Shelf Awareness for Monday, November 28, 2016

Esri Press: Local Voices, Local Choices: The Tacare Approach to Community-Led Conservation by Jane Goodall Institute

Holiday House: For Lamb by Lesa Cline-Ransome

Zonderkidz: The Beginner's Bible: Timeless Children's Stories

Tordotcom: Witch King by Martha Wells

Doubleday Books: American Mermaid by Julia Langbein

Dell: Solomon's Crown by Natasha Siegel


Indies First: Busy Beginning of the Holiday Season

A record number of independent bookstores participated in the fourth annual Indies First on Saturday, more than 500 in all 50 states, many of which again featured appearances by authors who acted as booksellers, handselling their own and others' books. There were also giveaways, raffles, offerings of food and drink, many deals--and booksellers around the country indicated that stores were busy.

At Third Place Books: Sherman Alexie, managing partner Robert Sindelar and a busload of book lovers.

Sherman Alexie, the driving force behind the creation of Indies First, this year had a bus that took 17 writers, five members of the press and one musician/poet to University Book Store, Elliott Bay Book Company and Third Place Books at Seward Park, all in Seattle. Everyone wore blue-and-white Indies First scarves "and were greeted with enthusiasm at each store, where people were encouraged to ask the blue-scarved for book advice and to sign," Shelf Awareness's own Marilyn Dahl reported. "It was a grand success, and 24 people finished a seven-hour day tired but happy. The red vines on the bus helped, as did the cookies at each store."

At Third Place Books in Seward Park, the bus arrived at noon after the store had prepared "with books, balloons, and coffee and cookies from our restaurant partners at Raconteur," said Sam Kaas, Third Place Books' offsite events manager.

Alexie made a brief introduction ("we've got dozens of local writers and poets--if you see the ones who look sad, those are the poets"). Then authors mingled, handsold books and signed copies of their titles. Kaas added: "Overheard: many compliments on the gang's snazzy Indies First scarves."


At WORD bookstores in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Jersey City, N.J., "we had plenty of raffles and giveaways, and all the customers were delighted," events/PR director Michelle Chen reported. In Jersey City, WORD highlighted local authors by bringing in consignment authors to handsell their books to customers. At the Brooklyn store, friends of the store Geoffrey Cobb, Toby Carroll and Isabel Roxas were guest booksellers.


At DIESEL: A Bookstore in Brentwood, Calif., the store's announcement that it would donate 10% of all Saturday purchases to protesters at Standing Rock in North Dakota drew customers like one of the first of the day, who first verified that Saturday was the day the donations would be made and then proceeded to buy a big stack of books. Event coordinator Cheryl Ryan noted that the store received many calls from people who ordered books "and rather than pay when they pick them up, called us to pay over the phone to support Standing Rock."

Ryan added that the authors at the store "did a great job helping customers [who] really liked meeting the authors and purchased copies of their books. And the authors said they had a great time too."


Salt Lake City, Utah, Mayor Jackie Biskupski shopped the children's section at the King's English Bookshop on Small Business Saturday, KSL TV reported. "Every year, my kids and I, we go shopping for books. So we wanted to come here and make sure we get all of their little friends books this year from this store," Biskupski said. "It's very important to support local businesses because that money stays in our local economy. The way we generate revenue in this city is to have people buy locally."

Co-owner Betsy Burton noted that the "message is really resonating.... This tends to be the second biggest day after [the Saturday before] Christmas for us, which is huge. [Customers come] because they love us, yes, but because they love independent businesses and they love the idea of what that does for their community."


Another stop on Sherman Alexie's bus tour: University Book Store, Seattle.

The Detroit Free Press showcased Pages Bookshop in a Small Business Saturday photo gallery, noting: "Participating businesses often hold special events and sales, as was the case at Pages Bookshop and about a dozen other businesses on Grand River Avenue in Detroit's Grandmont Rosedale neighborhoods. In the morning, Pages offered free mimosas. Guest authors visited throughout the day to chat with patrons. Shop employee Leighton Stein said independent bookshops respect books in a way that's not often present at big-box chain stores. 'Books are not just commodities here. Books are doorways into different worlds,' he said."


