguin Random House, in a q&a with Mint after speaking at the Jaipur Literary Festival

Harper: We All Want Impossible Things by Catherine Newman


#WI11: Celebration and Concern

Winter Institute 11, which ended yesterday in Denver, Colo., was yet another energetic, stimulating edition of what has become the most important event for independent bookselling in the U.S. Perhaps more than any other Winter Institute, this one had the most densely packed, substantial programming. And it had several themes that made for an unusual mix: much celebration of the resurgence of indies over the past several years and deep concern about some negative trends, mostly involving Amazon--and extended discussions about what to do about those trends.

The good news was remarkable. Holiday sales at independent bookstores were up 10%, almost 8% on a per-store basis, and indie book sales--not counting sidelines and other non-book sales--were $525 million last year, showing that "indies once again fulfilled their mission of putting the right book in the hands of readers," ABA CEO Oren Teicher said.

Peter Hildick-Smith, CEO of the Codex Group, confirmed that indie bookstores' sales have grown and said that because of a drop in sales of books at other bricks-and-mortar outlets--the collapse of Borders, the contraction of Barnes & Noble and cutbacks in book offerings at many big box stores are major reasons--indies represent an increasing share of sales of printed books at physical stores.

But many of the sales of printed books that used to take place in bricks-and-mortar stores now occur online, the vast majority at Amazon. In 2010, according to Hildick-Smith, 72% of printed books sold in the U.S. were sold in stores of all kinds. Last year, that number had dropped to 33%. Combined with Amazon's dominance of the e-book market, the company is the single-largest book retailer by far--and growing.

Unveiled at the Winter Institute, the Civic Economics-ABA study Amazon and Empty Storefronts added salt to the wound. The study showed that by not collecting sales tax in many states and by sucking away sales from bricks-and-mortar businesses of all kinds, in 2014, the online giant had taken away more than $1 billion in taxes from state and local governments--the same entities that fall over each other to bestow tax breaks and incentives and free improvements on Amazon when it opens warehouses. The study also estimated that Amazon's book sales in 2014 were about $5.6 billion, representing some "3,600 bookshop equivalents and 40,000 bookstore employees." In the long-term, Amazon continues to take jobs from other retailers, including bookstores, threatens the viability of more and more businesses across the country and weakens the finances of government.

No surprise then, that there was much formal and informal discussion about Amazon at the Winter Institute. The consensus was that booksellers and their allies need to act in a variety of ways to educate the public at large and government officials at all levels--from the federal level to town hall--through conversations and meetings with government officials, through the presentation and dissemination of the kinds of statistics in the Civic Economics-ABA study, through letters to the editor and op ed pieces, by contacting media, by working with other bricks-and-mortar retailers, and perhaps by forming task forces or organizations.

The ABA's Oren Teicher called the efforts reminiscent of the buy local movement, which was "unknown a decade ago," but now is widespread and effective. "These things take time," he said, but can lead to major changes.

With a conviction that logic and the greater good are on their side, many booksellers remained optimistic and confident. As Teicher said on Sunday, speaking to a room full of booksellers, "In the midst of independent bookselling success, there are challenges on the horizon, but you always meet them. There's no reason not to believe that because of your hard work that the very best days of independent bookselling are yet to come."

Next year's Winter Institute will be held January 27-30 in Minneapolis, Minn. Our coverage of news from Winter Institute 11 continues over the following days. --John Mutter

Tundra Books: The Further Adventures of Miss Petitfour (The Adventures of Miss Petitfour) by Anne Michaels, illustrated by Emma Block

#WI11: Kwame Alexander on the Idea Business

On the last morning of Winter Institute 11 in Denver, Colo., Newbery Medal-winning author and poet Kwame Alexander gave a funny, inspiring keynote address about his life spent writing and selling books. He reflected on a childhood "immersed in language and literature" and a writing career that took him from penning occasionally explicit love poems to award-winning children's books, like Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band and The Crossover.

