Shelf Awareness for Monday, January 29, 2018

Workman Publishing: What a Blast!: Fart Games, Fart Puzzles, Fart Pranks, and More Farts! by Julie Winterbottom, illustrated by Clau Souza

Berkley Books: Once Upon a December by Amy E. Reichert; Lucy on the Wild Side by Kerry Rea; Where We End & Begin by Jane Igharo

Kensington Publishing Corporation: The Lost Girls of Willowbrook by Ellen Marie Wiseman

St. Martin's Press: Wild: The Life of Peter Beard: Photographer, Adventurer, Lover by Graham Boynton

Bloomsbury Publishing: Girlhood by Melissa Febos

Park Row: The Two Lives of Sara by Catherine Adel West

Quotation of the Day

Amy Webb at Wi13: 'Start Thinking Like a Futurist'

"We don't tend to think long-term. Now, I am not anti-Amazon.... However, I am pro keeping humans in the loop to help with a lot of the decisions that get made. I'm also very much pro-independent bookstores. I believe strongly in the value proposition of a local bookseller. However, I'm a pragmatist, right? So, while I know you're doing well today, my concern is that things change, and I'm not entirely convinced that you're prepared for the next 10 years, the next 20 years. Which means that we all have to stop and think more carefully about our automated future and that very much includes you.... Start thinking like a futurist."

--Amy Webb, quantitative futurist and author of The Signals Are Talking: Why Today's Fringe Is Tomorrow's Mainstream, in her Wi13 keynote on the future of bookselling, for which she also created a digital folder "to help you on this journey."

Beaming Books: Sarah Rising by Ty Chapman, illustrated by Deann Wiley


McNally Jackson Opens in Brooklyn

New York City's McNally Jackson, which has several stores in Manhattan, has opened its first store in Brooklyn. The store, at 76 North 4th Street in Williamsburg, is in the Lewis Steel Building, a former factory that has been under renovation for years, causing delays in the store's opening.

In an announcement, McNally Jackson wrote, in part: "Are there still little piles of sawdust here and there? Yes. Rogue pieces of blue tape? Probably, but we're working on it. Do we have every book on the shelves? Not yet, but we're getting there. We do have James Baldwin, we have Proust, we have Richard Feynman and Mary Beard. The new n+1 is here, and so are those weird little art books you love. We have Fire and Fury, kids books galore, stationery for days, and, yes, Moby-Dick.

"We've been working hard, and we can't wait to sell you some books. Come and see."

KidsBuzz for the Week of 05.16.22

Cover to Cover Books in Columbus Reopens

Cover to Cover Books for Young Readers, Columbus, Ohio, hosted a ribbon cutting recently to celebrate reopening under new ownership and in a new space. Melia and Ed Wolf had acquired the bookstore from original owners Sally Oddi and Carl King last summer and announced they would be relocating the business to 2116 Arlington Ave. on the Mallway in Upper Arlington.

"We hope to serve the community in the same way," Melia Wolf told Columbus Business First. "We want to help keep independent book stores alive. There is a need to get more books into children's hands and less screens.... We're so grateful for the time we've spent with Sally. She's been very nurturing. I'm thankful she respected me enough to allow me to do this. These are big shoes to step into."

Blackstone Publishing: Run Time by Catherine Ryan Howard

Kobo, Walmart Partner to Sell E-Books, Audiobooks

Walmart and Rakuten Kobo have entered a strategic alliance under which Walmart will sell e-books and audiobooks, as well as offer Rakuten Kobo eReaders, in Walmart stores and online in the U.S. starting later this year. Walmart and Rakuten also will launch an online grocery delivery service in Japan during the third quarter of 2018.

"As global leaders in e-commerce and offline shopping, Rakuten and Walmart are uniquely positioned to empower our customers around the world with innovative services," said Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani. "We are excited to partner with Walmart because of its commitment to creating the best solutions to serve customers with low prices."

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon commented: "Rakuten is a strong e-commerce business and we're excited to collaborate with the top online shopping destination in Japan.... We look forward to expanding our grocery footprint in Japan and launching a new offering of e-books and audiobooks for our customers in the U.S."

