Shelf Awareness for Monday, June 11, 2018

Hampton Roads Publishing Company: Becoming Baba Yaga: Trickster, Feminist, and Witch of the Woods by Kris Spisak, Foreword by Gennarose Nethercott

Dial Press: Like Mother, Like Mother by Susan Rieger

Severn House: A Messy Murder (Main) (The Decluttering Mysteries #4) by Simon Brett

Forge: My Three Dogs by Bruce W Cameron

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

Chronicle Books: Taste in Music: Eating on Tour with Indie Musicians by Luke Pyenson and Alex Beeker


Books & Books Opens in Coconut Grove

Books & Books' new location in the Coconut Grove neighborhood of Miami had a soft opening on Saturday. At 3409 Main Highway, the two-story space will "eventually include a wine and beer bar on the first level," the Miami Herald wrote. "There will also be a seating area upstairs facing the window so that customers can gaze out on the street." The store's tall bookshelves are from the original Books & Books store at Aragon Avenue and Salzedo Street.

Books & Books owner Mitchell Kapan told the paper that the store is still taking shape. "I like to get the feel of a place," he said.

Books & Books now has 10 stores, including a gift shop, in the greater Miami area and the Cayman Islands.

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Waterstones Creates Pop-Up Bookshop in Outer Hebrides

Robin Crawford packing for the trip.
(photo: Dundee Evening Telegraph)

Waterstones created a pop-up bookshop for two days, June 6-7, on the Scottish island of Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides. The Bookseller reported that Robin Crawford made the 275-mile journey to the tiny island, which has 1,300 residents, "from the Waterstones bookshop in Dundee, taking with him 600 books to sell to the community and donating an extra 50 to the library at Sgoil Lionacleit." The pop-up was located at Sgoil Lionacleit School, the only secondary school serving the islands of Benbecula, North and South Uist.

"I am delighted to be making this journey to create a bookshop experience for book lovers on Benbecula," said Crawford, a Western Isles enthusiast and author of Into the Peatlands (September). The venture has come about through a partnership between the bookselling chain, the First Minister's Reading Challenge and the Scottish Book Trust.

Check out highlights of the bookish Hebrides adventure on Twitter, where Waterstones Dundee posted: "So soon we've come to the end of our #BenbeculaBooks pop up shop at #SgiolLionacleit We leave not only memories but many, many books behind in the safe hands of new readers."

GLOW: Sourcebooks Landmark: A Forty Year Kiss by Nickolas Butler

Tim Waterstone, Kazuo Ishiguro Knighted by the Queen

Tim Waterstone, founder of the bookshop chain Waterstones, has been recognized in the Queen's Birthday Honors List with a knighthood for services to bookselling and charity. Knighthoods were also given to author Kazuo Ishiguro for services to literature, and to historian and broadcaster Simon Schama, the Bookseller reported. The list, recognizing the achievements of a wide range of "extraordinary" people across the U.K., awarded a damehood to author Mary Beard for services to the study of classical civilization.

Additional Queen's Birthday Honors went to Jeanette Winterson (CBE for services to literature), Ken Follett (CBE for services to literature and charity) and Kate Clanchy (MBE for services to literature and school). Caroline Brazier, the British Library's chief librarian, also received a CBE.

"I am very pleased and proud to receive this honor for doing something I love--making books and stories as entertaining and accessible as possible," said Follett. "Reading is a hugely important part of my life and I am glad to have helped others to enjoy it too."

Obituary Note: Brad Smith

Brad Smith (r.) and son Austin

Brad Smith, co-owner of Paulina Springs Books in Sisters, Ore., died May 20 after a five-year battle with cancer, the Bend Bulletin reported. He was 63. Smith purchased the bookstore with wife, Randi Schuyler, in 2003 after moving to Central Oregon from Bellingham, Wash.

In 2008, Smith and his sister, Cynthia Claridge, opened a second location in Redmond. At both stores, Smith "made community engagement a focus, hosting a variety of events and providing sponsorships and donations to many area organizations," the Bulletin wrote.

