Also published on this date: Wednesday, October 10, 2012: Maximum Shelf: The Art Forger

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Aladdin Paperbacks: Legacy (Keeper of the Lost Cities #8) by Shannan Messenger

Flatiron Books: American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

Sleeping Bear Press: Back Roads, Country Toads by Devin Scillian, illustrated by Tim Bowers

St. Martin's Griffin: The Truth about Magic: Poems by Atticus

Tor Teen: This Light Between Us: A Novel of World War II by Andrew Fukuda

St. Martin's Press: Been There, Married That by Gigi Levangie Grazer

News

National Book Award Finalists Announced

Finalists for the 2012 National Book Awards were named this morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe program by David Steinberger, chairman of the National Book Foundation's board of directors. Winners will be announced November 14 in New York City. This year's contenders are:

Fiction
This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz (Riverhead)
A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers (McSweeney's)
The Round House by Louise Erdrich (Harper)
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain (Ecco)
The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers (Little, Brown)

Nonfiction
Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1945-1956 by Anne Applebaum (Doubleday)
Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo (Random House)
The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 4 by Robert A. Caro (Knopf)
The Boy Kings of Texas by Domingo Martinez (Lyons Press)
House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East by Anthony Shadid (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Poetry
Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations by David Ferry (University of Chicago Press)
Heavenly Bodies by Cynthia Huntington (Southern Illinois University Press)
Fast Animal by Tim Seibles (Etruscan Press)
Night of the Republic by Alan Shapiro (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Meme by Susan Wheeler (University of Iowa Press)

Young People's Literature
Goblin Secrets by William Alexander (Margaret K. McElderry Books)
Out of Reach by Carrie Arcos (Simon Pulse)
Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick (Balzer + Bray)
Endangered by Eliot Schrefer (Scholastic)
Bomb: The Race to Build--and Steal--the World's Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin (Flash Point/Roaring Brook)
 


G.P. Putnam's Sons: Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters


Canadian Booksellers Evaluating CBA's Future

Members of the Canadian Booksellers Association "are being asked to decide on the future direction of the association" in anticipation of the annual general meeting October 18 in Toronto, Quillblog reported.

The CBA has been holding conference calls recently asking for member feedback, and the board plans to use this input to "present clear and informed options for the membership to vote on," said the organization's v-p Christopher Smith, co-founder of Collected Works in Ottawa. "We feel it's crucial for the CBA in some form to continue to exist and for booksellers to have a national voice. It's just a question of how that's going to look."

Apparently two options are being presented, Quillblog said: "Either the CBA is dissolved completely or it gets absorbed by the Retail Council of Canada." Members who cannot attend the meeting will be able to vote on proposals by proxy.

"You'd really like to see a strong CBA and try to bring back the membership we've lost over the years," said Susan Chamberlain, owner of the Book Keeper in Sarnia, Ontario. She would prefer a third option--allowing the CBA to remain active as an independent association--be considered, but conceded that the RCC option may be the best-case scenario: "Certainly, I think our biggest fear is losing the bookseller voice."
 


Andrews McMeel Publishing: Zweihander Grim & Perilous Rpg: Player's Handbook by Daniel D Fox


'High-Profile Private Donors' to Sponsor Former Orange Prize in 2013

After organizers of the former Orange Prize were unsuccessful in their quest to find a replacement for the mobile services company that had backed the award since its inception, a group of "high-profile private donors" has stepped in to sponsor the award, which next year will be called the Women's Fiction Prize, the Guardian reported.

The supporters include Cherie Blair (at left) and Joanna Trollope. In a statement, the prize administrators noted that "while they were looking for a headline sponsor for 2014 and beyond, the immediate future had been secured by gifts from companies and private donors," the Guardian wrote.

"We were overwhelmed with interest from potential headline sponsors," said Kate Mosse (right), co-founder and chair of the prize. "However, it became clear sponsorship budgets for next year were already committed, so we took the decision to privately fund the prize for 2013 while we finalized our arrangements for 2014 and beyond."

Trollope commented: "I both admire and believe in this prize. It has excellent principles, has produced some wonderful winners, and deserves both support and recognition for what it has done and will do. It's also really generous in spirit--and I applaud that."
 


