Shelf Awareness for Thursday, October 27, 2016

Little Brown and Company: The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children's Books: Nowhere Near You by Leah Thomas

Random House: The Whole Town's Talking by Fannie Flagg

Soho Crime: Fields Where They Lay by Timothy Hallinan

Spiegel & Grau: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Oxford University Press: The Oxford Companion to Cheese by Catherine Donnelly

Henry Holt & Company: 4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster


Francie & Finch Bookstore to Open in Lincoln, Neb.

On Friday, November 4, Francie & Finch will have a soft opening in Lincoln, Neb., Bookselling This Week reported.

The store is owned by Leslie Huerta, who quit her job earlier this year in the travel industry "to fulfill her dream of opening a bookstore." Last year, Huerta attended the "Owning a Bookstore: The Business Essentials" workshop facilitated by the Bookstore Training Group of Paz & Associates and co-sponsored by the ABA. This year she also attended the Winter Institute and the Heartland Forum.

Francie & Finch in progress.

Named for two of Huerta's favorite literary characters--Francie from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Scout Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird--Francie & Finch is a general-interest bookstore with 1,500 square feet of space, including a children's room.

Huerta told BTW, "My focus is going to be books with a good story: literature, biographies, and memoirs, and also a large focus on the arts, including beautiful art and design books and architecture books. And, of course, the selection will also depend on what my customers want."

She also plans to carry literary paraphernalia and gifts, including stationery, writing paper, pens, reading glasses and coffee mugs, as well as art from local artists and a selection of literary and art magazines.

Francie & Finch is located near the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the convention center, an area with "a large concentration of professionals and students." There is also "a thriving tech start-up scene in downtown Lincoln recently led to a new nickname for the area: Silicon Prairie." The soft opening on November 4 coincides with the downtown business district's annual arts walk.

"It's a new business, but even more than that, it's going to be a new lifestyle for my husband and for our family," Huerta told BTW. "We're committed to building a little treasure here in Lincoln."

Ecco Press: A Book of American Martyrs by Joyce Carol Oates

Diamond Book Distributors Offering Free Freight to Indies

Effective November 1, Diamond Book Distributors is offering free freight on independent bookstore orders placed by accounts in the contiguous U.S. with minimum orders of $250 retail, excluding toys and merchandise. A direct account with DBD is required and can easily be set up. Orders can be placed either directly with DBD or through the store's DBD sales rep. For more information, contact DBD sales manager Nicholas Sinisi.

American Library Association: ALA Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction

Longwood U. Moving B&N Bookstore Downtown

The Longwood University Barnes & Noble bookstore in Farmville, Va., will move to the corner of Main St. and Third St. next summer. The Rotunda reported that the "space will host a larger square footage than the previous location at Midtown Landings." The bookstore will occupy the first floor of the building owned by Walk2Campus Properties.

"The movement itself is not a significant cost," said Louise Waller, executive director of campus planning and construction, adding that the Longwood Real Estate Foundation has "been able to negotiate a very fair and reasonable price for the rent on the property."

The decision to relocate "came about last year with the hopes of integrating the Farmville community with the Longwood University students," the Rotunda noted.

"It has a tremendous amount of visibility," said Waller. "I think this is a wonderful opportunity for students; the bookstore will be increasing its offering with square footage, they (students) will have the opportunity to shop in a bookstore environment."

AuthorBuzz for the Week of 10.25.16

Guilty Verdict in Murder of Rare Book Dealer

Michael Danaher has been found guilty and given a life sentence with a minimum of 34 years for the April 6 murder in Oxford, England, of author and rare books dealer Adrian Greenwood. The Bookseller wrote that Danaher "reportedly committed the murder as part of a plan to steal a rare edition of The Wind in the Willows that Greenwood had listed on eBay for £50,000 [about $61,085]." Greenwood was the author of Victoria's Scottish Lion: The Life of Colin Campbell, Lord Clyde.

