Also published on this date: Wednesday, November 14, 2018: Maximum Shelf: Beautiful Bad

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Simon & Schuster: Fall Cooking With Simon Element

Tor Nightfire: Devils Kill Devils by Johnny Compton

Shadow Mountain: Highcliffe House (Proper Romance Regency) by Megan Walker

Simon & Schuster: Register for the Simon & Schuster Fall Preview!

Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster: The Ministry of Time Kaliane Bradley

Quotation of the Day

Amazon's HQ2 NYC Deal Provokes 'Outrage'

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

"We've been getting calls and outreach from Queens residents all day about this. The community's response? Outrage.

"Amazon is a billion-dollar company. The idea that it will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks at a time when our subway is crumbling and our communities need MORE investment, not less, is extremely concerning to residents here.

"When we talk about bringing jobs to the community, we need to dig deep: Has the company promised to hire in the existing community? What's the quality of jobs + how many are promised? Are these jobs low-wage or high wage? Are there benefits? Can people collectively bargain?...

"Lastly, this isn't just about one company or one headquarters. It's about cost of living, corps paying their fair share, etc. It's not about picking a fight, either. I was elected to advocate for our community's interests--& they've requested, clearly, to voice their concerns."

--Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D.-N.Y.) in a Twitter thread responding to news that Amazon has chosen Long Island City in Queens as one of its HQ2 sites (Capitol Hill Books in Washington, D.C., subsequently tweeted: "Dear @Ocasio2018, you are hereby invited to our free wine and cheese parties every month.")

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!


HBG Making Da Capo Part of Hachette Books

In a brief statement yesterday, Hachette Book Group announced that it is moving the Hachette Books imprint into the Perseus Books division, and making Da Capo Press part of Hachette Books, which combines two commercial nonfiction imprints. At the same time, in the Hachette Nashville division, the company is consolidating the FaithWords and Worthy editorial and publishing teams. In August, Hachette bought the assets of Worthy, the boutique Christian publisher, and said it would become part of its Nashville operations.

As a result of the changes, Hachette said, "a number of positions are being eliminated." One presumably is the head of Da Capo Press. Two days ago, the company announced that John Radziewicz, v-p and publisher of Da Capo since 1999, is retiring, effective November 30.

The company said the moves "allow us to focus resources in areas where we see the greatest opportunities for continuing our growth, and improve our ability to invest in HBG's future."

Graphic Universe (Tm): Hotelitor: Luxury-Class Defense and Hospitality Unit by Josh Hicks

Oprah's Book Club Pick: Becoming

Oprah Winfrey has chosen former First Lady Michelle Obama's memoir Becoming (Crown), which was released yesterday, as the latest Oprah's Book Club Pick. "She just opens up herself; it's so vulnerable," Winfrey said. "It is Michelle Obama's personal story, of course, but I believe it's going to spark within you the desire to think about your own becoming."

Winfrey told the Associated Press that the book "is everything you wanted to know and so much you didn't even know you wanted to know.... It's so well-written I can hear her voice; I can hear her expressions; I can feel her emotion. What she allows us to see is how she was able to discover, define and then refine her voice."

"Thank you, Oprah!" Obama tweeted: "I've been so grateful for your friendship and advice for so long. And now I'm honored to join your amazing book club! #IAmBecoming."

Noting that Becoming "is Winfrey's first pick by an author from the political world since she started her club in 1996," the AP wrote that Winfrey, "publishing's most established hit maker, knows the Obamas well, to the point where Michelle Obama and Ellen DeGeneres once teased each other over who was closer to her. Winfrey was a prominent backer of Barack Obama's candidacy in 2008 and has interviewed both Obamas over the years."

On Thursday, November 15, OWN will feature a prime-time special, Oprah Winfrey Presents: Becoming Michelle Obama, and an extended unedited version will be available on Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations podcast starting the same day, with part two following on November 19. In addition, the full interview will be streamed on Oprah's Facebook page November 18.

