Also published on this date: Wednesday, July 6, 2016: Maximum Shelf: The Book That Matters Most

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, July 6, 2016


Simon Pulse: Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon

Workman Publishing: Click to see full Holiday Quick Pick catalog!

Bunim & Bannigan Ltd: David Lazar by Robert Kalich

Magination Press: Bee Heartful: Spread Loving-Kindness by Frank J Sileo, illustrated by Claire Keay

Dundurn Group: Never Forget: A Victor Lessard Thriller (A Victor Lessard Thriller #1) by Martin Michaud

Flatiron Books: Miss Austen by Gill Hornby

News

Sex Shop/Feminist Bookstore Opens in Brooklyn Laundromat

Troll Hole, "Bushwick's first sex shop/feminist bookstore," opened this spring in Brooklyn, DNAInfo reported. The business is co-owned by Justin Shock, Hayley Blatt and Monica Yi, who "had talked about the idea of opening a feminist bookstore/sex shop for about two years, and when Bushwick resident Yi came across the 'For Rent' sign at Mermaid, they knew their time had come."

"The sign was the universe wo-manifesting our dream," said Blatt.

Noting that Orange Is the New Black actress Lea DeLaria "is already a loyal customer," i-D wrote that Troll Hole "isn't just any sex store inside a laundromat. It's a pro-intersectional feminist, queer, small business that also sells chapbooks, zines, stickers, and tote bags. The store's Instagram advertises the gay manga book Fisherman's Lodge by Gengoroh Tagame and the brilliant pamphlet Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth by 27-year-old Kenyan-born Somali poet Warsaw Shire."

In a q&a, the co-owners told i-D that recent initiatives included participating in "Arts in Bushwick for their Community Day which was great. The recent fire on DeKalb Avenue was really devastating. You lose everything in a fire, so we had a little raffle and gave the money to one of the many residents who needed some financial support.... We also hosted a Mother's Day Brunch with the fantastic women behind We Feed NYC, which was so great." Last month, Troll Hole hosted an event for Los Angeles artist Jeromy Velasco, with all proceeds going to the victims and families of the shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.


Quirk Books: Spark and the League of Ursus by Robert Repino


Oakhurst's Branches Books & Gifts to Relocate

Branches Books & Gifts, Oakhurst, Calif., plans to relocate from the Junction Plaza Center to a 1,500-square-foot storefront in the Vons Shopping Center on September 1. The larger space will allow the shop to expand its inventory and offer more books, educational toys "and other awesomeness." The bookshop opened three years ago.

Owner Anne Driscoll said, "It's going to be really gorgeous and amazing by the time we get done with it.... I am desperate for more space and after trying to figure something out in our current shop and center, I began seeking out some different options. The new space is going to be a great fit with double the square footage and room for more shelves! Something all people obsessed with books understands."

Driscoll and her team--manager Shelby Collins along with booksellers Ruth Demers, Chloe Dean and Stacie Lazarcheff--are currently in the planning stages of moving the store in the most efficient manner while renovations are taking place.

"We have been beyond blessed with an amazingly loyal clientele of local customers, their families and visitors to the area," Driscoll noted. "People have been begging us to expand since the very beginning and while we have loved our current location, we are very excited for what the new store will provide. We are hoping for a seamless move that will take no longer than three days." Beginning in early September, the new address for Branches will be 40044 HWY 49, Suite 1-B, Oakhurst, Calif., 93644.


Soho Teen: Me and Mr. Cigar by Gibby Haynes


Mira Launching Park Row Books Imprint

Harlequin's Mira Books is launching a new imprint called Park Row Books, which the publisher describes as "an exclusive line of thought-provoking and voice-driven novels by both celebrated and new authors." Inaugural titles are slated for release in summer 2017. Park Row Books will be led by Margaret Marbury, v-p, general fiction editorial; and Erika Imranyi, executive editor. The imprint's name was inspired by the landmark street that runs through downtown Manhattan and ends at the Woolworth Building, the former home of Harlequin's New York office for many years.

