Also published on this date: Wednesday, April 9, 2014: Kids' Maximum Shelf: A Pet for Fly Guy

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hogarth Press: A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam

Columbia University Press: An I-Novel by Minae Mizumura

Tor Teen: Forestborn by Elayne Audrey Becker

Mira Books: The Secret Keeper of Jaipur by Alka Joshi

St. Martin's Press: Heard It in a Love Song by Tracey Garvis Graves


New Location for CIROBE Beginning in 2015

In 2015, the Chicago International Remainder & Overstock Book Exposition celebrates its 25th anniversary and will move to Festival Hall on the city's famed Navy Pier at 600 East Grand Avenue. Bargain Book News reported that the hall "contains more than 170,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit hall space, so for the first time since its initial show in 1991, CIROBE will occupy one exhibit hall." There will also be a number of adjacent meeting rooms available for break-out space.
CIROBE has signed a three-year contract with Navy Pier for October 22-26, 2015, October 20-24, 2016, and October 19-23, 2017.  

Chelsea Nash, show coordinator, said, "CIROBE would also like to extend its thanks and gratitude to the Chicago Hilton for being such a wonderful and gracious host for the last 23 years, and looks forward to yet another successful, and farewell, show October 27-30, 2014."

Random House Graphic: Turtle in Paradise: The Graphic Novel by Jennifer L Holm and Savanna Ganucheau

Tim Walker Is Booksellers Association President

Tim Walker, owner of Walkers Bookshops in Stamford and Oakham, is the new president of the Booksellers Association of the U.K. and Ireland, the Bookseller reported. He succeeds Patrick Neale, owner of Jaffé & Neale Bookshop and Café in Chipping Norton. Foyles CEO Sam Husain and Blackwell's CEO David Prescott remain as vice-chairmen of the BA Council.

"U.K. booksellers are more professional, more adaptable and more in tune with their customers now than at any point during my 22 years selling books and we are also working more closely with publishers," said Walker.

Spiegel & Grau: Fox and I: An Uncommon Friendship by Catherine Raven

Tom Nissley: From Amazon Books to Indie Bookstore

"Bookstores are my favorite places in the world. When I visit a city I don't read up on restaurants or tourist spots; I want to know where the best bookstores are," said Tom Nissley, an author, former editor for Amazon Books, four-time Jeopardy! champion and now owner of an indie bookstore. Earlier this spring, he purchased Santoro's Books, a 1,200-square-foot indie in the Phinney Ridge/Greenwood neighborhood of Seattle, Wash., from longtime-owner Carol Santoro. (The sale became public last week.) He'll officially take over the store May 5, close it for a month to refresh the space and make some inventory adjustments, then reopen as Phinney Books.


Nissley spent a decade, starting in 2000, working for Amazon, where he founded and edited the site's Omnivoracious books blog, and had more or less the same role during his time there, which was, he said, "finding good books and recommending them." Things changed in 2010 when an eight-game streak won him $235,400 on Jeopardy!

"I had no plans to go from that [working at Amazon] to indie bookselling," explained Nissley. "Writing is what I kind of day-dreamed about and did in my spare time. Winning a lot of money on a game show gave me the chance to have time to write a book."

That book was A Reader's Book of Days: True Tales from the Lives and Works of Writers for Every Day of the Year, which came out in November 2013. The impetus to become a bookseller didn't arrive until this winter. Nissley had dinner one night with Cathy Fiebach, the owner of Main Point Books in Bryn Mawr, Pa., while she was in town for Winter Institute 9 (to which Nissley had hoped to go, as an author). They stopped by Elliott Bay Book Company and "talked shop" throughout the evening.

L.-r.: Jim Santoro and Carol Santoro, Laura Silverstein, Henry Silverstein, Tom Nissley and Peter Silverstein.

"At the end of the night, after dinner and after Cathy left, I told my wife that I really would love to own a bookstore," Nissley recounted. "I didn't think it would happen, but then the very next morning someone forwarded the e-mail that Santoro's Book was up for sale. It felt like the universe was talking to me."

Given that Santoro's Books is only eight blocks from his house, Nissley felt obligated to at least look into it. And the more he investigated buying the store, the more doable, and desirable, it seemed.

"It couldn't be more of a perfect situation," Nissley said. He then reached out to his veteran indie bookseller friends. "I thought they would be the first people to talk me out of it, but they were the first to talk me into it."

