Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, October 18, 2016

William Morrow & Company: Death of the Author by Nnedi Okorafor

St. Martin's Press: Disney High: The Untold Story of the Rise and Fall of Disney Channel's Tween Empire

Running Press Adult: Scam Goddess: Lessons from a Life of Cons, Grifts, and Schemes by Laci Mosley

Graphix: 39 Clues: One False Note (39 Clues Graphic Novel #2) by Gordon Korman, Illustrated by Hannah Templer

Running Press: Enter For a Chance to Win a Moonlit Explorer Pack!

Quill Tree Books: The Firelight Apprentice by Bree Paulsen


For Sale: Tucson's Antigone Books

Trudy Mills and Kate Randall, longtime owners of Antigone Books in Tucson, Ariz., are looking for "just the right person to carry on Antigone's story," according to the Daily Star, which reported that the co-owners recently announced plans to sell the store where they "have helped local readers for decades, made people laugh with their store's zany gifts and cards, and challenged many to think more, or differently, about human rights and the environment."

"We're not after the fastest deal or the best financial deal, but the best match," said Mills, who in 1987 purchased the store, which had opened in 1973. Mills and Randall have been business partners almost 27 years and "said their store is doing well, with profits increasing consistently over the last five years," the Daily Star noted.

Within a day of their announcement, eight people had inquired with Paz & Associates, which is handling the sale process. Although the store is on the market, Mills and Randall plan to keep the building for now to ensure it remains a space for the bookstore and not another enterprise.

Mark Kaufman of Paz & Associates said that for Mills and Randall, "it's not as much about the money but someone to preserve the legacy they've created."

Zest Books: The Gender Binary Is a Big Lie: Infinite Identities around the World by Lee Wind

Bookstore Sales Up 2% in August, Up 4.5% Year to Date

August bookstore sales rose 2%, to $1.665 billion, compared to August 2015, according to preliminary estimates from the Census Bureau. This marked a return to growth for bookstore sales after July's 0.9% dip, the first drop in bookstore sales after 10 straight months of gains. For the year to date, bookstore sales have risen 4.5%, to $7.853 billion.

Total retail sales in August rose 3.3%, to $471.4 billion. For the year to date, total retail sales have risen 2.9%, to $3,592 billion.

Note: under Census Bureau definitions, the bookstore category consists of "establishments primarily engaged in retailing a general line of new books. These establishments may also sell stationery and related items, second-hand books, and magazines."

GLOW: Flatiron Books: Private Rites by Julia Armfield

Eagle Harbor Book Company Growing Under New Owners

In the four months since Jane and Dave Danielson bought Eagle Harbor Book Company on Bainbridge Island, Wash., the store has seen a complete revitalization of its inventory and the beginning of several new community partnerships and event series. The Danielsons have added some 6,000 titles to the inventory at their 4,200-square-foot new and used bookstore.

"Our sales are going up, not exponentially but climbing modestly," said Jane Danielson, who has worked at Eagle Harbor Book Company for nearly a decade. Prior to purchasing the store from former owners Morley Horder, René Kirkpatrick and Tim Hunter, Danielson was Eagle Harbor's events manager. "We've received a lot of nice comments. It seems like people are genuinely happy with the bookstore."

By adding several thousand books, Danielson sought to increase the diversity of the store's inventory as well as "beef up" selected sections which, she said, had begun to "languish" over the last few years. Among those sections were women and gender studies, art, history, social sciences, civics and politics. Though Danielson and her husband considered doing a customer survey to guide them through expanding the inventory, they decided to go a less formal route.

New owners Dave and Jane Danielson

"We have a lot of customers who are not shy about talking to us about what books they want to read," Danielson explained. "And we knew for sure which sections needed the most help. Some sections really needed to be more representative."

After the inventory increase, adult fiction continues to be the store's largest section, with biography and history coming next. Genre fiction, including science fiction and mystery/suspense are up, and doing very well. One section that has not seen major changes is the store's children's section, which is already large and continues to be quite popular. Eagle Harbor's young adult section, meanwhile, is growing rapidly, both fiction and nonfiction. To facilitate the increase in inventory, the Danielsons added some new shelving and made smart use of display tables, but didn't have to do any major physical changes.