"With the success of Mira's rapidly expanding literary fiction program, we decided to establish a dedicated imprint that focuses on the incredible novels we are publishing," said Marbury. "Park Row Books allows us to create new opportunities for talented literary writers who want a boutique publishing experience with the support of a powerhouse commercial publisher."

Loriana Sacilotto, executive v-p, global publishing & strategy at Harlequin, commented: "We are aggressively growing our imprints that publish hardcover and trade paper original fiction. Park Row Books is acquiring powerful and compelling novels by talented writers who are looking for a house that will shine a spotlight on their titles."

The launch title for Park Row Books is Benjamin Ludwig's debut novel, The Improbable Flight of Ginny Moon. Also forthcoming are novels by Mary Kubica, Heather Gudenkauf and Phaedra Patrick, as well as When I Think of You by Karma Brown, Hanna Who Fell from the Sky by Christopher Meades and Undertow by Elizabeth Heathcote.


New World Library: We Are the Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life by Laura McKowen


Obituary Notes: Geoffrey Hill; Terry Kitson

Geoffrey Hill, "often hailed as Britain's finest living poet, whose dense, allusive verses ranged from dark meditations on morals, religious faith and political violence to rapturous evocations of the English landscape of his native Worcestershire," died June 30, the New York Times reported. He was 84.

"We're very saddened by the news of Geoffrey Hill's death, but also grateful to have worked with him and extremely proud to have published his Collected Critical Writings in 2008 and Broken Hierarchies: Poems 1952-2012 in 2013," Jacqueline Norton, Hill's editor at Oxford University Press, told the Guardian. "Both volumes gather a lifetime of brilliant work--much of it recent--and show what a very great poet and critic Geoffrey is. The acclaim poured in for these books. The critical writings won the Truman Capote prize in 2009 and reviewers of Broken Hierarchies recognized the depth of Geoffrey's poetic genius. His fierce intelligence will be much missed, as will his moral seriousness." Hill's books also include The Triumph of Love, Without Title and Selected Poems.

British poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy observed that Hill "was, in poetry, a saint and a warrior who never gave an inch in his crusade to reach poetic truth. In four words--'God is distant, difficult'--he could suddenly illuminate, like lightning over a landscape."

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Terry Kitson, former CEO of HarperCollins U.K. and Australia, died July 3, the Bookseller reported. After launching his career in the book trade as a sales rep with Corgi Books at Transworld in the mid 1960s, Kitson moved a decade later to Granada Publishing, where he rose from sales manager to managing director for Granada, which was acquired by William Collins in 1983.

He was named managing director for Collins Australia & New Zealand in 1986, and when HarperCollins launched in 1990, Kitson "managed the U.K. business as well as the ANZ business for a short period, when he succeeded Sonia Land as chief executive of Collins in March 1990, after which he became chairman for HarperCollins ANZ, before retiring in 1994," the Bookseller wrote.


Dutton Books: The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Dare


Notes

Image of the Day: 'The First Rule...'

Left Bank Books, St. Louis Mo., shared this photo of barefoot author Chuck Pahlaniuk signing copies of his new graphic novel, Fight Club 2 (Dark Horse Books), at the store yesterday.


Happy 15th Birthday, Talking Leaves Elmwood!

Congratulations to Talking Leaves ...Books, Buffalo N.Y., which will celebrate the 15th anniversary of its Elmwood Ave. location July 9, Artvoice reported, noting that the "tight knit community, quiet in-store atmosphere and friendly staff have fostered this company into the only surviving independent retail bookstore in the city of Buffalo (there are a few used bookstores)." Talking Leaves' Main St. location has been in business for more than 40 years.

"In the fall of 1974, a group of university students and professors set up a loan program to purchase the Main Street store in 1975," Talking Leaves owner Jon Welch recalled. "Around 1998, most other independent bookstores had closed. We were the only ones left. We were contacted by a bunch of folks connected to the Elmwood Village association and the people who ran Café Aroma saying that the space next door is going to be available. 'Everybody in this neighborhood wants a bookstore. Would you come, because we'll raise money so it can happen.' So we opened it in July of 2001. Now it's 15 years and we want to celebrate!"

