Also published on this date: Wednesday, September 7, 2016: Maximum Shelf: The Wangs vs. the World

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Harper: The Farewell Tour by Stephanie Clifford

Dial Press: Sam by Allegra Goodman

Flatiron Books: The God of Endings by Jacqueline Holland

Blackstone Publishing: Blood Circus by Camila Victoire

Wednesday Books: Missing Clarissa by Ripley Jones

Berkley Books: Sisters of the Lost Nation by Nick Medina

Ronin House: So Close (Blacklist #1) by Sylvia Day

Bloom Books: Queen of Myth and Monsters (Adrian X Isolde #2) by Scarlett St. Clair


In 2018, SIBA to Move Fall Show to Spring

In an unusual change, in 2018 the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance will move its Discovery Show to March and hold it in collaboration with the Great American Bargain Book Show (GABBS) and AmericasMart Atlanta, the permanent wholesale trade center that next March is staging the Spring Gift, Home Furnishings & Holiday Market during GABBS.

"We'll be bringing three vital parts of the book business together at one show, under one roof," said SIBA executive director Wanda Jewell. "It will be an amazing opportunity for our members to get down to business in a way that aligns with current times."

For decades, regional booksellers associations have held their conferences and annual meetings in the fall, usually in September or October. SIBA has held spring meetings in conjunction with GABBS.

In an announcement, SIBA acknowledged "there will be an adjustment for members, exhibitors, and attendees during the transition from a September show in New Orleans in 2017 to a March show in Atlanta in 2018. Both SIBA and partner GABBS are committed to assisting booksellers and exhibitors in making that transition." A date has not yet been set for the March 2018 show.

In presenting the advantages of a spring Discovery Show, SIBA wrote that it will focus on "bringing top bestselling authors to the South, providing easy access to gifts and bargain books, and creating opportunities for stores to increase profit margins. SIBA's core members will enjoy a vibrant literary city that is centrally located and an easy flight or drive from all corners of SIBA's territory. Exhibitors will enjoy access to GABBS & MART attendees in addition to all of SIBA's regulars. SIBA will have access to booksellers across the nation who attend GABBS and will increase the vitality of SIBA's education. Being off-season from the other shows will allow for publishers and exhibitors to focus on the SIBA show and SIBA booksellers. SIBA booksellers will have the opportunity to plan for the year, seeing both what is currently available and what is forthcoming, not to mention the opportunity for gift buying for summer, fall & winter that will be possible. Perhaps most importantly for the region, Southern football will no longer prevent many bookseller members from attending the SIBA Discovery Show."

SIBA said, too, that cost-sharing with GABBS frees up money for more immersive education and professional speakers in addition to industry contributors.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Hunter by Jennifer Herrera

Oprah's Book Club Pick: Love Warrior

Oprah Winfrey has chosen Glennon Doyle Melton's Love Warrior (Flatiron) as the latest Oprah's Book Club Pick. The memoir depicts Melton's journey after she discovers her husband's infidelity and uses her grief and anger as a path to redemption. Harpo Films has optioned the film and television rights to the book. Melton is also the author of Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life.

"You're gonna absolutely love this book and the spirit of it, whether you're married or single, whether you're a mom or not. All women are going to see themselves in these pages," said Winfrey. "It's daring and it's raw, and it's filled with a lot of naked--I do mean naked--truths."

"To have Oprah Winfrey--the woman who taught the world not to fear raw, intimate discussions--help introduce Love Warrior to the world feels like magic to me," Melton said. "I trust Oprah, and I'm honored."

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Women's Health Care Physicians: Your Pregnancy and Childbirth: Month to Month (7TH ed.)

Renovations Planned for Nuyorican Poets Cafe

A $10 million-plus renovation project is in the works for New York City's Nuyorican Poets Café, "a downtown stalwart that has survived decades of neighborhood change," the Wall Street Journal reported. The upgrade, which will more than double capacity at its East Village location, "includes a gut renovation of the dilapidated upper portion of its building on East Third Street between Avenues B and C, which its founders bought for less than $8,000 back in 1981. The three top floors, now used for storage, will be converted into performance, classroom and administrative space."