"Prior to selling the store, the previous owner had returned or sold a lot of books," added Danielson. "We can't say we quite doubled the inventory, but it is quite an increase."

Another new addition to the store is a Teen Advisory Board program, in which teens sign up to receive free advance copies of YA books and write reviews of them. The reviews are then posted in the store and online; Danielson said the books reviewed by the Teen Advisory Board are generally strong sellers. Eagle Harbor Book Company has also started a Brown Bag Lunch series, which brings in authors for a lunchtime talk. Among some planned additions are an author-interview podcast, produced in partnership with Bainbridge Community Broadcasting; new sections in store for bestsellers, staff recommendations and award-winners; an upcoming documentary about the store, produced by a local documentarian; and a simplified process for customers to sell their used books to the store.

Looking ahead, one of Danielson's major goals is to work even more closely with the plethora of authors who live on Bainbridge Island. Some of the better known local authors include David Guterson (Snow Falling on Cedars), Jonathan Evison (This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!) and Rebecca Wells (Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood).

"We are very lucky on Bainbridge Island--we have some amazing local authors in our community," Danielson said. "We're looking to do much more with them." --Alex Mutter

Alex Baker: Exceptional Design And Creative Services For The Publishing Industry

Stoltz to Lead New Abrams Imprint

Jamison Stoltz

Effective immediately, Jamison Stoltz has been named executive editor of a soon-to-be launched text-driven Abrams imprint that will focus on narrative nonfiction. Stoltz will begin "shaping the vision of the new imprint with the goal of acquiring 12 to 15 books annually," according to Abrams.

"As we continue to expand and evolve, as well as plan for the next phase of our growth we see a real opportunity for our already successful adult publishing lists to add a text-driven imprint to our portfolio," said Michael Jacobs, president and CEO. "We want to publish more writers in our special way. This is our moment to do so."

Stoltz, who was previously senior editor at Grove Atlantic, said, "I'm delighted to be coming to Abrams at this exciting time for the company and to work with such a talented team of publishing professionals. Abrams has a stellar reputation for making beautiful books, and I'm thrilled to be joining them to publish original narrative titles that build on the company's strengths."

Michael Sand, Abrams v-p, publisher of adult trade, noted that with the new imprint "we are committed to publishing on a broad range of categories that the Abrams program addresses, including popular culture, film, art, design, general-interest science, nature, food topics, and more. Stoltz is a generalist in the best sense--someone who reads broadly and deeply and brings a passion for good storytelling to the books he acquires and edits. We're thrilled that he will be heading up a new text line at Abrams."

Bezos Tops Vanity Fair's 'New Establishment' List

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos tops Vanity Fair's "The New Establishment" list for 2016. "When the disrupters become the disrupted, and everyone's in the tech business, it's time for a shake-up in Vanity Fair's annual ranking of Silicon Valley hotshots, Hollywood moguls, Wall Street titans, and cultural icons," the magazine wrote.

In addition to his experimentation with space rockets and artificial intelligence, Bezos was cited for Amazon turning a profit in five consecutive quarters and for "planning a family book club. (He and his wife, MacKenzie, have four children.) On their reading list? Grit by Angela Duckworth, about 'the importance of passion and perseverance,' he says."

Obituary Note: Graham C. Greene

Graham C. Greene, CBE, a publishing industry veteran who was described as a "great cultural ambassador," died October 10, the Bookseller reported. Greene, former managing director at Jonathan Cape and chairman of Chatto, Bodley Head & Cape, also served as president of the Publishers Association and the International Publishers Association, and as chairman of the British Museum.

A board member of Ed Victor Ltd. since the founding of the company in 1976, Greene was praised by Ed Victor as "wonderfully wise" with a "very sly sense of humor" and "a solid rock I depended on for advice.... He was not just my friend, he was my mentor for many years. People don't really remember any more the amazing contributions Graham made to the publishing business."

Greene's son and stepdaughter, Alexander Greene and Charlotte Horton, said he "was a great cultural ambassador. His interests lay in many fields across the arts and politics. He was a kind friend and a wise mentor to a vast and varied number of people from all walks of life from all over the world. He will be missed."


