Shelf Awareness for Friday, July 8, 2016

Flatiron Books: White Horse by Erika T. Wurth

Holiday House: Owl and Penguin (I Like to Read Comics) by Vikram Madan; Noodleheads Take it Easy by Tedd Arnold, Martha Hamilton, and Mitch Weiss

Blackstone Publishing: Ezra Exposed by Amy E. Feldman

Clavis: Fall Preview

Amulet Books: Marya Khan and the Incredible Henna Party (Marya Khan #1) by Saadia Faruqi, illustrated by Ani Bushry

Charlesbridge Publishing: Abuelita and I Make Flan by Adriana Hernández Bergstrom; Brand-New Bubbe by Sarah Aronson, illustrated by Ariel Landy

Shadow Mountain: To Capture His Heart (Proper Romance Victorian) by Nancy Campbell Allen


Local Officials: 'Give Three Lives Bookstore a Multi-Year Lease'

Local officials in New York City "want the landlord of one of the Village's last remaining independent bookstores to give the beloved store a longer lease on life," DNAInfo reported. Last month, the beloved West Village indie Three Lives & Company was put on notice that it might have to relocate because its building has been put up for sale and the current owners did not renew the bookstore's lease.

In a letter from state Senator Brad Hoylman, local officials urged the Levine family to give Three Lives a multi-year lease: "The sad fact is that our community has lost numerous independent bookstores in recent years, including the closures of Oscar Wilde Bookshop, Left Bank Books, and Partners & Crime and the relocation of Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks." The letter was signed by Hoylman, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Assemblywoman Deborah Glick and City Councilman Corey Johnson.

"Three Lives & Company is one of the last independent bookstores in our area," Hoylman wrote. "It would be a loss for small business, the uniqueness of New York City and booklovers everywhere to see Three Lives & Company close at this location." While expressing gratitude to the Levines for letting the bookstore stay on month-to-month basis, the letter requested that they offer a multi-year lease that would be "binding upon successive property owners, for a term of years at your discretion."

Hoylman, who lives on West 10th Street, told DNAInfo: "I'm a customer and I agree with those who said it's just one of the greatest bookstores on earth. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable [and] the selections are always so thoughtfully curated.... Hopefully we can appeal to the better impulses of the landlord and weigh in on how important the bookstore is to the community. You know, they say the market has no morals, but it's our hope that maybe the landlord does." He also noted that they plan to contact any new landlord and urge them to offer a multi-year lease to "preserve this important Village mainstay."

University of California Press: Dictee (Second Edition, Reissue, Restored);  Exilee and Temps Morts: Selected Works (First Edition, Reissue) by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha

Carl Lennertz to Head CBC, Every Child a Reader

Carl Lennertz

Effective August 8, Carl Lennertz is becoming executive director of the Children's Book Council and Every Child a Reader, where he will oversee the development and expansion of both organizations' programming, including Children's Book Week, the Children's Choice Book Awards and the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature.

Lennertz has a long career in publishing. He was most recently executive director of World Book Night U.S. and earlier was v-p, retail marketing, at HarperCollins for eight years; worked at the ABA's Book Sense (now known as IndieBound), where he helped launch it, started the book picks program and national and regional bestseller lists; was at Random House for 16 years, starting as a sales rep and eventually becoming marketing director for Knopf, Pantheon and Vintage. Before that he worked in bookstores. He also teaches marketing at the Denver Publishing Institute.

Blair: A Girlhood: Letter to My Transgender Daughter by Carolyn Hays

North Star Buys Flux from Llewellyn Worldwide

North Star Editions is buying the Flux YA imprint from Llewellyn Worldwide and has taken over sales and publishing operations for all existing titles. Llewellyn Worldwide will continue to handle warehousing and fulfillment duties for Flux titles.

Llewellyn launched Flux in 2006, "born out of the success of the Blue Is for Nightmares series by Laurie Faria Stolarz," the company said; the series has sold more than 500,000 copies. Flux has helped launch the careers of authors Laurie Faria Stolarz, Maggie Stiefvater and Simone Elkeles, and A.S. King and Carrie Jones made their debuts with Flux.

"We are excited to be able to continue the wonderful Flux tradition and carry it into this next phase of its life," new Flux managing editor Mari Kesselring said. "We look forward to the opportunity to engage Flux's readership with bold new titles for the young-adult fiction audience."

"We are delighted to find such a welcoming home for Flux," Llewellyn Worldwide president Sandra Weschcke said. "We have enjoyed all the Flux authors and titles over the years and we are confident North Star will grow and prosper with Flux. We look forward to a productive relationship."

