Also published on this date: Wednesday, October 19, 2016: Maximum Shelf: Two Days Gone

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Flatiron Books: White Horse by Erika T. Wurth

Holiday House: Owl and Penguin (I Like to Read Comics) by Vikram Madan; Noodleheads Take it Easy by Tedd Arnold, Martha Hamilton, and Mitch Weiss

Blackstone Publishing: Ezra Exposed by Amy E. Feldman

Clavis: Fall Preview

Amulet Books: Marya Khan and the Incredible Henna Party (Marya Khan #1) by Saadia Faruqi, illustrated by Ani Bushry

Charlesbridge Publishing: Abuelita and I Make Flan by Adriana Hernández Bergstrom; Brand-New Bubbe by Sarah Aronson, illustrated by Ariel Landy

Shadow Mountain: To Capture His Heart (Proper Romance Victorian) by Nancy Campbell Allen

Quotation of the Day

Mark Haddon: Amazon Is a 'Merciless Commercial Engine'

Photo: Nigel Barklie

"Much as we love Amazon, we like bookshops much more, don't we? So we did an edition that is only available in physical, bricks-and-mortar bookshops. It was a way of saying: go and buy from a bookshop. Go into a real bookshop and buy it off some real people.... [Amazon is] a merciless commercial engine. Also because of the way it treats its staff. The way it treats its competitors."

--Mark Haddon, author most recently of The Pier Falls, speaking at the Cheltenham Literary festival about an illustrated edition published exclusively for U.K. bricks-and-mortar bookstores

University of California Press: Dictee (Second Edition, Reissue, Restored);  Exilee and Temps Morts: Selected Works (First Edition, Reissue) by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha


David Hockney Helps Open Frankfurt Book Fair

"Now, more than ever, society needs strong and independent communicators of ideas, who are able to question and analyze the information and events," said Heinrich Riethmueller, president of the Börsenverein, the German book trade association, during the Frankfurt Book Fair's opening press conference yesterday morning. "Books underpin the spread of knowledge, stories and experience. Never have book people and cultural professionals been more important than they are today."

Juergen Boos, director of the Frankfurt Book Fair, said that "more intensively than ever before, we'll be addressing the question of how creative people--the originators of intellectual property--can live from their work. What business models are needed, what regulations and laws? And what networks exist to facilitate exchanges internationally?"

Opening press conference with (l.-r.) Heinrich Riethmüller, Juergen Boos and David Hockney
Photo: Alexander Heimann/Frankfurter Buchmesse

After the opening remarks from Boos and Riethmueller, English artist David Hockney took the floor. Hockney, whose "mammoth-sized" monograph A Bigger Book is being published by Taschen in November, changed subject, discussing the methods he used to create drawings on his iPad and some of the differences between drawing on a screen and drawing on paper.

"I like to draw. I've always liked to draw," said Hockney. He described using the iPad to draw what he sees almost constantly, whether that be the sun rising while he's lying in bed in the morning or a set of plug adapters at a hotel in Germany. "The computer doesn't stop you drawing. You just carry on drawing on the computer now. The computer doesn't cancel out drawing, I've noticed."

Some of the biggest advantages to sketching digitally, he said, were the "enormous range of colors and marks you can make" and the fact that you can never wear out a surface. Artists, he said, "can go on drawing forever on this, of course." The biggest disadvantage to drawing digitally, he continued, was that there was "no resist drawing on glass."

Added Hockney: "Terrific medium for drawing, the iPad." --Alex Mutter

Blair: A Girlhood: Letter to My Transgender Daughter by Carolyn Hays

The MIT Press Bookstore on the Move

After 36 years in Kendall Square, the MIT Press Bookstore is relocating this week to 301 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge. Thursday will be the last day of operation at 292 Main Street, with a reopening at the new location scheduled for next Monday. The bookstore is moving "as construction of MIT's Kendall Square Initiative gets underway. This massive building campaign will make several buildings along Main Street uninhabitable for the next few years, including our building, E-38." Plans call for a return to the new Kendall Square eventually.

