Also published on this date: Wednesday, November 6, 2019: Maximum Shelf: Saint X

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Tordotcom: The Saint of Bright Doors by Vajra Chandrasekera

Minotaur Books: Deadlock: A Thriller (Dez Limerick Novel #2) by James Byrne

Ballantine Books: The Second Ending by Michelle Hoffman

Tor Books: One for My Enemy by Olivie Blake

Henry Holt & Company: Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley

Little, Brown Ink: The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich (a Graphic Novel) by Deya Muniz

Flatiron Books: Once Upon a Prime: The Wondrous Connections Between Mathematics and Literature by Sarah Hart

Quotation of the Day

ABA's Fiocco: 'Let's Break the Mold'

"The talk [among booksellers] is about new physical bookstore formats, new legal and financial structures, and, of course, how we can make it all work. And, yes, the change continues at the organizational level as the ABA Board begins an in-depth look at what our membership looks like today and in the future, what sorts of stores are represented, what types of people are running them, and what the resources, education, and tools are that will make them profitable and sustainable.

"We're in a great spot--our numbers are bigger than they've been in a decade--but we need to step back and see what makes up our numbers and evaluate how bookselling works in 2020 and beyond. We've got good conversations started with our industry partners, with the goal to make this bookselling ecosystem run with less chewing gum and tape on the P&L and more cash money in all our pockets. It's time the cultural relevance of independent booksellers was worth more than thank-yous and was bankable....

"Let's have an outrageously successful holiday season (or get a deserved rest if you're a summer high season store) and come out of the gate charging in 2020. Let's break the mold next year. Who says there has to be three books in a trilogy? As one of my favorite authors wrote, 'So long, and thanks for all the fish!' "

--Jamie Fiocco, president of the American Booksellers Association and owner, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, N.C., in a letter to ABA members in Bookselling This Week

Sourcebooks Young Readers: Global: One Fragile World. an Epic Fight for Survival. by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin, illustrated by Giovanni Rigano


PRH to Buy Eric Carle Studio and Works

Penguin Random House's Penguin Young Readers division is buying Eric Carle LLC, the entity that holds intellectual property rights for Eric Carle, the children's book author and illustrator whose more than 70 books have sold more than 145 million copies worldwide. The deal is expected to close January 1.

Eric Carle

Carle, who is 90, commented: "My son, Rolf, and I have decided to transition the management of my books to the most logical and appropriate place: Penguin Random House, my publisher of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I know they will continue the work of the Eric Carle studio with creativity, integrity and care. I feel confident that entrusting Penguin Random House with my life's work is the right direction for me, and will benefit many future generations of readers for my books."

Penguin Random House U.S. CEO Madeline McIntosh said: "It is a thrill to welcome the Eric Carle studio to the Penguin Random House family. Eric's beautiful books have captivated generations of children, including those in my own home. We, at Penguin Random House, look forward to supporting and advancing his unique vision and works for generations to come."

Penguin Young Readers president Jen Loja added: "Eric Carle's iconic picture books have long been part of the fabric of Penguin Young Readers. Generations of readers, myself included, grew up with Eric's innovatively designed books. And his signature collage artwork and introductions to early concepts are as resonant today as they were 50 years ago... We are honored to continue their work to grow and expand this treasured preschool brand.”

Beginning in January, all business operations for what has previously been the Eric Carle studio will be overseen by Stephanie Sabol, v-p, business development, Penguin Young Readers.

For 25 years, the Eric Carle studio, headed by CEO Jack Fortier and creative director Motoko Inoue, has managed the business assets of Carle's work across books, merchandise, and entertainment and expanded Carle products to include live children's theater adaptions, bestselling interactive apps, direct-to-retail license and "good for you" food- and beverage-licensing. After a period of transition, Inoue will retire and Fortier will become president of the Eric and Barbara Carle Foundation. Mary Mekarnom, currently senior designer, will take on the role of creative director, reporting to Stephanie Sabol.

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Mass., will remain its own entity.

Tor Books: One for My Enemy by Olivie Blake

The Lion's Mouth Opens in Green Bay, Wis.

