Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Margaret K. McElderry Books: Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

Henry Holt & Company: Mihi Ever After (Mihi Ever After #1) by Tae Keller, illustrated by Geraldine Rodríguez

Berkley Books: River Sing Me Home by Eleanor Shearer

Oxford University Press, USA: The World According to Proust by Joshua Landy

Chronicle Chroma: Bob Willoughby: A Cinematic Life by Bob Willoughby

Charlesbridge Publishing: Forever Cousins by Laurel Goodluck, illustrated by Jonathan Nelson

Tor Teen: The Luminaries by Susan Dennard

Quotation of the Day

U.K. Writers: 'Close Relationship with European Readers'

"I think Madame l'Ambassadeur was exaggerating when she called me 'France's favorite British writer.' British writing is popular all over Europe, and this is actually one of the great untold success stories of our culture.

"Yes, it's a bittersweet feeling to have had this recognition from France in the week that Britain has turned its back on the rest of Europe. But it's more important than ever, now, that British writers build a close relationship with their European readers, and try to remind them, among other things, that the views of those who voted to leave the EU... don't tell the whole story about the U.K. and its people."

--Jonathan Coe, in remarks after being honored by France as an Officer in the Order of Arts and Letters

Scribe Us: Our Members Be Unlimited: A Comic about Workers and Their Unions by Sam Wallman


AAP Sales: New Year Starts with a Thud

In January, total net book sales fell 6.7%, to $991.7 million, compared to January 2015, representing sales of 1,205 publishers and distributed clients as reported to the Association of American Publishers. 
Downloadable audio, the fastest-growing category in 2015, continued to grow in January, with sales up 30.3%. In general trade, the strongest categories were children's/YA paperbacks, up 17%, and adult paperbacks, up 0.5%. Adult hardcovers dropped 17.6%, and mass market fell 33.3%. Except for university press e-books, digital titles fell: adult e-books were down 22.3%, children's/YA e-books were off 45.2%, and religious e-books were down 19.9%.

Flyaway Books: The Coat by Séverine Vidal, illustrated by Louis Thomas

The Story House Bookstore on Wheels Launching

Deborah Bodin Cohen, a rabbi and children's book author, plans to purchase a bookmobile and transform it into an independent bookstore for children and teens called The Story House Bookstore on Wheels, which will bring approximately 2,500 titles to school book fairs, community festivals and pop-up locations in the Washington, D.C., suburbs. She estimates it will cost $70,000 to purchase a bookmobile, opening stock and a POS system, and has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $20,000 of the total.

"I will be focusing mostly on books that don't have very strong commercial ties, so no Lego or Disney," she told the Washington Post. "I'm looking for more books that are literature-focused, that are well-received, that have a strong benefit to readers." She also wants to carry books by local authors and have a few shelves of books that would change depending on the event she's attending.

Cohen had originally planned to open a bricks-and-mortar store, but the high cost of rent in the D.C. area prompted her to reconsider. "I was attending a Paz & Associates workshop in Florida," she said. "Through their guidance, I realized that I needed to look at alternative models to reach my goal. The more I thought about a bookmobile, the more excited I grew."

Nostalgia also played a role. "When I learned that I needed to get a 'peddler and hawker's' license, I immediately thought of all the traveling Jewish merchants of 1800s and early 1900s," she added. "Here I am, born in the United States with two graduate degrees, and I am hitting the road with a modern-day pushcart!"

Cohen is the author of seven books for Jewish children and one book for Jewish teens, with another title currently in production. For the past 19 years, she has been a congregational rabbi, serving Potomac, M.D.; Cherry Hill, N.J.; and Cary, N.C.  She recently left her full-time position to pursue the bookstore and her writing. 

PNBA Holiday Catalog 2022

First Pitch: E-Book Giveaway Tonight at Yankee Stadium

In an unusual book-and-baseball promotion, the first 10,000 fans 18 years and older at tonight's game between the New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers (go, Yanks!) at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, N.Y., will receive a free e-book edition of The Prophet by Michael Koryta, who will also throw out the ceremonial first pitch. The giveaway is part of the Yankees' New York Times First Pitch Series and is sponsored by Little, Brown and Hachette Book Group, which calls this "the first e-book giveaway ever at a major sporting event."

Fans will receive cards with a promotion code. On Bookshout, the publisher's redemption partner, fans can enter the promotion code and receive the e-book, which can be read on a desktop, mobile phone or tablet.

"Reading today takes place in so many places--at home before bed but also in line at the grocery store. Why not during the seventh inning stretch?" said Heather Fain, senior v-p, marketing strategy, Hachette Book Group. "Hachette is always looking for new ways to engage readers, introduce them to writers they haven't tried, and make it easy to always have a great book on hand. Working with the Yankees allows us to challenge the notion of what is and isn't the 'right' time to read."

