Shelf Awareness for Friday, November 5, 2010

Holiday House: Ros Demir Is Not the One by Leyla Brittan

HarperAlley: I Shall Never Fall In Love by Hari Conner

W. W. Norton & Company to Sell and Distribute Yale University Press and Harvard University Press

Clarion Books: The Man Who Didn't Like Animals by Deborah Underwood, Illlustrated by LeUyen Pham

Holiday House: Bye Forever, I Guess by Jodi Meadows and Team Canteen 1: Rocky Road by Amalie Jahn

Wednesday Books: Dust by Alison Stine


Letters: 'Ironic Disconnects'

Kris Kleindienst, co-owner of Left Bank Books, St. Louis, Mo., wrote concerning yesterday's quotation of the day by author Jael McHenry, who in response to Stephen King's comments about bookstores, praised bookstores on the Intrepid Media blog.

I often feel caught in a web of ironic disconnects these days and am usually forced to smile my way through.

Intrepid Media helps authors publish their own books through Then they put those books on Amazon for sale. I'm not sure people realize what it takes to have charming bookstores/gathering places for readings and socializing. It takes only one thing: people buying books from bookstores. That's it. That's all we need to be "absolutely, positively, completely alive."
Left Bank Books, incidentally, is 41 years old this year. We have been hit hard by the "recession" and the accompanying shifts in the publishing industry, but we fight hard every day to maintain our relevance and serve the core community of booklovers who still need and want a place like ours in their community. We love what we do. Alas, would that that core were a bit larger. Really, it wouldn't take that much more to achieve true sustainability for a store like ours. That's the other irony. For want of a nail the shoe was lost....


And Nora Rawlinson, co-founder and editor of, wrote about the closing of Brownstone Books, Brooklyn, N.Y., which we mentioned yesterday.

Wondering where the store is, I clicked through to its web site. It's beautifully designed, current and vibrant, with links to an amazing array of programs and events. It made me even sadder that the community has lost this resource. One small issue; it's not easy to find the store's location.

I want to see more booksellers stay in business, so here's a small tip: make sure your location, and directions to it, are highlighted on your home page.


 Treasure Books, Inc.: There's Treasure Inside by Jon Collins-Black


Notes: Joseph-Beth Closing Two Stores; Amazon Lawsuit Redux

Citing "continuing changes in the bookselling industry, combined with a bleak economy," Joseph-Beth Booksellers announced the closing later this month of its SouthSide Works store in Pittsburgh, Pa., and SouthPark Mall store in Charlotte, N.C., the Post-Gazette reported.

The Pittsburgh location opened in 2004 and, along with the Charlotte bookshop, is one of the newest of the company's seven stores. Joseph-Beth also owns two Davis-Kidd stores, in Nashville and Memphis, Tenn.

"It was a very difficult decision," said Chad Showalter, Joseph-Beth Group's marketing director, adding that the company's economic forecasts for the first half of 2011 were not encouraging. "We decided we needed to make a significant change."

The Charlotte Observer reported that, in addition to the imminent closure of the SouthPark Mall Joseph-Beth location, a Borders bookstore in nearby Morrocroft Village shopping center will close January 7.

"It's just a very difficult, low-margin business," said Charlotte retail consultant Jennifer Stanton. With three big stores--including a Barnes & Noble--in the same area, "it is just too competitive, because it's a commodity that you can buy at for less."

"Book retailers, in general, are facing more competition than they've ever seen in history," Showalter added.

But Sally Brewster, co-owner of Park Road Books, expressed optimism for local independent businesses in the changing economy: "I think smaller shops are the way of the future."


Yesterday, a New York appeals court reinstated Amazon's and Overstock's 2008 lawsuit claiming a state law forcing them to collect sales taxes was unconstitutional. CNET reported that the court ruled 5-0 that "the dismissal of the entire complaint was premature" and that the lawsuit should continue. Amazon has been collecting sales taxes on shipments to customers in New York while the case is under way.

The decision "is anything but a complete victory for the Internet retailers, however," according to CNET, which noted "the judges ruled that, in at least some cases, the state law can be constitutional. That leaves the retailers' other arguments--which are separate and still in play--that the statute remains unconstitutional as applied to the Internet and their businesses. Further proceedings are necessary 'before a determination can be rendered' on that point, the appeals court said."

