Shelf Awareness for Thursday, March 24, 2016


Random House: Daughters of Erietown by Connie Schultz

Flatiron Books: The Lincoln Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill America's 16th President--And Why It Failed by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch

Candlewick Press: Gold Rush Girl by Avi

Getty Publications: Finding Dora Maar: An Artist, an Address Book, a Life by Brigitte Benkemoun, translated by Jody Gladding

Poisoned Pen Press: Before She Was Helen by Caroline Cooney

St. Martin's Press: The Second Home by Christina Clancy

Scribner Book Company: Feast Your Eyes by Myla Goldberg

St. Martin's Press: What You Wish for by Katherine Center

News

Anonymous Targets Tattered Cover Book Store

Tattered Cover Book Store is among the groups in Denver, Colo., that have been threatened by Anonymous in a protest of the city's approach to its homeless population. Bookselling This Week reported that the activist hacker group has released two videos threatening "to dox--release the personal information of--those it says support Denver's camping bans." Earlier this month, the city began removing homeless camps and personal items from public sidewalks and other public property.

The Downtown Denver Partnership supports the urban camping ban and was active in lobbying efforts to pass the ordinance. As a member of the partnership, Tattered Cover is also being targeted for its refusal to take a position on the ban.

Westword reported Monday that in the video focusing on the Tattered Cover, Anonymous said, "As long as this is how you respond to acts against humanity, we will be at your doorstep making others aware of how you feel about this community, and your lack of effort to defend it. Hope this helped answer your questions. See you next Friday."

Len Vlahos

Bookstore co-owner Len Vlahos told BTW: "As has been well-reported, Tattered Cover has never taken a position on Denver's urban camping ban. Our refusal to take a stance on matters of public policy is principled; our customers need to know that they have unfettered access to books and content without fear of judgment or reprisal. The opponents of the camping ban know this, but have chosen to ignore it. Because Tattered Cover has a very potent brand name in Denver, and because our customer base is a very desirable demographic, they feel they can make hay by targeting us. The protests against Tattered Cover--and, of course, we support any citizen's right to protest in a peaceful and civil way--as well as the illegal assault on Tattered Cover's website is tactical, not philosophical."


Rick Riordan Presents: Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe (a Sal and Gabi Novel, Book 2) by Carlos Hernandez


Williams College to Build $10 Million Bookstore

Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., plans to begin construction this summer on a $10 million bookstore that will "bring the college's textbook supplier closer to campus," the Berkshire Eagle reported. An opening is anticipated in the summer of 2017 for the location at the corner of Spring and Walden streets.

The current textbook supplier is Water Street Books, operated by Follett Corp. The Eagle noted that "after requesting bids for a company to operate the new bookstore, five vendors were interested, but Follett submitted the winning bid and will continue to operate the store at the new location." The current Water Street Books will close when the new one is ready. A name has not yet been selected for the new store.

"In discussing the project, the priority became to get it closer to campus, and bring a little more vitality to Spring Street," said Fred Puddester, v-p for finance & administration and treasurer at Williams College, adding: "It will be kind of a little community hub, and that's what we were going for. The hope is that it becomes a nexus."


Last Tang Standing: Last Tang Standing by Lauren Ho


Fact & Fiction Turns 30; Barbara Theroux Prepares to Retire

Although Fact & Fiction Bookstore opened in Missoula, Mont., on March 1, 1986, owner Barbara Theroux has always celebrated the store's anniversary during the week of St. Patrick's Day. Last week, Fact & Fiction celebrated its 30th with a host of parties, sales and author events. Theroux, meanwhile, is in the process of training a successor to take over the store, and plans to retire in June 2017.

"I have been so blessed with good booksellers, authors and customers sharing the ups and downs of independent bookselling for 30 years," said Theroux. The mood in the store last week, she added, was fun, festive and thankful. "There were lots of memories shared with customers who have grown up in the store, authors who have read [here] and people who love what we do."

The birthday festivities began on the weekend of the 12th. The official in-store party was on the 15th and featured a special Fact & Fiction cocktail made from locally distilled gin, cake and live music from a Missoula duo. On the 17th, local author Gwen Florio read from her new novel Disgraced (Midnight Ink) and brought a keg of beer to toast the store and her book. Throughout the week, Fact & Fiction also ran its traditional Lucky Shamrock Sale. In past years, customers would draw a shamrock card from a bowl to find out their discount; this year, customers drew shamrock scratch cards. Also introduced this week was a Fact & Fiction pint glass, with the store's logo on one side and a quote from author Norman Maclean--"The world is full of bastards, the number increasingly rapidly the further one gets from Missoula, Montana"--on the other.