The Lion's Mouth Bookstore, a new and used independent bookstore selling titles for all ages, opened Monday in Green Bay, Wis., the Green Bay Press Gazette reported.

Prior to opening The Lion's Mouth, owner Amy Mazzariello was buyer and events coordinator at The Reader's Loft, Green Bay's 26-year-old indie. After Virginia Kress, the owner of the Reader's Loft, announced that she would retire and close the store, Mazzariello acquired the business from her, changed the name and moved the store to downtown Green Bay.

In addition to new and used books, Mazzariello carries out-of-print titles and a variety of gifts. She told the Gazette that she hopes the store will become a community center for the many people moving into downtown Green Bay's new apartments, homes and developments. Her event plans include author talks, book clubs and more.

"It's exciting to have residents upstairs and, really, up and down the block," Mazzariello said. "We're another place to go in winter and I hope residents use the space to build community, or when they need a change of scenery."

Mazzariello explained that the name comes from The Library Company, founded in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1731. The company had a sort of suggestion box that was shaped like a lion's mouth, and members were encouraged to "deposit in the Lion's Mouth the titles of such books as they may wish to have imported." Mazzariello saw it during a visit to Philadelphia, and the idea stuck.

GLOW: Blackstone Publishing: The Wisdom of Morrie: Living and Aging Creatively and Joyfully by Morrie Schwartz, edited by Rob Schwartz

The Crooked Shelf Bookshop Comes to Lewistown, Pa.

The Crooked Shelf Bookshop, an independent bookstore in Lewistown, Pa., officially opened last Friday, the Lewistown Sentinel reported. Kelly Rivera, the owner of the Crooked Shelf, has partnered with a local business incubator called Community Partnerships RC&D to help support her fledgling bookstore.

"I am really excited to be contributing to the revival of downtown Lewistown," Rivera told the Sentinel. "The new shops and eateries that have opened in the past few years have brought a tremendous diversity to our community, and more and more people are exploring all we have to offer."

Rivera's bookstore had a ribbon-cutting ceremony and official opening on November 1. At opening her inventory consisted of around 1,500 titles for children and adults, as well as cards, candles, gifts and a variety of other sidelines. The store also features a dedicated children's room, which Rivera said was her favorite part of the store to build up.

"Our mission is strengthening the community through creative partnerships and this makes The Crooked Shelf a perfect fit for our organization's property and purpose," said Sam Price, executive director of Community Partnerships. "We are especially proud that our new business arrangement brings an independent bookstore to our community. We are grateful for Kelly's passion and talents."

G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Three of Us by Ore Agbaje-Williams

The Book Cellar Reopening in Lafayette, Colo., in 2020

The Book Cellar, a new and used bookstore that closed this spring in Louisville, Colo., has found a new home in Old Town Lafayette, Colo., and will reopen under new ownership next year.

Owners Deirdre Appelhans and Barbra Huntting, who bought the business from previous owner Barbara Butterworth, plan to continue carrying new and used books, as well as gifts, toys and stationery, and announced that the new space will allow them to put in an espresso bar and cafe. They are renovating their new space, and hope to be open for business in February 2020.

"We would also like to say thank you to the City of Lafayette and the Lafayette Urban Renewal Authority for being so welcoming and helpful in this process," Appelhans and Huntting wrote. "We look forward to being a part of this thriving business community."

Blink: Come Home Safe by Brian G. Buckmire

Obituary Note: Ernest J. Gaines

Ernest J. Gaines

World-renowned author Ernest J. Gaines, who "wrote of the inner struggle for dignity among Southern black people before the civil rights era in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and other acclaimed novels," died November 5, the New York Times reported. He was 86. Gaines, "who spent his early years on a Louisiana plantation, captured the lives and strivings of those he had grown up with in a time of limited opportunities and oppressive racism."

In a statement, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said: "It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to Ernest J. Gaines, a native Louisianan who used his immense vision and literary talents to tell the stories of African Americans in the South. We are all blessed that Ernest left words and stories that will continue to inspire many generations to come."

