Shelf Awareness for Monday, March 21, 2016

Harper Perennial: Pandora by Susan Stokes-Chapman

Wednesday Books: Missing Clarissa by Ripley Jones

Berkley Books: Sisters of the Lost Nation by Nick Medina

Ronin House: So Close (Blacklist #1) by Sylvia Day

Bloom Books: Queen of Myth and Monsters (Adrian X Isolde #2) by Scarlett St. Clair

Blue Box Press: A Light in the Flame: A Flesh and Fire Novel by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Irh Press: The Unknown Stigma Trilogy by Ryuho Okawa

Other Press (NY): The Rebel and the Thief by Jan-Philipp Sendker, translated by Imogen Taylor


Eslite Opening Skyhigh Bookstore in June

Eslite, the Taiwanese bookstore chain that opened its first store in mainland China last November, this June will open a 6,500-square-meter (about 70,000 square feet) store on the 52nd and 53rd floors of Shanghai Tower, China Daily reported. The 128-story building was finished last year and is the tallest in China and second-tallest in the world.

The company will reportedly also sell lifestyle merchandise and highlight artistic works in a space on the basement floor.

Eslite is planning to open to open three other branches this year: in Hong Kong, Heilongjiang province and Kaohsiung.

Berkley Books: Jane & Edward: A Modern Reimagining of Jane Eyre by Melodie Edwards

POD-Only Store Opens in Paris

Last week, French publisher Les Presses Universitaires de France (PUF) opened a bookstore in Paris that features an Espresso Book Machine and sells only print-on-demand titles, the AP reported.

The 775-square-foot store includes a café so that, as project manager Alexandre Gaudefroy put it, while customers wait a few minutes for a book to be printed, they "can enjoy a cup of coffee from the shop at a reasonable price. The idea was to create a tea room and a bookshop at the same time."

At the store, titles available for printing include about 5,000 titles from the PUF catalogue and three million from other publishing houses and sources available from On Demand Books, owner of the Espresso Book Machine.

The Espresso Book Machine is one of only five in France. There are about 100 installed around the world, mostly in bookstores, libraries and other sites that do a majority of their business in other formats and areas. PUF, which is 95 years old, for many years had a bookstore on the Place de la Sorbonne, but closed it in 1999.

Bookstore general manager Frederic Meriot told the AP that he needs to sell about 15 books daily to break even, and had sold 60 on opening day. He added: "We could not have afforded to rent a 600-square-meter (6,450-square-foot) shop like we had in the past. With the Espresso Book, we don't need warehouses to stock the books, we don't spend money to pulp the books already printed that didn't sell, and it's also a low-carbon way of making books."

ECW Press: We Meant Well by Erum Shazia Hasan

B&N Declares Quarterly Dividend of 15 Cents a Share

Barnes & Noble has declared a quarterly dividend of 15 cents a share, payable on April 29 to stockholders of record at the close of the day April 8.

The move maintains B&N's dividend of 60 cents a year, which, at Friday's closing price of $12.30 a share, represents a yield of 4.8%.

BINC: Carla Gray Memorial Scholarship

Amazon to U.S.: 'What You Can Do for Us'

Amazon continues to increase its lobbying in Washington, D.C., emerging as "one of the tech industry's most outspoken players in Washington, spending millions on this effort and meeting regularly with lawmakers and regulators," the New York Times wrote.

Among its biggest efforts, the company is pressuring Congress and federal agencies to:

  • Loosen rules for the commercial use of drones, so that it can use them for package deliveries; airlines and pilot groups have fought this effort;
  • Extend the legal length of trucks by several feet, seen by many as a safety hazard, so that its trucks and contractors' trucks can carry larger loads;
  • Improve roads, bridges and railroads, for the use of said trucks;
  • Shore up the U.S. Postal Service, which Amazon uses for some deliveries;
  • Change international delivery rates, to take away what Amazon says is "an unfair advantage" that foreign e-commerce rivals have delivering to American homes.

Last year, the company doubled its spending on lobbying, to $9.4 million, an amount that represents only what the company is legally forced to disclose. It has 60 people listed as lobbyists, double the number of two years ago, and they include employees and contractors, among them former Senate majority leader Trent Lott, Republican of Mississippi.

At the same time, Amazon is a major government contractor--the CIA has a $600 million cloud computing contract with the company--and, of course, CEO Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post, which "gives him a foothold in the political and media circles of Washington," as the Times put it.