Nissley has never worked in retail, let alone in a bookstore. By his estimation, he took the Borders qualifying test some 25 years ago, but probably didn't pass. To get something of a crash course in bookselling, he shadowed booksellers for a day at Elliott Bay and shadowed Carol Santoro many times.

Most of the changes Nissley wants to make in the store will come in the form of additional sidelines; he plans to add custom paper goods and handbags made by Glittersweet, a company owned by wife, Laura Silverstein. And although he plans to leave the store's book selection largely the same, he looks forward to adding some titles close to his heart.

"Keeping up with new books I love, but the things I love the most are forgotten classics, books that have just barely stayed alive for years," said Nissley, who joked that he considered himself the "number one fan" of the New York Review Books Classics reprint series. He intends to carry several such reprint series. "What's a lot of fun for me as a reader and bookseller is letting people know about books that may not be new, but are new to them."

Phinney Books will host authors and events, but given that there is no shortage of either great bookstores or great reading series in Seattle, Nissley imagines that he'll have to be unorthodox to draw in customers. "It's pretty competitive to get people in, and we don't have a huge space," he said. "One advantage of that is we're going to have to be creative with the events we do. I'm pretty well connected among publishers and authors, and I'll try to take advantage of that. Maybe not bring someone in for a standard reading, but try to do something unique and untraditional."

Nissley is open to partnerships with local businesses, but no concrete plans are yet in place. The "really magical partnership," he said, would be with 826 Seattle, a nonprofit writing and tutoring center that is only seven blocks from the store. Nissley was unsure if the store would ever carry e-readers, but he won't have them at launch. "Coming from Amazon, one thing I've learned is that my first job [as an indie] is not trying to do what Amazon does," Nissley said. "They're really good at what they do. What I'm most interested in doing is doing what Amazon can't do--really getting to know my customers, stocking books where people can pore over them. The first thing is to be a physical, independent bookstore. Then we'll see." --Alex Mutter

KidsBuzz for the Week of 04.12.21

The Guardian Launches Monthly Self-Pub Book Prize

The Guardian newspaper and Legend Times, an independent publishing group, have announced the Guardian Legend Self-Published Book of the Month, a new writing competition in which the winning self-published novel each month will be selected by a panel of industry judges and reviewed in the Guardian. The judges are the Andrew Lownie Literary Agency, Legend Press's commissioning editor Lauren Parsons, as well as authors Stuart Evers and Polly Courtney. The first round of submissions began yesterday.

"The phenomenon of self-publishing over the last couple of years has become too big for any of us to ignore," said Claire Armitstead, literary editor of the Guardian. "We've showcased some of the proven stars on the Guardian Books website. We're confident that our partnership with Legend Times, who lead the way in industry innovation, will give us a chance to find the brightest and the best in this dynamic new sector."

"We're slightly nervous as we prepare to open the flood gates," Tom Chalmers, managing director of Legend Times, told the Guardian. "But everything will be read. Even if there are 1,000 submissions, that will be fine--we already get several hundred manuscripts a month, so we're experienced at dealing with a deluge."

Platform Books, LLC: An Especially Good View: Watching History Happen by Peter L W Osnos

Binc's Marketing Survey Gift Card Winners

Last month, the Book Industry Charitable Foundation conducted a survey of 369 booksellers and book lovers to gather information about overall awareness of the services Binc provides, improvements that can be made and ideas for additional ways to assist booksellers. Everyone who took the survey and shared their e-mail address was entered in a drawing for a chance to win an American Express gift card.

While the survey results are being analyzed by Finch Brands, Binc has announced prize winners. Lindsey McGuirk of Village Books, Bellingham, Wash., won the grand prize, a $250 AmEx Gift Card. Check here for Binc's complete list of $25 AmEx Gift Card winners.