Conari Press: The Hero Is You by Kendra Levin

Obituary Note: Carole Blake

Carole Blake, co-founder of the literary agency Blake Friedmann, died Tuesday, the Bookseller reported. The agency said: "The loss of such an incredible woman so soon is not something any of us feel prepared for, but we are grateful that she lived so fully to the last, and that she died swiftly and painlessly, on being readmitted to hospital last night, with Julian [Friedmann] by her side." In 2013, Blake was given the Women in Publishing Pandora Award for a "significant and sustained contribution to the publishing industry" and celebrated her 50 years in the book industry. Blake was also the author of the bestselling book From Pitch to Publication.

"Carole was imposing, whip smart, logical, a demon negotiator and contractual stickler," said Pan Macmillan publisher Jeremy Trevathan. "She also had a heart and a personality as big as the ocean. As the years moved on, Carole became more of a colleague than a demon adversary. She worked in partnership with her authors and publishers to ensure that the best result ensued. She never took herself seriously. My fondest memory of her will be of her dressed as a lobster at the annual publishing pantomime berating her fellow agent lobsters, Jonathan Lloyd and Andrew Nurnberg, to perform the lobster quadrille correctly. But seriously, this is major loss to our industry, and we at Pan Macmillan are so sad and send our warmest thoughts to her family and her colleagues at Blake Friedmann."

Flatiron Books: Schadenfreude by Rebecca Schuman


Image of the Day: Gilmore Girls Fans

Last weekend, the town of Washington Depot, Conn.--aka Stars Hollow, the setting for The Gilmore Girls--celebrated the Gilmore Girls Fan Fest. More than 1,500 fans converged on the picturesque town (population 3,500), and many of them visited the Hickory Stick Bookshop, which hosted a number of Gilmore-related events.  

Pictured: Mike Gandolfi (who plays Andrew, owner of Stars Hollow Books, on the show); dialogue coach George Bell; Gandolfi's wife, Stephanie Storey, author of the novel Oil and Marble; and Biff Yeager (who plays Tom), author of the children's book Smokey the Cat.

Lit Quiz: Which Indie Bookstore Are You?

Glommable, Simon & Schuster's bookish pop culture blog, offers a quiz "Which Indie Bookstore Are You?" As Glommable puts it, "Are you studious and ambitious, like Prairie Lights in Iowa City? Or do you consider reading your civic duty, a la Politics & Prose in DC? Find out in this quiz which U.S. indie bookstore you are, and then go peruse the stacks of your favorite neighborhood haunt."

Cool Idea of the Day: CBC Scholarships to ABA Institutes

The Children's Book Council is sponsoring two scholarships for entry-level employees at CBC member publishers to attend either the ABA's Winter Institute or Children's Institute next year. The scholarships include airfare and hotel and are offered by the CBC Early Career Committee and the CBC Diversity Committee. One requirement for scholarship winners is that they work at the CBC/Every Child a Reader table with a CBC staffer to sign up booksellers for Children's Book Week.

Applications should be sent by e-mail to Alexa Frank by November 15 and should consist of 50-100 words as to why the applicant would benefit from the scholarship.

Comic Book Store Owner Featured on Marvel Cover

Ariell Johnson, founder and president of Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, Inc. in Philadelphia, "will appear on a variant cover of Invincible Iron Man #1," ABC News reported. The first image of the book, which goes on sale next month, features her having a meal with new Marvel superhero RiRi Williams. Johnson opened Amalgym last December, "becoming the first black, female comic book store owner on the East Coast."

Johnson credits colleague Randy Green, who spearheaded the project and conceptualized the cover. "When the e-mail went out about potential variants for stores, he was really excited and took it upon himself to work out the [details]. It was really his hard work," she said. "I knew what it was supposed to look like, but having the actual art in front of you is so much different. It's really exciting."

