Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, August 21, 2018


Little Brown and Company: The World According to Fannie Davis: My Mother's Life in the Detroit Numbers by Bridgett M. Davis

Grove Press: The Heavens by Sandra Newman

Quirk Books: Giraffes on Horseback Salad: Salvador Dali, the Marx Brothers, and the Strangest Movie Never Made by Josh Frank, adapted with Tim Heidecker, illustrated by Manuela Pertega

Other Press: Wanderer by Sarah Léon, translated by John Cullen

Sourcebooks Jabberwocky: 8 Little Planets by Chris Ferrie, illustrated by Lizzy Doyle

Flatiron Books: Save Me from Dangerous Men (Nikki Griffin #1) by S.A. Lelchuk

Berkley Books: My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

Quotation of the Day

'You Need to Have More Bookstores'

"If we want to become a nation of readers, you need to have more bookstores.... I always say the best way to die is to be just sitting in a chair reading a book, and to suddenly just expire. But throughout my life, I remember the individuals who've left a huge mark on me, whether teachers, parents or friends. I think that's the most valuable thing. In your toughest times, you look back and know that those individuals have propped you up, put you on their shoulders so you can walk better. Hopefully, I can be that support for others in my personal and business life."

--Kenny Leck, owner of BooksActually bookstore, Singapore, in an interview with Channel NewsAsia

Rare Bird Books, A Vireo Book: Easy for You to Say by Stuttering John Melendez


News

Boston's Trident Booksellers & Cafe Reopens

Trident Booksellers & Café, Boston, Mass., reopened yesterday, with regular hours, the store announced on Facebook. "The café is up and running," the store said, and although the bookstore is "still a work in progress," customers are encouraged to "peruse and purchase what we have on our shelves."

Trident closed in March after extensive water damage caused by a fire. Since then, the floors have been replaced, the walls repainted and many lights and fixtures updated. The cafe, which has a new bar, has been relocated to the very back of the store.

As a result, manager Courtney Flynn said, on the first floor books are closer to the front, and there is more room for display tables. On the second floor, Trident has created a children's nook featuring a "magical mural" and "lots of fun decorations." The changes also allow the store to host simultaneous events in the upstairs space and in the back.


Graywolf Press: Scribe by Alyson Hagy


Jason Reynolds Back as Indies First Spokesperson

Jason Reynolds

Jason Reynolds has been named the Indies First spokesperson for the second consecutive year by the American Booksellers Association.

To support Reynolds's mission of providing children in low-income communities with access to books that reflect their own experiences, ABA and American Express are working with Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing to make available 20,000 special edition copies of Ghost, the first book in Reynolds's bestselling Track series, this holiday season.

Through the Indie Bookstores Give Back on Small Business Saturday campaign (#IndiesGiveBack), independent booksellers across the country can sign up to receive a free box of special "Indies First/SBS" paperback editions of Ghost to distribute to children in an underserved community on or around Small Business Saturday (November 24). Stores that participate in this giveaway will also be invited to enter to win one of two in-person visits from Reynolds in 2019. (Check Bookselling This Week for more details in the coming weeks.)

At the Celebration of Bookselling luncheon at BookExpo, Reynolds received the Indie Champion Award, presented by independent booksellers, and has encouraged indie bookstores to be especially welcoming to those in their communities who don't frequent their establishments.

"It is your responsibility to make sure people who come into your store know that they're welcome there and that you are happy they are here, that their story is represented, and that what they need they may be able to find in your space," he said.

Regarding his second term as Indies First spokesperson and of the #IndiesGiveBack campaign, Reynolds observed: "Bookstores benefit their communities in a myriad of ways, and I'm thrilled that I get to sing their praises for another year. I'm grateful and honored that booksellers have this opportunity to share Ghost's story with thousands of young people across the country who don't have access to books they feel connected to." He will support Small Business Saturday by participating in an event at a local indie bookstore.

Joy Dallanegra-Sanger, ABA senior program officer, commented: "Jason Reynolds's commitment to fostering the mission and passion of independent booksellers is unequivocal, and we did not think twice about naming him our Indies First spokesperson for a second year. We are proud to have the support of American Express and Simon & Schuster to advance Jason's mission of providing children in underserved areas stories that speak to them."

To participate in the Indie Bookstores Give Back on Small Business Saturday campaign, stores must sign up to receive their free 24-copy carton of Ghost by 5 p.m. EDT on Monday, September 10. Limit one carton per store while supplies last. The ABA noted that in signing up to participate, stores agree to work with a local school, community or literacy organization, or youth group to give the books away to a program or school for underserved or low-income children at an event on or around November 24.

