Also published on this date: Wednesday, December 11, 2013: Maximum Shelf: Radiance of Tomorrow

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Tor Books: Burn the Dark: Malus Domestica #1 by SA Hunt

Dressed for a Dance in the Snow: Women's Voices from the Gulag by Monika Zgustova, translated by Julie Jones

Running Press Adult: Very Modern Mantras: Daily Affirmations for Daily Aggravations by Dan Zevin

St. Martin's Press: A Week at the Shore by Barbara Delinsky

Workman Publishing: Who Got Game?: Baseball: Amazing But True Stories! by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by John John Bajet

News

Oprah's Book Club 2.0 Pick: The Invention of Wings

Citing her love for The Secret Life of Bees as a catalyst, Oprah Winfrey has chosen The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (Viking, January 7) as her third selection for Oprah's Book Club 2.0, which she revived in 2012 with Cheryl Strayed's Wild, followed by Ayana Mathis's The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

photo: Michael Edwards/O Magazine

Noting that a bestseller is almost guaranteed by the pick, the Associated Press reported that Viking has announced a print run of 320,000 copies for The Invention of Wings. An interview with Kidd appears in the December 17 issue of O: The Oprah Magazine, in which Winfrey observes: "Sue Monk Kidd has written a conversation changer. It is impossible to read this book and not come away thinking differently about our status as women and about all the unsung heroines who played a role in getting us where we are."

The book club discussion launches January 7, and will culminate in a conversation with the author that will air early next year on OWN's Super Soul Sunday program.

"The moment I finished The Invention of Wings, I knew this had to be the next book club selection," Winfrey said. "These strong female characters represent the women that have shaped our history and, through Sue's imaginative storytelling, give us a new perspective on slavery, injustice and the search for freedom."

Kidd noted that she was "thrilled and honored that Oprah Winfrey chose my novel as her new book club selection. After researching and writing The Invention of Wings for the past four years, I can't tell you how exciting it is to launch the novel with Oprah's Book Club 2.0."


Berkley Books: Beach Read by Emily Henry


Judge Rejects Indie Booksellers' Class Action Suit

A federal judge in New York rejected a class-action suit filed earlier this year by three independent booksellers (Posman Books, New York City; the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, N.Y.; and Fiction Addiction, Greenville, S.C.) against Amazon and the "Big Six publishers."

The suit, which was not well thought out, had alleged that contracts between Amazon and the publishers concerning e-books "unreasonably restrain trade and commerce in the market for e-books" in the U.S. in violation of the Sherman Act and charged that Amazon "engaged in" the contracts "with the purpose and intent" to hurt indies, monopolize e-book markets and sales, control prices and limit customer choices.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff "rejected the notion that Amazon's 'device specific DRM' (digital rights management) provided any benefit to the publishers and described the bookstores' claim as 'threadbare,' " GigaOM reported.


BINC: Double Your Donation with PRH


Judith Regan Named CEO of New Phaidon Division

Publisher, producer and talk show host Judith Regan has been named CEO of a new venture with Phaidon that will include a publishing imprint and multimedia enterprise to be called Regan Arts.

Regan said she is "thrilled to partner with Phaidon" and "grateful to have the opportunity to work with such a gifted and dedicated team."

Phaidon owners Leon and Debra Black said they "are confident the great energy, enthusiasm and skill Judith brings to this new collaboration will yield a powerful influence on the industry."

In 2006, Regan was abruptly fired by HarperCollins and her successful, if controversial, Regan Books imprint was disbanded shortly thereafter.


Plough Publishing House: Poems to See by: A Comic Artist Interprets Great Poetry by Julian Peters


Star Cat Books Nearing End of Indiegogo Campaign

With just four days to go on her crowdfunding campaign, Nancy Hanger is looking to raise $3,000 more--for a total of $8,000--for her new bookstore, Star Cat Books in Bradford, Vt. Hanger, who bought the store (previously known as Booked Solid) on November 18, plans to put the money from the campaign into rebuilding the store's inventory, updating the point-of-sale system and improving the store's look. And with the new name will come a specialization in science fiction, children's books and young adult books.

"Sci-fi, children's and YA will get massively enhanced," explained Hanger, who was a production manager for Baen Books, the science fiction and fantasy publishing house, for 16 years. She also worked for the now-closed Lauriat's Books in Boston, Mass., for many years. "I know sci-fi, and I know the authors. I can entice them to come up here from New York pretty easily."

