Also published on this date: Wednesday, August 22, 2018: Maximum Shelf: The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, August 22, 2018


Grove Atlantic: The Yellow House: A Memoir by Sarah M. Broom

Feiwel & Friends: A Delayed Life: The True Story of the Librarian of Auschwitz by Dita Kraus

New Directions: Baron Wenckheim's Homecoming by László Krasznahorkai, translated by Ottilie Mulzet

Workman Publishing: Real Happiness, 10th Anniversary Edition: A 28-Day Program to Realize the Power of Meditation (Second Edition, Revised) by Sharon Salzberg

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci, illustrated by Jim Rugg

Clarion Books: The Thief Knot: A Greenglass House Story by Kate Milford

News

B&N CEO Hunt: How About a Book Person?

Following the abrupt firing of Demos Parneros on July 3, Barnes & Noble is searching for another CEO, its fifth in six years. If the company is consistent, it will hire yet another chief executive with little or no experience in the book world, requiring him or her to spend time learning on the job about the often quirky book business ("products are sold to retailers with prices on them and on a returnable basis?!"). The perceived benefit of hiring someone from outside the business to bring a new perspective is long gone--remember how much that helped Borders? And filling this job right is all the more crucial now because publishers need B&N as a bulwark against Amazon and indie booksellers need publishers' distribution infrastructure that services bricks-and-mortar stores, both chain and indie.

Like many in the book world, we at Shelf Awareness wonder why B&N, founded by proven book people, can't seem to find any qualified leaders from the book business. We believe there are plenty of capable, experienced book people who could step in and make a difference. And we bet you do, too. So, as a public service (and for a bit of fun), we're encouraging our readers to nominate possible CEOs for B&N.

All nominations and votes are completely anonymous and secure. For example, you can nominate yourself and neither Shelf Awareness nor your boss will know its origin.

We'll run this for a week and announce winners and best entries Friday, August 31.

Make nominations and vote here. You will be able to see live updates by clicking Survey Results.

Let the best candidate win!!

To get the ball rolling, here are some possibilities who came to mind immediately:

James Daunt, managing director of Waterstones. Reasons: Unusual experience successfully running both indie bookstores and chain bookstores. Turned around a troubled national bookstore chain. Bonus points: worked for a Russian oligarch for seven years; after which, he should be able to handle any corporate overlord!

Matty Goldberg, v-p, sales and acquisitions, Ingram Content Group. Reasons: Many years of experience in book publishing, book distribution and bookselling. Also has worked at B&N--he came with Doubleday Book Shops when B&N bought the chain nearly 30 years ago. Bonus points: While at Doubleday Book Shops, he wrote an excellent in-house newsletter.

Heather Reisman, CEO of Indigo Books & Music. Reasons: Already runs a bookstore chain in North America and successfully oversaw the absorption of one chain into another (Chapters into Indigo). Has a vision for her company's stores of the future. Bonus points: Will soon open a bookstore in the U.S., providing a foothold for possible absorption of B&N.

Steve Bercu, recently retired CEO of BookPeople, Austin, Tex. Reasons: Grew a small bookstore into a national destination while spearheading the buy local movement with Keep Austin Weird. Former ABA president who has insights into corporate world via landlord Whole Foods. Bonus points: Will bring deadpan humor to B&N headquarters. Also, excellent socks.

Mitchell Kaplan, owner of Books & Books, with stores in south Florida and the Cayman Islands. Reasons: Long career running a successful small chain of bookstores that includes the only international outpost of a U.S. bookseller. Also extensive experience helping run an international book fair, publishing, agenting, producing movies--just about everything book-related except for running a national chain. Bonus points: The former ABA president who had the idea for the Winter Institute.

Barack Obama, former President of the United States. Reasons: A book lover and book writer who was the ultimate CEO for eight years. Stays cool and calm while battling determined competitors. No need to worry he'll go back to his last job. Bonus points: Will evoke an immense well of longing and gratitude among most readers.


Ingram: Congratulations 2019 National Book Award Winners - Learn More>


Whitty Books Opens in Tulsa, Okla.

Victoria Moore and Julian DeLesDernier opened Whitty Books last month at 2407 E. Admiral Blvd. in Tulsa, Okla. "The store's home is roughly a 1,400-square-foot space formerly occupied by Flash Flood Print Studios, which recently moved to a larger, refurbished place down the street. Moore and DeLesDernier, who plan to wed in September, live in the neighborhood, behind Circle Cinema," Tulsa World reported.

"I feel like it started almost as a joke with my complaining that there wasn't a bookstore over here," Moore said. "That idea developed and developed, and we kind of thought we can do this."

