Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, November 6, 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

Manny's Cafe/Bar/Bookstore/Gathering Space Opening Today in San Francisco

Manny Yekutiel talks about his vision for Manny's

Manny's, a 3,000-square-foot café/bar/bookstore/gathering space, is opening today in the Mission District in San Francisco.

Eater San Francisco noted that the timing--election day--is "intentional" because owner Emanual 'Manny' Yekutiel "envisions Manny's as just the kind of place you'd want to watch election results roll in. It's 'a new physical place to go to become a better informed and more involved citizen,' he says."

Festivities today will include music, food, and "flip the House" drinking games with host Honey Mahogany, a drag queen and activist. On Wednesday, "when the midterm hangover has subsided, Manny's will host an election recap with leaders of political organizations Indivisible, Sister District, and Swing Left."

Dog Eared Books, which has a nearby branch and is owned by Kate Razo, will provide Manny's with "political reading material, stocking floor-to-ceiling shelves in a central bookstore space," Eater San Francisco wrote.

Yekutiel has a political background: he worked on President Obama's 2012 reelection campaign and then interned at the White House. In 2016, he worked on Hillary Clinton's campaign.


Franklin Fixtures Store of the Month: Story & Song


New Owner for Athens, Ohio, Little Professor

Nicholas Polsinelli has purchased the Little Professor Book Center, Athens, Ohio, from Rich Purdy and Curt Holsapple, who owned the store for 35 years. Polsinelli described the store as "the only indie bookstore dedicated to serving the book-loving community in southeast Ohio and western West Virginia."

Noting that Purdy and Holsapple were "known for their excellent customer service," a tradition he aims to continue, Polsinelli said he's expanding the children's and YA sections and plans to increase in-store events.

The store is near the campus of Ohio University.


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


Ann Arbor's Common Language Bookstore to Close

Common Language Bookstore, Ann Arbor, Mich., which inspired an online flash mob last April after a former customer's Tumblr post went viral, will close December 31. In an announcement Saturday, co-owners Keith Orr and Martin Contreras wrote: "We are proud to have been stewards of Common Language Bookstore since 2003. It has been a privilege and honor to be a part of an important part of LGBT culture both locally and across the nation. There are only about 10 LGBT bookstores remaining in the U.S. and Canada. We have managed to be one of the survivors until now.

"The last decade has been especially challenging to maintain Common Language and each year to a greater degree. Sadly, it is no longer possible to continue to fight the market pressures which have challenged the bookstore. As we approach retirement we are no longer able to sustain the bookstore."

Breaking the news of the impending closure "with great sadness," the owners said the bookshop originally opened in 1991 and was soon acquired by Kate Burkhardt and Lynden Kelly, who sold it 15 years ago when they were ready to retire. 

Orr and Contreras recalled that they "knew it was a vital resource for the LGBTQA community, as well. We know that this continues to be true, especially in this period of political and cultural upheaval. This is our greatest regret in announcing our decision. Our heartfelt joy is when someone who has been alienated by their family or society discovers the store and realizes there is a larger world out there which accepts them for who they are. Online stores cannot replicate that experience.

"So many people have been a part of this journey: previous owners, our customers, our advocates, our community, the fantastic people who have worked at the store over the years. You truly are our friends and Logical Family. We thank all of you for sharing in this journey."


New Press: Thick and Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom


Amazon Opening Fulfillment Center in Beaumont, Calif.

Amazon plans to open a 640,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Beaumont, Calif., joining the company's other Inland Empire facilities in Eastvale, Moreno Valley, Redlands, Rialto, Riverside and San Bernardino, where the company launched its first fulfillment center in the state in 2012.

"The Inland Empire has been a great place to do business: serve customers, create jobs, and raise the bar on innovative technologies," said Mark Stewart, v-p of Amazon's North America operations.

Beaumont Mayor Nancy Carroll added that Amazon "is the largest employer in the Inland Empire.... This facility will provide direct employment opportunities in the San Gorgonio Pass region and additional indirect jobs and commerce for local small businesses servicing the needs of the new workforce and the facility."


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


November Indie Next List E-Newsletter Delivered

Last Thursday, the American Booksellers Association's e-newsletter edition of the Indie Next List for November was delivered to more than half a million of the country's best book readers. The newsletter was sent to customers of 133 independent bookstores, with a combined total of 503,421 subscribers.

The e-newsletter, powered by Shelf Awareness, features all of the month's Indie 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 Indie Next List pick for the month, in this case Scribe by Alyson Hagy (Graywolf Press).

For a sample of the October newsletter, see this one from The Snail on the Wall, Huntsville, Ala.


