Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, September 3, 2014

S&S / Marysue Rucci Books: The Night We Lost Him by Laura Dave

Wednesday Books: When Haru Was Here by Dustin Thao

Tommy Nelson: Up Toward the Light by Granger Smith, Illustrated by Laura Watkins

Tor Nightfire: Devils Kill Devils by Johnny Compton

Shadow Mountain: Highcliffe House (Proper Romance Regency) by Megan Walker

Quotation of the Day

Indie Routine: 'I Like to See the Book Before I Buy It'

photo: Chester Higgins Jr./New York Times

"I like to see the book before I buy it. My husband does not like going to bookstores with me, so you might see him sitting outside, because he says that's the one place I tend to get lost in and forget I have a deadline. But I want the kids to feel that way, so I like taking them to bookstores with me. I think we've lost that love of the books themselves; it's almost, if you're on a Kindle or a Nook or whatever, it's a little bit of a separation. So we take them into a bookstore like BookCourt and walk around. And they'll walk out with at least one or two books."

--Carmen Fariña, chancellor of the New York City Education Department, in a recent "Sunday Routine" interview with the New York Times.

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!


B&N Installs Three Espresso Book Machines in Pilot Program

Without fanfare, last month Barnes & Noble installed Espresso Book Machines in three of its Northeastern stores as a pilot program to "gauge consumer interest," the company said. Customers will be able to make a physical print book of "a hard-to-find book, a public domain title or self publish a book."

The POD machines are in B&N stores in Union Square in New York City, Paramus, N.J., and Willow Grove, Pa.

Books-A-Million installed two Espresso Book Machines late last year. Most of the other approximately 60 EBMs are in independent bookstores, university bookstores and libraries around the world.

GLOW: Workman Publishing: Atlas Obscura: Wild Life: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Living Wonders by Cara Giaimo, Joshua Foer, and Atlas Obscura

Bezos Names New Washington Post Publisher


Washington Post publisher Katharine Weymouth, the fourth generation of the Graham family to lead the newspaper, will step down in October and be replaced by Frederick J. Ryan Jr., the founding CEO of Politico and a former Reagan administration official, the New York Times reported. Ryan also edited the book Ronald Reagan: The Wisdom and Humor of the Great Communicator.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who bought the Post last year, said Weymouth "has successfully led many new initiatives and assured that the first ownership change of this great institution in 80 years has been done smoothly and without skipping a beat."

Citing a "person with knowledge of the decision," the Times added that "the decision to step aside was not Ms. Weymouth's, though she had not been fired for poor performance." Noting that the newspaper "has undergone a newsroom expansion under Mr. Bezos, who has regularly met with senior staff, and has focused more of its attention on the web," the Times wrote that "he had long been expected to apply the kind of disruptive thinking he demonstrated with Amazon to the newspaper business."

The Washington Post described the change as the "most aggressive move" yet by Bezos as owner, noting that "Ryan's background in Republican politics also is certain to raise questions about the direction of the Post's editorial page, among the most influential in the nation." Ryan, however, said he planned to keep the newspaper's current executive editor, Martin Baron, and editorial page editor, Fred Hiatt; and did not anticipate changes in editorial policies.

Weldon Owen: The Gay Icon's Guide to Life by Michael Joosten, Illustrated by Peter Emerich

Cleveland's Visible Voice Books to Close

Visible Voice Books, Cleveland, Ohio, will close September 27 after more than seven years in business. Owner Dave Ferrante posted on Facebook yesterday: "We want to thank all of our loyal customers, the Tremont community and everyone who has aided and abetted the store for all these years. It truly has been a pleasure.... It has been a great experience and I have been very lucky to meet many great and interesting people throughout the years. I also want to thank the staff that I work with on a daily basis. They are a hard working, loyal group of people who represented the store exceptionally."

Ferrante told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that he had "been mulling this over since January. There just wasn't enough foot traffic to support the business model. I have another full-time job and my daughter. I was just getting spread too thin.... It's bittersweet. Even though the store is closing, I've met so many people and have enjoyed some really great relationships. Those are things I will take with me so it's not all loss. I'm going to take some time off to decide what I will do next. I wouldn't rule out another bookstore."

Graphic Universe (Tm): Hotelitor: Luxury-Class Defense and Hospitality Unit by Josh Hicks

Kobo Partners with Blake eLearning for Reading Eggs

Kobo has signed an exclusive agreement with Blake eLearning to make more than 120 of its Reading Eggs e-books available to Kobo readers worldwide, marking the first time the product has been available in digital format outside the Reading Eggs program. To celebrate the partnership, Reading Eggs is offering a bundle of four free educational e-books to Kobo customers--with additional free and paid titles also available at

"We're thrilled to be teaming up with Reading Eggs for this exclusive partnership," said Antonia Fowler, merchandiser, children's books, Kobo. "Like Kobo, Reading Eggs are leaders in their field--perfectionists, dedicated to doing one thing better than anyone else in the world, and we truly believe this is what makes them an ideal addition to our Kids' Store educational lineup."