Citadel Press: Stupid Things I Won't Do When I Get Old: A Highly Judgmental, Unapologetically Honest Accounting of All the Things Our Elders Are Doing Wrong by Steven Petrow

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
Smile: The Story of a Face
by Sarah Ruhl

GLOW: Simon & Schuster: Smile: The Story of a Face by Sarah Ruhl

Playwright Sarah Ruhl's work deals with varied subject matter: the history of vibrators, a retelling of the Orpheus myth, the isolating effects of mobile technology. But although Ruhl struggled with Bell's palsy--which immobilized half of her face--for nearly a decade after giving birth to twins, she has never written about it until now. In Smile, her thoughtful, sharply observed memoir, Ruhl narrates her challenges with a disease that deeply affected both her self-image and the ways other people perceived her. "Smile is so much more than an illness narrative," says Marysue Rucci, v-p and editor-in-chief at Simon & Schuster. "I was blown away by Sarah's language and her brilliant explorations of symmetry, motherhood, marriage, artistry, and faith. She offers so much wisdom and grace and humility, and yet she is also laugh-out-loud funny." --Katie Noah Gibson

(Simon & Schuster, $27 hardcover, 9781982150945, October 5, 2021)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported



Image of the Day: Penguin Bookshop's Grand Reopening

Last Friday, on the eve of Penguin Bookshop's grand re-opening party and as part of Sewickley, Pa.'s annual Gallery Walk, the store presented "The Reader," a performance art piece. Customers volunteered to immerse themselves in their favorite books, reading in the shop's window, as passersby looked on.

Cool Idea of the Day: Richard Russo's Interventions Offer

Author Richard Russo has made a special offer to independent booksellers for his remaindered title Interventions: A Novella & Three Stories, illustrated by Kate Russo, published in 2012, an offer that benefits the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. His message to booksellers:

"My daughter Kate and I have secured the remaining stock of Interventions after Down East Books took the book out of print. We are now offering signed copies to be sold only at independent bookstores at a 60% discount, or $16 a book. The original retail price was $40; there's no reason not to continue selling it at or near this price (there are no remaindered copies and it is now classified as a rare book), but the choice to discount it is yours. However, the book is non-returnable. For each book you order, we will donate a dollar to ABFFE."

For more information, go to

Book Den's Owner Celebrates 35 Years... Plus a Century

Happy 35th anniversary to Eric Kelley, "who came to town as the new co-owner of the then-70-year-old Book Den," Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1979 when "there were at least nine bookstores in this little tourist town," the Independent reported.

Over the years, Kelley "has changed himself and the store, adapting many ways, learning to use the Internet to sell his occasional rare-book find almost instantaneously, and he's always had a good hand at picking up the overlooked treasure. But that's not really what he loves, he claimed. He's excited now that the store is a balance of about 40% new books and the rest used," the Independent wrote.

"It isn't the big sales, though I like making them," he said. "Today a mom and dad and three kids came in the store and spent some time browsing and when they left, they all found a book. And I thought, that's great, there's a future for this store, and there's a future for this culture."

At Home with Vivien Jennings and Roger Doeren

photo: Fred Blocher/Kansas City Star

As might be expected of Rainy Day Books founder and president Vivien Jennings and chief operations officer Roger Doeren, their Fairway, Kan., home "is filled with mystery, drama, suspense and even a bit of romance" in a collection of books that "would enchant any bibliophile," the Kansas City Star observed in its interview with the booksellers. A sampling:

For our readers who love a bit of romance, how did you meet?
Doeren: I was a customer in 1988, and that's when I went to find a book on how to be a good dad. I said, "I need books on babies," and Vivien was so helpful. Later in my life, I said, "I need books on how to be the best divorced dad I can be." In the course of getting to know Vivien, in 1994, I sensed a change, and asked her daughter about it. The answer was yes, there was a change in her life and she was single, and I started asking Vivien out. We fell in love in 1994.

How has this relationship impacted your life and the business?
Jennings: As far as the business, we needed him. We were going for author events in Unity Temple and Village Church and we needed the technology Roger was interested in bringing to the company, which is not a forte of mine. (Roger was a former lighting professional and engineer.) We really wanted to go out in the community to meet people and take what we have and share.
Doeren: We have many common interests, and share this goal: To leave the world better than we found it.
Jennings: And we do this by raising money and awareness for many organizations. We've partnered with almost every big civic organization in this community through the years.

How does your home reflect your life?
Jennings: Books are important as you can see from the shelves around the home. But I also have to have to have fresh flowers. It's not a must--it's a necessity. You'll see them in the artwork around the house, as well. For Roger, music is important.

Matt Baldacci to Join Scholastic Trade Publishing

Effective April 28, Matthew C. Baldacci is joining Scholastic as v-p of marketing for the Trade Publishing division. He has been v-p, associate publisher, marketing and sales operations at St. Martin's Press, where he has worked since 1998. Before that, he held marketing, advertising and creative services positions at DK Publishing, Simon & Schuster and Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing. He has also has served as an adjunct professor at New York University's School of Professional and Continuing Studies/Masters in Publishing Program since 2009.

