Shelf Awareness for Monday, October 24, 2016

Random House Worlds: Damsel by Evelyn Skye

St. Martin's Press: The Girls of Summer by Katie Bishop

Soho Crime: The Rope Artist by Fuminori Nakamura, transl. by Sam Bett

Flatiron Books: Once Upon a Prime: The Wondrous Connections Between Mathematics and Literature by Sarah Hart

Grand Central Publishing: Goodbye Earl: A Revenge Novel by Leesa Cross-Smith

Texas Bookman Presents Texas Remainder Expo

Steve Madden Ltd: The Cobbler: How I Disrupted an Industry, Fell from Grace, and Came Back Stronger Than Ever by Steve Madden and Jodi Lipper

St. Martin's Griffin: The Bookshop by the Bay by Pamela M. Kelley

Quotation of the Day

Best Bookshops 'Are the Ones People Want to Shop In'


"The independent bookstores that have proved successful are uniquely suited to the community they're in. Some are big. Some are small. Some are homey and stitched together with found shelving. Others are practically works of art and architecture. They stock the books that the community wants, and, while their selections are minuscule compared with Barnes & Noble, the staff can speak to the books on those shelves with authority. In other words, they are all different. An analogous example sits right across from the flagship Barnes & Noble, in Union Square, in New York City: a greenmarket that draws in people who want to browse, socialize, and take photos of pumpkins, even if they can buy the same foods and products at the Whole Foods Market on the south side of the square. The brick-and-mortar stores that do best today are the ones people want to shop in, not the ones they have to."

--David Sax, in a New Yorker piece headlined "What Barnes & Noble Doesn't Get About Bookstores"

Blackstone Publishing: What Remains by Wendy Walker


Grand Opening Set for Tallahassee's Midtown Reader

Midtown Reader, Tallahassee, Fla., will hold its grand opening on Saturday, November 12, celebrating with events featuring Curious George and Martha the Talking Dog, as well as a 5:30 p.m. open house with Tallahassee authors hosted by David Kirby.

The store's soft opening is  this week and it will host its first event November 5, for Craig Pittman, whose new book is Oh, Florida: How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country. And on November 10, Ravi Howard, author of Driving the King, will appear.

Donna Paz Kaufman, Mark Kaufman and Sally Bradshaw

Midtown Reader is owned by Sally Bradshaw, a graduate of Paz & Associates' "bookstore boot camp," who has been helped by Donna Paz Kaufman and Mark Kaufman. Bradshaw, who served as senior adviser to former Governor Jeb Bush during his presidential campaign, said that she decided to open a bookstore after reading that Tallahassee had been ranked the smartest city in Florida and one of the smartest cities in the nation but, as she put it, the Florida capital has "really never had a true independent bookstore."

GLOW: Flatiron Books: Bad Summer People by Emma Rosenblum

'Sneak Peek' at the Oregon Amazon Books Store

photo: Dillon Pilorget/The Oregonian/OregonLive

The Oregonian offered "an exclusive sneak peek" at the Amazon Books store that's opening soon in the Washington Square Mall in Tigard, Ore., near Portland. It's Amazon's third bookstore, after the locations in Seattle, Wash., and San Diego, Calif.

The store opened for several hours on Saturday, "testing its new location before it opens permanently sometime this week," the paper wrote. It's an area that "has been without a bookstore since 2012, when Barnes & Noble closed its store near the mall and moved to Bridgeport Village."

The Tigard store is 7,800 square feet and stocks about 5,200 titles, with 20% of the space devoted to devices like the Kindle and Echo. The store is substantially larger than the other two Amazon Books: the Seattle store has 5,500 square feet of space, and the San Diego store has 3,500 square feet of space. But the Tigard store stocks only about 200 more books than the Seattle store.

Jennifer Cast, v-p of Amazon Books, told the Oregonian that although the store is meant to be an extension of Amazon's website, showrooming doesn't happen as much as Amazon expected. "Mostly," the paper wrote, "customers follow the traditional retail pattern, she said: They see something they like, and they buy it in the store."

The Amazon stores stock only books with "an average rating of four stars or more as well as new books selected by Amazon staff."

"Our goal is not to find bestsellers," Cast said. "Our goal is to find books that customers will love." Cast added that Amazon is "very happy" with the performance of the Seattle store.

William Morrow & Company: The God of Good Looks by Breanne Mc Ivor

Reading Frenzy Owner Runs for City Council in Portland, Ore.

Chloe Eudaly

Chloe Eudaly, owner of Reading Frenzy in Portland, Ore., is running for a seat on the City Council, challenging incumbent commissioner Steve Novick, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting. The race is non-partisan, but both candidates call themselves progressive Democrats.

OPD said Eudaly--who has been a community organizer, started a PTA for parents of children with disabilities and chaired the Regional Arts & Culture Council--"wants to be a voice on the council for people that Portland isn't working for right now, people being priced out of the city." She has called for an emergency freeze on rents and wants the city to implement some kind of rent control.

