Also published on this date: Wednesday, July 23, 2014: Maximum Shelf: Fives and Twenty-Fives

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Shadow Mountain: Bill Marriott: Success Is Never Final--His Life and the Decisions That Built a Hotel Empire by Dale Van Atta

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

Del Rey Books: The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez

St. Martin's Press: Tombstone: The Earp Brothers, Doc Holliday, and the Vendetta Ride from Hell by Tom Clavin

News

'Surprising' Reader Reaction to Amazon-Hachette Dispute

The Amazon-Hachette dispute is having an impact on readers' attitudes about Amazon, according to the most recent Book Preview poll conducted by Codex Group. Of 5,286 book buyers polled by Codex between July 11 and July 19, 39.4% were aware of the dispute, and 19.2% of those aware of the dispute were buying fewer books from Amazon.

Those purchasing fewer books from Amazon reported buying more from other retailers. The top five alternatives in order of popularity were: Barnes & Noble, independent bookstores, B&N.com, used bookstores and Costco.

As a point of comparison, book buyers interviewed showed less awareness of several major authors than of the Amazon-Hachette dispute: 28% of them knew who Malcolm Gladwell is, and 35% were aware of Lee Child.

Peter Hildick-Smith, president of Codex, called the results "very surprising," saying, "It's the first time we've seen people react to something about Amazon in a way that wasn't positive." The results showed, he continued, that the dispute has "gotten a wider stage because of Stephen Colbert, James Patterson and others."


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


Voice of the Heartland Award Goes to Kate DiCamillo

Author and National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Kate DiCamillo has won the 2014 Voice of the Heartland Award, which the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association and the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association confer periodically in recognition of people "who uphold the value of independent bookselling and have made a significant contribution to bookselling in the Midwest."

Kate DiCamillo
Kate DiCamillo

This marks the first year the award will be granted jointly by MIBA and GLIBA. In a statement, the organizations said that DiCamillo "has demonstrated a passion for writing and a commitment to literature since she moved to Minneapolis in the 1990s. Thirty years old, she worked at the book distributor the Bookmen picking children's books. When a Candlewick rep visited the warehouse, DiCamillo and the rep talked about her writing, the rep sent her manuscript to an editor, and the rest is history."

The Voice of the Heartland Award will be presented September 30 during the book awards reception at the Heartland Fall Forum. The reception will showcase a number of award-winning authors, and guests will receive a copy of DiCamillo's August release Leroy Ninker Saddles Up.


Chronicle Books: Redwood and Ponytail by KA Holt


Martin Hearn Joins Best Little Bookshop as CTO

Ahead of its upcoming beta launch, the Best Little Bookshop has appointed Martin Hearn as chief technical officer, the Bookseller reported. The company was founded last winter by Kieron Smith, former managing director of the Book Depository (now owned by Amazon). Hearn, who was most recently technical project manager for the Book Depository, previously worked for Methvens Booksellers and samedaybooks.com. He has also been appointed to the board of Best Little Bookshop.

"I'm very pleased to have Martin with us; I'm immensely proud of the product we're building and Martin can help us make it even better," said Smith. "He combines an obsession with books with impressive and imaginative technology skills. He's a welcome addition to the board."

Hearn said he is "delighted" to be joining the company and is excited about "building an international and collaborative online bookseller."

The Best Little Bookshop "will sell a wide range of books from all publishers, but it will also contain profiles where other 'partner' booksellers from around the world will be able to offer collections of specialist and hard-to-find, unusual books," the Bookseller wrote, adding that publishers "will also be able to set up their own profiles to sell directly to consumers from the website, but it does not currently plan to sell e-books."


GLOW: Andrews McMeel Publishing: That Can Be Arranged: A Muslim Love Story by Huda Fahmy


Obituary Note: Malcolm Magruder, Andrew Mango

Former publishing executive Malcolm Magruder died on Friday, July 11. He was 89.

Magruder's first job in publishing was with Brett-Macmillan Publishing in 1958. He subsequently had a 32-year publishing career with Frederick Praeger Publishers, Walker Publishing, Stein & Day and William Morrow and Company, where he was director of sales for nearly 10 years and the Southeastern rep for 12 years, until his retirement in 1990.

Lawrence Hughes, former president of William Morrow, said, "Malcolm thought the glass was half full even when it was about 60% empty. That enthusiasm was infectious and combined with his deep knowledge of the book trade, was a tremendous asset to William Morrow and by extension, to me in my job."

Magruder's son Munro Magruder is associate publisher of New World Library.