Not mentioned in the article: Amazon's ease at getting the Justice Department interested in how the agency model was developed for e-books, resulting in a suit against Apple and five publishers, or its efforts to influence state and local governments, to help it avoid collecting sales taxes and to receive grants, tax abatements and aid when opening warehouses.

Obituary Note: Geoffrey H. Hartman

Literary critic Geoffrey H. Hartman, "whose work took in the Romantic poets, Judaic sacred texts, Holocaust studies, deconstruction and the workings of memory--and took on the very function of criticism itself," died March 14, the New York Times reported. He was 86. Hartman was associated with the "Yale School," a cohort of literary theorists that included Harold Bloom, J. Hillis Miller and Paul de Man. His books include Wordsworth's Poetry: 1787-1814; Criticism in the Wilderness: The Study of Literature Today; The Longest Shadow: In the Aftermath of the Holocaust and a memoir, A Scholar's Tale: Intellectual Journey of a Displaced Child of Europe.

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
Simon Sort of Says
by Erin Bow
GLOW: Disney-Hyperion: Simon Sort of Says by Erin Bow

When 12-year-old Simon's family moves to Grin And Bear It, Neb., he pretends it's because of an unfortunate alpaca incident at their previous town's church. The aching truth is that two years earlier Simon was the only kid in his class to survive a shooting, and the trauma has lingered. Editor Rachel Stark says, "I've honestly never seen a team respond to a book quite the way the Disney-Hyperion team rallied behind this one. Simon Sort of Says is one of the first middle-grade books to tackle the subject of school shootings--without ever dramatizing or sensationalizing the event itself." Bow has written a near-perfect novel that features quirky friendships, wild astronomy exploits (that almost work!), zany animal capers and plenty of humor amidst the darkness. --Emilie Coulter

(Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 hardcover, ages 8-12, 9781368082853, 
January 31, 2023)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported


Image of the Day: The Inaugural Walter Dean Myers Award

photo: Library of Congress

On Friday, at the Library of Congress, We Need Diverse Books presented the inaugural Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children's Literature, honoring children's authors from diverse backgrounds or whose stories shine light on diversity. The award was named for author Walter Dean Myers (1937-2014).

The winner of the first annual Walter award is the YA novel All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely (Caitlyn Diouhy/Atheneum). The judges also selected two Walter honor books: Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings by Margarita Engle (Atheneum/S&S) and X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon (Candlewick). Pictured: (l.-r.) Brendan Kiely, Jason Reynolds, Kekla Magoon, Ilyasah Shabazz, Margarita Engle.

Toronto Indie 'Sells Just 10 Titles at a Time'

Martha Sharpe "stocks 10 titles at a time at her indie shop, Flying Books," noted Toronto Life, which interviewed the woman who went from "publishing books at House of Anansi to editing them at Simon and Schuster to selling them." Among our favorite exchanges:

But you only sell a few titles at a time. Why?
My little mission is to pick something that's great but won't get much attention. When customers find out about my background, they often say they can trust me to survey what's out there in the book world and narrow it down. One early pick, A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride, was a book I acquired for Simon and Schuster. If a customer asks how I know it's good, I can say, "Well, I worked on it."

How do you choose the books you sell?
They're books I want in my life, and I want other people to know about them, too. I organize them into themed "flights." Last year was an amazing year for fiction by women, so that was my very first flight.

So how does one make a living operating the cutest little bookshop in Toronto?
I'm expanding. I have three new locations opening in the spring--one at the Gladstone Hotel, one in Northwood General and one at Ezra's Pound coffee shop.

R.I.'s Savoy Bookshop & Cafe Nears Opening

Savoy Bookshop's gold-leaf sign in progress.

The Day has a profile of the Savoy Bookshop & Café, Westerly, R.I., which will open soon in the historic site of the former Savoy Hotel and will host a grand opening celebration on April 16.

The 3,000-square-foot store is owned by Annie Philbrick, co-owner of Bank Square Books in nearby Mystic, Conn., who has partnered with Charles Royce and his son-in-law, Dan King, who have "shepherded at least a half dozen projects in downtown Westerly over the past several years," the Day wrote.

Philbrick recalled being approached by Royce who "asked me, 'If I build it, will you run it?' ...He said, 'I can't imagine a town without a bookstore.' He was just very passionate about independent bookstores as a community hub. He has that vision, and this is what I do, I'm passionate about books."