Graphic Mundi - Psu Press: Hakim's Odyssey by Fabien Toulme and Hanna Chute

Foyles Charing Cross Road: Flooded, but Upbeat

Foyles' flagship store on Charing Cross Road in London was forced to close yesterday due to flooding in the basement, but the bookseller retained a sense of humor about the situation on social media. In an initial tweet, @Foyles reported: "Due to unforeseen circumstances, Foyles, Charing Cross Road is closed. All other Foyles bookshops are open as normal." This was followed by regular updates, including:

  • If anyone needs advice from a bookseller, there are currently quite a few in Caffe Nero on Charing X Rd. We can't sell you any books though.
  • Update: we're still closed. There's currently lots of water sloshing around in the basement, & no electricity. Books & booksellers unharmed.
  • On a separate note, can anyone recommend a venue for a pop-up shop? Must have space for 1/4 million books. Thx.
  • Everyone is being very lovely about this pesky flood business. Book people are the best.
  • All we want to do is sell good books to people and not being able to is VERY BORING. All your nice tweets are really bucking us up.

Simon Heafield, head of marking and brand development at Foyles, told the Bookseller: "The flooding was caused by the sprinkler system in the basement. Thankfully it has not affected the shop floor, but it has caused electrical problems which need to be resolved before we can reopen. We'd like to thank our customers and trade partners for their patience and the support they have shown on social media over the last 24 hours."

Ebony Magazine Publishing: Black Hollywood: Reimagining Iconic Movie Moments by Carell Augustus

Bob Dylan to Swedish Academy: I'm Not There

image: N. Elmehed/Nobel Media 2016

Newly minted Nobel Literature Laureate Bob Dylan has not yet responded to the Swedish Academy's attempts to contact him directly, BBC News reported. He has also not commented publicly, though a brief post on his Facebook page did acknowledge the award last week.

"Right now we are doing nothing," said Sara Danius, permanent secretary of the academy. "I have called and sent e-mails to his closest collaborator and received very friendly replies. For now, that is certainly enough."

Dylan is the first person to receive the award for songwriting and the first American to win since Toni Morrison in 1993. BBC News wrote that it is not known yet "whether the singer-songwriter will travel to Stockholm to receive his award in person" on December 10.

"If he doesn't want to come, he won't come," Danius said. "It will be a big party in any case and the honor belongs to him."

Obituary Notes: Ed Gorman; David Antin

Author and editor Ed Gorman, who "found literary success as a mystery and crime novelist and short story writer," died October 14, the Cedar Rapids Gazette reported. He was 74. Gorman "lived and breathed books and writers," his wife Carol said, adding that his role as a mentor to other writers was profound. She "often found him on the phone with budding writers or convincing editors and agents to read those new writers' material," the Gazette noted.

"He's not as famous as he should be, but in the writing community he was about as respected as you could be," said Iowa City author and book reviewer Rob Cline. "All of us in the area, we should be proud that a writer of this caliber was among us for so many years."

Locus Online noted that Gorman "was best known as a crime and horror writer and anthologist, and also wrote SF. He published dozens of books, beginning with novel Rough Cut (1984). Most of his works of genre interest were published pseudonymously. As Daniel Ransom, he wrote many horror and SF titles.... Under the name Richard Driscoll he and Kevin D. Randle co-wrote the SF Star Precinct trilogy, beginning with Star Precinct (1992). The majority of books appearing under Gorman's own byline were crime and mystery, notably the Robert Payne series, the Sam McCaine series, the Jack Dwyer series, and the Dev Conrad series. He also wrote Westerns."


David Antin, "whose improvised performances, which he called 'talk poems,' introduced a radical new form into American poetry in the 1970s," died October 11, the New York Times reported. He was 84. After editing tape-recorded performances, "he committed his poems to the page" in the collections Talking (1972), Talking at the Boundaries (1976) and What It Means to Be Avant-Garde (1993), the Times wrote, adding that Antin's "revision of late modernist poetry, rejected by writers like Robert Pinsky and critics like Harold Bloom as no poetry at all, favored an open line, absurdism and a direct connection to the oral poetry of the ancient bards."

His other books include How Long Is the Present: Selected Talk Poems of David Antin; Talking; i never knew what time it was; and Radical Coherency: Selected Essays on Art and Literature, 1966 to 2005.


Image of the Day: Presidential Bookshopping

In a speech Monday at a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton in New York City, former president Bill Clinton talked about Scattered Books, the "tiny bookstore" in Chappaqua, N.Y., and "how it's a special place made by the hard work of the woman who owns it, Laura Schaefer (a Briarcliff Manor resident); and an essay that her 13-year-old son Jason wrote about the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump," the Chappaqua Patch reported. "Clinton said it was 'breathtaking,' better than anything most 35-year-olds could write. And Clinton shared the boy's conclusion that it is important for his wife to win the presidential election in November because she focuses on people's abilities and not on their disabilities." (Bookstore comments start around the 1:50 mark in this clip.)