Blake eLearning CEO Matthew Sandblom commented: "It makes perfect sense to us to be working with Kobo, who share our values about the importance of reading and the desire to encourage the next generation of readers."

Goodreads Adds Kindle Preview Feature

Amazon-owned Goodreads has added a Kindle Preview feature that allows members in the U.S. to "sample the story before committing to the whole book." Clicking on the "Open Preview" button on the book page reveals a sample inside Goodreads of any title that has a Kindle edition, using the Kindle Cloud Reader. Members can also "add the title to your Goodreads 'Want to Read' shelf. If you're ready to buy, there's a link to purchase it on Amazon, or you can use the links on the book page to other online retailers."

The Digital Reader noted that the feature "is based on close integration with the Kindle Store... and it's only available to Goodreads members in the U.S., so it won't do GR's majority non-U.S. membership much good. But I would not be too concerned about the restrictions; Goodreads regularly launches new features as U.S.-only before releasing them internationally. I suspect that limiting access is part of their beta test methodology."

Obituary Note: Betty Fairchild; Anthony Bruno

Betty Fairchild, a longtime Random House sales representative who started her career as a bookseller in Richmond, Va., died last week. She was 67. Fairchild joined Random House in 1975 to cover a large territory of independent bookstores in the Southeast. She later moved to Philadelphia, where she worked closely with Encore and Koen Distributors, and helped found the Mid-Atlantic Booksellers Association, which later became the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association.
As v-p, field director for Random House Adult from the mid-1990s to her retirement in 2002, Fairchild "forged strong relationships with booksellers across the country" and was "a fierce and fearless advocate for the indies, and for the reps who called on them," wrote Jaci Updike, PRH senior v-p, director, adult sales. "Betty was quick to make friends, and to welcome new people into the larger Random House family. She loved to mentor young colleagues, and followed their progress, and developments at RH after her retirement, with tremendous pride."


Anthony Bruno, "a well-regarded writer of crime novels and books about real-life criminals as well," died August 28, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. He was 61. Bruno's books included Iceman: The True Story of a Cold Blooded Killer, which was adapted into a 2012 movie starring Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder and James Franco.


Memorial Service for Frances Foster

A public memorial service celebrating Frances Foster, publisher of Frances Foster Books, an imprint of Farrar, Straus & Giroux Books for Young Readers, will be held September 17 at 1 p.m. at the New School Auditorium, 66 W. 12th St., New York City. A reception will follow, 2-3 p.m., at the Lang Student Center, 55 W. 13th St.

Library of Congress Literacy Prize Winners

Room to Read, which works to increase literary and academic success in Africa and Asia, won the $150,000 David M. Rubenstein Prize, one of three awards given to literacy organizations by the Library of Congress this week, the Washington Post reported. The organization has helped construct more than 1,800 schools, established more than 16,000 libraries and distributed more than 14 million books, with gender equality a special focus.

CEO and co-founder Erin Ganju said the prize will allow the group "to continue to scale our programs, which provide quality reading materials in local languages; safe, child-friendly learning environments; teachers trained in effective literacy instruction; community engagement activities; and academic and life skills support for girls who are at risk of dropping out of school."

Start Making a Reader Today won the $50,000 American Prize. The Post noted that SMART "works with 9,500 young students in 250 schools and Head Start programs across Oregon. The organization currently has 5,000 volunteers, who regularly read with children from pre-K through third-grade to build their interest in books and confidence in reading."

The Mother Child Education Foundation in Turkey received the $50,000 International Prize. The organization works to improve education and literacy among people of all ages.

The Library of Congress launched the three literacy awards in 2013. Winners were chosen by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington in consultation with an advisory board and will be honored at a ceremony in Washington in October.

Street Named for Women and Children First

A portion of N. Clark Street in Chicago will receive the honorary designation Women & Children First Way. The Chicago Phoenix reported that a ceremony honoring Ann Christophersen and Linda Bubon, who founded Women & Children First in 1979 and sold it to Lynn Mooney and Sarah Hollenbeck earlier this year, will be part of the Andersonville Arts Weekend celebrations.

The City of Chicago will recognize Christophersen and Bubon's contributions to the neighborhood October 11 under the Honorary Street Name Ordinance, which honors citizens and organizations "who have made an impact in their respective neighborhoods."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Donald Antrim on KCRW's Bookworm

Tomorrow on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: Liza Long, author of The Price of Silence: A Mom's Perspective on Mental Illness (Hudson Street Press, $25.95, 9781594632570).


Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: Donald Antrim, author of The Emerald Light in the Air: Stories (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $22, 9780374280932). As the show put it: "Donald Antrim's The Emerald Light in the Air is a collection of stories 18 years in the making. All seven were featured in the New Yorker and five share a prominent relation: at the center is a depressive character trying to make-do. We all have our turn in the barrel, Antrim notes, and sometimes you’re really turned upside down. Stemming from Antrim's own experience with psychosis, these stories address how to live under the shadow of a disorder most of us refuse to see, and the memory of which dissolves once the depression has lifted."


Tomorrow night on the Colbert Report: Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism (Simon & Schuster, $22, 9781416547877).

Movies: The Humbling; Winter Sleep

The first clip is out from The Humbling, starring Al Pacino and Greta Gerwig, and adapted from the novel by Philip Roth. Indiewire noted that the film "promises a provocative, sexually charged drama. But the question is whether or not director Barry Levinson will be able to pull it off, and the first clip is here to see if he's got the chops to deliver." The Humbling will premiere at the Venice Film Festival.


A new trailer has been released for Winter Sleep, based on a story by Anton Chekhov. Indiewire reported that the Cannes Film Festival's Palme d'Or Winner from Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan will be released later this year.

Books & Authors

Awards: Rona Jaffe; Samuel Johnson Nonfiction; CWA Daggers

The Rona Jaffe Foundation announced winners of this year's Writers' Awards, which recognize six women writers who demonstrate excellence and promise in the early stages of their careers and award each of them $30,000. The 2014 winners are Olivia Clare (fiction), Karen Hays (nonfiction), Danielle Jones-Pruett (poetry), T.L. Khleif (fiction), Mara Naselli (nonfiction) and Solmaz Sharif (poetry). They will be honored at a private ceremony on September 18 in New York City.


A longlist of 15 contenders for the £20,000 (US$33,225) Samuel Johnson Prize for Nonfiction has been named. Chair of judges Claire Tomalin commented: "I was hoping for some surprises, and the biggest one is that my fellow judges and I have chosen more memoirs for our long list than any other type of book--six out of the total of 15--and just one biography: all human life is here.... the books on the longlist show that nonfiction is certainly stranger and wilder than fiction." This year's shortlist will be released October 9, and a winner announced November 4. You can see the complete Samuel Johnson Prize longlist here.


The Crime Writers' Association announced finalists in three categories of the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards. Winners will be named October 24 in London. The book finalists are:

Goldsboro Gold Dagger for Best Crime Novel
The First Rule of Survival by Paul Mendelson
How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny
Keep Your Friends Close by Paula Daly
This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash

John Creasey New Blood Dagger for Best First Novel
The Axeman's Jazz by Ray Celestin
The Devil in the Marshalsea by Antonia Hodgson
The Silent Wife by A.S.A Harrison
The Strangler Vine by M.J. Carter

Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for Best Thriller
Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty
An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris
I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
Natchez Burning by Greg Iles

Book Brahmin: Jean Shinoda Bolen

Jean Shinoda Bolen is a practicing Jungian analyst and psychiatrist, an author and an activist. Artemis: The Indomitable Spirit in Everywoman (Conari Press, September 1, 2014) is her 13th book. The 30th-anniversary edition of Goddesses in Everywoman and the 25th-anniversary edition of Gods in Everyman were published by Harper in July 2014. Bolen lives and writes in a hillside retreat home in Mill Valley, Calif., where her introverted Cancerian sun sign returns after she ventures out to change the world (Leo rising) as an advocate for a 5th U.N. World Conference on Women; moon in Scorpio opposite her sun sign is said to account for the way she brings people back from the underworld through her writing and analytic work.

On your nightstand now:

When Women Were Birds. Author Terry Tempest Williams was raised in a culture in which it was a sin for a woman to speak out. Williams promised she would not open her mother's journals until after her death. When Williams opened them, they were all blank, and this book grew out of her reflections. I have just begun Waking the Buddha by Clark Strand, which I received after giving the Soka Gakkai International USA Culture of Peace lecture and learning that this is a branch of Buddhism that actively takes a stand for equality, diversity, the planet and peace.

Favorite book when you were a child:

The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder influenced my acceptance of C.G. Jung's concept of meaningful coincidences, for which he coined the word "synchronicity." Books my kids read in elementary school introduced me to Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time and The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks. My inner child loved them and read more of these authors.

Your top four authors:

T.S. Eliot (for Four Quartets), Mary Oliver (for Dream Work), C.G. Jung (for The Collected Works) and Philip Mayerson (for Classical Mythology in Literature, Art, and Music). These are books I go back to and--with the exception of Jung--have worn out, dog-eared, battered or replaced my copies.