"We're a little bit like a one-room schoolhouse. Our prime spots tend to be booked months in advance," said executive director Daniel Gallant, adding that the project will help meet increased demand by artists and audiences, accommodate the organization's growing arts-education programs for underprivileged students, and offer more flexibility in programming.

Construction is expected to begin in 2018 and last for at least a year. The Nuyorican Poets Cafe "would close during that time, though Mr. Gallant said the organization plans to continue slam-poetry events and other core programs at other venues in the neighborhood and beyond," the Journal wrote.

Berkley Books: Jane & Edward: A Modern Reimagining of Jane Eyre by Melodie Edwards

Curious George Store's 'Days Might Be Numbered'

The Curious George Store, Cambridge Mass., is in danger of being pushed out of its Harvard Square space as developer Equity One "goes before the Cambridge Historical Commission on Thursday for permission to gut the buildings that house Curious George and Urban Outfitters and add three new floors to create a mall called the Harvard Collection," Universal Hub reported. Under the submitted plans, "the space now occupied by the Curious George bookstore would be replaced by a building lobby, a stairway and an elevator."

On Facebook Monday, the bookstore posted: "Looks like our days might be numbered! What are your thoughts on this possible redevelopment? #StayCurious." And later: "We love being here in Harvard Square, and hope to stay here serving the Community as long as possible, and we welcome the Community's support! Your love has truly been felt today!"

ECW Press: We Meant Well by Erum Shazia Hasan

Publishing People for Hillary to Hold Industry Fundraiser

Publishing People for Hillary, a group of book publishing professionals who support Hillary Clinton in the presidential election, are holding an industry fundraiser for her campaign on Friday, September 30, 5-8 p.m., at the Midtown Loft at 267 Fifth Avenue in New York City. Senator Cory Booker (D.-N.J.) and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D.-Minn.) will speak at the event.

"We're really delighted to have two of the most prominent and popular members of the Senate addressing our event," said lead organizer Barbara Lowenstein. "The fact that they're both campaigning hard for Hillary signifies the urgency of this year's election and the crucial task of keeping a radical, uninformed, and unprepared Donald Trump far from the White House."

Other members of the organizing committee are Amy Berkower, Roger Cooper, Tom Dunne, Barbara Marcus, Mary Hall Mayer, Bob Miller, Leslie Schnur and Mike Shatzkin. Contribution levels for the event range from $250 to $2,500, with attendees at the higher levels offered a special opportunity to meet the two senators. For more information, contact Lowenstein.

D'Onofrio New Head of Chicago Distribution Center

Joseph D'Onofrio

Effective September 12, Joseph D'Onofrio has been named director of the Chicago Distribution Center. He was senior v-p of supply chain operations at Simon & Schuster from 2003 to 2011 and most recently was director of supply chain operations for North America at Henry Schein, the global distributor of healthcare products.

University of Chicago Press director Garrett Kiely said, "Joe has a deep and pragmatic understanding of both the book supply chain and the best practices and operations of the global supply chain network. We are looking forward to working with him and continuing to develop the Chicago Distribution Center as a leader in warehouse operations for the book industry."

The Chicago Distribution Center was founded in 1966 to handle warehousing and distribution for the University of Chicago Press book and journal divisions. In 1991, it began offering a range of services to other presses and now has more than 100 client publishers.

Obituary Notes: Anna Dewdney; Brian Wildsmith

Anna Dewdney, author and illustrator of the Llama Llama children's book series, died September 3. She was 50. The bestselling series, which has almost 10 million copies in print, includes Llama Llama Red Pajama, Llama Llama Holiday Drama, Llama Llama Misses Mama and Llama Llama Time to Share. Dewdney was also the author/illustrator of Nobunny's Perfect and Nelly Gnu & Daddy Too. She had just completed work on a new picture book, Little Excavator, scheduled for publication in June 2017 by Viking Children's Books.

