Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Chronicle Books: Poetry Comics by Grant Snider

Berkley Books: We Love the Nightlife by Rachel Koller Croft

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Waiting in the Wings by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton, Illustrated by Eg Keller

Webtoon Unscrolled: Boyfriends. Volume Two: A Webtoon Unscrolled Graphic Novel by Refrainbow

Shadow Mountain: The Witch in the Woods: Volume 1 (Grimmworld) by Michaelbrent Collings

Hell's Hundred: Blood Like Mine by Stuart Neville

Delacorte Press: Last One to Die by Cynthia Murphy


Book Club Bookstore/Wine Bar Opens in NYC's East Village

Book Club, a bookstore and wine bar in Manhattan's East Village, officially opened to the public last Saturday. 

The store carries a general-interest inventory of some 3,000 titles, from children's and YA to fiction, history and sci-fi and fantasy. There is also a locally focused section featuring books about New York and the East Village, as well as a variety of gifts and non-book items such as greeting cards, games and candles.

And while Book Club's beer and wine selection won't be rolled out in full until early next year, the store currently serves coffee and a variety of other non-alcoholic beverages, available both in-store and to go.

Owners Erin Neary and Nat Esten have lived in the East Village for more than 10 years, and met at a book club. Their plans for events include author signings, lectures and trivia nights, and their first official event will be a talk featuring B.A. Van Sise's book Children of Grass: A Portrait of American Poetry, with poetry readings by Gregory Pardlo and Taylor Mali.

"It has been my dream to create a space where you can enjoy a good book and a glass of wine or a cup of coffee in a cozy atmosphere," said Neary. "We love the East Village and we want this to be a space that evokes the personality, diversity, and warmth of the community."

"We hope to fit into the fabric of the East village, yet bring something new that the neighborhood will enjoy," added Esten.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Summer Romance by Annabel Monaghan

Zondervan Launches Zondervan Thrive

Zondervan is launching Zondervan Thrive, a nonfiction imprint focused on personal development, fulfillment, health and wellness, self-care, marriage and family, abuse/trauma, anxiety, and personality typologies.

It will release four titles in 2020--all in March--and aims to build to approximately 10 titles annually. The titles include The Enneagram of Belonging by Enneagram teacher Christopher L. Heuertz; The Age of AI by artificial intelligence expert Dr. Jason Thacker; and The 6 Needs of Every Child by parenting authorities Amy Elizabeth Olrick and Jeffrey Olrick.

The company said Zondervan Thrive authors are psychologists, physicians, practitioners, journalists, academics and researchers who are "experts in their field and bring well-researched insights to daily living" and who also "realize that our deepest source for wisdom comes from seeking a life of faith." Their books aim to provide "big, brave ideas on how to approach everyday life, discover informed solutions, live authentically, sustain their personal health and wellbeing, and make a difference in their world."

University of Texas Press: Loose of Earth: A Memoir by Kathleen Dorothy Blackburn

Texas Book Festival's Julie Wernersbach Returning to Book Revue in N.Y.

Jukie Wernersbach

Julie Wernersbach, who has been literary director of the Texas Book Festival since 2016, is becoming general manager of Book Revue, the large indie bookstore in Huntington, N.Y., effective in January 2020.

Before joining the Texas Book Festival, Wernersbach was publicist and then marketing director at BookPeople, Austin, Tex., for five years. Before that, she worked at Book Revue, where she was publicist and events coordinator for five years.

"We're very excited to have Julie returning to Book Revue, where she will have the opportunity to use all she has learned to help us move forward and continue selling books on Long Island," said Richard Klein, Book Revue co-owner. "I know her capabilities and feel that her skills will be a perfect complement to what we do and that she can help us realize areas of our potential that we have not, until now, been in a position to maximize."

"Book Revue is where I learned to be a bookseller and discovered the art of author events," Wernersbach commented. "It's where I fell in love with this business of putting books in readers' hands, discovering amazing new writers, and celebrating the joy and community that come with reading. I'm thrilled to return and work with the Kleins and staff to develop the store's strengths and position Book Revue for another successful 40-plus years."

Among her first projects will be updating Book Revue's website to accommodate online sales and developing the store's author events program in schools.

At the Texas Book Festival, she directed programming for an annual lineup of 300 authors that included Tom Hanks, Pete Souza, Dan Rather, John Grisham, Malcolm Gladwell and Justice Sonia Sotomayor. At BookPeople, she developed the bookstore's digital sales and marketing strategy and planned events with hundreds of authors, including Hillary Rodham Clinton, Stephen King and President Jimmy Carter.

