Also published on this date: Monday, November 5 Dedicated Issue: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Shelf Awareness for Monday, November 5, 2018


Penguin Press: How to Disappear: Notes on Invisibility in a Time of Transparency by Akiko Busch

Celadon Books: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Anthony Bourdain/Ecco: Prisoner: My 544 Days in an Iranian Prison by Jason Rezaian

Grove Press: Solitary by Albert Woodfox

News

Amazon: Free Shipping; Booksellers Protest; Robots Rise; HQ2

There's a flurry of Amazon news today:

This morning the company announced that for the first time it is offering free shipping with no minimum purchase on orders for the holiday season. The promotion waives the $25 minimum for free shipping for non-Prime members, and shipping will take an estimated five to eight business days. According to Seeking Alpha, Amazon will end the offer when deliveries can no longer reach destinations before Christmas.

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Beginning today and lasting a week, more than 300 booksellers around the world are not selling titles on AbeBooks, the Amazon subsidiary that specializes in collectible and used books, to protest AbeBooks' decision to ban booksellers from several nations, including South Korea, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Russia. The action is called Banned Booksellers Week and was begun, the New York Times said, by British bookseller Simon Beattie.

The Times called "the flash strike... a rare concerted action by vendors against any part of Amazon, which depends on third-party sellers for much of its merchandise and revenue. The protest arrives as increasing attention is being paid to the extensive power that Amazon wields as a retailer--a power that is greatest in books." (AbeBooks and Amazon comprise "by far the biggest international marketplace for secondhand and rare books.")

AbeBooks told the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers that it had made the move because "it is no longer viable for us to operate in these countries due to increasing costs and complexities." The company told the Times that the change came because "our third-party payment service provider is closing at the end of the year." Yet the company continues to sell merchandise, including books, from the banned countries.

Prague's Antikvariat Valentinska

The Times quoted a statement by Antikvariat Valentinska, an antiquarian store in Prague: "The decision to close our account on such short notice has come as a complete shock, especially since no reason was given, not even upon request. Just our company alone will almost certainly have to dismiss at least five employees."

In another response, the Antiquarian Booksellers Association in London is dropping AbeBooks as a sponsor of its 2019 book fair, saying, "Our mission is to champion the highest standards of rare bookselling across the world, irrespective of location. Sadly we feel that AbeBooks is not a suitable fair sponsor for us at this time."

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For the first time, Amazon will hire fewer holiday workers than the previous year, Citi analyst Mark May said on CNBC. The company plans to hire 100,000 seasonal workers, down from 120,000 last year. "This corresponds," he said, "very closely with the use of robots and automation within their facilities."

In 2012, Amazon bought Kiva Systems, a robotics company, and began installing Kiva robots in some of its warehouses in 2014.

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Amazon is in "late stage talks" with several cities for its second headquarters, which it has said will bring 50,000 jobs and involve more than $5 billion in spending. The areas include New York City, Crystal City in Arlington, Va., and Dallas, Texas, according to the Wall Street Journal. Of the 20 "finalists," Denver, Toronto, Atlanta, Nashville, Tenn., and Raleigh, N.C., are considered less likely.

The Journal added that "some also believe Amazon may announce plans to place smaller operations in runner-up locations."

Over the weekend, the Washington Post, owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, reported that the company is in "advanced talks" to open in Crystal City, already a frontrunner because of Bezos's ties to the area, which besides the newspaper include a sizable home in the capital.


Franklin Fixtures Store of the Month: Story & Song


Indie Booksellers Get Out the Vote

At Starline Books in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Tuesday's crucial midterm elections have inspired many independent bookstores to offer encouragement as well as incentives to get out the vote. Here's a sampling:

Books Inc., San Francisco, Calif.: "#BookTheVote Show us your voting stub or #IVoted sticker and treat yourself to a new book at 15% Off on November 6th!"

Left Bank Books, St. Louis, Mo.: "Vote. Vote. Vote. Vote. VOTE."

