Also published on this date: Wednesday, August 24, 2016: Max Shelf Issue: The Fortunes

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Workman Publishing: Linked: Conquer Linkedin. Land Your Dream Job. Own Your Future. by Omar Garriott and Jeremy Schifeling

Berkley Books: Our Last Days in Barcelona by Chanel Cleeton

Henry Holt & Company: Sleepwalk by Dan Chaon

Wednesday Books: Together We Burn by Isabel Ibañez

Harper: Aurora by David Koepp

Gibbs Smith: Life Is Golden: What I've Learned from the World's Most Adventurous Dogs by Andrew Muse

Quotation of the Day

Indies Make Us Feel 'Like Home'

"I don't want to interrupt your day and shout small business propaganda, but sometimes I think it's a great reminder for all of us (myself included) to step back and remember what kinds of places make us feel 'excited' and what kinds of businesses make us feel 'like home.'

"Whether you live in Ann Arbor or Seattle or across the big blue sea somewhere, remember those places that made you feel less lonely. As a bookstore, we know that the odds aren't in our favor. We also know that we are here because our customers have made a choice to support us. We're proud to be a business that makes people feel excited, and to help those visitors from far-away lands feel, at least for a little while, like they're home."

--Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, Mich., from a Facebook post on Monday

Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers: Mouse Seasons by Leo Lionni


Page & Palette Owner Is Now Mayor Karin Wilson

Call her Mayor Karin Wilson. The owner of Page & Palette bookstore, Fairhope, Ala., won yesterday's election by defeating four-term incumbent Mayor Tim Kant to claim the city's top office, garnering 3,525 votes (53.4%) to Kant's 3,071 (46.6%), reported.

"I am blown away, honestly," said Wilson. "I didn't know what to expect. I was cautiously optimistic."

She "literally entered the mayoral race at the last moment... because she didn't want to see the incumbent mayor run unopposed," noted, adding that Wilson "was critical of what she said was a lack of execution of the city's comprehensive plan, which was approved by the city last year and addresses ways to best handle the growth issues."

"I don't think I will believe this for a little while," Wilson said. "I thought I'd be a lot more emotional than this. We really didn't know what to expect.... I don't want to waste these opportunities anymore. We have unbelievable opportunities now.... This was a movement. It started with me and took hundreds of people talking to their neighbors and getting out and talking about why this was so important and why in the next four years, we have something in place so we don't turn into any other city."

Ingram Booklove: An Exclusive Rewards Program for Indie Booksellers

Old Books on Front St. Sets Grand Opening for B&B Loft

Old Books on Front St., Wilmington, N.C., will host a grand opening celebration for the Top Shelf: A Literary Loft September 28. Located on the second floor of the bookstore, the new B&B is currently accepting reservations for nightly lodging from October 1.

"When you have worked for six years to build something, you want to celebrate the accomplishment and share it with friends," said managing partner Gwenyfar Rohler. "There are times that cake is called for."

Rohler and the bookstore's staff worked on renovating the second floor of the over 100-year-old building. "The interior walls had to be built, electricity, water and HVAC brought up there and then of course there was the fun part: curating the space," Rohler said. "It is aimed at people who dream of spending the night in a bookstore--but it is much more than that.... I had two guiding principles for this space: I wanted to create the adult version of [E.L. Konigsburg's YA novel] From the Mixed‑Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and to honor the writers of the state of North Carolina."

The space features a giant Scrabble board (the tiles are close to a foot in size), vintage typewriter, map mural and custom stained glass, as well as hundreds of books by and about North Carolina writers.

"We showcase over 175 writers from the state," Rohler observed. "It is interesting to me that there are the 'Titans' everyone thinks of like Thomas Wolfe, Carl Sandburg and Maya Angelou, but we have some very commercially successful authors that many people don't associate with North Carolina.... But for me this wasn't just about the big names. I wanted to shine a light on some of our writers who aren't as well remembered, but whose work is important.... The more I look, the more I find, the more in awe I am of the talent in this state--from the 1700s to now. It is just incredible how much we have to celebrate."