Hanger has lived in the area for decades, and had no idea that there was a bookstore in Bradford until shortly before buying it. Tipped off by an acquaintance that there was a store for sale, she visited and found a situation that was grim but fixable. The store's previous owner had kept irregular hours and was in the habit of turning off the lights, even when open, to save money. That, coupled with the front windows so clustered with books that it was difficult to see inside, made it hard for customers to tell if the store was open--or that it even was a bookstore.

Hanger's first order of business has been opening up the front of the store. She removed the piles of books from the windows and got rid of a huge table full of "yard sale stuff" that clogged the entranceway. It's already made a huge difference, she said. Customers have assumed that she's painted the interior or remodeled, when mostly she's uncluttered things and just turned on the lights. She's also in the midst of reworking the inventory, which will remain, at least for now, primarily used books. Further down the road, she'll add more and more new books as her budget allows.

"The stock was okay but manageable," recalled Hanger. The store's previous owner kept no inventory system, and now Hanger has to start from scratch. She plans to use her smartphone to compile an offline inventory in a .csv file, which she'll then export into her Square Register app. The tablet- and smartphone-based POS system will be a large improvement over the unreliable, "antediluvian" cash register she uses at present.

The new name Star Cat recalls the Space Cat children's book series by Ruthven Todd, which Hanger read as a child, and reflects both her interest in sci-fi and the playfulness of children's and YA titles. Artist Timothy Zach, who has done graphic design for Disney, DC Comics, Saturday Night Live and other major brands and companies, is finalizing the store's new logo: an inquisitive cat reaching for a star.

Comicmix, a news site for comic books and all things genre, has "sponsored" Hanger and her indiegogo campaign. The site's editors have broadcast Hanger's efforts on their website and social media accounts, and helped her create merchandise for her campaign donors. Given her background in publishing, Hanger has also been able to secure signed copies of books by Neil Gaiman and Jane Yolen for donors who give at least $500.

Tomorrow night, Hanger will hold an opening celebration. Five authors from local publishing house Bunker Hill Publishing will visit for a night of readings and refreshments. So far, some 50 people have RSVP'd for the event. Although she'll hold this event in store, Hanger plans to host future events, including a weekly stitch-and-bitch and author and poetry readings, in the upstairs of a beautifully remodeled Victorian bank building next door.

"It's so nice," said Hanger, describing the changes she's made to the store and the influx of customers that they've already brought. "It's like a real bookstore now!" --Alex Mutter


Grove Press: Writers & Lovers by Lily King


Lake City Books Opens in Plattsburgh, N.Y.

Lake City Books, Plattsburgh N.Y. had its "soft opening" last month and owner Steve McDonald told the Press Republican "business has been good... as word of mouth seems to be calling attention to the new store." He added that Small Business Saturday had been particularly successful.

"I'm not looking to make a fortune. I hope to make enough to pay the bills and not go into debt," McDonald said.

The shop features new and "gently read" used books, as well as a small café. "Several tables and chairs are located near a bank of windows along the southern wall, adding to the shop's bright interior," the Press Republican noted.

WPTZ-5 visited Lake City Books this week and McDonald said that bookselling is in his blood: "My mother owned a bookstore in Plattsburgh back in the '70s, '80s and '90s. And my first job was working in the family bookstore."


B&N Closing Store in Gainesville, Fla.

Barnes & Noble will close its store in Gainesville, Fla., by the end of the month "as Butler Plaza officials have decided not to renew the bookstore's lease after 20 years to pursue new tenants," the Gainesville Sun reported.

David Deason, B&N's v-p of development, said the company plans to look for a new location in the area sometime in the future, "although no alternative location has been identified at this time.... We worked with the property owner to extend the lease. However, the property owner elected to lease to alternative users for the space. We are disappointed that we were not able to extend the lease and continue serving our customers at this store."


Pew Report: Americans 'Strongly Value' Role of Public Libraries

Americans strongly value the role of public libraries in their communities and feel they have done a good job embracing new technology, but are split on whether libraries are as essential as they were in the past for finding information, according to a survey from the Pew Research Center. The study, which was released today, polled 6,224 Americans (ages 16 and older) between July 18 and September 30.

During the past year, 54% of respondents used a public library--down from 59% in 2012--and 90% said that the closing of their local public library would have an impact on their community, with 63% saying it would have a "major" impact. Responding to a separate question, 94% said having a public library improves the quality of life in a community. Asked about the personal impact of a public library closing, 67% said it would affect them and their families, including 29% who said it would have a major impact.

