Shelf Awareness for Thursday, June 21, 2018


Carolrhoda Books: The Manic Pixie Dream Boy Improvement Project by Lenore Appelhans

Grove Press: Solitary by Albert Woodfox

Tor Teen: Dark of the West (Glass Alliance #1) by Joanna Hathaway

Blizzard Entertainment: How to Reach 100 Million Fans!

Quotation of the Day

Bringing 'Magic and Wonder' to Children and Families

Mallika Chopra at the Ci6 Author Reception yesterday evening

"I love what all of you do, because you bring magic and wonder to families and kids, and it's so important. It fuels their imagination and gives them the tools for their lives. I'm humbled and grateful to be here."

--Mallika Chopra, author of Living with Intent and Just Breathe: Meditation, Mindfulness, Movement and More, during her keynote address on the first day of Children's Institute 6 in New Orleans, La. She led booksellers in a short guided meditation, discussed growing up as the daughter of Deepak Chopra and stressed that "it's the everyday people who do extraordinary things." She encouraged audience members, whatever it is they do, to "do it with a sense of love, do it with a sense of gratitude, and do it with a sense of purpose."

Rare Bird Books, a Vireo Book: The Crown Lord by William Sirls


News

B&N FY 2018: Sales Off 6%, Loss of $125.5M

During the fiscal year ended April 28, total sales at Barnes & Noble fell 6%, to $3.7 billion, and the consolidated net loss was $125.5 million ($1.73 a share), compared to net earnings of $22 million (30 cents a share) in the previous year.

Total sales in the fourth quarter fell 4.3%, to $786 million, and the net loss increased to $21.1 million (29 cents a share). Wall Street analysts had expected lower sales--of a little less than $775 million--but also a lower net loss, of about 18 cents a share.

Sales at stores open at least year fell 5.4% for the full year and 4.1% in the fourth quarter.

B&N noted that full-year results include "non-cash asset impairment charges of $135.4 million, $16.2 million of severance charges and $15.3 million of strategic initiative costs" while fourth-quarter results include "$7.7 million of non-recurring charges associated with the company's strategic initiatives."

B&N CEO Demos Parneros commented: "In fiscal 2018 we developed a long-term strategic turnaround plan, which we continue to execute. Our plan, which includes sales improvements and cost reductions, is expected to yield immediate improvement in fiscal 2019, resulting in EBITDA of $175 million to $200 million, and further benefits in the following years. We also strengthened our leadership team in key areas of the business. They will be instrumental in overseeing the turnaround."


Graywolf Press: Notes from No Man's Land: American Essays by Eula Biss


A New Chapter Bookstore to Open in Lewisburg, W.Va.

A New Chapter bookstore has opened in Lewisburg, W.Va., and will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening tomorrow at 4 p.m. The store carries titles for all ages, including a large section for children and young adults. It also carries local gift items and cards. It plans to host events and book club meetings as well as other groups.

The store is in a completely renovated space in the old ABB Building that has a "modern, clean atmosphere," the Mountain Messenger wrote. "The new look is mostly cool grays with black shelves, and an intricate tile pattern highlighting the floor." Owner David Craddock visited bookstores from New York to Florida for inspiration.

Wanting to open a bookstore for a long time, Craddock retired last year and moved with his wife to Lewisburg from Tennessee. Craddock told the paper that "business has been good" since the store's soft opening in late May.


GLOW: Henry Holt & Company: Trust Exercise by Susan Choi


Taschen Opens First Bookstore in Asia, in Hong Kong

Taschen has opened its first store in Asia, in Hong Kong, a 1,700-square-foot shop in the Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts, the South China Morning Post reported. It is the publisher and bookseller's 15th bookstore, the first Taschen bookstore outside Europe and the U.S.

Marlene Taschen, who runs the business with her father, Benedikt Taschen, told the paper, "When I came to Hong Kong for the first time two years ago for Art Basel and a talk at the Upper House [hotel], I liked it so much, and a historic building like this in Central is a perfect location."