Deshanta Hairston, who opened Books and Crannies, Martinsville, Va., in September told the Bulletin around noon Saturday that sales "had picked up progressively during the day, compared to a normal Saturday," and by the afternoon it had become the second highest sales day in the bookshop's brief history.


"The best way to keep a business going is to have what Sarah Bagby had on Friday and Saturday: 'A store full of customers' at Watermark Books, which she owns," the Wichita Eagle in Kansas reported.


John Waters visited his local shop, Atomic Books, in Baltimore, Md. (via)

At Once Upon a Book children's bookstore, Plattsburgh, N.Y., co-owner Lori Titherington-Raville said that customer traffic was busier than usual, the Press Republican reported. "We definitely have been getting people who come in and talk about it (Small Business Saturday)," she said. "I think it is great. I really think it has helped us get out there more and be more involved with other businesses."


More than 50 businesses in Fredericksburg, Va, took part in Small Business Saturday, including Jabberwocky Children's Books & Toys. "Downtown has really embraced it, and we're seeing the result," co-owner Mona Albertine told the the Free Lance Star, adding that business at her store has improved every year since the promotion was launched.


Some stores are continuing holiday sales today. As part of Cyber Monday, Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, Mass., is offering a 20% discount today to online customers, who can have books shipped to them or available for pickup in the store.


Pop-up bar at Changing Hands on Saturday.

Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix, Ariz., is offering a twist on Cider Monday: at the store's First Draft Book Bar, all hard ciders are discounted all day by $2 each. As the store wrote, "Browse with booze! Changing Hands Phoenix is a book bar, which means you can grab a glass of wine, a pint of craft beer, or a hard cider at the bar and drink while you shop. (We've also got coffee, hot chocolate, natural sodas, and more.) We've got books for everyone on your list. So please think local, drink local, and shop local this holiday season!"

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Stars in an Italian Sky by Jill Santopolo

Store Openings: Print, Greenlight, Avid

In time for Thanksgiving weekend, Print: A Bookstore opened in Portland, Maine, and will hold its grand opening party on Saturday, December 3, at 7 p.m. The store is owned by Emily Russo, who has worked at the Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, Mass., and Greenlight Bookstore (see below!), and Josh Christie, who formerly worked at Sherman's Maine Coast Book Shops.

On Saturday, Greenlight Bookstore opened its second location in Brooklyn, N.Y., in Prospect Lefferts Garden, in a new building on Flatbush Avenue. As with the first Greenlight, which opened in 2009, the store received all kinds of help from the community, including financial support through its Community Lending Program and dozens of volunteers who last week helped shelve the store's books.

Also on Saturday, Avid Bookshop, Athens, Ga., opened its second store, in the Five Points neighborhood. The new space is larger than the original and has more space for children's books as well as room for book storage and an office area, which it hasn't had until now, according to Visitors to both Avid locations received a special discount.

Kingfisher: Macmillan Collector's Library Anthologies

Indies First/SBS Gets Social

As might be expected on such a lively day, social media was buzzing with Indies First/Small Business Saturday posts from booksellers. Here's a sampling:

At the Bookworm of Edwards in Colorado

The Bookworm of Edwards, Edwards, Colo.: "Happy Small Business Saturday! We're Open!"

The Bookstore Plus, Lake Placid, N.Y.: "We're ready, we're all dressed up for #smallbusinesssaturday (especially Marc--check that bow-tie out)! Come celebrate with us!"

Titcomb's Bookshop, East Sandwich, Mass.: "#ShopLocalSaturday Cookies and cocoa -- it's a party at Titcomb's Bookshop!"

University Book Store, Seattle, Wash.: "Hey, it's @paulconstant of @seattlereviewof! He recommends Agnostic: A Spirited Manifesto by Lesley Hazelton. #UBSAuthorTent #indiesfirst."

