Also published on this date: Tuesday, March 29, 2016: Kids Maximum Shelf: Thunder Boy Jr.

Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Chronicle Books: Poetry Comics by Grant Snider

Berkley Books: We Love the Nightlife by Rachel Koller Croft

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Waiting in the Wings by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton, Illustrated by Eg Keller

Webtoon Unscrolled: Boyfriends. Volume Two: A Webtoon Unscrolled Graphic Novel by Refrainbow

Shadow Mountain: The Witch in the Woods: Volume 1 (Grimmworld) by Michaelbrent Collings

Hell's Hundred: Blood Like Mine by Stuart Neville

Delacorte Press: Last One to Die by Cynthia Murphy


The Coffee Shelf to Open in Chapin, S.C.

Combining his "two passions of coffee and books seemed like a perfect pairing for a new small business," so early next month Jerry Caldwell will open the Coffee Shelf in Chapin, S.C., where customers "can expect to find new titles, cookbooks, comic books, even books on summer reading lists," reported. His java supplier is Crimson Cup, an Ohio company that was named the 2016 Roaster of the Year by Roast magazine.

Caldwell is currently renovating a former AT&T store on Amicks Ferry Road, which will also have space for book clubs to meet and for book-signing events. "I want this to be a place where people go and remember they've been here. And share a common experience over coffee," he said, adding that he envisions the Coffee Shelf as being a "hip and eclectic" space. "I want to be a part of my community."

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Summer Romance by Annabel Monaghan

Foyles Flagship Sales Up 10%; Looking to Expand

Sales at Foyles' flagship London store have risen 10% since it moved and was elegantly redesigned in 2014. In the year ended June 30, 2015, sales as a whole for the company, which has six stores, rose 4.3%, to £24.4 million (about $34.8 million), and gross profit was up 0.6%, the Bookseller reported.

The magazine noted that Paul Currie, appointed CEO in April 2015, "has overhauled the Foyalty loyalty scheme and has since embarked on a 'comprehensive' strategy to turn the business into a truly multi-channel retailer with a strong focus on customer service."

Currie said that the profit had been achieved "through careful cost control and smart operating processes. Whilst this is an improvement on 2013/14, we are still challenged by low margins in a retail sector that has heavy costs of operations and low sales density. We continue to explore ways of ensuring the sustainability of the business, through initiatives such as the successful development of our digital delivery systems."

John Browne, financial director of Foyles, added that the company is "well placed to expand further and will continue to explore opportunities to open new branches." Last September, Foyles opened a "new format" store in Birmingham.

University of Texas Press: Loose of Earth: A Memoir by Kathleen Dorothy Blackburn

Independent Bookstore Day: The Planning Continues

With a little more than a month left to go until Independent Bookstore Day 2016, indie bookstores around the country are finalizing their plans for the April 30 celebrations. Here and over the next few weeks, Shelf Awareness will take a look at what some indies have on tap.

In addition to a day's full of parties and events involving local authors, Seattle area indies are once again uniting for the Indie Bookstore Challenge. Shoppers can pick up a bookstore passport at any of the participating stores on April 30 and get their passports stamped at any participating store. Anyone who gets his or her passport stamped by all 17 stores will be entered to win a year-long 25% discount at all participating stores.

At Green Apple Books in San Francisco, Silvi Alcivar of the Poetry Store will be on hand with her typewriter, typing up and giving out poems to shoppers throughout the day. Kate Schatz and Miriam Klein Stahl, the author-illustrator team behind Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries Who Shaped Our History... and Our Future!, will drop by as well to present a 7" vinyl record that is a companion piece to their book and one of the Independent Bookstore Day exclusive items. There will also be a prize wheel and free beer.

In addition to hosting a day-long celebration, Skylight Books in Los Angeles, Calif., will welcome musician Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs, who wrote and performed one of the songs on the Rad American Women A-Z companion vinyl.

Brazos Bookstore in Houston, Tex., has a day's worth of activities planned for IBD. First up is a special morning story time featuring Curious George stories and a visit from the Houston Zoo's ZooMobile. Later in the afternoon there will be a Bookstore Day Happy Hour with free coffee, wine and beer, and in the evening Brazos will celebrate the release of The Adventurist by local author J. Bradford Hipps.

