Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, December 19, 2017


Sourcebooks Fire: The Similars by Rebecca Hanover

HarperCollins: Turbo Racers: Trailblazer by Austin Aslan

Harper Paperbacks: Don't Wake Up by Liz Lawler

Bookselling Without Borders: Connecting U.S. Booksellers to the World of Books - Click to Support!

DK Publishing: Writers: Their Lives and Works by DK

Page Street Kids: Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer

Touchstone Books: I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott

Shadow Mountain: A Monster Like Me by Wendy S. Swore

News

Binc Sets Second Matching Goal for #MoreThanEver Campaign

After meeting its original fundraising match goal of $8,000, the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) has set an additional matching goal of $5,000 for its end of the year fundraising campaign #MoreThanEver, the nonprofit has announced.

The campaign began on November 28, coming near the end of a year in which Binc and its supporters have helped an "unprecedented number of booksellers," due in no small part to hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, devastating wildfires in Northern California and now ongoing fires in Southern California.

$15,000 was initially budgeted for 2017 to help with disaster relief. Binc has so far distributed more than five times that amount for disaster relief and in total helped more booksellers this year than in 2015 and 2016 combined. In order to "shrink the gap" between the assistance provided in 2017 and the original budget, Binc has set the campaign goal for #MoreThanEver at $20,000.

Those wishing to donate to the #MoreThanEver campaign can do so here.


G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Editor by Steven Rowley


Patterson Gives Holiday Bonuses to 300-Plus Booksellers

James Patterson at BookExpo earlier this year

As part of his Holiday Bookstore Bonus Program, James Patterson will distribute grants totaling $350,000 (up $100,000 over previous years) to more than 300 independent booksellers this year. The program, which awards individual booksellers amounts ranging from $750 to $1,250, is handled in conjunction with the American Booksellers Association. A complete list of recipients is available at BookWeb.org/bonus.

The grant application asked one question: "Why does this bookseller deserve a holiday bonus?" Patterson selected winners from bookstores across the country, with many of the recipients coming "from areas hard hit by natural disasters, including Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston, Copperfield's in Napa, and various stores in Florida," Bookselling This Week reported, adding that nominated booksellers "were praised for their perseverance in the face of these hardships, as well as for their contagious enthusiasm, skilled handselling, innovation, and, most importantly, dedication to books and reading."

"I was thrilled to increase the donation amount of this year's bonuses given the overwhelming response we've had to past campaigns," said Patterson. "This holiday season, in particular, underscored how deserving these booksellers are--many of the recipients came from stores that dealt with major damage from hurricanes and wildfires, in addition to the challenges they faced in an ever-changing retail environment. These bonuses are my humble acknowledgment of their commitment to putting books into the hands of readers, and I hope these grants make a positive difference in their lives."

American Booksellers Association CEO Oren Teicher commented: "With this expansion of his Holiday Bookstore Bonus Program, James Patterson continues to demonstrate his extraordinary commitment to literacy and independent booksellers. In a year that has proved so challenging to many booksellers because of natural disasters, we are even more grateful. Thanks to his ongoing generosity, over twice as many independent booksellers who are working so hard to serve their communities by connecting authors and readers of all ages will receive well-earned bonuses."


G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted by Robert Hillman


Arkansas's Trolley Line Book Shop to Close

Trolley Line Book Shop in Rogers, Ark., will close in January, owners Myra and Pat Moran announced. At the same time, Myra Moran will "continue her support" of Arkansas authors in the Gathering, a store in the Rogers historic district that features creative work by notable Arkansans, where a room of Trolley Line's stock of Arkansas-related books will open soon.

The Morans opened their first bookstore in Little Rock, Ark., in 1986. In 2007, they moved to Rogers. The couple have always been active in the community, offered a range of titles and featured work by Arkansas authors.