His first novel, Catherine Carmier (1964), "told the story of a young black man who, much like Mr. Gaines himself, left his home in Louisiana for college in California before returning to the South," staked out his geographical and emotional territory, the Times noted, adding that by the time his second novel, Of Love and Dust (1967), came out, "he was beginning to gain some attention."

This increased dramatically with the publication of The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1971), which "was a critical smash--Alice Walker, reviewing it in the Times, called it a 'grand, robust, most valuable novel that is impossible to dismiss or to put down'--and three years later CBS made it into a television movie starring Cicely Tyson as the title character. The production won nine Emmy Awards," the Times wrote.

A Lesson Before Dying, his bestselling 1993 novel, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and was an Oprah Winfrey Book Club selection in 1997. Gaines's numerous other honors include the National Medal of Arts; Chevalier (Knight) of the Order of Art and Letters (France); the Louisiana Writer Award; and the National Humanities Medal.

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette's Ernest J. Gaines Center, an international research center and archive dedicated to preserving the life and works of the author, noted that "the legacy that Dr. Gaines is leaving behind is nothing short of brilliant and awe-inspiring.... Though he touched countless people through his work, to know him was to love him. A towering man with a gentle voice, Dr. Gaines was an inspiration to generations and his death will be felt deeply by family, friends, and his University family."

University president Joseph Savoie observed: "Ernest Gaines once said he wanted his epitaph to read: 'He was a good man who wrote well.' And indeed he was--but to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, he was far more. He was a literary giant who found his muses among the sugar cane fields of his native Pointe Coupee Parish, and who shared those stories with readers around the globe.... He was a believer in the power of words to inspire unflinching, honest conversations about painful corners of our collective past.... Ernest Gaines, a good man who wrote well, was also an extraordinary and inspiring figure in the American literary landscape.... He will be missed, but his words will live on."


Election Result of the Day: Next Page Books

Posted on Facebook yesterday by Next Page Books, Cedar Rapids, Iowa: "The polls have closed and the people have spoken. With a groundswell of popular support, Frank has been elected Mayor of Main Street in an unprecedented landslide. All hail Frank! Frank. Frank, wake up!"

Cool Idea of the Day: Literary Costume & Cocktail Party

Bear Pond Books, Montpelier, Vt., shared lots of photos on Facebook from Gin Austen, a recent time-traveling event at the shop, noting: "Our first literary costume & cocktail party at the bookstore was a success! Thanks to Bar Hill of Caledonia Spirits for bartending, and thanks to the inimitable M.T. Anderson for hosting. His readings were matched in fervor by our most devout Jane Austen thespian party-goers... or maybe it was the gin talking! A fun time of delicate sipping, playing trivia, taking Jane selfies, and showing off 18th century attire, was had by all. What a fun way to end our Fall Event Series!"

Personnel Changes at Scholastic Trade

At Scholastic Trade:

Meaghan Finnerty has joined the company as senior marketing director, Graphix, Picture Books, Branches and Acorn. She was previously director of early reader and middle grade marketing at HarperCollins Children's Books.

Shifa Kapadwala has joined the company as global brand publicity manager. She was publicity manager at the Children's Book Council & Every Child a Reader and previously worked in publicity at Simon & Schuster.

Zakiya Jamal has joined the company as social media manager. She was previously digital marketing assistant at Tom Doherty Associates.

Sabrina Montenigro has joined the company as coordinator, school & library marketing. She was previously bookshop manager for the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and active in the New England Children's Booksellers Advisory Council.

Sydney Tillman has joined the company as publicist. She was previously a publicist at Random House Children's Books.

Destany Atkinson has joined the company as marketing & publicity assistant. She was most recently a bookseller at Kramerbooks & Afterwords in Washington, D.C., and previously interned at Anaphora Literary Press, Hodgman Literary, and Platypus Media.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Saeed Jones on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Saeed Jones, author of How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781501132735).

CNN's The Lead: Karine Jean-Pierre, author of Moving Forward: A Story of Hope, Hard Work, and the Promise of America (Hanover Square Press, $26.99, 9781335917836).