Eudaly added: "As a small business owner and a community activist for the last 25 years and a renter, I will bring needed experience and perspective to the council."

Founded 22 years ago, Reading Frenzy focuses on independent, small press and self-published titles and is home to Show & Tell Press and Minikin Gallery.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Celebrants by Steven Rowley

Flood Update: Foyles Charing Cross Road Reopens

"We are extremely happy to report that Charing Cross Rd. will re-open at 12.30 today," Foyles tweeted Friday morning. The flagship store had been closed since early last week due to basement flooding from a failed sprinkler system. The bookseller received numerous messages of support on social media, and responded to the challenging situation with humor and perspective.

"In addition to hearing from countless book-loving regulars, the store has also received encouragement from fellow booksellers and from publishers," the Bookseller reported. "Both Atlantic Books and Michael O'Mara tweeted its support on Wednesday, offering supplies if needed, while Verso Books took to Twitter to invite staff round for coffee and Picador bid it to 'get well soon.' Galley Beggar Press expressed its solidarity that, 'a bad day for @Foyles is a bad day for all of us.' Other well-wishers from the trade have included Canongate, Serpent's Tail, No Exit Press, Nick Hern Press, and CAMRA Books, among others including Unbound author Nikesh Shukla."

On Friday, Foyles tweeted: "We'd like to say a sincere thank you to our customers & publishing partners for their patience & kind support over the last week."

Obituary Note: Brigit Pegeen Kelly

Brigit Pegeen Kelly, "one of America's most strikingly original contemporary poets," died earlier this month, the Poetry Foundation reported. Kelly's books include To the Place of Trumpets (1987), selected by James Merrill for the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize; Song (1995), winner of the Lamont Poetry Prize of the Academy of American Poets; and The Orchard (2004), a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award in Poetry, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

Stephen Dobyns had called her "one of the very best poets now writing in the United States. In fact, there is no one who is any better. Not only are her poems brilliantly made, but they also give great pleasure. Rarely are those two qualities seen together in one poet."

From Kelly's poem "The Leaving":

And then out of its own goodness, out
of the far fields of the stars, the morning came,
and inside me was the stillness a bell possesses
just after it has been rung, before the metal
begins to long again for the clapper's stroke.
The light came over the orchard.
The canals were silver and then were not.
and the pond was--I could see as I laid
the last peach in the water--full of fish and eyes.


Image of the Day: Star Wars Reads Day

On Saturday, Bear Pond Books, Montpelier, Vt., hosted its first Star Wars Reads Day, with special guests Vermont's 501st Legion. The event also featured stories, trivia and photos with the Stormtroopers, pilots and other characters from the 501st.

Road Trip: Famous Last Words in Toronto

Famous Last Words, a Toronto bar serving "cocktails with a literary twist," opened a week ago last Friday to serve "readers looking for a casual haunt to sit down with a good book and a drink (or writers looking for a few strong ounces of liquid creativity)‚" Quillblog reported.

Drawing its name from Timothy Findley's 1981 novel, Famous Last Words, the business features craft cocktails "with book-inspired names like The English PatientCryptonomiconThe Perks of Being a Wallflower‚ and Fahrenheit 451. The bar’s bookish decor includes a Scrabble-tile-topped bar‚ bookshelf wallpaper‚ washrooms for Jane Austens or Oscar Wildes‚ typewriters‚ and‚ of course‚ plenty of paperbacks to browse on a bar-spanning book wall."

From the website: "Serving great cocktails in a relaxed, neighborhood setting. Like great stories, great drinks come in all shape and sizes. So no matter your taste--in books or cocktails--you're sure to find something here you'll love."

Ingram Academic Services Adds Stanford U.P., University of Ottawa Press

Ingram Academic Services has signed print and digital sales and distribution agreements with Stanford University Press and the University of Ottawa Press.

Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif., publishes 140 scholarly and trade books a year across the humanities, social sciences, law, and business and has an active backlist of nearly 4,000 titles. Its newest imprint, Redwood Press, publishes for a trade audience.

The University of Ottawa Press, Ottawa, Canada, is, it says, the only fully bilingual university press and the oldest French-language university press in North America, publishing a range of titles in the humanities and social sciences.

Alan Harvey, director of Stanford University Press, commented: "Our relationship with Ingram is a significant component in restructuring our sales and marketing efforts for today's changing book market. Ingram's digital infrastructure offers cutting-edge innovations in content management and distribution. The combination of Perseus with Ingram offers a sales team with even greater reach into new markets."

Personnel Changes at Anthology Editions

Casey Whalen has joined Anthology Editions as director of sales. She was formerly sales manager at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt trade and Rizzoli International Publications.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Wayne Gretzky on Conan

Good Morning America: Tim Tebow, co-author of Shaken: Discovering Your True Identity in the Midst of Life's Storms (WaterBrook, $25, 9780735289864).