Image of the Day: City of Weird

When author Leslie What brought a copy of City of Weird: 30 Otherworldly Portland Tales to the cash register at Powell's in Portland, Ore., she was surprised and delighted to find fellow City of Weird contributor Jason Squamata working. Jason signed Leslie's book as editor Gigi Little, marketing coordinator for Powell's, looked on. Powell's staffers Doug Chase and Kevin Sampsell also contributed stories to City of Weird (Forest Avenue Press, October 2016). The launch attracted 200 attendees and featured a conversation with authors Rene Denfeld, Mark Russell, Brigitte Winter and Dan DeWeese.

Cool Idea of the Day: Free Copies of U.S. Constitution

Phoenix Books is giving away 2,000 pocket-sized copies of the U.S. Constitution at its stores in Essex, Burlington, Rutland and Chester, Vt. Each location is offering one copy per customer while supplies last.

"Phoenix Books is in the business of disseminating ideas to our customers," said co-owner Mike DeSanto. "There are no greater ideas than those contained within the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence. People bandy these ideas back and forth, often without having read those documents. We think it's important to cast a ballot based on which candidates are most likely to bring the ideas embodied within those documents to their new administration. So, we're providing an opportunity to consider and make thoughtful choices in this election."

The edition being distributed is The U.S. Constitution & Fascinating Facts About It, annotated by Terry L. Jordan (Oak Hill Publishing). The text includes the Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence, as well as supplemental information on the men who wrote the Constitution, how it was created, and how the Supreme Court has interpreted the the Constitution.

Personnel Changes at Catapult, Ecco, DK

Effective October 24, Erin Kottke is joining Catapult as director of publicity. She was formerly head of Erin Kottke Public Relations and earlier worked for nearly 10 years at Graywolf Press, where she was marketing and publicity director.

Jennifer Abel Kovitz, Catapult's former director of marketing and publicity, is now associate publisher of Catapult/Counterpoint Press/Soft Skull Press.

Megan Fishmann remains director of publicity and marketing for Counterpoint Press/Soft Skull Press.


At the Ecco publicity department, which will no longer report to Harper publicity and will be overseen by Miriam Parker, associate publisher for Ecco:

Ashley Garland has been promoted to associate director of publicity of Ecco, and Martin Wilson is joining Ecco as senior publicity manager. They both report to publicity director Sonya Cheuse.


Christi Sheehan has joined DK as associate publicist. She formerly worked at Harlequin as a publicity assistant.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Fixer Uppers on Today

Today: Chip and Joanna Gaines, authors of The Magnolia Story (Thomas Nelson, $26.99, 9780718079185).

Fresh Air: Beth Macy, author of Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother's Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South (Little, Brown, $28, 9780316337540).


Diane Rehm: Adam Gazzaley and Larry D. Rosen, authors of The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World (MIT Press, $27.95, 9780262034944).

Live with Kelly: Jeff Gordon, subject of Jeff Gordon: His Dream, Drive & Destiny by Joe Garner (Jeff Gordon Inc., $39.95, 9781603803960).

Movies: Waiting for the Barbarians

Mark Rylance (Wolf Hall, Bridge of Spies), Ciro Guerra and producer Michael Fitzgerald are teaming up to to bring J.M. Coetzee's Waiting for the Barbarians to the big screen. Deadline reported that Fitzgerald (Wise Blood, The Pledge) "is the one who pulled the prestigious project together with Rylance and Guerra."

Books & Authors

Awards: Patrick White Literary; German Book Prize

Carmel Bird won the A$20,000 (about US$15,230) Patrick White Literary Award, which recognizes authors who "have made a significant but inadequately recognized contribution to Australian literature," Books+Publishing reported. White established the prize in 1974 using proceeds from his 1973 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Judging panel chair Bernadette Brennan said Bird had "contributed widely and uniquely to Australian literature since her first book in 1976.... Carmel has since gone on to publish 30 more books--her imagination is extraordinarily wide-ranging and her fiction consequently creates a world that criss-crosses textual, intellectual and geographical boundaries."


