Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Yen Press: The God of Nishi-Yuigahama Station by Takeshi Murase, Translated by Guiseppe Di Martino

Peachtree Publishers: Erno Rubik and His Magic Cube by Kerry Aradhya, Illustrated by Kara Kramer

Beacon Press: Kindred by Octavia Butler

Inkshares: Mr. and Mrs. American Pie by Juliet McDaniel

Tundra Books: On a Mushroom Day by Chris Baker, Illustrated by Alexandria Finkeldey

Simon & Schuster: Register for the Simon & Schuster Fall Preview!

St. Martin's Press: Sacrificial Animals by Kailee Pedersen


Maine's Books N Things Sold, Will Be Renovated

Adrienne Cote is buying Books N Things, Norway, Maine, which closed this past weekend. After renovations, it will reopen on March 3 as the Tribune Books and Gifts, the Sun Journal reported.

Erica Jed, who is selling Books N Things, told the paper: "When I bought the bookstore, I always had a 10-year plan. It's been 12, and I'm still here, so it's overdue." She celebrated yesterday with an all-day party at the store.

Cote spent 35 years as a merchandising executive in the apparel and gift industry working for catalogue companies, the newspaper wrote, and has done consulting for several years. "I'm really excited," she said. "I really appreciate and respect what Erica has done. I'm excited to pick up the torch and carry it on."

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

Hedge Fund in Talks to Buy Waterstones

Hedge fund Elliott Advisors is in talks to buy Waterstones, according to a report by Sky News, which added that "a small number of bidders" have made formal offers, but that Elliott Advisors has a short period of exclusivity. Elliott Advisors is the U.K. arm of Elliott Management Corp., the investment management firm founded by Paul Singer, and is "best known for taking aggressive activist positions in a string of major public companies," as Sky News put it.

The U.K. bookselling chain has staged a turnaround in the last few years, but Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut, who bought Waterstones in 2011, apparently needs to raise cash because of the collapse last year of Russia's largest private bank, Otkritie, in which he was a major shareholder. Last year, Mamut asked N.M. Rothschild & Sons to advise him on strategic options for Waterstones, including a sale for £250 million (about $352 million). Sky News said that the current talks involve a price "likely to be much lower."

Under CEO James Daunt, who owns Daunt Books, which has nine shops in and near London, Waterstones became profitable in 2015, reversing years of poor results that had caused many to fear that the last major bookselling chain in the U.K. would go out of business.

Waterstones has some 275 stores in the U.K., Ireland and continental Europe.

GLOW: Torrey House Press: Life After Dead Pool: Lake Powell's Last Days and the Rebirth of the Colorado River by Zak Podmore

At U.K.'s BA, Godfray Takes New Role, Halls Named M.D.

After 33 years as CEO of the Booksellers Association of the U.K. and Ireland, Tim Godfray is stepping back from day-to-day operations and will take a newly created position, executive chair of the BA Group, overseeing the association, Batch and National Book Tokens, according to the Bookseller. The change will become effective April 10, at the start of the London Book Fair.

Tim Godfray

At the same time, Meryl Halls has been promoted to managing director of the BA, another newly created position. She has been with the association since 1988, serving as conference manager, membership manager and most recently head of membership services with "a key role on the senior management team."

In addition, head of marketing Alan Staton has been promoted to director of strategy and communication; Pippa Halpin will become membership manager; and the BA will hire a head of campaigns to work on promotions such as Books Are My Bag and Independent Bookshops Week.

Meryl Halls

Halls told the Bookseller that despite the changes "it is business as usual and we will continue to do all the work we have done." She added that "we are at a great moment in the industry. Independents are on the rebound, Waterstones is strong, books are back in the public eye.... There is still a lot to do--operating a high street business is challenging in the best of times, and we are not, I fear, in the best of times. What the BA will continue to do is shine a light on the essential work done by booksellers across the U.K. and Ireland and to press local and national government to recognise the contribution bookshops make to the social, cultural and economic fabric of the country."

Godfray, who called the BA "very much a family" and thanked his "lovely" colleagues, said that Amazon and the growing trend for online shopping are "the biggest challenge for our members.... I'm also concerned about future profitability within bookselling. Costs are going to go up and up. I can see no change to this. And booksellers don't have total control at the moment over their selling prices to ensure that their rising costs are covered."

