Shelf Awareness for Friday, July 15, 2016

Flatiron Books: The Courting of Bristol Keats: [Limited Stenciled Edge Edition] by Mary E Pearson

Forge: My Three Dogs by Bruce W Cameron

Running Press Adult: Scam Goddess: Lessons from a Life of Cons, Grifts, and Schemes by Laci Mosley

Chronicle Books: Taste in Music: Eating on Tour with Indie Musicians by Luke Pyenson and Alex Beeker

Doubleday Books: Death at the Sign of the Rook: A Jackson Brodie Book by Kate Atkinson

Groundwood Books: Who We Are in Real Life by Victoria Koops

Agate Bolden: 54 Miles by Leonard Pitts Jr.


Book & Table Opens in Valdosta, Ga.

Book & Table, "a bookstore with a kitchen offering a variety of foods and coffee," opened Wednesday in downtown Valdosta, Ga., at 120 N. Patterson St., the Daily Times reported, adding that the grand opening "was accompanied with several free samples of food." Owner Mike Orenduff said all of the food is prepared in-house and ingredients are local: "No food truck comes here."

Valdosta Main Street's Facebook page, which featured photos from the opening, posted: "Thanks to everyone who came for the ribbon cutting of Book & Table. We couldn't be happier to have a local book shop and another dining option Downtown."

On its website, Book & Table notes that offerings include "good books and actual conversations" along with "fresh and natural foods and coffee locally roasted." The store also bills itself as a "No WiFi Zone."

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On the Road: Blue Baboon Books Mobile Kids' Bookstore

Blue Baboon Books, a mobile children's bookstore in Wichita, Kans., will host its grand opening this weekend at Clifton Square Village, located in the main retail area of the city's historic College Hill neighborhood. Bookselling This Week reported that Sara Ornelas "is now the proud owner of a brand-new 7-by-16-foot, custom-built cargo trailer outfitted with air conditioning and grid-wall shelving holding about 2,000 books."

"For years and years, I kept toying with the idea of opening a permanent retail location for a bookstore, but rent is really high and I didn't think I would be able to get a loan," said Ornelas. "The guy from Trailers and More in Wichita [who built the trailer] was very up on how high the ceilings needed to be, what kind of insulation we would need, the amount of weight it could hold." The space, she added, "is a lot roomier than you might think."

Ornelas noted that Blue Baboon "will offer three different services": children's birthday parties, scheduled stops in the community, and "book bounces" for private homeowners. She will also "park in different commercial areas around town and then announce the buggy's location on social media," BTW wrote.

"The hope is that this becomes a seven-day-a-week job," she said, "but to have that happen I need to book some more events and work on marketing a little more."

McCrae Named to National Book Foundation Board

Fiona McCrae

The National Book Foundation has appointed Fiona McCrae, publisher of Graywolf Press, to its board of directors. NBF board chairman David Steinberger said McCrae, who has run the independent and nonprofit literary press since 1994, "is widely respected in both the publishing and nonprofit worlds, and we are honored to have someone with Fiona's deep expertise as both a publisher and a nonprofit leader join our board. Fiona's impressive skills in increasing resources and creating opportunities are tremendous assets to the expansion of the foundation."

NBF executive director Lisa Lucas added that McCrae "is a champion in discovering new voices and in getting those writers, who have won major national and international literary awards, to readers everywhere. It's a privilege to have Fiona on the board. She is deeply connected to our mission of reaching and engaging readers across the country, and we're thrilled to have both her talent and Minneapolis represented here."

Paul Kelly Is New CFO at Dorling Kindersley

Paul Kelly

Dorling Kindersley has appointed Paul Kelly, currently strategy and commercial director for Penguin Random House U.K. & International, to succeed Stephen Twilliger as chief financial officer for DK Worldwide, the Bookseller reported. Twilliger, DK's finance director since 2011, will leave the company in August. Kelly, who has been with Random House since 2011, became group strategy director in 2014, a role that was expanded last year. He joins DK August 30.

