Also published on this date: Monday, August 22, 2016: Insight Editions

Shelf Awareness for Monday, August 22, 2016


Grove Press: The Parisian by Isabella Hammad

Gibbs Smith: We know that there's no place like the bookstore - Thank You Booksellers!

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Five Feet Apart by Rachel Lippincott with Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis

Central Avenue Publishing: Pickle's Progress by Marcia Butler

News

Velveteen Rabbit Bookshop, Fort Atkinson, Wis., to Close

The Velveteen Rabbit Bookshop, Fort Atkinson, Wis., is closing at the end of September, the Daily Union reported.

Jim and Marie Nelson, who founded the store in 1994, said in a letter to customers, "We have lived the dream. It is now time for the next chapter. We love books and appreciate our patrons; however, we just currently needed more support and have family concerns we need to care for."

The Velveteen Rabbit Bookshop is a general independent with an emphasis on children's literature. The business, in what the paper called " a beautiful old Victorian home," includes a guest house above the store, which the Nelsons opened in 2007. It will also close.

Customers are invited to write their favorite bookshop memories in a memory book at the store.

The Nelson thanked customers for their support over the years, saying, "We feel very fortunate that you have been a part of our lives. We have enjoyed getting to know each of you. Our chats at the front desk, helping you find the perfect book, and hearing your input on the books you've read--both good and bad--have kept us on our toes and have made our work especially rewarding."


Ecco Press: What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir in Essays by Damon Young


Spellbound Bookshop Adds 'Baby & Toddler Room'

Spellbound Children's Bookshop, Asheville, N.C., will host a grand opening party September 17 for its new baby and toddler room. The Citizen-Times reported that the space "offers a rocking chair for 'lap time' and feeding, and a play table with baby-friendly toys. The room also houses Spellbound's expanded inventory that includes board books, cloth books and book-themed 'onesies.' " Spellbound will also offer the new room, as well as the store's existing event room, for rental to host baby showers.


Abrams: The Overlook Press Distribution Change


B&N Launches Samsung Galaxy Tab A Nook

Barnes & Noble has added the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab A Nook to its line of reader's tablets. The new device retails for $139.99, though existing Nook customers can upgrade for $99.99 by trading in or showing proof of purchase of any Nook device at a B&N store.

Describing the Galaxy Tab A Nook as "the next-generation reader's tablet," B&N said its features include "an enhanced digital bookstore experience," integrated with the latest Nook software (version 4.6) and BN.com bookmarked directly onto the home screen; B&N Readouts, which "offers a daily selection of addictive quick reads"; "extra long battery life"; a 2-megapixel front-facing camera; GPS and an integrated FM tuner for radio (no wi-fi required); and access to Android apps.

Additionally, Nook Audiobooks will be coming to the Samsung Galaxy Tab A in September via a software update.


Oxford University Press: Armies of Deliverance: A New History of the Civil War by Elizabeth R. Varon


Obituary Notes: Morton Schindel; Bonnie R. Crown

Morton Schindel, founder of Weston Woods Studios, which made films and audiovisual materials adapted from children's books, died on Saturday. He was 98.

After several unrelated jobs and a period battling tuberculosis, in 1949 and 1950, Schindel began filmmaking, but the company he worked for, Teaching Films, went bankrupt, and he became an independent producer. In 1951, he was recruited to serve as film officer and attaché in the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, then returned to the U.S. in 1953 to launch Weston Woods Studios. The company struggled in the early years, but in 1966, the federal government passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the first school libraries were opened.

In 1984, Weston Woods Studios received an Academy Award nomination for best animated short for Doctor DeSoto, based on the children's book Doctor Desoto by William Steig, and in 1996, Weston Woods Studio won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Children's Video for Owen, based on Owen by Kevin Henkes.

In 1996, Weston Woods Studios was acquired by Scholastic, and Schindel stayed on as an advisor. From 1982 to 2016, Schindel served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Weston Woods Institute, a non-profit organization for the support of innovative techniques for educational and cultural communications with children. In 1996, he founded Mediamobiles, Inc., a company that developed mobile multimedia learning environments.