"We're pleased with the decision in light of the fact that the court found that the statute is indeed constitutional," said Brad Maione, a spokesman for the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. "We are confident that we will prevail in the end."


The 53-year-old New England Mobile Book Fair is seeking a buyer. The Boston Globe reported that the "company is partnering with Paul Siegenthaler of Ridge Hill Partners, Needham, which successfully brokered the sale of two other local independent bookstores: the Harvard Bookstore in Cambridge in 2008 and the Wellesley Booksmith earlier this year."

Steve Gans, the store's general counsel, said the Book Fair decided to make a public announcement "before the holiday season in order to reassure its loyal customer base that their bookshop--famous for its book-loving staff, eclectic layout and steep discounts--is healthy and vital," the Globe wrote.

"We were concerned that if we waited to announce (until January), there would be the wrong inference," Gans said. "We have a great relationship with the community and people have visceral feelings about the Book Fair. That is because of the amazing loyalty and constituency we have here."

Siegenthaler said there was "pent up demand" from the previous two bookstore deals his firm had closed, and that a public announcement might draw more prospective buyers: "It's a way to reach the emotional and passionate buyers, because no hard numbers guy is going to buy a book store. We want to find someone who loves (the Book Fair) as much as the current owners, and will honor the legacy and bring it forward."


Ed Devereux, owner of Unabridged Bookstore, Chicago, Ill., was interviewed by the Chicagoist, which observed: "Maybe it's the little yellow note cards affixed to shelves touting staff favorites, or the jaw-dropping selection of high-quality (and cheap!) remainders, or their collection of relevant LGBT literature--we’re not entirely sure how they did it, but incredibly this week, Unabridged Bookstore is celebrating 30 years in business, in the same location. We pause to let that sink in--especially considering this independent bookstore is thriving in an age when the Kindle and other e-readers are becoming de rigueur, and as the mega-chain book stores shutter high profile locations such as the flagship Borders on Michigan Avenue, which is expected to close next year."

"I wanted to sell all kinds of books, and to have the bookstore reflect the neighborhood," said Devereux. "So, I decided to start a general bookstore with a large gay section that would almost be like a store-within-a-store. The store would be a go-to place for everyone in the neighborhood, both gay and straight."


A new children's bookstore, the Bookworm Burrow, will open November 16 at the Public Market on 1530 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham, Wash. The Bellingham Herald reported that owner Natalie Page, "who has an interest in writing children's books, said the idea for a store really came together while she was pregnant with her son. She found the public market to be a good fit because much of the start-up overhead was covered, she could open quickly and it's a community-oriented facility."

"I want children to have places to play, look through books and be creative," Page said.


Lynn Sciaccia has opened Main Street Books in Lee, Mass., taking over the space formerly occupied by Berkshire Soul & Spirit Center, which closed last May.

"I was thrilled about the opportunity to open a business in Lee," said Sciaccia, "I've always loved the book business, because I can satisfy a customer as soon as they walk inside whether it's history or a children's book."

The Berkshire Eagle reported that Sciaccia "is a 30-year veteran of the bookstore business, whose local connection dates back to 1981 when she initially moved to the Berkshires and opened a store in Pittsfield. October Mountain Books occupied space in the Allendale Shopping Center from 1981 to 1992, closing due to competition from the Berkshire Mall, which opened in 1988 just to the north in Lanesborough."

"My passion for the area has never waned, so when the space in Lee opened up, we had the money," she said.


Rock Point Books, Chattanooga, Tenn., will close in early December. Co-owner Albert Waterhouse told the Times Free Press that the bookshop opened in 2006, "shortly before the nation's economic slump, and has faced stiff competition from online booksellers like and e-readers like the Kindle and the iPad."

"We started off strong, and the author readings were responsible for moving a lot of books, but as the economy collapsed two years ago, we saw the direct response of that," Waterhouse said, adding that while online bookstores dominate the field, he believes "there is a niche for a bookstore in Chattanooga. I'm gonna be back."