"The entire Penguin Young Readers family is heartbroken," said Jen Loja, president. "And as we grieve, we also celebrate Anna's life, in dedicating ourselves to carrying forward her mission of putting books into as many little hands as possible. We will miss her so, but consider ourselves so lucky to be her publishing family and her partner in her legacy."

Ken Wright, v-p and publisher, Viking Children's Books, commented: "Anna was an extraordinary talent. But much more than that, she was a dear, dear friend to so many of us at Viking and Penguin, and she will be deeply and personally missed by her entire Penguin family."

In lieu of a funeral service, Dewdney asked that people read to a child.


Brian Wildsmith, the British children's author and illustrator who, during the course of his long-standing association with Oxford University Press, wrote and illustrated more than 80 books, died August 31, the Bookseller reported. He was 86. Wildsmith began working with OUP in the late 1950s when children's publisher Mabel George commissioned him to illustrate 12 color plates for Tales from the Arabian Nights. This was followed by ABC, published in 1961, which won the Kate Greenaway Medal. Since 2007, a number of his books have been brought back into print.

A spokesperson for OUP said Wildsmith "was an immensely thoughtful, compassionate and perceptive man and these qualities touched all those at Oxford University Press who had the privilege to work with him over the years."

Author Michael Rosen commented: "Floods of color exploding across the pages with a name to match: Wildsmith. He was a wild smith. I remember feeling envious: why hadn't I had books as wild and lush as these?"


Image of the Day: Favorite Pets at Decatur Book Festival

My Favorite Pets (Knopf) author Jeanne Birdsall and illustrator Harry Bliss bring out Sheepie and Sheepish during their panel this past Sunday at the 11th annual Decatur Book Festival in Decatur, Ga.

Books & Books Part of 'Perfect Three-Day Weekend in Miami'

As part of a new series, Travel + Leisure magazine "is exploring America one three-day weekend at a time" and recently focused on Miami, where one of the recommended stops was to "sample the Wynwood aesthetic, beginning with the graffiti murals of Wynwood Walls and the new Wynwood outpost of Books & Books: Books + Books + Bikes + Lebo is a collaboration with No Boundaries bike store and Miami artist Lebo featuring bikes, paintings, vintage vinyl albums, and--of course--books."

Personnel Changes at Emi Battaglia PR, HMH Books for Young Readers, Abrams

Jennifer Romanello is leaving Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, where she is v-p, director of publicity, to become a partner at Emi Battaglia Public Relations, the literary publicity and public relations firm. She will stay at S&S until September 15 and join Emi Battaglia Public Relations October 1. Romanello and Battaglia worked together for 20 years at Warner Books and then Grand Central Publishing.

S&S Children's Publishing Division president and publisher Jon Anderson said, "In the two years she has been here, Jennifer has done a remarkable job rebuilding our publicity department and putting together a top-notch team of publicity professionals. Coming to us from the world of adult publicity, Jennifer has shown us an array of new approaches and ideas, for which we're all grateful."


Tara Sonin has joined Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers as digital marketing & publicity specialist. She was previously marketing manager at Paper Lantern Lit.


Jennifer Bastien has joined Abrams adult publicity team as publicist. She was formerly an associate publicist at DK/Penguin Random House.

Kira Egan has joined the Abrams sales team as trade sales representative. She was formerly assistant manager and sidelines buyer for four years at Bank Street Books in New York City. She will call on Baker & Taylor, Diamond Comics and a variety of independent bookstores in New York City as well as manager several educational wholesaler accounts.

Media and Movies

Movies: Walk with Me

WestEnd Films has acquired worldwide rights and unveiled the first international trailer for Walk with Me, a documentary film that focuses on mindfulness and spiritual leader Thich Nhat Hanh, who has also written numerous books. Variety reported that the project, narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch, is directed by Marc J. Francis (Black Gold) and Max Pugh (The Road to Freedom Peak).