Pictured: Bill Clinton with owner Laura Schaefer at Scattered Books this past weekend, where he purchased, among other things, a copy of Peter Wohlleben's The Hidden Life of Trees (Greystone Books).

Cool Idea of the Day: 'Van Fulla Books Tour'

Isaac Marion, author of the bestselling novel Warm Bodies, is currently on the road for his "Van Fulla Books Tour," driving his campervan from Seattle to San Diego ("and perhaps beyond") to drop off ARCs of the upcoming sequel, The Burning World (Atria, Feb. 7), at more than 40 bookstores.

In a blog post last week, Marion wrote: "I am driving down the west coast on something I'm calling the Van Fulla Books Tour (#VanFullaBooksTour !) Because, see, my van is fulla books. Galley copies of The Burning World, which I'm delivering to bookstores in order to make some kind of human connection to the people who will (hopefully) be selling my new book.... I am going ALL THE WAY DOWN. San Diego and perhaps beyond. I'm making a frantic pace to get to all the stores on my list, but on the way back up, things will be more leisurely, and I may do some fan meetups in which you'll get a chance to receive a very special gift. So stay tuned if you like special gifts and/or me."

Village Books: 'Mandatory First Stop' in Whatcom County

In a feature headlined "A book-filled journey through Whatcom County," the Seattle Times explored the "literary landscapes" of Washington's northwest corner, including Fairhaven, "once a city unto itself, now the southernmost neighborhood of Bellingham and a nationally designated historic district." Once there, visitors' "mandatory first stop is Village Books (1200 11th Street), one of the West Coast's finest indie bookstores, with a hopping events calendar that features visiting authors and a literature-infused variety show called The Chuckanut Radio Hour.

"Not only can you find thousands of new and used books in the store, but you MAY also notice that the store (or its co-founders, Chuck and Dee Robinson) can be found in many books. These include dedications (in Jo Dereske's Catalogue of Death, part of her Bellingham-inspired Miss Zukas mystery series), acknowledgments (in Jim Lynch's latest novel, Before the Wind), and even subject matter--when business author Robert Spector started lining up interviews for The Mom & Pop Store, his 2010 book on American shopkeepers, the Robinsons, he says, 'were at the top of my list.' "

Personnel Changes at Tim Duggan Books and Broadway

Effective immediately, Dyana Messina has been promoted to director of publicity, Tim Duggan Books and Broadway.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Padma Lakshmi Talks Spices and Herbs

Diane Rehm: Gary Younge, author of Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives (Nation Books, $25.99, 9781568589756).

Watch What Happens Live: Padma Lakshmi, author of The Encyclopedia of Spices and Herbs: An Essential Guide to the Flavors of the World (Ecco, $39.99, 9780062375230).

TV: Murder in the Heartland: In Cold Blood Revisited

SundanceTV has ordered the "four-part true crime documentary series Murder in the Heartland: In Cold Blood Revisited (working title), a reexamination of the crime chronicled in Truman Capote's landmark book and Oscar-nominated film, for premiere next year," Deadline reported. The network has also obtained the rights to 1967 the film, which marks its 50th anniversary next year. The series, produced and directed by Joe Berlinger (Paradise Lost trilogy), "will present a 360-degree view and re-examination of the crime and subsequent events," Deadline wrote.

"I have long been obsessed with Capote's genre-busting masterwork, but even more fascinated by the underlying crime and its impact on the American psyche," said Berlinger. "The opportunity to explore my obsession, in light of new information we have uncovered, with a network and brand that I have long been associated with and which represents cinematic quality at its most intelligent is a dream situation for a nonfiction filmmaker of my background."

Books & Authors

Awards: Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction

Zoë Morrison has won the 2016 Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction for her debut novel, Music and Freedom.

Readings, which has seven shops in Melbourne, Australia, described the book this way: "Set over a period of 70 years, Music and Freedom is a profound and moving portrait of one woman's life, ranging from rural Australia in the 1930s to England in the modern day. The Prize judges were united in considering the novel a sophisticated and intelligent work of fiction."

Readings founder and managing director Mark Rubbo called Music and Freedom "a stimulating, thought-provoking and immensely satisfying book."

