Also published on this date: Wednesday, October 4, 2017: Maximum Shelf: Sometimes I Lie

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, October 4, 2017


Penguin Press: A Tokyo Romance: A Memoir by Ian Buruma

Scribner Book Company: The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson

St. Martin's Press: After Anna by Lisa Scottoline

Little Brown and Company: The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison

Quotation of the Day

'A Bookseller's Prayer'

"The subject of the intro here was supposed to be about the 'hardest part of the job' for me.... Turns out the 'hardest part of the job' is just to keep going some days. To do the work. My job (our job... I don't do this alone) is to make you happy. That's a tough job today. In fact, it's been a tough job for a while now. I don't care what your affiliations are, the world has felt pretty dark for some time.... So, here is my prayer, offered to wherever these things go, to wherever you need it to be:

"For all of us: comfort, safety, and security./ When these are not possible: strength and endurance./ When strength and endurance aren't enough: the courage to pull ourselves up and/ make the world better one human interaction at a time.

"That's it. That's the whole thing. I wish it was better."

--Kelly Justice, owner of Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, Va., in the intro to her store's e-newsletter yesterday

GLOW: Grove Atlantic: The Mercy Seat by Elizabeth H. Winthrop


News

EC Orders Amazon to Pay $294 Million in Back Taxes

The European Commission has ordered Amazon to pay €250 million (about $294 million) in back taxes plus interest after ruling that the company's 2003 tax deal with Luxembourg gave it tax benefits between 2006 and 2014 that were illegal under "EU state aid rules," the Bookseller reported.

At a press conference this morning, Margarethe Vestager, the EC's member in charge of competition, said, "Luxembourg gave illegal tax benefits to Amazon. As a result, almost three quarters of Amazon's profits were not taxed. In other words, Amazon was allowed to pay four times less tax than other local companies subject to the same national tax rules. This is illegal under EU State aid rules. Member States cannot give selective tax benefits to multinational groups that are not available to others."

Amazon responded by saying: "We believe that Amazon did not receive any special treatment from Luxembourg and that we paid tax in full accordance with both Luxembourg and international tax law. We will study the Commission's ruling and consider our legal options, including an appeal."

The EC found that Amazon's deal with Luxembourg allowed it to shift most of its profits "from an Amazon group company that is subject to tax in Luxembourg (Amazon EU) to a company that is not subject to tax (Amazon Europe Holding Technologies)," the Bookseller wrote. "In particular, Luxembourg endorsed the payment of a royalty from Amazon EU to Amazon Europe Holding Technologies which significantly reduced Amazon EU's taxable profits. The Commission's investigation showed that the level of that royalty payment was 'inflated and did not reflect economic reality.' "

The EC had made a preliminary ruling in early 2015 that the Luxembourg deal gave Amazon an unfair tax advantage.


Binc Foundation: Helping Booksellers #MoreThanEver Donation Campaign


Two Dollar Radio Opens Bookstore and Event Space

Indie publishing company Two Dollar Radio opened a new headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, on September 27 that features a bookstore, a performance and event space, and a full-service coffee and alcohol bar, the Lantern reported. The new headquarters is located at 1124 Parsons Ave. on Columbus's southside, and replaces the "closet-sized office space" from which Two Dollar Radio owners and co-founders ran the company for years.

 Two Dollar Radio's new headquarters.

"I think that there was just a lot of things clicking into place at the right time and we feel fortunate to have happened into this space in particular," Obenauf told the Lantern. "It's beautiful, it's affordable, the neighbors are all super friendly, and the community seems really enthusiastic and supportive, which is tremendous."

The bookstore features books and periodicals and was designed by Obenauf, Wood-Obenauf and Two Dollar Radio's editorial and marketing assistant Brett Gregory. The trio also made many of the fixtures, including the bar, bar stools, shelves and tables, by hand. In addition to beverages, the bar will serve a small variety of hearty vegan food.


Clarion Books: The Stone Girl's Story by Sarah Beth Durst


Age of Reason Reopens in Westport, Conn.