Welch added that the "challenge of being in the book business has always been substantial. It's always been a low margin business. When we started, our goal was to be a place that had the books that other people didn't.... [O]ur goal was to represent the voices of people that traditionally were not heard in regular publishing or were buried. We wanted to create a place where people could talk about these things."

Artvoice noted that Talking Leaves: Elmwood "has thrived with the support of the community for 15 years. As a community, let's be sure to show our support for the little shop at the end of the street that has become a little part of all of our lives."


Brookline Booksmith: 'Boston's Best Bookstore'

The Improper Bostonian named Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, Mass., as its Boston's Best 2016 pick in the bookstore category, noting: "The book clubs, small-press titles and award-winning kids section tell only part of the story at Coolidge Corner’s indie mainstay. The knowledgeable staffers here handwrite literary recommendations that adorn the bookshelves, and the visiting author series is bursting with talent--like Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk, who makes an appearance this month. A carefully curated gifts section and a basement chock-full of used titles firmly close the book on the e-reader debate."


Cool Idea of the Day: 'Government Book Week'

Approximately 90,000 New Zealand children will receive a free book as part of Government Book Week, which "is run by the Duffy Books in Homes program. Each student at the 500 schools in the program receives five free books of their choice every year, which they can take home and keep. The Ministry of Education funds one of these books during Government Book Week," Booksellers NZ reported.

"Reading is an essential skill for success in every aspect of life. This initiative is a great way to inspire a love of books in children and improve literacy skills," said education minister Hekia Parata. "More than 11 million books have been given to Kiwi kids since the Duffy Books in Homes program started in 1995. Thousands more will be given out this week, just in time for the school holidays."


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Linda Greenhouse on Fresh Air

Today:
Fresh Air: Linda Greenhouse, co-author of The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781476732503).

Tomorrow:
ESPN Radio's Michael Kay Show: Brian Kenny, author of Ahead of the Curve: Inside the Baseball Revolution (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781501106330).


Movies: Clifford the Big Red Dog; Howards End

Paramount Pictures "has adopted Clifford the Big Red Dog, after Universal Pictures put the pooch to the curb," Deadline reported. Justin Malen is writing the script for a movie that will be a live-action/CG hybrid based on the children's book series by Norman Bridwell.

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A "stunning new trailer" has been released for a new 4K restoration of the 1992 Merchant Ivory classic Howards End, adapted from E.M. Forster's novel, Indiewire reported. The film, which starred Anthony Hopkins, Vanessa Redgrave, Emma Thompson, Helena Bonham Carter and Samuel West, opens in New York August 26 and Los Angeles September 2.



Books & Authors

Awards: Caine Prize for African Writing; NEIBA Finalists

South African author Lidudumalingani won the £10,000 (about $13,020) Caine Prize for African Writing, which is given to "encourage and highlight the richness and diversity of African writing by bringing it to a wider audience internationally," for his short story "Memories We Lost," the Bookseller reported.

Chair of judges Delia Jarrett-Macauley said the winning story "explores a difficult subject--how traditional beliefs in a rural community are used to tackle schizophrenia. This is a troubling piece, depicting the great love between two young siblings in a beautifully drawn Eastern Cape. Multi-layered, and gracefully narrated, this short story leaves the reader full of sympathy and wonder at the plight of its protagonists."

Lidudumalingani is a writer, filmmaker and photographer. He has published short stories, nonfiction and criticism in various publications.

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Finalists for the 2016 New England Book Awards have been selected. Members of the New England Independent Booksellers Association now vote on the winners. The awards will be presented at the NEIBA Fall Conference Awards Banquet in Providence, R.I., on September 21.

