Also published on this date: Wednesday, March 16, 2016: Maximum Shelf: I Let You Go

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, March 16, 2016


Little Brown and Company: The World According to Fannie Davis: My Mother's Life in the Detroit Numbers by Bridgett M. Davis

Grove Press: The Heavens by Sandra Newman

Quirk Books: Giraffes on Horseback Salad: Salvador Dali, the Marx Brothers, and the Strangest Movie Never Made by Josh Frank, adapted with Tim Heidecker, illustrated by Manuela Pertega

Other Press: Wanderer by Sarah Léon, translated by John Cullen

Sourcebooks Jabberwocky: 8 Little Planets by Chris Ferrie, illustrated by Lizzy Doyle

Flatiron Books: Save Me from Dangerous Men (Nikki Griffin #1) by S.A. Lelchuk

Berkley Books: My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

News

Bookstore Sales Up 3.8% in January

January bookstore sales rose 3.8%, to $1.48 billion, compared to January 2015, according to preliminary estimates from the Census Bureau. This marked the fifth month in a row that bookstore have risen, following a jump of 9.6% in December, rises of nearly 7% in September and October and 7.5% in November.

Total retail sales in January rose 1%, to $400.2 billion.

Note: under Census Bureau definitions, the bookstore category consists of "establishments primarily engaged in retailing a general line of new books. These establishments may also sell stationery and related items, second-hand books, and magazines."


Rare Bird Books, A Vireo Book: Easy for You to Say by Stuttering John Melendez


Books Inc. Closing San Francisco Castro Location

Books Inc. is closing its Castro store.

Books Inc. in San Francisco's Castro district will close in mid-June, the Chronicle reported, citing a statement from the bookseller that the 2275 Market St. location has lost its lease. The company said it does not plan any layoffs and the store's employees will be given the opportunity to work at one of the bookseller's other shops. Books Inc. operates 11 bookstores in the Bay Area, with a 12th scheduled to open in Santa Clara in July.

"We have served customers and authors in the Castro for over 20 years and thank everyone for the support," said president and CEO Michael Tucker. "Closing Books Inc. in the Castro does not reflect on the overall health of Books Inc. or the book industry."

"It’s tough for me emotionally because this was the first store we opened," Tucker told the Chronicle, "But we couldn’t absorb any more costs." He added that the store has been in the red for eight of the past 10 years, which prompted the decision not to sign another five-year lease with its property manager. "We would stay if the sales were there."


Graywolf Press: Scribe by Alyson Hagy


Parnassus on Wheels Hits the Road in Nashville

On Sunday, Parnassus Books, Nashville, Tenn., will debut its new bookmobile, Pegasus ("Peggy" to her friends), "the official automotive ambassador of Nashville's roving bookshop, Parnassus on Wheels!" the bookseller's Musings blog reported.

Noting that the inspiration for the bookstore's name came from Christopher Morley's classic bookselling novel Parnassus on Wheels, co-owner Karen Hayes said, "Before we even opened the store I imagined how much fun it would be to have our own Parnassus on Wheels one day, too."  When she saw a listing for a retired bookmobile on eBay, she knew it was meant to be.

Co-owner Ann Patchett agreed: "Getting people to think about reading, then getting them to buy a real book, then getting them to buy a real book from an independent bookseller" is challenging, but the bookmobile "introduces an element of both whimsy and spontaneity to the experience.... I envision it like the ice cream truck of my youth. People see it coming down the street and run out to buy a book."

Longtime Parnassus bookseller Grace Wright will manage bookmobile operations and has been overwhelmed by the support and interest from local businesses eager to team up with the bookmobile. "All these partner businesses and the amazing people who built them will have a fingerprint on this new venture of ours, which delights my inner fangirl, because I'm an admiring customer of these places too," she said. Pegasus has its own dedicated Twitter account.

"Food trucks have become a popular way to serve delicious things to the masses wherever the opportunity arises," Hayes noted. "Now with Parnassus on Wheels, we can feed the mind."


