Also published on this date: Wednesday, October 2, 2019: Maximum Shelf: You're Not Listening

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, October 2, 2019


St. Martin's Press: Humans by Brandon Stanton

Andrews McMeel Publishing: Cat Ninja, Volume 1 by Matthew Cody, illustrated by Yehudi Mercado

Berkley Books: In the Garden of Spite: A Novel of the Black Widow of La Porte by Camilla Bruce

Candlewick Press (MA): Stink and the Hairy, Scary Spider by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

Scholastic Press:  The Captive Kingdom (the Ascendance Series, Book 4) by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Disney-Hyperion: The Mirror Broken Wish (Mirror #1) by Julie C. Dao

News

AAP Sales: Trade Up 6.7% in July

Total net book sales July 2019 in the U.S. rose 5.9%, to $1.946 billion, compared to July 2018, representing sales of 1,361 publishers and distributed clients as reported to the Association of American Publishers. For the first seven months of the year, total net book sales rose 6.7%, to $7.95 billion.

Among highlights: in trade publishing, net revenue grew 6.7%, to $585 million, with children's/YA particularly strong, rising 16.6%, to $160 million. For a change, the leading category was not downloaded audio, where sales were up "only" 17.5% in July, but rather university press hardcovers, with sales up 44%, followed by children's/YA paperbacks, up 33.8%.

As for format, paperbacks had the biggest gain, rising 8.1%, to $206 million, led by major rises in children's/YA paperbacks and religious paperbacks. Total e-book sales rose 0.4%, to $83.5 million.

Sales by category in July 2019 compared to July 2018:


Berkley Books: Our Italian Summer by Jennifer Probst


Volumes Bookcafe Opens Second Location

Volumes Bookcafe in Chicago, Ill., has opened a second location, in the city's Gold Coast area, co-owner Rebecca George reported. The new store officially opened last Wednesday, September 25, and is located in a high-end shopping center on the "Magnificent Mile" of Michigan Ave.

"The building contacted us and wooed us into the space," George said. She and her sister and co-owner, Kimberly George, did a holiday pop-up in that area last year, and "got a good look at what having a bookstore in that area could do."

The new store is about 1,400 square feet, which is smaller than the main store in Wicker Park, and it does not have a cafe. The inventory isn't too different from the original location, but George and her sister have added some more touristy things as well as more history titles and mysteries. When asked how the neighborhoods compare, George said that Wicker Park is very young, while the Gold Coast is the opposite, but very "young at heart."

The Gold Coast location is next to Aster Hall, a high-end food court operated by the people behind the restaurant Au Cheval, and George said the new store gets a lot of lunchtime traffic. She and her team plan to do more middle-of-the-day signings and events, and they also hope to partner with some of the hotels and other businesses in the area.

"Chicago hasn't had a bookstore on this stretch since Borders caved," George said. "I'm happy to bring some of that back. No bookstore could afford ground level in the downtown area so we had to go up."

George and her sister opened the first Volumes Bookcafe in 2016. In 2018, they launched an Indiegogo campaign that raised $39,980 for the bookstore.


AuthorBuzz for the Week of 08.10.20


Wheatberry Books Plans to Move in 2020

Wheatberry Books, a new and used independent bookstore in Chillicothe, Ohio, will move to a new, larger location in 2020. The store will remain in Chillicothe's downtown, moving from 41 S. Paint St. to 9 W. Second St., and the new store will have more space for events.

Owner Chelsea Bruning opened the bookstore in December 2017, and told the Chillicothe Gazette that she named the store after her grandmother's pie. She said: "I wanted to honor my grandmother, the strongest woman I've ever known."

Bruning earned a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2007, and worked full time as a pharmacist until she until opened her bookstore. She described Wheatberry Books as a dream come true. "I think in the back of my mind, I always had a dream of running a bookstore, but never considered it as a viable option," she said. Eventually, though, she and her husband "decided to take a chance on a dream--my dream."


BINC: Book Auction to Benefit BINC - Click Here!


Foyles Adopting Waterstones' Buying Practices

Foyles will adopt Waterstones' buying practices following an "extensive review" of the Foyles business, "which sees a 'small' number of back office roles put at risk of redundancy," the Bookseller reported. Waterstones acquired Foyles in September 2018.

The new buying process for Foyles will resemble fellow Waterstones-owned bookshops Hatchards and Hodges Figgis, "with the initial layer of ordering done by the central team in Piccadilly rather than by Foyles buyers. Bespoke ordering will then be layered on top," the Bookseller wrote.

