Also published on this date: Monday, December 5, 2016: Maximum Shelf: Is It All in Your Head? True Stories of Imaginary Illness

Shelf Awareness for Monday, December 5, 2016

Flatiron Books: The Last One at the Wedding by Jason Rekulak

Ace Books: Servant of Earth (The Shards of Magic) by Sarah Hawley

Ace Books: Toto by AJ Hackwith and The Village Library Demon-Hunting Society by CM Waggoner

Webtoon Unscrolled: Age Matters Volume Two by Enjelicious

St. Martin's Press:  How to Think Like Socrates: Ancient Philosophy as a Way of Life in the Modern World  by Donald J Robertson

Hanover Square Press: The Dallergut Dream Department Store (Original) by Miye Lee, Translated by Sandy Joosun Lee

Nosy Crow: Dungeon Runners: Hero Trial by Joe Todd-Stanton and Kieran Larwood

Andrews McMeel Publishing: A Haunted Road Atlas: Next Stop: More Chilling and Gruesome Tales from and That's Why We Drink by Christine Schiefer and Em Schulz

Quotation of the Day

Offering the Shopping Experience In-Store and Online

"When we first opened Brilliant Books [in 2007], it was the start of the real surge of the Internet, and there was a school of thought that said that one could either be online or retail, but to me it really just going to be a case of retail was changing. You no longer needed to go shopping so when you went shopping, you did it deliberately. And therefore you were going for the experience that you were having. That's really the key, and successful retailers nowadays present you with that experience because you aren't simply going to buy stuff because you can buy stuff at home in your underwear. But if you actually want to go shopping, it's got to be a different experience. And if you can give them the rest of that experience through their online life, then you're talking to them all the time whether they're in the store or they're online."

--Peter Makin, co-owner of Brilliant Books, Traverse City, Mich., which does 30% of its sales online, speaking with Michigan Public Radio's Stateside about the importance of the Internet in independent bookselling.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Intermezzo by Sally Rooney


Green Apple Music Buyer Missing in Oakland Fire

Terrible news from the Bay Area. On Facebook, Green Apple Books on the Park, San Francisco, posted a link to a story about the Oakland, Calif., warehouse party fire, adding, "Our thoughts are with the victims and loved ones of those missing in the tragic Oakland fire. UPDATE: Our music buyer Johnny Igaz is among the missing. If anyone hears from him, please alert us."

In several stories, Igaz was identified as one of the concert's featured DJs. The East Bay Express reported that Igaz was playing records before performances began when the fire broke out.

PM Press: P Is for Palestine: A Palestine Alphabet Book by Golbarg Bashi, Illustrated by Golrokh Nafisi

Bookstore Returns to Watsonville, Calif.

Kelly Pleskunas, who had to close Crossroads Books earlier this year when she and other tenants at the Crossroads Center in Watsonville, Calif., were given notices of eviction, has opened a new store, Kelly's Books, in the Watsonville Square Shopping Center, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported.

Pleskunas told the paper, "I originally wanted to be in this shopping center, but it was such a daunting task to move from Crossroads that I never seriously considered it." The shopping center includes "Nob Hill Foods and a variety of coffee shops, restaurants and other bustling businesses," and Pleskunas expects there will be more walk-in traffic than at the Crossroads Books location.

Kelly's Books will be open seven days a week and, according to the Register-Pajaronian, in addition to "books for all ages and at all prices," the store will offer locally made, non-perishable food, local postcards and mugs, as well as artists' works.

The new store had a grand opening on Saturday that included a Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting. The store's first event, on Saturday, December 17, will feature local author Mike Wallace, whose new book is The Daughters of Alta Mira.

Kelly's Books is located at 1838 Main St., Watsonville, Calif. 95076-3092; 831-728-4139.

RiverRead in Binghamton, N.Y., Closing

RiverRead Books, Binghamton, N.Y., will close at the end of January, the store announced.

Co-owner Constance Barnes told the Press & Sun Bulletin that declining sales, in large part because of online discounting by Amazon, led to the decision, saying, "We did feel very strongly that people would love to have this community center sort of a thing, and it just didn't go over as well as we expected."

