Also published on this date: Wednesday, May 25, 2016: Maximum Shelf: The Underground Railroad

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, May 25, 2016


Random House: Last Days of Night by Graham Moore

Workman: Project Smoke by Steven Raichlen

Ballantine Books: Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

Harper: Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

William Morrow & Co: Marlene by C.W. Gortner

News

Book World to Open Store in DeKalb, Ill.

Book World, which operates more than 40 stores in five Midwestern states, plans to open a new location in the Junction Shopping Center in DeKalb, Ill. The Daily Chronicle reported that the company "fielded several requests from people in the area for locating one of its stores in DeKalb and visited the area several times to see if the Junction location would work," according to Gregg Belonger, v-p of store operations for Book World. If a special use permit for signage is approved, the store could open in a 7,000-square-foot space by this fall.

The Junction Shopping Center was once home to the Junction Book Store, which opened in 1969 and closed in 2002, "not long after Borders Books & Music opened in November 2001 and Barnes & Noble announced plans of its own for a bookstore across the street," the Daily Chronicle noted. The Borders Group went out of business in 2011, and B&N's DeKalb store closed in 2014.


Grand Central: You'll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein


B&N College Adds 14 Bookstore Partners

Barnes & Noble Education announced yesterday that 14 colleges and universities have selected Barnes & Noble College to operate their campus bookstores. The new contracts represent 23 new campus and virtual bookstores.

"We create and operate campus stores that are focal points for college life and learning and are designed to enhance the educational mission of the school, enliven campus culture and deliver an important revenue stream to our partner colleges and universities," said Patrick Maloney, B&N College president. "Our new partnerships continue to deepen our commitment to serve.”

The additional B&N schools are Assumption College, Bates Technical College, Chabot College, Colorado College, Georgetown University, Lenoir Community College, Lincoln Memorial University, Northern Michigan University, Ocean County College, St. Mary's University, Seton Hill University, University of Connecticut, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Youngstown State University.


Soho Crime: The Kingdom by Fuminori Nakamura


Harry Potter and the Return of Midnight Release Parties

The Harry Potter series continues this summer with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child--Parts I & II (Scholastic), a stage play written by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany; it's the first new installment in the Harry Potter series in nine years. Cursed Child goes on sale July 31, and in Harry Potter tradition, many independent booksellers around the country are planning midnight release parties.

Left Bank Books in St. Louis, Mo., is hosting the "Party That Shall Not Be Named" on July 30. Doors open at 10 p.m., and the ticketed event will feature costume contests, face painting, Hogwarts House sorting, Harry Potter trivia, a scavenger hunt and complimentary butterbeer and actual beer for adults.

Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville, Ill., meanwhile, is hosting "The Return of the Party That Shall Not Be Named," and promises an evening full of fun Harry Potter activities.

Main Point Books is moving this summer from Bryn Mawr, Pa., to a bigger location in nearby Wayne, and the store's grand reopening event will be a midnight release party for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

At Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C., Harry Potter fans will be able to celebrate the release of Cursed Child with a special Flourish & Blotts themed quiz, magical food and drink options, a wand-making station and a costume contest. There will also be a raffle for those who pre-ordered copies of the book.

During the hours leading up to midnight on July 30, Jabberwocky Bookshop in Newburyport, Mass., will offer snacks, Harry Potter trivia and "other assorted hoopla" for attending readers. Two other Massachusetts indies, Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley and Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, will also be hosting midnight Cursed Child parties.

In Raleigh, N.C., Quail Ridge Books encourages Harry Potter fans to show up in costume, and staff members will be dressed as their favorite characters.

At Bookshop Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, Calif., the festivities will include a Horcrux scavenger hunt, a Pensive raffle, face painting, a green screen photo booth, temporary tattoos, team trivia, a live snake demonstration and more.