Ian Hudson, who was named DK's CEO last month, said: "We are delighted that Paul is joining DK. He brings an impressive mix of strategic, analytical and digital experience to the company. I believe that Paul's expertise, as well as his passion and commitment to excellence, make him the ideal person to help us build long-term growth and a prosperous future for DK."

Portrait of PRH's Rebuck Unveiled at National Portrait Gallery

Jennifer McRae, National Portrait Gallery London

A portrait of Penguin Random House chair Baroness Gail Rebuck was unveiled yesterday at the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Bookseller reported. Scottish artist Jennifer McRae painted the work.

"I can't quite believe I'm standing here next to my portrait on the wall," Rebuck said at the ceremony. "All my life I've been to the National Portrait Gallery I never dreamt that I'd actually be on the wall."

Rebuck noted that when she met McRae, "I just knew she was the right person. I was quite nervous about it. Here was a woman who really knew what she wanted, a brilliant artist, and actually had produced my number one favorite portrait, that lovely long slim portrait of Michael Frayn.... I remember you stood for several minutes in front of the canvas and it made me think about so many writers who either sit in front of either their computer or a piece of paper with an idea in their head but yet to get it out."

Obituary Notes: Carolyn See; Sally Beauman

Carolyn See, "an author, teacher and colorful woman of letters whose scrappy humor and survivor's wisdom spiced her novels about the disaster-prone fantasyland that was her California," died July 13, the Los Angeles Times reported. She was 82. See wrote more than a dozen books and was awarded the L.A. Times Book Prize's Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement in 1993. A leading literary figure of Southern California, she received a Guggenheim Fellowship; taught creative writing at UCLA; was a regular book critic at the L.A. Times and the Washington Post; served on the board of PEN Center USA West; and was the mother of bestselling novelist Lisa See.

While Carolyn See's fourth novel, Golden Days (1986), "brought her the greatest attention," the Times noted that her 1995 memoir, Dreaming: Hard Luck and Good Times in America, "was among of her most popular books." In addition to her most recent novel, There Will Never Be Another You (2007), See's works include Rhine Maidens, The Handyman and Making a Literary Life.

"People referred to her as the Grande Dame of Southern California literature... and she took some pride in that," Lisa See said. "When she started, there were very few women writers on the West Coast."


British author Sally Beauman, who "was that rare phenomenon--a writer whose prose sang and who could at the same time tell stories that captivated millions," died July 7, the Guardian reported. She was 71. Beauman's first novel, Destiny (1987), "topped the New York Times bestseller list, as well as the charts in the U.K., Canada, Australia and South Africa." Her other novels include Rebecca's Tale, The Landscape of Love, The VisitorsDark Angel, Lovers and Liars, Danger Zones and Sextet. She also wrote two nonfiction books--The Royal Shakespeare Company's Centenary Production of Henry V and The Royal Shakespeare Company: A History of Ten Decades.

In the Guardian, Lisa Appignanesi described Beauman as "a proud, loyal, fiercely private, beautiful and generous woman--at all ages. Her intelligence was incisive and broad. She could tell you everything, not only about the latest Man Booker list, but about gardening and furniture restoration or how to render a wall. In fact, she was often dressed in a paint-spattered shirt and jeans and could be found, between books, up a ladder touching up a ceiling--before donning more elegant attire to go to the theater."


Image of the Day: Happy Birthday, Delia Ephron!

Turn of the Corkscrew Books & Wine, Rockville Centre, N.Y., hosted a standing-room-only event with Delia Ephron for her new novel, Siracusa (Blue Rider). Her agent, Dorothy Vincent (above, r.), made two cakes: one for Ephron's birthday--which was on Tuesday, the day her novel was published--and one to celebrate the book release. 

