Also published on this date: Wednesday, August 14, 2019: Maximum Shelf: Followers

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, August 14, 2019


Sharjah Publishers Conference: October 27th-29th - Register Now!

Minotaur Books: The Woman in the Mirror by Rebecca James

Tor Books: The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

DK: Free Pack of The Wonders of Nature Wrapping Paper - Click to Sign Up!

Bloomsbury Publishing: All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews

Other Press: Nvk by Temple Drake

Quotation of the Day

Books 'Make It All (Mostly) Better'

 

"OMG, this summer has been INSANE. Nobody ever tells you about the meetings with the accountant and the paperwork and the fights with the network printers: 'What do you mean it's not there?!?!?!? I'm looking right AT IT!!!' when you dream of being a bookseller. Somebody let me up for air!!

"And the basement's flooded. Just lettin' you know. And it hasn't even started raining yet!!!

"You know what's awesome about this? I could be having all these problems doing some other job or even in my own household duties and there might not be books there to make it all (mostly) better."

--Kelly Justice, owner of Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, Va., in the intro to her shop's e-newsletter

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Firewatching by Russ Thomas


News

Sandcastle Tales Kids' Bookshop Debuts in Del Mar, Calif.

Alex Rhett, owner of Sandcastle Tales in Del Mar, Calif., said she opened the children's bookstore, located at 1414 Camino Del Mar, to give back to the community, where her family has roots going back 50 years, the Del Mar Times reported.

"I don't think there's a town that has a spirit if it doesn't have a bookstore, a little community bookstore," said Rhett.

In 2009, when she was living in Sacramento with her husband and three children, Rhett "began hosting gatherings of mothers at her home. The guest list grew to about 200 people before her husband encouraged her to find a different venue to better accommodate her growing ambition to serve the community," the Times wrote.

Alex Rhett 
(photo: Kris Gabele/Light of Love Photography)

The family eventually moved back to Del Mar, and following visits to several bookstores, Rhett "spent the last two years studying all the business and entrepreneurial information she needed to know to make the store a reality," the Times noted."

"To me it's very important you have a book as an example to your kids," she said. "As long as I'm here, I want this to be a magic place that kids remember."

Earlier this summer, Rhett attended ABA's Children's Institute in Pittsburgh, Pa. "It is encouraging to confirm with other booksellers that what we are doing in Sandcastle Tales is special," she said. "Books have come a long way, but still the basics are that you can touch and hold them. Some books add a button that offers music as part of the story. There are books that teach you values. But what makes a book special is how it makes you feel when you read it or hear it read to you."

She also noted that "this is my family business and it is my passion. Our wonderful library and Sandcastle Tales are all working hard to offer valuable resources to families in our community. I have reached out to the library and the Friends of the Del Mar Library to offer to partner with them to serve our community, and Sandcastle Tales will be donating books and more to the library. I have many business ideas, but to me, opening a children's bookstore is one of the best ways I can give back to my community, and express my deep love and care for families."


Arcadia Publishing: Stock Your Shelves!


Reader's Loft Closing, New Indie Opening in Green Bay, Wis.

The Reader's Loft in Green Bay, Wis., will close August 31, but Amy Mazzariello, the bookshop's buyer and events coordinator, is already in the planning stages to open a new indie, Lion's Mouth Bookstore, downtown.

In a letter to friends and customers posted on Facebook, Reader's Loft owner Virginia Kress announced her retirement and the closure: "These past 26 years have brought so much joy I don't even know how to properly express it. Not just the books themselves but all the people that have come into my life as a result; customers, authors and co-workers alike. My goal from the beginning was to create a haven from the frantic world we all find ourselves living in. I hope you have found over the years that The Reader's Loft was a place of refuge and peace for you. From our book clubs to writing circles to poetry readings I hope you have also found nourishment for your mind and soul. I will miss you all!"

