Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Random House Worlds: Damsel by Evelyn Skye

St. Martin's Press: The Girls of Summer by Katie Bishop

Soho Crime: The Rope Artist by Fuminori Nakamura, transl. by Sam Bett

Flatiron Books: Once Upon a Prime: The Wondrous Connections Between Mathematics and Literature by Sarah Hart

Grand Central Publishing: Goodbye Earl: A Revenge Novel by Leesa Cross-Smith

Texas Bookman Presents Texas Remainder Expo

Steve Madden Ltd: The Cobbler: How I Disrupted an Industry, Fell from Grace, and Came Back Stronger Than Ever by Steve Madden and Jodi Lipper

St. Martin's Griffin: The Bookshop by the Bay by Pamela M. Kelley


Minneapolis's Once Upon a Crime Finds Buyers

Once Upon a Crime, the Minneapolis, Minn., mystery bookstore, has been sold, the Pioneer Press reported. The new owners, Dennis Abraham and Meg King-Abraham, will be the fourth owners of the store and take possession on April 1, Once Upon a Crime's 29th anniversary.

Pat Frovarp and Gary Shulze, who bought the store in 2002, put it up for sale last July. In an e-mail, Shulze commented: "We naturally have mixed emotions. We'll miss the store, but plan to be there on a regular basis for several months for training purposes. Just thinking about all the details and bookselling wisdom we need to provide and impart makes our heads spin. How did we do this for nearly 13 years?"

Abraham is an operations manager at Medtronic, and King-Abraham teaches elementary technology in St. Paul. Devin Abraham, their daughter, will be the primary staff. A University of Wisconsin graduate, she is also a voracious reader.

Frovarp and Shulze were married in the store in 2007. They decided to put the store up for sale because they needed to concentrate on Schulze's cancer treatments and because "they were ready to step back from the all-consuming roles of independent bookstore owners."

In 2011, Once Upon a Crime won the Raven Award, for outstanding contributions to the genre, from the Mystery Writers of America.

Blackstone Publishing: What Remains by Wendy Walker

Seattle Mystery Bookshop Meets Fundraising Goals

Good news: Seattle Mystery Bookshop's campaign to raise $50,000 to "get to a stable financial footing" has succeeded, raising $51,852 by its deadline  yesterday, the Seattle Times reported.

On the store's GoFundMe page, "the crew" wrote: "We're humbled and touched and completely in awe of your kindness, generosity and support. There really are no words to convey how grateful we truly are."

The money will go toward building inventory, paying outstanding bills and "making sure the rent is completely paid off."

Seattle Mystery Bookshop's success at fundraising prompted Seattle's Wide World Books & Map store last week to launch its own GoFundMe campaign instead of closing.

GLOW: Flatiron Books: Bad Summer People by Emma Rosenblum

SIBA Renames, Expands Prize for Pat Conroy

In honor of "one of the South's most beloved writers," the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance is changing the name of its SIBA Book Awards to the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize.

"We have long wanted a sexier more marketable name for our book awards, and nothing is sexier than Mr. Conroy," SIBA executive director Wanda Jewell said. She added that Conroy "has been a force for good in the world of southern books and literature and we want to acknowledge that. He has not just written some of our favorite books, he has been incredibly generous in his support of readers, of booksellers, and of other writers. The world of southern literature is a rich place today because of the encouragement he extends to new authors and the commitment he has always shown towards the southern literary community."

In addition to renaming the award, SIBA has expanded its award categories in a way that allows categories to be "driven by the nominations," rather than trying to peg all nominations into categories like fiction, nonfiction and children's. Thus, this year's categories, each of which is named for one of Conroy's books or, in the case of young people's literature, a book about Conroy:

The Great Santini Fiction Prize
The Prince of Tides Literary Prize
Beach Music Mystery Prize
Lords of Discipline Thriller Prize
The Death of Santini Nonfiction Prize
The Water Is Wide History & Life Stories Prize
The Pat Conroy Cookbook Prize
Poppy's Pants, Jr. Youngsters Prize (Ages 0-9)
Poppy's Pants Young Adult Prize (Ages 10+)

This year, more than 140 books have been nominated. SIBA members will vote on the longlist this month, and finalists will be announced in April. Finalists will be sent to a jury of booksellers in each category, who will then choose the winning book for their category. Winners will be announced on July 4, "Independents Day."

In February, Doubleday said that Conroy, who is 70, has pancreatic cancer and is undergoing treatment.

William Morrow & Company: The God of Good Looks by Breanne Mc Ivor

Hong Kong Booksellers Detained for 'Illegal Book Trading'

On Sunday, four of the five Hong Kong booksellers who disappeared in October, sparking protests from the international book community, appeared on Chinese TV, saying they had been detained for "illegal book trading" for selling 4,000 "unauthorized" books to 380 customers in mainland China, BBC News reported. Gui Minhai, Lui Bo, Lam Wingkei and Cheung Jiping gave details of their alleged offenses. The fifth detainee, British national Lee Bo, was not shown.

