Also published on this date: Wednesday, October 31, 2018: Maximum Shelf: The Wolf and the Watchman

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Little Brown and Company: Learned by Heart by Emma Donoghue

Flatiron Books: Where There Was Fire by John Manuel Arias

Carolrhoda Books (R): A Pocketful of Stars by Aisha Bushby

Minotaur Books: When I'm Dead: A Black Harbor Novel by Hannah Morrissey

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Phoebe's Diary by Phoebe Wahl

RP Mystic: Celebrate the Summer Solstice with RP Mystic

Shadow Mountain: Along a Breton Shore by Arlem Hawks

Quotation of the Day

'How Do You Strengthen a Library?'

"How do you strengthen a library? You celebrate it, shout its message from the rooftops. Books are for everyone and reading changes lives. You insist on a library in every school with a trained librarian. School libraries teach the importance of books, they create readers. These readers grow up to value libraries. They know that a library is a social and artistic hub that welcomes everyone, a great social service. Their school library taught them that. Libraries will grow strong."

--Chris Riddell, U.K. children's laureate, in a handwritten post on his Facebook page yesterday

Sourcebooks Landmark: Fair Rosaline by Natasha Solomons


B&N Filing: Ex-CEO Parneros Was Harasser, Bully, Saboteur

In a court filing in response to the August suit by former CEO Demos Parneros, who was suddenly fired without severance in July, Barnes & Noble alleges that Parneros was justifiably fired because he sexually harassed a female employee, bullied some executives and undermined a potential sale of the company.

Demos Parneros

According to the Wall Street Journal, the B&N filing charged that Parneros twice "inappropriately touched a female subordinate and, during the second incident, he made an advance and used sexual language." B&N said that after Parneros's filing, the company "received additional complaints about Parneros's inappropriate behavior toward women at Barnes & Noble."

B&N also charged that Parneros "attempted to sabotage" the sale of the company "to preserve his position as CEO and contrary to the Board's clear directive." Part of the "sabotage" consisted of "a shocking monologue portraying the Company in an extremely and unduly negative light," the day before discussions with the potential buyer ended in June.

Reuters added that, according to B&N, the monologue included Parneros describing the company as an "ugly mess" and saying it had "no realistic prospects for success."

In a statement after yesterday's B&N filing, the Wall Street Journal wrote, Parneros "denied that he had sexually harassed anyone and rejected the allegation that he had undermined the potential sale of the company. He also denied bullying anyone. 'These false allegations are nothing more than an effort to tarnish my reputation and punish me for seeking justice,' he said."

Reuters noted that Parneros's statement said he was "fully supportive of the sales process from the start."

B&N fired Parneros suddenly on July 2 for "violations of the company's policies," although at the time it didn't say what those violations were.

In late August, Parneros sued B&N for breach of contract and defamation, asking for severance of more than $4 million, damages and punitive damages. That suit included the first public mention of a potential buyer for B&N--who Parneros said withdrew the offer after due diligence. The suit also discussed Parneros's alleged bullying, which involved CFO Allen Lindstrom, whose work, Parneros said, chairman Len Riggio and the board considered substandard.


[Editor's Note posted March 23, 2023]

On October 14, 2020, Demos Parneros and Barnes & Noble issued this joint statement:

"Former CEO Demos Parneros and Barnes & Noble have amicably settled all claims regarding his termination in 2018. This matter has been resolved with no judicial determination of wrongdoing. The terms of the settlement are confidential."

Rough Guides: The Rough Guide to Top LGBTQ+ Friendly Places in Europe (Inspirational Rough Guides) by Rough Guides

Cooking, Cocktails & Culture to Open in Brooklyn

Cooking, Cocktails and Culture will open November 26 at 212 Degraw Street in Brooklyn's Cobble Hill neighborhood. Grub Street reported that rare book dealer Lizz Young is launching the business in a 200-square-foot space, which will also carry new books, "books that aren't quite new or rare," collectible items like old menus and pamphlets, culinary-themed sheet music, contemporary zines and more.