Book Passage in Corte Madera and San Francisco, Calif., is turning 40 this year, and the store will celebrate at its Corte Madera location on April 30. And prior to the birthday blowout, which will feature food, refreshments and prizes, Book Passage will have a story time with children's authors, including Katherine Applegate; a caricature booth with a guest illustrator; palm readings from a surprise author; a raffle wheel; and puppy adoptions from the Marin Humane Society. Book Passage's San Francisco store, meanwhile, will have local and regional surprises throughout the day.

Point Reyes Books in Point Reyes Station, Calif., will celebrate its 14th anniversary on Independent Bookstore Day. The day will include birthday cake, beverages, music, "spontaneous poetry readings," and a literary trivia contest, along with a recitation of Point Reyes Books's "Declaration of Interdependence"--the store's manifesto/mission statement.

Over on the East Coast, Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn, N.Y., has a host of author-based programming in the works. There will be a photo booth, in which shoppers can take pictures with a rotation of local authors, a DJ booth helmed by authors and other "musically minded creative folks," and drawing workshops led by local artists and illustrators.

And last but certainly not least, booksellers in Vermont are teaming up once again to get the word out about Independent Bookstore Day. During the two weeks leading up to last year's Independent Bookstore Day, several Vermont indies ran underwriting spots on Vermont Public Radio advertising their celebrations. This year, those same indies hope to build on that effort and include as many booksellers in Vermont--and beyond--in getting the word out on public radio.

Speaking of the effort, Liza Bernard of Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, Vt., noted that last year, "It was great hearing the same (or very similar) message over and over with just the name of the store changed. It really gave the idea some traction and folks did say they heard it on the radio. It would be great if stores across the country would do it!" --Alex Mutter

Harper: Our Kind of Game by Johanna Copeland

Candlewick Founds New Design-Driven Imprint

This fall, Candlewick Press will introduce Candlewick Studio, an imprint that will feature "beautifully produced, design-driven books for book lovers" and will launch simultaneously with Walker Studio in the U.K., an imprint of Walker Books Ltd., Candlewick's parent company.

Candlewick Studio will feature authors and illustrators who have already appeared on Candlewick's list as well as debut artists from around the world. While the U.S. and U.K. lists will share some titles, they will also diverge as appropriate. Both imprints will be carried by Walker Books Australia.

"We hope that even from across a bookstore, Candlewick Studio titles will entice book lovers of all ages to come close--and that in the hand, the books will offer tactile appeal, fascinating content, and beautiful images to return to again and again--all of which Candlewick has been known for before," said Karen Lotz, president and publisher of Candlewick Press and managing director of the Walker Books Group. "The exciting opportunity now is to bring these one-of-a-kind books together under a shared umbrella. This imprint will be an expression of our love for the printed book."

Candlewick Studio's four debut titles are Animals: A Stylish Big Picture Book For All Ages, written and illustrated by Ingela P. Arrhenius (Sept.), "a striking, large-format book of animals from a prominent Swedish designer"; Give and Take, written and illustrated by Lucie Félix (Sept.), "an ingenious board book that invites the reader to interact with pieces of its illustrations"; An Artist's Alphabet, written and illustrated by Norman Messenger (Sept.), "a beautiful alphabet book by a legendary illustrator"; and Retro Photo: An Obsession: A Personal Selection of Vintage Cameras and the Photographs That They Take, written and photographed by David Ellwand (Oct.), "an ode to vintage cameras and the photographs."

Senior editor Katie Cunningham, U.S. editor for the fall 2016 list, commented: "These books are all very different, but they are unified by their innovation and their respect for the reader. They invite you to explore them on your own terms, and then bring those discoveries with you into the world around you--just as the best books always do."

Chronicle Books: Life Wants You Dead: A Calm, Rational, and Totally Legit Guide to Scaring Yourself Safe by Evan Waite, Illustrated by Paula Searing

Obituary Note: Ellen Seligman

Ellen Seligman, "one of the most influential and exacting editors in Canadian literary history, whose judicious judgment helped shape the work of generations of Canadian writers," died March 25, the Globe & Mail reported. American by birth, Seligman moved to Canada in 1976 and joined McClelland & Stewart the following year. She remained with the company for the next four decades, becoming editorial director of fiction in 1987 and publisher in 2000.

Prominent authors Seligman worked with included Margaret Atwood, Leonard Cohen, Michael Ondaatje, Rohinton Mistry, Jane Urquhart and Guy Vanderhaeghe. Books she edited won 23 Governor-General's Literary Awards, four Man Booker Prizes and six Scotiabank Giller Prizes.

