Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, February 1, 2017


Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Roxy by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman

Shadow Mountain: Missing Okalee by Laura Ojeda Melchor

Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone: Start your entrepreneurial journey with affordable packages, starting from $1,566

Candlewick Press: Mi Casa Is My Home by Laurenne Sala, illustrated by Zara González Hoang

Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association: We're throwing a bookselling party and you're invited!

Big Picture Press: Art of Protest: Creating, Discovering, and Activating Art for Your Revolution by De Nichols

Callaway Arts & Entertainment: The Beatles: Get Back by The Beatles, photographed by Linda McCartney

St. Martin's Press: The Christie Affair by Nina De Gramont

News

Bards Alley to Open in Vienna, Va., in May

Jen Morrow, a former consultant, is opening Bards Alley, a bookstore and café wine bar, in Vienna, Va., in suburban Washington, D.C., in May, according to Patch.com.

A graduate of last August's Paz & Associates' Boot Camp, Morrow said she wants to create a "third place" that will carry a range of books and host book clubs, book signings, children's story times and poetry and writers' workshops, as well as have a café.

Categories will include new fiction and literary classics, nonfiction and biographies, young adult literature and children's books. "I've always been a book lover," Morrow said. Children's books "lead to so much learning, adventure and fun," she added.

The café wine bar will offer a rotating selection of wine and craft beer, as well as coffee and locally made bread, cheese, soup and charcuterie.

Bards Alley is located at 110 Church St. N.W. Vienna, Va. 22180.


Berkley Books: Good Rich People by Eliza Jane Brazier


Grand Opening for Enchanted Passage Kids' Bookstore

Enchanted Passage children's bookstore and enrichment center in Sutton, Mass., hosted a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony January 18, the Worcester Telegram reported, noting that the name "refers to a threshold into a place or a passport to a destination." The new venture is owned by the mother-daughter team of Sandy Loomis and Kimberly Cake.

The bookstore represents the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for both women. After attending one of the ABA's Children's Institutes, they searched for the right location and found it in an old Victorian house in Sutton. "The building is a home with a long, interesting past," Loomis said. "It was a boys' school at one time, so kids have always been in this building. As soon as we walked in the door, we knew it would be the place. It has a lot of synchronicity."

Since their soft opening in December, Loomis and Cake said they are pleased by the "awesome" response from the greater Blackstone Valley community. "I've had teachers tell me they plan to make field trips here," said Cake.

On Facebook earlier this month, Enchanted Passage posted: "We claim to be a Children's Bookstore because there is a child in all of us! But don't be fooled... we have lots of books for middle schoolers, teens and young adults too! We also have a limited section of adult books for your enjoyment. Come check us out!! Relax with a cold drink or warm up on our porch with a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate while you peruse a good book."


Paraclete Press: Mr. Nicholas: A Magical Christmas Tale by Christopher de Vinck


Wi12: Drunks; Graphic Novels; Kim Scott's Radical Candor

Among authors signing at the small and university presses author closing reception on Monday was the ABA's own Chris Finan, director of American Booksellers for Free Expression, whose new book, Drunks: An American History, will be published by Beacon Press in June.

Chris Finan

The book is a social history of alcoholism in the U.S., from the 1600s to the present and includes a colorful cast of characters, including Iroquois leader Handsome Lake, who was dedicated to helping his people renounce hard liquor; Carrie Nation, who destroyed bars with an ax in protest against what alcohol had done to her family; and Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, who founded Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935.

Chris is also the author of Alfred E. Smith: The Happy Warrior and From the Palmer Raids to the Patriot Act: A History of the Fight for Free Speech in America.

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Nearly 100 booksellers attended the ABC Presents panel on Successfully Merchandising and Selling Graphic Novels, moderated by Michael Link of Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, Ohio, and featuring Marika McCoola, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, Mass., Heather Hebert, Children's Book World, Haverford, Pa.; and Michael Bender of the Community Bookstore, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Graphic novel panelists Link, McCoola, Hebert and Bender.

The panel noted that graphic novels continue to be a strong and growing category, outperforming most other book categories. In 2016, book sales in all formats rose 3.3% over 2015, according to Bookscan. By contrast, graphic novel sales jumped 12% in 2016, faster than general fiction, and the fastest-growing category was the juvenile nonfiction graphic novel, up 91%.

In addition, the panel discussed a range of nuts-and-bolts issues, such as whether it's better to shelve graphic novels by author name or by title. (Most shelve by author, but then mix in series, such as Hergé's Adventures of Tintin series.)

The panel also discussed what to call a nonfiction graphic novel. Most panelists' stores continue to refer to them graphic novels, but some stores label the entire section "graphica" or "graphics."

