Shelf Awareness for Thursday, November 5, 2015

William Morrow & Company: Death of the Author by Nnedi Okorafor

St. Martin's Press: Disney High: The Untold Story of the Rise and Fall of Disney Channel's Tween Empire

Running Press Adult: Scam Goddess: Lessons from a Life of Cons, Grifts, and Schemes by Laci Mosley

Graphix: 39 Clues: One False Note (39 Clues Graphic Novel #2) by Gordon Korman, Illustrated by Hannah Templer

Running Press: Enter For a Chance to Win a Moonlit Explorer Pack!

Quill Tree Books: The Firelight Apprentice by Bree Paulsen


Booksellers Sue Over Louisiana Age-Verification Law

The Media Coalition and the American Civil Liberties Union yesterday filed a federal lawsuit against a new Louisiana law that requires websites to verify the age of every Internet user before providing access to non-obscene material that could be deemed harmful to any minor. Failure to age-verify, even if no minor ever tries to access the material, is a crime that could lead to a $10,000 fine.

The plaintiffs are two indie bookstores--Garden District Book Shop and Octavia Books, in New Orleans--as well as the American Booksellers Association; Future Crawfish Paper, publisher of Anti-Gravity magazine; and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

To comply with the law, booksellers and magazine publishers must either place an age confirmation button in front of their entire website, thereby restricting access to materials that may be appropriate for all ages, or attempt to review all of the books or magazines available at their website and place an age confirmation button in front of each individual page that might be inappropriate for any minor.

Britton Trice, owner of Garden District Book Shop, commented: "Since we cannot possibly review the one million plus titles on our website, the law would force us to ask every customer visiting our website whether he or she is an adult. That would have a strong and chilling effect on our business because it would make us appear to be an adult bookstore."

Tom Lowenburg, co-owner of Octavia Books, added: "The law is a serious threat to the First Amendment rights of booksellers and our customers. Our job is to get customers the books they want, but this law makes it impossible by forcing us to block access to 16- and 17-year-olds who want to browse Young Adult novels and other works that may be inappropriate for younger minors."

David Horowitz, the executive director of Media Coalition, said that "parental controls are a more effective and less restrictive way for parents to limit their kids' access to sexual material on the Internet without violating the constitutional rights of adults and older minors."

Zest Books: The Gender Binary Is a Big Lie: Infinite Identities around the World by Lee Wind

Geoff Kloske Now President and Publisher of Riverhead

Geoff Kloske

Geoff Kloske, publisher of Riverhead Books, is taking on the additional role of president of the imprint. Before joining Riverhead as publisher in 2006, Kloske was v-p and executive editor of Simon & Schuster from 1998-2006 and earlier was an editor at Little, Brown from 1992 to 1996.

In an announcement about the move, Madeline McIntosh, president of Penguin Publishing Group, noted Riverhead's recent "extraordinary run. From the breakout bestseller of the year, to the Man Booker Prize winner, to a National Book Award finalist, Riverhead's books and authors are selling faster, and earning more awards and accolades, than at any time in the imprint's illustrious history.

"While it would be easy to think that Riverhead's just had a really lucky year, all those of us who work with Geoff and his team know that’s not true. This group of editors, marketers, publicists, and designers have labored long and hard to produce this year's results, and they have brought their infectious enthusiasm, critical eyes, and creative inventiveness to bear in collaborating effectively with their internal partners in sales, managing editorial, production and inventory, and with our external media and bookselling partners and friends.

"To a one, this imprint is populated with talented individuals. But it does take one in particular to bring the team together and pave the way for them to shine, and that is what Geoff does every day. Inspiring and guiding everyone at Riverhead to take an innovative, no-stone-unturned approach to their work, he models an inclusive and entrepreneurial style that makes the group greater than its parts. We all benefit from his razor-sharp insight, relentless determination, and focus on the future as well as the backlist, and devotion to Riverhead's mission, books and authors. While I've known Geoff since our early working days as assistants, it's only in this past year that I've had the chance to work with him directly, and it's been an honor."