"I'm trying to bring people who are already interested, to have authors doing their signings and talks for new books, and then introduce them to the older stuff," she said, adding: "I believe that people are going to get their recipes online, but people also want to have an object, especially if it is a good price point then they'll go, 'I've got to have this in my kitchen.' "

In a recent interview with Fine Books magazine, Young recalled: "I was originally inspired to do so by the owner of a similar bookstore in San Francisco, Omnivore Books, which sells both new and rare culinary books. I learned from Celia [Sack] that placing rare cookbooks and cocktail books next to new ones creates a whole new customer base. Most people who love food and cooking don't even know the rare book world exists.... I realized, while working at book fairs, one of my favorite things to do is talk to people about the books they love and why they love them. I can still (and probably will do so in the dead of winter) sit quietly and catalogue books and ephemera, but why not open up a little shop and share these treasures with the public."

San Francisco's Aardvark Books Building Sold

The building housing Aardvark Books in San Francisco, Calif., has been sold, according to Hoodline. The building, which sold for $2.43 million, has been promised to be delivered vacant, meaning that Aardvark will likely close in the next few months.

The new and used independent bookstore's building went on the market in 2017, with an asking price of $2.85 million, but the listing expired in January without a buyer. The building came back on the market in July with an asking price of $2.45 million.

John Hadreas, owner of Aardvark Books, purchased the Castro/Upper Market building in 1991 for $300,000. The building had previously seen use as a print shop and a movie theater. Hadreas founded Aardvark Books in 1978.

Obituary Note: Rev. Thomas Keating

The Rev. Thomas Keating, "a Trappist monk and a pioneer in the worldwide Christian contemplative prayer movement," died October 25 at St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, Mass., where he had once been abbot, the New York Times reported. He was 95. Father Keating played a major role in popularizing what is now known as "centering prayer."

Father Keating wrote more than 30 books, including Open Mind, Open Heart; Intimacy with God: An Introduction to Centering Prayer; Divine Therapy and Addiction: Centering Prayer and the Twelve Steps; and Reflections on the Unknowable.

In 1971, after Pope Paul VI's Second Vatican Council, Father Keating developed the practice of centering prayer with Cistercian monks Fr. William Meninger and Fr. Basil Pennington. In 1984, he helped found Contemplative Outreach, a network of people who practice centering prayer that now "has chapters in 39 countries, with about 40,000 people who actively participate and many more who practice centering prayer on their own," the Times noted.


Image of the Day: Abrams Has a Meltdown

Abrams staff gathered for a company-wide party to celebrate the release yesterday of Diary of a Wimpy Kid #13: The Meltdown. Guests wore purple and winter gear in honor of the book's cover and participated in a snowball scavenger hunt and a costume contest while enjoying ice cream, cake and champagne.

More BOOksellers! Indies Show Their Halloween Spirit

Otis at Loganberry Books is ready for Halloween.

Bookstores nationwide have prepared for Halloween with a variety of window and floor displays, as well as special events leading up to the big celebration tonight. We highlighted some of them recently, but couldn't resist showcasing more creative indie BOOksellers:

Narrow Gauge Book Cooperative, Alamosa, Colo.: "I solemnly swear I am up to no good. We're getting ready for Spooky Story Time!"

McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, Mich.: "Happy early Halloween!"

Muddy Water Bookstore, Navasota, Tex.: "The Zombie crawl was a blast. Sadly, I didn't get many pictures. We had for the children Goosebump Punch and yard gnome popcorn! For adults we had a wonderfully disgusting shot called Zombie Brain Hemorrhage and bloody severed fingers!!!!"

Foggy Pine Books, Boone, N.C.: "#HalloweenBooks for all ages! Get into the #SpookySpirit with a nice #HorrorNovel or #Read a cute rendition of #Dracula to the kids for a #ChildFriendly #Spooky book. We have plenty more where that came from on our horror book #Display in the store. Come check it out!"

Bogan Books, Fort Kent, Maine: "Are you cringing at the thought of rotten teeth that might haunt your tricksters or treaters? Come get a Halloween or horror book at Bogan Books for 25% OFF and give your ghoul or goblin a treat they will love and will be kind to their teeth!"

Loganberry Books, Shaker Heights, Ohio: "Happy #nationalcatday from #bookstorecat Otis! He hopes you'll brave the gloomy October weather for a fantastic free Haunted Bookshop tour on Wednesday night (10/31) anytime between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Come in costume, leave with candy--and a Halloween experience you won't forget soon!"

The Ripped Bodice, Culver City, Calif.: "HAPPY HALLOWEEN (Bahahahahaha. We know this is a terrible photo. Sometimes running a business means you're going going going and don't really get a chance to do a whole photo shoot. But we wanted to show off our amazing costumes.)"