Richard Robinson, chairman, president and CEO of Scholastic, said, "Mort Schindel not only founded the art form and business of creating films based on outstanding children's books, he also helped generations of teachers and librarians understand how they could reach more children with these great stories through the medium of film, video and television. He pioneered this important art form by working with hundreds of authors and illustrators including Maurice Sendak, William Steig and Robert McCloskey, winning their support by making creative films like Where the Wild Things Are, Blueberries for Sal, Harold and the Purple Crayon and The Amazing Bone, which adhered absolutely to the spirit and story of the original printed work."

Schindel received many awards and honors, including the Regina Medal for a lifetime contribution to the field of children's literature, the Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Education Technology, the Action for Children's Television Hall of Fame Award and the American Libraries Services for Children Lifetime Achievement Award for "reaching children from the hills of Appalachia to the suburbs of Tokyo with books, films, stories and songs." He also received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Teachers College, Columbia University as the only graduate "who never earned a dime as a librarian or a classroom teacher," but nonetheless became "a teacher to millions."

---

Bonnie R. Crown, a literary agent, writer, and lecturer who shepherded the translation of more than 100 books from Asia, died last Thursday. She was 88.

As director of the Asian Literature Program at the Asia Society from 1959-76, Crown traveled to Asia, often unaccompanied and for months at a time, to discover new writers and books, including major works and languages that had never before seen an English translation. She worked closely with James Laughlin of New Directions under the aegis of the Asian Literature Program to give grants to writers, get works to publishers, place writings in magazines, broadcast readings on the radio, and have works performed live. She continued this work as an independent literary agent into the 1990s.

Some of the books she worked on include In Praise of Krishna, translated by Denise Levertov and Edward C. Dimock, Jr.; the Chinese poetry collection Sunflower Splendor, co-edited by Wu-chi Liu and Irving Yucheng Lo; and The Haiku Handbook by William J. Higginson.

Crown lectured and gave readings throughout Asia with a focus on Korea, served on boards of many Asian-focused organizations, and wrote reviews of Asian writings for World Literature Today. She was often praised in book acknowledgements. Nguyen Ngoch Bich, editor of A Thousand Years of Vietnamese Poetry, called her role "a great deal more than what her title implies, since she has been the guiding angel of this project."


Ecco Press: White Elephant by Julie Langsdorf


G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
The Night Before
by Wendy Walker

Four months ago, Laura Lochner began therapy: "It was in my hand. The weapon that killed him.... That night made me see what I've always been." Now, beginning anew, she has gone on a date: "I am going to get it right tonight. Even if it kills me." But she doesn't return. Is she a victim? Or a killer? Unreliable narrators are de rigueur, but with The Night Before, Wendy Walker takes this a step further with a brilliant twist, according to Jennifer Enderlin, St. Martin's Press executive vice-president and publisher. "She is going to start a trend where 'shifting time structure' is the hook. [Laura] tells you the truth from page one." Or does she? As the clock clicks down, we are whipsawed between now and then in a taut and edgy thriller. --Marilyn Dahl, Shelf Awareness

(St. Martin's Press, $26.99 hardcover, 9781250198679, May 14, 2019)

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Notes

Image of the Day: Volumes Soiree

Volumes Bookcafe, which opened for business early this year in Chicago, Ill., closed for the evening last Thursday to host a soiree for local authors and poets to meet each other, see the store, and get to know the staff. 

Attendees included Rebecca Makkai, Renee Rosen, Gint Aras, Leslie Parry, Charles Finch, Roger Reeves, Maryse Meijer, Kelly McNeese, Keri Graff, Dana Kaye, Lori Rader Day, Melanie Benjamin and Sarah McCoy.


Franklin Fixtures: Thank you for a great 2018! Click for 18% off your Franklin Fixtures order for new orders placed in 2018


Bookish Olympic Moment: Synchronized Shelving

As the 2016 Olympics come to a close, we wanted to share one last highlight, from a Facebook post by the staff at New Zealand's Invercargill City Libraries and Archives:

"Synchronized Shelving. Petition for synchronized shelving to be an Olympic sport. Let's send our boys to Tokyo 2020!"