BA president Rosamund de la Hey, owner of the Mainstreet Trading Company in St. Boswell's, commented on the moves: "It is a great testament to the strength of the BA as an organisation that these changes represent both continuity and innovation. Meryl has, for many years, been a driving force for the voice of booksellers in all parts of the market, enabling booksellers to connect with each other, constantly finding ways to push their businesses forward in a time of such rapid change. And Alan's clear thinking and calm vision can only benefit booksellers further in this new role. We are very fortunate to be able to retain the wise counsel of Tim in his new role of executive chair."

Harpervia: Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow by Damilare Kuku

Eight Cousins Update: Surveying the Community

Eight Cousins, Falmouth, Mass., which has been closed since January 9 because of flooding from a broken pipe, has been mailing out the many gift cards ordered in support after the flooding and has received its first book shipment to fulfill orders placed through its website. The store is looking into offering a local pick-up spot, but for now orders are being shipped. In addition, the store space has been fully emptied for repairs and reconstruction. This prompted Eight Cousins to muse:

"As we've been watching our bookstore slowly dismantle, it's hard not to get philosophical. What makes a bookstore? Is it the books? They left on Wednesday. Is it the book cases? Do they represent potential? They left on Thursday. Is it the space? We officially left on Friday. If we have no space, shelving, or books are we still a bookstore?

"I hope we all feel positive that the answer is yes, because a bookstore is community. It's the people who are passionate about reading, whether they are working or browsing. It's the people who share their love of books and reading with their children and friends, who then share that love with others.

"With our bookstore, like all other independent bookstores across the country, we strive to be a community space. We do our best to be a reflection of our community, but we also want to offer opportunities to dream, believe, and expand horizons.

"Right now, we're thinking and talking about the core of Eight Cousins. What do we do well? What can we do better? We have a lot of opportunities right now to make positive changes, while holding true to our core values."

With that in mind, the store is surveying customers with two questions:

*What is the one thing you would never want to see changed?
*What is the one thing you think we can do better?

#Wi13: Celebrating Small & University Presses

Small and university presses took center stage last Thursday at the ABA Winter Institute in Memphis, beginning with a breakfast event in the main ballroom of the Cook Convention Center during which several reps for small and university press sponsors presented upcoming titles of interest. Afterward, booksellers had the opportunity to meet with publishers in the ballroom foyer for informal conversations. This was followed, at noon, by a small press luncheon, a first for the Winter Institute.

Kelli María Korducki, author of Hard to Do: The Surprising Feminist History of Breaking Up; & Alana Wilcox, editorial director at Coach House Books

"We're going to try something a little different this year," ABA CEO Oren Teicher had said before the breakfast event began. "On the lobby level, we're going to do our small press reception. Generally, in previous institutes, we've done it at the very end. We're going to do it over lunch and there will be authors from our smaller and university presses.... We know that your interest in supporting our small and independent presses is really important."

The change made for an almost communal flow to the proceedings, reflecting a mutual admiration society that has long been a hallmark of the indie bookseller/small press relationship. This was evident in the animated conversations among publishers and booksellers at each venue. The connection was also highlighted by several of the presenters during the rep picks breakfast.

"I'm sincerely grateful to be here among this legion of smart, caring, kind, resourceful and indomitable independent booksellers. Especially smart, though," said Richard Hunt of AdventureKEEN. Last June, the publisher donated 100% of profits generated by sales of its titles at independent bookstores to support the Book Industry Charitable Foundation. For 2018, Hunt said, "We're going to do Shop Local, Live Local all year long, and we're devoting 6% of sales all year--3% go to Binc, 3% go to back to your store."

Becky Kraemer of Cursive Communications & Marketing; Anne Bowman, North American sales manager for Faber & Faber; & Ed Scotland of Mr. B's Emporium of Reading Delights in Bath, England

Also expressing gratitude for indie support was Timothy Wilkins of Princeton University Press: "Thank you for all you do, not just for our books but for everyone's books. You guys are a real resource and we really appreciate what you're doing."