"In my life I've been so touched by the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh," said Cumberbatch. "It was a great honor to work on Walk with Me. I have no doubt that audiences across the world will be moved by this beautifully crafted film."

"Filmed over three years and with unprecedented access, this visceral film offers a rare insight into a community of people who have left their families and given up all their possessions to practice the art of mindfulness at the Plum Village monastery in rural France," WestEnd said.

TV: Game of Thrones

Jim Broadbent will join the cast of Game of Thrones for season 7 in a "significant" role. Entertainment Weekly reported that the "spoiler-averse GoT team doesn't want to say anything yet about who the actor is playing on the series. Some vague casting descriptions have leaked in recent weeks, but oftentimes such character rundowns sent to casting agents are deliberately inaccurate because producers assume the notices will wind up online."

GoT, which will film Season 7 in Northern Ireland, Spain and Iceland, premieres next summer and will consist of seven episodes, reduced from the show's usual 10.

Media Heat: Masha Gessen on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Masha Gessen, author of Where the Jews Aren't: The Sad and Absurd Story of Birobidzhan, Russia's Jewish Autonomous Region (Schocken, $25, 9780805242461).


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

Books & Authors

Awards: Lilly/Rosenberg Poetry; Bloody Scotland

The Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine have awarded $129,000 in prizes to five young poets through the Ruth Lilly & Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships, which are "intended to encourage the further study and writing of poetry" and are open to all U.S. poets between the ages of 21 and 31. Kaveh Akbar, Jos Charles, Angel Nafis, Alison C. Rollins and Javier Zamora will each receive $25,800.

Don Share, editor of Poetry magazine, said: "Poets aren't just makers, they are doers. Each one of the 2016 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellows excels at both of these things. They have all already had a salutary influence on American poetry, and it's an honor for us to support their distinctive and essential efforts in an art form that is reaching more people than ever before." 


A shortlist has been announced for the fourth annual £1,000 (about $1,330) Bloody Scotland Crime Book of the Year, which recognizes excellence in Scottish crime writing. The winner will be named September 9. This year's shortlisted titles are:

Black Widow by Chris Brookmyre
The Jump by Doug Johnstone
Splinter the Silence by Val McDermid
Beloved Poison by E.S. Thomson

Reading with... Lois Lowry

photo: Rania Matar

Lois Lowry is the author of more than 40 books for children and young adults, including the popular Anastasia Krupnik series. She has twice received the Newbery Medal, for Number the Stars and The Giver. In 2007 she received the Margaret A. Edwards Award for her contribution to young adult literature. She divides her time between Cambridge, Mass., and a 1769 farmhouse in Maine. Her memoir, Looking Back: A Book of Memories (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, September 6, 2016), has been revised and expanded with an introduction by Alice Hoffman who writes, "she presents to us the life of a generous, gutsy, singular woman who reminds us that books and love and memories are all that matter."

On your nightstand now:

My Traitor's Heart: A South African Exile Returns to Face His Country, His Tribe, and His Conscience by Rian Malan. With three visits to South Africa in recent years, I decided it was time to try to understand this complex and tragic country.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers. I'm embarrassed now to admit to that, because if one goes back to re-read this book, which I loved so as a child, the glaring racism is so obvious. But when I was young, I didn't perceive that; I loved the whimsy of the concept.

Your top five authors:

Ian McEwan, P.D. James, Alice Munro, Haruki Murakami, Thomas Hardy.

Book you've faked reading:

Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Yawn.

Book you're an evangelist for:

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. Perhaps "evangelist" is not the right word, implying religiosity as it does... but I have given this small book to numerous friends, and without exception they have been deeply moved, as I was, by it.

Book you've bought for the cover:

And for the title! Cry, Heart, but Never Break by Glenn Ringtved, illustrated by Charlotte Pardi.

