Shelf Awareness for Monday, August 12, 2019

Chronicle Books: Stella & Marigold by Annie Barrows, Illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Poisoned Pen Press: The Boyfriend by Frieda McFadden

St. Martin's Press: Disney High: The Untold Story of the Rise and Fall of Disney Channel's Tween Empire

Running Press Adult: Scam Goddess: Lessons from a Life of Cons, Grifts, and Schemes by Laci Mosley

Graphix: 39 Clues: One False Note (39 Clues Graphic Novel #2) by Gordon Korman, Illustrated by Hannah Templer


Aussies Celebrate #LoveYourBookshopDay

On Saturday, booksellers across Australia marked Love Your Bookshop Day, which offers "a chance to celebrate what makes your local bookshop great."

Australian Booksellers Association CEO Robbie Egan wrote, "If you're a reader, you tend to find your bookshop and form a relationship with the booksellers there. You become attached to the physical space and start to feel proprietary about it. Booksellers are trusted to understand and serve the needs of people who have access to every product in the world and the good ones don't let their customers down.... Ultimately, bookshops are much more than a retail space filled with products--they are community spaces that connect people, support culture and creativity, and invite discovery."

Here's a sampling of #LoveYourBookshopDay highlights from social media:

Simon McDonald, bookseller at Potts Point Bookshop, Sydney: "Works in a bookshop all day. Visits another bookshop on the way home (of course I bought something). #loveyourbookshopday"

Matilda Bookshop, Stirling: "Yet more excellent book lovers loving their bookshop on Love Your Bookshop Day"

The Turning Page Bookshop, Springwood: "What an excellent day with some inspirational women! It was wonderful seeing everyone in the bookshop today. Thanks to everyone who entered our competitions and popped in to say hi."

Readings, Melbourne: "We've been blown away by the creativity of the entries to our #LoveYourBookshopDay Draw Your Dream Bookshop competition."

Walker Books Australia: "Jessica Roberts draws a favourite store from her hometown, @squishybooks in Kyneton!"

Tracy Farr: "Today is #loveyourbookshopday in Australia, and I want to send some bookshop aroha to Jo Canham @BlarneyBooks in Port Fairy--top bookshop, top person, enthusiastic welcomer and supporter of writers. (Photos from last July--wish I was there to drop by today)." Jo Canham: "This is a very much appreciated surprise! And I'd welcome you back any time, Tracy!"

Farrells Bookshop, Mornington: "Honestly our customers support is just wonderful, we appreciate you all! Thank you @dbinks for your beautiful words..."

Love Your Bookshop: "WHAT A DAY! Thank you all for showing up and sharing your LOVE of bookshops! What a warm and passionate community of booksellers, authors, illustrators, publishers and book lovers! We'll be sharing more pics over the next few days, and check out the hashtags #lybd19 #loveyourbookshopday to see more of the fun! Thanks for all of your support."

Matilda Bookshop, Adelaide Hills: "Thanks to all of you who joined us to celebrate #loveyourbookshopday We had a simply amazing day...."

Megalong Books, Leura: "Thanks to everyone who came in to the shop yesterday for #loveyourbookshopday and thanks to those of you who voted for your favourite book of all time. We had a great day. We are very lucky to have such a great community of book lovers!"

Shivaun Plozza: "Pssst guess what? It's not even #loveyourbookshopday anymore but I'm still going to drop by a bookshop today because *leans closer to whisper* every day is love your bookshop day."

Peachtree: The Littlest Yak: Home Is Where the Herd Is by Lu Fraser, Illustrated by Kate Hindley

The Coalition for Books to Launch in New Zealand

The Coalition for Books has been launched "to make a tangible difference to the literary landscape of Aotearoa, supported by seed funding from Creative New Zealand," Booksellers NZ reported. During its initial year, the coalition will be a collaborative venture under the umbrella of the Auckland Writers Festival; other founding organizations include the Booksellers Association, the Society of Authors, the Publishers Association, Tautai Pacific Arts Trust, the New Zealand Book Awards Trust, the Michael King Writers Centre and the Academy of New Zealand Literature.

