Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, September 6, 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

Quotation of the Day

Showrooming Patrons: Ann Patchett 'Will Hunt You Down'

"I'm like, 'You cannot come in, soak up what we have, talk to the staff, get recommendations, then go home and buy the book on Amazon. If you do, I will hunt you down and smack you around.' Somehow... Ann Patchett can say that in a way that your regular bookstore owner can't....

"If somebody said, OK, you can either write five more great novels, or you can make sure that the people who work in bookstores have health insurance and have some place to go if they need help because they're broke. At this point I might really go for the good. Nothing fuels the good of the world like happiness, and the thing that makes me feel really alive is figuring out how I can frighten other people into doing good."

--Ann Patchett, author most recently of Commonwealth and co-owner of Parnassus Books, Nashville, Tenn., in a recent Guardian interview.

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


Read Shop Opens in Atlanta


Read Shop has opened in Suite 125 of Vinings Jubilee in the Vinings area just outside Atlanta, Ga. The Journal Constitution reported that the new bookstore, which is the concept of entrepreneur Dan Collier, "specializes in the New York Times' bestseller book list and carries fiction, nonfiction, home and garden books, classics and children's literature, as well as regional and Southeast-driven publications. Shelves are also lined with periodicals and greeting cards."

"We're very excited to set up shop in Vinings Jubilee," said Collier. "Read Shop isn't your typical neighborhood bookstore and we look forward to growing with and getting to know the Vinings community."

Noting that his business background is in wholesale, Collier said that "on the wholesale side we sell a lot of books. I have been a wholesaler selling books to retailers in bookstores for the last 20 years... out of the Atlanta Gift Mart. I have represented lines such as Rizzoli, Universe, Abrams, Hachette and that sort of stuff. We have a good working history of books and I personally have a great love for books. I knew that it was something that I wanted to do."

He described Read Shop as "very pared down.... Everything is paper. There's no candy, there's no writing instruments, there's no toys, there's no gifts, and no distractions. It's just books, magazines and greeting cards. Straight to the chase!"

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

ABA, AAP, ALA Protest Turkish Suppression of Free Speech

Turkish President Erdoğan with U.S. President Obama (AA photo)

Last Thursday, the American Booksellers Association, the Association of American Publishers, the American Library Association, the Authors Guild and PEN America sent a joint letter to President Obama, urging him to protest the suppression of free speech in Turkey during his meeting this past Sunday with Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan at the G20 summit in China. (After the meeting, the New York Times wrote that the two discussed who was responsible for the failed coup attempt July 15 and the battle against ISIS, but that President had not brought up the suppression of free speech.)

The letter said that the government crackdown after the coup attempt is "threatening democracy in Turkey" and has involved the shutdown of 29 publishers, 16 TV stations, 23 radio stations, 3 news agencies, 45 newspapers and 15 magazines. The government has also issued arrest warrants for 40 journalists and 47 newspaper employees. "The wholesale suppression of media outlets is having a devastating effect on public debate in Turkey, already weakened by government attacks on the media."

Hit especially hard, the 29 publishing houses have been required "to surrender to the government 'all goods, assets, rights, documents and papers.' There is no appeal from the order."

The letter concluded: "We cannot allow the Turkish government to use the coup as a pretext for the suppression of free speech and other essential liberties. We ask you to urge President Erdoğan to allow the closed media companies to reopen and to desist from further efforts to suppress free speech."

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Binc Surveying Booksellers

The Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation is asking booksellers and other book industry professionals to take a survey so that Binc can "hear from booksellers about what they want and need from an organization dedicated to helping them in times when they need it most."

The Binc Foundation conducted its first such survey in 2014, which indicated that booksellers needed some additional and different services than those that the Foundation was offering, Binc said. In response to that survey, a matching grants program as well as homelessness prevention and utility shut-off prevention were added to Binc program offerings. "Financial grants from those newly established programs have helped many booksellers to stabilize their households and move forward knowing there is a safety net in place for them," Binc noted.

Binc said it's conducting this second survey because of "the growth and change of both the bookselling industry and the Foundation over the past three years."