David Goldberg of MIT Press noted that "working with indie booksellers is truly one of the highlights of my job, and you may not realize that in addition to publishing brilliant, beautiful and groundbreaking books, the MIT Press also has our very own bookstore in Cambridge, Mass."

"This is our opportunity as publishers to thank you for what you've done for our books, all the hard work you've put in this past year," said Gianna LaMorte of University of Texas Press.

Noting that Quercus is celebrating its fifth anniversary in 2018, Nathaniel Marunas observed, "I want to say that this is in large part due to your efforts. Independent bookstores are where our list is truly at home. If only the ABA had made this a day drinking sort of affair, I'd be raising a toast to all of you for all your efforts. So thank you very much." --Robert Gray

Obituary Note: Julius Lester

Julius Lester, "a captivating and often polarizing American writer whose odyssey through a labyrinth of religious and ethnic identities caused him to be labeled a militant black separatist and a race traitor, as well as an anti-Semite and, after his conversion to Judaism, a vociferous Zionist," died January 18, the New York Times reported. He was 78. His nonfiction and fiction were "largely devoted to portraying black American history, past and present. It was a history, his work made clear, that bound black lives together 'like beads strung on a necklace of pain,' as he wrote in the Times in 1976."

Lester published more than four dozen books for adults and children. His best-known works for adults include the book Look Out, Whitey! Black Power's Gon' Get Your Mama (1968) and two volumes of memoir, All Is Well (1976) and Lovesong: Becoming a Jew (1988).

His children's books include To Be a Slave (1968), a Newbery Honor Book; and Day of Tears: A Novel in Dialogue, which won the American Library Association's Coretta Scott King Award in 2006. He also collaborated on a series of children's picture books with illustrator Jerry Pinkney, including Sam and the Tigers (1996), "a retelling of the Victorian children's book The Story of Little Black Sambo purged of its myriad racist elements," the Times noted.


Image of the Day: Life of Nolte

Last week, Book Passage in Corte Madera, Calif., welcomed a full house to hear actor Nick Nolte discuss his new memoir, Rebel (HarperCollins), with Marin County's own Peter Coyote. Pictured are Nolte, Coyote and Book Passage staff.

Personnel Changes at Macmillan

In the Macmillan sales department:

John Edwards has been promoted to senior director, mass merchandise sales. He began at the company as a sales rep and has more recently been in charge of Target and Readerlink sales.

Talia Sherer has been promoted to senior director of library marketing and national accounts manager. She was formerly director of library marketing.

Christine Jaeger has been promoted to director, Barnes & Noble sales. She will continue to manage inside sales and sell the Fifth Avenue titles as senior national account manager for B&N, B& and Ingram.

Patricia Doherty has been promoted to senior national account manager from national account manager.

Holly Ruck has been promoted to senior manager, international sales.

Catherine Marvin has been promoted to senior manager, internal communications, from internal communications manager.

Susan Carner has been promoted to senior associate e-book account manager from associate e-book account manager.

Alexandra Quill has been promoted to assistant manager, academic marketing.

Tova Rohatiner has been promoted to internal communications associate from internal communications assistant.

Kara Warschausky has been promoted to international marketing coordinator from international marketing assistant.

Claire Marie Ochse has been promoted to sales coordinator from sales assistant.

Adam Lambert has been promoted to sales coordinator from sales assistant.

Vanessa Torres has been promoted to sales coordinator from sales assistant.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Glenn Frankel on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Glenn Frankel, author of High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic (Bloomsbury USA, $18, 9781620409497).

Live with Kelly and Ryan: Dr. Tanya Altmann, author of Baby and Toddler Basics: Expert Answers to Parents' Top 150 Questions (American Academy of Pediatrics, $16.95 9781610021265).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Rose McGowan, author of Brave (HarperOne, $27.99, 9780062655981).

TV: Big Little Lies, Season 2

Meryl Streep has joined the cast for season two of Big Little Lies, the HBO series based on Liane Moriarty's novel that stars Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman. The Hollywood Reporter wrote that Streep "will play Mary Louise Wright, the mother to the abusive Perry Wright (Alexander Skarsgard), who (spoiler alert!) was revealed to have been the one who died during the Emmy-winning first season of the David E. Kelley drama."