One of the main reasons for his success, Alexander related, was that he is a "say yes" kind of person, and rather than shrink from challenges, he sees them as opportunities. He recalled helping his father, who published and sold books, at conferences, book fairs and trade shows, and how he created a 30-city book tour for his first collection of poems through sheer persistence. Midway through his keynote he discussed the "KwameRules" of traits booksellers should have. Among them are qualities like persistence, passion, empathy and engagement. Alexander also urged booksellers to say yes to opportunities, new ideas and thinking outside the box.

"We've got to say yes to creativity," said Alexander. "There is more than one way to sell a book."

His transition from writing loves poems to children's books came more from saying yes to opportunities than anything else, he continued, adding that he believes literature can empower young people and it is the responsibility of children's authors and teachers to "help children imagine a better and a brighter world." Booksellers, he continued, are the vehicles who bring these ideas and ideals to young people.

"I can't thank you enough for that," said Alexander: "You all are the way that we can continue this legacy of creating more beautiful people."

Alexander ended with what he called his plug for why the world needs diverse books. "Reading is an opportunity for all of us, for all of our children," he said. "It's up to us-- it's up to you, it's up to me--to make sure that every child has an opportunity to be moved, to be empowered... to fall into the magic that is between the lines." --Alex Mutter

KidsBuzz for the Week of 05.16.22

Riverhead Reveals New Colophon

Riverhead Books has a new colophon. "It embodies what makes a Riverhead book always one to pay attention to: wide-ranging stories from around the globe that are unexpected, bold, and unforgettable," said senior publicist Glory Anne Plata. Riverhead was founded in 1994, and has since published the likes of Junot Díaz, Khaled Hosseini and Paula Hawkins, among many others.

The colophon was designed by Riverhead art director Helen Yentus. "My main concerns for our new logo were not only to have a mark that feels contemporary and timeless, but one that speaks to our 20-year legacy while capturing the energy and inventiveness that Riverhead is all about--both in terms of the rich voices that we publish, and the incredibly innovative team of people working on bringing those voices to the world," Yentus said. "A strong, contemporary mark that is itself emerging, the colophon boldly stands for the creatively and dedication to publishing inspired voices that Riverhead represents."

GLOW: Park Row: The Two Lives of Sara by Catherine Adel West

New President of Rowman & Littlefield Academic, Professional

Oliver Gadsby

Oliver Gadsby has been named president of the academic and professional division of the Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, a new position. Gadsby founded Rowman & Littlefield International in London in 2013. Before that, he was CEO of Continuum and director of strategy and acquisitions at Informa, the parent group of Taylor & Francis. He has worked in educational, academic and professional publishing throughout his career, in Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and the U.K. He will continue to run Rowman & Littlefield International and divide his time between the U.K. and the U.S.

Group president and CEO Jed Lyons commented: "Our company has reached a significant scale in a number of market segments, and we need the right leadership to drive our business in each area. Following the appointment of Jim Childs to head our trade division, we are delighted to have Oliver Gadsby in place to run our academic and professional operations. These markets are global in nature, and I'm pleased that Oliver will bring substantial international experience to bear in this new role."

Vintage: Morningside Heights by Joshua Henkin

Bookstore, Sales Rep of the Year Finalists Unveiled

Finalists have been named for this year's Bookstore of the Year and Sales Representative of the Year awards by Publishers Weekly. The 2016 finalists are:

Bookstore of the Year
Books Inc. (San Francisco)
Brazos Bookstore (Houston)
Greenlight Bookstore (Brooklyn)
Phoenix Books (Essex Junction, Vt.)
Village Books (Bellingham, Wash.)

Sales Rep of the Year
Toi Crockett (S&S)
Judy DeBerry (Hachette)
Tim Hepp (S&S)
Kurtis Lowe (Book Travelers West)
Lise Solomon (Karel/Dutton Group)

Beaming Books: Sarah Rising by Ty Chapman, illustrated by Deann Wiley

Obituary Notes: Arnold Greenberg; Eva Saulitis

Arnold Greenberg, longtime co-owner of the Complete Traveller Bookstore in New York City, died on January 22, according to the New York Times.

A lawyer at Greenberg & Tuchman for many years, Greenberg and his wife, Harriet, bought the bookstore in the 1980s, which they owned and operated until last year. In 1965, the pair wrote the first Arthur Frommer travel guide to South America, South America on $5 a Day. They went on to write many other Frommer guides and founded their own Alive series of travel guides to various South American destinations.