The American Booksellers Association's 2011 Winter Institute--which will be held in Washington, D.C., January 19 to 21--is now fully booked and a waiting list is forming, Bookselling this Week reported.  


Jennifer Lynn Barnes, author of Raised by Wolves, selected her top 10 supernatural families in literature for the Guardian, noting: "There's only one thing I love more than a good supernatural story, and that's a story that explores what it means to be a family: the good, the bad and the ugly. Whether it's a family of choice or blood makes very little difference to me, but there's something so compelling about the idea of being connected to other people and part of their lives in a permanent and often complicated way. One of the reasons I chose to write about werewolves was because it offered a lot of opportunities to explore growing up within--and sometimes away from--your family (or, in werewolf terms, your pack)."


Book trailer of the day: Let's Bring Back: An Encyclopedia of Forgotten-Yet-Delightful, Chic, Useful, Curious, and Otherwise Commendable Things from Times Gone By by Lesley M.M. Blume (Chronicle).


Effective November 15, Nicole Dewey is joining Little, Brown as executive director of publicity. Her last day as executive director of publicity at Holt is today.


Help a Bookseller, Change a Life: Give today to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation!

General Retail Sales in October: 'A Market-Share War'

General retail sales last month were up as retailers "set the stage for a fiercely competitive Christmas, with price wars, promotions and competitive positioning spurring most of the sales gains and suggesting that shoppers will be aggressively wooed during the holiday season," the Wall Street Journal reported. Sales at stores open at least a year rose 1.6% in October, as measured by Thomson Reuters, compared to a 1.8% gain a year ago, though "sales performance on a store-by-store basis was uneven".

"There is a market-share war that is heating up as we move into the holiday season and some retailers evidently are already pulling out the big guns, creating winners and losers," said John Long, retail strategist at Kurt Salmon Associates.

The Journal noted that retailers "are up against consumers who still aren't comfortable with the economy. Projections for holiday season sales vary, ranging from a slight loss to over 4% growth, reflecting even economists' uncertainty about the season."

The New York Times reported that October results "met analysts' expectations, and marked the 14th month of increased sales, but the increase was the lowest since April."

"It gives one some degree of optimism, but October, generally speaking, is a slower month, so we have to look at the overall trends in terms of what’s going to happen with consumers," said Michael Appel of AlixPartners. "Consumers are still concerned about the economy and the macro issues, and that's going to drive their purchasing behavior."

Image of the Day: The Horror!

In five states across the country during October, Scholastic Media presented the "Get Goosebumps!" 2010 Mall Tour, which included the chance to play the Goosebumps HorrorLand Wii game, star in and share Get Goosebumps videos, enter a contest to win a Goosebumps Prize Pack and more. Here a fan poses as a Goosebumps Horror at the Livingston Mall, Livingston, N.J. The Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine has sold more than 300 million copies in 32 languages.

Photo: Scholastic Media

Amazon's Best Books of 2010

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot topped's picks for Best Books of 2010. Amazon's top 10 editors' picks for the year are:

  1. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  2. Faithful Place: A Novel by Tana French
  3. Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marlantes
  4. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
  5. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
  6. Freedom: A Novel by Jonathan Franzen
  7. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson
  8. To the End of the Land by David Grossman
  9. Just Kids by Patti Smith
  10. The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Dick Cavett on CBS Sunday Morning

This morning on the Early Show: Mary McCartney, author of Mary McCartney: From Where I Stand (Abrams, $35, 9780810996540/0810996545).


Today on CNN American Morning and CNBC Power Lunch: Jeff Kinney, author of The Ugly Truth, the fifth in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series (Amulet Books, $13.95, 9780810984912/0810984911).


Tomorrow on the Early Show: Kim Barnouin, author of Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook (Running Press, $29.95, 9780762439379/0762439378).


Tomorrow on NPR's Weekend Edition: Pat Conroy, author of My Reading Life (Nan A. Talese, $25, 9780385533577/0385533578).


Sunday morning on CBS's Sunday Morning: Dick Cavett, author of Talk Show: Confrontations, Pointed Commentary, and Off-Screen Secrets (Times Books, $25, 9780805091953/0805091955).