The initiative's mandate is "to complement the work of existing organizations, identify gaps in activities and develop initiatives that serve authors, publishers, booksellers and festivals. Through strategic activity and by mobilizing the literary sector, it will enhance the visibility, sales and overall opportunities for New Zealand books and their writers."

Interim chair Melanie Laville-Moore commented: "A year in the making, the Coalition for Books feels like a watershed moment. It's the very first time that so many representatives from across the literary sector have come to the same table to initiate important change. The potential to enable greater success for all of our organizations is huge. We're immensely grateful to Creative New Zealand for believing in our vision and allowing us the opportunity to put plans into action."

Anne O'Brien, director of the Auckland Writers Festival, said, "The festival shares the Coalition's kaupapa of supporting and strengthening engagement for and with New Zealand writers and readers, and looks forward to working with sector colleagues to make a real difference to this country's literary well-being."

The inaugural meeting of the Coalition for Books will be held later this month during the Booksellers Association Conference in Auckland. A new incorporated society will be established immediately afterwards.

New Book Festival This Weekend in Alexandria, Va.

Old Town Books, Alexandria, Va., which opened last November, is hosting a book festival called the Emerging Writers Festival, which will take place in Old Town Alexandria this coming weekend, August 16-18. The festival aims to "connect readers to new writers and give emerging writers new opportunities and skills. Individuals can kick start their writing practice, learn about pitching editors and agents, take craft classes, or meet their next favorite author."

Among the authors who will appear are Catherine Chung (The Tenth Muse, HarperCollins), Tope Folarin (A Particular Kind of Black Man, Simon & Schuster), and Kwame Onwuachi (Notes from a Young Black Chef, Knopf). The festival will offer more than a dozen writing classes with professional writers, editors and book industry experts. The book fair part of the festival will feature vendors selling handbound books, small/independent press titles, and representatives from local literary arts organizations, as well as national organizations like PEN America and the Smithsonian Libraries.

Old Town Books owner Ally Kirkpatrick commented: "Alexandria was overdue for a literary arts festival--we're a city of readers and writers! I hope this festival helps demystify the traditional publishing process for current writers, and inspires folks who don't consider themselves writers yet to give it a try. We all have a story to tell."

Seattle Street Named After Late Bookseller

Last week in Seattle, Wash., Mayor Jenny A. Durkan presided over the public unveiling of E. Barbara Bailey Way, named in honor of LGBTQ+ activist, civil rights champion and bookseller Barbara Bailey, who died in September 2018. Others celebrating included Michele Hasson from the AIDS Memorial Pathway project; Pride Foundation CEO Katie Carter; and Thatcher Bailey, activist and brother of Barbara Bailey.

The new E. Barbara Bailey Way is at the festival street portion of East Denny Way, between Broadway East and 10th Avenue East, near the former site of Bailey/Coy Books. The street connects the new AIDS Memorial Pathway plaza to Cal Anderson Park and the Capitol Hill Link Light Rail station, creating a gathering place for Capitol Hill residents.

Barbara Bailey

Born and raised in Seattle, Bailey began her career in bookselling at a small bookstore in Sun Valley, Idaho. After returning to Seattle in the late 1970s, Bailey opened B. Bailey Books in Rainier Square. In 1982, she opened another, bigger store on Broadway called Bailey/Coy Books. In 2003, Bailey retired from the book industry and sold the store to Michael Wells. It closed in 2009 at the height of the financial crisis.

At the time of Bailey's death, Mayor Durkan noted that her bookstores were "safe and welcoming spaces for the LGBTQ+ community, particularly for those just coming out and during the height of anti-LGBTQ+ actions." Bailey/Coy Books was also known for its "carefully curated inventory" and "friendly staff."

Obituary Note: Robert James Sheldon

Robert James Sheldon, who was a bookseller and worked for a range of publishers, distributors and book organizations in the West, died July 25. He was 73 and had had a long struggle with serious health problems.