GLOW: Workman Publishing: Atlas Obscura: Wild Life: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Living Wonders by Cara Giaimo, Joshua Foer, and Atlas Obscura

The Mainstreet Trading Co. Named 'Britain's Best Small Shop'

The Mainstreet Trading Company in St. Boswells, one of four indie booksellers among this year's shortlist of 25 retailers, was named Britain's Best Small Shop of 2018 by the Independent Retailers Confederation, the Bookseller reported.

Expressing "total surprise" at the decision, owner and former Booksellers Association president Rosamund de la Hey said: "It's amazing and unexpected to win the Best Small Shops competition having been shortlisted alongside an incredible array of fantastic independents from so many different sectors. I'm particularly pleased to be recognized with three fellow booksellers, we're mutually supportive of each other--and it's great that overall, a bookshop is the winner. We've been celebrating our 10th birthday this year so winning the Best Small Shops competition truly is the cherry on the cake for us. We wouldn't have been able to win this award without our team and it's an equally important achievement for them."

IRC chairman Mark Walmsley commented: "In this year's Best Small Shops competition, we have been able to celebrate the diversity, choice and quality of specialist independent retailers around the country and the contribution that they make to their local communities. We hope that in the run-up to Christmas it helps shine a light on some of the gems of our high streets and town centers and encourage more people to explore the independents in their areas."

Harpervia: Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow by Damilare Kuku

B&N Opening Smaller Footprint Store in Va.

Barnes & Noble plans to open one of its smallest stores in years at Edens' Mosaic District, a retail and restaurant project in the Merrifield section of Fairfax, Va., according to the Washington Business Journal, which cited "a contractor bid site."

The new B&N, scheduled to open in June, will be just 8,630 square feet. The company had said during its first-quarter results conference call in September that its newest prototype stores are in the range of 10,000 to 14,000 square feet, and some might be as small as 8,000 to 10,000 square feet.

Obituary Note: John Rogers

John Rogers, Comic-Con International's "low-profile but influential president" for more than 30 years, who was "credited with creating a solid financial base for the show and transforming it from an amateurish event with a small following to a world-renowned celebration of all things pop culture," died November 10, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. He was 57.

Expressing "profound sadness" at his passing, Comic-Con posted on its website: "As our longest serving president, first elected in 1986 and re-elected every year since, John's tenure saw Comic-Con grow from a select gathering of fans to the largest and most prestigious convention of its kind in the world."

"More than anyone else, he made Comic-Con durable, giving it a solid business foundation so it could grow," Mike Towry, part of the crew who founded this show in 1970, told the Union-Tribune. "In the late '70s and early '80s there were a lot of touch-and-go years, a lot of financial problems." After Rogers became president, however, "it wasn't long before Comic-Con started having such huge growth. I don't think that would have been possible without John."

Since 1982, the show has been based at the San Diego Convention Center. Gil Cabrera, president of the Convention Center Corporation board, said Rogers "knew just about everything about Comic-Con. He had just an encyclopedic knowledge of the event and its history, and he always knew what was going on."

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer tweeted: "For 4 decades @Comic_Con President John Rogers poured his heart and soul into creating a San Diego institution that became a worldwide phenomenon. His deep love for the comics community created countless memories for so many, and made our city a better place. We mourn his passing."


Image of the Day: Hometown Welcome

Yesterday afternoon, former First Lady Michelle Obama visited Seminary Co-op Bookstore to celebrate the publication and sign copies of her new book, Becoming (Crown). The event--in the city where Obama was born and raised--was the first on her #IAmBecoming tour. 

Fans waited in a line that stretched out the door for blocks. Wristbands for the event sold out within four hours on Sunday and were distributed to 500 people, each of whom was given the opportunity to purchase two copies of Becoming; 803 books were sold at the store within 24 hours.

"We are truly honored that Mrs. Obama wanted to spend publication day at Seminary Co-op, where she and her family shopped when they lived in Chicago," said Seminary Co-op director Jeff Deutsch. "We appreciate her supporting the independent bookselling community by having her first in-store event at her hometown bookstore."