Obituary Note: Tom Braun

Tom Braun at Wild Rumpus

Tom Braun, co-founder and co-owner of Wild Rumpus, Minneapolis, Minn., died on October 31. In recent years he had suffered from Alzheimer's disease.

Wild Rumpus is best known as a primarily children's/YA bookstore that's home to a multitude of adopted and rescued animals and operates as something of a petting zoo. In an obituary, the StarTribune wrote: "Walking through the little purple door at Wild Rumpus is like walking through a portal into Tom Braun's brain. A magical, welcoming place full of curiosity and learning, wit, whimsy, artistic vision, great humor and a deep, abiding appreciation of words, language and literature, plus a great love and respect for children and animals....

"To some he was the 'The Mayor of Linden Hills,' 'The man behind the curtain,' the owner of the bookstore, a generous philanthropist, or the founder of Linden Hills Power & Light; to others, Dad, Poppa Tom, Dude, brother, cousin, friend or soulmate.

"With a background in theatre, it's perhaps appropriate that Tom left us on Halloween to join the supernatural world among costumed superheroes and fairies, goblins and witches. 'Always leave them laughing,' he said."

A celebration of Braun's life will be held Sunday, November 25, 1-3 p.m., at the Walker Art Center Skyline Room. In Braun's honor, Wild Rumpus will remain open that day, and profits will be donated to three organizations dear to him: Minneapolis Climate Action (formerly Linden Hills Power & Light), the Alzheimer's Association and Emerge MN.


Notes

Granta, U.K. Indies Team for #ShareAPint Campaign

Rose George

To encourage the public to donate blood, Granta is partnering with about 20 U.K. bookshops, the National Health Service and Rose George, author of Nine Pints: A Journey Through the Mysterious, Miraculous World of Blood, on the Share a Pint campaign, which "aims to encourage curiosity about the potent liquid that gives us all life, and raise awareness of the importance of becoming a donor."

Participating bookshops "will create a #ShareAPint display to give their customers the facts about blood, and information on how to donate blood locally," the Bookseller reported.

"We are delighted to be involved with this campaign. Members of our family are here today because of blood transfusion," said Joanne Sims, co-owner of Books on the Hill bookshop in Clevedon.


Personnel Changes at Tom Doherty Associates

Sarah Reidy is joining Tom Doherty Associates as executive director of publicity, effective November 19. She is associate director of publicity at Simon & Schuster and earlier was publicity director at the Other Press and held publicity positions at Soho Press and Penguin.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Andrew Delbanco on Fresh Air

Today:
Fresh Air: Andrew Delbanco, the author of The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America's Soul From the Revolution to the Civil War (Penguin Press, $30, 9781594204050).

Tomorrow:
CBS This Morning: Rebecca Traister, author of Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger (Simon & Schuster, $27, 9781501181795). She will also appear on the Daily Show.

Live with Kelly and Ryan: Coyote Peterson, author of The King of Sting (Little, Brown, $18.99, 9780316452380).

MSNBC Live with Katy Tur: Rick Wilson, author of Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever (Free Press, $27, 9781982103125).

MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports: Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Leadership: In Turbulent Times (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781476795928).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Major Garrett, author of Mr. Trump's Wild Ride (All Points Books, $28.99, 9781250185914).


Movies: Back Roads

A trailer has been released for Back Roads, based on Tawni O'Dell's 1999 novel and directed by Alex Pettyfer. Entertainment Weekly reported that Back Roads "has had a long and winding journey from page to screen. It was originally to be adapted 10 years ago, with Adrian Lyne directing. Pettyfer was interested in the project at the time, but things fell through. Still, the Magic Mike actor couldn't get the story out of his head, and nine years later, he circled back."

"The project really resonated and stayed with me all that time," Pettyfer said. "I came across the script again and was wondering where it stood, and went to the producer who was still on board and asked her to collaborate."

Ultimately, Pettyfer became not only a producer and director on the project, but also a cast member, along with Jennifer Morrison and Nicola Peltz. "It had been a childhood dream to be able to step behind the camera," he said. Back Roads opens in theaters December 7.



Books & Authors

Awards: Staunch Book Shortlist

A shortlist has been released for the £2,000 (about $2,605) Staunch Book Prize, which was launched by author and screenwriter Bridget Lawless in January to recognize "a thriller in which no woman is beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered."

According to the Bookseller, the prize initially "attracted some criticism from authors such as Sophie Hannah and Val McDermid with accusations of censorship and 'missing the point.' Organizers of the CrimeFest event in Bristol subsequently withdrew its offer of a complimentary pass and panel appearance for the winning writer."

