Also published on this date: Wednesday, November 5, 2014: Maximum Shelf: The Jaguar's Children

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Dutton Books: The Magnolia Palace by Fiona Davis

Berkley Books: Enter giveaway to meet the new members of your book family!

Thomas Nelson: Opal Lee and What It Means to Be Free: The True Story of the Grandmother of Juneteenth by Alice Faye Duncan, illustrated by Keturah A Bobo

Ballantine Books: The Unsinkable Greta James by Jennifer E Smith

Europa Editions: Trust by Domenico Starnone, translated by Jhumpa Lahiri

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

Quotation of the Day

Best Booksellers 'Understand & Identify' with Customers

Rachel Cass

"In my experience, a store's character is a direct reflection of the wider community that it serves, which in turn influences the kind of people who look to that store for a job.... The best booksellers will be ones who really understand and identify with their customers, who read similar books and book reviews, who consume similar culture, and who are genuinely interested in the same topics that their customers are interested in. The best thing a bookstore can do to build that community, on both sides of the counter, is to empower its staff to embrace their interests and to share them with one another and their customers. In an increasingly digital world, it's a feeling of community and mutual interest that will keep both customers and booksellers coming back from day to day and year to year."

--Rachel Cass, head buyer at Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, Mass., quoted in Liz Gillett's piece for Booksellers New Zealand headlined "Why booksellers do it: the personal side of bookselling"

Broadleaf Books: The Lightmaker's Manifesto: How to Work for Change without Losing Your Joy by Karen Walrond


HarperCollins Shifting Canadian Distribution; David Kent Leaving

HarperCollins is closing its Canadian warehouse and shifting fulfillment and distribution for HarperCollins Canada to R.R. Donnelly in the U.S.; at the same time, David Kent is leaving the company as president and CEO at the end of the year.

According to the Toronto Star, Iris Tupholme, publisher, has been promoted to senior v-p and executive publisher, and Leo MacDonald, v-p of sales and marketing, has been promoted to senior v-p, marketing and sales. The two will oversee HarperCollins's Canadian operations.

HarperCollins president and CEO Brian Murray told the Star: "Nothing is going to change as far as the independence of our Canadian list or in its direction.... What we centralize is back-office functions, that's really been our focus. We are probably more committed to the Canadian market than any other publisher in the world right now. With the recent acquisition of Harlequin and with the continuation of our local trade list, we are extremely committed to publishing in Canada and for Canadians."

david kent
David Kent
iris tupholme
Iris Tupholme

Concerning Kent's departure, he said, "When we looked at the changes in the role of the CEO of HarperCollins Canada, without the warehouse and without the back offices... the role just doesn't fit in the plans going forward."

Howard White, co-owner of Douglas & McIntyre, which is distributed in Canada by HarperCollins, told the Globe & Mail: "This reconfigures the face of Canadian publishing to some degree. This is bad news. I think it represents a devaluation of the importance of the Canadian market."

Likewise Rob Sanders, publisher of Greystone Books, also distributed by HarperCollins, said, "I think it's a great loss for Canada. They were good distributors, they were accurate, [and] the people were nice to deal with."

Tupholme told the Globe & Mail, "Editorial remains as it has been. We have invested heavily in our editors, and we have an amazing group of people here. The Canadian publishing program is one that HarperCollins, both here and everywhere in the world, is very proud of. The Canadian publishing program is very important to them, and there's no question but that it will continue. No question at all."

By summer 2015, all warehousing, pick, pack, and ship services for all HarperCollins Canada titles will be moved to Donnelley's Plainfield, Ind., distribution facility. HarperCollins will handle Canadian customer service, credit, collection, IT, finance and freight services from its office in Moosic, Pa., where a customer support team will be maintained for HarperCollins Canada customers. All returns will be consolidated in Canada and forwarded on to the HarperCollins returns center in LaPorte, Ind. HarperCollins will work with its distribution clients in Canada to facilitate a smooth transition. The change does not apply to Harlequin titles, which will continue to be handled through the Buffalo, N.Y., warehouse.

The move is what the company described as "the next step" in HarperCollins's global supply chain partnership with Donnelly, announced in 2011, under which Donnelley is handling the fulfillment of HarperCollins new releases and providing international POD services.

Larry Nevins, executive v-p, operations, HarperCollins Publishers, commented: "We have taken a long-term, global view of our print distribution. Our supply chain agreements with R.R. Donnelley have allowed us to ensure we can competitively offer the entire HarperCollins catalogue to customers regardless of location. We are confident that R.R. Donnelley will provide the same great experience to our Canadian booksellers that they have today."