A former Penguin rep, Barnes opened the store in 2008 with Patricia Hutchinson-Day and Jane Stuart-Andrus (Stuart-Andrus died of cancer in 2014). In its closing announcement, the store wrote in part, "Our plan was to offer a gathering place for all things literary and artsy, a place to share ideas and converse with the community. Well, we did just that... in eight years we held almost 900 events. Planning those events was important because we wanted to offer something for everyone. We wanted to highlight the very talented local authors, to give them a chance to share their words with those who might never have known about their books. We hosted monthly poetry open mikes, facilitated by the ever faithful J. Barrett Wolf, to whom we own a great debt of gratitude. We enjoyed hosting musicians once or twice a month for everyone's listening pleasure and we ALWAYS hosted a new visual artist every month. We designed the store with a gallery wall specifically for that purpose! We wanted people to drop in, browse the stacks, have a cup of coffee (or warm cider), ask some questions, compare notes and in general, share our enthusiasm for books. Due to limited space, we needed to curate carefully... to be sure to offer titles to cover all interests. And we established ourselves as the 'go to' place for ordering books."

When RiverRead Books opened, the surrounding downtown area was "pretty sad," but eventually it was "transformed with all of the new student housing and eateries and we are happy and proud to have been a part of that. Even though it didn't work out for us, we hope people will make an extra effort on behalf of all those who have taken a chance on downtown and support businesses, new and old, by spending their dollars locally."

In conclusion, the store wrote, "We will miss having the store and for that matter, the entire bookselling community, other booksellers, authors and publishing reps. But most of all, we will miss the people who came in regularly and visited with us. We will miss you each and every day."

Ukazoo Books Finds New Location in Towson, Md.

Ukazoo Books, the new and used bookstore in Towson, Md., will move in January to a spot that is next to a complementary business, Tunes, a used CD, DVD, video game and LP store, the Baltimore Sun reported.

"Lots of parking, no stairs to carry up buyback books and more manageable rent," the store's Facebook post said.

In November, Ukazoo Books general manager and co-owner Edward Whitfill said the store had lost its lease and planned to move to Parkville, but a deal to buy a building there fell through. The store was leasing on a month-to-month basis. The new tenant for the space is Race Pace Bicycles, a local chain.

Ukazoo Books was founded in 2007.


Image of the Day: A Mountain of Moonglow

Before Michael Chabon's Salon@615 event at the Nashville Public Library on Sunday, Parnassus Books snuck the author into the back office of the bookstore to sign 450 copies of Moonglow (HarperCollins) for the store's First Editions Club members. Pictured: Chabon with Parnassus staffers (and Harper rep Kate McCune) behind the mountain of books to be signed.

Happy 10th Birthday, Kona Stories Book Store!

Joy Vogelgesang (l.) and Brenda McConnell at Kona Stories

Congratulations to Kona Stories Book Store, Kona, Hawaii, which celebrated its 10th anniversary on Indies First/Small Business Saturday. Some 500 people came to the store, which served homemade sangria and a vegan carrot cake made by the local health food store and offered a variety of specials.

After meeting at a book club in California, Brenda McConnell and Joy Vogelgesang opened Kona Stories when Borders was the only bookstore in the area. "We weren't too intimidated and the recession hadn't happened yet in 2006 when we opened in Mango Court in Kainaliu," Vogelgesang said. "We were confident, the economy was booming, and there was a need for a more personal bookstore." McConnell added, "And sure enough, we're here and Borders isn't!"

The store survived some rough times and challenges by emphasizing personalized service and advice, along with social activities and an eclectic mix of sidelines in the store, which moved in 2010 to the Keauhou Shopping Center. The new location has "made the turnout for our events lots bigger," McConnell said. "People aren't afraid to come here at night, with good parking, lighting and security. Since then our business has been going up steadily every year and now we are close to double our early years."

Kona Stories serves both locals and visitors, including snowbirds who come back and visit every year. While many customers love printed books, many are drawn by the store's sidelines, which have grown to account for 35%-40% of the store's business. "People who use e-readers still come into the store for gifts, calendars and date books," Vogelgesang said.

American Student Wins U.K. Bookseller's 'Library of a Lifetime'

Mariadela Villegas, a third-year student at the University of Texas in Austin, won Heywood Hill bookshop's "Library of a Lifetime" prize "after nominating Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 as the book that has 'meant the most' to her," the Bookseller reported. She will now receive one newly published and hand-picked hardback book per month for the rest of her life, delivered to her home from the London bookshop. The bookseller received 50,000 applications for the prize from more than 100 countries.

