Also published on this date: Wednesday, April 29, 2015: Dedicated Issue: Swoon Reads

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, April 29, 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


Indie Bookstore Day: Sheep Painting, Mad Tea Party

On Saturday, May 2, more than 400 independent bookstores across the U.S. will participate in the inaugural Independent Bookstore Day (inspired by last year's California Bookstore Day), while Canadian booksellers hold their first Authors for Indies Day. In addition to hosting parties, author appearances and events, booksellers will distribute exclusive merchandise (a video from Harvard Bookshop, Cambridge, Mass., offers a sneak peek) created for the occasion. All week, we are highlighting indie booksellers' creative plans for, and thoughts about, celebrating IBD 2015:

Titcomb's Bookshop, East Sandwich, Mass.: "We are proud to be part of a vibrant group of independent  bookstores here on Cape Cod and throughout the country," said Vicky Titcomb. "We are looking forward to a very fun day. It's also a great opportunity to take time to thank the people who have been coming to our bookshop over the years." (via

Unabridged Bookstore, Chicago, Ill.: "We're so excited to be joining up with 11 other Chicago indie bookstores for Independent Bookstore Day.... This is an especially special year for us as 2015 marks the stores 35th birthday!" Among Unabridged's events: "We'll be raffling off seven bundles of books, including a collection of the staff's favorite books, a children's bundle, a young adult bundle, a small press bundle and a full collection of Olive Editions!"    

Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, N.C.: "Jeremy Hawkins, debut author of The Last Days of Video, leads a prompt-writing workshop and craft talk for writers of all experience levels. Bring your notebook and we'll take it from there."

Broadway Books, Portland, Ore.: "On this day only, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., we will offer you a special sale to show our deep appreciation for your decades of support: 25% off all hardcover fiction in stock. Holy novel, Batman!"

Mystery Lovers Bookshop, Oakmont, Pa.: A suggestion box ("While we celebrate OUR status as an Independent Bookstore, we want to know what we can do to be YOUR bookstore.") and a plot twist: "We're having a hard time keeping it a mystery, but want to let you know... We'll have a big announcement to make on May 2 as well."

Wild Rumpus, Minneapolis, Minn.: "Starting at 11 a.m., learn how to paint a sheep with author and shepherdess Joan Jarvis Ellison. Next, have your face painted to look like a sheep by Peace Paint with Ellie, Andrea, and Molly. Finally, have your picture taken as a sheep with a sheep! It's a sheep painting party, complete with two real, live lambs!"

Authors for Indies Day: Book City's Danforth Ave. store in Toronto is hosting Guy Gavriel Kay, who said: "The relationship between authors and independent bookstores is one that I love. We sustain each other, of course, but we often reward each other, too.... 'I have always depended on the kindness of booksellers,' as Tennessee Williams didn't quite say. But what, really, can be better for an author than knowing there are people out there grabbing innocent browsers and declaring, 'You must read this book!' "

Booksmith, San Francisco, Calif.: "To celebrate the second annual CALIFORNIA INDIE BOOKSTORE DAY, we're transforming the whole store into a Mad Tea Party. Incredible art by Sean Chiki, activities, an impossible number of guests... a symphony orchestra, elephant rides, 863,652 different tea cups, and LEWIS CARROLL HIMSELF. Oh, and hats. And Tea Leaf Reading for tips by Jamie Starzyk, of Queen of Cups Tarot & Tea."

Housing Works Bookstore Café: "New York City has always and will always be a great home for independent bookstores. Local bookstores ignite communities and connect readers to authors, and this day will be a celebration and a chance for the whole city to connect," said Molly Quinn, director of public programming. "Even in its first official year, Bookstore Day has already sparked an outpouring of involvement and enthusiasm. We're excited to be a part of the national effort, and thrilled to show off NYC's best gems on this day." (via the Queens Gazette)

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

New Indie Bookstore Coming to Berea, Ohio

On June 1, the Bookstore & Handmade Market Place is hosting its grand opening at 50 Front St. in Berea, Ohio. According to its website, the store's "mission is to inspire people to read! What we gain from reading a book is invaluable. We are going to make reading fun, inspirational and accessible to everyone. In addition, we are supporting local gifted artisans through the Handmade Marketplace. While you are enjoying a good book you can browse and shop over 100 local original handmade products!"