And Watchung Booksellers in Montclair, N.J., will be bringing in The Cursed Child with a night of games and snacks. --Alex Mutter


Binc Fundraising Campaign


Amazon: More Facilities in Ohio, Ill.; 'Well-Read Cities'

On Monday, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved a 1.113%, six-year credit for an Amazon sorting center in Twinsburg, southeast of Cleveland, the Plain Dealer reported, adding that in exchange, the online retailer must maintain operations at the facility for at least nine years.

The new facility "appears to be headed to CornerStone Business Park, a redevelopment of the 165-acre site where a Chrysler automotive stamping plant stood for more than 50 years.... Construction already is under way on a 248,000-square-foot distribution center for an unidentified tenant," the Plain Dealer wrote, adding that the Twinsburg City Council "recently signed off on a property-tax break for the project owner." The building is smaller than the fulfillment centers Amazon plans to open outside Columbus in Obetz and Etna.

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Amazon will open its second fulfillment center in Joliet, Ill. The new 700,000 square-foot Joliet facility will pick, pack and ship smaller items to customers like books, toys and electronics. Akash Chauhan, the company's v-p of North American operations, said, "We have found an abundance of talent in Joliet and we are excited to bring a new fulfillment center to the city and create 2,000 great full-time jobs with benefits. This community and the elected officials throughout the city and state have been very supportive of Amazon and we thank them for helping make this possible."

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Seattle, home of Amazon's corporate headquarters, once again led the online retailer's annual list of the "most well-read cities in the U.S." The ranking was determined by compiling sales data from cities with more than 500,000 residents on a per capita basis, and includes purchases of all books, magazines and newspapers in both Kindle and print format from April 2015 to April 2016. This year's top 20:

 

 

 

 

 


Experiment: Sixty by Ian Brown


Obituary Note: Jo Beverley

Jo Beverley, a prolific author of historical and contemporary romance novels, died May 23. She was 68. In a tribute on the Word Wenches romance authors blog, Mary Jo Putney announced her friend's death "with the deepest of sadness" and wrote: "She won five RITAs--a full basketball team--and many other awards, including the RWA Hall of Fame. Her books deserved all of that and more, and I'm happy to report that she had finished her book for next year, so we have that to look forward to." Beverley's work included the Company of Rogues, the Malloren and the Georges series.

The Romance Writers of America noted that Beverley "was generous with her time and her knowledge, giving workshops at RWA conferences and writing articles for the Romance Writers Report magazine. She was a much-loved and admired member of the romance writing community.

"On her biography on the RWA website, Beverley said she 'firmly believes that reading should be fun, and that every book should leave the reader with a smile.' Her books have left a smile on thousands of readers faces, and she will be sorely missed."


Shelf Awareness Sign-up Giveaway: Vengeance by Zane


Notes

Image of the Day: Dog Day Afternoon

This week, Bay Area booksellers and librarians brought their four-legged friends to Pt. Isabel Dog Park in Richmond, Calif., to meet Julie Barton (center, in red-and-black), author of Dog Medicine: How My Dog Saved Me from Myself (Penguin Books, July 19). Penguin sales reps Wendy Pearl and Bob Belmont set up a dog-friendly picnic, with snacks, drinks and customized dog treats, and Barton made a little shrine to honor her late dog, Bunker, the subject of her riveting and poignant memoir; Pt. Isabel was Bunker's favorite dog park and where Barton and her husband eventually scattered Bunker’s ashes. Bookstores represented included Book Passage, Books Inc., Diesel A Bookstore, Towne Center Books, Copperfields Books, Pegasus Books,and Mrs. Dalloways. A representative from the Lafayette Library, the rep for Simon & Schuster, and NCIBA director Calvin Crosby also attended.

Happy 5th Birthday, Arcadia Books!

(l.-r.) John Christensen, Natalie Iausly, James Bohnen, Nancy Baenen, Todd Miller, Katie McGrath.