The men are employees of the publishing company Mighty Current and its Causeway Bay Bookstore. Mighty Current is known for publishing books critical of the Chinese leadership. The company's books are sold by the thousands at the Hong Kong airport and other locations, including its bookstore in Hong Kong's Causeway Bay neighborhood. They are particularly popular with tourists from mainland China, where such books are banned.

During their appearance on television, Gui, a Swedish national, said he had concealed the books in bags to "evade" customs and was identified by the other detainees as having been in charge of the operation. Lui said: "I have deeply reflected on what I have done and very much regret the illegal book trading I have carried out with Gui Minhai." Lam said the books' content had been "fabricated.... They were downloaded from the Internet, and were pieced together from magazines. They have generated lots of rumors in society and brought a bad influence." BBC News noted that "public confessions have long been a part of China's criminal law, but experts say many confessions are forced."

Citing police sources, Phoenix TV said Lam, Lui and Cheung had shown a "good attitude" by confessing and might be allowed to return to Hong Kong this week while they await trial. Gui, who is expected to remain in China, "had appeared on Chinese TV in January saying he voluntarily handed himself over to the authorities over a fatal drink-driving incident more than a decade ago," BBC News reported.

The Los Angeles Times noted that the arrest of the booksellers "has alarmed journalists and activists in Hong Kong. Columnist Jason Ng said the disappearance of the booksellers left Hong Kong citizens cynical and despondent. 'Every morning, Hong Kong people wake up to another news headline of utter absurdity,' he said. 'There is one clumsy lie covering another clumsy lie every day. And the plot gets more and more farfetched.' "

G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Celebrants by Steven Rowley

Museum Alliance to Copublish with Rowman & Littlefield

The American Alliance of Museums, whose book publishing program includes textbooks, professional practice and profession-wide standards, has selected Rowman & Littlefield to be its copublisher. Under the partnership, the Alliance's expertise and imprint will be combined with a commercial publisher that is established in the museum studies field and has a global marketing and distribution network.

"AAM's publications have long delivered value for people inside and outside the museum field," Alliance president and CEO Laura L. Lott said. "By combining our museum expertise with an expert publishing organization, this partnership gives us the opportunity to make our book publishing program even greater."

Rowman & Littlefield executive editor Charles Harmon, who will head Rowman & Littlefield's effort, said, "We are delighted and honored to have the chance to work with AAM's member-authors and to be copublishing with such a respected association.  Combining our own books and AAM's enables us to offer museum professionals one-stop browsability and shopping for a wide and diverse line of professional resources."

Obituary Note: Louise Rennison

British YA author Louise Rennison,  best known for her Confessions of Georgia Nicholson series, died yesterday, the Bookseller reported. She was 63. The first two novels in her bestselling 10-book series--Angus, Thongs & Full Frontal Snogging, and I'm Wearing Really Big Knickers--were adapted into a film directed by Gurinda Chadha. Her most recent book, The Taming of the Tights, is part of her Misadventures of Tallulah Casey series.

In a statement, HarperCollins said: "Nobody wrote for teenagers like she did, she understood them, their lives and their extraordinary and powerful friendships. In life, as in her writing, she brought joy and laughter. Our thoughts are with her family, friends and the readers whose lives she has touched for almost 20 years."

Ann-Janine Murtagh, executive publisher for HarperCollins Children's Books, observed: "Publishing Louise was a joy. She was beautiful to know and saw the funny in everything. Bold, brave, irreverent and wise, she leaves us with a million happy memories and a legacy of laughter with her wonderful books."


Image of the Day: Cravings at Books & Books

Chrissy Teigen, author of Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat (Clarkson Potter), appeared at Books & Books at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami, Fla., along with her husband, John Legend. 

Bookstore Chalkboards of the Day: No Alibis

No Alibis, a crime bookstore in Belfast, Northern Ireland, "has produced a range of lovely messages on its sandwich board outside the store," BelfastLive reported in featuring "7 positive messages will brighten up your day." A spokeswoman for the store said: "We started the boards to bring a spark of life, fun and literature to all those passers-by on Botanic Avenue. We have a lot of fun hunting down the content and we hope people have as much fun reading them."

Great Group Reads Sought

The organizers of National Reading Group Month, sponsored by the Women's National Book Association, have called for publishers to submit titles for inclusion in the 2016 Great Group Reads program. The program, currently in its eighth year, provides book clubs, reading groups, libraries and bookstores with a valuable resource for book selections and recommendations.

The GGR Selection Committee is looking for literary fiction and memoirs published in the U.S. between October 1, 2015, and September 30, 2016, with a bent toward titles from small presses and midlist releases from larger houses that may have gone overlooked. The committee's reading period will stretch from April through July. Final selections will be made in August, with the formal announcement coming in September.

Titles should be submitted to Great Group Reads co-manager Kristen Knox by April 15, and submissions are limited to two per publisher or imprint.

Media and Movies

Movies: Spotlight Tie-In Book

Sunday night's Oscar winner in the Best Picture category was Spotlight, which chronicled the rigorous investigative work by Boston Globe journalists that uncovered the pattern of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese. The book that presents the Globe findings, Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church, is available in a movie tie-in edition (Back Bay Books, $16.99, 9780316271530).

