Also published on this date: Thursday, December 6, 2018: Maximum Shelf: Cape May

Shelf Awareness for Thursday, December 6, 2018

Disney Lucasfilm Press: Queen's Hope by E K Johnston

Little Simon: Good Night, Good Night: The Original Longer Version of the Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton

Page Street Kids: Tonight We Rule the World by Zack Smedley

Simply Read Books: When I Was Small by Sara O'Leary, illustrated by Julie Morstad

Legendary Comics: The Heart Hunter by Mickey George, illustrated by V Gagnon

Etch/Clarion Books: The Heist Age, 2 (Dinomighty!) by Doug Paleo, illustrated by Aaron Blecha


If Trade Wholesalers Consolidate, Bookazine Aims to Be 'Second Choice'

Bookazine, the Bayonne, N.J., wholesaler that is the third largest trade book wholesaler in the country, sees a major opportunity if in fact Baker & Taylor leaves trade wholesaling, whether through a sale to Ingram or otherwise exiting the business and focusing on its traditional library wholesaling market.

"If this goes through, Bookazine clearly will be a second choice" for bookstores ordering from wholesalers, said Richard Kallman, chief operating officer of Bookazine. "And Bookazine would very possibly look to expand and be more of a national presence. We won't miss out on any opportunity to grow."

While Bookazine is strongest in the Northeast, the company ships nationwide and internationally. As a result of the news about a possible Ingram/Baker & Taylor combination, Kallman said, in the past several days Bookazine has received "multiple calls" from stores seeking to open accounts.

Over the last decade, he added, Bookazine has expanded its selection so that it carries "much more than just basic stock. We cover all the bases, from children's books to graphic novels, and more."

New World Library: Sit Down to Rise Up: How Radical Self-Care Can Change the World by Shelly Tygielski

Books Around the Corner Opens in Gresham, Ore.

Stephanie Csaszar opened Books Around the Corner, a new and used independent bookstore in Gresham, Ore., on November 2. The general interest, all-ages store is around 2,000 square feet and carries roughly 60% used books and 40% new, and while Csaszar had always wanted to open a bookstore of her own, that dream became a reality much faster than she expected.

"It was 32 days from start to finish," recalled Csaszar, who spent the last two years as a librarian and had been a therapist before getting her masters in library and information sciences.

She'd begun looking into opening a bookstore earlier this year, after realizing that there were no general-interest stores serving a community of approximately 100,000 people, and she had a rough plan of potentially opening sometime in spring 2019. But in late September, while talking to the owner of an independent puzzle and game shop in downtown Gresham, she learned that a nearby retail space would be available in just a couple of weeks.

While it seemed like a dauntingly fast turnaround, Csaszar felt that spaces in downtown Gresham didn't frequently become available, and decided that it was too perfect an opportunity to pass up. She spent the month of October setting up accounts with publishers, ordering her opening selection of new books, acquiring used books, buying furnishings and setting up the store's website.

One of the first things she did was launch an Indiegogo campaign, which brought in around $700, and although she didn't have books for sale yet, she did have a booth at the local farmer's market every weekend in October. Community members could sign up for the store's newsletter and enter to win ARCs and raffle items donated by other local businesses. By the time the store officially opened on November 2, she had more than 100 people on the store's e-mail list and already something of a following.

"I get people coming in and saying they can't believe it's finally here, after seeing the tiny booth with no books for sale at the farmer's market," Csaszar remarked, laughing.

Csaszar typically sources her used books from library sales or online. She is gradually moving toward buying used books from customers, but is still working out details and expects to be very restrictive about it at the start. She also doesn't sell heavily worn or damaged books, or used mass market paperbacks. Instead, she puts books like that on a free shelf, and customers are welcome to take one with each purchase.

In addition to a wide selection of books for teens and adults, Books Around the Corner has a small children's area with toys and an event space in the back of the shop. When the space is not in use, customers are welcome to hang out and read or work there, and the space can be rented out for private events.