Kress also noted, "on a more positive note," that Mazzariello "will be opening a new bookstore created in her own vision on Washington Street in downtown Green Bay. While her store Lion's Mouth will offer the same basic services as our current store, the setting will be a bit more contemporary. We hope you will all continue your patronage of our local independent bookstore."

Mazzariello, who has been a bookseller for a number of years, decided that the time is right to take the next step. Lion's Mouth Bookstore will be located at 401 N. Washington St.

"My vision for the business is largely the same as the what the Reader's Loft currently has to offer," she said. "The only real difference will be its location, name, and size (we are moving into a 1,500 square foot space from a 3,000 square foot space). Currently, we are located in a bedroom village of Green Bay and as a result serve as a destination for most. I am looking forward to being in the downtown area where there are a number of hotels, the main branch of the Brown County library, the court house, the Meyer Theater, Schreiber Foods corporate offices, condos and apartments, and the Fox River City Deck, a place where kids tend to gather and hang out. I really think as a bookseller it is important to be where the kids are. They are our future readers after all and I want Lion's Mouth to help create a book culture for them, too. The Fox River Trail ends a block beyond our new location and people of all ages use it daily."

Mazzariello launched her bookselling career in 2000 at Powell's Books, Portland, Ore., and went on to work briefly at Borders in Danbury, Conn., before moving to Wisconsin and joining the Reader's Loft team. She has also served as a founding board member and co-president for Green Bay's UntitledTown Book and Author Festival.

Although Lion's Mouth Bookstore does not have a website yet, plans call for it to be ready by the end of September. Once the Reader's Loft is closed, Mazzariello will change the name of the Facebook page to Lion's Mouth. "Everything we do at the Reader's Loft will carry over to the new store, so keeping the Facebook page alive and well seems fitting. The Reader's Loft does not have an Instagram page, but Lion's Mouth will," she noted.

"I am very excited to enter into the next phase of bookselling, as a store owner," Mazzariello said. "I have been given a tremendous opportunity through the Reader's Loft to grow with the community and I think the timing is perfect to move from Bellevue into the heart of the city."

She added that Kress "could not have been more accommodating over the past 13 years while she allowed me to work through the process of learning the trade on a deeper level. As a result of her trust and kindness I have been able to be part of a body of people interested in bringing big name authors to the area, such as Margaret Atwood, R.L. Stine, Walter Mosely, Roxane Gay and more through the work of UntitledTown. We are cultivating a real book culture in what is largely known as Packer Country and I am eager to see what this next chapter will reveal." 


Grove Press, Black Cat: Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo


Binc, Macmillan Name Professional Development Scholarship Winners

The Book Industry Charitable Foundation and Macmillan Publishers have announced the winners of the Macmillan Booksellers Professional Development Scholarship, which was created in 2017 to provide professional development opportunities to booksellers traditionally underrepresented in the industry. The nine winners will each receive a $500 scholarship to help cover the cost of attending their fall regional booksellers association show. The winners are:

Applicants anonymously submitted answers to short essay questions, which were evaluated by a panel of judges. A winner was chosen from each of the nine regions represented by independent booksellers associations. The judges included Malati Chavali from Macmillan, Jeanne Costello of Maria's Bookshop and Binc's program committee, and Ken White of Query Books and Binc's Board of Directors.

"We were incredibly impressed by the quality of applications for this year's scholarship," said Chavali. "It is heartening to see the passion our applicants have for bookselling and spreading acceptance and tolerance in their communities."

Pam French, Binc's executive director, said: "We are happy to work with Macmillan to bring this opportunity to booksellers for the third year. This popular program not only furthers individual booksellers' careers by helping them attend their regional trade shows, the program promotes a more inclusive and diverse industry by giving an opportunity to individuals who are traditionally underrepresented at the shows. Congratulations to all the scholarship recipients. We hope you enjoy attending your regional trade show."


