Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Tor Nightfire: Echo by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

Big Picture Press: Art of Protest: Creating, Discovering, and Activating Art for Your Revolution by De Nichols

Callaway Arts & Entertainment: The Beatles: Get Back by The Beatles, photographed by Linda McCartney

St. Martin's Press: The Christie Affair by Nina De Gramont

Soho Crime: My Annihilation by Fuminori Nakamura, translated by Sam Bett

Candlewick Press: Hello, Little Fish!: A Mirror Book by Lucy Cousins

Merriam-Webster Kids: Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day: 366 Elevating Utterances to Stretch Your Cranium and Tickle Your Humerus by Merriam-Webster


Robbins Book List in Greenville, Mich., to Close

Robbins Book List, Greenville, Mich., will close July 16. The Daily News reported that the shop, which was opened by Doug Robbins in 1997, "became known for its atmosphere of fellowship and the place to go for local authors and book-signings."

"I'm going to miss the friends that I've made through the business, the people who came into the store all the time," Robbins said. "It's a business that some people would even use as a meeting spot, like hey, let's meet down at the book store. It was rewarding to see friends who would run across each other there."

Although the closure was prompted by his decision to retire, Robbins noted that e-books and online sales were also factors: "We have seen much of our sales get eaten by the online mammoth sellers. It is nearly impossible for mom and pop stores to stay open with the competition so intense. I feel the days of walking into a book store are coming to an end in this country." He added, however, that the "timing was just right. It's a little bit emotional. It was a hard decision. I want to thank all of our loyal customers and friends. Owning a bookstore was my dream. We could not have done it for 20 years without you."

Berkley Books: Sadie on a Plate by Amanda Elliot

Lexington, Ky.'s Morris Book Shop for Sale

Sad news: the Morris Book Shop, Lexington, Ky., founded in 2008, is for sale, and owner Wyn Morris said that if he can't find a buyer, he will close the store, the Lexington Herald Leader reported.

Morris said the store has been "barely profitable" despite its popularity with customers and local authors. "My first choice by a long shot would be to sell the store to somebody younger, with fresh ideas... somebody who's ready for a challenge," he told the newspaper. "I don't feel any sense of failure, because so much has gone right. We've had a great run with doing events and community outreach and all that kind of stuff."

He added: "The fact is--and always has been in the time we've existed--that there are lots of places to buy books and lots of ways to get books easily. It's just the reality of being a bricks-and-mortar bookseller in 2016."

The store's five-year lease ends in August, which led Morris and his wife, Vicki Sword, to consider selling the store. Morris's landlord will extend the lease on a monthly basis to help Morris find a buyer.

Before founding the Morris Book Shop, Morris worked for many years at Joseph-Beth Booksellers and then at the University Press of Kentucky.

Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association: We're throwing a bookselling party and you're invited!

Amazon Books to Open in New York City?

Amazon's bookstore in Seattle.

The New York Post is reporting that Amazon plans to open an Amazon Books outlet in Hudson Yards, the major retail/commercial/residential development being built near the Javits Center in New York City. Sources told the Post that although a final lease hasn't been signed, "the deal is happening." The development is scheduled to open in late 2018 or early 2019.

The first Amazon Books opened last November in Seattle, Wash. A second is scheduled to open in San Diego, Calif., this summer, while a third is planned for Tigard, Ore., near Portland.

Berkley Books: 30 Things I Love about Myself by Radhika Sanghani

Obituary Note: Elie Wiesel

Elie Wiesel

Elie Wiesel, "the Auschwitz survivor who became an eloquent witness for the six million Jews slaughtered in World War II and who, more than anyone else, seared the memory of the Holocaust on the world's conscience," died Saturday, the New York Times reported. He was 87.

Wiesel, who wrote several dozen books and in 1986 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, "was defined not so much by the work he did as by the gaping void he filled.... [B]y the sheer force of his personality and his gift for the haunting phrase, Mr. Wiesel, who had been liberated from Buchenwald as a 16-year-old with the indelible tattoo A-7713 on his arm, gradually exhumed the Holocaust from the burial ground of the history books."

