Shelf Awareness for Monday, July 25, 2016

Flatiron Books: White Horse by Erika T. Wurth

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

Zest Books (Tm): Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer, adapted by Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Nicole Neidhardt

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

Berkley Books: River Sing Me Home by Eleanor Shearer

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


Village Bookstore, Grand Rapids, Minn., Bought by Its Mall

In an unusual store ownership change, rather than see one of its original tenants move out--and leave the mall without a bookstore--Central Square Mall in Grand Rapids, Minn., has purchased the Village Bookstore and will operate it, according to the Herald-Review.

Former owner Mike McGinnis, who bought the store in 1980 and moved into what was then a brand-new mall in 1984, had planned this year to move into a building he owned and downsize the store. "The heyday was the mid-'80s when the mall was new," McGinnis told the paper.

After he gave notice, Central Square Mall made an offer, and the store is now officially called Village Bookstore & Gifts. The store has long sold books, maps and gifts.

The store is being reorganized and repainted. Central Square Mall manager Jean Healy told the newspaper that there will be an expanded children's section and other "exciting changes." She added that McGinnis has been "extremely helpful throughout our transition."

McGinnis is retiring and said, "I'm going to do some traveling the rest of the summer, play some golf, and do some fishing."

Grand Central Publishing: Sink: A Memoir by Joseph Earl Thomas

Her Book Shop Opens in East Nashville, Tenn.

Her Book Shop opened last Wednesday in East Nashville, Tenn. Owner Joelle Herr said, "I am just over the moon about the outpouring of support from the community. It has been so wonderful to meet my book-loving neighbors--as well as folks from out of town who have happened to wander in. I can't even really put into words how fascinating it has been to see what people are buying. Quirky, unexpected books that I thought might sit for a while until just the right person came along have been snatched up. Because I personally selected each one of the 500-plus books in the store, I feel oddly attached to them and almost parentally proud when someone chooses to buy them."

Before becoming a bookshop owner, Herr worked in the publishing industry for two decades, holding editorial positions at several companies, including Workman, Running Press and Sterling. For the past five years, she had primarily been freelance editing and writing. Herr told Shelf Awareness last spring that she had long "harbored a desire to have my own bookstore, but I didn't give it serious consideration until very recently."

On Saturday, Herr said, "I still can't believe that I am actually standing in my very own bookstore. Someone pinch me. Or, actually, don't." She plans to host a grand opening for Her Book Shop at a future date.

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

Guidon Books, Scottsdale, Ariz., Moving

Guidon Books, Scottsdale, Ariz., which sells new and used books and specializes in Western Americana and the Civil War, is moving from downtown to the Scottsdale Airpark and will concentrate on online sales, the Arizona Republic reported.

Owner Shelly Dudley said, "We still hope to have our destination customers, because we have people who come in from San Francisco, from Holland. But so much of the market now is online, and they don't want to go out in the summer heat."

Dudley inherited the business five years ago. Guidon Books was founded in 1964.

PNBA Holiday Catalog 2022

Glad Day Finds New Space in Toronto

Glad Day's longtime location

Glad Day Bookshop, Toronto, which started an IndieGoGo campaign last month to help fund a move, has found new space, Daily Xtra reported. Glad Day, which calls itself "the world's oldest LGBTQ bookstore" and was founded in 1970, has long been located on Yonge Street, on the second floor of its building.

The new location of nearly 2,700 square feet is currently a martini bar and restaurant, more than three times larger than Glad Day's current location and has a back patio, bar, large storage area downstairs and is wheelchair accessible. Glad Day plans to operate as a coffee shop and bookstore during the day and bar and performance space at night. The store has said it needs to add food and drink revenue to the mix.

"I like to imagine that we're going to create a little bit of a 'back to Church' movement," co-owner Michael Erickson said. "A lot of people have become bored with, or disenfranchised by, the street, and hopefully this can be a cool, queer place that represents the whole community and not just a fraction of it."

Although the store will have much more space, it will probably have fewer books in stock, "down from the current 4,000 titles to about 1,000."