Wendy Williams: Karamo Brown, co-author of I Am Perfectly Designed (Holt, $18.99, 9781250232212).

The View: Donald Trump Jr., author of Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us (Center Street, $30, 9781546086031).

Daily Show: Jenny Slate, author of Little Weirds (Little, Brown, $27, 9780316485340).

TV: High Fidelity

A first look at the TV adaptation of Nick Hornby's novel High Fidelity was showcased by Entertainment Weekly, which reported that the 10-episode Hulu series, premiering February 14, 2020, "will keep the action in gentrifying Brooklyn while putting a new twist on the tale by gender-flipping the main character. In this iteration, Rob is played by Zoe Kravitz (Big Little Lies, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), who is also an executive producer on the project."

The novel was previously adapted into the 2000 movie set in Chicago, starring John Cusack and Jack Black, and on Broadway in a 2006 musical set in Brooklyn.

"We, of course, had to modernize the world," Kravitz said. "Now we are dealing with people who are not only obsessed with pop culture, but also nostalgia. Surprisingly, I don't think the character has changed much. Of course, it's my own interpretation, but the heart of the character is very much the same. Changing the character from male to female did not change the kind of person we are dealing with."

The new film version also stars Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Jake Lacy and David H. Holmes. Trivia note: "Fans of the film adaptation may recall that Kravitz's mother, Lisa Bonet, played a singer-songwriter who was romantically linked to Cusack's character and performed a groovy version of Peter Frampton's 'Baby, I Love Your Way,' " EW wrote.

Books & Authors

Awards: Staunch Book; Diagram Oddest Book Title

A shortlist has been released for the £1,000 (about $1,300) Staunch Book Prize, which recognizes "a novel in the thriller genre in which no woman is beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered." The winner will be announced November 25 on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This year's shortlisted titles are:

Only to Sleep by Lawrence Osborne
The Western Wind by Samantha Harvey
Honey by Brenda Brooks
The Godmother by Hannelore Cayre
Liar's Candle by August Thomas


"Titles featuring nude biblical figures, pillaging Vikings and the fabled war on cheese are among the contenders" for the 2019 Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year, the Bookseller reported. The shortlist now goes a public vote, with the online poll open until November 22. The winner will be announced on November 29. A "passable bottle of claret" will be given to the person who nominated the winning entry. This year's shortlisted titles are:

The Dirt Hole and Its Variations by Charles L Dobbins
Ending the War on Artisan Cheese by Catherine Donnelly
Hitler's Monsters: A Supernatural History of the Third Reich by Eric Kurlander
How to Drink Without Drinking by Fiona Beckett
Noah Gets Naked: Bible Stories They Didn't Teach You at Sunday School by Xanna Eve Chown
Viking Encounters: Proceedings of the 18th Viking Congress, edited by Anne Pedersen & Søren M. Sindbaek

Reading with... Frank Miller

Frank Miller is an award-winning comic book writer, novelist, inker, screenwriter, film director and producer, best known for Daredevil, The Dark Knight Returns, Sin City and 300. Cursed (Simon & Schuster), a twist on the King Arthur legend, written by Thomas Wheeler and illustrated by Miller, is being adapted as a series for Netflix starring Katherine Langford.

On your nightstand now:

Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter, adapted and illustrated by Darwyn Cooke, because I am a fan of crime fiction and Darwyn Cooke's storytelling art.

Favorite book when you were a child:

The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, because he went for impossible adventure.

Your top five authors: 

Isaac Asimov: He was the godfather of modern science fiction. He took us beyond the rocket ships and bug-eyed monsters.

Raymond Chandler: For his urban romantic poetry that celebrated 1940s Los Angeles.

Dashiell Hammett: His town was San Francisco; his dialogue was clipped, yet wildly evocative. His heroes were tough and very, very alone.

Dorothy B. Hughes: She brought a distinctly feminine edge to the hard-boiled genre and, in her own way, was ready to take us to darker places than any of the rest.

Mickey Spillane: For his pounding and frenetic portrait of New York City in the post-World War II era.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Arthur Rackham's The Romance of King Arthur. Its illustrations were the pure mythic evocation of the legend of King Arthur with all its magic.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Lord of the Flies by William Golding. The cover for my edition was a terrifying shot of a child's face.

