Also published on this date: Wednesday, October 5, 2016: Maximum Shelf: To Capture What We Cannot Keep

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Amulet Books: Aaron Slater and the Sneaky Snake (the Questioneers Book #6) by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts

Amulet Books: Aaron Slater and the Sneaky Snake (the Questioneers Book #6) by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts

Other Press (NY): Stone and Shadow by Burhan Sönmez, translated by Alexander Dawe

Shadow Mountain: Just Gus by McCall Hoyle

Charlesbridge Publishing: Glitter Everywhere by Chris Barton, illustrated by Chaaya Prabhat

Soho Crime: A Disappearance in Fiji by Nilima Rao

Del Rey Books: Thief Liar Lady by D.L. Soria


Amazon: Settlement Talks with EU; Prime Reading Launch

Amazon is in talks with European Union regulators to settle the antitrust probe begun last year into whether the company's e-book contracts harm other retailers, publishers and consumers. Citing "people familiar with the case," Bloomberg Technology made the original report yesterday, which was followed up by other media.

In a separate case, Amazon is under investigation for its 2003 tax deal with Luxembourg allowing it to pay much lower taxes on European operations that otherwise expected. The EU's antitrust office has issued a preliminary ruling that called the deal "unfair state aid."

The terms at issue in the e-book case involve "most favored nation" clauses--stipulations in Amazon's contracts with publishers that they tell Amazon about contracts with other retailers and offer Amazon equal or better terms. The investigation has focused on English-language and German-language e-book markets. The case got its start in 2014, when the Börsenverein--the German book trade association--filed a complaint about several of Amazon's business practices with the German antitrust office, a complaint that resonated with the EU.


Amazon has launched Prime Reading, which allows Prime customers in the U.S. to "read as much as they like from a selection of over a thousand top Kindle books, magazines, short works, comic books, children's books and more" for free, the company said.

The Kindle titles include The Hobbit, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, The Man in the High Castle, The Millionaire Next Door, Half Way Home and When I'm Gone, comics such as The Complete Peanuts Vol. 1 and Transformers: Robots in Disguise Vol. 1 as well as Kindle Singles from Andy Borowitz, Stephen King, Jane Hirshfield and works by Gloria Steinem, Norman Mailer and Kurt Vonnegut.

Prime membership, which costs $99 a year, also includes unlimited access to short-form episodic Audible Channels for Prime, as well as a rotating selection of audio books from Audible and one free pre-publication book a month with Kindle First.

Webtoon Unscrolled: Tower of God Volume Two by S I U; True Beauty Volume Two by Yaongyi; Cursed Princess Club Volume Two by Lambcat

PNBA: Refocused and Enthusiastic

Saturday's Sweet and Greet, sponsored by Sasquatch Books.

Booksellers gathered around tall café tables to collect autographs from 20 authors who showed off their fun visual aids--from homemade pies to dissected owl pellets--at the Pacific Northwest Bookseller Association Sweet and Greet event, which closed the second day of the show last weekend in Tacoma, Wash. Brian Juenemann, the new executive director of the PNBA, who continues as marketing director, looked over the crowd of more than 150 booksellers and said enthusiastically, "Exhibitors are up, our attendance is at level or higher." Enthusiasm and optimism permeated the membership meeting and the trade show floor. In fact, Juenemann continued, the organization is "overall working fabulously. If we can evolve it, and diversify, and inject some energy into it, while moving forward and having a good time that is productive to what you do professionally, what more could we ask for?"

Random House rep Katie Mehan (l.) with Liz Goodwin, Phinney Books, Seattle

At the show's education sessions, booksellers shared tips and tricks for business success with one another, and a panel of librarians, reps and booksellers discussed their varied approaches to book recommendations, events and customer service. Bookstore event staff and authors shared event strategies, and booksellers discussed cost of living, personal budgeting and asking for raises in "Bookseller Financial Planning." In a sign of their importance, "Advanced Social Media" and "Diverse Reading" drew standing-room-only audiences.

Diversity was a constant topic at PNBA. Booksellers reflected on representation among show participants, scheduled presenters and their own reading recommendations. Kenny Coble from King's Books, Tacoma, encouraged booksellers to be vocal and demand more diverse options from reps and to reach out to fellow booksellers for recommendations to expand their store's offerings. "We drive sales and make bestsellers," Coble said, "and we're here for each other to steal ideas from each other."

