Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, July 10, 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!

News

Purple Chair in Texas Closing Store, Continuing Pop Ups, Events

The Purple Chair children's bookstore in New Braunfels, Tex., is closing its bricks-and-mortar location this Sunday, July 15. Bill and Monique Tischer, who founded the store five years ago in tribute to their daughter, Violet, who died at age two, and as a way to give back to the community, wrote on Facebook, "We have two other children and a little while ago we realized they were growing up fast and we were missing it. We don't want to miss any more of it."

The Tischers plan "to be around for pop up story times, pop up shops, other events, schools and the public libraries in and around the New Braunfels area. We would like to bring the Purple Chair to Kyle, Buda, San Marcos, Spring Branch, Bulverde, Lavernia, Marion, Seguin, Cibolo, Schertz, Canyon Lake and anywhere else that will have us."

They called their time operating the storefront "an absolute adventure."


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


San Clemente, Calif., Store Closing

Mathom House Books, San Clemente, Calif., which primarily sells used books, along with some new books, is closing July 20, according to Lariat, the Saddleback College student newspaper.

"Our regular customers reacted sadly and some were frantic to save the store by proposing car wash sales to keep the doors open," Bill Anderson, owner of the bookstore for 10 years, told Lariat. "After the final close-out sales in the next weeks our plan is to redistribute the books to the other trade book store in San Clemente [Beach Town Books], an independent store in Los Angeles and a pediatric physician who plans to assist less fortunate."

Anderson added that many customers had migrated to e-books and that the areas with the highest turnover were the teens and kids book sections. "If I could do it again my focus would be teens and kids," he said. "I feel a successful store would need the community involvement by incorporating events rather than solely on a commerce level."


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


London's Heywood Hill Bookshop 'Focusing on the U.S.'

Heywood Hill bookshop in London's Mayfair neighborhood is "focusing on the U.S. A certain number of well-to-do American book lovers have long had accounts with Heywood Hill, but the store is trying to broaden its reach by targeting more readers online," the Wall Street Journal reported. 

When Peregrine "Stoker" Cavendish, the 12th Duke of Devonshire, inherited a majority ownership stake in the bookstore after his father died in 2004, he "recognized that the environment for booksellers had become more competitive and wanted to ensure the shop's future." This year, the now-profitable store is expected to generate in excess of £2 million ($2.65 million) in revenue, up from £540,000 ($715,150) in 2011.

The "secret sauce is its highly personalized subscription service based on interviews with its customers, either in person, online or via telephone," the Journal wrote. The shop's "ability to predict what customers will want to read next based on past reading experiences is a crucial difference maker."

Customers can purchase "individualized parcels of books built around a theme, or purchase annual highly tailored subscription packages under the rubric 'A Year in Books.' The subscriber titles, chosen by four full-time staffers known as 'the core four,' reach readers in 75 countries and more than 40 U.S. states," the Journal noted.

"Our booksellers make conscious linkages when they match people with books," said Nicky Dunne, Heywood Hill chairman and the duke's son-in-law. "Everything is bespoke. Before they start getting the books, the booksellers have an interview to identify the sorts of things they are interested in, and just as importantly, the sorts of things they aren't interested in."


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


Booksellers NZ Names Scholarship Winners for Wi14

Pene Whitty, manager of University Book Shop Canterbury, and Ruth Bruhin, manager of Poppies New Plymouth, are Booksellers New Zealand's 2019 Winter Institute Scholarship winners. They will attend Wi14 in Albuquerque, N.Mex., next January 22-25.

"The opportunity to attend the ABA Winter Institute 2019 will give me a chance to see what is happening in the book industry on a world stage," said Bruhin. "I will be keeping my mind wide open, with particular interest in how indie stores have not just survived but thrived despite the many challenges of the industry. I hope to come home with a few great ideas that we can share."

Whitty noted that she "would love to see how the American stores are coping with the likes of Amazon and the fast delivery and free freight that they offer.  How do they manage to grow their business and stay in business?"

The Booksellers NZ Winter Institute Scholarship is sponsored by Book Tokens Ltd., whose chair, Juliet Blyth, said, "My experience at WI in 2015 opened my eyes to the scale of American bookselling and what was possible, it was mind blowing and exciting. The books, the people, the opportunities, they're all there.... This is why Book Tokens believed in it enough to invest in continuing the scholarship."