Erickson commented: "We're going to focus on having current, new, diverse titles on display. We'll still have all of our titles on site, we'll just have the older stuff in storage below. So if someone wants a title we can just run down and get it."

Glad Day takes possession of the space in mid-August, and opening day depends on renovation plans, which depend on fundraising. Currently the store raised nearly $38,000 of the $50,000 it hoped to raise on IndieGoGo; the campaign ended last night. As for raising additional money, Erickson said, "There's a lot of things in motion behind the scenes, on top of the crowdfunding campaign. We're in lots of great talks with people about being angel investors, and there's a few big fundraisers also planned to help us meet our goals."

Politics & Prose Launches Corporate Events Initiative

Heidi Lewis

Politics & Prose, Washington, D.C., is launching a corporate events initiative that will be headed by Heidi Metcalfe Lewis, most recently an associate director of publicity at William Morrow/Dey Street at HarperCollins. She has 14 years of publicity experience.

Building on the store's strong author events program, the initiative will, the store said, "match visiting authors with area businesses for private events and talks--supported with bulk book buys."

"This is a city that relishes cultural connectivity and conversation," said P&P co-owner Bradley Graham. "We're excited to offer a new effort to deepen this activity. We hope publishers will find value in this, and we look forward to growing the program in the months ahead."

Notes from San Diego Comic-Con

This past weekend, fans of comic books, video games, anime and manga descended on San Diego, Calif., for Comic-Con: International. From July 21-24, more than 100,000 people walked the show floor, attended panels, dressed in cosplay and waited in sometimes unbelievable lines for a chance to meet their favorite celebrities or take home exclusive merchandise. Here are a few highlights:

In a panel celebrating the 10th anniversary of First Second Books, an all-ages graphic novel imprint of Macmillan, editorial director Mark Siegel recalled how the process of pitching graphic novels to the Big Five (then the Big Six) changed more than a decade ago. Around that time, Siegel explained, two aspects of the boom in manga sales made New York publishers much more receptive to graphic novels than they had been: for one, "millions" were being made, but not by traditional publishers; and second, comic readership was undergoing a profound demographic change from a predominantly male, aging readership to a younger, more diverse and female readership. According to Siegel, Macmillan CEO John Sargent did not need much convincing. He looked at the material Siegel had prepared and said: "Okay."

During the same panel, librarian Eva Volin, supervising children's librarian at the Alameda Free Library, Alameda, Calif., talked about the job of collecting books for an entire community and the saying among librarians that a good library will have something in it to offend everyone. "If you're doing your job," said Volin, "that's true." She added that librarians can tell if a book is particularly popular or controversial when it gets stolen at a high rate.


Margaret Atwood was at Comic-Con on Friday morning to discuss her upcoming graphic novel, Angel Catbird (Dark Horse Books, September 6). After fellow panelist Joëlle Jones (Lady Killer) mentioned borrowing and reading her brother's Punisher comics as a child, Atwood cut in to say that she had never heard of the Punisher before and asked: "Is he an S&M character?" And when told that he wears a black shirt with a white skull on it, she wondered, "And is that all?"


During a panel for those curious about becoming a comic book retailer, Wayne Winsett, owner of Time Warp Comics in Boulder, Colo., said the comics industry is currently going through a "Golden Age," adding, "It is a great time to be a retailer."

Chris Powell, v-p of retailer services at Diamond Comic Distributors, said that he had recently given a presentation to some comics retailers about how best to prepare themselves for retirement and ensure that their stores are in good hands. When he first got into the business, Powell recalled, no one would have thought they could do well enough to retire from it.

Later on, the panelists also discussed the difficulty of retaining and advancing good staff. Said Winsett: "Unless you can pay them very, very well," or there are sufficient advancement opportunities, staff members are going to "use [the job] as a stepping stone."


Mysterious Galaxy's Comic-Con booth

Late on Friday, several manga publishers convened to discuss the state of manga in the U.S. Across the industry, manga sales are up; the last time publishers saw such growth, noted moderator Deb Aoki, the manga market soon collapsed. She wondered whether there might be another "manga bubble" forming.