Touchstone Books: I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott

Amazon on Stores in Germany: 'Question of When'

Ralf Kleber, head of Amazon in Germany, has become more definitive about opening bricks-and-mortar stores in Germany. Yesterday he told the Morgenpost, "It's not a question of whether, it's a question of when." But he didn't mention a possible opening date or specify whether these would be Amazon Books book and electronics stores, grocery stores or another type of retail operation.

"Customers love variety online and in traditional retail," he added. "The latter still represents 90% to 95% of revenue. And we will never exclude what the customer wants."

Two years ago, Kleber said that the company wasn't "ruling out" opening bricks-and-mortar stores in Germany and said Berlin would be "a top candidate" for an Amazon store.


G.P. Putnam's Sons: More Than Words by Jill Santopolo


Obituary Note: Bette Howland

Bette Howland, "who wrote three well-regarded books in the 1970s and early '80s, then faded from the literary scene, only to be rediscovered recently," died December 13, the New York Times reported. She was 80. Two years ago, her son Jacob, a philosophy professor at the University of Tulsa, "wrote an article for Commentary describing a chain of events that led not only to a reassessment of his mother's writing, but also to the emergence of a decades-long correspondence Ms. Howland had with Saul Bellow, who he said was a longtime friend and, for a time, a lover," the Times noted.

The literary and art journal A Public Space is making her novella Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage the initial publication of its new book imprint next year and printed excerpts from those letters and a portfolio of her writing in the December 2015 issue. The Times wrote that Howland's work "might never have resurfaced had not a copy of W-3 caught the eye of Brigid Hughes, editor of A Public Space, when she was browsing through a $1 cart at the Housing Works Bookstore in Manhattan in 2015. The book intrigued her, and some digging eventually led her to Jacob Howland." A Public Space aims to eventually reissue all of her books, which include W-3, Blue in Chicago and Things to Come and Go: Three Stories.

Howland received a MacArthur Foundation ("genius grant") award in 1984, but her literary output dwindled. "My mother was always writing, but she almost stopped publishing fiction after winning the MacArthur Award in 1984," Jacob Howland wrote in 2015. "What appeared in print was mostly literary criticism. Though it was a financial blessing--my mother snagged bargains in thrift stores all her life, and the money has lasted to this day--the MacArthur was a curse as well. I suspect she felt anything she published afterward had to justify the judges' esteem.... Late in her career, however, Bette produced an extraordinary novella [Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage]."


Shelf Awareness Giveaway: Andrews McMeel Publishing: How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men's Feelings: Non-Threatening Leadership Strategies for Women by Sarah Cooper


Notes

Image of the Day: Ingram's New HQ

Employees from the Greater Nashville area gathered to celebrate the grand opening of Ingram's renovated headquarters, called the "Public Square," with a live band and hors d'oeurves on December 12 in LaVergne, Tenn. Pictured left to right: (back row) David Roland (chief venture capital officer), Shawn Everson (chief commercial officer), Phil Ollila (chief content officer), Shawn Morin (chief executive officer) and John Ingram (chairman of the board); (front row) Wayne Keegan (chief human resources officer), Kent Freeman (chief strategy officer), Deanna Steele (chief information officer) and Brian Dauphin (chief financial officer).


Bookshop Blackboard of the Day: Excelsior Bay Books

"Having fun with our new sidewalk sign," Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, Minn., noted in sharing a photo of the shop's chalkboard, which advises: "It's going to be a long winter. You better get a book! And a puzzle!"


Personnel Changes at Abrams

Michelle R. Ferguson has been appointed senior v-p and chief operating officer of Abrams. She was most recently senior v-p, workplace strategies, at McGraw-Hill, where earlier she was senior v-p, global business services, and senior v-p, international operations, among other positions.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: R. Marie Griffith on Fresh Air

Today:
Fresh Air: R. Marie Griffith, author of Moral Combat: How Sex Divided American Christians and Fractured American Politics (Basic Books, $32, 9780465094752).

