Shelf Awareness for Monday, May 11, 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

Quotation of the Day

Bookstore Manager Blackout

"And Shane Ortmeier, your bookstore manager, said he blacked out for a minute."

--President Obama on Friday, speaking at the commencement of the Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown, S.Dak., acknowledging that many people at the school were surprised he would be appearing there.

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


Moravian Book Shop Adding Second Location

Moravian Book Shop, Bethlehem, Pa., will open a second store, in Allentown, the Morning Call reported. The store will occupy 3,800 square feet at Two City Center, an 11-story office building at Seventh and Hamilton streets that houses National Penn Bancshares' headquarters.

"We're looking at this as a great opportunity to increase recognition of the bookshop," said Richard Santee, chairman of Moravian's board of directors. "When we talked about and started to investigate the potential demographics of the people in downtown Allentown, we saw a whole new group of people who are going to work there, attending events at the arena there. It just seemed like a whole new audience we had never reached before."

Developer J.B. Reilly, CEO of City Center Investment Corp, noted: "The Moravian Book Shop will be one of the anchor shops downtown. It's a great brand with a great following and will draw visitors downtown.... It's the kind of retail you want in a pedestrian-friendly urban environment."

Founded in 1745, Moravian Book Shop is the oldest bookstore in the country.

Brooklyn's Pioneer Works Opening 'Eclectic' New Bookstore

The Pioneer Works Center for Arts & Innovation "is expanding its massive footprint" in Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood "with a new bookstore that will highlight the work of its artists, creators and teachers," DNAInfo reported. Pioneer Books is hosting a grand opening at the end of May, and will feature books from artists-in-residence, lecturers, teachers, scientists and others who pass through the facility.

"Essentially the books are going to reflect the programming and ideas that are going on at Pioneer Works," said Catherine Despont, director of the publishing program. She added that the plan is to rotate the collection frequently, perhaps as often as once a month. "It's not really going to be the kind of bookstore where you come to find the latest book from your favorite author. It's more eclectic."

Results Are In: New Officers, Board Member for the ABA

Congratulations to the new officers and board members of the American Booksellers Association, who were recently elected by ABA members, Bookselling This Week reported. The changes become official during BookExpo America at the end of the month.

Betsy Burton of the King's English Bookshop, Salt Lake City, Utah, will serve a two-year term as president of the ABA. Robert Sindelar of Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park and Seattle, Wash., will be v-p/secretary for a two-year term.

Elected to three-year terms: Valerie Koehler of Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston, Tex., Pete Mulvihill of Green Apple Books in San Francisco, Calif.; and Jonathon Welch of Talking Leaves Books in Buffalo, N.Y. (This is Koehler's and Welch's second term and Mulvihill's first.)

Steve Bercu of BookPeople, Austin, Tex., who has been president for the past two years, is leaving the board. We will miss his socks and his wonderful wry humor!

Transgender Ex-Employee Sues B&N for Discrimination

Barnes & Noble has been sued for discrimination in California by a transgender former bookseller who charges that "she was bullied and eventually fired after telling her manager about her intended transition," the New York Daily News wrote.

In the complaint, Victoria Ramirez, who worked for six years in the Irvine store, first as a bookseller and then a merchandise manager, said that in 2012, when she was still using the name Tyson and had begun taking female hormones, she began to dress in part as a woman. According to the paper, "Her manager complained about Ramirez's appearance, telling her she worked in 'a neighborhood store' and should 'think of the children,' records say."

The next year, she said she told her manager she was making the transition to a woman and wanted to dress as a woman at work. Based on her complaint, the paper wrote: "The manager said doing so would make other co-workers lose respect for her, and Ramirez was warned that she wouldn't be called by her new name, could not use the women's restroom and should not discuss her transition in the workplace. After Ramirez called in sick some time later, saying she had stress-induced panic attacks, she was fired."