"Throughout our work, we've found that Americans value public libraries not only for the access to information they offer through books, databases, and internet connections, but also their assistance in finding and navigating the increasing amount of information that is available," said Kathryn Zickuhr, research associate at the Pew Research Center's Internet Project and lead author of the report. "And even people who don't rely on public libraries as much in their own lives say they value libraries as important resources for the community at large."

Other notable results from the survey:

  • By a 55%-34% margin, respondents said they think public libraries have kept up with technological change.
  • 52% said people do not need libraries as much as they used to because they can find most information on their own, but 46% disagreed with that statement.
  • 95% said the materials and resources available at public libraries play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed.
  • 81% said public libraries provide many services people would have a hard time finding elsewhere.

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
Serenade for Nadia
by Zülfü Livaneli
trans. by Brendan Freely

In Istanbul, Maya Duran, a young single mother working for the university, is asked to accompany Maximilian Wagner, an elderly Harvard professor, during his short stay in the country. She gradually learns why he has come back to Istanbul after 60 years. In Serenade for Nadia, Turkish author Zülfü Livaneli uses the true sinking of a Jewish refugee ship off the coast of Turkey during World War II to tell Max's story. Judith Gurewich, publisher of Other Press, bought it immediately. "I couldn't believe my luck! This novel does exactly what I am looking for as a publisher, and rarely find--a gripping story that manages to transcend what I see as the limitations of a historical novel, yet at the same time taught me so many things I didn't know." Her luck has resulted in the heartbreaking, and utterly compelling, Serenade for Nadia. --Marilyn Dahl

(Other Press, $17.99 paper, 9781635420166, March 3, 2020)

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Notes

Image of the Day: Grinch Makes Christmas Visit

This past weekend, Phoenix Books in Essex, Vt., hosted a visit from Dr. Seuss's meanest and greenest creation, the Grinch. Seuss fans young and old (and canine) enjoyed storytime, activities and a discussion of how to grow your heart three sizes with kindhearted activities and tasks. Among the kindhearted tasks was the "Holiday Mail for Heroes" program; participants made cards to send to military service people and veterans.


Cool Idea for the Holidays: At SIBA, It's a Wrap

During this year's Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance trade show in New Orleans, more than 150 authors contributed to a SIBA effort to thank its core indie bookstores. This week, member bookstores received a limited edition, original roll of wrapping paper featuring the authors' signatures. A limited number of additional rolls are still available to the public at $24.99 per roll.

SIBA executive director Wanda Jewell noted that it is the organization's "hope to be able to provide a unique line of wrapping paper available only through and for southern indie bookstore members going forward, but a demand must be established in order to get the price down. So if you'd like a unique one-of-a-kind look for your book gift-giving, e-mail wanda@sibaweb.com. Additional rolls are also being made available to SIBA member bookstores for $20, while supplies last."


Book Trailer of the Day: Baby Bear

Baby Bear by Kadir Nelson (Balzer + Bray), from the winner of the Caldecott Honor and the Coretta Scott King Author and Illustrator Awards (see our review below).


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Erica Jong on KCRW's Bookworm

This morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe: Mark Halperin, co-author of Double Down: Game Change 2012 (Penguin Press, $29.95, 9781594204401).

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Tomorrow morning on Live with Kelly and Michael: Ylvis (aka Vegard and Bård Ylvisåker), authors of What Does the Fox Say? (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $17.99, 9781481422239).

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Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: Erica Jong, author of Fear of Flying (Penguin Classics, $18, 9780143107354). As the show put it: "Isadora Zelda White Stollerman Wing, the keen heroine of Erica Jong's Fear of Flying, is back this year, in triple 40th-anniversary editions of the classic novel. Jong's famous story of sexual self-understanding has touched and incited two generations of readers, but she says many have mistaken the book for simple sex writing when what she meant to examine was Isadora's--and our own--deep ambivalence about sex. On its 40th-anniversary, Jong clarifies Fear of Flying's earnest philosophical motives, and identifies her literary influences, from Shakespeare to D.H. Lawrence to Pauline Réage."

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Tomorrow on CNN's the Lead with Jake Trapper: Matthew Lysiak, author of Newtown: An American Tragedy (Gallery, $25.99, 9781476753744).

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Tomorrow on CBS's the Talk: Lidia Bastianich, co-author of Lidia's Commonsense Italian Cooking: 150 Delicious and Simple Recipes Anyone Can Master (Knopf, $35, 9780385349444).