The bookstore is "entering a difficult market," the Morning Post wrote, noting that the city's bookstores "have been struggling with high rents and labor costs as well as competition from e-books."

The store aims to differentiate itself from local competition, the paper said, by offering only books and in a range of sizes and editions, and, of course, in Taschen style, emphasizing books that are "image-driven." While some of the stock costs as little as $13, the most expensive book in the store is a history of Ferrari, with previously unseen photographs, drawings and sketches from the carmaker's archives and private collectors. Sealed with the Ferrari horse logo and tucked in an aluminum case, the book retails for about $29,000.

Taschen added that the company wants to see how the store does before making a new move in the region: "We want to make the Hong Kong store a success first before going to the next market in Asia."


Bloomsbury: A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer


APA: Audiobook Sales Up 22.7% in 2017

Audiobook sales in 2017 rose 22.7%, to $2.5 billion, over the previous year and unit sales rose 21.5%, according to the Audio Publishers Association's annual sales survey. This marks the sixth year in a row that audiobooks have had double-digit growth over the previous year. The APA's sales survey was conducted by research firm Management Practice.

At the same time, a consumer survey by Edison Research found, among other things:

  • More than half (54%) of audiobook listeners are under the age of 45.
  • Audiobook users also read print books: 83% of frequent listeners had read a print book in the last year and 79% had read an e-book.
  • Audiobook users read or listened to an average of 15 books during the year, and more than half (57%) agreed that "audiobooks help you finish more books."
  • More and more audiobook listeners use smartphones: the percentage of listeners most often using smartphones to listen to audiobooks is 47% in 2018 vs. 29% in 2017 and 22% in 2015.
  • Smart speakers are becoming more popular: 24% of listeners said they have listened to audiobooks on a smart speaker and 5% said they listen most often on a smart speaker.
  • More than half (53%) of listeners say they most often listen to audiobooks at home and 36% say their car is where they listen most often.
  • The top three activities while listening to audiobooks are driving (65%), relaxing before going to sleep (52%) and doing housework/chores (45%).
  • The most popular genres in audiobooks were mysteries/thrillers/suspense, science fiction and romance.

Chris Lynch, co-chair of the APA's Research Committee and president and publisher of Simon & Schuster Audio, commented: "In addition to the continued stellar sales growth, the results show that our customers are finding more opportunities to listen. Our heaviest users are book lovers in all formats, and their increased use of audiobooks is allowing them to get through more books, more quickly."


Melville House Publishing: Dead Men's Trousers by Irvine Welsh


Ci6: Planning and Executing Successful Large-Scale Events

At a panel on the first day of Children's Institute 6 in New Orleans, La., five booksellers from around the U.S. shared best practices and lessons learned from planning and executing large-scale events. Moderated by Lauren Savage, co-owner of The Reading Bug in San Carlos, Calif., the discussion included Stephanie Appell of Parnassus Books, in Nashville, Tenn., Angela Whited of Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul, Minn., Alex Schaffner of Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, Mass., and Heather Herbert, owner of Children's Book World in Haverford, Pa.

Savage and Schaffner both stressed the importance of briefing staff members before large-scale off-site events. Savage recalled one off-site event that brought in more than 1,000 people, where she missed the opportunity to brief her staff before they started taking tickets because she was interviewing the author for the store's podcast. This led to "chaos" in the ticket area and people waiting in line longer than they should have been. Her big take-away, she said, was making sure her staff knew "exactly where they needed to be."

Schaffner, meanwhile, said that for large events, booksellers should plan "everything that has to get done" and then figure out how many staff members that's going to take. They added that for every event the store does that will bring in more than 150 people, staff members write out a checklist of everything that has to be done and then goes over it in a "huddle" before the event starts.

Panelists Stephanie Appell, Angela Whited, Alex Schaffner and Heather Herbert

Herbert reported that she learned the most from doing an event with an English YouTuber who was making only three stops in the U.S. Herbert and her staff had no idea about popularity and decided to have customers call to reserve a ticket. For the next eight days "the phone rang constantly," and there were so many calls they had to set up a separate space in store just so someone could keep answering the phone. After that, Herbert said, she began using the ticketing service Brown Paper Tickets and recommended that every bookseller use a similar service, whether it be Brown Paper, Eventbrite or something else.