GLOW: Gibbs Smith: Ordinary Equality: The Fearless Women and Queer People Who Shaped the U.S. Constitution and the Equal Rights Amendment by Kate Kelly, illus. by Nicole LaRue

Indigo Second Quarter: Revenue Up 5.4%, Net Loss Improves

In the quarter ended September 27, revenue at Indigo Books & Music rose 5.4%, to $189 million (about US$175.8 million) and the net loss was $8.5 million ($7.5 million), an improvement from the $10.1 million ($8.9 million) loss in the same period a year earlier.

At stores open at least a year, Indigo and Chapters superstores posted 9.6% growth, while Coles and Indigospirit small-format stores grew 2.4%. Sales from Indigo's online channel,, grew by 13.4%. The company operated four fewer superstores and two fewer small format stores during the period, compared to the same period a year earlier.

The increase in revenue was driven by continued double digit growth in lifestyle, paper, toys and electronics as well as growth in the core trade books business. Revenues from the two American Girl specialty boutiques continued to exceed expectations.

CEO Heather Reisman commented: "These results demonstrate that our customers are responding to the investments we have made to transform Indigo. While we still have a long way to go--we feel energised and are looking forward to a joyful holiday season."

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

The Rabbit & the Dragonfly to Open in Lancaster, Pa.

The Rabbit & the Dragonfly, a coffee shop and bookstore (selling new and used titles) "that will also host a variety of community events," is expected to open next month in downtown Lancaster, Pa., at the Place Marie Mall, 51 N. Market St., LancasterOnline reported. You can follow the work-in-progress on the shop's Facebook page.

The business is owned by seven partners, including Jason Zimmerman, Dave Seyfried, Dr. David Eisenberg, Laurie Keener, Stephanie Todoroff, Melissa Garland and Wendell Hurst. On the Rabbit & the Dragonfly's Indiegogo campaign page, they describe themselves as "a group of local artists and musicians inspired by 20th century writers who called themselves 'The Inklings.' This group of writers consisted of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and many others."

Queens, N.Y., B&N Fans Launch Petition Drive

It worked last month to reverse a closure decision for a Bronx Barnes & Noble store, so fans of the soon-to-close B&N location in the Fresh Meadows neighborhood of Queens, N.Y., have launched their own online petition drive to save their bookstore, the Daily News reported.

Chances for success are "doubtful," however, since Isaac Massry of the Warton Reality Group, the property's owner, said a T.J. Maxx store is moving into the space, the Daily News wrote.

PRH Closing Penguin French and German Offices

penguin random house logoPenguin Random House U.K. plans to close its Penguin Benelux & France and Penguin Germany offices "as part of a restructure of its international and group companies' sales teams," the Bookseller reported, noting that PRH said the changes are being made to realign the company's "international strategies and to develop a consistent, best practice approach." Two new international teams will be created and based at a single London office beginning next year.

"We operate in an ever-changing and evolving marketplace and some of the biggest changes we have seen in recent years have been within our International and Group territories," said Mike Symons, group sales director at PRH U.K. "Since becoming Penguin Random House we have taken time to consider how we best serve our customers, and the unique opportunities that the merger provides to realign our international strategies and to develop a consistent, best practice approach."

Kindle Unlimited Launches in Spain & Italy

Amazon has launched the Kindle Unlimited e-book subscription service in Spain and Italy, where it is being offered for €9.99 (US$12.47) per month, with access to 700,000 titles, the Bookseller reported. The service is also available in the U.S. and U.K.

Among the English-language titles Kindle Unlimited offers in Italy "are the works of 'grandi autori'--great authors--including Douglas Preston, the U.S. thriller writer who founded the Authors United Amazon protest campaign," the Bookseller noted.


Image of the Day: Harvard Coop's PostSecret Launch

frank warren, postsecret, harvard coopFrank Warren launched his sixth book, The World of PostSecret (Morrow), at the Harvard Coop Monday night, the first in a series of multimedia events focusing on, a collection of highly personal and artfully decorated postcards mailed anonymously from around the world.

Happy 65th Birthday, Lake Forest Book Store!

lake forest bookstoreCongratulations to Lake Forest Book Store, Lake Forest, Ill., which is celebrating its 65th anniversary and "remains a centerpiece of the city's downtown shopping district," the Chicago Tribune reported.

The bookshop has been sold several times and moved once since it was launched in 1949 "by a group of women who saw the need for a community bookstore," the Tribune noted, adding that Eleanor Thorn "just celebrated her first anniversary as the store's newest owner. She says she hopes to someday hand the business over to her children." Thorn purchased the bookshop from longtime owner Sue Boucher last year.