Book you hid from your parents:

Surprisingly, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. Seems pretty tame today. But it was published when I was 14 and was quite shocking at the time. It became a touchstone for my teenaged friends and me, but it seemed like something we should keep secret from our parents.

Book that changed your life:

The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. My mother read this book to me when I was eight, and though I had been a voracious and passionate reader till then, this was the book that taught me the role that literature could play in my life: that it could draw me into the lives of these fictional characters, could make me weep for them and their circumstances. I have re-read it many times since then, and it holds up well. Of course, it doesn't hurt that our family volume contained the gorgeous illustrations by N.C. Wyeth.

Favorite line from a book:

''The tusks were stained with the dried blood and he scraped some of it off with his thumbnail like a dried piece of sealing wax and put it in the pocket of his shirt. That was all he took from the elephant except the beginning of the knowledge of loneliness.''

This is from a lesser known work by Ernest Hemingway called The Garden of Eden. I have never forgotten this passage. The book itself is not highly regarded, but this scene, and these two sentences, remind us of Hemingway at his best.

Five books you'll never part with:

Letters of E.B. White, edited by Dorothy Lobrano Guth; A Death in the Family by James Agee; Fifth Business by Robertson Davies; So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell; Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf.

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

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert.

Book Review

Children's Review: Gertie's Leap to Greatness

Gertie's Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley, illus. by Jillian Tamaki (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $16.99 hardcover, 256p., ages 8-12, 9780374302610, October 4, 2016)

Kate Beasley's debut novel has a terrific opening line: "The bullfrog was only half dead, which was perfect." Best half dead, because 10-year-old Gertie Reece Foy wants to resuscitate the bullfrog so he can become "a miracle of science." "Looks more like a monstrosity of science to me," her great-aunt Rae says, wrinkling her nose.

Gertie vows to be the best fifth grader ever--not just in Alabama but in the world--and "she never, ever failed to complete her missions." Her frog-resurrecting story will be perfect for her "summer speech" at Carroll Elementary, and will catapult her that much closer to her goal of proving to the mother who left her that she is important. Gertie's exact plan is to knock on her traitorous mom's door, "gleaming with greatness," and show her that she is "one-hundred-percent, not-from-concentrate awesome and that she didn't need a mother anyway. So there."

The problem is, Gertie has competition for best fifth grader--a new girl named Mary Sue Spivey, "the lip-glossed queen of Room 5B." Mary Sue must be stopped. But Gertie and her friends "couldn't convince everyone that deep down Mary Sue was evil, because she had become the most popular girl in school." It's sometimes painful to watch Gertie tie herself in knots to be perfect, especially when her mission conflicts with her best friend Jean's mission of being the smartest kid in the school... and Jean, angered by her friend's new-found academic success, calls Gertie's deeply personal quest "stupid." Fortunately, Aunt Rae is always there to try to boost her great-niece's morale. This loving, supportive woman--and Gertie's often-absent-but-caring-father--are at the core of Gertie's Leap to Greatness, a gentle nudge for readers to remember what one has vs. longing for what one doesn't.

Spunky girl protagonists in middle-grade novels are often described as "irrepressible," but the word finds its true home in Gertie. The ferocity of Gertie is something to admire, marvel at, and almost fear when she's feeling "dangerous." Her observations about everything from how Aunt Rae should be able to sense her unhappiness "like how dogs could smell fear and earthquakes and alien invasions" to The Waltons (a "boring" TV show "about this big family that wore old-fashioned clothes and talked about how much they loved each other") make this an energetic, entertaining read. Caldecott Honor artist Jillian Tamaki's (This One Summer) vivacious, often kinetic illustrations of Gertie and her entourage make the story leap to life. --Karin Snelson, children's & YA editor, Shelf Awareness

Shelf Talker: In this winning middle-grade debut, Gertie vows to be the best fifth-grader ever to prove to the mom who abandoned her that she is special.

Powered by: Xtenit