In a letter sent to publishers, Foyles head of buying Jasper Sutcliffe noted that this integration "will deliver much-needed improvements across all sales routes and improve service levels to our customers.... As a result of this review Foyles will be migrating fully to the buying tool, Atlas, and Waterstones' central stock management system, Phoenix, with stock being supplied via the Waterstones central hub."

The letter also noted that "all of these changes are non-visible to Foyles customers and so the look and feel of our bookshops will remain unchanged, maintaining the uniqueness of the Foyles brand and experience. Foyles will of course still need to see new titles in advance of publication and I will be in touch directly to discuss with you how this will be done to ensure that the stated aim of securing the long-term future of Foyles is assured."

A Foyles spokesman said the company is "committed to ensuring the longevity of the Foyles brand and personality. As such the Foyles estate is now being supplied via the Waterstones Hub which allows us to make some much-needed improvements for our customers. As part of this process, we have similarly aligned various other back office systems which has led to a small number of roles at risk for redundancy. We are doing everything we can to find alternative positions for those affected wherever possible. Through these changes we hope to ensure our shops remain vibrant bookshops true to the Foyles brand."


University of California Press:  Republican Jesus: How the Right Has Rewritten the Gospels by Tony Keddie


Lutheran University Press Sold to 1517 Media

Karen Walhof, a founder and the owner of Lutheran University Press, has sold the press to 1517 Media, whose book imprints include Augsburg Books, Augsburg Fortress, Beaming Books, Fortress Press, and Sparkhouse.

Founded in 2000 by Leonard Flachman and Walhof, Lutheran University Press has published biblical, theological and general-interest titles drawn from a range of Lutheran scholars and leaders. 1517 Media creates multimedia resources and distinctive books for Christian communities, higher-education learning and scholars, and the general reader.

Walhof commented: "This is a great next step for Lutheran University Press. I'm thrilled that the imprint and titles are now lodged at Fortress Press, with their progressive vision for book publishing and ongoing commitment to Lutheran authors and readers."

Will Bergkamp, v-p of business development for 1517 Media, said, "The legacy of LUP is an important one, and we are pleased to be able to support the work of these titles through this agreement. Over the years, LUP and Fortress Press have published a number of the same authors, and we're excited that their work can be joined together under one roof."

Tim Blevins, president and CEO of 1517 Media, added: "We believe that a healthy future for religious publishing will involve agreements and partnerships that preserve the rich diversity of voices in the market today. This agreement with LUP is a perfect example of that."


G.P. Putnam's Sons: Little Threats by Emily Schultz


Notes

Image of the Day: Carmichael's Celebrates Earley

Carmichael's Bookstore in Louisville, Ky., hosted an unusual event over the weekend. When bookseller Sam Miller started five years ago, she asked the store to to carry an older title, Jim the Boy, one of her favorite titles to handsell. As the sales mounted she joked with then-owner Michael Boggs that the store should throw a party when sales reached 100 copies and invite author Tony Earley to visit. When the goal was met earlier in the year, the promised party was planned. To make it even more of a celebration the store had live music, actors from Kentucky Shakespeare perform pieces from the book and (of course) cake! Earley also read from a new work, which will (hopefully) become a new novel. Pictured: Carmichael's founder Michael Boggs with Tony Earley (photo: Patrick Pfister)


Sendak on the Big Stage

Maurice Sendak

The correlation between Maurice Sendak's books for children and his set design, currently in evidence in New York City at the Morgan Library's exhibit "Drawing the Curtain: Maurice Sendak's Designs for Opera and Ballet" (through October 6), helps illuminate his lifelong themes of childhood, play and transformation.

Many Sendak fans know the story of how his display windows at FAO Schwarz's flagship toy store on Fifth Avenue attracted legendary editor Ursula Nordstrom. But they may not know that Sendak's introduction to FAO Schwarz was due to toys--on exhibit at the Morgan--that he created and painted with his brother, Jack, and sister, Natalie. FAO Schwarz, the caption reads, "turned them down due to practical concerns but subsequently hired Sendak to work on its windows."

These variations on childhood, play and transformation come to the fore in Sendak's work on the opera adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are and also in The Magic Flute. His use of storyboards in planning the set design for the operas (on exhibit for both operas) owe a debt to the pacing he developed through his children's books; turning the page in effect sets a new scene.