DIESEL, A Bookstore, Oakland, Calif.: "No foolin', DIESEL might be at the end of today's enormous rainbow." And: "Edan Lepucki and Kate Schatz are here today as guest booksellers and we couldn't be more excited!"

Parnassus Books, Nashville, Tenn.: "And here's our roundup of visiting authors for this afternoon! They'll sign your book, they'll sign your baby, they'll sign your dog!"

Village Books, Bellingham, Wash.: "We've got authors in the store and writers in the window! Come join the fun on #smallbusin...

Brazos Bookstore, Houston, Tex.: "#SmallBusinessSaturday might not be our favorite day of the year... but it's pretty close. #SmallBizSaturday #bookstore #shoplocal #books."

Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, Mich.: "Thank you to our fantastic author/volunteer booksellers today! Here they are holding their book recommendations. #indiesfirst."

Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Calif.: "Bookshop Santa Cruz is open tonight until 11 p.m. for #SmallBusinessSaturday! We're warm, dry, & full of books. #IndiesFirst."

McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, Mich.: "We had so much fun today on Small Business Saturday! Thank you to everybody who came in and shopped indie. You are all very special to us and this was a great opportunity to say thank you to our customers, near and far."

Volumes Bookcafe, Chicago, Ill.: "A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who decided to #shoplocal with us & with bookstores and small businesses nationwide. #SmallBusinessSaturday

Her Bookshop, East Nashville, Tenn.: "My goodness. Today was simply incredible--like a huge bear hug. Y'all know how to make a gal feel loved and appreciated and like going after her dream of opening a tiny bookstore in this digital age wasn't such a crazy idea after all. Thank you, thank you, thank you!"

Shelf Awareness Job Board: Click Here to Post Your Job>

Civilised Saturday Update: 'Every Day is Civilised'

"A good local bookshop is for life, not just for Christmas... but it's a good place to start the festive shopping," the Guardian noted in a piece on this year's Civilised Saturday in the U.K., "when independent shops encourage book lovers to chill out, have a glass of mulled wine, and take some gift advice from real live people who know and love books."

Civilized Friday at Bridgeside Books

Meanwhile, in the U.S., booksellers at Bridgeside Books, Waterbury, Vt., were sufficiently inspired by the British spirit to celebrate their own Black Friday alternative: "We're celebrating Civilized Friday here at Bridgeside Books! #bridgesidebooks #civilizedfriday #29stowestreet." And: "Civilized Friday includes chair & hand massage! That's how we roll on Civilized Friday! #bridgesidebooks #civilizedfriday #29stowestreet."

On Saturday, reports from the civilized festivities front in the U.K. included:

Booka Bookshop, Oswestry: "#civilisedsaturday this Saturday & every Saturday in all good bookshops! @booksaremybag."

Jaffé & Neale, Chipping Norton: "Join us for #civilisedsaturday relax and read in the sun.

The Bookshop Kibworth: "We're so #CivilisedSaturday that all customers get a pressie from us today! Oh, and biscuits, obvs @booksaremybag."

Red Lion Books, Colchester: "Take a civilised break in the civilised chair with a glass of sherry while we find the books you need. #CivilisedSaturday #BAMB."

White Rose Books, Thirsk: "@Join us for #civilisedsaturday & enjoy our Hygge Book Nest! @ThirskYarnbomb @thirskinfo @booksaremybag."

Edinburgh Bookshop, Scotland: "Getting our Hygge on for #CivilisedSaturday with some help from @panmacmillan"

IPCallaway, Deal: "Apart from the odd bit of murder & mayhem every day is civilised in #HayonWye. #CivilisedSaturday doubly so. #Books #bookshops."Wenlock Books, Wenlock: "Well, wasn't that a very #civilisedsaturday?"

Obituary Note: Colwyn Samuel Krussman

Colwyn Samuel Krussman, former bookseller and rep and co-founder of the Parson Weems' Publisher Services commission rep group, died on Saturday, November 26.