Ace Books: The Witch and the Tsar by Olesya Salnikova Gilmore

Grammy Winners: The Princess Diarist; Fire and Fury

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher, narrated by the author and Billie Lourd (Penguin Audio) won the Best Spoken Word Album at last night's Grammy Awards.

Another title was a big winner at the ceremony: Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff (Holt), which was at the center of a skit starring host James Corden. In the skit, Corden auditions celebrities to narrate a spoken-word version of Fire and Fury (which in reality already has an audio edition, narrated by Holter Graham). The auditioners include Cher, Snoop Dogg, Cardi B, John Legend, DJ Khaled--and most strikingly, Hillary Clinton, who read, "He had a longtime fear of being poisoned. One reason why he liked to eat at McDonalds. No one knew he was coming and the food was safely pre-made."

Obituary Note: Katherine Kellgren

Katherine Kellgren, who narrated more than 200 audiobooks and was winner of multiple Audie Awards, died on January 10 after a long battle with cancer.

Robin Whitten, founder of Audiofile Magazine, called Kellgren "a brilliant narrator... Her wonderful performances are known and loved by listeners. Her work was celebrated with every audiobook award--Golden Voice, Earphones, Audie Awards, Odyssey, Voice of Choice, and more. Her kindness and indomitable spirit were loved and cherished by her colleagues and friends. We will miss her greatly. However, Katy leaves us with the enduring treasure of her audiobooks."

In lieu of flowers, please donate to Hispanic Federation to help the people of Puerto Rico.

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
The Two Lives of Sara
by Catherine Adel West

GLOW: Park Row: The Two Lives of Sara by Catherine Adel WestWhen Sara King arrives in Memphis in the 1960s, she's unmarried, pregnant and on the run from a harrowing past in Chicago. She finds respite at The Scarlet Poplar boarding house, where she'll help Mama Sugar cook mouthwatering Southern food and pursue a second chance for herself and her baby son. Laura Brown, senior editor at Park Row Books, recommends this to readers of Kaitlyn Greenidge's Libertie and Dawnie Walton's The Final Revival of Opal & Nev. "We're finally starting to see more historical fiction that doesn't center the white experience," Brown adds. Rich with research into segregation and the civil rights movement, this vibrant novel pairs a wrenching portrait of an unwed mother with a joyous celebration of African American culture in the South. --Rebecca Foster

(Park Row, $27.99 hardcover, 9780778333227, September 6, 2022)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported



Image of the Day: Sea Maiden at Moon Palace

Authors and musicians gathered recently at Moon Palace Books in Minneapolis to celebrate the life of Denis Johnson, who died last spring. Excerpts from Denis Johnson's posthumous collection, The Largesse of the Sea Maiden (Random House), were performed by poet Lynette Reini-Grandell, Minnesota musicians Venus DeMars & Sean Tillmann (aka Har Mar Superstar), Rain Taxi editor Eric Lorberer and award-winning author Charles Baxter. Pictured here (from l.): DeMars, Reini-Grandell, Lorberer, Baxter and Tillmann. This event was sponsored by Rain Taxi Review of Books. (Photo by Kelly Everding)

'Future Is Bright' for op.cit. Bookstores

op.cit. in Taos, N.Mex.

"Is anyone in 20 years going to look at a shelf of defunct e-readers?" Noemi de Bodisco, owner of op.cit. bookstores in Santa Fe, Taos and Las Vegas, N.Mex., asked in a Sante Fe New Mexican article reporting that "the future is bright" for the Northern New Mexico indie, which sells new and used books. "There is an aesthetic to it all," she added.  "There is very little aesthetic with a digital flat file."

De Bodisco also noted that Sante Fe can hold its own as a literary destination: "The culture of Santa Fe is very important. Santa Fe is very much a book town, very much an art town. The aesthetic of the book is still very important.... I would like to be considered one of the best bookstores in the country. I always wanted to build something I was comfortable shopping in. You've got to be interesting. You've got to have a point of view; you've got to have a highly curated point of view. Every book in here is chosen for a reason.... I just feel like we have kind of got our footing. Our feet are on the ground. It can only get better. I feel like we have turned the corner, and I feel like the future is bright and rosy and full of books... I hope."

Personnel Changes at U. of Washington Press; S&S Children's

Effective February 6, Michael O. Campbell is joining the University of Washington Press as marketing and sales director. He was most recently U.S. sales manager at Lone Pine Publishing and has held senior sales and marketing roles at the University of Nevada Press, HarperCollins, Timber Press and Workman Publishing.


At Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing:

Alissa Nigro has joined the company as associate marketing manager. She was most recently marketing associate at Random House Children's Books.
Christian Vega has joined the company as marketing assistant.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Mark Whitaker on Marketplace

The Doctors: Kilee Brookbank and Lori Highlander, authors of Beautiful Scars: A Life Redefined (KiCam Projects, $19.95, 9780998521633).

Megyn Kelly: Colleen Kelly Alexander, author of Gratitude in Motion: A True Story of Hope, Determination, and the Everyday Heroes Around Us (Center Street, $27, 9781455571130).

Marketplace: Mark Whitaker, author of Smoketown: The Untold Story of the Other Great Black Renaissance (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781501122392).

Steve Harvey Show: Laila Ali, author of Food for Life: Delicious & Healthy Comfort Food from My Table to Yours (St. Martin's Press, $29.99, 9781250131096).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Chloe Benjamin, author of The Immortalists (Putnam, $26, 9780735213180).

Movies: Doctor Sleep

Warner Bros. has put Doctor Sleep, its sequel to Stephen King's The Shining, "on the fast track," Deadline reported. Mike Flanagan (Oculus) will direct a film adaptation of the 2013 novel and rewrite the script originally adapted by Akiva Goldsman. Trevor Macy will produce along with Vertigo Entertainment's Jon Berg, and Goldsman is executive producer. Macy and Flanagan teamed up on the Netflix adaptation of King's novel Gerald's Game.

Books & Authors

Book Review

Review: Madness Is Better Than Defeat

Madness Is Better Than Defeat by Ned Beauman (Knopf, $27.95 hardcover, 416p., 9780385352994, February 13, 2018)

In a madcap yet cerebral thriller, London author Ned Beauman (Boxer, Beetle) riffs on Hollywood's Golden Age as well as the histories of natural disaster and mental instability surrounding jungle epics like Apocalypse Now.

Zonulet, a journalist turned CIA agent turned rogue, attempts to explain to an agency tribunal how two expeditions to a Mayan temple in 1938 became a decades-long standoff deep in the Honduran jungle. His report opens with a gladiatorial octopus shoving its tentacles down the throat and up the rectum of the diver trying to flip the creature out of its tank. Laying long odds on said octopus is Elias Coehorn, Jr., degenerate son of a business tycoon with a heart so cold "you'd expect any woman who submitted to an injection of his animal fluids to be frozen solid from the cervix outward."

Young Elias, though, is dragged from the gambling floor back to his father's office, where Elias Sr. informs him that he will voyage to Honduras, disassemble a hidden temple and ship it back to New York City--or face disinheritance. At the same time, Jervis Whelt, a young film school professor--a nobody--who believes one basic story formula lies behind every successful film, is appointed director of a jungle epic by powerful and reclusive Hollywood mogul Arnold Spindler. Spindler sends Whelt and his cast and crew to Honduras to shoot on location at the very same temple, but they arrive to find Coehorn's team already disassembling it. Neither Whelt nor Coehorn will back down on their different plans for the temple, and so both teams simply stay in the jungle, where they form two roughly cobbled rival nations who fashion dictatorships and democracies, bicker and reproduce as the years pass.

Despite a huge cast, varying from zany to sympathetic to evil as the day is long, Beauman avoids an overstuffed mess by leaving no one unconnected from the central narrative and souping up his writing with a liberal dose of crackling one-liners. Just as the plot buoys the characters, so, too, do their eccentricities make the insanity of choosing to remain in the jungle for someone else's unachievable mission seem completely plausible. The resultant experience feels akin to taking a psychotropic drug via reading, as appears to be Beauman's cheerful intention. Reminiscent of the Coen Brothers at their best, Madness Is Better Than Defeat is a strange, brilliant and satisfying trip to a more entertaining version of history. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Shelf Talker: With sometimes hilarious, sometimes catastrophic results, two expeditions from 1938 New York collide at a Mayan temple in Honduras that exerts a strange pull on all who learn of it.

KidsBuzz: Katherine Tegen Books: Case Closed #4: Danger on the Dig by Lauren Magaziner
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