S&S to Distribute Hazelden Publishing

Effective January 1, Simon & Schuster is handling trade sales and distribution in North America of print and digital books of Hazelden Publishing, a division of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation that publishes addiction recovery and self-help resources. Hazelden's publishing program also provides tools, programs and training for behavioral health professionals and educators. It is currently distributed by Perseus Distribution.

Hazelden Publishing was founded in 1954 with the publication of Twenty-Four Hours a Day, a book of meditations that is now a mainstay in recovery literature. Its leading self-help titles include Codependent No More by Melody Beattie and The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown.

"We are excited to partner with Simon & Schuster to expand our reach in the U.S. and Canadian markets," said Joe Jaksha, publisher, Hazelden Publishing. "Teaming with Simon & Schuster is an exciting step in our commitment to supporting individuals in recovery, their loved ones and communities and we look forward to making Hazelden's knowledge and expertise more accessible for all."

"Hazelden is well-known for providing quality books and programs that support personal growth and inspire lifelong recovery," said Steve Black, v-p, client services, Simon & Schuster. "They are, simply put, the premier publisher in this field."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Robert P. Jones on Weekend Edition

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

NPR's Weekend Edition: Robert P. Jones, author of The End of White Christian America (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781501122293).

Movies: Castle Hangnail

Bill Kunstler will adapt Ursula Vernon's children's book Castle Hangnail into a feature film at Disney, Deadline reported. Ellen DeGeneres and Jeff Kleeman acquired the property last year for their company A Very Good Production. Disney exec Sam Dickerman is overseeing the project for the studio.

Books & Authors

Awards: Kibble for Aussie Women Writers

Fiona Wright won the A$30,000 (about US$22,885) Kibble Award for Australian women writers, which honors "fiction or nonfiction classified as 'life-writing,' " for her essay collection Small Acts of Disappearance: Essays on Hunger, the Guardian reported. On behalf of the judging panel, Elizabeth Webby commented: "With the skillful use of language seen in her prize-winning poetry, Wright writes frankly and movingly about a difficult and very personal subject. Unlike many memoirs of illness and recovery, hers is not a story of triumph over adversity. The essay form allows her to resist closure, while also providing insights into her reading, her travels and her interactions with others."

The $5,000 ($3,815) Dobbie Literary award for a first-time published female author was given to Lucy Treloar for her novel, Salt Creek.

Reading with... Patrick Flanery

photo: Andrew van der Vlies

Patrick Flanery was born in California and raised in Omaha, Neb. After earning a BFA in Film from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, he worked in the film industry before moving to the U.K., where he completed a doctorate in 20th-century English Literature at Oxford. He has written for the Washington Post, the Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement, and is a professor of Creative Writing at the University of Reading. His third novel, I Am No One, is published by Tim Duggan Books (July 5, 2016).

On your nightstand now:

Philip Roth's I Married a Communist and Wolfgang Hilbig's I, both as research of a kind for a new project. Alongside them are Edward P. Jones's The Known World and Elizabeth Bishop's collected poems, for teaching preparation, and Graham Greene's The Heart of the Matter.

Favorite book when you were a child:

I had more favorite books as a child than years of childhood, and the list shifted from month to month. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings was an early favorite, supplanted by Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time after I played her strange child character Charles Wallace Murry in an early stage adaptation of the book. When I was nine, Karen Blixen's Out of Africa became my favorite (it was the first "adult" book I read), and then J.G. Ballard's Empire of the Sun when I was 12. When I was 16, I read all of E.M. Forster's novels and short stories, and for a long time Howards End was my favorite book. I was in a hurry to be grown up, and reading seemed a way of achieving that. From the books that stand out in my memory, it seems clear that I was looking for escape from Omaha, where I grew up, and also for stories of outsiders.