For years, he and his wife, Marilyn Krussman, owned the Greenwood Bookshop in downtown Wilmington, Del. He also was general manager of Chester County Book Company, college sales manager for Oxford University Press and a part-time Oxford rep in the mid-Atlantic states. In 1997, he and Chris Kerr founded Parson Weems.

As Kerr remembered, the group started "with one client and the encouragement of our long-suffering wives. We named the company after Mason Locke Weems, a freelance book sales representative in the late 18th/early 19th century, who is better remembered for his invented biography of George Washington. It seemed appropriate because Sam had taught history at the University of Minnesota and Temple University; he was an early Modern German History scholar. He spoke and read German which he had acquired during a two year Fulbright Scholar fellowship in Germany."

Kerr also remembered first calling on Krussman in 1977 at the Greenwood Bookshop: "I was then a sales rep for a small press distributor. Sam was cordial but forbidding. He instructed me to sit at an empty desk in the basement and be quiet while he reviewed my list. He marked up the catalog, passed it to me, and suggested that I be happy with the order. I was and departed."

A funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 3, at Old Swedes Church, 606 N. Church St., Wilmington, Del.; a reception follows.


Happy 25th Birthday, Watchung Booksellers!

Congratulations to Watchung Booksellers, Montclair, N.J., which celebrated its 25th anniversary in part last Friday with its fifth annual Festivus Friday. This year, in honor of its 25 years serving the community, the Festivus Friday discount was 25% off everything, including books, stationery and gift items.

Per Festivus Friday tradition, to receive the discount, customers needed to give the secret password at checkout. As the store wrote, "The secret password is 'You look fahhhbulous!' ('cuz we all need a lift!)." [Editor's note: in mid-afternoon, the store was packed and the staff looked fahhhbulous!]

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Bill Anderson Whispers on Fox & Friends

Fox & Friends: Bill Anderson, co-author of Whisperin' Bill Anderson: An Unprecedented Life in Country Music (University of Georgia Press, $29.95, 9780820349664).

Today: Leah Remini, co-author of Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology (Ballantine, $17, 9781101886984).

Fresh Air: Carrie Fisher, author of The Princess Diarist (Blue Rider Press, $26, 9780399173592). She will also appear tomorrow on Ellen.

Diane Rehm: Haider Warraich, author of Modern Death: How Medicine Changed the End of Life (St. Martin's Press, $26.99, 9781250104588).

Daily Show: Ryan Speedo Green, the subject of Sing for Your Life: A Story of Race, Music, and Family by Daniel Bergner (Lee Boudreaux, $28, 9780316300674).

Today: Lauren Graham, author of Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between) (Ballantine, $28, 9780425285176).

Live with Kelly: Tim Tebow, co-author of Shaken: Discovering Your True Identity in the Midst of Life's Storms (WaterBrook, $25, 9780735289864). He will also appear on the View.

Diane Rehm: Dinah Miller, co-author of Committed: The Battle over Involuntary Psychiatric Care (Johns Hopkins University Press, $22.95, 9781421420783).

Conan: Senator Bernie Sanders, author of Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In (Thomas Dunne, $27, 9781250132925).

TV: Visual Intelligence

Fox has put in development Visual Intelligence, based on the book by art historian Amy Herman, "who developed and conducts 'The Art of Perception' seminars, uses works of art to help experts from many fields in the art of perception," Deadline reported. The project is from Memphis Beat creators Liz Garcia and Josh Harto, Blindspot executive producer Mark Pellington and 20th Century Fox TV.

Books & Authors

Awards: FT-McKinsey Business Book; New Mexico-Arizona

Sebastian Mallaby has won the £30,000 (about $37,410) 2016 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award for The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan, published in the U.S. by Penguin Press.

In addition, Nora Rosendahl won the £15,000 ($18,705) Bracken Bower Prize 2016 for her book proposal, Mental Meltdown, which examines the impact of work-generated stress and exhaustion.