Graphic Mundi - Psu Press: Hakim's Odyssey by Fabien Toulme and Hanna Chute

Christopher Myers Launching Imprint at RH Children's Books

Christopher Myers

Award-winning author and artist Christopher Myers, son of the late Walter Dean Myers, will launch his own imprint, Make Me a World, with Random House Children's Books. Jenny Brown, v-p, publisher of Knopf Books for Young Readers, is overseeing the imprint, which reflects Myers's vision to publish books "with a focus on bringing voices of diverse thinkers and artists to his list," according to the publisher.

The imprint's first list will debut in 2018 with Child of the Universe by astronomer Ray Jayawardhana; Mama Mable's All-Gal Big Band Jazz Extravaganza! by Annie Sieg; and Walk Toward the Rising Sun by Ger Duany.

Expressing his excitement at the launch of Make Me a World, Myers said, "Every day in the newspapers we see how much stories matter, the stories we tell each other and ourselves, and for too long many stories have been neglected, many storytellers ignored. Each of these untold stories represents a world that has been erased. My father built worlds for countless children in his stories. He wanted to make sure no child felt erased as he had, growing up poor and Black in Harlem in the 1940s, where brown, bright faces like his own were nowhere to be found in the pages of books. Make Me a World will continue that work, recognizing storytellers from all walks of life that can build for contemporary children a sense that they too have the ability in their creative hands, in their hearts, to build their own worlds."

Barbara Marcus, president and publisher of Random House Children's Books, commented: "I have long been an admirer of Christopher Myers's way of thinking about literature and art, and believe that his talent and perspectives uniquely position him to create an imprint focused on celebrating diversity of every kind, and the power of books to transform lives. We are eager to watch Chris develop his future lists, and for children, teens and families to experience the stories that his authors and artists will tell."

Ebony Magazine Publishing: Black Hollywood: Reimagining Iconic Movie Moments by Carell Augustus

Obituary Note: Matthew Evans

Matthew Evans, former managing director of Faber & Faber, died July 6. He was 74. The Bookseller reported that Evans had been a bookseller before joining Faber at 23 in 1964. He was managing director of the publisher from 1971 to 1973. After the retirement of Charles Monteith, Evans became chairman of the company in 1980. He was appointed as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1998 and became Baron Evans of Temple Guiting in 2000.

Current Faber CEO Stephen Page praised Evans as "one of the most singular and important publishing leaders of his generation. Passionate, energetic and articulate, his contribution to Faber is incalculable. From the moment he took charge of the company, he launched a new publishing era creating an extraordinary community of some of the most important writers in world literature. He was brilliant at spotting talent for the company and surrounding himself with exceptional colleagues.

"Every day in the company, we feel the great benefit of all that he did. His loss will be deeply felt by all the staff both past and present, and especially by the many authors he championed during nearly 40 years with the company. All our thoughts are with his close friends and family."

Broadcaster and author Melvyn Bragg, who was a friend of Evans, told the Guardian: "His great gifts included bringing on authors like Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney, Hanif Kureishi, Kazuo Ishiguro, William Golding, Paul Auster and many others, some of whom had been there in Matthew's early days but all of whom were devoted to him and deeply respectful of his rigid integrity. There was not the slightest move to self-enrichment in any way--he stood for Faber and Faber and his authors."


Image of the Day: #Ham4Ham

On July 9, Lin-Manuel Miranda, star of the smash Broadway hit Hamilton, takes to the stage as Alexander Hamilton for the last time. In tribute, brothers Jack and Holman Wang, creators of the Cozy Classics series, have needle-felted a likeness of the actor in his revolutionary role.

The Wangs' Cozy Classics board books, published by Chronicle, retell great works of literature in just 12 words and 12 needle-felted scenes. Each figurine takes 20-50 hours to create, and each set is custom-built.

Author Ad Trailer of the Day: Citibank and Jonathan F.P. Rose

A Citibank ad running on the air and in print features Jonathan F.P. Rose, a developer of affordable urban housing, and Citibank's support for his company's efforts. Rose is also author of The Well Tempered City: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations, and Human Nature Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life, which Harper Wave is publishing September 13. The book gets a screen credit!

Bookstore Cat Memorial: Shadow

Kona Stories Book Store, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, will hold a memorial event tomorrow in honor of its feline "official greeter" Shadow, who passed away July 2. "To celebrate her life we will be having a special day here at the bookstore. Brenda will make her almost famous sangria that will be served with cookies. We will also have a non-alcoholic beverage for the keiki. There will be a book available for anyone to write their Shadow remembrances in and customers will receive a free one-of-a kind Shadow bookmark." The bookstore is donating 10% of Saturday's sales to AdvoCats.