Joanna Rolek, executive director of the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Chamber of Commerce, called the Lake Forest Book Store "one of the jewels of the Lake Forest business community. It's not only survived, but also thrived against all odds in a world where independent booksellers are very few and far between."

R.J. Julia Booksellers Named Best Indie Bookstore

R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, Conn., was honored as Best Independent Bookstore in the Best of 2014 readers' poll conducted by Shoreline Times, which noted that for "all the literati and glitterati that it draws, there's nothing impersonal about R.J. Julia, from its gleaming, wood bookcases and soft lighting--'a modest variation of Scribners' former Fifth Avenue bookstore,' owner Roxanne Coady has said--to the little signs known as 'shelf talkers' offering up book suggestions, to its well-read, friendly staff who recommend books that they've loved or leave you alone to browse."

Personnel Changes at WaterBrook Multnomah, Klutz

Effective in March, Steve Cobb is retiring as president and publisher of WaterBrook Multnomah. He joined the company in 1996 as a founding executive of WaterBrook, when the imprint was launched as an evangelical Christian publishing division of Bantam Doubleday Dell.

Alexander Field will join WaterBrook Multnomah on December 1 in the newly created position of v-p, publisher. He most recently was publisher of David C. Cook, where he has held several positions. Before that, he was publishing director at Regal Books and a senior editor at Gospel Light Publications. He will report to Tina Constable, Crown Publishing Group's senior v-p and publisher, Christian publishing.

As a result restructuring, the position of v-p, editor-in-chief, WaterBrook Multnomah, has been eliminated, and Kenneth Petersen will be leaving at the end of the month. He had been with the company for more than seven years.

Convergent Books will be based in Crown Publishing Group's New York City office under the editorial leadership of David Kopp, now v-p, executive editor, Convergent Books.

Senior editor Gary Jansen will be acquiring books for Convergent and will continue at Image.

Campbell Wharton, associate publisher of Crown Business and Crown Forum, will take on parallel duties for Convergent.

Marketing and publicity for Convergent will be handled out of the New York City office.


Emily Feliberty has joined Klutz, a division of Scholastic Trade, as marketing manager.  Most recently, she was assistant manager, marketing & brand strategy, at Toys R Us.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: James Risen on the Daily Show

Tomorrow on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live: Martin Short, author of I Must Say: My Life As a Humble Comedy Legend (Harper, $26.99, 9780062309525).


Tomorrow on Tavis Smiley: Eric Liu, author of A Chinaman's Chance: One Family's Journey and the Chinese American Dream (PublicAffairs, $25.99, 9781610391948).


Tomorrow night on the Late Show with David Letterman: Jimmy Page, author of Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page (Genesis Publications, $60, 9781905662326).


Tomorrow night on the Daily Show: James Risen, author of Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28, 9780544341418).


Tomorrow night on the Colbert Report: Steven Johnson, author of How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World (Riverhead, $30, 9781594632969).

TV: PBS Masterpiece Sets Wolf Hall Premiere Date

Wolf Hall, the "highly anticipated miniseries" based on Hilary Mantel's Booker Prize-winning novel, will premiere on PBS Masterpiece April 5, 2015, reported. The six-part series, which stars Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell and Damian Lewis as King Henry VIII, is a Company Pictures and Playground co-production for BBC Two and Masterpiece.

Books & Authors

Awards: Samuel Johnson Prize for Nonfiction

Helen Macdonald won the £20,000 (US$32,022) Samuel Johnson Prize for Nonfiction for her book H is For Hawk, which "tells the story of how the death of Helen's father triggered her to follow a childhood dream and become a falconer, obsessed with the idea of training her own goshawk. The book is an unflinchingly honest account of her struggle with grief during the difficult process of the hawk's taming and her own untaming. At the same time, it's a kaleidoscopic biography of the brilliant and troubled novelist T.H. White, author of The Goshawk, in which he describes his own struggle to train a hawk," the prize organizers said.

Chair of judges Claire Tomalin noted that Macdonald "has written a book unlike any other, about an obsession with a wild creature, brought to life in prose sometimes technical and always striking, and set in English landscapes observed with a visionary eye. Writing about wild life and the environment has never been better or better informed than this."

Book Brahmin: Juliet Marillier

Juliet Marillier with Harry

Juliet Marillier was born and brought up in Dunedin, New Zealand, and now lives in Western Australia. Her historical fantasy novels for adults and young adults have been translated into many languages and have won a number of awards. Among her 17 published novels are the Sevenwaters series and, more recently, the Shadowfell series. Her lifelong love of folklore, fairy tales and mythology is a major influence on her writing. Dreamer's Pool (Roc, November 4, 2014), the first novel in the Blackthorn & Grim series, adds a mystery element to her usual blend of history, folklore, romance and adventure. When not busy writing, Marillier tends to a small pack of waifs and strays.

