Shelf Awareness for Thursday, August 4, 2016

Flatiron Books: The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation by Anna Nti-Asare-Tubbs

Candlewick Press: In the Half Room by Carson Ellis

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Kondo & Kezumi Visit Giant Island by David Goodner, illustrated by Andrea Tsurumi

Candlewick Press: A Polar Bear in the Snow by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Shawn Harris

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

Shadow Mountain: The Paper Daughters of Chinatown by Heather B Moore


Kuyper Resigns as BISG Executive Director

Effective immediately, Mark Kuyper has resigned as executive director of the Book Industry Study Group, which has begun a search for a new executive director. BISG said Kuyper is exploring "other areas of interest."

Mark Kuyper

"We wish Mark the very best in all his future endeavors," said BISG board chair Tara Catogge of Quarto Publishing Group USA. "As a longtime board member and friend of BISG, Mark will be greatly missed."

"I am proud of what we accomplished during my tenure, including popular new training webinars and workshops, and a modernized, efficient, data-rich, mobile office structure designed to support BISG and its members' education and research needs into the next decade," Kuyper said.

Kuyper joined BISG as executive director June 15, 2015, after serving as president and CEO of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. He had been on the BISG board for 10 years and before joining the ECPA, was an executive at the Christian Retail Association and a sales director for Nav Press.

Sharjah Book Authority: Publishers Conference, November 1st - 3rd 2020

Polish Publishers' Bookstore Chain Competing with Retailers

Challenging the two major bookstore chains that dominate bookselling in Poland, six major Polish publishers have launched and are expanding a new bookstore chain in a joint venture with book distributor Super Siódemka and two local businesspeople, Publishing Perspectives reported. The new chain is called BookBook (using the English words) and was founded by publishing houses Prószyński, Helion, Publicat, Rebis, Zysk and Czarna Owca.

Their targets are Empik and Matras, which together have more than 400 locations and engage in quasi-monopolistic practices, according to the publishers. Empik is a multimedia retailer, carrying books, music, movies and video games in its 228 stores. Matras "aims to attract mostly avid readers," and some of its 180 bookstores are in smaller cities.

BookBook bought a majority interest in the formerly state-owned bookstore chain Dom Ksiazki (House of Books) and has rebranded them and now has more than 80 bookstores.

Maria Czarnocka, a promotion and marketing manager at BookBook, told Publishing Perspectives, "We aim to achieve a dynamic growth of our network through expanding to new locations.... In September, we'll open a new hybrid bookstore in Krakow with a coffee house and theater. We have a big goals and we think Poland is a place where there always will be people who love paper books and the unique atmosphere of our bookstores. Each of our new investments is related to a wide range of events and promotional activities."

University of Minnesota Press: My Life in the Purple Kingdom by Brownmark and Cynthia M Uhrich

Target Begins Selling Amazon Devices Again

After a four-year hiatus, Target has begun selling Amazon e-readers and tablets on its website again and will stock the products in stores beginning in October, Bloomberg reported.

"Target continually evaluates our assortment to deliver quality products at a great value," the company said in a statement. "We know our guests love the many aspects of shopping at Target, and believe they will appreciate the convenience and savings of finding these items in our stores and on"

In 2012, Target removed Kindle e-readers and tablets from its stores and website, a move seen as a response to Amazon's price-checking app, which increased the amount of showrooming occurring in bricks-and-mortar stores. At the same time, Target opened Apple "mini-stores" in some of its stores. Earlier, Amazon had run Target's website but that arrangement ended in 2011.

Bloomberg noted that "a lot has changed for Target and Amazon in the last four years," including the arrival of a new Target CEO; a revamping of Target's online strategy; and the belief that stocking Amazon's devices will drive traffic to Target stores and boost its electronics business. Also, Bloomberg continued, with the popularity of Amazon Prime, "there's less risk today than four years ago that a Kindle device sold in Target will convert someone into a loyal Amazon shopper."

For Amazon, of course, the move gives it a presence in 1,800 bricks-and-mortar stores.

Storey Publishing: Wake Up Grateful: The Transformative Practice of Taking Nothing for Granted by Kristi Nelson

Forbes's Top-Earning Authors: Hawkins Boards the Money Train

Author (and bookstore owner) Jeff Kinney beat J.K. Rowling to snag the #2 spot.