Bookery 'Offers Unique Nook' in Manchester, N.H.

Since Liz Cipriano and Liz Hitchcock opened Bookery in Manchester, N.H., last spring, it "has quickly become the community gathering space the duo envisioned, hosting not only authors for book signings, but musicians, politicians and community events," Business NH magazine reported.

"There's this new generation looking to interact in a different way and interact with the community," Cipriano said.

"We have surprise and delight around each corner. We want people to wander with their minds and their eyes," Hitchcock noted, adding that the store has hit its projected numbers in the first few months of operation, but what she really finds rewarding is seeing the reactions of people the first time they walk in. "You hear an audible wow, and they smile and you see them pointing."

Bookery "is just one idea Hitchcock and her husband have developed as part of a larger community-building project they envision," Business NH wrote. "They have a Twitter campaign to solicit ideas for businesses that people would like to launch downtown with the hashtag #crazymhtidea that they may help fund."

"We believe so much in this community-building project. We have a lot of ideas. We want other people's crazy ideas," Hitchcock said. "We love Manchester and its trajectory. Maybe we can accelerate it."

Personnel Changes at Arcadia Publishing/History Press

At Arcadia Publishing/History Press, Hampton Ryan is joining the independent sales team as field sales representative. Hampton has more than 20 years of experience in sales, marketing and communications in the book industry. He began his career at Waldenbooks, Borders and Brentano's and later worked for six years as a sales rep and then marketing manager for Ingram Publisher Services. He's also worked in marketing for Abingdon Press and was director of marketing and communications for Ayla's Acres No-Kill Animal Rescue. Most recently, worked in museum management for two historic sites in St. Augustine, Fla.

Eight UPNE Publishers Moving to CDC

A group of publishers that have been distributed by the University Press of New England (UPNE), which is closing at the end of the year, is joining the Chicago Distribution Center and will be marketed and sold by the University of Chicago Press, effective immediately. The publishers are:

Autumn House Press, which was founded in 1998 and publishes collections of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction by contemporary writers who have a following among readers, but whose work has been overlooked by commercial publishers.

Brandeis University Press, which focuses on the humanities and social sciences, as well as general interest titles, with a particular commitment to publishing compelling and innovative approaches to the study of the Jewish experience worldwide.

Carnegie Mellon University Press, which publishes about a dozen titles a year in regional social history, art history, the performing arts, literary analysis, education, and university history.

Dartmouth College Press, whose interdisciplinary approach to publishing touches on everything from the fine and visual arts to cross-cultural criticisms of American Studies to global health and medicine.

New Issues Poetry & Prose, housed on the campus of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, publishes four to six new poetry titles a year, as well as the winner of the AWP Award Series in the Novel.

Oberlin College Press, which for 40 years has been publishing poetry through its Translation and FIELD poetry series and has offered course readers through its FIELD Anthology series.

Omnidawn Publishing, Oakland, Calif., which publishes literature that opens readers to the myriad ways that language brings new light, compassionate insight, and a heightened respect for differences.

2Leaf Press, an imprint of the Intercultural Alliance of Artists & Scholars that publishes fiction, non‐fiction, poetry, drama, and bilingual works by activists, scholars, poets, and authors with cultural stories that inform, entertain, educate, and inspire

Also included are the books of UPNE's own imprint.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Jan Schwochow, Thomas Ramge on Marketplace

Steve Harvey: Dale Earnhardt Jr., author of Racing to the Finish: My Story (Thomas Nelson, $26.99, 9780785221609).

NPR's Marketplace: Jan Schwochow and Thomas Ramge, authors of The Global Economy as You've Never Seen It: 99 Ingenious Infographics That Put It All Together (The Experiment, $35, 9781615195176).

Daily Show: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, author of Bold & Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women the Right to Vote (Knopf, $18.99, 9780525579014).