The Daily News called the suit "ironic" for B&N, which has had a "perfect score" on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index over the past seven years. In a statement, B&N cited a "history of supporting and employing transgender individuals" and noted that payments for transition surgery and hormone therapy are included in benefits.

Obituary Note: Larry Jonas

Larry Jonas

Larry Jonas, a former bookseller and publisher, died April 30 after a motorcycle accident, according to the Moscow-Pullman Daily News. He was 61 and had retired to Las Cruces, N.Mex., in 2013.

Jonas opened Skagit Bay Bookstore in Washington in 1987 and later worked for several publishers--as a sales rep for Viking Penguin and in sales management at Penguin USA, Dorling Kindersley and Harcourt Trade. He finished his career at Follett Library Services.

In retirement, he played French horn in the New Horizons Symphony Las Cruces and served on its board of directors. He was also a member of the NMSU Horn Choir and Wind Symphony and recently played with the El Paso Opera Orchestra.

A celebration of life ceremony will be held tomorrow, May 12, at 5 p.m. in the 1912 Building in Moscow, Idaho, where he was born and grew up. In lieu of flowers, please support the New Horizons Symphony Las Cruces and the Children's Reading Foundation, Doña Ana County Chapter. The family added: "Alternately or in addition, please take some time to enjoy some of your favorite music, read a good book or garden, take a morning walk, do something outside that makes you feel alive. Larry would be nothing less than honored."


Image of the Day: Bookstore Day in NOLA

Grammy and Billboard Award winner Irvin Mayfield (r.), David Harris, Grayson Hackelman and Ashlin Parker perform at Octavia Books on Independent Bookstore Day.

Last weekend was Independent Bookstore Day for most of the country, but three stores in New Orleans chose to celebrate Saturday, May 8, instead (in order not to compete with the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival). Octavia Books, Garden District Book Shop and Tubby & Coo's Mid-City Book Shop hosted a scavenger hunt among their stores, author appearances and musical performances, and offered a selection of IBD merchandise plus a special journal made by Blackbird Letterpress in Baton Rouge featuring a map of New Orleans on the cover.

Tubby & Coo's reported: "Yesterday was the shop's #1 sales day since we opened last September. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who came out to support us and the other indies for Independent Bookstore Day!"

Books & Books & Mimosa: Mother's Day Treat

Yesterday the three Books & Books cafes--in Coral Gables, Miami Beach and the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami, Fla.--offered free mimosas for mothers all day long.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide to #BEA15: Booksellers' 'Best of' NYC

Catching up with old friends--and meeting new ones--is one of the great joys of BEA. So this year, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides is getting together with some of the city's best local booksellers to get their perspectives on the best things to see and do while in New York City. Today, we're exploring Greenwich Village with two local bookshops.

Bookshop: Three Lives & Company; Toby Cox, Troy Chatterton, Miriam Chotiner-Gardner and Ryan Murphy
Neighborhood: 154 West 10th Street, Greenwich Village

What's the number one thing people should do when in New York City for BEA?
The Roof Garden Cafe at the Metropolitan Museum of Art... take in the breathtaking views of Central Park and surrounding neighborhoods and check out the rotating art installations.

What's the best thing to do in your shop's neighborhood?
Stroll up West 4th Street, stopping at Mary's Fish Camp for lunch, and at Corner Bistro for a beer, then go around the corner to Li-Lac Chocolates, and back down Bleecker Street for window shopping and people-watching

What's the best thing to do in New York City?
Take the A or C train to High Street in Brooklyn and walk back to Manhattan across the magnificent Brooklyn Bridge. One of the great walks in the world.

Do you have a "local's-only" tip to share with visitors?
Take a book to the "secret" gardens at St. Luke in the Fields in the West Village and spend a blissful hour reading in a rare Manhattan hideaway.

For more stops on your Greenwich Village tour, walk east to experience the energy of New York University (NYU), which extends for blocks around Washington Square.