The world's highest-paid authors banked a combined $269 million over the last 12 months, "proving that the written word isn't dead–although television and movie adaptations often help drive sales," Forbes reported in releasing its annual list. Girl on the Train author Paula Hawkins was the most notable newcomer.

To formulate its list, Forbes looks at print, e-book and audiobook sales from Nielsen BookScan figures, considers TV and movie earnings and talks to authors, agents, publishers and other experts. Earnings are tabulated from June 2015 to June 2016 and are pretax; other fees are not deducted. This year's top-earning authors are:

1. James Patterson ($95 million)
2. Jeff Kinney ($19.5 million)
3. J.K. Rowling ($19 million)
4. John Grisham ($18 million)
5. Stephen King ($15 million)
5. Danielle Steel ($15 million)
5. Nora Roberts ($15 million)
8. E.L. James ($14 million)
9. Veronica Roth ($10 million)
9. John Green ($10 million)
9. Paula Hawkins ($10 million)
12. George R.R. Martin ($9.5 million)
12. Rick Riordan ($9.5 million)
12. Dan Brown ($9.5 million)

KidsBuzz for the Week of 09.28.20

Waterstones Reduces Size of Its Board

British bookstore chain Waterstones has reduced the size of its board of directors by four members. The Bookseller reported that chairman Miranda Curtis, along with three independent non-executive directors--Nick Perren, Robert Hingley and Lord Dennis Stevenson--"have now retired from the board five years after Russian entrepreneur Alexander Mamut bought Waterstones from the HMV Group in 2011."

Existing board member Marina Groenberg has taken the role of chairman, representing Lynwood Investments, Mamut's company "which now runs most of the entrepreneur's ventures and acts as Waterstones' parent company," the Bookseller noted. The board now consists of Groenberg, Waterstones managing director James Daunt and Mamut, though a spokesperson said "the future composition of the board is under review."

Mamut commented: "I would like to thank Miranda and the other independent directors for their support of Waterstones over the past five years. The company is now in an excellent position: financially strong and poised for future growth."

California Bookstores: Opt-into CALIBA's Fall Email Marketing Campaign - Free to You!

Obituary Note: Peter Gossage

Children's author and illustrator Peter Gossage, "who was responsible for penning the images that brought many well-known Maori legends to life," died last weekend, the New Zealand Herald reported. He was 69. Among his more than 20 titles "are tales of the much-loved trickster, Maui," such as How Maui Slowed the Sun, How Maui Found His Mother and How Maui Found His Father & the Magic Jawbone. Other well-known books include Fish of Maui, How Maui Found the Secret of Fire and Battle of the Mountains.

Debra Millar, publishing director of Penguin Random House New Zealand, said Gossage would be remembered for his "very distinctive graphic and illustration style which really brought to life the Maori legends. He was just so wonderful a storyteller and his stories were very simple, but they were extremely well-crafted.... His stories have sold many thousands of copies. They are classics in New Zealand's children literature. There won't be many classrooms or school libraries without one of his books."

Rick Riordan Presents: City of the Plague God by Sarwat Chadda

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
Do Right by Me
by Valerie I. Harrison and
Kathryn Peach D'Angelo

GLOW: Temple University Press: Do Right by Me: Learning to Raise Black Children in White Spaces by Valerie I. Harrison and Kathryn Peach D'AngeloAn essential guide for non-Black parents and caregivers by authors with authority and first-hand experience, Do Right by Me: Learning to Raise Black Children in White Spaces arrived at a fortuitous time for Ryan Mulligan, editor at Temple University Press: "I couldn't find the book I was looking for: an orientation to raising a Black child in America for someone who hadn't grown up with the experiences, networks and knowledge that most Black parents bring to the task. And then Val and Katie reached out." Mulligan and his publishing team were "blown away by the authors' honesty, friendship and message." Presenting a brutally honest assessment of the ways in which the justice and education systems often work against Black children, Do Right by Me offers bold, uplifting strategies for helping them develop the awareness, resources and resilience to thrive. --Shahina Piyarali

(Temple University Press, $20 paperback, 9781439919958,
November 27, 2020)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported



Image of the Day: Book Buyers Book Club

The book buyers at Powell's in Portland, Ore., recently started a book club whose first pick was Christodora by Tim Murphy (Grove). Pictured: Corie Kessler-Bennett, Mary Jo Schimelpfenig, Doug Chase, Tracey Trudeau, Richard Corbett, Kim Tano and Shawn Donley.