Common Good Books, St. Paul, Minn.: "Common Good Books supports voters. Show us your 'I Voted' sticker on Election Day and get 50% off any book in the store. An informed electorate is a healthy electorate. Whether you want a respite from politics or information to help you educate and persuade, Common Good Books wants to reward voters."

A Cappella Books, Atlanta, Ga.: "A Cappella Books will be closed this Tuesday, November 6 for Election Day. Get out and vote!"

hello hello books, Rockland, Maine: "Back in stock! Sneaky Beyoncé wants you to VOTE." And: "Next up... sneaky RuPaul eyeing you to get the vote out!"

Readers' Books, Sonoma, Calif.: "All political books on SALE. As an independent bookstore we firmly believe in free speech and the dissemination of information and ideas. To that end we have put all of our books with a political bent on sale for 20% off through election day. It is important to vote; it is important to be informed."

Star Line Books, Chattanooga, Tenn.: "Good Saturday morning, Bookies! Make it a great weekend, and if you didn't early vote, don't forget to on Tuesday!" The sidewalk sandwich board says: "Read Books. 'Democracy is not just the right to vote, it is the right to live in dignity.' Naomi Klein."

Bookends & Beginnings, Evanston, Ill.: "Voting is sweet! So we're handing out a sweet treat today to everyone who comes in wearing their I VOTED sticker! Yay for Lori Martin-Beauchamp and her especially Early Voter Lily!"

Bards Alley, Vienna, Va.: "Here’s why @bards_alley’s owner Jen and Marketing & Events Coordinator Sarah are voting on Nov. 6! Find out where you’ll be voting on Election Day at @votedotorg: https://www.vote.org/polling-place-locator."

Chevalier's Books, Los Angeles, Calif.: "This is not a drill: it's time to VOTE!! Fill out those mail-in ballots, make your plans to get to the polls on Tuesday, and SAVE THAT 'I VOTED' STICKER to get 15% off on Tuesday. Vote, read, repeat!"

McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, Mich.: "We will be offering a 15% discount on Election Day to those who voted!"

Edgewater Books, Edgewater, Md.: "Bring your 'I Voted' sticker on Wednesday, November 7 to Pottery at South River Colony and receive a store credit. One store credit per family."

Sherman's Books & Stationery, multiple locations in Maine: "We here at Sherman's want you to VOTE this Tuesday and to celebrate we're offering 10% off your total purchase w/ a voting sticker ALL DAY AT ALL LOCATIONS!"

Run for Cover Bookstore and Café, San Diego, Calif.: "Check out our new store window! Between today and Election Day, everyone who comes in with their 'I voted' sticker or mail in ballot coupon will get a 10% off on their book purchase."

Greedy Reads, Baltimore, Md.: "TODAY ONLY (Saturday, Nov 3)--Tell me when and where you're voting on Tuesday, or when and where you early voted, and take 10% off everything in the store. There are only two rules--* You have to volunteer this information. Don't wait for me to ask; I won't. * We're working on the honor system here. Please don't let me down!"

P.J. Boox, Fort Myers, Fla.: "In honor of Election Day, we will be closed on Tuesday, Nov 6th. Please go VOTE!"


GLOW: Henry Holt & Company: Trust Exercise by Susan Choi


Boosting Booksellers and Bookstores on Social Media

Two social media campaigns touting booksellers that launched recently are being well-received, according to organizers.

The American Booksellers Association's Booksellers of America campaign launched last Monday after "an extraordinary response" to a call for bookstore participants, Bookselling This Week reported. Run by Two Cats Communications, Booksellers of America shares "the stories of the diverse people who own, manage, and hand-sell books in independent bookstores across the country. The campaign aims to illustrate the work that indie bookstores do for their communities and engage the next generation of career booksellers and local shoppers to come." The stories appear on dedicated Instagram and Facebook pages and use the hashtag #BooksellersofAmerica. Two Cats said that more than 70 booksellers had responded with stories as of early last week.