"Though we are in the business of words, I find it next to impossible to express the grief I know we all feel with the loss of this incomparable woman," wrote Kristin Cochrane, president and publisher of Penguin Random House Canada, in a statement. "But while we mourn, we also celebrate Ellen's momentous career and all she achieved in her close to four decades at McClelland & Stewart.... Beyond our borders, Ellen was widely recognized as one of the world's best editors, with impeccable literary taste and instincts."

Margaret Atwood, who worked with Seligman for more than 25 years, described her as "a consummate editor: she read in depth and on many levels. For me, she was one of those 'Dear Readers' whose opinion was intensely important to me. Luckily she had a sense of humor, and I would always feel I'd hit the target when I made Ellen laugh. She was a bright light, a warm soul, and a kindly helper to very many, and she will be profoundly missed."


'In the Easy Chair with...' Annie Philbrick

In the most recent edition of its series "In the Easy Chair with...," the Westerly Sun featured a q&a with Annie Philbrick, owner of the Savoy Bookstore & Café in Westerly, R.I., which opens today (congratulations!), and Bank Square Books in Mystic, Conn. Among our favorite responses:

Right now I'm in the middle of: Opening a second indie bookshop.
Favorite way to spend my time: Reading.
Experience that has influenced me the most: Getting rescued from the middle of the Bering Sea in 1982 by the U.S. Coast Guard after sending a secret code to the National Marine Fisheries Service asking for help getting off a Korean fish processor where I was being harassed by the crew.
Favorite authors: Wallace Stegner or Lily Tuck.
Can't live without: Books.
Best advice I ever received: Do something different than everyone else.
Advice I best like to give: Go with your gut.

Books & Books: 'People Behind Local Literary Gem'

"One of my favorite things about living in Coral Gables is that we have the best independent bookstore in the country, Books & Books," Paola Mendez wrote in a Coral Gables Love profile of three staff members at a business described as "so much more than a book retailer. They have been a pillar of the community for over 30 years and have brought revolutionizing events to South Florida."

"Bookstores represent community and I'm a lover of books and literature. So when I was young, marrying those two things sounded like it was something I could do and be passionate about it," said owner Mitchell Kaplan. "The main difference between a corporate chain store and a locally owned independent book store is that the independent bookshop is a community center. A tradition of community and locally owned bookstores runs deep."

Book buyer Aaron Curtis shared what he enjoys about working at Books & Books: "It puts you in touch with your people. There's no where else in Miami to mingle with like-minded book folks--the introverts, the oddballs, the people who think that curling up someplace comfy and cracking open a book is one of the best ways to spend your time.... I like being a thorn in the digital age's pixelated side." 

"Reading is paramount for a child and to facilitate that is a blessing," children's book buyer Ketsia Julmeus said, adding that she likes working at an independent bookstore because it gives her the opportunity to make a difference in children's lives every day. She also enjoys being around people who are like-minded and love books as she does.

Personnel Changes at Chronicle Books

Effective April 6, Ian Delaney is joining Chronicle Books as the indie trade sales coordinator. Previously, Ian was the sales and marketing manager at McSweeney's.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Peggy Orenstein on Fresh Air

NPR's Morning Edition: Sarai Walker, author of Dietland (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26, 9780544373433).

Fresh Air: Peggy Orenstein, author of Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape (Harper, $26.99, 9780062209726). She is also on CBS This Morning today.

Today Show: Harlan Coben, author of Fool Me Once (Dutton, $28, 9780525955092).

Good Morning America: Elizabeth Gilbert, co-author of Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It: Life Journeys Inspired by the Bestselling Memoir (Riverhead, $16, 9780399576775).

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

Movies: Me Before You; The Jungle Book; Tu, Mio

A new extended trailer is out for the film adaptation of Jojo Moyes's Me Before You, introduced by stars Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) and Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games). Entertainment Weekly reported that the trailer "begins with a glimpse of a suited, businessman Will (Claflin) stepping into a rainy London street before an accident that leaves him in a wheelchair. He meets Louisa (Clarke) after she takes a job as his caretaker, and while the two initially get off to a rocky start ('My mother says you're chatty. Can we strike a deal whereby you are very unchatty around me?'), they begin to fall for one another." Me Before You, which also stars Jenna Coleman, Matthew Lewis, Brendan Coyle, Charles Dance, Janet McTeer and Joanna Lumley, opens in theaters June 3.