Kurt Hassler, publisher and managing director of Yen Press, and formerly the manga buyer at Borders Books & Music, rejected the idea that a bubble was what caused the collapse, saying that the market had not been artificially inflated. Stu Levy, founder of Tokyopop, argued that there had been an "arms race of manga titles," with too much product for the American market. Erik Ko, CEO of Udon Entertainment, agreed that too many titles were released too fast. But perhaps the biggest reason for the collapse, he recalled, was the closure of Borders in 2011. After that, he said, publishers "lost half of our sales."

On the subject of how best to get manga into more stores, the publishers agreed that buyers could be overwhelmed and that education was key, not just for buyers but also for consumers. Ko advised telling customers to tell their local stores that they want manga. Hassler noted that it ultimately came down to the motivation of a particular buyer or store owner. It may be tough to initially stock manga, he said, but "you will never have a more loyal customer than a manga fan." --Alex Mutter


Image of the Day: Where's Waldo in Doylestown

Saturday night was the wrap-up party for "Where's Waldo in Doylestown," organized by the Doylestown Bookshop and Booktender's Secret Garden Children's Bookstore & Gallery. This year, some 150 families joined in the fun. The event also marked its fifth year in Doylestown, Pa., with 22 businesses participating. Pictured: Glenda Childs (Doylestown Bookshop) and Ellen Mager (Booktender's Secret Garden Children's Bookstore & Gallery).

Harry Potter on Broadway: Scholastic's 'Muggle Mob'

In anticipation of this Sunday's release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two, more than 300 Potter fans gathered last Thursday for a massive flash mob, or "Muggle Mob," on Broadway in front of Scholastic's Manhattan headquarters building. The fans, all Scholastic employees and their children, flooded into the street reading from a favorite Harry Potter book and stopping traffic in the busy SoHo area.

At the culmination of the event, the fans lowered their books and raised paddles showing the cover of the new book, drawing cheers. As the crowd dispersed, Muggle Mob participants gave away their copies of titles from the Harry Potter series to passersby.

"What better way to celebrate the release of the eighth story and start the countdown to the biggest publishing event of the summer than to gather a flash mob of dedicated Harry Potter fans eager to share their love of books and reading," said Ellie Berger, president, Scholastic Trade. "We could feel the excitement and anticipation as hundreds of people were reading and one of the busiest streets in Manhattan came to a standstill. It was an incredible moment and we can't wait until July 31st!"

Cool Idea of the Day: Books Checked for Free on Condor

German airline Condor Airlines and Vorsicht Buch! (Attention, Book!), a marketing program of the German book trade, have launched a summer campaign that allows travelers on Condor one extra free kilogram (about 2.2 lbs.) in their checked luggage for books, Publishing Perspectives reported.

Through August 31, German booksellers are giving stickers to customers that say "Buch an Bord" (book on board). Condor travelers who put the sticker on their luggage receive the free kilo. In addition, Vorsicht Buch and Condor are giving away a free flight for two to Ibiza via Facebook.

Alexander Skipis, CEO of the Börsenverein, the German publishers, booksellers and wholesalers association, commented: "Each year more than seven million people travel with Condor to Asia, Africa, America and beautiful holiday destinations all over Europe. Those who want to immerse themselves in these foreign cultures also rely on reading. And your bookseller knows which books are the right fit for you and your holiday destination. It's worth it to take an extra kilo of books in your luggage."

Once owned by Lufthansa, Condor is a subsidiary of Thomas Cook Group and has been in business 60 years.

Street Books 'Brings Great Reads to People Living Outside'

"For the past five years, Laura Moulton has spent her days in underserved areas of Portland, Ore., lending books to people living on the fringes of society," the Huffington Post reported in a profile of Moulton's Street Books, a bike-powered, mobile library she launched in 2011 "to ensure the homeless communities have access to literature."

"Being recognized and spoken to on the street and offered a book for someone who has really been struggling can be a really powerful thing," Moulton said. "Books have the power to have us feel empathy and have us experience the thrill of a journey of someone else."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Matthew Dallek on Diane Rehm

Tonight Show: Shay Mitchell, co-author of Bliss: A Novel (St. Martin's Griffin, $15.99, 9781250096357).