Berkley Books: Happy and You Know It by Laura Hankin


Community Rallies to Support Va.'s One More Page Books

Customers have stepped in to help One More Page Books in Arlington, Va., which "is facing a major financial hit" because of a 30% jump in real estate taxes on the building, which is being passed on to owner Eileen McGervey.

The bookstore's patrons are rallying "to help meet that goal by donating to their silent auction, which offers everything from dinner with Washington Post sportswriters, a free subscription to Red Truck Bakery and homemade quilts," WUSA9 reported. The auction runs through this Sunday, August 18.

Asking for help covering bills is awkward, but better than the alternative, McGervey told Arlington Now. "You don't want to just be gone one day and have people not know that you could have been there." She is also exploring the idea of a membership program to cover future rent needs.


Nimbus Publishing: Making a Life: Twenty-Five Years of Hooking Rugs by Deanne Fitzpatrick


Notes

Cool Idea of the Day: Artfully Repurposing Used Gift Cards

"Ever wonder what we do with your Avid Bookshop gift cards once you've spent them?" the Athens, Ga., bookseller tweeted yesterday. "We get crafty! We love repurposing the gorgeous illustrations created by our talented bookseller Julie Jarema. What's one way you've gotten crafty this month?"


Flame Tree Publishing: Detective Mysteries Short Stories by Various Authors


La Rentrée Display: Bonjour Books DC

"Ready for La Rentrée?" asked Bonjour Books DC in Washington yesterday in a Facebook post, noting: "Despite our best efforts, summer is almost over;-). The good news is that 'La Rentrée' is exciting, too! We have some great resources to celebrate 'l'année scolaire.'

"And in the meantime, why not inject some 'Je ne sais quoi' into these last lazy days of summer and stop by your friendly local French bookstore? We have French musique playing (we take requests, too!) comfy reading nooks, café on tap, and something for everyone on the shelf, including not-yet French speakers: a small selection of English-language titles, many bilingual books, and lots of fun French-themed gifts! We also have several upcoming French-language activities with spots still open...."


B&N's August Book Club Pick: Inland

Barnes & Noble has chosen Inland by Téa Obreht (Random House) as its August national book club selection. The novel will be the focus of a book club night at B&N stores around the country on Tuesday, September 10, at 7 p.m.

Liz Harwell, B&N's senior director of merchandising, trade books, said, "We're really looking forward to readers joining us for our monthly Book Club as we discuss an unforgettable, epic story set in the American West. Téa Obreht won the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction and was a 2011 National Book Award finalist for her debut novel, The Tiger's Wife, and Inland is her much-anticipated follow-up that readers and critics around the country will love."

For more information on the event, click here.

IPG Adds 10 Publishers

Independent Publishers Group has added 10 client publishers:

The Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria, B.C., begins U.S. distribution with the IPG Trade program effective September 1. The museum and its publications showcase 550 million years of natural history and 9,000 years of human history in British Columbia.

Disruption Books, founded in 2014 and focused on innovative nonfiction on thought leadership, began being distributed by the IPG Trade program in January.

Interlude Press, a boutique publisher of LGBTQ general and romantic fiction, also joined the IPG Trade program with distribution that began in January.

Starting September 1, Midpoint Trade, which was acquired by IPG last fall, adds Oceanview Publishing, which publishes mystery, thriller and suspense titles; children's educational publisher Tarquin Group; Canadian publisher of literary works Guernica Editions; and regional publisher Buffalo Heritage Press, Buffalo, N.Y.

The National Association of Home Builders, whose publishing division is the designated source for education and training products for the building industry, joined the Academic and Professional distribution group in March.

Pavilion Publishing and Media, the provider of professional development resources for workers in the health, social care, education and community safety sectors, began distribution with the Academic and Professional program on July 1.

DesignerBooks, a Chinese publisher of books in art, architecture, graphic art, landscape design and planning, advertising art, industrial art, film and television media, began in June within the IPG Art distribution line.