The stories began with Nicole Magistro of Bookworm of Edwards in Edwards, Colo., and Pete Mulvihill of Green Apple Books, San Francisco, Calif., and have since included Kendra McNeil of We Are LIT!, Grand Rapids, Mich., Sam Miller of Carmichael's Bookstore, Louisville, Ky., and Emelie Burl of the Hickory Stick Bookshop, Washington Depot, Conn.

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Preparations continue for Love Your Bookstore, "the first and only retail holiday that celebrates all brick-and-mortar bookstores during the holiday season." The event, which runs from this coming Saturday, November 10, through Friday, November 16, features the Love Your Bookstore Challenge. Participants go into a bookstore and "take a picture of the book you are most excited to gift this holiday season or a book you love or want to receive"--or a picture with a favorite bookseller. Pictures should then be posted on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #loveyourbookstore. The people who post will be entered to win "bookish prizes" and are encouraged to challenge three to five friends to "go love their favorite bookstores too."

One of the Love Your Bookstore organizers, Dominique Raccah, publisher and CEO of Sourcebooks, said last week that the response has been "overwhelmingly inspiring" and includes a range of partners "signing up every single day."

On its website, the campaign wrote: "As a booklover, bookstores have shaped you, whether you were a child learning to read or an adult looking for connections through the written word. We want to celebrate bookstores from coast to coast because we know that booklovers are in every city in the country. From Kodiak to Key West, from Seattle to Sarasota, there are readers everywhere! Celebrate your favorite bookstore by posting a photo from inside the store with a favorite book (or bookseller!) and use #loveyourbookstore in the caption to share the love!"

Authors, readers, publishers, and bookstores can find more information and materials at Love Your Bookstore's website.


New Press: Thick and Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom


Scenes from Sharjah

Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi and Algerian culture minister Azzedine Mihoubi

The 37th Sharjah International Book Fair opened Tuesday morning with a lavish ceremony in front of more than 1,000 guests that featured dance and an elaborate light show, followed by remarks from Ahmad Al Ameri, chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority, and Algerian Culture Minister Azzedine Mihoubi. Then came a speech from Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, the ruler of Sharjah and founder of the book fair, who 40 years ago made an appeal to "stop building concrete structures and start building knowledge and culture." Sheikh Sultan then presented a slew of awards, including Culture Personality of the Year, which went to Mihoubi, and Best Arabic Novel, which went to Aicha El Basri for her novel Life Without Me. After the ceremony, Sheikh Sultan cut the ribbon and opened the show floor.

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Japanese bookstore chain Books Kinokuniya set up shop at the Guest of Honor pavilion for the duration of the fair, offering a wide selection of manga, novels and books about Japanese history and culture, virtually all of them in English. All books for sale at the booth, and at the book fair in general, were marked down.

The Japanese Pavilion was also host to a variety of cultural activities, including documentary screenings, author panels and tutorials in ikebana, the art of Japanese flower arrangement. Vendors also sold sencha, matcha and many types of Japanese snacks and baked goods.

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In 2017, the Books Kinokuniya store in the Dubai Mall moved into a new location, downsizing from around 68,000 square feet to roughly 30,000. Despite the drastic reduction in square footage, the store remains the largest bookstore in the United Arab Emirates. It sells mostly English-language books, along with large selections of Arabic and Japanese titles. Nonbook offerings include stationery, anime and manga figurines and more.

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The busy Borders stand at Sharjah.

Borders lives! Sort of.... Following Borders's closure in 2011, Dubai-based retail company Al Maya Group, which owns supermarkets, hypermarkets and more throughout the UAE and the region, purchased the Borders name and franchise rights. There are Borders locations throughout the UAE, and a Borders is coming soon to the Dubai Mall, the world's largest shopping center. The Borders stands at the book fair, meanwhile, were always bustling.

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Leonard Mlodinow, theoretical physicist and author of Elastic: Flexible Thinking in a Time of Change, was on a panel Thursday night to discuss creative problem solving and the "bottom-up" method of elastic thinking, as well as societal resistance to new ideas. Also on the panel was Abdullah Al Hadiya, a poet, researcher and the editor-in-chief of Al Nadba magazine, while Iman bin Chaibah moderated the discussion.