The owners decided to sell the Redmond store in 2013, when Smith was initially diagnosed, but continued to own and operate the Sisters location. Earlier this year, due to Smith's declining health, they listed the Sisters store for sale.

"His death was earlier than any of us were really ready for," Claridge said. "But we're not walking away from the store--it was very important to Brad." A memorial is being planned at the store, but details have not been finalized.

BookExpo 2018: Celebration of Bookselling

At the Celebration of Bookselling luncheon during BookExpo, many E.B. White Read-Aloud, Indies Choice Book Awards honor and winning authors, and Indie Champions appeared and spoke. Many of them offered heartfelt thanks to booksellers and insight into how they created their books:

Thyra Heder, writer and illustrator of Alfie (Abrams), an E.B. White Read-Aloud Picture Book honor book: "I was trying to put a very long, big book into a very small package, and I'm really honored that people got it."

Holly M. McGhee, author of Come with Me (Putnam Books for Young Readers), an E.B. White Read-Aloud Picture Book honor book: "In the early '90s, I was a sales rep for Farrar, Straus & Giroux in the Boston territory, so I know how hard it is sometimes to convince people like you to buy a book or buy three copies, and sometimes there's a complete pass... Thank you for connecting to this book, for connecting the book to its readers and its readers to the world. As small and insignificant as it sometimes may seem, our part matters to the world."

Standout cutouts of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen.

Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen, author and illustrator of The Wolf, the Duck & the Mouse (Candlewick), the E.B. White Read-Aloud Picture Book winner (who appeared as cardboard cutouts): [Mostly Barnett] "When Candlewick wanted to send us on a European book tour during the E.B. White Awards luncheon, we said no. Cancel the tour!... Who would want to be in Edinburgh, when we could be here in America's Edinburgh, the basement of the Javits Center?... The kind of books that we make are the kind of books that need passionate advocates out there, putting them in readers' hands, and you have been advocates for our work from the start, and we're so grateful. We have careers because of you."

Pablo Cartaya, author of The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora (Viking Books for Young Readers), an E.B. White Read-Aloud Middle Reader honor book: "The first person who offered me a job when I was in Miami was Mitchell Kaplan of Books & Books. Being around Mitchell, I saw the effect that a bookstore can have on the community. Bookstores are the heartbeat of a community. When I was writing The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora, which is in effect about a community in Miami, you better believe that I put an independent bookstore in that novel, and the bookseller in that book is modeled after Mitchell Kaplan. I'm in awe of you. I thank you for the work you do to make our communities what they are."

Nikki Grimes, author of One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance (Bloomsbury USA), an E.B. White Read-Aloud Middle Reader honor book: "This [book] was absolutely a labor of love.... I am especially grateful for independent booksellers who have embraced this title and run with it."

Alan Gratz, author of Refugee (Scholastic), an E.B. White Read-Aloud Middle Reader honor book: "One of my earliest jobs was selling books at Davis-Kidd, the dearly departed Davis-Kidd, in Tennessee. So I'm really thrilled to be recognized by the ABA. Refugee has been read aloud in so many classrooms, and so many kids are reading it and responding to it... So many letters from kids and parents and teachers and librarians tell me the impact that it has on the kids and what they're doing to work for change because of that, raising money for UNICEF or volunteering with their local refugee organization or in some cases, calling up their Congresspeople and advocating for change.... It all starts with you guys because you're the ones who put it in their hands to begin with when you handsell those books... You are making a real change in the world."

Gearing up for the celebration.

Katharine Applegate, author of Wishtree (Feiwel & Friends), the E.B. White Read-Aloud Middle Reader winner (via a video): "Indies, bookstores, you change people's lives, and you change the fabric of communities. You are especially right now beacons of hope and light. That is an absolute fact. That is not fake news, and I cannot thank you enough for everything you do."

