Also published on this date: Monday, December 19, 2016: Maximum Shelf: The Girl in Green

Shelf Awareness for Monday, December 19, 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

Publishers' Role: 'Giving Voice to a Range of Opinions and Viewpoints'

Carolyn Reidy

"As we head into 2017, we can expect that our civic and cultural life will remain turbulent. In these times it is especially important to remember that as publishers we will always endeavor to give voice to a wide range of opinions and divergent viewpoints. We publish for many different and frequently conflicting audiences, and must be fully cognizant of our responsibility to resist censorship and stand unequivocally for freedom of speech, no matter how difficult that might be at times."

--Carolyn Reidy, president and CEO of Simon & Schuster, in her "year-end message" to S&S staff around the world.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Intermezzo by Sally Rooney


McNally Jackson Opens Second Goods for the Study Shop

McNally Jackson has opened its second Goods for the Study shop, at 50 W. 8th Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, in Greenwich Village in New York City. Like McNally Jackson's other Goods for the Study Shop, in SoHo, the store offers stationery, paper, notebooks and more.

Besides the two Goods for the Study shops, McNally Jackson has its bookstore and an art gallery, both in SoHo, and has announced plans for a 10,000-square-foot combination bookstore and café/bar on Schermerhorn Row in the Seaport District in lower Manhattan.

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

Last Chapters for GalleyCat and Bookigee

Galley Cat, the website that covered the book business, has shut down, with its last news post on December 9. The company was part of MediaBistro, whose assets were bought in 2014 by Prometheus Gold Media, a subsidiary of Guggenheim Partners and owner of Adweek. In a post on Friday, GalleyCat's Dianna Dilworth and Maryann Yin wrote to readers:

"We are sad to report that we are closing the book on GalleyCat.

"We thank you for your support and readership over the years. Over the past decade, it's been our mission to keep you informed with news from publishers, authors, booksellers and libraries. We've had the pleasure of reading thousands of fantastic books and reviewing many of them along the way. It has been an honor to know so many of the people in this community from authors and book editors to literary agents and book store owners, and the associations supporting every corner of the business.

"We hope that you'll continue to support authors, publishers and book stores, who will continue to need your support in 2017 and beyond.

"Keep reading!"


Bookigee is ceasing operations on December 23. Founded in 2011 by Kristen McLean as a site to help consumers match their interests with better book choices online, Bookigee came to focus on "author marketing" with the launch of WriterCube, which included a book marketing database.

McLean was former executive director of the Association of Booksellers for Children, which merged with the American Booksellers Association in 2011. In 2015, she joined Nielsen as director of new business development in the book/entertainment division.

Chicago Review Press Buying Parenting Press

Chicago Review Press is buying Parenting Press, effective January 1. Parenting Press will become an imprint of Chicago Review Press and be overseen by Chicago Review Press publisher Cynthia Sherry. Parenting Press president Elizabeth Crary, who founded the company in 1979, is retiring from publishing but will continue her work as a parent educator and author. None of Parenting Press staff are continuing with the publisher. Parenting Press is distributed by Independent Publishers Group, which is owned by Chicago Review Press, Inc.

"The acquisition of Parenting Press by Chicago Review Press is a dream come true for a small publishing house whose owners are ready to retire," Carolyn Threadgill, Parenting Press's publisher, said. "Chicago Review Press is a compatible home for the Parenting Press list of skill-building books for parents and children and those professionals who work with them. We know, too, that the Parenting Press authors of the past and the future will be well looked after by Chicago Review Press staff."

Parenting Press's first title, by founder Elizabeth Crary, was Without Spanking or Spoiling: A Practical Approach to Toddler and Preschool Guidance. Parenting Press has specialized in practical parenting and children's books, most of which are based on the teaching and counseling experience of the authors and are field tested by parents, child guidance professionals and children. The Press's bestselling book is The Way I Feel by Janan Cain, published in 2000, which has about two million copies in print in multiple languages.

Holiday Hum: Shopping Season in Full Swing

Christmas and the first night of Hanukkah are less than a week away. As the shopping season becomes increasingly hectic, booksellers paused long enough to reflect on the season so far.