"I didn't think in a million years that I would be so lucky to win," Villegas said. "Books have always provided a refuge and comfort for me in difficult times. I'm the person who wants to go to a bookshop when she's sad or angry, because the mere presence of books provides relief. This amazing gift has completely changed my life and I will be forever grateful to Heywood Hill for having chosen my entry."

Bookshop manager Tom Nind said: "We think of Heywood Hill as the biggest little book shop in the world. This raffle is the proof in the pudding. Readers all over the world responded to our call. We are looking forward introducing our winners to new authors and books. To create such a unique personal relationship is the delight of what we do. In fact, among our oldest and dearest customers is Patricia Lovejoy from Greenwich, Conn., to whom we've been sending books every month by mail since the early 1970s."

Frugal Frigate Kids Bookstore: 'Uniquely Successful'

Frugal Frigate, a Children's Bookstore in Redlands, Calif., is "uniquely successful as a specialty independent bookstore in a small town with a thriving Barnes & Noble just a few miles away. So how do they do it?" Redlands Daily Facts asked before providing the answer: "Simple. Location and sticking to what they know best: Children's books."

"Once I was told, 'Of course your bookstore is a success, it's in Redlands!' That put an instant smile on my face," said owner Gay Kolodzik, adding that a carefully selected inventory of both books and sidelines, along with complementary events, are key ingredients: "The heart and soul of the Frugal Frigate is children's books. We needed to focus on what would complement children's books."

She also noted that "keeping real books in the hands of children, not electronic devices, is so very important to a child's development. Parents reading to their children and the interaction we see between them is such a positive bonding moment for both. I hope the store remains an inspiring destination for book lovers everywhere. Not as an old bookshop with musty books, but as a vibrant and relevant old bookstore with some of the freshest reads around."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Steve Harvey, Andy Cohen on the View

The View: Steve Harvey, author of Jump: Take the Leap of Faith to Achieve Your Life of Abundance (Amistad, $25.99, 9780062220356). He will also appear on Good Morning America and the Tonight Show.

Also on the View: Andy Cohen, author of Superficial: More Adventures from the Andy Cohen Diaries (Holt, $27, 9781250116482).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Michael Lewis, author of The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds (Norton, $28.95, 9780393254594). He will be on CBS This Morning tomorrow, too.

Also on Colbert: Padma Lakshmi, author of The Encyclopedia of Spices and Herbs: An Essential Guide to the Flavors of the World (Ecco, $39.99, 9780062375230).

Dr. Oz: Rocco DiSpirito, author of The Negative Calorie Diet: Lose Up to 10 Pounds in 10 Days with 10 All You Can Eat Foods (Harper Wave, $27.99, 9780062378132).

Diane Rehm: Charles Johnson, author of The Way of the Writer: Reflections on the Art and Craft of Storytelling (Scribner, $16, 9781501147227).

Ellen: Amy Schumer, author of The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo (Gallery, $28, 9781501139888).

Conan: Joe Buck, author of Lucky Bastard: My Life, My Dad, and the Things I'm Not Allowed to Say on TV (Dutton, $28, 9781101984567).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: DJ Khaled, author of The Keys (Crown Archetype, $18, 9780451497574).

Movies: Guernsey Literary; The Shack

Michiel Huisman (Game of Thrones) will star opposite Lily James in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, adapted from the novel by Annie Barros and Mary Ann Shaffer, Deadline reported.

Directed by Mike Newell from a script written by Don Roos & Tom Bezucha, the film's producers are Mazur/Kaplan Company's Paula Mazur and Books & Books owner Mitchell Kaplan; alongside Blueprint Pictures' Graham Broadbent and Pete Czernin. Filming is set to begin in the U.K. next spring.


A first trailer has been released for The Shack, based on William P. Young's book that has sold 20 million copies since its release in 2007, Entertainment Weekly reported. The film, which stars Sam Worthington (Avatar), Octavia Spencer (The Help) and Tim McGraw, hits theaters in March.

