Shelf Awareness for Friday, May 10, 2019


Mulholland Books: Heaven, My Home (Highway 59 Mystery #2) by Attica Locke

Forge Books: Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark

Flame Tree Press: Safe-Cracking Summer Reads - Click to request a copy!

Ingram: Count on Us to Help You Never Miss a Beat - Learn More

Del Rey Books: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Other Press: NVK by Temple Drake

Sourcebooks Fire: I'm Not dying with You Tonight by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal

Quotation of the Day

'I Need to Be Out There Connecting with the Community'

"It's a lot harder than I dreamed it would be. You think: 'Oh, because I love books, it should be easy.' But it's not easy because you love books, because it's also a business. I do have a degree in accounting, I have a degree in education, I have a master's degree in library science. I have a lot of things that are necessary to run the store. I also love talking to people, and what I realized is, I don't really want to be here running the store. I want to be out there talking to the people, connecting with people and figuring out what they need and then bringing those resources to them. The store is necessary, but I can get someone else to run it, it doesn't have to be me. I will still pick most of the books, but I need to be out there connecting with the community because that's what I love doing."

--Kathy Burnette, owner of the Brain Lair Bookstore, South Bend, Ind., on the biggest lesson she has learned since opening her shop last year (via the Tribune)

Soho Crime: The Second Biggest Nothing (Dr. Siri Paiboun Mystery #14) by Colin Cotterill


News

B&N Ordered to Pay Half of Parneros's Legal Fees

Demos Parneros

Barnes & Noble must pay half of all legal fees and legal expenses for former CEO Demos Parneros, who in August sued B&N over his abrupt termination without severance last July, Judge John G. Koeltl has ruled. Parneros had petitioned for B&N to pay for legal fees based on his 2016 employment contract, which stipulated that B&N would provide for indemnification "against all actions, suits, claims, legal proceeding and the like." The court order does not include Parneros's legal fees incurred before B&N's countersuit, filed in October.

In a striking addition to the short order, the judge noted that B&N must pay half of Parneros's "fees related to making the application for fees--or, fees on fees."

B&N fired Parneros on July 2 last year, accusing him of "violations of company policies," which it later said included sabotaging a deal to sell the company (apparently to WH Smith), sexual harassment and bullying. Parneros then sued B&N for breach of contract and defamation.


MPIBA: Publishers, promote your books to hundreds of thousands of consumers - Reserve space in the 2019 holiday gift guide (print & digital catalogs)


New Owner, Name Change for Linda's Story Time

Pia Ledina has purchased Linda's Story Time in Monroe, Conn., and will rename it Turning the Page Books, the Connecticut Post reported.

Previous owner Linda Devlin, who ran the store for 20 years, announced earlier this year that she planned to retire in June and was looking for a buyer. Ledina, a school librarian with more than 10 years of experience, decided to approach Devlin after reading a notice about the sale. On May 7, Ledina announced that she would officially be leaving her job as a librarian in order to take over the store. "I never expected to leave the school library environment, but I had been interested in running a book shop," Ledina told the Post.

Devlin and Ledina expect the sale to be finalized by June 1. And although she'll change the store's name, Ledina plans to keep its focus on children's literature. Said Ledina: "When I walked into the store, it was like coming home."


Oxford University Press: Hitler by Peter Longerich


Booksellers NZ CEO Lincoln Gould to Retire

Lincoln Gould

Booksellers New Zealand CEO Lincoln Gould will retire at the end of October. The association's board has done some preliminary work on finding a replacement and will soon engage the services of a recruitment specialist. The position will also be also advertised through The Read in the coming weeks. The board's goal is to select a new head for the association by the end of August.

Noting that Booksellers NZ "has been immensely fortunate to have had Lincoln as our CEO these last 10 years," chair Juliet Blyth said Gould "has been a true champion for our members and for the wider book industry. Notably Lincoln was a key driver, in lobbying successive governments to implement the charging of GST on international online purchases, and this will be in place from October 1 this year.