Media and Movies

Media Heat: Mary Beth Keane on Tonight

Tomorrow:
Strahan and Sara: Linsey Davis, author of One Big Heart: A Celebration of Being More Alike than Different (Zonderkidz, $17.99, 9780310767855).

Tonight Show: Mary Beth Keane, author of Ask Again, Yes: A Novel (Scribner, $27, 9781982106980).


BBC Arts to Feature 'Year-Long Celebration of Literature'

BBC Arts has announced a year-long celebration of literature, with new programming across BBC TV, radio and online, as well as a festival in partnership with libraries and reading groups around the U.K.

"Cementing the BBC's commitment to in-depth exploration of literature, the programming reflects the breadth of the art form, from classics to contemporary fiction, from celebrated authors to the less well-known," the broadcaster said.

A highlight of the celebration of literature will be the landmark BBC Two three-part series The Novels That Shaped Our World, with an accompanying festival of programming. The series examines the novel from three perspectives: empire and slavery, women's voices and working class experiences. The films "will argue that the novel has always been a revolutionary agent of social change, spearheading shifts in both colonial and post-colonial attitudes, female equality and social mobility," the BBC reported.

BBC Arts acting director Lamia Dabboussy said the broadcaster "is committed to exploring novels that have had a huge impact on our lives, from the classics to contemporary fiction. We're hoping to get the nation reading, re-reading and debating novels through this year-long focus on literature across the BBC. Whilst not exhaustive, our programming aims to generate debate and to shed a light on the role of literature to entertain, challenge and spearhead social change since the birth of the English language novel 300 years ago."


Movies: Little Women Trailer

A trailer has been released for Greta Gerwig's (Lady Bird) highly anticipated adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's classic novel Little Women, which hits theaters on Christmas Day, Entertainment Weekly reported.

"We wanted [the trailer] to feel like the movie feels, which is both classical and fresh," Gerwig said. "We wanted it to feel light on its feet. And even though it does take place in the 19th century, we in no way wanted it to feel like it was something that was past. We wanted it to feel like it was present right now."

EW added: "Good luck not being knocked over by the very present emotion of seeing Meg (Emma Watson), Jo (Saoirse Ronan), Beth (Eliza Scanlen), and Amy (Florence Pugh) brought to vivid life in the joyous, colorful footage, with glimpses of gentle Marmee (Laura Dern), stern Aunt March (Meryl Streep), and the wonderful, almost-irresistible Laurie (Timothée Chalamet)."

"It's like their hearts are as big as the landscape," Gerwig said.


Books & Authors

Awards: FT/McKinsey Business Book Longlist; Collyer Bristow Shortlist

The 16 titles on the longlist for the £30,000 (about $36,160) Financial Times/McKinsey Business Book of the Year are:

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff
Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez
The Big Nine by Amy Webb
Human Compatible by Stuart Russell
Make, Think, Imagine by John Browne
Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Anti-Hero by Tyler Cowen
Kochland by Christopher Leonard
Equal by Carrie Gracie
The Anxious Triumph by Donald Sassoon
Firefighting by Ben Bernanke, Henry Paulson, and Tim Geithner
The Man Who Solved the Market by Gregory Zuckerman
Boom by Michael Shnayerson
The Third Pillar by Raghuram Rajan
Extreme Economies by Richard Davies
Loonshots by Safi Bahcall
Range by David Epstein

---

The London Magazine has announced a shortlist for the Collyer Bristow Prize, which celebrates "exceptional literary fiction, inviting publishers to submit one debut work of fiction published in the calendar year 2018." The winner will be announced October 3 in London. This year's shortlisted titles are:

The Chameleon by Samuel Fisher
The Earlie King & the Kid in Yellow by Danny Denton
Ok, Mr. Field by Katherine Kilalea
The Orchid and the Wasp by Caoilinn Hughes
The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh


Reading with... Eoin Colfer

Eoin Colfer is the author of the Artemis Fowl series, which was adapted into a major motion picture from the Walt Disney Studios, to be released in 2020. The Dog Who Lost His Bark, illustrated by P. J. Lynch, comes out with Candlewick in September; a new Artemis Fowl graphic novel came out in June and The Fowl Twins will be released in November, both from Disney. He lives with his wife and two sons in Dublin, Ireland.