Rohler commissioned mural artist Jill Webb to design and install a map of North Carolina depicting the names and geographic location of the first 175 writers Rohler identified. "Jill has conceived a dynamic mural that we can continue to add names to as our community of writers grows."

She added: "It has taken six years to finish the loft space. But it was worth the time and patience."

GLOW: Grand Central Publishing: With Prejudice by Robin Peguero

Milkweed Books Launches Kickstarter Campaign

Milkweed Books, the new indie that is being opened next month by publisher Milkweed Editions in Minneapolis, Minn., has launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign designed to allow the nonprofit bookshop "to stretch farther, experiment with more creative models for bookselling, host more public events, and invest in the work of more independent presses and literary authors. Ultimately, your gift will allow us to champion talented writers, engaging books, and curious readers to help ensure a world filled with wonderfully diverse bookshelves."

The new bookstore, which is being managed by Hans Weyandt (who spoke with Minnesota Public Radio yesterday), will be located on the ground floor of the Open Book building as "a wonderful and necessary addition to the building's existing tenants, the Loft Literary Center, the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, and Milkweed Editions, as well as our 175,000 visitors per year."

Berkley Books: Harlem Sunset (A Harlem Renaissance Mystery) by Nekesa Afia

Half Price Books Opening Store in Decatur, Ga.

Half Price Books will open a 7,000-square-foot store tomorrow in Suburban Plaza at 2615 North Decatur Road in Decatur, Ga., with prizes and discounts on offer through the weekend, Decaturish reported. The company now has 128 stores in 17 states.

"I think the death of bookstores was greatly exaggerated," said regional manager Tony Warmus. "It made a great story back when Borders closed, but Borders closed for reasons that really had nothing to do with readers. It was a management issue more than anything. We've been doing really well. We are growing."

This is the second store in Georgia for Half Price Books, which launched one in Marietta last May. More are planned for the state. "There's a lot of foot traffic here. A lot of people are interested," Warmus said. "We'll be looking for other locations here in Atlanta. Down the road, probably Augusta and Savannah."

ECW Press: Play It Right: The Remarkable Story of a Gambler Who Beat the Odds on Wall Street by Kamal Gupta

Obituary Note: Joyce Carol Thomas

Poet, playwright and award-winning children's writer Joyce Carol Thomas, "whose work portrayed the complexities of African-American rural life, a subject often simplified in young-adult fiction," died on August 13, the New York Times reported. She was 78. Thomas primarily wrote adult plays and poetry before the publication in 1982 of her first YA novel, Marked by Fire, which won the National Book Award for children's fiction in 1983 and was adapted into a gospel musical, Abyssinia, in 1987.

Her books include I Have Heard of a Land, In the Land of Milk & Honey and House of Light, as well as the illustrated poetry collections The Blacker the Berry and Brown Honey in Broomwheat Tea, both of which were honored by the Coretta Scott King Book Awards.


Image of the Day: Killer Nashville

The 11th annual Killer Nashville writers conference took place this past weekend in, of course, Nashville, Tenn. Among the attendees: (l.-r.) authors Stacy Allen, Guest of Honor Kevin O'Brien, Clay Stafford (also the founder of Killer Nashville), Guest of Honor Janet Evanovich and Anne Perry.

Happy 50th to Alvin Rankin of McCaslan's Book Store

Alvin Rankin

Congratulations to Alvin Rankin, who began his career at McCaslan's Book Store & Office Supply Inc., Greenwood, S.C., in 1966 at the age of 15. The Index-Journal reported that Rankin "worked at McCaslan's through high school and college. He received his business degree from Lander University, but stayed at McCaslan's Book Store. He's now put in 50 years of service and plans to continue on the same path."

In 1999, Rankin became a shareholder and partner, and now owns the entire store, which has been operating since 1898 and "in the same location under the name McCaslan's Book Store for 94 years," the Index-Journal wrote.

"The community has always supported us," Rankin said. "We've just had very loyal customers throughout the years."

L.A.'s {pages} a bookstore 'Thrives on Community'

Manhattan Beach's {pages} a bookstore "thrives on community," the Los Angeles Times reported, adding that "as an independent physical bookstore in the heyday of Amazon and e-books, rather than waiting for customers to discover {pages}, the owners are all about bringing people in with events and book clubs."