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Writer Andrew Mango, who "produced his most significant work, including a magisterial biography of the founder of modern Turkey, Atatürk (2000), and From the Sultan to Atatürk (2009)," after he retired from BBC World Service, died July 7, the Guardian reported. He was 88. The Guardian noted that Mango's "scholarship was impeccable, but some of his historical and journalistic interpretations were controversial, notably his belief that the military coups of 1960 and 1980 had been necessary to avoid the country slipping into civil war, and his assertion that the Armenian massacres of 1915 did not amount to genocide."


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


Massachusetts Bookstore Field Trip, Part 3

Last month, Shelf Awareness editor-in-chief John Mutter went on a whirlwind bookstore tour in Massachusetts with New England Independent Booksellers Association executive director Steve Fischer. (See part one and part two.)



Harvard Book Store exteriorAt dinner on our first night in Cambridge, some of the Harvard Book Store staff was on hand--and basking in the satisfying if exhausting afterglow of the sold-out signing they had held the night before for Hillary Clinton and her new book, Hard Choices. More than 900 copies were sold, one of the larger in an impressive series of events the store puts on. (June author events at the store featured, among others, David Sedaris, John Waters, Laurence Tribe, Evan Osnos, Howard Norman and Emma Straub.) Luckily for the store, the weather held up and long, well-marked lines snaked through streets near Harvard Square after marketing manager Alex Meriwether worked miracles with logistics.)

Harvard is another long-established New England bookstore that in recent years has changed owners: in 2008, Jeff Mayersohn and his wife, Linda Seamonson, bought the store from Frank Kramer, whose father founded Harvard Book Store in 1932. (As with other bookstore sales, the Harvard transaction was brokered by Ridge Hill Partners, Needham, Mass., which has also handled the sales of Wellesley Booksmith, Porter Square Books and New England Mobile Book Fair. Paul Siegenthaler, president of Ridge Hill Partners, has created an unusual niche in the bookselling business in Massachusetts.)

As at the other stores, the transition has gone smoothly. Most of the staff has remained in place, including store manager Mark Lamphier, Rachel Cass, who is now head buyer, and longtime general manager Carole Horne, who was instrumental in making sure the changeover went smoothly. If anything, the store, which is independent of Harvard University, is an even greater example of a bookseller that does several things very well: it serves both Harvard customers and general readers, which means having a strong academic inventory as well as a striking selection of new and general titles. (It has a strong selection of used and remainder titles, too.)

Harvard Book Store window signageAfter a leisurely breakfast in a diner in Harvard Square, Carole, who's a wonderful combination of smart, soft-spoken and dryly witty, took Steve and me to the store to point out some of the changes the store has made recently. Under its new owners, Harvard Book Store has continued to be innovate in both high-tech and low-tech ways: it was one of the first stores to install an Espresso Book Machine, dubbed Paige M. Gutenborg (the winner of a contest that drew more than 500 suggestions), and it started a delivery service via bike. Recently the store launched an iPhone app with Aisle Connect that links users with the store's computer and offers maps of the store, reviews and recommendations and indications of where books can be found on the store shelves.

Harvard Book Store interior signage

The store has also improved its signage both inside and out. Signs in the windows with short messages in large type (including "Publisher Focus," "New in Hardcover," "New in Paperback" and "Used Books") make it "easy for people to see us as they drive by," Horne said. Inside, Harvard Book Store has done something we've never seen in a bookstore: it has section signage that hangs out perpendicular to the shelving. Horne said that they worried that the signs might look cluttered and "like a pharmacy" but noted that the signs make it much easier for customers to find sections and for staff to point customers in the right direction. The signs are also done in Harvard Book Store's elegant style--no worries about their looks.


Notes

Image of the Day: Shiny, New Green Apple Welcomes Hachette

Green Apple Books on the ParkThe staff at San Francisco's Green Apple Books are hard at work building, painting, assembling and preparing for the grand opening of their new store, Green Apple Books on the Park, on August 1. The first pallet of books (of the 17,000 they've ordered) has arrived. Fittingly, it's from Hachette. (More on Green Apple below.)


The White Rose in Holyoke: 'It's Not Just a Bookshop'

White Rose bookstore"This is a story about a bookstore," the Republican wrote in its profile of the White Rose bookstore, Holyoke, Mass., adding, "It's not just a bookshop."

"When we fell in love with Holyoke, we thought what is Holyoke missing," said co-owner Betty Kaplowitz, recalling the time five years ago when she and Kristen Bachler moved to the city.

"A place for coffee, reading and meeting," Bachler confirmed.