Theroux has been preparing for retirement for nearly a year. After returning from BookExpo America 2015, she recalled, she effectively gave her two-year notice. In that time, she's been training Mara Panich-Crouch, currently a bookseller at Fact & Fiction and coursepack coordinator and book buyer at the Bookstore at the University of Montana, to be her successor. Theroux attended Winter Institute 11 in Denver, Colo., this January with Panich-Crouch to introduce her to people in the book world.

"I felt I needed to do that, because when I started [in bookselling] I was hired in November to work in a store with a huge holiday market," said Theroux, recalling her own entry into bookselling in 1971. Not only was she not prepared for the holiday rush, but no one at the store had done any buying for the holiday, and there was no one there to help her. But the bright side, Theroux said, was that she had "nowhere to go but up." It wasn't until she attended the American Booksellers Association show the following year that she realized there was a larger bookselling world out there. Today, though, she couldn't imagine dropping somebody right into the deep end like that.

Mara Panich-Crouch (l.) and Barbara Theroux celebrating Fact & Fiction's 30th anniversary.

"I think it's important for people in bookselling to start a network, to know that you're not out there on your own," she said.

Over the course of her career, Theroux has seen a great deal of change within the book industry. She was a member of the ABA board for eight years, at a time when the association sued several major publishers on antitrust grounds and sold its annual trade show to Reed Exhibitions. Over the years, she said, some of the same issues have continued to pop up, among them publisher mergers and problems with book distribution. More recently, her store has weathered the arrival of e-books and the proliferation of online retailers. Said Theroux: "I think we've proven that we've survived."

Among the highlights of her career, Theroux pointed to her relationship with writers and authors in Montana as well as working with the Montana Book Festival and the Montana Book Award. When she opened Fact & Fiction, Theroux recalled, there was a group of Montana authors who were already well established and successful. Many of them have since passed away, she said, but it's been a particular joy to see new writers finding success of their own.

The Harry Potter phenomenon was also a highlight, Theroux said. Hosting midnight book launch parties and seeing children and teens excited to read books longer than 500 pages, Theroux recalled, was a pretty extraordinary thing.

After retirement, Theroux will probably go on a long trip immediately, but in the long term won't leave Missoula for good, she said. She hopes to volunteer at various places, including the Montana Book Festival and the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. She also plans on keeping ties with the store she opened.

"I think it's important to step away and allow others to move in," said Theroux. "But I'll have to come in and look through all the galleys." --Alex Mutter


GLOW: Flatiron Books: Dear Child by Romy Hausmann, translated by Jamie Bulloch


'Upscale' B&N Store Coming to Scarsdale?

"A certain storefront" in a Scarsdale, N.Y., mall that once housed a Borders "will soon be the home of a new Barnes and Noble," Rye Brook's HamletHub reported, citing an "inside source" who said the location will be an "upscale" store that will include a "five star restaurant" and other features that are "appropriate to the area."


Scribner Book Company: Feast Your Eyes by Myla Goldberg


'Remote Retailers' to Collect Louisiana Sales Tax

Effective April 1, "certain remote retailers will be required to collect and remit Louisiana sales tax, as a result of e-fairness legislation passed earlier this month," Bookselling This Week reported. H.B. 30 imposes the collection of sales and use taxes due on sales made by a remote dealer "if its cumulative sale of goods to customers in the state exceeds $50,000 during the preceding 12 months."

Tom Lowenburg (photo: Independent America)

"We have more and more states working to protect their economies and it's certainly about time that Louisiana did," said Tom Lowenburg, co-owner of Octavia Books in New Orleans. Last month, he testified in favor of the bill in front of Louisiana's House Ways & Means Committee. "It's going to protect the economy and it will level the playing field at a time when the state desperately needs to collect these funds."

Funds generated by the new law will be split between state and local governments. "It's going to raise significant money and it's a big step forward that will be good for local businesses here. It's addressing something that needed to be addressed for a long time," said Lowenburg, adding: "It doesn't address some of the things national legislation would address because there are companies that don't have nexus in the state."


