Shelf Awareness for Monday, August 15, 2016

Margaret K. McElderry Books: Tender Beasts by Liselle Sambury

Scholastic Press: Heroes: A Novel of Pearl Harbor by Alan Gratz

Flatiron Books: Anita de Monte Laughs Last by Xochitl Gonzalez

Peachtree Publishers: King & Kayla and the Case of the Downstairs Ghost (King & Kayla) by Dori Hillestad Butler, illustrated by Nancy Meyers

Doubleday Books: The Husbands by Holly Gramazio


Bookstore Sales Rise Again in June, Up 5%

June bookstore sales rose 5%, to $770 million, compared to June 2015, according to preliminary estimates from the Census Bureau.

This marked the 10th month in a row that bookstore sales have increased, following gains of 3.1% in May, 9.7% in April, 10.7% in March, 7.2% in February, 3.8% in January, 9.6% in December, 7.5% in November and rises of nearly 7% in October and September.

For the year to date, bookstore sales have risen 6.1%, to $5.44 billion.

Total retail sales in June rose 3.5%, to $463.8 billion. For the year to date, total retail sales have risen 3.2%, to $2,659 billion.

Note: under Census Bureau definitions, the bookstore category consists of "establishments primarily engaged in retailing a general line of new books. These establishments may also sell stationery and related items, second-hand books, and magazines."

Holiday House: The Five Impossible Tasks of Eden Smith by Tom Llewellyn; The Selkie's Daughter by Linda Crotta Brennan

First Bookshop Day to Be Held in U.K, Ireland on October 8

The Booksellers Association of the U.K. and Ireland is planning its first Bookshop Day, which will take place in the U.K. and Ireland on Saturday, October 8. On the same day, the BA will launch its third annual Books Are My Bag campaign.

The BA is encouraging stores "to host special parties, events and book-signings to mark Bookshop Day and the start of the crucial autumn selling season. Bookshop Day will replace the Big Bookshop parties that booksellers were previously encouraged to hold in the run-up to Christmas," the BA wrote.

The organization noted that Bookshop Day follows the publication of several major titles on Thursday, October 6, including Sebastian Faulks's Pistache Returns, Michael Palin's A Sackful of Limericks, James Patterson's Filthy Rich and A Woman of God, Jamie Vardy: From Nowhere, My Story and Rick Stein's Long Weekends. Then Thursday, October 20, will be this year’s "Super Thursday"--the biggest day of book releases before Christmas.

On November 26, bookstores in the U.K. and Ireland are encouraged "to hold events for Civilised Saturday for second year in a row. The event has been billed as bookshops' answer to Black Friday, a day renowned for heavy online discounts in the run-up to Christmas."

Amistad Press: The Survivors of the Clotilda: The Lost Stories of the Last Captives of the American Slave Trade by Hannah Durkin

The Presidential Summer Reading List

President Barack Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia shop for books at Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C., on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

On Friday, the White House released President Obama's summer reading list, the titles he will likely read while vacationing with his family on Martha's Vineyard, as reported by Politico. The titles are:

Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
H Is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

Obituary Note: David Attwooll

David Attwooll, poet and chair of Liverpool University Press, has died, the Bookseller reported. He was 67. Attwooll began his career in publishing at Oxford University Press in 1970, joined Century Hutchinson (now Random House) in 1989, and in 1992 he launched Helicon, which he eventually sold to WH Smith. Attwooll then set up licensing and consultancy Attwooll Associates, and in 2004 he joined Liverpool University Press. As a poet, his first full collection, The Sound Ladder, was published in 2015.

Anthony Cond, director of LUP, said: "In a long and distinguished career, David proved himself to be a pioneering and creative publisher, who made an impact in trade, reference and academic. Always generous and supportive, he was also quick to nurture new talent and to share knowledge, as the 60-plus clients for his digital consultancy business--including some of the industry’s major imprints--attest."


Image of the Day: A Convergence of Illustrators

A convergence of illustrators at Spellbound Children's Bookshop in Asheville, N.C., this past Satuday: (r.-l.) Constance Lombardo (Mr. Puffball, HarperCollins), Vanessa Brantley-Newton (reading from and signing her new book from Sterling, Mary Had a Little Glam); Stacy Gray (the Caillou books for PBS Kids) and Stacy's son. (Photo: Laura Donohoe)

Norwich Bookstore Wins BPRNE's Independent Spirit Award

The Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, Vt., has won the 2016 Independent Spirit Award, sponsored by Book Publishers Reps of New England to recognize "excellence in a bookstore member of the New England Independent Booksellers Association."

Nikki Mutch of Scholastic, the BPRNE member who nominated Norwich Bookstore, wrote: "Fiercely Independent, Liza Bernard and staff are passionate guardians of our books and authors. They work with reps to curate a selection of books that appeal to their surrounding communities, and are always willing to try something new to broaden horizons--Liza trusts us to help guide her selections and the staff reads what we put in their hands. Working with their local library, schools, and other independent businesses, they have shown what shopping local truly means. It means community and home, and Norwich Bookstore displays that in spades. I love working with Liza and going into Norwich Bookstore. I have had so many wonderful conversations with the staff and their customers, including receiving a lovely handwritten thank you note from one of Liza's favorite customers when I suggested a book I thought she might like. Small town bookstore done right."

