Shelf Awareness for Thursday, January 4, 2018


Delacorte Press: Lady Smoke (Ash Princess #2) by Laura Sebastian

Atlantic Monthly Press: Unto Us a Son Is Given by Donna Leon

Gibbs Smith: We know that there's no place like the bookstore - Thank You Booksellers!

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Five Feet Apart by Rachel Lippincott with Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis

Quotation of the Day

Glad Tidings: 'Indie Sales Up 2.6% in 2017'

"Overall book sales across indie bookstores for 2017 increased 2.6% over 2016, with a compound annual growth rate of 5.4% over the past five years. In addition, the number of books sold in the indie channel during the week leading up to Christmas was the highest since NPD/BookScan began collecting that type of data. Further, the American Booksellers Association's ABACUS benchmarking survey showed an increase in overall indie bookstore profitability."

--Bookselling This Week yesterday in a report on holiday sales at indie bookstores

Ecco Press: What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir in Essays by Damon Young


News

A New Chapter Bookstore to Open in Enid, Okla.

A New Chapter in progress.

Later this month, Coral "Kern" Simon and Becky Bridwell-Gaede plan to open A New Chapter Bookstore and Café in Enid, Okla., according to Enid Buzz. The store will feature new and used books and a full range of coffee and other refreshments.

The owners have been renovating the store's space for the past three months. They plan to promote local authors, have a children's section and possibly run story times.

Enid hasn't had a general bookstore since Hastings closed in 2016, Enid Buzz wrote. Comments on Facebook indicate that many residents are very happy to see the store open.

A New Chapter Bookstore and Café will be located at 232 Randolph, Enid, Okla. 73701; 580-297-5112.


Abrams: The Overlook Press Distribution Change


Vt.'s Bridgeside Books Merging with Sister Store

Bridgeside Home, which sells "vintage, upcycled and one of a kind small furnishings" and is an extension of Bridgeside Books in Waterbury, Vt., will relocate from its S. Main St. location and merge with the bookstore on Stowe St.

"We're excited to merge the two shops and have all our fabulous offerings under one roof," Bridgeside posted on Facebook. "We will continue to offer unique, one-of-a-kind gifts for the home and look forward to blending these items in with Bridgeside Books!"

Bridgeside Home is currently offering 40% discounts storewide through January 15 to "help us with fewer items to move on over to 29 Stowe Street."


Ecco Press: White Elephant by Julie Langsdorf


Jacqueline Woodson Named National Ambassador for Young People's Literature

Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson has been named the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. Woodson is a four-time Newbery Honor Medalist, Coretta Scott King Book Award-winner, former Young People's Poet Laureate and winner of the National Book Award in 2014 for Brown Girl Dreaming.

During her two-year term, Woodson will travel nationwide promoting her platform, "READING = HOPE x CHANGE (What's Your Equation?)," which encourages young people to think about "the moment they're living in, the power they possess, and the impact reading can have on showing them ways in which they can create the hope and the change they want to see in the world."

"I think the work ahead of me is challenging," Woodson said. "I don't believe there are 'struggling' readers, 'advanced' readers or 'non' readers. I'd love to walk away from my two years as Ambassador with the qualifiers gone and young people able to see themselves beyond stigma or oft-times debilitating praise. Martin Luther King Jr. said people should not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. In that regard, I think young people should not be judged by the level of their reading but by the way a book makes them think and feel. By the way it gives them hope. By the way it opens them up to new perspectives and changes them. I'm excited to have these conversations with some of the best conversationalists in our country--our young people."

Woodson's inauguration ceremony takes place next Tuesday, January 9, at 10:30 a.m. in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Tickets are not required; the event is free and open to the public.

Sponsored by the Children's Book Council, Every Child a Reader and the Library of Congress, the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature program was founded in 2008 and "highlights the importance of young people's literature as it relates to lifelong literacy, education, and the development and betterment of the lives of young people." Previous ambassadors were Jon Scieszka, Katherine Paterson, Walter Dean Myers, Kate DiCamillo and most recently Gene Luen Yang.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden commented: "I have admired Jacqueline Woodson's work for years, especially her dedication to children and young-adult literature. The Library of Congress looks forward to Jacqueline's tenure of encouraging young readers to embrace reading as a means to improve the world."

Carl Lennertz, executive director of Every Child a Reader and the Children's Book Council, added that Woodson "embodies everything that we look for in this position and we can't think of a more passionate advocate for young people and for reading over the next two years."


Franklin Fixtures: Thank you for a great 2018! Click for 18% off your Franklin Fixtures order for new orders placed in 2018


NYT, PBS NewsHour Launch 'Now Read This' Book Club

PBS NewsHour and the New York Times are launching Now Read This, a "collaborative book club with planned audience engagement across both outlets and on multiple platforms." The inaugural pick is Jesmyn Ward's Sing, Unburied, Sing, winner of the National Book Award in fiction last fall.

