Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, August 7, 2018

University of Texas Press: Grief Is a Sneaky Bitch: An Uncensored Guide to Navigating Loss by Lisa Keefauver

Berkley Books: Hair-raising horror to sink your teeth into!

Berkley Books: The Hitchcock Hotel by Stephanie Wrobel

Queen Mab Media: Get Our Brand Toolkit

Ballantine Books: Gather Me: A Memoir in Praise of the Books That Saved Me by Glory Edim

Ace Books: Rewitched by Lucy Jane Wood

Graywolf Press: We're Alone: Essays by Edwidge Danticat

St. Martin's Press: Runaway Train: Or, the Story of My Life So Far by Erin Roberts with Sam Kashner


Major Support for London Bookshop After Right-Wing Attack

Bookmarks Bookshop, a socialist bookstore in Bloomsbury, in London, has received outpourings of support after 12 far-right protesters stormed in and vandalized the store on Saturday evening, the Guardian reported.

As two staff members were closing the store on August 4, a dozen men, one of them wearing a Donald Trump mask, entered the store and began "knocking over displays and ripping up magazines while chanting far-right slogans." It is believed that the men took part in demonstrations earlier that day protesting the "censorship" of Alex Jones's website InfoWars.

At least three of the attackers were members of the U.K. Independence Party (UKIP), the right-wing, anti-immigrant, pro-Brexit party. The party acknowledged the participation of the three and said it has suspended them, the Guardian reported.

Noel Halifax, one of the two staff members working that evening, told the Guardian: "They were very shouty, bellowing in your face, saying incoherent things. The books they were holding up and what they were saying about them made no sense.... They were attacking the BBC, and they were wearing baseball hats saying Make Britain Great Again."

In the days since the attack, community members have donated money to help replace damaged merchandise as well as increase the store's security, while several prominent public figures have voiced their support, including singer and activist Billy Bragg and members of Parliament David Lammy and Rupa Huq.

"The normalisation of far-right politics is already leading to chaos and vandalism on our streets. Fascist thugs attacking bookshops is the logical conclusion to a political movement that rejects facts and experts. We need to be vigilant," wrote Lammy on Twitter.

Halifax recalled that the last time Bookmarks had been targeted in such a way was back in the 1970s. He said: "The National Front was around then, and it feels like that kind of atmosphere today."

The store will host a free, open-to-the-public "solidarity event" next Saturday, with several authors slated to appear.

BINC: Click to Apply to the Macmillan Booksellers Professional Development Scholarships

Illinois's Book Table Completes Expansion

The Book Table in Oak Park, Ill., has completed its expansion into an adjacent storefront, adding around 2,800 square feet of selling space, OakPark reported. The expansion opened in late July and brings the store's total square footage to 8,400. It gives much more breathing room to categories like art and photography books, philosophy and literary criticism, and drama and poetry, along with some rare and vintage books.

Book Table co-owner Rachel Weaver told OakPark that before the expansion, many of those categories were tucked into "not so easily accessible" corners of the store. The expanded space was designed to be more open and airy, and the addition allows the entire inventory to spread out a little bit more, with Weaver noting that they've displayed more books face-out rather than having them all "packed together spine to spine."

In early April, the Book Table launched an Indiegogo campaign ahead of the expansion and a large construction project scheduled to begin on their street next year. The store raised more than $50,000 with the help of 546 backers.

Weaver told OakPark: "We're incredibly touched that the community was so excited and so engaged in the process."

Watkins Publishing: Fall Into Folklore! ARCS Available On Request

Binc, Macmillan Name Professional Development Scholarship Winners

The Book Industry Charitable Foundation and Macmillan Publishers have announced the winners of the Macmillan Booksellers Professional Development Scholarship, which was created last year to provide professional development to booksellers from groups traditionally underrepresented in the industry. The nine winners will receive scholarships of up to $500 each to attend a regional booksellers association trade show. The winners are:

The scholarship was open to applicants with regular part-time or full-time employment at a bookstore belonging to a regional booksellers association who fit at least one of the following categories: a person of color; someone who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer; or a person with disabilities. Applicants had to answer three brief essay questions that were then evaluated by a panel of Binc board members, booksellers, bookstore owners and publishers. There were 30% more applicants than last year.

"We were thrilled with the number and variety of applications received this year," said Pam French, executive director of Binc. "The bookselling community is a collection of wonderfully diverse individuals, anxious to share ideas and experiences with their colleagues. All of the winners are doing their part to create a more inclusive environment and help strengthen the book industry."

Don Weisberg, president of Macmillan Publishers, said "broader representation within booksellers helps us reach a broader audience; being able to support Binc and booksellers in this way makes this a win-win for all."

Obituary Note: Anita Miller

Anita Miller, co-founder and longtime editor of Academy Chicago Publishers, died on Saturday, August 4. She was 91.