Alaskan writer Eva Saulitis died January 16 in Homer, Alaska, a region that had been, "along with killer whales and the majesty of nature, the main subject matter of her work and life," her publisher, Red Hen Press, wrote. She was 52. Her books include two poetry collections--Many Ways to Say It and Prayer in Wind--as well as the essay collection Leaving Resurrection: Chronicles of a Whale Scientist and Into Great Silence, a memoir from Beacon Press.

Becoming Earth, a reflection upon the act of dying and her own death, is scheduled for release in 2016, but Red Hen Press noted that it was able to expedite the publication process so she could "hold her final work one week before she passed. This special exception was made for Saulitis because her presence at the press was so strong, and the prowess of her work was intensely inspiring." Managing editor Kate Gale said, "Her poetry and writings on Alaska and killer whales are a prayer for the wild, a call to all us of us toward a bigger life."


Image of the Day: Let's Play in the Snow!

After Winter Storm Jonas dropped 31.5" of snow on South Allentown/Emmaus, Pa., on Saturday, Let's Play Books managed to open by noon on Sunday, thanks to some good old-fashioned elbow grease. (Pictured: the store's youngest bookseller, Maddie Hess, age 11.) The shop has no dedicated parking, even for staff, and street parking is still covered in snow (three full days later), which is impacting business. Still, families in the neighborhood who have a bit of cabin fever appreciated having a place to go.

City Lit Books 'Finding Its Niche Amidst the Digital Age'

Noting that during winter "it can be helpful to have some escape or ray of sunshine to fully embrace the colder weather and brighten the mood," LoganSquarist reported that Chicago's City Lit Books "has proven to do just that for Logan Square residents since opening in the fall of 2012.... A local independent bookstore consistently ranked among Chicago's best, City Lit offers hand-written staff recommendations on many of its offerings and also serves as something of a browsing place when people are spilling out of the nearby cafes, bars and restaurants in the Square on a lazy Sunday afternoon."

Owner Teresa Kirschbraun cited the neighborhood's density of artists and writers and its passion for supporting local businesses as factors in her decision to open a bookstore. "For me it's about figuring out what people want to buy, and what they're interested in. It's a very smart literary community and so people are looking for things that surprise them when they come in here."

LoganSquarist noted that after "just a few short years City Lit has already made a significant mark on the literary scene in Logan Square, and for that matter Chicago. Considering the passionate ownership, and those willing to support it, it certainly shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon."

GBO Picks Almost Everything Very Fast

The German Book Office in New York City has chosen Almost Everything Very Fast: A Novel by Christopher Kloeble, translated by Aaron Kerner (Graywolf Press, $16, 9781555977290), as its January Pick of the Month.

The GBO said: "Albert is nineteen, grew up in an orphanage, and never knew his mother. All his life Albert had to be a father to his father: Fred is a child trapped in the body of an old man. He spends his time reading encyclopedias, waves at green cars, and is known as the hero of a tragic bus accident. Albert senses that Fred, who has just been given five months left to live, is the only one who can help him learn more about his background. With time working against them, Albert and Fred set out on an adventure of discovery that leads them into the distant past via the sewers--all the way back to a night in August 1912, and to the story of a forbidden love."

Christopher Kloeble will attend this year's Festival Neue Literatur, in which six German-language authors travel to New York City for readings, book signings and conversations with American authors. The Goethe-Institut New York will host a book launch event for Almost Everything Very Fast on February 4.

Kloeble is the author of two novels, a short story collection and several plays. He lives in Berlin and Delhi. Aaron Kerner is a teacher, translator and editor who lives in Boston.

Personnel Changes at PRH, Hachette, PublicAffairs

In the U.S. Digital Product Development team at Penguin Random House:

Susan Livingston is promoted from v-p to senior v-p, strategic business planning, U.S. digital product development, audio, and Fodor's.

Andrea Bachofen is named associate director, publishing development and author platforms, Penguin Random House.

John Clinton is named senior director, digital video, Penguin Random House.

