Shelf Awareness for Thursday, March 17, 2016

Workman Publishing: Ejaculate Responsibly: A Whole New Way to Think about Abortion by Gabrielle Stanley Blair

Simon & Schuster: Defend Banned Books

Simon & Schuster: Defend Banned Books

Blackstone Publishing: River Woman, River Demon by Jennifer Givhan

Sourcebooks Explore: Black Boy, Black Boy by Ali Kamanda and Jorge Redmond, illustrated by Ken Daley

Quotation of the Day

The Healthy Community-Amazon Disconnect

Amy Thomas

"There is a disconnect when Berkeley residents and students speak up for an increased minimum wage, better working conditions, paid sick days, and all the rest of the things that create an enlightened business community, and yet continue to think Amazon is awesome because it's so cheap! Amazon's owner, Jeff Bezos, is reportedly worth $59 billion and is currently building rockets to launch into space. Where did he get this vast wealth in less than 20 years? In part, by paying substandard wages in lousy working conditions, by underpricing smaller competitors out of business and by avoiding the normal costs of doing business such as collecting sales taxes. There is a big disconnect when Berkeley residents and students rightly expect their businesses and neighbors to be green and sustainable and yet still enjoy having a whim at night that results in a big truck trundling down their street the next day to deliver a small package."

--Amy Thomas, president of Pegasus Books, Berkeley and Oakland, Calif., in an op-ed piece "Amazon delivers hardship for local business owners," in the Daily Californian



G.P. Putnam's Sons: All I Want for Christmas by Maggie Knox


Chronicle Books Opens Bookstore in Tokyo

Chronicle's Jack Jensen with customers at the new store.

In partnership with Top Partners Co., Chronicle Books has opened a micro-store in Tokyo modeled after the company's three bookstores in San Francisco. The store, Chronicle Books Daikanyama, is in the fashionable Daikanyama district of Tokyo in the Shibuya ward, a tree-lined neighborhood known for its cafes and independent boutiques.

Last year Chronicle formed a partnership with Top Partners called Chronicle Books Japan Co. Top Partners is a subsidiary of Culture Convenience Club, which owns the Japanese bookstore chain Tsutoya. Chronicle also has branded kiosks in several Tsutoya stores, which are sleek, modern superstores that sell books, music, videos and other products.

The Tokyo store offers books in English and Japanese and features titles from Chronicle and its distribution partners, who include Princeton Architectural Press and Galison, as well as stationery and gifts. There is a children's corner and gift wrapping service. The store will also host workshops and events related to Chronicle Books.

Jack Jensen, president of Chronicle Books, said, "The opening of our first branded boutique represents an exciting opportunity for Chronicle Books. It's a chance for us to establish a direct relationship with Japanese customers and build loyalty for our brand in this important market."

Disney-Hyperion: Drizzle, Dreams, and Lovestruck Things by Maya Prasad

Writer-Director Michael Mann Launching Book Imprint

Writer-director Michael Mann (The Aviator, The Last of the Mohicans, Miami Vice), "long one of the most literate translators of words to the screen," is launching Michael Mann Books, an imprint that will "generate a series of novels with a stable of writers and the properties will simultaneously be developed for film and television," Deadline reported. Under his imprint, Mann "will have a core group of authors to collaborate on fiction and nonfiction books, and he may share cover credit on certain properties. Conversations with publishers are expected to begin shortly."

Several of Mann's projects have come from literary properties, Deadline noted, adding that "high on the priority list is a prequel novel dealing with the principal characters of Mann's "seminal crime thriller Heat," the 1995 film starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro.

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Bookseller of the Year: Books Inc.

Congratulations to Books Inc., which has been named PW's Bookseller of the Year. Books Inc. has 11 stores in the San Francisco Bay area and was founded in 1851, making it one of the oldest bookstores in the country. Each of its stores, which include two Compass stores at San Francisco International Airport, has a distinct personality suiting its neighborhood.

