Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Atlantic Monthly Press: Those Opulent Days: A Mystery by Jacquie Pham

Feiwel & Friends: The Flicker by HE Edgmon

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: The Pumpkin Princess and the Forever Night by Steven Banbury

St. Martin's Griffin: Murdle: The School of Mystery: 50 Seriously Sinister Logic Puzzles by GT Karber

Carolrhoda Lab (R): Here Goes Nothing by Emma K Ohland

Allida: Safiyyah's War by Hiba Noor Khan

Ace Books: Servant of Earth (The Shards of Magic) by Sarah Hawley


Avid Bookshop Opening Second Store in Athens, Ga.

Avid's first store
Avid's new location

Avid Bookshop will open a second store this fall in the Five Points neighborhood of Athens, Ga. Owner Janet Geddis wrote yesterday that Avid has been so strongly supported by the community during its first five years that "the Prince Avenue location will stay right where it is, and we'll be opening a second, larger store at 1662 S. Lumpkin St. in Five Points."

The new location will incorporate the strengths from the current store, like a well-curated collection, excellent customer service and a lot of community engagement, "but make tweaks to respond to the needs and wants of the immediate neighborhood," Geddis explained. "We hope to have expanded cookbook, coffee table, and art book sections, and we will bring in some lovely gift items that are catered to book lovers and casual shoppers alike. This move will also let us expand and streamline our bustling school business: we have a full-time school engagement specialist who coordinates with nearly all the schools in the Athens area to introduce critically-acclaimed authors and illustrators to children and teachers. We will also be able to focus more on our business-to-business sales, allowing businesses to buy particular titles in bulk as employee gifts or community-wide reads."

The expansion is also designed to spark internal gains by bringing "enough sales dollars to the business that I can bump some part-timers up to full-time status and also hire some new part-timers, thereby creating more fulfilling, meaningful jobs for Athens residents," Geddis noted. "We want to emphasize to our loyal customers that we are staying on Prince for the long haul--we love our quirky, historic building and will be as committed as ever to making sure the original store is welcoming, well-stocked, and fun for all ages."

PM Press: P Is for Palestine: A Palestine Alphabet Book by Golbarg Bashi, Illustrated by Golrokh Nafisi

Ellen Plumb's City Bookstore Opens in Emporia, Kan.

Ellen Plumb's City Bookstore, which emphasizes books by local authors, has officially opened at 1101 Commercial St. in Emporia, Kan. The Gazette reported that owner Marcia Lawrence "is now eagerly greeting customers" at the bookstore, which "has been a labor of love that started months ago after Town Crier closed. With the closure of Town Crier, Lawrence and others began to explore options for reopening a community bookstore."

"A bookstore is like light; that is knowledge," she said. "A place for discussion and learning and literacy. A bookstore is light."

Lawrence "will be placing an order for additional books written by non-local authors soon. She also said the store will place special orders for customers and offers a discount for educators," the Gazette noted.

"Emporia is a wonderful community with wonderful people," she added. "We should shop local as much as possible."

Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Intermezzo by Sally Rooney

Books & Mortar Launches in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Jonathan Shotwell and Chris Roe, who left Grand Rapids, Mich., six years ago to attend graduate school in Chicago, "felt a pull back" to the city and recently had their soft opening for Books & Mortar bookstore at 955 Cherry St. SE, the Business Journal reported.

"We liked Chicago well enough but felt called to Grand Rapids, because it has this energy to it," Shotwell said. "In a lot of ways, it's the same Grand Rapids as when we left six years ago, but in some ways, it's an entirely different place. With the city growing, there's this cultural dialysis going on, and with that comes the ability to sustain a bookstore."

Roe, who has "always been an avid reader and was a huge proponent of books as an elementary school teacher," believes Books & Mortar "helps make the neighborhood feel more complete," the Business Journal wrote. 

"My background has really helped, I've hoarded thousands of books; our apartment in Chicago was packed with books," he said. "We have a lot of friends who own businesses in Grand Rapids, and they all said one of the most common questions was, 'Where's the bookstore?' We have a natural draw to books, and it was an area we were interested in helping complete."

While the initial plan had been to stock used books only, the owners decided to sell new books midway through the planning process, the Business Journal noted, adding that the shop "likely will continually evolve with consumer behavior and the changing catalog of books offered by publishers."

"People will notice that between now and October 1, it will fill in quickly and between October 1 and the end of the year, they'll really notice it will fill in with new titles," Roe said. "We want to hear what people are looking for and filling the shelves with those things. To curate a bookstore, it takes a partnership with the community to build it."