Congratulations to Arcadia Books, Spring Green, Wis., which celebrated its fifth anniversary on Friday. Owner James Bohnen, manager John Christensen and the staff were joined by customers and other businesses in town for a celebratory toast and free birthday cake from the store's new café partner, Enos Farms. "We're amazed that it's been five years, and are so grateful to everyone who has loved the store, and has loved a book they found here," said Bohnen. "We're excited to see what the next five years bring."


Vegas Indie Booksellers 'Stake Claim in Printed Universe'

Whatever your book needs may be, "your best bet will be a visit to one of Southern Nevada's independent bookstores," the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported in a piece headlined "Independent booksellers stake claim in printed universe."

The Writer's Block opened in 2014, and buyer Drew Cohen called business there "steady" and "sustainable, which is exciting for us," adding that the bookshop serves a customer base that includes not just residents of the immediate downtown neighborhood but of other parts of the valley who "are willing to travel to us."

Customer Lili Snyder said she likes the ambience of the store and talking to staff: "If you look, you can see the owners' personalities here. It's hipster, in a good way."

Cohen noted that Las Vegas is "a good city for independent bookstores," and said he isn't worried about e-books. "I think the market will be shared by readers and print books for a while. I think people thought e-readers would completely overtake (books), but I think it's more of a shared space.... I think you might see Amazon open more brick-and-mortar stores, but I don't think that's going to change the program for independent bookstores nationally. At the end of the day, I don't think you're going to have an independent bookstore on every block, but I think each (city) probably will be able to support one or two."


PRHPS to Distribute Good Night Books

Effective January 1, 2017, Good Night Books, Sandwich, Mass., will be sold and distributed by Penguin Random House Publisher Services.

Founded 10 years ago, Good Night is a children's publisher with more than 120 titles in print and more than four million books sold. It publishes the Good Night Book Series that celebrates places and themes that young children can enjoy with their families. Its backlist includes Good Night New York City, Good Night Trains, Good Night Beach, Count to Sleep America, Buenas Noches Miami and Good Night America. Next year, with PRHPS distribution, the company plans to expand its international presence with Good Night London, Good Night England, Good Night Scotland and Good Night Ireland.

"Thanks to our great community of booksellers, Good Night Books will celebrate its 10th anniversary in July, so it seems like an auspicious time for us to start working with Penguin Random House Publisher Services," Good Night Books president Adam Gamble said. "We believe they offer the best lists of children's books in the world, as well as a stellar sales and distribution team. We're ready to work with them to continue spreading our message of community celebration for preschoolers and their families."

PRHPS president Jeff Abraham said, "Mark Jasper and Adam Gamble have built a robust publishing program over the past 10 years, and we look forward to partnering with them to grow their business, especially in the independent, specialty, and international markets."



Media and Movies

Media Heat: Silvermans on the View

Today:
Fresh Air: J. Kael Weston, author of The Mirror Test: America at War in Iraq and Afghanistan (Knopf, $28.95, 9780385351126).

Tomorrow:
Live with Kelly: Rebecca Katz, author of The Healthy Mind Cookbook: Big-Flavor Recipes to Enhance Brain Function, Mood, Memory, and Mental Clarity (Ten Speed Press, $29.99, 9781607742975).

The View: Susan Silverman, author of Casting Lots: Creating a Family in a Beautiful, Broken World (Da Capo, $24.99, 9780306824616). (Also on the show: the author's sister, comedian Sarah Silverman.)

The Takeaway: Neal Bascomb, author of The Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler's Atomic Bomb (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28, 9780544368057).


TV: Get Shorty; Killing Reagan

Epix has given a series order to Get Shorty, based on the novel by the late Elmore Leonard that was previously adapted for a 1995 film, Variety reported. The hour-long show is created and executive produced by Davey Holmes (Shameless, In Treatment, Damages). Production is set to begin in the fall, with the premiere slated for summer 2017.

"We're excited to be working with MGM on Get Shorty," said Epix president and CEO Mark S. Greenberg. "I had the pleasure of working with Elmore Leonard early in my career and I am a big fan of his writing. Davey Holmes is a tremendous talent and has created a fantastic new series that is in the spirit of Leonard's unique brand of social satire and strong narrative voice."

