Shelf Awareness for Thursday, April 16, 2015

Blackstone Publishing: An Honorable Assassin (Nick Mason Novels #3) by Steve Hamilton

Clarion Books: The Man Who Didn't Like Animals by Deborah Underwood, Illlustrated by LeUyen Pham

Holiday House: Bye Forever, I Guess by Jodi Meadows and Team Canteen 1: Rocky Road by Amalie Jahn

Wednesday Books: Dust by Alison Stine

Running Press Kids: The Junior Witch's Handbook, The Junior Astrologer's Handbook, and The Junior Tarot Reader's Handbook by Nikki Van De Car

Scholastic Press: Ruin Road by Lamar Giles


For Sale: Looking Glass Books in La Grande, Ore.

Looking Glass Books, La Grande, Ore., has been put up for sale by co-owners Greg and Jessica Bogard. "Calling all bibiliophiles and entrepreneurs, now is your chance," a sign posted on the store's Facebook page announced this week, adding: "A chance of a lifetime. Do you dream of owning and operating your own successful bookstore?" The Bogards can be reached at 541-963-8057 or

In the comments section of an anticipatory Facebook post April 3, the owners explained their motivation: "As many of you know we own a small farm as well as the bookstore. Both are growing and doing so well that we have found ourselves in a position where we need to choose which direction to go...."

The bookstore's cat, however, would like to stay put: "Amber has been living at the Bookstore for 4 years now. This is her Home. If you are interested in purchasing the Bookstore please consider keeping Amber. She is amazing with children and people love visiting with her."

Help a Bookseller, Change a Life: Give today to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation!

Seattle's East West Bookshop Relocating

After nearly 30 years "as an anchor business in the Roosevelt neighborhood" of Seattle, East West Bookshop--which specializes in mind, body, spirit books and products--is relocating across the street, KOMO News reported. Currently located at N.E. 65th and Roosevelt, the bookstore will soon occupy a new space at 6407 12th Avenue NE in Roosevelt Square, just above Whole Foods Market. Grand-reopening festivities are scheduled for May 1.

"Our move is just reflective of all the exciting changes happening in the Roosevelt community, including new residential construction, the transit tunnel and overall retail growth," said events coordinator Steve Bonnell. "As one of the community's most popular businesses, we too are making important changes that reflect this new vibrancy. In our new location, East West Bookshop will continue to bring spiritual seekers from throughout the city, books, gifts, workshops, programs and speaker events to support their journey of mind, body and spirit."

Bookstore Sales: February Down 2.2%

February bookstore sales fell 2.2%, to $716 million, compared to February 2014, according to preliminary estimates from the Census Bureau. For the year to date, bookstore sales have fallen 1.3%, to $2.235 billion. Total retail sales in February rose 1.5%, to $390.7 billion. For the year to date, total retail sales have risen 2.4%, to $791.9 billion.

Note: under Census Bureau definitions, the bookstore category consists of "establishments primarily engaged in retailing a general line of new books. These establishments may also sell stationery and related items, second-hand books, and magazines."

Mark Allin Is New Wiley CEO

Mark Allin

John Wiley & Sons has appointed Mark Allin as president and CEO. He succeeds Stephen M. Smith, who has held the position since 2011, and will retire effective June 1 due to previously disclosed medical reasons. Allin joined the company in 2000, and most recently served as COO.

"Steve is retiring from Wiley with a significant legacy," said Peter Wiley, chairman. "We are grateful for his many accomplishments over the years and wish him and his family the very best in retirement."

Wiley observed that Allin "has been a leader in redefining the nature of our business. He was the architect of the strategy to refocus Wiley on professional learning solutions through acquisition and organic development, and away from underperforming consumer publishing.... He has inspired colleagues through his energy and vision, and we look forward to great things under his leadership."