Yale University Press: The Climate Casino: Risk, Uncertainty, and Economics for a Warming World by William D. Nordhaus


Micah Kleit New Director of Rutgers University Press

Micah Kleit has been appointed director of Rutgers University Press, effective May 1. He succeeds Marlie Wasserman, who has held the position for more than 20 years. Rutgers noted that Wasserman "leaves a proud legacy that we are looking forward to growing further under Micah's leadership."

Kleit joins the publisher from Temple University Press, where he has worked for more than 15 years, beginning as senior acquisitions editor before rising to the positions of executive editor, interim editorial director and ultimately editor-in-chief. Prior to Temple, Kleit worked at Beacon Press, the University of Minnesota Press and Teachers College Press.


Soho Press: Insurrecto by Gina Apostol


Obituary Note: Doreen Massey

Doreen Massey, a renowned and award-winning geographer and social scientist, died March 11, the Manchester Evening News reported, adding that she "was also well-known as a media commentator and the author of a number of acclaimed academic books." Massey was in her 70s. Her books include For Space; Space, Place & Gender and World City.

Open University, where she was an Emeritus Professor of Geography until 2009, posted on its website that Massey's death "will also be a profound loss to all those who were inspired by her work, which was always stimulating, not least because it was sharpened by her keen sense political purpose and commitment."

Writing on openDemocracyUK's website, Hilary Wainwright noted that Massey worked alongside others "to establish geography as the intellectual source of a powerful, integrated critique of predatory capitalism in the age of climate change and the corporate driven global market."


Hampton Roads Publishing Company: Cannabis: A Beginner's Guide to Growing Marijuana by Danny Danko


G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss
by Rajeev Balasubramanyam

According to Susan Kamil, Random House executive v-p and publisher, Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss is "for readers of A Man Called Ove or The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, novels where one feels the central character will never overcome their own emotional shortcomings or burdens, but, miraculously do." Curmudgeonly Cambridge professor of Economics P.R. Chandrasekhar does not, at first, appear capable of miracles, or even of changing his mind. But he is--and he does, thanks to a run-in with a bicyclist and a doctor's charge to follow his bliss. Author Rajeev Balasubramanyam wields considerable humor, the perfect antidote to our polarized and exhausting present, while crafting a tender and thoughtful tale. This is an absolute gem of a book. --Stefanie Hargreaves, editor, Shelf Awareness for Readers

(Dial Press, $27 hardcover, 9780525511380, March 26, 2019)

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Notes

Image of the Day: The Subject Was Murder

Last Sunday, the Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., hosted a conversation between Elizabeth Brundage, author most recently of All Things Cease to Appear (Knopf), and Jessica Treadway, whose paperback edition of Lacy Eye (Grand Central) has just been released. They discussed a variety of topics related to their books (which both focus on murders) and their creative process, including how they approach source materials, plot structure and character development, not to mention the elusive definition of that mysterious term "literary thriller." Pictured from l. to r.: Treadway, Northshire Saratoga's events and community outreach coordinator Rachel Person and Brundage.


Bookstore Marriage Proposal of the Day: Literati

Posted on Facebook on Monday by Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, Mich.:

"Every now and then, we witness a magical moment at the bookstore. We were delighted to be part of this lovely engagement proposal last Friday with two of our favorites. Congratulations, Jim and Aubrie!"


'Magical Things Can Happen' in Michigan Bookstores

"Magical things can happen in bookstores," wrote Annie J. Kelley for a Battle Creek Enquirer column in which she observed: "Maybe it's the spring weather that turns my mind to travel, but if you're planning any trips in state, there are plenty of great bookstores in Michigan. Here are some of my favorites."


Consortium Adds Six Publishers

Effective June 1, Consortium Book Sales & Distribution is adding six new publishers for the fall 2016 season:

The Critical Press, Jenkintown, Pa., which specializes in short books on film and culture. Founded two years ago, the press has published eight books and started a blog focused on the world of film.