The Bookstore with 'Exactly One Male Bookseller'

Secret Garden Books, Seattle, Wash., is the August "Bookstore of the Month" for the Seattle Review of Books, which noted that the shop "currently employs 13 booksellers. Events manager Suzanne Perry explains that for as long as she's been on staff, the store has always employed exactly one male bookseller."

"We've always, always, always had one boy," she said. "It's not purposeful. I've been here ten years and I think we're on boy four. And they're interesting boys, too. But the rest are just women, wall-to-wall." She added that Secret Garden's booksellers tend to stay, and that there is really only one qualification they look for when hiring: they want people who "you can't get them to shut up about books. In fact, you have to pay them to be quiet about books."

Cool Idea of the Day: '#book4tat'

Multnomah County Library, which serves the Portland, Ore., region, recently created a #Book4Tat campaign, inviting "those of a literary bent" to post their tattoos on the library's Twitter account. KATU2 reported that library assistant Steve Roskoski "said he and his fellow librarians (some with their own tattoos) came up with the idea to match readers with books based on their tats. It's Portland, after all."

"Book recommending and finding people good reads is something we do every day here at the Multnomah County Library," Roskoski said. "Social media is a great way to interact with those people--and we've seen a great response. We had over 150 awesome tattoos sent in.... There were so many interesting and unusual tattoos. Some things [were] really simple, like a number of people actually had a semi-colon and that was the only thing we had to go on."

Personnel Changes at S&S; Highlights for Children

At Simon & Schuster:

Tracy Nelson has been promoted to director, retail field sales. She started at the company as a sales rep, was promoted to national account manager, and last year assumed the role of associate director, Barnes & Noble.

Caitlin Nalven has been promoted to national account manager for Baker & Taylor, Ingram and Perma-Bound for children's publishing. Caitlin started at S&S in 2014 in the telemarketing group.


Ed White has joined Highlights for Children as manager of retail planning and allocation. In the newly-created position, White will oversee all aspects of operations for Highlights' retail business. Formerly he was manager of inventory planning and analysis for the Hudson Group, director of book operations for Hastings Entertainment, and trade merchandising manager at Baker & Taylor.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Eric Ripert on Live with Kelly

Live with Kelly: Eric Ripert, author of 32 Yolks: From My Mother's Table to Working the Line (Random House, $28, 9780812992984).

The View: Penn Jillette, author of Presto!: How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781501140181).

Also on the View: Dr. Jennifer Ashton, co-author of Eat This, Not That When You're Expecting (Galvanized Books, $21.95, 9780425284711).

Movies: The Professor & the Madman

"After nearly two decades, Mel Gibson is ready to bring the bestseller The Professor and the Madman to the big screen and has enlisted Sean Penn in the effort," according to the Hollywood Reporter, which wrote that Gibson, who acquired the film rights to Simon Winchester's bestselling book in 1998, "is poised to star opposite Penn, who is in negotiations, in the true story of the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary."

Farhad Safinia (Apocalypto writer), who will direct, wrote the screenplay. Todd Komarnicki and John Boorman had written an earlier draft. Voltage Pictures (The Hurt Locker) "is selling the film in international territories and will be introducing it to buyers at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival," THR noted.  Gibson's Icon Pictures is producing the project, which anticipates a September start date in Europe.

This Weekend on Book TV: Jeffrey Toobin

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this weekend from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, August 6
7:30 p.m. Jim Stone, author of Five Easy Theses: Commonsense Solutions to America's Greatest Economic Challenges (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26, 9780544749009). (Re-airs Sunday at 3:45 p.m.)

9 p.m. Cass R. Sunstein, author of The World According to Star Wars (Dey Street, $21.99, 9780062484222). (Re-airs Sunday at 8 p.m.)

10 p.m. Kimberley Strassel, author of The Intimidation Game: How the Left Is Silencing Free Speech (Twelve, $30, 9781455591886). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Rev. Billy Talen, author of The Earth Wants YOU (City Lights, $13.95, 9780872867079), at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C. (Re-airs Monday at 4 a.m.)

Sunday, August 7
12:15 a.m. Dinesh D'Souza, author of Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party (Regnery, $29.99, 9781621573470). (Re-airs Sunday at 7 p.m.)

12 p.m. Live In-Depth q&a with Jeffrey Toobin, author of American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst (Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385536714). (Re-airs Monday at 12 a.m.)

10 p.m. Jean Edward Smith, author of Bush (Simon & Schuster, $35, 9781476741192), at Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C.