L.-r.: sweet pea Flaherty, KIng's Books, Tacoma; Lisa Bitney, Tacoma Pubic Library; PNBA volunteer Chris Vietmeier; author and pet photographer Carli Davidson (Lick Cats and Lick Dogs, Harper Design)

Juenemann also called on booksellers to express their desires and expectations about programming and representation. At present, he said, only 10%-15% of show attendees respond to the e-mail feedback request and checklist for the next show's projected authors. One of his goals in his new position, Juenemann says, is to encourage members to be more interactive throughout the year, whether by responding to information requests and news items or commenting on Northwest Booklovers blog posts or joining a committee and getting directly involved. "Give us feedback," Juenemann said. "Come to me. Let's talk. As the business evolves; PNBA needs to evolve."

The Indie Forward meet up hosted by King's Books was a soft launch for a new nationwide, volunteer-run group devoted to encouraging emerging generations of booksellers. Seattle booksellers Sam Kaas, Third Place Books, and Kim Hooyboer, Elliott Bay Book Company, said that the group intends to offer career development, networking and mentorship. "We're interested in social media, changing perspectives on diversity and making bookselling viable," Kass explained. Tegan Tigani of Queen Anne Book Company, Seattle, and former PNBA president, applauded the efforts to encourage a new generation of booksellers. "It's totally in line with PNBA values," Tigani said. "It's not just success; it's succession."

It was clear in the enthusiasm and the willingness to engage and discuss the organization's evolution that booksellers in the region understand the value of their role in the community.  At the Saturday author breakfast, Lidia Yuknavich reminded them of this when she said, "I'm here because of you, because you had a book of mine in your hand and you passed it to one other person. So, can I just thank you for giving me a life?" The breakfast crowd broke into applause. --Kristianne Huntsberger

KidsBuzz for the Week of 03.27.23

American Writers Museum Appoints First President

Carey Cranston

The American Writers Museum, the first in the United States to focus exclusively on American writers, "past and present"--scheduled to open March 2017 in downtown Chicago, Ill.--has appointed its inaugural president, Carey Cranston. Most recently, he was president of Fox College in Chicago for 12 years. Before that, he was a v-p at the public relations firm Hill & Knowlton; director of technology and e-commerce at Kemper Lesnik Communications; and director of education at the International Academy of Merchandising & Design.

American Writers Museum founder Malcolm O'Hagan said that Cranston's "experience and track record, along with his love and appreciation for writing and books, give him the ideal credentials to be a strong leader for this museum."

Cranston has bookselling roots: prior to college, he worked at Kroch's & Brentano's, once the largest bookseller in Chicago. While earning a B.A. in English from DePaul University, he was editor of the DePaul Student Literary Journal and chief reporter for The DePaulia. Cranston also earned an M.A. in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago and an M.S. in Library and Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

"This is my dream job," Cranston said. "I am very excited to get started in this role, and to bring to life this long overdue national museum."

The museum, located at 180 North Michigan Avenue, expects to draw up to 120,000 visitors each year and is working with more than 50 authors' homes and museums around the country to build its exhibitions. Among the planned attractions are re-creations of writers' homes and fictional locales (including Tara, Cannery Row and the House of Seven Gables), interactive exhibits about writers' lives and methodologies (including "travels" with Jack Kerouac and John Steinbeck, for example), and ample space for film screenings, talks, readings and presentations.

GLOW: Avid Reader Press: My Name Is Iris by Brando Skyhorse

BISG on the Move

The Book Industry Study Group has moved to new offices at 1412 Broadway, 21st Floor, Office 19, New York, N.Y. 10018. BISG said that the new space "allows us to immediately start accommodating small committee and working group meetings."

At its annual meeting last Friday, BISG said the move from its previous offices at 145 W. 45th St. to a "more flexible workspace" would save several thousand dollars a month.

HarperOne: Wannabe: Reckonings with the Pop Culture That Shapes Me by Aisha Harris

Pulpwood Queens to Meet the Lumberjacks

L.-r.: Joanna Temple, sales director, Nacogdoches, Tex.; Kathy L. Murphy; Dr. Mark Emil Sanders, SFASU English Department chair; Kimberley Verhines, director, SFA Press.

Kathy L. Murphy, founder of the Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Book Club, with more than 400 chapters internationally, has announced a partnership with the creative writing department of Stephen F. Austin State University to hold the annual Pulpwood Queen Girlfriend Weekend convention on the Nacogdoches, Tex., campus of the Lumberjacks. Next year's Girlfriend Weekend is scheduled for January 12-15.

The new partnership is intended to put successful authors and inspiring students in the same room, with guest authors visiting classes throughout the school year and interested students having the opportunity to attend Girlfriend Weekend panel events on campus, Murphy noted, adding that under the agreement, "we will continue to do what we do, but just adding in the students to the mix with incredible space and state-of-the-art facilities."