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Sharjah Publishing City, the world's first free economic zone devoted exclusively to publishing, measures 40,000 square meters--around 430,550 square feet--and has some 600 offices, with about 300 available to renters. In addition to the offices, there are print-on-demand services as well as climate-controlled warehouse and storage spaces. There is a travel agency in the building, along with a customer-service department to help with visa and immigration requirements. In terms of amenities, there is one cafe already up and running, several restaurants planned, multiple meeting and conference rooms and an 88-seat theater. Housing developments, featuring home and apartments to both buy and rent, have been built nearby and a mall is going up next door. --Alex Mutter


Rare Bird Books, a Vireo Book: The Crown Lord by William Sirls


Obituary Note: Kaylee N. Davis

Kaylee N. Davis, a longtime children's book executive, literary agent, consultant and author, died on October 30 at age 63.

She began her book career in 1986 as an assistant manager at a B. Dalton Bookseller in Minneapolis, Minn., followed by a series of promotions within Barnes & Noble over the next 10 years, ending as senior author promotions manager. She then held marketing positions at William Morrow, Golden Books Family Entertainment and HarperCollins Chidlren's Books. Between 2004 and 2007, she was editor-in-chief of Children's Book-of-the-Month Club and Kid's BookPlanet. She was also a freelance publishing consultant, a literary agent with Screenland Literary Associates since 2006 and a copywriter and licensing manager, North America, at Parragon Publishing since 2013.

In 2013, Sterling published her book The Barnes & Noble Guide to Children's Books, which included reviews of more than 1,000 titles and guest essays by authors and illustrators. In 2009, she contributed much of 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up, published in the U.S. by Rizzoli Universe.

Patty Sullivan, a publishing consultant and friend of Davis, commented: "We are all saddened by the loss of our larger-than-life friend Kaylee. I will miss her acerbic texts as we watched the Voice together (separately) and bantered about the judges and singers. She loved Blake. I will miss her Words With Friends challenges--if I missed a few days of play she always hunted me down. I will miss her wisdom and emphatic points-of-view around all things related to children's books. I will miss her. Period. Godspeed Kaylee. You've left an imprint that will live forever."


Notes

Goddard Riverside Honors Ingram's Ollila; In a Day's Work

Phil Ollila addresses the crowd at the Goddard Riverside Book Fair Gala

Honored last week at the Goddard Riverside annual Book Fair Gala, Phil Ollila, chief content officer of Ingram Content Group, said in part that "the enthusiasm and commitment our industry has for the Goddard Riverside organization is a reflection of the greater values of those in and around the book business, including publishers, printers, distributors, retailers, agents, the press, and other friends....

"I'm struck by the gossamer fragility of the social safety web. My recent visits to Goddard, and attendance at the Goddard Gala over the years, confirm how close we, or our loved ones, are to a need for help.... Women and men, children, grandparents, veterans, and residents of our communities all need a safety net."

Also at the dinner, it was announced that In a Day's Work: The Fight to End Sexual Violence Against America's Most Vulnerable Workers by Bernice Yeung (The New Press) has won the second annual Goddard Riverside Stephan Russo Book Prize for Social Justice. Josh Marwell, president of sales at HarperCollins and the book prize's spokesperson, said that In a Day's Work "highlights a grave injustice faced by some of the most vulnerable people in America--and points the way toward progress--in clear and powerful prose. We're delighted to recognize it as an important work addressing a major social issue of our time."

The publishing industry has partnered with the Goddard Riverside Community Center in New York City for more than 30 years to fight homelessness and poverty in New York City and has raised millions of dollars through its annual book fair and other efforts.


San Francisco's Prop C: The Power of a Bookseller/Advocate

A conversation between a San Francisco bookseller and the CEO of Salesforce that began with a dismissive tweet has led to sizable financial support for Proposition C, a city initiative on the ballot tomorrow that aims to tax the city's highest-earning companies to fund new strategies to combat homelessness.