Chronicle Books: Redwood and Ponytail by KA Holt


Robin's Books in Philly to Close

Robin's Books, Philadelphia, Pa., will close December 31, ending "the gradual, graceful withdrawal of a city treasure, not only a business (2,000 square feet for books), but also (1,000 square feet) a community center, activist enclave, performance space, workshop, and networking clearinghouse for poets, teachers, musicians and other artists," the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The fate of Moonstone Arts Center, which is located upstairs, is uncertain as it looks for a new home.  

"I've been having trouble persuading people we're really closing," said Paul Hogan, general manager of Robin's. "But it's really true this time. The [second-floor] space has a new tenant. The books will be gone. We have no other place to go."

The bookshop was founded in 1936 by David Robin, grandfather of Moonstone proprietor Larry Robin (in photo above). The Inquirer noted that the "descent was step by step. In 2008, Robin's stopped selling new books, becoming a used-book store and website. In 2009, it moved upstairs with Moonstone. And now...."

"We've kept it going mostly through Larry's stubbornness and commitment to the community," said Hogan. "I've been working without a salary for a long time, and so has Larry. It may be time."

Robin insisted that this is not the end for Moonstone. "Oh, we're going to keep on doing all that. It'll just be decentralized, that's all, at least at first. I'm looking for a new physical space. But we'll keep it all going."
 


New Press: Rap on Trial: Race, Lyrics, and Guilt in America by Erik Nelson and Andrea Dennis, foreword by Killer Mike


National Reading Group Month: Great Group Reads

In connection with National Reading Group Month, which is sponsored by the Women's National Book Association and is designated for October, the Great Group Reads Selection Committee has chosen 19 novels and one memoir as this year's Great Group Reads. A complete list of the titles, recommended for reading groups at bookstores, libraries, online and elsewhere, can be found here.

The committee sought "under-represented gems from small presses and lesser-known mid-list releases from larger houses. All are books with strong narratives peopled by fully realized characters; books which perhaps have flown under the radar of reviewers and reading groups overwhelmed by the sheer number of new releases each year."

The organization is providing shelf talkers, table-top posters and other display material for download. Find the National Reading Group Month Marketing Toolkit at Get Involved. For more general information, go to NationalReadingGroupMonth.org and wnba-books.org.


Notes

Image of the Day: Midnight Blasphemy

Last week Elliott Bay Book Company hosted a midnight release party for Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories by Sherman Alexie (Grove Press) that drew 400 fans. The party included several musicians, fry bread tacos from the Off the Rez food truck, a balloon artist who twisted up spirit animals and a seven-foot orca whale made out of balloons suspended from the ceiling. Here, in a picture that shows a bit of the architectural beauty of the store, Alexie speaks to a rapt crowd.

Photo: Rick Simonson
 

Best of L.A. 2012: Bookstore Division

Independent bookstores featured in L.A. Weekly's "Best of L.A. 2012" list included:

Best geek bookstore: Mysterious Galaxy, Redondo Beach--"If it bleeds, creeps, crawls, chomps on brains, invades from Mars or thrills you with the promise of a dark and stormy night, Mysterious Galaxy Books has it, in book form."

Best bookstore, Eastside: Skylight Books--"When you compare those big, cavernous chain bookstores to a quaint, personalized spot like Skylight Books, it's no surprise that the former have mostly been shuttered, while the latter continues to flourish."

Best bookstore, Downtown: The Last Bookstore--"It does begin to feel apocalyptic, as if books from all corners of the world have ended up here for some mysterious purpose via a hidden book faucet. You'll be convinced, if only for a moment, that this could very well be the last bookstore on Earth."

Best children's bookstore: Children's Book World--"Kids who begin their reading lives at Children's Book World will have no trouble transitioning to Skylight or Book Soup later on. The curatorial ethic of a good independent bookstore is in place...."
 


Seattle: 'Book Town in an E-Reader World'

Describing Seattle as "a book town in an e-reader world, proud of its devotion to real books and real bookstores," the Washington Post's Diane Roberts explored a few traditionally bookish destinations in the city where Amazon has its headquarters, noting that "despite the Northwest's haute-techiness (Microsoft's headquarters is just across Lake Washington, too), Seattle still loves paper and print."