Your top five authors:

How are we defining "top?" Top stylists? Top authors for blowing my mind or turning me emotionally inside out? Top authors for expanding my sense of what is possible in fiction? Top authors for their sheer audaciousness? If I think of all those criteria, I end up with Dostoevsky, Proust, Melville, Kafka, and Borges, and then still another score or more in addition. These five are all dead and white and men, and I'm not sure that's acceptable, but if I had to pick the authors whose bodies of work I most admire, and who leave me feeling transformed when I come to the end of a book, then I would still--probably--choose these. And then again I might not. I can think of a number of alternative lists: Lydia Davis, J.M. Coetzee, Toni Morrison, Philip Roth, and Marilynne Robinson or Ali Smith, Don DeLillo, Nadine Gordimer, Roberto Bolaño and César Aira. Perhaps it's about mental constellations of work that astounds me more than a single list of "tops."

Book you've faked reading:

Cervantes's Don Quixote, although that's not quite true. I started it and got about a third of the way through before putting it aside, but I blame the translation I was reading. I keep meaning to try Edith Grossman's acclaimed version, or learn Spanish (less likely in the short term).

Book you're an evangelist for:

I have to choose two books. For a decade I have been telling friends and strangers that they must read Zoë Wicomb's astonishing David's Story, as well as Marlene van Niekerk's very different and no less amazing Agaat. Both are about South Africa in its period of transition to democracy and the aftermath of apartheid. Both are about the place of women in repressive patriarchal societies. Both are complex, brilliant narratives of loss that also set out to expand what is possible in fiction.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Bound for Glory: America in Color 1939-43. The couple depicted on the cover look like the real-life counterparts for Grant Wood's American Gothic and in their faces I feel as though I can see the lives and experiences of my grandparents and other extended family, hardscrabble migrants from Oklahoma and Texas who made their way west and in some cases stayed put in the Great Plains, rebuilding after the Dust Bowl.

Book you hid from your parents:

I hid two books: The Faber Book of Gay Short Fiction and Edmund White's A Boy's Own Story. Both lived between my mattress and box springs when I was in high school. Then, when I went away to college, I drive-by donated them through the returns box at the University of Nebraska at Omaha's library. The Faber anthology shows up in their catalogue online, and there's a later edition of White's novel also in the collection; I like to think the copy I donated was worn out by compulsive reading.

Book that changed your life:

I'm embarrassed to admit it, but that honor goes to Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited, although not for the reasons one might expect. I have no sympathy with Waugh's politics or ideology, but I read his most romantic novel at a crucial juncture, just after finishing my undergraduate degree at NYU. Waugh painted a picture of Oxford that was so intoxicating I decided to apply there for graduate school. I was accepted and wrote a doctorate on the publishing and adaptation histories of Waugh's work, although within six months of starting the research I couldn't stand the man and began to hate his books as well. I think, though, that it can be productive to force oneself into a critical relationship with writing that does not fire one's own esthetic or ideological sympathies. Evelyn Waugh is the reason I moved to Britain. How strange that now seems.

Favorite line from a book:

"I would prefer not to." --Herman Melville's Bartleby, the Scrivener

Five books you'll never part with:

Again, I struggle to pick just five, but the ones I've chosen are more books that I know I'll return to, and which I hope to reread in the future, which is a way of not parting with them: Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, J.M. Coetzee's Age of Iron, Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, Proust's In Search of Lost Time (which I'm still trying to finish) and Melville's Moby-Dick.

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

There is still nothing to match the wild inventiveness of Jorge Luis Borges's Labyrinths. The first reading, in my early 20s, seemed to bend and stretch and invert my thinking, and to demonstrate that fiction could do anything, at any length.

Book that made you want to be a writer:

Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises. I read it as a sophomore in high school. Maybe it was the journalistic style (I was on the student newspaper), or the silly but memorable dialogue ("Let's get tight"), or the fact that Hemingway was writing about Americans in Europe and I had decided there was nothing more thrilling than the idea of living in another country. Or maybe it was my high school English teacher, Mr. Coulter, who was the first to demonstrate to me how a writer can encode symbol and meaning in an otherwise realist narrative, leaving clues for readers to discover. I wrote Hemingway-inspired short stories for the rest of my high school years, but have not read him since. Some writers do that, though, providing signposts that can lead you off to find your own territory.