Tomorrow:
Steve repeat: Gabrielle Union, author of We're Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True (Dey Street, $26.99, 9780062693983).

Watch What Happens Live repeat: Michael Rapaport, author of This Book Has Balls: Sports Rants from the MVP of Talking Trash (Touchstone, $26.99, 9781501160318).


Movies: Every Day

Orion Pictures has released a trailer for Every Day, based on David Levithan's YA novel. Directed by Michael Sucsy, the film has a cast that includes Angourie Rice (The Nice Guys), Justice Smith (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Detective Pikachu), Debby Ryan, Jacob Batalon, Owen Teague (It, Bloodline), Lucas Jade Zumann, Colin Ford and Maria Bello. It was written by Jesse Andrews and hits theaters February 23.



Books & Authors

Awards: Tony Lothian Winner

The Biographers' Club announced that John Woolf has won the £2,000 (about $2,680) Tony Lothian Prize, which recognizes "the best proposal for an uncommissioned first biography," for Queen Victoria's Freaks: The Performers at Buckingham Palace.

Also on this year's shortlist were The Boxing Parson of Killarney by Lin Rose Clark, Enter a Cloud: A Book on/with/for/after W.S. Graham by Oli Hazzard, Willibald’s Journey by Susan Kelly, and Every Other Inch a Gentleman: The Lives of Michael Arlen by Philip Ward. 


Midwest Connections January and February Picks

From the Midwest Booksellers Association, Midwest Connections Picks for January and February. Under this marketing program, the association and member stores promote booksellers' handselling favorites that have a strong Midwest regional appeal.

January
No Saints in Kansas by Amy Brashear (Soho Teen, $18.99, 9781616956837). "A young adult, fictional reimagining of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood and the brutal murders that inspired it. Gripping and fast-paced, this meticulously researched historical fiction will reinvigorate a new generation to Capote. No Saints in Kansas sees the aftermath of the infamous quadruple murder of the Clutter family through the eyes of a teenage girl who counted Nancy Clutter as a friend."

A Year in the Wilderness: Bearing Witness in the Boundary Waters by Amy Freeman and Dave Freeman (Milkweed Editions, $35, 9781571313669). "When the Freemans learned of mining in the area's watershed, they decided to take action--by spending a year in the wilderness. This book tells the story of their adventure in northern Minnesota: of loons whistling under a moonrise, of mushrooms cooked over a fire, of a pine marten stalking a hare through winter's first snowfall. In visceral language and gorgeous photos, the Freemans show us the value of wilderness and why we must protect it."

Little i by Michael Hall (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins, $17.95, 9780062383006). "When Little i's dot falls off, rolls down a hill, over a cliff, and into the sea, Little i sets out on a journey to rescue it. A charming, suspenseful, and wholly original picture book about the adventure of growing up from the acclaimed and bestselling creator of Red: A Crayon's Story and Wonderfall."

Alone on the Shield by Kirk Landers (Chicago Review Press, $15.99, 9781613739914). "Alone on the Shield is a story about the Vietnam war and the things that connect us. It is the story of aging Baby Boomers, of the rare kinds of people who paddle alone into the wilderness, and of the kind of adventure that comes only to the bold and the brave."

February
The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin (Putnam, $26, 9780735213180). "A sweeping novel of remarkable ambition and depth, The Immortalists probes the line between destiny and choice, reality and illusion, this world and the next. It is a deeply moving testament to the power of story, the nature of belief, and the unrelenting pull of familial bonds."

The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow's World by Charles C. Mann (Knopf, $28.95, 9780307961693). "When it comes to the environment, two scientists shaped our world view--and very few people have ever even heard of them. Award-winning historian Charles C. Mann takes on one of the most important questions of our time, drawing on history for context and laying a path for what's to come."