"The way I see it, we now have an excellent opportunity to showcase our Pulpwood Queen and Timber Guy Reading Nation to the next generation of our book club," she added. "Thus, the Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys meet the Lumberjacks! We will all win as we are promoting reading."

Blackstone Publishing: All Is Not Forgiven by Joe Kenda


Image of the Day: Four Booksellers Celebrate Four Reincarnations

Staffers at the new Milkweed Books, Minneapolis, Minn., celebrated the official pub date of Four Reincarnations (Milkweed Editions), the poetry collection by Max Ritvo, who died this year at the age of 25. Left to right: Daley Farr, bookseller and events coordinator; Celia Mattison, bookseller and warehouse manager; bookstore manager Hans Weyandt; and bookseller Christian Moser.

Cool Idea of the Day: Record Sampler for Black Music History Title

To promote the newly published second volume of its two-volume Nothing but Love in God's Water by Robert Darden, Penn State University Press is distributing a complimentary sampling of music on a 33 rpm record about the size of an old 45; it includes a brief introduction by the author and renditions of "The Old Ship of Zion" and "How Far Am I from Canaan?" by the Mighty Wonders, a group that formed in the late 1960s in Aquasco, Md.

The books focus on the role of spirituals, hymns, gospel and other black music in the struggle for African-American freedom and equality in the U.S. The first volume, subtitled Black Sacred Music from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, was published in 2014. Volume 2, subtitled Black Sacred Music from Sit-Ins to Resurrection City, appeared last month.

Besides being used for publicity, the sampler records are being distributed to bookstores to place by cash registers or near the books, and to give to customers at no cost. Stores around the country, including Red Emma's, the Ivy Bookshop and Atomic Books in Baltimore, Md.; Politics & Prose, Washington, D.C.; Powell's Books, Portland, Ore.; Eso Won Books and Skylight Books, Los Angeles; and Seminary Coop in Chicago, are stocking the records. The records will be available through the press's reps at regional booksellers association shows, including the Heartland Fall Forum this week and the NCIBA fall discovery show later this month.

According to Brendan Coyne, sales & marketing director at Penn State University Press, the press may eventually sell the two books as a set and package a record with them.

Pennie Picks The Little Paris Bookshop

Pennie Clark Ianniciello, Costco's book buyer, has chosen The Little Paris Bookshop: A Novel by Nina George (Broadway, $16, 9780553418798) as her pick of the month for October. In Costco Connection, which goes to many of the warehouse club's members, she wrote:

"Reading is as essential to me as food, oxygen, and shelter. Imagine my delight at reading this month's book buyer's pick, Nina George's The Little Paris Bookshop, about a man who knows just which book will cure what ails you.

"Nursing a broken heart? Need to feel more confident? Want to escape adult worries? Jean Perdu owns a floating bookstore on a barge on the Seine, which he calls a 'literary apothecary.' But it seems he's skilled at addressing everyone's problems but his own.

"In a life-changing moment, he sets off down the Seine, looking for answers that have eluded him for decades.

"Need a book to remind you that it's OK to take chances and really live life? Then The Little Paris Bookshop is my recommendation for you."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Teresa Giudice on Dr. Oz

Dr. Oz: Teresa Giudice, co-author of Turning the Tables: From Housewife to Inmate and Back Again (Gallery, $16, 9781501135118).

TV: Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

A teaser clip has been released for Netflix's upcoming adaptation of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events that is "so unnerving that it's caused jolly cut-up Patrick Warburton to become super-serious," Yahoo News wrote. "In this new clip teasing the eight-episode series, which premieres on January 13, 2017, the former Tick steps assumes the role of the narrator for these Unfortunate Events, Lemony Snicket, who chronicled the sad case of the Baudelaire orphans over the course of 13 books.... In the middle of his stone-faced soliloquy, the actor is interrupted from off-screen by a maniacally happy singer who sounds an awful lot like Neil Patrick Harris, who plays the orphans' sinister guardian and constant nemesis, Count Olaf."

Books & Authors

Awards: Sainsburys Childrens Book

You Must Bring a Hat by Simon Philip and Kate Hindley won book of the year honors at the Sainsbury Childrens Book Awards, after earlier capturing the picture book category prize, the Bookseller reported. Other category winners were Peek-A-Boo A-Z by Gareth Lucas (baby & toddler), Claude Going for Gold by Alex T. Smith (fiction ages 5-9 ) and Bubble Boy by Stewart Foster (fiction 9-plus). The shortlist and award winners will all be promoted in Sainsburys shops nationwide.