Among the bookstores highlighted were Lion Heart ("an excellent selection of children's books that goes way beyond Harry Potter"), BLMF Literary Saloon ("Customers should not expect to be coddled.") and Left Bank Books, which "stocks a T-shirt that shouts 'Read a [expletive] book!' "

Roberts "wanted to kiss the polished wooden floor the minute I walked into the Elliott Bay Book Co. It smells of ink and paper (and coffee and cherries--there's a good cafe in the back), and it glistens with new books; books you've heard of and books you didn't know existed."

Elliott Bay bookseller Alan Brandsted told her that the bookstore is "hyper-aware of the Amazon empire. Sometimes people come in and look around, then buy online.... We see ourselves as a resource. Come in here, and something might be revealed."
 


Cool Idea of the Day: AAUP's 'Books That Matter'

As part of its 75th anniversary celebration, the Association of American University Presses has launched Books That Matter, an essay series showcasing "the invaluable contributions that university presses have made to society, helping to shape our modern world."
 
"The titles featured in Books that Matter celebrate the ongoing relevance of ideas to the lives of real people, and underscore the continuing vitality of the university presses that have bravely brought these great books into being," said Peter Dougherty, director of Princeton University Press.
 


Book Trailer of the Day: Red Rain

Red Rain by R.L. Stine (Touchstone): the man who's "terrified more children than anyone in history" tries to terrify adults in this book.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Erin McHugh on Katie

Tomorrow morning on Good Morning America: Mark Kelly, author of Mousetronaut: Based on a (Partially) True Story (Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster, $16.99, 9781442458246). Tomorrow he's also on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

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Tomorrow on Live With Kelly and Michael: Stanley Tucci, author of The Tucci Cookbook (Gallery, $35, 9781451661255). He will also appear on ABC's the Chew.

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Tomorrow on Katie: Erin McHugh, author of One Good Deed (Abrams Image, $18.95, 9781419704178).

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Tomorrow on Martha Stewart Living Radio: Ludovic Lefebvre, author of LudoBites: Recipes and Stories from the Pop-Up Restaurants of Ludo Lefebvre (Ecco, $24.99, 9780062114839).

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Tomorrow on Anderson Live: John Edward, author of Fallen Masters (Tor, $25.99, 9780765332714).

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Tomorrow on the Ricki Lake Show: Dr. Susan Biali, author of Live a Life You Love: 7 Steps to a Healthier, Happier, More Passionate You (Beaufort Books, $16.95, 9780825305993).

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Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: Lawrence Norfolk, author of John Saturnall's Feast (Grove Press, $26, 9780802120519). As the show put it: "The ostensible subject of John Saturnall's Feast--17th century British cuisine--rapidly gives way to related discussions of appetite, hunger, nurture, motherhood, loss and death. We explore Lawrence Norfolk's desire to write an emotionally direct, basic book about feeling, love and need."

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Tomorrow night on the Colbert Report: Chrystia Freeland, author of Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else (Penguin Press, $27.95, 9781594204098).


Movie Visuals: Lincoln Trailer; Anna Karenina Posters

DreamWorks released a well-timed new trailer for Steven Spielberg's Lincoln after last week's presidential debate. The film, based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's book Team of Rivals, stars Daniel Day-Lewis as the 16th president. It premiered last night at the New York Film Festival.

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New posters have been released for Joe Wright's upcoming film adaptation of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. Indiewire called the movie "a beautifully operatic, visually dazzling and excitingly ambitious take on the classic piece of literature, that shakes off any notions of it being your average period picture. And Wright gets plenty of help from his cast with Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Domnhall Gleeson and Matthew Macfadyen providing some memorable turns." Anna Karenina opens November 16.
 



Books & Authors

Book Brahmin: J. Robert Lennon

J. Robert Lennon is the author of a story collection, Pieces for the Left Hand, and seven novels, including Mailman, Castle and Familiar (Graywolf Press, October 2, 2012). He directs the Creative Writing program at Cornell University.

On your nightstand now:

Teju Cole's Open City and Dickens's Bleak House. Also some Kleenex, a jar full of loose change and old Jersey shore beach tags, a photo of my wife from 1994, some pencils and notecards, a six-month-old issue of TapeOp magazine and a dead bee.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Arthur C. Clarke's Tales from the White Hart, which I still love.

Your top five authors:

Utterly impossible to answer honestly. So, just off the top of my head, and I would probably pick a different five 10 minutes from now: Alice Munro, Lydia Davis, Haruki Murakami, Chekhov and (here's your curveball) the Swedish crime writing team Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö.