Noting that it had been "an honor and a privilege to serve as Wiley's 11th CEO," Smith said he and Allin "have worked closely together for many years, collaborating on everything from business development and customer relations to talent development and strategy. He is a tremendous asset to Wiley."

Indie Booksellers Unite to Support S.C. Book Festival

Three independent bookstores are partnering to help promote the South Carolina Book Festival, as well as expand its programs and roster of authors. The festival will be held May 15-17 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center in Columbia.

Joining forces at the Authors Circle Sponsor level are Fiction Addiction in Greenville, Books on Broad in Camden and Hub City Bookshop in Spartanburg. The three indies hope that by combining their contacts and expertise, they can help increase attendance at the book festival to more than 7,000 and attract the highest caliber authors.

Fiction Addiction owner Jill Hendrix hosts many author events and plans to draw on her long list of author contacts for the S.C. Book Festival. Books on Broad owner and state house representative Laurie Funderburk will focus on the state's literary life with husband/co-owner Bill Funderburk. Hub City Bookshop brings expertise as a publisher and bookstore, a nonprofit and local literary center.

Sunny NCIBA Spring Gathering

At the opening of the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association Spring Gathering last weekend, American Booksellers Association CEO Oren Teicher took a quick poll and concluded that--like their colleagues around the country--80% percent of attendees reported their business was up.

"We had a little weather back east," Teicher said, noting that some stores in the Boston area lost 10 business days, which is not easy to recover. "We'll trade customers for water," quipped Brad Jones from Book Smart in Morgan Hill, Calif. But drought aside, Northern California Independent booksellers are bullish about the book business and are especially gratified to see Independent Bookstore Day go national.

Christie Olson Day from the Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino with Jonathan Evison, author of This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! (Algonquin, Sept.) and Craig Popelars from Algonquin.

Among the topics discussed in the open forum were the ABA's Kobo partnership; Edelweiss, which offers an underused feature for booksellers to share what they are reading with each other; and the potential of as an alternative to Goodreads.

Admitting that the Kobo partnership is "not perfect," Teicher explained that there are few alternatives and the ABA does continue to speak with publishers directly about increasing e-book sales through independents.

"The good news is that the massive growth of e-book market share has leveled off," Teicher said. And while the sales numbers are not staggering for indies selling e-books, he noted that a small number of stores are selling digital content every week, mostly through the Kobo app.

In the sessions about the business of doing more business, ABA representatives shared some creative ideas on growing new markets--with an emphasis on increasing business with existing customers by offering special sales days and loyalty programs, and reaching out to younger and more diverse consumers. Speaking of younger book buyers, there have been reports lately about millennials and their preference for print over digital books, as well as the value they place on fair business practices--which bode well for indies. And, as an ABA graphic showed, the population born between 1980 and 2000 is going to be the largest demographic segment through 2040.

Millennials might be replacing the boomers in numbers, but the latter generation wins out when it comes to music to play in store. "Sixties and '70s music works," observed Copperfield's Sheryl Cotleur. "If we play current stuff, people with children leave."

(Standing) Pete Mulvihill from Green Apple Books and Janis Cooke Newman, author of A Master Plan for Rescue (Riverhead, July) with (seated, l.-r.) Ingrid Nystrom, Books Inc.; George Kiskaddon, Builders Booksource; and Calvin Crosby, Book Passage.

The NCIBA event was the first time many booksellers heard the term "webrooming"--the consumer practice of looking up items online that they then buy in bricks-and-mortar stores. According to Teicher, 68% of consumers say they webroom and only 49% engaged in showrooming, its opposite, where customers browse in store then buy online. Still, Teicher pointed out, for those who do buy in a store, 40% said the experience could be improved.