The survey should take no more than seven minutes to complete and is available online until October 23. Participants will be eligible to win one of four $50 American Express Gift Cards as a thank you for taking the time to complete the survey. The results of the survey will be released in January 2017.

Rodale Launches Rodale Kids

Rodale is launching Rodale Kids, a children's imprint that will begin publishing in fall 2017 and feature fiction and nonfiction picture books, early reader titles, chapter books, how-to nonfiction, gift reference, and YA fitness and self-help. Rodale Kids will publish 30-45 books a year. Its first 10 titles are:

  • A fitness book for teen girls by health and fitness star Tracy Anderson.
  • Backseat Yoga, a collection of children's music artist and yoga teacher Kira Willey's movement and breathing exercises.
  • Team Taekwondo, a graphic novel series from the American Taekwondo Association.
  • The first two titles in the Positive Power series: I Am Kind and I Am Thankful.
  • Chef Gino's Taste Test Challenge by chef and kids cooking expert Gino Campagna.
  • Mrs. Peanuckle's Vegetable Alphabet and Mrs. Peanuckle's Fruit Alphabet, the first titles in a series of board books that teach healthy eating and the joys of the natural world.
  • The King of Too Many Things by poet and children's book author Laurel Snyder and illustrator Aurore Damant, a modern fairy tale that addresses the value of appreciation in an over-consuming world.
  • Body Fantastic by Dr. Howard Bennett, a pediatrician and contributor to KidsPost in the Washington Post, a reference guide to the human body.

The new imprint will be overseen by v-p and publisher Gail Gonzales, who said, "Our debut list is an inspiring reflection of the types of books we plan to publish--fun and entertaining titles that nourish the imagination, encourage a lifelong love of reading, and motivate good habits of nutrition, fitness, mindfulness, and environmental responsibility, all across a variety of age ranges."

Rodale Kids will be led by creative and editorial director of children's media Eric Wright. He is the creator of the Frankie Pickle series for Simon & Schuster, has illustrated more than two dozen books and been an animator for such companies as Walt Disney, Warner Bros. and Cartoon Network. He also has two decades of experience in branding and IP development.

Chairman, CEO and president Maria Rodale said, "It's long been a dream of mine to expand our award-winning and bestselling Rodale Books publishing program to kids, who are most open to learning new things."

Obituary Note: Gerald Hughes

Gerald Hughes, brother of the poet Ted Hughes "and an important influence on his work," died August 6, the Guardian reported. He was 95. "Gerald was a moderately accomplished amateur painter, but his only claim to fame was, inevitably, as the poet's brother. This led to him being pestered by biographers, a nuisance to which he put a stop with the memoir [Ted and I: A Brother's Memoir]--duly polished by his sister Olwyn--that he published in 2012," the Guardian wrote.


Happy 40th Birthday, Northshire Bookstore!

Congratulations to the Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, Vt., which will celebrate its 40th anniversary this coming weekend with three days of activities, discounts and events, including Vermont comedian Michael Kingsbury on Friday; a main event Saturday featuring author Richard Russo; and a children's festival Sunday. This is also the bookstore's Readers Rewards Member Appreciation Sale Weekend, with members receiving a minimum of 25% off most purchases.

"The physical presence of the bookstore has done nothing but expand since its inception," the Bennington Banner noted in recounting the early days of the shop, founded by Ed and Barbara Morrow, in a building that is now home to Berkshire Bank; and Northshire's move in the mid-1980s across the street to the former Colburn House inn, where it doubled in size in 2003 with a new addition. In 2013, the Northshire opened a second location in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Current owner Chris Morrow said the bookstore's ongoing strategy over the decades was to deliver the best service, selection and ambiance: "It resonated with people and created a genuine experience. You can't get it online. We continue to focus on being unique and serve the greater Manchester community."