Today: Derek Jeter and Lonnie Ali discuss Muhammad Ali Unfiltered: Rare, Iconic, and Officially Authorized Photos of the Greatest (Gallery/Jeter Publishing, $28, 9781501161940).

Diane Rehm: James Kitfield, author of Twilight Warriors: The Soldiers, Spies, and Special Agents Who Are Revolutionizing the American Way of War (Basic Books, $27.99, 9780465064700).

Conan: Deepak Chopra, co-author of Radical Beauty: How to Transform Yourself from the Inside Out (Harmony, $26.99, 9781101906019).

Late Late Show with James Corden: Nick Offerman, author of Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop (Dutton, $35, 9781101984659).

The View: Dana Perino, author of Let Me Tell You about Jasper...: How My Best Friend Became America's Dog (Twelve, $27, 9781455567102).

Conan: Wayne Gretzky, co-author of 99: Stories of the Game (Putnam, $28, 9780399575471).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Graydon Carter, editor of Vanity Fair's Writers on Writers (Penguin Books, $20, 9780143111764).

Tonight Show: Phil Collins, author of Not Dead Yet: The Memoir (Crown Archetype, $28, 9781101907474). He will also appear on Live with Kelly.

TV: Gerald's Game

Downtown Mobile, Ala., "will play home to the set of a Stephen King novel's film adaptation," according to, which reported that executive producer D. Scott Lumpkin, a Fairhope resident, confirmed Gerald's Game will be shot in the city. The project "is scheduled to forego a release in theaters, instead debuting as a Netflix Original." Directed by Mike Flanagan, the film stars Bruce Greenwood, Carla Gugino, Henry Thomas, Carel Struycken and Kate Siegel.

"We are shooting Gerald's Game entirely in Alabama. From last week through the middle of November," Lumpkin said, adding: "This is our fourth film here at home in Alabama with this producer-director team. Oculus, Before I Wake, Hush and now this one."

Books & Authors

Awards: Goldsboro Winner

Cecilia Ekbäck has won the £1,000 (about $1,220) 2016 Historical Writers' Association's Goldsboro Debut Crown for Wolf Winter (published in the U.S. by Weinstein Books), and Philippa Gregory has won the association's Outstanding Contribution to Historical Fiction Award, the Bookseller reported.

Chair judge Andrew Taylor said that the judges were "unanimously impressed by Wolf Winter. Not only is it astonishingly accomplished for a first novel, but it plunges the reader into Swedish Lapland 300 years ago and plays havoc with your emotions. Dark, powerful and beautifully written, it's a worthy winner."

Gemma Rowland, operations manager at Harrogate International Festivals, said that Gregory's "novels have been integral in shaping, and leading the genre, which has become so popular in recent years."

Book Review

Review: Please Do Not Disturb

Please Do Not Disturb by Robert Glancy (Bloomsbury, $26 hardcover, 304p., 9781632864307, November 15, 2016)

Robert Glancy's second novel, Please Do Not Disturb, is set in the fictional East African country of Bwalo. It is a portrait of a land struggling, decades after its emancipation from British colonial rule, to escape the iron fist of the man responsible for its liberation; his despotic reign has turned Bwalo into "a country where anything can happen to anyone at any time."

The novel revolves around an event known as the Big Day, the annual commemoration of Bwalo's independence in the 1980s. Its liberator, King Tafumo--who used a mythic biography and 20 years in English exile as his stepping stones to power--now lies physically ailing and demented in his palace's medical wing. His bureaucrats, army and secret police serve him by maintaining a terrifying surveillance state, where those suspected of disloyalty simply disappear. Chief among his functionaries is Josef Songa, a childhood friend who now refers to himself, with no small amount of bitterness, as the "Minister of Whispers and Lies."

Glancy (Terms & Conditions) relies on a chorus of four narrative voices, in addition to Josef's, to tell a subtle, complex story of the climate of fear that's the chief product of political oppression: Charlie, the adolescent son of a hotelier in the capital city; Hope, Josef's ex-wife and nurse to the failing ruler; Sean, an English professor and blocked novelist from Ireland; and Jack, a smuggler and drug dealer. These characters, save Charlie, have made compromises to continue to exist in the cesspool of corruption and terror that is Bwalo. Most compelling among them is Josef, whose willingness to betray even his closest friends has begun to congeal into a profound moral crisis.

Glancy, who was born in Zambia and lived in Africa until age 14, creates a convincing portrait of poverty-stricken Bwalo, "a country you couldn't even call forgotten for the fact no one had heard of it in the first place." With events like a near-disastrous safari--for the benefit of a teenage American performer named Truth, who's been flown in with his entourage to provide the Big Day's musical entertainment--and a rapidly unfolding plot to overthrow Tafumo, there's ample action to keep the novel's plot bubbling. Please Do Not Disturb is a tragicomic story of the price exacted when those bent on corruption thwart the promise of freedom. --Harvey Freedenberg, attorney and freelance reviewer

Shelf Talker: Robert Glancy's second novel is the story of political intrigue and moral decay in a corrupt African nation.

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