At the beginning of each month, NewsHour and the Times will choose a book and invite participants to read along. Discussion questions and other exclusive material related to the book and from the author will be posted throughout the month to pbs.org/newshour and nytimes.com, as well as the Facebook group Now Read This. Included among these features are writer's advice and an inside look at how the book was written, as well as Times reviews.

At the end of the month, Jeffrey Brown, NewsHour chief correspondent for arts and culture, interviews the author on broadcast, asking questions submitted by readers. Brown will also unveil the next month's book at that time.

"With the launch of Now Read This, we're excited to expand the NewsHour's decades long commitment to coverage of books and the arts," said Brown. "We'll seek out books that offer insight into the world we and the Times report on daily. And we'll provide our viewers and readers a unique engagement with leading authors."

Pamela Paul, editor of the New York Times Book Review, commented: "We're thrilled to team up with PBS NewsHour to spark thoughtful conversation about some of today's most timely and worthwhile books. Passionate readers now have a home to engage not only with other curious minds but also with the authors themselves. It will be a real treat to connect with readers of the Times and viewers of PBS NewsHour as they share ideas, ask questions and debate issues about what they are reading."

NewsHour and the Times will collaborate online and on social media with content and conversation, including live audience q&a's on Facebook and Twitter, featuring Brown and Paul.


Obituary Note: Fred Bass

Fred Bass

Fred Bass, owner of the iconic Strand Book Store who continued to work the buying desk far into his 80s, died January 3 at his home in New York City. He was 89.

Born on June 28, 1928, in Manhattan's East Village, Bass was the son of Shirley Vogel and Benjamin Bass, both immigrants. Benjamin Bass founded the Strand in 1927 in what was then Book Row, which at its height had nearly 50 bookstores.

By the age of 13, Fred Bass began working for the family business, mostly scouting books, shelving and sweeping. Bass worked alongside his father until 1978, when Benjamin Bass died.

Bass attended DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx and later graduated from Brooklyn College with a major in literature. He was drafted into the army in 1950 and served in the Korean War, reaching the rank of sergeant. In 1952, he met his soon-to-be wife Patricia, whom he married after three dates. They were married for 66 years and had two children: Stephen Randolph Bass, who died in 2001, and Nancy Bass Wyden, who began working at the Strand at the age of 25 and has been co-owner for many years with her father.

"I grew up at the Strand, at first sharpening pencils, shelving books and answering phones," said Nancy Bass Wyden. "For over 30 years, I have had the privilege of working alongside of my dad managing the store. He never had an office and loved when customers told him they enjoyed 'getting lost in the stacks'. He spent all of his time behind his buying desk, eager to see what treasures would come across it. He felt working with books was the best job in the world.

"The store has survived and thrived through the Depression, competition from the other Book Row stores, big box stores, e-readers and Amazon. It is now a must-stop for established and aspiring writers. My grandfather and dad dedicated their lives to making it a cultural center of New York City. It is my honor to work to carry my family's 90-year legacy forward."

Bass's son-in-law, Senator Ron Wyden (D.-Ore.), added: "Fred Bass was a vintage New Yorker who adored his wife and family, never hesitated to help employees when they fell on hard times, and built a bookstore that became renowned around the world. It wasn't easy. Fred bounced around the foster care system after his mother died, he worked six days a week for years--often sleeping all day Sunday--and guided the store through some very lean days. Into his 80s, he especially enjoyed sitting on a stool in front of the store to, as he said, 'promote smooth traffic flow.' Fred also became celebrated for the famous quiz about books he devised for job seekers--and laughed uproariously about how in the age of Google they just looked for the answers online."

Besides the main store at Broadway and 12th Street, the Strand has kiosks at Central Park and Times Square and a "shop within a shop" at Club Monaco on Fifth Avenue. In recent years, the Strand made various renovations to its space, developed a healthy author events program and sold more new books in addition to its staples of used and rare books. Last June, the Strand celebrated its 90th birthday.


Notes

Bookseller Storm Prep: 'Bombogenesis' Chalkboard, Discount

Prepping for the monster winter weather event ("Bomb Cyclone") bearing down on New England today, the Book Shop of Beverly Farms, Beverly, Mass., shared a photo on Facebook yesterday of its store chalkboard's forecast ("Bombogenesis is the perfect time to curl up with a good book!"), adding: "We're not worried! #gulp."

Last night, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, Mass., posted on Facebook: "We'll be closing at noon tomorrow, but our website is always open. Use the coupon code BOMBCYCLONE18 to get 15% off an online purchase."


Happy 10th Birthday, Brilliant Books!