At a session on building specialty categories, Calvin Crosby from Book Passage declared, "Cooking is beautiful, so the cookbook section should be the most beautiful in the store, with books face-out like art books." When it comes to poetry, Camden Avery from the Booksmith said it was time the category was no longer treated like the "holy virgin of the bookstore" and became an actively curated section. A well-maintained poetry section, even a small one, he said, can be a draw for an independent bookstore. Acting as panel moderator, Ingrid Nystrom from Books Inc. observed that poetry makes great gifts and lends itself to handselling. Avery recommends bookstores find a poetry expert on staff, pay attention to awards, and give the books about nine months to sell before returning them.

On the topic of travel sections, Lonely Planet's Karen Finlay said that, contrary to the company's post-recession fears, print travel books sales remain up. "People might not be going out as much, but they are saving for travel, and the first stop on their journey is your bookstore," she said.

Booksellers and event producer Samantha Schoech (in red pants) celebrating the second California Bookstore Day.

Crosby noted that Lonely Planet's Destination of the Month program works--and often the hot places to travel one month lead to related cookbook sales. Nystrom said the travel section needs to be accessible to more staffpeople so that they can become knowledgeable about the differences between the guides and phrasebooks available, as well as be creative about stocking novels and journals for crossover sales. When it comes to special sections, she said, "just make it fun."

NCIBA sandwiched fun receptions into the program: at midday, booksellers got to meet 20 authors who signed books and galleys; and at the end of the day, when the members raised a glass to the upcoming second California Independent Bookstore Day, coinciding with the inaugural national event on May 2. --Bridget Kinsella


Image of the Day: All Hail the Comma Queen

A publication party for Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris was held last week at longtime New Yorker editor Alice Truax's apartment in Manhattan. Pictured (l.-r.) are Truax; Norris, wearing a "comma queen" crown made for her by friends; and her editor at Norton, Matt Weiland.

National Library Week Music Video: '#checkitout'

For National Library Week, staff from the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library recorded the music video "#checkitout," a clever parody of Taylor Swift's song "Shake It Off." The librarians believe "there's no better soundtrack to some copious library love than Taylor Swift, pop star, reader and outspoken library and literacy supporter. We love that Taylor has lent her talent to the library cause, and this video is, in part, an homage to her. But it's also a pop homage to library supporters and libraries everywhere."

The production stars three library staff members dancing, singing and acting, and features the vocal talent of local actor and singer, Ashley Young. Nearly a hundred library staff members and Topeka community members were involved in the production. They also helpfully offered a guide to all the "Taylor Swift references in this video."

Hit the Reading Road with '12 Amazing Bookmobiles'

Yesterday was National Bookmobile Day, and to celebrate Bustle highlighted "12 amazing bookmobiles that show the power of books and reading," noting that "bookmobiles have gained popularity in recent years, but have been around since the early 1900s, and maybe even before that. Today, there are not only mobile libraries but boats, bikes, even something known as the Biblio Burro, all dedicated to bringing books to children. These programs do amazing work for families who might not have the financial resources necessary to purchase books."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Tom Burgis on Tavis Smiley

Tomorrow on the View:

Sarah Colonna, author of Has Anyone Seen My Pants? (Gallery, $16, 9781476771922)

Steven Lamm, author of Fighting Fat: Break the Dieting Cycle and Get Healthy for Life! (Spry Publishing, $16.95, 9781938170560).


Tomorrow on Tavis Smiley: Tom Burgis, author of The Looting Machine: Warlords, Oligarchs, Corporations, Smugglers, and the Theft of Africa's Wealth (PublicAffairs, $27.99, 9781610394390).

TV: The Alienist; Emerald City

Cary Fukunaga "is reteaming with True Detective producer Anonymous Content to direct and executive produce The Alienist," an event series based on Caleb Carr's bestselling novel, reported. Eric Roth (Forrest Gump) is executive producing, along with Hossein Amini (The Two Faces of January), who wrote the pilot.