Bodo Kirchhoff has won the 2016 German Book Prize for his novel Encounter (Widerfahrnis), Publishing Perspectives reported. The €25,000 (about $27,520) prize is awarded annually on the eve of the Frankfurt Book Fair by the Börsenverein (the German book trade association) to honor "German-language literature and bring international attention to authors writing in German." Encounter was published by Frankfurter Verlagsanstalt in September.

The jury wrote that the book is about "the unprecedented journey of two people without a destination and with nothing but a direction--the South. They are driven by the age-old longing for love, for red wine, Italy, an adventure later in life. When they pick up a young vagabond along the way, they find themselves once again confronting the elementary themes of their past: loss, parenthood, radical new beginnings."

Book Review

Review: This House Is Mine

This House Is Mine by Dörte Hansen, trans. by Anne Stokes (St. Martin's, $26.99 hardcover, 336p., 9781250100856, November 15, 2016)

In German novelist Dörte Hansen's wry, tender debut, two women take shelter from their wounds in their family's tumbledown farmhouse.

Vera's connection to the old house in northern Germany's Altland begins in 1945, when she and her mother, Hildegard von Kamcke, arrive as refugees from East Prussia at the house whose gable bears the inscription, "This hoose is mine ain and yet no mine ain, he that follows will caw it his." Five-year-old Vera is destined to follow their stingy, resentful hostess, Ida Eckhoff, in calling the house her own; Hildegard marries Ida's shell-shocked son, Karl, in spite of "the screaming in the night and the wet bed some mornings," only to abandon husband and daughter for another man after a tempestuous period of family life that culminates in Ida's suicide. Left to fend for herself and her damaged stepfather, Vera perseveres and becomes a dentist as well as a farmer, but her irascible temperament and immodest habits--smoking, hunting and taking occasional married lovers--don't lend themselves to fitting in or finding a spouse. Despite the passage of years, Vera remains an outsider and refugee to the small community.

In the present day, Vera's niece Anne, daughter of her half-sister, Marlene, needs a refuge when she catches the father of her preschool son naked in their kitchen with another woman. Fleeing from the all-organic supermoms of her trendy Hamburg neighborhood, Anne turns to the aunt she barely knows for a place to grieve and rebuild.

Hansen evokes the charm of the bucolic life, but she also injects a note of levity with a subplot centered on a "downshifter," a young urbanite named Burkhard Weisswerth who relocates to the country with dreams of a simpler life and starting a lucrative magazine about country living. The mischief Hansen visits upon arrogant, naive Burkhard will draw laughs from American readers all too familiar with the unrealistic ambitions and mild narcissism sometimes associated with urbane young professionals who decide to get off the grid and back to the earth. Her skewering of the competitive upper-crust mommies in Anne's neighborhood will play equally well in the States.

Frequently humorous, This House Is Mine nevertheless strikes deep chords of isolation and abandonment. Hildegard leaves Vera a legacy of never feeling welcome or wanted; Anne inherits the same from Marlene. Overall, its message that outsiders sometimes have the power to reach out and defeat their own loneliness is hopeful, and readers who enjoyed Frederik Backman's A Man Called Ove or Monica Wood's The One-in-a-Million Boy will take eccentric, caustic Vera to their hearts. Hansen's first novel is as challenging and comforting as rural life itself. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Shelf Talker: Already an international success, this debut novel delves into the wounds and healing of two women sharing a deteriorating farmhouse in the German countryside.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Controlled Burn (The Kilgore Fire Series Volume 4) by Lani Lynn Vale
2. Take Me Home by Barbara Freethy
3. A SEAL's Pledge (SEALs of Chance Creek Volume 3) by Cora Seton
4. Live Wire (Titan Book 10) by Cristin Harber
5. Rock Hard: The Power Station Boxed Set by T. Gephart
6. Well Hung by Lauren Blakely
7. Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies by J.K. Rowling
8. The Atlantis Gene: A Thriller by A.G. Riddle
9. And Then She Was GONE by Christopher Greyson
10. A Shade Of Vampire by Bella Forrest

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