Age of Reason, an educational toy store and bookstore in Westport, Conn., has reopened in a new storefront after closing in April, Westport Now reported. The new space is located at 9 Post Road West and is around 850 square feet, about two-thirds the size of its prior location at 19 Post Road West. Age of Reason originally opened in Westport in November 1983. Owner Dina Berger told Westport Now: "Long-time customers are happy to see us back again."


Oxford University Press: Hate: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship by Nadine Strossen


DK Selling Rough Guides to APA Publications

Reference and nonfiction publisher Dorling Kindersley is selling travel publisher Rough Guides to APA Publications, the publisher of Insight Guides, Berlitz and more than 700 travel publications, the Bookseller reported. DK chief executive Ian Hudson said the move stemmed from "a wide-ranging travel publishing review," and that the company has begun consultation with "its 30 staff who work on Rough Guides." While APA Publications has reportedly "agreed to take the whole [Rough Guides] team," Georgina Dee, DK's publishing director for travel, will remain with the company.

Rough Guides was founded in 1981 and published its first guidebook in 1982. Today it offers guidebooks to more than 120 locations around the world and phrasebooks for 18 languages. It also debuted a podcast earlier this year. APA Publications chief executive René Frey said that although long-term plans for Rough Guides have not been fully formed, "we know the strategic idea makes a lot of sense and we are confident we can integrate the team quickly to run the business to keep it alive."

Following years of decline from 2007 to 2014, the travel guide market overall grew in 2015 and 2016, but the volume of books sold has been down and value has been flat so far in 2017, reported The Bookseller. DK's travel publishing arm is "down by 6% for the year to date" after five years of steady sales, and for APA Publications, Berlitz has "been in decline for the last four years" while Insight Guides has seen an increase in sales this year.


Obituary Note: Digby Diehl

Journalist, critic, editor and author Digby Diehl, "who collaborated on celebrity autobiographies with Esther Williams, Natalie Cole, Patti LuPone and more," died September 24, the New York Times reported. He was 76. Diehl was was the founding editor of the Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review in 1975, and left in 1978 to become editor-in-chief of publisher Harry N. Abrams for a year and a half. He later worked as book editor of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, movie critic and entertainment editor for KCBS television in L.A., Hollywood correspondent for the CBS Morning News in 1986 and literary correspondent for ABC's Good Morning America.

Diehl co-authored Angel on My Shoulder with Cole; The Million Dollar Mermaid: An Autobiography with Williams; and Patti LuPone: A Memoir, as well as Bob Barker's Priceless Memories. He also co-wrote A Spy for All Seasons: My Life in the C.I.A. by Duane R. Clarridge; Alone Together: My Life with J. Paul Getty by Teddy Getty Gaston; and Truth Be Told: A Memoir of Success, Suicide, and Survival by Lucinda Bassett. In 2012, he worked with Dan Rather on his book Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News.

"When working on a memoir, Digby didn't believe in interviews," said Kay Beyer Diehl, his widow. "He believed in conversations--in person, if possible--so he could take not just verbal but visual cues from the author. There was always a give-and-take designed not just to put the author at ease, but to help him create the authentic representation of the author's voice on the page. That was paramount."


Notes

Image of the Day: Lawyer-Politician-Author-Bookseller

Barbara Radnofsky, author of A Citizen's Guide to Impeachment (Melville House) and co-owner of Brazos Bookstore in Houston, Tex., with Stephanie Schweitzer, an executive of the Texas Civil Rights Project, at Radnofsky's book signing at BookPeople in Austin, Tex.

'Behind-the-Scenes Secrets' of Librarian of Congress Hayden

Carla Hayden

The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., "employs thousands of people, from curators and archivists to IT specialists, but only one person--the Librarian of Congress--is appointed by the president to oversee the entire operation," Mental Floss noted in exploring "9 behind-the-scenes secrets of Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden."


Personnel Changes at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Michelle Campbell has joined Little, Brown Books for Young Readers as senior manager, school & library marketing. She was most recently manager, library & educational marketing at Scholastic.