Nantucket Bookworks, Nantucket, Mass.: "Kritter Klips! Not sure what to go as for Halloween this year? These Kritter Klips at Bookworks are the perfect answer for you and your friend!"

Powell's Books, Portland, Ore.: "Spooky can be fun, but sometimes we want to read books that are only a little spooky. Check out our kids' display of (Not Too) Scary Stories, at our downtown location!"

Storysmith Books, Bristol, England: "Only been open 3 hours but I think we've had our oldest customer."

The Book Seller, Grass Valley, Calif.: "Halloween is just around the corner! We've been busy decorating the store and getting costumes ready for the annual Downtown Grass Valley's Safe Trick-or-Treat event next Wednesday. Until then, if you're in the mood for some spooky reads we have many staff recommendations!"

S&S's Adene Corns Retiring in January

Adene Corns, v-p, director warehouse club sales, at Simon & Schuster, is retiring on January 30, 2019.

Her book career began in 1978, when she was co-owner of a bookstore in Marin County, California. In 1980, she joined William Morrow as a field sales rep, selling to independent bookstores in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest. Ten years later, she became a national account manager for warehouse clubs. In 1994, she joined S&S as a national account manager for the trade sales division, selling to warehouse clubs. A year later, she was promoted to v-p, national club markets, where she had two stints, from 1995 to 2000 and from 2002 to the present.

In announcing Corns's retirement, Gary Urda, senior v-p, sales, said, "Adene has steered the club team through a multitude of opportunities and challenges, always with an eye towards putting our authors, our books, and our publishers, in front of all others to her customers in this very important, highly selective but potent bookselling account base. Adene leaves behind her a warehouse clubs sales team that is well-prepared and ready to build upon our many achievements in this channel."

He added that in retirement, Corns is "looking forward to taking a trip to Africa and going on safari, spending more time with her family, dividing time between Sausalito and Mexico, traveling in Italy, and of course catching up on the many titles from Simon & Schuster and other publishers that she wants to read."

Personnel Changes at Sourcebooks; Workman

Margaret Kelly has joined Sourcebooks as customer service manager.


At Workman:

Erin Kibby has been promoted to marketing coordinator for the Workman imprint. Most recently, she was marketing assistant.

Laura Marciniak has been promoted to digital production associate for the Workman imprint. Most recently, she was digital production assistant.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: David A. Kaplan on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: David A. Kaplan, author of The Most Dangerous Branch: Inside the Supreme Court's Assault on the Constitution (Crown, $30, 9781524759902).

Today Show: Martina McBride, author of Martina's Kitchen Mix: My Recipe Playlist for Real Life (Oxmoor House, $30, 9780848757632).

CBS This Morning: Dan Brown, author of Origin: A Novel (Anchor, $9.99, 9780525563709).

Movies: The Riders; Dirt Music

Two of Australian author Tim Winton's books are being adapted into films. The Bookseller reported that producer David Kajganich (A Bigger Splash) will adapt The Riders for Scott Free, and while a director has not yet been named, the film will be produced by Ridley Scott, Kevin Walsh and Michael Pruss. The Riders was shortlisted for the 1995 Booker Prize.

Also in the works, "after a 17-year hiatus," is a movie version of Winton's 2002 Man Booker Prize shortlisted novel Dirt Music, the Bookseller noted, adding that production has begun in Western Australia on the project, which stars Kelly Macdonald (No Country for Old Men, Boardwalk Empire) and Garrett Hedlund. Directed by Gregor Jordan, Dirt Music was adapted by Jack Thorne (Wonder).

"Of all my novels it always seemed to me that The Riders was by far the most cinematic, so this is very welcome news," said Winton. "With a screenwriter like David Kajganich and a producer like Ridley Scott, this could be a great adaptation and I look forward to seeing what they come up with.

"As for Dirt Music, after 17 years, it's nice to see this project finally coming to life. I'm not involved in this adaptation, but I'm pleased for Gregor and the crew and I wish them well. My novel was a kind of love letter to this state and its landscapes, so I'm very happy to have some very special parts of WA shown on the big screen."

Books & Authors

Awards: Governor General's Literary Winners

The Canada Council for the Arts announced winners of the Governor General's Literary Awards in 14 English- and French-language categories. Each winner receives C$25,000 (about US$19,035), with the winning publishers getting C$3,000 (about US$2,285) to support promotional activities.