When it came to proposing events to publishers, Appell said that every time she does an event, she's thinking of how she can use this event to set up the next one. In every Edelweiss proposal she makes, she mentions past events with comparable authors, and recommended that booksellers try to put themselves in the publicist's shoes.

On the same topic, Whited said she tries to relay how much fun the event is going to be and convey her store's "blazing enthusiasm." She explained that she mentions things like preferred venue for the particular author, expected attendance and sales based on similar past events, and even planned activities for keeping people occupied in the signing line, such as costume contests, to make it as easy as possible for the publicist to think, "oh, they know what they're doing."

In terms of promoting events, Appell noted that Parnassus had been "burned a couple of times" in the past when hosting celebrities with huge platforms and online followings. Occasionally those celebrities have either not used that platform at all to promote the event or waited until two days before the event to start mentioning it on social media. Appell said she has "stopped being diplomatic" about the issue and now asks publicists directly how dedicated a given celebrity is to promoting in an event. Sometimes it can lead to a tough or awkward conversation, but when these sorts of events are successful, they draw incredible crowds.

After an audience member asked how much the panelists charge when they sell tickets that include the price of the book, most said they did not usually charge much more than the price of the book unless there was a special circumstance. Herbert differed, saying "it's okay to charge an extra five bucks" for a ticket, and suggested that most booksellers "really undersell" the value of the services they provide when it comes to hosting events. --Alex Mutter


Notes

Image of the Day: Mile High New Age Reps

During the International New Age Trade Show this past weekend in Denver, Colo., a group of metaphysical publishers' reps met for dinner. Pictured: (l.-r.) Kas (Red Wheel Weiser), Sam (Red Wheel Weiser), Jessica (Inner Traditions), Erica (Inner Traditions), Debbie (Devorss & Co.), Kim (New World Library) and Kat (Llewellyn).


BookExpo 2018 Reflections from a Scholarship Recipient

Beth Burnett

BookExpo 2018 scholarship recipient Beth Burnett, assistant manager at Zenith Bookstore in Duluth, Minn., shared highlights of her trip to this year's trade show in New York City on the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association website. 

"Still fairly new in the bookselling world, I had no strong connection with the greater book world nor a solid understanding of it," she wrote. "I was beyond thrilled to hear I would be attending, and even though I was quite nervous to fly into such a big city, I was able to immerse myself in the greater book world with the scholarship and accommodations by ABA & BEA, with the added resource of my mother by my side as a travel partner and an awesome boss, manager, and cohort.

"As a first time attendee of Book Expo, I was warned I could be fairly overwhelmed. However, some awesome coworkers and contacts from the Duluth and regional area prepared me for what was to come. Because of this, I was able to appreciate the Book Expo on a much greater level.

"While everything was memorable and worthwhile, I found the educational sessions the most helpful in learning about different aspects of bookselling, which I'm sure will help in the continued success of our store. In addition, I connected with so many incredible booksellers.

"In all, I found the experience of getting together with other booksellers, librarians, publishers, authors, and representatives incredibly impactful while I establish my own role in the industry. I am so appreciative of many individuals; Book Expo gave me a plethora of valuable connections and allowed me to bring back ideas and tools to help our store continue in its success."



Media and Movies

Media Heat: Michael Pollan on Real Time with Bill Maher

Today:
Fresh Air: Emily Jane Fox, author of Born Trump: Inside America's First Family (Harper, $27.99, 9780062690777).

Tomorrow:
HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher: Michael Pollan, author of How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence (Penguin Press, $28, 9781594204227).