Books Inc. is headed by president Michael Tucker, a former American Booksellers Association president. He owns Books Inc. with his wife, Margie Scott Tucker; Nikolai Grant; and Shannon Grant. Books Inc. is in the process of opening a store in Santa Clara, in the heart of Silicon Valley, which should be ready for business in July. Only this week, Books Inc. announced it is closing its store in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco, but Tucker emphasized, "Closing Books Inc. in the Castro does not reflect on the overall health of Books Inc. or the book industry."

In addition, congratulations to Lise Solomon of Karel/Dutton Group, who's won Sales Rep of the Year! She is also a board member of the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association.

Obituary Note: Bonnie Reynolds

Bonnie Reynolds, longtime manager of Small World Books, Venice, Calif., died on March 14 after an illness. She was 74.

Reynolds joined the Small World Books staff in 1983. The store wrote: "Along with her love of family, basketball, tennis and politics, she had a fierce love of literature and enthusiastically shared her discoveries of books and authors with hundreds of our customers over the years. She will be greatly missed by past and present staff and by the Venice community of readers."

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!

How Am I Doing?
40 Conversations to Have with Yourself

by Dr. Corey Yeager

GLOW: Harper Celebrate: How Am I Doing?: 40 Conversations to Have with Yourself by Dr. Corey YeagerWho is the most important person in your life? What determines your joy? What mistakes have you learned from the most? Corey Yeager--a psychotherapist who works with the Detroit Pistons basketball franchise--poses 40 self-reflective questions to facilitate positive personal change. His inviting, empathetic approach came to prominence via the Apple TV series The Me You Can't See, produced by Oprah and Prince Harry. Dr. Yeager draws from his own life story to dispel mental health stigmas and help others gain greater personal clarity. Danielle Peterson, senior acquisition editor at Harper Celebrate, says, "The format of How Am I Doing? makes it a stand-out in the mental health genre--an excellent choice for someone looking for high-density wisdom in small, bite-sized doses." Yeager's winning insights deliver a slam-dunk of empowered inspiration bound to elicit tremendous personal reward. --Kathleen Gerard

(Harper Celebrate, $22.99 hardcover, 9781400236763, 
October 18, 2022)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported



Image of the Day: Braving the Storms

More than 30 fans braved last week's historic storms and resultant floods in New Orleans to attend the launch for the new novel by T.M. Causey (aka local author Toni McGee Causey), The Saints of the Lost and Found (Roadrunner Press), at Garden District Book Shop. Despite dire weather predictions, the evening was overcast but dry.

'Bookstore of the Future Is Here Today' in NYC

"I have finally come across the bookstore concept for the future and it's not coming from Amazon or Barnes & Noble with their cross-channel pipe dreams," Caleb Mason wrote in Book Business. "It's Shakespeare and Co., which opened under new ownership in November 2015 and currently operates one store in the Upper East Side of New York, with more planned for the future."

Noting that what owner Dane Neller "and his team have done with their bookstore prototype shows they understand the critical importance of building community in achieving retail success--especially in our lonely age of the internet," Mason cited the presence of a café that "feels like a Dean and DeLuca," an Espresso Book Machine "right in the heart of the store" and an "excellent selection of preprinted titles."

He added that "this new store concept fits perfectly into the likely future landscape of bookselling.... [W]hen I want to grab a great cup of coffee, something fresh and healthy to eat, and hang out with other like-minded book lovers, Shakespeare & Co. is the place to go. (Slogan time?) And if I want to feel the pride that comes with authorship and see my book on actual store shelves, I can now enter that rarified world heretofore preserved mostly for well-known authors. I encourage you to visit this store to get an early look at what the future of indie bookselling may well become."

Personnel Changes at Little, Brown, Grand Central

Jane Lee has been promoted to manager, digital marketing and social media at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. She was previously associate manager, digital marketing & social media.