Reading with... Susan Elia MacNeal

photo: Andrea Vaszko

Susan Elia MacNeal is the Barry Award-winning and Edgar, ITW Thriller, Dilys, Agatha, Macavity and Lefty Award-nominated author of the Maggie Hope mysteries, including Mr. Churchill's Secretary, Princess Elizabeth's Spy, His Majesty's Hope, The Prime Minister's Secret Agent, Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante and the most recent, The Queen's Accomplice (Bantam Books, October 4, 2016). She lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, N.Y., with her husband and child, and she's hard at work on the next Maggie Hope novel.

On your nightstand now:

Oh, it's such a pile! Galleys and bound manuscripts and finished books.... On the top, though, is the novel Muse by Jonathan Galassi. I worked in publishing at the Little Random imprint of Random House in the 1990s, watching (as an assistant) editorial greats such as Jason Epstein, Joe Fox, Robert Loomis and Kate Medina--and so I can't wait to read this inside look at that era of publishing.

Right now I'm writing a book called The Paris Spy, and so I also have a number of books about Paris during the Nazi Occupation on the nightstand: a galley of Les Parisiennes: How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved, and Died Under Nazi Occupation by Anne Sebba, Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel's Secret War by Hal Vaughan and The Hotel on Place Vendome: Life, Death, and Betrayal at the Hotel Ritz in Paris by Tilar J. Mazzeo. A little dark for before-bedtime reading, but what can you do?

On a more lighthearted note, I'm also reading the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling along with my husband and 11-year-old son. We all play different roles as we read it aloud!

Favorite book when you were a child:

I loved, loved, loved The Secret Garden and A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. And everything by Madeleine L'Engle, starting with A Wrinkle in Time. Meg Murry, brilliant but underestimated, is definitely a literary inspiration for Maggie Hope.

Your top five authors:

In no particular order: Robertson Davies, J.R.R. Tolkien, Donna Tartt, Alice Hoffman, and Philip Pullman. If I had to find a common theme, it would be the never-ending fight of darkness versus light, a sense of hope in the face of cynicism, and joy in the beauty of the English language.

Book you've faked reading:

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. I read the beginning.

Book you're an evangelist for:

The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I've given away more copies than I can count, and if I'm in a bookstore with a friend who hasn't read it, I'll find a copy and press it into her hands with, "You've just GOT to read this!" (No, really. You've got to read it.)

Book you've bought for the cover:

Possession by A.S. Byatt. Yes, most of its gorgeousness is the painting, The Beguiling of Merlin by Pre-Raphaelite Edward Burne-Jones, but it's also the different fonts, the choice of that deep rich blue, and the accents of gold foil. Exquisite. And the cover is perfect for the book inside, a postmodern historical masterpiece.

Book you hid from your parents:

Honestly, I don't think they cared what I was reading. Let's see--Peyton Place by Grace Metalious, Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews, anything by Judith Krantz....

Book that changed your life:

Holding onto the Air by New York City Ballet ballerina and George Balanchine muse Suzanne Farrell. It opened up the world of 20th-century dance and art and creativity to me in a way no other book has. I read it alongside Bernard Taper's excellent Balanchine biography, and Toni Bentley's delicate Winter Season: A Dancer's Journal.

Favorite line from a book:

So many Tolkien quotes to choose from, but my favorite, from The Fellowship of the Ring, is: "The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater."

Five books you'll never part with:

I have a particularly battered copy of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, that I read as a girl, and then used when I wrote my college thesis on the works of Alcott from a feminist perspective. It still has some of my notes in the margins! Jo March, what an inspiring heroine. She definitely had a huge influence on my being a writer--and is definitely a literary "godmother" to Maggie Hope.

Following Balanchine by the late dance critic Robert Garis. He was my professor at Wellesley College, and we were both obsessed with New York City Ballet and its world. He was a beloved mentor, and I treasure my signed copy.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith is one of my all-time favorite books. I seem to turn to it as comfort reading whenever the world feels too much. It's eccentric and witty and wise. And it's the source of one of my favorite quotes about reading: "Still, looking through the old volumes was soothing, because thinking of the past made the present seem a little less real. And while I was searching, the Vicar got out biscuits and madeira. I never had madeira before, and it was lovely--the idea almost more than the taste, because it made me feel I was paying a morning call in an old novel."