"We're all Manhattan Beach moms who raised our kids with a lot of books," said Linda McLoughlin Figel, one of four women who launched the bookshop in 2010. She and co-owner Patty Gibson go back further, since they started a book club together 20 years ago.

McLoughlin Figel, Gibson and co-owner Margot Farris originally considered opening a bookstore in the downtown area in Manhattan Beach during the economically inauspicious year 2008. "It screamed that it needed a bookstore, and we felt that this community could support a bookstore," Farris said. Two years later, when they finally did open, the "market had changed, the whole canvas had changed, and we were able to do it." McLoughlin Figel recalled.

Noting that at first "the owners had two things in common--they all loved books and none of them knew how to run a bookstore," the Times wrote that the "latter is something they've learned along the way. McLoughlin Figel does most of the book-buying and handles the finances, Gibson, who McLoughlin Figel called the 'muse' behind the store, is the expert on book recommendations and the curator of the small space. Farris organizes events, writes the newsletter and manages the website. Sunni Won, who stepped in as a fourth co-owner three years ago, has strengths in efficiency and processing, having worked at IBM and Microsoft. Now, she runs the bookstore's book fair business, where she organizes mini {pages} at the elementary and middle schools around Manhattan Beach."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Jeffrey Toobin on Conan

Ellen repeat: Padma Lakshmi, author of Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir (Ecco, $26.99, 9780062202611).

View repeat: Susan Silverman, author of Casting Lots: Creating a Family in a Beautiful, Broken World (Da Capo, $24.99, 9780306824616).

Conan: Jeffrey Toobin, author of American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst (Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385536714).

Daily Show repeat: Rep. John Lewis, co-author of March: Book Three (Top Shelf Productions, $19.99, 9781603094023).

Movies: On Chesil Beach

Billy Howle (The Sense of an Ending, The Seagull) has been cast opposite Saoirse Ronan in On Chesil Beach, based on Ian McEwan's novel, for Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley's Number 9 Films, Deadline reported. Dominic Cooke (The Hollow Crown) will direct.

"The character of Edward has a lot of qualities that are hard to find in young people today," said Karlsen. "But Billy has all the qualities of strength, innocence, sensitivity and a certain kind of rage that are needed for this complex role."

Books & Authors

Awards: Read Russia Translation

The shortlist has been announced for this year's Read Russia Translation Prize, a biennial award "aimed at popularizing Russian literature and encouraging foreign translators and publishers of Russian literature," Russia Beyond the Headlines reported.

The prize, "given to a translator or a group of translators for the best translation of a prose or poetic work from Russian into a foreign language and published within the last two years," is €5,000 (about $5,655) for the translator (or group of translators) and €3,000 (about $3,395) for publishers. You can see the complete Read Russia Translation Prize shortlist here.

Reading with... Ann M. Martin

photo: Dion Ogust

Ann M. Martin is the bestselling author of Rain Reign, and many other award-winning novels and series, including the much-loved Baby-Sitters Club. Missy Piggle-Wiggle and the Whatever Cure (Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan, September 6, 2016) launches a series starring Missy Piggle-Wiggle, the great-niece of Betty MacDonald's Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, who takes up the family business of offering cures for misbehaving children. Written in collaboration with Betty MacDonald's great-granddaughter Annie Parnell, Missy Piggle Wiggle is illustrated by Ben Hatke. Martin lives in upstate New York.

On your nightstand now:

The Color of Water by James McBride; Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf; You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan; 11/22/63 by Stephen King.

Favorite book when you were a child:

It's almost impossible to choose just one favorite. I loved to read, and read voraciously. Two of my favorite picture books were The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton and Wait Till the Moon Is Full by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Garth Williams. When I was older, I checked out all the horse stories by Marguerite Henry from my school library. Then I turned to fantasy--the Wizard of Oz books, the Doctor Dolittle books, stories by Roald Dahl, my mother's old copies of the Mary Poppins books. The list goes on and on.

Your top five authors:

I'll admit that the list changes frequently, but the current occupants of the top five spots are, in no particular order: John Steinbeck, Louise Penny, Harper Lee, Stephen King and Shirley Jackson.