This Weekend on Book TV: The Roosevelt Reading Festival

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, June 23
12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Coverage from the 15th annual Roosevelt Reading Festival at the FDR Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, N.Y., which occurred on June 16. (Re-airs Sunday at 12:30 a.m.) Highlights include:

  • 12 p.m. Mordecai Lee, author of Promoting the War Effort: Robert Horton and Federal Propaganda, 1938-1946 (LSU Press, $39.95, 9780807145296).
  • 12:45 p.m. Sandra Opdycke, author of The WPA: Creating Jobs and Hope in the Great Depression (Routledge, $41.95, 9781138820920).
  • 1:30 p.m. Curt Smith, author of The Presidents and the Pastime: The History of Baseball and the White House (University of Nebraska Press, $29.95, 9780803288096).
  • 2:15 p.m. Charissa J. Threat, author of Nursing Civil Rights: Gender and Race in the Army Nurse Corps (University of Illinois Press, $25, 9780252080777).
  • 3 p.m. Philip Padgett, author of Advocating Overlord: The D-Day Strategy and the Atomic Bomb (Potomac Books, $39.95, 9781612349626).
  • 3:45 p.m. Susan Dunn, author of A Blueprint for War: FDR and the Hundred Days That Mobilized America (Yale University Press, $27.50, 9780300203530).

5:50 p.m. Carey Goldstein, executive director of publicity at Simon & Schuster, previews some of the publisher's forthcoming books.

6 p.m. William Hitchcock, author of The Age of Eisenhower: America and the World in the 1950s (Simon & Schuster, $35, 9781439175668). (Re-airs Sunday at 9:20 p.m.)

7:30 p.m. Cecile Richards, author of Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead (Touchstone, $27, 9781501187599). (Re-airs Sunday at 8 a.m.)

10 p.m. John Delaney, author of The Right Answer: How We Can Unify Our Divided Nation (Holt, $26, 9781250294968). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11:10 p.m. Jake Tapper, author of The Hellfire Club (Little, Brown, $27, 9780316472319).

Sunday, June 24
3:10 p.m. Nigel Travis, author of The Challenge Culture: Why the Most Successful Organizations Run on Pushback (PublicAffairs, $28, 9781541762145), at BookExpo.

3:30 p.m. Timothy Snyder, author of The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America (Tim Duggan Books, $27, 9780525574460).

5:30 p.m. Lillian Faderman, author of Harvey Milk: His Lives and Death (Yale University Press, $25, 9780300222616).

6:45 p.m. Ben Rhodes, author of The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House (Random House, $30, 9780525509356).

8 p.m. James Rogan, author of On to Chicago: Rediscovering Robert F. Kennedy and the Lost Campaign of 1968 (WND Books, $29.95, 9781944229986).

10:10 p.m. Donna Hylton, author of A Little Piece of Light: A Memoir of Hope, Prison, and a Life Unbound (Hachette, $28, 9780316559256).

11:35 p.m. Casey Gerald, author of There Will Be No Miracles Here: A Memoir (Riverhead, $27, 9780735214200), at BookExpo.


Books & Authors

Awards: Desmond Elliott Winner; Midwest Booksellers Choice Finalists

Preti Taneja has won the £10,000 (about $13,135) 2018 Desmond Elliott Prize for first fiction for her novel, We That Are Young. Judges said that this "retelling of Shakespeare's King Lear set in modern-day India... explores the play's themes of severed relationships and warring families against the backdrop of the 2011 anti-corruption riots in India. It follows a central cast of characters as they react to ageing patriarch Devraj's decision to pass control of 'the Company' to his three daughters, Gargi, Radha and Sita."

Chairman of the Prize's Trustees Dallas Manderson called We That Are Young "exactly the kind of novel that the Desmond Elliott Prize exists to discover and promote; this extraordinarily accomplished debut has flown somewhat under the radar thus far, not having received the attention and wide-spread acclaim that it so rightly deserves. Our hope is that winning the Prize will help guarantee Preti's long-term future as an author, as we're sure it will be bright."

We That Are Young will be published in the U.S. by Knopf on August 28.

---

Finalists in five categories have been announced for the Midwest Booksellers Choice Awards, which are voted for by members of the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association and honor books that "are a reflection of handselling at its best, as all the books are selected directly by independent booksellers, and celebrate literature in the Midwest, with content either about the region, or an author from our region." Winners will be announced July 15 and celebrated during the Heartland Fall Forum in October. See the complete shortlist here.


Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, June 26:

My Twenty-Five Years in Provence: Reflections on Then and Now by Peter Mayle (Knopf, $25, 9780451494528) is a posthumously published postscript to A Year in Provence.

The Plot to Destroy Democracy: How Putin and His Spies Are Undermining America and Dismantling the West by Malcolm Nance (Hachette, $28, 9780316484817) looks at Russian attempts to interfere in Western societies.

Going to the Mountain: Life Lessons from My Grandfather, Nelson Mandela by Ndaba Mandela (Hachette, $26, 9780316486576) is a memoir by Nelson Mandela's grandson.

All We Ever Wanted: A Novel by Emily Giffin (Ballantine, $28, 9780399178924) follows sets of upper class parents dealing with a scandalous social media post.

Liar, Liar by Lisa Jackson (Kensington, $26, 9781617734670) is a mystery about the daughter of a Las Vegas celebrity impersonator who investigates her mother's apparent suicide.

Before and Again: A Novel by Barbara Delinsky (St. Martin's Press, $27.99, 9781250119490) follows a makeup artist living in hiding after causing a fatal car crash.

All That Is Left Is All That Matters: Stories by Mark Slouka (Norton, $24.95, 9780393292282) is a collection of 15 new short stories.

Iron River by Daniel Acosta (Cinco Puntos, $17.95, 9781941026939) is a drama about four young men falsely accused of murder.

The Language of Spells by Garret Weyr, illus. by Katie Harnett (Chronicle, $16.99, 9781452159584) tries to solve the mystery of the missing dragons.

Paperbacks:
Give a Sh*t: Do Good. Live Better. Save the Planet. by Ashlee Piper (Running Press, $16.99, 9780762464487).

The Summer Nanny by Holly Chamberlin (Kensington, $15.95, 9781496701565).

The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard, $16.95, 9781101974162).

Ready for Love by Marie Force (Zebra, $5.99, 9781420146899).

Movie:
Leave No Trace, based on the novel My Abandonment by Peter Rock, opens June 29. Ben Foster stars as the father of a 13-year-old girl who raises her in a giant park in Portland, Ore.


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
Invitation to a Bonfire: A Novel by Adrienne Celt (Bloomsbury, $26, 9781635571523). "Adrienne Celt's Invitation to a Bonfire is a propulsive literary thriller masterfully constructed and written with an extraordinary, raw urgency that will leave readers breathless. Inspired by the marriage of Vladimir and Vera Nabokov, Celt explores the love and ambition of two strong-willed women who compete for the passions and artistic control of a literary icon. The novel's characters are original and vividly drawn, with all the complexity and contradictions of their emotions and intentions fully realized. This is a story that you will not be able to put down, and certainly one of the most memorable and satisfying reads of the year. Adrienne Celt is a writer to watch." --Lori Feathers, Interabang Books, Dallas, Tex.

Southernmost: A Novel by Silas House (Algonquin, $26.95, 9781616206253). "Asher, a rural evangelical preacher in Tennessee, welcomes two gay men into his congregation after a flood washes away most of his town. His change of heart results in him being ousted from his church and losing custody of his son in the midst of an ugly divorce. Unable to stand the separation from his boy, he steals him away and flees to Key West in search of his estranged brother. Living on the run, Asher must learn how to make peace with the past as he discovers a new way of living and thinking. Silas House's writing is captivating and honest and proves how different ways of life can coexist and even combine to create something cohesive and meaningful." --Carl Kranz, The Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, Va.

Paperback
Mirror, Shoulder, Signal: A Novel by Dorthe Nors (Graywolf Press, $16, 9781555978082). "Once again, Dorthe Nors writes with precision and depth about the experience of single, childless women in their 40s, which is under-explored in literature. Loneliness and invisibility factor in, but not in the way that the dominant spinster/maiden aunt narrative would have us believe. Nors uncovers nuance, heart, and connection with her signature stripped-down prose and humor. A vital and important book for us all." --Melanie McNair, Malaprop's Bookstore/Café, Asheville, N.C.