Bookshop: NYU Bookstore; John Turner, trade book buyer
Neighborhood: 726 Broadway, Greenwich Village

What's the number one thing people should do when in New York City for BEA?
The nighttime, social stuff. Say yes to every party and dinner you can possibly fit into your schedule and go to all of them. You can sleep when you get home.

What's the best thing to do in your shop's neighborhood?
Check out Washington Square Park.

What's the best thing to do in New York City?
Wander about and soak in that unique New York City atmosphere (while we still have some left).

Do you have a "local's-only" tip to share with visitors?
On the train: Don't block the doors! On the platform: Let the people out before you try to get in!

Getting there: A short walk from the Javits Center will take you onto the scenic High Line, a once-disused 1930s elevated railbed now transformed into a slender city park. Enter just south of the Javits at 34th Street and 12th Avenue for a soothing stroll along lush garden paths all the way to 14th Street.

For some quick sustenance, wander into Chelsea Market at 9th Avenue and 15th Street, an enclosed food court and shopping area. Sample crepes, sushi, fresh baked goods, gelato, cheeses, and more at this unmissable NYC destination for foodies. With a full belly, you'll be ready to explore nearby neighborhoods, including Greenwich Village.

Book Trailer of the Day: China: Through the Looking Glass

China: Through the Looking Glass by Andrew Bolton, photographs by Platon (Metropolitan Museum of Art), the exhibition catalogue that accompanies the Costume Institute's blockbuster show exploring the impact of Chinese aesthetics on Western fashion and how China has fueled the fashionable imagination for centuries.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Tom Brokaw, Author of A Lucky Life Interrupted

This morning on Good Morning America: Elmer, Grover and Rosita promote Sesame Street Let's Cook! (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99, 9780544454361).


This morning on CBS This Morning: Michael Morell, author of The Great War of Our Time: The CIA's Fight Against Terrorism--From al Qa'ida to ISIS (Twelve, $28, 9781455585663). He will also appear today on Bret Baier Reports and Charlie Rose and tomorrow on Fox & Friends, Morning Joe, CNN's Jake Tapper and Fox News's Greta Van Sustren.


This morning on the Today Show: Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, author of Gummi Bears Should Not Be Organic: And Other Opinions I Can't Back Up with Facts (Gallery, $15, 9781476787305).


This morning on Live with Kelly and Michael: Tom Brokaw, author of A Lucky Life Interrupted: A Memoir of Hope (Random House, $27, 9781400069699). He will also appear tonight on the Tonight Show and tomorrow night on the Daily Show.


Today on Fresh Air: Chris Impey, author of Beyond: Our Future in Space (Norton, $27.95, 9780393239300).


Today on Tavis Smiley: Earl Smith and Mark Schlabach, authors of Death Row Chaplain: Unbelievable True Stories from America's Most Notorious Prison (Howard, $22.99, 9781476777771).


Today on Diane Rehm: David McCullough, author of The Wright Brothers (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781476728742).


Today on the View: Lorraine Bracco, author of To the Fullest: The Clean Up Your Act Plan to Lose Weight, Rejuvenate, and Be the Best You Can Be (Rodale, $25.99, 9781623364922).


Tomorrow morning on Fox & Friends: Carol Alt, author of A Healthy You: Boost Your Energy, Live Cleaner, and Look and Feel Younger Every Day (Dey Street, $25.99, 9780062392978).


Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Mika Brzezinski, author of Grow Your Value: Living and Working to Your Full Potential (Weinstein Books, $26, 9781602862685).


Tomorrow on Rachael Ray: Cookie Monster promotes Sesame Street Let's Cook! (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99, 9780544454361).


Tomorrow on Dr. Oz: Bethenny Frankel, author of I Suck at Relationships So You Don't Have To: 10 Rules for Not Screwing Up Your Happily Ever After (Touchstone, $24.99, 9781451667417).


Tomorrow on Diane Rehm: Richard Reeves, author of Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese-American Internment in World War II (Holt, $32, 9780805094084).