Harper: Our Kind of Game by Johanna Copeland

Obituary Note: Ian Chapman

Ian Chapman, former Collins chairman and CEO, died November 7, the Bookseller reported. He was 94. Chapman joined William Collins following RAF service in World War II, and rose through the ranks to become managing director in 1967, deputy chairman in 1976 and chairman/CEO in 1981. Chapman resigned in 1989, setting up Chapman Publishers with his wife, Marjory. The company was later bought by Orion.

In a tribute, Curtis Brown president Jonathan Lloyd described Chapman as a mentor: "He was a chairman of Collins when they were at the top of the league and was a truly exceptional publisher and leader, and so many people--myself included--owe their careers to him. That is unusual enough but what is unique about him apart from anything else is that he worked for Collins all his life and started at the bottom in the Bible department in Glasgow. He stood out obviously." 

Lloyd added that Chapman "was an extraordinarily talented man.... He was not afraid to take tough decisions as one has to do at the top of the business.... He joins a very small club in the pantheon of 20th Century Great Men in Publishing. He was a major influence in my life and so many other people's."

Mark Lucas, chairman and co-founder of the Soho Agency, said Chapman "occupied an impossibly grand space in the international publishing firmament, and seemed to have done so since the dawn of time."

Chronicle Books: Life Wants You Dead: A Calm, Rational, and Totally Legit Guide to Scaring Yourself Safe by Evan Waite, Illustrated by Paula Searing

November Indie Next List E-Newsletter Delivered

Last Thursday, the American Booksellers Association's e-newsletter edition of the Indie Next List for November was delivered to more than half a million of the country's best book readers. The newsletter was sent to customers of 147 independent bookstores, with a combined total of 571,302 subscribers.

The e-newsletter, powered by Shelf Awareness, features all of the month's Indie Next List titles, with bookseller quotes and "buy now" buttons that lead directly to the purchase page for the title on the sending store's website. The newsletter, which is branded with each store's logo, also includes an interview (from Bookselling This Week) with the author whose book was chosen by booksellers as the number-one Indie Next List pick for the month, in this case In the Dream House: A Memoir by Carmen Maria Machado (Graywolf Press).

For a sample of the November newsletter, see this one from Mrs. Dalloway's Bookstore, Berkeley, Calif.


Image of the Day: Dar & Earth at Barnes & Noble

The Cool Springs Barnes & Noble in Brentwood, Tenn., hosted Athena M. Kaiman, whose debut YA fantasy is Dar & Earth: Oraculi (Athena Productions), the first in a series. She's pictured here with B&N store manager Gabriel Jacobson. (photo: C. Hernandez)

Bookseller Moment: Literati Bookstore

Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, Mich., tweeted a seasonally evocative photo of its exterior, noting: "That feeling when you're wandering downtown and listening to fallen leaves crunch beneath your boots, and you zip your jacket against the November chill, and the sidewalk turns quiet as an early autumn dusk settles, and you turn a corner and see a warm, inviting bookstore...."

Display of the Day: Anderson’s Bookshop

Anderson's Bookshop, with stores in Naperville, Downers Grove and La Grange, Ill., shared a photo of its Blind Date with a Book and Secret Story books display. The artwork on the wrapping paper is hand-drawn by bookstore staff. Anderson's featured the titles on a display and in its window after numerous requests for the books for holiday gift-giving, and reports they're selling faster than they can be restocked.

Personnel Changes at Scribner

Ashley Gilliam has been promoted to senior marketing manager at Scribner. She joined Scribner in 2013 as assistant publishing manager and for the last four years has been online marketing manager.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Andrew Marantz on Fresh Air

Today Show: Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush, authors of Sisters First (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $18.99, 9780316534789).

NPR's Here & Now: Judd Apatow, editor of It's Garry Shandling's Book (Random House, $40, 9780525510840).

Fresh Air: Andrew Marantz, author of Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation (Viking, $28, 9780525522263).

Today Show: Karamo Brown and Jason Brown, authors of I Am Perfectly Designed (Holt, $18.99, 9781250232212).

Dr. Oz: Ree Drummond, author of The Pioneer Woman Cooks: The New Frontier: 112 Fantastic Favorites for Everyday Eating (Morrow, $29.99, 9780062561374).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Liz Phair, author of Horror Stories: A Memoir (Random House, $28, 9780525511984).

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

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

Movies: The Booksellers

Greenwich Entertainment has acquired U.S. distribution rights to D.W. Young's The Booksellers, "an immersive and lively tour of New York's book world, populated by an assortment of obsessives, intellects, eccentrics and dreamers," Deadline reported. The film, which explores the annual New York International Antiquarian Book Fair at the Park Avenue Armory as well as the Strand and Argosy bookstores, features commentators like Fran Lebowitz, Susan Orlean and Gay Talese, along with book dealers and collectors.

The Booksellers premiered at the 2019 New York Film Festival. It will have a limited release in March that will coincide with the Book Fair.