Michelle Cashman has joined the Grand Central publicity department as publicist for Forever. She formerly handled publicity campaigns for many romance titles at St. Martin's Press. Before that, she interned at Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine.

Media and Movies

Show Books Update: Weinstein Co.

Weinstein Books has acquired publishing rights for A Speck in the Sea by John Aldridge and Anthony Sosinski, in collaboration with the Weinstein Company, which is developing the project for film. The book, scheduled for a spring 2017 release, "will recount the harrowing 2013 search-and-rescue mission for lost Montauk fisherman John Aldridge, who fell into the ocean in the middle of the night, 40 miles off Montauk with no life vest or hope of survival. When his childhood best friend and fishing partner Anthony Sosinski awoke and realized John was gone, an unprecedented multi-state rescue operation was launched," according to the publisher.

The film will be produced by Rachael Horovitz (Moneyball, Grey Gardens) along with Jason Blum and Harvey Weinstein. Bob Weinstein will executive produce the project and Jeff Pope is writing the script.

Media Heat: Patti Smith on Tavis Smiley

NPR's Morning Edition: Sara Baume, author of Spill Simmer Falter Wither (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $23, 9780544716193).

Tavis Smiley: Patti Smith, author of M Train (Knopf, $25, 9781101875100).

Last Call with Carson Daly repeat: Grace Helbig, author of Grace & Style: The Art of Pretending You Have It (Touchstone, $19.99, 9781501120589).

This Weekend on Book TV: And Then All Hell Broke Loose

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this weekend from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, March 19
6:45 p.m. Tom Wainwright, author of Narconomics: How to Run a Drug Cartel (PublicAffairs, $26.99, 9781610395830). (Re-airs Monday at 1:30 a.m.)

8:15 p.m. Douglas Rushkoff, author of Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity (Portfolio, $28, 9781617230172).

9:15 p.m. Richard Engel, author of And Then All Hell Broke Loose: Two Decades in the Middle East (Simon & Schuster, $27, 9781451635119), at Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C. (Re-airs Sunday at 1:30 p.m.)

10 p.m. John Yoo, editor of Liberty's Nemesis: The Unchecked Expansion of the State (Encounter, $32.99, 9781594038372). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

Sunday, March 20
7:30 a.m. Adam Cohen, author of Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck (Penguin Press, $28, 9781594204180). (Re-airs Sunday at 11 p.m.)

5 p.m. Fred Kaplan, author of Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781476763255).

10 p.m. Dayna Matthew, author of Just Medicine: A Cure for Racial Inequality in American Health Care (NYU Press, $30, 9781479896738), at Kramerbooks and Afterwords in Washington, D.C.

Books & Authors

Awards: Indies Choice/E.B. White; Bancroft; Wingate; Sarton

Members of the American Booksellers Association have begun voting to determine winners in eight categories of the 2016 Indies Choice Book Awards and the E.B. White Read-Aloud Awards. (Finalists can be seen here.) Voting concludes April 6. Winners will be announced April 13 and will be feted May 12, along with the honor book recipients, at ABA's Celebration of Bookselling and Author Awards Lunch at BookExpo America in Chicago.


The three winners of the $10,000 Bancroft Prize, awarded by Columbia University for books about "diplomacy or the history of the Americas," are:

The Saltwater Frontier: Indians and the Contest for the American Coast by Andrew Lipman (Yale University Press)
Madison's Hand: Revisiting the Constitutional Convention by Mary Sarah Bilder (Harvard University Press)
Border Law: The First Seminole War and American Nationhood by Deborah A. Rosen (Harvard University Press)


Nikolaus Wachsmann won the £4,000 (about $5,707) Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize, awarded annually "to the best book--fiction or nonfiction--of Jewish interest for the general reader," for KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps, the Bookseller reported. Chair of judges Samantha Ellis said "the rise of Nazism will always be of Jewish interest but that is not why we have chosen KL. We think it is a book everyone should read. It is a work of immense scholarship and of vivid humanity, as Nikolaus Wachsmann marshals many new primary sources, and thousands of individual testimonies, showing how the concentration camps were used against many different people, from political opponents of the regime to those considered racially unfit."