Notes

Image of the Day: Puppy Love

Owen Laukkanen (l.) appeared at Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor, Mich., recently for his new book, The Watcher in the Wall (Putnam). Laukkanen had mentioned on his Facebook page that he was missing his dog Lucy while on tour, so a couple of fans decided to bring their dog Niko to the event so that the author could have a little dog love time.  


Bookstore Pet of the Day: Buttercup, the Shop Sheep

The shop dogs of Parnassus Books, Nashville, Tenn., announced on the Musings blog "that our world has been turned upside down. Our shop has a sheep. This is Buttercup, the latest member of our four-legged bookselling staff. Buttercup lives with a family of humans and animals not too far away, where she is being bottle-fed and cared for until she can join her flock of big sheep. Her hours with us are extremely irregular, because back at home, she's busy learning how to do sheep things. Honestly, we don't even know in advance when she's going to pop in and hang out. She's really more of an intern with a loose grasp on time."


Cool Idea of the Day: Little Free Library Grants

West Hollywood, Calif., has launched a grant program through which residents can apply for one of eight $600 grants to build a Little Free Library, Jacket Copy reported. In addition, Friends of the West Hollywood Library will "donate a starter set of books to each person who receives a grant from the city to build one."

"The city of West Hollywood really is very supportive of the arts and a love of literature," said Mike Che, economic development & cultural affairs coordinator. The grant conditions include a year of maintaining the library because "we figure a year is enough time for them to fall in love with it."


Personnel Changes at Crown Publishing Group

Megan Schumann is joining the Crown Publishing Group on Monday, March 28, as senior publicist/marketer for Convergent Books, Crown Business and Crown Forum.    She has been a publicist at William Morrow/Dey Street.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Grace Helbig on the Late Late Show

Tomorrow:
The View: Padma Lakshmi, author of Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir (Ecco, $26.99, 9780062202611).

Late Late Show with James Corden repeat: Grace Helbig, author of Grace & Style: The Art of Pretending You Have It (Touchstone, $19.99, 9781501120589).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert repeat: Chrissy Teigen, co-author of Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat (Clarkson Potter, $29.99, 9781101903919).


TV: American Gods; The Accidental Empress

Emily Browning (Sucker Punch, Legend) has been cast in the role of Laura Moon for the upcoming Starz adaptation of Neil Gaiman's American Gods, Deadline reported. The series, which begins shooting in April, also stars Ian McShane and Ricky Whittle. Bryan Fuller and Michael Green are writers and showrunners for the project, with David Slade (Hannibal) directing the pilot and additional episodes.

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Andras Hamori's H2O Motion Pictures has optioned The Accidental Empress and Sisi: Empress on Her Own by Allison Pataki, and is developing a pair of miniseries based on the novels about Empress Elisabeth of Austria, Variety reported. Hamori will produce, Julia Rosenberg will co-produce and Anonymous Content's Doreen Wilcox is an executive producer on the project, which is planned as two four-hour miniseries.


This Weekend on Book TV: The Virginia Festival of the Book

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 26
12 p.m. Coverage from the 22nd annual Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville, Va. (Re-airs Sunday 12 a.m.)

4:20 p.m. Jim Downs, author Stand by Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation (Basic Books, $27.99, 9780465032709). (Re-airs Sunday at 11:15 p.m.)

7 p.m. Patricia Bell-Scott, author of The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice (Knopf, $30, 9780679446521). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

8:15 p.m. Peter Ross Range, author of 1924: The Year That Made Hitler (Little, Brown, $28, 9780316384032), at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C. (Re-airs Sunday at 4:45 p.m.)

9 p.m. James Walsh, author of Playing Against the House: The Dramatic World of an Undercover Union Organizer (Scribner, $26, 9781476778341). (Re-airs Sunday at 11 a.m.)

10 p.m. Nancy L. Cohen, author of Breakthrough: The Making of America's First Woman President (Counterpoint, $26, 9781619026117). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Iris Bohnet, author of What Works: Gender Equality by Design (Belknap, $26.95, 9780674089037), at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C. (Re-airs Sunday at 9 a.m.)


Sunday, March 27
1 p.m. Continuing coverage from the  22nd annual Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville, Va. (Re-airs Monday at 4 a.m.)

8 p.m. Michael Waldman, author of The Fight to Vote (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781501116483).