"For anyone who loves books, bookstores and the written word, D.W. Young's entrancing insider's entree into the charmingly esoteric world of book collecting and selling will be hard to put down," said Greenwich's co-managing director Ed Arentz. "We look forward to engaging the many affinity groups who will avidly embrace this wonderful film."

Books & Authors

Awards: ALTA National Translation Winners; Dublin Longlist

The American Literary Translators Association has announced winners of the 2019 National Translation Awards for translated poetry and prose, which "includes a rigorous examination of both the source text and its relation to the finished English work." The winning titles each receive $2,500.

This year's NTA in Prose winner was What's Left of the Night by Ersi Sotiropoulos, translated from the Greek by Karen Emmerich (New Vessel Press). The judges noted that in Emmerich’s translation, "the prose becomes as luxurious and welcoming as Cavafy's own poetry."

The NTA in Poetry was taken by Pan Tadeusz: The Last Foray in Lithuania by Adam Mickiewicz, translated from the Polish by Bill Johnston (Archipelago Books). The judges said Johnston's translation "masterfully captures the exceptional beauty and disarming directness of Mickiewicz's rhymed couplets."

In addition, the $5,000 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize went to Autobiography of Death by Kim Hyesoon, translated from the Korean by Don Mee Choi (New Directions); and the $5,000 Italian Prose in Translation Award was given to The Eight Mountains by Paolo Cognetti, translated from the Italian by Simon Carnell and Erica Segre (Atria).


Some 156 books from 40 countries have been nominated by libraries around the world for the 2020 International Dublin Literary Award, sponsored by the Dublin City Council to a work of fiction published originally or in translation in English. The shortlist for the €100,000 (about $110,180) prize will be announced April 2 and the winner on June 10. See the full list here.

Book Review

Review: This Is Happiness

This Is Happiness by Niall Williams (Bloomsbury, $28 hardcover, 400p., 9781635574203, December 3, 2019)

In his first novel since the Man Booker Prize longlisted History of the Rain, Irish writer Niall Williams returns to western Ireland with a coming-of-age tale about the inexorable march of progress and the grip the past nevertheless maintains on the heart.

The villagers and the rain of rural Faha, County Clare, "had been married so long they no longer took notice of each other," but one spring in the late 1950s brings a confluence of events that will forever shape the life of Noel "Noe" Crowe. His father sends him from his home in Dublin to stay with his grandparents in Faha, hoping to straighten out the 17-year-old after he leaves the seminary. The rain--rather than coming on "the fine day, the bright day, and the day promised dry" as usual--suddenly stops. Most importantly for the tiny village, the Electricity Supply Board comes to town, bringing the promise of jobs, the joy and threat of modernization, and Christy McMahon, who hires Noe to assist him in signing up the Fahaeans for electrical service.

An older man with "the confidence of the storyteller when the story is still unpacked," Christy confides in Noe that he wanted this assignment because he carries a deep-seated regret. As a young man, he left a bride at the altar and never looked back. His desire to seek her forgiveness has led him to Faha where she, a widow, now lives. Over the course of the sunny season, Noe drinks more than his share of pints, has a calamitous accident and falls for all three of the village doctor's daughters. His adventures and misadventures in aiding Christy chase the shadows of his youth help Noe take his first shaky steps into adulthood.

Told by an almost 80-year-old Noe, the narrative pulses with an old man's grudging fondness for a younger self who was more foolish but also purer of heart. "Human beings are helpless when seeded with story," Noe muses matter-of-factly, and his memory is a richly sown field. He sketches a picture of Faha's lost past as an isolated but strong village of proud, practical people in sometimes humorous, sometimes moving side rambles. Expected standbys of the setting occasionally arise, including a surfeit of drinking, a lovable layabout and a dreamer with a penchant for love ballads; nonetheless, Williams achieves surprising depth in his portrayal of an unmoored young man trying to find his way despite a terrible loss. This Is Happiness is resplendent with metaphor. It speaks to the vital role friendship and a tight-knit community can play in strengthening the human spirit. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Shelf Talker: Niall Williams returns to the setting of History of the Rain in this coming-of-age novel set against the backdrop of electricity's arrival in rural Ireland.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. If You Say So (KPD Motorcycle Patrol Book 6) by Lani Lynn Vale
2. Overnight Service by Lauren Blakely
3. Gabriel by Kris Michaels
4. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon L. Lechter
5. Rally by Ken Courtright and Kerri Courtright
6. Gypsy King by Devney Perry
7. Swamp Santa (Miss Fortune Mystery Book 16) by Jana DeLeon
8. The Centurion by Kathryn Le Veque
9. Endurance: The Complete Series by A.C. Spahn
10. Ruin by Laurelin Paige

[Many thanks to!]

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