Noting that the bookshop features a highly curated collection of new books, Ed Sharrer, executive director of Kendall Whittier Main Street, a nonprofit that supports revitalization of the area, observed: "That business model has actually made a bit of a comeback. It used to be that the big Barnes & Nobles and Borders totally swallowed up the little guys. Now, Amazon is swallowing up the big box guys. What that has done is that it has actually created a bit of a model for those who want that smaller kind of niche book-selling business where they feel like they are getting that personal service and the collection is going to be highly curated."


Soho Press: The Seep by Chana Porter


Chronicle, TGM Partner to Launch Chronicle Bridge Imprint

Chronicle Books is partnering with Trustbridge Global Media, an affiliate of Trustbridge Partners, to establish Chronicle Bridge, an imprint that will publish and distribute Chinese-language editions of some Chronicle children's books. The new venture will be formally launched to the book trade, media and consumers at the Beijing International Book Fair, which opens today.

Chronicle Bridge is making its debut with five books this month, including bestsellers Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site and Steam Train, Dream Train. The imprint will publish approximately 20 titles its first year and will take over the Chinese license for the popular chapter book series Ivy & Bean.

"This new venture is a significant milestone in developing our global brand presence," said Tyrrell Mahoney, president of Chronicle Books. "We have found in TGM an ideal partner to introduce our publishing to young readers in China. TGM not only shares Chronicle Books' aesthetic and education values, they have unparalleled publishing expertise and a deep understanding of the Chinese book market."

Dan Sullivan, director of TGM, commented: "We are enthusiastic about the opportunity to work with Chronicle because, in addition to having such a distinguished and award-winning history, they are a group that shares our ideals, our philosophies, and what we believe is a common heart for the importance of high quality children's content."


G.P. Putnam's Sons: Providence by Max Barry


Obituary Note: Tom Clark

Tom Clark, who "combined diverse roles of poet, biographer, novelist, dramatist, reviewer, and sportswriter during his writing career," died August 18. He was 77. The San Francisco Chronicle noted that Clark "was a prolific writer, the author of poetry books, novels, plays, theater reviews and sports journalism. He wrote biographies of baseball players and poems about the national pastime, which he became passionate about as a young boy when he attended Chicago White Sox games with his father."

His many books include Light and Shade: New and Selected Poems; Robert Creeley and the Genius of the American Common Place: Together With the Poet's Own "Autobiography"; Jack Kerouac: A Biography; Sleepwalkers Fate: New and Selected Poems, 1965-1991; Charles Olson: The Allegory of a Poet's Life; and Champagne and Baloney: The Rise and Fall of Finley's A's.

Clark was a former poetry editor of the Paris Review, contributor to Poetry magazine, a former instructor at New College of California and a dedicated blogger. He posted his final "Beyond the Pale entry a few hours before he died.

"It's such a tragedy," said Brandon Loberg, a director at the Beat Museum in North Beach. "He was one of the last of a group of elder statesmen of letters in California. That generation is pretty much passing into the sunset. Now we're without his unique voice." He called Clark's biography of Kerouac the "most accurate, informative and concise" among many.

Best American Poetry shared Clark's poem "The Edge of the Forest":

Poems ought to have memories.
They should remember other poems.
At this moment the noisy city
has fallen quiet, and the edge
of the forest is abuzz with voices,
the voices of poems beneath the old trees
talking quietly about the poems that were
once here but are not here any longer,
remembering each other.


Kids' Next List E-Newsletter Delivered

On Thursday, the first part of the American Booksellers Association's Autumn 2018 Kids' Next List was delivered to more than a third of a million of the country's best book readers, going to 405,071 customers of 123 participating bookstores. The next Kids' Next List issue, scheduled for Thursday, September 20, will be the second volume of the autumn catalogue.

The e-newsletter, powered by Shelf Awareness, features fall Kids' 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 Kids' Next List pick, in this case Kate DiCamillo, author of Louisiana's Way Home (Candlewick Press).

For a sample of the newsletter, see this one from That Book Store, Wethersfield, Conn.


Notes

Napa Bookmine Thanks Community 'for Having Our Backs'

On Monday, Napa Bookmine, Napa, Calif., shared a Facebook post about a disturbing incident at the store Sunday and issued a call for community support: "Yesterday, something really unsettling happened. Some guy called the store on Pearl St. while one of our booksellers was alone and said some really disgusting things to her. We won't repeat them, but be assured, you'd be horrified if a stranger said them to you. This guy works in Napa and implied he'd be coming into the store today, so...