Griffin Bookshop and Coffee Bar in Va. to Close

The Griffin Bookshop and Coffee Bar, Fredericksburg, Va., is closing by the end of June, according to the Free Lance-Star.

Eileen Boyd, who founded the new and used bookstore and gift shop with family in 2006 but now owns it on her own, plans to move to Florida. She said she hasn't tried to sell the business, but she would consider offers.

She told the newspaper that since opening the store, she's seen, as the paper wrote, "the pendulum swing away from interest in physical books and back again." She commented: "I have absolutely no doubt that books will continue. The written word has prevailed."

Maine Coast Book Shop & Cafe for Sale

The Maine Coast Book Shop & Café, Damariscotta, Maine, is for sale.

Founded in 1964, the store has more than 6,000 square feet of space and is owned by Susan Porter, who wants to retire after 40 years in the business. The store serves both year-round and seasonal residents as well as a growing number of tourists and is located on the first floor of Lincoln Hall on Main Street. Above the store and café is the Lincoln Theater. The staff is experienced, and inventory is extensive and tailored to the customers base.

Susan Porter commented: "Over the years, this community has been amazingly and gratifyingly supportive of the bookshop. Damariscotta is truly a magic town, warm, friendly, and where our fellow businesses up and down Main Street have become almost like family. Especially with the addition of our café 15 years ago, we have become the favorite 'third place' in town--after home and work, where people go to socialize, relax, buy a paper or a book and have coffee. You should see this place during a big storm--we are their comfort and refuge. It's wonderful! And fun."

Porter added that she wants to find someone who is "passionate about books and bookselling, and who has the talent and enthusiasm to keep this place going for many years to come. I feel it is our duty, as the bookshop is so important to the character of our wonderful town. I hear that every day."

For inquiries, please contact Paul Siegenthaler at Ridge Hill Partners, Inc.: or 781-453-9984.

Caitlyn Dlouhy Launches Own Imprint at Atheneum

Caitlyn Dlouhy

Children's book editor Caitlyn Dlouhy is launching an eponymous imprint, Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, as part of Atheneum Books for Young Readers at Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing. The imprint will publish about 20 titles a year, beginning in spring 2016. The projects will range in age from picture books to young adult.

Dlouhy, whose new title is v-p, editorial director, Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, joined Atheneum in 1998 and has worked on books by, among others, Laurie Halse Anderson, Kathi Appelt, Ashley Bryan, Andrew Clements, Doreen Cronin, Frances O'Roark Dowell, Sharon Draper, Richard Jackson, William Joyce, Cynthia Kadohata, Uma Krishnaswami, Betsy Lewin, Alison McGhee, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Jason Reynolds, Peter Reynolds, Janne Teller, Tor Seidler and David Small.

"The creation of this new imprint within Atheneum Books for Young Readers is a celebration of quality books for kids, and also a celebration of one of the publishing industry's finest editors," commented Justin Chanda, v-p and publisher of Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

Extending the 'Third Place' Beyond Your Doors

Another strong theme at the ABC Children's Institute, held April 19-21, in Pasadena, Calif., was how to reach beyond the customers who walk through your bookstore doors--taking what's "inside the box" and extending that out into the community.

Boulder Book Store's Liesl Freudenstein moderates a Book Festivals discussion with Cathy Berner, Diane Capriola and Meghan Goel.

"Starting a Children's or Teen Book Festival" is a great way to raise the profile of your store in your community, suggested panelists Cathy Berner from Houston's Blue Willow Bookshop; Diane Capriola from Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, Ga.; and Meghan Goel from BookPeople in Austin, Tex. Liesl Freudenstein from Colorado's Boulder Book Store moderated. What booksellers have to offer is their relationship with authors and publishers, panelists agreed.