As recounted by the Guardian, Christin Evans, co-owner of the Booksmith, retweeted a remark by Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, the customer relationship management software company and one of the largest employers in the city, that called San Francisco the "Four Seasons of homelessness." Her comment: "Is this for real?! How out of touch can a billionaire be?!?!"

Benioff's line was apparently taken out of context, and he responded quickly to Evans. "Some back-and-forth turned into direct messages, Evans says, and before long she had helped bring the billionaire on board as one of the most vocal proponents of Prop C," the Guardian wrote.

"In the end, it just really got to us having a frank conversation," she told the newspaper. "He had felt that he had done a lot for this issue, and we talked about the persistent challenges and basically it became very clear that it is very much an issue that we saw eye-to-eye on. What we need is sustained change, and that comes through a sustained revenue source. That is what Prop C delivers."

Benioff wound up donating $1 million of his own money and SalesForce contributed more than $4 million. He also wrote an op-ed in the New York Times, accused other tech billionaires of "hoarding their money," spoke with several reporters, spent hours on local TV and radio, and regularly tweeted about homeless people--and how Prop C would help them, the Guardian added. In large part, he credited Evans with helping him decide to support Proposition C.

Evans told the newspaper she started working to help the city's homeless people because they are her neighbors, friends and customers--and they had nowhere to go. "To see someone in clear despair, who is not getting assistance, really motivated me to get involved in this campaign," she said. The Booksmith has hosted community panels and forums on the topic of homelessness since she and Praveen Madan bought the store in 2007.


Personnel Changes at F+W Media

At F+W Media:

Heidi Sachner has joined the company as head of books for the new standalone books group. Most recently she was v-p, Two Rivers Distribution, at the Ingram Content Group.

Pam Wissman has been promoted to executive director. She was former fine arts editor.

Greg Nock has been promoted to production director.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Elaine Pagels on Fresh Air

Today:
Today Show: John Mackey and Alona Pulde, co-authors of The Whole Foods Cookbook: 120 Delicious and Healthy Plant-Centered Recipes (Grand Central, $30, 9781478944973).

Fresh Air: Elaine Pagels, author of Why Religion?: A Personal Story (Ecco, $27.99, 9780062368539).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Senator Amy Klobuchar, author of Nevertheless, We Persisted: 48 Voices of Defiance, Strength, and Courage (Knopf, $18.99, 9781524771966).

MSNBC's 11th Hour with Brian Williams: Rick Wilson, author of Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever (Free Press, $27, 9781982103125).

Tomorrow:
Today Show: Joanna Gaines, author of Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave (Harper Design, $40, 9780062801975).

Also on Today: Gesine Bullock-Prado, author of Fantastical Cakes (Running Press, $30, 9780762463435). She's on Wendy Williams, too.

CBS This Morning: Liane Moriarty, author of Nine Perfect Strangers (Flatiron Books, $28.99, 9781250069825).

NPR's 1A: Joanne B. Freeman, author of The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $28, 9780374154776).



Books & Authors

Awards: World Fantasy; ALTA National Translation Winners

Winners of the 2018 World Fantasy Awards were announced over the weekend at the World Fantasy Convention in Baltimore, Md.:

Novel (tie):
The Changeling by Victor LaValle (Spiegel & Grau)
Jade City by Fonda Lee (Orbit)
Long Fiction: Passing Strange by Ellen Klages (Tor.com)
Short Fiction: "The Birding: A Fairy Tale" by Natalia Theodoridou (Strange Horizons, Dec. 18, 2017)
Anthology: The New Voices of Fantasy, edited by Peter S. Beagle and Jacob Weisman (Tachyon Publications)
Collection: The Emerald Circus by Jane Yolen (Tachyon Publications)
Artist: Gregory Manchess
Special Award--Professional: Harry Brockway, Patrick McGrath, and Danel Olson for Writing Madness (Centipede Press)
Special Award--Non-Professional: Justina Ireland and Troy L. Wiggins, for FIYAH: Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction

In addition, Charles de Lint and Elizabeth Wollheim received life achievement awards.