Diane Rehm: Matthew Dallek, author of Defenseless Under the Night: The Roosevelt Years and the Origins of Homeland Security (Oxford University Press, $29.95, 9780199743124).

Books & Authors

Awards: Midwest Booksellers Choice; Theakston Crime Novel

The winners in five categories of the Midwest Booksellers Choice Awards, voted for by members of the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association and honoring books that are "pertinent to the region either in content or in regard to the authors hometown or current residence," are:

Adult fiction: Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal (Pamela Dorman Books)
Adult nonfiction: Locally Laid by Lucie Amundsen (Avery)
Poetry: The Falling Down Dance by Chris Martin (Coffee House Press)
YA & Middle Grade: Isabelle Day Refuses to Die of a Broken Heart by Jane St. Anthony (University of Minnesota Press)
Children's picture book: North Woods Girl by Aimee Bissonette, illustrated by Claudie McGehee (Minnesota Historical Society Press)

The winners will be celebrated at the Heartland Fall Forum awards dinner October 7.


Clare Mackintosh won the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award for I Let You Go, the Bookseller reported. During the opening night festivities at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Mackintosh received a £3,000 (about $3,930) cash prize, as well as a handmade, engraved oak beer cask made by Theakston Old Peculier.

Val McDermid was honored with the Theakston Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award.

Book Review

Review: Behold the Dreamers

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue (Random House, $28 hardcover, 400p., 9780812998481, August 23, 2016)

Oscar Wilde said, "There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, the other is getting it." In an accomplished and timely debut, Imbolo Mbue tears away the veil from the American Dream and measures both the uphill grind to achieve it and the lightning-quick ease of losing it.

After three years in Harlem waiting for Immigration Services to process his application for asylum, Cameroonian immigrant Jende Jonga thinks he can see the light at the end of the tunnel. His lawyer assures him asylum will be granted any day, and his wife, Neni, and six-year-old son, Liomi, have joined him at last after years of separation. In the New York City of late 2007, all things seem possible. With Neni in college and on track for pharmacy school, and the plum chauffeur job Jende's cousin Winston found for him, the family's dreams are coming true. Jende admires his new boss Clark Edwards, a senior investment banker at Lehman Brothers, and eventually Neni begins working part-time for the Edwardses at their summer home.

Despite their initial impression of the Edwards family as elegant, happy and perfect, the Jongas quickly begin to observe fissures. Clark works endless hours, and the stressed-out phone conversations Jende overhears while driving him leave little doubt that Lehman Brothers is in dire straits. Clark's wife, Cindy, turns ever more disastrously to prescription pills and alcohol to dull her anxiety and pain over her husband's lack of involvement with their sons, college-age Vince and grade-schooler Mighty, who have their own troubles. Disgusted with an American lifestyle he sees as empty and materialistic, Vince decides to move to India, while overscheduled and often overlooked Mighty lacks a stable, loving environment. As the two families struggle with crises and secrets within their intersecting orbits, the Great Recession looms closer, ready to smash what each has built.

Reminiscent of T.C. Boyle's The Tortilla Curtain in its sharp contrast between the bounty and the desperation created simply by one's citizenship status, Behold the Dreamers approaches a perennial hot-button topic from a vulnerable perspective. Mbue, herself a Cameroonian native who emigrated to New York 10 years ago, keeps her story intimate rather than didactic by focusing tightly on her characters' reactions to their circumstances instead of the politics behind them. That she can cause the reader to feel compassion for a struggling immigrant family, a trophy wife with a substance abuse problem, and a philandering, crooked banker in equal measure attests to the depth and care she puts into crafting each character. Through their eyes, readers may see anew the hope of the U.S. electing its first black President and the horror of the economic collapse. At once a sad indictment of the American dream and a gorgeous testament to the enduring bonds of family, Mbue's powerful first novel will grip and move you right up to its heartfelt ending. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Shelf Talker: Cameroonian American novelist Imbolo Mbue's debut tells the intersecting stories of a struggling immigrant family and a wealthy Wall Street family as they try to survive the economic collapse of 2008.

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