DoppelHouse Press, Los Angeles, Calif., which publishes memoirs and biographies, monographs, critical texts and select fiction--both new works and translations--focusing on the art, architecture and design of 20th-century modernism and the stories of people affected by political upheaval, dislocation and exile. DoppelHouse Press was founded in 2011.

h.f. ullmann, Potsdam, Germany, which was founded in 1994 by publisher Herbert Ullmann and focuses on high-quality illustrated books on subjects ranging from art, architecture, fashion, lifestyle and drawing to healthy food and drinks, car design, medicine, science and travel.

Lesser Gods, New York City, the first U.S. imprint of Amsterdam's Overamstel Publishers, which produces books by and about musicians across many types of music.

Mandel Vilar Press, Simsbury, Conn., the nonprofit publishing arm of Americas for Conservation and the Arts that is dedicated to connecting the literature of the Americas by uniting the works of the best writers of Central and South America and the Caribbean with the leading ethnic and minority writers of North America. The press produces six to ten fiction and nonfiction titles, including translations and classic reprints, a year. Areas of focus include conservation, nature, culture, history, memoir, fiction, science, politics, sports and social and environmental justice.

Vodka & Milk, New York City, whose imprints include Infamous Books, Write to Eat and Five Avenue Entertainment. It specializes in thrillers, memoirs, cookbooks and entertaining fiction and nonfiction.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Anne Garrels on Fresh Air

Today:
Fresh Air: Anne Garrels, author of Putin Country: A Journey into the Real Russia (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $26, 9780374247720).

Tomorrow:
Fox & Friends: Shirley MacLaine, author of Above the Line: My Wild Oats Adventure (Atria, $24, 9781501136412).

Diane Rehm: Jorge Ramos, author of Take a Stand: Lessons from Rebels (Celebra, $26, 9781101989630).


TV: A Series of Unfortunate Events

Neil Patrick Harris will star as the villainous Count Olaf in the Netflix series adaptation of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, based on the books by Daniel Handler, Deadline reported. Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, the project's cast also includes Malina Weissman as Violet, Louis Hynes as Klaus and Patrick Warburton as narrator Lemony Snicket, who will appear on camera.


Movies: Miss Peregrine; River Town; Carry On

The first official trailer has been released for Tim Burton's film adaptation of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, Entertainment Weekly reported. Written by Jane Goldman, the movie stars Asa Butterfield, Eva Green, Ella Purnell, Allison Janney, Terence Stamp, Rupert Everett, Judi Dench and Samuel L. Jackson. It hits theaters on September 30.

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Lu Chuan (Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe) will direct and produce River Town, the Tristine Skyler adaptation of Peter Hessler's bestselling memoir River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze, Deadline reported. Jamie Gordon and Courtney Potts of Fugitive Films are producing.

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Walden Media has preemptively acquired screen rights to ESPN producer Lisa Fenn's inspirational memoir Carry On, and hired Nate Parker (The Birth of a Nation) to adapt it, Deadline reported. The book, which "tells the true journey of Fenn, an Emmy-winning features producer for ESPN, and her 2009 return to her Cleveland hometown to chase a story on two disabled wrestlers who attended an impoverished public high school there," will be released by HarperCollins in August. Walden Media will produce, as well as develop and finance the picture.


Books & Authors

Awards: CILIP Carnegie, Kate Greenaway; SCBWI Golden Kite

The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals has released shortlists for the 2016 Carnegie Medal (author of a book for children and young people) and the Kate Greenaway Medal (illustrator of a book for children and young people), which are judged by a panel of expert librarians. Winners will each receive £500 (about $710) worth of books to donate to their local library and a specially commissioned golden medal. Since 2000, the winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal has been awarded the £5,000 (about $7,080) Colin Mears Award cash prize and, from 2016, the Carnegie Medal winner will also be awarded an equal amount of prize money from the same fund. Winners will be announced June 20.