Dear @amyschumer: A Request from @inkwoodbooks

Noting a passage in Amy Schumer's new book The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo where she disses the "two horrendous cities" Fayetteville, N.C. and Tampa, Fla. ("I'm not scared about writing that and making those people mad, because I know for a fact that no one who lives there has ever read a book."), Tampa's Inkwood Books (@InkwoodBooks) issued the following challenge to the comedian, writer, actress and producer on Instagram:

"Dear @amyschumer Please help us sell the 4 copies of your book we ordered. Since you told everyone we don't read, we are now a small band of starving/thirsty booksellers in need of pizza and gin. We heard you will be in #HorrendousTampa in October. Would you consider a book signing? #TheGirlWithTheLowerBackTattoo #TrampaStampa #booksellerlife #The3PeopleWhoRead #NotMad #NotJK #WillWorkForGin #WeActuallyReadAndSellThe$@#*OutOfBooks #booksellerlife #SecondChances"

On Facebook Sunday, Inkwood owner Stefani Beddingfield noted: "Maybe she will consider signing some books when she's here in October. At any rate, I hope to see more bright shiny Tampa reading faces at Inkwood and all our area independent bookstores. Tampa is cool, we read and we can laugh at ourselves... just like Amy Schumer."

Beddingfield told the Tampa Bay Times she began reading the memoir just before closing the store on Friday: "It was so weird and so ironic, because I read that part about how nobody in Tampa reads, and I was sitting here reading this book in Tampa. Her book is really good and really funny, by the way. She actually comes across as very nice. A lot of it is about how she's not really as wild and promiscuous as she comes across...

"Maybe Tampa didn't show her a good time, that's on us," Beddingfield continued. "I'm not mad about what she wrote at all, I just know we could show her a better time. She just didn't know the right people or the right places last time she was here." Beddingfield added that if Schumer does agree to a signing in Tampa, part of the proceeds will be donated to Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control group Schumer has promoted in the past.

The sign in front of the store has been changed to read: "Dear Ms. Schumer give us another chance? Love, the three people who read."


Bookstore Weather Report: Storm-Proof Notebooks

Tweeted by Malaprop's Bookstore (@Malaprops), Asheville, N.C., on Saturday:

"It's raining, we have 1 umbrella but almost unlimited amounts of WATERPROOF NOTEBOOKS.... so that's making things Even-Steven. :)"


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Amy Schumer on Colbert's Late Show

Today:
CBS This Morning: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, author of Writings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White (Time, $27.95, 9781618931719).

Today Show: James Carville, author of We're Still Right, They're Still Wrong: The Democrats' Case for 2016 (Blue Rider Press, $25, 9780399576225).

Fresh Air: Gretchen Bakke, author of The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future (Bloomsbury, $27, 9781608196104).

Diane Rehm: Nicholas Dodman, author of Pets on the Couch: Neurotic Dogs, Compulsive Cats, Anxious Birds, and the New Science of Animal Psychiatry (Atria, $26, 9781476749020).

NPR's All Things Considered: Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher, authors of Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power (Scribner, $28, 9781501155772). They will also appear today on Good Morning America and tomorrow on Fresh Air and Morning Joe.

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Amy Schumer, author of The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo (Gallery, $28, 9781501139888).

Tomorrow:
CBS This Morning: Mary Aiken, author of The Cyber Effect: A Pioneering Cyberpsychologist Explains How Human Behavior Changes Online (Spiegel & Grau, $28, 9780812997859).

Fox & Friends: Ben Utecht, author of Counting the Days While My Mind Slips Away: A Love Letter to My Family (Howard, $26, 9781501136603).


On Stage: Anna Karenina, the Musical

Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina "does not, traditionally, involve any inline skating, but that will change when a new musical version hits the Moscow stage this autumn," the Guardian reported. Anna Karenina the musical will open at the Moscow Operetta theatre in October, with specially written music and a new libretto. The cast will wear costumes that are "of the period, but with elements of haute couture," the producers said. The inline skates? They will be used in place of ice skates for winter scenes.