"Book festivals are a great way to bring in readers from a larger area," noted BookPeople's Goel, who serves as program director for the Texas Teen Book Festival, "and to host authors you might not otherwise meet." The Decatur Book Festival grew steadily from a festival that involved music, craft beer and other activities, according to Capriola, and attendance has increased to 90,000 last year--making it one of the biggest such festivals going. Blue Willow's Berner runs three festivals: Teen BookCon, now in its sixth year, with 80% teen attendance; Tweens Read, held each fall; and the picture-book-themed Bookworm Festival.

Each panelist offered tips to energize the audience. Goel launches the Texas Teen Festival with a game show with authors, kicking off a full day of activities. Capriola brings authors to local schools on Friday, followed by a "Kidnote" address at 5 p.m., then the festival runs Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday from 12-6 p.m. Berner's Tween and Teen festivals run in the afternoons, with opening and closing keynotes and a signing at the end of the day. Berner's Bookworm Festival, however, runs from 9-11 a.m., ending before the predominantly 3- to 7-year-old audience gets hungry and cranky. She arranged for the store to get books signed in advance, and families with children with stamina could choose to stay and have them personalized.

Goel stressed "starting small" and partnering with existing locations. In Austin, she works with St. Edward's University and the Convention Center. Capriola works with the local recreation center and the courthouse, and raises some tents outside. "Make sure you know where the doors on the tents are," Capriola emphasized. She had traffic problems when a tent didn't have a door where she'd expected one. Berner partners with Title One schools for her festivals, with the goal of connecting kids to authors "to foster a love of reading," and with ready-made locations for the events. "The schools are thrilled to get this publicity for literacy events," Berner said.

All three stressed that volunteers are essential to a successful festival. Librarians and Teen Press volunteers can staff the "Green Room"--a place for authors to relax and get snacks and water--and escort authors to their events and signings. Goel suggested that no matter where the events are located, make sure you host a welcome at your store, so the authors get to know it, and patrons make the connection between your store and the festival.

Capriola starts right after the holidays lining up authors for the fall Decatur Festival. All three panelists recommended a mix of "old hands and debut authors," as Berner put it. Local authors are also a plus. Goel suggested renting a storage pod for a couple of months leading up to the festival, to load up books needed at the store, and transport them onsite. Berner holds five meetings per year to plan the festivals; she also suggests doing a walk-through to ensure good traffic flow. Capriola recommends labeling your boxes by date and time of presentation, so the ones needed first are most accessible.

All of them emphasized that booksellers have clear requirements. Berner tells patrons they must buy at least one book from Blue Willow in order to stand in the autographing line. Goel asks that they buy one book for every three they bring from home to be signed. Goel said to stress that "buying at the festival supports the growth of the festival." Panelists also warned, "Do not sell out of your frontlist books!" Any unsold books can be sold in your book fairs. --Jennifer M. Brown

Obituary Note: Raymond Carr

Sir Raymond Carr, "one of Britain's greatest historians" who "was far better known in Spain than in his native land," died April 19, the Guardian reported. He was 96. He was best known for his 1966 book, Spain 1808-1939, which "was based on enormous reading, a deeply sensitive knowledge of modern Spanish literature, particularly the novels of Benito Pérez-Galdós," the Guardian noted. 


Image of the Day: Happy Birthday, Ann Combs!

The folks at Eagle Harbor Book Company celebrated a very special birthday when bookseller Ann Combs (center front) turned 80 this week. Ann, whose CV includes author, newspaper columnist, grammarian and keeper of bawdy jokes, has worked at Eagle Harbor for 17 years. She not only knows a good story when she sees one (she is one of the store's best handsellers), but tells a good story, too, given the interesting trajectory of her life. The young daughter of an Episcopalian missionary during World War II, she was part of a group of civilians held captive by the Japanese in the Philippines for several years.  She attended Smith College, taking the train from Seattle to Massachusetts each year. And Ann rode a horse as Lady Godiva in the Scotch Broom Parade on Bainbridge Island as a young woman. In addition to a children's book, How Old Is Old?, Ann wrote three humorous memoirs about her life as a military wife and the mother of six boisterous offspring. Her most popular, Helter Shelter, was reissued in 2012 as Once Upon a Two by Four, and remains a brisk seller at Eagle Harbor. Happy Birthday, Ann!