"We could use a show of support from our wonderful community. Let's fill the store and show this creep that no woman is alone, and that harassment will NOT be tolerated in our community!! We'll be breaking out tables and chairs, and everyone is welcome to come hang out! Bring your book, your homework, your knitting, your coloring, anything you want. We'll share our wi-fi password and just hang. We're open until 6:00, and you're welcome to come for 10 minutes or 2 hours. You can even bring your lunch (we have two great restaurants on our block, Melted and Bui Bistro). Thanks to Napa PD for great advice and support."

In an update posted Tuesday, Napa Bookmine wrote: "Yesterday, after we shared our situation, people showed up ALL DAY. The store was filled with customers and staff every minute. Some people stayed for hours. Some people brought their dogs. Some people brought their computers and worked here. Some people couldn’t stay long but their physical presence was so important in making a statement that harassment is not okay in this community. Some people related to the circumstance and were there in solidarity. Thank you for having our backs. We are FULL of gratitude."


PGW to Distribute Heyday

Effective in January with the fall/winter 2018 season, Heyday will be sold and distributed to the trade by Publishers Group West.

Founded in 1974 by Malcolm Margolin, Heyday, Berkeley, Calif., focuses on history, social justice, nature, and the indigenous peoples of California. It releases about 25 books a year and has an active backlist of about 250 titles. Among its notable books are The California Field Atlas by Obi Kaufmann, The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling by John Muir Laws, Fred Korematsu Speaks Up by Laura Atkins and Stan Yogi, Ransoming Pagan Babies: The Selected Writings of Warren Hinckle, and California Fights Back: The Golden State in the Age of Trump by Peter Schrag.

Heyday publisher and executive director Steve Wasserman commented: "In California, the local went global years ago and, with PGW as partner, we believe we can expand the circle of Heyday's readers."

PGW v-p of business development Kevin Votel added that while Heyday has "had a regional focus historically, their editorial direction is expanding to include titles with greater national reach, and PGW is very well positioned to facilitate their plans for growth."


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Kim Brooks on CBS This Morning

Tomorrow:
CBS This Morning: Kim Brooks, author of Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear (Flatiron, $26.99, 9781250089557).

PBS's Beyond 100 Days: Anthony Salvanto, author of Where Did You Get This Number?: A Pollster's Guide to Making Sense of the World (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781501174834).


TV: Malorie Blackman Joins Doctor Who Writing Team

Malorie Blackman, author of more than 60 books for kids and young adults and a former U.K. Children's Laureate, is "one of the writers working on the new television series of Doctor Who," the Bookseller reported, noting that Blackman is "the first black writer to pen an episode for the series." She joins Ed Hime, Vinay Patel, Pete McTighe and Joy Wilkinson, all of whom were announced this week by the BBC as writers for the series, which launches this fall with Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor.

"I've always loved Doctor Who. Getting the chance to write for this series has definitely been a dream come true," said Blackman, whose short story "The Ripple Effect" was published in 2013 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the show.

"We have a team of writers who've been working quietly and secretly for a long time now, crafting characters, worlds and stories to excite and move you," said Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall. "A set of directors who stood those scripts up on their feet, bringing those ideas, visuals and emotions into existence with bravura and fun. Hailing from a range of backgrounds, tastes and styles, here's what unites them: they are awesome people as well as brilliant at their job. (It matters!) They love Doctor Who. And they've all worked above and beyond the call of duty in an effort to bring audiences something special, later this year."



Books & Authors

Awards: Sunday Times for Literary Excellence

Novelist David Mitchell has been named this year's recipient of the Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence, which is given in recognition of a writer's entire body of work, the Bookseller reported. The author of seven novels, he joins a prestigious list of writers to have won the prize, including last year's winner Sarah Waters, as well as Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney, Harold Pinter, Anne Tyler, Muriel Spark, John le Carré, William Trevor, Margaret Atwood, Julian Barnes, Tom Stoppard, Ian McEwan, Kazuo Ishiguro, Martin Amis, Peter Carey and Karl Ove Knausgaard.

Carole Welch, publisher at Sceptre, commented: "This is a marvelous accolade for David Mitchell. The Sunday Times Award is unusual in being for a body of work and this kind of recognition and appreciation of all David's books means a great deal. Sceptre acquired his first novel Ghostwritten in 1998, and working with David for the past 20 years has always been both a privilege and a pleasure. In winning this award, David joins illustrious company and we are very proud of him."


Reading with... Laurell K. Hamilton

photo: Ma Petite Enterprises
Laurell K. Hamilton is the author of the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, series and the Merry Gentry series. She lives in St. Louis, Mo., with her family. The newest novel in the Anita Blake series is Serpentine (Berkley, August 7, 2018).
 