Congratulations to Brilliant Books, Traverse City, Mich., which celebrated its 10th anniversary last month with "a party featuring author appearances, door prizes, snacks, kids' activities, live music, and giveaways," Bookselling This Week reported.

In addition, to the store created a special premium 10-year subscription to its monthly book club, whose deadline has been extended to Sunday, January 7.


'Unlikely & Original World' of Raleigh's Brewery Bhavana

"Welcome to the unlikely and original world of Brewery Bhavana," Garden & Gun magazine wrote in a recent profile of the downtown Raleigh, N.C., restaurant that opened last spring and also features a flower shop and bookstore. "Fans call this shop/restaurant/brewpub a brilliant mashup that makes the case for serving Chinese and Southeast Asian cuisine alongside handcrafted Belgian-style beers."

"No one in Raleigh asked for a place that has books on peace and conflict resolution, that sells flowers and that serves dim sum," said co-owner Vansana Nolintha. "But we all long to be in community together, and if we can do that at a brewery." He added that Brewery Bhavana is a "stage for people and experiences."

Nolintha and his sister, Vanvisa, teamed up with brewer Patrick Woodson for the venture. They "figured guests would appreciate char siu barbecue pork bao and xiao long bao soup dumplings with a glass of 'Sneaky Fig Dubbel' or a Mango-Peppercorn saison," Garden & Gun noted.

"There's no historical connection, but the South has become this crossroads of cultures and ideas," Nolintha said. "Yes, the South is barbecue, but it's also dim sum. The impact of immigrants has transformed and inspired Southern cooking in such an organic way. We're all living the Southern experience."



Media and Movies

Media Heat: Michael Wolff on Today

Tomorrow:
Today Show: Michael Wolff, author of Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (Holt, $30, 9781250158062).

Harry repeat: Neil deGrasse Tyson, author of Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (Norton, $18.95, 9780393609394).

Wendy Williams repeat: Alex Guarnaschelli, author of The Home Cook: Recipes to Know by Heart (Clarkson Potter, $35, 9780307956583).

The View: Dan Harris, co-author of Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-to Book (Spiegel & Grau, $26, 9780399588945).


This Weekend on Book TV: Daniel Ellsberg

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this weekend from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, January 6
6:20 p.m. Robert W. Merry, author of President McKinley: Architect of the American Century (Simon & Schuster, $35, 9781451625448). (Re-airs Sunday at 10:55 p.m.)

7:30 p.m. Harlan Ullman, author of Anatomy of Failure: Why America Loses Every War It Starts (Naval Institute Press, $29.95, 9781682472255). (Re-airs Sunday at 3 p.m.)

8:45 p.m. Leslie Berlin, author of Troublemakers: Silicon Valley's Coming of Age (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781451651508). (Re-airs Sunday at 6:15 p.m.)

10 p.m. Jon Newman, author of Benched: Abortion, Terrorists, Drones, Crooks, Supreme Court, Kennedy, Nixon, Demi Moore, and Other Tales from the Life of a Federal Judge (William S. Hein, $29.95, 9780837740492). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Daniel Ellsberg, author of The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner (Bloomsbury, $30, 9781608196708).

Sunday, January 7
12 p.m. David Ignatius, author of The Quantum Spy: A Thriller (Norton, $25.95, 9780393254150). (Re-airs Sunday at 12 a.m.)

7:30 p.m. Steven Stoll, author of Ramp Hollow: The Ordeal of Appalachia (Hill & Wang, $30, 9780809095056).

10 p.m. Gordon Wood, author of Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson (Penguin Press, $35, 9780735224711).


Books & Authors

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, January 9:

Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff (Holt, $30, 9781250158062) dredges the first nine months of Trump's presidency. (The book has caused some pre-pub fire and fury: yesterday the Guardian broke an embargo and ran excerpts featuring negative comments by Steve Bannon about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians ("treasonous"), to which the President responded that Bannon had "not only lost his job, he lost his mind.")

The Wife Between Us: A Novel by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen (St. Martin's Press, $26.99, 9781250130921) is a psychological thriller about an ex-wife and her former husband's new fiancée.

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin (Putnam, $26, 9780735213180) follows four siblings who learn the date of their deaths from a psychic.

Emotional Success: The Power of Gratitude, Compassion, and Pride by David DeSteno (Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28, 9780544703100) advocates using emotion to achieve success.

Single State of Mind by Andi Dorfman (Gallery, $25, 9781501174223) is the memoir of a reality TV star.

Rethinking School: How to Take Charge of Your Child's Education by Susan Wise Bauer (Norton, $25.95, 9780393285963) gives advice on navigating the K-12 school system.

Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Hyperion, $17.99, 9781484758052) depicts scholar Jules Addison and scavenger Amelia Radcliffe joining forces to unravel secrets of a long-extinct civilization.