Fiction:
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley (Grand Central)
Georgia by Dawn Tripp (Random House)
God's Kingdom by Howard Frank Mosher (St. Martin's)
Goodnight Beautiful Women by Anna Noyes (Grove Press)
Half Wild: Stories by Robin MacArthur (Ecco Press)

Non-fiction:
Evicted by Matthew Desmond (Crown)
Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery (Simon & Schuster)
Thing Explainer by Randall Monroe (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Tribe by Sebastian Junger (Hachette)
Valiant Ambition by Nathaniel Philbrick (Viking)

Children's:
All Rise the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor (HarperCollins)
Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer (Penguin Young Readers)
Mother Bruce by Ryan Higgins (Disney-Hyperion)
Sweet Pea & Friends: The Sheepover by John and Jennifer Churchman (Little, Brown Young Readers)
Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk (Dutton/Penguin Young Readers)


'Sizzling Hot Season': SIBA's Summer Okra Picks

The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance has announced its Summer Okra Picks, a selection of fresh titles chosen by Southern indie booksellers each season as the upcoming Southern titles they are most looking forward to handselling:

The Cantaloupe Thief by Deb Richardson-Moore (Lion Fiction)
The Promise of Jesse Woods by Chris Fabry (Tyndale House)
Underground Airlines by Ben Winters (Mulholland Books)
Let the Devil Out: A Maureen Coughlin Novel by Bill Loehfelm (Sarah Crichton Books)
Lowcountry Book Club by Susan M. Boyer (Henery Press)
Ninety-Nine Stories of God by Joy Williams (Tin House Books)
The Heavenly Table by Donald Ray Pollock (Doubleday)
Cotton by Paul Heald (Yucca Publishing)
The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race by Jesmyn Ward (Scribner)
The Risen by Ron Rash (Ecco)
Perfume River by Robert Olen Butler (Atlantic Monthly Press)
Nine Island by Jane Alison (Catapult)
Darktown by Thomas Mullen (Atria)


Book Brahmin: Susan Daitch

photo: Nissim Ram

Susan Daitch is the author of the novels L.C., The ColoristPaper Conspiracies and a collection, Storytown. Her novel The Lost Civilization of Suolucidir was recently published by City Lights Books (July 2016). Her work has been the recipient of an NEA Heritage Award, a Lannan Foundation Selection, two Vogelstein grants and a NYFA Fellowship. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in GuernicaConjunctionsSliceTin HouseBlack Clock and elsewhere. She has taught at Columbia, the Iowa Writers Workshop and Hunter College. Her thriller White Lead will be published in November by Random House.

On your nightstand now:

The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert and Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins. Though one is fiction and the other nonfiction, they're both about environmental disasters, both wake up calls and beautifully written. Feynman, a graphic biography of physicist Richard Feynman by Jim Ottoviani, illustrated by Leland Myrick. Feynman looked at the universe in terms of peeling back the outer layer to reveal the homunculi underneath. I can't figure out the homunculi at all, so I'm very interested in those who can. Also Seth Fried's The Great Frustration, short stories.

Favorite book when you were a child:

There are so many, I don't know where to begin. When I hoped to read some of my favorite children's books to my son, I was disappointed that so many were long out of print, and it seems to me there ought to be a way to keep these books from totally disappearing. Even writers like Maurice Sendak, Louise Fitzhugh and Astrid Lindgren wrote incredible books that can't be found anywhere. If I have to pick one: A Wolf in the Family by Jerome Hellmuth, a true story about a family in Seattle that raises a wolf.

Your top five authors:

Primo Levi, Georges Perec, Irène Némirovsky, Haruki Murakami and Art Spiegelman.

Book you've faked reading:

Perfidia by James Ellroy. I love Ellroy's crime novels, including this one, but got lost with all the characters. His acrobatics with language are stunning. I'm shocked and awed. My inability to get through it is my problem, not his.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Tropisms by Nathalie Sarraute, championed by Sartre. How to write with no proper nouns.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Child of Tomorrow and Other Stories by Al Feldstein. Feldstein wrote and drew science fiction comics. The cover is pure space exploration futuristic nostalgia.