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Kim Scott

Speaking at Monday's breakfast, Kim Scott, whose new book, Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity, will be published by St. Martin's in March, thanked booksellers for all they do, saying, "The work you do is so important." To many sighs in the audience, she also acknowledged that "a lot of work that's come out of Silicon Valley has not made your life easier."

A veteran of many tech companies, most notably Google, and the co-founder and CEO of Candor, Inc., Scott outlined her "radical candor" approach, which she said will help people "do the best work of your life" and help in relationships of all kinds. In essence, she said, managers and owners "have to care about your employees and give a damn about them," to the point where, in dealing with an employee, "you challenge directly" and hold them accountable. Otherwise, she stressed, managers do staff a disservice, even if they're very nice: "Unfortunately love is not all you need to be successful."

She noted that challenging employees can result in "a double gift": if you confirm that there is a problem, you can work with the employee to identify and overcome it, but a manager might find that he or she had a misconception about the matter that was cleared up only because the the employee was asked about it.

She noted that not challenging people is a trait instilled in many people in early childhood, something that's "hard to undo." But "your job" demands that you challenge people, and there is a "moral obligation" to do so as well.

Again and again she stressed that the best combination is challenging directly and caring. Challenging directly without caring personally is just "obnoxious aggression," she said, and caring personally without challenging directly is "ruinous empathy," which many people engage in. She quoted Colin Powell: "Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off."


Berkley Books: Sadie on a Plate by Amanda Elliot


Wi12: Parties Around Town

 
 
Three Minneapolitan indie presses--Graywolf, Press, Milkweed Editions and Coffee House Press--hosted a "Warm Welcome to Frozen Minneapolis" party for more than 100 booksellers at the Coffee House Press office. Pictured: back row, l.-r.: Rob Keefe (accountant, Coffee House), Hans Weyandt (manager, Milkweed Books), Marisa Atkinson (director of marketing and engagement, Graywolf), Patrick Thomas (managing director, Milkweed Editions), Casey O'Neil (sales and marketing manager, Graywolf), Nica Carrillo (marketing and publicity associate, Coffee House), Daley Farr (events coordinator, Milkweed Books). Middle row, l.-r.: Caroline Casey (managing director, Coffee House), Joanna Demkiewicz (publicist, Milkweed Editions), Abby Travis (engagement coordinator, Milkweed Editions), Mandy Medley (publicist, Coffee House). Front: Chris Fischbach (publisher, Coffee House).
 
Capstone welcomed children's booksellers to its Minneapolis office for a tour of the editorial, design, marketing and digital areas.

 

Reading Group Choices and Milkweed Books hosted a Book Lovers Extravaganza featuring author speed dating, book giveaways and snacks for more than 50 people. Pictured: speed daters Heather Harpham, Happiness; Hala Alyan, Salt Houses; Deepak Unnikrishnan, Temporary People; Beth Dooley, In Winter’s Kitchen; Marina Benjamin, The Middlepause; Jamie Harrison, The Widow Nash; Ashley Shelby, South Pole Station; Tricia Levenseller, Daughter of the Pirate King.
 

Wi12: ABA Bids Adieu to Mark Nichols

During Wi12, booksellers and publishers said goodbye to and congratulated ABA development officer Mark Nichols, who retired as of the end of the conference after 16 years with the association.

ABA CEO Oren Teicher called Nichols "a mainstay of the ABA staff... and instrumental in every single thing ABA does and an extraordinary member of our team for 16 years. To say we're going to miss him is just one big understatement."

He continued: "His mark literally is on everything we do at ABA. There is nobody in this business who works harder. There is nobody who's more widely respected. And no one, and I mean no one, has more friends in the book business than Mark Nichols."

Oren Teicher and Betsy Burton applaud Mark Nichols.

ABA president Betsy Burton called Nichols "dedicated, hardworking, quiet, kind, caring and brilliant... someone who embodies what is best about our world and ourselves." She added, "His presence will linger not just in our hearts but in our lives. He's had a way of bringing out the best in all of us, something that once learned, just doesn't go away.... I thank him, we all thank him, for all those years, all that dedication, all that brilliant work, but most of all for the pleasure of his company."

The ABA then presented Nichols with a custom-made 2017 calendar using images of New York City bookstores from Bob Eckstein's Footnotes from the World's Greatest Bookstores: True Tales and Lost Moments from Book Buyers, Booksellers, and Book Lovers.

After a prolonged standing ovation, Nichols said that his entire career has been about "family and hands and heart." As for family, he continued, "You are all my family. My colleagues throughout the years have been my family. My colleagues at ABA are my very special family."

As for hands, "I started my career handselling books for 18 years. I'm going to finish my career handselling books, and I can't wait. [He wants to work again in a bookstore.] I loved this experience here, and I know that I handed things off into very capable hands."