Noting that "conversation comes easy with the two women," the Republican wrote that "about 20 minutes into our interview, talk meandered around local and national politics, gentrification in downtowns, the ethnic mix of this reporter (Irish, Spanish and Lebanese), social justice documentaries and gay pride movements.... And this is one of the purposes of the store: to further such good talks."

"We are trying to make it so the place is still open when we are closed for the day as a bookstore," Kaplowitz said. They are working to boost downtown's economy as well: "We are trying to get businesses on High Street to stay open after 5."

The Republican also noted that "when you put aside the bigger mission and the local work, the White Rose is simply a good bookstore."


Rent Hikes Pressuring Some San Francisco Indies

The San Francisco Bay Guardian has a long piece about the effect of gentrification and higher commercial rents on San Francisco booksellers.

Bibliohead BookstoreThe store facing the most immediate problem is Bibliohead, which has to move early next year because its rent will be doubled after the building is retrofitted for earthquakes and closed for four months. Owner Melissa Richmond commented: "We're small, but mighty. Although recently we haven't been feeling so mighty. I'm kind of a wreck." A Bibliohead Indiegogo campaign has raised almost $3,000 of a hoped-for $60,000, and Richmond is scouting for a new location.

Adobe Books, now known as Adobe Books and Art Cooperative, and Forest Books were "forced out of 16th Street within three months of each other when their rents increased," the Guardian reported.

Speaking about Green Apple Books (see our Image of the Day), co-owner Pete Mulvihill said business is good, and commented: "Some of it is just the economy. All that money floating around South of Market is maybe trickling over here. Or maybe the waiters are getting better tips. I don't know what it is, but things have been better for us."

Kate Rosenberger, who owns four bookstores in San Francisco, said that Alleycat Books, which she opened in 2011, is now paying its way but is facing a rent increase. She said: "You can talk about e-readers, and people being distracted. You can talk about people slipping out since the Gutenberg press was invented, and all that's true, sure. But when you get hit with a huge increase in your rent, how do you deal with that? When the lease is up, you can pretty much figure you're gone."


Personnel Changes at Portfolio, Sentinel and Current

At Portfolio, Sentinel and Current:

  • Jacquelynn Burke has been promoted to senior publicist. She started with Portfolio, Sentinel and Current as an intern in 2009, then returned as an assistant after graduating from Notre Dame.
  • Margot Stamas has been promoted to senior publicist. She joined Penguin Group as a publicity assistant for Putnam and Riverhead, then was promoted to associate publicist and in 2012 moved to Portfolio, Sentinel and Current as a publicist.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Vint Virga on Fresh Air

Today on Fresh Air: Vint Virga, author of The Soul of All Living Creatures: What Animals Can Teach Us About Being Human (Broadway, $14.99, 9780307718877).

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Tomorrow on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: Miles J. Unger, author of Michelangelo: A Life in Six Masterpieces (Simon & Schuster, $29.95, 9781451678741).

Also on Diane Rehm: David Boies, co-author of Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality (Viking, $28.95, 9780670015962).

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Tomorrow on Tavis Smiley: Carolyn Finney, author of Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors (University of North Carolina Press, $24.95, 9781469614489).

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Tomorrow on the Wendy Williams Show: Alison Sweeney, author of Scared Scriptless (Hyperion, $15, 9781401311056).


Movies: Miss Julie; Blood Meridian

The first trailer has been released for Miss Julie, directed by Liv Ullmann from her adaptation of August Strindberg's play. The Film Stage noted that the trailer for the movie, which stars Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton, offers "hints of chemistry, performance, composition, framing, production design--all of which look rather spectacular. How fortunate that, in less than two months' time, we'll have some idea as to how it's shaken out."

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"At this point, James Franco can only be described as James Franco-esque: he writes books, writes reviews, does art installations and occasionally does some movies--both in front of and behind the camera," Indiewrie observed in reporting that in advance of his upcoming film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's Child of God, Franco has released nearly 30 minutes of test footage from his other McCarthy adaptation-in progress, Blood Meridian.



Books & Authors

Awards: Man Booker Longlist (with Americans!); Kelpies Shortlist

The first Man Booker Prize longlist to include books written in English from around the world, not just from Britain and the Commonwealth, has been selected. Among the 13 books are four by Americans: Richard Powers (Orfeo), Siri Hustvedt (The Blazing World), Joshua Ferris (To Rise Again at a Decent Hour) and Karen Joy Fowler (We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves). Of the other nine books, six are by Britons, two by Irish writers and one by an Australian.

The shortlist of six titles for the £50,000 (US$85,200) prize will be announced on September 9. The winning novel will be revealed on October 14.