For Ages 4 to 8
The Honeybee by Kirsten Hall, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault (Atheneum, $17.99, 9781481469975). "The Honeybee is a sweet, beautiful book with an interestingly layered palette and an important message for youngsters. Arsenault's painterly style is so fresh and striking, and the text makes for a gentle read-aloud." --Gretchen Treu, A Room of One's Own Bookstore, Madison, Wis.

For Ages 9 to 12
Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed (Nancy Paulsen, $17.99, 9780399544682). "Amal is living a decent life in her Pakistani village. She loves school and plans to go to college and become a teacher. But when she offends a member of the most influential family in the village, her dreams and goals are suddenly upended and she is sold as a servant to pay her father's 'debts.' Saeed takes on challenging subjects--indentured servitude and the treatment of women--and makes them accessible to a middle reader, while making the reader cheer for Amal as she finds her way again." --Melissa Fox, Watermark Books & Café, Wichita, Kan.

For Teen Readers
I Felt a Funeral, in My Brain: A Novel by Will Walton (Push, $17.99, 9780545709569). "Avery has a lot to deal with--recuperating from a serious injury, coming to terms with his family history of alcoholism, navigating his changing relationship with his best friend, and coping with the death of his beloved grandfather. In Walton's capable hands and original voice, Avery's difficult summer is full of tenderness, wit, and the transcendent beauty of both poetry and pop music. I Felt a Funeral, in My Brain is a book for anyone who has ever been moved by a poem or a song, anyone who is or has been an adolescent, and anyone who has or will ever experience loss and grief--which is to say, here is a book for all of us." --Emilie Sommer, East City Bookshop, Washington, D.C.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]


Book Review

Review: The Marginalized Majority: Claiming Our Power in a Post-Truth America

The Marginalized Majority: Claiming Our Power in a Post-Truth America by Onnesha Roychoudhuri (Melville House, $16.99 paperback, 224p., 9781612196992, July 10, 2018)

Onnesha Roychoudhuri is a journalist, activist and first-generation Indian American who learned Spanish in part because people keep mistaking her for a Latina. In her first book, The Marginalized Majority, she encourages everyone who feels attacked or dismissed by the current U.S. government to look around, recognize each other and take heart. "What if, instead of viewing this as a country divided, we view it as a country in a political moment when we do not have the leadership the majority of us want and deserve?"
 
Now is not the time to despair or disengage, writes Roychoudhuri. If you want any chance at a different future, you will have to believe in it and work to make it happen. "Most of us recognize that our personal relationships require constant work. There's a similar daily work that's required of us in our relationship to our country, too." The destructive power of shrugging cynicism in journalism, in politics, in comedy and among private citizens is one of her primary targets. In light of her experience at the 2017 Women's March, she examines how society disparages contemporary public protests while admiring those of the past--which were also disparaged at the time.
 
She questions ideas about objectivity in journalism, and why so many still identify with, admire and excuse powerful white men (for the most part, she ignores other categories of leaders) who abuse their power and who benefit when their detractors allow themselves to feel helpless. And she criticizes liberals who insist on the abandonment of "identity politics" in order to "reach across the aisle." "It's true that it's going to take more than asserting our brownness or queerness or femaleness to rally Americans. But it's specifically the experience of navigating our lives with these identities that allows us insight and perspective... speaking from these specific experiences can enable us to make powerful common cause with all Americans who would seek a more egalitarian country and better quality of life."
 
Most of what Roychoudhuri has to say has been said before, by many others in many outlets. But in The Marginalized Majority, she pulls it together into a portrait of the current American political scene, filters it through her multifaceted personal perspective and offers every reason to stay involved, connect with others and refuse to give in. "Hope is about staying in the fight, it's about survival. Understood in this light, we realize that hope is not just necessary, it is practical and pragmantic. In short: there is no other option." --Sara Catterall
 
Shelf Talker: A journalist and activist rallies those discouraged by the American political scene to hope and to engage in positive action.

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