Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Del Rey Books: The Art of Prophecy by Wesley Chu

Jy: Enemies (Berrybrook Middle School #5) by Svetlana Chmakova

Entangled Publishing: Stealing Infinity by Alyson Noël

St. Martin's Press: The Matchmaker's Gift by Lynda Cohen Loigman

Legendary Comics YA: Enola Holmes: Mycroft's Dangerous Game by Nancy Springer, illustrated by Giorgia Sposito

Sourcebooks: Helltown: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer on Cape Cod by Casey Sherman

Soho Crime: Lady Joker, Volume 2 by Kaoru Takamura, translated by Allison Markin Powell and Marie Iida

Bantam: All Good People Here by Ashley Flowers

Quotation of the Day

'First Thing I Do Is Find a Quirky Bookshop'

"When I visit a city, the first thing I do is find a quirky bookshop. They don't have to be small--Strand in New York has four floors of books with an amazing rare book section! Bestsellers in Budapest is wonderful, and I love Word on the Water in London, which is on a canal barge in King's Cross.

"When I was in Paris filming Versailles, I spent so much downtime in Shakespeare and Co., overlooking the Seine. It's warped and creaky, like a museum to books, but not fusty or old-fashioned.... It is great that books are so accessible online. But you will never feel so fondly about the moment you click on Standard Delivery as when you are hanging off a ladder to grab an old hardback from the top shelf."

--Actress Sarah Winter of BBC2's series Versailles, speaking to the Big Issue about "why she always plots her travel plans around independent bookshops"

Entangled Publishing: Stealing Infinity by Alyson Noël


Womrath's in Tenafly, N.J., Closing

Sad news: Womrath's Bookstore, Tenafly, N.J., is closing at the end of June. Owner Bob Kutik wrote to customers that he will be retiring "after 43 years in the book business." He called the decision "bittersweet," adding, "I will miss all of our customers, but I will enjoy more time with my family and improving my tennis game."

In 1949, Kutik's father, Harry Kutik, who was disabled from wounds in World War II and who died in 1998, founded a Womrath's--when it was a bookstore franchise operation--in Hackensack, N.J. In 2001, Bob Kutik closed the Hackensack store. A year later, he bought the Womrath's in Tenafly.

Earlier this year, Kutik indicated that he wanted to retire and hoped to find a bookstore to take the Womrath's space, which is in a building he owns.

GLOW: Park Row: The Two Lives of Sara by Catherine Adel West

Book Industry Figures Earn Queen's Birthday Honors

Author Stella Duffy and Johanna Basford, whose Secret Garden launched the adult coloring book craze, received OBEs (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire), and literary agent Peter Straus--managing director at Rogers, Coleridge and White--was honored with a CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) during the 2016 Queen's Birthday Honors, the Bookseller reported.

This year's honorees also included Ann Rennie, library services manager for the London Borough of Havering and the London Library Consortium; Sir Rod Stewart, who was made a knight; and astronaut Tim Peake, who published the picture book Goodnight Spaceman.

MPIBA: Last Chance: The Great Summer Reading Guide

Obituary Notes: Aileen Ward; Steve Wolfe

Aileen Ward, the author and scholar "whose sympathetic, insightful biography of the Romantic poet John Keats won a National Book Award in 1964," died May 31, the New York Times reported. She was 97. Ward spent nine years researching John Keats: The Making of a Poet, which was praised by the NBA administrators as a "searching and perceptive reappraisal of a major literary figure" and an "honest, moving, and beautifully balanced work--a truly distinguished portrait." Her book also won the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize in Britain, making her both the first American and the first woman to win that prize. The Times noted that at her death, Ward "had been at work for a half-century on a biography of Blake."


Artist Steve Wolfe, whose "preferred subject matter was books, singly and by the boxful, their creased, age-stained, sometimes Scotch-taped covers exuding companionable familiarity," died last month, the New York Times reported. He was 60. Although Wolfe's "screened-printed jacket designs and typefaces impeccably recreated those of the original volumes, his books were not books but paintings--playful, thoughtful one-offs designed to be hung on gallery walls. As such, they became potent emblems of nostalgia, binding up (although they had no bindings) wistful longing for the beloved bibliographic companions of years gone by," the Times wrote.

Bookseller-Novelist Kea Wilson and We Eat Our Own

"This book was in my brain for a good 10 years before I started writing it, long before I ever thought I would write a book," said Kea Wilson, bookseller and events coordinator at Left Bank Books in St. Louis, Mo. Wilson's debut novel, We Eat Our Own, is scheduled for publication on September 6 by Scribner. Set in the 1970s, We Eat Our Own follows a struggling, unnamed actor as he travels from New York City to a remote village in the Amazon rain forest, where he joins the cast of a pulp Italian horror film. The actor quickly realizes that he's in over his head--not only is the production over budget and the team on the verge of a breakdown, but this part of the South American wilderness is home to drug traffickers, multinational corporations and armed guerilla groups.