Books & Authors

Awards: Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse; Whiting

A shortlist has been announced for the 2016 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for the funniest novel of the year, the Bookseller reported. The winner, who will be announced just ahead of the Hay Festival, receives a jeroboam of Bollinger Special Cuvée, a case of Bollinger La Grande Année, a complete set of the Everyman Wodehouse collection and a locally-bred Gloucestershire Old Spot pig named after the winning novel. This year's shortlisted titles are:

The Lubetkin Legacy by Marina Lewycka
The Mark and the Void by Paul Murray
There's Only Two David Beckhams by John O'Farrell
The Sellout by Paul Beatty
Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild

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The 10 winners of the Whiting Awards, which give $50,000 each based on "early accomplishment" to "emerging writers of fiction, nonfiction, drama and poetry," are:

Brian Blanchfield (nonfiction)
Alice Sola Kim (fiction)
J.D. Daniels (nonfiction)
Catherine Lacey (fiction)
LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs (poetry)
Layli Long Soldier (poetry)
Madeleine George (drama)
Safiya Sinclair (poetry)
Mitchell S. Jackson (fiction)
Ocean Vuong (poetry)

Presentations were made last night at the New-York Historical Society, with a keynote by poet and Pulitzer Prize finalist Elizabeth Alexander, author of The Light of the World. The Whiting Awards are sponsored by the Whiting Foundation.


Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, March 29:

Lust & Wonder: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs (St. Martin's Press, $26.99, 9780312342036) marks the return of a darkly humorous memoirist.

Journey to Munich: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear (Harper, $26.99, 9780062220608) brings the Maisie Dobbs mystery series to Nazi Germany.

Flawless by Heather Graham (MIRA, $26.99, 9780778318811) is a romantic thriller involving a string of diamond heists.

Finley Ball: How Two Baseball Outsiders Turned the Oakland A's into a Dynasty and Changed the Game Forever by Nancy Finley (Regnery History, $27.99, 9781621574774) explores how Charlie Finley and his cousin transformed the A's after buying the team in 1960. (March 28.)

Hard Red Spring by Kelly Kerney (Viking, $28, 9780525429012) follows four American women over 100 years of Guatemala's history.

Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939 by Adam Hochschild (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30, 9780547973180) chronicles a dozen Americans involved in the Spanish Civil War, including Ernest Hemingway.

Frederick the Great: King of Prussia by Tim Blanning (Random House, $35, 9781400068128) is a biography of the king who expanded Prussia into a great power.

Paperbacks:
MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom by Tony Robbins (Simon & Schuster, $18, 9781476757865).

The Chew: An Essential Guide to Cooking and Entertaining: Recipes, Wit, and Wisdom from the Chew Hosts by the Chew (Kingswell, $19.99, 9781484753552).

The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America: Second Edition by David Sibley (Knopf, $19.95, 9780307957924).

Movie:
Kill Your Friends, based on the novel by John Niven, follows a desperate talent scout during the waning days of Britpop in the late-'90s. It opens in the U.S. on April 1.


IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

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

Hardcover: An Indies Introduce Title
Spill Simmer Falter Wither: A Novel by Sara Baume (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $23, 9780544716193). "Baume's debut novel is a heartbreaking story of loneliness and friendship, depression and pure joy, as revealed through the relationship between a man and the dog he rescues. Baume's transcendent use of language and utterly original voice had me stopping to read whole sentences--even entire paragraphs--aloud. Spill Simmer Falter Wither is an amazing achievement by a writer who makes her work seem effortless." --Mary Wolf, Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse, Santa Fe, N.Mex.

Hardcover
What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours: Stories by Helen Oyeyemi (Riverhead, $27, 9781594634635). "There is magic in Helen Oyeyemi's writing. There is magic in the settings, which shift between the conventional and the fantastic as readers devotedly follow her characters down any path they please. There is magic in the tales themselves, as readers recognize a situation only to have it bloom into a flower they have never imagined before, full of beauty or of dread. And, most certainly, there is magic in such breathtaking prose and unimaginable characters. This is a captivating story collection, filled with both fairy tale whimsy and dark, complicated mystery. Highly recommended!" --Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, Calif.

Paperback
Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K. Corral by Mary Doria Russell (Ecco, $16.99, 9780062198778). "This continuation of the story begun in Doc is equally engaging. From a shroud of American West mythic bombast and misrepresentation, Russell creates compelling, realistic characters with Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday shown to be both heroic and heatbreakingly human. Epitaph focuses on Josie Marcus, the love of Wyatt's life. Theirs is a grand romantic tale told in hardscrabble detail, and Russell even makes what could have been cardboard villains into fully realized characters, both flawed and sympathetic. A rip-roaring good yarn! --Kathi Kirby, Powell's Books, Portland, Ore.