On your nightstand now:
 
Crystal Prescriptions by Judy Hall, Better Than Before and The Four Tendencies both by Gretchen Rubin.
 
Favorite book when you were a child:
 
At what age? Under age five it was The Churkendoose by Ben Ross Berenberg, illustrations by Dellwyn Cunningham. I have no idea why, but its message was one of fairness and that outward appearances aren't what's important. In early double digits, tween-ish, The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith, Charlotte's Web by E.B. White and Baby Island by Carol Ryrie Brink. Then I discovered Louisa May Alcott and fell in love with Little Women and the rest of her novels.
 
Your top five authors:
 
How can I possibly choose? Favorite poets are Robert Frost and Mary Oliver currently. I only discovered Ms. Oliver in the last few years. Frost has been a favorite since high school. Current favorite nature writer is Douglas H. Chadwick. I love and have reread his book The Wolverine Way. My favorite hardboiled detective author is Robert B. Parker. Scott Cunningham is still my favorite for Wicca and metaphysics.
 
Book you've faked reading:
 
Why would I fake reading a book? I try never to fake anything; it sets a bad precedent.
 
Books you're an evangelist for:
 
Gretchen Rubin's books, which I've found extremely helpful and enlightening. I've been asking everyone I know to take her Four Tendencies quiz.
 
What You Can Change and What You Can't by Martin E.P. Seligman, Ph.D. --this is one of the best researched guides to what is genetic and what you can actually change about yourself. I'm on a huge self-improvement kick this year, and this book has helped me choose where to spend my energy for internal issues. If it's genetic and can't be changed, then it's a waste of energy and resources, so pick something else and move on. Strangely, knowing that my pessimism level could be up to 50% genetic has made me feel better about my natural gloominess and helped me be happier.
 
The Right Dog for You by Daniel F. Tortora. I have probably suggested this book to more people than any other. The personality tests in it aren't about the dogs, but about you as a person. I highly recommend that anyone thinking about adding a new fur kid to their household read this book. I would never have owned a pug if I hadn't read this book first, and pug has become my breed. I believe if more people put thought and effort into finding the right dog breed for them that it would save the lives of thousands of unwanted animals across the country. Isn't that worth taking a few quizzes in the back of an excellent book? Also, as a writing aside, when I have a new character that isn't talking to me, I'll run them through the quizzes in this book so that I figure out who they are. I've used it as a writing tool for years.
 
Book you've bought for the cover:
 
Cover alone has never persuaded me to buy a book; it's one of the reasons I prefer to browse in a bricks-and-mortar bookstore, so I can read the beginning of a book, not just the cover blurb, or just the beginning. Most books start well, but I want to know if the writer can sustain the voice further into the novel. I'll pick up a book for a cover, but it's like a pretty woman, or a handsome man--beauty alone isn't enough.
 
Book you hid from your parents:
 
The only time I had to hide books from my grandmother was if she'd decided I needed to go outside and play like a normal kid, then she'd frisk me at the door for the books I'd hidden on me. If she didn't, I'd just climb a tree, settle on a limb and read until she called me back to the house. Other than that, my grandmother believed if I was old enough to be interested in a book, then I was old enough to decide for myself. I'm so glad she didn't censor me and just trusted me to know what I needed to read, and when I needed to read it. I think I would either be a very different writer, or not be a writer if she had tried to filter my reading through her preferences and morals.
 
Book that changed your life:
 
Robert E. Howard's short story collection Pigeons from Hell. I was 14 and found it on the little wire rack at a local drugstore. It was the first heroic fantasy and horror I ever read. I'd been trying to write my own stories starting at about 12, but never finished one, because I was still trying to imitate Louisa May Alcott. After I read Howard's stories, I realized that not only did I want to be a writer, but this was what I wanted to write. It would be decades later that I came to learn that Alcott herself wrote horror for the magazines of her day. Alcott was important to me, though, because she was the first female author I ever read who had supported her family through her writing, and in a century when it was even rarer. Robert E. Howard was my gateway drug to Poe, Lovecraft, Stephen King and Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire
 
Favorite line from a book:
 
"I was far from home, and the spell of the eastern sea was upon me." --from The Festival by H.P. Lovecraft. It's been one of my favorite opening lines since I was a teenager.
 
Five books you'll never part with:
 
So many, but if I have to make a list: The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith, Charlotte's Web by E.B. White, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Robert B. Parker's Spenser books and Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe books. I realize that in listing entire series of books that I'm cheating on the question, but honestly, I can't narrow it down, and still feel the list is incomplete. This leaves out so many poets, so many books and authors. Asking this question to a covetous bibliophile like me is like asking to choose favorite children.
 