"We encourage anyone wanting to make further donations to do so in her honor that day," owner Brenda Lea McConnell told, adding: "Shadow was a big part of many lives and we would like to announce this opportunity for the public to attend her memorial.... She had been part of our 'ohana since 2007. She was our official greeter and will be greatly missed by our community who came by often just to pet her." 

Personnel Changes at Insight Editions

Jennifer Metzger has joined Insight Editions as sales manager. She has been a national sales manager/business development manager in the publishing industry, focusing on illustrated books, gift, stationery and calendars. Her former companies include Cedco Publishing, Palm Press, Inner Ocean Publishing and Mrs. Grossman's.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Dvora Meyers on All Things Considered

NPR's Weekend All Things Considered: Dvora Meyers, author of The End of the Perfect 10: The Making and Breaking of Gymnastics' Top Score--from Nadia to Now (Touchstone, $26, 9781501101366).

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

Movies: Vita & Virginia; Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool

British director Chanya Button (Burn Burn Burn) will direct Vita and Virginia from a script by Dame Eileen Atkins that "chronicles the romance and friendship between authors Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West," Deadline reported. Mirror Productions' Evangelo Kioussis is producing alongside Katie Holly of Blinder Films and Simon Baxter, who will serve as executive producer.


Vanessa Redgrave has joined a cast that includes Annette Bening, Jamie Bell and Julie Walters in Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, based on the memoir by British actor Peter Turner, Deadline reported. The project, which has begun production in Liverpool, is directed by Paul McGuigan from a script by Matt Greenhalgh (Control, Nowhere Boy).

Books & Authors

Awards: Graywolf Nonfiction; BookTrust Lifetime Achievement

Esmé Weijun Wang won the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize, which "is designed to honor and encourage the art of literary nonfiction, and is given to an outstanding manuscript by a writer not yet established in the genre," for The Collected Schizophrenias. In addition to publication, the award comes with a $12,000 advance.

Judge and A Public Space editor Brigid Hughes commented: "In these remarkable essays, Esmé Wang writes not with the distance of an observer but from experience to challenge the common narratives about schizophrenia. Combining research and reportage with the personal to make the abstract palpably real, she is a generous and deeply intelligent guide through the complexities of illness and understanding of the self."


Bestselling childen's book writer Judith Kerr, best known for The Tiger Who Came to Tea and the Mog series, is the 2016 recipient of the BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award, which celebrates an author or illustrator's outstanding contribution to children's books, the Bookseller reported. Kerr, who has written and illustrated 17 books about Mog the cat, also wrote the Out of the Hitler Time trilogy about her family's escape to England. She was given an OBE for services to children's literature and Holocaust Education in 2012.

Judge Shami Chakrabarti said Kerr "represents the best of Britain, Europe, literature and the enduring power of storytelling and the written word. A young refugee who fled the Nazis, she grew up to make the most enormous contribution to children's' writing in the U.K. As long as people read When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, there will be hope for our world."

Children's laureate Chris Riddell, who was also a judge, called Kerr "amazing, she towers over the children's book world and her humanity shines through her work. She is a national treasure."

Book Brahmin: Melanie Raabe

photo: Christian Faustus

Melanie Raabe grew up in Thuringia, Germany, and attended the Ruhr University Bochum, where she specialized in media studies and literature. After graduating, she moved to Cologne to work as a journalist by day and secretly write books by night. The Trap (Grand Central, July 5, 2016) is her debut novel.

On your nightstand now:

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, poetry by Warsan Shire, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain and All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

Favorite book when you were a child:

I was an avid reader when I was a child, and I really loved Michael Ende's The Neverending Story. It is a novel about a kid being sucked into a mysterious book, and it had everything I ever dreamed of: adventure, mystery, bravery--and a dragon.

Your top five authors:

I admire Franz Kafka. He was a dark magician, I will never completely understand him, but I try to over and over again. He was a true genius. I absolutely love Jonathan Safran Foer. Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close still are among my favorite novels of all time. Haruki Murakami is amazing, and I have always had a soft spot for Stephen King. And then there is this incredible Austrian writer I am deeply fascinated by right now. The last five books I have read have all been by him. His name is Thomas Glavinic, and a couple of his books have been translated into English. Night Work, for example. That book will blow your mind.

Book you've faked reading:

Everything Proust. I just cannot cope with Proust. I should, I have a degree in literary studies! But I just can't. I have a similar problem with Moby-Dick. I try to read Moby-Dick every other year, and I always give up a couple hundred pages in. It is such a classic and I love a good old-fashioned adventure--but I can't get through the beginning. It's crazy!