"Due to the strong relationships he forged with his international counterparts, particularly the American, Australian and British booksellers associations as a founding member of the English Language Booksellers Association, Lincoln has been extremely successful in bringing the world to NZ booksellers with many new initiatives." Included among these are NZ Bookshop Day and the establishment of the Winter Institute Scholarship, allowing kiwi booksellers to attend ABA's Winter Institute and gain work experience in U.S. bookshops."

Gould observed that bookselling in New Zealand "has seen great change in the past 10 years, and I have been fortunate to have been able to contribute to such an important  part of the cultural fabric of the country. The financial crisis of 2009, the year I started, also saw the beginning of the e-book phenomenon, which some predicted would be the end of printed books.  It was also the time when Amazon was attacking bricks and mortar bookshops around the world with cut-priced online selling.

"However, New Zealand booksellers rose to the challenge, with our agreement with Kobo offering the opportunity for member bookshops to sell e-readers and also consolidating their positions as important social and cultural hubs within their communities. Booksellers NZ and our members also quickly utilized the new tools of social media to promote and sell books online. The e-market has now plateaued, new bookshops are opening in communities across the country and real-book sales are increasing."

Blyth added that Gould's "achievements are many, and tough as it will be to see Lincoln go, with membership numbers on the rise and Booksellers NZ safely ensconced in their new premises across from Book House in Boulcott St., the association is well positioned to engage in a new future. Lincoln came into Booksellers NZ from a background in change management and leaves with a demonstrable passion for the industry in the form of Messines Bookshop, his own bookshop in Featherston. Once again, the magic of bookselling does its thing."

Gould's decision to retire marks yet another change at the top of the major English-language booksellers associations recently. In March, Oren Teicher, CEO of the American Booksellers Association, announced he will retire at the end of the year. A year ago, Tim Godfray, CEO of the Booksellers Association of the U.K. and Ireland, became executive chair of the BA Group, while Meryl Halls became managing director of the association. And at the end of last year, Joel Becker retired as CEO of the Australian Booksellers Association and was replaced by Robbie Egan.


Bookmobile Coming to the Bronx

Latanya DeVaughn, a lifelong resident of the Bronx, N.Y., has announced plans to bring a new mobile bookstore to the borough called Bronx Bound Books, Welcome2TheBronx reported.

DeVaughn revealed her plans at an event last Sunday night at the Bronx Music Heritage Center. She said she plans to make Bronx Bound Books a fixture in neighborhoods that are far from independent bookstores, and will soon launch a fundraiser with a goal of $65,000 to help make the bookmobile a reality.

"If it takes a person more than a half hour to get to their nearest bookstore by public transport," DeVaughn told Welcome2TheBronx, "I want to be located there. Accessibility and visibility are my top priority."

At the Sunday event, DeVaughn received an outpouring of support from community members in attendance, many of whom offered to help out with things like painting and design work. One attendee named Tanya Fields, founder and executive director of a nonprofit called the Black Feminist Project, even offered to donate a school bus.

Although the bookmobile itself will not be up and running until after the fundraiser, DeVaughn will begin doing Bronx Bound Books events soon. She already has a contract in place with a local shelter to provide books and even build a library.

And according to Gothamist, some longer-term event plans include workshops, book signings and open mics, and DeVaughn hopes to partner with organizations like daycare centers and retirement communities. When it comes to building the store's inventory, DeVaughn said she'll draw inspiration from independent stores like Word Up Community Book Shop in Manhattan's Washington Heights neighborhood, and will select the inventory based on her customers' interests.

While no dates have been established, DeVaughn hopes to get Bronx Bound Books rolling in the fall.


Obituary Note: Paul Winer

Paul Winer

Paul Winer, the longtime owner of Reader's Oasis Books in Quartzsite, Ariz., who gained international notoriety as the "naked bookseller," died May 7, the Parker Pioneer reported. He was 75. Also known as Sweet Pie, Winer moved to Quartzite two decades ago and "could often be found walking around town nearly nude."

Describing him as one of Quartzsite's "most noted residents," Parker Live wrote that Winer "was well known as the much-loved owner of the Reader's Oasis bookstore, who would usually be seen in the nude with just a little 'pouch' for modesty. As 'Sweet Pie', he was also a boogie-woogie piano player and possibly the first legally nude performer in the United States.