Reading with... Neil deGrasse Tyson

photo: Rob Kim Getty

Neil deGrasse Tyson is the host of the popular podcast and National Geographic Channel Emmy-nominated TV show StarTalk and Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, which aired internationally on the National Geographic Channel. He earned his B.A. in physics from Harvard University and his Ph.D. in astrophysics from Columbia University. He is the first Frederick P. Rose director of the Hayden Planetarium. He's the author of 10 books, including Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries. Tyson's most recent book is StarTalk: Everything You Ever Need to Know About Space Travel, Sci-Fi, the Human Race, the Universe, and Beyond (National Geographic Books, September 13, 2016), a companion book to his late-night TV talk show and podcast of the same name. Tyson lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

On your nightstand now:

Letter to a Disciple by Abu Hamid Muhammad Al-Ghazali.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Middle school: Mathematics and the Imagination by Edward Kasner and James Newman. This book transformed mathematics from a subject in school to an exploration of the mind.

Early childhood: Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. In adulthood I would discover that every word in the book has only one syllable, except for one repeating word, which has three: "anywhere."

Your top five authors:

Nonfiction: Jonathan Swift, Galileo, Richard Dawkins.
Fiction: Shakespeare, Michael Crichton.

Book you've faked reading:

The Odyssey by Homer, in high school English class.

Book you've bought for the cover:

1706 Holy Bible. A fine leather, gilded binding.

Book you hid from your parents:

Steal This Book by Abbie Hoffman.

Favorite lines from a book:

From Shakespeare's Twelfth Night:

HELENA: Monsieur Parolles, you were born under a charitable star.
PAROLLES: Under Mars, I.
HELENA: I especially think, under Mars.
PAROLLES: Why under Mars?
HELENA: The wars have so kept you under that you must needs be born under Mars.
PAROLLES: When he was predominant.
HELENA: When he was retrograde, I think, rather.
PAROLLES: Why think you so?
HELENA: You go so much backward when you fight.

Book that changed your life:

One Two Three... Infinity: Facts and Speculations of Science by George Gamow, read in ninth grade. It transformed the physics of the universe into an intellectual playground of delight, and thenceforth, studying to become a scientist was no longer a task but a celebration.

Book Review

Children's Review: Wish

Wish by Barbara O'Connor (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $16.99 hardcover, 240p., ages 9-12, 9780374302733, November 1, 2016)

Eleven-year-old Charlie Reese ("Charlemagne is a dumb name for a girl and I have told my mama that about a gazillion times") has plenty of reasons to make a wish--a father in jail, a mother who can't get out of bed, "getting shipped off to this sorry excuse for a town to live with two people I didn't even know"--but there's just one wish she makes every day. Charlie wishes on the first star at night, three birds on a telephone wire, a camel-shaped cloud, a cricket in the house. But if you tell a wish, it won't come true, so even when she becomes friends with Howard, a "little ole redheaded up-down boy" (one of his legs is shorter than the other, so he walks with a hitch), she keeps her wish a secret as long as she can.

Charlie doesn't get off to a terrific start in Colby, N.C. She antagonizes her teacher and fights with her classmates. As she says, "If I had a nickel for every time I've heard 'The apple don't fall far from the tree,' I'd be rich. Daddy fights so much that everybody calls him Scrappy." She's baffled by Howard's refusal to fight back when kids tease him, but "what good is that?" he asks. After Charlie gets in trouble for kicking a girl in the shins who makes fun of her old white majorette boots, Howard advises her to say "pineapple" when she feels herself starting to get mad: "That'll be like a code word to remind yourself to simmer down. Mama taught my little brother Cotton to say 'rutabaga' every time he gets the urge to draw on the wall." With the help of Howard, a stray dog named Wishbone and Aunt Bertha and Uncle Gus (her remarkably tolerant temporary guardians), Charlie begins to learn not only how to tame her temper but to understand that the long-wished-for "family that wasn't broken" may not be the one she was born into.

Barbara O'Connor (How to Steal a Dog; The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis; The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester) captures a traumatic transition in a young girl's life without resorting to sentimentality or hard-to-believe happy endings. Charlie doesn't get exactly what she wants, but she does get what she needs, given the circumstances. Her prickly behavior is real and understandable and even charming at times, but readers will cheer as she settles and softens into authentic happiness. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor

Shelf Talker: When 11-year-old Charlie is sent to rural North Carolina for a more stable home environment, she finds surprising happiness with a friend, a dog and a kind aunt and uncle.

KidsBuzz: Highwater Press: Heart Berry Bling by Jenny Kay Dupuis, illus. by Eva Campbell
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