Bloomsbury: A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer


July Indie Next List E-Newsletter Delivered

Last Thursday, the American Booksellers Association's e-newsletter edition of the Indie Next List for July was delivered to nearly half a million of the country's best book readers. The newsletter was sent to customers of 127 independent bookstores, with a combined total of 486,032 subscribers.

The e-newsletter, powered by Shelf Awareness, features all of the month's Indie Next List titles, with bookseller quotes and "buy now" buttons that lead directly to the purchase page for the title on the sending store's website. The newsletter, which is branded with each store's logo, also includes an interview (from Bookselling This Week) with the author whose book was chosen by booksellers as the number-one Indie Next List pick for the month, in this case My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh (Penguin Press).

For a sample of the June newsletter, see this one from Snowbound Books, Marquette, Mich.


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


Notes

Interabang's Staff Choose 'Go-to Books for Summer'

In a piece headlined "The Best Summer Books--6 Truly Worthy Picks From Texas' Independent Book Store Gurus," Paper City magazine featured suggestions from booksellers at Interabang Books in Dallas.

"The 5,000-square-foot independent boutique, which opened one year ago on Preston and Royal, carries books specially chosen by co-owners Nancy Perot and Lori Feathers (a noted book reviewer who serves on the board of the National Book Critics Circle); longtime independent bookseller Jeremy Ellis; and Lisa Plummer, the store's buyer for children and young adults," Paper City wrote. "For those still in town, searching for the perfect poolside page-turner to accompany a sizzling afternoon, we talked wordy with a few Interabang bookworms to learn their go-to books for summer--all available at Interabang, natch."


D.C. Bookseller 'Imagines Her Perfect Day in D.C.'

Angela Maria Spring, owner of Duende District Bookstore in Washington, D.C., imagined her D.C. Dream Day for the Washington Post, which noted that Spring "opened a handful of teeny bookstores all across D.C. Duende District, her collaborative bookshop concept featuring authors of color, has two permanent locations--inside Union Market's Toli Moli and Mahogany Books in Anacostia--and pops up in a rotating selection of arts centers. Running all over town to tend to her displays is all in a day's work for Spring, but she'd choose the frenzy over being stuck in one location every time."

Angela Maria Spring

"It fits my personality," she said. "I really wanted to have this bookstore experience in a migrant sort of way."

On her dream day off, Spring "wants to run around and think about books," the Post wrote.

"I would head over to Sankofa Video Books & Cafe to browse their really wonderful selection and have what I think is the best chai latte in town," Spring said. "Then I'd keep walking to Walls of Books. I have a terrible book habit. It never fails that if I'm in a strange city that I'll go into a bookstore and buy something, because I'm touched in the head or something."


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Alisa Roth on Fresh Air

Today:
Fresh Air: Alisa Roth, author of Insane: America's Criminal Treatment of Mental Illness (Basic Books, $28, 9780465094196).

Tomorrow:
Today Show: Gary Vaynerchuk, author of Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence--and How You Can, Too (HarperBusiness, $29.99, 9780062674678).

The View: D.L. Hughley, co-author of How Not to Get Shot: And Other Advice From White People (Morrow, $25.99, 9780062698544).

Late Night with Seth Meyers repeat: Stacey Abrams, author of Minority Leader: How to Lead from the Outside and Make Real Change (Holt, $28, 9781250191298).


TV: Orange Is the New Black, Season 6

"The women of Litchfield have entered a completely new world" in the Orange Is the New Black season 6 trailer, Entertainment Weekly reported. "When we last checked in with Piper (Taylor Schilling), Taystee (Danielle Brooks), and the rest of the gang, they were waiting for the S.W.A.T. team to storm their underground pool hideout. Based on the trailer above, the new season picks up some time after that and we'll find most of the women in maximum security, a change that causes Suzanne (Uzo Aduba) quite a bit of anxiety in the promo. But, she isn't the only one feeling the pressure." In addition to the trailer, EW featured first-look photos from the next season of Orange Is the New Black, which is based on Piper Kerman's memoir.