Johnson's "obsession of all things geek really began around age 10 or 11, when she discovered X-Men character Storm," ABC News noted, adding that she cites that character, one of the first black female superheroes, with being "the bridge that got me into this world.... To think I made it a decade-plus and I had never seen a black, woman superhero is crazy.... When you are a person of color, you're scraping the bottom of the barrel to find someone you can identify with. I always felt like I was watching other people's adventures. Being introduced to Storm was a pivotal moment for me because had I not come across her, I might have grown out of my love for [comics]....

"I had a girl tell me I had an excellent book selection and she was 7 or 8. I don't know how welcome she might feel in some other spaces. Women exist in this space! We've always been reading comic books, we just may not have been as open about it. I definitely get very positive feedback from not just little girls, but grown women too."

More than 150 Indie Locations Offering Audiobooks

More than 150 independent bookstore locations now sell audiobooks through, according to the digital audiobook provider that offers DRM-free titles available for download and through its free iOS and Android apps, and partners with independent bookstores to create co-branded digital audiobook storefronts.

"We are thrilled to give people the option to buy digital audiobooks through more than 159 indie bookstore locations and look forward to bringing more stores onboard in the coming year," said CEO Mark Pearson.

Media and Movies

TV: Big Little Lies

The first trailer is out for HBO's Big Little Lies, based on Liane Moriarty's 2014 novel and starring Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Zoe Kravitz and Adam Scott. Entertainment Weekly reported that the clip, set "to the Temptations' 'Papa Was a Rolling Stone,' reveals little in terms of the seven-episode limited series' plot, though it does tease plenty of sex, a gunshot, gorgeous cinematography, and a healthy amount of (appropriately) dramatic emoting." Big Little Lies premieres in 2017.

This Weekend on Book TV: The Boston Book Festival

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this weekend from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, October 29
2 p.m. A panel discussion on industries of the future at the 2016 Boston Book Festival, which took place on October 15 in Boston, Mass. (Re-airs Sunday at 3 a.m.)

3 p.m. A panel discussion on graphic nonfiction from the Boston Book Festival. (Re-airs Sunday at 4 a.m.)

4 p.m. James Gleick, author of Time Travel: A History (Pantheon, $26.95, 9780307908797), at the Boston Book Festival. (Re-airs Sunday at 5 a.m.)

8 p.m. Susan Quinn, author of Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair That Shaped a First Lady (Penguin Press, $30, 9781594205408). (Re-airs Sunday at 11 p.m.)

9 p.m. James Rosen, editor of A Torch Kept Lit: Great Lives of the Twentieth Century (Crown Forum, $22, 9781101906217). (Re-airs Sunday at 11 a.m.)

10 p.m. Tim Wu, author of The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads (Knopf, $28.95, 9780385352017). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Andrew Scott Cooper, author of The Fall of Heaven: The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran (Holt, $36, 9780805098976). (Re-airs Monday at 1:45 a.m.)

Sunday, October 30
12:15 a.m. Claudia Kalb, author of Andy Warhol Was a Hoarder: Inside the Minds of History's Great Personalities (National Geographic, $24, 9781426214660). (Re-airs Sunday at 1:45 p.m.)

1:30 a.m. Timothy Sandefur, author of The Permission Society: How the Ruling Class Turns Our Freedoms into Privileges and What We Can Do About It (Encounter Books, $25.99, 9781594038396). (Re-airs Sunday at 7:30 p.m.)

10 p.m. Robin Hanson, author of The Age of Em: Work, Love and Life when Robots Rule the Earth (Oxford University Press, $34.95, 9780198754626).

Books & Authors

Awards: Saltire Literary Shortlists; May Sarton N.H. Poetry

Shortlists have been announced for the 2016 Saltire Literary Awards, which are given to "books by living authors of Scottish descent or residing in Scotland or the book subject must be the work or life of a Scot or with a Scottish question, event or situation." Category winners, who will be announced November 24, each receive £2,000 (about $2,440), and then compete for the £6,000 (about $7,330) Saltire Society Book of the Year Award. You can see the complete Saltire shortlists here.