As for heart, "Your hearts are so incredibly large and you have taken me into them." And then he quoted the end of the poem "i carry your heart with me" by e.e. cummings:

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)


SIBA Adds Conroy Legacy Award

The Southern Booksellers Alliance has added a Lifetime Achievement category to its annual book award program, the Southern Book Prize, that honors beloved author Pat Conroy, who died last year. The Conroy Legacy Award will be given to a writer in SIBA territory each year. A panel of SIBA member booksellers will select the winner, based on the following attributes:

  1. Support for independent bookstores, both in their own communities and in general.
  2. Writing that focuses significantly on their own home place.
  3. Support of other writers, especially new and emerging authors.

Although it is not necessary for a nominated writer to have a new book out in the award year, nominated writers must be living and must have books in print. Nominations must come from SIBA member bookstores.

In the name of the Legacy Award winner, SIBA will make donations to the Pat Conroy Literary Center and to a literary entity chosen by the writer.


Notes

The Booksmith, Seneca, S.C.: 'Worth Paying a Visit'

Congratulations to the Booksmith, Seneca, S.C. In Best of South Carolina, the store, which is owned by VaLinda Miller and is near Clemson University, was cited as one of "The 10 Coolest Coffee Shops in South Carolina." The entry reads, in its entirety:

"What started as a small bookselling establishment has now grown over twofold, both in square footage and product offerings. The Booksmith serves up a tasty offering of cafe-style beverages, as well as gourmet chocolates, high end knickknacks, jewelry, books, magazines, and all the other intrigues you'd expect to find. It's a unique place, plain and simple, and one worth paying a visit."


Media and Movies

Movies: Small Great Things

Describing them as "a feature film dream team," Deadline reported that Amblin Partners has acquired the movie rights to Jodi Picoult's Small Great Things, with Viola Davis and Julia Roberts attached to star in the adaptation. Marc Platt and Adam Siegel are producing. Platt and Amblin worked together on Bridge of Spies.



Books & Authors

Awards: Plutarch Finalists

The four finalists for this year's Plutarch Award, which honors biography and is voted on by members of the Biographers International Organization, are:

Guilty Thing: A Life of Thomas De Quincey by Frances Wilson (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939 by Volker Ullrich, translated by Jefferson Chase (Knopf)
Louisa: The Extraordinary Life of Mrs. Adams by Louisa Thomas (Penguin Press)
Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin (Norton)

The winner will be announced at the BIO annual convention in May in Boston.

Little, Brown Serves Up Milk Street Cookbook

Christopher Kimball

Celebrity chef Christopher Kimball, co-founder and former editor of America's Test Kitchen, has cooked up Milk Street Kitchen, located on Milk Street in Boston, Mass., which champions simple, tasty takes on American cuisine. Milk Street is a multimedia enterprise, with a podcast, a weekly public radio show, a bimonthly magazine coming in March/April, a TV show coming in September, and cooking classes at its headquarters in downtown Boston.

Another ingredient: Milk Street Kitchen cookbooks, courtesy of a new Little, Brown imprint catering to Kimball's culinary creations. The Milk Street Cookbook: The New Home Cooking--with 125 Bold, Fresh, Easy Recipes ($40, 9780316437288), comes out on September 1, just in time for Kimball's TV show. Promised recipes include Caramel Oranges, Grated Carrot Salad, Chipotle Shrimp Tacos and Chocolate Prune Cake.

"For three decades, Christopher Kimball has been America's most trusted kitchen instructor, promising home cooks that his recipes would always work--and they did," said Michael Szczerban, executive editor at Little, Brown. "Now, he is making an even more irresistible promise: that Milk Street's recipes and simple techniques will elevate the quality of your cooking far beyond what you thought possible."

"Searching the world for simpler, bolder ways to cook, Milk Street offers a new start for home cooks everywhere to produce recipes that are truly fresh and innovative--from rethinking basics such as chicken soup to redefining the very nature of cooking at home in the twenty-first century," Kimball said. "This collaboration with Little, Brown continues a longstanding partnership since the publication of my first books, The Cook's Bible, The Dessert Bible, and The Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook. We expect this editorial marriage to continue for many years to come."


Reading with... Adam Silvera

photo: Margot Wood

Adam Silvera's debut YA novel, More Happy Than Not, received multiple starred reviews and is a New York Times bestseller. His second YA novel, History Is All You Left Me, was released by Soho Teen on January 17, 2017. Born and raised in the Bronx, Silvera has worked as a children's bookseller, marketing assistant at a literary development company, and reviewer of children's and young adult novels. He now writes full-time in New York City.

On your nightstand now:

My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier, which is a compelling combo of delightful and creepy. I'm also ready to reread The Young Elites by Marie Lu and finally read Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Stellaluna by Janell Cannon is my first favorite book ever. I was so devastated when I lost my plush Stellaluna doll that my mom put up missing posters around my school. This story does not have the happy ending six-year-old Adam wanted.