American Heart by Laura Moriarty (HarperTeen, $17.99, 9780062694102). "Imagine a United States in which registries and detainment camps for Muslim Americans are a reality. This is the world of fifteen-year-old Sarah-Mary Williams of Hannibal, Missouri. When Sarah-Mary meets a Muslim fugitive determined to reach freedom, the two set off on a desperate journey, hitchhiking through the heart of America."

The Digger and the Flower by Joseph Kuefler (Balzer + Bray, $17.99, 9780062424334). "From the author-artist of Beyond the Pond and Rulers of the Playground comes a breathtaking new book with a powerful message about the environment--about a lonely digger in an industrial world who finds a flower, an encounter that ends up changing his whole world. This beautifully spare story has a powerful message of friendship and environmentalism."


Book Review

Review: Everything Here Is Beautiful

Everything Here Is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee (Pamela Dorman/Viking, $26 hardcover, 368p., 9780735221963, January 16, 2018)

An expansion of a short story published in the Missouri Review, Mira T. Lee's debut novel, Everything Here Is Beautiful, explores the relationship between two sisters, the eldest committed to protecting her spontaneous, joyful but mentally unstable sibling.

Miranda Bok remembers coming to the United States from China with her pregnant mother, starting over in a new country without Miranda's father, who died before he could join them. Her mother always expected Miranda to look after Lucia, her seven-years-younger sister. Now grown women, their mother's death a fresh wound, the sisters try to cope with adulthood, but Lucia struggles. First, she surprises Miranda by marrying Yonah, a one-armed, functionally illiterate Russian-Israeli Jew who seems too coarse and ignorant for her sister. Nevertheless, Miranda comes to appreciate Yonah's kindness and sense of family when they become partners in caring for Lucia after the resurgence of a mental illness that plagued her in college.

Following a failed hospitalization, Lucia leaves Yonah, who does not want children, to have a baby with Manny, a young Ecuadorian immigrant. In the years that follow, Miranda tries to maintain her own carefully orchestrated life with her husband in Switzerland, while keeping a watchful eye over Lucia through Manny. Spread across the world, the family struggles to find beauty amid the chaos wrought by Lucia's episodes of mental illness and impulsiveness, sometimes related, always difficult to separate.

Miranda and Lucia's lives span multiple countries and cultures, including rural Ecuador, the close-knit immigrant communities of New York City and echoes of their family's ancestral homeland, China. Lucia's free-spirited personality and determination to achieve her dreams pulls the reader in, despite the constantly shifting compass of those dreams. One of several narrators, Miranda has the fullest picture of her sister's history and illness. Manny's baffled attempts to deal with Lucia's postpartum depression mature into an anxiety that she will stop taking her meds. Lee's choice to tell part of their early relationship from his point of view makes him equally sympathetic during its troubles. While Lucia's diagnosis varies by episode from schizophrenia to bipolar disorder, the specifics of the illness are beside the point here. Lee's spotlight illuminates the stress mental illness places on families, the difficulties of navigating the healthcare system--though the United States' proves better than Ecuador's--and the resilience of family, whether formed by blood or by love. Like Miriam Toews's All My Puny Sorrows, Everything Here Is Beautiful is filled with unexpected, fragile moments of beauty. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Shelf Talker: A free-spirited Chinese American journalist struggles with mental illness while her sister, lover and ex-husband try to support her.


The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by IndieReader.com:

1. The Elf on the Shelf by Carol V. Aebersold and Chanda B. Bell
2. The Anthology Part 1: Limited Edition by Garth Brooks
3. Magnolia Nights by Ashley Farley
4. Home for Christmas by Alexa Riley
5. Big Man by Penny Wylder
6. 6 Mountain Brothers for Christmas by Rye Hart
7. Surprise Package by Kira Blakely
8. The Belial Series, Books 1-3 by R.D. Brady
9. Crank (The Gibson Boys Book 1) by Adriana Locke
10. The Cabin by Alice Ward

[Many thanks to IndieReader.com!]


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