So far, Csaszar has hosted a few local authors and plans to host at least one per month. One of the biggest events that Csaszar still has scheduled for this year is a Bring Your Own Donation ugly sweater Christmas party. Customers are encouraged to bring items that will be donated to local charities, and two local cider houses will do in-store tastings. In 2019 she'll launch the store's first book club and is currently polling her customers about what sort of book club they would prefer.

Csaszar doesn't sell any coffee or food, aside from locally made chocolates. Some of her other sideline offerings include literary-themed shirts and socks, locally printed greeting cards, magnets, bookmarks, pins and more. Each month, she displays the work of a different local artist in store. In November, it was the work of students at a local high school. This month, a photographer is having their work showcased. Csaszar reported that she already has artists booked through February.

Since the moment she first set up at the farmer's market, Csaszar said, the community has been almost "overwhelmingly supportive." People often come in, she continued, and mention how calming or relaxing the store is, and say that "they're just happy to see a new bookshop in Gresham again." --Alex Mutter

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers: Art essentials that are off the chart!

Grand Opening Set for Lavender's Bleu Literacy Market

Lavender's Bleu Literacy Market will host a grand opening celebration December 8 at 8210 S. Harvard Ave. in Tulsa, Okla. The independent children's bookstore, literacy learning shop, reading tutoring center and story themed event venue was created "to support children and families in our community by providing quality children's books, literacy education, related services, materials and entertainment. It is our goal to create an environment that instills and nurtures a love of reading and continued learning in an inviting, comfortable space for children and families in the surrounding community."

For owner Mindy Smith, this is literally a dream come true. "It was just so incredibly vivid," she told the Tulsa World. "I dreamed that I was in this bookstore, that it looked a certain way, that it had these certain things in it. It was so vivid, it was almost as if someone was trying to show me something or tell me something."

The first part of the store's name is derived from an old nursery rhyme, Smith said, adding: "The space we have used to be a bridal shop, so we have all these little rooms. Everything is going to be story-related. For example, the young adult section will be decorated to look like an armoire, so it will be a little like entering Narnia when you go into that room."

The second half of the name addresses Smith's mission: "I'm very much aware that opening a bookstore these days is a huge gamble, which is why I wanted to make this something more than a bookstore, to have all these other things going on around books and stories.... When The Apple Tree (a store specializing in educational materials) closed a couple of years ago, there was no place where teachers could obtain good materials for teaching literacy. I wanted to have a place where teachers would be valued and honored as they deserve and offer them something special--the things they want and need to better teach their students."

Ultimately, she said it is "all about getting books into children's hands and getting them excited about reading again. So much of reading in schools is geared to performance--you have to read this book in order to take a test about it, and the end result is that kids end up hating to read. We've taken all the joy and magic out of reading in the way it's being taught these days. I want to bring a little bit of that magic back."

GLOW: Grove Press: Reptile Memoirs by Silje Ulstein, trans. by Alison McCullough

Va. Indies on Amazon HQ2: 'In No World Is That Fair or Right'

"I actually voted for people who are using my tax dollars to put me out of business. In no world is that fair or right," Kelly Justice, owner of Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, Va., told the Times-Dispatch, which explored the impact on indie booksellers of Amazon's plans to build one of its HQ2 locations in Crystal City in Arlington.

"They definitely do pose a threat to small independent bookstores," said Ward Tefft, owner of Chop Suey Books in Carytown. "That's not just in their mere existence but how they operate.... My big beef is just as a member of society who is contributing and seeing somebody who has more money than I can even fathom coming in and getting tax breaks. It's like we're bowing down and kissing the hand of the king just to get some scraps."

Noting that Amazon will now receive public incentives after years of resisting collecting state sales taxes, David Shuman, owner of Book People in Richmond, said, "They clearly don't need the help. There have been plenty of other tech giants that moved locations and didn't ask for any incentives."