Andrea Beaty, author of Ada Twist, Scientist (Abrams), Picture Book Hall of Fame Inductee. "On behalf of all of us, I want to thank you booksellers and educators and librarians. You are the life blood of great children's literature. It cannot exist without you."

Kadir Nelson, illustrator of I Have a Dream (Schwartz & Wade), Picture Book Hall of Fame Inductee. "Given the current environment, I hope that this award will continue to further Dr. King's message of inclusion and tolerance and inspire many to carry the torch."

Lincoln in the Bardo, read by George Saunders, Nick Offerman, David Sedaris and a full cast (Random House Audio), Audio Book of the Year [accepting the award, George Saunders by video]: "I want to thank all the booksellers in the room who supported this weird book so beautifully for the last year."

Nic Stone, author of Dear Martin (Crown Books for Young Readers), Indies Choice Young Adult Book honoree: "Thank you that in a world where cars are beginning to drive themselves, you guys are keeping paper and cardboard books alive, and I could not be more appreciative.... Booksellers, you all rock. Keep it up."

Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give (Balzer + Bray), Indies Choice Young Adult Book of the Year (via video): "Thank you to each and every one of you booksellers for the love and support you've given my book. It honestly, probably would not be where it is right now if it wasn't for you guys cheerleading like you did.... I often say that booksellers are superheroes and you wear that cape well."

Lisa Ko, author of The Leavers (Algonquin), Indies Choice Adult Debut honoree: "When I published [The Leavers], I realized you do so only with the help of community from readers and bookstores and everybody who has believed in this book.... Thank you being there and for all the important and necessary work that you continue to do."

Gabe Habash, author of Stephen Florida (Coffee House Press), Indies Choice Adult Debut honoree. "I went to Winter Institute last year in Minneapolis, and I met booksellers from all over the country. You all are so generous and smart and warm and so excited about the book, and that means so much to me.... Multiple and most meaningful moments in this whole publishing process have been because of you guys."

Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties (Graywolf Press), Indies Choice Adult Debut Book of the Year: "Politics & Prose is in walking distance from American University, where I went to college. Unlike every other big-box bookstore I'd been to in my life, which had what I needed but seemed pretty interchangeable, Politics & Prose was a destination. It was a place that I'd go that felt different from other bookstores... Independent bookstores are one of the few institutions who can perform essential sorcery, one of the few to make their stores and the culture at large actively better and more exciting places."

Jesmyn Ward, author of Sing, Unburied, Sing (Scribner), Indies Choice Adult Fiction Book of the Year (via a video filmed at Pass Christian Books, Pass Christian, Miss.): "Independent booksellers have been so important to me in my career. You handsold my work, and in this way you connected my stories to readers who need them."

David Grann, author of Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI (Doubleday), Indies Choice Adult Nonfiction Book of the Year: "Independent bookstores and independent booksellers are so essential to our culture. So many of you have advocated for the story, introduced it to readers and shared with readers in a way that only you can. And it's not just this story. You have shared so many other neglected histories that deserve now more than ever to be part of our national conscious."

David Levithan, Indie Champion Award honoree: "It's important more than ever to embrace everybody and everything that is a force for good. When I think about independent bookstores and the elaborate apparatus behind all the books that are in bookstores, I think about what a force for good we are.... The YA posse of writers who are in the room--we are an army of empathy, and we are fighting for that and trying to be a force for good.... If we were half as rich as James Patterson, we would give you twice as much money."

Jason Reynolds signing in the ABA Lounge.