Sunday on NPR's All Things Considered: Matt Taibbi, author of Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America (Spiegel & Grau, $26, 9780385529952/0385529953).


Sunday night on 60 Minutes: Marion Jones, author of On the Right Track: From Olympic Downfall to Finding Forgiveness and the Strength to Overcome and Succeed (Howard Books, $25, 9781451610826/1451610823).

Movies: Under the Skin

Scarlett Johansson will star in Under the Skin, adapted from Michel Faber's novel and directed by Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast). The Wrap reported that Johansson "will play a ruthless alien living on Earth where she takes the helpful form of a beautiful woman and uses her voracious sexuality to snare human prey." Glazer adapted the 2001 novel with Walter Campbell.


Books & Authors

Awards: Ottawa Book Awards; Hindu Best Fiction

Craig Poile, co-owner of Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeebar, won an Ottawa Book Award in the fiction category for his poetry collection, True Concessions. The Citizen reported that prize judges praised Poile's work as "a book full of poems that float as lightly as a balloon tied to a toddler's wrist, or, when they want to, stick like epoxy. Its language is deft and precise, its imagery keenly observed, and its themes poignant and humane."

Other Ottawa Book Award winners were Bringing Art to Life: a Biography of Alan Jarvis by Andrew Horrall (nonfiction) and Claire Rochon's poetry collection Fragments de Sifnos in the fiction category of the Prix du livre d'Ottawa, for French-language publications.


Manu Joseph won the 2010 Hindu Best Fiction prize for his debut novel, Serious Men, "a groundbreaking examination of caste in contemporary India," the Guardian reported. While the reception of the novel within India has been generally positive, Joseph said that some readers "tell me they hate it. Indian writers in English usually take a very sympathetic and compassionate view of the poor, and I find that fake and condescending.... It's a class thing. Most Indians readers of literary fiction written in English are of a certain class, and one of the recreations of the Indian upper class is compassion for the poor. I think the poor in India are increasingly very empowered, and the time has come when the novel can portray them in a more realistic way."

Novelist Shashi Deshpande, one of the judges, said Joseph had "crossed a certain barrier. In Indian writing in English we haven't yet approached the novel in the way this man has done. He has spoken about caste. We are ignoring reality, but he has straightforwardly plunged into the mind of a Dalit man and has done it with style and panache. To have a Dalit man speak in English and make it authentic is very difficult--but Manu Joseph has done it very easily, without making it grotesque."


Shelf Starter: Extra Indians

Extra Indians by Eric Gansworth (Milkweed Editions, $16 trade paper, 9781571310798/1571310797, November 4, 2010)

Opening lines from a book we want to read:

People are always wishing on falling stars, trying to see them, lying out under the nighttime sky, scanning back and forth, just hoping to spot one, and usually the ones they catch are fleeting, almost out of sight, vague impressions in their peripheral vision. Then they speed-wish, going as fast as they can, the lines they have rehearsed all day, maybe wishes they've written on the steam in the bathroom mirror after their morning showers, or on napkins at lunch, ink bleeding their desires away into accidental coffee spills, but they still do it, and try to get it out before the star burns dead away and cancels their dreams on account of their too-slow brains. --selected by Marilyn Dahl



Book Brahmin: Mark Vonnegut

Mark Vonnegut, the son of Kurt and Jane Cox Vonnegut, received a B.A. in Religion from Swarthmore in 1969. After graduation, he started a commune in British Columbia; he had his first psychotic break shortly thereafter. Vonnegut was originally diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia but was subsequently diagnosed as manic depressive; the medically preferred term is now bipolar. He spent several years back on the Cape recovering and working odd jobs, and he eventually completed a first memoir, The Eden Express, published in 1975 and named an ALA Notable Book.

In 1974, Vonnegut decided to follow his true calling and go to medical school and earned his medical degree from Harvard. Vonnegut finished his pediatrics residency at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in 1982 and has been a primary care pediatrician ever since. He is currently an instructor in pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

Mark Vonnegut is married to Barbara Sibert Vonnegut and has three sons. He paints, plays the saxophone and likes to walk his dog. His newest memoir, Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So, was published by Delacorte Press on October 5, 2010.