Phillip Stamper-Halpin is appointed manager, publishing development and author platforms, Penguin Random House. He was formerly managing editor for Kingston University Press in London.


Among changes in the James Patterson team at Hachette Book Group:

Ned Rust is now v-p, James Patterson publishing director, overseeing all Patterson-related editorial, marketing and publicity.

Sabrina Benun is now marketing manager, JIMMY Patterson Books, overseeing JIMMY marketing as well as James Patterson's philanthropic efforts.

Erinn McGrath is publicity manager, James Patterson. She formerly worked in the Knopf publicity department.


Miguel Cervantes is joining PublicAffairs as a marketing coordinator. He has worked as a marketer at Little, Brown.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: David Kaczynski on Diane Rehm

Diane Rehm: David Kaczynski, author of Every Last Tie: The Story of the Unabomber and His Family (Duke University Press, $19.95, 9780822359807).

Wendy Williams: Jennifer Lopez, author of True Love (Celebra, $19.95, 9780451468697).

Books & Authors

Awards: Costa; B&N Discover Great New Writers; Tufts Poetry

Frances Hardinge won the £30,000 (about $43,050) Costa Book of the Year award for The Lie Tree, which had earlier taken the children's book category prize. The judges said: "We all loved this dark, sprawling, fiercely clever novel that blends history and fantasy in a way that will grip readers of all ages."

Chair of judges and former bookseller James Heneage described the winner as "an important book, not only because it is a great narrative, with great characterization, but because its central message is of possibility for an intelligent girl who is out of touch with the age in which she lives.... It has so many great themes and works on so many levels. It is a richly multi-layered book and very clever. It is a book to read in one or two sittings, a real page turner."


Barnes & Noble has announced the six finalists for the 2015 Discover Great New Writers Awards. Winners in each category will receive a $30,000 prize and a full year of promotion from B&N. Runner-up authors get $15,000, and third-place $7,500. Winners will be announced March 2 in New York City. The finalists are:

In the Country: Stories by Mia Alvar (Knopf)
The Turner House by Angela Flournoy (HMH)
The Unfortunates by Sophie McManus (FSG)

Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt (Random House)
Bettyville by George Hodgman (Viking)
Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America by Jill Leovy (Random House)


Finalists have been named for the Claremont Graduate University's $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, "which goes to a mid-career poet of a current book," Jacket Copy reported. The shortlisted writers are Kyle Dargan for Honest Engine (University of Georgia Press), Ross Gay for Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (University of Pittsburgh Press), Amy Gerstler for Scattered at Sea (Penguin), Fred Moten for The Little Edges (Wesleyan) and Jennifer Moxley for The Open Secret (Flood Editions).

The $10,000 Kate Tufts Discovery Award for an emerging poet also unveiled its finalists: Meg Day for Last Psalm at Sea Level (Barrow Street), Bethany Schultz Hurst for Miss Lost Nation (Anhinga Press), Michael Morse for Void and Compensation (Canarium), Danez Smith for [insert] boy (YesYes Books) and Henry Walters for Field Guide a Tempo (Hobblebush Books).

Book Brahmin: Neal Porter

Neal Porter has been in children's book publishing for more than 35 years, holding marketing, editorial or executive positions at houses such as Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Atheneum, Orchard, Dorling Kindersley and Walker Books U.K. In 2000, he began to focus exclusively on editing and helped found Roaring Brook Press, now an imprint of the Macmillan Children's Book Group, where he is publisher of Neal Porter Books.

Authors and illustrators he has worked with include Laura Vaccaro Seeger, Philip C. and Erin E. Stead, Nick Bruel, Betsy and Ted Lewin, Antoinette Portis and Jason Chin. Books he has edited have won many awards, including the Caldecott Medal, three Caldecott Honors, three Geisel Honors, two Seibert Honors, the Coretta Scott King Award for illustration, two Pura Belpré awards, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award and two Orbis Pictus Awards. In September 2015, he was awarded an Eric Carle Honor in the category of Mentor for his work with picture books. 

On your nightstand now:

I'm cheating because I've just finished it, but it's still on my nightstand: The Patrick Melrose Novels by Edward St. Aubyn (astonishing--Evelyn Waugh meets William S. Burroughs).