"The Alienist is a fascinating and distinctive, fast-paced psychological thriller that is wonderfully evocative of the unrivaled Gilded Age of New York City," said Paramount TV president Amy Powell. "Cary Fukunaga's unique vision and ability to render compelling, distinctive and superbly atmospheric direction is the perfect voice for this television series. We are thrilled to have not only Cary's expert direction, but also the creativity, imagination and storytelling abilities of the supremely talented Eric Roth and Hossein Amini."


Eight months after NBC canceled its 10-episode Wizard of Oz drama Emerald City, the project has "come back to life," reported, noting that the network has given a 10-episode series order to show, "which has undergone a redevelopment with a new writer/executive producer, David Schulner."

This Weekend on Book TV: Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this weekend from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, April 18
10:30 a.m. A conversation between authors and professors Cornel West and Robert P. George. (Re-airs Saturday at 8 p.m.)

1:30 p.m. Live coverage of the 2015 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on the University of Southern California campus. (Re-airs Sunday at 12 a.m.)

10 p.m. Elaine Lowry Brye, author of Be Safe, Love Mom: A Military Mom's Stories of Courage, Comfort, and Surviving Life on the Home Front (PublicAffairs, $25.99, 9781610395212). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m.)

Sunday, April 19
2 p.m. Continuing live coverage of the 2015 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. (Re-airs Monday at 1 a.m.)

10 p.m. Jonathan Waldman, author of Rust: The Longest War (Simon & Schuster, $26.95, 9781451691597).

Books & Authors

Awards: International IMPAC Dublin Literary Shortlist

Finalists for this year's €100,000 (about $105,850) International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, presented annually for a novel written in English or translated into English, have been announced. The winner will be named June 17. The shortlisted IMPAC titles are:

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria)
Horses of God by Mahi Binebine (Morocco), translated from French by Lulu Norman
Harvest by Jim Crace (Britain)
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan (Australia)
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (Australia)
K by Bernardo Kucinski (Brazil), translated from Portuguese by Sue Branford
Brief Loves that Live Forever by Andreï Makine (France, Russian-born), translated from French by Geoffrey Strachan
TransAtlantic by Colum McCann (Ireland)
Someone by Alice McDermott (U.S.)
Sparta by Roxana Robinson (U.S.)

IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:

Hausfrau: A Novel by Jill Alexander Essbaum (Random House, $26, 9780812997538). "In this powerful, affecting novel, Essbaum has written an ode to desire and the destructive choices we make. There is a grace in Essbaum's writing that leads the reader to love Anna, to befriend her, and to be endlessly protective of her. Whatever it is that a poet does with words--the arranging, the building of something that is more than the sum of its parts--Essbaum, an accomplished poet, does with the emotions and the honesty in this work. It is brave, vulnerable, and filled with love, passion, and the kind of lust that one never speaks about. This is something special." --Kenny Coble, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, Wash.

After Birth: A Novel by Elisa Albert (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $23, 9780544273733). "Ari is the profane, generous, poetic, desperate, loving, and terrified best friend we all hope for. Sleep-deprived and thrumming with the electricity of new motherhood, Ari stumbles upon pockets of community support in places both expected and unexpected that cut through her small-town isolation and the clutch of postpartum depression. Albert wields humor like a blade in relaying Ari's thoughts, and she is a master of conveying the gorgeous struggle of birth and all that comes after." --Katie Presley, BookPeople, Austin, Tex.

The Last Days of Video: A Novel by Jeremy Hawkins (Soft Skull Press, $15.95, 9781619024854). "For film geeks and lovers of all things going out of style, reading this book feels like sharing an inside joke with the author. Each quirky character fights in their own way to save the independent store they love --Star Video--from both the Blockbuster moving into the neighborhood and a town eager for change. This book hilariously takes on today's culture, both embracing and mocking its often conflicting ideals of nostalgia and progress." --Rebekah Arwood, The Bookshelf, Thomasville, Ga.

