Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Mariner Books: Everyone This Christmas Has a Secret: A Festive Mystery by Benjamin Stevenson

Grove Press: Brightly Shining by Ingvild Rishøi, Translated Caroline Waight

Running Press Adult: Scam Goddess: Lessons from a Life of Cons, Grifts, and Schemes by Laci Mosley

Broadleaf Books: Trespass: Portraits of Unhoused Life, Love, and Understanding by Kim Watson

Nancy Paulsen Books: Sync by Ellen Hopkins

Running Press Adult: Cat People by Hannah Hillam

Beaming Books: Must-Have Autumn Reads for Your Shelf!

Dial Press: Like Mother, Like Mother by Susan Rieger

Quotation of the Day

'A Bookseller's Advice for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos'

"As a bookseller, I'd like to offer a suggestion: Stop hawking books on Amazon at such drastically slashed prices.... I ask you to think about this now that you have reached a place where you desire to help people.

"You don't have to work through the intermediary of a charity. You can simply raise the price of the books you offer for sale on your site to fair market value. Yes, what I'm asking you to do is no more, or less than to make a profit on your book sales. You might see a drop in how many books you move, but people would continue using your site for the convenience. Surely you must know this is true.

"By implementing this single yet monumental change to your business model, you would remain the most powerful retail site in the country, still generating tremendous profits. But you would give independent neighborhood bookstores a better chance to survive and promote reading culture 'in the here and now.' That would be a lasting legacy."

--B.J. Hegedus, gift buyer & merchandising designer for Vroman's Bookstore and Book Soup, in a Los Angeles Times op-ed

Peachtree Teen: Compound Fracture by Andrew Joseph White


Bookstore Sales Up 1.5% in June, Up 0.2% for Year

June bookstore sales rose 1.5%, to $721 million, compared to June 2016, according to preliminary estimates from the Census Bureau. This marks the fourth month in a row bookstore sales have risen. For the first six months of the year, bookstore sales are $5.065 billion, up 0.2% over the same period in 2016.

Total retail sales in June rose 3.8%, to $483.7 billion. For the year to date, total retail sales have risen 4%, to $2,776.5 billion.

Note: under Census Bureau definitions, the bookstore category consists of "establishments primarily engaged in retailing new books."

Inner Traditions: Expand your collection with these must-have resource books!

Quarto Group Ends Sale Negotiations with Mystery Bidder

The Quarto Group, which announced last week that it was in early negotiations with a potential buyer, has ended the discussions, the company said today. The talks, halted by "mutual agreement" of both parties, were "not progressing to the satisfaction of the board. It became clear that the regulatory approvals required by the bidder to complete the proposed acquisition were increasingly less likely to be granted on the timeline first indicated."

The company added: "Recognizing the importance of delivering a strong finish to the year and after carefully considering the interests of all shareholders, the board was not prepared to prolong discussions further to avoid distraction to management at such a critical time of year for the business."

Quarto CEO Marcus Leaver told the Bookseller that staff he had spoken with since revealing the decision were "universally... very happy we're staying independent." He added that the company will continue to listen to credible offers, noting: "This was an unsolicited offer and while it was pitched at an attractive premium, the board considers it imperative that the company remains focused on delivering a strong finish to the year. I welcome the clarity which this decision brings.... If it took until March or April, I don't think that for shareholders or for staff living in limbo would be good news. And what happens if we get that far and the regulator says 'no?' Because there's no certainty."

Quarto, which is domiciled in the U.S. and is listed on the London Stock Exchange, sells books in 47 countries in 39 languages and in the U.S. owns Walter Foster Publishing, becker&meyer, Harvard Common Press, Voyageur Press, Burgess Lea Press, Rockport Publishers, Creative Publishing International, Motorbooks and others.

Annie Philbrick, Pequot Museum in New Partnership

Annie Philbrick, owner of Bank Square Books in Mystic, Conn., and Savoy Bookshop in Westerly, R.I., has partnered with the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center to offer a variety of Native authors' titles for sale at the museum's gift shop. The collaboration brings more than 500 new titles to the shop and allows the museum and the bookstores to host book tours and guest lectures at the museum's auditorium and various gathering spaces.

Through the partnership, a "significantly expanded range of titles" will be available to visitors, offering "a direct path to more thoroughly pursue topics that captivate them during their museum experience." Titles are selected by the museum's Native experts and staff to provide authenticity, cultural sensitivity and accuracy to the modern Native narrative.

"We are thrilled to simultaneously support a local business and offer our community the exciting and fulfilling experience of discovering a wide variety of noteworthy Native American works," said Philbrick. "Museum visitors from near and far will benefit from our combined ability to bring the titles--and the authors--to Connecticut where they can pursue their quest for in-depth Native subject matter, both historic and contemporary."

Pequot Museum director Jason Mancini commented: "Our partnership with renowned independent bookstore owner Annie Philbrick opens the door for us to offer a unique and substantial range of works by, of and about Native people. We couldn't be more excited to blend her connections with top publishers and important authors with our unparalleled depth of offerings on Native culture to create this a one-of-a-kind literary offering."