University of Chicago Press to Distribute UCL Press

Effective January 1, 2018, the University of Chicago Press will distribute, sell and market UCL Press books in North America.

The publishing imprint of University College London, UCL Press publishes scholarly monographs and textbooks on anthropology, archaeology, history, architecture, environmental studies, popular science and higher education. UCL Press makes its books available for free online, as well as sells print copies through traditional retail channels.

Lara Speicher, publishing manager of UCL Press, commented: "UCL Press is keen to expand its global reach, and making its books available in the U.S. and Canada is a critical component of this plan. Working with a university press such as Chicago and its long-established distribution program representing other university presses and scholarly publishers is the ideal partnership to help us expand our activities in North America."

Chicago marketing director Carol Kasper added: "We believe UCL books will find a good home with our growing group of client presses whose signature is serious non-fiction and scholarship."



Media and Movies

Media Heat: Jonathan Eig on Fresh Air

Today:
Fresh Air: Jonathan Eig, author of Ali: A Life (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30, 9780544435247).

Tomorrow:

Imus in the Morning: Jen Welter, co-author of Play Big: Lessons in Being Limitless from the First Woman to Coach in the NFL (Seal Press, $26, 9781580056830).

Live with Kelly and Ryan: Trevor Noah, author of Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (Spiegel & Grau, $28, 9780399588174).

Wendy Williams: Russell Brand, author of Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions (Holt, $27, 9781250141927).


Movies: The Irishman

J.C. Mackenzie and Craig Vincent have joined the cast of Netflix's The Irishman, based on Charles Brandt's book I Heard You Paint Houses: Frank 'The Irishman' Sheeran & Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa, Deadline reported. Directed by Martin Scorsese, the film stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel, Bobby Cannavale, Ray Romano, Stephen Graham and Kathrine Narducci. Steve Zaillian adapted the screenplay for the project. Shooting is underway in New York "and the pic is expected to get an Oscar-qualifying theatrical release," Deadline noted.


Books & Authors

Awards: Dayton Peace Prize Winners

The Veins of the Ocean by Patricia Engel and What Have We Done by David Wood, "two books exploring how the warped morality of political conflict trickles down to impact individual lives," are winners of the 2017 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for fiction and nonfiction, respectively. The runners-up were Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (fiction) and City of Thorns by Ben Rawlence (nonfiction).

Sharon Rab, founder and co-chair of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation, said, "War and political turmoil come about when leaders lose their sense of right and wrong, but they can, in turn, impair the moral compasses of the individuals who, willingly or not, get caught up in such clashes. Starting from two very different perspectives, Patricia Engel and David Wood remind us that to break the cycle of conflict on the global level, we must support and promote the healing process on a personal level."

This year's winners will be honored at a gala ceremony November 5 in Dayton, Ohio. Winners receive a $10,000 honorarium and runners-up $2,500.


Reading with... Sophfronia Scott

photo: Rob Berkley

Sophfronia Scott holds a BA in English from Harvard and an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives in Sandy Hook, Conn. Her latest novel is Unforgivable Love: A Retelling of Dangerous Liaisons, set in 1940s Harlem (Morrow, September 26, 2017).

On your nightstand now:

The Velveteen Daughter by Laurel Davis Huber. I have a fascination with artists and this book is a novelization of the tumultuous life of Pamela Bianco, a child prodigy artist whose mother, Margery Williams Bianco, wrote the famous children's book The Velveteen Rabbit. It's about madness and genius, and the multiple highs and lows that encompass a person touched with both.

The Girl of the Lake by Bill Roorbach. Roorbach is a master storyteller so I was excited to get my hands on his latest collection of short fiction. I'm savoring these stories and his engaging characters.

Olio by Tyehimba Jess. Jess's poetry is ambitious, stunning. The whole book is a fierce work of art and each turn of the page is an adventure.