GLOW: Flatiron Books: Private Rites by Julia Armfield

AAUP Opening Washington, D.C., Office

Perhaps as a way of celebrating University Press Week, which begins on Sunday, November 8, the Association of American University Presses is opening its first office in Washington, D.C., in order to "further its strategic goals of advocacy and collaboration with stakeholders in higher education, copyright, freedom of expression, scholarly communications, the humanities, and global policy."

Executive director Peter Berkery will be the AAUP's main representative in Washington, and will divide his time between Washington and New York City, where the association has long had, and will continue to maintain, an office. Berkery noted that the capital is "home to a surprising array of scholarly publishers. With 10 AAUP member presses here, it is a vibrant center of mission-driven publishing."

The AAUP's Washington office is located with the Brookings Institution Press. The address is 1775 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036.

Alex Baker: Exceptional Design And Creative Services For The Publishing Industry

PubWest Conference Set for February

The 2016 PubWest Conference will take place February 4-6 at La Fonda on the Plaza, Santa Fe, N.Mex., with the theme "A Passion for Books." Keynotes will be given by Kristen Gilligan and Len Vlahos, who are in the process of becoming the owners of the Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, Colo.; Natalie Elliott, Ph.D., of Saint John's College, in Santa Fe; Jim Childs, publisher of Rowman & Littlefield's Globe Pequot, Lyons Press and Falcon Guides; and Mira Jacob, author of The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing, who recently delivered a talk entitled "I Gave a Speech About Race to the Publishing Industry and No One Heard Me." Online registration is now open.

Pre-conference intensive sessions include the Future of Your House: Mergers, Acquisitions & Sales, Workflow Strategies and Tools: Moving Beyond E-mail and Word and a publisher/head-of-house roundtable. The conference will include sessions on Publicity: What Moves the Sales Needle for Publishers; Fact Checking and Plagiarism; RGB vs. CMYK and Other Issues in Producing Accurate Color; Managing Your Pre-orders--Predict your First 90-Day Sales; Research in Contemporary Book Publishing; Best Marketing Strategies for Sending Metadata; and No "ME" in TEAM.


Image of the Day: Hero's Welcome

Concord Bookshop, Concord, Mass., hosted author Adam Makos, author of Devotion: An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, and Sacrifice (Crown), and the hero of his book, Capt. Tom Hudner. Hudner, now 91, received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his attempt at a one-man rescue during the Korean War. His wingman, Jesse Brown, the Navy's first African-American pilot, went down 17 miles behind enemy lines when his engine seized after being hit by Korean fire. Hudner intentionally brought down his own plane, in an effort to rescue Brown. The event drew a huge crowd of locals, and there were many in attendance from nearby Hansom Air Force Base. One man drove nine hours from Ontario to meet Hudner and Makos.

Pictured: Tom Hudner and his family (his wife, Georgea, their four children and spouses) and Adam Makos. Hudner is third from the left; Makos is third from the right. 

Bookstore Wedding, Starring Carrie Brownstein, Amy Poehler

Tuesday night at the Vroman's Books event at Central Presbyterian Church in Pasadena, Calif., a young couple raised their hand with a question for Carrie Brownstein. It wasn't a question related to Brownstein's new memoir, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl (Riverhead), which Brownstein was discussing on stage with Amy Poehler. It wasn't about being in a band, or her childhood, or life as a TV star. Kendall and Genevieve wanted to know if Carrie would officiate their wedding--right then and there, on the spot.
Brownstein--who recently became a licensed wedding officiant--agreed, and the two young women came up onto the stage. Poehler, who had been moderating the Vroman's event, grabbed flowers off the stage and thrust the bouquet at the couple, then ran to the piano, where she began playing "Greensleeves." Brownstein made a brief spontaneous speech, telling the couple, "In the way that we always root for ourselves, in the way that we root for love to always win out over despair, for hope to win out over fear, all of us here are rooting for you"--which was met with thundering cheering by the sold-out, standing-room-only crowd. Brownstein then declared: "With the power vested in me by the state of California, I now pronounce you married."

You can watch the ceremony here.