She and her husband, Jordan Miller, who survives her, founded Academy Press in 1976. In the early 1980s, they changed the name to Academy Chicago Publishers and, in 2014, sold the company to Chicago Review Press, which has kept the imprint and its extensive backlist alive. During the Millers' ownership, Academy Chicago published a range of distinctive fiction and nonfiction, including many original titles as well as imports from Virago, the British feminist literary house, and Granada.

Miller worked as an editor and book doctor on hundreds of books during her career. Highlights include Peculiar People: The Story of My Life by Augustus Hare, which she co-edited from the author's six-volume original into one volume; Complete Transcripts of the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill Hearings: October 11, 12, 13, 1991, which included a preface by Nina Totenberg; and Four Classic Ghostly Tales.

Among the books Miller wrote was Uncollecting Cheever: The Family of John Cheever vs. Academy Chicago Publishers, about the Cheever family's lawsuits against the press involving a proposed collection of little-known short stories by the author. She also wrote Tea and Antipathy: An American Family in Swinging London, a '60s memoir, and co-wrote Sharon: Israel's Warrior-Politician.

In the 1960s, she was one of the few women to receive a Ph.D. in English literature from Northwestern University and taught at Northwestern and the University of Wisconsin. Her dissertation, Arnold Bennett: An Annotated Bibliography, 1887-1932, was published by Garland Publishing in 1977.

In addition, she translated In a Dark Wood Wandering, a novel by Hella S. Hassee, set during the Hundred Years War, from the Dutch.

In 1996, she won the Women in Publishing's Pandora Award for an "outstanding contribution to the achievements of women in publishing and related fields."

Besides her husband, survivors include three sons involved in books and publishing. Bruce Joshua Miller heads Miller Trade Book Marketing, the commission rep group. Eric Lincoln Miller was involved in Miller Trade Book Marketing for many years, was publisher of Wicker Park Books and is now head of 3iBooks. Mark Crispin Miller, professor of media studies at New York University, has written several books, most recently Loser Take All: Election Fraud and the Subversion of Democracy 2000-2008. He is also the editor of the Forbidden Bookshelf series.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, August 31, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the Self Help Home, 908 W. Argyle, Chicago, Ill.


#RealLifeLoveStory/Cool Bookstore Event

In one of the most romantic bookstore author events we've heard of, Eagle Eye Book Shop, Decatur, Ga., recently hosted YA and romance author Colleen Hoover (All Your Perfects, Atria). During the q&a period, Stephen Dorman posed, as he put it, "one of the most important questions you can ask someone special."

He got down on one knee in the church where the event was held and asked Sky Meade to marry him. To great applause from the other attendees, she accepted.

The store commented on Facebook: "Congratulations to the happy couple and thank you for letting us be a part of your #RealLifeLoveStory." Hoover added that she expects a wedding invitation.

The Best of Indy Indies

The Indianapolis Business Journal surveys local indie bookstores that are "still pushing paperbacks, offering honest staff recommendations and otherwise keeping local lit alive." Among them:

Books & Brews, which "has fused dining, books, games and particularly beer into an experience designed to maximize customer visitations."

Butler Campus Store, which has a focus on "T-shirts and textbooks, but the Bulldog-boosting depot also has a general book selection emphasizing fiction, humor and biography."

Kids Ink Children's Bookstore, "for more than a quarter century, the go-to place in Indy for visiting kid-lit authors and the families who love them, [offering] frequent story-time readings, smart staff picks and a plethora of sidelines for sale including puzzles, creative toys and children's games."

Wild Geese Bookshop, which is "housed in a lovely blue cottage, [looking] like the set for an episode of The Gilmore Girls," and sells new books and literary-themed gifts.

UMass Press Now Distributing Tagus Press

Under a new partnership, the University of Massachusetts Press has begun selling and marketing Tagus Press titles and its scholarly journal; distribution will be provided by Hopkins Fulfillment Services, UMass Press's distributor. Tagus Press is retaining its editorial offices in the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture in Dartmouth, Mass., and UMass Dartmouth faculty will continue their oversight of the editorial program. Tagus Press was formerly distributed by the University Press of New England, which is being closed by Dartmouth College.

Tagus Press specializes in bringing the literature, history, and culture of Portuguese-speaking countries and diasporas to an English-speaking audience. Its works include translations, scholarly monographs and the scholarly journal Portuguese Literary & Cultural Studies as well as six book series: the Adamastor Series, the Portuguese in the Americas Series, Brazilian Literature in Translation, the Bellis Azorica Book Series, Classic Histories from the Portuguese-Speaking World in Translation, and the Portuguese Language Textbook Series.

UMass Press director Mary Doughtery commented: "Tagus Press's focus on scholarship, literary fiction, and poetry aligns beautifully with our mission at UMass Press."

UMass Dartmouth chancellor Robert E. Johnson added: "This new partnership will strengthen our ability to share knowledge of the Lusophone diaspora with the world."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: David Kirkpatrick on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: David Kirkpatrick, author of Into the Hands of the Soldiers: Freedom and Chaos in Egypt and the Middle East (Viking, $28, 9780735220621).