AAP CEO Tom Allen to Retire Next Year

Tom Allen

Association of American Publishers president and CEO Tom Allen plans to retire early next year. He joined the association in April 2009 after serving six terms in Congress representing the 1st District of Maine. He replaced Pat Schroeder, another ex-member of Congress, who headed the AAP for 11 years.

During Allen's tenure, the AAP has grown to nearly 400 member organizations, including major commercial, digital learning and education and professional publishers as well as independents, nonprofits, university presses and scholarly societies.

"It has been a privilege to lead AAP these past seven years and I am proud of all we have accomplished," Allen said. "After twenty years commuting to and from Washington, it's time for me to return to Maine and dedicate myself to part-time and mostly voluntary activities like environmental conservation, writing and perhaps teaching about Congress and American politics. I look forward to working with the AAP board and management team as we prepare for the leadership transition."

Welcome, Casey Stryer!

Casey Stryer has joined Shelf Awareness as publishing assistant. He was previously a bookseller for 14 years, first at Barnes & Noble, then for a decade at Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle, Wash.


Image of the Day: A Gubernatorial Signing at Bookworm of Edwards

Governor John Hickenlooper stopped by the Bookworm of Edwards in Colorado last week to sign copies of his autobiography, The Opposite of Woe: My Life in Beer and Politics (Penguin).

Tattered Cover Loves Bruce

The nine stops for Bruce Springsteen's book tour for his upcoming autobiography, Born to Run (Simon & Schuster, Sept. 27), have been announced:

September 27: Barnes & Noble, Freehold, N.J.
September 28: Barnes & Noble Union Square, New York City
September 29: Free Library of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa.
October 1: Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, Wash.
October 3: Barnes & Noble at the Grove, Los Angeles, Calif.
October 4: Powell's Books, Portland, Ore.
October 5: City Arts & Lectures, San Francisco, Calif.
October 7: The New Yorker Festival, New York City
October 10: The Harvard Coop, Cambridge, Mass.

Alas, our friends at Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver aren't on the list, even though they made this excellent video.

Bookish Videos of the Day: Patchett on Writing, Bookselling, Binc

In a new video, author Ann Patchett, who is also co-owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tenn., discusses the business of bookselling, from a writer's perspective as well as that of an indie bookstore owner, in an interview with Harper Books publisher Jonathan Burnham.

In another video, Patchett, who is co-ambassador for the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc), talks about the Foundation's important work helping booksellers in need. Patchett's latest novel, Commonwealth, goes on sale today.

Personnel Changes at University Press Sales Associates

Lanora Haradon has taken over the Midwest territory for the University Press Sales Associates presses--MIT Press, Yale University Press and Princeton University Press. Former owner of Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, Wis., and former president of the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association, Haradon will call on accounts in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, and her home state of Wisconsin.

Mical Moser is now representing MIT Press and Yale University Press in Canada. She has been representing American university presses in Canada since 2007, and now specializes in university and museum presses; her current list includes Princeton and Chicago, among others. Moser has worked at several bookstores in various countries, most notably at Le Dernier Mot in Montreal and at Shakespeare & Co. in New York City. She began her career as a sales rep at Broadview Press in Calgary, Alberta, where she then became the press's sales coordinator, then medieval history editor. She was also philosophy and religion editor at Prentice Hall.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Oliver Stone Experience Author Interviews Oliver Stone

Charlie Rose Show: Matt Zoller Seitz, author of The Oliver Stone Experience (Abrams, $50, 9781419717901), will serve as guest host and interview Oliver Stone.


Live with Kelly: Vern Yip, author of Vern Yip's Design Wise: Your Smart Guide to a Beautiful Home (Running Press, $27.50, 9780762459858).

Diane Rehm: Mark Thompson, author of Enough Said: What's Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics? (St. Martin's Press, $27.99, 9781250059574).

NPR's On Point: Peter Wohlleben, author of The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate--Discoveries From a Secret World (Greystone Books, $24.95, 9781771642484).

CNBC's Squawk Box: Joe Conason, author of Man of the World: The Further Endeavors of Bill Clinton (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781439154106).

Hallmark's Home & Family: Naya Rivera, author of Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up (TarcherPerigee, $24, 9780399184987).

Movies: Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life

A new trailer is out for Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life, based on the book series by James Patterson. The project stars Griffin Gluck, Lauren Graham, Rob Riggle, Thomas Barbusca, Isabela Moner, Andy Daly and Adam Pally. It hits theaters October 7.