At Community Bookstore in Brooklyn, N.Y., the holiday season has been keeping pace with 2015, reported co-owner Stephanie Valdez. Among some of the season's standout hits are The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, Swing Time by Zadie Smith, The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate--Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben, translated by Jane Billinghurst, Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen and The Vegetarian by Han Kang, translated by Deborah Smith. Valdez noted that Ian McGuire's novel The North Water has seen a surprisingly large sales boost, even for a title listed as one of the 10 best books of the year by the New York Times. And though Valdez and co-owner Ezra Goldstein have not had much trouble getting things in stock this year, they are "chasing" The North Water to stay ahead of demand. Post-election, Valdez said, things were "especially bleak" in the store's neighborhood, and books that help people "understand or learn to cope with our new political reality" have been popular, including Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities by Rebecca Solnit and We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. With Hanukkah beginning so late this year, Valdez is unsure exactly how that will affect sales. Normally, Community Bookstore operates with a "skeleton crew" between December 26 and New Year's Day, but this year the staff is prepared in case things are busier.

According to Barbara Theroux, owner of Fact & Fiction Bookstore in Missoula, Mont., the selling season began right after Thanksgiving, which she said is unusual for Missoula. Usually things kick off the first weekend of December, during a big promotion in downtown Missoula, but this year the city's Downtown Association put its weight behind Small Business Saturday. Mary Oliver's newest book, Upstream, took off immediately, Theroux reported, and some of the season's other big sellers include Born to Run, A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen, Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill by Candice Millard, The Names of the Stars: A Life in the Wilds by Pete Fromm and Yellowstone: A Journey Through America's Wild Heart by David Quammen. Strong sidelines sellers include coffee mugs by the Unemployed Philosophers Guild and Fact & Fiction's own pint glasses. Theroux recalled that after the election it took people "several weeks to want to appear in public," and said that she was glad to have Upstream and Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D Vance available. She added: "It is wonderful to realize the importance of books and the place that independent bookstore create for their community."

For Courtney Flynn, the bookstore manager of Trident Booksellers & Cafe in Boston, Mass., the big sellers for this holiday season have included literary frontlist titles from established authors such as Moonglow by Michael Chabon and Swing Time, but some of the store's strongest sellers this year are backlist titles, including Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit, and Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. A few notable gift books are Anthony Bourdain's new cookbook, Appetites, Rejected Princesses: Tales of History's Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics by Jason Porath, while Hillbilly Elegy, White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg, The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer and Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution by Mona Eltahawy have all been part of a post-election surge in political books that make people "read and think." Flynn said the only book the stores had trouble getting back in stock is The Hidden Life of Trees, which "snuck up" on them. She added that she was "amazed" to see how well socks have been selling as gift items: "It seems almost every customer tacks on a pair or 10 of socks to their purchases."

At Brazos Bookstore in Houston, Tex., general manager Jeremy Ellis and his staff have taken a new approach to promoting featured titles for the holidays. Compared to years past, Brazos has reduced the list of featured titles, resulting in a smaller overall range of promoted books but ensuring that they are titles with which the staff is more familiar, and put a stronger emphasis on promoting sidelines for the holidays. Benjamin Rybeck, the store's marketing director, described Brazos as having a specialty in literary fiction and general interest nonfiction, which remains true over the holidays. For fiction, Moonglow and Swing Time have both been popular, as has Javier Marias's novel Thus Bad Begins, translated by Margaret Jull Costa, and for nonfiction, Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton, and The Hidden Life of Trees have been selling well. Rybeck said that though none of the holiday titles are surprising by themselves, the store is still selling a surprising amount of Magda Szabó's novel The Door, translated by Len Rix, which was reissued by New York Review Books last year. Brazos has had a little difficulty stocking At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails with Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Others by Sarah Bakewell, another of the New York Times best books of the year, but the main problem this holiday season, Rybeck said, has been with receiving damaged books. "It's been getting noticeably worse," he recalled. "We started to notice it more and more during the fall."

In Pasadena, Calif., Vroman's Bookstore has yet to see any huge, runaway bestsellers, but according to president and CEO Allison Hill, the staff has done a good job of getting in front of the season's "sleeper hits," such as Atlas Obscura, The Godfather Notebook by Francis Ford Coppola, The Hidden Life of Trees and Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness by Peter Godfrey-Smith. Vroman's has events scheduled through this upcoming weekend, but for this last full week of shopping before Christmas, Hill is focusing on "customer service and riding the wave to shore." And with the start of Hanukkah syncing with Christmas this year, Hill said that overall the season feels longer and "a little more even." Hill reported that around the election, the store "lost a little ground," but she suspects that the store "will make it up and then some." She explained: "We're noticing that people are eager for a reason to celebrate and that they're extremely grateful to have us as an oasis, a place where they can get away from the noise and the news and get into the spirit of the season. We feel lucky to fill that role."