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Actor and improv comic Kyle S. More (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, CSI) has been cast as John Hinckley Jr. in Scott Free Productions' two-hour adaptation of Bill O'Reilly's Killing Reagan for National Geographic Channel, Deadline reported. Tim Matheson will portray President Ronald Reagan, with Cynthia Nixon as Nancy Reagan. The cast also includes Michael H. Cole as Jim Brady, Geoff Pierson (James Baker III), Jeff Harlan (Mike Deaver), Joel Murray (Edwin Meese) and Joe Chrest (Secret Service agent Jerry Parr).


Books & Authors

Awards: CrimeFest; Petrona

Winners of the 2016 CrimeFest Awards in several categories were announced during CrimeFest in Bristol, U.K. This year's winning authors are:

Audible Sounds of Crime Award: Paula Hawkins for The Girl on the Train, read by Clare Corbett, India Fisher and Louise Brealey
Kobo eDunnit Award: Michael Connelly for The Crossing
Last Laugh Award: Christopher Fowler for Bryant & May and the Burning Man
H.R.F. Keating Award: Martin Edwards for The Golden Age of Murder

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Also presented during CrimeFest was the 2016 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year, which went to Jorn Lier Horst for The Caveman, translated by Anne Bruce. The judges called the book "a gripping police procedural drawing on Jorn Lier Horst's experiences as a murder detective. All the books in the 'William Wisting' series have had compelling narratives and The Caveman is no exception, exploring a Norwegian society where, in a supposedly close-knit community, a man can lie dead at home unnoticed and unmourned for weeks. Excellent plotting, well-drawn characters and writing of the highest quality make this book a worthy winner of the 2016 Petrona Award."


Book Brahmin: Adam Ehrlich Sachs

photo: Lulu Liu

Adam Ehrlich Sachs is the author of Inherited Disorders: Stories, Parables & Problems (Regan Arts, May 3, 2016). He studied atmospheric science at Harvard, where he wrote for the Harvard Lampoon. His fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, n+1 and McSweeney's, among other places. He lives with his wife in Somerville, Mass.

On your nightstand now:

At the risk of looking incredibly pretentious, I'll answer this truthfully: Proust's Sodom and Gomorrah, Cervantes's Don Quixote, Sextus Empiricus's Outlines of Scepticism, Rachel Lichtenstein's and Iain Sinclair's Rodinsky's Room, and Augustine's Confessions. It's a very aspirational nightstand. My only defense is that most of these books have been sitting there an extremely, even a pathetically, long time.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree. Apparently I wrote Silverstein a letter asking him to change the ending to something less sad. He didn't, and now the only stories I'm able to write involve people dying, going crazy or exploiting other people until they're reduced to (metaphorical) tree stumps. Tragic, depressing stump fiction.

Your top five authors:

Franz Kafka, Thomas Bernhard, Jorge Luis Borges, Vladimir Nabokov. Fifth place rotates (depending on whom I'm talking to and what I'm trying to prove about myself) among Samuel Beckett, Lydia Davis, Gert Hofmann, Muriel Spark and many others.

Book you've faked reading:

I made it through 950 pages of Tolstoy's War and Peace before giving up with 250 pages left to go. Now I usually claim to have read it, but with profound ethical misgivings. This is complicated by the fact that my wife is a Tolstoy scholar.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Nicholson Baker's House of Holes. Some reviewers spurned it, but I think it's one of the funniest books ever written. There's this Wittgenstein line I like: "Never stay up on the barren heights of cleverness, but come down into the green valleys of silliness." I think most supposedly "funny" books turn out to be clever rather than silly. But Baker leads his characters down into the green valleys of silliness and has them engage in unbelievable acts of fornication there.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Peter Mendelsund's brilliant editions of Kafka.

Book you hid from your parents:

I've hidden things from my parents--career ambitions, psychological issues, prolonged periods of insomnia, fears about their mortality--but never a book.

