Also published on this date: Wednesday, August 26, 2015: Maximum Shelf: The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, August 26, 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


In Cleveland, Guide to Kulchur Moving to Larger Space

Guide to Kulchur, Cleveland, Ohio, is moving from "its tiny storefront" into "roomier digs" and will celebrate its grand re-opening on Friday, September 4, Freshwater Cleveland reported.

The new 1,800-square-foot space will offer a larger stock of new books, a performance space, outside seating and a snack/coffee bar. "In the next 18 months, we'll take over the second floor and that will be an artist-in-residence space," as well as house a community/meeting area, said founder RA Washington. The store's publishing operation, GTK Press, will also be expanded.

Washington intends to add 20 new positions over the next 18 months. "We're going to target the youth first and set aside jobs for kids with juvenile records," he said, adding that he plans to turn Guide to Kulchur from a sole proprietorship into a worker-owned co-op.

Guide to Kulchur's old home will be converted into a regional warehouse for the bookstore's Cleveland Books 2 Prisoners program, which furnishes books to prisoners in Ohio.

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

Pushcart Bookstore: 'World's Smallest Bookstore'

Bill Henderson, the founder of independent publisher Pushcart Press, has opened Pushcart Bookstore--dubbed the "World's Smallest Bookstore"--in Sedgwick, Maine. According to the Penobscot Bay Press, the 9'×12' bookstore carries Pushcart Press titles, which are distributed by Norton, as well as a selection of used classics. The store resides atop Christy Hill in Sedgwick and is open daily.

Henderson founded Pushcart Press in a studio apartment in Yonkers, N.Y., in 1972 while also working as an editor at Doubleday. Pushcart's first and perhaps best-known book was The Publish It Yourself Handbook, a collection of essays from writers and authors about self-publishing and self-published works that Henderson published in 1973. In 1976, Henderson co-founded The Pushcart Prize Anthology, an annual collection of the best work from small presses around the country. And in 1983, Pushcart created the Editor's Book Award series, which publishes manuscripts that were championed by editors but ultimately rejected by mainstream publishers.

Yellow Pear Press to Publish First Fiction Titles this Fall

This fall, independent publishing house Yellow Pear Press will publish its first two fiction titles: Catarina's Ring by Lisa McGuinness, "an entwining of historical fiction and contemporary foodie fiction for those who love Italy and a good love story," due out on October 13, and Catherine Armsden's Dream House, a "dramatic and emotional introspective tale" set in New England and San Francisco, due out on November 10. Also coming in October is The Inspired Life by Christine Hardy, a collection of motivational, empowering messages.

With headquarters in San Francisco, Calif., Yellow Pear Press made its debut in May with two titles: Kitchen Yoga, written by Melanie Salvatore-August and illustrated by Rose Wright, and Caffeinated Ideas Journal, written by Lisa McGuinness and illustrated by Danielle Kroll.

Besides being one of the press's authors and a publishing professional with some 20 years of experience at Chronicle Books, Running Press and elsewhere, McGuinness is Yellow Pear Press's founder and publisher. Publishers Group West is the company's distributor.

The press's mission is to publish "distinctive, witty and charming" titles across a variety of subjects and genres, including lifestyle, gifts, cooking and journals. Yellow Pear Press also has an imprint called Bonhomie Press, which is devoted to fiction.

Automatic Library Cards Proposed for Scottish Kids

Pilot projects have been launched in every council area of Scotland to provide all children with automatic library membership, BBC News reported, noting that kids "will be given library cards either at birth, age three or four--or in P1." In addition, libraries will be working with schools and communities to promote the services they offer to families.

"Our libraries are often the hub of a local community--providing vital access to information and resources that people would otherwise not have," said First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. "Now, thanks to £80,000 [about $125,520] Scottish government funding, every local authority in Scotland will trial methods to give children automatic membership to their local library. Libraries can empower communities--often in our most deprived areas where we know that young people can have lower levels of literacy and numeracy. Access to books and learning materials will help us to make sure that every child has the opportunity to get excited about reading."