Sales at Hooray for Books! in Alexandria, Va., are up this holiday season compared to this time last year, and for the year as a whole are up double digits, said manager and buyer Erin Barker. Though the store is mainly a children's bookstore, it also sells books for adults, and one of the surprising hits of the season is Hillbilly Elegy, which has frequently been requested as a special order. Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In by Senator Bernie Sanders has also been popular post-election, along with Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton. But, said Barker, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling and Diary of a Wimpy Kid #11: Double Down by Jeff Kinney have "blown everything else out of the water." Other strong sellers include Jan Brett's newest picture book, Gingerbread Christmas, Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts, and Grace Lin's When the Sea Turned to Silver. Barker reported that the novel War and Turpentine by Stefan Hertmans, translated by David Mckay, and the children's book The Sound of Silence by Katrina Goldsaito and Julia Kuo, were both hard to get back in stock for a time. For sidelines, anything related to Peppa Pig has sold well, as have Disney Tsum Tsum plush toys, particularly its Star Wars line. Barker is hopeful that this year's late Hanukkah will pick up sales at the end of the month, and noted that Hooray for Books! has sold a good amount of Hanukkah books already. Said Barker: "Honestly, I wish there were more [Hanukkah books] out there."

At Watermark Books & Cafe in Wichita, Kan., the store's bestselling title that was not tied to a store event is the United States Constitution, both on its own, in a $1 pocket-sized edition, and in a volume with the Bill of Rights. According to owner Sarah Bagby, since the Democratic National Convention, Watermark has sold hundreds of both editions. Bagby also noted that Thomas L. Friedman's new book, Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations, has been doing particularly well. Among fiction books, standouts include A Gentleman in Moscow, The Underground Railroad, The Mothers by Brit Bennett and Commonwealth by Ann Patchett. For gift books, A Field Guide to Redheads: An Illustrated Celebration by Elizabeth Graeber and Poems and Songs by Leonard Cohen have been popular, and Bagby reported that the store's gift items, especially locally branded, Watermark exclusive items such as mugs, T-shirts and beer glasses, have been selling better than ever. A handful of young adult titles, including Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo and The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, are moving very well, and Watermark "keeps restocking" the picture book Animals by Ingela P. Arrhenius. Looking at the season so far, Bagby said that things started out strong with a bigger-than-last-year Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, and have been going strong ever since. Bagby explained that this year, "We're ready to come together even when our politics have divided us; we're all neighbors, friends or family. No matter what one believes, if an independent bookstore is a place to go, they want to read." --Alex Mutter


Image of the Day: 300 Years of Bookselling Experience

At last week's holiday New York City bookseller & rep party at the Kettle of Fish (formerly the legendary Lion's Head): (from l.) George Leibson, Bill Getz, David K. Brown, Dan Fallon, Bob Contant and Paul Jackel.

Cathy Langer and Nicole Magistro Make Colorado Book Picks

Cathy Langer and Nicole Magistro
(photo: Hart Van Denberg/CPR News)

Cathy Langer of the Tattered Cover, Denver, Colo., and Nicole Magistro of the Bookworm of Edwards in Edwards offered their favorite Colorado and Western-themed books on Colorado Public Radio's Colorado Matters show with Ryan Warner. Listen here.

Road Trip: Madrid, a 'Bookworm's Paradise'

Although Dublin, London, Edinburgh and Paris "draw bookworms from all over the world," Madrid "is rarely mentioned in the same company, or visited for the same reasons," the Sydney Morning Herald noted in a feature headlined "Madrid: Reading in a bookworm's paradise."

"Perhaps the Spanish capital is considered too sunny for such bookishness, but hard light makes for long shadows, and the city is filled with dark, quiet corners where the written word has flourished over the centuries," the Morning Herald wrote. Among the destinations recommended were several bookshops, including Desperate Literature, a Madrid equivalent of Paris' Shakespeare & Company that is "run by several former 'tumbleweeds' who learned their trade at that French institution." Co-owner Terry Craven said he is focused on "bridging the gap between buying, selling, shucking, diving, and literature itself, which has nothing to do with any of that."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: David Hockney on Tavis Smiley

Live with Kelly: Kevin Costner, co-author of The Explorers Guild: Volume One: A Passage to Shambhala (Atria, $18, 9781476727400).