The bookstore's space has been lovingly restored, with many original features, such as the hardwood floors. "There is a lot of dark wood, a tin ceiling and a soapstone counter at the café," the paper wrote.

The store includes a café. Downstairs is the children's section that features tiered shelves with bump-out "seats" and a "log cabin,"  a cubbyhole for children. Upstairs are "oversized windows that allow light to flow into the bookstore. Glass prisms in the floor, similar to those used on the whaling ship Charles W. Morgan, will allow the natural light to permeate to the lower level."

Lip Gloss Collection for Glossy Novel

Emilt Liebert

Coinciding with the upcoming release of Emily Liebert's novel Some Women (NAL), Gerard Cosmetics is creating a collection of lip glosses based on characters from the novel. The Some Women Collection features three colors, each named for one of the novel's three main characters: Mackenzie (Wild Orchid), Piper (Salmon) and Annabel (Candy Apple). The line will launch on April 5, the same day as the book, and Gerard Cosmetics will donate a portion of the bundle's proceeds to the Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clara Valley.

Some Women, about three dissimilar women who become friends when their lives are in disarray, is Liebert's fourth novel. Her previous novels are Those Secrets We Keep (2015), When We Fall (2014) and You Knew Me When (2013). She also wrote a nonfiction book, Facebook Fairytales, published in 2010.

The Some Women Collection will be available for purchase at

Personnel Changes at Hachette Book Group

At Hachette Book Group:

Torrey Oberfest is promoted to v-p of corporate strategy.

Donna Nopper is promoted to director of publicity for Hachette Book Group Canada

Barry Broadhead is promoted to senior national accounts manager.

Ken Graham is promoted to national accounts manager.

Tom Walser is promoted to senior sales representative.

Jean Fenton is promoted to senior sales representative.

John Leary is promoted to senior sales representative.

Tom McIntyre is promoted to senior sales representative.

Helen Chu is promoted to marketing operations associate.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Bill Walton on Good Morning America

Good Morning America: Erin Oprea, author of The 4 x 4 Diet: 4 Key Foods, 4-Minute Workouts, Four Weeks to the Body You Want (Harmony, $25.99, 9781101903087).

Rachael Ray: Rachel Beller, author of Power Souping: 3-Day Detox, 3-Week Weight-Loss Plan (Morrow, $24.99, 9780062424921).

Fresh Air: Petrine Day Mitchum, co-author of Hollywood Hoofbeats: The Fascinating Story of Horses in Movies and Television (i5 Press, $24.95, 9781620081334).

Diane Rehm: Lee Smith, author of Dimestore: A Writer's Life (Algonquin, $24.95, 9781616205027).

Daily Show: Shaka Senghor, author of Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison (Convergent Books, $26, 9781101907290).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, author of The Nest (Ecco, $26.99, 9780062414212).

Comedy Central's At Midnight: Dave Hill, author of Dave Hill Doesn't Live Here Anymore (Blue Rider, $27, 9780399166754).

Good Morning America: Bill Walton, author of Back from the Dead (Simon & Schuster, $27, 9781476716862).

Tavis Smiley: Rachel Roy, author of Design Your Life: Creating Success Through Personal Style (Dey Street, $26.99, 9780062405128).

Diane Rehm: Helen Simonson, author of The Summer Before the War: A Novel (Random House, $28, 9780812993103).

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

Fox News Radio's Alan Colmes Show: Crystal McVea and Alex Tresniowski, authors of Chasing Heaven: What Dying Taught Me About Living (Howard, $16, 9781501124914).

All Things Considered: Glen Weldon, author of The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781476756691).

Meredith Vieira repeat: William Shatner, co-author of Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man (Thomas Dunne, $25.99, 9781250083319).

Movies: The Secret Life of the Lonely Doll; Ready Player One

Naomi Watts and Jessica Lange will star in The Secret Life of the Lonely Doll, with Gia Coppola directing from a script by Merritt Johnson (Temple Grandin, In Treatment). Variety reported that the project "is the story of Dare Wright, who became well-known in the 1950s thanks to her bestselling children's book The Lonely Doll. Journalist Jean Nathan found Wright living in a public hospital in Queens four decades later, and her book pieces together Wright's bizarre life of glamour and isolation, and her struggle to escape her painful childhood through her art."