"Matthew Baldacci is a creative and innovative marketer who has experience in just about every role in book marketing, including developing new marketing strategies and platforms that utilize emerging technologies to market books," said Ellie Berger, president of Scholastic Trade Publishing.

Saying he is "highly energized to be joining Scholastic, an important and powerful publisher in the field of children's books," Baldacci noted that for him, the move "marks a happy return to children's publishing, where I began my career."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Murray Carpenter, Author of Caffeinated

This morning on Imus in the Morning: Carl Hoffman, author of Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller's Tragic Quest for Primitive Art (Morrow, $26.99, 9780062116154).


Tomorrow morning on Morning Joe: Paul Stanley, author of Face the Music: A Life Exposed (HarperOne, $28.99, 9780062114044).


Tomorrow on the View: Patrick and Gina Neely, co-authors of Back Home with the Neelys: Comfort Food from Our Southern Kitchen to Yours (Knopf, $27.95, 9780307961334).


Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: Michelle Huneven, author of Off Course: A Novel (Sarah Crichton Books, $26, 9780374224479). As the show put it: "In Michelle Huneven's engaging novel Off Course, Cress retreats to her parents' A-frame in the Sierras, a place she loathed as a child, to write her dissertation on art-world economics. Huneven plants seeds of foreboding into the novel from Cress's initial ascent up into the redwoods. She soon accepts the advances of a lover and begins to dwell in an erotic fairy tale. We discuss how love can become a false Eden and, love having turned to suffering, Cress returns to confront life as an adult alone."


Tomorrow on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live: Bob Saget, author of Dirty Daddy: The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian (It Books, $26.99, 9780062274786).


Tomorrow on Al Jazeera's Consider This: Murray Carpenter, author of Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts, and Hooks Us (Hudson Street Press, $25.95, 9781594631382).


Tomorrow on Tavis Smiley: Katherine S. Newman and Ariane De Lannoy, authors of After Freedom: The Rise of the Post-Apartheid Generation in Democratic South Africa (Beacon Press, $35, 9780807007464).


Tomorrow on MSNBC's Daily Rundown: Russell Gold, author of The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781451692280).


Tomorrow night on Jimmy Kimmel Live: Seth MacFarlane, author of A Million Ways to Die in the West: A Novel (Ballantine, $23, 9780553391671).


Tomorrow night on Conan: Terry Crews, author of Manhood: How to Be a Better Man--or Just Live with One (Zinc Ink, $25, 9780804178051).

TV: Game of Thrones Renewed for Seasons 5 & 6

The pressure has just amped up for George R.R. Martin to remain a step ahead of HBO's Game of Thrones. reported the network renewed the hit series for seasons five and six just a day after the fourth-season premiere, and "how far can the hit go seems to be in the hands of the novels' writer... who is still writing Book 6 in the seven-book series. There is breathing room--the current Season 4 chronicles events that take place toward the end of the third book."

"Game of Thrones is a phenomenon like no other," said HBO programming president Michael Lombardo. "David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, along with their talented collaborators, continue to surpass themselves, and we look forward to more of their dazzling storytelling."

Books & Authors

Awards: IMPAC Dublin; Carnegie Medals; Indie Foreign Fiction

Finalists for this year's €100,000 (US$137,950) IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, presented annually for a novel written in English or translated into English, have been announced. The winner of one of the world's richest literary awards will be named June 12. The shortlisted IMPAC titles are:

The Detour by Gerbrand Bakke (Dutch), translated by David Colmer
Questions of Travel by Michelle De Kretser (Sri Lankan/Australian)
Absolution by Patrick Flanery (American)
A Death in the Family by Karl Ove Knausgaard (Norwegian), translated by Don Bartlett.
Three Strong Woman by Marie NDiaye (French), translated by John Fletcher
Traveller of the Century by Andrés Neuman (Argentinian), translated from the original Spanish by Nick Caistor & Lorenza Garcia.
The Light of Amsterdam by David Park (Northern Irish)
The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan (Irish)
The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng (Malaysian)
The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez (Colombian), translated from the original Spanish by Anne McLean.