Image of the Day: Scalzi at Borderlands

On Monday, Borderlands Books in San Francisco hosted John Scalzi for a midday author event to celebrate the release of The End of All Things (Tor), the latest book in Scalzi's Old Man's War series (which is now in development as a TV series for Syfy). Scalzi entertained a lunch hour crowd of more than 70, covering a range of topics, from writing the Old Man's War books to his recent multimillion-dollar, 13-book deal with Tor Books to the controversies over this year's Hugo Awards. Pictured: Scalzi (l.) with Borderlands Books' manager Jude Feldman and owner Alan Beatts.

Idaho's Rediscovered Books Celebrates Expansion

Congratulations to Rediscovered Books, Boise, Idaho, which is celebrating its grand re-opening on Saturday, September 5, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., with music, authors, raffles and "bookstore bond" purchases. At 5 p.m., a beer tasting with beer for sale onsite will take place with help from Post Modern Brewers.

The store has expanded into space formerly filled by Lux Fashion Lounge and is using it to increase its book and gift offerings and add to space for events. On Independent Bookstore Day, May 2, Rediscovered Books launched an IndieGoGo campaign that raised nearly $10,000 to help with the expansion.

The new and used bookstore was founded in 2006 by Bruce and Laura DeLaney.

Cool Idea of the Day: Fighting Fire Fear with Wildfires

As fires continue to plague Washington State, Riverwalk Books in Chelan is providing free copies of Wildfires by Kathy Furgang (National Geographic Children's Books) "to families with young peeps living with the wildfires," the store said on Facebook. "As adults, we can process somewhat the information around us. Children are often forgotten in our conversations. This is our way of providing a tool to understanding our youngest community members."

Bookstore Video: Christopher Moore, Signing Machine

Christopher Moore stopped by the Books Inc. Bay Area warehouse to sign 700 copies of Secondhand Souls before his appearance Monday night at the Opera Plaza store in San Francisco. He managed to keep the booksellers laughing while he worked his way through a huge pile of books, as seen in this time-lapse video.

Ingram Publisher Services Adds Three Publishers

Ingram Publisher Services is adding three new clients:

Pajama Press, Toronto, Ont., a literary children's publisher of picture books, board books, middle grade novels, YA novels and non-fiction for all juvenile categories. Recent titles include Princess Pistachio by Marie-Louise Gay, A Good Trade by Alma Fullerton and Karen Patkau and Moon at Nine by Deborah Ellis.

Rocky Nook, Santa Barbara, Calif., publishes titles to help photographers master the art, craft and technology of photography. Rocky Nook's newest books include How Do I Do That in Lightroom? by Scott Kelby, More Than a Rock: Essays on Nature, Landscape, Photography and Life by Guy Tal and David Busch's Nikon D7200 Guide to Digital Photography by David Busch.

Dalkey Archive Press, which is moving to the University of Houston-Victoria in Victoria, Texas, and has a European office in Dublin, Ireland, on the campus of Trinity College, is a nonprofit literary press that publishes literature in translation and works by overlooked Anglophone authors, including Nicholas Mosley, Gilbert Sorrentino, David Markson, Flann O'Brien, Ishmael Reed, Violet LeDuc, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Viktor Shklovsky, Manuel Puig and Carlos Fuentes. Dalkey Archive Press publishes 50 titles each year, as well as The Review of Contemporary Fiction, a tri-quarterly journal, and CONTEXT, a free tabloid publication aimed at younger readers aged 18-24. Forthcoming titles include Newspaper by Edouard Levé, Collected Stories of John Barth, Best European Fiction 2016, five new titles in the Library of Korea and Great Latin American Novel by Carlos Fuentes.

Personnel Changes at Ingram

Brette Dorris has joined Ingram Content Group as the senior sales representative for public and school libraries in the Midwest. He was formerly a sales representative with Brodart and Book Wholesalers, and he held several positions at Kaplan Test Prep and Elsevier as well.

Book Trailer of the Day: The Dogs

The Dogs by Allan Stratton (Sourcebooks Fire). Stratton is the Michael L. Printz Honor-winning author of Chanda's Secrets.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Gary Rivlin, Author of Katrina, After the Flood

This morning on CBS This Morning: Dr. Robynne Chutkan, author of The Microbiome Solution: A Radical New Way to Heal Your Body from the Inside Out (Avery, $25.95, 9781583335765).


Tomorrow on Hardball with Chris Matthews: Rinker Buck, author of The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781451659160).


Tomorrow on Diane Rehm: Gary Rivlin, author of Katrina: After the Flood (Simon & Schuster, $27, 9781451692228).