Jason Reynolds, Indie Champion Award winner and Indies Choice Young Adult Award honoree for Long Way Down (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books): "The indie bookstore world--you all are the brick house that can never been blown down no matter how strong the winds may get. And in that house--as the great Alice Walker recently said--are our wounds and our medicines. Everything is there. There's space for all of us to come and be in accord, whether we like books or not, whether we're interested or not. They're community spaces that serve as hubs for the neighborhood, a meeting ground for people who may not normally run into one another.... I want to challenge you all: as you run your incredible companies, as you hustle and work really hard to make the rent, take a moment, look around, and think about whether or not you can reach out to some of those kids, the ones that are following around the stores, the ones that everybody has something to say about, see if you can do some outreach to them. Give them a job. You want to see something change in your community: let's see if you can provide some jobs at a bookstore, an internship--it could be unpaid. Let somebody do some restocking for you, some alphabetical orders. Get one of those young kids who reads a little bit to write you recommendations. We need to figure out how to incorporate kids, the ones that aren't always the comfortable ones, the ones that aren't always easy to get along with. Let's figure out how we can pull some of them in so that they can one day stand up here like me, because I was that kid."


Clara Villarosa Receives Honorary Doctorate

Clara Villarosa (photo: Wayne Armstrong)

Congratulations to one of our favorite retired booksellers, Clara Villarosa, who founded and owned Hue-Man Experience Bookstore for many years, first in Denver, Colo., then in Harlem in New York City, and was a member of the board of the American Booksellers Association for seven years. On Saturday, she received an honorary doctor of higher education degree from the University of Denver. She is an alumna of the University's Graduate School of Social Work and the Sturm College of Law and was on the board of trustees for 21 years.

University of Denver Chancellor Rebecca Chopp praised Villarosa's service on the board and for providing financial and budgetary expertise and helping create a more inclusive campus. She added: "It is my, honor to recognize Clara's lifetime commitment to amplifying the voices of others."

Two years ago, with her daughters, Alicia and Linda, Clara founded Villarosa Media, a boutique publishing company of high-quality fiction and nonfiction books primarily by and about African Americans and the African diaspora.

S. Korea's Small Bookshops Find 'Their Own Profitable Niche'

Noting that "a growing number of Koreans are hunting for books at small yet specialized bookstores," the Korea Herald reported that "while large bookstores continue to dominate the market, small players are discovering their own profitable niche." Research indicates about one out of four small bookstores in the country in 2017 had been in business for less than a year, and most featured specific themes, including mystery stories, cats, poets, beers, travel and psychology.

"The store's compact space allows guests to initiate a conversation with the staff more easily, compared to the large bookstore chains," said Yoo Soo-young, owner of Mystery Union.

A "Today's bookshelf" in the poetry bookstore Wit n Cynical "shows the books selected by its owner and poet Yoo Hee-kyung, depending on his mood of the day," the Herald wrote.

Schrodinger, which features has more than 500 books solely focused on cats, has "garnered great popularity among cat owners in Korea," the Herald noted, adding that it "also sells various stationery items related to cats while exhibitions take place on one side of a wall with the theme changing every three weeks." Schrodinger regularly organizes events like "How to draw cats"; "How to overcome pet loss"; "How to take a good picture of cats"; "How to make cat-related goods"; and "How to write cat-related books."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Matthew Polly on NPR's 1A

NPR's 1A: Matthew Polly, author of Bruce Lee: A Life (Simon & Schuster, $35, 9781501187629).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Jake Tapper, author of The Hellfire Club (Little, Brown, $27, 9780316472319).

Steve Harvey: Danica McKellar, author of Bathtime Mathtime (Crown, $8.99, 9781101933947).

TV: Orphan X Series

Brad Weston's Makeready production company has acquired the rights to Gregg Hurwitz's bestselling Orphan X novel series, "with plans to adapt the thrillers into a TV series along with Justin Lin's Perfect Storm Entertainment," Deadline reported. The series from Minotaur Books launched in 2016 with Orphan X, followed by The Nowhere Man and Hellbent, with Out of the Dark: The Return of Orphan X set for release in January 2019.

Hurwitz will co-adapt the books and executive produce with Scott Nemes, Makeready's head of television. Lin and Danielle Woodrow will executive produce for Perfect Storm.