Zeina Hashem Beck has won the 2016 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize for her collection Louder Than Hearts, which Bauhan Publishing will publish in the spring of 2017.

Zeina Hashem Beck is a Lebanese poet whose first collection, To Live in Autumn, won the 2013 Backwaters Prize. She's also the author of two chapbooks: 3arabi Song (2016), winner of the 2016 Rattle Chapbook Prize, and There Was and How Much There Was (2016), a smith|doorstop Laureate's Choice. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and the Forward Prize, and has appeared in Ploughshares, Poetry Northwest, and The Rialto, among others. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Dubai, where she founded and runs PUNCH, a poetry and open mic collective.

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, November 1:

The Lyrics: 1961-2012 by Bob Dylan (Simon & Schuster, $60, 9781451648768) is a complete collection of the new Nobel laureate's lyrics.

Faithful: A Novel by Alice Hoffman (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781476799209) follows a woman burdened by guilt after an accident.

The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown, $29, 9780316225946) is the 19th Harry Bosch thriller.

Double Down (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #11) by Jeff Kinney (Amulet/Abrams, $13.95, 9781419723445) is the next in the Wimpy Kid series and delves into scary things like Halloween and cutting back on video-game time.

Sequential Drawings: The New Yorker Series by Richard McGuire, introduction by Luc Sante (Pantheon, $25, 9781101871591) is a collection of an artist's New Yorker work.

Thus Bad Begins: A Novel by Javier Marias, translated by Margaret Jull Costa (Knopf, $27.95, 9781101946084) takes place in 1980s Madrid, where a former film director hires a new personal assistant.

Say No More: A Jane Ryland Novel by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Forge Books, $25.99, 9780765385352) is the fifth mystery with Boston reporter Jane Ryland.

To Pixar and Beyond: My Unlikely Journey with Steve Jobs to Make Entertainment History by Lawrence Levy (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27, 9780544734142) explores the history of animation studio Pixar.

Heartless by Marissa Meyer (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan, $19.99, 9781250044655) is a stand-alone YA fantasy that reimagines Alice's Wonderland and explores what happened to the Queen of Hearts to make her so angry and quick to decapitate people.

Hawkwing's Journey (Warriors Super Edition) by Erin Hunter, illustrated by James L. Barry (HarperCollins, $18.99, 9780062467683) is a stand-alone adventure in the Warriors series for middle-grade readers about the cats of SkyClan.

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (Delacorte, $18.99, 9780553496680) is a philosophical YA romance set in New York City about a science-minded Jamaican American teen girl and a poetry-loving Korean American boy.

The Path of Heaven (The Horus Heresy) by Chris Wraight (Games Workshop, $17, 9781784963125).

The Swoly Bible: The Bro Science Way of Life by Dom Mazzetti (Plume, $15, 9780735211124).

The Slow Waltz of Turtles: A Novel by Katherine Pancol, translated by William Rodarmor (Penguin Books, $17, 9780143128175).

IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:

The Wangs vs. the World: A Novel by Jade Chang (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26, 9780544734098). "Simultaneously tongue-in-cheek and earnest, The Wangs vs. the World is one hell of a ride. Literally. Join the Wang family patriarch, Charles, as he and his family drive across the country from Los Angeles to New York in shame after his cosmetic company is destroyed by a doomed business investment. Homeless, penniless, yet still fiercely proud, Charles sets out to reunite his children and reclaim the ancestral land of the Wangs from the Chinese Communists. A hilarious, moving, and rollicking tale of family, ancestry, and a worn-out Mercedes station wagon, The Wangs vs. the World is not to be missed!" --Michelle Chen, WORD, Brooklyn, N.Y.