The Good Divide by Kali VanBaale. This down-to-earth novel is set in the 1960s, on a Wisconsin dairy farm. You've got a small town community, family secrets and an unresolved death of a young woman. I'll finish it soon because the prose is beautiful and swift, making it hard to put down.

Selected Poems by Adonis. A friend recently turned me on to this celebrated Arabic poet who began publishing work in the 1950s. The poems in the book span his entire career, and I'm intrigued to follow the growth of his voice and observant critique of society.
 
Favorite book when you were a child:

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Of course I had a mad crush on Dickon! And I still have that renewed garden in my head. I remember drawing pictures of it--flowers upon flowers--and hoping someday I'd have such a garden.

Your top five authors:

Toni Morrison: Her voice is like a song constantly in my ear, reminding me what beautiful writing sounds like, and what's possible with the English language.

J.K. Rowling: In scope, vision and edge-of-your-seat storytelling, the Harry Potter series is a major accomplishment.

Zora Neale Hurston: In life and on the page this woman was bold and beautiful.

Charles Baxter: His fiction and nonfiction are both powerful and risky. His work pushes me to be a better writer.

August Wilson: His 10-play cycle changed the face of American theater. I'm inspired by the ambition it took to create such amazing work.

Book you've faked reading:

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I know I've got to read more Russian literature but it's always slipping down my to-read list.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf. Whenever anyone asks me to recommend something I, without hesitation, start talking about this book. I loved this perfect, heartbreaking story of two lonely people developing an endearing late-in-life friendship and love. The fact that the author was terminally ill and completed the book right before his death makes reading it all the more poignant.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Open by Andre Agassi. I'd always been curious about the flashy tennis player but I bought his autobiography solely because of his strong, clear-eyed gaze staring out from the book's cover. Something told me that gaze meant he wasn't going to pull any punches, that he had some real things to say about his life. The book didn't disappoint me. He was truly that open.

Book you hid from your parents:

A Stranger in the Mirror by Sidney Sheldon. My father never learned how to read, and when I got older, my mother didn't pay attention to what I brought home from the library, so I never really had to hide books from my parents. But if I had to hide one, this would have been it. It marked my "teenage girl reading about sex" stage.

Book that changed your life:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. I was about 13 when I read this book and it opened the world to me because Jane taught me how to think. She was always cognizant of her situation, always considering what she wanted her life to be and how to move toward what she wanted. I realized I could have agency in my life in the same way, and I found that so empowering.

Favorite line from a book:

"If I could show them how much I love them and how much their love means to me, they could not hear it with human ears or see it with their eyes, but I stand in the middle of their suffering anyway and they do not know that I am here." --The Mover of Bones by Robert Vivian.

Five years ago I was in my kitchen making muffins listening to a recording of the author reading this excerpt from his novel. It represents the voice of a missing young woman speaking from beyond the grave. It was so beautiful it literally brought me to my knees in tears.

Five books you'll never part with:

When I was about 11, a fire destroyed part of my family's home. My father, who was very superstitious, said we couldn't keep anything that had been burned even if it seemed salvageable. It was bad luck. However I snuck into the damaged area and rescued the six books I bought at school from the Scholastic Books order form. I'd saved up to get these books, the first I'd ever owned, and I refused to throw them away. They sit on my shelves to this day, their pages crumbling, two of them with their covers burned off. They are:

The Bionic Woman: Welcome Home Jaime by Eileen Lottman. This is a novelization of an early episode of the television show. I loved Lindsay Wagner as the Bionic Woman--I had the doll and her red bag of accessories. The doll didn't survive the fire. The book did.

Jenny by Gene Inyart. Girl acquires a baby brother (bad) and then a puppy (good!).

Lisa, Bright and Dark by John Neufeld. The noted novel about a teen with mental health issues.

A Smart Kid Like You by Stella Pevsner. A girl dealing with her parents' divorce.

Freckled and Fourteen by Viola Rowe. Teen bewails her red hair and freckles. Since I have red hair and freckles, I felt this book was required reading.

My Sister Mike by Amelia Elizabeth Walden. Tomboy Mike is a talented basketball player whose prettier sister gives her a makeover so she can turn the tables on a guy from the boys' team, who dates Mike on a bet.