In addition, stores have the option to purchase additional 24-copy cartons of the title for giveaway, at cost and including free freight. That order also must be received no later than 5 p.m. September 10. ABA will invoice stores for extra cartons. All books will ship free directly to stores and will arrive by November 15; the books are nonreturnable, not for resale, and must be donated. This offer is available while supplies last, so stores are encouraged to sign up to participate as soon as possible.


Yale University Press: The Climate Casino: Risk, Uncertainty, and Economics for a Warming World by William D. Nordhaus


Obituary Note: Ellis Amburn

Ellis Amburn, publisher, author and editor, died on Saturday after a long illness. He was 85.

Amburn was a reporter at Newsweek before becoming an editor at Delacorte Press, Coward-McCann, William Morrow and Putnam, where he edited work by such authors as John le Carré, Belva Plain, Muriel Spark, Joshua Logan and Jack Kerouac. He also worked as a ghostwriter with Priscilla Presley, Shelley Winters, Peggy Lee and Zsa Zsa Gabor. In 1990, he wrote a biography of Roy Orbison, which led to other books, including biographies of Jack Kerouac, Olivia de Havilland, Elizabeth Taylor, Warren Beatty, Buddy Holly and Janis Joplin.

Maureen O'Brien, book editor, ghostwriter, publishing advisor and "major media journalista" who can be reached at maureenob@aol.com, remembered: "Always the chipper man about town and cheerleader to his multitude of friends all over the world, Ellis was writing and editing right up to the end, working on a memoir of his celebrity-filled life in the book biz, where he was considered one of the best pop culture chroniclers from New York City to Hollywood and all points in between. A great gossip and even better confidant and friend, he was a true role model and mentor."


Soho Press: Insurrecto by Gina Apostol


G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss
by Rajeev Balasubramanyam

According to Susan Kamil, Random House executive v-p and publisher, Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss is "for readers of A Man Called Ove or The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, novels where one feels the central character will never overcome their own emotional shortcomings or burdens, but, miraculously do." Curmudgeonly Cambridge professor of Economics P.R. Chandrasekhar does not, at first, appear capable of miracles, or even of changing his mind. But he is--and he does, thanks to a run-in with a bicyclist and a doctor's charge to follow his bliss. Author Rajeev Balasubramanyam wields considerable humor, the perfect antidote to our polarized and exhausting present, while crafting a tender and thoughtful tale. This is an absolute gem of a book. --Stefanie Hargreaves, editor, Shelf Awareness for Readers

(Dial Press, $27 hardcover, 9780525511380, March 26, 2019)

CLICK HERE TO ENTER
#ShelfGLOW
Shelf vetted, publisher supported

 


Notes

Image of the Day: Vox

To promote Christina Dalcher's dystopian novel Vox (publishing this week) and Vox Day (on Thursday at bookstores across the country), Berkley has been hosting events for booksellers around the country. In the Bay Area, Berkley/Penguin Group sales reps Wendy Pearl and Bob Belmont set up get-togethers in San Francisco and the East Bay. Guests were encouraged to don black wristbands, similar to the word counters the women in Vox are forced to wear to limit their speech. Pictured: (front row, l.-r.) Marion Abbott and Carolyn Hutton, Mrs. Dalloway's; Maria Roden, Orinda Books; Alison Reid, Diesel: A Bookstore; Judy Wheeler, Towne Center Books; (back row, l.-r.) John Evans, Diesel: A Bookstore; Keeley Parrack, Towne Center Books; Penguin rep Wendy Pearl.


Hampton Roads Publishing Company: Cannabis: A Beginner's Guide to Growing Marijuana by Danny Danko


'The Furry Faces of Bookselling: Volume III'

Catsby at Gallery Bookshop, Mendocino, Calif.

"Indie bookstores are home to an array of cute and cuddly animals that roam the aisles and snooze in the stacks," Bookselling This Week wrote in showcasing its latest edition of "The Furry Faces of Bookselling."

 



Media and Movies

Media Heat: Beth Macy on Fresh Air

Today:
Fresh Air: Beth Macy, author of Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America (Little, Brown, $28, 9780316551243).

Tomorrow:

CBS This Morning: Angela Duckworth, author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance (Scribner, $17.99, 9781501111112).

Daily Show repeat: Michael McFaul, author of From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin's Russia (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30, 9780544716247).