For Teen Readers
The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma (Algonquin, $17.95, 9781616203726). "The Walls Around Us shares the stories of two very different girls--Amber, imprisoned for a terrible crime for so long that she can't remember what the world outside is like, and Violet, a Julliard-bound dancer with a dark and terrible secret that threatens her at every turn. A third girl, Orianna, connects Amber and Violet in ways that none of them understand and that may be the key to setting everyone free. This deep, tense mystery spurs the reader on at every turn, leading down long, winding tunnels of regret and self-loathing, threatening to expose the characters' most private selves, and keeping the pages turning late into the night. This is a gripping tale of what ambition can make friends do for--and to--each other." --Emily Hall, Main Street Books, St. Charles, Mo.

For Ages 8 to 12
Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly (Greenwillow Books, $16.99, 9780062238610). "Blackbird Fly is a wonderful story about the struggles of being different, trying to fit in, and still being true to yourself. Apple, who moved to Louisiana from the Philippines with her mother, is trying to fit in at school where she is teased about her heritage. She is able to find comfort in music and becomes a guitar prodigy, using her musical abilities to find new friendships, and, ultimately, herself and acceptance." --Amy Lacy, Petunia's Place, Fresno, Calif.

Children’s Illustrated
Orion and the Dark by Emma Yarlett (Templar, $16.99, 9780763675950). "Orion is afraid of a lot of things, but most of all he is afraid of the dark. He tries everything he can to avoid it. But one night when he yells at the dark to go away, the Dark comes alive and drops into his room. That night, the Dark teaches Orion that darkness is not always scary and can be fun! With detailed illustrations that pop off every page, this story is a wonderful exploration of how sometimes the things we fear the most are just things we don't understand." --Phoebe Dyer, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wisc.

Book Review

Review: Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese American Internment in World War II

Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese-American Internment in World War II by Richard Reeves (Holt, $32 hardcover, 9780805094084, April 21, 2015)

During World War II, the central government forced tens of thousands of people to leave their homes and relocate to concentration camps surrounded by barbed wire and machine gun towers. Whipped into a frenzy by propaganda and an irresponsible news media, the rest of the country supported the relocation, and anyone brave enough to speak against it did so at the risk of threats and ostracism. While it may sound like Nazi Germany, Richard Reeves's nonfiction narrative details a dark chapter from United States history: the internment of more than 100,000 Japanese Americans in relocation camps.

"This is an American story of enduring themes: racism and greed, injustice and denial--and then soul-searching, apology, and the most American of coping mechanisms, moving on," he writes. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor came at a time when many Americans already mistrusted Asian immigrants and denied them naturalization, although any children they had here automatically gained citizenship as a birthright. Government and military officials, from state governors to President Roosevelt himself, considered anyone of Japanese descent naturally devious, and white businessmen in California, where the Japanese population was most concentrated, felt threatened by the hardworking immigrants. Because the Japanese American population lived mainly in coastal California and Hawaii, U.S. naval officials used them as scapegoats, claiming they were aiding the Japanese navy by transmitting secret signals. With public opinion in favor of relocation, Japanese Americans went quietly, even though the majority of them were American-born citizens. Even Japanese children adopted by white couples could be removed from their homes and sent to so-called relocation camps.

Reeves (The Kennedy Years: From the Pages of the New York Times) examines this period from both the national and personal level, shedding light on the climate and personalities that allowed such a major infringement of rights to occur on American soil. Absorbing and frequently heartrending, Reeves's narrative shifts back and forth from players in the global theater to first-person accounts of families who were forced to trade their homes for makeshift barracks at horse tracks, allowed to bring only two suitcases of belongings. Though some internees espoused anti-American sentiments, many of the young men enlisted in the armed forces despite the nation's poor treatment of their families and friends. Incredible acts, courageous and villainous, pepper this history. Through it all, readers will wonder if the U.S. could stumble into such a mistake again, and if some of today's minorities would fare any better. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Shelf Talker: Richard Reeves reports on a too-often overlooked chapter in American history: the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

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