Media Heat: Rebecca Traister on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Rebecca Traister, author of All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation (Simon & Schuster, $27, 9781476716565). She will also be on NPR's On Point tomorrow.

Live with Kelly & Michael: Laura Prepon, co-author of The Stash Plan: Your 21-Day Guide to Shed Weight, Feel Great, and Take Charge of Your Health (Touchstone, $26, 9781501123092).

Tavis: Mary Frances Berry, author of Five Dollars and a Pork Chop Sandwich: Vote Buying and the Corruption of Democracy (Beacon Press, $25.95, 9780807076408).

Charlie Rose: Jack Myers, author of The Future of Men: Masculinity in the Twenty-First Century (Inkshares, $25, 9781941758656).

Daily Show: Chrissy Teigen, co-author of Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat (Clarkson Potter, $29.99, 9781101903919). She will also appear on Watch What Happens Live.

On Stage: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Pottermore has revealed the names of the remaining cast members in the 42-actor ensemble for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I & II. They will join leads Jamie Parker, Noma Dumezweni and Paul Thornley. Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, the play will have its world premiere in London's West End at the Palace Theatre in July.

Yesterday, 56 creatives, actors and members of the production team gathered for the first time to be part of a photo shoot just before the first read-through of the script. Pottermore noted that the "unveiling of a brand new (not to mention huge) Harry Potter team, is a very special moment indeed. Looking at the sheer number of creative minds at work on this production, it's safe to say that Harry, Ron and Hermione's next adventure is in good hands."

Books & Authors

Awards: Walter Scott Historical Fiction

A longlist has been unveiled for this year's £25,000 (about $34,830) Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, which will be awarded at the Borders Book Festival June 18. A shortlist for the 2016 prize will be announced in March. The longlisted titles are:

A God in the Ruins by Kate Atkinson
Sweet Caress by William Boyd
A Petrol Scented Spring by Ajay Close
A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale
Dictator by Robert Harris
Devastation Road by Jason Hewitt
Death and Mr. Pickwick by Stephen Jarvis
Mrs. Engels by Gavin McCrea
End Games in Bordeaux by Allan Massie
Tightrope by Simon Mawer
Signs for Lost Children by Sarah Moss
Curtain Call by Anthony Quinn
Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar

Book Review

Review: The Story of Hong Gildong

The Story of Hong Gildong, trans. by Minsoo Kang (Penguin Classics, $15 trade paper, 9780143107699, March 15, 2016)

Whether The Story of Hong Gildong is the oldest extant Korean prose fiction or the second oldest, whether it was written by poet and statesman Heo Gyun (1569-1618) about a real bandit or whether it's popular fiction by an anonymous commoner in the second half of the 19th century matters greatly to some. Not so much to the lucky English-language reader who comes upon Minsoo Kang's exciting new translation of this ancient story, now available from Penguin Classics.

Of 34 manuscripts, 25 of them handwritten, Kang has chosen the longest and oldest version of the work. About the length of The Epic of Gilgamesh, this little 77-page classic of the pre-Korean Kingdom of Joseon is the account of a high minister's son who, because he is born of his father's concubine, is "not allowed to address [his] own father as Father and [his] older brother as Brother." This is the famous, often-quoted lament for which Gildong is known in Korean culture. The sons of secondary wives had access to wealth and education, but no legal standing in society and were not accorded the rights of nobility.

The narrative consists of three parts of almost equal length. The first section, recounting Gildong's birth and youth in the compound of the Hong family, is a realistic portrayal of life in a nobleman's household. The second part of the narrative follows Gildong as he leaves his royal family to prove himself a superb leader of an outlaw gang that plunders from the rich. The third part concludes with his exploits on the islands of Jae and Yul, the establishing of his own kingdom and his reconciliation with the King of Joseon.

The fast-paced, plot-driven narrative is fueled by scenes of exciting action (like an assassination attempt) alternating with scenes of high emotion (like the deaths of his parents). The tale follows the over-achieving son of the concubine through rejecting the unfairness of his treatment and into his pursuit of excellence in kingship. As Korea has been historically conquered and colonized, Gildong's recovery of dignity and respect has a national echo that has made it persistently popular. As a secondary son who is "disrespected, unappreciated and underrated," attempting to overcome the disadvantages of his birth to prove his true worth as a leader of his people, Hong Gildong is the embodiment of an oppressed and underestimated Korea. --Nick DiMartino, Nick's Picks, University Book Store, Seattle, Wash.

Shelf Talker: In the first full-length translation of one of the oldest Korean novels, a frustrated secondary son deprived of a nobleman's rights becomes the leader of a band of outlaws.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. RoomHate by Penelope Ward
2. The Lie by Karina Halle
3. Pregnant with the Sheik's Baby by Elizabeth Lennox
4. Seaside Embrace by Melissa Foster
5. Frostborn Omnibus One by Jonathan Moeller
6. Captured by a Celtic Warrior by Various
7. Royal by Winter Renshaw
8. A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest
9. Dream: Clarify And Create What You Want by Marcia Wieder
10. Wherever It Leads by Adriana Locke

[Many thanks to!]

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