He began his book career as manager of a Westwood bookstore in Los Angeles, then opened and operated the Raven Bookstore in Boulder, Colo. Later, he became marketing director for Capra Press and also worked at North Point Press, John Muir Publications, Clark City Press, Johnson Books and Pruett Publishing. He also worked for distributors Bookpeople in Berkeley, Calif., and Consortium in Minneapolis, Minn. He held several positions in the Rocky Mountain Book Publishers Association (now PubWest) and was director of literature programs for the Western States Arts Federation.

He would want to be remembered as a lover of books and authors, opera, and the American West. He asked that there be no memorial service and that his ashes be distributed in the Santa Fe River, Boulder Creek and Puget Sound. His family and friends have asked that, in lieu of flowers or cards, please send a donation to the Salvation Army in his name.


Image of the Day: 'Elton Johns' at Macmillan

Last week, Macmillan hosted an open house for the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association at its new office in Lower Manhattan. One of the highlighted titles was Me by Elton John (Holt), which came with appropriate swag. Modeling, from l.: NAIBA executive director Eileen Dengler, and Peter Albertelli and Maribeth Pelly of BookTowne, Manasquan, N.J.

Happy 20th Birthday, Kinokuniya Singapore Main Store!

Congratulations to Kinokuniya's Main Store in Singapore, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month. Singapore store director and director, merchandising division, Kenny Chan wrote that the anniversary is "auspicious in so many ways": it coincides with the founding of Kinokuniya's first international store, in San Francisco, 50 years ago; it was Kinokuniya's "secret sauce" store, to counter the Borders that opened in 1997; it is still the top-grossing Kinokuniya store outside Japan; many of the key members of the team that founded "SIMS," the Singapore Main Store, are still there; and many have trained at the SIMS Academy of Super Book Elves. "With your support, we hope to propel the SIMS flagship to a new exciting world where things change but the spirit of Kinokuniya and its connection to our dear customers remain the same," Chan continued. "Thank you, dear people."

The store has 38,000 square feet of retail space in Takashimaya Shopping Centre and features more than 500,000 titles in English, Japanese, Chinese, etc. The store also offers magazines, stationery, DVDs, CDs, collectible toys/figurines, games, novelties, and more. Its events space hosts book launches, cooking and comic art demonstrations, cast appearances, storytelling, and the like. The store has been celebrating with a 25% off storewide sale for Privilege Card members. There are two other Kinokuniya stores in Singapore.

Bookseller Moment: The Portobello Bookshop

Publishing Scotland tweeted yesterday: "The new indie bookshop @PortyBooks is gorgeous. A haven this rainy Sunday afternoon. Lovely bright space and great selection of books. Congratulations to all!"

Personnel Changes at Scholastic Trade

At Scholastic Trade:

Lauren Donovan has been promoted to senior director of publicity. She was previously director of publicity.

Elisabeth Ferrari has been promoted to senior publicist. She was previously publicist.

Taylan Salvati has been promoted to publicist. She was previously brand publicity specialist.

Jordana Kulak has been promoted to publicity coordinator. She was previously publicity assistant.

Carmen Alvarez has been promoted to senior marketing manager. She was previously marketing manager.

Shara Zaval has been promoted to senior marketing manager. She was previously marketing manager.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Ibram X. Kendi on CBS This Morning

CBS This Morning: Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist (One World, $27, 9780525509288).

Fresh Air: Helen Prejean, author of River of Fire: My Spiritual Journey (Random House, $27, 9781400067305).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: George Takei, co-author of They Called Us Enemy (Top Shelf Productions, $19.99, 9781603094504).

Tonight Show: Common, author of Let Love Have the Last Word: A Memoir (Atria, $26, 9781501133152).

Good Morning America: Sarah M. Broom, author of The Yellow House (Grove Press, $26, 9780802125088).