Turn of the Corkscrew: Books & Wine & More

The Wall Street Journal toasted Turn of the Corkscrew, Books & Wine, the new bookstore-wine bar that Carol Hoenig and Peggy Zieran recently opened in Rockville Centre, N.Y.

"We saw that independent bookstores were making a comeback," Hoenig told the paper. But "we knew that we had to change the model of a bookstore and that we needed an income stream," Zieran added. Hence the wine bar.

The former Borders employees and Long Island residents put the bookstore in front and the bar in the back, a fortuitous decision since the bar is next to the "substantial" children's book section. As the Journal wrote: "Mothers can enjoy a glass of Chardonnay while their little ones are paging through the story of Peter Rabbit." (Story time is at 7 p.m.)

The book-to-wine ratio is 70% to 30%, and there are just 12 wines by the glass available now as Hoenig and Zieran continue to make selections, which include wines from France, South Africa, Oregon--and Long Island. There is also beer on tap and by the bottle, along with some light food.

Personnel Changes at Ecco, Crown

Effective November 16, Miriam Parker is joining Ecco as associate publisher. She is marketing director at Little, Brown, where she has worked for the last 15 years.


In Crown Publishing Group's marketing department:

Kevin Callahan has joined the Crown Publishing Group as marketing director for Crown, Hogarth, Tim Duggan Books and Broadway. He has more than 10 years experience in marketing and publishing at HarperCollins, most recently as associate publisher of It Books and Harper Design.

Kelsey Lawrence has joined the Crown Publishing Group as marketing manager for Archetype and Three Rivers Press. She has worked in marketing at St. Martin's Press for three years and earlier was in the marketing and publicity departments at Texas A&M University Press.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Drew Barrymore on Ellen

Good Morning America: Rachael Ray, author of Everyone Is Italian on Sunday (Atria, $39.99, 9781476766072).

The Ellen DeGeneres Show: Drew Barrymore, author of Wildflower (Dutton, $28, 9781101983799), and Martha Stewart, author of Martha Stewart's Appetizers: 200 Recipes for Dips, Spreads, Snacks, Small Plates, and Other Delicious Hors d'Oeuvres, Plus 30 Cocktails (Clarkson Potter, $27.50, 9780307954626).

The Talk: Wendy Howard Goldberg, co-author of The Blue Bloods Cookbook: 120 Recipes That Will Bring Your Family to the Table (St. Martin's Press, $29.99, 9781250072856).

Movies: In the Heart of the Sea; Alice Sequel

The final trailer has been released for In the Heart of the Sea, based on Nathaniel Philbrick's nonfiction book In The Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex and directed by Ron Howard, reported. The film, which hits theaters December 11, stars Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw, Tom Holland, Brendan Gleeson and Jordi Molla.


Disney released a teaser clip for Tim Burton's Alice Through the Looking Glass, the sequel to Alice in Wonderland, with stars Mia Wasikowska and Johnny Depp reprising their roles.

This Weekend on Book TV: Ta-Nehisi Coates

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, November 7
8 p.m. Ann Romney, author of In This Together: My Story (Thomas Dunne, $27.99, 9781250083975). (Re-airs Sunday at 11 p.m.)

9 p.m. Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of Between the World and Me (Spiegel & Grau, $24, 9780812993547).  (Re-airs Sunday at 3 p.m.)

10 p.m. Ben Bernanke, author of The Courage to Act: A Memoir of a Crisis and Its Aftermath (Norton, $35, 9780393247213). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

Sunday, November 8
12 a.m. Gil Troy, author of The Age of Clinton: America in the 1990s (Thomas Dunne, $27.99, 9781250063724). (Re-airs Sunday at 8 p.m.)

1 a.m. Anna Bikont, author of The Crime and the Silence: Confronting the Massacre of Jews in Wartime Jedwabne (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $30, 9780374178796), at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C. (Re-airs Sunday at 5:45 p.m.)

5 a.m. Philip Warburg, author of Harness the Sun: America's Quest for a Solar-Powered Future (Beacon Press, $27.95, 9780807033760). (Re-airs Sunday at 6:45 p.m.)