Night, the 1960 English translation of his autobiographical account of the horrors he witnessed in the camps as a teenage boy, has sold more than 10 million copies, "three million of them after Oprah Winfrey picked it for her book club in 2006 and traveled with Mr. Wiesel to Auschwitz," the Times wrote, adding that it was followed by novels, books of essays and reportage, two plays and even two cantatas--"an average of a book a year, 60 books by his own count in 2015." His Night Trilogy includes Dawn and Day.

President Obama, who visited the site of the Buchenwald concentration camp with Wiesel in 2009, said Saturday: 'He raised his voice, not just against anti-Semitism, but against hatred, bigotry and intolerance in all its forms. He implored each of us, as nations and as human beings, to do the same, to see ourselves in each other and to make real that pledge of 'never again.' "

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
Four Treasures of the Sky
by Jenny Tinghui Zhang

GLOW: Flatiron Books: Four Treasures of the Sky by Jenny Tinghui ZhangDaiyu, named after a tragic heroine, is the young protagonist of Jenny Tinghui Zhang's stunning debut novel, Four Treasures of the Sky, a work of historical fiction set in the 1880s. Daiyu happily follows a stranger when he promises her a full belly, but instead of feeding her noodles, he smuggles her from China to California, where she begins a dizzying journey that fuses folklore and history with a masterful eloquence. "There's still a strong bias toward thinking of the lone cowboy as the quintessential symbol of the West," says Flatiron senior editor Caroline Bleeke, who quickly fought to preempt the book after reading an early manuscript. "But that elides the experiences of everyone else, particularly women and POC." A book to sit alongside Yaa Gyasi's Homecoming and Anna North's Outlawed, this is a powerful tale of reclamation, spun with soul by a remarkable new talent. --Lauren Puckett

(Flatiron Books, $27.99 hardcover, 9781250811783, April 5, 2022)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported



Update: Texas Library Cat Reinstated

The city council in White Settlement, Tex., has voted 3-0 to let Browser stay at the town's library "two weeks after voting 2-1 to give the tabby 30 days to check out," the Associated Press reported, adding that Mayor Ron White said "he was overwhelmed with more than 1,000 messages on social media, all in support of keeping Browser on the job. The vote was taken without hearing from Browser's supporters who jammed the council chamber."

Positive Words About Positive Vibes, Virginia Beach

The Pilot profiled Positive Vibes, the African American bookstore in Virginia Beach, Va., that owner Brett Hewitt started in 1992 selling books from the trunk of his car. He told the paper: "I went to a distributor in Hampton, bought 20 books, and my journey began. Every time I sold one book, I'd order four more." In 1996, he opened a bricks-and-mortar store, and now also owns African Vibes and African Art at the Military Circle Mall in nearby Norfolk.

Besides books, Positive Vibes sells art, cosmetics, calendars, greeting cards, DVDs, incense, oils, T-shirts, posters, jewelry, clothing and more.

After active duty in the Navy and a job with the Defense Department, Hewitt volunteered in a mentorship program at the Norfolk YMCA and became a public speaker at local schools, prisons and churches. "I realized how important it was for us to learn our history and culture and be proud of who we are," he said. "I traveled throughout the United States and went into bookstores, but couldn't find literature that pertained to the African American struggle. And the large chains, which had an African American section, would put it way back in the back. It was a disservice."

Bookstore Chalkboard of the Day: 'NZ Bookstore of the Year'

"We are the bookseller of the year!!" proclaimed the sidewalk chalkboard for Time Out Bookstore, which is located in the Auckland suburb of Mt. Eden. And indeed they are, after being honored at the recent New Zealand Book Trade Industry Awards for 2016. Booksellers NZ reported that the bookshop and manager Jenna Todd "have been media favorites over the past year, with their whole-hearted backing of local author Ted Dawe seeing their 'banned book' display become one of the most enduring images of New Zealand bookselling in 2015."

Judge and NZ Book Council CEO Catriona Ferguson said Time Out Bookstore "nudged ahead of the other finalists with its focus on a lively digital program, headline-grabbing responses to issues in the book world, and an enthusiasm for embracing and engaging readers from all areas of the community."

