Shelf Awareness for Monday, August 26, 2013

Mariner Books: The Redemption of Bobby Love: A Story of Faith, Family, and Justice by Bobby and Cheryl Love

St. Martin's Press: The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: New from Here by Kelly Yang

Other Press: The Anomaly by Hervé Le Tellier, translated by Adriana Hunter

Poisoned Pen Press: The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections by Eva Jurczyk

Berkley Books: The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St James


Bookstore to Open in Vallejo Early Next Year

Early next year, Rar Farmer and Ben Rogers plan to open Koham Press, a new and used bookstore and publisher, in downtown Vallejo, Calif., the Vallejo Times Herald reported. The couple, who are married, already rent two floors at 628 Marin St.; they live on the second floor and will remake the first floor into the store.

Ben Rogers, Rar Farmer and their daughter, Opal, in front of the storefront that will house Koham Press. (photo: Sarah Rohrs/Times-Herald)

"The environment that I'm going for is an 'at home library' with floor-to-ceiling book shelves and nice, comfy chairs for relaxing," Farmer told the paper. She is a former manager of Half Price Books in Berkeley, with seven years experience overall managing and working in bookstores.

Farmer is also an "artist, writer, pipe welder and long-time book lover," the paper said, and Rogers does bookbinding and computer graphics, and "recently printed a limited edition of Farmers' book As the Scene Unfolds with her illustrations."

Key sections at Koham Press will include literature, philosophy, poetry and art. The couple also want to offer children's story times, musician open mic nights, reading classes for adults, a writer's workshop for youth, a vinyl night for those who love albums and "Read and Wine."

Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books: Mina by Matthew Forsythe

DOJ Proposes Minor Revisions to Apple Injunction

In a court filing on Friday, the Department of Justice suggested it would reduce the length of a proposed injunction against Apple from 10 years to 5, the Associated Press reported, noting that the proposal "includes a chance to seek a number of one-year extensions if warranted. It also proposes staggering renegotiations of Apple's contracts with publishers."

The government said this revision would "limit the possibility that changes in industry circumstances will cause the decree to outlive its usefulness and unnecessarily harm Apple."

Denene Millner Books/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Ashes of Gold by J Elle

Obituary Notes: Penelope Casas; Sławomir Mrozek

Greek-American author Penelope Casas, who wrote several influential books on Spanish cooking "and helped introduce Americans in the 1980s to a continental Spanish cuisine," died August 11, the New York Times reported.  She was 70.


Sławomir Mrozek, "one of Poland's greatest playwrights whose most famous play, Tango, was a modern-day Hamlet," died August 15, the Guardian reported. He was 83.

Disney-Hyperion: Solimar: The Sword of the Monarchs by Pam Muñoz Ryan


Image of the Day: The Hotsy Totsy

Tess Gerritson with Richard Ford and Paul Doiron

Authors gussied up in their flapperish best for the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance's August 17 literary soiree, The Hotsy Totsy, held at the Camden, Maine, home of author Tess Gerritsen. The event raised funds to support MWPA's seminars, writing retreats, programs, scholarships to writing programs, publications and more

The party-goers included Richard Blanco, Jennifer Finney Boylan, Sarah Braunstein, Brock Clarke, Susan Conley, Ron Currie, Jr., Paul Doiron, Lily King, Roxana Robinson, Lewis Robinson, Richard Russo, Jeffrey Thomson, Lily Tuck and Monica Wood.

New Press: Congratulations to Nobel Prize Winner Abdulrazak Gurnah

Mysterious Galaxy: 'A Universe of Wonderful Books'

"I love these stores," author T. Jefferson Parker told Kings River Life magazine, which profiled the Mysterious Galaxy bookstores in San Diego and Redondo Beach, Calif. "Together they form not just two galaxies, but a universe of wonderful books, cool author events, solid parties and of course, smart, literate people to help you spend your money! More seriously, these are real book people and fine bookstores. Walk into one and, if you're a reader, you'll feel like you found your way home."

Kings River Life noted that one of the many things that make Mysterious Galaxy "so special is that it carries not just the usual spread of crime novels, but also fantasy, horror and science fiction. While more and more mystery bookstores carry fantasy and horror these days, the inclusion of science fiction is still rare."

"Probably one of the most exciting trends we have witnessed in our two decades of being a genre bookstore is the explosion of cross-genre works to a far more significant percentage of available titles," said co-owner Maryelizabeth Hart. "Mysterious Galaxy has always had a broad spectrum of readers, from the hardest of hard SF fans to the coziest of cozy mystery aficionados, including a healthy smattering of readers who are passionate about both, individually or combined."