Kea Wilson

The book is loosely based on Ruggero Deodato's notorious cult classic horror film Cannibal Holocaust, about a documentary film crew that goes missing in the Amazon rain forest and the rescue mission that finds and views its lost footage. Cannibal Holocaust proved so shocking and controversial on its release in 1980 that the director was arrested in Italy under suspicion of creating a snuff film. Although those charges were dropped once the film's four lead actors appeared on an Italian television show, Deodato still faced obscenity and violence charges.

"I've been toying with the vague idea for this book for 13 years, though only subconsciously for some of them," recalled Wilson, who by her own estimation has been a huge horror movie fan since an "inappropriately young age." She first saw a bootleg copy of Cannibal Holocaust when she was 16, and said that she's probably watched the movie at least a dozen more times in the years since. More interesting to her than the sordid aftermath of the film's release, though, was its subject matter, and the way the movie seemed to indict the viewer.

"I remember feeling like I'd never seen anything quite like it," Wilson recalled. "It makes you question, why, exactly, you signed up to watch a bunch of 20-somethings in safari outfits get eaten alive, whether the cannibalism is simulated or not."

It wasn't until she began seriously researching the making of the film, however, that she wanted to turn that story into fiction. "The story was so much more complex than the urban legend that's usually told about it," explained Wilson. "I found myself wanting to make the story mind, to add characters and plot lines and to go down paths that had nothing to do with the original movie."

In broader terms, Wilson added, the book is about violence, and how "we try to separate ourselves from violent things we do, whether because we have a political justification, or an artistic one, or an emotional one, or because we're just not equipped to own up to who we've become."

Wilson completed her first draft of We Eat Our Own while earning her MFA at Washington University in St. Louis, and she's been a bookseller at Left Bank Books for nearly three years. Her first experience with bookselling came shortly after she graduated college, when she worked for a year as a bookseller at a Hastings in Santa Fe, N.Mex. She got a job there, she admitted, in large part because she'd heard that Cormac McCarthy shopped there and she hoped to meet him. The ploy worked--she sold him three model airplane magazines--and meanwhile she was spending most of her money at indie bookstores in the Santa Fe area.

Juggling bookselling and writing, Wilson said, has not been difficult over the past few years. In fact, she continued, it's been one one of the best things to ever happen for her writing. In part, that's simply practical--she said she prefers to write first thing in the morning, and it helps to have a retail schedule that starts no earlier than 10 a.m.--but another part of that has to do with being completely immersed in books.

"I'm constantly surrounded by books and people who love books and people who write books and want to talk about them in a really earnest, generous way all the time," she said. "And that makes it a whole lot easier to think that typing little words by yourself every morning is meaningful and that you should keep doing it."

Wilson plans to have a launch party for We Eat Our Own at Left Bank Books on September 6. And though she's the events coordinator at Left Bank, she's leaving some of the planning to her coworkers. Said Wilson: "I'm not totally planning my own birthday party here." --Alex Mutter


Image of the Day: Beautiful Scars

Kilee Brookbank, left, co-author of the recently released Beautiful Scars, was joined by fellow burn survivor Sara Christenson at Brookbank's recent signing at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Cincinnati, Ohio. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of Beautiful Scars will benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children-Cincinnati, where Brookbank, 18, spent 38 days recovering from second- and third-degree burns on 45% of her body.

'Which Cruise Ship Library Is Right for You?'

John Money, co-owner of Ocean Books, "has been designing and supplying ship libraries since the 1970s and still works with several lines, including Silversea, Cunard and Oceania," the Washington Post reported in posing the question: "Which cruise ship library is right for you?

"There is a revenue manager on board every ship, and they need to get the maximum amount of cash from each passenger," Money said, adding that libraries typically are not big money-makers and technology has also chipped away at the ship library concept. "Even I read on my iPad now."

The Post explored "all the major and a few smaller lines popular with Americans to separate the book-heavy from the tech-savvy from the let's-just-party. The good news: There is something for everyone."

Bookstore Sidewalk Board of the Day: Malaprop's

A Saturday tweet from Malaprop's Bookstore, Asheville, N.C.:

"Our weekend update & some relatable subject matter."

One side of the board said: "When you're almost done with a book and you realize there aren't enough pages left for all the things that need to happen... #bibliophileproblems."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Jeffrey Toobin on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Jeffrey Toobin, author of The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson (Random House, $16, 9780812988543).

Fox & Friends: Brad Thor, author of Foreign Agent: A Thriller (Atria/Emily Bestler, $27.99, 9781476789354). He will also appear on Imus in the Morning, Fox News's Outnumbered, Fox Business's Kennedy Show and Fox Radio's Kilmeade & Friends.

Today Show: Michael Ian Black, author of A Child's First Book of Trump (Simon & Schuster, $15.99, 9781481488006).

CNBC's Squawk Box: Jonah Berger, author of Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior (Simon & Schuster, $26.99, 9781476759692).

The Talk: Freddie Prinze Jr., author of Back to the Kitchen: 75 Delicious, Real Recipes (& True Stories) from a Food-Obsessed Actor (Rodale, $27.50, 9781623366926).