"When Winer became a parent, he settled in Quartzsite, where he sold books and T-shirts at the famous flea markets. He's been there for the better part of 30 years now, with a sprawling 180,000+ title bookstore, including space carved out in the middle for his piano. Lucky visitors to the Oasis Bookstore could be treated to a boogie-woogie performance by Paul, and thousands of them left with photos taken next to him."

Many tributes and photos were posted on the Facebook page for the Desert Messenger, which noted: "Quartzsite has lost a true legend. Our dear friend Paul Winer, aka Sweet Pie, died in his sleep last night, after a lengthy illness. Paul loved our community with all his heart. We send our love, prayers, and condolences to his wife, Joanne. Boogie on, Paul! Thanks for the memories!"


Notes

Image of the Day: Lambslide at Parnassus

 

photo: Stephanie Appell

Parnassus Books, Nashville, Tenn., celebrated the launch of co-owner Ann Patchett and Robin Preiss Glasser's new picture book, Lambslide (HarperCollins). The book features a character named Uncle Nathan, who's based on Nathan Talley, friend of the store and boyfriend of Stephanie Appell, Parnassus's director of books for young readers. At the event, Talley read the part of Uncle Nathan in the read-aloud. Here he is with Patchett (left) and Glasser.


A Snapshot of Wolfman Books in Oakland, Calif.

The San Francisco Chronicle profiled Wolfman Books in Oakland, Calif., a 750-square-foot independent bookstore complete with a publishing press that puts out a quarterly magazine, a queer skateboard collective that also publishes zines, and a radio station that even sells "street-wear merch" in Japan and Taiwan.

The bookstore part of Wolfman Books, which is located on the building's first floor, specializes in books about topics such as social justice and queer and gender studies. New Life Quarterly, an arts and culture magazine, shares the bottom floor, while upstairs belongs to Lower Grand Radio and the collective's zine press. Wolfman also hosts an artist residency program and is a frequent site of performances and workshops.

"We like to engage people and make an open and welcoming space," said Justin Carder, who founded Wolfman Books in 2014. "We really want to include people and help people get excited--make a zine, make a book!"


Personnel Changes at Sourcebooks

Michael Leali has joined Sourcebooks as marketing specialist. Most recently he was the children's department manager at Anderson's Bookshop in La Grange, Ill.



Media and Movies

Media Heat: Emily Oster on Science Friday

Today:
NPR's Science Friday: Emily Oster, author of Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool (Penguin Press, $28, 9780525559252).

Tomorrow:
Good Morning America Weekend: Dr. Jennifer Ashton, author of Life After Suicide: Finding Courage, Comfort & Community After Unthinkable Loss (Morrow, $24.99, 9780062906038).


TV: Watchmen

HBO released a teaser trailer for Watchmen, based on the comic book epic by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Deadline reported that "even as Game of Thrones winds down, HBO has been ramping up another sprawling adaptation of a genre epic that defies almost every traditional expectation about episodic television.... Set in an alternate history where superheroes are viewed as outlaws, the new drama from executive producer Damon Lindelof is rooted in the same universe as the source material but strikes out in new directions with unfamiliar characters and a different story to tell."

The cast includes Regina King, Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, Jean Smart, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr., Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Hong Chau, Andrew Howard, Tom Mison, Frances Fisher, Jacob Ming-Trent, Sara Vickers, Dylan Schombing, and James Wolk.

The "tick, tock, tick, tock" chant in the teaser "is an effectively unsettling way to introduce a show that may end up with a reputation for memorable sonic moments that get in the ear and stay in the head," Deadline noted. "That's because Nine Inch Nails musicians Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (who first worked together as film composers on The Social Network) will be creating the original music for the series." Watchmen will debut on HBO in the fall.


Books & Authors

Awards: Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Winner

Nina Stibbe's Reasons to Be Cheerful won this year's Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction, given to a book that best captures the comic spirit of the legendary British author, the Bookseller reported. Last year, for the first time in its history, the prize did not name a winner after the judges said they had "not found a book they felt worthy."