Cool Idea of the Day: Live Streaming at Books & Books

Tomorrow at 8 p.m., Books & Books is hosting Edwidge Danticat, who will discuss her new novel, Claire of the Sea Light (Knopf), at the Coral Gables, Fla., flagship store. As with several author events in the past month at Books & Books, the book launch will be live streamed--and be archived online.

Next month the stores' live streamed events include appearances by Bob Shacochis, James McBride, John Searles, Chris Bohjalian and Nelson DeMille. In addition, Books & Books is live-streaming its Spanish-language events, such as the appearance by Eduardo Paz Soldan on September 13.

"We've been wanting to do this for some time and when the opportunity arose, we jumped," owner Mitchell Kaplan said. "We know we have an audience that can't always make it to one of our events, and we want to give them an opportunity to experience it, or if they've never been to an event of ours, seeing one online might entice them to come to the next one. We also give the viewer an opportunity to buy a personalized, autographed book or ask a question by calling the store while the event is in progress or see it at another time at their leisure. By archiving them, traffic is also drawn to our website, not to mention the added value of creating a wonderful record of some of the great authorial voices that visit our stores."

An Ode to Summer and the Brewster Bookstore

Author Elin Hilderbrand has lived on Nantucket for 20 years. She runs every morning, delivers her children to their sporting events, and occasionally frequents the front row at the Chicken Box. Beautiful Day (Little, Brown) is her 12th novel. Here she offers a tribute to summers of reading and the Brewster Bookstore, Brewster, Mass.

Long before I ever set foot on Nantucket, I was a Cape Cod girl.

The summertimes of my youth, from ages 10-16, were all spent on a charming sandy lane in Brewster. My father and stepmother had a blended family of five children, of which I was the oldest, and my stepsister, Heather, three years younger than I, was number four.  Heather and I and our three brothers all have idyllic memories of those summer days--long hours at the beach, miniature golf, ice cream at Emack and Bolio's, stargazing, sunsets, and once, early on the morning of my 13th birthday, the sunrise, followed by steak and eggs at the Homeport restaurant.

But mostly, I have memories of reading, and when I say reading, I mean constant reading. The five of us had chores for which we were awarded a dollar per day, and I spent every single one of my dollars on books, purchased at the top of our lane, at the Brewster Bookstore. In the early years, I read Beverly Cleary, I read A Separate Peace, I read a novel about two girls in Catholic boarding school called The Trouble with Angels. I absolutely loved spending my late afternoons up at the bookstore, and then forking over three or four dollars for a paperback and walking slowly home with my treasure.

Heather also bought books with her money, but alas, she was not as fast a reader as I was. It is well-documented fact that the ONLY fight Heather and I have EVER had (and we are now 41 and nearly 44) was the summer when I would finish my own book and then read the ones Heather had bought.

Not fair, she said. I paid for that.

So? I said. I'll finish it way before you're ready for it.

But you'll break the binding, she said. It won't be new.

So? I said. Who cares? 

But I did feel a twinge of guilt. Who doesn't prefer a brand new, uncracked book?

Still a Cape Cod girl in my heart, I visit the Brewster Bookstore every summer.  Since I've become a novelist, I have signed there several times, but the majority of my trips have been with Heather, and the six children we now have between us. We spend a late afternoon hour browsing--for though the titles have changed, the store remains much the same as the one from my childhood--and as we approach the register, I always offer to pay for Heather's book. 

I figure I owe you, I say.

Yes, she says, and it's like 30 years melt away. You do.

Book Trailer of the Day: Waiting for the Queen

Waiting for the Queen: A Novel of Early America by Joanna Higgins (Milkweed Editions) is a middle grade novel set in late 18th-century Pennsylvania that centers on the friendship between a girl who's fled with her family from the French Revolution and a Quaker girl who helps her adjust to her new life in America.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Taylor Branch on The King Years

This morning on Fox & Friends: Brad Gilbert and Steve Jamison, authors of Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis--Lessons from a Master (Touchstone, $15.99, 9780671884000).


Today on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: Judith Flanders, author of The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime (Thomas Dunne, $26.99, 9781250024879).


Today on Tavis Smiley: Taylor Branch, author of The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement (Simon & Schuster, $16, 9781451662467).


Tomorrow on NPR's Tell Me More: Rafe Esquith, author of Real Talk for Real Teachers: Advice for Teachers from Rookies to Veterans: 'No Retreat, No Surrender!' (Viking, $26.95, 9780670014644).