Little, Brown and Hachette are planning another e-book giveaway on July 22, when fans will receive a free digital edition of David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell, who will throw out the first pitch before the Yankees play the San Francisco Giants.

Memorial Service for Patti Hughes

Patti Hughes

Macmillan will hold a memorial in honor of Patti Hughes on Wednesday, July 13, 4:30-6 p.m., at the NYU Rosenthal Pavilion, Kimmel Center for University Life, 10th Floor, 60 Washington Square South (at Washington Square East) in New York City. The memorial is open to all who knew and worked with her. People interested in speaking should contact Alison Lazarus.

Hughes, formerly v-p, distribution sales and special markets, at Macmillan, died on June 12.


Image of the Day: McNally Jackson ♥ Graywolf

McNally Jackson in New York City recently hosted a SRO-only event, McNally Jackson Live! with Graywolf Press, an evening of author readings and discussions celebrating the publisher. L.-r: McNally Jackson's Valerie Slaughter; Dorthe Nors (So Much for that Winter); Leslie Jamison (The Empathy Exams); Graywolf publisher Fiona McCrae; and Max Porter (Grief Is the Thing with Feathers).

Best of Boston: Trident Booksellers & Café

Congratulations to Trident Booksellers & Café, Boston, Mass., which Boston magazine named the 2016 Best Bookstore in its Best of Boston issue. Boston wrote:

"With a selection ranging from the latest bestsellers to indie up-and-comers, this Newbury Street institution pleases all manner of bookworm. Home to two stories of books, magazines, and quirky gifts, not to mention a full-service restaurant, it's easy to spend an entire day lost among the shelves (and you can--the store is open until midnight seven days a week)."

'What's in a Name?': Lemuria Books

The latest subject of Bookselling This Week's What's in a Name? series is Lemuria Books, which opened in Jackson, Miss., more than 40 years ago with a name that was intended "to represent the store's then countercultural leanings."

Owner John Evans was 24 years old when he founded Lemuria: "I wanted to feature books on metaphysics, counterculture, psychology and the occult," as well as titles by some of his favorite authors, including Hemingway, Steinbeck and Faulkner. "I was traveling all around looking for alternative books and couldn't find very many of them in many places in the South, so I decided to open my own store. I thought, well, I don't want to call it John's Books; I'm not that narcissistic. And I can't really call it John's New Age Bookstore or Counterculture Bookstore, not in the middle of Mississippi, at least."

He decided to call it Lemuria, after a mythical civilization that was purported to have existed before the lost city of Atlantis. "The lost continent of Lemuria was home to the creative aspects of occult, myth, and hieroglyphics, the symbols of the first books ever written," Evans noted. "I found that out in a book, and I just got into the whole aspect of the creative process of transference of thoughts through words and ideas, and creativity, and all of the things that Lemurian culture is mythologized as."

Over time, the name's relationship to the store's brand has changed: "In a way, we still represent the counterculture today, at least where we are, but I also think we represent the current culture where we are, too. That is one of the ways our bookstore has changed. But we've always been interested in giving the community something alternative and, hopefully, we are still doing that."

Personnel Changes at Penguin Random House

Brent Gordon has been named v-p, education sales and strategy, a newly created position in the Penguin Random House sales group. He previously was at McGraw-Hill and Wiley in senior executive roles.

Emily Hughes has been promoted to manager, content development and social media, at Penguin Random House.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Walter Mosley on Tavis Smiley

Fresh Air: Donald G. McNeil, Jr., author of Zika: The Emerging Epidemic (Norton, $14.95, 9780393353969).

Tavis Smiley: Walter Mosley, author of Charcoal Joe: An Easy Rawlins Mystery (Doubleday, $26.95, 9780385539203).

Also on Tavis Smiley: Laurence Leamer, author of The Lynching: The Epic Courtroom Battle That Brought Down the Klan (Morrow, $27.99, 9780062458346).

Diane Rehm: readers review Drown by Junot Díaz (Riverhead, $16, 9781573226066).

Meredith Vieira repeat: Michael Eric Dyson, author of The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27, 9780544387669).

Movies: American Pastoral; Green River Killer

For American Pastoral, the film adaptation of Philp Roth's novel that marks Ewan McGregor's directorial debut, Lakeshore Entertainment has released a new trailer that "gives a first look at the film's major players: Seymour 'Swede' Levov, a sandy-haired American success story (played by McGregor); Dawn (Jennifer Connelly), his former beauty queen of a wife; and Merry (Dakota Fanning), their precocious, socially conscious, rebellious daughter, who tears her family apart after committing a violent act of political terrorism."

"I have dreamt of directing a feature for the last 15 years and never found the 'right' story," McGregor said. "I wanted to direct, not for the sake of being a director, but because there was a story I had to tell. Well, American Pastoral gave me everything I was looking for. I was incredibly lucky that I had Lakeshore's trust and incredible talent in front of and behind the camera to make Roth's story the film I thought it should be. The creative collaboration with the cast and the crew was as thrilling as I had hoped it would be. I was a very happy man making this film, and it is the film I wanted it to be." The movie is set for release October 21.