The Story Circle Network announced winners of this year's Sarton Women's Literary Awards, which are given annually to women authors writing chiefly about women in memoir, biography and fiction published in the U.S. and Canada. Named in honor of memoirist, novelist and poet May Sarton, the awards are limited to submissions originally written in English and published by small/independent publishers, university presses and author-publishers (self-publishing authors). This year's winners are:

Memoir: So Many Africas: Six Years in a Zambian Village by Jill Kandel (Autumn House Press)
Contemporary fiction: War Creek by Susan Marsh (MP USA)
Historical fiction: Even in Darkness: A Novel by Barbara Stark-Nemon (She Writes Press)

IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:

Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens by Steve Olson (Norton, $27.95, 9780393242799). "Eruption is everything a nonfiction book should be: Marvelous storytelling mixed with a great cast of characters, fascinating science, and little-known history. Anyone with even a passing interest in the Pacific Northwest or volcanoes will love this book. I read it in three long, satisfying gulps, and, like all great books, its stories linger in the mind long after you've read the last page." --Tom Campbell, the Regulator Bookshop, Durham, N.C.

All the Winters After: A Novel by Seré Prince Halverson (Sourcebooks Landmark, $24.99, 9781492615354). "This is the compelling story of a damaged young woman, Nadia, who has taken refuge in a cabin in the Alaskan woods for the last 10 years after escaping an abusive marriage. Kachemak Winkel, the cabin's owner, returns to Alaska after a long absence, still mourning for his parents and older brother who lost their lives in a plane crash 20 years earlier. Two young, damaged souls are at the heart of this beautifully written novel, and the wild and dangerous beauty of Alaska is present throughout. Perfect for book groups!" --Patricia Worth, River Reader Books, Lexington, Mo.

Blackass: A Novel by A. Igoni Barrett (Graywolf, $16, 9781555977337). "We have seen transformation handled masterfully in literature, and Blackass, with its black, Nigerian protagonist waking up in the body of a white man, immediately calls to mind Kafka's Metamorphosis. But this is something more, something different. There is a willingness here to confront how we create our identities--racially, politically, and even on social media. Barrett does this with intelligence and a playful humor that is by turns bright and biting. There is an edge to Blackass, a fire, the beginning of trouble. This is Kafka for the Kanye generation." --Kenny Coble, King's Books, Tacoma, Wash.

For Ages 4 to 8
Dylan the Villain by K.G. Campbell (Viking, $17.99, 9780451476425). "In his parent's eyes, Dylan is the greatest villain ever. But when he starts attending a villain academy, he meets his match in Addison Van Malice and must step up his game, especially if he wants to win the diabolical robot contest. Campbell's playful, rich storytelling and humorous illustrations combine to make an original story that is 'crazy-bananas' wonderful!" --Mark Adam, Mrs. Nelson's Book Fair Company, Pomona, Calif.

For Ages 9 to 12
Baker's Magic by Diane Zahler, illustrated by Mina Price (Capstone, $12.95, 9781623706425). "An orphan turned baker's apprentice, an evil mage, a captive princess, a hedge wizard and a hedgehog, and a band of pirates led by their female captain, all magically involved in an ecological adventure. Middle-grade reading doesn't get better than this!" --Amy Lacy, Petunia's Place, Fresno, Calif.

For Teen Readers: An Indies Introduce Title
The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig (Greenwillow, $17.99, 9780062380753). "Finally, a time-travel novel for the non-sci-fi reader. Nix is the daughter of a Navigator--a person who, with a map, has the ability to sail through time to anywhere on Earth, real or fabled. Her father is determined to return to 19th century Hawaii to save Nix's mother's life--a journey that might erase not only Nix's past, but her birth as well. Well-defined characters, a race against time, a charming love interest, mystical maps, a boy next door who actually came for a fabled map, and a girl without a time on a race to save her life and find her place in the universe combine in this perfect YA read." --Erin Barker, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, Va.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, March 22:

The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney (Ecco, $26.99, 9780062414212) follows four adult siblings squabbling over an endangered inheritance.