New Store Section: Boeing 727 Nose Cone

Robert's Bookshop, a used bookstore in Lincoln City, Ore., has bought the nose cone of a Boeing 727 at auction and is attaching it to the store, the News Guard reported. The nose cone was delivered yesterday.

Owner Bob Portwood told the paper, "I watch the state surplus auctions. I was looking and one day they had something listed under airplane. So I looked and it was the front end of a 727. I thought, 'Well that's cool.' "

He asked his daughter Diana if it was "a stupid idea" to buy the nose cone and attach it to the store--and she said, "No!" She noted that her father wants to stock aviation books in the cockpit, to which customers will have access.

Personnel Changes at Running Press, HarperAudio, HMH

Kristin Kiser has been named v-p and publisher, Running Press, effective May 20. Most recently, Kiser was v-p and deputy publisher at Rodale Press. Earlier, she was v-p and associate publisher at Hyperion and worked for 11 years at Crown, rising from editor to editorial director.

"We have great ambitions for our publishing programs," said David Steinberger, CEO of Perseus Books Group, owner of Running Press. "Hiring Kristin Kiser to lead Running Press is another key step in taking our publishing to the next level."


Sean McManus has been promoted to associate publisher, HarperAudio. He joined HarperCollins in 2012.


Emily Logan has joined Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as specialty retail sales manager. She was previously sales & marketing director at America's Test Kitchen.

UPNE to Distribute the Warring States Project

The Warring States Project, which has headquarters at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, is being distributed by the University Press of New England Book Partners. Founded in 1993, the Warring States Project has two focuses: China's formative classical period and the emergence of Christianity in the first century.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus on Fresh Air

Today on Fresh Air: Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, author of Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland (Viking, $28.95, 9780525427650).


Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Candice Bergen, author of A Fine Romance (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9780684808277). She will also appear on Morning Joe.


Tomorrow morning on CBS This Morning: John P. Riordan, co-author of They Are All My Family: A Daring Rescue in the Chaos of Saigon's Fall (PublicAffairs, $25.99, 9781610395038).


Tomorrow on the View: John Quinones, author of What Would You Do?: Words of Wisdom About Doing the Right Thing (Kingswell, $15.99, 9781484726204).


Tomorrow on Tavis Smiley: Lisa Scottoline, author of Every Fifteen Minutes (St. Martin's Press, $27.99, 9781250010117).


Tomorrow on the O'Reilly Factor: Nicolle Wallace, author of Madam President: A Novel (Emily Bestler/Atria, $25, 9781476756899).

On Stage: Brodsky/Baryshnikov

Legendary dancer, choreographer and actor Mikhail Baryshnikov will perform in Brodsky/Baryshnikov, a new solo work based on the poems of Joseph Brodsky. The New York Times reported that the piece was created for him by Alvis Hermanis, director of the New Riga Theater in Riga, Latvia, where Baryshnikov was born, and will premiere there October 15. An international tour planned for 2016 will include the U.S.

"Alvis knew that I had been very lucky to be next to Joseph for 20-plus years, and he had grown up reading his work, which had a big impact on his life and creative credo," said Baryshnikov, who met Brodsky in 1974. "In Russia, there is a tradition that an actor goes onstage and reads the poems, but he said that he is not looking for this at all." Although the project will not use dance, "there will be some kind of body language," he added.

Books & Authors

Awards: Arthur Ellis Crime

Crime Writers of Canada announced the shortlists in eight categories for this year's Arthur Ellis Awards, which recognize excellence in Canadian crime writing. Winners will be named May 28 in Toronto.

Book Brahmin: Christie Watson

Christie Watson is a former nurse who won the 2011 Costa First Novel Award for Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away. Her latest novel is Where Women Are Kings (Other Press, April 2015).