Thus far only Streep, Witherspoon and Kidman are confirmed to return for the next season. THR reported that "deals with the remainder of the cast are still being worked out.... Kelley is confirmed to return and has already penned all seven scripts for season two, which is partially based on a story by Moriarty."

Books & Authors

Awards: Hayek Finalists

The finalists are of the Hayek Book Prize, sponsored by the Manhattan Institute and honoring "authors who best represent the principles of F.A. Hayek," are:

  • Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing our Digital Future by Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson (Norton)
  • India's Long Road: The Search for Prosperity by Vijay Joshi (Oxford University Press)
  • Europe's Growth Challenge by Anders Aslund and Simeon Djankov (Oxford University Press)
  • The High Cost of Good Intentions: A History of U.S. Federal Entitlement Programs by John F. Cogan (Stanford University Press)
  • Clashing over Commerce: A History of U.S. Trade Policy by Douglas Irwin (University of Chicago Press)

The winner, who will receive a $50,000 award, will be announced in the spring and will deliver the annual Hayek lecture in New York in June.

Book Review

Review: The Queen of Hearts

The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin (Berkley, $26 hardcover, 352p., 9780399585050, February 13, 2018)

In former ER doctor Kimmery Martin's first novel, The Queen of Hearts, two female physicians find cracks in their rock-solid friendship when a face from the past returns, bringing buried secrets to light.

As a third-year medical student in the late 1990s, Zadie fell hard for chief resident and notable bad boy Nick Xenocostas, known as Dr. X. Their white-hot, secret relationship consumed her even through a series of tragic events that still haunts Zadie and Emma, her best friend since they were teens at summer camp.

More than a decade later, Nick belongs to a closed chapter Zadie and Emma never bring up, one that nearly put an end to their friendship. Now both successful doctors--Emma is in trauma surgery and Zadie's a cardiologist--the two have also embraced marriage and motherhood. Zadie finds it hard to maintain her composure, as an often-alone mother of three school-aged children and a toddler, and Emma struggles with the impostor syndrome ingrained by her dirt-poor childhood as a miner's daughter.

When Nick lands a partner position at Emma's practice, the women are thrown for a loop. Zadie never wants to see Nick again after the betrayal that destroyed their love, but Emma fears he will release secrets about that long-ago year that would lay waste to her best and only friendship. Also in play are snooty PTA moms, a toddler suspended from preschool for biting, a poolside cricothyrotomy and a potentially career-ending surgical error--enough drama to give Grey's Anatomy a run for its money.

Martin writes impressively about the inside of the human body, but even more incisively about the landscape of the metaphysical heart. While present-day Zadie and Emma appear to suffer primarily first-world problems--such as the struggle to balance all of the extracurricular activities their children could ever desire or the feeling of never fitting in with one's old-money peers--chapters set in their sleep-deprived med school days reveal deeper traumas from their youth.

Furthermore, Martin wisely plays the chaotic toddler for laughs, but saves plenty of rage and tenderness for the lost battles of youth that shaped the two women and their friendship, yet remained lodged like shrapnel in wounds that never truly healed. While readers may think they know the deep, dark secret from the get-go, in the end Martin pulls out bigger guns than expected, leaving forgiveness far from a foregone conclusion. Bittersweet and graceful, The Queen of Hearts marks Martin as a fresh voice filled with promise. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Shelf Talker: Two female physicians find their longtime friendship threatened when the male doctor who almost ended it years ago moves to their town.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Sex, Not Love by Vi Keeland
2. Forever My Girl by Heidi McLaughlin
3. Rescuing Casey by Susan Stoker
4. Alien Alphas by Various
5. A Dead Cold Box Set: Books 1-4 by Blake Banner
6. Say You'll Stay by Corinne Michaels
7. Tempt Me (Bodyguard Bad Boys Book 2) by Carly Phillips
8. The Duke of Nothing by Jess Michaels
9. The Bitterroot Inn (Jamison Valley Book 5) by Devney Perry
10. Trusting Miss Trentham by Emily Larkin

[Many thanks to!]

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