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Winners of the 2015 Golden Kite Awards, presented to children's book authors and artists by their peers and sponsored by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, are:

Fiction: Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman (HarperCollins)
Middle grade/young reader fiction: The Detective's Assistant by Kate Hannigan (Little, Brown)
Nonfiction: Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir by Margarita Engle (Atheneum)
Picture book illustration: Marvelous Cornelius by John Parra, written by Phil Bildner (Chronicle)
Picture book text: Boats for Papa by Jessixa Bagley (Macmillan)

Honor Books
Fiction: The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes (Dial)
Middle grade/young reader fiction: Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly (Greenwillow Books)
Nonfiction: Mesmerized by Mara Rickliff, illustrated by Iacopo Bruno (Candlewick)
Picture book illustration: Thomas Jefferson Grows a Nation by Stacy Innerst, written by Peggy Thomas (Calkins Creek)
Picture book text: Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova by Laurel Snyder, illustrated by Julie Morstad (Chronicle)

Sid Fleischman Award for Humor: Teddy Mars: Almost a World Record Breaker by Molly B. Burnham (HarperCollins)

Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award (given every three years)
Winner: Forest Has a Song by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, illustrated by Robbin Gourley (Clarion)
Honor books: Dear Wandering Wildebeest: And Other Poems from the Water Hole by Irene Latham, illustrated by Anna Wadham (Millbrook Press); and Feeding the Flying Fanellis by Kate Hosford, illustrated by Cosei Kawa (Carolrhoda Books)


Book Brahmin: Chris Pavone

photo: Nina Subi

Chris Pavone's newest thriller is The Travelers (Crown, March 8, 2016), following on The Expats, which won Edgar and Anthony awards, and The Accident. Pavone was a book editor for nearly two decades before moving to Luxembourg, where he started writing The Expats. He now lives again in New York City with his wife and children.

On your nightstand now:

A bound manuscript of Dodgers, a terrific debut by Bill Beverly; a bound manuscript of the newest novel by C.J. Box, with whom I'll be doing an event at the Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, Ariz.; and an Insight Guide to Guatemala, where I'll be going with my kids for a multi-tasking combination of Spanish school, spring-break vacation and book-writing research trip. When I was growing up, my family spent all summer every summer traveling around Latin America, and while I've been back to Mexico a handful of times as an adult, I haven't set foot in Guatemala. I still remember it as the most beautiful place I've ever seen, and I'm excited to revisit it.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson: pirates, treasure, adventure, betrayal. What more could a kid want?

Your top five authors:

David Foster Wallace, for his voice; Kate Atkinson, for the breadth of her ambition; Ernest Hemingway, for his layers; Donna Tartt, for her sentences; and Richard Price, for his dialogue.

Book you've faked reading:

I don't think I've ever fake-read a book. But I have definitely done the opposite plenty: pretended to have not read books that I had in fact read but didn't enjoy, especially those written by acquaintances. I've always been inept at pretending to like things that I don't, or staying silent about things I loathe. So instead I just say, "Sorry, haven't gotten around to it yet."

Book you're an evangelist for:

The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher. I write crime novels and read stacks of them, so I spend a lot of my time immersed in plots that dwell just on the far side of plausibility, with conspiracies and murders and convoluted cons, things that don't much happen in real life. But I've always enjoyed fiction that's hyper-real, with characters and dialogue and relationships and tensions that feel as true as real life itself, if not more so. The Northern Clemency is exactly that, beautifully rendered. 

Book you've bought for the cover:

Remember the groundbreaking acetate cover for the original hardcover of The Secret History? Donna Tartt's book was everywhere--the big marketing, the large print run, the reviews--it was unavoidable. And I loved everything about it. Then a year or two later, I bought a completely different book because it too had a similar acetate cover. But it was awful.

Book you hid from your parents:

A novelization of the Warren Beatty movie Heaven Can Wait. I can't remember how I acquired the book to begin with, but I was pretty certain that my parents wouldn't approve of me devoting brain space to a novelization. I recently re-watched the movie, though, and it's terrific.