TV: Mrs. Wilson

PBS Masterpiece has released the first trailer for Mrs. Wilson, "a very personal drama series" starring Ruth Wilson as her grandmother Alison Wilson, whose memoir inspired the project. Deadline reported that the "drama follows Alison Wilson (Ruth Wilson), who thinks she is happily married until her husband, popular spy novelist Alec Wilson, played by Iain Glen (Game of Thrones), dies and a woman turns up on the doorstep claiming to be Alec's wife. Alison is determined to prove the validity of her own marriage--and Alec's love for her--but is instead led into a world of disturbing secrets."

Mrs. Wilson, which will air on Masterpiece in 2019, is a co-production with BBC and is written by Anna Symon (Indian Summers). It is executive produced by Ruth Wilson, Ruth Kenley-Letts (The Casual Vacancy, The Strike Series), Neil Blair (The Strike Series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), Lucy Richer for the BBC, and Eaton for Masterpiece.

Books & Authors

Awards: Writers' Trust of Canada Winners

Winners have been announced for the 2018 Writers' Trust of Canada awards. Elizabeth Hay won the CA$60,000 (about US$45,255) Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction for All Things Consoled; Kathy Page received the CA$50,000 (about US$37,715) Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize for her novel Dear Evelyn; and Shashi Bhat took the CA$10,000 (about US$7,540) Writers' Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize for her short story "Mute."

Four authors received CA($25,000 (about US$18,855) awards for their contributions to Canadian literature through a body of work: Jordan Scott (Latner Writers' Trust Poetry Prize); David Bergen (Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life); Alissa York (Writers' Trust Engel/Findley Award); and Christopher Paul Curtis (Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People).

Reading with... David Baldacci

photo: Guy Bell

David Baldacci's books are published in more than 45 languages and have sold more than 130 million copies. His works have been adapted for both feature film and television. Baldacci is also the cofounder, along with his wife, of the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America. Long Road to Mercy (Grand Central, November 13, 2018) introduces Atlee Pine, an FBI agent with special skills assigned to the remote wilds of the southwestern United States.

On my nightstand:

Rush by Stephen Fried. I've read many bios on the country's founding fathers, but Dr. Benjamin Rush is a new one for me.

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. Beautifully and descriptively written about a part of the world and a time period in history about which I wanted to know more.

Grant by Ron Chernow. The classic tale of an ordinary man who turned out to be the right person to do extraordinary things at precisely the moment in history he was needed. Who says there is no God?

Favorite book when you were a child:

The Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators series by various writers. I would get one for birthdays and Christmas and I would immediately run off and dive in. The greatest treat ever.

Top five authors:

In no particular order: Charles Dickens, for his broad landscapes dealing with important issues; Agatha Christie, for her peerless plotting skills, even if she did throw in the occasional evil twin; Edgar Allan Poe, for the sheer breadth of his genre skills and for inventing the detective story; Mark Twain, for giving America a literary voice; and John Irving, for showing us that all books must have a heart.

Book you've faked reading:

Any book having to do remotely with math that was required during my school years. And my grades reflected the fact that I never read them.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Anything by Jasper Fforde. The guy's imagination must be literally off the charts. And so fun to read. I tell everyone about him.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. This was before the book was all the rage. I loved the cover for its simplicity. But it conveyed the very heart of the book in that one image fragment. Brilliant.

Books you hid from your parents:

The collected tales of James Bond by Ian Fleming. Too many scantily clad women, too much booze and far too many deadly weapons. I loved them!

Book that changed your life:

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. I was working as a security guard in college and read it on my graveyard shift when I was supposed to be making rounds. (Hey, for three bucks an hour it didn't seem worth it to risk my life.) It made me start to think about writing mysteries.

Favorite line from a book:

"No one forgets the truth; they just get better at lying." (Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates.) After listening to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination, this one just bubbled to the surface for some reason.

Five books you'll never part with:

Sophie's Choice by William Styron. I had the pleasure of meeting Styron and presenting him with a copy of his book that he had signed to Truman Capote--I found it in a rare book shop. The look on his face was something to behold. Besides the brilliance of his novel, that alone would have qualified the book for my list.