Stibbe's victory "comes after the prize faced criticism from Marian Keyes that it was very rarely won by a woman," the Bookseller wrote, adding that a new contest, the Comedy Women in Print Prize, "was launched in the wake of the row."

Since the prize was not given last year, Stibbe wins two rare breed pigs named after her book, a methuselah of Bollinger Special Cuvée, along with a case, plus a complete set of the Everyman's Library collection of Wodehouse's books.

David Campbell, judge and publisher of Everyman's Library, said: "With Reasons to Be Cheerful Nina Stibbe has written a comic tour de force. We withheld the prize in 2018 and so were eager to find a book this year that would make each of the judges laugh out loud. Nina Stibbe has achieved that with aplomb. Reasons to Be Cheerful is a moving and funny pitch-perfect romp that takes us back to the 1980s, which serves as a fitting tribute to the inimitable P.G. Wodehouse."

Stibbe commented: "I have always wanted a pig--my own Empress of Blandings--and now I shall have two. I'm overjoyed to have been awarded the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse prize. To win against such talented competition, to be honored with the pigs and to go home with a family-sized bottle of Bolly, and the complete works of Wodehouse is a dream come true for any writer."


Reading with... Juliet Escoria

photo: Saja Montague

Juliet Escoria is the author of the poetry collection Witch Hunt and the story collection Black Cloud. She lives in West Virginia with her husband, the writer Scott McClanahan. Her new novel, Juliet the Maniac, was just published by Melville House.

On your nightstand now:

The Bible and The Kingdom by Emmanuel Carrère.

I was raised without religion. Last year, I decided I wanted to read the Bible because it seemed negligent to be a writer and an English teacher and to not have read what is possibly the most influential book of all time. I am following a year-long Bible reading plan with some friends. Because I am incapable of having a normal degree of interest in things, I also decided that I needed "supplemental" biblical-themed readings, hence the Carrère book. It's fu*king great.

Favorite book when you were a child:

The Dangerous Angels series by Francesca Lia Block. Witch Baby is my idol.

Your top five authors:

So many ways to answer this question. I'll go with the canned answer that helps explain my own work:

Mary Gaitskill
Denis Johnson
Lucia Berlin
Sylvia Plath
Joan Didion

Book you've faked reading:

Maybe this is one of the positive things about getting your GED? I don't feel the need to do this because I can always blame it on the gaps in my education instead.

Book you're an evangelist for:

The Sarah Book by Scott McClanahan
Person/A by Elizabeth Ellen
Cherry by Nico Walker
Liveblog by Megan Boyle
Bipolar Cowboy by Noah Cicero

All of these books are completely uncompromising in portraying emotional truth, which should be the highest goal of literature (or art in general).

Book you've bought for the cover:

Young God by Katherine Faw Morris. The book is just as good as the cover.

Book you hid from your parents:

I stole a water-themed erotica anthology from Barnes & Noble that was printed on waterproof paper so you could take it in the bathtub. That book lived under my bed for years.

Books that changed your life:

I read Cruddy by Lynda Barry, Geek Love by Katherine Dunn and The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things by JT LeRoy around the same time--I was maybe 18--and it made me really want to write weird, beautiful, troublesome fiction.

Favorite line from a book:

"...and the dogs licked up his blood while the harlots bathed" --I Kings 22:38

Five books you'll never part with:

Signed galley copy of Hill William by Scott McClanahan (my husband--he gave it to me before we were even dating).

Rock Dreams by Nik Cohn, which is out of print and was given to me by my beloved dead uncle.

I'll leave it at that. All the others are replaceable.

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

My Ántonia by Willa Cather. That was the dream reading experience--I laughed, I cried, I envied the beauty of the writing, I couldn't put it down.

Other 2019 books that you're excited about:

Sugar Run by Mesha Maren
Essays & Fictions by Brad Phillips
The New Me by Halle Butler
Biloxi by Mary Miller
Meander Belt by M. Randal O'Wain
The Book of X by Sarah Rose Etter
Teenager by Bud Smith
Hard Mouth by Amanda Goldblatt


Book Review

Review: Mrs. Everything

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner (Atria, $28 hardcover, 480p., 9781501133480, June 11, 2019)

Jennifer Weiner (Good in Bed; Hungry Heart) has created a novel for the ages in Mrs. Everything, which is as impressive as it is ambitious.