Book you hid from your parents:

I didn't have to hide from my parents as they weren't censoring anything we were reading.

Book that changed your life:

The Once and Future King by T.H. White. I devoured it because the story is about bringing order out of chaos--at least that's how I interpreted it.

Favorite line from a book:

From I, the Jury by Mickey Spillane: " 'It was easy,' I said."

Five books you'll never part with:

My dictionary. I work in words. You have to know what they mean and how to spell them.

My thesaurus. I don't use it often but when I do it is because I need it. Often, the words offered do not have identical meanings. They represent a different intonation or intent, making the text more precise while almost making me look smarter.

The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White. This is the single most valuable book on writing that I have encountered. It focuses the mind and cleanses the thinking.

Constructive Anatomy by George B. Bridgman. You'll find this book on many cartoonists' bookshelves. It's a masterclass in drawing human anatomy. Bridgman examines the machinery of the human body, making it understandable, so that the artist can build his or her own figures rather than hunt around for photographic source material.

The Dark Knight Returns, to serve as a reference and a story continuum.

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

Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler, because it is the most enjoyable time.

Book Review

YA Review: Where the World Ends

Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean (Flatiron Books, $18.99 hardcover, 336p., ages 12-up, 9781250225498, December 3, 2019)

Winner of the 2018 Carnegie Medal, Geraldine McCaughrean's Where the World Ends is a gripping tale, set in 1727, about 12 men and boys clinging to life after being abandoned on a sheer vertical outcrop of rock in the frigid Atlantic ocean.

Birds are the lifeblood of the 100 or so residents of Hirta island in the remote Scottish archipelago of St. Kilda. Every summer, a group of men and boys is dropped off at Warrior Stac, a steep rock column four miles from Hirta. For a few weeks, they live in inhospitable crevices and caves, descending on ropes from cliffs to harvest birds. Waterfowl like puffins, gannets, guillemots and storm petrels provide them with food, fuel and feathers for the winter ahead. At night, the caves are lit only by "the rigid oily little bodies of dead storm petrels threaded through with tarry wicks." While Quill, one of the older boys, is glad to help provide, he has pangs this year, knowing that Murdina, the young visiting teacher from the mainland who has "disturbed" his thoughts since her arrival, will have gone home by the time the fowling party returns.

To their growing dismay, though, weeks go by with no returning boat. When a devout young boy named Euan has a vision that the end of the world has come and everyone but them has been taken up to heaven, some in the group panic. Others refuse to believe, and focus on surviving and signaling for help. As the summer warmth fades, the personalities of each man and boy come into sharper focus. "Sanctimonious" Col Cane, church sexton, barn cleaner and gravedigger, appoints himself temporary minister. Older boy Kenneth's cruel bullying grows even more hateful. And Quill's innate kindness pulls the boys back from the terror of their situation again and again. To maintain sanity and give structure to the days, Quill assigns titles to the boys: Keeper of Music, Keeper of Memories, Keeper of Days. The others name Quill Keeper of Stories. The boys and men have been well trained in their austere subsistence on Hirta: in a landscape marked by its stark uninhabitability, where no tree grows and rope is a precious commodity handed down from father to son, storytelling casts flickers of light onto the residents' grim days: "When life is harsh, everyday-ordinary is to be cherished."

Based on a true story, Where the World Ends stuns with its dark narrative and haunting visual imagery: "Around them on every crevice of the rock walls, headless petrels burned, the wicks encircled by haloes of flame, as though a band of skinny little angels was peering down at them." Including illuminating backmatter, like a glossary, and an illustrated list of the birds of 18th-century St. Kilda, McCaughrean's (The White Darkness; Peter Pan in Scarlet) work explores what happens when the everyday-ordinary turns disastrously extraordinary. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor

Shelf Talker: In this unforgettable Carnegie Medal-winning YA novel, a dozen boys and men struggle to survive when they are stranded on a remote rock outcrop in 18th-century Scotland.

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