A new clip has been released from director Jon Favreau's hybrid live-action and CGI adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. Entertainment Weekly noted that the scene "finds Mowgli--played by 12-year-old newcomer Neel Sethi--preparing to leave his pack after his presence in the wild has raised the ire of the fearsome tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba). The Jungle Book opens April 15.


Screenwriter Álvaro Rodriguez (Machete) and director Michael Mayer (Out in the Dark) "are attached for a movie version of Erri De Luca's Italian bestseller Tu, Mio (You, Mine)," Variety reported. Paola Porrini Bisson and Oh!pen Productions are producing, while Rodriguez and Mayer are adapting the novel. De Luca's The Weight of the Butterfly is in development with Dean Zanuck. Bisson previously produced the Tribeca winner The Nightshift Belongs to the Stars, A Musical Imprinting and Trees That Walk, all written by De Luca.

Books & Authors

Awards: British Science Fiction Association Winners

Aliette de Bodard is the first author to win the British Science Fiction Association's awards in both the best novel and best short story categories for the same year, the Guardian reported. She won for her novel The House of Shattered Wings and story "Three Cups of Grief, By Starlight." Other winners were Adam Roberts for Rave and Let Die (nonfiction) and veteran illustrator Jim Burns (best artwork) for his cover design for Pelquin's Comet by Ian Whates. The awards were presented Saturday during Mancunicon, the 67th British National Science Fiction convention otherwise known as Eastercon.

Book Review

Review: The Miner

The Miner by Natsume Sōseki, trans. by Jay Rubin (Gallic Books/Aardvark Bureau, $15.95 paperback, 9781910709023, April 12, 2016)

Natsume Sōseki played a major part in establishing the modern Japanese novel with works such as Botchan and I Am Cat, published in the early 20th century. This new edition of The Miner reintroduces English-speaking audiences to one of the great Japanese novelist's least-appreciated novels. Published serially starting in 1908, The Miner received almost universal pans from Japanese critics. For years afterward, that initial appraisal was rarely reconsidered.

The Miner is prickly and difficult. Thankfully, the fantastic introduction by celebrated novelist Haruki Murakami and the lengthy afterword by translator Jay Rubin provide context and analysis to help the reader appreciate the stylistic and intellectual daring that make The Miner an engrossing read. Murakami observes how the frustration that its readers may experience could lead many to wonder why Sōseki even wrote it at all, adding, "The author himself seems to be trying to sweep away such doubt and frustration when he undertakes the daring and tricky task of negating the very premise that this book is a novel at all." 

That might be read as criticism, but it's actually more of an admission that The Miner's particular pleasures are born out of a concerted effort to reject almost every convention. The protagonist is a disaffected young man of middle- to upper-class provenance who meets a procurer--a man who earns a fee convincing desperate souls to work in the mine--and follows him to "the hole." There, he makes a hellish descent into the bowels of the mine and an equally treacherous trip back to the surface. That, essentially, is the entire plot.

What Sōseki hangs upon that skeleton of a plot, however, is astonishing. Mirroring the protagonist's journey into the mine, Sōseki burrows into every thought that runs through the character's head, documenting the perambulations of each in exhausting detail. The level of psychological insight is so precise that The Miner could almost double as a textbook on cognitive functioning. For example, Sōseki writes:

"I hate to think that this world of clouds is going to be out there, blocking the path ahead, for the rest of my allotted span. Because what that means is that every time anxiety makes me take a step, I walk one step deeper into anxiety. Pursued by anxiety from behind, drawn on by anxiety ahead, I have to keep moving, but I can walk and walk, and nothing is going to be solved. I'll go on walking through an anxiety that will stay unsettled as long as I live."

While there is not much in The Miner that might be described as entertaining in the classical, novelistic sense, the story nevertheless possesses great value for the fantastic advances it makes in describing human consciousness. A must for Sōseki fans and those fascinated by the complexities of the mind. --Hank Stephenson, bookseller, Flyleaf Books

Shelf Talker: This revised translation of The Miner presents an underappreciated gem from one of Japan's greatest novelists.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. If I Didn't Know Better (The Callaways Book 9) by Barbara Freethy
2. A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole
3. Love, Chloe by Alessandra Torre
4. Sinful Nights Bundle by Lauren Blakely
5. The Prince's Intimate Abduction by Elizabeth Lennox
6. Deep by Skye Warren
7. Wild: The Complete Series by Emma Hart
8. How to Build Self-Discipline by Martin Meadows
9. Beneath These Lies by Meghan March
10. Filthy Beautiful Love by Kendall Ryan

[Many thanks to!]

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