Also published on this date: Tuesday, August 28, 2018: Maximum Shelf: At the Wolf's Table

Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Random House Worlds: Damsel by Evelyn Skye

St. Martin's Press: The Girls of Summer by Katie Bishop

Soho Crime: The Rope Artist by Fuminori Nakamura, transl. by Sam Bett

Flatiron Books: Once Upon a Prime: The Wondrous Connections Between Mathematics and Literature by Sarah Hart

Grand Central Publishing: Goodbye Earl: A Revenge Novel by Leesa Cross-Smith

Texas Bookman Presents Texas Remainder Expo

Steve Madden Ltd: The Cobbler: How I Disrupted an Industry, Fell from Grace, and Came Back Stronger Than Ever by Steve Madden and Jodi Lipper

St. Martin's Griffin: The Bookshop by the Bay by Pamela M. Kelley

Quotation of the Day

New ABA Board Member Angela Maria Spring on Key Goals

"My key goals are to work with ABA to help identify and advocate for viable, financially sustainable, non-traditional or alternative bookstore business models; to embrace different/new technologies to strengthen our industry; and to help identify, recruit, and support a more diverse membership, while determining what we can do as a trade organization to better serve and advocate for stores with mission-based models."

--Angela Maria Spring, new American Booksellers Association board member and owner of Duende District Bookstore in Washington, D.C., in a "Face Out" q&a with Bookselling This Week

Blackstone Publishing: What Remains by Wendy Walker


GoFundMe Campaign Aims to Aid Avid Bookshop

Friends of the Avid Bookshop, Athens, Ga., have created a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to help the bookstore, whose Five Points location suffered severe flooding on Friday.

The campaign noted, in part, "The children's section--particularly the parenting section, board books, and picture books--suffered considerable damage. The basement (where they hold additional inventory, receive books, process returns, etc.) leaked as well. Books, puppets, insulation, handmade shelving, and more suffered irreparable damage. Some members of the staff had shifts cancelled due to the unforeseen store closure. Full-timers worked overtime to cover their regular job duties and to manage cleanup.

"While owner Janet Geddis and Avid Bookshop wait for insurance claims to process, the store could use a little help covering wages, lost sales, and replacement inventory. Due to the nature of the incident, insurance adjusters are not sure how long it will take to figure out how things will shake out."

As one of the organizers--Jennifer Abel Kovitz, v-p and associate publisher, sales & marketing, Catapult, Counterpoint Press and Soft Skull--wrote, "Thanks in advance for considering a donation, and for helping us share the link to this fundraiser far and wide. Janet and her staff punch way above their weight in our industry, and we are all stronger for their stores' continued success."

GLOW: Flatiron Books: Bad Summer People by Emma Rosenblum

Frankfurt CEO Talk to Feature Macmillan's John Sargent

This year's CEO Talk at the Frankfurt Book Fair will feature John Sargent, CEO of Macmillan. The talk will focus, the fair said, on "changing consumer habits and new international media competition around storytelling."

Sargent will be interviewed on Wednesday, October 10, 2-3 p.m., by trade reporters from around the world. Katja Böhne, v-p, marketing & communications of the book fair, will open the event, and Rüdiger Wischenbart, consultant and head of the annual Global Ranking of the Publishing Industry reports, will chair the discussion.

William Morrow & Company: The God of Good Looks by Breanne Mc Ivor

Running Press Launches RP Studio

Running Press has launched a new imprint, RP Studio, which will publish "paper goods that reflect the innovative and joyful spirit of Running Press. Combining thoughtful content, beautiful visuals, and a strong point of view, RP Studio products aim to entertain and inspire while highlighting quality product design."

RP Studio plans to publish 25-30 new titles a year. Running Press senior editor Shannon Connors Fabricant will oversee the program, which will include brands and licenses from the Running Press and Black Dog & Leventhal lists and original productions. Formats will include journals, notebooks, notecards, undated planners, undated desktop calendars, postcard books, sticky notes, inspirational wall art, and coaster books.

The inaugural list includes notecards and a flexi-bound journal from the Bob Ross estate; a postcard book and deluxe set of hardcover logbooks based on Tim Federle's Tequila Mockingbird; notecards and a set of three notebooks inspired by Practical Magic by Nikki Van De Car; and notecards and a hardcover journal featuring quotes and art from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince. The 2019 list will include paper products inspired by Jen Sincero's You Are a Badass; stationery inspired by Theodore Gray's The Elements; stationery and ancillary product with licenses such as Harry Potter, DC Comics, Pusheen, Sesame Street, Star Trek, and homegrown journals and other paper product formats.