2 p.m. Demetrius Minor, author of Preservation and Purpose: The Making of a Young Millennial, A Manifesto for Faith, Family and Politics (Balcony 7 Media, $16.95, 9781939454287). (Re-airs Sunday at 1:20 a.m.)

10 p.m. Melvin Urofsky, author of Dissent and the Supreme Court: Its Role in the Court's History and the Nation's Constitutional Dialogue (Pantheon, $35, 9780307379405), at Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C.

Books & Authors

Awards: Prix Goncourt

Mathias Enard won France's Prix Goncourt for Boussole (Compass), the Bookseller reported, noting that while the prize money is only €10 (about $10.85), the win "almost guarantees" a boost in sales of the winning book. "I like a winning book that tells of the world in which we live," said head of the jury Bernard Pivot.

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:

Twain's End by Lynn Cullen (Gallery, $26, 9781476758961). "Isabel Lyon, who was born to gentility, supported herself as a nanny and a secretary and is best known as secretary/companion to the family of Samuel Clemens. Her late marriage to Clemens' business manager left her life in shambles, as afterwards both were fired and slandered. What led to those dramatic shifts is the premise behind Twain's End. Mark Twain may be beloved beyond all American writers, but Cullen has crafted a well-researched tale supporting the view that a very manipulative, selfish, and distant Samuel Clemens and his family hid behind that façade. It is up to you to decide. A marvelous read!" --Becky Milner, Vintage Books, Vancouver, Wash.

Mothers, Tell Your Daughters: Stories by Bonnie Jo Campbell (Norton, $25.95, 9780393248456). "This collection is Campbell at her best and most audaciously appealing. At the center of each of these stories is a fierce, floundering, and unmistakably familiar woman. Mother of a daughter in some instances but always a caretaker, aware of and struggling with a hellish truth, or at justified peace with her right to impose her flawed self on a tragic other. These women's violations--both endured and perpetrated--are most certainly recognizable, and their stories are stunning. Booksellers, tell your customers. Friends, tell your people. Mothers, tell your daughters. Read this book!" --Joanna Parzakonis, Bookbug, Kalamazoo, Mich.

Vanessa and Her Sister: A Novel by Priya Parmar (Ballantine, $16, 9780804176392). "This novel tells the story of sisters Vanessa and Virginia Stephens, later to become Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf. Vanessa, an emerging painter, tells their stories in her journal accompanied by the letters and telegrams of their families, husbands, and the many brilliant artists and painters in their circle. It is a story of art, literature, betrayal, emotional upheaval, and, above all, the many complicated forms love takes. Set against the backdrop of Edwardian England, a time of sweeping social transformations, Vanessa and Her Sister is a moving portrait of a brilliant family." --Staci Rice, Bluebird Books, Hutchinson, Kan.

For Teen Readers
Beastly Bones: A Jackaby Novel by William Ritter (Algonquin, $17.95, 9781616203542). "First, a cat has suddenly shape-shifted into a fish and then its owner is mysteriously murdered. Next, fossils of a giant unknown creature go missing. The second book in Ritter's Jackaby series has Jackaby, a fantastical Sherlock Holmes, and Abigail Rook, his intuitive and intelligent Watson, teamed up with a host of characters to solve the case. With the aid of two paleontologists, a werewolf police detective, a big game hunter, and an intrepid reporter, Abigail and Jackaby must solve this mystery of a monster murdering people and mangling livestock. What they find is even more incredible and more dangerous than they could have imagined. Beastly Bones has it all--an intriguing mystery, a strong feminist role model, and just a hint of romance." --Claire Meints, Grass Roots Books & Music, Corvallis, Ore.

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt (Clarion, $17.99, 9780544462229). "Once again Schmidt plumbs the depths of love and the binding forces of the universe as readers witness 14-year-old Joseph Brook's story unfold within his new foster family and rural Maine community. Joseph's past keeps him guarded, marked by those who only see his prior transgressions, but it also propels him to find and protect the one closest to his heart. Through the voice of Jack, his compassionate, 12-year-old foster brother, readers glean why Joseph cries out in the night and why he cannot be approached from behind. Schmidt expertly guides readers through an emotional landscape that brings both bitter and joyous tears as he reveals what grace and loyalty really mean." --Jane Knight, Bear Pond Books of Montpelier, Montpelier, Vt.