The Cider House Rules by John Irving. In some ways the Twain of his generation. In this story he tackled issues like abortion with humor, kindness and the blunt force of a cat five hurricane.

The Magic Squirrel by N.G. Grishina. The first book I can remember reading as a young boy. This Russian fable has stuck with me.

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. What's not to love about an incredible adventure filled with poignancy and a defining moment in a young man's, and perhaps a country's, journey?

Freddy and the French Fries by me. I came up with this story years ago and recorded it for my kids so they could hear my voice while I was away on travel. We later turned it into a book that my brother illustrated.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle. I remember stumbling upon this tale and reading far into the night, while I was out on that moor with Holmes, Watson and that hound from hell. My first Holmes tale. I have since read them all, multiple times. It was like discovering this perfectly imperfect world that I could live in simply by turning a page.

Book Review

Children's Review: Buried Lives

Buried Lives: The Enslaved People of George Washington's Mount Vernon by Carla Killough McClafferty (Holiday House, $24.99 hardcover, 168p., ages 10-up, 9780823436972, December 18, 2018)

When he was just 11 years old, George Washington inherited ownership of 10 human beings. By the time he died in 1799, Washington's estate on the Potomac River, Mount Vernon, was home to 317 enslaved African American men, women and children: 123 people owned by Washington, 41 rented from other owners and 153 held by his wife, Martha, as an inheritance from her late first husband.

The irony, of course, was that "the man who led the fight for American freedom" remained a slave owner his entire life. Washington was one of 12 presidents who owned slaves and, despite his well-stated personal objections to slavery, he never applied his influence or power toward abolishing it. In Buried Lives: The Enslaved People of George Washington's Mount Vernon, award-winning nonfiction children's book author Carla Killough McClafferty (The Many Faces of George Washington: Remaking a Presidential Icon) confronts Washington's role as a conflicted slave owner through the stories of six enslaved Mount Vernon residents.

Without the forced labor of the half-dozen African Americans profiled, Washington's life would likely have been quite different. William Lee was Washington's valet, attending to all his personal needs. Lee served Washington valiantly through the Revolutionary War; his intimate knowledge could easily have won him his freedom had he defected to the British army, yet he "stayed with the man who owned him." When severe knee injuries made service impossible for Lee, Christopher Sheels became Washington's personal valet, including the years of Washington's presidency. Caroline, later known as Caroline Branham, was a housemaid in the mansion, and her husband, Peter Hardiman, rented from Martha Washington's son's estate, ran Mount Vernon's large-scale mule-breeding operation. Ona Maria Judge, who began service as a child at Mount Vernon, was Martha's personal maid and accompanied the first First Lady to New York and Philadelphia. Hercules was the renowned "chief cook in the kitchen of the president of the United States" in Philadelphia who impressed dignitaries from all over the world with his culinary prowess.

Relying on extensive research--including Washington's own writings and other first-hand accounts of enslaved life at Mount Vernon--McClafferty provides an alternative history to the existing, too-often idealized founding fathers' mythology. Beyond the biographies, McClafferty continues with "And Then What Happened?," culling additional information about the descendants of the six profilees; Caroline's fourth great-granddaughter, activist and educator ZSun-nee Miller-Matema, wrote the book's foreword. McClafferty devotes multiple chapters to the recent archeological reclamation and restoration, begun in 2014, of the unmarked, untended-for-almost-two-centuries burial site of Mount Vernon's enslaved. She further illuminates her words with drawings, maps, newspaper clippings, photographs and other relevant documents that enhance an already compelling, necessary narrative. McCafferty's Buried Lives is long overdue, careful testimony for a new generation of questioning, challenging readers. --Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon

Shelf Talker: Carla Killough McClafferty's illuminating history of slavery at George Washington's iconic Mount Vernon focuses on six African Americans enslaved to the first First Family.

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