11 p.m. Vicki Alger, author of Failure: The Federal Miseducation of America's Children (Independent Institute, $24.95, 9781598132137). (Re-airs Monday at 7 a.m.)

Books & Authors

Awards: Paul Engle Prize Winner

Roxane Gay has won the $10,000 Paul Engle Prize, presented by the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature organization, to honor a person who "represents a pioneering spirit in the world of literature through writing, editing, publishing, or teaching, and whose active participation in the larger issues of the day has contributed to the betterment of the world through the literary arts." Gay will receive the award on October 6 during the Iowa City Book Festival.

Gay is the author of the short story collection Ayiti, the novel An Untamed State, and the essay collection Bad Feminist. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Best American Mystery Stories 2014, Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, A Public Space, McSweeney's, Tin House, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, West Branch, Virginia Quarterly Review, NOON, the New York Times Book Review, Bookforum, Time, the Los Angeles Times, the Nation, the Rumpus, Salon, and many others. She will be one the writers of the forthcoming Marvel comic, World of Wakanda.

Gay also is an associate professor of English at Purdue University, contributing op-ed writer at the New York Times, founder of Tiny Hardcore Press, and co-editor of PANK, a nonprofit literary arts collective.

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, August 9:

Makoons by Louise Erdrich (HarperCollins, $16.99, 9780060577933) is the fifth book in the Birchbark House series, about an Ojibwe family in 19th-century America.

Insidious by Catherine Coulter (Gallery, $27, 9781501150296) is the 20th book in the FBI Thriller series.

Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (Dutton, $27, 9781101984543) is an offbeat memoir.

Family Tree: A Novel by Susan Wiggs (Morrow, $25.99, 9780062425430) follows a woman who returns to her Vermont hometown after a personal tragedy.

Good Morning, Midnight: A Novel by Lily Brooks-Dalton (Random House, $26, 9780812998894) follows an astronomer in the Arctic and an astronaut returning from Jupiter during a mysterious apocalypse.

Cooking for Picasso: A Novel by Camille Aubray (Ballantine, $27, 9780399177651) moves between modern-day New York and 1936 France, where a woman's grandmother cooked for Pablo Picasso.

Bad Dads: Art Inspired by the Films of Wes Anderson by Spoke Art Gallery, preface by Ken Harman, introduction by Matt Zoller Seitz and foreword by Wes Anderson (Abrams, $29.95, 9781419720475) is the third volume in the Wes Anderson Collection.

Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood's Creative Artists Agency by James Andrew Miller (Custom House, $32.50, 9780062441379) is a history of one of Hollywood's largest talent agencies.

Suicide Squad: The Official Movie Novelization by Marv Wolfman (Titan Books, $7.99, 9781785651670).

Mind = Blown: Amazing Facts About This Weird, Hilarious, Insane World by Matthew Santoro (TarcherPerigee, $15, 9780143109211).

When Watched: Stories by Leopoldine Core (Penguin Books, $16, 9780143128694).

IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:

Disappearance at Devil's Rock: A Novel by Paul Tremblay (Morrow, $25.99, 9780062363268). "When a young boy goes missing, his mother and sister begin finding pages from his diary revealing secrets they had never suspected. Where did he go, and why won't his friends tell anyone the truth? Tremblay peels back the layers of a quaint New England town to expose the ugly underbelly of family life in the U.S. Disappearance at Devil's Rock is a shocking, scary, and disturbing read, the result of a powerful storyteller at work, and it solidifies Tremblay's reputation as a master of psychological suspense." --William Carl, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, Mass.

The Trouble With Goats and Sheep: A Novel by Joanna Cannon (Scribner, $25, 9781501121890). "Best friends Grace and Tilly spend England's sweltering summer of 1976 sleuthing for clues to uncover the reason for their neighbor's disappearance. They go from house to house, neighbor to neighbor, investigating as only guileless little girls can do. While they're at it, they also look for god in the most unusual places. As the mystery of the neighborhood is slowly revealed, so are the many secrets behind every door on the avenue. If you loved A Man Called Ove, you will love The Trouble With Goats and Sheep. Funny, quirky and profound!" --Cathy Langer, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, Colo.