Book you're an evangelist for:

See Under: Love by Israeli writer David Grossman is an incredibly powerful piece of literature. It is elaborate and raw and poetic, beautiful, sad and haunting. It is a challenge, and I think everybody should read it.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Lori Ostlund's After the Parade. Still need to read that one. But it sure looks good on my shelf!

Book you hid from your parents:

When I was a child, I spent hours and hours in the local library. The librarians knew me well--and they let me take home any book I wanted, age-appropriate or not. Which led to me reading a lot of Stephen King novels when I was still rather small. Nowadays I wish my parents had caught me with them, because I read It far too early, and it traumatized me. I am deeply afraid of clowns to this day. (And I live in the German city of Cologne which is famous for its carnival--with many people dressing up as clowns. So that is a problem.)

Book that changed your life:

Just Kids by Patti Smith. I learned so much about friendship and life and about being an artist--it is one of the best books I have ever read. I had a similar experience when I read The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer a couple of years later. Also an amazing read.

Favorite line from a book:

"If there is no love in the world, we will make a new world, and we will give it walls, and we will furnish it with soft, red interiors, from the inside out, and give it a knocker that resonates like a diamond falling to a jeweller's felt so that we should never hear it. Love me, because love doesn't exist, and I have tried everything that does." --Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

Five books you'll never part with:

I would never part with the book of fairytales by the Brothers Grimm that my parents and my grandmother read to me when I was little. Also very special to me is the autobiography of Nelson Mandela, the books by Goethe that my grandfather gave me, On Beauty by Zadie Smith and The Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz.

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

The Harry Potter books. They provided me with that rare experience I last had as a child: total immersion. I love them so much.

Book Review

Review: Bright, Precious Days

Bright, Precious Days by Jay McInerney (Knopf, $27.95 hardcover, 9781101948002, August 2, 2016)

In a 2005 essay for the Guardian, Jay McInerney described himself as a "novelist who considers New York his proper subject." He returns to that preoccupation in his eighth novel, Bright, Precious Days, a sobering sketch of the city on the eve of the Great Recession, through the eyes of Corinne and Russell Calloway--first seen in his novel Brightness Falls and again in The Good Life--whose midlife marriage is about to endure its own upheaval.

As the novel opens in 2006, the Manhattan the Calloways view from their TriBeCa loft has become for them and their upper-middle-class friends "a collection of luxury brand and franchise outlets: Dubai on the Hudson." Attending the occasional charity gala or hosting an annual summer party at the home they rent in the Hamptons, they fret over how they can afford to purchase the apartment they inhabit when it's converted to a condo in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. Each day at work they confront the specter of financial failure: the small prestige publishing house Russell directs struggles to stay afloat while Corinne manages a nonprofit that distributes excess food from restaurants and grocery stores to the poor. They're denizens of a rarefied world; in it, though not fully of it.

The crises that batter the 25-year union Russell considers "seaworthy, if not exactly buoyant" converge with the return of Luke McGavock, a former private equity trader and Corinne's ex-lover; the fallout from Russell's careless publication of a journalist's memoir of his kidnapping in Waziristan; and the loss of a rising literary star to another publisher. Russell and Corinne believe the world is divided into "two opposing teams: Art and Love versus Power and Money," but their attachment to the former is sorely tested. McInerney offers a convincing portrayal of the ennui that afflicts some marriages in their third decade. But for the Calloways, who've been a couple since their college days at Brown, that malaise seems to arise as much from the sense they'll always have their noses pressed against the glass of the glamorous world spread before them as it does from the nagging frictions that occasionally threaten to undermine even the strongest lasting relationship.

Since the publication of Bright Lights, Big City Jay McInerney has served as a kind of cultural anthropologist, reporting on the tribal rituals of a certain slice of New York life. Readers eager for the report of his latest expedition will find Bright, Precious Days more than satisfying. --Harvey Freedenberg, attorney and freelance reviewer

Shelf Talker: Jay McInerney returns to the lives of Corinne and Russell Calloway to assess the state of their marriage on the eve of the Great Recession.

Deeper Understanding

Robert Gray: Shore to Shore Poets--'We Are Human Together'

Poetry "doesn't have to show its passport," British poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy told the Guardian in May for a piece promoting Shore to Shore: Celebrating Poetry and Community. The campaign, presented by Picador and Book-ish Bookshop, was tied to Independent Bookshop Week. Beginning June 19, Duffy traveled across Britain and performed with "three of the fellow poets whom she most admires: Gillian Clarke, Imtiaz Dharker and, the new Makar, National Poet for Scotland, Jackie Kay." Each evening featured a guest poet and music from instrumentalist and composer John Sampson.