On your nightstand now: 

My nightstand is usually loaded with a teetering tower of books that I am trying to get through. At the moment, I am on the final chapter of Roddy Doyle's Charlie Savage, which is so convincing in its portrayal of middle-aged men and their near constant state of befuddlement in the modern world that I feel sometimes Roddy was spying on me. In contrast to that, I am reading Tana French's latest crime masterwork, The Wych Elm, which is thrilling enough to function as a defibrillator if needed. My third current read is Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi, which is a beautiful modern fairytale; wicked, gooey and delicious.

Favorite book when you were a child:

I have always loved Stig of the Dump by Clive King. I read it when I was ill one weekend and I think my fever helped me to reach a state of literary delirium into which all the best books can plunge a reader.

Your top five authors:

I have had many favorite authors over the decades and it is a list that changes weekly. My current top five would be:

Ken Bruen for his dark depiction of the Galway underbelly.

Sarah Davis Goff who put a literary spin on dystopia. 

The talented Patricia Highsmith for lovely Tom Ripley.

Robert Louis Stevenson for everything he ever wrote but especially Treasure Island.

And finally:

Jim Fitzpatrick for his illustrated take on the legends of Ireland, notably The Silver Arm that inspired me to present fairies a little differently than expected.

Book you've faked reading:

I did pretend to read Portrait of a Lady in high school. Henry James is a brilliant writer but could not compete with comic books for 12-year-old me. I have read it since and it is of course a masterpiece, but so is V for Vendetta.

Book you're an evangelist for: 

I do think everyone should read A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. We all have to deal with grief at some point and this gives the reader a head start. And if I could sneak in a second book, I would say William Goldman's The Princess Bride is the epitome of what fantasy literature should and can be. 

Book you've bought for the cover:

I bought the Dark Knight Returns on a trip to London to buy an engagement ring for my then fiancée Jacqueline. I spent a large portion of our engagement dinner reading the Frank Miller book. Only one of us was impressed.

Book you hid from your parents:

I remember reading the rather racy The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain when I was about 14. I also persuaded my brother to accompany me to the movie a couple of years later. Imagine our surprise when our parents came into the movie theatre and sat behind us. We were forced to hunker down for the entire movie but we learned that parents are people too.

Book that changed your life:

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy touched down in rural Ireland in 1980 and I realized that you didn't have to write things the same way everyone else did--you could write them like Douglas Adams, or at least you could try. That book set me on a comedy/sci-fi/fantasy path that I am still on. A 50-year journey to go where no one has gone before. Or very few anyway.

Favorite line from a book:

Sometimes less is more and when Szell asks Babe: "Is it safe?" in Marathon Man, I soooo wanted Babe to know the answer, because if he didn't... Well we all know what happened to Babe. William Goldman brilliantly turned our own nightmares against us in one of the greatest thrillers ever written.

Five books you'll never part with:

I am very much a fanboy when it comes to books. When I get a dedication from a much-admired writer, I tend to take extra special care of that volume. So far on my shelf of exaltedness I have:

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, theee man. (a proof too!)

A Star Called Henry by Roddy Doyle. An absolute masterpiece.

What Remains of Me by Alison Gaylin. A thriller that manages to be noir and cutting edge. Not an easy thing. I read everything she writes.

The Silver Arm by Jim Fitzpatrick. Technically I got this signed for my brother but he hasn't picked it up yet, not sure why.

The Great and Secret Show by Clive Barker. I did a reading at a U.S. bookstore after him and, when he heard I was a fan, he kindly left a copy behind. Very gracious and most treasured.