Pennie Picks A Great Reckoning

Pennie Clark Ianniciello, Costco's book buyer, has chosen A Great Reckoning: A Novel by Louise Penny (Minotaur, $28.99, 9781250022134) as her pick of the month for September. In Costco Connection, which goes to many of the warehouse club's members, she wrote:

"Mysteries have never been one of my favorite literary genres. However, Louise Penny and her impeccable storytelling skills have shown me the light. Her latest novel, A Great Reckoning, is this month's book buyer's pick.

"When Armand Gamache is given a mysterious, old and intricate map as a gift on the first day of his new job, he has no idea that it will take him to an old friend and older adversary. He's led to four young cadets in the Sûreté police academy, and a dead professor, who has a copy of the same map.

"Not only does Penny create places and people so real you wish you could be part of that fictional world, but she is about as charming a person as you could meet."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Michael Strahan on the Tonight Show

Diane Rehm: Kati Marton, author of True Believer: Stalin's Last American Spy (Simon & Schuster, $27, 9781476763767).

Diane Rehm: Cary Fowler, author of Seeds on Ice: Svalbard and the Global Seed Vault (Prospecta Press, $45, 9781632260574).

Watch What Happens Live: Bethenny Frankel, author of I Suck at Relationships So You Don't Have to: 10 Rules for Not Screwing Up Your Happily Ever After (Touchstone, $16, 9781451667424).

Tonight Show: Michael Strahan, author of Wake Up Happy: The Dream Big, Win Big Guide to Transforming Your Life (Atria/37 INK, $16, 9781476775692).

TV: Noughts and Crosses

Malorie Blackman's YA novel the Noughts and Crosses will be adapted by Levi David Addai with Matthew Graham for a BBC One drama series, BBC News reported. The series, which is being produced by Mammoth Screen (Poldark), is expected to air next year.

The project is based on the first book in the Noughts and Crosses series, which has won numerous honors, including the Red House Children's Book Award and the Fantastic Fiction Award. Blackman, who was the U.K. Children's Laureate from 2013 to 2015, said, "I am beyond thrilled that Noughts and Crosses will be dramatized by the BBC--it couldn't have found a better home. Callum and Sephy seem to have meant a lot to readers over the years and I'm excited at the prospect of watching them on my TV."

Charlotte Moore, director, BBC Content, added: "Noughts and Crosses is the definitive book for a young adult audience and the perfect fit for BBC One. Superb, high octane compulsive storytelling set within an alternative history that explores really relevant themes about race, privilege and how we treat each other."

Books & Authors

Awards: Benjamin L. Hooks National Book Winner

Eye on the Struggle: Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press by James McGrath Morris (Amistad) has won the National Book Award of the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis.

The judges commented: "In his highly accessible book, Morris traces the narrative of Payne's career and adds insight into her personal experiences as a pioneering black woman in the press. In so doing, the book shines a light on the crucial role of the black press during the civil rights movement and enlarges the field of movement icons to include a less obvious piece of the larger political struggle. At the same time, Morris has explicitly inserted the voice of a female figure within the movement and has helped ensure that a wider range of perspectives will be included in the collective memory of this period in American history. Payne's experiences span the life of the movement, and Morris effectively utilizes her story to craft a true civil rights biography."

A New Kitty Tale from Beatrix Potter

It's exciting to think of a world of attics, root cellars and secret compartments in roll-top desks where brittle, never-seen manuscripts by beloved authors await discovery. A clue leading to Beatrix Potter's 1914 manuscript for The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots was unearthed two years ago in another kind of forgotten place, an out-of-print 1970s literary history of the beloved English storyteller.

In that book, Jo Hanks, publisher at Penguin Random House Children's, found an intriguing reference to "a well-behaved prime black Kitty cat, who leads a rather double life" in 20th-century England. Delighted, Hanks followed up with a trip to London's Victoria & Albert Museum archive, where much Potterphernalia is kept, and found, among other things, the story she sought handwritten in a children's school notebook, a mock-up with some typesetting and a single rough color sketch of Kitty-in-Boots.

Quentin Blake was thrilled to be asked to illustrate this story, "full of incident and mischief and character," the British artist writes in the book's introduction. Musing about why Potter may not have finished illustrating it, he says, "I can't altogether resist the simple fantasy that she was keeping it for me." Blake, who illustrated many of Roald Dahl's books and therefore is an expert in naughtiness, brings his comical, scratchy pen-and-ink and watercolor paintings to Potter's deadpan-with-a-twinkle prose.