"The criticism was fairly vicious at times, but sometimes quite measured, even funny," said Lawless. "But mostly, it missed the point of what we were trying to do. We were accused of 'banning' violence, telling writers what they can or can't write, censorship, trying to destroy livelihoods, and so on. In fact, we were simply looking for alternatives to depicting women as victims of sexual violence and murder.

"We weren't telling people not to write those stories, but inviting new and more original narratives a space where crime fiction dominates to a quite extraordinary degree. The criticism did come almost exclusively from crime writers, but we had so many positive responses from around the world that it's clear we're by no means a lone voice."

The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony November 26 in London. The shortlisted Staunch Book Prize titles are:

The Appraisal by Anna Porter
East of Hounslow by Khurrum Rahman
If I Die Tonight by A.L. Gaylin
On the Java Ridge by Jock Serong
The Kennedy Moment by Peter Adamson
Cops and Queens by Joyce Thompson


Reading Group Choices' Most Popular October Books

The two most popular books in October at Reading Group Choices were The Tattooist of Auschwitz: A Novel by Heather Morris (Harper) and Becoming Mrs. Lewis: The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis by Patti Callahan (Thomas Nelson).


Book Review

Review: The Future of Capitalism: Facing the New Anxieties

The Future of Capitalism: Facing the New Anxieties by Paul Collier (Harper, $29.99 hardcover, 256p., 9780062748652, December 4, 2018)

Capitalism is worth saving, economist Paul Collier argues in his provocative treatise The Future of Capitalism: Facing the New Anxieties.

Collier (The Bottom Billion) eschews what he calls the enemies of progress--ideology and populism--for a pragmatic, evidence-based approach that attempts to answer why capitalism has gone askew in the last 50 years and what can be done to right the ship. The book is split into four sections, offering a diagnosis of the problem and the author's "practical" solutions, though the latter come with a good amount of philosophizing. Wide-ranging, the book touches upon fiscal policy, geopolitics, education, trade and a host of other issues.

Collier's initial diagnosis is that growing inequality in the world, especially in the developed world, is a result of failed policies across the political spectrum. He argues the left has propped up a vacuous paternalist state that has failed to help the most vulnerable, while the right has touted a detrimental market fundamentalism that has put huge swaths of people in economic devastation. The crisis can be seen around the world, as manifested in a growing class divide and stark demographic divisions between booming metropolises and impoverished provinces.

Collier's answer to the problem is to return to the communitarian ideal of social democracy that drove economic growth from the end of World War II through 1970. He calls this political philosophy "social maternalism," a concept that focuses on using both private and public resources to cultivate and nourish upward mobility. One of the best examples of social maternalism is a set of proactive policies for single, low-income mothers that offers mentoring and counseling instead of punitive state action.

To fix capitalism, two of Collier's proposals especially stand out. The first is a change to corporate law that forces the public interest to be represented on all corporate boards, helping to maintain what Collier calls the "ethical firm"--that is, corporations that work for the common good, not just profit. The second is to tax land appreciation in booming metropolises and redistribute the income to failing provinces. For example, a tax on New York markets could be redistributed to Detroit and other ailing cities in the Rust Belt.

Two places where the book falls short are on immigration and LGBT rights. Collier gives a somewhat cold economic account of why immigration doesn't help native citizens but fails to dive into the root causes of immigration, or the causes of Trumpist nativism, for that matter. And while he devotes a whole chapter to the "ethical family," arguing for the strength of two-parent households, he neglects to include same-sex marriages.

Throughout the book, Collier passionately argues for a shared identity and a return to "reciprocal obligations," an ethical citizenry helping each other in the civic process. The Future of Capitalism will spark plenty of debate and enliven our political discourse. --Scott Neuffer, writer, poet, editor of trampset

Shelf Talker: Economist Paul Collier critiques the ills of modern capitalism and offers a vision for the future that involves practical solutions.


The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

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

1. Loose Ends by Kristen Ashley
2. Reveling in Sin by Meghan March
3. Fall (VIP Book 3) by Kristen Callihan
4. Snowed in for Christmas by Noelle Adams, Samantha Chase and Zoe York
5. Saving Shadows by Kathleen Brooks
6. Once Upon a Rebel Fairytale by Various
7. Wilder (The Wild Ones Book 3) by C.M. Owens
8. Lost With Me by J. Kenner
9. The Walsh Brothers by Kate Canterbary
10. The Grinch Makes Good by Alison Kent

[Many thanks to IndieReader.com!]


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