For Ages 4 to 8
The Secret Subway by Shana Corey, illustrated by Red Nose Studio (Schwartz & Wade, $17.99, 9780375870712). "Alfred Ely Beach was a thinker, but he also knew how to get things done. The Secret Subway tells the story of the first underground railroad system in New York City, from idea to demise. The story is a fascinating one and the artwork is truly remarkable. Not only do readers get a great true story, but also a remarkable recreation of New York City in the 1860s." --Lisa Nehs, Books & Company, Oconomowoc, Wis.

For Ages 9 to 12: Revisit & Rediscover
Skellig by David Almond (Yearling, $6.99, 9780440416029). "Michael, 10 years old and unmoored by his family's move into a fixer-upper, is reeling from the premature birth of his sister. Then he finds a creature in the crumbling garage. Is the barely-alive Skellig someone he's imagined? A bird tumbled out of evolutionary history? An angel? Skellig, imbued with the wonder and eeriness of William Blake, is a mystery like no other." --Carol Doup Muller, Hicklebee's, San Jose, Calif.

For Teen Readers: An Indies Introduce Title
The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock (Wendy Lamb Books, $17.99, 9780553497786). "Ruth, Alyce, Dora, and Hank are all teenagers coming of age in Alaska in 1970. Ruth misses her mother, especially when she needs her most; Alyce feels obligated to help her father, even when it costs her her dreams; Hank is trying to protect his two younger brothers, causing him to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders; and Dora just wants to feel the love of a good family and the warmth of a home. Hitchcock has woven their lives into an unforgettable debut." --Teresa Steel, Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, Colo.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]


Book Review

Review: Fever at Dawn

Fever at Dawn by Péter Gárdos, trans. by Liz Szász and (Houghton Mifflin, $24 hardcover, 9780544769793, April 12, 2016)

Péter Gárdos's Fever at Dawn is a novel based on the lives and love of his parents. It spans less than a year, beginning in July of 1945. In that brief time, Gárdos evokes worlds of love and pain.

Miklós is a 25-year-old Hungarian Jew, an idealistic journalist and dreamy poet, just released from Bergen-Belsen concentration camp at the end of World War II. In the opening pages, he's aboard a ship that will take him and 223 other survivors to Stockholm, to convalesce in Swedish hospitals under the administration of the Red Cross. In that first scene, Miklós collapses on deck. He is very ill with tuberculosis and is told he has six months to live. Undeterred, he requests from the Swedish Office of Refugees a list of women survivors who, like him, are being nursed in Sweden. He asks that they be from his region of Hungary and under 30. From his hospital bed in a "barracks-like wooden hut," he writes 117 identical letters to these women. He gets 18 replies, and gains several pen pals, but only Lili captures his heart.

Over the next several months, Miklós and Lili correspond, exchanging stories from their past lives and their respective hospital settings hundreds of kilometers apart. Miklós asks for a picture of Lili, but is careful not to mention that he has virtually no teeth. Both make new friends: Miklós has Harry, the resident Don Juan, and a larger group of loyal comrades, while Lili has two confidantes. These secondary characters contribute to the budding romance in various ways. Fragments from the lovers' letters supplement a narrative lively with humor and antics--at the men's dorm in particular--as well as the continuing calamity of the war. In December, they manage to meet: Miklós travels all day for a brief visit, hoping to declare his love and be answered.

Gárdos draws this story in part from his parents' letters, which his mother presented to him after Miklós's death. Fever at Dawn, told in Gárdos's first-person voice, is a sweet love story framed by horror. The war is over, but the bad news continues to trickle in. The Hungarians living in Sweden are displaced in every sense, seeking loved ones, scraping joy out of a bleak day-to-day existence. Miklós is repeatedly reminded of his six-month sentence, his time dwindling; but he is determined, after all he's survived, to marry.

At once heartrending and lighthearted, this romance covers enormous ground in love and war, joy and tragedy, humor and pathos. Fever at Dawn, with its historical backdrop, will win over many readers. --Julia Jenkins, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: This historical novel of the hard-won love of two Holocaust survivors is based on the experience of the author's parents.


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