Tomorrow on Rachael Ray: Cristina Suarez Krumsick, author of No Bake Makery: More Than 80 Two-Bite Treats Made with Lovin', Not an Oven (Grand Central, $20, 9781455525133).

Movies: First Divergent Trailer; Unbroken Casting

The first trailer for Divergent aired last night during MTV's VMA Awards. The film, based on Veronica Roth's book series, stars Shailene Woodley (The Descendants, The Spectacular Now) as Tris Prior, along with Kate Winslet, Theo James, Miles Teller, Ray Stevenson, Maggie Q and others. Divergent opens March 21, 2014.


Domhnall Gleeson (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) and Finn Wittrock (All My Children) have joined "fellow up-and-comer Jack O'Connell" in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken, the film adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand's bestseller Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption, the Wrap reported. Production starts this fall, with the movie expected to hit theaters Christmas Day 2014.

TV: Roald Dahl's Esio Trot

Dustin Hoffman and Dame Judi Dench will star in a BBC adaptation of Roald Dahl's children's book, Esio Trot, the Guardian reported. The 90-minute film will be adapted by Richard Curtis and Paul Mayhew-Archer (The Vicar of Dibley) and directed by Dearbhla Walsh (Little Dorrit).

"It's absolutely stellar casting for one of the nation's favorite children's classics," said Charlotte Moore, controller of BBC1.

Books & Authors

Awards: Aussie Prime Minister's Literary

Winners of the Prime Minister's Literary Awards for excellence in Australian literature, each of whom receives A$80,000 (about US$73,000), are:

Fiction: Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kretser
Poetry: Jam Tree Gully by John Kinsella
Nonfiction: The Australian Moment by George Megalogenis
Australian history: Farewell, dear people by Ross McMullin
Young adult fiction: Fog a Dox by Bruce Pascoe
Children's fiction: Red by Libby Gleeson

Book Review

Review: Sister Mother Husband Dog (etc.)

Sister Mother Husband Dog: Etc. by Delia Ephron (Blue Rider Press, $25.95 hardcover, 9780399166556, September 17, 2013)

The impetus for the essays collected in Sister Mother Husband Dog (etc.) is Delia Ephron's loss of her older sister Nora, the firstborn of the four Ephron daughters. Hallie and Amy complete the talented cast: in the Ephron household, everyone was always on. The parents and each of the daughters were or are screenwriters, some are novelists. Delia and Nora co-wrote the play Love, Loss, and What I Wore, which ran for two years off-Broadway and has been performed around the world. (One might cavil with a line in that play: "When you start wearing Eileen Fisher, you might as well say, 'I give up.' ") Delia's movies include The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, You've Got Mail, Hanging Up and Michael. (Who can forget a scruffy John Travolta as the Archangel Michael?)

High praise from their screenwriter father was: "That's a great line, write it down." Their mother scorned housekeeping, attending children's activities and anything else that smacked of ordinary wifedom and mothering. Delia has nothing good to say about her mother; in the most poignant of the essays, she faithfully chronicles her mother's descent into alcoholism, beginning when Delia was 11 and continuing, accompanied by Delia's father, until her death. One particularly nasty exchange came after Delia published her first book, The Adventurous Crocheter, a craft book. When her mother was ill, Delia, at her bedside making conversation, recounted a familiar story in which her mother took the swim test for other girls at Hunter College and they took her math tests. When Delia tells it, laughing, her mother says: "I didn't hate math, I hated crocheting." Such gratuitous cruelties were standard fare with Phoebe Ephron.

Another time, when her parents were in the middle of a screaming fight, Delia ran downstairs to the living room, threw herself on the floor and "flipped out." Phoebe, cool as can be, said, "Get up, you're faking"; Delia got up and left the room. She ends this essay saying, "Which is why I can't write about my mother. I have no idea who she was."

Despite all, Delia and Nora grew up with their senses of humor intact. In every essay, she gets several laughs, often at her own expense. She is also mad for dogs (she has a Havanese named Honey) and has lots to say about contemporary life--trying to talk to someone about a tech problem when that someone doesn't speak your language, for instance. Another essay is about ordering online and having it go terribly wrong. She can find the funny in any aspect of life--except the death of her beloved sister. --Valerie Ryan

Shelf Talker: The screenwriter of You've Got Mail and Hanging Up shares a first-rate collection of essays on family and career, with particular focus on her late sister, Nora Ephron.

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