Your top five authors:

Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Becky Albertalli, David Arnold, Nicola Yoon and John Corey Whaley.

Book you've faked reading:

Pretty much all required reading in school. I hated the cover of The Giver by Lois Lowry in seventh grade and refused to read it. I read it when I became a bookseller and loved it. Don't judge a book by its cover, Seventh-Grade Adam!

Book you're an evangelist for:

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. I always tell everyone how happy and sane I would've felt if I had that book as a teen.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Recently it was Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch. It's a graphic novel with the tagline "Yet Another Troll-Fighting 11-Year-Old Orthodox Jewish Girl." It was unlike anything I've ever read before.

Book you hid from your parents:

Mass-market copies of Charmed and Supernatural stories when I should've been doing homework.

Book that changed your life:

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling absolutely turned me into a writer. I was writing fan-fiction at 11. And 15 years later I'm a published author about to release my second book. I'm indebted to Rowling for that spark.

Favorite line from a book:

"I want a person to kiss hello." I love this line from Julie Murphy's Dumplin' so much.

Five books you'll never part with:

Noggin by John Corey Whaley, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling.

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

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and it would be really nice if someone doesn't spoil it for me the moment I'm about to begin this time.


Book Review

Children's Review: The Lotterys Plus One

The Lotterys Plus One by Emma Donoghue, illus. by Caroline Hadilaksono (Arthur A. Levine, $17.99 hardcover, 320p., ages 8-12, 9780545925815, March 28, 2017)

Sixteen years ago, a pregnant woman walking the hospital halls found a lottery ticket on the floor. The ticket proved quite the winner, enabling the new mother--and her three co-parents--to "buy a big house to fill with lots more kids, and do interesting stuff with [them] all day instead of going to work." Six more children later, the self-named Lotterys live an idyllic life in the 32-room Victorian home in Toronto they call Camelottery.

Sprawled across spaces fondly dubbed the Mess (kitchen), the Derriere (back porch) and the Loud Lounge, 11 humans and their furred and feathered companions reside. The two moms-in-love are the Jamaican MaxiMum (the former-ambulating mother-to-be) and CardaMom, a Mohawk woman. The two dads are Delhi-born PapaDum and his other half, PopCorn, who hails from far-north Yukon. Their kids, mostly named after trees, range in age from almost two to 16: baby Oak, Brian (formerly Briar), Sumac, Aspen, Wood (short for Redwood), Catalpa and Sic the "Firstborn" (S-i-c, as in " 'a special word you put in square brackets after something that looks nuts, to tell readers you really did mean it that way' ").

Indeed, the Lotterys really mean it this way... at least until their little utopia takes in PopCorn's estranged 82-year-old Scottish father after a fire damages his Yukon home. Suffering from dementia, he's not safe living on his own, so "for the moment" he'll be staying at Camelottery. Acerbic, bewildered and cranky, he quickly earns the nickname "Grumps." Unfiltered Grumps grumbles at their "weirdy commune" and makes clear that he doesn't like the family's food, the family's rules, maybe even the family itself. " 'We're a raggle-taggle, multiculti crew,' " Sic notes. " 'Grumps was raised on racism, homophobia, all that jazz.' "

As "the keeper of the family stories," nine-year-old Sumac--the adopted fifth Lottery child, of Filipino/German ancestry--is also the beating heart of this story. She's the most put-out--literally--when Grumps's need for a first-floor bedroom means she gets relegated to the dusty top floor, the spider-filled "Spare Oom." Sumac tries hard to live up to her reputation as a "mature, helpful, rational being," but wonders if she's "the most bad-tempered, unwelcoming Lottery? Or is she the miner's canary--the first to notice how this old man's wrecking everything?" Somehow, Sumac must figure out how to prevent the fall of Camelottery--and quickly!

Irish-born, Canadian-domiciled author Emma Donoghue (Room; Astray, Frog Music; The Wonder) makes her middle-grade debut in the first of what could and should be a long-running series; a sequel, The Lotterys More or Less, is forthcoming. As unique and ideal as the Lotterys may seem, Donoghue adds realistic challenges and convincing solutions into their lives with wit, wisdom and charm. Indonesian-born, New York-residing artist Caroline Hadilaksono adds further multiculti whimsy throughout. In words and in pictures, they capture a family learning to accommodate growing pains, as "plus one" eventually develops into a full, well-balanced dozen. --Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon

Shelf Talker: Bestselling adult author Emma Donoghue (Room) makes her middle-grade debut with this warm, witty story of a sprawling, multiculti, four-parent family that takes in an estranged, grumpy grandfather.


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