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
 
The first book in David Eddings's the Belgariad series, Pawn of Prophecy. I'll mention his wife, Leigh Eddings, here, because she began to be a credited co-author, and David Eddings said that her name should have been on the books years before.
 
What books most influenced you as a writer or as a person:
 
Some of this was already answered above, but Charlotte's Web by E.B. White was the first book that I consciously remember studying to see how his voice and style worked. I read him not just for the story, but to see how the magic trick worked. The Hundred and One Dalmatians helped me understand how to be part of a healthy couple, and other positive life lessons, which still hold me in good stead today. Robert E. Howard I mentioned above in more detail, but I'll add that his stories were the beginning of me learning how to write a good fight scene. Robert B. Parker's Spenser series is where I first learned to write good dialogue, you can still hear the echo of him in my writing today, just as you can hear the echo of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett in his. Salem's Lot by Stephen King was the first time I read about vampires that were in modern, everyday America. I still remember the scene where the would-be vampire hunters drag a vampire out from underneath a trailer crawl space. It was such an ordinary setting for something so frightening. I remember as a teenager reading and rereading that one scene trying to figure out why and how it worked, studying the mechanics of the scene. Andre Norton was my favorite science fiction and fantasy writer as a young teen, but it wasn't just her stories that impacted me. There was a small author bio in the back of one of her novels; it stated that she'd had to drop out of college due to ill health and that she had cats. It made her seem real, ordinary, and she was a woman writing what I wanted to write. If she could do it, maybe I could do it, too.

Book Review

Children's Review: Winnie's Great War

Winnie's Great War by Josh Greenhut, Lindsay Mattick, illus. by Sophie Blackall (Little, Brown, $16.99 hardcover, 256p., ages 8-12, 9780316447126, September 18, 2018)

Generations of children have fallen in love with A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh. Ninety years after Pooh's publication, Lindsay Mattick and Sophie Blackall's Caldecott-winning picture book Finding Winnie taught thrilled children (and adults) the history of that silly old bear: on his way to the war in 1914, real-life veterinarian Harry Colebourn adopted a black bear cub in Canada. This bear eventually wound up in the London Zoo, where she met young Christopher Robin Milne and his father.
 
With the addition of co-author Josh Greenhut, the creative team behind Finding Winnie wanted to fill in the bigger story of Winnie's adventures for an older audience. The result is the charming middle-grade novel Winnie's Great War, which focuses on the major wartime events between Winnie's trading-post adoption and her fateful meeting with Christopher Robin. Framed--as Finding Winnie was--by a mother telling her son Cole (the great-great-grandson of Harry Colebourn) "the story" of his teddy bear, Winnie's Great War balances true history with a sweet fantasy from the authors' imaginings. Incorporating facts from Colebourn's journal and other historic resources, Winnie's story is told by Cole's mother and Winnie herself, with excerpts from Colebourn's journal throughout.
 
Readers learn about the grueling trek "[f]rom the Woods, to the cabin, to White River, to the train, to Valcartier, to the ship, to [the] moment" when Winnie, Harry and all the other soldiers on the massive convoy across the Atlantic arrive in England. Winnie comforts Harry when he is seasick (his typically minimalist journal entries grow even more spare with a repeated "In hospital" for days on end). Miserable and frightened, she watches soldiers practice at a three-and-a-half-mile-long firing range ("Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!"). And when she settles unhappily (at first) in the London Zoo, Winnie experiences Zeppelin raids on the city. Through her ursine and naïve eyes, readers piece together a jigsaw puzzle picture of the Great War.
 
In addition to Sophie Blackall's (Hello, Lighthouse; the Ivy and Bean series) whimsical pencil artwork, reminiscent of Garth Williams's quaint illustrations, the book includes photos, artifacts and excerpts from the Colebourn family archive. Cole occasionally interrupts the narrative when he has a question, as when Winnie negotiates a peace treaty between the rats and horses on the ship: " 'Could Tatters [the rat] and the horses understand what one another were saying?' Cole asked. 'No,' " his mom replied, "Because if you're not listening, it's impossible to hear. If you believe that somebody is so different from you that you can't possibly have anything in common, you'll never be able to hear them no matter what they say. That was the way with the rats and horses. And that's how it is in war." Winnie is "not a fighting sort" herself. "Instead of hurting others," she explains, "I make them feel better." And she does, even a century later. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor
 
Shelf Talker: The creators of Finding Winnie return, adapting their nonfiction Caldecott Award-winner into a delightful middle grade novel about the original Winnie-the-Pooh's experiences in World War I.

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