Personnel Changes at Hachette, Viking/Penguin, Coffee House

Peggy Garry has been appointed senior counsel at Hachette Book Group. She has been at Perseus since 2013 and earlier was director of contracts & intellectual property for Columbia University Press, legal director for John Wiley & Sons, v-p of business & legal affairs for Golden Books and senior counsel for Hyperion. At Hachette, her responsibilities will include legal guidance in connection with all the Perseus publishing imprints, handling the drafting of brand license agreements for Running Press, Little, Brown Young Readers and other HBG groups, advising on educational publishing issues and other general legal matters.


In the Viking and Penguin publicity department:

Shannon Twomey has been promoted to associate director of publicity. She has been with Viking/Penguin for 10 years.

Kristin Matzen has been promoted to publicity manager. She joined Viking/Penguin as a publicist in 2013 and earlier worked at the Free Press and Atria imprints of Simon & Schuster.


Effective July 13, Mandy Medley is joining Coffee House Press as publicist. She has been a bookseller and event coordinator at Unabridged Books in Chicago and store manager and event coordinator at Powell's Bookstore Chicago.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Marketplace Explores Seinfeldia

Good Morning America: Teresa Giudice and K.C. Baker, authors of Turning the Tables: From Housewife to Inmate and Back Again (Gallery, $16, 9781501135118).

Fresh Air: Larry Tye, author of Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon (Random House, $32, 9780812993349).

The View repeat: Jon Cryer, author of So That Happened: A Memoir (NAL, $27.95, 9780451472359).

Marketplace: Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, author of Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781476756103).

Tavis Smiley: Nely Galán, author of Self Made: Becoming Empowered, Self-Reliant, and Rich in Every Way (Spiegel & Grau, $25, 9780812989755).

Coast to Coast AM: Stephen Dinan, author of Sacred America, Sacred World: Fulfilling Our Mission in Service to All (Hampton Roads Publishing, $18, 9781571747440).

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

MLB TV's MLB Tonight: Brian Kenny, author of Ahead of the Curve: Inside the Baseball Revolution (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781501106330).

Diane Rehm: Larry Olmsted, author of Real Food/Fake Food: Why You Don't Know What You're Eating and What You Can Do about It (Algonquin, $27.95, 9781616204211).

Meredith Vieira repeat: Emily Maynard Johnson, co-author of I Said Yes: My Story of Heartbreak, Redemption, and True Love (Thomas Nelson, $24.99, 9780718038403).

Also on Meredith Vieira: Fredrik Eklund, co-author of The Sell: The Secrets of Selling Anything to Anyone (Avery, $16, 9781592409525).

Daily Show: Terry McMillan, author of I Almost Forgot About You: A Novel (Crown, $27, 9781101902578).

Late Late Show with James Corden repeat: Gwyneth Paltrow, author of It's All Easy: Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook (Grand Central, $35, 9781455584215).

TV: Queen Sugar

Queen Sugar, Ava DuVernay's "highly-anticipated" 13-episode series inspired by Natalie Baszile's novel and executive produced by Oprah Winfrey, will debut as a two-night event on Tuesday, September 6 and Wednesday, September 7 at 10 p.m. on OWN. The project stars Rutina Wesley, Dawn-Lyen Gardner and Kofi Siriboe.

DuVernay (Selma) directs the first two episodes, with the others helmed by "seasoned and emerging women," including Tina Mabry, Victoria Mahoney, Tanya Hamilton, So Yong Kim, Kat Candler, Salli Richardson-Whitfield and Neema Barnette.