Book you've faked reading:

When people assume that I have read all of C.G. Jung's Collected Works, I let this pass and don't set this misperception straight. Faking by omission.

Book you're an evangelist for:

From time to time, I recommend a book that I feel will help someone know more about themselves, [though I'm] not evangelical: Alice Miller's The Drama of the Gifted Child and David E. Schoen's The War of the Gods in Addiction. I also suggest reading about specific archetypes in [my books] Goddesses in Everywoman or Gods in Everyman.

Book you've bought for the cover:

When browsing at an airport bookstore, I bought a book for its subtitle: A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel H. Pink. The cover is bright orange and caught my eye.

Book that changed your life:

The I Ching or Book of Changes, Wilhelm edition. The oracular use of it works for me: reflecting back the situation, recommended attitude, action or non-action, under the circumstances. It's not logical that it would work, but it does; much as dreams do, it helps to think metaphorically.

Favorite line from a book:

"Time past and time future/ What might have been and what has been/ Point to one end, which is always present."

"But to apprehend/ the point of intersection of the timeless/ With time...."

"...The life of significant soil." --All from T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets

Which character you most relate to:

I recall relating to Morgaine in Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon a couple of decades ago. Actually, I indiscriminately drop into the psyches of the protagonists in books that I get absorbed reading, be they children, Hobbits, dragons, animals, men, women, even an occasional alien.

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

It would be delightful to begin reading a new series of "airplane reading"--science-fiction, fantasy or mysteries. Thank goodness [so many authors are] prolific and imaginative: I entered Mercedes Lackey's world of Valdemar with the trilogy that began with Arrows for the Queen; 30-plus books later, I'm waiting for her next trilogy. I read all of Agatha Christie's mysteries, and then she died and there were no more. Nevada Barr has taken me to many national parks as well as Alaska, where her mysteries take place, and J.A. Jance has taken me to Bisbee, Ariz. Introductions that stick are great!

Book you would like to have written:

Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift from the Sea.

Book Review

YA Review: Afterworlds

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld (Simon Pulse, $19.99 hardcover, 608p., ages 14-up, 9781481422345, September 23, 2014)

In an extraordinary feat, Scott Westerfeld (Uglies; Leviathan) devises a complete novel within a novel: his novel about 18-year-old Darcy Patel, who's publishing her first young adult novel, as well as the novel--in its entirety--that Darcy is writing, called Afterworlds. Both will grip readers, and his secondary characters are as well-rounded as his protagonists.

He makes the two--which alternate chapter by chapter--easily distinguishable. Darcy's story unfolds in the third person from her point of view. Her heroine, 18-year-old Lizzie Scofield, narrates in the first-person. Also, the moods of the two novels could not be more different. Darcy's story opens with "the most important email [she] ever wrote," three paragraphs long, to the Underbridge Literary Agency. She describes herself, the novel (about "a terrorist attack, a girl who wills herself to die, and the bewitching boy she meets in the afterworld... a smoldering Vedic psychopomp" named Yama), and closes with flattery of the agency. Seventeen days later, she's signed to a two-book deal "for an astonishing amount of money."

In the novel Darcy's writing, readers witness how the rules of her fictional world come into play: how the River Vaitarna works (it divides the real world from what comes after), the importance of names, how a nefarious psychopomp collects ghosts with "sweet" endings, what keeps ghosts "alive" and what destroys them. Although we are reading the finished version of Darcy's novel, along the way (in Darcy's chapters), we learn of others' responses to her early drafts, and how they affected her revision process. Westerfeld makes us voyeurs in the world of YA novelists, showing a book tour with Darcy's love interest (also a debut novelist, whom she met at YA Drinks Night), Imogen, and an ARC signing at BookExpo America.

We witness the fragile trust between Darcy and Imogen, and the effects of Darcy stealing one of her key plot points. Darcy thinks, "Maybe that was the price of loving someone: You lost your grasp of where they ended and you began." That melding together applies not only to Darcy and Imogen, but also to Lizzie and Yama--and even to Darcy and Lizzie. Westerfeld masterfully sets up the parallels between these relationships so that a rippling in any of them affects all of them.

Westerfeld offers an experience of the creative process that allows many entry points for his fans, for writers and for teachers of writing and literature. With his exploration of the invention as extension of the inventor, he posits the idea that the characters one creates have full and thriving lives, and the author has a moral responsibility to be true to them. --Jennifer M. Brown

Shelf Talker: Scott Westerfeld bravely and successfully pulls off two novels in one: a book about a first-time 18-year-old YA novelist and the paranormal romance, in its entirety, that she's writing.

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