On your nightstand now:

Do No Harm, a nonfiction exploration of brain surgery by Henry Marsh. He has turned human neuroscience into poetry, medicine into art. The mirroring of the complexities of humanity with the intricacies of human anatomy is breathtakingly clever.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Anything I could get me hands on, but I particularly loved Enid Blyton's stories. As a mother myself it delights me now that my daughter loves the same stories I loved, as my mother before me, and her mother before her. Life may be completely different on the surface but literature reminds us that we're not all that different from previous generations after all.

Your top five authors:

Junot Diaz, Toni Morrison, Lorrie Moore, Raymond Carver, Philip Pullman (this is a changeable list).

Book you've faked reading:

I've faked reading too many books to list here. Whilst studying for a Master's degree in Creative Writing I was working as a nurse and had a toddler. So I read the first three chapters and last chapter of most things on the reading list.

Book you're an evangelist for:

A novel called Lamb by Bonnie Nadzam. It's beautifully disturbing.

Book you've bought for the cover:

An early edition of The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. It was a gift and I adore the cover. And it smells really good!

Book that changed your life:

In some way, every book I ever read. But the book that changed me most was Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time, as a young teenager. It was when I first realized I was, and always would be, a feminist.

Favorite line from a book:

"I am the invisible man." --from Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Which character you most relate to:

Any female character with major flaws. I recently read Mrs Hemingway by Naomi Wood and related to all four major female characters, which is a testament to Wood's writing.

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

Beloved by Toni Morrison. Though every time I read it I notice something new.

Book Review

YA Review: I Am Princess X

I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest, illus. by Kali Ciesemier (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, $18.99 hardcover, 240p., ages 14-up, 9780545620857, May 26, 2015)

In her first novel for young adults, Cherie Priest (Boneshaker) chronicles a blossoming friendship between Libby Deaton and May Harper, who unite to create the comics character Princess X. The story quickly becomes a gripping mystery after Libby's mysterious disappearance and May's obsession with finding her.

Libby and May meet in fifth grade, banished to the school playground at recess with nothing to do. Libby begins doodling with chalk. "Do a haunted house!" suggests a young onlooker. "Now you have to draw a princess who lives there," says another. When Libby obliges, the child who suggested the princess says, "Wait, it's not done.... Give her a magic wand." May protests:  "Give her a sword." That is the birth of Princess X, a brave girl who can combat ghosts as well as human villains. With Libby drawing and May concocting the plots, their friendship grows to block out nearly everything else.

Then, when she's 13, Libby and her mother are in a crash that sends their car off Seattle's Ballard Bridge into Salmon Bay. But Libby is missing from the car, and May's recurring dream suggests that Libby escaped somehow. A couple weeks later, a body is found and identified by the clothes and waterlogged ID to be Libby.

Three years later, May spies a sticker with Princess X on it. Could Libby still be alive? May hires a computer hacker named Trick to help her find the person behind the Princess X paraphernalia. Trick, it turns out, is a Princess X groupie, and he shows May the secret world of Princess X web comics. The more May reads, the more convinced she is that Libby is alive, kept captive by a mysterious Needle Man.

In a clever innovation, Priest effortlessly integrates the comics within the prose narrative. Each new episode of Princess X reveals further clues and a terrifying reality for whomever is behind them. The clues lead May and Trick to explore a condemned building, and discover a shady character with access to medical records as well as a mysterious figure named Jackdaw who may be on their side--or may be sabotaging their efforts.

Kali Ciesemier's comics panel sequences convey both suspense and emotional depth. Her portrait of Princess X achieves a sense of both anxiety and bravery. Priest demonstrates that creative teamwork of the kind shared by Libby and May leads to an intimate knowledge of one's collaborator, and offers readers a rare insight into a privileged relationship. --Jennifer M. Brown, children's editor, Shelf Awareness

Shelf Talker: Cherie Priest's first YA novel combines the mystery of a missing person case with comics panels that provide clues to her whereabouts.

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