City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg (because I came of age in New York in the '70s and survived the '77 blackout with an impacted wisdom tooth).

George and Martha: The Complete Stories of Two Best Friends by James Marshall (just because).

A taped-together plastic Braun alarm clock.

Favorite book when you were a child:

A tie, and not very original choices--Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth and Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. I was given each the year they came out--do the math.

Your top five authors:

E.B. White, Colm Tóibín, E.L. Konigsberg, James Marshall, Patrick Dennis.

Book you've faked reading:

Silas Marner by George Eliot (along with everyone else in eighth grade).

Book you're an evangelist for:

The book I'm holding in the photograph--When Green Becomes Tomatoes (March 2016), with sublime poems by Julie Fogliano and delicious paintings by Julie Morstad. Who could ask for anything more?

Book you've bought for the cover:

Fin-de-Siècle Vienna: Politics and Culture by Carl E. Schorske.

Book you hid from your parents:

Oh, so many, but the one that comes to mind is Fanny Hill by John Cleland. My grandmother took me to see the movie version, but that's another story.

Books that changed your life:

The Story of Harold by Terry Andrews.

Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom, collected and edited by Leonard S. Marcus.

Favorite line from a book:

"Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta." --from Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.

Five books you'll never part with:

My childhood copy of A Wrinkle in Time, signed by Madeleine L'Engle when we met at FSG in 1979.

The Arion Press edition of Moby-Dick, illustrated by Barry Moser.

My copy of Robert Sabuda's The Christmas Alphabet, signed by every woman who helped assemble it in a Colombian mountain village.

A first edition of The 21 Balloons by William Pène du Bois.

My first edition of A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead.

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

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson.

Book Review

Children's Review: The Land of Forgotten Girls

The Land of Forgotten Girls by Erin Entrada Kelly (Greenwillow/HarperCollins, $16.99 hardcover, 304p., ages 9-12, 9780062238641, March 1, 2016)

"Once upon a time there were two sister princesses who lived in a tower. They ate leftover gas station food, stale cereal, and peanut butter sandwiches--only they had to settle for creamy because the evil stepmother didn't like crunchy." If their life really were a fairy tale, 12-year-old Sol Madrid and her six-year-old sister Ming would live happily ever after... once their magical, mythical Auntie Jove showed up in Louisiana to rescue them from their evil stepmother. But Tita Vea, the cruel and abusive woman their father married after their mother died five years earlier, is, tragically, all they've got.

Before Papa abandons them all for another woman in their home country, the Philippines, he tells Sol, "You'll live a better life if you ignore made-up stories and focus only on things you know to be true." Sol bounces between fantasy and reality as she navigates her existence with Tita Vea ("a fire-breathing dragon in dirty pink slippers"), her little sister whom she can't protect forever, and her best friend, Manny, who is becoming annoyingly interested in kissing her.

Both sisters harbor such a powerful capacity for hope, their desire for a better future is what drives them to take refuge in the fantastical realm. But when little Ming grows obsessed with the idea of the non-existent Auntie Jove as savior, even packing a suitcase for the day she comes, Sol is forced to start looking for real solutions to their impossible situation.

Sisterhood, friendship, truth, hope: these are the themes that lift The Land of Forgotten Girls by Filipina-American Erin Entrada Kelly (Blackbird Fly), into the realm of the truly special. Sol is authentic--a Filipina girl with a thousand counts against her, who is as likely to be throwing pine cones at a rich albino girl from the fancy private school as she is to be befriending the one she has bloodied. Perhaps Sol's greatest saving grace is her ability to find the real-life heroes in her neighborhood, and to accept their care and support in spite of her fiercely independent spirit. Readers who feel marginalized or alone in their troubles--and who doesn't at times?--will adore Sol and her ragtag family, both chosen and "real." --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor

Shelf Talker: Two Filipina-American sisters walk the line between real and make-believe to cope with their difficult life in Louisiana with a genuinely cruel stepmother.

KidsBuzz: Katherine Tegen Books: Case Closed #4: Danger on the Dig by Lauren Magaziner
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