On your nightstand now:

My e-reader, loaded with reading matter for my upcoming long-haul trip between Australia and Europe. Titles include Almost Invincible: A Biographical Novel of Mary Shelley by Suzanne Burdon, The Visitors by Sally Beauman, Nest by Inga Simpson and Diana Gabaldon's Written in My Own Heart's Blood.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild. I loved novels about music, dance and theatre, especially when they featured protagonists of around my own age. The adventures of adopted sisters Pauline, Petrova and Posy continued to enthrall me even on ninth or tenth reading. I wanted to go to Madame Fidolia's Children's Academy of Dancing and Stage Training--why wasn't there a school like that where I lived?

Your top five authors:

Jane Austen, Dorothy L. Sayers, Daphne du Maurier, Joe Abercrombie, Iain Banks. To cut it down to five, I have to leave out a lot of beloved writers.

Book you've faked reading:

Probably a maths textbook.

Book you're an evangelist for:

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. I can't tell you how much I love this novel of wartime Guernsey, which is all about the power of books and reading to bring people together and help them through difficult times. It's heartwarming, tragic, funny, romantic and altogether a great epistolary novel.

Book you've bought for the cover:

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. A gorgeous cover of white trees embossed on wintry blue. Inside is a beautifully crafted novel set in backwoods Alaska. It's loosely based on the Russian fairy tale Snegurochka.

Book that changed your life:

Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés--a remarkable study of women's roles in traditional storytelling. I read it at a pivotal point in my life and it affected me profoundly, in a good way. The author is a Jungian therapist and traditional storyteller. I dip into this book frequently.

Which character you most relate to:

Jo March in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women.

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

Among Others by Jo Walton, a gorgeous fantasy novel, which won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards. It's a coming-of-age story and, like the Guernsey novel mentioned above, it celebrates the power of books and reading. A gorgeous, highly original novel well deserving of its success.

Book Review

Children's Review: Winter Bees

Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold by Joyce Sidman, illus. by Rick Allen (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99 hardcover, 32p., ages 6-9, 9780547906508, November 4, 2014)

The team behind the Newbery Honor book Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night reunites to reveal the often hidden lives of creatures that thrive in the far north and icy climes.  

In a dozen poems, Joyce Sidman describes the cycle of the season, from the birds who migrate at the first sign of winter ("Dream of the Tundra Swan") to the skunk cabbage that serves as a harbinger of spring, "the first flower in the wood." A sidebar filled with facts appears next to each poem, and Rick Allen places a fox in nearly every illustration. His process involved inking and printing from linoleum blocks, then scanning the elements digitally and layering them to create each composition.

A symphony of rhyming couplets, "Snake's Lullaby" begins: "Brother, sister, flick your tongue/ and taste the flakes of autumn sun./ Use these last few hours of gold/ to travel, travel toward the cold." Allen pictures a few final garter snakes moving from a bed of golden fallen leaves to a mass of writhing mates (as many as 20,000, according to the factual sidebar) to keep warm for the winter. With a turn of the page, readers travel from earth to sky. One of the most exquisite spreads, "Snowflake Wakes," seems to be viewed from the "dizzy cloud" that gave birth to each "pinwheel gathering glitter." Allen layers these unique crystal patterns atop green pines that reach skyward, their needled branches forming a pleasing contrast to the fox stretching out in the snow.

Sidman introduces humor for "Big Brown Moose" ("I'm a rascally moose,/ I'm a moose with a tough, shaggy hide"), who stays put for the winter, and a nearly sacred tone for the title poem, "Winter Bees": "We are an ancient tribe,/ a hardy scrum./ Born with eyelash legs/ and tinsel wings,/ we are nothing on our own./ Together, we are One." The poet employs an array of poetic forms, such as a call-and-response in "Brother Raven, Sister Wolf" to demonstrate their complex relationship, and a pantoum to describe the beavers' lives "in the fat white wigwam/ made of ripped chips and thrashing twigs." Children will thrill to discover wingless springtails, or "snow fleas," that coat the melting snow in their black swarms (up to 6,000 per square foot, says the sidebar), as well as to notice the same branch at the opening and closing of the book, ushering winter in at the beginning and out at the end. This author-artist duo makes winter wonder-filled. --Jennifer M. Brown, children's editor, Shelf Awareness

Shelf Talker: These dozen poems from the team behind the Newbery Honor–winning Dark Emperor & Other Poems reveal the hidden wonders of a snow-filled season.

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