As an example of the special role indie booksellers can play in people's lives, Justice said a longtime customer recently came to Fountain Bookstore looking for book recommendations that were different from what she usually reads, specifically stories where "things turn out okay." Justice recalled: "She paused, and then she said: 'My husband has cancer.' Where's the algorithm for that?"

Rittenhouse Award Goes to Luis Alberto Urrea

PubWest's 2019 Jack D. Rittenhouse Lifetime Achievement Award is being given to Luis Alberto Urrea, "a prolific and acclaimed writer who uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore greater themes of love, loss, and triumph."

Luis Alberto Urrea

Bill Fessler, PubWest board president and publisher of American Traveler Press, said, "For more than 25 years, Luis Alberto Urrea has spoken about the contemporary West. He has brought us closer to the families and the lives of people who live here. He is a legend, a modern-day Mark Twain. It is a true honor to add Luis Alberto Urrea to the roster of Rittenhouse award winners."

Born in Tijuana to a Mexican father and American mother, Urrea is most recognized as a border writer, though he says, "I am more interested in bridges, not borders." He has published 17 books of fiction, poetry and essays. His 2004 nonfiction work, The Devil's Highway, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and his collection of short stories, The Water Museum, was a finalist for the 2016 PEN-Faulkner Award. Last year, he won an American Academy of Arts and Letters Fiction award. His novels include The Hummingbird's Daughter (2005) and Into the Beautiful North (2009). His newest book is The House of Broken Angels.

Urrea will accept the award during the PubWest 2019 conference, to be held February 7-9 in Santa Fe, N.Mex.


Cool Idea of the Day: Book a Bookseller

Book Soup in West Hollywood, Calif., has launched Book a Bookseller, a service through which "one of Book Soup's knowledgeable, experienced, and enthusiastic booksellers will assist you one-on-one to find the perfect gift, book club selection, or addition to your shelf."

To use the service, customers click "the link in our bio to book a half hour appointment with one of our book specialists (aka booksellers) so that they can help you, in person and one-on-one, curate a list of books based on your own unique taste! This is a new and very special service that we are proud to offer, and it's here right in times for the holidays too! You can use the service to get help finding a book for your hardest-to-shop-for family member or to indulge in a little bit of self love. Can't wait to be booked by you! See you at The Soup."

On the Side Books' Act of Kindness Goes Viral, Reddit Style

An act of kindness by Heather and Brandon Whittemore, co-owners of On the Side Books, Bradford, Pa., has gone viral. The Era reported that the story began when a customer, Leslie Ostrum, left a five-star review of the bookstore on its Google page explaining how a bookseller had stepped up in a major way to help make a "Christmas at Thanksgiving" celebration come true for Ostrum's sister's foster child.

After Heather Whittemore thanked Ostrum for the kind review, she then shared a screenshot of it on the bookshop's Facebook page. A local resident shared that screenshot "in a group on Sunday called r/HumanBeingBros where acts of kindness are recorded and admired by Reddit users regularly," the Era wrote, and "by 4 p.m. Monday the views on Reddit reached a staggering 358,000 according to the original Reddit content poster, Tyler. The Reddit up vote was at 28,000 user votes with 193 responses."

Reddit user Allrayden's reaction was typical: "I really wish more people had the decency to do things like this for one another. There's plenty of people who would just go there to turn the heater on, and get back home to the warmth. Kudos to both the employees as well as the person gifting the books, and the person bringing the foster home for the holidays."

Later Monday On the Side Books posted on Facebook: "Um.... so this is happening.... What?!?!!! So crazy!!!"

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Samin Nosrat on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Samin Nosrat, author of Salt Fat Acid Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking (Simon & Schuster, $35, 9781476753836).

The View: Daniel Krauthammer, editor of The Point of It All: A Lifetime of Great Loves and Endeavors (Crown Forum, $28, 9781984825483).