Wolfie and Fly: Band on the Run by Cary Fagan, illustrated by Zoe Si (Tundra Books, $14.99, 9781101918234) is an early chapter book in which Fly convinces Wolfie to join his one-man band.

Paperback:
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore: A Novel by Matthew Sullivan (Scribner, $17, 9781501116858).


IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:

Hardcover
Signal Loss by Garry Disher (Soho Crime, $26.95, 9781616958596). "Set in Australia, the seventh in Disher's Challis and Destry series is just as action-packed and exciting as the previous books. Meth kingpins, hit men, and a serial rapist are the villains of this installment, and the Australian location adds interest and flavor." --Susan Taylor, The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, N.Y.

The Whispering Room: A Jane Hawk Novel by Dean Koontz (Bantam, $28, 9780345546807). "If you haven't read Dean Koontz's exciting new action-thriller series, you must! The first was The Silent Corner, and now, with The Whispering Room, I was totally blown away! Koontz is a master of the thriller, and FBI agent Jane Hawke is a kick-ass kind of woman that you will root for all the way!" --Stephanie Crowe, Page and Palette, Fairhope, Ala.

Paperback
Elmet: A Novel by Fiona Mozley (Algonquin, $15.95, 9781616208424). "Elmet is a great read. The writing is beautiful, and I found myself totally entranced by both the characters and the scenery. I'm still mulling over the end. I love having something to think through after finishing a story!" --Randy Schiller, Left Bank Books, St. Louis, Mo.

For Ages 4 to 8
Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! It's Shoe Time! by Bryan Collier and Mo Willems (Disney-Hyperion, $9.99, 9781484726471). "Another rambunctious addition to the Elephant & Piggie universe featuring great puns worthy of the new series. I especially liked seeing a protagonist of color!" --Summer Laurie, Books Inc., San Francisco, Calif.

For Ages 9 to 12
Whistling in the Dark by Shirley Hughes (Candlewick, $16.99, 9780763690724). "Shirley Hughes is such a wonderful writer! She has mastered the middle-grade historical fiction genre, and I loved learning that much of Whistling in the Dark was based on her own memories. Anyone with an interest in World War II or good writing will love this!" --Molly Olivo, Barstons Child's Play, Washington, D.C.

For Teen Readers
Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West (HarperTeen, $17.99, 9780062675774). "A fun, cute read about a girl in love with her best friend, but her best friend doesn't reciprocate the feelings until it is almost too late. An easy read that would be great for a plane ride, the beach, or just to make you smile!" --Teresa Steele, Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, Colo.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]


Book Review

Review: The Milk Lady of Bangalore: An Unexpected Adventure

The Milk Lady of Bangalore: An Unexpected Adventure by Shoba Narayan (Algonquin, $24.95 hardcover, 272p., 9781616206154, January 23, 2018)

When Shoba Narayan moved with her family from New York City to Bangalore, India, the last thing she expected to see, wedged sideways on the elevator in her new apartment building, was a cow. Yet, the sight of it brought a smile to her face; after 20 years of living in the U.S., the cow's presence made her realize she was home again.

The cow belonged to Sarala, the milk lady who sold fresh milk across the street, and it was needed for a housewarming ceremony on the third floor. Good luck would be assured by having the cow in the apartment and even better luck if the cow pooped in the apartment. Hoping for the same auspicious beginnings, Narayan managed to have the cow walk through her new apartment, too, and was soon on a journey into the milk and cow culture of India.

She began buying fresh, raw milk from Sarala, a business arrangement that grew into a deep friendship. Narayan learned to see cows and the culture of cows in India in a new light. And when Sarala approached Narayan with the idea of buying a cow to increase her herd in exchange for free milk, their bond grew stronger.

Using humor and charm, Narayan blends her tale of learning about cows from Sarala and her family with the cultural, religious and historical importance of cows in India. In Hindu myth, they play many roles: "warrior-princess, mother-to-the-world, primordial fertility goddess, fulfiller of wishes, sacrificial mother, and harbinger of immortality. The cow is a quagmire of contradictions and controversies."

Narayan also details the varieties of cows, how the animal's disposition will change the milk, which milk is best to drink at certain times and the difference between A1 and A2 milk. She even investigates the various medicinal uses of cows' urine distillate--personally!--while sharing other quirky and interesting facts about bovines in general.

Narayan's descriptions of India are rich and specific, making readers feel as if they are there, with cows wandering through traffic or chewing on the grass in the park. Anyone with the slightest interest in India or cows will find Narayan's memoir, with its myriad insights, a delight. --Lee E. Cart, freelance writer and book reviewer

Shelf Talker: Returning to India after many years living in New York City, Shoba Narayan studies the culture surrounding the sacred cow.


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