Tomorrow night on a repeat of the Tonight Show: Patton Oswalt, author of Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life from an Addiction to Film (Scribner, $15, 9781451673227).

TV: American Gods

The Starz network gave the greenlight to the "long-awaited TV adaptation" of Neil Gaiman's novel American Gods in June "and the search to find the actor who will play lead character Shadow Moon is nearing an end," the Guardian reported. The series will begin production in March 2016, with Gaiman executive producing.

Books & Authors

Awards: Toronto Book Finalists

Five finalists have been named for the C$12,000 (about US$9,060) Toronto Book Award, honoring books evocative of the city, Quillblog reported. The winner will be announced October 15. This year's shortlisted titles are:

Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis
Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood
All the Broken Things by Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer
The Last Hockey Game by Bruce McDougall
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Midwest Connections September Picks

From the Midwest Booksellers Association, three recent Midwest Connections Picks. Under this marketing program, the association and member stores promote booksellers' handselling favorites that have a strong Midwest regional appeal:

Good Night, Mr. Wodehouse: A Novel by Faith Sullivan (Milkweed Editions, $26, 9781571311115). "The new novel from a fan favorite, as well as an ode to one of the most loved writers of all time. You don't need to know P.G. Wodehouse's work to appreciate this splendid jewel in Faith Sullivan's catalog."

The Senator Next Door: A Memoir from the Heartland by Amy Klobuchar (Holt, $30, 9781627794176). "One of the U.S. Senate's most candid--and funniest--women tells the story of her life and her unshakeable faith in our democracy."

Isabelle Day Refuses to Die of a Broken Heart by Jane St. Anthony (University of Minnesota Press, $14.95, 9780816697991). "In Milwaukee, Isabelle Day had a house. And she had a father. This year, on Halloween, she has half of a house in Minneapolis, a mother at least as sad as she is, and a loss that's too hard to think--let alone talk-about. It's the Midwest in the early 1960s, and dads just don't that."

Book Brahmin: Thomas Cobb

photo: Eugene St. Pierre

Thomas Cobb is the author of the novel Crazy Heart, which was made into the 2008 Academy Award-winning movie of the same name. He's also the author of the Western Writers Spur Award-winning novel Shavetail, the George Garrett Award-winning story collection Acts of Contrition and the historical novel With Blood in Their Eyes. Cobb owned and operated Sixth Street Books in Tucson, Ariz., from 1977 to 1982; prior to that he worked as a ditch digger, warehouseman and carnival roustabout. He taught at Eastern Arizona College and at the Arizona State Prison in Florence, and directed the creative writing and literature at Rhode Island College for many years. Cobb lives with his wife in Rhode Island. His new novel is Darkness the Color of Snow (Morrow, August 18, 2015).

On your nightstand now:

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson. I introduced myself to Atkinson's work reading Life After Life. This is something of a sequel to that book. Atkinson is a rare writer who can pull off some impressive fireworks without disrupting her narrative. There's less trickery here than in Life After Life, and what's here is used to great effect. She's very good and she keeps honing her craft.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Uncle Wiggily and Baby Bunty by Howard R. Garis. This is actually the only one I really remember from childhood, and I still have it. In sixth grade, I read Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, and that fairly knocked me out. In my teenage years, I was a big fan of a guy named Henry Gregor Felsen, who wrote cautionary novels about hot rods.

Your top five authors:

Vladimir Nabokov, Gabriel García Márquez, Flannery O'Connor, Alice Munro, Frederick Busch. These are all pretty contemporary, though Alice Munro is the only one still living. These are people whose writing drew me in immediately and never let me down or let me go.

Book you've faked reading:

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper. This may have been the last book I faked reading. It was in graduate school, and I hated the book from the first page to the 20th, where I quit reading. I think Mark Twain's essay "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offences" had already primed me to despise Cooper, though I'm pretty sure I could have gotten there on my own.

Book you're an evangelist for:

The Night Inspector by Frederick Busch. Busch was a wonderful writer who deserves to be read far more than he is. This is not necessarily Busch's best, but it's a great read that can lead readers to the treasure trove he left behind when he died so unexpectedly. If I could write like anyone other than myself, I would chose Frederick Busch.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Unspeakable Practices, Unnatural Acts by Donald Barthelme. I bought this in paperback at the University of Arizona Bookstore in 1968. The cover and title were so hip and so sly that I had to have the book. I devoured it. Later, Donald Barthelme would be my dissertation director at the University of Houston, and we played in the same terrible rock band. He is possibly the smartest man I've ever known.