Finalists have been announced for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. The winners, each of whom will receive $5,000, will be named June 28 during the American Library Association's annual conference in Las Vegas, Nev. This year's shortlisted titles are:

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Knopf)
Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat (Knopf)
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (Little, Brown)

On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand Year History by Nicholas A. Basbanes (Knopf)
Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink (Crown)
The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin (S&S)


The shortlist has been announced for the £10,000 (US$16,600) Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. The winning author and translator will be honored May 22 in London. This year's shortlisted titles are:

A Man in Love by Karl Ove Knausgård, translated from Norwegian by Don Bartlett
A Meal in Winter by Hubert Mingarelli, translated from French by Sam Taylor
Revenge by Yoko Ogawa, translated from Japanese by Stephen Snyder
Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami, translated from Japanese by Allison Markin Powell
The Iraqi Christ by Hassan Blasim, translated from Arabic by Jonathan Wright
The Mussel Feast by Birgit Vanderbeke, translated from German by Jamie Bulloch

Book Review

Children's Review: The Baby Tree

The Baby Tree by Sophie Blackall (Nancy Paulsen/Penguin, $17.99 hardcover, 40p., ages 5-8, 9780399257186, May 1, 2014)

In Sophie Blackall's (Big Red Lollipop) poignantly rendered story of a boy attempting to understand the impending arrival of a new baby sibling, her words and pictures remain firmly planted in the boy narrator's consciousness. She portrays both a seriousness of purpose in his quest and also a warm sense of humor in his household.

The opening spread shows a series of vignettes chronicling the boy's daily routine. A black cat sleeps on the end of his bed, stretches and follows the boy devotedly around to wake up Dad, wake up Mom "and wake up Dad again." The child gets dressed, feeds Brian the cat and, at breakfast, Mom and Dad "tell me they're going to tell me some news. And then they tell me the news. A new baby is coming." The rest of the book involves the boy asking various trusted sources in his life about where babies come from. Olive, the teenager who walks the boy to school, says, "You plant a seed and it grows into a Baby Tree." The child pictures babies literally hatching from bulb-like blossoms on the branches of a sturdy trunk, with varied complexions and features. The narrator's teacher, Mrs. McClure, says babies come from the hospital. In a perfectly calibrated composition, Blackall depicts Mrs. McClure and the boy hero in complementary outfits--she in a windowpane skirt of tomato orange and teal blue, he in a teal-blue long-sleeve tee with a tomato-red circle on it. His thought balloon of a hospital with tiny compartments, a baby horizontally placed within each, makes for a visual echo of Mrs. McClure's skirt; a parade of weeble-like newborns emerges from the hospital entrance. Grandpa says the stork brings the baby and "leaves it in a bundle on your doorstep." Yet every morning, when the child opens the door, "there are no babies, only the mail."

Blackall portrays a loving, busy family. After dinner, the boy simply asks his mom and dad, "Where do babies come from?" The author-artist walks through his parents' reply step by step in an explanation well-suited to preschoolers and kindergartners. The boy threads together the kernel of truth in everyone's explanations, except for one ("I'm going to have to tell Grandpa where babies come from"). Blackall closes with questions that a child might ask, with suggested "age-appropriate" responses, and includes all kinds of families (adoption, two moms, two dads, twins). She weaves in just enough concrete information and whimsy to make this the go-to book for families who are expecting a second child. --Jennifer M. Brown

Shelf Talker: For youngest children, Sophie Blackall explains where babies come from in a way that will make any parent feel comfortable preparing a first-born for the arrival of a new sibling.


More Multiple NBA Winners!

We continue to be educated about National Book Award history: not only have William Faulkner and Philip Roth won more than one NBA, but other multiple winners include William Gaddis, Katherine Paterson and Saul Bellow (three times!). All make for distinguished company for the late Peter Matthiessen.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. The Fixed Trilogy by Laurelin Paige
2. Black Box by Cassia Leo
3. Fated Mates: The Alpha Shifter Boxed Set by Various
4. Tame Me: A Stark International Novella by J. Kenner
5. Better Date Than Never Boxed Set by Susan Hatler
6. The Proposition 3: The Ferro Family by H.M. Ward
7. Tied with Me (With Me in Seattle) by Kristen Proby
8. Loose & Lethal: Dusty Deals Mystery Series Box Set by Rae Davies
9. The Memory Child by Steena Holmes
10. Reasonable Doubt by Whitney Gracia Williams

[Many thanks to!]

KidsBuzz: Katherine Tegen Books: Are You a Cheeseburger? by Monica Arnaldo
KidsBuzz: Poppy Books: The Other Side of Perfect by Mariko Turk
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