Movies: Chaos Walking

Doug Liman (Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Edge of Tomorrow) "is in talks" to direct Chaos Walking, Lionsgate/Summit's adaptation of the YA novel by Patrick Ness, according to the Hollywood Reporter, which noted that "Robert Zemeckis had previously been attached to the film.... Lionsgate picked up the property in 2011 as a way of extending its dominance in the YA film space thanks to its Hunger Games and Twilight franchises. But the studio has stumbled with some of its subsequent efforts including the Divergent franchise as well as Ender's Game, which never even spawned a sequel."

Chaos Walking, however, "has more pedigree... given that Oscar-winning screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) adapted the book. Jamie Linden (Money Monster) penned a draft," THR wrote.

Books & Authors

Etgar Keret Receives Charles Bronfman Prize

Israeli author, storyteller and filmmaker Etgar Keret has won this year's $100,000 Charles Bronfman Prize "in recognition of his work conveying Jewish values across cultures and imparting a humanitarian vision throughout the world."

"We recognize that humanitarian work is increasingly taking new forms and this marks the first time the Charles Bronfman Prize has been awarded to an individual who uses storytelling as a medium through which he challenges and inspires the way people think about themselves and the world," said Stephen Bronfman on behalf of the prize founders and international panel of judges. "Etgar Keret is an important international voice who speaks of the Jewish condition in contemporary terms and demonstrates that writers can play an influential and critical role within society."

Charles Bronfman, the namesake of the prize, added: "In a dangerous world, Etgar Keret portrays people who have the capacity to empathize with the other, to hear the other, and to find compassion for the other. He counters dehumanization and inspires his readers with warmth and humor and original thinking. He encourages others to make the world a better place and translates the lessons of the Holocaust to a new generation. Etgar's ability to innovate and collaborate with others involved in creative endeavors fully embodies the values and spirit of the prize and I am delighted by his selection."

Keret observed that if he "had the choice to either become a better writer or a better person, I would choose, with no hesitation, the latter option. I feel that the Charles Bronfman Prize sets the same priorities, being given not only for talent and excellence but more than anything, for the genuine attempt to make a change and shape the world we live in."

Book Review

Review: Sixty Degrees North

Sixty Degrees North: Around the World in Search of Home by Malachy Tallack (Pegasus Books, $26.95 hardcover, 9781681771465, July 12, 2016)

Malachy Tallack comes to identify the northern Scottish archipelago of Shetland as home only after a long and troubled journey away and back again. In Sixty Degrees North: Around the World in Search of Home, Tallack grapples with the concept of belonging to a place, while traveling around the world on a single parallel. "For just as we inhabit the landscape, the landscape inhabits us, in thought, in myth and in memory." He opens with the evocatively titled chapter "Homegoing," and wraps up, naturally, with "Homecoming." The chapters in between might be characterized as home-seeking.

These titles serve as shorthand for a considerably more complicated story. Tallack was not born in Shetland, but a loss he suffered in his teens left him there, feeling stranded. Ever since, he has vacillated with the attraction of other places, of movement, and the comforting appeal of an idea of home. Sixty Degrees North describes his travels through Greenland, Canada, Alaska, Russia and Scandinavia, which occupy the space of a year and thus document the North's extreme seasons. This voyage is literally perambulatory, as Tallack compulsively walks, learning towns and cities by foot. In recalling an earlier time spent in Siberia, he studies his attraction to this place from a greater distance. He pursues home, even as he revolves around it.

While largely concerned with interior musings, Tallack makes a remarkable survey of cultures, climates and histories along the way. Ongoing themes include ties to nature and to community; the tension between isolation and engagement; stasis, movement and exile. His topics range over colonialism and native cultures, and the significance of peat, salmon and reindeer to indigenous peoples. He examines Scandinavia's social and political systems, particularly in the Åland Islands, which belong officially to Finland but are politically independent and have a majority Swedish population. He touches on the science of climate change, the relative definition of "north" and the question of "denordification... as though by changing, by developing, by warming, the north can actually become less like itself."

An introverted, quietly likable but troubled narrator, Tallack experiences no momentous events in the course of his travels, and even few conversations. His writing is thoughtfully composed, beautiful and often surprising, such as when he observes, "Loss shapes us like a sculptor, carving out our form, and we feel each nick of its blade." Sixty Degrees North is not a book of action, but rather an extended meditation, on longing and belonging, on personal ties to place and on the particular nature of a certain band of earth and sea. --Julia Jenkins, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: This broadly appealing travelogue combines carefully crafted writing with immersion in Northern lands and contemplation of the idea of home.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Protecting His Own (Masters of the Shadowlands Volume 11) by Cherise Sinclair
2. Dirty Love by Meghan March
3. Grin and Beard It (The Winston Brothers Volume 2) by Penny Reid
4. Flash Point (Kilgore Fire Book 2) by Lani Lynn Vale
5. Beautiful Storm by Barbara Freethy
6. Mister O by Lauren Blakely
7. The Contract by Melanie Moreland
8. Prime Minister by Ainsley Booth and Sadie Haller
9. Empire (Eagle Elite Book 7) by Rachel Van Dyken
10. Hold You Against Me by Skye Warren

[Many thanks to!]

Powered by: Xtenit