"RP Studio is the natural next step for Running Press, which has always published irresistible gift titles and format-forward packages across all of our imprints," said Kristin Kiser, v-p/publisher of Running Press and Black Dog & Leventhal. "Our deep understanding of visual content has led to great success publishing innovative formats in trade, gift, mass, specialty, and international channels. We are thrilled to be able to offer multiple product formats to our creative collaborators and give our publishing team new ways to create intellectual property."

G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Celebrants by Steven Rowley

Obituary Note: Robert H. Ferrell

Robert H. Ferrell, a Truman scholar and World War I historian, died on August 8. He was 97.

Ferrell wrote and edited 11 books about Harry S. Truman, many of which used material that had previously been unpublished, the New York Times reported. The first was Off the Record: The Private Papers of Harry S. Truman (1980). Others included the bestseller Dear Bess (1983), consisting of hundreds of letters that Truman wrote to his wife between 1910 and 1959, which "provided a record of their devoted marriage and his life as a farmer, haberdasher, county judge in Missouri, United States senator from Missouri, vice president and president." In 1994, he published a deeply researched biography, Harry S. Truman: A Life.

Altogether Ferrell wrote or edited 60 books, "largely about American diplomacy, war and presidents," the Times said. "He had an abiding fascination with World War I--in which his father fought--and with the diaries of statesmen and soldiers. But once initiated into Truman's world, Mr. Ferrell kept returning. He spent so much time at the Truman library that he rented an apartment in Independence."

B&N CEO Hunt: Update

Readers have continued to make nominations and vote on possible new Barnes & Noble CEOs with book world experience. Although Heidi Fairchild, sales & inventory manager at the Alpharetta, Ga., B&N, continues to lead the voting, other B&N employees are being nominated. It's a testament to the amount of talent in the company and the following that so many individual booksellers have.

(Our survey is open through tomorrow. If you haven't already, make nominations and vote here. See the results here.)

Among B&N booksellers nominated:

Anthony Gambone, a bookseller at Pembroke Pines, Fla. "Possesses the skill sets, knows how to sell creating an extraordinary customer experience and can inspire and lead each employee to do the same."

Ann Klostermann, a B&N bookseller for 15 years, currently a store manager and district trainer. "She's had every job in Barnes & Noble and knows what it takes to run a tight ship. She is an excellent trainer, very practical with high expectations for her team. She is brilliant beyond measure and reads ferociously!"

Brian Shea, a B&N bookseller for 21 years. "Interacting one on one with more than one million customers as a head cashier, book floor bookseller, magazine lead, and children's story time narrator. He has first-hand experience with regard to what engages customers to be lifelong and happy customers."

Rashad L. Florence, a bookseller in Florida. "In his time with B&N, he's been nothing but welcoming, friendly and a charismatic leader of his team of sellers. He's the kind of person who wants to ensure that both booksellers and customers are always satisfied."

Courtney Bannigan, a bookseller in N.J. with 12 and a half years at B&N. "She ran our store when we were in between store managers. She has experience in EVERY position, including ones eliminated a few short months ago. She is a sales & inventory manager, but has been doing the job of EVERY member of the management team, without recognition, without pay, and without complaint. Such is her dedication that she worked through physical therapy, with a full shoulder and torso cast after surgery, for over seven weeks. She is exactly what this company needs... She has poured her soul into this company since she was 17 years old."

Denise Calcagno, a B&N district manager. "She knows Barnes & Noble from the ground up and absolutely has what it takes."

Jill Giordano, manager of the Worcester, Mass., B&N. "Totally capable with great ideas that she's not allowed to use. She is the best manager I've had in my 15-plus years at B&N. If I had the money, I'd open a chain and have her and other 'real' booksellers run it in a second!"

And from a proud parent: "Amanda Wyman, and it's not just because she's my daughter. She works at B&N, long hard hours, wants to illustrate and has great ideas. Plus she's younger than the people on the list."

Other nominations tomorrow.


Image of the Day: Farewell to Aunt Agatha's

Mystery authors and fans said goodbye to one of their favorite independent bookstores, Aunt Agatha's Mystery Bookshop, Ann Arbor, Mich., with a farewell event at the Ann Arbor District Library. Founded 26 years ago, the store won the Mystery Writers of America's Raven Award in 2014 and closed officially this past Sunday. Pictured: (l.-r.) authors Sarah Zettel and Lori Rader-Day, Aunt Agatha's co-owner Robin Agnew and author William Kent Krueger.