Diane Rehm: Lisa Wade, author of American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus (Norton, $26.95, 9780393285093).

Tavis Smiley: David Hockney, co-author of A History of Pictures: From the Cave to the Computer Screen (Abrams, $45, 9781419722752).

The View repeat: Megyn Kelly, author of Settle for More (Harper, $29.99, 9780062494603).

Also on the View: Simone Biles, co-author of Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, A Life in Balance (Zondervan, $24.99, 9780310759669).

The Real repeat: Dolly Parton, author of Coat of Many Colors (Grosset & Dunlap, $17.99, 9780451532374).

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

Late Show with Stephen Colbert repeat: Bruce Springsteen, author of Born to Run (Simon & Schuster, $32.50, 9781501141515).

Also on the Late Show: Bryan Cranston, author of A Life in Parts (Scribner, $27, 9781476793856).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: David Remnick discusses The 60s: The Story of a Decade by the New Yorker (Random House, $35, 9780679644835).

Books & Authors

Awards: Starrett Poetry; International Book Adaptation

Erin Adair-Hodges won the $5,000 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, which is given for a writer’s first full-length book of poems, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. Her manuscript, Let's All Die Happy, will be published next fall by the prize’s sponsor, the University of Pittsburgh Press.


Universal Pictures has won the 2016 award for best international literary adaptation from the Frankfurt Book Fair for Nocturnal Animals, directed and with a screenplay by Tom Ford, adapted from the 1993 novel Tony and Susan by Austin Wright (published in the U.S. in a movie tie-in edition by Grand Central). The movie was released here on November 18.

"Book and film cannot be separated," Katja Böhne, v-p, marketing and communications for the book fair, said. "Many great films were based on great novels and short stories, which is why we have been actively supporting the network between the publishing and film industries for several years."

Book Review

Review: Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan

Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan by Ruth Gilligan (Tin House, $15.95 paperback, 400p., 9781941040492, January 24, 2017)

The grace and beauty of the bird in Ruth Gilligan's title is aptly reflected in her debut novel. The intricate plot of Nine Folds Makes a Paper Swan effortlessly weaves the experiences of three turbulent generations in Ireland, while Gilligan lights up the world around them in breathtaking language and colorful imagery.

In 1901, Ruth Greenberg and her family are bound for America from Lithuania, but their boat ends up on the Emerald Isle. Despite her mother's protests and disdain for Ireland, Ruth embraces the new land as her home, gathering its stories and folklore along the way.

In 1958, Shem Sweeney is mute--after uncharacteristically skipping school one day, he observed a horror so great it stole his voice. His rabbi has taught Shem that slander is evil, so his fear of revealing the terrible secret silences the boy at his bar mitzvah. When his father, humiliated by Shem's behavior, tries unsuccessfully to cure his son with both medical and psychological doctors, he gives up and institutionalizes Shem. In the hellish asylum, Shem develops an unlikely friendship with Alf, the only other Jewish inmate, as he records the story of the older man's lost love.

In the present day, Aisling Creedon is an Irish Catholic in love with a British Jew. Secretly she's been considering converting to Judaism; she's even staying in London rather than going home to Ireland for Christmas with her family. But when her partner, Noah, presents her with a secondhand copy of A Voyage of Discovery--Considering a Judaic Conversion? she flies into a rage and promptly books her flight to Dublin. Aisling seeks refuge in the familiar as she contemplates the biggest decision of her life.

Gilligan meticulously intertwines these three lives to relate the 20th-century Jewish experience in Ireland. The charm of her rich, delightfully complicated characters, combined with the allure and magic of her language, effortlessly carries the reader through a wondrous depiction of the power of story to transcend time and connect individuals. It's also a dazzling reminder of the role that readers--or listeners--play in a narrative. As Aisling experiences with A Voyage of Discovery, "the more she reads, the more other thoughts are triggered too. Memories. Half-forgotten facts. The glossary we bring to every text." As each character learns, the ending is dependent on the knowledge one brings to the experience; everyone brings a different glossary.

Whether readers have an intimate experience with Judaism or no experience at all, Nine Folds Makes a Paper Swan will captivate and inspire. A superb debut from an incredibly talented writer. --Jen Forbus, freelancer

Shelf Talker: Three lives, spanning the 20th century, tell the moving story of the Jewish experience in Ireland.

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