Soft in the Head by Marie-Sabine Roger (Pushkin Press, $14.95, 9781782271581). "Two disparate individuals pass the time counting pigeons in the town park and finally make each other's acquaintance: Marguerite, a retired and lonely 80-something plant scientist, and Germain, an unemployed, undereducated, dim-witted 45-year-old who lives in a trailer behind his mother's house. Soon, Marguerite is reading to Germain, who eventually overcomes his childhood aversion and begins to read himself. This is a lovely story of the redeeming qualities of civil conversation, the possibility of friendship bridging many years and inquiring minds, and the worlds opened up through reading." --Darwin Ellis, Books on the Common, Ridgefield, Conn.

For Ages 4 to 8
The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield (Clarion, $16.99, 9780544674547). "When a young bear cub happens upon a piano abandoned in the forest, he's not sure what to make of it or of the strange sounds that come out of it. Unable to resist the pull of this mysterious contraption, Bear starts to spend most of his time playing with the piano and over time begins to create beautiful music. One day, while out on a hike, a girl and her father come upon Bear during one of his 'concerts.' The young girl convinces Bear to return to the city where he can become a star, playing the piano in sold-out concert halls. Bear, longing to see what the world has to offer outside the forest, agrees to go. He soon becomes a smash hit with top-selling albums and all the fame he could ever wish for. But what is all that fame without sharing it with the people you love?" --Jen Steele, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wis.

For Ages 9 to 12
The Crimson Skew by S.E. Grove (Viking, $17.99, 9780670785049). "The Crimson Skew is the wonderfully thrilling conclusion to the Mapmakers Trilogy. The story, which makes good on the promises made in The Glass Sentence and furthered in The Golden Specific, brings Sophia and Theo together again after a long time apart. Whether you have followed the entirety of the series or are just jumping in, this adventure is marvelous and the ending is both surprising and satisfying." --Demi Marshall, BookPeople, Austin, Tex.

For Teen Readers: An Indies Introduce Title
The Killer in Me by Margot Harrison (Disney-Hyperion, $17.99, 9781484727997). "Nina cannot sleep at night, because every time she closes her eyes she sees inside the mind of a killer. She knows his plans and his next victims. As Nina tries to stop the murders from happening, she makes a shocking discovery that will ultimately make her choose between her conscience and love. This book is a fantastic read--I was hooked from the first page and could not stop reading until I was done. Don't miss this one!" --Lisa Nehs, Books & Company, Oconomowoc, Wisc.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey (Algonquin, $14.95 paperback, 208p., 9781616206420, September 6, 2016)

When Elisabeth Tova Bailey was laid flat after a serious illness and successive relapses, her interactions with the outside world were drastically reduced. She had a caretaker to help her, and friends and family who came to visit, but her day was condensed into a series of moments. She writes, "each moment felt like an endless hour, yet days slipped silently past. Time unused and only endured still vanishes, as if time itself is starving, and each day is swallowed whole, leaving no crumbs, no memory, no trace at all."

So when a friend brought a land snail living in a pot of violets to her room, Bailey began watching the snail go about its daily life. With her own life slowed to a snail's pace, Bailey became absorbed in the little creature she was now cohabitating with. She studied its eating habits--listening to it munch on wilted flower petals or a piece of portobello mushroom in the dark of the night--and its sleeping patterns, and she examined the way it moved on its slime trail. As her fondness for the snail deepened, Bailey had a terrarium installed in her room for the little creature and enjoyed searching for it among the ferns, mosses, rotting birch log and other tiny plants. The snail's daily habits and routines, which Bailey writes about in a poetic and whimsical way, helped fill the empty hours. "Pondering its circumstances with a regal air, as if from the turret of a castle, it waved its tentacles first this way and then that, as though responding to a distant melody."

She also did tremendous research on snails, reading old books written by naturalists and scientists, and she deftly interweaves what she discovered about the gastropod into her narrative. Readers learn about snails' complex teeth and the patterns they make as they chew, and their mating habits and their egg-laying process, events that unfolded in front of Bailey as she continued to make the gradual climb toward better health, a topic she also discusses but without much fanfare. Although illness forced Bailey's life to come to a screeching halt, her writing in The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating is a meditation and a call to slow down, to take life at a more leisurely pace, so that nothing, even something as seemingly inconsequential as the life of a land snail, is missed. --Lee E. Cart, freelance writer and book reviewer

Shelf Talker: When a serious illness leaves a woman bedridden, she discovers a new world of enjoyment and entertainment in watching the daily routines of a land snail.

KidsBuzz: Vesuvian Books: 7th Grade Revolution by Liana Gardner
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