For Ages 4 to 8
Little Elliot, Big Family by Mike Curato (Holt, $17.99, 9780805098266). "Little Elliot has won my heart in a big way! Not only is it a super sweet book about friendship and family, but it also shows readers many beautiful and diverse family vignettes that underscore what Elliot longs for. The story, characters, and sentiment combine in a perfect book for both children and adults." --Valerie Welbourn, the Fountainhead Bookstore, Hendersonville, N.C.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, November 10:

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto: A Novel by Mitch Albom (Harper, $25.99, 9780062294418) follows the world's greatest guitar player.

Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush by Jon Meacham (Random House, $35, 9781400067657) is a biography of the 41st U.S. president.

Elizabeth: Renaissance Prince by Lisa Hilton (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27, 9780544577848) explores the reign of England's Queen Elizabeth I.

Timeless Beauty: Over 100 Tips, Secrets, and Shortcuts to Looking Great by Christie Brinkley (Grand Central, $30, 9781455587940) is a supermodel's style guide.

Hotels of North America by Rick Moody (Little, Brown, $25, 9780316178556) untangles a man's life through his online hotel reviews.

The 33, based on Deep Down Dark by Héctor Tobar (Picador, $16, 9781250074850), opens November 13. Antonio Banderas, Lou Diamond Phillips and Rodrigo Santoro play three of the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for 69 days in 2010.

Book Review

Review: A Wild Swan: And Other Tales

Wild Swan: And Other Tales by Michael Cunningham, illus. by Yuko Shimizu (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $23 hardcover, 9780374290252, November 10, 2015)

Michael Cunningham (Pulitzer Prize-winner for The Hours) takes a fresh and dark look at a selection of classic fairy tales with A Wild Swan: And Other Tales. His brief, richly imagined new stories, often based only loosely on their models, are accompanied by detailed, atmospheric black-and-white illustrations by Yuko Shimizu.

An introduction teases readers to acknowledge that they, too, enjoy seeing the fairy tales' "manifestations of perfection"--those with "comeliness that startles the birds in the trees, coupled with grace, generosity, and charm"--cut low. Cunningham then proceeds to do just that with his versions of originals by the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen and others.

Here readers will find the "crazy old lady" who lures Hansel and Gretel to her cottage of candy in the woods; but Hansel and Gretel are pierced and tattooed, and sexy "with their starved and foxy faces." Snow White's prince is obsessed with the beautiful deathly version of her he discovered in the coffin, and troublingly insists on replaying the scene over and over again. Rumpelstiltskin is surprisingly well intentioned--for the most part. Rapunzel's life following the closure of the Grimms' tale is revealed, and it's a good thing she kept her severed braids. The Beast has grown to be a bad boy, even after Beauty gives him her love. He is "impeccably handsome" with "a lascivious, bestial smile; a rapacious and devouring smile," the one who might catch your eye on the subway or at "the after-hours party your girlfriend has insisted on," but you'll come to regret it. And in the title story, the princess is successful in transforming all of her brothers but one back to their fully human forms.

Cunningham sometimes brings these stories into more or less modern times, but the point of this collection is not to recast the classics with smartphones and fast cars, and the setting of some remains unchanged. Rather, these are playful riffs on well-known stories, almost always with a still gloomier tone than even the Brothers Grimm applied. The mood of these tales of disturbing fetishes, murderous schemings and pedestrian human flaws such as hubris, laziness and jealousy is eventually relieved, however, by Cunningham's final flourish, entitled "Ever/After."

A Wild Swan works expert mischief with backstory, aftermath, interludes and retellings of well-known favorites. These tales are not always for the kids, of course, but will appeal to an intersection of dark humor and nostalgia for timeless stories, or anyone with an appreciation for a deliciously spooky imagination. --Julia Jenkins, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Cunningham darkly reimagines classic fairy tales, with moodily appropriate illustrations.

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