Books & Authors

Awards: Man Booker Shortlist; NBA Young People's Literature Longlist

The shortlist for the 2016 Man Booker Prize, the third year that the prestigious award has been open to writers in the U.S., is:

Paul Beatty (U.S.) for The Sellout (published in the U.S. by FSG in hardcover, Picador in paper)
Deborah Levy (U.K.) for Hot Milk (Bloomsbury USA)
Graeme Macrae Burnet (U.K.) for His Bloody Project (Skyhorse)
Ottessa Moshfegh (U.S.) for Eileen (Penguin)
David Szalay (Canada-U.K.) for All That Man Is (Graywolf Press)
Madeleine Thien (Canada) for Do Not Say We Have Nothing (Norton)

The winner, who receives £50,000 (about $66,365), will be announced October 25. For judges' commentaries on the nominees (via Foyles), click here.


The National Book Foundation is unveiling longlists for the National Book Award this week, beginning yesterday with the Young People's Literature category. Finalists will be announced on October 13, and winners named November 16. This year's longlisted titles are:

Booked by Kwame Alexander (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick)
March: Book Three by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell (Top Shelf)
When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore (Thomas Dunne)
Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina (Candlewick)
Pax by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Jon Klassen (Balzer & Bray)
Ghost by Jason Reynolds (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story by Caren Stelson (Carolrhoda Books/Lerner Publishing Group)
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (Delacorte Press)

Book Review

Review: The Red Car

The Red Car by Marcy Dermansky (Liveright, $24.95 hardcover, 208p., 9781631492334, October 11, 2016)

Meet Leah--the smart-alecky but vulnerable, dogged yet fragile protagonist of Marcy Dermansky's piquant third novel, The Red Car (after Twins and Bad Marie). A writer who's just finished a draft of her first novel and who's living in Astoria, Queens, with an Austrian immigrant husband, Leah is adrift and vaguely dissatisfied with her life when she learns that Judy, her former boss and mentor in San Francisco, has been killed in a car wreck. Leaving her husband behind, Leah impetuously flies out for the funeral and finds that Judy left her the carcass of her beloved red sports car, a modest cache of money, a small painting and a letter--part suicide note and part annoying advice. She ponders what to do next: "It occurred to me that I did not know a thing, which made me wonder why I thought I could be a writer." What else for Dermansky's precipitous heroine but a road trip in the red car, magically repaired by a hippie Deadhead mechanic?

Leah begins her story of ambition, self-doubt and adventure as a teen preparing to attend tony Haverford College ("losing my virginity before college... had seemed essential, as important as doing well on my SATs"). When she climbs into Judy's red car, she is still the funny, saucy, diffident woman she was at Haverford, but now she has Judy's voice and scolding advice haunting her. Like Disney's Jiminy Cricket, Judy is always at her side to chide and encourage her: "My dead boss, my dead friend, constantly annoyed with me." Judy guides her through a couple of random sexual digressions--a fellow writer ("This was San Francisco where every single white girl you met had majored in English and wanted to be a writer. Even the lesbians.") and a cute workaholic guy from her old office with a sterile, high-end loft--and then on the road to Stanford to meet a long forgotten college roommate and a wealthy entrepreneur who was smitten with her as a freshman.

When she and the red car wind up at a riverside motel along Big Sur's Highway 1, she is charmed by the Japanese receptionist, Yukimo, who welcomes her to the scenic overlook and shares books by her favorite authors--Fitzgerald, Plath, even Henry Miller ("Sex and then more sex and then the characters ate dinner"). During the comfortable days with Yukimo, Leah works to edit her novel and reads. When Yukimo takes off for good in the red car, Leah is left with Judy's money and the painting, and a few decisions to make. Dermansky knows how to write, and wrap up, a good road trip--a Big Sur epiphany and newfound resilience. The Red Car is like a film so mesmerizing that you want to get another box of popcorn and see it again. --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.

Shelf Talker: A New York writer with a memorable, saucy voice takes an unexpected journey through grief and confusion toward self-understanding and hope.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Anti-Stepbrother by Tijan
2. El Diablo by M. Robinson
3. Fire and Brimstone by R.L. Mathewson
4. Bad Apple (The Uncertain Saints MC Book 4) by Lani Lynn Vale
5. Defy the Dawn by Lara Adrian
6. The Arrangement 22 by HM Ward
7. Ash by Shannon Mayer
8. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves
9. The Kelly Brothers Books 1-3 by Crista McHugh
10. Turbulence by Whitney Gracia Williams

[Many thanks to!]

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