Books & Authors

Awards: Strega Winner

Helena Janeczek won the Strega Prize, Italy's biggest literary award, for La Ragazza con la Leica, which "tells the story of the war photographer Gerda Taro, a Polish Jew who, in 1937, died at the age of 26 during the Spanish Civil War. It is a book about the desire for freedom and for political alternatives, and about one extraordinary woman who fights for both while seeking to carve out a destiny of her own," according to Europa Editions, which will publish the book in English under the title The Girl with the Leica in 2019. Lia Levi's This Night Is Already Tomorrow, which will also to be published by Europa in 2019, won the Strega Giovani Prize, chosen by young readers.


Yuyi Morales: The Gifts That Immigrants Bring

photo: Gustavo Barrios

Yuyi Morales was born in Xalapa, Mexico, where she currently resides. She lived for many years in the San Francisco Bay Area and maintains close relations with booksellers and librarians there. A professional storyteller, dancer, choreographer, puppeteer and artist, Morales has won the prestigious Pura Belpré Award for Illustration five times, for Just a Minute (2003), Los Gatos Black on Halloween (2006), Just in Case (2008), Niño Wrestles the World (2013) and Viva Frida (2014), also a Caldecott Honor Book. Morales's new picture book, Dreamer, (Neal Porter/Holiday House, September 4, 2018), is an account of her own immigration experience, moving her baby son to the United States.

How do you see Dreamers?

Sometimes, when the work is new or you are still creating it, you may not know what the meaning is yet--there's just an urgency there to bring it out. Sometimes it takes some time before you realize; before you understand where it comes from. In the case of Dreamers, the initial intention was for me to feel like I was doing something meaningful in a time when our culture and political environment had changed so drastically.

Eventually, I came to see this book as a recognition of the many gifts that immigrants bring to a new country. At the beginning, that wasn't my intention. I was just doing this story that was my own journey. People ask me about when I came, and I realized that my narrative was mostly, "I came with pretty much nothing." And my narrative had been that for a long, long time: I came and I had nothing with me. [There is this idea that] immigrants come to take what has already been worked and harvested by the hardworking people of the United States. At some point, I started realizing it is an illusion that [immigrants] come empty-handed. And it's an illusion that we believe as well. But the truth is that we carry much more with us every time we cross the border.

In the book, you use a pretty expansive vocabulary. You have "resplendent" in there.

I love that word!

Why is that?

In Spanish, we have words like that and you can almost feel them. It seems to embody [the meaning]. And I'm going to blame my Spanish because I think in Spanish--I will think of words like that and then I try to translate. Even now, I mix languages. So, sometimes I use words that are more Latin based because I don't recognize that they are not used as much in the United States.

You call the library "suspicious." Did you actually feel that way?

The first time I entered a library, it was as a mother, and I had never been in a library [like that before]. My mother-in-law brought me. She didn't speak any Spanish and when she took me there the first time, I had no idea where she was taking me. She made me understand that we were going somewhere so I grabbed [my baby] and got in the car with her, not knowing where we were going. From that moment, the whole thing was a mystery. She could not explain to me what [the library] was--all she could do was let me loose there. I tried to ask her if we could really grab the books. I stationed myself in the children's section. Then I looked at other people and realized they were taking the books from the shelf and so I took the books from the shelf. It was suspicious because I didn't know what to expect--I wasn't sure I was doing the right thing and behaving the right way. And then, almost in every nook, there was something I had no idea even existed. There was a book about making books, about making puppets, even about illustrating children's books. Books about things I had never imagined.

There are a lot of transitions from English to Spanish, and the Spanish is not italicized. Was that on purpose?

I think that English and Spanish--especially because Mexico and the United States are so close--are like hermanos. So, the language [in the book] is like that. In my life, English has become part of Spanish and Spanish has become part of English. We didn't want to make a differentiation because the whole thing is tied. It's not "I tell you one thing in English and then I tell you the same thing in Spanish so that you understand it." It's that both of them weave together into one single language.

Tell us about the mother's skirt--it looks like feathers and it looks like fire and it looks like waves. It's distinct and consistent.