On your nightstand now:

Mount Misery by Samuel Shem, The Art Instinct by Denis Dutton and One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus.

Favorite book when you were a child:

The Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle.

Your top five authors:

Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, Charles Dickens, Shakespeare, William Faulkner.

Book you've faked reading:

Moby Dick until I did.

Book you're an evangelist for:

The Bear Went Over the Mountain by William Kotzwinkle.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Steal This Book by Abbie Hoffman.

Book(s) that changed your life:

Catcher in the Rye and Catch 22.

Favorite line from a book:

"Shut Up," he explained. --The Young Immigrunts by Ring W. Lardner, Jr.

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

Huckleberry Finn.

Why you write:

I write to figure out what I think.

A life lesson that you came away with from a book:

"Don't marry Heathcliff!" Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë.


Book Review

Book Review: The Dangerous Otto Katz

The Dangerous Otto Katz: The Many Lives of a Soviet Spy by Jonathan Miles (Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, $26.00 Hardcover, 9781596916616, October 2010)

From every indication, Otto Katz must have cast an undeniably powerful spell with "his charm, good looks and love of the high life. Women as worldly as Marlene Dietrich and Lillian Hellman were drawn to him without question, as if they had just arrived in town from the farm. Willi Münzenberg, Lenin's pick to head Soviet covert propaganda operations in the West, was similarly disarmed: he enlisted Katz in the cause in mid-1920s Berlin, despite warnings from Moscow that bon vivant Katz exhibited too many bourgeois tendencies. Münzenberg would later have reason to regret his choice.

"The only certainty about secret agents is that one can be certain of nothing," Jonathan Miles writes with awe in his survey of the many guises, aliases and clandestine assignments of Otto Katz between 1925 and 1952. Arthur Koestler dubbed him "the nonchalant impresario and idea-man of the great Comintern variety show," and the evidence supports that claim. Turn around once, Katz is in Hollywood raising money for anti-Fascist causes (without revealing that he funds went to Communist front organizations); turn around twice, he's engineering a propaganda coup with a much-publicized counter-trial in England regarding the 1933 burning of the Reichstag; turn around again, and he's in Spain "covering" the civil war as a "journalist." Throughout, Otto Katz went where he was sent and got the job done. As Miles notes, Katz was a blind adherent to the Soviet cause, more than willing to live in a world of double agents, disinformation, tradecraft and betrayal, with urbanity effectively masking a truly sinister and ruthless operative.

Miles tells us that early on Katz liked to go everywhere, meet everyone and have a ball, but a noticeable shift came after a training stint in Moscow in 1931. He emerged firmly committed to the Communist International Revolution; that meant total unquestioning loyalty to Josef Stalin. Witnessing Stalin's vicious purges of the mid-1930s, though, he confronted a dilemma between his dedication to Communist ideals and maintaining an alliance with the increasingly demented Stalin. Miles theorizes that Katz made a leap of faith to resolve his dilemma and remain in service to the Communist Party.

On March 21, 1946, Katz returned to Prague after years of globe-trotting. Within a few years, with Stalin on a rampage, Katz was arrested and tried during the Prague show trials of 1952. Miles notes, "Katz's anti-Fascist struggle, with its inevitable Western, pro-Jewish alliances, was used to forge a potent case against him." Stalin emerges from these pages as a monster beyond comprehension, yet we still ask why talented and indefatigable minions like Otto Katz stayed firmly in place until Uncle Joe added their names to his latest purge list.--John McFarland

Shelf Talker: This breathless survey of the globe-trotting career of loyal Soviet spy Otto Katz reveals a complex time when nobody was who he pretended to be and testifies anew to the horrors of the totalitarian agendas of Hitler and Stalin.

Deeper Understanding

Robert Gray: Indie Bookseller as Indie Publisher

We've been discussing independent booksellers and independent publishers, but this week we'll explore a variation on the theme: an indie bookseller who has also become an indie publisher.

Susan Novotny owns the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, N.Y., and Market Block Books, Troy, N.Y. She is also co-owner of POD service The Troy Book Makers and, earlier this year, launched Staff Picks Press (Shelf Awareness, May 24, 2010).