Just shy of 500 pages, Mrs. Everything is a skillfully rendered and emotionally rich family saga capturing 70 years of American life as experienced by two Jewish sisters. The novel begins in the 1950s in Detroit, where Jo and Bethie grow up in a Jewish suburb. Bethie is the apple of her mother's eye, while Jo, the oldest and more unconventional in her appearance and interests, clashes with her mother's expectations. Jo realizes from a young age that she's gay, and this sets up conflict not only with her mother, but with society in general, and Jo struggles to fit in. In her early chapters, Weiner crafts a compelling Bildungsroman. The two sisters form an unbreakable bond when their father dies prematurely, leaving their mother in financial hardship. The sisters' relationship is further tested when an uncle begins abusing Bethie and the two girls must form a plan to fight back.

With vibrant descriptive powers and a potent sense of history, Weiner delineates her protagonists' college years. She reveals the 1960s in all their heady psychedelic delirium. Jo becomes a progressive activist and meets the love of her life, Shelley, while Bethie becomes a drug-imbibing hippie and vagabond of sorts. The two sisters take much different paths into the '70s and '80s. Sick of having her heart broken by women, Jo settles down with a husband and raises three daughters. After traveling, emotionally scarred Bethie ends up in a women's commune outside Atlanta. She marries a former classmate, an African American man named Harold, and eventually turns the commune's homemade goods into a business empire, completing a curious arc from hippie to entrepreneur.

Mrs. Everything is an unapologetic feminist novel. In lesser hands, the male characters in the book could come off as villainous clichés. Weiner, however, shows convincing command of her material, fully fleshing out the pernicious effects of patriarchy. There's the aforementioned abusive uncle. There's a rape that takes place in the supposedly free-love culture of the '60s. There's the abortion doctor who slut-shames Bethie. There's rampant sexism, body shaming, clueless cheating husbands and one obstacle after another as the sisters push to define themselves in the new millennium. Weiner risks the narrative collapsing under the weight of so many issues, but she largely succeeds due to her overarching vision and her commitment to the reality of her characters.

That the novel's timeline ends with the 2016 presidential election and the MeToo movement is fitting. Events come full-circle, and Jo's daughters have more options, thanks to the women before them. That doesn't stop Jo from worrying about the pressures placed upon them. "Women had made progress--Jo only had to look as far as the television set to see it--but she wondered whether they would ever not try to have it all and do it all and do all of it flawlessly," Weiner writes.

Mrs. Everything defines a formative period for women in the U.S. Weiner shows that big, expansive social novels are not only still possible in our fragmented society but perhaps necessary. Mrs. Everything is a great American novel, full of heart and hope. --Scott Neuffer, writer, poet, editor of trampset

Shelf Talker: Jennifer Weiner's ambitious and life-affirming novel follows two sisters through seven decades of American history.


Deeper Understanding

Robert Gray: #BookstoreDays #ThatMomentWhen...

I spend vast swaths of my workday scanning social media for news and notes about bookstores and booksellers. It's undeniably great fun seeing pic after pic of enviably gorgeous aisles with handcrafted bookcases; imaginative table, endcap and storefront window displays; clever sidewalk chalkboard illustrations and captions; crowded, successful author events with long signing lines; energetic booksellers--young, old(er) and in-between--touting their favorite handsells in photos and GIFs, and so much more. Gives one hope for the future of bookselling, to be honest.

The popularity among Shelf Awareness readers of regular features like Image of the Day, Chalkboard of the Day, Cool Idea of the Day and Favorite Bookseller Moment of the Day also speak to need we all have for, and pleasure we take in, sharing good news about the bookselling community online. Why wouldn't we?

Still...

If all those great photos are the bookselling angel on one shoulder, I must confess that the devil sitting on my other shoulder wonders sometimes where the alternative pics are filed away. You know the ones I'm talking about. Bookselling isn't all #JustAnotherFunDayOnTheSalesFloor.