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Winners have been announced for the American Literary Translators Association's 2018 National Translation Awards for poetry and prose. The NTA "includes a rigorous examination of both the source text and its relation to the finished English work." The winning translators receive $2,500 each. This year's winners are:

Third-Millennium Heart by Ursula Andkjær Olsen, translated from the Danish by Katrine Øgaard Jensen (Action Books) won the NTA for portry. The judges said "Olsen's compelling work travels through dark chambers of desire, power, and creation, conjuring up a feminist space where culture and nature wage war with one another, where psychology and anatomy merge to create a uniquely modern mytho-poetics. Katrine Øgaard Jensen's masterful translation has a strong rhythm all its own, and captures the book's jarring quality in a remarkably smooth rendering. By the end of this insidious text, the reader is just as 'namedrunk' as the book's enigmatic lyrical subject, and discovers that their own 'heartspace,' too, has been torn open, dissected, and beautifully recreated."

Mathias Énard's novel Compass, translated from the French by Charlotte Mandell(New Directions), was the prose winner. The judges commented: "This virtuosic and engaging meditation on how the 'Orient' has shaped Western thought and art and been shaped in turn is also a love letter to countries and cultures that have been damaged nearly beyond recognition. Over the course of a sleepless night, a Viennese musicologist broods over an ominous diagnosis and recalls with bittersweet wryness his unrequited love for Sarah, a brilliant scholar of Middle Eastern cultures. He punctuates his monologue with adventures and misadventures of a colorful cast of historical figures. Charlotte Mandell conveys the exhilaration, complexity and intellectual relish of Énard's prose with every ounce of the original's energy."


Book Review

Review: The Eating Instinct: Food Culture, Body Image, and Guilt in America

The Eating Instinct: Food Culture, Body Image, and Guilt in America by Virginia Sole-Smith (Holt, $28 hardcover, 304p., 9781250120984, November 13, 2018)

Good food, bad food, right food, wrong food. For many people, external pressures and ideologies inform how they eat--so much so that they can lose track of what their bodies are telling them. Virginia Sole-Smith, a writer and editor, began to re-evaluate her ideas about food when her baby daughter, Violet, suffered a medical trauma that made her stop eating for two years. The Eating Instinct is her memoir of this experience, given broader context by her research and interviews. "Violet taught me that eating well cannot be about following rules; it has to be about trusting our own instincts, which value safety, comfort and pleasure just as much as nutrition, and sometimes more."

When her daughter drank chocolate milk or ate a cheese cracker, Sole-Smith felt horrified, even though the goal was to get her to eat anything by mouth, the higher in calories the better. Many parents fall into anxious micromanagement of their child's food intake, often with unexpected results. And when disconnection from instinct turns into an eating disorder or obesity, "we reach a crossroads: Do you try to correct the behavior--learning to eat according to a prescribed set of external rules and conditions--or do you try to rediscover those internal cues that tell us when to eat or when to stop? It's a divisive question among doctors, therapists, and anyone who studies food."

We search for a perfect set of rules, "a way to feed ourselves that... feels simple and right. That doesn't make us feel guilty about everything we put into our bodies." But Sole-Smith discovers that the wellness and nutrition professionals we look to are as susceptible to diet culture as the rest of us, and often struggle with their own disordered eating. Though her emphasis is on the experiences of women, Sole-Smith explores U.S. food culture across lines of class and race. Restrictive diets, the popularity of weight-loss surgery and fads for "clean eating" and "detoxing" are among her targets. She talks to food professionals and people grappling with eating disorders, including the growing category of "orthorexia," in which a person's obsession with healthy eating actually damages their health.

To demand a program from her would be to miss her point, but if Sole-Smith has any advice in conclusion, it is to take a risk and trust yourself more with food. --Sara Catterall

Shelf Talker: After a medical trauma made her baby reject food for two years, a writer explores the disordered food culture of the U.S.


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