Obituary Note: Diane Pearson

Diane Pearson, who worked at Transworld Publishers for almost 40 years, died August 15, the Bookseller reported. She was 85. A senior editor from 1964 to 2002, she was honored in 1994 with the British Book Award for Editor of the Year and served as president of the Romantic Novelists' Association from 1986 to 2011. As an author, Pearson's novels include The Marigold Field and its sequel, Sarah Whitman; Csardas and The Summer of the Barshinskeys.

Larry Finlay, managing director at Transworld, said Pearson "had one of the keenest eyes in the business, right across the literary spectrum. Not only did she build a market-leading list of women's saga writers that included Iris Gower, Elvi Rhodes, Susan Sallis and Ruth Hamilton, she also brought to Transworld Terry Pratchett with The Colour of Magic in 1984, Joanna Trollope with A Village Affair in 1990 and Kate Atkinson with her debut in 1995, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, which went on to win the overall Whitbread (now Costa) Prize. Di also worked with Jilly Cooper for over 20 years.... Diane Pearson is an integral part of the Transworld story, and hers is a legacy which will burn brightly for years to come."


Image of the Day: Redheads Roll Out Red Carpet

Macmillan redheads welcomed Erin LaRosa (front, center), author of the forthcoming The Big Redhead Book (St. Martin's Griffin, August 22) to the Flatiron Building in New York last week. Pictured (l. to r.): Kerri Resnick, Megan Abbate, Devan Norman, Emily Walters, Erin LaRosa (black dress), Shannon Donnelly, Jennifer Proffitt, Kim Ludlam, Elizabeth Catalano (front right).

Happy 25th Birthday, McLean & Eakin Booksellers!

Congratulations to McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, Mich., which celebrated its 25th birthday yesterday. Images from the celebration prep were posted on Facebook, along with an invitation to patrons: "Stop in and celebrate with us for our 25th Anniversary! We're not 'black tie,' but 'black and red' and eating all the treats without you if you're not here! Put your favorite McLean & Eakin memory on our timeline. We just realized that Oprah's book club started all the way back in 1996 for example!"

In its e-newsletter this week, McLean & Eakin wrote: "Celebrate with us all day long with snacks from Petoskey Cheese, Julienne Tomatoes, and more. Meet avid readers from near and far, and share your favorite memory of McLean & Eakin on our in-store customer timeline!"

The bookstore also charted its history, beginning with the shop's founding in 1992 by Julie Norcross. After working at the store for several years together, current co-owners Matt and Jessilynn Norcross purchased the business from Julie in 2009. McLean & Eakin Booksellers has been awarded the Pannell Award (2000) as well as the Haslam Award for Excellence in Bookselling (2004).

"Sincerest thanks to all of the customers who continue to support our independent bookstore, from the booksellers of McLean & Eakin," the bookstore noted. "Here's to another 25 years!"

Bookstore Display of the Day: Belmont Books

Posted on Facebook Monday by Belmont Books, Belmont, Mass.: "Wanna learn more about the history behind the protests in Charlottesville? We've got you covered. #CharlottesvilleCurriculum--at Belmont Books."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: John Dickerson on Colbert's Late Show

CBS This Morning: Jean M. Twenge, author of iGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy--and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood--and What That Means for the Rest of Us (Atria, $27, 9781501151989).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: John Dickerson, author of Whistlestop: My Favorite Stories from Presidential Campaign History (Twelve, $16.99, 9781455540471).

Movies: Exit West; Rebel in the Rye

Joe and Anthony Russo have acquired rights to Mohsin Hamid's novel Exit West for Morten Tyldum (Passengers, The Imitation Game) to direct, Deadline reported. The Russos will produce the film based on a novel that was a Man Booker Prize longlist selection this year.

"Joe and Anthony are phenomenal storytellers with a bold and unique vision for their company and the kind of films they and their team want to produce," said Tyldum. "As a filmmaker, it feels like coming home."


A trailer is out for Rebel in the Rye, which explores the the story behind J.D. Salinger's classic novel The Catcher in the Rye. The movie follows a young Salinger (Nicholas Hoult) as he struggles to find his voice, pursues a love affair with famed socialite Oona O'Neill (Zoey Deutch), and fights on the frontlines of World War II. His experiences influenced the creation of his masterpiece and led to the fame that provoked him to withdraw from the public eye for the rest of his life. Written and directed by Danny Strong, the film also stars Kevin Spacey, Sarah Paulson, Victor Garber and Hope Davis. Rebel in the Rye hits theaters September 15.

Books & Authors

Awards: Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color

Jessica Ellis Laine has won the 2017 Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award, sponsored by Sisters in Crime and honoring the memory of pioneering African-American crime fiction author Eleanor Taylor Bland. The award carried a $1,500 grant to an emerging writer of color, male or female, who has not yet published a full-length work.