Books & Authors

Awards: Pat Conroy Southern Book Winners

On Independence Day, winners were unveiled for the 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize (a reconfigured and expanded version of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Book Award), which celebrate books "Southern bookstores were most passionate about, and inspired the most 'you've got to read this' moments and 'hand sell' moments in stores across the South." The inaugural Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize winners are:

The Great Santini Fiction Prize: My Sunshine Away by M. O. Walsh (Putnam)
The Prince of Tides Literary Prize: Above the Waterfall by Ron Rash (Ecco)
The Beach Music Mystery Prize: Bull Mountain by Brian Panowich (Putnam)
The Lords of Discipline Thriller Prize: The Bone Tree by Greg Isles (Morrow)
The Pat Conroy Cookbook Prize: Soul Food Love by Alice Randall (Clarkson Potter)
The Death of Santini Nonfiction Prize: Dispatches from Pluto by Richard Grant (S&S)
The Water Is Wide History & Life Stories Prize: Jacksonland by Steve Inskeep (Penguin)
Poppy's Pants Young Adult Prize: Mosquitoland by David Arnold (Viking Books for Young Readers)
Poppy's Pants Youngster's Prize Winner: Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty (Disney-Hyperion)

Book Review

Review: In Praise of Profanity

In Praise of Profanity by Michael Adams (Oxford University Press, $17.95 hardcover, 9780199337583, August 1, 2016)

Linguist Michael Adams is a historian and lively defender of the English language. In Slang: The People's Poetry, he delivered an examination of how colloquial speech is an inventive, linguistic rebellion against the mainstream in its ability to irritate and shock. In Slayer Slang, he showed how youth culture and contemporary trends--in particular, the critically acclaimed, popular TV program Buffy the Vampire Slayer--can push the boundaries of the English language. And in From Elvish to Klingon, he explored the distinctive grammar, vocabulary and usage in invented languages from Tolkien, Star Trek and the dystopian novels 1984 and A Clockwork Orange.

Adams never shies away from the provocative, and his imaginative, anti-academic approach holds great appeal. In keeping with his expertise in the history, theory and practice of lexicography, he now offers In Praise of Profanity, an illuminating, creatively presented exposition about the use of expletives--from four-letter words to latrine graffiti--throughout the ages. His aim in writing about language we're not supposed to use is to "illustrate profanity's very humane aspects, how expressive language participates in the human comedy and the human tragedy, and most often the human tragicomedy." By blending literary and cultural criticism, Adams sets up a defense of profanity that shatters over-simplified taboos, while outlining and illustrating stylistic motivations and the many valuable benefits expressive swearing can offer via the personal, emotional, societal and aesthetic.

Attitudes about using bad language are paradoxical and persistent, as the "functional need to express powerful emotion is inherently human" and goes all the way back to Chaucer's often crude and bawdy Canterbury Tales. Adams states that "were there ever a time to admire profanity, it would be now," believing that society is enmeshed in a profuse and profligate "Age of Profanity," where lines of decorum have been stretched, and it has gotten harder to temper or control cursing because it bombards and permeates the human psyche at every turn, like a wide-spread cultural disease. This is evidenced through many detailed and colorful examples Adams intersperses throughout the narrative--instances culled from ordinary, everyday conversation, news stories, the political arena and mainstream literature, music, film and TV programs such as Modern Family, South Park and The Sopranos. Adams also probes the power of profanity, how emotive speech can serve a larger artistic purpose, and he distills and deconstructs the ways in which profanity is often camouflaged via euphemisms.

By weaving together history, linguistics and some fascinating psychological analyses in an accessible, entertaining fashion, Adams presents an intriguing case for his defense. Readers won't necessarily come away from this book swearing a blue streak. But the next time they're compelled to light up with an expletive--or they hear someone cursing up a storm--they'll more than likely remember Adams's thought-provoking, contemporary investigation that casts a new light on the darker side of the English language. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

Shelf Talker: A linguist of the English language presents an entertaining, well-researched examination of the role of profanity in society.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. The 20/20 Diet by Phil McGraw
2. Say You'll Stay by Corinne Michaels
3. Easy Kisses (The Boudreaux Series Volume 4) by Kristen Proby
4. Into the Fire by Meredith Wild
5. The Contract by Melanie Moreland
6. Unbreak My Heart (Rough Riders Legacy Book 1) by Lorelei James
7. Abduction by Gillian Jackson
8. Dirty Sexy Cuffed (Dirty Sexy Series Volume 3) by Carly Phillips and Erica Wilde
9. My Guardian (Bewitched and Bewildered Book 6) by Alanea Alder
10. Mr. Romantic (The Mister Series Volume 2) by JA Huss

[Many thanks to!]

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