Michael Sheen (Masters of Sex, Frost/Nixon) will star in--and make his feature directorial debut with--Green River Killer, adapted from the graphic novel Green River Killer: A True Detective Story by Jeff Jensen and artist Jonathan Case, Deadline reported.

"This is a dark story but one that ultimately finds hope and meaning in that darkness," Sheen said. "The story of Tom and Gary, and how they are bound together in time, pulled me in from the beginning and wouldn't let go. I hope that by now bringing it to life on screen, it can make audiences feel the same way."

Books & Authors

Awards: Locus; Guardian & 4th Estate BAME

The 2016 Locus Awards winners are:

Science fiction novel: Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie (Orbit)
Fantasy novel: Uprooted by Naomi Novik (Del Rey)
YA book: The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett (Harper)
First novel: The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu (Saga)
Novella: Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds (Tachyon)
Novellette: ''Black Dog'' by Neil Gaiman (Trigger Warning)
Short story: ''Cat Pictures Please'' by Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld 1/15)
Anthology: Old Venus, edited by by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois (Bantam)
Collection: Trigger Warning: Short Fictions & Disturbances by Neil Gaiman (Morrow)
Nonfiction: Letters to Tiptree, edited by Alisa Krasnostein and Alexandra Pierce (Twelfth Planet)
Art book: Julie Dillon's Imagined Realms, Book 2: Earth and Sky by Julie Dillon (self-published)
Magazine: Asimov's
Publisher: Tor
Editor: David G. Hartwell
Artist: Michael Whelan


Abiola Oni won the £1,000 (about $1,320) Guardian and 4th Estate BAME Short Story Prize for her story "75."

Nikesh Shukla, one of the judges, said of Oni's work: "She writes with confidence, and keeps a lot of plates spinning: family dynamics, loss, resignation, and a final cruel ending. It stood out as a great example of confident genre writing." He added that reading the prize entries "confirms what I knew all along: that there are some very talented writers of color out there. And for whatever reason, they're not finding representation, getting publishing deals or winning prizes. Which is why an award like this is so necessary."

Book Review

Review: You Will Know Me

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott (Little, Brown, $26 hardcover, 9780316231077, July 26, 2016)

Edgar and Barry Award-winner Megan Abbott wrote her dissertation, The Street Was Mine, on classic crime novelists like Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain and Jim Thompson. She then crafted her early fiction in the same first-person narrative style, with vintage dialogue, often based on historical crimes (Die a Little; Queenpin). More recently she has turned her dark eye on the secrets of seemingly ordinary families and the shocking crimes that sometimes engulf their small towns (The Fever).

In You Will Know Me, Katie and Eric Knox, wed hastily after a surprise pregnancy, are just settling into a normal parenthood when their rambunctious three-year-old, Devon, loses two toes to a lawn mower Eric carelessly leaves running. Determined to help Devon overcome this childhood trauma, they enroll her in a local gymnastics group. It quickly becomes clear that their ordinary family has an extraordinary athlete on its hands. Too good for her strip-mall club, they bring her to the famous Coach T and his BelStars gym. Teddy Belfour is a "silver-maned lion, the gymnast whisperer, the salto Svengali," and Devon joins his "fearsome BelStars girls whippeting around with faces grim as Soviets." Nothing in the Knox family will ever be the same.

Abbott captures the devotion, sacrifice and obsession that comes to a family with a prodigy athlete--the "vein-pulsing work... countless jammed fingers and torn palms... credit-card debt ticking up, and a gym that cost almost as much as one of their two mortgage payments." Their precocious son, Drew, is often left to entertain himself while stuck in the bleachers watching his star sister compete. Eric takes charge of the BelStars booster club to raise money for better equipment and more out-of-town meets. Devon gets better and better--and less social. Other girls envy and disparage her. While their bodies age into teen curves and their gossip turns to boys, Devon remains a focused gymnastics machine with an "aerodynamic missile of a body, low, tight, no drag"--until a handsome young construction worker comes to build an Olympic-rated foam pit under the gym's vault.

Ryan Beck has a rumored delinquent past, but the girls--and their moms--are smitten. When he is mysteriously killed by a hit-and-run driver, the curtains part and Abbott reveals the secrets, jealousies and outright malevolence under the surface of the Knox family and the BelStars boosters.

Abbott is working at the top of her craft, and You Will Know Me is a crime novel where the crime is only a catalyst for an accomplished exploration of ordinary people's unraveling when they become obsessed with the extraordinary among them. --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.

Shelf Talker: Abbott's suspenseful You Will Know Me reveals the envy, resentment and fragility of an ordinary family and small community obsessed with an extraordinary young athlete.

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