Book you hid from your parents:

There were none.

Book that changed your life:

Hitchcock, the interviews between Alfred Hitchcock and Francois Truffaut. In mapping out how suspense works in movies, these interviews can also be a wonderful resource on writing, as well.

Favorite line from a book:

"They don't go to the police because it's dull." --Alfred Hitchcock talking to Truffaut about Psycho. In other words, don't solve problems the easy or obvious way.

Five books you'll never part with:

The Periodic Table of the Elements by Primo Levi
The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God by Etgar Keret
Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky
Men in Space by Tom McCarthy
Party Going by Henry Green

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. The pleasure of not just connecting all the pieces situated in different periods and styles, but that each chapter was connected by a common thread: a critique of slavery and the many forms it can take.


Book Review

YA Review: Riverkeep

Riverkeep by Martin Stewart (Viking, $17.99 hardcover, 416p., ages 13-up, 9781101998298, July 26, 2016)

Glaswegian author Martin Stewart's atmospheric debut blends fantasy and horror into a rollicking Scottish adventure about fathers and sons, monsters and magic, and the choices that make us human.

A Riverkeep's job is never easy, but every fishing community needs one. He clears debris from the river and lights oil lanterns to heat the water and prevent it from icing over. He rescues the living who fall into its depths, and retrieves the dead, tasting "the bilge-stink of their breath before lifting them from the water." All his life, Wulliam Fobisher has reluctantly trained under his father to become the new Riverkeep of the Danék River on his 16th birthday. Mere days before he comes of age, Wull helps his strong, capable Pappa retrieve a dead body that, when Pappa gripped it, "hugged back." After this bizarre attack, Wull's father changes. He returns to their home with cloudy eyes, a gurgling voice and an insatiable appetite for fish heads, and Wull gradually realizes Pappa's body now hosts a dangerous parasite.

When Wull hears a mormorach, an immense eel-like sea monster "freed from the slumber of eons," has surfaced in nearby Canna Bay, he sees a longshot chance at a cure for Pappa. Folk wisdom holds that "the dark, viscous secretions of its brain glands" make for powerful medicine, and Wull becomes determined to slay the creature and use its fluids to save his father, who is trapped inside his own body while the parasite complains through his voice of its hunger and of the bindings with which Wull has tied his hands.

Wull sets out in their small rowboat, taking Pappa along, and finds himself beset by bandits, then joined in his mission by Mix, a young thief who won't explain the markings on her neck that resemble "a dusting of frost"; Tillinghast, a smart-mouthed homunculus made from straw, herb fronds and dead body parts; and Remedie, a prim witch. All three are on the run, and not one has any interest in helping Wull row. Behind the motley crew come gangsters and murderers, and ahead of them waits a vicious whaling captain bent on taking the mormorach for himself at any cost.

On the surface, one might call Riverkeep "Huck Finn fights Captain Ahab with help from Frankenstein's monster," but Stewart shows a knack for borrowing elements from various classics and folk tales and stitching them together as tightly as Wull's repair of Tillinghast's bitten-off hand. ("That's my good bloody hand what I uses for recreation..." cries the outraged homunculus.) The chemistry between the characters simply delights, with plenty of snappy banter punctuated by Tillinghast's earthy double entendres. A helping of gruesome dinner scenes from the mormorach's point of view and details on decomposing corpses keep the chills rolling, while criminals and large predators on the journey keep the plot moving with constant fights, flights and occasional moments of slapstick hilarity. A dark delight, Stewart's riverboat ride should impress teen horror fans and anyone seeking a YA novel with no romance but plenty of heart. --Jaclyn Fulwood, lead librarian at Del City Public Library, Okla.

Shelf Talker: In this chilling YA debut by Scottish author Martin Stewart, a son sets out to save his father from a deadly parasite by slaying a magical sea monster many times bigger than his rowboat.


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