Book you've faked reading:

I haven't faked reading it, but one book I feel I should not only read but profess to find life-changing is Jack Kerouac's On the Road. I've tried it several times and can't get beyond the first few pages.

Book you are an evangelist for:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

Book you've bought for the cover:

'Tis the Season to Be Felt-y by Kathy Sheldon. I really thought I would make every single Christmas ornament in this book. So far I have made zero.

Book you hid from your parents:

I don't remember hiding anything from them, but I distinctly remember the book my mother hid from me: Rosemary's Baby. I was 13 and desperate to read it, but my mother forbade it. When I wouldn't stop pestering her about it, she took it across the street and gave it to our neighbors.

Book that changed your life:

The Diary of Anne Frank.

Favorite line from a book:

Can I choose a favorite chapter? It's chapter 11 in The Grapes of Wrath, the descriptions of the empty houses and abandoned properties, left behind when families fled to California during the Dust Bowl.

Five books you'll never part with:

To Kill a Mockingbird; The Grapes of Wrath; my old copies of The Little House and Wait Till the Moon Is Full; and Bag of Bones, signed to me by Stephen King.

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

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I want to explore Misselthwaite Manor with Mary Lennox again, before I knew what was behind all those doors.

Book Review

Children's Review: Time Traveling with a Hamster

Time Traveling with a Hamster by Ross Welford (Schwartz & Wade/Random House, $16.99 hardcover, 432p., ages 10-14, 9780399551499, October 4, 2016)

Ross Welford's complex, fast-paced debut novel follows a capable young British-Indian hero who will steal any moped, face any bully and travel back in time however often it takes to prevent the childhood go-kart accident that killed his father. 

For his birthday, Al (Albert Einstein Hawking Chaudhury, to be precise) gets a huge surprise when his mother gives him an envelope from his deceased dad, who requested that it be given to Al when he turned 12 years old. Al (who now lives with his mother, her soccer-crazed new husband, Steve, and Carly, "the Stepsister from Hell") notices Grandpa Byron, his Punjabi paternal grandfather, seems tense and pale at the sight of the envelope, but both he and Al's mum deny knowledge of the contents. Inside the envelope is a letter in which Al's father tells him, "You are about to learn, Al, how to travel in time." Could it really be possible to travel back in time, befriend his father as a young boy and stop that fateful accident? Either way, he'll have to tend to his other birthday surprise, too: a baby hamster named Alan Shearer.

The thought of having his dad back again gets Al so excited it makes him "feel a bit sick." But part of him senses that the journey through time may be a "truly epically bad idea." Before Al can even consider warping the space-time continuum, he will have to solve an even bigger problem: his father's time machine--an old Mac laptop, a black electronics box and a zinc tub--is still in the nuclear fallout shelter at their old house, now owned by strangers, 10 miles down the English coast. Through a series of schemes involving "borrowing" Grandpa Byron's mauve moped, getting help from the snarky gothed-out Carly by promising a séance, and even setting fire to his school, Al races the clock time and again. In Al's fresh, funny, first-person voice, American kids will hear the occasional Briticism, such as "torch" instead of "flashlight."

The plot of Time Traveling with a Hamster bears a passing similarity to the '80s film Back to the Future, but Welford's spin on it is impressively sophisticated. Rather than take young readers' disbelief in time travel for granted, he addresses its complicated questions head-on, including the grandfather paradox, the butterfly effect and the question of whether the same person can exist twice in the same moment. The scientific thought experiments and an appealing digression on mnemonic devices will entertain brainy readers, while the emotional depth of the characters and Al's sometimes comical, sometimes tense hijinks will draw in those who like their sci-fi on the softer side.

There is an animal cruelty scene late in the book that may sneak up on the sensitive, but overall, Al's devotion and bravery, together with the message that a kid can make a difference for a beloved adult, will grab tweens and young teens by the heartstrings. --Jaclyn Fulwood, lead librarian at Del City Public Library, Okla.

Shelf Talker: In this engaging British import, 12-year-old Al Chaudhury travels back in time to try to prevent the moment that would result in his father's death decades later.

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