Design for show curtain (Nutcracker), 1983, gouache and graphite pencil on paper. (©The Maurice Sendak Foundation. The Morgan Library & Museum, Bequest of Maurice Sendak)

One of the most revealing captions from curator Colin B. Bailey discusses the scrim for The Nutcracker; Sendak designed it as the Nutcracker's giant mouth (calling it "a very good self-portrait") whose gritted teeth parted to reveal Clara sleeping in her bed, "making clear... that the ballet had been newly digested."

This idea brings to mind Sendak's illustrations in Iona and Peter Opie's I Saw Esau: The Schoolchild's Pocket Book (Candlewick, $9.99), and the eight comics-like panels for "Guile-Malicious" ("I one my mother/ I two my mother./ I three my mother./ …/ I seven my mother./ I ate my mother"), in which a nursing child slowly devours his mother.

If, in Sendak's work, the mouth indeed signifies "transformation," then the child is now independent of his mother, just as the Nutcracker is now restored as a man. --Jennifer M. Brown


Happy 5th Birthday, Albertine!

Congratulations to Albertine Books, the French and English bookshop and reading room in New York City that is a part of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, which celebrated its fifth anniversary last week on Friday, September 27. 

The store honored the occasion with a happy hour featuring madeleines, birthday cake from Pistache NYC and cider from Cheval Rouge. Throughout, it held giveaways of mystery tote bags filled with Albertine goodies.


Personnel Changes at Ecco; Sourcebooks

Rachel Kaplan has been promoted to associate publicist at Ecco.

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Shauneice Robinson has joined Sourcebooks as marketing associate.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Rachel Maddow on the View

Tomorrow:
The View: Rachel Maddow, author of Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth (Crown, $30, 9780525575474).

Rachael Ray: Bobby Flay, author of Bobby at Home: Fearless Flavors from My Kitchen: A Cookbook (Clarkson Potter, $32.50, 9780385345910).

Daily Show: Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, author of Ninja: Get Good: My Ultimate Guide to Gaming (Clarkson Potter, $19.99, 9781984826756).

Jimmy Kimmel Live: Robert Iger, author of The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company (Random House, $28, 9780399592096).


TV: Life Will Be the Death of Me; The Flight Attendant

Chelsea Handler's bestselling memoir Life Will Be the Death of Me is being developed into a TV series, Deadline reported, adding that, "in a competitive situation with multiple studios bidding," Universal TV, where Handler is under a first-look deal, acquired the rights for the project. Handler will executive produce.

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Sonoya Mizuno (Maniac) will be a series regular opposite Kaley Cuoco in HBO Max's thriller drama series The Flight Attendant, based on the novel by Chris Bohjalian, Deadline reported. Starring and executive produced by Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory), the project was adapted by Steve Yockey (Supernatural). Filming is set to begin this fall on eight one-hour episodes. Susanna Fogel (The Spy Who Dumped Me) directs and executive produces the first two episodes.



Books & Authors

Awards: Giller Shortlist

A shortlist has been released for the C$100,000 (about US$75,465) Scotiabank Giller Prize, which recognizes excellence in Canadian fiction. The winner will be named November 18. This year's shortlisted titles are:

Immigrant City by David Bezmozgis
Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club by Megan Gail Coles
The Innocents by Michael Crummey
Dual Citizens by Alix Ohlin
Lampedusa by Steven Price
Reproduction by Ian Williams


Reading with... Jasmin Kaur

photo: Jasjit Mankoo

Jasmin Kaur is a writer, illustrator and spoken-word artist living in Vancouver, B.C. Her writing, which explores feminism, social empowerment, love and survival, acts as a means of healing and reclaiming identity. An arts facilitator and fourth-grade teacher, Kaur has been leading creative writing workshops for young people in North America, the U.K. and Australia the last five years. Her debut novel for young adults, When You Ask Me Where I'm Going, is now available from HarperCollins Children's Books.

On your nightstand now:

Right now, I'm digging into The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali, and I cannot stress how much I love this book. The imagery is gorgeous, the writing is immersive and the plot is masterfully crafted. This book--which has instantly become an all-time favorite--rivetingly explores young love and the experiences of an Iranian teenage girl across time and space.

Up next are Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy, Wilder Girls by Rory Power and The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon.

Favorite book when you were a child:

There's no question that it was the Harry Potter series. I'm not sure how many times I read and re-read each book, but I distinctly remember my excitement when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released: at midnight on the book's release date, I went to my local bookstore and joined a long lineup of readers eager to get their hands on the book as soon as it was available. I then devoured the book in less than two days. I hope to encounter another series in my lifetime that gets me so excited!

Your top five authors:

Marjan Kamali, Neil Gaiman, Arundhati Roy, Safia Elhillo and Andrea Gibson.