Simon Pegg is in negotiations to join the cast of Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One, adapted from the bestselling novel by Ernest Cline, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Tye Sheridan leads a cast that includes Olivia Cooke and Ben Mendelsohn. Pegg will play Orgen Morrow, the co-creator of Oasis.

Books & Authors

Awards: Waterstones Children's Book; Diagram Oddest Title

David Solomons won the overall £3,000 (about $4,340) Waterstones Children's Book Prize for My Brother Is a Superhero, as well as the £2,000 (about $2,895) younger fiction category. Judge Florentyna Martin, children's book buyer for Waterstones, described the writing as "infused with the spirit of larger than life heroes and colorful comic book trivia, yet at its heart is a touching relationship between siblings... so brilliantly plotted that one never knows what to expect next."

Other category winners were David Litchfield's The Bear and the Piano (illustrated book) and Lisa Williamson's The Art of Being Normal (older fiction), with each author receiving £2,000.


Alan Stafford won the Bookseller's Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year for Too Naked for the Nazis, which explores "the career of vaudevillian troupe Wilson, Keppel & Betty." The winner garnered 24.8% of the public vote to edge Dr. Jonathan Allan's Reading from Behind: A Cultural History of the Anus (24.3%). This was the narrowest margin of victory since judging switched to public voting via the Bookseller's website in 2000.

Horace Bent, administrator of the prize since 1982, said: "When future historians write about 2016, they will inevitably look at two seismic events: the closest Diagram Prize race of all time, and the election of President Trump which led to the downfall of Western civilization. Until that dire time, we can celebrate a worthy winner from one of the strongest Diagram shortlists in recent memory."

He added: "Too Naked for the Nazis is arguably the perfect Diagram winner, as if concocted by a team of crack Diagramologists--our voters penchant for nudity goes back to the very first winner, 1978's Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice, while the Third Reich has been represented by titles such as How Green Were the Nazis (2007). Mr. Stafford has brought these two strands together in one irresistible package."

Book Review

Review: The Red Parts

The Red Parts: Autobiography of a Trial by Maggie Nelson (Graywolf Press, $16 paperback, 9781555977368, April 5, 2016)

Originally published in 2007, and now reissued in paperback by Graywolf Press, poet and critic Maggie Nelson's The Red Parts is the piercing story of the murder of Nelson's aunt and the trial of her accused killer 36 years after the event. Blending a poet's passion and a journalist's cool eye, Nelson (The Art of Cruelty) has produced a distinctive story of an otherwise ordinary family's encounter with unspeakable violence.

Jane Mixer was a first-year student at the University of Michigan Law School when she decided to accept a ride with a stranger to her home in Muskegon in March 1969. She never made it past a cemetery a few miles from Ann Arbor, where her body, shot twice in the head and strangled, was found. At first, police linked her death to the so-called "Michigan Murders," seven young area women murdered by a serial killer in a two-year period. But it wasn't until 2004, when an unrelated DNA test connected retired nurse Gary Earl Leiterman to the crime, that this cold case, which became the subject of an episode of CBS's 48 Hours Mystery, was cracked.

The Red Parts is not Nelson's only attempt to consider Jane Mixer's death; the publication of her poetry collection Jane: A Murder coincided with the reopening of the case. With the benefit of Leiterman's arrest, Nelson is able to move beyond the uncertainty that haunted that earlier effort. Still, this spare memoir is less a story of police investigative work, or a detailed recounting of dramatic courtroom maneuvers in the trial Nelson and her mother witnessed throughout a sultry Michigan summer, than it is the story of how she and her family lived "under the shadow of the death of a family member who had clearly died horribly and fearfully, but under circumstances that would always remain unknown, unknowable." 

Maggie Nelson is too wise to attach a facile label like "closure" to the end of the experience she and her family endured over the course of more than three decades. As the jury files out after rendering its verdict, she observes, " 'Justice' may have been done, but at this moment the courtroom is simply a room full of broken people, each racked with his or her particular grief, and the air heavy with them all." Murder trials efficiently serve to assess guilt or innocence, Nelson understands, but they only incidentally heal the wounds these violent crimes inflict on those who live on in their aftermath. --Harvey Freedenberg, attorney and freelance reviewer

Shelf Talker: Maggie Nelson's taut memoir explores the long-unsolved murder of her aunt.

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