All That Man Is: A Novel by David Szalay (Graywolf Press, $26, 978155597753). "All That Man Is was recently longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and with good reason. The novel's parade of characters, ranging from teenagers to a man in his twilight years, when taken as a whole, represents an 'everyman' in whom readers can easily see pieces of themselves. With prose reminiscent of Amis, Kundera, and Nabokov, Szalay offers a collection of related stories that speak to the mundane qualities of modern life with a sympathetic tone, a reflection of our struggle to move forward in a world increasingly unfamiliar to most of us, but not without hope." --Tom Beans, Dudley's Bookshop Café, Bend, Ore.

Paperback: An Indies Introduce Title
The Clay Girl by Heather Tucker (ECW Press, $16.95, 9781770413030). "Ari Appleton has been dealt the worst hand ever in terms of parents: her dad is an incestuous pedophile who is both charismatic and cruel, and her mother is an incredibly egocentric addict who bore six girls and has not one iota of love for anyone but herself. Ari moves away from the drug culture and sexual revolution in Toronto in the 1960s to Pleasant Cove, an idyllic place where she is surrounded by love and nurturing. This novel is full of take-your-breath-away writing, and Ari joins the ranks of heroines who take the worst society has to offer and turn it into strength and kindness." --Linda Shermna-Nurick, Cellar Door Books, Riverside, Calif.

For Ages 4 to 8: A Revisit and Rediscover Title
King Bridgood's in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood and Don Wood (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $7.99, 9780152054359). "King Bridgood's in the Bathtub is one of those perfect picture books that is both a treat for the eye and fun to read aloud. King Bridgood enjoys his bath so much that he won't get out! Join him in the tub as the sun rises, for lunch midday, and for fishing and dancing as the sun goes down. Both the singsong text and the 'I Spy' type illustrations will delight as you read, read, read with King Bridgood in his bath." --Liesl Freudenstein, Boulder Book Store, Boulder, Colo.

For Ages 9 to 12
Rebel Genius by Michael Dante DiMartino (Roaring Brook Press, $16.99, 9781626723368). "Under the reign of Nezerra, all artists have been sundered from their genius spirits and left to waste away. Giacomo, an orphan who desperately wants to be an artist, finds himself with the dangerous blessing of a genius spirit and must flee for his life. This magical adventure ties together art and powerful magic with the rich storytelling we would expect from DiMartino, the co-creator of the award-winning Nickelodeon series Avatar: The Last Airbender." --Laura DeLaney, Rediscovered Books, Boise, Idaho

For Teen Readers: An Indies Introduce Title
Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland (Putnam, $17.99, 9780399546563). "Fans of John Green will gobble up this top-notch writing from a new writer to watch. Yes, it's another 'doomed love' story, but Sutherland has several underlying themes that undercut the clichés usually found in teen romances, most notably 'you're not in love with who I am, you're in love with your fantasy of who I am.' I have a very short list of YA authors that I drop everything to read, and Krystal Sutherland is now on that list." --MaryJo Schimelpfenig, Powell's Books, Portland, Ore.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: The One Hundred Nights of Hero

The One Hundred Nights of Hero: A Graphic Novel by Isabel Greenberg (Little, Brown, $25 hardcover, 224p., 9780316259170, December 6, 2016)

Isabel Greenberg again draws the thick-lined world she introduced in The Encyclopedia of Early Earth for a wry and wise retelling of One Thousand and One Nights that's sure to become a feminist classic.

In Greenberg's mythology, the creation goddess Kiddo made Early Earth and everything in it, crafting humankind without the ability to feel envy, anger or fear. Her father, BirdMan, disagreed with her creative vision and added strife and jealousy, hatred and ambition. From these seeds grows the city of Migdal Bavel, a preindustrial place that loosely mixes medieval thought with Puritan beliefs in its attitudes toward religion, magic and women. In this imagined era, two friends named Manfred and Jerome make a wager. Jerome insists that his wife is so pure, he himself has not managed to take her virginity. Asserting that all women are deceitful, Manfred bets that he can seduce Jerome's wife. Jerome agrees, even offering to leave town for 100 nights. The winner gets the loser's castle. If Manfred wins, as he intends to do by coercion if necessary, he also gets the lady.