Books & Authors

Awards: Hugo

MidAmeriCon II, the 74th World Science Fiction Convention, has announced the 2016 Hugo Award and John W. Campbell Award winners:

Best Novel: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
Best Novella: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com)
Best Novelette: "Folding Beijing" by Hao Jingfang, translated by Ken Liu (Uncanny Magazine, Jan.-Feb. 2015)
Best Short Story: "Cat Pictures Please" by Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld, January 2015)
Best Graphic Story: The Sandman: Overture written by Neil Gaiman, art by J.H. Williams III (Vertigo)
Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form): The Martian screenplay by Drew Goddard, directed by Ridley Scott
Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form): Jessica Jones: "AKA Smile," written by Scott Reynolds, Melissa Rosenberg and Jamie King, directed by Michael Rymer
Best Editor--Short Form: Ellen Datlow
Best Editor--Long Form: Sheila E. Gilbert
Best Professional Artist: Abigail Larson
Best Semiprozine: Uncanny Magazine edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, and Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky
Best Fanzine: File 770 edited by Mike Glyer
Best Fan Writer: Mike Glyer
Best Fan Artist: Steve Stiles

The John W. Campbell Award for the best new professional science fiction or fantasy writer of 2014 or 2015, sponsored by Dell Magazines (not a Hugo Award): Andy Weir

In addition, the Forrest J. Ackerman Big Heart Award was presented to Edie Stern and Joe Siclari.


Book Review

Review: The Ferryman Institute

The Ferryman Institute by Colin Gigl (Gallery Books, $16 paperback, 432p., 9781501125324, September 27, 2016)

In a fantasy debut reminiscent of the classic film Death Takes a Holiday and Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality, Colin Gigl introduces a hero with the ultimate bummer job description--sending the newly dead onto the next plane--and the adventure that will either cure his case of burnout or kill him for good, something of an accomplishment considering his occupation comes with a lifetime supply of immortality.

Since the moment of his near-death more than two centuries ago, Charlie has been in the employ of the shadowy Ferryman Institute, guiding newly deceased souls through the departure process. When a Ferryman fails to convince a spirit to cross over, it becomes a vengeful ghost; Charlie Dawson, star of the Institute's stable, never fails.

Unfortunately, centuries of never aging, never feeling cold, hunger or pain, and watching an endless parade of tragic deaths have left Charlie empty and exhausted. His thousands of applications for release have met with rejection by the Institute's opaque bureaucracy. In an age when the Institute competes with comparable organizations like the Sisters of Valhalla, Charlie is simply too good to let go. Supported by his refined mentor Cartwright, but stalked by internal affairs liaison Inspector Javrouche (the only person who actively despises him), Charlie limps through his malaise until he receives a special assignment from the president of the Institute--to see to the soul of one Alice Spiegel, a soon-to-be suicide--and is surprised with options: "Be a Ferryman or save the girl. Your choice."

At 26, Alice Spiegel has lost her mother and a serious relationship, and her career prospects are DOA. Moving back in with her father while her sisters flourish galls her, and a bullet in the head seems the only surefire way out of her deep depression. When her attempt is foiled by a bizarre, albeit witty and strangely attractive, man who appears out of thin air in her bedroom, Alice gets dragged into the ride of her life as the two flee from a conspiracy that goes directly to the heart of the Ferryman Institute.

Gigl pays homage to Greco-Roman mythology while poking fun at corporate structure, but this fast-paced fantasy has its serious side, taking the real-life problem of getting stuck in a dead-end job to a more mystical but still weighty extreme. Gigl seems to realize his concept treads familiar ground; readers will find easy laughs here, but more introspection than in novels with similar premises. A wild ride with plenty to ponder, The Ferryman Institute reaffirms that it is the bitter in life that lets us taste the sweet. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Shelf Talker: Colin Gigl's witty and thoughtful debut stars an immortal Ferryman suffering a terrible case of job burnout after centuries of guiding souls to the afterlife.

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