Book that changed your life:

The Centaur by John Updike. I read this book in high school, and I don't remember where I got it or why. But this novel was my first piece of real, contemporary literary fiction. I had never read anything like it, and I mark this as the beginning of my career in writing fiction.

Favorite line from a book:

"Just once, I'd like to shoot an educated man." From Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. Every year of the 30-some odd years I spent in academia this line became more relatable and important to me.

Which character you most relate to:

Myself. The fine western writer Johnny D. Boggs, on a bet, used me as a character in his Civil War novel Wreaths of Glory. It's an odd thing to read yourself as a character in someone else's work, and I worked hard to identify myself with the character--a fierce fighter alongside William Quantrill (which seems to capture me pretty well), who gets killed early on (I had to disassociate myself in a hurry).

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

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. I've read it more times than any other book, probably approaching a dozen times. Each reading seems to open the novel a little more, like a flower just blooming. I admire Nabokov's ability to build worlds out of words, drawing us in while always reminding us that he is playing word games. It's miraculous.

What author you will never read again:

Henry James. I was forced to read several Henry James novels in college. I hated them all, and I rarely pass up an opportunity to insult James.

Book Review

YA Review: Most Dangerous

Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin (Roaring Brook/Macmillan, $19.99 hardcover, 384p., ages 12-up, 9781596439528, September 22, 2015)

After winning multiple awards for The Port Chicago 50 and Bomb (his 2013 Newbery Honor book about the atomic bomb), Steve Sheinkin turns his talents for nonfiction storytelling to the Vietnam War and the Pentagon Papers in the gripping Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War.

Choosing Washington insider-turned-whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg as the focal point for a narrative about the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War was a genius decision. Ellsberg, the man Henry Kissinger would someday call "the most dangerous man in America," started high school in Michigan as the Cold War began, went to Harvard, trained as a Marine, worked as a think-tank analyst, then made his way to the Pentagon. His very first day working for Assistant Secretary of Defense John McNaughton, August 2, 1964, was the day the Gulf of Tonkin incident began, precipitating the escalation of U.S. military force in Vietnam. One of Ellsberg's first major assignments was to catalogue Vietcong assaults in South Vietnam in order to help Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara convince President Lyndon Johnson to "begin a sustained bombing campaign against North Vietnam." From this insider's perspective, Ellsberg watched Johnson manipulate the truth when he spoke to the American people, continuing to plan for war while citizens voted against it.

Sheinkin traces Ellsberg's seven-year transformation from a devoted "cold warrior" into an antiwar activist who spent months stealing and copying the Pentagon Papers (7,000 pages of government secrets) at great personal peril: "Some said he was a hero; some said the exact opposite. The president considered Ellsberg a traitor." The epilogue compares Ellsberg's 1971 handover of the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times to National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden's 2013 exposure of domestic spying. Readers will also learn about the Watergate Scandal and the fumbling antics of G. Gordon Liddy and Howard Hunt, as well as President Richard Nixon's shocking resignation.

Though the history is complex, Sheinkin makes it fresh and accessible through clear writing, a coherent, chronological narrative structure, and black and white photographs. Suspenseful, vivid glimpses into active combat with Marine Lieutenant Philip Caputo and others, dramatic scenes from the "Hanoi Hilton" POW camp, and abundant quotations from presidents and their advisers, soldiers, pilots, diplomats, journalists, Vietnamese leaders and Ellsberg, too, contribute to the book's energy and immediacy. (Some of Ellsberg's quotations were selected from his writings, others from interviews the author conducted with his subject.)

Sheinkin works his magic again with this riveting, behind-the-scenes look at the history of the Vietnam War from the perspective of an insider-turned-outsider who risked everything to tell the truth. Young history buffs may be inspired to pursue the writings of Katharine Graham, Neil Sheehan, Philip Caputo or Daniel Ellsberg himself. --Angela Carstensen, school librarian

Shelf Talker: Steve Sheinkin shines a light on the Vietnam War and the Pentagon Papers through the life of government whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg.

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