Book you've faked reading:

Wow, it feels strange to admit this! After being assigned Jane Austen titles throughout high school and never finishing a single one, I suppose it would be a worthwhile reminder to my fellow teachers that kids don't always engage with books that don't speak to their lived experiences. In other words, consider the criticality and power in assigning more books by contemporary authors of color.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Right now, it's easily Marjan Kamali's The Stationery Shop. I've already convinced my aunt and sister to get their hands on it, and I'm impatiently waiting for all of my friends to do the same. I'd love it if everyone in my life read it so that we can collectively gush over the gorgeous writing.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Most recently, it was Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis. The cover art stole my heart, and I knew I needed it, no questions asked.

Book you hid from your parents:

I can't remember hiding many books from my parents, but I think that in the eighth grade, I was discreet about reading Sister Souljah's The Coldest Winter Ever because of the sexual content. It was one of my favorites, and even if my parents were to have disapproved of the sex, I would have found a way to finish it.

Book that changed your life:

I probably sound like a broken record, but it would have to be the Harry Potter series. The books did for me what all good books should do--they became a refuge, a safe place, a world where I could lose track of my surroundings and find a sense of home.

Favorite line from a book:

Dumbledore: You ask me, of all people, how to protect a boy in terrible danger? We cannot protect the young from harm. Pain must and will come.
Harry: So I'm supposed to stand and watch?
Dumbledore: No. You're supposed to teach him how to meet life.
--Jack Thorne, J.K. Rowling and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Five books you'll never part with:

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (critical reading in the world we live in!), Take Me with You by Andrea Gibson, The January Children by Safia Elhillo and If They Come for Us by Fatimah Asghar.

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

I think I'm ready to re-read Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner. The last time I had my hands on this painfully beautiful book was the 10th grade, and I can remember how much it affected me back then. After that, I'd love to immerse myself in Hosseini's other works.


Book Review

Children's Review: Red Rover: Curiosity on Mars

Red Rover: Curiosity on Mars by Richard Ho, illus. by Katherine Roy (Roaring Brook Press, $18.99 hardcover, 44p., ages 3-6, 9781250198334, October 29, 2019)

"The little rover likes to roam. It leaves long, straight tracks as it goes./ The tracks play hide-and-seek... waiting for the rover to find them again." This rover sounds like a puppy dog--it's certainly as inquisitive and tenacious as one--but it's actually an aluminum-wheeled, camera-outfitted vehicle combing the surface of Mars. The mixed blessing that is this rover's fate is laid out midway through Red Rover: Curiosity on Mars: "The air is thin. The storms are strong./ You might get stuck in the sand./ Everything is..."--here the reader must open a gatefold--"RED as far as the eye can see. But it is beautiful."

Until this point, the reader has every reason to believe that the narrator is omniscient and without physical form, but this isn't so. The text resumes, "They call me Mars. I am not like your world." Against a red and black sky spritzed with white starlike flecks, the red planet becomes factual ("I am cold. I am every shade of red. I am very far away") and then contemplative: the book concludes, "But I am not alone. I see the rover. I see its friends. I see the stars, and I wonder.../ ...who will visit next?"

Red Rover is a fine launchpad for kids with a budding interest in outer space, but it can also enhance the understanding of confirmed science geeks. Sure, those who know their rovers already grasp that the vehicle "observes./ Measures./ Collects," but have these folks ever considered what Mars might think of its uninvited guest?

Picture book first-timer Richard Ho succeeds with a tough assignment: imbuing a rolling pile of nuts, bolts and gadgets with personality. Illustrator Katherine Roy (How to Be an Elephant) also has quite the challenge, given that the red planet isn't known for its rainbow color scheme. While faithful to a largely peach and russet palette, Roy offers variation by importing other hues in order to create shadows and watercolor-y skies. She also incorporates lots of popping inset art that will appeal to space cases whose pulses quicken at the sight of National Geographic spreads.

Most readers will appreciate Red Rover's punning title, but cracking the code of that subtitle may require a visit to the book's generous back matter, which reveals that Curiosity is the name of an actual 2,000-pound rover that landed on Mars in 2012. In fact, at this writing, Curiosity is still out there poking around, taking pictures, digging up samples and, one is inclined to conclude after reading Red Rover, giving Mars something to think about. --Nell Beram, freelance writer and YA author

Shelf Talker: This wondrous look at the everyday tasks of a persistent Mars rover has an unlikely narrator: the red planet itself.


AuthorBuzz: Berrett-Koehler Publishers: Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body, and Spirit by Mary-Frances Winters
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