The story: an old lady loves Kitty so much that she locks her up at night in the wash-house. Kitty outsmarts her. The cat commissions another black cat named Winkiepeeps take her place while she dons her "gentleman's Norfolk jacket" and fur-lined boots to "go a-hunting" with her pellet-loaded air-gun. The strange, but appealingly scrappy story (with lovely words like "disconsolately" and "bobbitted") involves zealous rodent hunting and plenty of misfires. Kitty herself is the rebellious, spitting, scratching sort, not at all what the old lady imagines her to be.

The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots (Frederick Warne/Penguin) is being released today, to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter's birth this summer, and includes an audio CD of the story charmingly read by Helen Mirren, who can read no other way. --Karin Snelson

Book Review

Review: Cruel Beautiful World

Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt (Algonquin, $26.95 hardcover, 352p., 9781616203634, October 4, 2016)

Set in the same tumultuous period as Woodstock and the Manson family murders, Caroline Leavitt's astute family drama in Cruel Beautiful World is as vintage as a pair of bell-bottoms and as timeless as the bond between sisters.

Free love reigns in the United States of 1969, but 16-year-old Lucy Gold, "the pretty towhead" and "live wire" of her tiny family, isn't going to its hub in San Francisco. Instead, her passionate affair with her high school English teacher William Lallo has turned into an invitation to run away with him to rural Pennsylvania, where he'll teach at a self-directed private school and Lucy will stay out of sight until she turns 18. To Lucy, a romantic idyll beats staying home, where she has always felt like the odd one out next to her brainy, responsible big sister, Charlotte, and their loving aunt Iris, who raised them from childhood when their parents died in a car accident. With Charlotte ready to graduate high school and talking nonstop about college, Lucy can't stand the thought of being left behind.

Bonded for years by their love for Lucy, Charlotte and Iris panic when they find her farewell letter. As time passes with no sign of their prodigal child, Charlotte leaves for Brandeis University, but comes home to care for Iris with increasing frequency. A big-hearted, sensible woman, Iris hides a bittersweet past and a secret--she isn't the girls' aunt. Though a wonderful mother figure, Iris was 67 when she took the girls in and now enters her 80s with memory and balance problems. The two remaining Golds muddle along together, still praying for Lucy's return. Meanwhile, the magic seeps out of Lucy's relationship as William subjects her to life in a crumbling farmhouse with no friends or neighbors, refuses her requests to call home or look for a job, and becomes increasingly violent.

Leavitt (Is This Tomorrow) perfectly captures the essence of the teen years adults tend to look back on fondly through the lens of nostalgia, reminding the reader of the uncertainty, insecurity, naive expectations and broken dreams that came with growing up. Through Iris, she also holds up the agony of aging and becoming the person your children must protect, losing the ability to protect them as you do so. However, hope never fully falls by the wayside; Leavitt portrays the uneven phases of happiness and unhappiness humans pass through in their lives. The message that we cannot plan the course of the future mingles with the reassurance that we can put ourselves back together and move forward after enormous loss. Deeply resonant and quietly powerful, Cruel Beautiful World has the heart-pounding moments of a thriller and the heart-warming moments of a perfect coming-of-age story. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Shelf Talker: In her 11th novel, Caroline Leavitt weaves an absorbing story of family, love and tragedy set at the dawn of the 1970s.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Anti-Stepbrother by Tijan
2. The Memory Box by Eva Natiello
3. Ravenous by M.S. Force
4. Fire and Brimstone by R.L. Mathewson
5. Bad Judgment by Meghan March
6. Edge by Cora Brent
7. A Spell of Trouble by Leighann Dobbs and Traci Douglass
8. Loving Deviant (Cyborg Seduction Volume 9) by Laurann Dohner
9. Neighbor Dearest by Penelope Ward
10. Wait by A.L. Jackson

[Many thanks to!]

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