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

We Danced in Bloomsbury Square by Jean Estoril. Debbie Darke narrates the story of her and her fraternal twin, Doria, getting accepted to attend a prestigious ballet school in London. Long before Harry Potter existed this book showed me what it was like to get singled out for your abilities and sent away to school in an exciting new landscape. Debbie worried if they didn't get into the school, their Liverpool life would be "dust and ashes." I grew up in a rust belt steel town so I could totally relate. When I first read this book, I envisioned myself wearing the same school uniforms and walking through London parks with the Darke twins and their classmates. I wish I could read this book for the first time again, so I could feel the hope of those daydreams once more.

The most beautiful book you own:

Emily Dickinson: Gorgeous Nothings, edited by Marta Werner and Jen Bervin. This big white coffee-table book catalogues the "envelope poems" of Dickinson--work she wrote on scraps of paper. I love that the images of the delicate envelopes are so sharp and clear you can see every wrinkle and fold and you can almost feel them in your hands. It's simply thrilling.


Book Review

Review: Locked Up for Freedom: Civil Rights Protesters at the Leesburg Stockade

Locked Up for Freedom: Civil Rights Protesters at the Leesburg Stockade by Heather E. Schwartz (Millbrook Press, $33.32 library binding, 64p., ages 10-13, 9781467785976, November 11, 2017)

Journalist and author Heather E. Schwartz ventures into one of the many dark corners of the U.S. civil rights movement, illuminating the ghastly story of more than 30 African-American preteen and teenage girls from Americus, Ga., who were arrested in the summer of 1963. At the time, youths were working strenuous, low-paying manual labor jobs beside their parents, and this "new generation of young black Americans was beginning to recognize the shadow that segregation cast over their futures." These young people were just as motivated as their elders to join in the monumental, nonviolent fight for equal rights. Using protests, marches and sit-ins, they wanted their voices to be heard by a nation legally discriminating against them and treating them as substandard citizens.

However, while youth protestors were just as likely as adult protestors to be arrested and mistreated, in the summer of 1963, an unexpected scenario left a group of girls tragically vulnerable: Americus police moved the group of young protestors out of the city jail and into an old, Civil War-era prison miles away in Leesburg, Ga. The girls had no idea where they were, and their parents were not informed. Instead, the detainees--the girls were never charged with crimes--were at the mercy of their callous, hate-filled prison guards.

In Locked Up for Freedom, Schwartz explores the nightmare these children experienced. She digs into historic documents, interviews some of the victims and shares photographs that helped bring this travesty to light. Employing language accessible to middle grade readers that clearly illustrates the horrific conditions the girls endured, Schwartz forces the audience to envision themselves in similar circumstances, " 'Some of the mattresses were so bad some of the girls were afraid to sleep on them,' Robertiena said. 'So we picked out the ones we thought we could sleep on and pushed them to the front. We put the bad ones, which had bugs crawling over them, to the back.' "

Despite the appearance of a diamondback snake, nonfunctioning toilets, horrible food, no contact with the outside world and a lack of medical care, the girls remained hopeful and motivated. They sang songs, prayed and joked with one another. Schwartz beautifully portrays their courage and dedication through this terrifying experience, which for some lasted several months.

Weaving in background on the civil rights movement, Jim Crow laws and other high-profile events of the period through the use of call-out sections, the book has an interactive feel, engaging readers in a physically uncomfortable yet vitally important topic. Focusing on girls similar in age to her target audience, Schwartz allows her readers to see themselves in these young heroes.

Events like the Americus girls' experience have quietly remained in the shadows of U.S. history; in this striking exposé for young readers, Schwartz reveals a disgraceful blemish on the nation's past and gives a powerful voice to the victims.  --Jen Forbus, freelancer

Shelf Talker: The miscarriage of justice against more than 30 young girls from Americus, Ga., during the civil rights movement comes to light in words and pictures that will infuriate and inspire young readers.


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