The 10th anniversary New Mexico and Arizona Book Awards include:

Best adult book: Pure Quill: Barbara Van Cleve by Susan McGarry (Fresco Books)
Best children's book: How Crocka Dog Came to Be by Ross Van Dusen (Rio Grande Books)
Founders 10th anniversary award: Rock With Wings by Anne Hillerman (HarperCollins)
Best New Mexico book: Artistic Odyssey of Higinio V. Gonzales by Maurice Dixon (University of Oklahoma Press)
Best Arizona book (tie):
Never Don't Pay Attention by Jan Cleere (TwoDot)
Over the Edge by Kathleen Howard and Diana Pardue (Rio Nuevo Publishing)

To see the complete list of winners, click here.

Book Review

Review: Defeat Is an Orphan

Defeat Is an Orphan: How Pakistan Lost the Great South Asian War by Myra MacDonald (Oxford University Press, $34.95 hardcover, 320p., 9781849046411, January 1, 2017)

In Defeat Is an Orphan: How Pakistan Lost the Great South Asian War, Myra MacDonald quickly covers the milestones of the Indo-Pakistani conflict, fought on and off since 1947, without lingering on episodes that have already been written about at length. (Readers curious about the conflict's inception would be advised to take a look at Nisid Hajari's Midnight's Furies for more information on the subject.) Instead, MacDonald focuses on the period from 1998--when India and Pakistan held nuclear tests--to the present day, putting an emphasis on the strategic missteps that allowed India to overtake Pakistan in the two countries' long, bitter rivalry.

Nuclear tests in 1998 were an ecstatic moment for Pakistan, promising strategic parity for the first time with its much larger neighbor. Emboldened by its newfound nuclear umbrella, however, Pakistan increased its sponsorship of militant groups, a policy that would eventually alienate the international community and undermine the country's domestic security. Pakistan had embraced proxy war as a viable strategy for decades in fighting India over the disputed border territories Jammu and Kashmir, and in fighting the Soviet Union and the Indian-backed Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. The United States, not yet grasping the threat of international terrorism, supported Pakistan as a valuable Cold War ally.

Over time, though, the Islamist groups that Pakistan encouraged became a dangerous liability. Furthermore, Pakistan's militarized society proved self-reinforcing, impeding the peace process with India and prompting destabilizing military coups. Indian interests, on the other hand, lay in improving relations with the international community (including a much warmer relationship with the U.S.) and in growing its economy. To some degree, MacDonald explains, the rivalry became one-sided: "India had no need to win a war against Pakistan--Pakistan was doing enough damage to itself to lose the competition with its bigger neighbour it had once hoped to win."

Defeat Is an Orphan has lessons for American readers. The U.S.'s various alliances with Pakistan come across as devil's bargains. The militant Islamist groups that both countries aided in fighting against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan would mutate into terrorist threats. The U.S. leaned heavily on Pakistan's support for its own invasion of Afghanistan, turning a blind eye to the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence's continued training and support for groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba, which carried out the horrific 2008 attacks on Mumbai.

MacDonald's history is primarily a work of argumentation, but it is supported by vivid, terrifying accounts of attacks carried out by Pakistan's proxies, including the 2001 attack on India's Parliament, the 1999 hijacking of Indian Airlines Flight IC-814 and the brutal internal actions of the Pakistani Taliban that led to deadly attacks on girls' schools and the shooting of Malala Yousafzai. According to MacDonald, Pakistan's ideological blindness and short-sighted strategies led to it "fighting a war it did not itself understand" and helping to inflict the current scourge of Islamist terrorism on the wider world and on itself. --Hank Stephenson, bookseller, Flyleaf Books

Shelf Talker: Myra MacDonald's Defeat Is an Orphan argues that Pakistan has lost its decades-long rivalry with India thanks in large part to its shortsighted embrace of militant Islamist groups.

Powered by: Xtenit