Luckily Cherry, the lady in question, is not nearly as obedient and pure as her husband believes. She secretly loves her maid, Hero, who overhears the wager and contrives a plan to stall Manfred with 100 nights of storytelling. Every night, Manfred arrives wearing long underwear and a capotain, and becomes captivated by Hero's stories of jealous sisters, dancing princesses and a moon that walks as a mortal woman. Manfred falls into the trap, telling himself he has weeks to waste. Even if Cherry and Hero can win the wager for Jerome, though, they may still face the repercussions of showing their mettle in a world where men destroy women for "storytelling and sassiness."

Hero sprinkles her narratives with sly references to the restrictions women face in their city, which Greenberg seamlessly uses to reinvent familiar fairy and folktales. In these hands, the stories return to their roots as entertainment, allegory, and--quite literally--escape from the constraints of reality. Greenberg's elongated, angular characters sport simple, expressive faces and live amid grass-furred woods, misty marshes and lavishly appointed castles. A cry against oppression, a love letter to the human need for stories, a celebration of the many bonds between women, The One Hundred Nights of Hero will leave readers wishing Greenberg had written 1,000 nights instead. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Shelf Talker: This sly, funny feminist reimagining of One Thousand and One Nights is set in the same world as Greenberg's The Encyclopedia of Early Earth.

Deeper Understanding

Link on Graphic Novels and Comics

Michael Link, an independent bookseller for 15 years, first at Politics & Prose, Washington, D.C., and now at Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, Ohio, is a graphic novel and comics fan--but, as he says, "I don't exclusively read them, nor would I say that I primarily read them." Still, he has bought for the section at both stores, and "I have thought about the role of them in an independent bookstore and have done a number of panels on the subject as well."

Here we offer his second column, which focuses on involving customers in graphic novel and comics sections:

photo: BrokenSphere/Wikimedia Commons

Only a decade ago, Barnes & Noble and Borders seemed to own manga, dedicating an enormous amount of shelf space to it. In Washington, D.C., for example, the local Borders had seven cases of manga and three more of regular trade graphic novels. When Borders went out of business in 2011, a lot of independent bookstores saw an uptick in manga sections where they had substantial inventory. But others found it hard to boost sales with the new opportunity because many booksellers lacked the necessary knowledge of manga. Additionally, manga series can have upward of 20 volumes or more, and there are many more series than booksellers can read, let alone carry. With larger series, it usually makes sense to stock the first three and most recent three. But which series make sense for booksellers to have on shelves? Booksellers can check the New York Times and other bestseller lists, and Above the Treeline to see what's selling at stores your size. But one solid way to check into what would work well with your customers is to go to the source and to ask them directly. Here are some tips:

  • Put a note in special orders or talk to customers who order series books, Marvel/DC, manga, etc., and ask them what specific books they would buy from you. (I would pretty much stock only books that have come out within the last 6-12 months. Anything older is likely to have been passed on or purchased already. If you're looking for backlist, you can find core title lists on Above the Treeline.)
  • Ask your customers to write recommendations to use as shelf talkers. I have a customer in Cincinnati who loves DC superhero comics. I asked him to write up his favorite two current series and posted them in the section as community picks.
  • In your store e-mail, ask who reads comics and is interested giving you some ideas.

Customers who write blurbs or contribute title ideas to your section should feel a sense of ownership. You can encourage them to invite their friends to buy their picks and to shop the section. You will likely get some responses that may not be as helpful as others, but if you are able to get customers more invested in your section or, at the very least, raise general awareness, you will be better off for it.

As always, please send comments to Michael Link at

St. Martin's Press: The Next by Stephanie Gangi
Brooklyn Arts Press: The Ugly by Alexander Boldizar
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