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

I remember reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for the first time and being swept into the book by the extraordinary first-person narrative. I would love to be that engrossed in a story again. It's becoming more difficult to lose myself in a novel but it still happens every now and then. 

Book you love that nobody else has ever heard of:

I love an old pirate novel called Black Bartlemy's Treasure by Jefferey Farnol, which never quite reached the dizzying heights of the classics' shelf but was often found in second hand store boxes, which was where I found my copy. This was a book about buried treasure so it seemed fitting that I had found it buried in an old dusty box. In my opinion it's up there with Treasure Island and Captain Blood so if you are a fan of those swashbucklers, seek out Black Bartlemy.


Book Review

YA Review: Butterfly Yellow

Butterfly Yellow by Thanhhà Lại (HarperCollins, $17.99 hardcover, 304p., ages 13-up, 9780062229212, September 3, 2019)

In April 1975, the U.S. implemented Operation Babylift, a mass evacuation of children from South Việt Nam. As the country imploded, 12-year-old Hằng--who looked eight--and her five-year-old brother, Linh--who passed for three--presented themselves at the airport as orphans ready to be saved. Deemed too old, Hằng was helpless as Linh was torn from her arms and forcibly carried onto the airplane. Interrupting Hằng's frantic screams, an American volunteer pressed a card into her hands, giving Hằng her only link to Linh: "405 Mesquite Street, Amarillo, Texas."

Six years, two months and 15 days later, Hằng is finally on her way to reunite with Linh. Having arrived in Dallas the day before, she boards a bus bound for Amarillo, but gets stranded at a rest stop after a severe bout of motion sickness. A kindhearted couple somehow maneuver her into the new, red truck of 18-year-old Leslie Dwight Cooper, who just that morning renamed himself LeeRoy. He thought he'd embark on a post-high school adventure to pursue his dreams of finally becoming a bona fide cowboy despite the expectations of his two Yale-educated professor-parents. But now his solo has become an unexpected duet.

LeeRoy's good Samaritan-ambush is initially hard work, especially with Hằng's bewildered silence. Her singular determination to find Linh takes the unlikely pair on a wild ride out to horse country (and, eventually, cantaloupe farming). For Hằng, Linh is "the only person left from her youth," but Linh, now 11 and living happily as David with a new mother he adores, remembers nothing of his faraway past. Having lost their grandmother, father and mother, Hằng must figure out which stories she can share that will convince her brother of their connection.

National Book Award winner Thanhhà Lại (Inside Out & Back Again; Listen, Slowly) makes her young adult debut with Butterfly Yellow, which is inspired by her own background of fleeing war as a child, living in the U.S. as a refugee and spending her adolescence in Texas. Lại literally inscribes her dual cultures onto the page, visually combining LeeRoy's vernacular English with Hằng's English-as-a-foreign-language through the use of diacritical-laden Vietnamese syllables: "Thó-sì-lȃu, bờ-li-sì," Hằng requests, which LeeRoy realizes is "Talk slowly, please." While readers might find deciphering such phrasing a challenge, LeeRoy's uncanny ability to understand Hằng bodes well for their evolving communication. As LeeRoy and Hằng grow from wary strangers to possible soulmates, Lại suffuses the unlikely relationship with gentle humor, yet she remains unblinkingly candid about Hằng's left-behind experiences, graphically emphasizing her most gruesome memories of survival through italicized flashbacks. Hằng is hardly free of trauma, the siblings' reunion is not made-in-Hollywood and too-easy happy endings aren't guaranteed, yet Lại's love-story-of-sorts remains surprisingly, consistently endearing. Dedicated "In memory of the thousands of refugees at the bottom of the sea," Lại personalizes history with compelling characters, lively interactions and, most importantly, engrossing storytelling. --Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon

Shelf Talker: In National Book Award winner Thanhhà Lại's Butterfly Yellow, Vietnamese refugee Hằng arrives in the U.S. determined to find her younger brother--but reunion is just the beginning of getting him back.


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