"True franchise characters in this genre such as Jack Reacher or Jason Bourne rarely come along, and Gregg created a really modern version of that," Weston said. "The novels progress and lay out really perfectly with twists and evolving personal stakes that the plan is for each book to be a new season."

Books & Authors

Awards: Griffin Poetry Winners; Tonys

Debths by Susan Howe and This Wound Is a World by Billy-Ray Belcourt were the international and Canadian category winners respectively of the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize, which honors "first edition books of poetry written in, or translated into, English and submitted from anywhere in the world." They each receive C$65,000 (about US$50,020). Romanian poet Ana Blandiana was this year's Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry's Lifetime Recognition Award recipient.


At the Tony Awards last night, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child won six awards: best play; best direction of a play (John Tiffany); best scenic design of a play (Christine Jones); best costume design of a play (Katrina Lindsay); best lighting design of a play (Neil Austin); and best sound design of a play (Gareth Fry).

Reading Group Choices' Most Popular May Books

The two most popular books in May at Reading Group Choices were The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry (Custom House) and Cloud and Wallfish by Anne Nesbet (Candlewick).

Book Review

Review: Northland: A 4,000-Mile Journey Along America's Forgotten Border

Northland: A 4,000-Mile Journey Along America's Forgotten Border by Porter Fox (W.W. Norton, $26.95 hardcover, 272p., 9780393248852, July 3, 2018)

It takes a lot more than the vague "from sea to shining sea" description to establish one of the world's longest national borders. As Maine native Porter Fox (Deep: The Story of Skiing and the Future of Snow) learns in his journey along the Canada/United States border, it took nearly 150 years to lay monument markers along the western 49th parallel boundary line--and even those still stray hundreds of yards from the exact legal national periphery. In the east, however, much of the border roams through lakes, rivers, bays and canals--Fox's travel by kayak or freighter could just as easily put him in one country as the other. Northland is an account of his journeys along the northern edge of the United States, and includes a healthy dose of the history of early explorers and Native American resettlements in the northern Great Plains.
While there is much preoccupation concerning the United States' border with Mexico, the Canadian line to the north is longer. Perhaps surprisingly, it has experienced the only known terrorist crossing into the U.S., has only 10% the number of U.S. Border Patrol agents guarding it and leaks about $56 billion of illegal contraband and 10,000 undocumented immigrants every year. Of course, it's also colder, more remote and, as Northland demonstrates, much more difficult to traverse. Maybe that's why it gets so little attention.
Fox's narrative begins in tiny Lubec, Maine, the easternmost town in the United States, originally "populated by bootleggers, businessmen, snake-oil salesmen, fishing families, smugglers, shipbuilders, and frontiersmen." Following the route of many explorers, he makes his way to the St. Lawrence River and into the Great Lakes. He points out that the British were more comfortable along the safer eastern seaboard, while the French were more adventurous. That is why names like La Salle, Champlain, Cadillac, Marquette and Nicolet seem so familiar--they put up forts and towns throughout the northern Midwest and Northeast. They stoically endured the "primal terrain" and tolerated conditions still prevalent among natives and visitors: "cold, wet, slightly lost."
From the western tip of Lake Superior to the Pacific Ocean, however, Fox trades his kayak and life jacket for a good truck and camper. Running along Minnesota's Boundary Waters through North Dakota, Montana and Idaho to Washington is a highway trip. Supposedly nailed to the 49th parallel as the "longest straight border in the world," up close, it squiggles around and the highway gets diverted through various Indian reservations, mountain ranges, lakes and dense forests.
Fox is an amiable, entertaining guide to the past and present of this porous, rugged border with Canada. While Northland touches on various political disputes related to Native American issues, oil and gas production, and fishing and water rights, it is more an engaging travel memoir that highlights the lives of those who dwell on our northern edge. Like the meandering border itself, Fox wanders down whatever path catches his interest. --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.
Shelf Talker: In an enlightening travel memoir, journalist Porter Fox takes us on a trek along the often remote often loosely marked border between the United States and Canada.

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