Through their Guardian diary, I tracked the pilgrimage because I care about poetry and booksellers, but soon found myself swept up in the approach and cresting of a dangerous wave--the controversial Brexit referendum to leave the European Union. The poets' journal entries were a compelling, deeply personal response to a moment most of us experienced as headlines:

Carol Ann Duffy
Imtiaz Dharker
Jackie Kay
Gillian Clarke

June 20 (written by Duffy): "Sometimes at poetry readings, it's possible to take the pulse of how people who love poetry are feeling. Today, the air seems bruised with hurt--perhaps because of Orlando, or the murder of Jo Cox, or the gathering tsunami of the referendum. In this moment, these events seem linked, at least in the public hurt shared by the hundreds here. And although we poets have no agenda--I am reading poems written 30 years ago--the poetry has been live-wired to this present and this public."

June 21 (Imtiaz Dharker): "Carol Ann Duffy has devised a game to keep us occupied on this four-hour journey. We have to decide which (dead) poets would choose to Leave, and which Remain, with opinions backed by quotes from the work. It all begins well enough: Donne ('No man is an island'), Larkin ('Get out as quickly as you can'), Stevie Smith, ('I was much too far out all my life'), but quickly descends to 'Brexit, pursued by a bear.' The conversation turns to Shakespeare instead."

June 22 (Gillian Clarke): "Again laughter, silent listening, a tear or two, applause. People are ready for poetry in these times. (I think I might have gone mad at home alone this week.)"

June 23 (Jackie Kay): "Our voices have now started to merge like the fields, ceding and giving way one to the other.... By the end of the night some of our eyes are tear-stained. We just don't know what this next day will bring, this day of changing or staying the same."

June 24 (Duffy): "Referendum Day. As I write, it's approaching 6 a.m. and J.K. Rowling has tweeted that Cameron's legacy will be the breaking of two unions. His unleashed genie has indeed given us our country back--torn in two like a bad poem."

June 27 (Dharker): "I wake in the same bed, expelled to another country overnight.... All of us shift our readings slightly. Gillian reads Lament, Jackie In My Country, Carol Ann Weasel Words: all poems written years ago, but relevant today. There are no overt political statements but the choices are fierce. The people who come to speak to us at the signing tell us that the poetry has helped."

June 29 (Duffy): "Arriving in West Didsbury, where we'll stay for an event in Bramhall, Cheshire, we pass an unusually huge funeral cortege approaching the cemetery. 'Who are they burying?' wonders Imtiaz Dharker. 'Our hopes,' says Gillian Clarke."

June 30 (Dharker): "The readings have become more and more like conversations between one poem and another, seeming to respond to the bizarre turns of events and the messages on Facebook.... The map of the country I thought I lived in is changing from one day to the next, before my eyes."

July 1 (Clarke): "Subtly, subversively, words speak to the heart, the hurt, the anxiety of a nation in crisis. We see it, and hear it, in every audience, every town, every stopping-place on this journey that has brought us so far from Cornwall to Corbridge, gratitude at the signing table from people who can speak to us and to each other at last. It is the best of times, it is the worst of times. Those who have broken Britain should hear their words."

July 2 (Kay): "We listen to each other's poems now, and realize we are comforting each other.... At the end the whole audience are on their feet--they stand clapping and cheering for so long it makes some of us cry. Someone says, 'You were like a building, each one of you held a different bit up. You lifted us.' "

July 4 (Kay): "Our bookshop partner tonight is the Mainstreet Trading Company, a winner of the independent bookshop of the year award--and deli of the year. It's been amazing to see how each bookshop in each place has felt so appreciative of our venture, Carol Ann Duffy's brilliant idea."

July 5 (Dharker): "Our bookshop here is Atkinson-Pryce, which sits at the center of Biggar among centuries-old houses. It is the kind of place that draws people in as if it were a village well."

July 7 (Duffy): "We started this tour in a chorus of celebration, but the key has changed from major to minor and we end in a psalm of consolation--poetry as the music of being human. We're up and off early next morning and part fondly at Edinburgh airport for London, Cambridge, Cardiff and Manchester. Home will be different when we get there... God bless us, every one."

Best, perhaps, to end with words from Clarke's June 27 entry: "Yet the people rise to the evening, poetry and music do their work, and we are human together." --Robert Gray, contributing editor (column archives available at Fresh Eyes Now)

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