So the mischievous bookselling devil on shoulder #2 has prompted me to imagine some of those pics, along with less cheery responses to the incessant grilling from Twitter ("What's happening?") and Facebook ("What's on your mind?"). I'm sure you have your own, but here are a few of mine:

Pic: Book cart on the sales floor, absolutely packed with multiple copies of newly received stock, including horizontal overflow piles across the top.
Post: Night shift strikes again!!! #Doesn'tAnybodyShelveAfter5pm?

Pic: Small office desk awash in papers surrounding a computer, which displays on the screen mysterious bookkeeping software in operation.
Post: Battle Royale: Sales Figures vs. Unpaid Invoices. #UnfairFight #LiterallyOutnumbered

Pic: Stained and wrinkled shelf talker beneath faced-out book.
Post: What's the deal with shelf talkers by former staff who haven't been here for more than three years? #GoneNotForgotten #PaperTrail

Pic: A group of sleepy-eyed booksellers gathering near bookshop's information desk.
Post: tfw morning meeting and nothing new to say? #NoNewsNotGoodNews #NeedMoreCoffee

Pic: View out bookshop's front door across the parking lot.
Post: It's 6:55pm. The talent hasn't arrived yet. Too early to panic? #Where'sOurAuthor?

Pic: Shot taken from behind several rows of sparsely occupied chairs at an author event.
Post: If a tree falls in the forest... #Where'sOurAudience?

Pic: View of bookstore's low ceiling, where two of the recessed lighting bulbs are out, adding a twilight atmosphere to sections they are supposed to illuminate.
Post: Day 6 since the second bulb blew. Anybody know where we keep the spare bulbs? #TooDarkToRead #TooDarkToShelve

Pic: Empty mug with bookshop logo positioned next to cash register.
Post: Is the new policy that customers must bring their own writing utensils?!! #WhoStealsAllThePens?

Pic: Staff member standing at register, staring at cell phone.
Post: Day-to-day grind. Clock watching. #IsItLunchYet?

Pic: View from behind of unidentifiable person walking out of the back office.
Post: Unfortunately, not everyone can be a bookseller. #TerminateWithExtremeJudiciousness

Pic: Bookstore's public bathroom in a state of... disarray.
Post: Whose turn to clean the restroom? #NotInJobDescription #GotToDoItAnyway

Pic: Sink in bookshop's staff break room filled with dirty cups, dishes and flatware.
Post: This is getting REALLY old!!! #CleanYourOwnDishesPeople.

(via)

Pic: Hand lifting lid of cardboard coffee cup, which contains the fuzzy/moldy remnants of an ancient latte.
Post: Look what we found while pulling returns. #BookshopScienceProject

Pic: Kids' picture book section, where strange, brownish abstract design obscures the cover of a copy of Goodnight Moon.
Post: Ice cream cone vs. picture book. No contest. #GoodnightChocolateIceCream

Pic: Disgruntled man at cash register, pointing at clipboard.
Post: That moment when dude from another town who's never been in your bookshop aggressively requests charity donation. #Nope!!

Pic: POS gift wrap station, where one of the three dispensers is empty and the other two are low.
Post: One down, two to go. #WorstGiftWrapDesignChoicesEver

Pic: Bookstore cat nestling in corner of back room with unexpected litter of newborn kittens.
Post: #PlotTwist.

Pic: Lovely overstuffed chair in bookshop's reading nook with large tear in cushion. Stuffing pokes through.
Post: Wanted: Full-time bookseller and part-time upholsterer. #JackOfALLTrades

Pic: Shot of bottom side of once-expensive hardcover art book with black magic marker slash.
Post: Customer trying to return birthday present for exchange. Three years since pub date. #RemaindersDon'tMakeGreatGifts

Maybe it's for the best that we keep these images on file. I'd rather see the good ones anyway. Bookselling life may not be perfect, but bookshop posts sure beat most of the alternatives in my social media feed. #You'veGotToReadThis

Next week: Censored first drafts of sidewalk chalkboard signs #JustKidding.

--Robert Gray, contributing editor (Column archives at Fresh Eyes Now)

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