The Talk: Sean Hayes, co-author of Plum (Simon & Schuster, $17.99, 9781534404045).

TV: Watership Down

A trailer has been released for the Netflix/BBC One co-production of Watership Down that "gives off an almost Game of Thrones vibe as it follows the adventure, courage and survival of a band of rabbits on their flight from the intrusion of man and the certain destruction of their home," Deadline reported.

The animated four-part miniseries, based on the classic book by Richard Adams, features an A-list cast including James McAvoy, Daniel Kaluuya, Nicholas Hoult, Ben Kingsley, John Boyega, Gemma Arterton, Rosamund Pike, Gemma Chan, Peter Capaldi, Taron Egerton, Miles Jupp, Freddie Fox, Mackenzie Crook, Olivia Colman, Anne-Marie Duff, Rory Kinnear, Tom Wilkinson, Jason Watkins, Craig Parkinson, Henry Goodman, Lee Ingleby, Charlotte Spencer and Daniel Rigby.

Watership Down was produced and directed by Noam Murro, co-directed by Alan Short and Seamus Malone, and adapted for the screen by Tom Bidwell (My Mad Fat Diary). It debuts on BBC One from December 22 to 23, and will be released on Netflix December 23.

This Weekend on Book TV: Tucker Carlson

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this weekend from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, December 8
5:30 p.m. Harlow Giles Unger, author of Dr. Benjamin Rush: The Founding Father Who Healed a Wounded Nation (Da Capo, $28, 9780306824326). (Re-airs Monday at 4 a.m.)

7 p.m. Lindsey Hilsum, author of In Extremis: The Life and Death of the War Correspondent Marie Colvin (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $28, 9780374175597). (Re-airs Monday at 1 a.m.)

8:05 p.m. Tim Wu, author of The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age (Columbia Global Reports, $14.99, 9780999745465), at Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C.

9:15 p.m. David Priess, author of How to Get Rid of a President: History's Guide to Removing Unpopular, Unable, or Unfit Chief Executives (PublicAffairs, $28, 9781541788206).

10 p.m. Tucker Carlson, author of Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution (Free Press, $28, 9781501183669). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

10:50 p.m. Kate Germano and Kelly Kennedy, authors of Fight Like a Girl: The Truth Behind How Female Marines Are Trained (Prometheus, $18, 9781633884137).

11 p.m. Chris McGreal, author of American Overdose: The Opioid Tragedy in Three Acts (PublicAffairs, $27, 9781610398619).

Sunday, December 9
12:40 a.m. Richard Brookhiser, author of John Marshall: The Man Who Made the Supreme Court (Basic Books, $30, 9780465096220). (Re-airs Sunday at 7 p.m.)

2 a.m. Douglas Mastriano, author of Thunder in the Argonne: A New History of America's Greatest Battle (University Press of Kentucky, $34.95, 9780813175553).

3:15 p.m. Eric Jay Dolin, author of Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America's Most Notorious Pirates (Liveright, $29.95, 9781631492105), at Porter Square Books in Cambridge, Mass.

4 p.m. Joseph Kelly, author of Marooned: Jamestown, Shipwreck, and a New History of America's Origin (Bloomsbury, $32, 9781632867773), at Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C.

8 p.m. Greg Miller, author of The Apprentice: Trump, Russia and the Subversion of American Democracy (Custom House, $29.99, 9780062803702).

10 p.m. Michael Koncewicz, author of They Said No to Nixon: Republicans Who Stood Up to the President's Abuses of Power (University of California Press, $29.95, 9780520299054), at Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C.

11 p.m. Fox Butterfield, author of In My Father's House: A New View of How Crime Runs in the Family (Knopf, $26.95, 9781400041022).

Books & Authors

Awards: Bodley Medal; Parliamentary Books

Author Kazuo Ishiguro will receive the Bodley Medal, which is awarded by the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the worlds of literature, culture, science and communication. He will be presented with the award April 3 at the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival when he delivers the annual Bodley Lecture.