I edited the late Judith Merkle Riley's books when I was at Viking/Penguin. I was able to work closely with Judith (on the telephone, there was no e-mail then!), and we became fast friends. Then, when I started writing, she was my mentor. I still miss her terribly, and to ameliorate that, I often reread The Oracle Glass. My battered and beloved first edition is next to the new reprint, now out from Sourcebooks. I'm so happy to know Judith's work is in print once again.

The Hobbit is a book I reread when I need courage. "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit." Was there ever a more perfect first sentence?

Does it have to be only five? What about Jane Eyre, Things Fall Apart, Sophie's Choice, Great Expectations, The Color Purple, Persuasion, North and South, Jazz, The Great Gatsby, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Brideshead Revisited, Remains of the Day....

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt builds on all the promise of The Secret History and surpasses it. I stayed up all night to finish it. It was that good. And apparently the Pulitzer committee thought so, too.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold took my breath away. The language, the perspective, the characters (oh, Susie Salmon), the plot, the insights, the hard-won wisdom. I feel it's our generation's Our Town.

Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin is one of those big, ambitious, gorgeous books that makes you fall in love with reading all over again. It's about love and God and magic and myth, all set in Edwardian New York City and written in a way that's visceral. You are there, no question.

How do you pick a favorite Robertson Davies book? For me, perhaps A Mixture of Frailties, the third book of his Salterton trilogy. With every rereading, I uncover more of Davies's wit and wisdom and integrity--and feel his sheer joy in language and storytelling.

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

As I said, I love rereading The Hobbit and the other books by J.R.R. Tolkien, but since I read it first when I was so young, I sometimes wonder what I would have thought coming at it as an adult? It doesn't matter, though. Each rereading (probably every few years) is like reading it for the first time.

Book Review

Children's Review: Florence Nightingale: The Courageous Life of the Legendary Nurse

Florence Nightingale: The Courageous Life of the Legendary Nurse by Catherine Reef (Clarion Books, $18.99 hardcover, 192p., ages 11-up, 9780544535800, November 8, 2016)

Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) had "a face not easily forgotten," wrote Reverend Osborne in 1854 of the determined 34-year-old British nurse in charge of Scutari's (now Istanbul's) mammoth Barrack Hospital in Turkey. It was a face "with an eye betokening great self possession," he added. Nightingale needed to be self-possessed. The Crimean War was raging, soldiers were wounded and dying, and she described the foul British army hospital where she was stationed as "the Kingdom of Hell." Nightingale and her team of female nurses worked wonders, despite initial resentment from the male medical officers in charge. She became internationally famous for these years of wartime service, but "the Lady with the Lamp" (she often visited suffering soldiers at night with her Turkish candle lantern) returned to England in 1856 and continued her work to improve "the modern profession of nursing," wartime medical care, public health in India, the conditions of British workhouses and much more.

Educated, cultivated and curious, Nightingale was a rebel in her time. In mid-19th-century England, "a pretty, accomplished daughter of a man with means" was expected to stick around the house, obeying either father or husband. As someone who felt that "constant progress is the law of life," she was greatly pained by this reality. Even as a child, she didn't want to be like her Aunt Patty, one of the "countless women" who had "gone mad for the want of something to do." By the age of nine she was keeping a record of family ailments and wrapping her dolls' necks with flannel when they had whooping cough. As she grew older, she spent hours visiting the poor, sick and dying. By age 16, she had experienced a calling from God to be a nurse. By 25, much to her family's horror, she had a dream--a plan--that absolutely did not include marriage: she wanted to devote herself to serving the sick.

At the heart of seasoned biographer Catherine Reef's Florence Nightingale is the story of a girl, then woman, caught between her ambitions and her family's expectations, who fought her whole life to do something that mattered... and excelled at it. Abundant color and black-and-white illustrations--including 19th-century cartoons, family portraits, paintings, sketches and photographs--illuminate Nightingale's family life in Victorian England as well as her travels to Italy, Egypt, Greece, Turkey and beyond.

Florence Nightingale slowly, surely willed her way through societal barriers, blazed the way for women in the medical profession, trained nurses, managed hospitals, helped reform wartime medical care and personally tended to countless patients. Her name has become synonymous with "caring nurse" around the world and this cleanly designed, vividly spun, meticulously researched and sourced biography shows readers why. --Karin Snelson, children's & YA editor, Shelf Awareness

Shelf Talker: Veteran nonfiction author Catherine Reef explores the life and work of British nurse Florence Nightingale in this fascinating illustrated biography for middle-grade readers.

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