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Tomorrow on the Wendy Williams Show: Guy Fieri, co-author of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives: The Funky Finds in Flavortown: America's Classic Joints and Killer Comfort Food (Morrow Cookbooks, $21.99, 9780062244659).

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Tomorrow on Arsenio Hall: Amy Tan, author of The Valley of Amazement (Ecco, 9780062107312, $29.99).

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Tomorrow night on the Colbert Report: George Packer, author of The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $27, 9780374102418).

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Tomorrow night on Conan: Tim Conway, co-author of What's So Funny?: My Hilarious Life (Howard, $25.99, 9781476726502).


TV: Shannara; Rosemary's Baby

"MTV is looking for its own Game of Thrones," according to the Hollywood Reporter, which wrote that the cable network is teaming with director Jon Favreau and writing team Al Gough & Miles Millar (Smallville) to adapt Terry Brooks's 25-book Shannara series. The development deal has a straight-to-series commitment, "so should network brass like the script, the fantasy drama would bypass the traditional pilot stage."

"I believe we have formed the perfect team to bring Shannara to life onscreen," Brooks said. "The adaptation of these books is very important to me, and I believe we are on the right track in our endeavor to create an epic television series that both new and old fans of the books will love."

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NBC has greenlighted Rosemary's Baby, a four-hour miniseries adapted from the 1967 bestselling novel by Ira Levin, which was also the source for Roman Polanski's 1968 film. Deadline.com reported that Agnieszka Holland, who has been nominated for both an Oscar (Europa, Europa) and an Emmy (Treme), will direct the project, written by Scott Abbott (Introducing Dorothy Dandridge) and James Wong (American Horror Story). Casting has begun, with filming slated to start in January in Paris.



Books & Authors

Awards: Roald Dahl Funny Prize

Winners of the this year's Roald Dahl Funny Prizes were Monkey Nut by Simon Rickerty (six-and-under category) and I Am Still Not a Loser by Jim Smith (seven-to-fourteen category). Each received a check for £2,500 (about US$4,107).

"Just as Jonathan Swift told us about pointless battles over which way to put an egg in its cup, so Simon Rickerty has created a comically pointless struggle over a monkey nut (in its shell)," said chair of judges Michael Rosen. "With brio and inventiveness he fills the pages with splashes, squabbles, contrast and laughter."

Of Smith's book, Rosen observed: "The old adage that no one likes a loser is gloriously subverted with Barry who is both lovable and hilarious. The mix of words and drawings are a playful reminder of everyone's home-grown cartoons and the big nose motif has become a cult."


Book Brahmin: James W. Hall

photo: Maggie Evans Silverstein

James W. Hall is the author of 18 novels. Most of them, like his most recent, Going Dark (St. Martin's Press, December 3, 2013), feature a hard-core loner named Thorn, who makes a meager living tying bonefish flies. Thorn and his P.I. pal, Sugarman, have teamed up in a dozen books to thwart animal smugglers, cruise-ship hijackers, rogue medical experimenters  and other assorted villains. Hall's nonfiction work includes Hit Lit, an analysis of 12 of the most commercially successful novels of the last century and the dozen features those books have in common. He started his writing life as a poet and has published four collections of poetry. He has a master's degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins and a doctorate in literature from the University of Utah. In the early 1970s, Hall founded the creative writing program at Florida International University, where he taught literature and writing for 40 years.

On your nightstand now:

I've just been rereading Elmore Leonard's City Primeval. Went to his funeral recently and wanted to saturate myself in Detroit. Wonderful novel. Just finished James Lee Burke's Light of the World, another triumph. And a greatly underappreciated book from a while back, The Art of Breaking Glass by Matthew Hall. I'm also reading Dennis Lehane's Live by Night, which is marvelous. There are several other books in progress on my nightstand, but those are all nonfiction works I'm using as research for my next novel.

Favorite book when you were a child:

As a Kentucky boy, I was a basketball player and fanatic, so Bob Cousy's autobiography was one of the first I read and loved. The first novel I recall was a British mystery whose title and author I don't remember. I was 10 and read it on the sly bit by bit in my hometown library. But I remember being mesmerized by the lurid opening--a nude woman's body was found on the moor. I suddenly realized one of the main reasons why people read novels--to get turned on.

Your top five authors:

John D. MacDonald, Elmore Leonard, John Sandford, James Lee Burke, Ross Macdonald.