Winners were announced for this year's Parliamentary Book Awards, as voted for by MPs and members of the House of Lords. Launched in 2016 by the Booksellers Association and the Publishers Association, the awards "champion the best of political writing and celebrate the link between politics and publishing." The shortlist was voted for by U.K. bookshops, with parliamentarians voting on the winner in each category.

Tessa Jowell and Frances D'Souza won best memoir by a Parliamentarian for The Power of Politicians; Jesse Norman best nonfiction book by a Parliamentarian for Adam Smith: What He Thought and Why it Matters; and Isabel Hardman best political book by a non-Parliamentarian for Why We Get the Wrong Politicians.

Meryl Halls, managing director of the Booksellers Association, said: "This year's shortlist was made up of a range of thought-provoking titles for Parliamentarians to choose from, and the winners reflect that, querying our political system and those working within it. With winners as topical and carefully considered as these, the awards continue to highlight the partnership between politics and booksellers."

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, December 11:

Unruly Waters: How Rains, Rivers, Coasts, and Seas Have Shaped Asia's History by Sunil Amrith (Basic Books, $35, 978-0465097722) dredges Asian history from an aquatic angle.

Milkman: A Novel by Anna Burns (Graywolf Press, $16, 9781644450000).

Mortal Engines, based on the novel by Philip Reeve, opens December 14. In a post-apocalyptic future, a mobile London preys on other nomad cities. A movie tie-in edition (Scholastic, $9.15, 9781338201123) is available.

IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:

A Ladder to the Sky: A Novel by John Boyne (Hogarth, $27, 9781984823014). "Maurice Swift is a man you won't soon forget: handsome and charming, but above all else ambitious. He dreams of being the greatest writer of his generation and has no qualms about using the people in his orbit and conning his way to the top of his field. John Boyne has given us a truly memorable character in Maurice, but more than that, he's given us a novel with an ingenious structure and terrific dialogue that entertains the larger question of who can ever really own a story. This is a fantastic, thoughtful tale that even in its darkest moments is a thrill to read." --Erika VanDam, RoscoeBooks, Chicago, Ill.

Family Trust: A Novel by Kathy Wang (Morrow, $26.99, 9780062855251). "Family Trust is a novel that I did not want to end. From the start, I was completely immersed in the Huang family dynamic, complicated as most families tend to be. In one sentence you feel real sympathy for a character, and in the next you are laughing out loud. It is a true gem. From the first pages, I was completely swept in to the lives of the Huang family. I have a feeling this will be my go-to hand-sell for the fall! Those who loved The Nest and Crazy Rich Asians will eat this right up! A very well-written, highly enjoyable read." --Kaitlin Smith, Copperfield's Books, Sebastopol, Calif.

Fire Sermon: A Novel by Jamie Quatro (Grove Press, $16, 9780802128980). "I'm presently gobsmacked by and head-over-heels in love with Jamie Quatro's Fire Sermon, a gorgeous, searing first novel that takes on themes of grace, God, desire, truth, and family. Told in an array of tenses and forms that range from poetry to e-mail (and everything in between), Fire Sermon takes great risks stylistically, as well as topically, leaving nothing stable in its wake. It is unsparing and uncompromising, singular, innervating, and strong, and it is a deeply, wonderfully stirring work of art." --Will Walton, Avid Bookshop, Athens, Ga.

For Ages 4 to 8
P Is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever by Raj Haldar and Chris Carpenter, illustrated by Maria Beddia (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, $17.99, 9781492674313). "This is not your mother's alphabet book! This is not for a young child just learning their alphabet. It could be used in classes as young as second grade but all the way to junior high due to the items mentioned, like bdellium (pronounced DEL-ee-yum). It would make a great gift for someone who collects alphabet books. There is a glossary at the end to help with the words (looking at you, Qatar) and fantastic illustrations. Next time I get a pet zebra I am calling it Zhivago, and I hope the next pterodactyl I see is called Ptolemy, but that it does not have psoriasis." --Jeanette Sessions, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, Vt.