Book that changed your life:

Nietzsche's essay "On the Uses and Disadvantages of History for Life" in his Untimely Meditations, which, as I understood it, instructed me to quit grad school immediately. I am extremely grateful to it.

Favorite line from a book:

"We study a monumental work, for example Kant's work, and in time it shrivels down to Kant's little East Prussian head and to a thoroughly amorphous world of night and fog, which winds up in the same state of helplessness as all the others, he said, I thought." --from Thomas Bernhard's The Loser. I consult this sentence whenever I need to remind myself of the complete absurdity and futility of writing and of all other human endeavors.

Five books you'll never part with:

Bernhard's Woodcutters. Beckett's Watt. Nabokov's Pale Fire. Kafka's Complete Stories. Proust's In Search of Lost Time (even though I've been stalled on the fourth volume for a year).

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

The Giving Tree, ideally the corrected version in which the stump suddenly (somewhat inexplicably) regrows her entire trunk, her branches and especially her apples. The boy then uses these things in moderation (e.g., not cutting off all of her branches when needing to build his house, etc.).


Book Review

Children's Review: Every Single Second

Every Single Second by Tricia Springstubb, illus. by Diana Sudyka (Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins, $16.99 hardcover, 368p., ages 10-13, 9780062366283, June 7, 2016)

Tricia Springstubb (What Happened on Fox Street; Moonpenny Island) has written a philosophical, often poetic, remarkably spot-on novel about universalities--growing up, family, friendship, honesty, faith, death, time and race--set in the context of the big, important preteen years of a present-day Italian American "skyscraper of a girl," 12-year-old Nella Sabatini.
 
Until a few years ago, life in Nella's Little Italy neighborhood strolled along steadily: the "Sacred Scent of Doughnuts" from Franny's shop; the familiar cemetery where her dad works; her Catholic school; the clamor of "the barbarians," aka her endless supply of younger brothers; her best-friendship with "secret sister" Angela DeMarco; and her quiet worship of Angela's older brother Anthony.

It's third grade when Nella starts questioning everything, especially about right and wrong, good and evil:

"Angela's father was a soldier, so that meant he was good and brave."

"Angela's father scared his kids and made his wife cry, so that meant he was bad and mean.

"Just because you did one right thing, did it mean you were good?

"And if that was true, did doing one wrong thing mean you were bad?"

Nella's questions about Angela's scary, angry, PTSD-stricken dad take on broader relevance as the girls grow, and grow apart. By seventh grade Nella has a new best friend, a science-minded, non-Catholic girl named Clem Patchett, who is obsessed with planning how they will spend the extra second about to be added to the world's clock. And when Nella's grandmother Nonni has a stroke and Angela's brother Anthony is arrested for killing a black man, Nella's questions about judgment and redemption come even faster and more furious... and her heart goes out to her childhood friend Angela.

Even as she counts down the moments to the Leap Second with Clem, Nella has to decide what role she is going to play in her own life with Angela, Clem, Nonni, her father, even Sam Ferraro, the boy who may be "in like" with her. Her old teacher Sister Rosa used to say, about God, "He hopes we will do right, but He leaves it up to us. We are born with the gift of free will." But is that true? Does Nella have any say in what happens next?

Springstubb alternates chapters identified as "now," "then," and a few variations on "What Jeptha A. Stone Would Say If He Could," the latter being the silent orations of a long-dead man in the neighborhood cemetery who watches over all in a blustery, self-righteous and ultimately lovable manner. Nella is eminently authentic as a child who is emerging from her own age of innocence into a world of almost unbearable complexity and ambiguity. Young readers metamorphosing from the chrysalis of childhood and ready to face the bigger questions of life will love Nella, Angela, Anthony and Clem, and their tight-knit, very human community. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor

Shelf Talker: In Tricia Springstubb's philosophical coming-of-age novel, 12-year-old Nella Sabatini grapples with shifting relationships and life's biggest questions.


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