Predator: A Crossbow Novel by Wilbur Smith and Tom Cain (Morrow, $28.99, 9780062276476) is a thriller starring ex-SAS soldier Major Hector Cross.

Just Fall: A Novel by Nina Sadowsky (Ballantine, $26, 9780553394856) follows a newly married couple with a deadly secret.

The Association of Small Bombs: A Novel by Karan Mahajan (Viking, $26, 9780525429630) takes place in the aftermath of a terror attack in Delhi.

The Brazen Age: New York City and the American Empire: Politics, Art, and Bohemia by David Reid (Pantheon, $30, 9780394572376) is a portrait of New York City between 1945 and 1950.

Switched On: A Memoir of Brain Change and Emotional Awakening by John Elder Robison and Alvaro Pascual-Leon (Spiegel & Grau, $28, 9780812996890) explores the effects of an experimental therapy on a man with autism.

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson (Broadway, $17, 9780307408877).

The 5-Day Real Food Detox by Nikki Sharp (Ballantine, $22, 9781101886922).

I Saw the Light, based on the biography by Colin Escott, George Merritt and William MacEwen, opens March 25. Tom Hiddleston stars as country-western singer Hank Williams.

Book Review

Review: The Last Painting of Sara de Vos

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith (Sarah Crichton/FSG, $26 hardcover, 9780374106683, April 12, 2016)

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Australian novelist Dominic Smith (Bright & Distant Shores) is a mesmerizing and magically faux historical novel. It revolves around the meticulous forgery of a haunting Dutch Golden Age painting, and the loss, deceptions and love in the lives of the artist who painted the original, the wealthy New Yorker who owned it and the young woman who forged it.

The narrative dips gracefully between centuries to tell the interwoven stories of its three characters. Gifted artist Sara de Vos, in 1631, is the first woman admitted to the Guild of St. Luke as a master painter, but she's also a working woman struggling with debt and her own profound losses. Ellie Shipley, a lonely Ph.D. student in Brooklyn in 1957, consults for collectors and takes on restoration work to make ends meet when an art dealer persuades her to copy a rare de Vos called At the Edge of the Woods. Marty de Groot is a wealthy New York lawyer and descendant of the original owner; he is hosting a party when the painting is stolen and replaced with a fake so convincing it takes him six months to see the substitution and embark on his own deceptions to exact revenge.

Fifty years later, Ellie is a prominent curator in Sydney preparing an exhibition on female Dutch Golden Age painters when she learns that both versions of At the Edge of the Woods are on their way--the original from a Dutch private collector and her own forgery, personally delivered by Marty de Groot. Helpless with foreboding and regret, she's convinced her secret is about to be revealed.

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos is steeped in the arcana of forgery, technique and history. Seventeenth-century Amsterdam and Haarlem are as vibrantly alive as mid-century Brooklyn and contemporary Manhattan. Yet the novel avoids being weighted by research. The characters never feel as though they are the puppets of history. In no small part, this is due to Smith's use of invented characters and paintings rather than historical ones. It's a neat way to underscore his theme of authenticity and masquerade, and allows him to focus on his characters' reactions to their circumstances, rather than on ensuring they bend to the historical record. As a result, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos is a splendid thing: a riveting mystery set in the rarified world of art collection about a stolen masterpiece and a gorgeous, haunting novel rooted in history, an incandescent achievement of literary imagination. --Jeanette Zwart, freelance writer and reviewer

Shelf Talker: The landscape painting at the center of this gorgeous novel becomes an emblem of the longings and losses, deceptions and loves of its contemporary owner, its forger and its Dutch Golden Age creator.

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