Naomi Hirahara, a member of the judging panel, said that after deliberations made difficult by "numerous exceptional submissions... it was Jessica Ellis Laine's humor and authentic characterization of her Latina protagonist that won us over. We are excited to see mysteries written by Laine and other applicants fulfill our genre's potential to reflect the wide range of human experiences."

Reading with... E. Lockhart

E. Lockhart is the author ofWe Were Liars, which has been published in 33 countries. Her other works include Fly on the Wall; Dramarama; the Printz Award honor and Cybils Award winner The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks; and the Ruby Oliver quartet. Her novel How to Be Bad was co-written with Lauren Myracle and Sarah Mlynowski. Her next novel, Genuine Fraud, about a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life, will be published by Delacorte in September.

On your nightstand now:

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. I'm late to that party, I know. It's so good.

Favorite book when you were a child:

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken. It's got orphans, train journeys, evildoers, a lavish country house. And wolves. It's a lot like Genuine Fraud, actually, but the wolves in my book are metaphorical.

Your top five authors:

Toni Morrison, Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, Patricia Highsmith and the writers employed by the Marvel comic book company.

Book you've faked reading:

Ulysses. I suspect I'm not alone in that answer.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Trevor Noah's Born a Crime, especially on audio. He's a wickedly good storyteller.

Book you've bought for the cover:

When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds. I collect book jackets I like on Pinterest. I'm a fan of Paul Sahre's book design, in particular. He does Chuck Klosterman's covers, and at least some of Rick Moody's.

Book you hid from your parents:

Wifey by Judy Blume. It was full of lackluster and disappointing sex, but it was still sex, so I was happy to be reading about it.

Book that changed your life:

Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi. I read it in 1991, on the beach. That huge honkin' book in hardcover. I couldn't put it down. It gave me a new way of looking at myself and my position in the world.

Favorite line from a book:

"I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will, which I now exert to leave you." --Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Five books you'll never part with:

I am not a keeper of objects for sentimental reasons. Not even autographed copies. Not even gifts. I own a lot of books, but you may have them if you'd like to read them.

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

When Fight Club first came out, I saw Chuck Palahniuk read at a literary event in SoHo that took place in an art gallery full of tattoo designs. I bought the novel without knowing much about it. I remember jumping around the room, halfway through. Plot twist!

Book that was a guilty pleasure:

I never feel guilty about reading.

Book Review

Children's Review: Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library

Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford, illus. by Eric Velasquez (Candlewick Press, $16.99 hardcover, 48p., ages 9-12, 9780763680466, September 12, 2017)

With great respect to the man's riveting life story, Caldecott and Coretta Scott King Honors author Carole Boston Weatherford (Freedom in Congo Square) relates through narrative poetry the story of Afro-Puerto Rican immigrant Arturo Schomburg. While each poem in Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library can stand alone as a single snapshot in the literary life of Schomburg, Weatherford's portrayal of the bibliophilic law clerk is so wondrous, readers won't be able to resist turning the pages to learn more.

In addition to shedding light on a man who voraciously collected books, letters, art and music created by people of African descent--"Arturo had what he called the book hunting disease./ No one volume told the whole story,/ and no library specialized in the subject"--Weatherford illuminates significant individuals whose art makes up the precious history Schomburg preserved and ultimately curated into the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. She treats readers to fascinating glimpses of poet Phillis Wheatley, abolitionist Frederick Douglass, revolutionary Toussaint Louverture and composer Ludwig van Beethoven: "Gifted beyond belief, Beethoven/ still composed after he'd lost his hearing./ How could this maestro's African heritage/ have been muted?"

Schomburg did not stop at collecting, however. Despite having never attended college, his lectures, research and writing influenced the bedrock of the Harlem Renaissance and ensured that Africans' voice in history would not be silenced, "Arturo's articles, essays, and letters to the editor/ shared what he had learned--facts kept in darkness far too long..../ Schomburg's words give voice to the ancestors./ Their pigment flowed through his pen."

Complementing the lyrical language of Weatherford's words are the richly textured, bold paintings of another successful Afro-Puerto Rican man from Harlem, Pura Belpré Award-winning illustrator Eric Velasquez (Ol' Clip-Clop). The detail and majesty of Velasquez's art eases readers' progress through the pages as they focus in on style and design, his illustrations conveying wonderful layers of meaning likely to spark imagination and thoughtful reflection.

Young readers as well as parents, teachers or librarians can certainly enjoy the poems alone, but just as Schomburg found great satisfaction in sharing his library with others, there is a special exhilaration in exploring his life communally. Additionally, his determination and goals, the works he accumulated and his life's accomplishments are perfect for opening dialogue and advocating further exploration. 

Picking up Schomburg's torch almost a century later, Weatherford and Velasquez are continuing to ensure that African history isn't lost: Schomburg started the collection and his pigment flows through others' pens as he becomes a significant part of his own narrative. --Jen Forbus, freelancer

Shelf Talker: Two African-American scholars have written a poetic biography of Arturo Schomburg, an immigrant who curated a library to prevent the disappearance of African voices from history.

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