The View repeat: Alan Dershowitz, author of The Case Against Impeaching Trump (Hot Books, $21.99, 9781510742284).

Watch What Happens Live: Michael Rapaport, author of This Book Has Balls: Sports Rants from the MVP of Talking Trash (Touchstone, $16, 9781501160325).

Books & Authors

Awards: Willie Morris Southern Fiction Shortlist

The shortlist for the 2017 Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction has been revealed. The award is open to writers "whose work is set in the South, exemplifies the tenets of Southern literature--quality of prose, originality, and authenticity of setting and characters--and reflects, in the words of its namesake, Willie Morris, 'hope for belonging, for belief in a people's better nature, for steadfastness against all that is hollow or crass or rootless or destructive.' " The prize, sponsored by Reba and Dave Williams, includes $10,000 and a trip to the award ceremony on Monday, October 22, in New York City. The finalists are:

Joshilyn Jackson for The Almost Sisters (Morrow)
Bren McClain for One Good Mama Bone (University of South Carolina Press)
J.C. Sasser for Gradle Bird (Koehler Books)
Stephanie Powell Watts for No One Is Coming to Save Us (Ecco)

"Originality and creativity are the hallmarks of this year's shortlist for the Willie Morris Award," said judge Katherine Clark. "The main characters in these novels include a ghost, a cow, a skeleton, and a house. The finalists are indicative of the wide range of talent producing contemporary Southern fiction." This year's award ceremony will feature a panel on the life and work of Pat Conroy and an announcement about expanding the Willie Morris Award.

Reading Group Choices' Most Popular July Books

The two most popular books in July at Reading Group Choices were The Lost Queen of Crocker County: A Novel by Elizabeth Leiknes (Sourcebooks Landmark) and The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore (Sourcebooks).

Book Review

Review: Evolution

Evolution by Eileen Myles (Grove Press, $25 hardcover, 176p., 9780802128508, September 11, 2018)

Readers either relish Eileen Myles's outrage and outrageously out-there writing or think the poet is a bit of a kook. Their inventive work and over-the-top persona don't allow for much in-between. A 1992 write-in candidate for U.S. president on an "openly female" platform, Myles makes no effort to mask the political in their two dozen works of poetry, fiction, essays and drama. Feminism, pacifism, anti-colonialism and other isms find a courageous advocate in Myles.
Rich in vernacular and innovative line breaks, these poems ask to be read out loud--like these lines from "St. Joseph Father of Whales" in Evolution: "I heard your/ Joseph Josephy/ songs in the whales/ last night/ giant round giggly organs/ tickling and mooing/ and diving calves, you're/ the oldest & the silliest/ Joe--need to keep/ you on my/ side."
Although Myles grew up in Cambridge, Mass., Catholic schools and graduated from UMass Boston, they are a product of New York City through and through. A downtown denizen and self-described dyke, Myles is an alternative Patti Smith--complete with a 1980 Mapplethorpe photograph. As they describe in "Dear Adam": "Out of a/ conservative/ diaspora came I mongrel poet from Massachusetts/ to make my mark." And quite a mark it is. Afterglow, the experimental "dog memoir" about the street litter pit bull Rosie, led to a Guggenheim Fellowship to add to four Lambda Awards and a Clark Prize. After 20 books from small presses, however, Myles takes to this newfound celebrity with caution.
Despite the public acclaim, Myles crafts poems of personal nature in Evolution. In very short lines, they are also reflective, contemporary, political, erotic and even aphoristic. "Each Day I Get Up," for example, starts with a bang: "I think I'm kind of Morrissey/ don't you/ though his sweatshirt/ wouldn't be so/ cheap/ though he'd/ probably wish/ that it/ was." The short poem "Today" is a kind of graffiti fortune cookie: "I would love to love someone/ forever & f**k them till they/ died." Here in full is "creep," the collection's most directly political poem:

"ugly nightmare
eating too much
dunking your head in water
over and over
again. Feel bad
for your kid
all of them
but most of all us
bad nights
when I was young
and drinking pred
atory men
with swollen
heads would
buy me drinks
and want to f**k
me again &
again because
I was nothing
to them and he is
our president

Evolution is a triumphant collection that manifests these words from Myles's prose poem "Notebook, 1981": "I called it poetry, but it was flesh and time and bread and friends frightened and free enough to want to have another day that way." --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.

Shelf Talker: In a bold collection of poems, Eileen Myles reinforces their justifiable fame as the unabashed voice of what's left of New York's downtown edginess.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. The Naked Truth by Vi Keeland
2. Summer Snoops and Cozy Crimes by Various
3. Four Day Fling by Emma Hart
4. More Than Need You by Shayla Black
5. Dr. Strange Beard by Penny Reid
6. The Duke Who Lied by Jess Michaels
7. They Call Me Crazy by Kelly Stone Gamble
8. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (Addison Holmes Mysteries Book 5) by Liliana Hart
9. Karma Box Set by Donna Augustine
10. Black Velvet by Steven Henry

[Many thanks to!]

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