Books & Authors

Awards: Blue Peter Book

Finalists have been announced for the Blue Peter Book Awards, which "celebrate the best authors, most creative illustrators and the greatest reads for children." The winners are being chosen by more than 400 children from 12 schools across the U.K., who will read each of the shortlisted books and then vote for their favorite in each category. The two winning titles will be announced February 23. This year's shortlisted titles are:

Best book with facts
Survivors by David Long, illustrated by Kerry Hyndman
Destination Space by Dr. Christoph Englert, illustrated by Tom Clohosy Cole
Football School: Where Football Rules the World by Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton, illustrated by Spike Gerrell

Best story
Time Travelling with a Hamster by Ross Welford
Podkin One Ear by Kieran Larwood, illustrated by David Wyatt
Lost Tales by Adam Murphy and Lisa Murphy

John Judis: The Populist Explosion

photo: Hilary P. Judis

John Judis, author of The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics (Columbia Global Reports, $12.99), his seventh book, is editor-at-large at Talking Points Memo and previously a senior editor of the New Republic and a senior writer for the National Journal. He has written for numerous other publications, including the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post and The American Prospect. Judis received his B.A. and M.A. degrees in philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Silver Spring, Md.

The Populist Explosion went to press well before the U.S. election, which raises an obvious first question: Did you see Donald Trump's victory coming?

I wrote the book in the spring of 2016. I expected Donald Trump to get the nomination, but I didn't think he would win the election. I thought he was the one Republican candidate Hillary Clinton could beat. I didn't appreciate how deep the dissatisfaction was, particularly in the Midwest, with the Obama years and the state of the U.S. economy, and how ineffective Hillary Clinton's campaign would be.

But isn't Trump's economic populism inseparable from what you say in the book is the tendency of right-wing populism to "look down upon an out group," in his case immigrants and Muslims?

Not at all. Think of Ross Perot who, contrary to some nonsense written about him during the 1992 campaign, was not at all a racist or nativist or any of the "ists." Much of Trump's economic populism was shared by Bernie Sanders, and Trump himself picked up Sanders's language about the "rigged economy" in the fall campaign.

So why did Trump's anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim message resonate in a country that hasn't experienced the Middle Eastern and African immigration you point to as helping fuel right-wing populism in countries like France and the U.K.?

There is a big difference between anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim views. In the U.S., anti-immigrant views--and more typically, anti-illegal immigrant views--have a socio-economic basis in the huge influx since 1965, and then again since 1990, of unskilled legal and illegal immigrants from south of the border that have turned some mid-wage unionized jobs (like meatpacking) into non-union, low-wage jobs, and driven down or kept down the wages in others (like construction), and in some states caused increases in social spending and taxes. There is, for some people, a nativist, cultural dimension to their views (expressed, for instance, in English-only movements), and Trump appealed to that side in his statements about Mexican rapists or criminals coming into the U.S. Opposition to Muslim immigration dates primarily from September 11 and spikes after every terrorist incident in the U.S. (e.g., San Bernardino, Orlando). Trump's initial call for a ban on Muslim immigration fueled general anti-Muslim sentiments. You'll find a similar complicated combination of causes in Europe.

On what issues do you think Trump will clash with Congressional Republicans, and how likely is he to prevail (assuming he wants to) in reshaping the GOP as a populist party?

In his campaign, Trump promised to protect Medicare and Social Security, and in the debates he quarreled with his fellow Republicans on this subject. House Speaker Paul Ryan wants to partially or wholly privatize these programs. The question is whether Trump will resist. And if the Republicans in the House accede to Trump's wishes to boost infrastructure spending and cut taxes, will he agree to "balance" these with social spending cuts? Or will he pursue a Keynesian economic strategy? I expect him, as he did on his choice of education secretary, to give the Republican right, and particularly the religious right, a few concessions, as with his first Supreme Court appointment, for instance. But Trump's domestic policy instincts (before he ran in the primary) were much closer to middle-of-the-road Democrats or Republicans, like former New York City Mayor Ed Koch or former New York Republican Senator Alfonse D'Amato, than to Ryan and the business conservatives. He is going to make trade-offs. I don't know which ones.

Will the Democrats simply blame Hillary Clinton's defeat on a flawed candidate's poorly executed campaign, or will they try to respond to this populist sentiment?