At one point in the judging process, BPRNE said, there was "an unprecedented five-way tie." Those other stores, which the organization wanted to call attention to, were Bridgeside Books, Waterbury, Vt.; Jabberwocky Bookshop, Newburyport, Mass., Oblong Books & Music, Rhinebeck and Millerton, N.Y.; and RJ Julia Booksellers, Madison, Conn.

The Norwich Bookstore receives two nights' lodging for the NEIBA fall conference September 20-22 in Providence, R.I., and a free ticket to all NEIBA meals for an exceptional bookseller of Norwich's choosing who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend the show.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Yaa Gyasi on the Daily Show

Fresh Air: Jane Zeigleman and Andrew Coe, authors of A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression (Harper, $26.99, 9780062216410).

Diane Rehm: Graham Moore, author of The Last Days of Night: A Novel (Random House, $28, 9780812988901).

Tavis Smiley repeat: D.L. Hughley, author of Black Man, White House: An Oral History of the Obama Years (Morrow, $27.99, 9780062399793).

Late Late Show with James Corden repeat: David Duchovny, author of Bucky F*cking Dent: A Novel (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $26, 9780374110420).

Dr. Oz: Michael Mosley, author of The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet: How to Beat Diabetes Fast (and Stay Off Medication) (Atria, $24.99, 9781501111228).

Tavis Smiley repeat: Nely Galán, author of Self Made: Becoming Empowered, Self-Reliant, and Rich in Every Way (Spiegel & Grau, $25, 9780812989755).

Daily Show: Yaa Gyasi, author of Homegoing: A Novel (Knopf, $26.95, 9781101947135).

Movies: Fantastic Beasts Olympic Preview

"Finding fantastic beasts isn't an official Olympic sport in this sad, Muggle world of ours, but that didn't stop NBC from airing a new minute-long ad for the latest 'Harry Potter' movie," Indiewire wrote in featuring a brief teaser for the film adaptation of J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Directed by David Yates, the movie stars Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Dan Fogler, Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton, Jon Voight and Ron Perlman.

Books & Authors

Awards: Aussie National Biography

Brenda Niall won the A$25,000 (about US$19,130) National Biography Prize for Mannix, her biography of Daniel Mannix, the Archbishop of Melbourne for 46 years. The judges said Niall's book "rises to the challenge of recovery, the challenge of this life history, triangulated as it was between Dublin, Rome and Melbourne.... Brenda Niall has managed to recover both the public identity and something of the fiercely protected private self, and to create a beautifully balanced portrait, providing a vivid and coherent sense of this most challenging and elusive character."

Book Review

Review: Eyes on the Street

Eyes on the Street: The Life of Jane Jacobs by Robert Kanigel (Knopf, $35 hardcover, 512p., 9780307961907, September 20, 2016)

Jane Jacobs "was not a man. She was not rich. She did not reach public recognition of any magnitude until she was pushing fifty." She did not court publicity, dress well or speak in a thrilling voice. She "wrote seven books, saved neighborhoods, stopped expressways, was arrested twice, basked in the glow of legions of admirers, and had a million discussions and debates around the kitchen table, which she always won." Her influence in urban planning circles continues to this day. In this comprehensive and entertaining three-part biography, Robert Kanigel (On an Irish Island) tells us about Jacobs's background, what she accomplished during her years as a writer and activist in New York City, and how she built another life for herself in Canada, where she wrote her most famous and influential work, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Kanigel admires Jacobs and he handles her story with respect, humor and scrupulous scholarship, unearthing the solid foundation for her status from the "heaping-up of adulation."

Jacobs was born in 1916 into a loving, enthusiastic, nonconformist family and had an independent, forceful personality even as a little girl. In the third grade, she was expelled for lobbying the other children not to take a dental hygiene oath. She didn't want to go to college. When she graduated from high school, she took a secretarial course, plunged into a journalism career and moved to Manhattan's Greenwich Village, where she enjoyed an active social life. She was never beautiful, but it didn't matter because her "personality took over so immediately, her strength of intellect, her antic humor, her eloquence." She took full advantage of the professional opportunities for women during World War II and built a rewarding domestic life with a handsome, creative, intelligent man, who proposed one week after he met her at a party and was entirely supportive of her career.

Despite some skirmishing with the Loyalty Security Board, she worked her way up to a job with Architectural Forum that led to her growing understanding of the gap between urban planning and urban realities, and to an assignment to speak at an urban design conference at Harvard, where she introduced her ideas to influential planners for the first time. "The architectural and planning notions of the postwar period wiped real neighborhoods clean away and supplanted them with places made uniform, inflexible, inhuman, and dull... 'it ought to give planners the shivers.' " Anyone interested in cities or who loves a good biography will enjoy this first-rate story of one of the great independent thinkers of the 20th century. --Sara Catterall 

Shelf Talker: This is a comprehensive and evocative biography of a charismatic and influential urbanist, journalist, activist and author.

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