Book you've faked reading:

I don't think I ever have. This is not to say I haven't failed to read books I was supposed to--that happens all the time. I am lazy. But the stress of lying about it is unbearable to me. I tend to be pretty forthright about my ignorance, which is oceanic in scope.

Book you're an evangelist for:

James Welch's Winter in the Blood.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Some Samuel R. Delany paperbacks I still haven't read. They look like the wallpaper of the near future.

Book that changed your life:

Stephen King's Night Shift.

Favorite line from a book:

Like the favorite authors question, impossible to answer. So I usually throw down a line from After Life, by my wife Rhian Ellis. How about the opening line this time: 'First I had to get his body into the boat.' This is also, by the way, another book for which I am an evangelist.

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

Crime and Punishment! I've read it a few times, but I don't know if I've ever enjoyed a book as much as I enjoyed the first read of that one. Also, one of my favorite mysteries of recent years, Tana French's The Likeness.

Things that are not literature that have had an effect on your writing:

Steve Martin, Atari Adventure, photography, parenthood, playground bullying, Gilligan's Island, Hüsker Dü (the band), Hüsker Dü (the board game), sex, walking, chickens, my students and the Internet.

author photo: Lindsay France

 


Book Review

Children's Review: Iron Hearted Violet

Iron Hearted Violet by Kelly Barnhill, illus. by Iacopo Bruno (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $16.99 hardcover, 430p., ages 8-12, 9780316056731, October 9, 2012)

Kelly Barnhill (The Mostly True Story of Jack) vaults an unlikely hero to success, and twists the foundation of classic fairy tales for humorous and haunting results.

Princess Violet is "ugly" by storybook standards, with her mismatched eyes, freckled face and unruly hair. But she is adventurous, smart, curious and strong. She does not wait in an ivory tower for her prince to come. She meets Demetrius, a boy her age who becomes her companion, when he saves her from a bull at pasture (after she slips away from her tutors and governess). Violet's father, the king of the Andulan Realms, is obsessed with finding the last dragon. As Violet and Demetrius explore the castle's tunnels, they discover a room with a secret book. An image of a unhuman being ("instead of hands and feet it had four sharp points") standing on a mound of dragon hearts leads them to believe that Cassian the royal storyteller has not told them this tale.

Narrator Cassian is more interested in crafting the perfect story than confiding a history that might have spared his kingdom great pain. It is Cassian who perpetuates the cliché that a princess must be beautiful, planting a seed of doubt in Violet. In her pursuit of the meaning of the secret book, Violet discovers a 13th god, Nybbas, so evil that the other 12 gods removed his heart to render him powerless. His fate mirrors the punishment Nybbas himself meted out to the dragons. In ages gone by, dragons removed their hearts and preserved them in cocoons of their own scales and tears, with the intention of replacing their hearts in adulthood. But Nybbas took their hearts. Now only one remains. The king's pursuit of the dragon takes him to the lands of the Mountain King, who wages war in retaliation. Fear spreads.

In a mirrored world where people cannot see the sky, Nybbas travels through the mirrors, casting spells in order to regain his heart (and his power). Barnhill deftly correlates the mirrors to the vanity on which Nybbas preys. Even Violet succumbs; she makes a wish to be beautiful, like a "real" princess. When she realizes the gravity of her error, Violet sees how many have come under the 13th god's spell. Her quest for the truth, to keep Nybbas from regaining his heart and to make the last dragon whole will keep readers turning pages. It's a coming-of-age story, a mystery and an adventure about owning one's strengths, and not shying away from them, regardless of how unorthodox they may appear to others. --Jennifer M. Brown

Shelf Talker: An unorthodox princess is bent on taking matters into her own hands in order to defeat an evil god, make the last dragon whole and save her kingdom.

 


The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Titles on AbeBooks.com in September

The bestselling books on AbeBooks.com during September:

1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
2. How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
3. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson
4. The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
5. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
6. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
7. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
8. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
9. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
10. Life of Pi by Yann Martel

The bestselling signed books at AbeBooks.com during September:

1. Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon
2. The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
3. This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
4. Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan
5. Joseph Anton by Salman Rushdie
6. Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
7. The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng
8. Umbrella by Will Self
9. Fractal Prince by Hannu Rajaniemi
10. The Passage by Justin Cronin

[Many thanks to AbeBooks.com!]


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