Book Review

Review: The City Baker's Guide to Country Living

The City Baker's Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller (Pamela Dorman Books, $26 hardcover, 9781101981207, August 9, 2016)

Boston pastry chef Olivia Rawlings relishes her role as creator of elegant desserts for a chic Back Bay supper club. But when a flambé gone wrong sets the entire place on fire, Livvy packs up her dog, Salty, and flees to the tiny town of Guthrie, Vt. Her best friend, Hannah, helps her find a new job: baking at the Sugar Maple Inn, run by Margaret, a stern widow. Margaret is determined to reclaim her blue-ribbon status in the annual pie-baking contest at the local county fair, and Livvy settles in to help her, making desserts for the inn and testing countless pie variations. Living with Salty in the inn's sugarhouse, she gradually makes friends with a few of the locals, some of whom share her love of banjo music. But Livvy, accustomed to leaving and being left, isn't sure she can settle down in such a small community. In her debut novel, The City Baker's Guide to Country Living, Louise Miller brings both the pastry chef and her creations to life.

A pastry chef by training, Miller knows her ingredients and describes them to mouthwatering effect: flaky piecrust, tart apples and rich dark chocolate, as well as more exotic concoctions. Her writing also contains the ingredients for a satisfying story: engaging characters, including Livvy's coworkers and her neighbors; a setting that both welcomes and frustrates her main character; and a loudmouthed but lonely protagonist with a penchant for crayon-colored hair dyes, who must face up to her own fears and shortcomings before she can truly claim Guthrie as home.

In the hands of a less accomplished writer, Livvy's story might read as cliché: woman fleeing troubled city life finds hope and meaning in a small town. But Miller's plot contains a few unexpected twists, and her characters, even the supporting ones, are refreshingly complicated and gloriously flawed. Livvy learns from her mistakes, but continues to make fresh ones even though she knows better--a pie might rescue an afternoon, but it doesn't fix everything--and nearly every one of Miller's characters has much to learn about forgiveness and acceptance. Miller delights in the sensory details of her story--melancholy banjo chords, lipstick-red autumn leaves--while exploring the vagaries of community: the ways we wound and heal each other.

Warmhearted and hopeful, with a dash of melancholy and more than a pinch of humor, The City Baker's Guide to Country Living is a treat. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams

Shelf Talker: A big-hearted debut novel follows a pastry chef who flees Boston for a new life in small-town Vermont.

Deeper Understanding

Robert Gray: Pokémon Go... Find Waldo!

Rumor has it that we have a Pokémon. Only one way to find out! --Tales of the Lonesome Pine Bookstore, Big Stone Gap, Va.

At Main Street Books, St. Charles, Mo.

I see myself as the kind of guy who would never write about something like Pokémon Go. And then, quite suddenly.... Sure, I used to sell the card packs when I was a bookseller. Well, to be honest, I usually asked customers to point directly at the versions they wanted or, when Pokémon complexities arose, deferred to a younger colleague.

Then July hit, a time I assumed would be all about the fifth annual Find Waldo Local campaign. And while Waldo is hiding and being found with his usual flair nationwide, recent headlines have been dominated by Pokémon Go. (What is it? I cede the podium to Vox, which explains the game "in fewer than 400 words," and answers "9 questions about the game you were too embarrassed to ask.")

There can be compromises, of course: Cindi Whittemore of Ink Spell Books, Half Moon Bay, Calif., told the Review: "The kids are having a blast. While they're catching their Pokémon Go they are looking for Waldo."

Earlier this week, we highlighted a couple of indie booksellers on the Pokémon Go hunt. Books & Books in Coral Gables was listed as one of the "10 best places in Miami to play"; and Main Street Books, St. Charles, Mo., was "going to do everything we can to help out those intrepid future Pokémon Masters down here on Main Street."