TV: The Miniaturist

The Miniaturist, a three-part series adapted from Jessie Burton's novel, premieres Sunday, September 9, on PBS Masterpiece. Directed by Guillem Morales and written by John Brownlow and Jessie Burton, the project stars Anya Taylor-Joy (Split, The Witch), Alex Hassell (Genius: Picasso) and Romola Garai (Churchill's Secret, The Hour).

Deadline noted that "running through the series is the theme of oppressed women finding a new way in society." Burton observed: " 'Every woman is the architect of her own fortune' is a Dutch motto that I changed from 'every man is the architect of his own fortune.' It's a comment on how we tell ourselves stories in order to survive... does she hold the key to her own fate or does this miniaturist?"

Burton added that she had considered the book a "performance piece" when she wrote it. Because she used to be an actress, Burton said: "What I was doing there was potentially writing parts that I wish I could have had. There was a familiarity for me when I saw it. It was so exquisitely cast. It was just a joy and fairly effortless. It isn't an overwhelming feeling, it was just, 'Yeah that's my book.' "


Books & Authors

Awards: James Tait Black

The winners of the £10,000 (about $12,750) James Tait Black book prizes were announced at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

The biography winner was Ma'am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret by Craig Brown, which judges described as "a witty and unconventional picture of royal life in the mid 20th century."

The fiction winner was Attrib. and Other Stories by Eley Williams, "a series of experimental short stories centered upon the challenges people face in communicating thoughts and feelings."


Book Review

Review: Your Duck Is My Duck

Your Duck Is My Duck: Stories by Deborah Eisenberg (Ecco, $26.99 hardcover, 240p., 9780062688774, September 25, 2018)

Deborah Eisenberg's marvelously unnerving collection Your Duck Is My Duck twists and untwists themes of family, class and language in six distinct, wholly entertaining stories.
 
Eisenberg (Twilight of the Superheroes) is a short story writer who constantly pushes the form in intellectually dazzling directions. Your Duck Is My Duck begins with the titular story in which a young painter is whisked off to an exotic island retreat, courtesy of a wealthy patron couple. The premises are swarming with accountants, hinting at business troubles for the couple. Meanwhile, the painter meets a genius puppeteer who stages revolution in his productions, not unlike the political tumult consuming the real-life island. In this way, the reader enters Eisenberg's quasi-farcical worlds, where biting satire meets heartbreaking pathos. She writes with an indirect, veiled structure, never revealing too much, letting readers piece together the catastrophes that always seem to be looming on the horizon.
 
Three of the stories revolve around family and other inextricable relationships. In "Taj Mahal," the grandson of a famous film director writes a biography of his grandfather and in doing so upsets a tight cadre of aged actors, who routinely meet to reminisce on better days, "waiting with patience and humility to be issued new roles." In "Cross Off and Move On," a woman tries to escape the negativity of her mother, finding some measure of independence. In "Recalculating," a young man, born to Midwestern farm life, follows in his elusive uncle's footsteps all the way to London, forever changing his own life. While Eisenberg can be caustic at times--her humor dark--these stories alight on something tender: the weird way people try to remember and love each other.
 
In "Merge," a spoiled rich boy falls in love with a humanitarian worker with a mysterious past; her neighbor was a famous archeologist who disappeared while searching for the origin of language. "In his opinion," the humanitarian explains, "language developed as a way for us to deceive ourselves into believing that we understand things." And "The Third Tower"--the closest to speculative fiction in the collection--features a young woman treated for a "hyper-associative" disorder due to her tendency lavishly to associate words with seemingly unrelated images. It is here that Eisenberg unhinges the short story from convention and lets her own poetic imagination soar: "words heating up, expanding, exploding into pictures of things." These two stand out as the most exciting and intellectually stimulating stories in the collection, their focus on language itself and how words are used in the world.
 
Eisenberg pulls off her uncanny narrative structures with panache. Rarely have short stories felt so full. Your Duck Is My Duck is both quirky and profound, brimming with the dangers and wonders of life. --Scott Neuffer, writer, poet, editor of trampset
 
Shelf Talker: Deborah Eisenberg pushes the short story to new heights in this weirdly affecting collection.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

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

1. The Chase by Elle Kennedy
2. The Red Ledger: 3 by Meredith Wild
3. Too Bad So Sad (The Simple Man Series Book 5) by Lani Lynn Vale
4. His True Queen by Jodi Ellen Malpas
5. The Age of Anomaly by Andrei Polgar
6. It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time by Kylie Scott
7. Bayside Heat by Melissa Foster
8. Destination: Murder by Various
9. Hot Seal Target (HOT SEAL Team Book 6) by Lynn Raye Harris
10. The Shadow Files by Various

[Many thanks to IndieReader.com!]


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