Also on Diane Rehm: Julie Otsuka, author of When the Emperor Was Divine (Anchor, $12.95, 9780385721813).


Tomorrow on the Wendy Williams Show: Melissa Rivers, author of The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief, and Manipulation (Crown Archetype, $26, 9781101903827).

Books & Authors

Awards: Theakstons Old Peculier Crime; Little Rebels

This year's 18-title longlist has been unveiled for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award, which celebrates the best in British and Irish crime writing. The winner will receive a £3,000 (about $4,640) cash prize, as well as a handmade, engraved beer barrel provided by Theakstons Old Peculier. The shortlist will be announced June 15 and a winner named July 16.


Scarlet Ibis by Gill Lewis won the Little Rebels Children's Book Award for radical fiction, which honors a book for readers any age up to 12 that promotes social justice, the Bookseller reported. The judges praised the novel because it "raises awareness of the care system, mental health issues and the challenges facing young carers."

Book Review

Review: The Jesus Cow

The Jesus Cow by Michael Perry (Harper, $25.99 hardcover, 9780062289919, May 19, 2015)

Humorist Michael Perry (Coop) makes a foray into fiction with The Jesus Cow, a novel about a small town transformed in profound and hilarious ways by a bull calf born in a barn on Christmas Eve.

Perry sets the story in Swivel, Wis.--population exaggerated at 562--only visible from the interstate by a long-stemmed, halogen-lit Kwik Pump gasoline sign whose "logo glows against the sky." He focuses on resident Harley Jackson, a long-term bachelor, factory worker and member of the Volunteer Fire Department, who lives in the house where he grew up, on 15 acres of deteriorating farmland. Harley hunts, fishes, tinkers with his truck and raises "a few head of beef on the side... more of a hobby than a moneymaker." When his prized cow, Tina Turner ("Respect must be paid"), delivers a bull calf bearing the image of Jesus Christ on his black-and-white patchwork hide, Harley, a born-again believer, doesn't drop to his knees. Instead, he says, "Well, that's trouble."

Harley's best friend, Billy Tripp--a wounded, decorated combat veteran and bachelor, who loves to read and spout lines from country music songs--responds, "Get a lawyer.... And start printin' T-shirts," when he sets eyes on the newborn bull.

Whether the calf was marked by God or not, Harley doesn't want anything to disturb his manageable, unassuming life. He takes his deceased father's "Sunday-go-to-meetin' shoe polish" and rubs out the image of the Son of God. In the meantime, Harley is being harassed with regular, "pretend-polite" threats from the village attorney regarding the odor from the beef cows on Harley's land. This news further encourages Hummer-driving, greedy land developer Klute Sorensen to do all he can to acquire the last few acres of Harley's once-thriving family farm.

Along the way, a woman who drives a big red pickup truck turns Harley's head and sways his heart, but not before the shoe polish wears off and the Jesus calf escapes from the barn, a getaway witnessed by Dixie the mail carrier. The animal's image goes viral. Swivel is put on the map as pilgrims, gawkers, the media and Hollywood invade the town--everyone trying to gain a glimpse of Harley's "holy cow," some wanting to commercialize the moneymaking potential of "the miracle." Harley's upper Midwest farm soon becomes an international spiritual destination--a circus that sends the town residents into a tizzy. But could all the fanfare put Harley's troubles out to pasture and land him the love of his life?

As in Truck: A Love Story and Visiting Tom, Perry once again delivers his own brand of outlandishness through rich, endearing characterizations of quirky small-town folks, and how their zany foibles and flaws mask underlying disappointments, secrets and longings. By deploying humor in depicting the often painful truths and absurdities of life, Perry successfully makes much larger statements about society and the human condition. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

Shelf Talker: When a bull calf is born on Christmas Eve with the image of Jesus Christ on his flank, a small Midwest community is turned upside down.

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