It's very alive. I had no idea how I was going to dress her. And I didn't want to change her outfits because, in a way, the story was becoming more of a tall tale, more like mythology. Among the Aztecs, sacred Aztec women were identified by their skirts. The names would be descriptions of the skirt [the woman] was wearing: "the skirt made of snakes" or "the skirt made out of the Milky Way" or "the skirt made of stars."

In this case, the mother is the one with "the skirt made out of paper." It is crepe paper and craft paper. When I was a child, our mothers would create outfits for us for festivals. Because the economy wouldn't allow for anything fancier, parents made those costumes out of paper. And to me, that always felt like being poor. I felt that it was a vulnerability, not a strength. And I realized that those things that felt like weaknesses, in carrying them into the United States, were actually my strengths. --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness


Book Review

Review: Dopesick

Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America by Beth Macy (Little, Brown, $28 hardcover, 384p., 9780316551243, August 7, 2018)

It's hard to read Roanoke, Va., journalist Beth Macy's Dopesick without a mounting anger. A searing account of the U.S. opioid epidemic, it methodically follows that scourge along its murderous path--a 20-year journey that began with a drug company's aggressive promotion of a powerful pain medication to a credulous medical profession, and eventually caused 66% of the 64,000 deaths from drug overdoses in 2016, with no end in sight.
 
The book takes its title from the term addicts use to describe the physical and psychological hell of withdrawal, something they will go to almost any length to avoid. Macy (Factory Man) began reporting on the crisis in 2012, after it had migrated from the poverty-stricken former coal and factory towns of Appalachia to affluent neighborhoods in and around her hometown.
 
The event that detonated this deadly explosion was the introduction of the powerful opioid OxyContin, in 1996, by Purdue Pharma. Encouraged by bonuses that totaled as high as $40 million by 2001, its sales representatives fanned out across the country, promoting the drug as safe for conditions that included low back pain. Their efforts coincided with a reassessment by the medical profession of protocols for pain treatment that encouraged doctors to be more aggressive in prescribing analgesics. By the time Purdue and three of its executives were called to account in a Virginia federal courtroom, in 2007, for fraudulently marketing their highly addictive drug, the company had earned over $2.8 billion from its sale, and had sparked a massive substance abuse problem.
 
As Macy describes it, that problem only worsened after Purdue released an abuse-resistant OxyContin in 2010 and users turned to heroin to avoid dopesickness. When drug dealers traversing what she calls the "heroin highway" (Interstate 81) later began lacing their shipments with the frighteningly potent synthetic opioid fentanyl--25 to 50 times stronger than heroin--overdose deaths skyrocketed.
 
Although she effectively deploys studies and statistics to support her argument, what makes Macy's book so devastating are her intimate portraits of addicts and their tortured families, trapped in the cycle of addiction, recovery and relapse. Perhaps the most tragic belongs to Roanoke's Tess Henry, the daughter of a surgeon and hospital nurse, and mother to a young son, who saw her promising life spiral downward into drug dealing and prostitution in five years of addiction.
 
Macy spares few harsh words for a public response so feeble that "getting addicted is far easier than securing treatment." As long as the system treats addiction as a "crime problem rather than a health problem," she's pessimistic any solution is near. Macy argues for medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which uses buprenorphine (Suboxone) to wean addicts in recovery, but efforts to broaden the reach of such programs too often have met with intense, effective opposition from policymakers and law enforcement. Absent more enlightened responses from those quarters, it seems, the United States is doomed to live with the consequences of this self-inflicted tragedy for many years to come. --Harvey Freedenberg, freelance reviewer
 
Shelf Talker: A veteran journalist's frightening exposé of the American opioid-addiction epidemic.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by IndieReader.com:

1. Iron and Magic by Ilona Andrews
2. Complete Submission: 2018 Edition by CD Reiss
3. Anything for Love by Melissa Foster
4. Getting Schooled by Emma Chase
5. Hating You, Loving You by Crystal Kaswell
6. In Like Flynn by Donna Alam
7. Disgrace by Brittainy Cherry
8. Unlimited Memory by Kevin Horsley
9. Protecting Freedom by Alexa Riley
10. My Best Friend's Ex by Amy Brent

[Many thanks to IndieReader.com!]


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