Canada Council director and CEO Simon Brault commented: "With emotion, daring, magic, profound ideas and just the right words, this year's GGBooks winners again remind us how essential Canadian literature is to our lives." This year's winners are:


Fiction: The Red Word by Sarah Henstra
Nonfiction: Mamaskatch by Darrel J. McLeod
Poetry: Wayside Sang by Cecily Nicholson
Young people's literature (text): Sweep by Jonathan Auxier
Young people's literature (illustrated books): They Say Blue by Jillian Tamaki
Translation: Descent into Night, translated by Phyllis Aronoff and Howard Scott from the original French by Edem Awumey
Drama: Botticelli in the Fire & Sunday in Sodom by Jordan Tannahill


Fiction: De synthèse by Karoline Georges
Poetry: La raison des fleurs by Michaël Trahan
Drama: Venir au monde by Anne-Marie Olivier
Nonfiction: Avant l'après : voyages à Cuba avec George Orwell by Frédérick Lavoie
Young people's literature (text): Ferdinand F., 81 ans, chenille by Mario Brassard
Young people's literature (illustrated books): Le chemin de la montagne by Marianne Dubuc

Reading with... Noah Van Sciver

photo: Chris Diaz

Noah Van Sciver is an Ignatz Award-winning cartoonist who first came to comic readers' attention with his comic book series Blammo. His work has appeared in Spongebob comics, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Best American Comics, as well as countless graphic anthologies. Van Sciver is a regular contributor to MAD magazine and has created five graphic novels including The Hypo: The Melancholic Young Lincoln, Saint Cole and the Fante Bukowski: Struggling Writer graphic novella series for Fantagraphics books. One Dirty Tree (Uncivilized Books, October 16, 2018) is his first graphic memoir.



Book Review

YA Review: Empress of All Seasons

Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99 hardcover, 375p., ages 12-up, 9780544530942, November 6, 2018)

In Honoku, humans exist alongside yōkai, supernatural beings and spirits "as limitless as the magic within them." The human emperor hates the yōkai and wants them counted and killed or forced into slavery. He has already magically collared every yōkai in the imperial city; he hopes one day to "rid the East Lands" of them altogether. Akira is half-yōkai, half-human. Known as the Son of Nightmares, he is the child of a yōkai vengeful ghost and a human man, and was born with "deep, silvery trenches on half his body" to mark him as such. Akira has magic: he can see auras as well as "move as the wind" and "behave like a shadow." Not truly human or yōkai, he believes neither group will ever accept him. But Mari accepts him. And he is in love with her for it.

Mari is an Animal Wife yōkai, "born for a singular purpose: to trick men into marriage and then steal their fortunes." Animal Wives are supposed to be preternaturally beautiful, with the ability to transform into truly dangerous monsters. But Mari has neither of these traits--she is plain and capable of only a partial transformation, growing talons from her fingers and scales on her hands. When it became clear to Mari's mother that Mari would not be beautiful ("as if it were a choice"), she altered her daughter's destiny. She taught Mari how to fight so that she could "conquer the Seasons, become Empress, and steal the prince's fortune."

The prince whose fortune she's after is Taro. Every generation, a competition is held to find an empress: the young woman who solves the riddles and survives each of the palace's enchanted seasonal rooms wins. All of Honoku's young women (except yōkai) are eligible to compete, and Taro is the prize. Taro is disgusted with the practice and desperate to get out of it.

Mari travels to the palace to survive the Seasons, knowing full well that she could lose the competition or, worse, be discovered as yōkai; Akira, in a last-ditch effort to prove his love, follows her. A chance meeting between Taro and Mari kindles the first flush of love and Taro begins to care about the competition, insofar as it will make Mari his empress. Mari, however, must win to keep herself alive, but faces a decision if she is the victor: Is her duty to her new love or to her mother? Meanwhile, Akira has fallen in with a group of revolutionary yōkai who are planning to assassinate the emperor.

Told in the alternating voices and experiences of Akira, Mari and Taro, Emiko Jean's (We'll Never Be Apart) Empress of All Seasons builds a lush, Japanese mythology-inspired world. The three teens are inextricably linked, each individual's fate reliant upon another's choices and so, as the stakes rise for one, they rise for them all. An enchanting, gripping novel. --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness

Shelf Talker: In Emiko Jean's Empress of All Seasons, three teens find themselves on opposing sides as they each bear the weight of a kingdom.

Powered by: Xtenit