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Three titles have been shortlisted for the £2,000 (about US$3,415) Kelpies Prize, sponsored by publisher Floris Books for "unpublished writers of books that are set in Scotland and aimed at children aged 8-11," the Bookseller reported. This year's finalists are The Superpower Project by Paul J. Bristow, The Mixed-Up Summer of Lily McLean by Lindsay Littleson and My Fake Brother by Joan Pratt. The winner will be announced August 14 at the Edinburgh International Book Festival and receives a book deal with Floris Books' Kelpies imprint.


Book Brahmin: Susan Spann

Susan Spann's Shinobi mysteries feature ninja detective Hiro Hattori and his Portuguese Jesuit sidekick, Father Mateo. The first in the series, Claws of the Cat (2013), was named a Library Journal Mystery Debut of the Month. Spann is an attorney whose practice focuses on publishing law and business. She lives in Sacramento, Calif., with her husband, son, two cats, one cockatiel, and a multitude of aquatic creatures. Blade of the Samurai was just published by Minotaur Books.

On your nightstand now:

The Kill Switch by James Rollins and Kansai Cool: A Journey into the Cultural Heartland of Japan by Christal Whelan. (I almost always have some narrative nonfiction in the mix.)

Favorite book when you were a child:

The Shoes Series by Noel Streatfeild (Ballet Shoes, Dancing Shoes and Circus Shoes were my favorites, though I loved them all). I read Circus Shoes until the binding broke, glued it back together, and read it again.

Your top five authors:

Lee Child, James Rollins, Heather Webb, Noel Streatfeild and Agatha Christie, in no particular order.

Book you've faked reading:

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. I never got past "Call me Ishmael."

Book you're an evangelist for:

Heather Webb's Becoming Josephine and Kerry Schafer's Between. I love them both and recommend them every chance I get.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Too numerous to list--and that's not being flippant. I'm an absolute magpie when it comes to collecting books with attractive covers.

Book that changed your life:

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. I read it in kindergarten--I was an early reader--and the moment I heard Black Beauty "talk," a whole new world opened up for me.

Favorite line from a book:

Generally speaking, everything between "Chapter 1" and "The End."

Which character you most relate to:

Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series. In school (and, sometimes, even now), I was usually "that kid"--with her hand in the air and her nose in a book.

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

Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park. I've read it half a dozen times, but I wish I could recapture the magic I experienced the first time through.


Book Review

Children's Review: Rain Reign

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan, $16.99 hardcover, 240p., ages 9-12, 9780312643003, October 7, 2014)

We all have our own sets of coping mechanisms--11-year-old Rose Howard needs unbroken rules, prime numbers and homonyms to get through her days. And, since last year, she also needs the yellow-furred dog she named Rain (homonyms: rein and reign). 

Much to her father's frustration, Rose is on the high-functioning autism spectrum. He doesn't understand why she can't just keep it together, stop talking incessantly about homonyms, stop shouting sequences of prime numbers, stop asking him so many questions. So when he's not fixing cars at the J & R Garage, he's down the street drinking beer at the Luck of the Irish. When he comes home quiet or his eyes get "black and hard," Rose and Rain both know to keep their distance.

The bittersweet tale, recounted by Rose in a purposeful storyteller's style, reveals a young girl trying her best to keep it together. Some of her challenges are specific to her autism, but her desire to fit in and be accepted is universal. Rose is quite likable once her schoolmates see that underneath her obsessions and seemingly robot-like outbursts she is smart, sensitive and eager to please. Even readers may be put off by homonyms ad infinitum at the beginning (Rose warns her audience about this), only to be drawn in as the pages turn. Rose's soft-spoken Uncle Weldon is one of the few in her charmed circle: he listens, he encourages her, and he drives her to and from school every day. The nuanced portrayal of that solid, loving relationship is sure to have everyone wishing for an Uncle Weldon of his or her own.

When a devastating storm rips through the small community of Hatford, N.Y. (the author's note says that Hurricane Irene of 2011 inspired this story), the holes in Rose's life become that much more jagged. The rising floodwaters bring out the worst in her father, isolate her from her guardian-angel uncle, and even carry away Rose's beloved Rain. Newbery Honor author Martin's clear, true, immediate writing places readers dead-center in the emotional maelstrom with Rose, who is much more than her father sees and braver than she knows. --Karin Snelson, children's book editor and reviewer

Shelf Talker: An autistic girl with a penchant for homonyms steals (steels) hearts in Newbery Honor author Ann M. Martin's latest novel.


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