TV: The Spellman Files

Fox Entertainment has acquired the rights to Lisa Lutz's six-novel series, which was launched in 1997 with The Spellman Files, to develop as a drama series, Deadline reported, adding that the network is also bidding on other book properties.

"We have a book scout in New York in addition to our development teams," said Fox Entertainment president Michael Thorn. "We are going to take each property and look at it--what is the best way to package this book, who are the best auspices to help bring this to life, what studio are they based at. If they are based at a studio, we can approach that studio with something the talent and the studio know we are passionate about. If the talent are free-ball, we can partner with (the Fox-owned, Gail Berman-run) SideCar and use our partnership with them."

Regarding The Spellman Files acquisition, Thorn noted: "I've always tried to get it as a producer, I wanted it when I was at (20th Century Fox TV) but it was always tied up." When the Fox book scout recently called to say that the rights were available, "we moved in there and grabbed them."

Books & Authors

Awards: Massachusetts Book Winners

The Massachusetts Center for the Book announced winners of the 18th and 19th annual Massachusetts Book Awards (for books published in 2017 and 2018 respectively), which recognize significant works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and children's/YA literature published by Commonwealth residents or about Massachusetts subjects. Check out a complete list of winners here.

Book Review

Review: Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: Big Questions from Tiny Mortals About Death

Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: Big Questions from Tiny Mortals about Death by Caitlin Doughty (W.W. Norton, $25.95 hardcover, 208p., 9780393652703, September 10, 2019)

Caitlin Doughty wrote Smoke Gets in Your Eyes to share what she's learned about the mortuary business and, more importantly, about death, with adult readers. Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: Big Questions from Tiny Mortals About Death is a delightful follow-up and expansion on that project, aimed at younger readers but absolutely for adults as well. Doughty's continuing experience in the business (from crematory operator to mortuary owner, with a degree in mortuary science) means her expertise has grown. Her sense of humor and fun when approaching topics often considered morbid, however, is her most valuable contribution.

"Every question in this book is 100 percent ethically sourced (free range organic) from a real live child." And children do ask "the most distinctive, delightful questions": We eat dead chickens, why not dead people? Can we give Grandma a Viking funeral? What would happen if you died on a plane?

Doughty's answers are as delightful and distinctive as the questions. She blends humor with respect for the dead, joking around but repeatedly reminding her readers that it's never okay to do something with a person's remains that they wouldn't have liked. ("Did Grandma want a Viking funeral?") Her investigations of ritual, custom, law and science are thorough, and she doesn't shy from naming the parts of Grandma's body that might leak after she is gone. She uses big words sometimes, but explains what they mean; she keeps her explanations simple enough for younger readers, but there are asides for grown-ups, too, including references to Justin Timberlake and vinyl records that she winkingly tells the kids to ignore.

Can I preserve my dead body in amber like a prehistoric insect? First of all, Doughty is on to us: she knows this is really a question about being brought back to life, à la Jurassic Park, and she informs the reader that a second species will be required to graft that DNA onto. "Hybrid panther humans of the future! (This is made up, it's not going to happen--don't listen to me, I'm just a mortician.)" As for the title question, Doughty begins: "No, your cat won't eat your eyeballs. Not right away, at least." (Spoiler alert: "Snickers is more likely to go for the tongue," but only out of necessity, or maybe because he's trying to wake you up.) Will I poop when I die? "You might poop when you die. Fun, right?" This irreverent voice is winning, and pitch-perfect for her younger audience, but, honestly, adults need a little humor as well when considering "postmortem poo."

Dianné Ruz's accompanying images keep the same tone of playful but plainspoken discussion. "Don't let anyone tell you your curiosity about death is 'morbid' or 'weird,' " Doughty reminds readers. If they try to say so, "it's likely they're scared of the topic themselves." This informative, forthright, comical guide to bodies after death is just the antidote--and surprisingly great fun as well. --Julia Kastner, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: The heavy questions about death and dead bodies are answered with honesty and hilarity by the creator of the webseries "Ask a Mortician," for children and adults.

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