Book that changed your life:

When I was a young copy editor, I did some tiny bits of work on Pat Conroy's Beach Music, mostly making sure that the author's handwritten changes were legible; the manuscript went through a complicated revision. Over the course of a month, I had my pencil on those pages almost every day, with an open dictionary and style manual at my side. I also saw a lot of Pat. It was the first time in my life I'd ever spent much time with a successful novelist, and it opened my eyes to some surprising realities about writing, and working, and living.

Favorite line from a book:

"My mother is a fish," from Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. Point of view is everything.

Five books you'll never part with:

A tattered mass market paperback of Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, which I can open to any page, at any time, and love it. A hardcover of Infinite Jest, which David Foster Wallace signed during the publication tour. A pristine first edition of The End of the Affair by Graham Greene, which was a gift from my publisher upon publication of my first novel. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, which for so many years seemed to speak directly to me--to encapsulate everything that worried me about the world, about what my place in it might become. And most important, an untitled handmade book that my son Sam wrote when he was five or so. It's mostly pictures, and parts are a bit hard to understand, but it's definitely some sort of crime novel, starring a "bd gi" (bad guy) who says, "Ha ha ha!"

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

The aforementioned book by Sam. He's not the kind of kid who volunteers his work for anyone's approval, so my wife and I had to discover the book's existence by chance, on our own. I laughed for weeks. My life would be so great if I were somehow able to re-discover that book once a month, forever.


Book Review

Children's Review: Tell Me a Tattoo Story

Tell Me a Tattoo Story by Alison McGhee, illus. by Eliza Wheeler (Chronicle, $16.99 hardcover, 32p., ages 3-5, 9781452119373, April 12, 2016)

The age-old tattoo tradition is loud and proud in modern American culture, and in Alison McGhee's (Firefly Hollow; Bink and Gollie: Two for One) picture book Tell Me a Tattoo Story, a young boy asks his father, once again, to share the stories behind his ink. Just as Pluto losing its planet status took a while to seep into children's literature, perhaps the U.S.'s now-mainstream relationship with body art is starting to do the same.

The book opens to a celadon-washed scene of peaceful domesticity. Hip Dad is drying the dishes, while hip Mom reads in the other room. When his young son tugs at the hem of his undershirt, Dad says, "You wanna see my tattoos?/ Why, little man, you always want to see my tattoos. Here we go then." (The boy never speaks, but makes his questions clear to his dad somehow, because his dad always repeats them before he starts telling his tales.) Dad's intricate, delicately wrought tattoos embody major touchstones in his life: his loving parents, meeting his wife, his military service, the birth of his son. He tells his ever-inquisitive son the stories, tattoo by tattoo, through bath time and all the way to bedtime.

The boy knows that the mountain dragon inked on his father's shoulder is from his favorite childhood book, and at that point Eliza Wheeler's (Miss Maple's Seeds) cozy, golden-hued illustration recalls the father's mother reading out loud from The Ho****. (The title is cut off, but bets are on The Hobbit.) The upper-arm tattoo of fireworks and a Ferris wheel reminds his dad of a pretty girl: "Have you ever met her? You sure have." (It's the boy's mother, a woman his father met when she was waiting tables at the Café de l'amour.) The father's torso tattoo is of a Middle Eastern desert landscape, and the illustrated flashback shows him as a soldier, trudging. The last tattoo, over his father's heart, is a little heart, with the boy's birthday inked inside: July 22, 2012. That one is the boy's favorite--and his dad's favorite, too.

Wheeler uses India ink with dip pens and watercolors to make the tattoos spring to life, just as the affection and memories behind the tattoos live and breathe for the boy. Tattoos of ships, dragons, skulls, hearts, waves, fish, fields, keys and numbers mesh in a magical jumble on the endpapers. The illustrations capture the tenderness between the father and son, mother and son, and the love between the boy's father and the mother. Tell Me a Tattoo Story is a tale of love and ink and the staying power that both promise. --Karin Snelson, children's & YA editor, Shelf Awareness

Shelf Talker: A boy asks his father to explain the stories behind his many tattoos in Alison McGhee and Eliza Wheeler's winning picture book for the inked generations.


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