Well, that's just the tip of the Pokémon Go augmented reality bookseller iceberg. While I won't be searching for Pikachu anytime soon, I did embark on a brief virtual hunt to capture Pokémon Go bookstore emanations:

Politics and Prose, Washington, D.C., "is a bit of a hotspot for Pokémon Go players," Fox5 reported. On Facebook, P&P noted: "Pokémon Go isn't just an excuse to get off the couch. Turns out it's good for local business."

On Instagram, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, Wash., posted: "On trend, as usual. #pokemongo #pokemon #booksellerlife #indiebookstores #bookstore #lakeforestpark#getem #pokebomb."

via National Book Foundation

Bryan Samsone, manager of BookPeople, Austin, Tex., told Entertainment Weekly: "We expect it to be a part of what we do, if it's not too disruptive. We facilitate folks who are here in Austin looking for entertainment. I would not be surprised if BookPeople ended up with a Pokémon display sometime in the next couple weeks."

In the same EW piece, John Valentine, co-owner of the Regulator Bookshop, Durham, N.C., noted that Pokémon books "are starting to sell again. It's an interesting thing, because you have both young people discovering it and older people who knew it back in the '90s. They really scored a hit on this one. People are talking about it; it is really popular."

And Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, Colo., asked the big question: "Want an egg? We have eggs! Plus, look at all these Pokémon hanging out in our stacks! Rattata even found the VIB table! #pokemongo #gottacatchemall."

"What happened after the Strand Book Store was listed as a Pokémon Go destination?" PRWeek asked, noting that communications director Whitney Hu, a self-described "avid Pokémon fan," made the connection right away and planned ways the Strand could capitalize on the situation.

"We are such a cultural institution in the city, and we have such a large footprint that this gives us another way to work with our community and bring in some new faces, people who might just walk right by us," Hu said. The Strand also put together "Your Definitive Pokémon Go Reading List."

Themed display at Joseph-Beth Booksellers

In Lexington, Ken., Joseph-Beth Booksellers "is an avid purveyor of Pokemon goods and markets its four PokéStops and 'gym' where players gather to battle each other," the Herald-Leader noted. Merchandise manager Travis Rison said, "We're all for it, if it helps us get foot traffic in the door. It allows us to better serve customers who may not have come in before."

A sidewalk "Gotta Read'em All" chalkboard beckoned Pokémon Go players to enter Curious Iguana Books, Frederick, Md.

Coldwater Books, Tuscumbia, Ala., is a PokéStop "and we're loving it! Each day a different team will be randomly chosen (so as not to show any bias towards our own teams) to receive a special discount! Today the team we've chosen is Team Valor! Look out for lures at our PokéStop on a regular basis and feel free to stop in for some ice cold drinks as a reprieve from the heat. And of course, enjoy your journey towards becoming The Very Best!"

Nicole Sullivan of the BookBar, Denver, Colo., told us: "Wanted to share what we're doing to participate in Pokémon Go. I'm just now starting to figure this thing out. BookBar is lucky to be a PokéStop so we're encouraging people to come in and drop lures (whatever that means)."

Amy Reynolds of Horizon Books, Traverse City, Mich., and her colleagues "are trying to wrap their minds around this whole Pokémon Go phenomenon, but they figured out pretty quickly that the bookstore is a PokéStop," IPR reported. Reynolds said: "Yes, I did know that. Because I have a son playing, and my grandson's playing, as well."

A challenging literary alternative was suggested by Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, Mass.: "I've got so many Adichies, Atwoods and Murakamis, but check it out, there's a Beckett! So hard to capture Becketts. Don't know what I'm talking about? That's okay, it's probably for the best."

An observation by the Strand's Whitney Hu speaks to the challenge many booksellers are facing: "I am trying to figure out the best way to market it without seeming gimmicky. We want to organically connect with current trends; we never want to seem like the old person in the room trying to hop on, not accurately using a meme." --Robert Gray, contributing editor (column archives available at Fresh Eyes Now)

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