For Ages 9 to 12
Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliott (Random House, $16.99, 9781524770457). "Did you know there's a portal to other dimensions right at the entrance to Prospect Park? And that time travel exists? A marvelous boy is dropped off with a strange woman for the day while his mother goes off to navigate real-world problems (a single mother fighting eviction from their apartment). The woman he is dropped off with turns out to be a witch, and together they set out to deliver three small dragons back to their realm because there's no magic left in our world and they won't survive here. I love the magical escape from the complexity of life as a city kid, that real city-kid issues are addressed in the backstory, and that this is subtle enough to not feel pedantic." --Rebecca Fitting, Greenlight Bookstore (Fort Greene), Brooklyn, N.Y.

For Teen Readers
Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean (HMH, $17.99, 9780544530942). "What a fantastic fantasy read! Author Emiko Jean makes full use of Japanese words and mystical elements of the yokai to craft a feudal-like world of historical emperor-led Japan featuring a kick-ass young woman with powers beyond mortal humans. Her Hunger Games-like quest of survival of the fittest in the bewitched Season Rooms brings together themes of love, trust, and loyalty. A real page-turner, this young adult fantasy is sure to be hit." --Maureen Palacios, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, Calif.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: Annelies

Annelies by David R. Gillham (Viking, $26 hardcover, 416p., 9780399162589, January 15, 2019)

What if Anne Frank had survived the camps? The world knows her as the bright, curious young girl whose diary gave voice to the experience of Jews in hiding during World War II. But if Anne had lived beyond the horrors of Bergen-Belsen, her story would necessarily be more complicated. With compassion and rich historical detail, David R. Gillham (City of Women) imagines Anne's next chapter in his second novel, Annelies.

Gillham opens his narrative in 1942, as the Franks prepare to go into hiding. Those familiar with Anne's story will recognize the main characters: Margot, the sober, sensible older sister; Miep Gies, the trusted office confidant; and those who joined them in the Secret Annex: the van Pels family and Herr Pfeffer, the dentist. Gillham vividly renders Anne as a restless, ambitious young teenager, at once acutely aware of every small change in her daily life and almost completely ignorant of the larger implications of Nazi occupation.

The novel takes readers through the Franks' years in hiding and into the camps, then to postwar Amsterdam, where Anne--reunited with her father and Miep, but deeply traumatized by her wartime experiences--struggles to make sense of a world she barely recognizes. Mourning the deaths of her mother and Margot, and still furious at the unknown person who betrayed their group to the SS, Anne finds herself both unable and unwilling to adjust to ordinary life. She is bored by school, frustrated by mundane tasks at her father's office and baffled by others' insistence on moving forward. Even her writing holds little appeal for her now. Instead, she wonders why she survived when Margot and so many others did not.

Gillham's narration brings Anne to complex life. She emerges as a young woman struggling with everyday desires, fears and ambitions, while grappling with unbelievable trauma and deep anger. Her father, Otto, is portrayed as kind and responsible, determined to seek out hope while burdened by his own losses and his continuing obligations to his employees. The other characters serve as foils for both Anne and Otto, treating them with compassion, but eventually calling Anne's stubborn assertions into question. She has not, as a co-worker finally says, "utterly cornered the market on pain." While her suffering is great, it is neither unique nor the only truth.

Eventually, Anne meets a rabbi who introduces her to the Jewish concept of tikkun olam, "repairing the world." This idea, and the implication that she might share in that responsibility, finally gives her "a soupçon of hope," helping her to seek forgiveness and move slowly forward. Annelies is a deeply moving portrait of the woman Anne Frank might have become, and a powerful meditation on loss, humanity and the possibility of redemption. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams

Shelf Talker: David Gillham's powerful second novel vividly imagines Anne Frank struggling to adjust to life in postwar Amsterdam.

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