During the summer, Susan published the picture book Change: A Story for All Ages by Judith Barnes and Erick James, illustrated by Jeff Grader. She describes this project as her "weather balloon" for Staff Picks Press, noting that 450 copies were distributed through ABA's White Box in July. "Though  the book didn't bear the Staff Picks Press logo, I included a letter to my colleagues introducing the concept of independent booksellers doing their own publishing. I received only 10 orders, but each buyer articulated their conviction that Change was destined to become a classic and should be in hardcover; the perfect 'under-the-radar' kind of book independents know how to sell." This generated "enough enthusiasm to land Change on the December IndieNext list. When Change won the Creativity 40 award for Gold in Book Design and Platinum for Illustration, I turned the distribution over to the wholesalers."

Her goal for Staff Picks Press "is to bring excellent authors who are being overlooked by the New York agent/editing scene to the attention of booksellers and the reading public. Independent booksellers choose the manuscripts and carry out book design, cover art, copyright, ISBN and printing--digital or offset. No book is published without being fully vetted and heartily endorsed by an experienced and opinionated group of booksellers. You do not need the expensive overhead of a Manhattan address to publish truly beautiful and excellent books. All we need is the low-hanging fruit of talented writers."

This week Staff Picks Press released Peter Golden's novel Comeback Love, "a very well-written, intelligent love story set during the turbulent late '60s and early '70s," Susan observed. "It's for anyone over 50, man or woman, who has a love regret from this era. And who doesn't? This demographic is very big and they read. I feel lucky to have this as the first novel from Staff Picks Press." Author James Howard Kunstler praised the book as "a heartfelt and lyrical novel. A stylishly composed, moving tale of loss and redemption."

Golden, a journalist who has written five nonfiction books, said the decision to go with an indie press for Comeback Love was an easy one: "Susan and her friends in the indie world were particularly well positioned to market this book, since the target audience makes up a large percentage of their customer base. Susan had already read and liked the novel (I often seek a wide variety of views on my early drafts), so publishing with her was a no-brainer. We’ll sell everything she prints, probably collect some decent reviews, and my name, as a novelist, will get out there and my sales will not be held against me when it comes time to take my next novel to market. So far, she has been remarkably helpful--a result of her experience and her sterling reputation among her peers, and I’m learning a good deal about the needs of booksellers--something writers should pay attention to. Best of all, I’m having a wonderful time working with her."

An author's marketing responsibilities are substantial in this relationship, Golden acknowledges, though he calls them the "same as the author who publishes with a major press. The fact is unless you are extremely lucky--I mean winning a $300-million-lottery lucky--writers have to use all of the avenues available for marketing their books. I have been in bookstores and seen books from celebrated writers gathering dust on the shelves--books, I should add, that I’ve never heard of, and I read all the time. This means somebody--the writer, in my view--is falling down on the job.

"At BEA in May, I heard Esther Newberg discuss how a new writer--whose book she sold--was pushing her novel through social media, and added that this is an absolute must today. And that’s a novel from a major publisher, agented by one of the premier agents working today. Besides, what’s more fun than being in touch with people who love to read? I don’t see it as onerous. It’s one of the perks of publishing a book you believe in, for if you didn’t believe in it, why publish it at all?"

For Susan, the creation of Staff Picks Press is a logical response to the current state of the book trade: "The anatomy of publishing has changed and the navel of the publishing universe is no longer in Manhattan. The lifeline for authors is in a bookstore--bookseller to reader. I don't believe many authors are aware how compromised the relationship between some big publishers and most booksellers is at this moment in time. Credit departments cannot ask us to pay in 30/60 days for the pleasure of a crapshoot on their titles. The credit department bean pickers have written us off. Editors, sales and marketing all seem to grasp that the independents who have survived the past 15 years of big boxes and Amazon are a smart and tenacious lot, but to quote Roxanne Coady, 'We are not their pets.' Don't pat us on the head, ask us to do tricks then withhold the food, otherwise we are going to go out and catch it ourselves."--Robert Gray (column archives available at Fresh Eyes Now)

Note to booksellers: Orders for Change: A Story for All Ages ($14.95, 9781935534617) and Comeback Love ($16.95, 9781935680000) can be directed to Ingram or Bookazine.


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