Many Democrats are blaming their defeat either on Clinton's campaign or on the stupidity or racism of the people who voted for Trump. There is a populist wing in the Democratic Party represented by Bernie Sanders, Sherrod Brown, Elizabeth Warren and others. I expect it to play a more important role now, but the Democrats in Congress are mainly going to be playing defense. The question may not come up until 2020 and the Democratic primaries. I thought Bernie Sanders ran a wonderful campaign, and put some ideas on the political agenda that will resonate in years to come, but that in the general election he would have had difficulty defending them, particularly the tax increases required to implement either Medicare for all or free public college.

If neither party responds effectively to the current populist explosion in the U.S. as you've described it, how likely is it that some sort of full-fledged populist party--right, left or unified--will emerge in the near term?

In the U.S., populist explosions tend to be episodic and not ongoing, and the parties rarely take one ideological form or another. Franklin D. Roosevelt's Democratic Party in 1936 was about as close as we've come to a major populist party. (The People's Party of the 1890s was influential, but didn't even get 10% of the vote.) It's hard for me to imagine the Republicans becoming, as Trump and some of his aides have suggested, a working-class populist party, which would mean jettisoning its funding base. The same applies to the Democrats, with their ties to Wall Street and Silicon Valley. So I don't have a clear idea of what is going to happen.

You devote considerable attention in the book to the rise of right-wing populism in Northern Europe. Care to predict whether Marine Le Pen's National Front in France or a populist challenger to Angela Merkel in Germany will succeed in national elections next year?

I don't do predictions well. I think Marine Le Pen would have had no chance against former Prime Minister Alain Juppé. She has an outside chance again François Fillon, another former prime minister, because he will not pick up as many left-wing votes as Juppé would have in the runoff. In Germany, Merkel and the Social Democrats have not won majorities for years, and I don't expect they will this time either, but I don't think AfD, the rightwing populist party, will challenge them on the same level, so I would expect another coalition government. But I don't pretend to have the answers here.

--Harvey Freedenberg, attorney and freelance reviewer

Book Review

Review: Nicotine

Nicotine by Gregor Hens, trans. by Jen Calleja (Other Press, $16.99 hardcover, 208p., 9781590517932, January 10, 2017)

In today's culture, smoking has become a polarizing issue. And cigarettes inspired German author and translator Gregor Hens to write the unconventional and intriguing meditation Nicotine. He examines his life as a smoker and non-smoker many times over. "I've smoked well over a hundred thousand cigarettes... and each one of those cigarettes meant something to me.... Every cigarette that I've ever smoked served a purpose," he tells us as he delves into his past and delivers an entertaining book that is part memoir, part essay and part research summary into the "all-pervading nature" of addiction.

Hens recounts how and when smoking took root in his life: he was six years old when his mother gave him a lit cigarette to ignite the fuse on a bottle rocket one New Year's Eve. Thus, a smoker was born, and so, too, a writer: Hens identifies that stroke-of-midnight moment as the inspiration for a lifetime of spinning everything into story--and what great tales he has to share! Small moments and recollections anchored in his experiences with smoking and cigarettes come to shape, define and map Hens's existence. For instance, he became the beneficiary of his beloved--yet rather mystifying--unmarried great-aunt Anna, who worked for a cigarette factory and received a considerable pension that included a monthly allowance of two cartons of cigarettes per month, even after her death.

Nicotine is loosely constructed in short, stream-of-consciousness vignettes. Hens supplements his personal anecdotes by sharing cultural customs related to smoking, especially during his formative years in the 1970s and 1980s. Tidbits of history are woven throughout, including Adolf Hitler's anti-smoking stance and Mark Twain's wit on the subject. Hens also recalls movies and literature that have seduced people to smoke by glamorizing the act, all launching further probing of the psychoactive aspects of nicotine as a stimulant and a drug.

The writing is detailed, fluid and sensual. Hens segues from personal experiences to facts and statistics about smoking and cessation. The acute memories he shares about people who have crossed his path are especially appealing; he retells stories about those with whom he's shared smokes, from family members to strangers, and even his attempts to quit, including a visit to an eccentric hypnotist in Columbus, Ohio.

At the time of writing Nicotine, Hens was no longer a smoker. But he explains that he wrote it in order to dissect his addiction and analyze how smoking colored distinct eras of his life and served as inspiration for his creativity. Smoking and cigarettes might not be good for the health of the body, but Hens's glimpse through the prism of addiction offers an enriching and enlightening account that benefits the mind and the soul. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

Shelf Talker: A writer and translator explores his experiences with smoking, cigarettes and the nature of addiction.

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