Book you've faked reading:

Too numerous to list, but I started in college with Moby Dick. These days, I'm able to fake it better because my e-book reader allows me to sample five chapters for free.

Book you're an evangelist for:

An obscure novel set in Miami, from 30 years ago: Douglas Fairbairn's Street 8. Starkly written, but funny and tough and realistic. Another Fairbairn thriller, Shoot (not a Miami book), is another beauty. Been reading a lot of Daniel Silva lately and loving them all. And I've read and loved all of Daniel Woodrell and Joseph Kanon. Also love to recommend Megan Abbott and Gillian Flynn, both terrific writers.

Book you've bought for the cover:

I never consider the covers when I buy a book. But when I've read and loved the novel itself, then I usually spend a while studying the cover and the author photo.

Books that changed your life:

The Magus by John Fowles. The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell. I fell in love with lush, purple prose and big sweeping, sexy novels for many years. As I transitioned from an avid reader to a student of literature (in college), poetic prose made me swoon. Probably attributable to the abundant dope smoke in the air of my college dorm.

Favorite line from a book:

The lines that haunt me are all from poems. As I grow older I keep repeating a few lines from Theodore Roethke's "Waking":

"Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go."

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

Reading George V. Higgins and early Elmore Leonard novels helped liberate me from highly ornate prose and encouraged me to explore the power of dialogue. I felt years of overwriting just fall away when I first read those authors. I need an occasional refresher.


Book Review

Children's Review: Baby Bear

Baby Bear by Kadir Nelson (Balzer & Bray/Harperteen, $17.99 hardcover, 40p., ages 4-up, 9780062241726, January 7, 2014)

Kadir Nelson's (Heart and Soul) exquisite picture book follows a bear cub lost at night, who finds his way home with the guidance of his fellow woodland friends.

"Excuse me, dear Mountain Lion. I'm lost. Can you help me find my way home?" says Baby Bear. Mountain Lion responds, "When I am lost I try to retrace my steps. Can you remember how you got here?" Frog suggests the bear "trust himself." And in one of the more humorous exchanges, a pair of squirrels advise him to "hug a tree and think of home." Each animal Baby Bear encounters offers words of wisdom, but the hero ultimately must make his way alone.

Nelson, who proved his aptitude for breathtaking nighttime scenes with his Caldecott Honor–winning Moses, once again shows the many-faceted colors of the night in spectacular oil paintings. As a full moon moves across the sky, the backgrounds shift from the midnight blue behind the mountain lion bathed in a tangerine glow to the emerald green moonlight of a night sky filtered through forest leaves, as Moose approaches Baby Bear. The moon echoes Ram's curving horns as he stands atop a cliff and tells the cub to keep walking and sing a song, "You are closer than you think."

At the story's climax, a white owl that matches the moonbath of light below assures Baby Bear that he is not alone: "I am here with you." Baby Bear replies, "Thank you, dear Owl. I love you." This exchange of love infuses each of Baby Bear's other meetings. The spread that follows Owl's wise words shows only Baby Bear's face. Both of his eyes reflect back the moon, and the expression is one of pure trust and faith. As the salmon, usually prey to bears, escorts the cub hero across the river, readers realize a profound sense of peace guiding the last leg of his journey.

Nelson masters the art of understatement. This book will resonate with children starting their first day of school or moving to a new home, or a teen about to leave for college. It's a story readers may return to again and again, as they face times of great challenge or transition. Baby Bear takes a spiritual journey, yet he must do the physical work of moving ahead to get where he's going. As he climbs to a high perch, and announces, "I am home," readers know that he has earned his homecoming; the sun rises, lighting the circuitous route he has traveled. --Jennifer M. Brown

Shelf Talker: Kadir Nelson's exquisitely understated picture book charts a bear cub's journey to find his home, with helpful advice from his fellow woodland creatures.


The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Christian Books

The following were the bestselling Christian books as compiled by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association for November:

1. Jesus Calling by Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson)
2. Jesus Calling, Large-Print Deluxe Edition by Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson)
3. You'll Get Through This by Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson)
4. The Reason for My Hope by Billy Graham (Thomas Nelson)
5. Four Blood Moons by John Hagee (Worthy Publishing)
6. Break Out! by Joel Osteen (FaithWords)
7. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman (Moody Publishers)
8. Jesus Calling, Women's Edition by Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson)
9. Jesus Calling, Deluxe Edition by Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson)
10. The Duck Commander Devotional by Alan Robertson (Howard Books)

[Many thanks to the ECPA!]


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