Books & Art at Levin & Company

Over the course of its 27-year history, Levin & Company Community Booksellers in Healdsburg, Calif., has gone from an exclusively used bookstore to a predominantly new store with an attached art gallery, the Press Democrat reported.

The store has moved once, and the owners opened the Upstairs Art Gallery around 21 years ago, an effort that grew out of members of the Santa Rosa Art Guild looking for a space to display their work. The artists pay "monthly rent and a 20% commission to the gallery." Since its opening, some 60 artists have displayed their work in the gallery.

Current owner Aaron Rosewater is the son of Adele Levin, who co-founded the store with her business partner, Jacquie Robb. Rosewater bought out Robb in 2001. Carolyn Wilson has managed the store since around 2011.

"It's a perfect match--the gallery and the books," Wilson told the Press Democrat.

New Owners 'Continue the Legacy' of A Room of One's Own

Jes Lukes and Gretchen Treu, the new co-owners of A Room of One's Own in Madison, Wis., spoke with the Cap Times about their plan "to continue the legacy of success that longtime owners Sandi Torkildson and Nancy Geary established. And with the award-winning fantasy author Patrick Rothfuss on board as a silent partner and favorable industry tailwinds giving them momentum, the two say they're eager to figure out more ways of serving diverse populations in the Madison region." Among our favorite exchanges in the q&a:

It's been about two months since you two officially took over the store. How's it going?
Gretchen Treu: A lot of people are just really relieved that the store is going to be sticking around, and that it's gone into the hands of longtime employees. It's not going be just some random person from Chicago coming in who bought it with some money, and is just going to run it into the ground. We know how this business works. We know how this specific store works.

We're just in this moment where the bookstore had been doing so well under Sandi and Nancy. We're in this wonderful position to step in now and continue under that momentum. We have all these big events coming up. Print is not dead.

Tell me more about what it means to be a feminist bookstore in 2018, and to create spaces for different populations in that store.
Jes Lukes: As feminism has become more intersectional, and we become more aware and want to do better, we want this room to include these people who previously haven't had this space or hadn't seen themselves represented in the bookstore, both in hiring practices and also with what (books) we have. Invisibility is silence.

GT: We try to get books that represent a wide variety of people, especially queer people and people of color.... There's no reason that any given display on any subject should only have white people in it. If we're going to be doing a display, if we put together a newsletter, we say, hey, don't put only white people on here.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Rick Wilson on PBS's Beyond 100 Days

PBS's Beyond 100 Days: Rick Wilson, author of Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever (Free Press, $27, 9781982103125). He will also appear on BBC's World News.

Harlan Coben Inks Netflix Deal

Netflix has entered into a multi-year exclusive deal with Harlan Coben to develop 14 existing titles and future projects, including his upcoming novel Run Away (Grand Central, March 2019), into English-language and foreign-language series as well as films that will premiere on Netflix worldwide. Coben will serve as an executive producer on all projects. He currently has two crime drama series on Netflix: Safe, starring Michael C. Hall, and the 2015 French series No Second Chance.

"Harlan's page-turning crime novels are beloved by readers around the world," said Erik Barmack, v-p of international originals for Netflix. "We are excited to continue our partnership with him and develop his suspenseful thrillers into global Netflix originals."

Coben added: "I loved working with the Netflix team on Safe, and seeing the fantastic audience response around the world. I'm thrilled to continue our relationship to create more original films and series with them on a global scale."

Books & Authors

Awards: Ned Kelly Winners

The winners of the 2018 Ned Kelly Awards, sponsored by the Australian Crime Writers Association and honoring the best crime writing in Australia, are:

Best Fiction: Crossing the Lines by Sulari Gentill
Best First Fiction: The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey
True Crime: Unmaking a Murder: The Mysterious Death of Anna-Jane Cheney by Graham Archer

Midwest Connections September Picks

From the Midwest Booksellers Association, Midwest Connections Picks for September. Under this marketing program, the association and member stores promote booksellers' handselling favorites that have a strong Midwest regional appeal.

The Distance Home by Paula Saunders (Random House, $27, 9780525508748). "Set in a circa-1960s rural South Dakota--a hardscrabble place of cattle buyers, homegrown ballet studios, casual drug abuse, and unmitigated pressure to conform, all amid the great natural beauty of the region--the book portrays a loving but struggling young family in turmoil, and two siblings, Rene and Leon, who opt for different but equally extreme means of escaping the burdens of home."

Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia (Atria/Emily Bestler, $26, 9781501177361). "Ten years ago a man and his son voyaged into this wilderness and never returned. A decade later, the son, violent and uncommunicative, emerged. Maya Stark, an assistant language therapist, is charged with making a connection with this boy who refuses to answer any questions about the last ten years of his life. As she's drawn closer to this enigmatic boy, she'll risk everything to reunite him with his father."

The Readymade Thief by Augustus Rose (Viking, $26, 9780735221833). "Lee Cuddy is seventeen years old and on the run. Betrayed by her family, she finds refuge in an abandoned building known as the Crystal Castle, which contains a sinister agenda, one hatched by a society of fanatical men set on decoding a series of powerful secrets hidden in plain sight. And they believe Lee holds the key to it all."

The Phantom Tower by Keir Graff (Putnam, $16.99, 9781524739522). "Twin brothers discover their new home is also a portal--for an hour a day--to a parallel dimension in this rollicking middle-grade adventure, perfect for fans of The Mysterious Benedict Society."

Book Review

Review: Money Rock: A Family's Story of Cocaine, Race, and Ambition in the New South

Money Rock: A Family's Story of Cocaine, Race, and Ambition in the New South by Pam Kelley (The New Press, $26.99 hardcover, 288p., 9781620973271, September 25, 2018)

Charlotte, N.C., is something of a poster child for the New South. It is the second largest banking center in the U.S., home of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, one of the country's top 10 fastest growing metropolitan centers and is proud to call itself a "world class" city. In her first book, 30-year veteran Charlotte Observer reporter Pam Kelley emphasizes that beneath this civic boosterism and flashy growth, Charlotte still has an undercurrent of Jim Crow racism and de facto segregation. An in-depth piece of reportorial investigation and narrative storytelling, Money Rock illustrates this larger socio-economic environment through the story of one African American man's family across four generations.
Belton Lamont Platt grew up hard in Charlotte's projects. By the time he was 22, he was a primo cocaine dealer and the father of six children by five different women. With a taste for gaudy jewelry and Mercedes coupes, Money Rock (a twist on the earlier nickname Monty Rock during his teens as a deejay) confronted rival dealer Big Lou Samuels in 1985. The resulting chaotic shootout bought him a 35-year prison sentence. A gung-ho rookie journalist, Kelley went to the prison for what she hoped would be an inside peek at Money's world. He stiff-armed her questions with a jailhouse "I'm innocent" monologue, and she forgot about him--until 2011 when a lyric from Jay-Z's "Decoded" made her wonder "What happened to Money Rock?" She found him preaching at his Rock Ministries Church International in Conway, S.C.
Kelley knows a good story when she sees one--and Money Rock is a hell of a story. Like a New South version of The Wire, it leads her back to Platt's birth as the third child of young Carrie Platt. The daughter of hardworking, churchgoing parents, she left home at 17, a self-described "hot-in-the-pants fast-ass girl," and married Alphonso Platt--a hard-drinking, philandering, abusive husband. She went through nonstop pregnancies resulting in four miscarriages and five kids before a divorce and a hysterectomy put an end to that.
After the appeal of his shootout conviction, Money got his sentence cut to one year (time served) and went back to slinging blow. He was busted again in 1990, and a jury convicted him in four hours; Judge Robert "Maximum Bob" Potter piled on with a sentence of 24 years. While serving this second time, Money found Jesus, as so many prisoners claim to, married a woman he met through jailhouse visits, and watched his children slide into crime and premature deaths. When he got out, he and his wife moved to Conway, and this time Money's conversion took. He's still talking the Lord's talk at Rock Ministries.
With solid journalism, dogged research, perceptive observation, colorful interviews and memorable characters, Money Rock tells a memorable and timely story. Behind the glam of so many U.S. growth cities, a persistent economic and racial divide produces generations of broken families scrambling for a way out--any way out. --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.
Shelf Talker: Veteran reporter Pam Kelley digs into a story of a convicted Charlotte drug dealer and uncovers a family history of struggle to escape the grip of racism and poverty.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Richer Than Sin by Meghan March
2. Outrageous (The Quantum Series Book 7) by Marie Force
3. Gold Is a Better Way by Adam Baratta
4. Unbreak My Heart by Lauren Blakely
5. The Red Ledger: 4 by Meredith Wild
6. Wild With You by Layla Hagen
7. Blackout by Dannika Dark
8. The Murder at Mandeville Hall by Stephanie Laurens
9. Boy Toy by Sarina Bowen and Tanya Eby
10. Two Weeks Notice by Whitney G

[Many thanks to!]

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